Twin vs. Twin XL Comparison

December 21, 2023 · Silverback Strategies

Twin vs. Twin XL Mattress: What’s the Difference?

Despite the name, a standard twin mattress and a twin XL aren’t the same. In terms of size and comfort, it’s important to take into account where these two mattresses differ. Which one you choose should depend on your height, room dimensions, and bed accessories. We’ll help you sort through the confusion so you can make the best choice.

What Are the Dimensions of a Twin vs. Twin XL Mattress?

The major – perhaps only – difference between a twin and twin XL mattress is the length. A twin mattress is 38” wide and 75” long, while a twin XL mattress is 38” wide but 80” long.

What to Consider When Choosing Between a Twin and Twin XL

The difference in length between a standard twin and a twin XL might not seem like much at first. But when it comes to bedding, comfort, and room size, it can make an enormous difference. 

Sleep Accessories

The difference in dimensions means standard twin sheets won't fit a twin XL properly, as they can’t reach the entire mattress length. Similarly, twin XL fitted sheets may be too long for a standard twin, resulting in sheets bunching up or wrinkling under the sleeper. Investing in correctly sized sheets ensures a snug fit, enhances overall sleep quality, and prevents annoying slippage.

It should be noted that generally speaking, only a fitted sheet won’t work on both mattresses. Flat sheets, pillows and pillowcases, and blankets should be the same for either size. However, it might be hard to find just fitted sheets by themselves, so consider carefully which bedding sets you buy.

If you already have twin sheets and see no reason to get a twin XL, stick to buying another standard twin to avoid the added expense of replacing your sheets.

Your Height

Twin XL mattresses are better suited for taller individuals. With a length of 80", they offer an extra 5 inches of legroom compared to the standard twin (75"). Most of us don’t sleep with our heads at the top edge of the mattress – we sleep a few inches down on a pillow. The additional length of a twin XL accommodates taller sleepers comfortably by preventing their feet from hanging off the bed. 

Growing Children

If you’re a parent buying a mattress for a growing child, their future needs should factor into your choice. Opting for a twin XL mattress instead of a standard twin provides extra length, accommodating their potential growth spurts over the mattress's 7-10 year lifespan

A longer bed ensures they won't outgrow it too quickly, saving you from replacing it after just a few years and ensuring their comfort as they transition through their teen years and into adulthood. Think of it as an investment for both their comfort and your budget.

Bedroom Dimensions

Your bedroom’s shape and dimensions will help you decide between a standard twin and twin XL mattress. While both sizes can fit in most rooms due to their narrow width, a more square-shaped room might be more suitable for a standard twin mattress, ensuring ample space for other furniture and easy movement. On the other hand, a longer and more rectangular room could better accommodate a twin XL, maximizing the available floor area and providing a balanced layout.

For both standard twin and a twin xl, the recommended minimum room size is 7’ x 10’. 

Important Twin & Twin XL FAQs

We know you have questions about standard twin vs. twin XL mattress sizes. Here, we answer a few of the most commonly asked questions we get at Mattress Warehouse.

Is There a Price Difference Between a Twin and Twin XL?

The price difference between a twin and a twin XL mattress can vary depending on the brand, materials used, and any special features offered, such as pillow tops. Twin XL mattresses might be slightly more expensive than standard twin mattresses due to the additional length. However, the price difference is usually insignificant. With Mattress Warehouse’s everyday low prices and Price Match Guarantee, you know you’re getting a great deal no matter which size you choose.

Will a Twin XL Mattress Fit on a Twin-Sized Bed Frame?

Since the twin XL is 5 inches longer than the standard twin size, it will extend beyond the frame's foot end. Think of it like trying to fit a size 8 foot into a size 7 shoe – it just won’t work. The size mismatch between the mattress and bed frame may cause stability issues and discomfort. To ensure a proper fit and support, it's best to use a twin XL-specific bed frame or an adjustable frame capable of accommodating various mattress sizes.

Can I Put a Standard Twin Mattress on an XL Frame?

Yes, the length of the twin XL frame will accommodate the size of a standard twin mattress. However, there will be a gap of approximately 5 inches between the end of the mattress and the foot of the frame. This may or may not affect the overall functionality depending on your bed frame, and some people find the gap visually unappealing. 

Is a Twin XL Big Enough to Fit Two People?

While a twin XL mattress can technically fit two people, there are better options for long-term comfort and adequate sleep space. With dimensions of 38" x 80", a twin XL mattress offers the same width as a standard twin, making it too narrow for long-term sharing between two fully grown adults. A larger mattress like a full, queen, or king would be more suitable for couples or adults.

What Will I Need to Bring to College for My Twin XL Bed?

If you’re used to sleeping on a standard twin and you’re tall, we have good news: 80% of college dorm beds are twin XLs! However, since they might not be brand new, we recommend showing up to college prepared to make your dorm bed as comfortable as possible. Here’s what you should include on your packing checklist:

  • Sheets: soft, comfortable sheets will help you feel at home in your dorm bed.
  • Mattress protector: guard against spills, stains, and bed bugs.
  • Mattress topper: no matter what shape your college mattress may be in, you can make it perfect for your needs with the right mattress topper
  • Pillows: bring your beloved, trusted pillows from home, or use this opportunity to buy new ones!
  • Blankets: sleeping under the blanket you’re used to from home will help you rest and relax in total comfort.

Shop by Size at Mattress Warehouse

No matter what mattress size you need, Mattress Warehouse has you covered. From standard twins and twin XLs to kings and California kings, we’re ready to help you find the perfect mattress for your sleep needs and preferences. 

Our in-store or online bedMATCH® system is scientifically designed to find the mattresses best suited for your best night’s sleep, and our Mattress Warehouse Sleep Professionals can answer any questions you have about our products. Come in today to find the perfect mattress for you!