When choosing between a twin size bed and a twin XL size bed, there are a few differences in the actual bedding sizes to consider. While both are comparable in width and made for a single sleeper, the twin XL is longer -- hence the XL "eXtra Long" handle. That extra long moniker can cause some confusion when shopping for bedding. Understanding the exact differences in length can help make your purchase process easier.
What Is the Difference Between Twin and Twin XL?
For a twin XL, the main feature is in the length. The difference between a twin and a twin XL mattress is a few inches, but those inches make a difference for tall teenagers or college-aged students who use twin XL beds. Twin beds are also known as standard beds or single beds, and are perfect for young children or small bedrooms.
How Long Is a Twin XL Bed?
- A twin mattress is 39 inches wide by 75 inches long
- A twin XL mattress is 39 inches wide by 80 inches long
The extra length makes the twin XL mattress and bedding more comfortable. That is why twin XL mattresses are commonly used in college dormitories. For comparison, a queen size bed is just as long as a twin XL but nearly doubled in width. A queen sized bed is enough for two adults to sleep side-by-side. You would be a little squished sleeping two in a twin XL. Fun fact: Two twin XL beds pushed together are roughly the same dimensions as a king size bed.
- Queen bed dimensions are 60 inches wide by 80 inches long
- King size bed dimensions are 76 inches wide by 80 inches long
Can You Fit Twin Sheets on a Twin XL Bed?
The extra length of a twin XL mattress means that you should look for bedding with sufficient length to accommodate the larger size, especially for mattress pads and fitted bottom sheets. Some sources use the same dimensions for twin and twin XL flat sheets, blankets and comforters. Your favorite twin blanket size may fit just as well on a twin XL. Twin XL size is also known as twin extra long, extra long twin, extended twin or TXL. These terms are often used interchangeably. While exact measurements of the mattress and the bedding components vary from one manufacturer to another, the average size comparisons are as follows:
- A twin mattress pad is 39 inches wide by 75 inches long
- A twin XL mattress pad is 39 inches wide by 80 inches long
When shopping for a mattress pad, remember that these measurements refer to the top dimensions of the mattress pad or fitted sheet after it has been stretched over the mattress. To get a mattress pad or fitted sheet that fits well, you must also know your mattress depth, or thickness_,_ and select a pad or fitted sheet with an appropriate pocket depth.
During back-to-school season you'll find twin XL bedding for sale, aimed at college-bound students heading to the dorm room. Before you make your purchase, keep the twin vs. twin XL dimensions in mind. Twin flat sheets are typically 66 inches wide by 96 inches long. Some manufacturers provide the same size for twin XL flat sheets, so the two sizes may be used interchangeably. Other manufacturers provide longer sheets, up to 102 inches long, for twin XL sizes. Twin blanket sizes average 66 inches wide by 90 inches long. The same size is used for twin XL mattresses, so the two sizes are equivalent. Twin comforters are usually 68 inches wide by 88 inches long. Twin XL comforters are 68 inches wide by 90 inches long, or they may be longer.
Can You Fit a Twin XL on a Twin Frame?
A twin XL mattress will be too long for a standard twin frame. While the difference in length is only around 5 inches, it is enough that it may not fit twin frame beds that are enclosed, like daybeds, bunk beds, or loft beds. A twin boxspring can hold a twin XL, but the extra 5 inches will hang over the edge, interfering with support. This also may put strain on the mattress over time. Opt for a twin XL frame to go with your twin XL mattress.
Jan Burch has written about home, garden, wellness and other topics since 1992. Her articles have appeared in ByLine, Living Natural and New Mexico Woman. Based in Albuquerque, Burch is a Feng Shui consultant and Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner. A life-long crafting enthusiast, she holds a master's degree from the University of California.