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Twin XL vs. Full: Key Differences + What’s Best for You?

    Last Updated
    April 17, 2024
    min read

    Key Takeaways

    • A twin XL mattress measures 38 inches wide by 80 inches long, while a full mattress is 54 inches wide by 75 inches long.
    • The main difference between a twin XL and a full mattress is the length and width. A twin XL mattress is 5 inches longer, but a full size mattress is 16 inches wider.

    If you're in the market for a new mattress, the first decision to make is what size bed you should get. For single sleepers, twin XL or full mattresses are common choices. Generally, these two mattress sizes are recommended for individuals who want to upgrade from a twin mattress but don’t want to sacrifice floor space. 

    Both have pros and cons making it a complex choice. No matter what size bed you choose, pick a mattress that meets your needs and provides comfort and support where you want it most.

    Purple mattresses are available in standard sizes including twin XL and full. All Purple mattresses feature our proprietary GelFlex® Grid specially engineered to offer maximum comfort and pressure point relief no matter your sleep position and preferences.

    Designed for Your Comfort

    Purple mattresses feature our cooling and adaptive GelFlex® Grid to provide contoured support and pressure relief all night long

    In this blog post, we discuss the differences between twin XL and full mattress sizes and provide you with the information you need to make the proper choice.

    Graphic comparing twin, twin XL, and full size mattress dimensions.

    Differences Between Twin XL and Full Mattresses

    There are notable differences between a twin XL mattress and a full mattress that may affect which one is best for you. Depending on factors like the amount of space you have, how many people will be sleeping in the bed, and your personal preferences, a twin XL or full bed may be better suited for your needs.


    Twin XL



    38” x 80”

    54” x 75”

    Surface Area

    3,040 in2

    4,050 in2




    Price Range



    Minimum Room Size

    8’ x 10’

    10’ x 10’

    Best For

    Taller individuals, college dorms

    Most teens and single adults

    What Is a Twin XL Mattress?

    Twin XL mattresses are among the smallest mattresses on the market. Measuring 38 inches wide and 80 inches long, twin XL mattresses are just 5 inches longer than twin mattresses. If you need help visualizing the size of a twin XL mattress, consider that a twin XL mattress is exactly half the size of a king size mattress.

    Given their narrow width and slightly longer length than twin mattresses, twin XL mattresses are recommended for taller single sleepers (e.g., if you’re over 6 feet tall) with narrow bedrooms. They lack ample space to stretch out and move freely, but they’re an ideal option for those with limited floor space.

    Generally, you’ll want your mattress to be no wider than half the width of your bedroom. That said, twin XL mattresses work best in bedrooms that are 8-by-10 feet or smaller.

    Are you unsure if you need the extra length? Compare twin vs. twin XL mattresses to determine which bed size is best for your needs.



    Long enough for people up to 6’ 6” tall

    Not a lot of space to sprawl

    Fits well in narrow rooms

    Not suited for couples

    Great for kids’ bedrooms or college dorms

    Limited room to shift positions comfortably

    Relatively inexpensive

    May be harder to find bedding and bed frames

    Pros of a Twin XL Mattress

    The twin XL size isn’t ideal for everyone, but it can be beneficial in the following ways:

    • It allows sleepers over 6 feet to stretch out: Twin XL mattresses are 80 inches long, so anyone under 6 feet and 6 inches tall can comfortably sleep on a twin XL mattress without worrying about their legs dangling off the foot of the bed.
    • It can fit in narrow bedrooms: If you have a narrow or small bedroom, a twin XL is a good choice, as it doesn’t take up too much floor space.
    • It’s great for kids’ rooms or dorms: Twin XL beds are commonly found in college dorms because they occupy minimal space while offering plenty of legroom. This makes them a good option for young adults or growing kids.
    • It’s relatively inexpensive: Since they’re smaller, twin XL mattresses are generally more affordable than other mattress sizes.

    Cons of a Twin XL Mattress

    While the twin XL mattress size can be a space-efficient option, there are several limitations, including:

    • There’s not enough space to spread out: The smaller width of a twin bed may feel cramped if you like to sprawl, and you may end up dangling your arms and legs over the sides. This will also be true for those who sleep with arms and legs splayed out, also known as the “starfish” position.
    • It’s not suitable for couples: Most couples will find sleeping in a twin XL a challenge, especially if they don’t enjoy cuddling or touching when they sleep. 
    • It doesn’t offer much room to shift positions: If you’re a restless sleeper, you might find a twin XL too tight. For combination sleepers who change positions throughout the night, a twin XL bed may be uncomfortable and restrictive.
    • Twin XL bedding may be harder to come by: Given their longer length, twin XL mattresses require longer bed sheets and comforters than standard twin mattresses. Some stores may not carry twin XL bedding since it’s not quite as popular as twin or full size mattresses.

    What Is a Full Mattress?

    Full size mattresses are 54 inches wide and 75 inches long. Measuring 16 inches wider than twin and twin XL mattresses, full mattresses give single sleepers additional of room to sprawl out and move around on the mattress. 

    While some couples can make do with a full mattress, it doesn’t leave much room to stretch out. As such, couples who prioritize personal space in bed and partners of restless or hot sleepers may want to size up and choose a queen size mattress instead.

    If you want to save space, a full mattress can make for a decent starter bed for your first home together. Since they don’t take up as much floor space as queen or king size mattresses, full mattresses are also among the most popular choices for guest bedrooms and studio apartments. Generally, full mattresses work for bedrooms that are at least 10-by-10 feet in size. 



    Wide enough to sprawl out

    Not ideal for most couples

    Fills a space and ties the room together

    Takes up more floor space

    Plenty of bedding options on the market

    May not be long enough for tall people

    Can fit two sleepers if necessary

    Usually more expensive than a twin XL

    Pros of a Full Mattress

    If you’re moving in with your partner and need to make the most of your space, a full bed may be a great option, especially compared to a twin XL. A full mattress can offer the following benefits:

    • It’s wide enough for single sleepers to sprawl out: Whether you toss and turn in your sleep or just want the extra space to stretch your arms and legs out, a full size mattress provides plenty of room for single sleepers.
    • It makes a great centerpiece in a guest bedroom or a studio apartment: A full size mattress can tie a larger guest bedroom or studio apartment together, leaving just enough space for furniture without making it look awkward or too bare. 
    • You can find a variety of bedding options to suit your taste: Full mattresses are fairly standard, so you’ll have plenty of options to choose from for bedding and other accessories. You’ll also have an easier time finding a bed frame for a full mattress.
    • It can fit two sleepers, if they don’t mind being close: If you can’t get a queen size mattress just yet, you can make a full mattress work for you and your partner with a bit of compromise.

    Cons of a Full Mattress

    If you’re deciding between a full vs. twin XL mattress, a full bed will provide more space for couples. But these mattresses may not be ideal for all sleepers for the following reasons:

    • It might not be comfortable for long-term use for couples: While some couples can make a full size mattress work for them, others may find it too cramped, especially if one or both move around a lot in their sleep. 
    • It takes up more floor space than a twin or twin XL mattress: Full size mattresses aren’t recommended for rooms that are bigger than 10-by-10 feet. If you don’t have a lot of floor space, a twin XL mattress may be the better option. 
    • It may not be long enough for taller people: Full mattresses are 5 inches shorter than twin XL beds, which can be less comfortable for individuals over 6 feet tall. 
    • Full mattresses are usually more expensive than twin XL mattresses: Because full beds are larger than twin XL mattresses, you will likely spend more on a full mattress. 

    Considerations for Choosing a Twin XL or Full Size Mattress

    Beyond mattress dimensions, you should thoroughly compare XL twin vs. full mattresses to determine which is best for your needs. Remember that these are general recommendations, and sleeping preferences vary between individuals. Take into account your own needs and preferences when you decide what mattress you want.

    Before you choose a new mattress, consider the following factors to inform your decision.

    1. Room Size

    A twin XL mattress may fit better in a smaller room because of its long, narrow design. Full mattresses aren’t that much wider, so they can also fit in smaller rooms but better accommodate two sleepers.

    As a general rule, you want your room to be at least 8-by-10 feet for an XL twin bed and 10-by-10 feet for a full bed.

    2. Number of Sleepers

    A twin XL mattress can comfortably fit a single sleeper, so if you’re moving in with a partner, sharing a bed of this size is not recommended. A full mattress is better for two sleepers, especially in a smaller bedroom or studio apartment. That said, most couples prefer a queen or king size bed so they have enough space to spread out.

    3. Height

    Sleepers who are over 6 feet tall may not be comfortable on a full bed because it is only 75 inches long. Tall single sleepers can sleep comfortably on a twin XL with its 5 extra inches of length.

    If you and your partner are on the taller side, you may want to consider a larger bed size to give yourselves enough legroom.

    4. Accessories

    Because twin XL mattresses are less common, you may have a harder time finding twin XL bed frames, sheets, and comforters that match your preferences. Full mattresses are relatively common in comparison, so you can find a variety of options for bedding and bed frames.

    5. Cost

    In most cases, you won’t find a major difference in price between twin XL and full mattresses. Generally, full mattresses will be the more expensive of the two because they are larger. Price also depends on factors such as material and quality, and deciding how much you should spend on a mattress ultimately comes down to your sleep needs, preferences, and budget.

    Be sure to shop around for a mattress that provides the space, comfort, and pressure relief you and your partner need.

    Twin vs. Twin XL vs. Full

    Twin, twin XL, and full mattresses are among the smallest standard bed sizes available, excluding mattresses for cribs and toddlers. These mattresses are often great budget options for individuals with limited space, but deciding which one is best for you should take careful consideration. 

    When comparing the differences between these mattress sizes, be sure to account for their dimensions as they relate to the size of your space, how many people will be sleeping in the bed, and how tall you (and your partner) are.

    Twin mattresses measure 38 inches by 75 inches. A twin XL mattress is the same width as a standard twin but has 5 extra inches of length, making it more suitable for taller individuals. Twin and twin XL mattresses are fairly similar, but standard twin mattresses are rarely suitable for adults. Twin XL mattresses may be a good option for teenagers, young adults, or adults living in smaller apartments.

    Compare a twin bed to a full bed and you’ll find that they’re both 75 inches long, but a full mattress is 54 inches wide (16 inches more than the twin and twin XL), offering more space to spread out.

    The mattress you prefer will depend on factors including your height and whether you’ll be sleeping with a partner more often than not. Ultimately, you should choose a mattress that is comfortable and provides the space you need.

    A graphic describing who twin XL and full mattresses are best for.

    Who Should Get a Twin XL or Full Size Mattress?

    There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to bed frames and mattresses. The best mattress for you and your partner ultimately depends on your preferences. If you or your partner need more room to stretch out or like sleeping with a lot of pillows, you may be better off sizing up and getting a queen. 

    If you’re considering a twin XL vs. full size mattress, be sure to consider the pros and cons of each, as well as who these mattresses tend to suit best.

    Twin XL mattresses are often good for:

    • Teens or young adults who are staying in small bedrooms
    • College dorms or shared housing where two or three people share a room
    • Single sleepers who are 6 feet to 6 feet 5 inches tall

    Full size mattresses may be better for:

    • Single adults who like to spread out
    • Shorter couples
    • Couples who don’t mind giving up a bit of personal space
    • Adults living in studio apartments

    Don’t forget to consider the type of mattress you want as well as what size you need. The materials and quality of your bed can have a big impact on your comfort and sleep quality.
    Whether you’re looking for a twin, twin XL, or full mattress, Purple has you covered with mattresses that will keep you comfortable and cool all night long.


    A twin XL mattress is 80 inches long, which is the same length as standard queen and king mattresses. Twin XL beds have the same width as a standard twin mattress.

    No, a twin XL bed is longer and narrower than a full size bed. Twin XL mattresses are 38 inches wide and 80 inches long while full mattresses are 54 inches wide and 75 inches long.

    Yes, when put side by side, two twin XL mattresses measure up to a standard king size mattress. 

    Some manufacturers offer bed frames that allow people to put two separate twin XL mattresses into one bed frame and connect them with a metal bar or fabric or elastic attachments. This arrangement is usually called a split king bed, where two separate mattresses are put together to have the same measurements as a standard king.

    If you already have two twin XL mattresses on hand and want to experience sleeping on a king, consider purchasing a split king bed frame.

    No, twin XL and full mattresses have different dimensions, so you can’t use twin XL sheets or comforters on a full size mattress. Full mattresses are 16 inches wider and 5 inches shorter than twin XL mattresses. Similarly, full size sheets will not fit on a twin XL mattress because the twin XL is longer and narrower. For both of these sizes, you should get bedding in the right size for the best fit.

    Yes, two adults can share a full mattress, but it might not always be a comfortable experience. Full size mattresses only offer about 27 inches of mattress space per person. They also might be too short for sleepers over 6 feet tall. If you want a mattress you can occasionally share with a partner or won’t leave you feeling cramped as a single sleeper, a full size mattress might be the one for you.

    No, a twin XL bed cannot comfortably fit two people. Twin XL mattresses are only 38 inches wide, so if two people wanted to sleep on the same bed, that would only give them each 19 inches of space. Twin XL mattresses may be perfect for teens and young adults who don’t mind sleeping on narrow mattresses or tall sleepers who need the extra length to fully stretch out their legs.

    About the authors

    Sydney Fuhrman

    Sydney brings more than five years of experience writing about a range of topics including health, lifestyle, and technology. They have a B.A. in Creative Writing and Literature from Lebanon Valley College. They’re a big fan of sharing dreams and discussing symbolism for fun. Sydney is always searching for tips to improve their sleep quality and hopes to help others get the best sleep possible with their writing. 

    Kristen Olson-Turner
    Senior Director of Merchandising, Mattress and Bases

    Kristen Olson-Turner is the Senior Director of mattresses, where she has spent 10+ years understanding customer needs and integrating solutions into Purple products for better sleep and comfort.