Full vs Twin XL Bed: What’s the Difference?

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Shoppers in the market for a new bed who are specifically considering a Twin size mattress may want to look at a Twin XL. While the Twin mattress is generally the most affordable bed size, the Twin XL provides 5″ of additional length compared to both the Twin and a Full.

A Full/Double bed, however, offers sleepers an extra 15″ of width. So, which is the best fit for what type of person? Read on for our Full vs Twin XL comparison to learn the specific size dimensions of each individual bed, when one might be more appropriate than the other, and which mattress will be ideal for specific groups of sleepers.

Size Comparisons – Standard Full vs. Twin XL

Standard Full

Width 54″
Length 74″
Width per person 26.5″

Who Is The Full Bed Ideal For?

A Full-size mattress or bed is sometimes called a “Double” or just “Full”. It is the same length as a Twin bed (sometimes it’s measured at 74″ in length instead of 75″), which can make it significantly too short for some adults. A Full mattress tends to be better for individuals –  a couple would only get a minuscule 27″ each –  which is the width of a crib. The Better Sleep Council says parents are increasingly selecting Full-size beds over twin sizes for teenagers’ and even younger children’s bedrooms.

RELATED: Best Full-Size Mattresses

full-size mattress graphic with dimensions

Twin XL

Width 38″
Length 80″

Who Is The Twin Bed Ideal For?

The Twin XL is the identical width of a Standard Twin (38″) but it’s about 5″ longer, making it the same length as a larger Queen or King mattress. The Twin XL is a common option for college dormitories or taller children who may have smaller rooms. People will also see them in hostels where multiple beds are in one large room. Interestingly enough, sleepers can also combine two Twin XL together and to create the same dimensions as a King bed.

RELATED: Best Twin XL Mattresses

twin xl mattress graphic with dimensions


College student with Twin XL bedBlend Images/Shutterstock

Other Size Options

Full XL

The Full XL bed size is the same width as a Standard Full but includes an additional 5″ of length, matching the length of a Twin XL, Queen and King size options.

Width 54″
Length 80″
Width per person 26.5″


A Standard Twin is also known as a Single bed, which is commonly the next mattress step for children who have outgrown their cribs. They’re also a great option for smaller bedrooms like Guest Rooms, as well as bunk bed frames, which are traditionally manufactured in Twin size.

Width 38″
Length 75″

RELATED: Full vs. Twin Mattresses

What Size Is the Best?

Who Will Like the Twin XL?

  • People who are tight on space but need the extra length will find the Twin XL to be a solid option. The mattress saves about 15″ or 16″ of width compared to a Full or Double. But for those who have a bedroom that is narrow and have room for some extra length, the added 5″ of a Twin XL over a Twin could go a long way for the person sleeping in it and for the overall look of the room.
  • The Twin XL works for people who are trying to save money. When it comes to bed shopping, size does matter in terms of cost. Shoppers with conservative budgets will save money going with a Twin XL bed over a Full because they’re smaller — and even the bedding costs less.
  • Dreamers who want to get creative with a KingTechnically, a person could find two Twin XL beds and put them together to make a King. Some people do this by purchasing two Twin XL frames and putting a King mattress on top (just make sure it’s sturdy) while others put two Twin XL mattresses on a King frame to make it a Split King.


Who Will Like the Full?

  • Couples who live together and are tight on space will like the Full bed. Technically, two people can sleep on a Full/Double bed – but it will be tight. Each person only has the width of a crib for themselves. If a Full is the best option for the room, consider a Full XL for an additional 5″ of length.
  • People have a bigger room to fill (compared to a dorm). With a Full bed, there’s an additional 15″ of width compared to a Twin or Twin XL, which will certainly fill up space in a room better than a Twin.
  • Parents want a bed that their children can grow into. The Better Sleep Council says that more people are choosing to skip a Twin or Twin XL and go straight to a Full or Double for their young children or their teens. The extra width leaves room for everyone to grow — and the bed is better suited for overnight guests once children leave the nest permanently.

Things To Consider

The Twin XL and Full may not seem that different but it really comes down to their details and what is going to fit the respective space best. Here are some helpful tips and things to think about before making a purchase.

  • Measure the space and leave room for movement. People who are thinking about making the transition from a crib or a Twin to a Twin XL or a Full/Double, make sure the mattress fits in your bedroom. Just remember that it is 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.
  • Consider who will be sleeping in the bed. Is this a new bed for a child or is it a mattress for the guest room; will two people end up in this bed? All of these questions will be key to factor into the final decision. If there’s a chance a couple will use the bed, think about going with a Full (or Full XL for extra length).
  • Shop seasonally if possible since Twin, Twin XL and even Full and Full XL beds are popular for children, teens and in college dormitories, Back-To-School shopping in the Fall could be a good time to buy your next bed because of seasonal deals. For mattresses, Labor Day weekend is often a good time for sales.


Chances are, both a Twin XL or a Full/Double bed will work in most bedrooms. It may be difficult to know which one is best now, but if people prioritize for the space, look at what the real needs are and what a reasonable budget is for the purchase, the answer should become clearer. Don’t forget to shop around – especially for mattresses – to get the best deal.


Featured image: Vereshchagin Dmitry/Shutterstock

Gravatar for Katie Golde

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.


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