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Last Updated September 4, 2023
The "Twin XL vs. Full Mattress" debate best suits single sleepers. When it comes to selecting the perfect mattress, single sleepers often find themselves having to make an important decision between the two options. While one of these mattress sizes offers greater length, the other offers greater width. The difference between a twin XL bed and a full-size bed also seeps into factors like cost, durability, bedroom size, etc.
In this comprehensive guide, we'll compare a twin XL bed against a full-size bed to help you choose the right one. We'll also discuss their pros and cons, consider your preferences, and compare them against other standard mattress sizes. Let's find out what your ideal mattress size is, shall we?
Starting out, we'll go over the mattress dimensions of a twin XL and full mattress and describe them in brief.
A twin XL-size mattress measures 38 inches in width and 80 inches in length. The "XL" in their name signifies 5 inches of extra length over a standard twin mattress. The 80-inch length makes a twin XL mattress suitable for taller sleepers (above 6 ft.). The 38-inch width makes a twin XL a comfortable fit in smaller spaces, such as college dorm rooms, children's rooms, and guest rooms.
A full-size mattress measures 54 inches in width and 75 inches in length. While twin-size beds (both standard twin and twin XL) are a better fit for thin/young adults, full-size beds are often seen as the ideal mattress size for average-weight/older single sleepers.
Full beds share the same length (75 inches) as standard twin beds, which is 5 inches shorter than twin XL beds. This makes a full bed better suited for shorter sleepers (below 6 ft.). However, the 54-inch width of a full bed surpasses what twin XL beds offers, allowing ample space for movement.
Cost-Effective - Twin XL mattresses are more affordable than larger mattress sizes due to the lesser materials required to make them. Budget-conscious shoppers can often score a high-quality twin XL mattress. Moreover, twin XL accessories, like twin XL fitted sheets, can also cost you less.
Suitable for Single Sleepers - If you're a thin/average-weight solo sleeper who doesn't move around much when sleeping, then a twin XL mattress can usually provide sufficient sleeping space.
Provides Extra Length - The added 5 inches in length (compared to a standard twin mattress) allows the twin XL mattress to provide more legroom for tall sleepers.
Space-Saving - Twin XL mattresses only require a minimum room size of around 7 by 10 feet, making them a great floor space-saving option for smaller bedrooms, studio apartments, and shared living spaces.
Lightweight - As they contain fewer materials than larger mattress sizes, twin XL beds are usually lightweight and easier to move.
Compatible With Bunk Bed Frames - Twin XL mattresses can be well-suited for smaller bed frames, such as bunk beds. This can allow more than one sleeper in a room when two twin XL mattresses are present.
Unsuitable for Couples - Twin XL mattresses are designed for single sleepers and may not accommodate couples well enough, especially if both partners prefer having more personal space.
Provides Limited Width - If you're an average-weight/heavyweight person who likes moving around at night, perhaps shifting sleeping positions, then a twin XL mattress may not provide enough space.
Lesser Versatility - While twin XL mattresses are good enough for certain individuals, they may not be as versatile for others. For instance, if you occasionally have heavy people/couples as guests, then a twin XL won't be enough for the guest room.
Limited Selection - Compared to a standard twin or full mattress, a twin XL mattress might have a slightly more limited selection of bedding accessories and design options.
Ample Sleeping Space - Full mattresses offer 16 inches of extra space (width) compared to twin XL mattresses, providing extra room for single sleepers to stretch out comfortably. A full mattress may even be able to fit two adults, given that they are both thin and short.
Ideal for Single Sleepers - Full-size mattresses can often accommodate average-weight/heavyweight sleepers who need more space than twin mattresses.
Offers Versatility - Since a full-size mattress can accommodate single sleepers better than a twin-size mattress, it can be used in various settings. For example, a full-size mattress can be a better choice in guest rooms, especially for guests who require more sleeping space.
Budget-Friendly - Though bigger than twin XL mattresses, full-size mattresses are still more affordable than larger mattress sizes like queen or king. They're definitely an attractive option for those seeking a balance of size and cost.
Wider Selection - Full beds are generally much more popular than twin XL beds, making it easier to find full-size bedding accessories, bed frames, and bed designs.
Offers Limited Length - Full mattresses are 75 inches long, which is the same length as a regular twin bed. This amount of length might not provide enough legroom for taller individuals (6 feet tall and above).
Additional Space Requirements - A full mattress requires, at minimum, a room size of 10 by 12 feet. Thus, it might not be suitable for smaller bedrooms where space-saving is a priority.
Higher Accessories Costs - Though easier to find, full-size mattress accessories and bed frames can be more expensive than twin XL options, owing to their larger size.
Less Motion Isolation - If you're sharing a full mattress with a partner, then you will be sleeping close to each other. This means less motion isolation compared to what you get from larger beds.
Finding out whether a twin XL or full mattress suits you best depends on a few factors. These factors include - Bedroom size, sleeping preferences, sleep partners, budget, health conditions, future use, and reusability.
Let's start out with bedroom size. Smaller bedrooms would obviously do well with a twin XL mattress, while larger bedrooms can contain a full-size mattress. This ensures enough space for movement and furniture placement while keeping the bedroom aesthetic consistent.
Think about your sleep habits and sleep partners next. If you constantly move around during the night, or if your bed is supposed to hold more than one person, then a twin XL bed won't provide enough space. Thus, a full-size bed becomes the suitable option here.
However, full mattresses are generally costlier than twin XL mattresses, sometimes by $100 or more, so take into account the budget you possess. When assessing your budget, ensure that you save some for additional accessories, such as bedding and bed frames. But keep in mind - the bigger the bed, the costlier the bedding.
Budgetary concerns aside, don't forget to consider any health conditions such as back pain, arthritis, and restless sleeping. Such health conditions may require more space to move around, so ensure that you choose a mattress size that caters best to your nighttime comfort.
Finally, we have the future use and reusability scenarios. Consider your plans for the mattress in the long run. If you expect to move to a larger living space or need a bed for the foreseeable future, a full-size mattress might be a more versatile choice.
Moreover, if you plan to use the mattress beyond its primary purpose (e.g., in guest rooms or as a daybed), consider which size would best fit different scenarios.
We've looked at how twin XL and full mattresses compare against each other. Now let's take a brief look at how they fare against other standard mattress sizes, such as -
Crib mattresses are designed to fit newborns, babies, and toddlers. The standard crib mattress size is much smaller than the twin XL and full-size mattresses, deeming them unfit for adult use.
The standard twin bed size, also known as a single mattress, shares the same width as the twin XL bed size but is 5 inches shorter. When it comes to a twin vs. full-size bed, however, they share the same length, but a full mattress is 16 inches wider.
The queen-size mattress triumphs over both the twin XL mattress and the full-size mattress. Queen-size beds share the same length as a twin XL but offer 22 inches more in width. Compared to a full bed, queen beds offer 6 inches of extra width and 5 inches of extra length. Overall, queen mattresses are a more ideal choice for couples. A queen bed does, however, cost more.
A twin XL mattress shares the same length as a king bed but has only half the width. So, essentially, the king-size mattress dimensions contain two twin XL beds placed side-by-side. Compared to full beds, king beds are 22 inches wider and 5 inches longer, offering more on each front. King mattresses are ideal for couples and families.
A split king bed and a split queen bed, as their names suggest, are the regular king and queen beds split from the middle. So the split king-size mattress is two twin XL mattresses put together, while the split queen-size mattress is two 30 x 80 inch mattresses put together. Split-type mattresses allow sleepers on each side of the bed to customize their sides individually. They also minimize/eliminate motion transfer.
The California King mattress is 34 inches wider and 4 inches longer than a twin XL mattress. Compared to a full mattress, Cal King mattresses are 18 inches wider and 9 inches longer. The additional length offered by Cal King beds makes them even more comfortable for taller sleepers.
NOTE: While the Crib, Twin, Twin XL, and Full mattresses do not require that much bedroom space to accommodate, the Queen, King, and California King-size mattresses require large rooms. King and Cal King beds may ideally be placed in a master bedroom.
No, 2 people cannot comfortably sleep on a twin XL mattress (38 x 80 inches). Twin XL mattresses are most suitable for tall, single sleepers.
No, a twin XL mattress will not fit a full bed. Twin XL mattresses (38 x 80 inches) are 16 inches narrower and 5 inches longer than full-size mattresses (54 x 75 inches).
The twin XL-size mattress is not bigger than a full-size mattress, as the full-size bed is 16 inches wider. However, twin XL mattresses are 5 inches longer than full-size mattresses, making them suitable for tall sleepers.
The twin XL (38 x 80 inches) is closer to a twin mattress (38 x 75 inches) than a full mattress (54 x 75 inches). Twin XL mattresses are only 5 inches longer than a standard twin mattress. Full-size mattresses, however, are 16 inches wider than both twin XL and twin mattresses.
The difference between a twin and a twin XL mattress is 5 inches in length. A standard twin mattress is 75 inches long, while a twin XL mattress is 80 inches long. So, if you are taller and need extra legroom, the twin XL would be the better option. On the other hand, if bedroom space is a concern, the standard twin mattress could be a more suitable choice.
Twin sheets do not usually fit twin XL mattresses, as there's a length difference of 5 inches between them. Twin XL mattresses are better fitted with twin XL sheets.
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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.