Single Vs. Twin Mattress Sizes

Written by Zulekha Nishad

Last Updated July 8, 2024

You know, when you're setting up your new place, a bed and mattress are key essentials, right? However, when you're a solo sleeper and start exploring which bed is the right fit for you, the classic question of single vs. twin beds emerges. Yes, understanding mattress sizes can be quite challenging. Even though the labels try to help, there's often confusion about the differences between these two. So, let's make it super clear and break down the distinctions between single and twin beds in a way that's a breeze to understand. Ready to get started?

single vs twin bed size

Key Takeaways:

  • Single and Twin mattresses are interchangeable terms for mattresses that measure 38 inches in width and 75 inches in length.
  • Twin beds are ideal for compact spaces, cost-effective, and perfect for solo sleepers.
  • Twin mattresses are not compatible with taller sleepers or those who desire shared sleeping arrangements.
  • Twin XL mattresses closely resemble standard twins but feature an extra 5 inches in length, making them a great option for taller individuals.
  • Full, Queen, King, and California King mattresses are other standard size options available in the US, catering to different needs for space and comfort.

What Is the Difference Between Single Vs Twin Bed Size?

The short answer - NONE. Single and Twin are actually interchangeable terms for a mattress measuring 38 inches in width and 75 inches in length. These mattresses are designed for single sleepers and children outgrowing the crib mattress. They are also best suited for compact spaces.

In the past, "Single" was the go-to term, but nowadays, "Twin" has taken the spotlight in common usage. This shift is universal in most countries, although a few, like Australia, still hang on to the good old "Single." The term's origin story involves hotel rooms, where they would often place two single beds (hence the birth of "twin" single beds) in the same room.

You might come across twin beds that seem destined to be bought and used as a pair, but surprisingly – it's not a must. The dimensions of both Twin and Single beds are the same, making them identical. So, whether you call it Single or Twin, you're getting the same snug fit.

kid sleeping on a single bed

Pros of a Twin Bed

Let's take a look at the major benefits of a twin bed:

Perfect for Compact Spaces

The compact size of Twin beds allows for efficient utilization of space. This makes them an ideal choice for bedrooms with limited dimensions or multifunctional rooms where maximizing available area is paramount.


Twin beds are cost-effective, catering to those with budget constraints. The initial savings on the bed frame and mattress extend to more affordable bedding. This flexibility allows for budget allocation to additional furnishings, making twin beds a practical choice for those prioritizing quality on a constrained budget. The lower cost also renders them suitable for children's rooms, guest spaces, and temporary living arrangements.

latex mattress

Cons of a Twin Bed

Now, let's move on to the drawbacks:

Not Compatible With Taller Sleepers

For people above average height, a twin bed may not provide sufficient legroom, potentially leading to discomfort during sleep. Taller sleepers may need to explore larger bed options to ensure a more comfortable night's rest.

Designed for Solo Sleepers

Twin beds are primarily designed for solo sleepers. While this is advantageous for those who prefer to sleep alone or have limited space, it becomes a limitation for those who desire shared sleeping arrangements. If the intention is to accommodate more than one sleeper, opting for a larger bed size becomes necessary to ensure adequate space and comfort for both individuals.

Variations of a Twin Mattress

Twin mattresses have a variation called Twin XL. So, what is this Twin vs. Twin XL debate all about?

Well, the Twin XL mattresses closely resemble standard twins in terms of width but feature an extra 5 inches in length. This results in a Twin XL bed measuring 38 inches wide and 80 inches long.

The added length of the Twin XL mattress proves to be of significant advantage, particularly for those taller than 6 feet. It prevents the common issue of feet hanging over the edge, providing a more comfortable sleep experience.

Other Mattress Sizes

Below, we have listed the standard mattress sizes in the US other than Twin and Twin XL.

Full Mattress

full size mattress dimensions

Full size bed dimensions

  • Dimensions in inches: 54 X 75 inches
  • Dimensions in cm: 137.16 X 190.5 cm
  • Dimensions in feet: 4.5 X 6.25 feet

The full mattress size offers more space than a Twin, making it suitable for those who desire a bit more room to stretch out while still maintaining a compact footprint. The recommended room size for a full mattress is around 9.6 x 10.6 feet, with an ideal bed frame size ranging from 56 to 59 inches in width and 77 to 80 inches in length.

Queen Mattress

queen size mattress dimensions

Queen size bed dimensions

  • Dimensions in inches: 60 X 80 inches
  • Dimensions in cm: 152.4 X 203.2 cm
  • Dimensions in feet: 5 X 6.66 feet

Queen mattresses are an excellent option for couples or small families, accommodating two adults comfortably and perhaps a child or pet. The minimum recommended room size for a queen mattress is 10 x 10 feet, and the optimal bed frame size falls within the range of 62 to 65 inches in width and 82 to 85 inches in length.

King Mattress

king size mattress dimensions

King size bed dimensions

  • Dimensions in inches: 76 X 80 inches
  • Dimensions in cm: 193 X 203 cm
  • Dimensions in feet: 6.33 X 6.6 feet

A King size mattress is a spacious choice suitable for couples, families with up to four sleepers, or individuals who simply prefer extra room to move around. The required room size for a king bed is at least 12 x 12 feet, and the ideal bed frame size ranges from 78 to 81 inches in width and 82 to 85 inches in length.

California King Mattress

california king size mattress dimensions

California king size bed dimensions

  • Dimensions in inches: 72 X 84 inches
  • Dimensions in cm: 183 X 213.5 cm
  • Dimensions in feet: 6 X 7 feet

California King beds are a beneficial option for taller individuals and those with larger bedrooms. The minimum recommended room size for a California king mattress is also 12 x 12 feet, and the optimal bed frame size falls within the range of 74 to 77 inches in width and 86 to 89 inches in length.

natural and organic latex mattress topper

How to Choose the Right Mattress Size?

Choosing the right mattress involves thoughtful consideration of your room dimensions, the number and size of sleepers, individual height, compatibility with existing furniture, and budget constraints. Taking the time to assess these factors will contribute to a satisfying and comfortable sleeping environment.

To ease the mattress-buying process, let's discuss each of these factors in detail:

Room Size

Measure the dimensions of your bedroom before selecting a mattress size. The mattress should not only fit comfortably within the space but also leave room for other essential furniture and allow easy movement around the bed. A crowded room can make it challenging to access the bed and may affect the overall aesthetics.

Number of Sleepers

If you are a solo sleeper, a twin or full-size mattress might suffice. However, for couples and families with children or pets, it's recommended to opt for a queen, king, or California king size to ensure adequate space for all the sleepers.

Height of the Sleeper

Consider the height of the tallest person who will be using the mattress. A taller individual may find a twin or full-size mattress too short, leading to discomfort during sleep. Opting for a queen, king, or California king size provides additional length, accommodating taller sleepers more comfortably.

Bedding and Accessories

Check the specifications of your bed frame to ensure it can support the chosen mattress size adequately. Some bed frames may have limitations on size or require additional support for larger mattresses. Moreover, larger mattresses often necessitate special bedding, including sheets, duvets, and bedspreads.


Larger mattresses generally come with a higher price tag. However, prices can vary based on brand, materials, and features. Set a realistic budget and explore various options within that range to find the best value for your money.

Keep in mind that a mattress is a long-term investment in your sleep and overall well-being. While budget considerations are important, prioritize quality and comfort to ensure a good night's rest.


To conclude, whether you are planning to purchase a twin or a single mattress, it's important to remember that they are essentially the same size and have no differences in terms of comfort or space. However, before buying one, make sure to consider factors like available room space, sleeping partner, height of the sleeper, and your overall budget.

natural and organic pillows


What are the Dimensions of a Single Size Bed?

The dimensions of a single size bed can vary slightly based on the country and region. In the United States, a standard single size bed, also known as a twin bed, measures 38 X 75 inches. In the United Kingdom, a single size bed is usually 36 X 75 inches.

Can I Use a Full Size Bed Frame for My Single or Twin Mattress?

While it is technically possible to use a full size (double) bed frame for a single or twin mattress, it may not be the most practical choice. Full size bed frames are designed for larger mattresses and may not provide proper support or aesthetic proportions for a smaller mattress. It's recommended to use a frame specifically designed for a single or twin mattress to ensure the best fit and support.

Are Twin Mattresses Too Small for Adults?

Twin mattresses are generally considered too small for most adults, especially for those who prefer more sleeping space. The dimensions of a twin mattress (38" x 75") may be sufficient for children, teenagers, or smaller adults, but many adults find them too narrow for comfort. For adult use, larger mattress sizes such as full, queen, or king are more common.

Can Two People Sleep on a Twin Size Bed?

While it is technically possible for two people to sleep on a twin size bed, it is not ideal for long-term comfort. The narrow width of a twin mattress (38 inches) makes it challenging for two adults to have enough space to sleep comfortably. Twin beds are more suitable for single sleepers, children, or guest rooms where space is limited.

Who Can Sleep on a Single Size Bed Comfortably?

Single size beds are suitable for children, teenagers, and smaller adults who find the dimensions of the bed adequate for their comfort. They are commonly used in children's bedrooms, guest rooms, or smaller living spaces where space is a limiting factor.

Is a UK Single Bed the Same as a US Twin Bed?

While both the UK single bed and the US twin bed are designed for single sleepers, there is a slight difference in dimensions. A UK single bed is typically 36 inches wide and 75 inches long, whereas a US twin bed is 38 inches wide and 75 inches long. Therefore, the UK single bed is slightly narrower than the US twin.

Do Two Twin Beds Make a King?

No, two standard twin beds do not make a king-size bed. Standard twin beds are 38 inches wide and 75 inches long, while a king-size bed is significantly larger at 76 inches in width and 80 inches in length. However, if you want to create a king-size bed, you can use two twin XL (extra-long) mattresses. Twin XL mattresses come with the same width as standard twins but have an additional 5 inches in length, making them 80 inches long.

Can I Use a Single or Twin Bed for My Dorm Room?

In dormitories, where space is limited, opting for single or twin beds proves to be a practical choice. A single/twin bed typically measures 38 inches in width and 75 inches in length. If space allows, you might want to consider a twin XL bed for additional length. Also, it's a common practice in dorms to use twin mattresses in bunk beds to optimize space and cater to multiple sleepers. Always be sure to consult the dorm room guidelines and measurements to confirm that your chosen bed fits comfortably within the available space.

Are Twin Mattresses Worth It?

Yes, twin mattresses are absolutely worth it for small spaces like dorms or kids' rooms. If you're on a budget or need a bed for one, a twin mattress is a smart choice. They're perfect for bunk beds, too, saving space without skimping on comfort. However, if you need a little extra legroom, go for a twin XL.

Related blog posts:

1. Mattress Sizes Chart and Bed Dimensions Guide

2. Kids Mattress Sizes

3. Twin Vs Twin XL Mattress Size Comparison

4. King vs. California King

5. Twin vs. Full vs. Queen Mattress Size Comparison

Disclaimer: What is said in this article has been referenced from multiple sources and is intended only for educational and informational purposes. Please note that no content in this article is a substitute for professional advice from a qualified doctor or healthcare provider. Always consult an experienced doctor with any concerns you may have regarding a health condition or treatment, and never disregard any medical suggestions or delay in seeking treatment because of something you read here.