Twin XL vs. Queen Beds – What Should You Know?

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It’s easy to see that there is a major size difference between a Twin XL and a Queen bed – about 22″ in width. The Twin is much better suited for individuals – you will often see them in children’s rooms or college dorm rooms. The Queen requires more space but will work well for couples. What else do you need to know about these two types of beds? Read on for our full comparison.

The Basics

Twin XL

Twin XL

Who is this ideal for?

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 bedrooms but have outgrown their crib.

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.

Other Available Sizes

Standard Twin


Twin: 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.


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 XL If…

  • You’re a smaller individual or child. While both the Twin XL and the Queen have the same length (80″) the Twin XL is only 38″ wide, which makes it fairly narrow and a better fit for smaller adults or children who have outgrown their crib. Y
  • You are working in a tight space.  The Twin XL is a popular bed for college dorm rooms, where space is limited and you usually need to squeeze a couple young adults in each room. They can be lofted as well, and their extended length helps taller students fit in the bed. Twin or Twin XL beds are also stacked on top of each other as bunk beds in children’s rooms as well.
  • You could go with a bigger bed but want to save the money. There are so many mattress and bed brands on the market that it’s hard to say how much money you’d save – but going with a Twin XL (or even a Twin) over a Full/Double or a Queen will save you money. Keep your eye on bedding sets close to Back-To-School time and Labor Day weekend as a Twin XL bed is very popular for kids and students and will most likely be on sale.

Queen If…

  • You sleep with a partner. In a Queen-size bed, each person gets roughly 30″ of space each, making it more comfortable than a Full/Double for couples. It would be nearly impossible for a couple to split a Twin bed – you’d only get 19″ of space each.
  • You are purchasing 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).
  • You’ve got a bigger budget. Not surprisingly, a Queen bed with mattress, matching sheets, mattress protector (yes, you will want one) and additional accessories will all cost you more as you move to a bigger size. It’s wise not to blow your whole budget on a new bed and forget that you need to keep it protected and comfortable

Related: Mattress Sizes Guide

Koksharov Dmitry/ Shutterstock

Things To Consider

You may be eyeing a Queen-sized bed or hoping to save space (and money) by going with a Full. Either way, doing your research in advance – measuring and planning out your space – will ensure that your final choice will be the absolute best bed for you.

  • Measure your space and leave room for movement. If you are thinking about making the jump from 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 can get your new bed into your new room. Without a doubt, the Full/Double bed and mattress will be easier to move than a Queen. Even if you think you can handle it yourself – it may be smart to ask for help when moving furniture. Queen-sized mattresses (especially heavier foam ones) may need the help of two people to move.
  • Shop around Back-To-School time. 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 XL and a Queen will come down to space and budget. Queens will most likely be a better fit for a decent-sized Master Bedroom but cost more and a Twin (or Twin XL for extra length) could be the perfect size for a cozy dorm room or child’s room and come at a more affordable price. 

Featured image: Kristi Blokhin/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.