The fact of the matter is that we all spend 1/3 of our lives asleep. This means that a quality mattress isn’t just a matter of comfort, it’s a matter of necessity. 

There are dozens of different varieties of mattresses, and the two we’re going to be discussing today are the twin and twin XL mattresses. 

We’ll go over the pros and cons of both, the differences between them, and whether or not one or the other will be a good fit for your needs. Hopefully, by the end, you’ll have reached the critical decision that mattress shopping always requires for proper efficiency.

Twin Mattress

You might remember your first bed and how narrow it was. That’s because twin beds are most commonly used as children’s beds, though they can be put to use elsewhere. 

You can double them up into one big bed, you can add them to guest rooms or dorms, etc. Daybeds are also commonly twin mattresses. Their measurements are 39”x74”, making them the perfect size for smaller rooms.

- Pros and Cons:

We’ll list off a few of their good and bad points to help you sort out what you’re looking for in this smaller mattress.

  • They’re a common, easily accessible size
  • They’re on the inexpensive side
  • They’re a universal fit
  • Easy to transport

But, like anything else, they do have a few negative points against them:

  • Two small for more than one person
  • Two small for adults and young adults

Unfortunately, while you can use a twin for a guest bedroom, it’s recommended that you go to a larger size since most of your guests are likely going to be over four feet tall. This is a major difference between a twin and a twin Xl, simply for how much more space the other gives.

- Price:

While it depends on the manufacturer, a twin bed is going to be extremely affordable and you’ll have a wide variety of styles and types to choose from.

You’ll also have an easy pick of different bed frames, which will be lower in price than their XL counterparts. This also goes for any bedding and accessories you’ll need, such as sheets, blankets, and even pillowcases.

Most twin size comforter/sheet sets run for around $35, which is a very reasonable price.

- Transportability:

Twins are very light and thus, very easy to move around. If you’re looking to move into a new house or even just rearranging the room, you’ll have no trouble moving a twin bed-frame as opposed to something heavier like a queen or a full-on bunk-bed. Again, it depends on the material, but for the most part, most twin bed frames are extremely lightweight. 

This will be handy for you if you’re someone who likes to move your furniture around a lot, as some of us here can testify. In terms of movement, the difference between twin and twin XL isn’t really as clear cut as the others.

Twin XL Mattress

Now for the twin XL, the larger cousin of the typical twin bed. This one has the exact same width dimensions as the normal twin, but with much longer length at 80”.

This makes the bed a full 39”x80”, giving it the typical length of a queen with the width of a twin. Like its smaller relative, the twin XL has several things running for and against its favor, so lets’ cover them all here, shall we?

- Pros and Cons:

  • More foot space (no dangling feet at night)
  • Transportability
  • Same price as its cousin

This all looks pretty good, but of course, we have to cover its cons as well:

  • Takes up more room space

Well, that was easy. Yeah, it really only has one con to it and that’s how much more room lengthwise it takes up versus its counterpart. But honestly, it could have had it a lot worse in the con department, so we can chalk this up as a small win on the part of the XL.

- Size and Foot Room:

Now, yes, the XL is a lot longer than the twin, a full six inches worth. If you’re short on space where you live and looking for a good bed, but you’re a bit on the tall size, then this may be for you. The XL will support most taller sleepers without short-changing them too much on foot room. But again, keep in mind that you’re working with six fewer inches of length here. You’ve got a veritable half a queen to deal with, so make sure to allow for that.

- Price:

Like before, design and material depend on the maker, and the price is going to be a bit higher in regards to the added length, but we’re not looking at a steep hike at all. Twin XL’s range from around $150 plus, so that’s still a great bargain for a quality mattress. 

Again, the bed frames are going to be a little on the higher scale of pricing, but it’s worth it if you’re truly looking to maximize your space in the bedroom.

You’ll find XL accessories for affordable pricing as well in the proper size, ranging from around $20-$50, depending on the outlet and what comes in the sheet and blanket set. You can actually find a decent selection in the back-to-school section since this type of bed frequents college dorms.

- Size Recommendations:

To fit a twin or a twin XL properly, you’re going to want a room with an absolute minimum size of 7’x10′ or 10’x10′ if you’re doubling up in the same room. This is the recommended minimum for optimal space given the size of the two beds.


Honestly, the final decision depends on your particular needs. With the exception of six inches of legroom, there really isn't a difference between a twin and a twin XL.

If you're buying a bed for a child, a normal twin will work just fine. You could always buy the XL if you want your child to maximum usage out of the bed before they get too big and save you a few years before shopping for a new one.

Or if you're looking to double up into one big bed, you can buy two XL's and make a king for half the price of an actual king! Now that's a life hack. Focus on your needs, shop smart, and sleep well, friends.