Is a twin mattress always the best choice when shopping for a child? While this may surprise some people, the answer is no, not necessarily. In some cases, it may be better to go with a twin XL. So, what’s the difference between a twin and twin XL? While both mattresses’ widths are the same, a twin XL is longer and may be better suited for teenagers and adults.

Twin vs. Twin XL Comparison

 TwinTwin XL
PriceStarts around $55Starts around $85
Best forYoung childrenTeenagers or adults

Twin Bed Size

At 38” x 75”, a twin bed is the smallest mattress available, aside from a crib. A twin mattress is best used in smaller bedrooms and for young children. Prices can range from the mid $50s to almost $3,000, depending on the quality and the construction materials


  • Very common size, making shopping easy.
  • Suitable for young children ready to leave the crib.
  • Works well in smaller bedrooms.
  • Works well when two children are sharing a bedroom.
  • Costs less than a twin XL.
  • Easy to find blankets, bed frames, and other accessories.


  • May be too short for adults or taller children. 

Twin XL Bed Size

At 38” x 80”, a twin XL is five inches larger than the standard twin mattress. This makes it a better choice for adults, teenagers or older children who may be tall. A twin XL typically costs more than a twin, but the price difference is usually $100 or less. Prices can start around $85 and go as high as $3,500.


  • Suitable for adults, teenagers, and taller children.
  • Provides more space for feet.
  • Is a good solution in a guest bedroom.


  • More expensive than a twin mattress.
  • Can be harder to find blankets and other accessories.
  • Blankets and other accessories may cost more.
  • Not available from all mattress manufacturers. 

Factors to Consider When Deciding Which Size is Best 

Height of the person sleeping in the bed

The most significant factor to consider is the size of the person sleeping in the bed and their age. For a child right out of the crib, a twin may be a good option. But a 10 or an 11-year-old child, who will be sleeping in the bed until they leave for college, may outgrow the twin mattress, making the twin XL a better choice. 

Mattress price

While twin XL mattresses cost a bit more than twins, the difference is not significantly higher. 

Availability of blankets and accessories

Since twin XL mattresses are not as common as twins, it may be more challenging to find a wide variety of bedding options.

Selecting a bed frame

Unless you’re buying an adjustable bed frame that will fit a range of bed sizes, including twin and twin XL, a twin bed frame is not long enough for a twin XL mattress.

Availability from manufacturers

Not all manufacturers make a twin XL mattress. The choice of the mattress’ size may come down to whether your preferred manufacturer makes a twin XL mattress.

Room dimensions

If the bed is going in a particularly small room, it may be a better option to go with the twin mattress. The extra length of the twin XL could be a tight fit in a smaller room.

Room occupancy

If a child has their own room and it is big enough, a twin XL can accommodate their growth. But if two children share a room, twin mattresses may give them more floor space for their other furniture and play.

Final Thoughts

In choosing between a twin XL vs. a twin, it’s essential to make the decision based on the person who will be sleeping in the bed. The two key factors are the height of the person now and the height they’ll be throughout the time they’ll be using the mattress. While the only real difference between a twin and twin XL is the extra five inches in length, that one factor could mean the difference between a child having room to play in their bedroom or an adult having room for their feet.


How much bigger is a twin XL than a twin?At 80 inches in length, a twin XL is five inches longer than a twin, which is 75 inches long. Both sizes are the same width — 38 inches.
Are twin and twin XL sheets the same?Many manufacturers make sheets that will fit on both twin or twin XL mattresses. However, for a twin XL, the corner pockets should be deep enough to account for the extra length.
Will a twin XL mattress fit on a twin frame?Some bed frames are adjustable and will accommodate both a twin and a twin XL mattress. But, at 39” x 75”, many twin bed frames will not be long enough. There are also bed frames made specifically for a twin XL mattress.