Twin vs. Full: What’s the Difference?

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Mattresses come in a range of different dimensions to accommodate a variety of sleepers and room sizes. Twin and full mattresses are two popular mattress size options for those with smaller rooms and average size body types.

A twin mattress and a full size mattress are the same length. However, a full size mattress is 16 inches wider than a twin. This means when you opt for a full size mattress over a twin, you’ll need to make sure you have enough space for it. 

In this article, we’ll help you decide whether a twin or full size bed is right for your room, and we’ll address all the relevant factors to choosing the right mattress, including how many people will share the bed and their comfort needs. 

Twin Mattress Size

A twin bed measures 38 inches by 75 inches. These dimensions necessitate a twin bed be set up in a room that measures at least 7 feet by 10 feet. This specific room size recommendation comes from the 2-foot rule, which states you should have a minimum of two feet of open space around the outside of your bed for easier mobility around your bedroom. 

Pros

Due to their smaller size, twin size mattresses are lightweight and easier to move than their full size counterparts. In addition, they are perfect for single sleepers of all ages, from kids to adults. 

If you’re shopping on a budget, a twin size bed is a great choice. Those with a small bedroom or studio apartment will easily be able to fit a twin mattress in their room. 

Cons

The only downside to choosing a twin size mattress is its small size. Some larger or taller individuals may feel too cramped when sleeping in a twin bed. Moreover, a twin bed cannot accommodate couples or those wishing to co-sleep with their children. 

Full Mattress Size

The dimensions of a full (double) size bed are 54 inches by 75 inches. You’ll need to place your full mattress in a room that measures at least 9 feet 6 inches by 10 feet 6 inches. This allows space for nightstands and increases mobility. 

Pros

Although full size mattresses are larger than twin ones, they will still do well in smaller bedrooms or guest rooms. A full bed has enough room to comfortably sleep one adult with one child or two children. Standard fulls are great for those with one or several children. Larger framed individuals can enjoy the extra width this bed offers.

Cons

There are a few downsides that come with full beds. The first is they are heavier and harder to lift. You may need the help of one or two other people to lift your bed. Full mattresses come with a higher cost than their twin counterparts too. Couples typically do not have enough room in a bed of this size.

Other Standard Mattress Sizes

For taller sleepers and those who need more space than these two mattress sizes offer, there are plenty of other standard sizes to choose from; here are the four most common.

Twin XL

The twin XL mattress adds 5 inches of extra legroom compared to a twin mattress. This bed measures 38 inches by 80 inches. You’ll want to place your twin XL bed in a room measuring at least 9 feet 5 inches by 10 feet 6 inches. 

This size mattress is suitable for taller individuals with smaller bedrooms or apartments. You’ll also find twin XL mattresses in teen’s college dorm rooms. 

Queen

The queen size mattress is the most popular amongst couples. The dimensions of a queen bed are 60 inches by 80 inches and offers enough space for two adults to sleep comfortably. A queen size bed needs to be set up in a room measuring at least 10 feet by 10 feet. 

King

King size mattresses are perfect for larger or taller couples. The dimensions of a king bed are 76 by 80 inches. A bed of this size needs to be in a room measuring at least 12 feet by 12 feet. King beds have enough room for an adult couple plus one or two small children. 

California King

For couples who want ample personal space to sleep and relax in, a California king size mattress is the best option. This bed measures 72 inches by 84 inches, so Cal kings are 4-inch longer but 4-inch narrower than a standard king. This mattress needs to be in a room measuring at least 12 feet by 12 feet. The extra legroom a California king bed offers makes it optimal for very tall sleepers. The added space of a California king mattress makes it a good choice for couples with children. 

Types of Mattresses to Consider

When shopping for a new mattress, you’ll have many different types to choose from. The type of mattress you select will impact your sleep quality, comfort, support, and budget. Here are five of the most popular types of mattresses. 

Airbed

Airbeds are relatively cheap and can be placed directly on the floor or in a bed frame. While these beds aren’t the most durable, they are a good option if you’re on a tight budget or looking for a bed for your spare bedroom. The lightweight nature of this mattress makes it easy to install and move. 

Hybrid

If you are on the fence about getting a latex or memory foam mattress, consider meeting in the middle and getting a hybrid one. Hybrid mattresses are fitting for those who want pressure relief and a moderate amount of support. This type of mattress keeps you cool at night while also making sure you aren’t woken up when your partner moves.

Innerspring

An innerspring mattress is a tried-and true-mattress type that many sleepers are already familiar with. This style of mattress uses a system of springs and coils to provide you with bouncy support. Innerspring beds keep you cool and comfortable all night long. The major downside to these mattresses is a tendency to sag and not enough support for some sleepers. 

Latex

Latex mattresses are best for sleepers in search of a responsive bed with a moderate amount of support. This type of bed offers bouncy support with some body contouring. With this mattress type, you won’t have any difficulty getting out of bed or feeling sunk in. Latex mattresses can be more costly and difficult for one person to move or lift on their own. 

Memory Foam

Memory foam mattresses provide a large amount of support via their contouring design. This type of bed is suitable for sleepers who want to feel cradled and held while they sleep. The motion isolation of a memory foam bed prevents you from waking up when your partner moves in their sleep. 

This mattress type can be expensive and awkward to move. For those who get hot at night or suffer from night sweats, consider opting for a memory foam mattress with a cooling gel layer to keep you comfortable all night long. 

Key Shopping Factors

Which type of mattress you ultimately choose to go with depends on several factors. To choose the best mattress for your needs, make sure you test it out in-store before you buy. Here are some key factors to look at: 

  • Room size
  • Sleeper size
  • Number of sleepers
  • Budget
  • Sleep position
  • Comfort
  • Support needs
  • Health conditions

FAQs

What do two twin beds equal?

Two twin beds are not comparable in size to any of the standard available mattress sizes. However, two twin XL beds do equal out to be the same size as a standard king size bed. This type of bed is oftentimes referred to as a split king mattress and is best paired with an adjustable bed frame. 

Can I put queen sheets on a full bed?

You can technically pair a set of standard queen sheets with a full bed. However, whenever possible, it is best to use the correct size sheets for your bed. When using queen mattress sheets on a full bed, you’ll have extra material width and lengthwise. 

Therefore, you will need to use fitted sheets with deep or extra deep pockets to keep your sheets snug. You can also purchase sheet straps or sheet suspenders to prevent your sheets from slipping or bunching. 

Is a single and twin bed the same?

Single and twin beds are the same size. Both beds measure 38 inches by 75 inches and are made to sleep just one person. For those who want a bed smaller than a single or twin, consider going with a small single. 

Small single mattresses are perfect for toddler beds and small children. This size bed measures 30 inches by 75 inches. Like twin beds, small single beds need to be in a room that measures at least 7 feet by 10 feet. 

Is a full bed two twins?

It isn’t possible to compare the size of twin beds to that of a full size bed. A full mattress is the same length as a twin one, but it’s 16 inches wider. If you were to use two twin mattresses in place of a full one, you wouldn’t be able to use full size bedding or bed frame with it. Instead of using two twins to sleep two people, consider investing in a queen bed. 

Can I put a twin-size mattress on a full-size bed frame?

You cannot put a twin-size mattress on a full-size bed frame. Because the bed frame is wider than the mattress itself, the mattress won’t stay in place or be adequate support. For proper support, always pair a mattress with the correct size bed frame

Conclusion

Twin and full size mattresses are both great options if you’re low on space or on a budget. A twin size mattress sleeps one single adult, child, or teenager. In comparison, a wider full size mattress can sleep one adult plus one child or two children. 

Upon choosing a mattress size, you’ll need to select a mattress type. The type of mattress you choose depends on your size, support needs, budget, and sleep position. Choosing a high-quality and appropriately sized mattress is essential for a good night’s sleep.

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