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twin vs twin xl mattress dimensions illustration

Twin vs. Twin XL: What’s the Difference?

Do you have a child or teen who’s ready for a new bed? Or maybe you’re moving into your very first—or a very small—apartment by yourself? A twin or twin XL mattress might be the perfect mattress size for you. While twin mattresses and twin XLs are similar, they do have a few differences—so it’s important to do your research before selecting a size.

What’s the difference between a twin and twin XL—and which one is right for you? Our twin vs. twin XL mattress guide will help you determine just that.

twin vs twin xl - twin dimensions illusrration

Twin mattress size

A twin mattress (also known as a single bed) measures 38 inches wide by 75 inches long.

Pros of a twin

Thinking through whether a twin mattress is an ideal choice for you? Here are the top four benefits:

  • A twin mattress is great for growing children. It’s an ideal size between toddler beds and the full size mattress they may use as teenagers. It also fits nicely into kids’ rooms. “Twin beds are so fantastic for kids’ rooms because you don’t need much space for them,” says Prudence Bailey, founder and principal designer of Prudence Home + Design in Connecticut. “They can function as a bed or even a day bed.”
  • Bailey adds that having two twin mattresses in a room is perfect for kids who love throwing sleepovers—or siblings who share a bedroom.
  • A twin mattress size is versatile—it can be used in bunk beds, day beds, and for solo sleepers in studio apartments. (Keep in mind, your bedroom should be 7 feet by 10 feet at minimum to fit a twin size mattress.)
  • Since a twin mattress is the smallest mattress size, it naturally comes with the smallest price tag, and it’s a piece of cake to move.

Our Best Twin Size Mattress for Children

Cons of a twin

A twin mattress is not without its downsides. Consider these drawbacks before you buy one:

  • It’s too small for two. Given that a twin mattress is only 38 inches in width total, it doesn’t afford much space for two people. A queen size bed, which measures 60 x 80 inches, is the ideal mattress size for couples because each sleeper gets about 30 inches of space to themselves.
  • Because it’s only 75 inches long (which translates to 6 feet 2 inches), a twin size mattress may not be long enough for taller teens or adults.
twin vs twin xl - twin xl dimensions illustration

Twin XL mattress size

As its name suggests, a twin XL is an extra-long twin size mattress. A twin XL mattress measures 38 inches wide by 80 inches long, making it a full 5 inches longer than a standard twin.

Pros of a twin XL

Just like a standard twin, a twin XL has quite a few things going for it. Here are the biggest benefits:

  • Twin XL beds are great for teens. Since teens often experience growth spurts, the added length of the mattress will be helpful. Measuring 80 inches long (roughly 6 feet 7 inches), this is a particularly good option if you believe your teen will be over 6 feet tall. If you’re a taller adult who has a small bedroom, you may also benefit from choosing a twin XL mattress.
  • A twin XL mattress makes for a nice fit in dorm rooms—especially for tall college students. “Twin XLs are ideal for college students because they provide more length, which is great for kids who study in bed or want to hang out with friends on their bed,” notes Bailey.
  • If you and your partner have different sleep needs, you can put two twin XL mattresses together to make a split king. For example, if you like a firm mattress but your partner prefers a soft mattress, consider a split king so each of you has a separate sleep surface with your preferred mattress firmness.

Our Best Split King Mattress for Couples

Cons of a twin XL

Keep these drawbacks in mind before shopping for a twin XL mattress:

  • Like the standard twin, it’s not a good option for couples (unless you pair two together to make a split king). A twin XL mattress is only 38 inches in width total, which doesn’t amount to much space for two people.
  • It can be a challenge to find bedding that fits since a twin XL mattress is less common than a standard twin. That said, twin XL sheet sets do exist. What’s more, twin flat sheets are actually sized to fit both types of twin mattresses, so if you have any of those laying around you should be able to use them interchangeably. (Here’s what you need to know about special mattress sizes before you buy one.)
  • You’ll pay more for a twin XL than you would a standard twin. “Twin XL beds are a bit more expensive than regular twins,” says Bailey. Plus, not all mattress retailers stock twin XLs regularly, she adds.

Additional Saatva Mattresses That Come in Twin and Twin XL

Is a twin or twin XL right for you?

We’ve put together this handy comparison chart to help make your choice between a twin vs. twin XL easier.

ComparisonTwinTwin XL
Width38″38″
Length75″80″
Min. recommended room size7′ x 10′7′ x 10′
Who it’s best forYoung children

Solo sleepers with very small bedrooms
Tall children or teens

Couples (when you pair two twin XLs to make a split king)
DrawbacksNot enough room for couples

Not long enough for anyone over 6 feet
More expensive than a standard twin

Can be hard to find bedding

Still not sure which mattress size is right for you? Check out our mattress dimensions guide for helpful advice.