twin xl vs full

Comparing The Twin XL vs Full Mattress Sizes

Better Slumber

There are multiple factors to consider while shopping for a mattress. One of the major factors is mattress size. If you have a small space, you’ll definitely opt for a small bed.

That squarely puts you in the hands of either a Twin XL or Full size bed and mattress combination. That’s because both of these common sizes fit well in a studio apartment or small bedrooms.

Now, the Twin XL mattress offers an additional length of 5″ compared to the Full size. So this makes the bed a better option for taller individuals. On the other hand, the Full offers about 16 inches more width than the Twin XL give you more space to sprawl.

That said, let’s look at the details of each of these beds.

Twin XL Size Mattress

twin xl mattress

Twin XL measurements generally stand at 38 inches wide by 80 inches long, but some manufacturers produce them at 39 inches long, like in the Leesa mattress pictured above. If you’re wondering how long is a Twin XL mattress in feet, it’s just over 6 foot 6 inches. So, if you need more legroom than a standard Twin mattress, you should consider choosing the XL as this is the only difference between Twin and Twin XL sizes.

The Twin XL is comparable to one-half of a standard King size mattress (76W” x 80L”), but is too thin to accommodate more than one adult. It’s sufficient for adults who don’t roll around too much, taking up large areas of the bed, or perhaps for people who don’t sleep with pets or additional pillows/blankets beside them.

A bedroom with minimal space is ideal for a Twin XL mattress. Such rooms can accommodate the bed and furniture and still provide some decent walking space. That is why the Twin XL is standard in college dormitories and hostels. Also, families with taller children but with smaller rooms opt for this mattress size.

Families can also use Twin XL bunk bed frames to make use of little space in their homes. Interestingly, sleepers can combine two Twin XL mattresses to create a larger sleeping space. In theory, that would then give you the dimensions of a King size bed, thus making what’s known as a Split King.

Advantages Of a Twin XL

There are lots of benefits coming with purchasing a Twin XL size bed/mattress. Some of the pros of this size include:

  • Require less space: A Twin XL has an overall size of 3,120 square inches. This size is much smaller than a Full, which occupies 4,050 square inches. So if you have a small bedroom, especially with a particularly narrow space, then this is an ideal mattress for you.
  • It’s the longer option: The Twin XL length is its strongest selling point because it accommodates sleepers up to 6’6″. That means even adults can use this mattress size. On the contrary, the Full-size mattress length will accommodate sleepers up to 6’2 ″ tall. So, the Twin XL offers more legroom for taller people.
  • Friendly priced: The price points of Twin XL and Full are rarely similar for the same brand. In most cases, the Twin XL mattress is cheaper than a Full/Double version of a similar model. So, if space isn’t an issue, the Twin XL prices would be much more budget-friendly.
  • Kids can share: Although it may not be the most comfortable night’s sleep, two young children could share a Twin XL bed, whether side by side or top and tail.

Disadvantages Of a Twin XL

  • Narrow: The Twin XL has less width, putting it 16 inches narrower than a Full mattress. Therefore, overweight or plus-size sleepers who need extra space won’t find this size ideal for them.
  • Not readily available as the Full: The Twin XL isn’t widely available on the market like the Full/Double, especially in stores. However, online marketplaces are more abundant. So, if you are looking to buy a Twin XL mattress, you may have to do a little more searching, or stick with a brand that closest suits your needs.
  • Less bed choice: Finding a Twin XL bed frame that you love can be difficult, as there is less choice on the market when compared to a Full.
  • It doesn’t offer enough space for couples: The relatively narrow Twin XL dimensions mean that it isn’t comfortable for grownups. Adults couples will feel cramped in such a narrow space.
  • Availability of bed sheets: Twin XL sheets are quite hard to come by, and when you find them, they may not be exactly the set you want due to limited choice on the market.

Who Should Buy A Twin XL Mattress?

Any person falling into one or more of the following categories will appreciate a Twin XL mattress:

Those who need extra length but have a constraint of space

When comparing the Twin XL vs Full, at 5 inches longer, the former is especially good for tall people who don’t need the extra width of a Full. So, if your bedroom is narrow but with an extra length, this mattress fits well.

Those on a tight budget

For mattresses, size goes hand in hand with cost. So if you plan to save a few coins on your purchase, the Twin XL is an excellent option.

For guest rooms

We never know how tall our guests may be. So, the necessary length of a Twin XL but the unnecessary extra width of a Full would make a perfect guest mattress.

Creating a King bed

King size mattress dimensions are 76 inches wide by 80 inches long. Therefore, by putting two Twin XL mattresses together side by side, you can create a King bed, which is also known as a Split King.

Sharing couples

For couples who have very different requirements regarding mattress firmness, creating a Split King with two Twin XL mattresses is the best option. You can buy a King bed platform and then choose two Twin XL mattresses of different firmness, or even different brand. Place them together on the bed, and you’ll have the perfect compromise.

Couples with adjustable beds

Still on the subject of Split King and couples, a Twin XL mattress would be required for couples who own a Split King adjustable bed, as no other mattress will fit.

Full Size Mattress (aka Double)

full size bed

Full size mattress dimensions stand at 54 inches wide by 75 inches long. If you’re wondering how long is a Full size mattress in feet, 75 inches converts to approximately 6 foot 3 inches. So, when comparing the Full vs Twin XL, the former may have a length being 5 inches shorter, but the width provides over 16 inches of extra space.

In some countries (like the U.K) Full size mattresses and beds are also called Double. Like the Twin XL, they can be an excellent option for solo sleepers. However, their wider profile makes them ideal for people who share a bed too.

Advantages Of a Full/Double

The advantages of buying the Full size mattress include:

  • Extra space: Though the Full mattress size is 5 inches shorter than the Twin XL, it compensates with its wider stance by 16 inches. So single sleepers who would like a wider space than a Twin mattress will find the Full size ideal.
  • Readily available: Most manufacturers these days keep abundant stock of the Full/Double size mattress, which makes it easy to find compared to the Twin XL.
  • Sharing the bed: If you’re wondering how wide is a Full size bed when split in two, it’s 27 inches. That means two young children can share and comfortably sleep on a Full mattress. Two petite or average bodied adults can also share a Full size bed, but it wouldn’t give much room to move around. Sharing the bed would typically be good for side sleepers as this is much more compact than sleeping on your back.
  • More bed choice: Most manufacturers carry abundant stock and plentiful designs of the Full size bed frame in comparison to the Twin XL.
  • Easier to sell or donate: As this is generally the more common size, there is more demand if it ever came to selling it used or offering “free to collector” classified ads.

Disadvantages Of a Full/Double

  • Higher price-point than the Twin XL: Full size mattress prices differ tremendously from brand to brand, but, in general, they are always more expensive than a Twin XL. Even though they are shorter, the extra width bumps up the price.
  • Too short for tall individuals: If you are taller than 6’3″, the Full size mattress measurements may prove a little tight for your comfort. Feet may overhang off the end, or you may need to curl into a ball while sleeping.
  • Bigger and heavier: The overall size of a Full mattress means it takes up more floor space. This can be a deal-breaker for many. Additionally, the weight is much more than a Twin XL. For example, the Twin XL Puffy Lux weighs 50 lbs while the same model in a Full weighs 63 lbs.

Who Should Buy a Full-Size Mattress?

Couples living in a tight space

For couples who don’t have enough space for a King or Queen size, the Full is a good compromise. It may be tight though, especially for bigger-bodied people.

Solo sleepers not worried about space

The Full bed offers an additional 15 to 16 inches width than the Twin XL. Therefore, for those who have the luxury of a big room and would like to sleep comfortably sprawled out or rolling around, this is a good size to choose. Not too big and not too small.

Those needing a bed that grows with kids

According to the Better Sleep Council, many people prefer Full/Double over the Twin XL for children and teens. The reason is that the extra width allows flexibility so that children can grow, or share.

If you already have a Full bed frame

If you’re happy with the space it takes up and already own a Full size bed frame, it will make sense to buy a mattress of the same size.

Bottom Line

When comparing the Full vs Twin XL, you’ll see that the actual difference between them is more than just in width and length. Various factors, such as price, weight, and availability all come into play. Your buying choice will most likely depend on the availability of space, your sleeping style, budget, body size, and if you have a sleeping companion. With these factors considered, hopefully, you can choose the right mattress.

Related reading: Best Twin mattress