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What’s the Difference Between a Twin and a Twin XL?

What’s the Difference Between a Twin and a Twin XL?

Do you remember the bed you used to sleep in while staying in college dorms? Perhaps you were sharing a smaller room with a sibling at one point or another. More likely than not, you were sleeping on a twin bed simply because twin beds are pretty practical for smaller spaces like dorm rooms or shared spaces. 

Surprisingly enough, there are two different types of twin beds, one being your standard twin and the other being a twin XL. The twin XL is five inches longer than a standard twin bed, but here we’ll break down some of the differences on why twins are used instead of twin XLs. There’s a lot more here than one would expect. 

Where Do You See Twin/Twin XL Beds? 

Before going on any further about twin beds, let’s break down where they are typically seen. As mentioned earlier, twin beds are pretty small in size. The size of a typical twin bed is 38” W x 75” L, so the beds are ideal for bedrooms with limited amounts of space or rooms with a lot of other furniture packed into them. 

This is why twin beds are commonly found in dorm rooms or shared living spaces. For instance, a lot of dorms have twin XL beds, with the XL version of a twin having five extra inches on the length to account for taller people. 

Here is a list of some of the places that would be ideal for any sort of twin bed: 

  • Bedrooms meant to house two or more people 
  • Bedrooms with a lack of floor space 
  • Guest rooms 
  • Living quarters with a large number of guests 

In short, twin beds are meant for spaces that are too small for any sort of larger bed size. In terms of deciding whether or not to purchase a twin or a twin XL, that comes down to who will be sleeping in the bed and additional aspects to consider about the room it will be going in.

Read on to learn more about some of those distinctions:

Deciding Between a Twin Bed or a Twin XL: The Smaller Differences

Now that you know where twin beds typically are and what rooms they make the most sense in, let's break down the types of things you should consider when choosing between a twin and a twin XL. It may seem like there isn’t much to it, but read on and there could be some differences that you wouldn’t normally think about! 

Where Will the Bed Go?

First, you should consider the type of room the bed will be going in and the positioning of the bed. A clever way to do this is to build around all the furniture you already know will be going in the room. For instance, do you know you’re going to have a desk up against a wall beneath a window in the space? 

Maybe you have a sizable dresser that you want to place at the foot of your bed. In that case, perhaps a standard twin would be best because a Twin XL could take up any gap that would be in between the bed and the dresser. 

Who Is Sleeping In the Bed?

Again, consider your height or the height of the person that will be using the bed. A twin XL has five extra inches added to the end of the bed. So if you’re deciding between a twin and an XL for someone who is 6 feet tall, then it would probably be a better bet to go with the XL. 

The length of beds usually ranges anywhere from 75” to 80”. Having that extra room that a twin XL provides could ensure that your legs aren’t dangling off the bed when you’re trying to get some shut-eye. 

Here is a shortened list of the things to consider when deciding between a twin or a twin XL: 

  • The height of the person who will be sleeping in the bed 
  • The size of the other furniture that will be in the room 
  • The dimensions of the room itself 
  • Consider how much walking space you would want 
  • Whether or not you want the bed to be on the side of the room or in the middle of the room

Keep these factors in mind when picking between a twin bed and a twin XL, and you will undoubtedly be satisfied with your choice.

Decorating Twin Beds and Twin XL Beds 

One of the trickiest things when buying a twin bed and implementing it into your space is buying the types of sheets or comforters that go specifically on a twin bed. 

Additionally, twin beds present less space for things like pillows and decorative blankets. Once the types of items that are needed for a twin/twin XL are broken down, searching for and buying the items will become much easier! 

Twin and Twin XL Comforters 

Obviously, there are different comforter sizes for different types of beds. Yet, people often can forget that there are different sizes for a twin bed as opposed to a twin XL. 

There are specific comforters that match the size of a twin bed and of a twin XL. So, when you’re considering purchasing a comforter for a standard twin, something like the 3 Piece Pinch Pleat Down Alternative Comforter Set would be good to consider. 

Twin and Twin XL Sheets 

The same goes for certain types of sheets. While you can definitely make sheets meant for a twin work for a twin XL bed, there are plenty of other options that will work with the specific type of twin bed you get.

Purchasing the wrong sheet size can be a hassle to deal with, so make sure you’re getting sheets that are specific to your bed size. Check out these ultra-soft bamboo sheets that would fit on a twin XL. 


While there definitely are not any sort of specifications/differences between bed size and pillow size, the number of pillows you can fit on a twin or a twin XL is two. For some pillows that would be optimal for your twin bed, we suggest Beautyrest® Chill Tech ™ Memory Foam Pillows

A twin XL allows for a little more wiggle room in terms of what you can add to your bed since there is an extra five inches. This could mean that you can add an additional blanket at the end or something of the sort.

Whatever it may be, make sure what you are adding to your twin bed is something that you really love since there is such little space! 

A Final Breakdown: The Differences Between a Twin and a Twin XL and Picking the Best Option for You 

Now that we have gone through some of the main differences between a twin bed and a twin XL, let’s do a final refresher on the main differences between the two and how to pick which one will be best for your needs. 

Sizing Differences 

An average twin bed measures 38” W x 75” L, whereas a twin XL has an extra five inches on the end of the bed. Consider this when thinking about your personal height, how much extra space you want on your bed, and so forth. 


Remember that twin beds look and fit best in a smaller setting, such as a guest room or a dorm. Keep the room size in mind, along with what other items will be going in the room, when picking between a twin and a twin XL.

If you have larger pieces of furniture, plan out and measure that there will be enough space for your twin/twin XL, along with some walking and floor space to spare. 


Remember that things like sheets and comforters have different sizes for twins and twin XLs. Again, this may seem like a simple and obvious truth, but it can be a pain if you end up ordering the wrong bedding materials. Additionally, make any sort of additions you add to your bed setup count since a twin offers limited space.


While it may seem like there are not many differences between a twin and a twin XL, there are plenty of ways that these two beds bring about challenges in getting bedding materials together and setting up a room.

Remember to get the proper sheets/comforter set for the type of twin you purchase. Keep in mind its measurements when placing it in your room, and a twin or twin XL should work perfectly in your space! 


Mattress Sizes and Bed Dimensions | Sleepopolis

Mattress Size Chart & Bed Dimensions | 2022 Guide | U.S. News

Twin vs Twin XL | Sleep Foundation

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