Twin vs. Full Mattress: Which Is Better For You?

When you're looking for a smaller mattress size, you'll usually end up deciding between a Twin and Full bed. Twin beds, also known as single beds, are usually the smallest of the standard mattress sizes you'll be able to find from most retailers. Full mattresses, also known as double beds, are typically the same length, but give you a little more width. They too are widely available from all retailers.
Choosing between the two comes down to what you're using it for, how long you plan on having the bed and some other common factors like cost, room size and sleeping preferences. In this article, we'll go through all of the factors that you should consider to make up your mind between a Twin and Full mattress, including the pros, cons, common uses and alternatives.
Twin Mattress & Full Mattress Comparison
illustration of a twin size dimensions next to full size dimensions
Twin and Full size mattresses are commonly bought for smaller rooms or apartments. Each can fit a single adult comfortably, but the full offers a little more width. Another common option you'll also see is the Twin XL. The Twin XL is the same width as a standard twin size mattress, but has 5 more inches of length and is typically purchased by tall people.
Twin, Twin XL and Full Mattress Dimensions

Twin: 39" L x 75" W
Twin XL: 39" L x 80" W
Full: 54" L x 75" W

Twin Mattress Pros
  • Typically lower cost than Full size beds.
  • Easy to move from room-to-room or house-to-house.
  • Small footprint that's great for smaller bedrooms.
  • More affordable accessories like bed sheet sets, bed frames, pillows and more.
  • Perfect for children.

Full Mattress Pros
  • More width for sleepers to be able to spread out.
  • More comfortable for adults.
  • Can reasonably fit two people.
  • Accessories are easy to shop for.
  • Great for guest rooms.

Twin Mattress Cons
  • Can be small for many adults.
  • It's more of a temporary option for growing kids.
  • Won't fit two people and is small for pets who sleep in the bed.
  • Limited versatility for guest rooms.
Full Mattress Cons
  • More expensive than the Twin or Twin XL.
  • Can be small for a couple.
  • Not as easy to move.
  • Takes up more space in smaller rooms.
What They Are Best For

Twin Bed Uses

Twin beds are commonly used in children's rooms. They're great for bunk beds, and make the perfect transition for kids getting their own bed for the first time. Most people see them as a stepping stone to a bigger bed or a space saver.
This is a common reason you'll see a Twin XL size mattress in spaces where adult single sleepers commonly lay their heads. In these situations, the standard twin may come up short on leg room and personal space. Twin XL beds are often used in college dorm rooms, hostels or in apartments where sleeping space is very limited.

Full Bed Uses

The Full bed is definitely more equipped for adult living. That extra 15 inches of space goes a long way for young adults who are living on their own for the first time or people who need more space due to limited square footage.
The Full mattress is a staple of apartment living, where extra space is hard to come by. They've also become a popular option for guest bedrooms due to their versatility and size. They can sleep a couple easily for a few nights, though most would prefer a Queen size mattress in the long-term.
Many parents actually choose to forego the Twin orTwin XL mattress altogether and opt for a Full size mattress instead. This can ease the transition from childhood to the teenage years for kids, and give them something they can potentially use into young adulthood. It all depends on the quality of mattress you ultimately choose.
Alternatives to a Twin or Full Mattress
A common alternative to these mattress sizes is the Queen. Queen beds typically measure 60" wide and 80" long. That's 6 more inches of width and 5 inches of extra length than the standard full.
Many find Queen size beds more suitable for couples in the long-term in the master bedroom. That's one of the reasons the Queen mattress is the most popular mattress size you can usually find on the market.
It's also more manageable size-wise than the standard King size mattress or a California King. For many master bedrooms, even in bigger houses, the king bed can be a tough fit.

Which one should you choose?
Choosing your bed size really just comes down to understanding your size limitations and personal preferences. If you're an adult and you have enough space available for a Full bed, it should be the easy choice over a Twin. If you're choosing a mattress for your child, there's a lot more to consider.
The Twin size bed may be the better size in the short-term but you run the risk of your child quickly outgrowing it. You're also limited by room size in some cases.
We hope we presented enough information for you to make the best choice for you or your family. If you're looking for more information on mattress sizes, check out some more of our resources below.
  • Twin Mattress Size
  • Full Mattress Size
  • Queen Mattress Size
  • King Mattress Size
  • California King Mattress Size
  • All Mattress Sizes Explained