Single vs Twin Bed: What's The Difference?

Written by
Purple Staff
Last Updated
September 10, 2022
|
7
min read

Mattress sizes can be a difficult concept for some people to get their heads around. While mattress size labels are typically straightforward, there’s still a lot of confusion about single vs. twin bed sizes. 

If you’re a single sleeper, you will likely get recommendations for single or twin mattresses. But, what really is the difference between a single vs. twin bed? The short answer: none. Single and twin are the same size. Both mattresses are 38 inches in width and 75 inches in length.

Keep reading to learn more about single vs. twin bed sizes – the two most misunderstood types of mattresses.

Single vs Twin Bed Dimensions

Single and twin are technically just the same thing. Both share the exact dimensions of 38 inches in width and 75 inches in length. Both are designed for single sleepers or one person, making them preferred options for small room spaces. 

While terms are often used interchangeably, “twin” has become a more universal term to identify this specific bed size. The term "single bed" stems from the fact that a twin mattress is for a "single" sleeper. Hence, only one person is meant to use a single mattress.

On the other hand, a twin mattress, despite being single size, is meant to be purchased and used in pairs. Oftentimes, they are placed side by side and shared by more than one person. Twin mattresses are commonly suited for couples who prefer the flexibility of removing the single mattress if not used. In addition to this, it is important to point out that a twin size comes with different variations, with Twin XL as the most prominent one.

A twin mattress, as previously mentioned, is 38 inches wide and 75 inches in length. However, this average height size isn't compatible with everyone. That is why many mattress manufacturers offer a twin XL variation of 80 inches in length. While the regular twin-size mattress caters to kids or short to average-sized adults, twin XL is most suitable for teenagers and taller adults. 

Nowadays, the term "single" has fallen off the map in favor of "twin" as the new commercial and practical term. Mattress companies and the hotel industry consequently use the term “twin” even when referring to a single mattress and not half of a pair.

What's The Difference Between Single vs Twin Beds?

When buying a single vs. twin bed, there are several parameters you need to keep in mind. If you plan to maximize your personal space to make room for other furniture, provide your child with an appropriate sleeping area, or furnish vacation homes for future use, a single or twin mattress could be right up your alley.

Although people who sleep alone sometimes prefer a larger bed size, a single or twin XL bed can also do wonders! To get a close-up look at these two size variations, here are the benefits and drawbacks of single vs. twin beds:

Benefits Of The Single Bed

A single bed can do double wonders in terms of compactness and affordability! Not only can you maximize your floor space for more storage solutions, but a single bed is also an ideal option if you're on a budget. With this, you get the most of every inch of your room's limited space without making a hole in your wallet.

Disadvantages Of The Single Bed

While a single bed leaves flexibility for small room spaces, you cannot say the same in terms of user flexibility. Because of its small standard size, single beds may not be compatible with tall sleepers. For partnered sleepers looking for a viable mattress option, a single bed is certainly not the best fit for sleeping and other activities – not even for those with a slim body type!

Benefits Of The Twin Bed

A twin XL mattress is a great option for individuals with special concerns. Five inches larger than the standard twin size, the extra length of the twin XL bed makes room for tall people to enjoy its comfort. This variation is also lightweight, easy to carry, and primarily compatible with most bunk bed frames – making it a popular choice for college students to use in their college dorms.

Disadvantages Of The Twin Bed

A twin XL bed is still not ideal for adult couples unless bought in pairs. With this, you need a dedicated space in your room for double twin XL mattresses. 

While some taller people reportedly adjust well to this variation, others feel cramped, especially older adults. Unlike its standard twin bed variation, the accessories (e.g. bed frames, sheets, etc.) for a twin XL size can also be harder to find due to its special dimensions.

Who Should Buy A Single Or Twin Bed?

The perfect mattress size varies from person to person and, of course, purpose. While single vs. twin beds both fit in most bedrooms, they are best maximized by:

Children

Single or twin-size beds are excellent mattresses for kids. Not only is it less pricey than a crib mattress, but its longevity is also reliable for growing children ages 4 to 12. 

If you have more than one child, investing in two twin beds can be a good idea. With this, you can provide a sense of comfort while giving adequate space for them to sleep and have fun.

Adults 

Adults under six feet can sleep comfortably on twin or single beds. If you're taller than six feet, consider a twin XL bed for sufficient space. Please note that this is only for single use unless you get an additional mattress for extra space.

Guests Or Vacation Homes

For enterprising minds, single and twin beds are the perfect budget-friendly options to furnish rental properties like vacation homes.

Which Mattress Size Is Right For Me?

Whether you're looking for a mattress for a single person or a twin with sprawling space, here are the factors to consider before choosing the right mattress size for you.

Space In The Room

The great thing about single or twin beds is that they can slip into small rooms, unlike their bigger counterparts (e.g. queen-size bed or king-size bed). Whether it's a twin XL variation or not, a twin mattress is flexible and versatile. Thus, you don't have to worry about space constraints when using it. 

Budget

If you're anxious about your budget, you will love the low prices of single and twin beds. One of the most affordable and high-quality mattresses on the market, a twin size from Purple Mattress starts at $649, while a twin XL starts at $849. 

This low starting cost makes for a great mattress deal, as you can get the features of a high-quality mattress (e.g. optimal temperature, instant response, and pressure reduction) without breaking the bank.

Number Of Sleepers In The Bed

A single or twin bed is an ideal choice for one to two young children or one adult sleeper. For taller sleepers, a twin XL or full-size mattress is recommended.

While regular twin size would make an excellent choice for a single adult, this variation is not an ideal choice for couples. If you want to add another sleeper to the space, a bigger queen or king-size mattress could be what you need. 

King beds are a bit bigger than a queen-size mattress, but both are ideal for couples. This allows more flexibility for more than one person to move around, play with kids or pets, and stretch out. However, larger mattresses are typically more expensive.

Sleeping Position

Your sleeping habit is yet another factor to consider before choosing the right mattress size for you. While single or twin beds are a popular mattress size, they may not allow you to assume the most comfortable sleeping position because of their limited space. 

If you sleep on the side, choose a mattress brand that will allow you to sink your head and back while maintaining a straight posture. For back sleepers, choose a mattress that allows your spine to straighten while sinking your back, head, and arms. 

Lastly, if you are a stomach sleeper, your mattress of choice should keep your backbone straight while supporting your arms and stomach. Generally, most common sizes of mattresses can provide these features, but it is recommended to try out different options to find the one that suits your needs. 

Conclusion

Selecting the right mattress goes beyond specs and dimensions. You have to factor in the sleeper size, the number of sleepers, room solutions, and personal preference. Your sleeping space should be a cozy haven, where you can curl up in peace and sleep comfortably – and you can only achieve this if you choose the right mattress. 

Between a twin and a single, there’s not much difference in terms of dimensions. However, they occasionally serve different purposes. We hope this article has helped you understand twin vs single beds better!

Frequently Asked Questions About Single vs Twin Bed

Is a single bed the same as a full-size bed?

No. A single bed, also known as a twin bed, has a dimension of 38 by 75 inches, while a full-size bed has an approximate measurement of 54 inches by 75 inches. A single bed is best used for single sleepers such as children, teens, and adults not more than six feet tall. On the other hand, a full-size mattress is best used for tall teens and adults who have more bedroom space in their studio apartments or homes.

Is there a bed smaller than a twin-size bed?

A twin, also known as a single bed, is the smallest size available on the mattress market. Single or twin is a compact size bed measuring 38 inches in width and 75 inches in length. This type of mattress is ideal for children or solo sleeper adults.

Can my child go from a crib to a twin bed?

Definitely! Switching from a crib to a twin bed is a major growth milestone. However, the transition can be unnerving for some young children who may take time to be comfortable with the adjustments. This is why you need to pay attention to signals before making the decision to transition them to a larger mattress. 

Once your child starts to climb out of the crib, that can be a positive sign that it's time to move to a twin bed. Ultimately, adjust to your child's pace and keep an eye on transition signals to maintain your little one’s comfort.