Size Comparison Guide: Twin vs Twin XL Mattress

The twin and twin XL beds are the same width with the XL being 5 inches longer in length. See which mattress size is right for you.

When contemplating getting a twin bed vs twin XL sized bed one may not see too much of a difference except in price. The few extra inches added onto the length of the twin XL can make a world of difference for growing teens and the college aged. While the twin is mostly relegated to the kids’ rooms, the twin XL mattress are often purchased in pairs to create a split King bed for the master bedroom.

I. Comparison Chart: Twin vs Twin XL Mattress
II. Twin Mattress: Pros & Cons
III. Twin XL Mattress: Pros & Cons
IV. Room Size Requirements
V. Comfort
VI. Cost
VII. Conclusion

I. Comparison Chart: Twin vs Twin XL Mattress
Twin Twin XL
Width 39 inches / 99 cm 39 inches / 99 cm
Length 75 inches / 191 cm 80 inches / 203 cm
Personal Width 27 inches / 68.6 cm 27 inches / 68.6 cm
Space Used Children’s rooms and guest rooms Children’s rooms, dorm rooms, and in small master bedrooms.
Size differential The twin is 5 inches shorter than the twin XL. The twin XL is 5 inches longer than the twin.
Summary The twin is often called a single bed. When used with another twin underneath that can be pulled out, is often referred to as a trundle bed. When used against a wall with bolsters and pillows in a guest room it is often called a day bed. The Twin XL is often referred to as a dorm bed for its common use in college dorm rooms.
II. Twin Mattress: Pros & Cons

The twin bed has been popular since interior decorators began making decorating the bedroom commonplace in the 1890s. At that time two single beds where replacing a single full bed in the master bedroom. The use of two single beds used together gave the bed the twin moniker. The size of the bed made it perfect for use in children’s rooms and for servants. Hollywood sealed the popularity of the twin bed in the 1930s. New movie moral code of the day dictated that married couples could not sleep in the same bed. To get around this the two twin beds would be pushed together in the bedroom scene and the director would use the one foot loophole. Both characters could be on beds fully dressed with one character having one foot on the floor. The twin beds followed into the TV age becoming even more popular with shows like “I Love Lucy” and “Dick Van Dyke” making them fashionable.

Pros

The twin bed works great for a kid’s room, allowing for floor space to play. It is also a great size bed to use two in a room for children who share a bedroom or to be used in a perpendicular fashion for a guest room. The twin bed looks lovely made up as a day bed to be used as a sitting area for daytime or as an extra bed for a guest room.

Cons

The narrow sleeping platform of a twin bed does not accommodate more than one sleeper comfortably and the length may be too short for tall teens and adults.

III. Twin XL Mattress: Pros & Cons

Although the origin of the twin XL is cloudy, it is known as a dorm bed for its use in college dorm rooms. It is thought that the extra-long size was first introduced in colleges to accommodate the larger size of an athlete. Parents caught on and have now made it a popular choice for bedrooms at home as well. With the twin XL being the same width as half a King bed and the same length as a King, it has also become a common practice to create a split King bed using two twin XL mattresses. The split King allows for two to sleep together but on their own preference of mattress firmness.

Pros

The extra-long length gives a taller sleeper more room to stretch out in but in the same width as the standard twin. Two twin XL’s placed side by side can be fashioned into a King size bed to please a couple with different mattress preferences.

Cons

The longer length will take up more space in a room.

IV. Room Size Requirements

The room size required for a twin or twin XL will depend on different factors. Are you just having one bed in the room or will you be using two. If two beds are desired are you using them as if a King bed or spaced on opposite walls to fit two children in one room. Whatever your needs for a twin bed make sure to measure the room and plot it on paper or in an app to configure a layout that will work for your furnishing needs.
When placing two twin or twin XL beds to use in a room that is shared by children at home, or a college dorm room, be aware to allow for personal space for each room inhabitant. Generally, you want at least 2 feet of space on the open side of the bed. For two sharing a room this would mean at least 4 feet between beds, although the 2 and a half to three feet rule will work better providing a five to six feet of personal space buffer. You should also take into consideration dressers, desks, chairs and other furnishings when laying out the room as well.
Add 2 feet on either side, and to the foot of the Queen bed, at 60 inches wide by 80 inches long. This means that you need a room at least 9 feet wide by 8 feet, 8 inches long without additional furniture. Add in dressers and the room will need to be larger to fit the extra furnishings.
If using two twin XL placed together as a King bed, then you will be placing the head of the beds on the center of a wall and adding at least 2 feet on either side and at the foot. This gives you a minimum sized room of approximately 10 feet, 6 inches by 8 feet, 8 inches before allowing for other furnishings.

V. Comfort

Although the same width, the added length of the twin XL could mean a much more comfortable sleep for one who is tall. Finding a great mattress is the key to having comfort when sleeping. The memory foam mattress is a great choice for both the twin and the twin XL. For growing children, the memory foam with provide support for the limbs and changing body size. Memory foam is great for athletes as it cradles the contours of the body.

VI. Cost

The cost of a twin bed will be less than the twin XL. Both fit the same headboard but will need different lengths for a bed frame. Finding bedding is easier and less costly for the twin size bed than the less common twin XL.

VII. Conclusion

Choosing between the twin mattress and twin XL bed is merely a choice between 5 inches. If the room can accommodate a twin XL for a child, then it is wonderful choice that will fit the child as he or she grows into adulthood. A twin bed is a great choice for a guest room where you would like a comfortable bed but want the look of a sofa for daily use. Placing two twin XL side by side allows for the comfort of a King bed for two who have different mattress firmness preferences.
The memory foam mattress is an ideal choice for both the twin and twin XL. It is perfect for those who want to order their own mattress for a dorm bed. The bed-in-a-box memory foam mattress comes packed in a box and delivered to the destination to be easily moved into the room to house the bed. This makes it a perfect choice for dorms and apartments as the mattress comes neatly folded and ready to come to life when the sealed packaging is opened. A memory foam mattress is pliable adjusting to body’s curves for ultimate comfort, and making it bendable for easy moving.