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A Twin-size bed, also known as Single, is the smallest standard mattress size on the market designed for a solo sleeper. The Full size, which is often referred to as Double, is wider and, unlike Twin, can accommodate two sleepers.
However, it’s not the only difference between these mattress sizes. And if you want a more detailed Twin vs Full mattress comparison that will help you make the right choice, then continue reading!
- Twin and full mattresses are similar in that they’re both cheaper than other options and both have the same length, and different in that twins can only accommodate one sleeper while full can accommodate two, a twin is lighter in weight and takes less room space.
- Twin mattresses are great for families with kids or limited space. Full mattresses are great for heavy single sleepers, guests, or teenagers. While the use cases are often different, both of them are best used for only one person.
Twin vs Full: Differences and Similarities
Even though Twin and Full seem totally different they actually have quite a lot of similarities!
Seems unbelievable, right?
Well, see it for yourself:
- Twin and Full aren’t the most common mattress sizes. When Queen and King beds claimed the market in the late ‘50s, the share of Singles and Doubles significantly dropped. According to a 2018 industry report, the percentage of shipped mattresses in the US was 17.2% for Twin and 14.8% for Full beds. In 2010, the numbers were 24.7% and 18%, respectively (1).
- They both have the same length. A Twin mattress measures 38” x 75”, whereas a Full bed is 16 inches wider and measures 54” x 75”.
- Both have an XL option. If you need a mattress for a taller individual, then extra-long versions of Twin and Full mattress are at your service. They’ve got extra five inches in length, so you can use that space to get comfy.
- Both are on the cheaper side. Since Singles and Doubles require fewer resources to be made, they usually are more affordable than other sizes.
- Both have nearly the same weight capacity. Although Twin and Full mattresses vary in surface area, they both have roughly the same weight limit and can support up to 400 lbs. It means that they can easily hold one overweight sleeper or a couple of average 200-lbs sleepers.
“A possible origin of the word ‘Twin’ in the mattress size name may be the fact that these mattresses often were sold in pairs as a solution for furnishing children’s or guest rooms.”
Now, let’s take a look at the differences.
The main one, of course, is that a 38-inch wide Twin mattress will only fit one sleeper, whereas a 54-inch wide Full one can provide enough space to accommodate two adults.
But here’s the trick:
Full, while being wider than Twin, actually offers less space per person! You will get only 27” if you share a Full bed with your partner, but when sleeping on a Twin mattress alone, you will have 38” at your disposal.
Twin and Full mattresses have a significant difference in dimensions, but they’re not that different when it comes to weight.
The average weight of a Twin-sized mattress ranges from 40 to 50 pounds, depending on its thickness. A Full-size mattress weighs 50-60 pounds, which is only 10 pounds heavier. And if you compare a Twin mattress that is on the thicker size and a thinner Full mattress, the chances are that they will have roughly the same weight.
Recommended Room Size
When trying to choose an appropriate mattress size, you should consider not only your personal preferences and body type. The room size plays a role here as well. After all, you will need enough space to place your mattress and to move around it freely.
Now, the recommended room size for a Twin mattress is 7 feet by 10 feet. That’s why a Twin bed would work great for a dorm room, a smaller kid’s bedroom, or even a cozy guest room. And while this mattress size can accommodate only one sleeper, you cannot deny how convenient its compactness can be in smaller living spaces.
As for the Full size, it should be placed in a room that is at least 10 by 10 feet. A Full bed can be a good solution for smaller apartments and bedrooms. It’s a great option for solo sleepers who want a bit more legroom. Overall, a Full mattress size is a nice compromise between compactness and extra sleeping space. I mean, it might even be enough for a couple (if they aren’t too large and like to cuddle).
Generally, Twin mattresses are cheaper than full-size ones. The obvious reason is that full is just a bit bigger, so the pricing is also a bit higher. For example, twin mattresses can fall anywhere between $200 to $2,000 depending on the material inside and the brand. Full mattresses can cost anything between $300 to $2,200, depending on the manufacturer and the mattress type.
There are different accessories that should come with a mattress that really determine how you’ll use the mattress. These accessories include bedding, pillows, etc. If the accessories for a certain mattress don’t exist or are harder to find, it’s better to rethink your choice. Twin-size mattresses usually only require one pillow, and the sheets for them are easier to find. Twin mattresses usually need two pillows, and finding sheets can be a bit more difficult.
I usually order the accessories along with the mattress if the manufacturer offers any on their website. If I can’t find the accessories online, I ask custom bedding providers to make sheets or bedding with the exact dimensions of my mattress. For twin and full mattresses, I haven’t had any trouble finding fitted sheets, mattress pads, or mattress protectors, so I’d say twin and full bedding options are both equally accessible.
No matter if they are less popular than king or queen sizes, they are still targeting a different audience, so the accessories are widely available (2).
Keep in mind that there are many differences between these mattress sizes and European mattress sizes, so the accessories available could be very different.
Also Read: Full vs Queen Size
Full and twin mattresses both can last as long as any other mattress. Durability in these mattresses depends on the materials and not just the sizing. Since these mattresses are mostly for teenagers and kids, they only ever have to deal with lightweight individuals, so they are likely to last even longer.
Depending on the material, usage, and mattress type, these mattresses can last anywhere between 5-10 years, just like many other mattress sizes. I’ve known people who kept their twin mattresses for up to 15 years, but I’d suggest that you change it as soon as you start to feel uncomfortable sleeping on it.
My Personal Experience and Preferences
Just like many, I’ve experienced sleeping on twin and full mattresses both in guest rooms and my own rooms. If I can, I try to get a mattress topper for my twin mattress because in case it is made from spring, I want to add more comfort and support to it (3).
One important thing to note about twin or full mattresses is that if the material they are made of doesn’t provide them with necessary edge support, the space you can get comfortable on the mattress is very limited. That is why I like to secure my twin or full mattress edges with a latex or memory foam mattress topper. This just helps me have more space to use and be able to spread out completely. After all, if I’m just one person, nothing should stop me from using the whole mattress space.
Since I am a taller sleeper, I used to try Twin XL mattresses as well. Now, the difference between twin vs twin XL is that the XL version is just a bit taller, which is great for me.
Also Read: Do Two Twins Make a King
Who Will Benefit from a Twin Mattress?
A Twin mattress had been the standard for a single sleeper until Queen beds took over the market and even solo users started buying larger beds.
But who buys Twin beds today?
- Those who look for a kid’s mattress. The Twin size can offer enough space for a kid until they reach the teen age. Also, Singles are commonly used in trundle beds or bunk beds, which, again, make a good fit for kids’ rooms.
- Those with limited space. If you have extremely limited space that won’t allow you to enjoy a larger bed, Twin can be your only solution for sleeping.
- Those who are tight on a budget. Single is the cheapest mattress size out there, so if you don’t need to share a bed with anyone, you don’t have to spend more money on a larger mattress.
“Bedding and accessories for a Twin mattress are also affordable, which makes this size even more cost-efficient.”
Who Will Benefit from a Full Mattress?
Now, when comparing Full vs Twin, we’re assuming that you aren’t looking for a regular sleeping spot for a couple. Because otherwise, Full would without saying be your only option.
But here are some other scenarios in which it would be better to size up and get a Full mattress for your bedroom:
- If you’re a heavy single sleeper. Large users may feel too cramped on a Single-size bed and need more room to turn around and get comfy. A Full bed can offer you an extra 16 inches of width, so it’s advisable to opt for this size.
- If you’re looking for a guest bed. Couples who need a regular spot for sleeping typically opt for a Queen mattress, but if you only need the mattress occasionally, the Full size can make a good choice for your guest room and won’t force you to spend too much money.
- If you need a bed for a teenager. A teen usually needs more space to get comfy on the bed. Plus, they are likely to use their bed for other activities, such as studying or leisure time, so the extra width would come in handy.
Hopefully, that’s enough information to help you understand which mattress size suits your needs better? If you have already made up your mind, feel free to share in the comments below.
Which is larger: Full or Twin?
Full is larger. A Full bed measures 54” x 75”, whereas a Twin one is 38” x 75”.
How much bigger is Full than Twin?
Full is 16” wider than Twin, but their length is the same.
Is a twin mattress enough for two adults?
A twin mattress is not enough for two adults, because it’s only 38” wide. That is only about 8” more than an individual’s space on a queen mattress where two people sleep. Therefore, if you happen to sleep on a twin mattress with a partner, you won’t be able to move at all, which is not healthy for sleeping (4).
Twin and full mattresses are both as great of a choice for kids and teenagers as for single adults. There are lots of options for accessories and bedding for both mattresses. Even though they are less popular than queen or king mattresses, since they target a different audience, they are still widely used. So if you have a guest room, children who are just moving out of their cribs, or just need smaller mattress options, twin and full are here for you to consider.
- Alia Hoyt (2019, May 29). Bed Sizes Are Totally Getting Bigger. Retrieved from https://home.howstuffworks.com/home-decor/bedroom/bed-sizes-getting-bigger.htm
- How wide is the bed you mainly sleep on at home? Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/673201/mattress-size-among-us-adults-by-age-group/
- Bert H. Jacobson (September 2008). Changes in back pain, sleep quality, and perceived stress after introduction of new bedding systems. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2697581/
- Neal Wiggermann (November 2017). What Bed Size Does a Patient Need? The Relationship Between Body Mass Index and Space Required to Turn in Bed. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5671795/