Twin vs. Twin XL Beds: What’s the Difference?

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Twin and Twin XL beds may not have the biggest differences between the two – they’re really just separated by 5″ in length. However, there are factors to take into consideration that can help you decide if one is a good fit for your room over the other. Read on for our full comparison between the Twin vs Twin XL bed to decide which size may be the more appropriate fit for you.

The Basics – Twin Vs. Twin XL Dimensions

Standard Twin

Width 39″
Length 74″

Who is this ideal for?

Twin: A Standard Twin is also known as a Single bed, and 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.

RELATED: Best Mattress For Guest Rooms

twin size mattress graphic with dimensions

Twin XL

Width 39″
Length 80″

Who is this ideal for?

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 (80″). It can be referred to as Twin XL, TXL, Extended Twin, or Extra Long Twin. It is a nice option for college dormitories or taller children who may have smaller bedrooms but have outgrown their crib, and you may also see them if you stay in hostels when traveling.

Twin XL mattress graphic with dimensions

You Might Choose

Twin If…

  • You’re buying a bed for a child– As we mentioned earlier, Twin-sized beds are sort of the next step up from a crib mattress, with a standard Twin being 38″ x 75″ (sometimes it’s measured at 74″). This could be a tight fit in both directions for an adult without question.
  • You’re trying to save the most money possible- There is a small price increase when you go from a Twin to Twin XL bed. When you need to buy a frame, mattress, protector, sheets and duvet cover, that price difference could add up quickly, so if you don’t need to have the extra length, a Twin might be the way to go.

RELATED: Best Twin Size Mattresses

Twin XL If…

  • You’re sleeping alone- While both the Twin XL and the Queen have the same length (80″) the Twin XL is only 38″ (sometimes measured at 39″) wide, which makes it fairly narrow and a better fit for single adult sleeping by themselves.
  • You need the extra length- The Twin XL is a popular bed for college dorm rooms and in hostels, where space is limited but the beds will be filled with adults who need the extra length. They can be lofted or bunked as well.
  • You want to be creative and create a King bed– Two Twin XL beds placed together are the same dimensions as a King sized bed. In some cases, it may be cheaper to buy two Twin XL frames (or mattresses) for that matter and put them together to get your King.


Things To Consider

No matter what size bed you are looking for, do 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- Even though the main difference between these two beds are 5″ in length, for smaller rooms that can affect the flow and furniture placement of a small bedroom.  An article from Th!ngz Contemporary Living says that most designers will recommend 30″ of space around your bed for movement.
  • Shop around Back-To-School time- There are times during the year that mattresses and beds will go on sale, and if you’re on a budget but a Twin or Twin XL 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, as well as President’s Day weekend, Memorial Day weekend, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

RELATED: Mattress Sizes And Dimensions Guide


The main factors behind picking a Twin vs. a Twin XL is really the additional length and the small but not insignificant added cost of going with a Twin Xl over a Twin. For some, that may be an easy jump, but for others, saving the cost and the space may be the reason to go with a Twin.

Featured image: MNStudio/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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