Choosing the right size for your mattress is easy enough, especially when you consider some significant aspects. The bedroom space, the budget, and the number of people using the bed also matter.
With the majority of mattresses coming in six sizes (Twin, twin XL, full/double, queen, king, and California King), it’s pretty understandable why could one get lost when shopping. As if this wasn’t’ difficult enough, some mattress brands also provide models that they can customize in terms of size.
If you’ve managed to cut down your options only to Twin and Twin XL, scroll down to see a detailed look at both of them. By the end of it all, you’re going to know for sure which one to choose.
What are the ups and downs for the Twin?
The Twin is, in fact, the smallest standard mattress size available, and it’s 38″ wide and 75″ long. Hospitals, college dorms, nursing homes, and various healthcare facilities with night accommodation include twin size for the beds.
Here are the main advantages of using a Twin:
- Lower price- you can find a Twin for a little as $300 and up to $600, which makes them cheaper (with $100 or $200) than the Twin XL models. However, it’s not unusual to find Twin and Twin XL coming with the same price
- Lightweight- as it’s rather small, the twin-size mattress is light and easy to move on your own
- Less space required- the Twin is five inches shorter than a twin XL, which recommends it for use in a short bedroom
- Availability: the majority of mattresses today come in twin-size options. The thicker mattresses make an exception, though.
- Kid-friendly- you can use the twin mattress for a standard bunk bed, but also a standalone bed for your kid.
Bells and whistles aside, there are also some downsides for the Twin to consider:
- Not for couples- the twin-size mattress isn’t the right choice for a couple as it’s rather narrow
- Too short and too narrow for some: when it comes to width, the twin mattress isn’t very generous, and it’s not long (it’s 5 inches shorter than the Twin XL). If you’re tall or big, the Twin may not be comfy enough for you.
What are the goods and the bads on Twin XL?
The Twin Extra Long (aka Twin XL) is 80″ long (5″ longer than the Twin) and about 38″ wide. To give you an idea, the twin XL is similar to a one-half of a regular King Size mattress.
Here are the best aspects about the Twin XL:
- Lightweight- even if it’s a bit heavier than the Twin, you’re still going to be able to move it around all alone, with no help from other people
- Long- anyone shorter than 6’8” can use the twin XL without feeling it too small for their needs.
As for the downsides of the twin XL mattresses, here they are:
- The price- more often than not, you’re going to pay at least $50 more for a twin XL than the twin counterpart. It’s pretty standard though that they both come for the same price
- Some may feel it too narrow: even if the Twin XL gives you some extra inches, it’s as wide as the twin counterpart. If you like to cover all space on your bed, a twin XL may be too narrow for you.
- It requires enough space- the Twin XL is rather large for a small bedroom, but it works fine in a standard twin.
- It’s not the best choice for couples- a couple is going to find the Twin XL too narrow. It makes a better option for a single sleeper, though.
How to know which one is good for you?
Truth be told, the main difference between the two sizes (5 inches for the twin XL) is going to mean the world for a tall person. As both the Twin and the Twin XL have a 38” width, it’s the length that makes the difference.
But that’s not the only thing to consider when having to decide between the two. Scroll down for the details:
- How much space there is in the bedroom?
The twin size bed is the smallest that you can get for a bedroom. Even the twin XL (which is 5 inches longer) is going to fit just fine in a standard size bedroom. When you need more space, most bedrooms are going to fit two twin or two twin XL mattresses just fine.
- Side note- Room size considerations
It depends a lot of you’re going to use one or two beds in a room. If you’re using two, just like it was a King bed, you need to measure the room and use an app to take a look at the possible layout that works for your bedroom.
If you’re planning to place two twin or twin XL beds in a room (for your kid’s bedroom or in a college dorm room), you should never undermine the importance of the personal space for each of the person sleeping in the room. You need at least two feet of space on the open side of the bed. Should two people share the room, there should be no less than 4 feet between beds. It’s not a bad idea to use the two, and a half and even three feet rule, which is going to offer 6 feet of personal space for the occupants. Don’t forget to consider the desks, chairs, dressers, and any other pieces of furniture that may impact the private space and the display of the two beds.
You can use the twin beds as if it was a Queen bed (add 2 ft on any side and to the foot, at 6oin wide by 80 in long). You need the room to be at least 9ft wide by 8ft, 8in long without considering the furniture. If there are also dressers, the room would have to be larger for a comfortable stay.
Moreover, if you need to put the Twin XL together as a King bed, you should put the head of the beds on the center of the wall. Make sure you also add 2 feet (at least) on a side and at the foot. It’s going to result in a room that is 10ft, 6in by 8ft, 8 in before making room for other pieces of furniture.
- What body type do you have?
Your body type can help you decide which mattress size makes the better choice. As you cannot judge it by the width, it’s your height that has the final call. If you’re a short person, the extra 5 inches of a twin XL aren’t going to mean much. But if your height is closer to 6 feet (and more), you should set your mind on a twin XL. Even if you’re buying the mattress for your child/teenager, don’t forget that it’s only a matter of time until they may outgrow the classic Twin.
- What’s your sleep position?
How you like to sleep (on a side,/stomach/back/all combined) is going to matter a lot when selecting the size of your mattress. If you like stretching your legs out or love to move around throughout the night, it’s wiser that you go with a twin XL. More often than not, a back sleeper is going to sleep in a narrow and lengthened position. If you like to sleep on a side or in a fetal position, you’re not going to notice any difference between a twin and a twin XL. You should go to a store and try both to figure out which one feels more comfortable.
- Do you sleep with your partner or on your own?
With both the Twin and the twin XL being narrow, it’s apparent that they make better choices for single people sleeping on their own. It’s not that two people aren’t going to fit in a twin or a twin XL, but we all know we need some extra space for fussing until we get in the most comfortable position for our sleep. If you and your loved one are an item, it’s wiser that you start shopping for a full/double size mattress. Twin and twin XL are always a more comfortable option for people sleeping alone.
- Do you have guests in the bed?
Even if you’re not sharing your bed with another adult, your kid or your pet may want to spend some time cuddling in your bed. If that’s your thing, you’re going to have some extra room for your pet to sleep at your feet with the twin XL. It’s a stretch, but it can work if you’re not that picky when it comes to space in your bed. More often than not, you shouldn’t get a twin or a twin XL if your kids hop in the bed every single night. We all know that they do end up sleeping in your bed nine times out of ten.
- How big is your wallet?
Twin and twin XL come with the lowest prices out there, even if you may pay an extra $100 for the XL version. No matter how tight your budget is, you’re always going to have a shot of getting a good quality twin or Twin XL without emptying your pockets.
Do we have a winner or not? Is there a winner?
With the twin size resembling the twin XL on many levels, price including, it’s only the length that is going to help you choose.
A twin XL is going to bring comfort for anyone 6’7″ or shorter, whereas the Twin works for people shorter than 6’2″.
Twin mattresses are an excellent option for children bunk beds that don’t match with a twin XL mattress. If your kid isn’t using a bunk bed, you can choose either of the sizes.
We need to highlight once again that neither the Twin or the twin XL is a good fit for a couple. They’re not giving extra space for a single sleeper either, so keep that in mind when shopping.
We cannot say which one is better, as it all depends on your take on comfort. If you’re still sitting on the fence, it’s better that you go to a store and see for yourself which one works better for you. Don’t hesitate to make an idea with the sleep trials. Once you figure out which size fits your sleeping position better, you can return the one that doesn’t match your needs and likings.