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Twin Bed vs Full Bed: Whats The Difference?

Updated October 20, 2019

Getting a good night’s rest is important, and part of that is having a mattress that’s the right size for you. There are quite a few options out there, so what’s going to work best? You’ll need to consider room size, your size, whether or not you’re sleeping alone and, most importantly, what you want. Two of the more popular sizes out there for reasonable prices are twin and full, but what’s the difference? Hang out for a minute and I’ll show you what’s up with twin vs full.

What is a Twin Bed?

Not counting the crib mattress, the twin mattress is the smallest you’ll find on the market. Just how big is a twin bed? At 39 inches wide and 74 inches long, it’s pretty much just big enough for one child or one adult. There is also a twin XL, which is six inches longer.

The Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Low cost
  • Light and portable
  • Cheap sheet sets

Cons

  • Too small for more than one person

Size

Due to its small size, you’ll often find twin beds in children’s rooms or dorm rooms. I know my first bed was a twin bed, and I actually used one as an adult for a long time because it took up so little space. In fact, I had a relatively large closet, so I used to keep my bed in there to leave my room completely open for activities.

Comfort

If you’re sleeping by yourself, a twin bed will get the job done. Personally, I need to stretch out a little bit, so when I finally upgraded to a full, I was much happier. If your only option, however, is a twin, or if you’re just looking to save money, you can definitely be comfortable on a twin, just make sure you’re sleeping alone. If not, you’re definitely going to need to be comfortable with being close to the other person.

Accessories

Because of how common the twin size bed is, finding anything you’ll need for it is a piece of cake. Sheets and such are readily available, and you can only really fit a single pillow on it, as far as width is concerned. Items for twin beds are also typically much more inexpensive, which is a bonus.

Recommended Room Sizes:

If you’ve got a room that’s anywhere around 7 feet by 10 feet, you’re likely going to be best off going with a twin size bed, depending on additional furniture and walking room.

What is a Full Bed?

The full bed, sometimes still called a double, is 54 inches wide and 74 inches long. While a smaller couple may be able to sleep comfortably on it, it’s most often used for a single person as an upgrade to a twin.

The Pros and Cons

Pros

  • More foot room
  • More Suited For Tall People

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Bed sets are expensive
  • Less sleeping room width wise

Size

In my opinion, the full size bed is the perfect sized bed for someone sleeping alone who wants to save some money and space. While the length of the full bed might be a little short for some, at just under six feet tall, I never had an issue sleeping on one. At only 15 inches wider than the twin, a full size bed does have a larger footprint, which is something to keep in mind if you’re upgrading.

Comfort

I’ve seen some information suggest that the full size bed is best for a single sleeper who is no more than 5 feet, 5 inches tall. Frankly, I think this is absurd. For a single person, a full size bed offers plenty of room to stretch and move around. Again, yes, it’s a little on the short side, but it’s only six inches shorter than the next size option, the queen.

A full size bed isn’t out of the question for two people, either. At 54 inches wide, you have more than two feet for each person. Is this the most ideal situation? Probably not, but it can work if you’re trying to save on money or space. It’s certainly roomier than trying to sleep with someone on a twin.

Accessories

Just like the twin, or any of the other common mattress sizes, finding what you need for your full size bed is as easy as walking into any store that sells bedding. You’ll find two standard pillows fit perfectly side by side, which just looks nice. You can even add more and not have to explain why you have so many pillows on your bed.

Also like the twin, you’ll find most of what you need to be relatively inexpensive, particularly when compared to queen and king size sets.

Recommended Room Sizes:

If your room is nearer to 10 feet by 10 or 12 feet, a full size bed should work well for you, also depending on additional furniture and walking room.

Twin Bed vs Full Bed Comparison Table

Twin Full
Easy to move Harder to move
Takes up little space Wider than a twin
Accessories are inexpensive Accessories slightly more expensive
39” x 74” 54” x 74”

The Verdict

If you’re sleeping alone, it’s all going to come down to space and comfort. In reality, the difference between twin and full mattresses is 15 inches. There is no difference in the length of a full size bed vs a twin, unless you’re bringing the less common twin XL into the equation. For me, that’s enough of a difference to go with a full size bed.

Being able to stretch out and move around to find the best position for me is important, and I don’t think I would be as satisfied if I couldn’t do that. Since both twin and full size bed accessories are relatively inexpensive, I don’t think additional cost is a big factor in a twin and full bed comparison.

My vote, given enough space, will always go to a full size bed will always over a twin. Unless, of course, there’s a big enough closet and putting my bed in there would give me more room for stuff.