A standard twin mattress in a child’s bedroom.
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What Is The Difference Between Twin vs Twin XL Mattress?

    Last Updated
    August 16, 2023
    min read

    The main difference between a standard twin mattress and a twin XL is the extra five inches of length a twin XL provides. A standard twin measures 38 inches wide and 75 inches long, while a twin XL measures 38 inches wide and 80 inches long. This extra length makes a twin XL ideal for single sleepers over six feet.

    According to a survey by RestoreZ, about two-thirds (65%) of US sleepers rarely wake up feeling energized and rested. This suggests that a considerable amount of people are not getting quality sleep and may benefit from learning how to sleep better. While numerous factors affect sleep quality, having the proper mattress size can make a big difference in alleviating discomfort and promoting restorative sleep. 

    The main difference between a twin and twin XL mattress is the length. A twin XL mattress is slightly longer at 80 inches, whereas a twin mattress is 75 inches long. There is no difference in width.  

    A twin or twin XL could be among your options if you're a solo sleeper looking for the best mattress for optimal sleep and your room space. If you have a little more room, you might choose between a twin XL and a full instead.

    In this article, we provide an in-depth comparison between a twin and a twin XL mattress.



    Twin XL

    Best for Average-height children or single sleepers Tall children or single sleepers and college students


    38 inches wide x 75 inches long

    38 inches wide x 80 inches long

    Surface area

    237.5 square feet or 2,850 square inches

    253.3 square feet or 3,040 square inches

    Price range


    Purple Starting Price: $649


    Purple Starting Price: $999

    Room size

    7 x 10 feet

    or 10 x 10 for two twin beds

    7.5 x 10 feet

    What Is a Twin Mattress?

    A teen boy puts a white sheet on a twin sized mattress.

    Best for: Children or single sleepers under six feet  

    A twin mattress is a popular bed size for children or single sleepers under six feet tall. Sometimes called a single mattress, the twin mattress measures 38 inches wide and 75 inches long. Because twin mattresses are so compact, they can be great for smaller bedrooms, guest rooms, children’s rooms, or even college dorms.   

    While the twin mattress is popular for children’s rooms, those with fast-growing children typically opt for a twin XL for a future-proof bed solution.

    Because of their compact width, twin mattresses may not be the best choice for couples or partnered sleepers. If you want a mattress that fits more than one sleeper, consider king or queen beds.



    Its compact size makes it excellent for small rooms.

    Its narrow size means it cannot comfortably fit more than one person.

    It’s an affordable option for budget shoppers. For those taller than six feet, fitting in a standard twin bed may be problematic.
    Its staple size means sheets, bed frames, and bed accessories are easy to find.   
    It’s a lightweight option compared to king, queen, or full-size mattresses.  
    It’s space-efficient, allowing more room for other furniture.  

    What Is a Twin XL Mattress?

    A young girl on a twin XL bed.

    Best for: Fast-growing children, tall single sleepers, or college students

    A twin XL mattress is a variant of the standard twin mattress size, meant to provide additional length for taller individuals — without sacrificing its space-saving width. A twin XL mattress has the same width as a standard twin (38 inches) but measures 80 inches long, making it five inches longer than a standard twin. 

    This extra space makes twin XL mattresses an ideal choice for those who need more leg-room but need the compact width to fit in smaller rooms, like college dormitories. It can also be a great choice for children who are growing quickly, so parents can upgrade kids’ bedrooms as they age without needing to buy a new mattress. 

    Similar to a standard twin mattress, a twin XL mattress may not be the best choice for partnered sleepers. The extra width of king or queen mattresses may make for a more comfortable experience. 



    It’s five inches longer than a standard twin mattress, making it a great choice for those taller than six feet.

    A twin XL bed, despite the extra inches, is still too narrow to fit extra sleepers.

    It’s more affordable than king or queen mattresses while providing extra length.  A twin XL mattress is relatively less common than its regular counterpart, making custom-sized bed frames, sheets, or other bedding accessories a little challenging to find.
    Even with the extra five inches, a twin XL is still an excellent space-saver mattress. A twin XL is slightly more expensive than the regular twin counterpart.
    Like the standard twin bed, a twin XL is lightweight and easy to move.  

    How To Choose Between a Twin vs. Twin XL

    Now that you have a better understanding of the differences between a twin and twin XL mattress, let’s dive into how you can choose the best mattress size for your needs.

    A chart compares a twin vs. a twin XL mattress.

    1. Consider Sleeper Persona

    One of the first things to consider when choosing a mattress size is the sleeper persona of the person who will be using the bed. This includes factors such as age, height, and sleeping positions or habits — and how the bed’s dimensions will affect these factors.

    For example, a young child may be perfectly comfortable in a twin bed, while an older and taller college student may be more comfortable in a twin XL mattress, which provides five extra inches of length. A twin XL is generally a better option for sleepers over six feet. 

    Additionally, if a solo sleeper tends to curl up in a side-sleeping position, the extra length of a twin XL may not be necessary. However, if a sleeper tends to stretch out over the full length of the mattress on their back or stomach, the twin XL may be the more comfortable option. 

    2. Measure Your Bedroom Size 

    The next thing to consider is your bedroom size. If your room has limited space, twin and twin XL are great choices because of their compact widths.  

    A twin or single bed provides adequate space for those who live in a studio apartment or a small room without feeling cramped. On the other hand, the twin XL bed is longer and may be more comfortable — if you have space in your room to accommodate the extra five inches of length. 

    If you aren’t sure what mattress would fit better in your space, here is a general rule of thumb to follow: 

    • Twin mattresses can fit comfortably in a room that’s at least 7 ft. x 10 ft. 
    • Twin XL mattresses can fit comfortably in a room that’s at least 7.5 ft. x 10 ft.

    You’ll want adequate space in your room to fit any furniture and move around freely. So, before you decide whether a twin or twin XL is best for your needs, measure your bedroom.

    3. Determine Your Desired Comfort Level

    Finding the right mattress is key to restorative sleep. A twin bed is ideal for kids ages 5 to 12 and adults under 6 feet. However, if your height is over 6 feet, you may need a twin XL bed to get the comfort you desire. The twin XL mattress is long enough that your feet won't hang off the mattress.

    Remember that the types of pillows you use can also play a significant role in comfortable sleep, and they can take up quite a bit of space. If you are the type to sleep with plenty of pillows, a twin XL could be the perfect option.

    4. Take a Look At Bedding and Other Accessories

    It’s also important to consider your preferences for bed frames, bedding, and other accessories like mattress toppers when deciding between a twin and twin XL size mattress. Since twin mattresses are standard, it’s typically easy to find sheets, frames, comforters, toppers, and other options in the right size. 

    Finding bedding and other accessories for a twin XL may be a little more difficult as it’s not a standard size. However, you’ll likely be able to find what you need for a twin XL online if not in stores.   

    5. Analyze Mattress Size and Future Needs 

    Choosing the ideal mattress for you goes beyond your current needs — anticipating your future needs can help you save money later down the road. For example, maybe you’re a solo sleeper now but see yourself needing a mattress that can comfortably accommodate a partner in the future. 

    In this instance, it’s helpful to know that you can turn two twin XL mattresses into a king by pushing them together. Many couples prefer this split-king setup if they have different preferences on firmness or want the ability to adjust the bed frame on each side separately. This can allow one partner to sit up and read while the other is flat for sleeping. 

    6. Set Your Budget

    There is a reason why twin and twin XL are popular among younger consumers. Not only are they versatile and can be used in various spaces, but they are also perfect for those with tight budgets. 

    In general, here’s what you can expect to pay for these mattress sizes: 

    • Twin: $150–$1,000
    • Twin XL: $175–$1,700

    At Purple, a twin mattress starts at $699. Twin XLs are only slightly more expensive, starting at $999.


    How Much Bigger is a Twin XL Than a Twin?

    A twin XL is five inches longer than a standard twin mattress, coming in at 80 inches in length compared to the 75 inches of a standard twin. Twin and twin XLs have the same width — 38 inches. 

    The extra five inches in a twin XL mattress create an additional 190 square inches of surface area on the mattress. A twin mattress has 2,850 square inches of surface area, while a twin XL has 3,040 square inches of surface area. 

    Can You Use Twin XL Sheets On a Twin Bed?

    You may be able to use twin XL sheets on a twin bed, depending on your preferences. The sheets will fit over a standard twin mattress, but there will be additional fabric at the ends. You may be able to tuck the extra fabric away. However, if you toss and turn at night, the tucking may come undone and make for an uncomfortable experience. 

    If you have both a twin and twin XL mattress in your home, you may be able to purchase specially manufactured sheets to potentially fit both beds. Some mattress manufacturers produce regular flat sheets with generous sizing to also fit on twin XL beds. 

    However, to be safe, it’s best to purchase bed sheets designed specifically for a twin XL mattress for optimal comfort.

    Can an Adult Sleep On a Twin XL?

    Definitely! Adults on a budget may find that either twin or twin XL mattresses can be suitable for their needs. Sleepers under 6 feet can still be comfortable on a standard twin. On the other hand, the twin XL is more appropriate for adults taller than 6 feet. However, these sizes may not work for larger people, couples, or a person who has a sleeping partner.

    Is a Twin XL Big Enough To Fit Two People?

    While a twin XL mattress provides extra length to comfortably sleep taller people, it does not provide any additional width compared to a standard twin mattress. Because of this, a twin XL cannot comfortably fit two sleepers. 

    However, some couples prefer to purchase two twin XL beds for a split-king bed by push them together to create a split-king bed that allows each sleeper to have their own unique sleep experience. With this setup, couples can choose their own firmness preferences or even purchase bed frames that adjust separately so one person can sit up and read while the other sleeps. 

    Are Bunk Bed Mattresses Twin Or Twin XL?

    Most bunk beds fit the standard twin mattress, about 75 inches by 38 inches. However, if you want the additional length, you may be able to find a bunk bed that fits a twin XL mattress as well — you may just need to do your shopping online.  

    Do Two Twin Beds Make a California King? 

    No. However, placing two twin XL beds alongside each other would make a standard king-size bed, 76 inches wide and 80 inches long. Some couples prefer this split-king setup to ensure they can both have the type of mattress they prefer. 

    On the other hand, the California king bed has a dimension of 72 inches in width and 84 inches in height – four inches longer than a king.

    Is a Twin or Twin XL Right For You?

    The answer to this question depends on your needs! Both twin XL and twin mattresses are excellent bed size options for small bedrooms and compact living areas. 

    The two main differences between picking a twin vs. a twin XL mattress are: 

    1. The additional length a twin XL provides. 
    2. The small but negligible added cost of choosing a twin XL over the standard twin. 

    For some, a twin XL is an easy choice for its extra space, but if you're on a budget or have very limited space, opt for the twin


    About the authors

    April Seifert

    April has nearly a decade of writing experience, with 3+ years specializing in sleep content. Her work has been covered by sites like BuzzFeed, Entrepreneur, and Money Under 30. She has an M.A. in Magazine, Newspaper, and Online Journalism from Syracuse University and a B.A. in Communication Studies. As a self-proclaimed expert in all things cozy, she sleeps better at night, knowing her writing helps others sleep in comfort, too.