Single vs Twin Mattress Size – a Comprehensive Comparison Guide

Written by: Andjela Kastratovic
Updated: 06/30/2022

If you’re currently shopping for a new mattress, you probably already noticed the Single and Twin bed sizes, and you’re probably wondering what the difference between the two of them is?

Well, to keep it simple, there is none. A Twin mattress and a Single mattress are the same bed size, but they have one slight difference – their purpose

We created this Single and Twin mattress guide to help you figure out whether these beds are the right choice for you. 

Basic Information

Before we get into more details, let’s cover some basic information about these mattresses and what makes them different. 

In the past, there were two types of smaller beds – Single (Twin today) and Double (called Full today). But hotels started putting two Singles together to make a double bed, and confusion ensued. 

Single Bed

A Single bed has 38″ x 75″, making it the smallest standard mattress dimension. A Single is named like that because it’s made for one single person and one single room, and it definitely can’t fit couples. 

Single sleepers under 6′ tall can fit on this bed comfortably, making it an often choice for kids’ and teenagers’ rooms. Also, it’s an excellent choice for small bedrooms for a single child, guest rooms, or hotel rooms for three people. 

Twin Bed

A Twin bed has the exact dimensions as a Single bed – it’s 38″ wide and 75″ long, and it’s the smallest standard manufacturing mattress size. A Twin bed has the same basic features a Single has. It’s made for a single person, under 6′ tall, preferred for kids and teenagers. 

Now, you might be wondering, if they’re the same size, why do they have a completely different name?

Well, their main difference lies in their purpose. While a Single is meant to be put into a room by itself, a Twin bed is supposed to be used in matching pairs. To simplify it, a Twin bed is just two Single beds in the same room. 

They’re most commonly used for bunk beds, hotel rooms, and shared rooms

The term Twin bed is more often used than the term Single one, so we’ll be using it in the rest of the article as well to avoid any confusion. 

WidthLengthArea
Single beds38”75”2850 square inches
Twin beds38”75”2850 square inches

Single vs. Twin – Biggest Similarities

Before we get into a more detailed analysis of their few differences, let’s cover some more information about these two bed sizes to know what you can expect when you’re shopping. 

Dimensions

Firstly, as we already mentioned before, a Single and a Twin bed have the exact dimensions. Mattress dimensions always affect other aspects of the bed, but in this case, stuff like affordability and comfort stay the same for both Singles and Twins

In addition to that, there’s a non-standard version of a Twin bed with added 5″ in length. This is why Twin XL mattresses are often used for single sleepers who need extra length. By putting two Twin XL mattresses side by side, you can create a King mattress, but two Twin beds put together to create double mattresses aren’t equivalent to anything. 

If you’re interested in comparing Twin and Twin XL mattresses check out our guide on Twin vs. Twin XL

Accessories

As mentioned before, dimensions impact the available bed accessories. The more popular a specific mattress size is, the more various bed accessories and bed frames will be available for it. 

Luckily, a Twin mattress is one of the most popular mattresses. It’s the smallest standard manufacturing mattress size, and it’s most often bought for children and teens. 

Since a Single has the exact dimensions of a Twin mattress, available bed frames and bed accessories can be found anywhere. 

So don’t worry, finding the proper bed sheets for these sizes will be easy! In comparison to them, finding the accessories for Twin XL beds will be slightly harder.

Comfort

Choosing your new mattress should be done with one thing at the forefront of the process – your personal preferences

Comfort depends on many things. For example, different materials can affect firmness, and mattresses range from softest to hardest. Some people prefer a lot of sleeping space, so they’ll sleep better on King size beds or even California King beds, for example.

When talking about Single and Twin size beds, we can discuss comfort based on their dimensions. There are two recommended types of users for these mattress sizes. 

Children 

Kids and teenagers are small enough to comfortably fit on a Single or Twin size bed, which is why they’re most often used in kids’ rooms

A Single is used for a smaller room for a single child in it, and a Twin mattress can be used for shared spaces, and they’re perfect bunk bed sized mattresses, which is why most often chosen for siblings’ rooms

Other smaller bed sizes fit for a children’s room include a toddler bed or a crib mattress, but these are too small for a growing child.

Single Sleepers 

Single adults can fit on a Single or Twin mattress as long as they’re under 6′ tall. Taller sleepers over 6′ tall should go for a Twin XL mattress if they still need a bed that doesn’t take much space. 

This mattress size isn’t meant to be shared by couples because there’s not enough personal space.

Couples should go for a bigger mattress, like King beds, Queen beds, or a California King mattress. And if they have different preferences, they can always go for Split King beds made from two Twin XL ones.

If you’re looking for a mattress for two people, check out our list of the best mattresses for couples

Price

Last but not least, the pricing of a Single and Twin bed size is precisely the same. Well, if you’re getting two Twins, as you should, the price is going to double, of course. But, the cost of the single mattress units is the same. 

The price depends on other things, such as the mattress manufacturers and materials used. A standard Twin is still the smallest standard manufacturing size, making it very affordable. Getting a King bed or Queen bed would cost you much more.

Single vs. Twin – Biggest Differences

Now that you know every essential information about Single and Twin bed size let’s take a more detailed look into what makes them different. 

Even though these two mattress sizes are essentially the same, we can differentiate them based on their location in a room. That being said, keep in mind that their names are interchangeable when purchasing a new mattress. 

Purpose 

As we briefly mentioned before, the purpose of Single and Twin bed sizes is slightly different. 

A Single mattress is called that way because it’s meant to be used by one person and put into a room with no other Single mattresses. It’s often used in single-child rooms, guest rooms, and a third bed in hotel bedrooms. 

If two matching Single mattresses are put into one room, they’re considered Twin size mattresses. Each standard Twin bed size is meant to be used by just one person. They’re usually used in shared rooms or for a bunk bed frame

This can be confusing, but it’s just a way to define purpose rather than size. 

Room Size 

The recommended room area is one big difference in the Single vs. Twin dilemma. Two Twin mattresses will take up more space than one Single one, of course. 

Although a Single mattress can freely be used in any small room, the recommended room size is about 7′ x 10′. This is considered enough space to put the bed and other needed furniture. 

On the other hand, the recommended room size for Twin mattresses is 10′ x 10′ and up. This seems like a small addition, but it’s enough to put in two beds and other furniture without feeling too cramped. 

Mattress Sizes

That’s about everything you need to know about Single and Twin mattresses

But what if you want to consider other options for a mattress size?

In that case, here’s a table of other standard manufacturing mattress sizes to check out. You should also look at our comprehensive guide on mattress dimensions and sizes for more information!

NameDimensionsBest for
Twin38” x 74”Singles; adults under 6′ tall; teens; children; small rooms, shared rooms, and bunk beds.
Twin XL38” x 80”Singles; adults; teens; and children taller than 6′; small rooms; shared rooms; college dorms.
Full54” x 75”Singles under 6′ tall; teenagers; small rooms or a guest room.
Queen60” x 80”Singles, especially those over 6′ tall; couples; those who sleep with their pets or children; bigger rooms, guest rooms.
King76” x 80”Singles who like a lot of space; even those over 6′ tall; couples; couples sleeping with a child or pets; larger rooms.
California King72” x 84”Singles and couples, especially tall ones; those who sleep with their pets or children; larger rooms.

How to Choose a Single and a Twin Size Mattress

That would be everything you should know about these mattress sizes! But how can you tell whether they’re the right ones for you?

We created this list of things you should keep in mind when buying a mattress and how it connects to Single and Twin mattresses

Sleeping Position

People sleep in various ways, but there are a couple of common positions – side sleeping, back sleeping, stomach sleeping, and combination sleeping

Out of all of these, side sleepers take up the least amount of space, so naturally, they’ll feel comfortable on a Twin size mattress. Check out our list of the best mattresses for side sleepers

On the other hand, back sleepers and stomach sleepers might feel a little cramped depending on their height and body type. Taller and bigger people might sleep better on Full beds or even a Queen mattress.

This mattress size isn’t the best choice for combination sleepers because they move a lot in their sleep. Combination sleepers might even be better off with a King size mattress or a Queen size bed. 


Height

As mentioned before, taller sleepers might have some trouble choosing a mattress. A mattress that’s too short will negatively impact your quality of sleep, according to sleep science

A Single bed is only 75″ long, which makes it inadequate for people taller than 6′. If you’re over 6′ tall and need a smaller mattress for a single sleeper, it’s better to go for a Twin XL mattress. A Twin XL bed has an added length of 5″, which is enough for most people.

Versatility

A mattress is supposed to last you at least a couple of years and some can even last over a decade, which is a long time. You should ensure that the new bed you’re purchasing will be suitable for your future needs

For example, when getting a mattress for a growing child, you should consider their current height and how they’ll grow up in the future. Don’t choose a bed that’s too small, like toddler beds, because it will get cramped in a while. Although this doesn’t mean you should immediately go for a King bed for a child.

Partners

Before buying a mattress, you should consider who will be sleeping on it. Will it be for a single sleeper, or will a couple have to share it?

In this case, keep in mind that Single mattresses are meant for just one person. A couple could potentially fit on this mattress, but it will be too cramped for a comfortable night. 

Room Size 

Your bed shouldn’t take up your whole room. There should be enough space for other furniture and for walking around. The usual recommendation states that you leave at least 3′ of space free around your bed not to make your room feel too cramped. 

As mentioned before, the recommended room size for a Single is at least 7′ x 10,’ and for Twin mattresses, it’s at least 10′ x 10′. 

Transport

It would be best to do certain things with your mattress to ensure it lasts longer, especially if you want to keep it for over a decade. For example, rotating it from time to time

Depending on your needs, your mattress needs to be light enough to be easily rotated and moved around. Twin and Single beds are smaller and generally more lightweight, so there shouldn’t be any problems. 

Cost 

Lastly, it would help if you considered the cost of the mattress before purchasing it. Cost can depend on materials, manufacturers, and other factors. 

Fortunately, a Twin mattress is the smallest standard mattress size, making it popular and affordable. Of course, Twin mattresses mean getting two beds, which adds to the price. 

Single vs. Twin – Pros and Cons

Since Single and Twin beds are the same, we’ll list the pros and cons for both of them together. 

Pros

  • Good for smaller rooms
  • It can be used for bunk beds 
  • Affordability
  • Ease of transport
  • Suitable for growing children and teenagers

Cons

  • Not for those over 6′ tall
  • Not for couples 

FAQ

Is a Single Mattress the Same as a Twin Mattress?

If you look at the dimensions of a Single mattress and a Twin mattress, you’ll notice that they’re precisely the same. They have the same width and length, their prices don’t differ, and they’re meant for the same type of sleepers. However, their purpose is slightly different. 

What Is the Main Difference Between a Single Mattress and a Twin Mattress?

The main difference between Single and Twin beds is their purpose and room size. A Single mattress is meant to be used by itself in a room, while Twin mattresses are intended to be used in matching pairs and put in a Single bedroom. So their purpose and the amount of space they take up regardless of their dimensions is different. 

Final Thoughts

That covers everything you should know about a regular Twin mattress

To summarize, they’re the same. The only difference is in how they’re meant to be put in a room – Single beds are supposed to be used as one per room, while Twin beds are used in a pair. 

Essentially, Twin beds are just two Single beds. That being said, there are some things that you should take into consideration besides the room size before opting to purchase one of these beds. Hopefully, this article helped you determine whether they’re the right choice for you. 

Good luck with finding the best possible mattress for yourself!

Reviews written by:

Andjela Kastratovic - Co-editor

Anđela is a content writer by the day and an Illustrator by night. She loves anything creative, but sleep takes the cake – that’s why she enjoys writing for Anatomy of Sleep so much!

While in high school, she got accepted for her dream job – a ‘professional sleeper’. Her job was to test new mattresses from a local mattress brand and write reports on the quality of sleep. Ever since then, she’s been in love with reviewing mattresses and putting her compelling research into ultimate buyer’s guides. While not exploring the latest brands, she likes to illustrate and spend time with her dog and friends.