Twin vs. Full Mattress: Which Is Best for You?

Written by
Purple Staff
Last Updated
September 10, 2022
|
8
min read

If you’re torn between buying a twin mattress and a full-size bed, there are a number of considerations you should take into account before making the investment.

The main difference between a twin vs full mattress is the width. A twin and full mattress are both 75 inches long. Although a full mattress is 54 inches wide whereas a twin is 38 inches wide.

We’ve put together this guide to help you decide which mattress size suits your needs best. Read on to learn everything you need to know about twin vs. full mattresses!

Twin vs Full Mattress Comparison Chart

These are the main differences between a twin and a full mattress at a glance.

Parameters

Twin Mattress

Full Mattress

Size

38” x 75” x 11”

54” x 75” x 11”

Price

Less expensive

More expensive

Bed size

38” × 75”

54” × 75”

Recommended room size

10’ × 10’

10’ × 12’

Comfortably fits

Children, teenagers, young adults

Young adults, recent grads, single sleepers with a young child or a pet

What Is A Twin Bed?

Standard twin-size mattresses, otherwise referred to as single beds, are the smallest mattress size aside from crib mattresses. It measures 38 inches wide, 75 inches long, and 11 inches high, with a surface area of 2,850 square inches. 

The conservative size of a twin mattress makes it an ideal option for bunk beds as well as smaller sleeping areas.

What Is A Full Mattress?

A full-size mattress, otherwise referred to as a double bed, is 16 inches wider than a twin-size mattress. It measures 54 inches wide and 75 inches long, with a surface area of 3,975 square inches. 

A full mattress is a perfect beginner mattress for older teenagers and young adults living alone for the first time. Though it technically has enough room to accommodate two adults, it is more than comfortable enough for one. It is also one of the most popular mattress sizes in the US.

Key Differences Between Twin vs Full Mattress

Twin and full mattresses have a few important features that distinguish one from the other. Here are the major ones to consider:

Size And Dimensions

The most noticeable difference between these mattresses is the size. Measuring 54 inches across, a full-size mattress is 16 inches broader than a twin mattress. While some might argue that’s generous for just one sleeper, a full-size bed can accommodate more than one person when needed. For instance, a full mattress is roomy enough for two children to sleep quite comfortably.

While the 54-inch width of a full mattress may be able to fit two people, you may find it somewhat uncomfortable, especially if you are not accustomed to those sleeping conditions. In contrast, a full bed will feel a lot roomier for a single adult, particularly if you are transitioning from sleeping on a twin mattress. 

To sum it up, while a twin bed is great for sleepers of all ages, it’s not the most comfortable choice for single occupancy. Meanwhile, a full mattress is suitable for 1-2 sleepers.

Comfort

Are you 6 feet tall or shorter? Either a twin or full mattress will be sufficiently comfortable. If you’re tall, then you might prefer a full-size mattress – it’s wider than a twin and would be more comfortable, given the extra space. 

But if you’re any taller than 6 feet 2 inches, you may want to explore bigger mattress sizes, as twin and full mattresses have a similar length of 75 inches. A mattress with sufficient surface area and sleeping space will help reduce the risk of physical discomfort and health challenges.

Price

How much a mattress costs is determined by several things, such as the brand, mattress type, size, and material. Twin-size beds are generally less expensive, even though upgrading to a full mattress is not that big of a difference price-wise. This may be partly because of the demand for these mattresses and their lifespan. 

If you are on a lean budget, the relative affordability of a twin-size mattress may be a deciding factor. Many of the accessories for twin mattresses, such as sheets, comforter sets, and mattress pads, are also more affordable than their full bed counterparts.

Pros And Cons Of A Twin vs Full Mattress

Here are the biggest benefits and drawbacks of owning either a twin mattress or a full-size mattress:

Benefits Of A Twin Mattress

  • Good for small spaces: A twin mattress is great if you have limited space. The standard twin bed is a great fit for most regular-size bedrooms or dorm rooms because of its compact size, allowing room for other furniture.
  • Affordable: Twin mattresses might be your top choice if you’re on a budget. They are generally less expensive compared to larger mattress sizes.
  • Kid-friendly: Twin mattresses are great for helping young children transition to a larger mattress when they’ve grown out of their toddler beds. Moreover, twin mattresses are the standard mattress size for bunk beds, although some lower bunk beds are built to take up a full mattress.

Drawbacks Of A Twin Mattress

  • Fits only one: Twin beds can comfortably fit just one person. Unless you’re getting a single mattress for a child or planning to purchase multiple ones, a twin bed may be less than adequate.
  • Too short for some: Twins are the smallest mattress size for sale. While a twin bed can fit most average-size adults, taller sleepers might find it too short for a good night’s rest.

Benefits Of A Full Mattress

  • Less mattress, more room: If your living space allows for more than a twin mattress, you might want to opt for a full mattress. This provides you with a more surface area to sleep on without taking up too much floor space or restricting movement. Additionally, a bigger mattress than a full size might make it difficult to access your closet, furniture, or other personal effects. Full mattresses are the perfect size for studio apartments and master bedrooms.
  • Great for single sleepers: Twin beds don't give an adult much room to comfortably sprawl out. In contrast, a full-size mattress offers a generous amount of sleeping space for one person, allowing you to toss, turn, and spread out. 
  • Relatively affordable: A full mattress is typically more affordable than a queen and king mattress while still providing ample space, as full beds are made with less material.
  • Compatible with queen headboards and frames: If you are into vintage or antique furniture, a full mattress provides an avenue for exciting decor options. Because full beds were the most popular size until 1950, you could get a Victorian, shaker, or art deco bed frame to go with your mattress. Plus, many adjustable bed frames or headboards built for a queen bed are compatible with full beds.

Drawbacks Of A Full Mattress

  • Not long enough: If you’re over 6 feet 2 inches you might find your head hitting against your headboard or your feet struggling to find legroom with a full bed. In such instances, king or queen-size beds could be the best option.
  • Not enough space for couples: Though some couples are comfortable on full-size mattresses, some prefer more sleeping space to avoid elbowing and kneeing their partners when they change positions in the middle of the night. Similarly, couples who like having their kids or pets in bed with them might enjoy the 60 or 76 inches of width that a queen or king bed provides.

Should You Get A Twin Or Full Bed?

To pick the right mattress between a twin and a full, you need to consider your circumstances and needs. The following scenarios might provide some clarity for you to make the best choice:

When To Choose A Twin Mattress

  • It’s time for your child to upgrade from a crib to their first “grown-up mattress.”
  • You want to assemble a bunk bed.
  • You want the least expensive option for a mattress.

When To Choose A Full Mattress

  • You’re a recent college graduate moving into your new apartment.
  • You’re living alone as a single person.
  • You’re looking for a bed that your child can grow into.

Conclusion

There are many reasons you might be considering a twin or full mattress. Whether you’re buying a new bed for your guest room or transitioning your toddler to a larger mattress, choosing between a twin and a full-size mattress is as simple as taking your budget, bedroom size, and comfort into account.

Standard mattress product stack

Frequently Asked Questions About Twin vs Full Mattress

How much bigger is a full mattress than a twin?

The main difference between a full and twin mattress is in the width. Both twin and full mattresses are 75 inches long. However, at 54 inches wide and 75 inches long, a standard full mattress is 16 inches wider than a twin.

Is there a bed bigger than a twin but smaller than a full?

You might find a twin XL mattress to be a happy medium between the two. Twin XL mattresses have the same width as twin beds (38 inches) but offer an extra five inches in length, which taller individuals might prefer.

What bed is appropriate for two kids?

If you can afford just one mattress for two kids, a full bed is fine for children 10 years old or younger. Depending on their height, older kids can use a full XL mattress (54” x 80”), which offers five inches additional length than a standard-size full mattress.