twin xl vs full mattress

Whether you’re looking for the best mattress for your teenager or you’re trying to figure out which mattress size will fit best in your small apartment, you’ve got a few good options to choose from. Both the twin XL and full-size mattresses are great choices for teens—or solo-sleeping adults.

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

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.

twin xl mattress dimensions infographic

Pros of a twin XL

A twin XL mattress has many benefits. Here are the biggest reasons to choose this mattress size:

  • 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.
  • Twin XL dimensions make 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 Prudence Bailey, founder and principal designer of Prudence Home + Design in Connecticut.
  • 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.

[SHOP TWIN XL MATTRESSES]

Cons of a twin XL

While a twin XL has plenty of pros, there are a few cons to consider as well.

  • It’s too small for two. Given that a twin XL 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.
  • It can be a challenge to find bedding that fits since a twin XL mattress is less common than a standard twin. However, don’t try to fit full-size sheets onto a twin XL bed. A full-size bed is 5 inches shorter and 16 inches wider than a twin XL, meaning full-size sheets won’t fit properly. 
  • 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.

Full-size mattress

A full-size mattress (also known as a double bed) measures 54 inches wide by 75 inches long.

full mattress dimensions infographic

Pros of a full

Just like a twin XL, a full-size mattress has quite a few things going for it. Weigh these benefits before you buy:

  • Full-size beds offer an ideal situation for solo sleepers. If you live by yourself, a full-size bed will provide ample room.
  • This mattress size is a natural fit in downsized spaces. Those who live in apartments or who have small bedrooms will find that a full-size bed is a good option. A full-size bed can fit comfortably into a bedroom that’s at minimum, 10 feet by 10 feet.
  • Full-size beds are a great option for children. Bailey speaks from her first-hand design experience, saying, “We use full-size beds a lot when designing kids’ rooms since it’s a bed that they won’t outgrow until they leave home.”
  • They’re also usually less expensive than their larger counterparts and easier to transport than bigger mattresses.

[SHOP FULL-SIZE MATTRESSES]

Cons of a full

Keep these drawbacks in mind before shopping for a full-size mattress:

  • They don’t provide adequate space for most couples. In a full-size bed, each person will only have 27 inches of space for themselves. “Size is the biggest downside, as most adults will find it too small to share,” says Bailey. That said, if you’re not physically large and don’t mind snuggling, it could be just fine. “If they are a cuddling couple, this is the size for them,” says Bailey.
  • Since they’re not especially long, full-size beds aren’t a great option for tall folks. A full-size bed is just barely over 6 feet in length, so you’re looking at feet hanging over the edge of the bed if you’re a few inches over 6 feet tall. Taller individuals will be better suited to a twin XL, queen, or if you have the space, king-size mattress.

Is a twin XL or full right for you?

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

Comparison

Twin XL

Full

Width

38"

54"

Length

80"

75"

Min. recommended room size

7' x 10'

10' x 10'

Who it's best for

-Tall children, teens, or adults

-Couples (when you pair two twin XLs to make a split king)

-Children and teens

-Solo sleepers who want a little more room to move around

Drawbacks

-More expensive than a standard twin

-Can be hard to find bedding

-Not enough room for couples

-Not long enough for anyone over 6 feet tall

FAQs

How much bigger is a twin XL than a full?

A twin XL is 5 inches longer than a full—but it's also 16 inches narrower. A twin XL measures 38 inches wide by 80 inches long, while a full measures 54 inches wide by 75 inches long. 

Is a twin XL the same as a full?

A twin XL and full aren't the same. A twin XL measures 38 inches wide by 80 inches long, while a full measures 54 inches wide by 75 inches long. 

What's the difference between a twin XL and a full?

The difference between these two mattress sizes lies in the dimensions. A twin XL is 38 inches wide by 80 inches long, while a full is 54 inches wide by 75 inches long. A full is 16 inches wider, but 5 inches shorter, than a twin XL. 

Will twin XL sheets fit a full bed?

Twin XL sheets won't fit a full bed—they'll be too narrow and too long. When shopping for sheets, always choose the same size as your mattress. 

Can twin sheets fit a twin XL bed?

Twin sheets won't fit a twin XL bed—they'll be too short. If you have a twin XL mattress, then you'll want to buy twin XL sheets. 

Is a twin XL big enough for two people?

A twin XL isn't big enough to comfortably fit two people as it only measures 38 inches in width. If you live by yourself and have a small bedroom, then a twin XL might work for you. 

However, keep in mind a twin XL still won't provide that much space if you're a larger person or you like to sprawl out while you sleep. In those cases, you may prefer a full or even a queen bed. 

Is a full big enough for two people?

A full-size mattress can fit two people, but it'll be snug. With a full bed, each person will get only 27 inches of space. If you have a smaller body and don't mind snuggling up to your partner, then this might be OK for you. However, most couples prefer a queen-size mattress or larger. 

Find the best twin XL and full mattresses from Saatva

Saatva offers a wide range of high-quality twin XL and full mattresses so you can easily find your perfect match. Whether you're looking to buy a bed for your child or you live in a small apartment, we've got you covered. 

All of our mattresses are handcrafted with premium materials to help you experience your most comfortable sleep. Plus, our mattresses come with a 365-night home trial and lifetime warranty. 

Take our mattress quiz to find out which Saatva mattress is right for you. 

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