How Twin Mattresses Differ in Size

Twin mattresses, which are sometimes also called single mattresses, are among the most popular mattresses sold today. Twin mattresses come in three sizes, which are youth size, standard length and XL. Here are summaries of each, along with information as to where they’re commonly used and by whom.

Youth Size Mattresses. With the exception of tiny baby crib mattresses that measure just 52” long by 27.5” wide, child or youth mattress are typically 66” long x 33” wide x 5” deep, and are the smallest mattresses available. Because they’re quickly outgrown and ultimately need replacing, most parents opt to purchase standard twins rather than youth mattresses for still-growing young children. Since there’s not a huge demand for size mattresses, they’re difficult to find, and may need to be special ordered.

Standard Twin Mattresses. Sometimes called single mattresses, standard twins are one of the most popular size mattresses on the market. At 38” wide x 75” long, they’re also the smallest of all conventional mattress sizes. Standard twins have plenty of room for a growing child or even an average-sized adult to stretch out and sleep in comfort, although taller teenage children and adults may find them to be a bit too short for a comfortable night’s sleep. Their compact size and footprints take up less than 20 square feet of floor space, which make standard twin beds a good choice for smaller bedrooms.

Standard twin mattresses are also versatile. Since they can be used with or without box springs, they’re suitable for day beds, trundle beds, hideaways and bunk beds. Using a pair of standard twin mattresses with bunk beds will double the sleeping capacity of a small bedroom. Another benefit of small and lightweight standard twins is that they can be easily turned or rotated every few months, which manufacturers recommend to extend their use.

Twin XL Mattresses. Most mattress manufacturers also offer extra long twin XL mattresses. Twin XLs are the same width as standard twin mattresses, but at 80 inches in length, they are a full five inches longer. They have plenty of room for a child to grow without having to replace his or her mattresses, as is usually the case with a standard twin mattress. As with standard twin mattresses, twin XLs are a good choice for bedrooms too small to accommodate full size or larger mattresses.

Twin XL mattresses also have enough space for a taller than average adult to sleep comfortably. Because of their versatility and compact size, twin XLs are often found at boarding school and college dormitories.

Twin XL mattresses are the same length as queen and king mattresses, and when two twin XLs are placed side by side, they provide the same sleeping surface as a king size mattress. Two twin XL mattresses can also be used on a split adjustable bedframe such as the king size TEMPUR Up Foundation. Both sleepers can have a mattress in his or her preferred comfort level with a foundation that can raise or lower each mattress’ head position at the push of a button for more comfortable reading, surfing the web or watching TV.

How Do Twin Mattresses Differ in Comfort Level?

Now that the question, “How big is a twin mattress?” is answered, it’s time to consider comfort level. Having the right sleeping surface counts for just as much as having the right size mattress. Since twin mattresses are so widely used, they come in a huge variety of comfort levels suitable for all kinds of sleepers. Consider each of these options:

  • Very Firm These mattresses have minimal padding on top in order to provide a rigid sleeping surface that keeps the spine aligned. Back sleepers often prefer very firm mattresses, but they are less comfortable for stomach and side sleepers. 
  • Medium FirmThese mattresses offer more padding but still have a firm sleeping surface that supports the back. Stomach and back sleepers both gravitate toward medium firm mattresses, but side sleepers typically prefer something softer.
  • MediumThese mattresses are always popular because they balance firm and soft in a way that appeals to all kinds of sleepers. If you need to furnish a guest room or any space with rotating occupants, choose a medium mattresses that delivers comfort in any sleeping position.   
  • SoftThese mattresses have extra padding that allows the sleeper to sink into the surface, providing extra relief for pressure points in the hips, spine, shoulders, and neck. Soft mattresses are great for stomach and side sleepers, but they could leave back sleepers with morning aches because they provide less spine support. 
  • Very Soft – These mattresses come with thick padding that surrounds the sleeper and cradles each part of the body. Most stomach and back sleepers will want more support, but side sleepers will love how a very soft mattress conforms to their individual sleeping position. 

The descriptions above are generalizations. Every mattress brand and model is different, and the only way to know which one is right for you is to try them out in person. Test out twin mattresses in different comfort levels, and be sure to experiment with different sleeping positions. If you’re still wondering “How big is a twin mattress?”, stretching out on top of one helps put the size into perspective.

Find the Top Twin Mattress Brands at Sit n’ Sleep

Whether you’re interested in a standard twin or twin XL mattress, you’re sure to find what you need at any Sit ‘n Sleep mattress superstore. We carry all major mattress brands, including SealyBeauty SleepSherwoodTempur-Pedic, and Comforpedic in a full range of comfort levels and construction types. What’s more, our prices can’t be beat. Stop by one of Sit ‘n Sleep’s 38 Southern California outlets and one of our sleep consultants will help you select a twin mattress that meets your sleeping needs and fits your budget.

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