Queen vs. Twin XL: What’s the Difference?
If you’re a solo sleeper, you might be wondering which mattress size is right for you. Should you go for a narrower bed—like a twin XL—to save space or a wider one—like a queen—so you have plenty of room to spread out? Both queens and twin XLs have a lot of things going for them, but which one is your ideal match will depend on a variety of factors.
Is a queen size mattress or a twin XL right for you? Our queen vs. twin XL guide will help you determine just that.
What are the benefits and drawbacks of a queen bed?
Before you decide whether a queen or twin XL is right for you, consider the pros and cons of a queen size mattress.
Pros of a queen
- It’s versatile, making it an outstanding option for couples and solo sleepers alike. Each sleeper gets about 30 inches of space to themselves. This gives couples plenty of room to move around. “A queen size mattress is ideal for many people because it offers generous sleeping room for a single sleeper, yet the size is still ample and comfortable for two people,” says Mary Brennan, interior designer and founder of House of Fine Design in New Jersey. If you’re a combination sleeper—someone who switches positions throughout the night—you should have enough room in a queen size bed so you won’t disturb your partner.
- You’ll have enough room for kids and pets as well. Although a queen size mattress isn’t quite as large as a king, you should still comfortably be able to snuggle with your family.
Our Best Queen Size Mattresses
Our flagship luxury mattress is expertly engineered with coil-on-coil construction for durability, a layer of memory foam for enhanced back support, and a cushiony Euro pillow top for extra comfort.
Loom & Leaf Memory Foam
Premium memory foam, handcrafted in the U.S. with eco-friendly materials. Breathable organic cotton, cooling spinal gel, and layers of high-density support foam assure a cool, comfortable night’s sleep.
Zenhaven Latex Mattress
100% Talalay latex responds to every curve for pressure-free support and responsive comfort. Talalay latex is supple, resilient, and durable, for the ultimate in elevated sleep. (It’s naturally hypoallergenic too.)
Cons of a queen
- Naturally, a queen size bed doesn’t offer as much room for couples and/or families as a king size bed. You’ll have 8 inches less width in a queen size bed than you would in a king.
- If you have a very small bedroom, a queen size bed is still sizeable enough to cramp your space. You should only choose a queen size mattress if your bedroom is at minimum 10 feet by 10 feet.
What are the benefits and drawbacks of a twin XL?
Just as a queen size mattress has its pros and cons, so does the twin XL.
Pros of a twin XL
- Twin XL beds are great for teens. Teens often experience growth spurts, so the twin XL is often a better option than the standard twin since it’s 5 inches longer. If you’re a taller adult (over 6 feet tall) who has a smaller bedroom, you may also benefit from choosing a twin XL mattress since it’s approximately 6 feet 7 inches long.
- 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,” says 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.
Our Best Split King Mattress for Couples
Solaire Precision Adjustable Air
Featuring 50 precise firmness settings on each side of the bed for personal customization. Talalay latex and gel-infused memory foam layers provide luxury comfort and support.
Cons of a twin XL
- 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 or king size bed is a much better option for couples and families.
- 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. (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.
What’s the difference between queen and twin XL sizes?
From dimensions to minimum recommended bedroom size, here are the biggest differences between these two mattress sizes.
Queen vs. twin XL dimensions
A queen size mattress measures 60 inches wide by 80 inches long. A twin XL mattress measures 38 inches wide by 80 inches long. With a queen size mattress, you get an additional 22 inches in width.
Queen vs. twin XL comparison chart
We’ve put together this handy comparison chart to help make your choice between a queen and twin XL easier.
|Min. recommended room size||10′ x 10′||7′ x 10′|
|Who it’s best for||Couples
Solo sleepers who want ample space to move around
|Tall children, teens, and adults
Couples (when you pair two twin XLs to make a split king)
|Drawbacks||Too large for small bedrooms
Not as much space for kids and pets to cuddle as a king size mattress
|More expensive than a standard twin
Can be hard to find bedding
Things to consider before buying
Now that we’ve reviewed the pros and cons of queen and twin XL mattresses, here are a few final points to consider before making a decision.
- Room size. If your bedroom is on the small side, a twin XL may be the better option because it’s narrower—22 inches narrower, to be specific—than a queen.
- Budget. A twin XL is significantly cheaper than a queen size mattress. If you’re buying a new mattress for a teen, the cheaper option probably makes more sense. But if you’re shopping for yourself—and you have the space for it—you may want to invest in a queen size mattress.
- Number of sleepers. A single person can fit comfortably in a twin XL mattress, but if you sleep with a partner or have kids and/or pets who like to pile into your bed, then a queen is a better choice.
Still not sure which mattress size is right for you? Check out our mattress dimensions guide for helpful advice.