Twin vs. Queen Beds: What Should You Know?

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It takes just one look at a Twin bed and a Queen bed to see there are some obvious size differences. But there are many factors to take into consideration when deciding what bed will be your next purchase. Queen beds are the most popular and ideal for couples, but the Twin is a space and money saver. Read on for our comparison.

The Basics

Standard Twin


Who is this ideal for?

A Standard Twin is also known as a Single bed. Twin mattresses and beds are often the next steps for children who have outgrown their cribs. They’re also a great option for smaller bedrooms like Guest Rooms. Bunk beds also traditionally come in Twin size.

Standard Queen

Standard Queen
Width Per Person30"

Who is this ideal for?

A Queen-size bed is 5” longer and 6” wider than a Full sized bed. Queen beds are suited for both couples and individuals. Each couple gets about 30” of space to themselves. Because it can work for a single person or a couple, it is the most popular mattress size today. It is often a good fit for smaller Master Bedrooms or in a Guest Room.

Less Traditional Sizes

Twin XL

Twin XL: The Twin XL is the same width as a Standard Twin but it’s about 5″ longer, making it the same length as a Queen or King. It is a nice option for college dormitories or taller children who may have smaller rooms.

Twin XL


Olympic Queen (or Expanded Queen): The Olympic Queen is a full 6″ wider than a Standard Queen but has the same length (80″).

Olympic Queen

California Queen: California Queens are waterbed mattresses and pretty difficult to find these days.

California Queen

Split Queen: This is essentially a Queen bed but split down the middle.

Split Queen
Width30" (each half)

Blend Images/Shutterstock

You Might Choose

Twin If…

  • You’re a petite adult or child. As we mentioned earlier, Twin-sized beds are sort of the next step up from a crib mattress. A Standard Twin is 38″ x 75″ (sometimes it’s measured at 74″). This could be a tight fit in both directions for an adult.
  • You’re trying to save money. If you have room for a Full/Double bed but can’t afford the frame, mattress, and sheets, you can consider a Twin (or a Twin XL for more length). The Twin will definitely be more affordable since you are saving on space. College dorm room beds are often Twin XL and there are good sales on bed sets during Back-To-School season.
  • You need a bed for a smaller room. A Twin bed will look very small in a Master Bedroom (unless it’s a smaller bedroom). A Twin will probably fit well as a replacement for a crib in a nursery or a smaller room that maybe two people share – like a kid’s room.

Queen If…

  • You are a couple. In a Queen-size bed, each person gets roughly 30″ of space each, making it more comfortable than a Full/Double for couples but cheaper than a King bed.
  • You are looking for a bed for a Master Bedroom. Master bedrooms tend to be larger than Guest Rooms. Queen beds tend to fit both rooms well, which makes them super popular. Larger Master Bedrooms may benefit from a bigger bed like a Queen (or even a King). This will help balance the aesthetic of the room.
  • You can afford it. Not surprisingly, a Queen bed with mattress, matching sheets, mattress protector (yes, you will want one) and additional accessories will all cost you more than a Twin bed. Make sure you can afford the whole package and not just the mattress before you go shopping.

Stacey Newman/Shutterstock

Things To Consider

No matter which size bed you choose, if you do your research in advance – measuring and planning out your space – you will feel confident when you go to buy your new bed and face fewer surprises when you bring it home.

  • Measure your space and leave room for movement. If you are thinking about making the jump from a crib to a Twin or a Full/Double to a Queen-sized bed, check to make sure it fits it in your bedroom. Yes, this may seem obvious, but it’s easy to get caught up in an impulsive shopping moment and end up with a bed that doesn’t fit. An article from Th!ngz Contemporary Living says that most designers will recommend 30″ of space around your bed for movement.
  • Make sure you have help if you need it. A Twin mattress and bed will be fairly easy for a healthy adult to move by themselves. However, a Queen-size frame and/or mattress will be significantly heavier and wider, so plan ahead if you are trying to get it up a flight of stairs and into an apartment or house.
  • Shop seasonally if you can. There are times during the year that mattresses and beds will go on sale. If you’re on a budget but want to upgrade to a bigger bed, it might be worth waiting to make a purchase during that time. For mattresses, Labor Day weekend is often a good time for sales.


Choosing between a Twin and a Queen will come down to space. Queens will most likely be a better fit for a decent-sized Master Bedroom and a Twin (or Twin XL for extra length) could be the perfect size for a cozy dorm room or child’s room. 

Featured image: JoeyPhoto/Shutterstock


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Katie Golde

Katie manages the day to day operations of the Mattress Clarity news site and reviews sleep products in addition to writing and editing sleep news.She hails from Austin, where she lives with her growing family. She is a Certified Sleep Science Coach and has a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University and has a background in health and science content. Her work can be found in print and online publications like Discover Magazine, USA Today and The Huffington Post.