Twin XL vs Full Size Mattress: Choosing The Right Mattress For You

Written by
Purple Staff
Last Updated
September 10, 2022

If you're in the market for a new mattress, you may be wondering whether to go with a twin XL or a full mattress. Generally, these two mattress sizes are recommended for single sleepers who want to graduate from using a narrow twin mattress but don’t want to sacrifice too much floor space. 

Both have their pros and cons, so it can be tough to decide which one is right for you. In this blog post, we'll take a look at the differences between these two sizes and help you figure out which one is best for your needs. 

If you do have the space and want more room to stretch out in mattress, you can also check out our other comparison guides for larger mattress sizes: 

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 five 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 six feet tall) with narrow bedrooms. They don’t provide a lot of space to stretch out and move around in mattress, but they’re a great option for those who want to make the most of their limited floor space.

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

Pros Of A Twin XL Mattress

  • It allows sleepers over 6 feet to stretch out in mattress: Twin XL mattress measure 80 inches or about 6.6 feet long. So, anyone under 6’6” can comfortably sleep in 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 relatively inexpensive: Since they’re smaller, twin XL bed frames and mattresses are generally more affordable than other bed frame and mattress types.

Cons Of A Twin XL Mattress

  • It doesn’t offer much space to move around: If you’re a restless sleeper, you might find a twin XL too tight. 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. 
  • Twin XL beddings may be harder to come by: Given their longer length, twin XL mattresses require longer bed sheets and comforters than standard twin mattresses. Not all stores will carry twin XL beddings since it’s not as popular a size as twin or full mattresses.

Who Should Get A Twin XL Mattress?

Twin XL mattresses are best suited for teens or young adults who are staying in small bedrooms. Thus, twin XL mattresses are often found in college dorms where two or three people share a room. Being five inches longer than twin mattresses, twin XL mattresses are also suited for people who are 6’ to 6’5” tall.

What Is A Full Mattress?

Also called “double beds”, 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 a lot of room to sprawl out and move around in you mattress. 

While couples can make do with a full mattress, it doesn’t leave much room to stretch out. As such, couples who like having some personal space in bed and partners of restless and/or hot sleepers may want to go a size up and choose a queen-size mattress instead. Still, 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 x 10 feet in size. 

Pros Of A Full Mattress

  • 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 for 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. 
  • It can fit two sleepers – if they don’t mind being close: If, for whatever reason, 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

  • 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 x 10 feet. If you don’t have a lot of floor space, you’re better off getting a twin XL mattress. 

Who Should Get A Full Mattress?

Full-size mattresses are best for single young adults and smaller couples who don’t mind giving a bit of personal space up to sleep next to their partner. But 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.

Find The Right Mattress For Your Needs

There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to bed frames and mattresses. Twin XL mattresses may be perfect for teens and young adults who don’t mind sleeping on a narrow mattresses or tall sleepers who need the extra length to fully stretch out their legs. On the other hand, if you want a mattresses you can occasionally share with a partner or won’t leave you feeling cramped as a single sleeper, a full-size mattresses might be the one for you.

Whether you’re looking for a twin, twin XL, or full mattress, Purple has you covered. Check out our product pages to learn more about our twin, twin XL, and full bed frames and mattresses

FAQs About Twin XL And Full Mattress

Can I use twin XL sheets for a full-size Mattress?

No, twin XL and full mattresses have different dimensions, so you can’t use twin XL sheets on a full-size mattress. Full mattresses are 16 inches wider and five inches shorter than twin XL mattresses.

Can a full mattress accommodate two adults?

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. 

Do two twin XL beds make a king-size mattress?

Yes, when put side-by-side, two twin XL mattresses measure up to a standard king-size mattress. Some bed frame manufacturers offer split-king 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. 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.