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Single vs. Twin Bed: Are They Any Different?

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Last updatedLast updated: June 24, 2021
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Few people can highlight the differences between a Single vs Twin bed, and there are potential buyers who don’t understand that both sizes are designated for a Single sleeper. The term Twin seems to lead some people into thinking it means occupancy by two individuals.

However, a Single bed has identical measurements to a Twin bed but the latter is often featured in vacation homes and guest rooms as one half of a matching pair of Single models. The difference in terminology boils down to geographic locations; Single is the applicable term in England whereas Twin is the common name for a Single bed in America.

Twin beds are also available in a variety of sizes, with Twin XL which is longer than 5 inches being the most popular variation for an upgrade. We have compared Single vs Twin beds and their variations to help you choose the right size that will fit the intended sleeper and the available space.

Is there any difference between Single and Twin bed?

The main difference between a Single and Twin bed is that a Single is always available as an individual product while Twin size is sometimes fashioned as part of a set of two beds with identical designs. You are likely to find Twin beds in dorm halls and hospital wards with more than one occupant. Otherwise, you can use either size in a room for a reduced footprint that conserves space. An alternative bed solution for tiny rooms is an air mattress that comes with an internal pump to inflate it to your desired level of firmness and deflate it for storage in minutes.

Dimensions

Single vs. Twin Bed: Are They Any Different?

Generally, a standard Twin bed vs Single bed dimensions are the same. Both terms are used interchangeably to refer to the same size which measures 75 inches in length and 38 or 39 inches in width. Their affordability and small size makes them the most popular models for growing children who are not yet in their teens, and restricted spaces such as dorm rooms and rental residences.

Surface area

We will now compare the actual sleeping surface of Twin vs Twin XL beds. A Single or Twin size model has surface area of 2,850 square inches, compared to 3,040 square inches of a Twin XL. Single and Twin mattresses are the same length as a full or double size but they are narrower. A full mattress is 54 inches wide which translates to a larger surface area of 4,050 square inches.

Why different names then?

We have established that the two sizes are exactly the same. So, why use different names for Single bed size vs Twin options? Well, America uses the term Twin mattress while most of the rest of the world, including England, refers to this size as Single bed. Another reason that Single beds are also known as Twin beds is because some Single beds are bought in pairs since they are styled as part of a dual set for rooms with more than one sleeper. This Twin set has the same design and dimensions, and is installed in the same room. The other difference between Single bed size vs Twin size is subtle; the under-bed drawers of some Twin sets are positioned on different sides to allow for two beds to be positioned next to each other.

Who a Single/Twin bed best for?

Although they have exact dimensions, the design of a Single bed size vs a Twin model differs. Twin size is supposed to be paired up with another Twin bed with the same design. They are installed in rooms with more than one sleeper such as in children’s bedroom for siblings or in hotel rooms to save floor space while accommodating more guests. Twin options also make sense for couples who want to sleep together without sharing a bed. This could be down to individual preferences or one partner may be suffering from physical limitations such as broken ribs or hips that require them to sleep alone to avoid a sleeping partner pressing against the affected area.

On the other hand, Single sizes are individual beds that are not part of a set. You will find them in most homes, medical facilities and guest rooms. So, we can say that despite the same dimensions, your intended use will determine what to choose between Twin bed vs Single bed. Remember that both types are suited for one child or adult, with occupants only sharing a room and not the bed itself. Couples would be best served by a spacious Queen mattress with 60-inch width and 80-inch length dimensions.

Pricing

Despite the constant debate about the superior option between Twin beds vs Single beds, we can all agree that this size is the most budget-friendly among the different mattress sizes available. That is why they are the go-to size for bunk beds, hospitals and budget-friendly hotels that want to maximize a limited space to accomodate several occupants.

Other similar sizes

As mentioned earlier, Twin size is available in a longer version known as Twin XL. Twin XL is 80 inches in length, making it a bed that kids are unlikely to outgrow as they hit puberty. It is the same length as queen size, providing more leg room for individuals who are at least 6 feet 2 inches tall and a more affordable option for a Single sleeper and a pet in a studio apartment. Two Twin XL beds would also suit a couple that wants to share a room but sleep on different beds to isolate motion.

Final thoughts

Apart from knowing the distinguishing features of a Single bed size vs Twin size to get the right fit for the intended space, you should factor in the size and number of the individual sleepers and their preferred sleeping positions. If you’re a side sleeper, it’s better to look for a medium-firm bed, like the Modway Aveline, which is also gel-infused for cooling effect.

Also keep in mind health conditions that require a mattress optimized to relieve pressure points and alleviate pain. We recommend the Twin version of the hybrid LINENSPA which is ideal for back sleepers suffering from scoliosis, back and neck pain thanks to its firm feel.

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