Twin vs. Full Comparison

Twin vs. Full Comparison

Twin vs. Full Mattress: What’s the Difference?

Choosing the right mattress size can help you get a comfortable and restful night’s sleep. But which size is best for you or your loved ones? It helps to understand their differences and similarities so you can make an informed choice. Let’s explore the differences between twin and full mattresses, including their dimensions, suitability for different age groups, and the importance of factors such as space, sleeping preferences, and future needs.

Twin vs. Full: Dimensions and Size

The standard dimensions of a twin bed are 38” wide by 75” long. Twin mattresses are slim in size, making them easy to fit side by side in shared kids' bedrooms or stacked as bunk beds. They’re best for solo sleepers from toddlers and teens to adults who are shorter than six feet tall.

The standard dimensions of a full bed are 54” wide by 75” long. Full mattresses are 16” wider than a twin bed. They’re not usually recommended for couples who share the bed with their pets or their children or if one partner sleeps like a starfish. However, they’re a smart choice for guest rooms or solo sleepers. Couples can share a full mattress, but it may be a tight fit. We usually recommend at least a queen size bed for couples.

So, while twin and full mattresses are the same length, a full mattress is 16” wider than a twin mattress. It's important to visualize how these dimensions will fit into your bedroom and complement your space.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between a Twin vs. Full Mattress

How can you tell whether a twin or full mattress will work for you? Here’s a checklist of items to consider before you head to your local Mattress Warehouse store.

Available Space and Bedroom Layout

Assess the open space in your bedroom and understand the layout, including radiators in the walls, closets, and windows. Your bed will need enough space around it to get in and out comfortably. Additionally, it should allow space for other bedroom furniture and for closet doors to open.

The recommended room size for a twin bed is 7’ x 10’ or larger. For a full bed, the recommended room size is 10’ x 12’ or larger.

Make sure you measure your room and write down the dimensions before you shop for your new mattress.

Comfort Needs and Preferences

Twin and full mattresses provide for different needs based on your personal preferences and comfort levels. Here are some factors to consider as you shop for your new mattress:

  • Body type and height: Different body types may require different mattress sizes. Those with larger builds or those who are taller may feel more comfortable with the wider size of a full mattress.
  • Sleeping position: Different sleeping positions may require different mattress sizes. Those who like to sleep with their limbs spread out – or those who move around a lot in their sleep – might be more comfortable on a full mattress than a twin.
  • Space: Even those who don’t sleep in a spread-out position or don’t move around a lot at night may prefer the extra surface area of a full mattress. On the other hand, some people prefer the coziness of a twin.
  • Lifestyle and activities: Consider your lifestyle and activities in bed. If you enjoy reading, watching TV, or working on your laptop in bed, a full mattress can offer more space for you to spread out in comfort.
  • Portability: Twin mattresses are lighter and easier to move compared to full mattresses. This makes them ideal for individuals who move frequently or need a mattress that's easy to transport.

Age, Growth, & Future Needs of the Sleeper

As we all know, children grow. They’ll transition from a crib mattress to a toddler bed and from there to a twin bed. As we said above, children who share a room might have to sleep on twin beds throughout their teen years. (Another option is a twin-over-full bunk bed. Twin-over-full bunk beds are also great for kids who have a lot of sleepovers.)

Otherwise, a full mattress might work better for a growing child, especially once they hit those teen years. If their bedroom has the space for it (see above, re: the minimum room size for beds), parents might consider going straight from a toddler bed to a full-size bed to save time and money down the road.

On the other hand, for those individuals moving into their first apartment or renting a room in someone else’s house, a twin bed is probably the way to go. A twin bed is almost guaranteed to fit, especially if you don’t yet know the dimensions of your new bedroom. You can always upgrade to a full bed in the future.

Furnishing Non-Primary Bedrooms

If you are shopping to furnish a guest bedroom, consider the size of the room and what else it will be used for when visitors are not present. (A trophy room? A library? A podcast studio?) A twin mattress may be suitable for a smaller guest room and still provide enough space for a single sleeper. However, if you have a large enough guest room and anticipate having couples or multiple guests staying over (or guests with pets), a full mattress may be a better choice to accommodate their needs. 

Multiple Sleepers

If you sleep with a partner, think about their sleeping habits and preferences before going mattress shopping. A full mattress may be too narrow for two grown adults who need more space to sleep comfortably, especially if one or both partners like to sleep spread out or move around a lot during the night. In this case, a larger mattress size, such as a queen or king, may be more suitable to provide enough space for everyone.

If you sleep with a pet, a full-size bed offers more surface area than a twin so Fido or Fluffy can stretch out next to you.

Bed Frame Size

The size of your bed frame will affect the size of the mattress you can buy while maintaining enough space to move around your bedroom. Some bed frames have enormous headboards, or both headboards and footboards (known as sleigh beds). If you love the idea of a big bed frame or a sleigh bed but lack space, then a twin is the way to go. 

Standard metal frames, however, take up almost no length or width space. That is, without a headboard attached to them, they’re only there to hold up your mattress. These frames are better for smaller rooms, especially if you want a full-size bed.


When choosing between a twin mattress and a full mattress, price may be a factor. The cost difference can range from just a few dollars to a substantial amount, potentially impacting your decision. Prices will vary depending on things like manufacturer, sellers, and features like pillow-tops. Additionally, if you have an overall lower budget, keep in mind that full sheet and bedding sets can be pricier than twin sets, and these costs can accumulate over time.

If you already have a bed frame at home, it might make more sense to stick with a mattress that fits rather than switching mattress sizes, which would require the additional cost of buying a new frame. While some twin mattresses can fit on full frames, they may not provide the same level of comfort and stability as a properly sized mattress and frame.

Shop by Size at Mattress Warehouse

No matter what mattress size you need, Mattress Warehouse has you covered. From standard twins and fulls to kings and California kings, we’re ready to help you find the perfect mattress for your sleep needs and preferences. 

Our in-store or online bedMATCH® system is scientifically designed to find the mattresses best suited for your best night’s sleep, and our Mattress Warehouse Sleep Professionals can answer any questions you have about our products. Come in today to find the perfect mattress for you!

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