Twin XL VS. Split King – What’s the Difference?

A good night’s sleep is vital for a good life. Quality rest can positively impact your productivity, creativity, and overall satisfaction with your everyday life. That’s why choosing the right new mattress for yourself is crucial. Without a comfortable bed that will provide the perfect environment for your body, there will be no restful sleep.

But when it comes to choosing a mattress most people tend to get confused. For example, what’s the difference between a twin XL mattress and a split king mattress? And which option is better for your needs?

Twin XL mattresses and split king mattresses don’t differ as much as you might think. Simply put, a split king mattress is made from two separate twin XL mattresses that are placed next to each other in a frame. 

By themselves, twin XL beds are a perfect fit for dormitories and children’s rooms. While split king mattresses are ideal for couples who have different sleeping preferences. 

Twin XL Size Mattress

The mattress size of a twin XL is 38” in width and 80” in length. It’s the same width as standard twin size mattress, only 5 inches longer.

Standard twin beds are most often placed in kids’ rooms or guest rooms, while twin XL beds are frequently used in college dorm rooms and smaller apartments and they’re perfect for bunk beds.

Bedsheets and bed bases are easy to find for twin XL beds as they’re a pretty common choice.

Room Recommendations

The recommended space of the room for this mattress is at least 7” by 10”. Take into consideration the recommended 2 feet of extra space around the edge of the bed and you’ll find that the bigger the room, the better the comfort. 

But because the twin XL mattresses by themselves aren’t that big, the room doesn’t have to be huge either. It’s a conveniently-sized bed, which is a great choice for compact homes.


You will easily find a wide variety of twin XL mattresses to buy: memory foam, hybrid, all-foam, latex, innerspring and many more. However, twin XL mattresses are a bit more expensive than standard twin mattresses. Prices of twin XL beds range from $500 to $3000 and more. The price depends on the brand, type of mattress and the materials it’s made of.

Pros & Cons 

Pros of a twin XL mattress:

  • This bed size offers an extra 5 inches of leg space compared to its standard version
  • Suitable for adults and teenagers
  • Affordable choice
  • Doesn’t need a big room 

Cons of a twin XL mattress:

  • Only suitable for a single sleeper
  • People who like a wide bed will find this mattress constricting 

Split King Size Mattress 

The mattress dimensions of the split king size bed are 76” wide by 80” long in total. It’s the same size as a traditional king size mattress, except it’s split into two separate mattresses instead.  This allows each individual sleeper to have their own preferred mattress firmness and accommodate personal sleeping positions. 

It’s also a great choice if you have two single adjustable bed frames side by side. This can create one split king adjustable bed, which will cater to your and your partner’s sleep needs.

Another slightly less popular version of a king mattress is California king. It’s slightly narrower than the two mentioned above, but also slightly longer.

Room Recommendations 

Room recommendations for a split king bed are essentially the same as for a standard king bed or two twin XL size beds. This means your bedroom should be at least 12 by 12 feet. Of course, the larger the bedroom, the more additional furniture can be added without overcrowding the room. And don’t forget to leave the recommended 2 feet around the side of the bed.


A split king mattress is more pricey than a twin XL mattress. You can find the prices vary from $1000 to $3000 and more. This is due to the different types of split king mattresses available on the market. Same as with the twin XL mattresses, the price depends on the manufacturer, materials and other various aspects.

Pros & Cons 

Pros of a split king mattress:

  • Customizable firmness for each sleeper
  • Suitable for couples as it provides plenty of personal space
  • Easy to transport and set up due to the split design
  • Motion transfer is pretty much non-existent

Cons of a split king mattress:

  • More expensive compared to a single twin XL bed
  • Requires a larger bedroom
  • Certain sleeping accessories will be hard or impossible to find, such as fitted sheets and a common mattress topper.

Is a Twin XL or Split King size better?

If you sleep alone and prefer more space for your legs, a twin XL mattress is a perfect fit for you. The same goes if your bedroom is smaller and you simply do not have enough space to fit a split king bed. 

However, if you sleep with a partner, have a bigger bedroom and would like to have a personalized mattress that serves your personal preferences, a split king bed is an ideal option for you. 

Overall, a split king bed is essentially made from two twin XL mattresses. So the main difference is that one is literally double the size of the other. 


Finding the best mattress is hard. When making this decision, consider who will be sleeping on the bed and how much room you’ll need to get comfortable rest. Also, think about sleep styles, personal preferences, and foundation options. If you have an adjustable bed frame, a split king is a great mattress size for you. However, if you only need a bed for one sleeper and have a box spring or foundation, a twin XL is a better fit. 

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

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