Twin vs. Twin XL Mattress Guide

Written by: Andjela Kastratovic
Updated: 05/11/2022

At first glance, it might be hard to spot any differences between a Twin and a Twin XL size mattress. However, there’s one slight distinction that can affect your overall user experience if you choose to buy one of these: a Twin XL size mattress is 5 inches longer than regular Twin mattresses

That’s why we created this small Twin vs. Twin XL size mattress guide to help you figure out which size is better for you. 


Firstly, we should look at basic information about these mattress dimensions. Both Twin size and Twin XL mattresses are standard mattress dimensions.

Twin Mattresses

With 38″ x 75″ dimensions, Twin mattresses are the smallest standard mattress size. The smaller sizes include the crib mattress and the single bed, but they’re considered non-standard.

It’s widespread and affordable, making it a prevailing option for those who sleep alone. However, as you’ll see later in the article, a Twin size bed might not be the best option for everyone. 

Twin XL Mattresses

With five inches of extra length more than regular Twin mattresses, a Twin XL mattress dimensions are 38″ x 80″. This makes it a better option for taller sleepers or those who prefer more sleeping space. 

Even though it’s another standard mattress size and the most common choice for college dorms, the Twin XL accessories aren’t as common as for Twin mattresses. 

Twin bed38”75”2850 square inches
Twin XL bed38”80”3040 square inches

Twin vs. Twin XL Similarities

Before we get into Twin vs. Twin XL differences, we should look at some of their similarities. 

First off is something you probably noticed by now – their width. Both a Twin size bed and a Twin XL bed are about the same size because they have an identical width of 38″ inches.

Their smaller size makes them a typical choice for small, guest, or college dorm rooms. Even though they don’t have a lot of extra space, both mattresses can provide enough area for a night of good quality sleep without feeling too cramped for most people. 

Also, looking at a broader picture of all the possible mattress dimensions on the market, these two are the most affordable options for those who sleep alone, making them some of the best budget mattresses available.

Finally, their smaller width doesn’t make a Twin size mattress and a Twin XL mattress suitable for couples. If you’re looking for a bed to share with a partner, you need to look for a larger size mattress. Take a look at our list of the best mattresses for couples

Twin vs. Twin XL Differences

Now that you know all the essential information about Twin and Twin XL mattresses, it’s time to look into what makes them so different. 

As you will see, even though the main difference is in their length, those five inches can affect things like comfort and affordability.


First things first, the main difference is their length. Even though the width is the same 38″, the measurement for Twin mattresses is 75″, and for a Twin XL size, the length is 80″.

Twin size beds are the same length as a Full mattress, while a Twin XL mattress is the same as the Queen mattress

Dimensions also affect bed accessories and bed frames, which is essential to consider when shopping for these two. If you have a Twin XL mattress size, you won’t fit sheets created for a Twin size mattress on it. The same goes for other mattress accessories, including bed frames. 

Of course, if you have a standard Twin bed and accidentally get Twin XL sheets, you can still make it work. The problem only exists when it’s the other way around. 

The most interesting information about the dimensions of the Twin XL mattress is that if you combine two of them, you can create a Split King bed. A regular King size mattress has the dimensions of 76″ x 80″, which is the same as two Twin XL beds. 

Double beds are a standard option for couples with different sleeping preferences because they have different levels of firmness and support that fit their needs. This is why a double King-size mattress is a common option for master bedrooms. You can’t make a double bed from two Twin beds.

As we mentioned before, both of these dimensions are preferred by those who live in smaller spaces, be it children’s rooms, small apartments, college dorms or a guest room. Although both can fit in most rooms, if a room is tiny, you’re going to have more trouble fitting in a Twin XL mattress


The difference in length can affect more than just the sheer size. It can also affect comfort. Even though they seem like the same bed, sleeping on a larger mattress is preferred by most people.

Comfort is entirely based on personal preferences, but we suggest watching out for a couple of things when choosing a bed. They include height, age, preferred sleeping position, bedroom size, etc. 

Regardless of general suggestions, there are a couple of types of sleepers that Twin size or Twin XL size mattresses might be best for, and we listed them here.

As we noted before, Twin size mattresses and Twin XL beds are best for those who sleep alone and are probably too cramped for couples to sleep together on them comfortably. So it’s not recommended to use a standard Twin mattress in a master bedroom.

Children and Teens

Firstly, both a Twin size mattress and a Twin XL mattress are good options for children’s or teens’ rooms. They offer enough space for a child to use as they grow up until the mattress is old enough to get disposed of

That being said, a Twin size mattress is best for people under 6′ tall, so taller children will be better off with a Twin XL mattress. Both sizes are easy to fit into regular children’s rooms

College Students

These mattresses are small and comfortable enough to fit into college dorms, but it’s better to go for a Twin XL mattress rather than a Twin size bed. Students generally need more space, and a Twin XL is also better for those taller than 6′ because it gives more legroom

Single Adults 

While singles under 6′ tall can sleep on a regular Twin size mattress, those taller than 6′ are going to prefer a Twin XL. This gives them more legroom than a Twin bed and enough space to fit a small pet. 

Small Spaces

As you’ll see later in the article, every mattress requires a certain amount of room size. You can’t put a Queen size mattress or a California King-size mattress into just any room.

Both a standard Twin size mattress and a Twin XL mattress don’t take up a lot of space and can fit into the same room, but of course, the longer Twin XL mattress will have more trouble fitting in. 


Finally, the last difference in the Twin vs. Twin XL mattress debate is their prices. 

A Twin XL is more expensive because it’s bigger. Of course, other things like material, manufacturer, etc., affect price, but this is the general rule. 

Regardless, both options are the most affordable ones out of all the standard sizes. A King size bed or a California King size mattress are going to cost you way more than a standard Twin mattress.

When it comes to the price of accessories, the difference isn’t that big. The ones for a Twin XL are slightly bigger, but they aren’t that costlier than for a regular Twin mattress

Mattress Sizes

Before looking at how to decide on which one of the two will suit you better, here’s a table of the other mattress sizes and who they could suit best. Check out 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.
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 Between Twin vs. Twin XL

We have a couple of recommendations for you that will help you determine which one of these two you’re probably going to like better. Here are some things you should keep in mind when buying your new mattress

Sleeping Position 

First up is your preferred sleeping position. Both have enough space for a regular sleeper, whether they like to sleep on their side, stomach, or back

However, if you’re a combination sleeper who likes to have a lot of extra space and moves around in their sleep with as few limitations as possible, both of these might not be the best option for you, and you should get a size up.  


The next thing you should take into account is your height. As we mentioned before, sleepers taller than 6′ will be more comfortable on the more extended Twin XL mattress because it has more foot space. One of the biggest regular Twin mattress cons is that those taller 6′ can’t sleep comfortably on it.

Bedroom Size

The size of your bedroom affects the size of the mattress you can get in general, so always keep that in mind. The recommended room size for a Twin mattress is 7′ x 10′ or 10′ x 10′. That being said, putting a Twin XL mattress in a 7′ x 10′ can feel a little too cramped because of the extra length, but this also depends on the other furniture and things you have in the room. 


Your age also affects your mattress choice. Younger children sleep alone and take up less space. For them, it’s enough to choose a regular Twin size mattress so they can grow into it until it gets too old. Adults might prefer more space, but they can select both options depending on their height. 


Of course, you should determine your budget before making a big purchase, like a mattress. A high-quality bed is needed for good sleep, but the price doesn’t necessarily equal the quality. These mattress sizes are small, standard, and created for single sleepers, so they don’t cost as much as other options. The price difference between the two sizes can differ based on different aspects, but it generally isn’t that great. 

Pros and Cons

If everything up till now hasn’t helped you determine which size would suit you best, here are some Twin and Twin XL pros and cons. 

Twin Mattresses


  • Common 
  • Affordable
  • Suitable for children, teens, and guest rooms
  • Plenty of available accessories 
  • It fits into almost every room 


  • Not for couples
  • Not for people taller than 6’ 
  • It feels too cramped with a pet

Twin XL Mattresses


  • Extra legroom 
  • Suitable for single adults taller than 6’ 
  • Good for college dorms
  • You can create a Split King mattress from two Twin XL mattresses 
  • Affordable in comparison to the size 


  • Fewer accessories than for a regular Twin mattress
  • It takes up more space 


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

The main difference in the Twin vs. Twin XL mattress debate is the length. This is probably something you wouldn’t notice at first glance, especially if the mattresses aren’t exactly next to each other. 

However, the Twin XL, with 38″ x 80″ dimensions, is five inches longer than a standard Twin, 38″ x 75″, especially making it a better option for taller people

Can I Use Sheets for a Twin Mattress on a Twin XL One?

Unfortunately, no. Although both have the same width of 38″, their length is too different to make it possible to use bed accessories for a Twin mattress on a Twin XL one. Make sure you have the correct Twin XL foundation.

If you have a Twin XL mattress or plan to buy one, make sure you don’t get Twin sheets. Needless to say, if you have a Twin mattress, there’s no need to worry, even if you make a mistake to get larger sheets. 

Will the Twin XL Mattress Fit Into a Twin Bed Frame?

As with the previous question, the answer is no. Before making a big purchase such as a bed frame, make sure that you’re choosing the right one. The extra five inches that come with a Twin XL mattress won’t fit just everywhere. 

What Are Double Beds?

Double beds are created when you put two smaller mattresses together to create a bigger one. As you saw in this article, a Split King can be made using a couple of Twin XL mattresses.

These beds are often made by couples who have distinctive sleeping preferences and requirements to satisfy both of their needs. 

Double beds can be created with every smaller mattress size, but the one made from two Twin XL mattresses to create a King mattress is the only one where both sizes are standard manufacturing mattress sizes. A Split California King bed can also be made from two non-standard mattresses, and you can put together two Twin mattresses, but they won’t make a standard mattress size.

Final Thoughts 

This is everything you should know about Twin vs. Twin XL mattresses! In conclusion, the main difference between the two is their lengths, and you should always choose your mattress based on personal preferences! 

Hopefully, this article helped you determine whether a Twin mattress or a Twin XL one is the right choice for you!

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.