Are you shopping for a new bed? Maybe you’re moving your baby or toddler into his or her first “big kid bed,” or you’re shopping for a dorm room mattress as your baby goes off to school. Whatever the reason for your purchase, it’s important that you make an informed choice when you’re choosing between Twin and Twin XL mattresses.

Back to Basics

The “XL” in “Twin XL” stands for “Extra Long,” and that’s exactly what this mattress is. It’s 5” longer than a regular Twin. This makes it perfect for people who are tall, those who like to sleep with lots of pillows and so end up farther down the bed, or for people who slide towards the bottom of the bed while they sleep.

Twin mattresses are great for children. They provide enough space for the child to move around at night without being so big that the child doesn’t feel safe or feels like his or her whole bedroom is taken up with a mattress. Twin XL beds, on the other hand, are perfect for adults who are sleeping in small rooms or who don’t want to invest in a larger bed for themselves.

Fun Fact: Two Twin XL mattresses make up a King sized bed. If you and your partner need drastically different mattresses, putting together two Twin XLs can be a way for you to still sleep together.

This chart summarizes the differences between a Twin and Twin XL mattress.

Twin Twin XL
39”x75” 39”x80”
Very affordable Affordable but more than a Twin
Accessories easy to find Accessories slightly harder to find


Why Buy a Twin Size Bed?



Twin mattresses will fit in almost any bedroom. If you’re in a small room or you’re trying to fit several beds in one room without bunking them, twin mattresses can be a great solution. They’re perfect for college dorm rooms and shared apartments. They’re also commonly found as children’s beds and as guest beds, especially if you don’t have many guests or you know the ones you do have will be sleeping alone.


  • Twin beds are very affordable. If you’re on a very tight budget, you can usually find one for $100 or less, though these cheap mattresses may not be very comfortable and probably aren’t a long-term solution for most people. As some of the smallest beds out there (outside of those made for little kids), they are made to be an affordable solution for nearly anyone.
  • Twin beds are a common size. Do you like to buy accessories for your bed? Twin beds are such a common size that you can find accessories for them in almost any store that sells bedroom stuff. If you need a new mattress protector, new sheets, or anything else, it will be easy to find it all if you have a Twin bed.


  • Twin beds may be too short for some adults. Depending on how tall you are and how you sleep, you may need a bigger bed. If your feet are hanging off the end of your mattress, you probably won’t sleep as well.
  • Twin beds are narrow. You can usually sleep one person comfortably, but no more than that. If you want to share your bed at any point, you’ll need something larger. Similarly, if you have a pet you like to sleep with, you may want a bigger bed.


Is a Twin XL Bed Right For You?

Twin XL mattresses also fit easily in almost any room. If you have several adults who will be sharing a bedroom, these mattresses can be the perfect way for everyone to have their own bed. They’re also great in guest rooms. If you know that your guests will be adults who may or may not want to share a bed, a couple of Twin XLs that they can push together if they want to could be your perfect solution.


  • Twin XL beds provide more length for tall sleepers and more foot space for everyone. If you’re tall or you like to feel like you’re feet aren’t encumbered while you sleep but you still want to save space, a Twin XL bed is probably perfect for you.
  • Twin XL beds are often a bit pricier than Twins, but they’re still affordable. It depends on the company you’re buying from. Some price the XLs slightly higher, simply because they’re not as common. Others sell them for about the same as a Twin. Either way, they shouldn’t break the bank.


  • Twin XL beds take up slightly more space in your room. While that extra 5” shouldn’t be a huge deal, it can change the flow of your room. You may have to move the other furniture around until you find a solution you’re happy with, especially if you’re transitioning from a Twin to a Twin XL. In very small rooms, a Twin might fit while the XL wouldn’t.


The Verdict

As always, you need to buy the bed that will work best for you. Consider the size of the room, the size of the person who will be sleeping on the bed, and what other furniture you want to fit into the room. If you’re worried about space, the Twin is probably your best choice. If you’re concerned about comfort for an adult sleeper or a tall teen, try a Twin XL instead.


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