Twin VS Twin XL – What’s the Difference?

After a long day, most people look forward to one thing –  the delightful rest in the sanctuary of their own bed. It is important to have a personalized space that guarantees the best possible sleeping experience. That’s the only way to fully recharge one’s batteries. Sleep makes up a whopping third of our lives. And investment in a proper mattress can hugely determine the quality of your life. 

Mattresses come in a variety of materials and sizes to cater to everyone’s different personal needs. Some prefer to rest on a firm mattress, whereas others enjoy sinking into soft ones. The same applies to size differences. 

When choosing a mattress for yourself, your kids, or perhaps your guests, the variety of choices can become a little daunting. To help you keep a clear head, in this article we will look at the differences between a twin and a twin XL size mattress. And hopefully, it will make your purchasing decisions a little easier. 

Both of these mattresses are similar and do not take up a lot of space. They are identical in width, with their main difference is the length. What is also great about twin XL beds, is that couples who have different preferences in the firmness can mix and match two different options. The mattresses can be placed together to make up one large bed, which will suit your and your partner’s personal preferences.

Twin Size Mattress

A standard twin size mattress is a very common and compact choice that is suited for one person. This size is made to be compatible with bunk beds and it’s likely the first mattress one sleeps on after outgrowing their toddler bed. It is also usually found in nursing homes and overnight accommodations, such as hotels. 

This mattress is a standard choice for single sleepers and a great fit for children, who have outgrown their crib and need an upgrade. Overall, a twin size mattress is a lightweight, highly affordable option that is easy to transport and fit into almost any room. 


The size of a twin mattress is 38” x 75”. This is perfect to suit any child who is maturing and moving into his first independent bed. 

It can also be a great choice for single adults, but it should be noted that it is the most compact mattress in terms of space. Some adults may find the size restricting, as a twin mattress can accommodate anyone up to 6’2” tall. This means that some people, such as restless sleepers, may find that it does not provide an adequate leeway for the active changing of positions during the night.

Room Recommendation

A twin mattress will fit into almost any room due to the compact size of it. If you are looking for something that saves you as much space as possible at a very affordable price, the standard twin may just be the right choice. 

It should be noted that most interior designers will recommend that you leave around 2 feet of space in between your bed and the walls and furniture in your room. This will keep your bedroom comfortable and well-looking aesthetically.


Typically a twin mattress will cost around $300 to $600, which is about $100 to $200 less than what you are likely to pay for a quality twin XL mattress. If you keep your eyes out, cheaper deals may be available.

Pros & Cons

The benefits of a twin size mattress are:

  • It’s widely available
  • It’s the most affordable option
  • It’s a perfect fit for young kids
  • It’s compatible with bunk beds
  • It’s lightweight and easy to transport

The drawbacks are:

  • It’s not suited for couples
  • It can be too narrow for adults
  • It may be too short for adults

Twin XL Mattress

The twin XL is the longer variant of the two mattresses in question. It is a staple choice in dormitories and hostels, as well as homes that may have spatial limitations. 

The twin XL is an economical choice that provides a little more comfort, yet still remains easily maneuverable due to its lightweight. It has the same width as the twin size mattress but is 5 inches longer for a more comfortable sleeping experience. The twin XL is popular and can serve the needs of single kids and young adults alike. 

However, in later stages in life people are usually after a mattress of larger width, thus opting for a Queen or King size bed. However, if a couple finds that they have different preferences for the firmness of a mattress, it can also be a great idea to move two twin XL mattresses of different firmness levels together, creating one Queen size bed.


The dimensions of a twin XL bed are 35” x 80”. This makes the twin XL five inches longer than a regular twin mattress, with the width remaining the same on both. This means that the twin XL is also very space-efficient while being able to sleep an adult with a height of up to 6’8”. 

The length of the mattress ensures that there is a good amount of vertical leeway for restless sleepers who may experience upward or downward in-bed drifting throughout the night. It should be noted that for adults, the twin and twin XL both may not provide a very comfortable sleeping experience due to their narrow width. Both are space-efficient rather than luxurious. 

Room Recommendation

With a width of 35”, the twin XL Is also a very space-efficient solution for a room that can not or does not need to house a large sleeping space. This mattress is a great choice when you need to put as many adult beds into one room as possible, as the twin XL can also be bunked. 

Being economic as it is, it should fit in most rooms fairly easily. In regards to putting it into smaller rooms, the 5-inch difference may make a difference in the furniture placement and ease of movement throughout the space. Therefore it is always important to measure your room and make sure to leave an adequate amount of space for movement around the bed.


The twin XL mattress is usually around $100 dollars more expensive than the regular twin version. You should be able to find one easily in the range of $500 – $750. Mattresses go on sale quite regularly on celebratory days, such as the Back-To-School date. If you are not in a rush for a new bed, it may be worth waiting for such an occasion to get a twin XL for the best possible price.

Pros & Cons

The benefits of a twin XL size mattress are:

  • It’s lightweight and easy to carry
  • The extra length provides more comfort
  • It’s widely available
  • It’s compatible with bunk beds

The drawbacks are:

  • It’s more expensive
  • It may be too narrow for adults
  • It may not fit in all rooms
  • It’s not suitable for couples

So is a twin or twin XL size better?

Whether a twin or twin XL size mattress is better, is dependent on your particular needs. Both have their strengths, one being shorter and fitting into most spaces and the other having more length to work with. 


Both the twin and twin XL are lightweight, affordable options that will not take up a lot of space in your room. It should be considered that they are not very wide and depending on your personal sleeping habits, you may feel more comfortable with choosing a bigger mattress altogether. Before purchasing, it’s always best to test out a given mattress and see which option makes you feel best. The risk-free sleep trials most mattress companies offer is great for that. 

This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.

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