Differences Between a Twin Bed & a Twin Long Bed

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A twin long bed -- more commonly referred to as a twin XL bed -- is commonly found in college dormitory settings. These beds, slightly longer than a traditional twin but just as compact, fit well in a cramped dorm-room environment. These beds are designed with college students in mind, who are often too tall to comfortably fit into a regular twin-sized bed.

Traditional Twin-Sized Beds

  • A twin-sized bed, sometimes called a single, are common in children's rooms and guest rooms. The dimensions of a regular twin-sized bed are 39 inches in width and 75 inches in length, just like a full-sized bed. Twin-sized beds are easiest to make, due to their narrow shape, and blankets and sheets are almost always the cheapest for this size bed. Twin-sized bedding is well-stocked at most home essentials stores, and available in a wide variety of fabrics and colors.

Twin XL Beds

  • Twin XL beds offer 5 extra inches while offering the same width as a regular twin-sized bed; twin XL beds have 80 inches in length just like a king-sized bed. Thus, twin XL beds are still best suited for one person. Mattresses for a twin XL-sized bed usually have the same depth dimension -- around 9 or 10 inches -- as other sizes of mattresses.

Bedding Differences

  • Unfortunately, many people wrongly assume that twin-sized sheets -- or, conversely, full-sized sheets -- will fit on a twin XL-sized mattress. Twin-sized sheets do not quite cover the length of a twin XL bed, while full-sized sheets will be too long and have too much extra fabric. Twin XL-sized bedding is not often carried in stores, so those with twin XL-sized beds may have to do some online shopping to find appropriate sheets and blankets for their beds.

Why Choose a Twin XL?

  • Twin XL beds are popular for dorm rooms because they are more comfortable for taller teens and young adults. Additionally, some people like the flexibility of twin XL beds: in a guest room, they can be pushed together if need be to create one queen-sized bed. Some people may want to instead opt for the even larger but more rare full XL-sized bed, which has the same width as a full-sized bed but again adds 5 inches in length.

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