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Is a Twin Bed Right for You?

We'll Walk You Through Popular Bed Sizes, Starting with Twin


Is a Twin Bed Right for You? Photo courtesy of 2002 National Showhouse Bed- Blue Nautral Full

A full or double bed is great for guests.

Photo courtesy of 2002 National Showhouse Bed- White Picket Fence Twin

This charming picket fence bed is perfect for a child.

The bed sizes available in the United States are Twin, Single, Double, Full, Queen, King, California King, Western King, Eastern King.

How in the world is anyone supposed to know the difference between all the bed sizes on the market today? Even the sales person in your local department store bed department might not really have all the facts. It can be very confusing!

And if you think you're sure that a King is larger than a Queen (doesn't that make sense!) you might not know just how much larger.

What exactly is the difference between the different sizes of beds available?

We're going to help you understand the sizes of beds on the market and how to decide which one is right for your needs.

Note: Some manufacturers are custom-cutting beds larger or smaller than "standard" sizes. But beware! While it may seem intriguing to have a "custom size" bed, you may have trouble finding bedding to fit.

Read on to get details on Twin, Single, and Extra-Long Twin Beds.


  • Twin beds are also known as single beds. They're the most common choice for children's rooms or multi-use guest rooms. These beds are narrow and fit easily into the smallest bedroom. Often twin beds have a "trundle" underneath to accommodate a sleep-over or second guest. Twin beds are used for bunk beds too.
    • Overall dimensions: 39" wide x 75" long"
    • Width per person: 39"
    • Pros: Because of its small size it will fit easily into smaller bedrooms. Twin sheets are the least costly of all sheet sizes and are available in lots of patterns. It's easy to make a twin bed.
    • Cons: A standard size is too short for many adults.


  • Twin Extra Long beds are 5" longer than a standard twin. They're often used in college dorm rooms to accommodate tall teens.
    • Overall dimensions: 39" wide x 80" long
    • Width per person: 39"
    • Pros: The longer length is good for taller teens and adults. It's easy to make, since it's narrow. If you need flexibility in a guest room, two extra long twins are a good choice. They can be used as singles or pushed together to form a king size bed.
    • Cons: Bedding is difficult to find and not available in every pattern.
Note: What is "standard" is occasionally changed by some manufacturers. Before you go shopping for bedding, be sure to know the exact measurements of the bed you have purchased. Some "standard" fitted sheets may not fit. Compare Queen vs. King
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Twin Bed Sizes

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