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Twin vs. Twin XL Mattress

What’s the Difference Between a Twin vs. Twin XL Mattress?

Twin and twin XL are the smallest of the six standard mattress sizes. Ideal for single adult sleepers and children, twin and twin XL models have lower price-points than larger sizes, and also take up less bedroom space. Most twin and twin XL mattresses measure 38 or 39 inches wide. Twins measure 75 inches long, while twin XL beds measure 80 inches long.

Although twin and twin XL sizes mattresses share many similarities, there are also some notable differences between these two sizes. Keep reading to learn more.

Who Is a Twin Size Mattress Best For?

Good candidates for a twin size mattress include:

  • Single Adults: Due to their narrow dimensions, twin size mattresses are best suited to solo sleepers. You could technically fit on one of these beds with a sleep partner, but the sleep surface will be fairly cramped.
  • Children and Teenagers: Most kid's rooms are considerably smaller than master bedrooms, and a twin mattress can conserve floor space. Twins are also fairly inexpensive, so you'll save some money if your growing child needs to upgrade to a larger bed down the road. Twin size mattresses can be ideal for bunk beds, as well. Most bunks sold today are designed for twins.
  • Anyone Who is 6 Feet 2 Inches or Shorter: A twin size mattress normally measures 75 inches long, which is equivalent to 6 feet 3 inches in length. If you are 6 feet 2 inches, then you'll be able to lie down on the mattress with an extra inch to spare. Shorter people will have even more room to stretch out. If you are 6 feet 3 inches or taller, your feet will dangle off the mattress and you may develop aches and pains as a result.
  • College Students: If you've ever stayed in a college dorm, then you understand the importance of saving space in these close quarters. Among the six standard mattress sizes, a twin will take up the least amount of room. Many dorm-friendly bunk beds are compatible with twin size mattresses, too.

The vast majority of mattress models sold today are sold in twin sizes, so availability should not be an issue. However, you can opt for a slightly wider full/double size – also 75 inches long, and 54 inches wide – if your top mattress pick is not available as a twin.

Who Is a Twin XL Size Mattress Best for?

The following people may find a twin XL is the most suitable mattress size:

  • Single Adults: Since twin and twin XL mattresses share the same width, neither size offers enough space for two adults to sleep comfortably. You should opt for a full size or larger if you sleep with a partner.
  • Teenagers: A twin XL may be overkill for young children unless they are exceptionally tall, but this size is optimal for many growing teenagers. The twin XL is as long as a queen or king size, meaning it offers sufficient length for most teens and adults.
  • Anyone Who is 6 Feet 7 Inches or Shorter: Twin XL mattresses are 5 inches longer than twins. If your height falls in the 6 feet 3 inches to 6 feet 7 inches range, then you'll be able to sleep on a twin XL without your feet dangling over the side. If you are 6 feet 8 inches to 6 feet 11 inches, then you should consider a California king that measures 84 inches long.
  • College Students: As with the twin, a twin XL will conserve floor space in a dorm room. Twin is the standard size for bunk beds used in dorms, but you might be able to arrange a bunk that accommodates a twin XL.

Twin XL mattresses are widely available in today's market, but this size is a bit less common than the standard twin. If your top mattress pick is not sold as a twin XL, and you are too tall for a twin, then a queen size – 60 inches wide and 80 inches long – should offer the same length dimensions.

Dimensions

  • Twin Dimensions: 38-39 inches wide x 75 inches long
  • Twin XL Dimensions: 38-39 inches wide x 80 inches long

Since twin and twin XL mattresses share the same general width, length is the key difference between these sizes. The twin measures 75 inches long, which is the same as a full or double size mattress. Twin XL mattresses measure 80 inches long. This size shares the same length as queen and king beds.

If you stand 6 feet 2 inches or shorter, a twin size mattress should offer enough space for your legs without causing your feet to dangle over the end. Taller people who sleep on their sides with their knees tucked in may also sleep on a twin without their feet dangling. However, most people who stand 6 feet 3 inches to 6 feet 7 inches will sleep more comfortably on a twin XL.

Surface Area

  • Twin Surface Area: 2,850 to 2,925 square inches
  • Twin XL Surface Area: 3,040 to 3,120 square inches

You'll need to measure the demensions of your bedroom before deciding between a twin or twin XL mattress. This ensures you'll have enough room for whichever size you choose. Although you'll take up less space with a twin mattress vs twin XL models, both sizes are fairly compact.

Also make sure you have a box spring, foundation, or other support system that is compatible with your selected size.

Pricing

Because they are the smallest mattress sizes, twin and twin XL models also tend to be the cheapest. These mattresses typically cost between $300 and $1,200. In addition to size, factors that can affect the price of a twin or twin XL mattress include the following:

  • Mattress Type: The materials used to construct a mattress often influence the price. All-foam and innersprings tend to be the cheapest options, hybrids and all-latex mattresses have mid-level price-points, and airbeds are the most expensive models on average.
  • Brand: Buying a twin or twin XL mattress at a brick-and-mortar store will probably set you back more than buying one online. Mattress stores are expensive to operate and owners typically charge more for their beds to offset the overhead costs. Online companies have much lower overhead, allowing them to sell twin and twin XL mattresses at more affordable prices.
  • Shipping: If you order your twin or twin XL from an online mattress brand and reside in the contiguous U.S., then you'll qualify for free ground shipping. Expedited ground shipping may be available for an added charge – typically $50 or less. White Glove delivery also incurs an extra fee from most brands, though some offer this service for free. Expect to pay $100 to $150 for White Glove delivery, including old mattress removal. Unfortunately, residents of Alaska and Hawaii rarely receive free ground shipping for their mattress orders. If you live in either of these locations, you'll probably pay at least $150 for your delivery.

Some brands offer twin and twin XL sizes at the same price, but in most cases, you'll pay slightly more for the latter. A twin XL might be worth the extra money if you are taller than 6 feet 2 inches or have a growing teenager at home. Alternatively, you should consider the twin if you have a smaller shopping budget and/or limited bedroom space.

Mattress Types

Because twin and twin XL are considered standard mattress sizes, most beds sold today are available in both. Next, let's go over the most common mattress types in terms of construction and pricing.

  • Foam Mattress: These mattresses contain comfort and support layers made of polyurethane foam, or polyfoam. Softer foams cushion the surface while high-density foam in the support core provides stability. Foam mattresses are fairly affordable. You'll probably pay between $300 and $700 for a twin or twin XL foam mattress.
  • Innerspring Mattress: Innersprings are constructed with polyfoam comfort layers and steel coil systems in their support cores. These mattresses are also quite affordable. The average innerspring costs $400 to $800 in a twin or twin XL size.
  • Memory Foam Mattress: Memory foam is a specialized type of polyfoam that conforms closely to the body. Mattresses with memory foam comfort layers also have high-density polyfoam support layers. On average, a twin or twin XL memory foam mattress costs between $600 and $1,000.
  • Latex Mattress: Latex is a foam-like material derived from rubber tree sap. All-latex mattresses may contain up to four individual layers. Since latex is somewhat expensive, you'll most likely pay between $800 and $1,200 for a twin or twin XL model. Mattresses with certified-organic latex typically cost even more.
  • Hybrid Mattress: A hybrid is constructed with comfort layers of polyfoam, memory foam, and/or latex over a pocketed coil support core. The cost of a hybrid depends largely on its comfort layer materials. The average hybrid with polyfoam or memory foam will cost between $800 and $1,200 in a twin or twin XL size, while a latex hybrid will usually cost more – about $1,000 to $1,400 in the same sizes.

What Else Should I Consider When Choosing a Mattress Size?

Lastly, let's discuss a few additional factors to take into account if you're choosing between a twin bed vs. a twin XL mattress.

  • Room Size: The surface area difference between twin and twin XL sizes is minimal, but you should still measure the dimensions of your room before choosing one of these sizes. Pay attention to walls and floor space in the room, as well as the doorframe's dimensions and other areas of the house where you'll need to carry the mattress.
  • Bedding: Standard twin and twin XL bedding sets include one fitted sheet with elasticated corners, one flat sheet, and one pillowcase. When comparing twin vs. twin XL sheets from some brands, you may find both sets share the same dimensions, but some manufacturers offer different dimensions for both sizes.
  • Co-Sleepers: Some couples actually prefer sharing a smaller bed, so you and your co-sleeper might be perfectly comfortable on a twin or twin XL size mattress. However, there's a good chance you'll both feel a bit cramped. If you aren't sure, visit a mattress store with your sleep partner and ask to lie down on twin and twin XL mattresses. If they feel too small, consider a full or queen size mattress instead.
  • Pets: Thanks to the extra 5 inches, a twin XL is more suitable for sleeping with a dog, cat, or other furry roommate than a twin. Of course, the animal's size is an important factor. You could sleep comfortably with a Chihuahua at your feet, but probably less so if you own a Great Dane.