Looking to purchase a smaller mattress but not sure whether to choose a twin or a full? There is a lot of confusing lingo out there in the mattress world, but our twin vs. full comparison guide is here to help you out. So what actually is the difference?
Twins, sometimes called singles, are the smallest standard beds out there. Fulls, or doubles, are a bit wider overall but smaller than a queen. We will break down the exact dimensions, pros and cons, and considerations below so that you can decide which is the winner for you.
|Twin||Twin XL||Full||Full XL|
Dimensions and Differences
Although they are not the most common bed sizes, these are useful for tighter situations when a smaller footprint is needed and for those who sleep alone.
This choice comes in at around 38 inches wide and 75 inches long. It is the smallest sized bed out there besides a crib mattress, of course. Standards are among the shortest out there and are commonly used in children’s rooms and for single sleepers.
See more: 11 Highest Rated Twin Beds
Sometimes referred to as a double, these beds are 53 inches wide and 75 inches long. It is smaller than a queen—the most commonly purchased bed—but is 15 inches wider than a twin, giving sleepers some extra wiggle room. Couples sometimes sleep on this size, but they are more commonly being used by singles.
Check out our picks for the Best Full-Size Mattresses.
This XL is a bit longer than your standard, measuring 38 inches wide and 80 inches long, great for adults or taller kids.
Learn more: Our 12 Highest Rated Twin XL Beds
And just as you probably guessed, an XL is 5 inches longer than a standard, at 53 inches wide and 80 inches long.
- It is a more affordable option
- It takes up a very small footprint
- It requires inexpensive accessories (sheet sets, bed frames, etc.)
- It’s incredibly easy to move
- There is a lot more space for a single person
- It works well for both adults and children
- Its accessories are easy to find
- It can be squishy for an adult
- It is not as versatile
- Children may grow out of it quickly
- It is slightly more expensive
- It is not as easy to move
- It is not an ideal option for couples
When It’s Good to Use Them
These are extremely useful in really tight situations or for a child making the transition out of the crib into a “big kid’s bed.” Bunk beds most commonly use this choice as well. They are the ultimate space saver—the smallest mattress you can buy, it can fit in any room.
They are a breeze to move because of their size and weight compared to other mattresses, which means that flipping or rotating your mattress (which many brands suggest to prolong the life of your mattress) is not as much of a chore.
You may commonly see XLs in college dorms and hostels because they do not take too much space but are long enough for adults to sleep comfortably on. They can also be great for couples who want an adjustable bed frame because two XLs pushed together are the size of a standard king.
This size is definitely more ideal for single adults because there are 15 extra inches of space from side to side. Although couples could potentially sleep on this size—there would be a little over 26 inches for each person—it would be quite a squeeze. If your master bedroom is extremely small, this could be a good option.
These work well in many situations because they can be used for kids or adults, which is why they are great for guest rooms. More and more parents are skipping the twin option and moving straight into this size because of how versatile it is, allowing their kids to move into their teens with the same sleeping space.
This size will look great in the majority of rooms and will most likely leave plenty of space for other furniture. Accessories are extremely easy to find, as well; any store that sells bedding is almost guaranteed to have sheet sets in this size.
Twins are likely going to be a bit cheaper due simply to the size; though that extra 15 inches in the full is probably going to cost you slightly more. Accessories like sheet sets, bed frames, and pillows (you will probably want two on a bigger bed) will also be more expensive.
The size of the room matters almost just as much as the mattress size; you do not want a bed that is going to overpower the space, but you also don’t want one that will look too small. Fulls generally work best in a room 10 feet by 10 or 10 feet by 12.
Who is Using the Bed
Another key factor is the person sleeping in the bed; a child or small adult will fit just fine in the smallest option, but bigger children and most adults would probably be more comfortable in a full. Those who are taller, especially, would benefit from the extra 5 inches that the XL options offer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are these sizes good for toddlers and kids?
Either would work great for toddlers and kids. A full would leave quite a bit of room for a toddler, but if you are looking for something to keep for years, it would be a great option to grow into.
What are the dimensions in centimeters?
A standard twin is 96.52 centimeters wide and 190.5 centimeters long. XLs are the same width and 203.2 centimeters long.
Standard fulls are 134.62 centimeters wide and 190.5 centimeters long. XLs are also 134.62 centimeters wide and 203.2 centimeters long.
Size really does matter—both beds are ideal for certain situations, but the differences between the two are pretty clear. These probably work best for single sleepers, children, guest rooms, or small spaces. Making your decision based on room size, the person sleeping in the bed, and expense is probably your best bet for a comfortable night’s rest.
Hopefully, our guide helped you on your search for a new mattress. If neither of these options are what you are looking for, take a look at our other guides featuring different sized options.
- The Ultimate Mattress Size Chart and Bed Dimensions Guide
- Twin XL vs. Twin Bed Size: Things to Consider When Purchasing
- Double vs. Full Bed – What To Choose?
- Full vs. Queen Bed – Size Difference Comparison
- Twin vs. Single Bed Size: How Do They Compare?
Jill Zwarensteyn is the Editor for Sleep Advisor and a Certified Sleep Science Coach. She is enthusiastic about providing helpful and engaging information on all things sleep and wellness.