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

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Shoppers in the market for a new bed who are considering a Twin size mattress may want to look at a Twin XL. While the Twin mattress is 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 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 is ideal for specific groups of sleepers.

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Full vs. Twin XL Comparison | Full-Size Bed Overview | Twin XL Bed Overview | Which Size Is Best for You? | Additional Considerations

Full vs. Twin XL Comparison

For a quick summary of the differences between a Full and Twin XL bed, check out our comparison chart below.

Criteria Full-Size Mattress Twin XL Mattress
Size 54″ x 75″ 38″ x 80″
Best for Children, teenagers, young adults Children, college students, those looking to create a split king bed, those on a budget
Price $600 – $1,500 $400 – $700
Ideal room Children’s bedrooms, smaller spaces, guest rooms Children’s bedrooms, smaller bedrooms, college dorms
Pros More spacious, easy to find accessories for More affordable than a Full-size bed, easy to find accessories for, easily fits taller individuals
Cons More expensive than a Twin XL, too small for most couples and taller sleepers Too small for couples, smaller than a Full-size mattress

twin xl vs. full mattress size comparison graphic

Standard Full-Size Mattress

A Full-size mattress or bed is sometimes called a “Double” or just “Full.” It’s the same length as a Twin bed (sometimes it’s measured at 74″ in length instead of 75″). This 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 selecting Full-size beds over Twin sizes for teenagers’ and even younger children’s bedrooms.

full mattress dimensions

Width 54″
Length 75″
Width per person 26.5″

Pros

  • More spacious than a Twin XL
  • Easier to find fitting accessories
  • Works well in small bedrooms and guest rooms
  • Excellent mattress size for children to grow into

Cons

  • Tends to be too small for most couples (some can make it work)
  • More expensive than a Twin XL mattress
  • Too short for taller individuals

Additional Full Mattress Sizes

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. This makes it a good option for those wanting more space than a Twin XL but don’t want to spend the additional money on a Queen.

Width 54″
Length 80″
Width per person 26.5″

Twin XL Mattress Size

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 with smaller rooms. People will also see them in hostels where multiple beds are in one large room. Sleepers can combine two Twin XL beds together to create the same dimensions as a King bed.

twin xl mattress graphic with dimensions

Width 38″
Length 80″

Pros

  • More affordable than a Full-size mattress
  • Comfortably fits taller sleepers
  • Is a great option for children
  • Is a common size in college dorm rooms
  • Is easy to find accessories for
  • Is to move than a Full-size bed
  • Can use two Twin XL mattresses to customize a Split King

Cons

  • Doesn’t fit couples
  • Some may prefer more space

Additional Twin Mattress Sizes

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

Width 38″
Length 75″

RELATED: Full vs. Twin Mattresses

College student with Twin XL bedBlend Images/Shutterstock

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. For those with a narrow bedroom and room for extra length, the added 5″ of a Twin XL over a Twin could go a long way.
  • The Twin XL works for people who are trying to save money. When it comes to bed shopping, size matters 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 the bedding costs less.
  • Dreamers who want to get creative with a KingA 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.

Elnur/Shutterstock

Who Will Like the Full?

  • Couples who live together and are tight on space will like the Full bed. Two people can sleep on a Full/Double bed, but it will be tight. Each person 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 better fill up space in a room.
  • 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 and teens. The extra width leaves room for everyone to grow. 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 things to consider before making a purchase.

  • Measure the space and leave room for movement. Those wanting to make the transition from a crib or a Twin to a Twin XL or a Full/Double, ensure the mattress fits in your bedroom. Remember 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.
  • 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.

Overall

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. 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.

FAQ

How much bigger is a Twin XL than a Full?

While a Twin XL measures 38" x 80", a Full measures 53" x 75". While a Full mattress is 15" wider, a Twin XL is 5" longer.

Will a Twin XL fit in a Full bed frame?

No, a Twin XL will not fit in a Full bed frame. The Twin XL is 5" longer than a Full, so the length is too long for the Full frame.

Can a Full comforter fit a Twin XL?

Assuming the length of the comforter covers the additional 5" length of a Twin XL, most Full comforters should fit. Another thing to be wary of is the width of a Full bed; the comforter might be too large in width for a Twin XL and touch the floor.

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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