Single Twin bed made up with purple accent pillows

Single/Twin Size Bed Dimensions & Other Interesting Facts

The twin bed is a household staple for most North American families. It’s the classic mattress of choice for children’s bedrooms, dorm rooms and single sleepers.

Single/twin bed dimensions in North America are 38 inches wide by 75 inches long. In metric, a single/twin bed is 97 centimetres wide by 190 centimetres long.

Is a single mattress the same as a twin mattress?

You may be wondering: What’s the difference between a single mattress and a twin?

Simply put, there isn’t one. The single and the twin share the exact same measurements.

How does a single mattress compare to other beds?

The single mattress is the smallest standard mattress size, aside from crib beds.

The next size up from a twin bed is the double (also called the full), which measures 54 inches wide by 75 inches long, making it 16 inches wider than the twin.

Although the double may sound like it’s intended for two people, it is really more for individual sleepers who want a bit more space to spread out.

Who should buy a twin mattress?

The twin mattress is the second most popular mattress in North America. It’s the star attraction in children’s bedrooms and dorm rooms.

Essentially, the twin mattress is a great choice for anyone who sleeps alone.


Twin mattresses are a great choice for children. They are a natural progression from a crib mattress, and they are affordable. For children, they provide more than enough space and will last for many years.

If you have two children, twin mattresses can be easily stacked onto a bunk bed frame. Bunk beds are a fun, space-saving addition to any kid’s room.

Some parents with two children may wonder about investing in a double mattress. While a double mattress could fit two children, the odds are much higher of one waking up the other. Two twin mattresses tend to be the better choice for a more peaceful sleep. 

Dorm Rooms

Twin beds are a great choice for dorm rooms, too, as they occupy very little space. This leaves students with more room for things like bedside tables, desks and bookshelves.

Really, twins are a great choice for any small bedroom whether it’s a dorm or not.

Other Kinds of Twin Mattresses

Extra Long

The twin is a great choice for single sleepers, unless you’re especially tall. If you can effortlessly reach the top shelf, a standard twin will be too short for you.

The twin extra long was designed specifically to solve this problem. It measures 80 inches in length, making it 5 inches longer than a traditional twin mattress.

This ensures that those who are over 6 feet tall can sleep comfortably without their feet dangling off the edge of the bed.

Split King

Two twin extra long mattresses bumped up together creates what is commonly called a split king. The dimensions of the split king are the same as a regular king: 76 inches wide and 80 inches long.

The big benefit of having a split king is that two twin mattresses of radically different firmnesses can be placed side by side, enabling two different sleepers to get a great night’s sleep side by side. 

You can also turn your child’s outgrown twin mattress into one half of a split king mattress if it’s still in good condition.

History of the Twin Mattress

The twin mattress actually has a fascinating history. While today it is the most popular choice for children, for nearly 100 years it was one of the most popular choices for married couples.

The trend started in the 1850s when doctors declared that sleeping in individual beds was more hygenic. Victorian medicine men believed that if a couple shared the same bed, the weaker of the two would steal strength from the stronger one .

Another concern was the exchange of germs. In Doctor Edwin Bowers’ book Sleeping for Health, he wrote, “Separate beds for every sleeper are as necessary as separate dishes for every eater.”

By the 1950s, the mentality of most North Americans had shifted and sleeping in two separate beds seemed like an indication of a failing marriage. At that point, most couples returned to sleeping in a double bed or upgrading their bed to the recently invented queen size mattress.

Keeping Your Single Mattress Clean

Kids are great. But kids are also great at making messes. This can range from nighttime accidents to spilling juice or to sneaking messy craft supplies into bed.

But it’s all fine if you’re prepared for it.

A good mattress protector can make a world of difference.

Most people are familiar with the style of mattress protectors that spread over the top of the mattress like a fitted bed sheet. Those can be great protection for most accidents and will generally do a good job.

A mattress encasement is more like a zip-on cushion cover. It completely covers all six surfaces of the mattress in a waterproof, dust-proof layer. This can be an especially good choice for people who are allergic to dust because it stops the accumulation of dust and dander in your mattress.

In the event that you missed the memo on mattress covers and are looking for a quick fix to revive your mattress, here are some ways to remove common stains:

  • Hydrogen peroxide can be a powerful stain remover. It will help stains foam up to the surface. 
  • Enzyme-based upholstery cleaners are often advertised as pet cleaners because they don’t contain powerful chemicals and they are excellent for eliminating odours. This makes them ideal for cleaning up any nighttime accidents your kiddos might have.
  • Baking soda is another great odour neutralizer. Shake on and vacuum up fifteen minutes later.
  • Dish soap is great at cleaning greasy dishes. That ability to breakdown grease also applies to any greasy stains you might have on your mattress. Whether you’ve spilled a bottle of lotion or a late night snack onto your bed, dish soap can help.

What bedroom size is best for a single/twin bed?

Often, parents are torn between choosing a double or a twin for their child. The double offers more sleeping space, but the twin is a more affordable option.

In most cases, this dilemma can simply be resolved by considering the size of the bedroom.

Children tend to use their bedroom not only for sleeping, but for playing. The smaller the bed, the more room you leave for your child to host a tea party with all their stuffed animals or build a big race track from one end of their room to the other.

How much does a single/twin bed cost?

As a general rule, the twin bed is the most affordable mattress option. Depending on whether you choose a spring coil mattress, a memory foam bed, or a high-end latex model, the price will vary accordingly.

Bed-in-a-box mattresses are an affordable option without sacrificing quality. PerfectSense mattresses in particular offer high-quality cooling gel memory foam.

Try a PerfectSense mattress on a 100-night trial. 

Previous article Bedding Thread Counts Demystified
Next article What is CertiPUR-US Certified Memory Foam?

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields