What’s The Difference Between A Twin vs Twin XL?

For something so familiar as a twin bed, the size actually has an interesting past. You may picture the twin bed as being commonplace throughout history, but until the 1890s, they were actually seldom seen in homes. It wasn’t until doctors started recommending twin mattresses for sanitary purposes that the craze caught on. The thought was if you slept on two different mattresses with separate sets of bedding, you were less likely to get sick or spread disease in a time where people were worried about the bubonic plague and other infections running rampant.

Twin beds eventually became the norm within families as they allowed everyone to have their own bed without taking up huge amounts of space. Married couples were seen exclusively in two separate beds on television until 1947, and even then it was another 20 years before couples regularly were shown sharing the same bed, regardless of how everyone slept in real life.

Twin beds are now a standard in any home with kids, and in dorms, but how do you know if you should get a standard Twin mattress or a Twin XL and what exactly are the mattress dimensions?

TWIN vs TWIN XL DIMENSIONS
TWINTWIN XL
39”W x 75”L39”W x 80”L


Comparing Mattress Sizes
Standard Twin Bed Dimensions–39x75 Inches Standard twin sized mattresses measure at 39 inches wide by 75 inches. They are great to save space in shared rooms for siblings and give your little one a place to grow into. They also make for great dog beds if you have Great Danes or a couple of boisterous labs, but that’s just what some of our team members have told us!

Most bunk beds require twin size beds as well, so if you’re looking to save even more space, they’re the perfect solution.

Twin XL Dimensions–39x80 Inches The Twin XL bed is the exact same width, but with an added 5 extra inches to the length, making it the same length as any standard Queen or King—80 inches long. If you have a college student looking for a bed for their dorm room, or older kids and teens who need a little more leg room, the Twin XL mattress is ideal to keep them comfy! Most college dorms are outfitted with Twin XLs.

Another reason the Twin XL is popular is to use as a split King. Couples who have a King size adjustable bed frame can use two Twin XLs to allow for individual adjustments. This is perfect if one of you is a late night reader or wants a little more leverage for your legs while you sleep. Two Twin XLs may be about two inches wider than your traditional King, but most adjustable frames can accommodate the extra width with no problems, especially if the mattress is foam and has a little give to begin with.

One last note: A twin XL mattress will not fit on a regular twin bed frame.

Armed with the differences between a Twin vs Twin XL, you should have a better idea of what your space and sleeper needs!

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Shelly Weaver-Cather
Shelly Weaver-Cather

Shelly Weaver is part of the Content Team at Tuft & Needle, leading the writing and editing of our blog. Not quite a Phoenix native, (They take that sort of thing super seriously.) Shelly has spent most of her life in the Phoenix Metro area and has no plans of leaving anytime soon. She made the unexpected jump out of wedding photography and onto T&N’s team in 2016, and found a passion for the people that keep the lights on. She still finds herself shooting in her free time, though these days there are less bridal portraits and more masterpieces of her first child, Duke, a lab-pit mix with an unparalleled love for both T&N mattress hogging and couch destroying.

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