Mattress thickness contributes to the comfort of your bed. While you’re browsing for a new mattress, you’ll want to choose a mattress thickness compatible with your body type. Choosing a thin or low-profile mattress may not be the best option for some sleepers because they are likely to sag.
Additionally, extra-thick beds may make it difficult for individuals to climb in and out of bed. In this article, we’ll discuss some guidelines for determining mattress thickness.
Guidelines for Mattress Thickness
Before you choose your new bed, you’ll want to look at the different mattresses that are available. Some mattresses are only 5 inches thick, while others are over 16 inches. Below, we’ll outline the mattress types categorized by their thickness so you can pick the best one.
Low Profile Mattresses
Low-profile or slim mattress mattresses are about 2 to 5 inches thick. These beds are often utilized as cribs, kid’s mattresses, or added to trundle beds.
Most adult sleepers do not find sleeping on low-profile mattresses comfortable. For this reason, we recommend choosing a slim or standard mattress.
Slim beds are 5 to 8 inches thick and are a little more comfortable than low-profile beds. Most slim mattresses contain foam layers to keep the sleeper feeling extra comfy.
Slim mattresses are an excellent choice for individuals with limited mobility. These beds are thinner than a standard mattress so sleepers can climb in and out of bed without struggling.
A standard mattress is about 8 to 14 inches thick. These beds are in most bedrooms and tend to be more durable than thinner beds. We recommend choosing a mattress at least 8 inches tall to support the sensitive areas of the body.
An extra-deep mattress 16 inches thick or more. Some sleepers enjoy the extra cushioning an extra thick bed provides.
It’s worth mentioning thick mattresses are not always the best for those with joint pain. The depth of your mattress will contribute to the height of your bed. If your bed is too high, it may make it harder to climb onto at bedtime. You may have to jump in and out of bed throughout the night, which could lead to an injury.
Most mattresses on the market have two layers: the base and comfort layer. The comfort layer is the top layer of the mattress closest to the sleeper.
These layers consist of soft materials like memory foam and latex. The comfort layers should be about 2 to 3 inches thick to provide cushioning. Some high-quality mattresses have more than one comfort layer to provide sleepers with an ultra-plush sleeping surface.
Comfort layers sit on top of a transitional layer. The transition provides a buffer between the comfort layer and the base layer. Most mattresses have insulator/transition layers made of high-density poly-foam, latex, or wool.
In some mattresses, a transitional layer provides zoned support for sensitive areas of the body. Though transitional layers are not found in all mattresses, they are usually about 1 to 2 inches thick.
Beneath the transitional layer is the base or support layer. For most high-quality mattresses, this layer makes up 50% of your mattress. For example, if you are buying a 12-inch mattress, the base layer should be at least 6 inches thick.
In hybrid and innerspring mattresses, the base layer is made of coils. The base layer in memory foam and latex mattresses consists of durable poly-foam. It’s best to choose a mattress with an extra-thick base layer as these beds are better at resisting sagging.
Factors to Consider
We recommend choosing a mattress at least 8 inches thick to achieve a good night’s rest. Keep in mind, the base layers of your mattress should be 5 to 6 inches.
Additionally, the comfort layer should be 2 to 3 inches thick as well. You should also consider your body type and any medical condition that affects your sleep. In the next section, we’ll highlight some things to think about before purchasing a mattress.
Part of choosing a supportive mattress is determining how well your bed responds to your body weight. If you are a heavier sleeper, you’ll need an extra thick mattress to keep your mattress from sinking. A lighter sleeper may need a thinner mattress with thick comfort layers. Below, we list some guidelines you should follow.
- Lightweight Sleepers (weighing less than 130 pounds): Mattresses at least 12 inches thick are a good option for lighter sleepers. Lighter individuals should also consider plush comfort layers for better pressure point relief.
- Average Sleepers (weighing between 130 to 230 pounds): Average-size sleepers should choose between 10 to 12-inch thick mattresses, depending on their sleeping position.
- Plus-Size Sleepers (weighing above 230 pounds): Plus-size sleepers should choose between 12 to 14-inch tall mattresses. Additionally, your mattress should have comfort layers at least 6 inches thick. Thick comfort layers will offer more support to the sleeper and will prevent sinkage.
Your sleeping position will also contribute to the comfort of your mattress. For example, side sleepers need cushioning, while other positions need more support.
- Side sleepers: Side sleepers need at least 12 to 14 inches of thickness for extra cradling. Plush comfort layers are usually a good choice for side sleepers because they provide great pressure point relief and extra cushioning for your shoulders and neck.
- Back sleepers: Back sleepers should choose a bed 10 to 12 inches thick. Most back sleepers prefer a firm mattress to provide them with more spinal support.
- Stomach sleepers: Stomach sleepers will have a mattress around 10 inches to help keep their pelvis lifted. A thinner mattress will provide a firm sleeping surface to reduce the chances of spinal misalignment.
- Combination sleepers: Combination sleepers should choose a mattress 12 inches. Since combination sleepers slay on their sides, back and stomach, they need a mattress that provides a balance between firmness and softness.
Individuals who suffer from back pain may enjoy a firm mattress with fewer layers. A firm sleeping surface promotes better spinal alignment, not to mention it provides good pressure point relief.
Those with conditions like fibromyalgia and arthritis may prefer a mattress with thick comfort layers. These beds boost both the softness of your mattress and offer cradling comfort.
It’s important to remember the thickness of your mattress will add to the height of your bed. Additionally, the height of your bed frame and bed base may determine the depth of your mattress.
A good rule of thumb is to make sure the thickness of your bed does not exceed 25 inches. People with limited mobility, such as back pain or joint pain, may find it harder to get in and out of tall beds.
An essential part of choosing a quality mattress is determining how thick it should be. When a mattress is too thin or too thick, it can cause sleeping disruptions or joint pain.
The thickness of the mattress also contributes to the height of your bed. We recommend choosing at least 12 inches thick and keeping your bed height no more than 25 inches from the ground. This way, you’ll be able to climb in and out of bed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Thicker mattresses tend to be more durable than thinner beds. Mattresses with a thickness of 12 inches or more maintain their quality for ten years or more. A thin mattress may only last two to three years. Thinner mattresses are often made with cheaper materials and are also prone to sagging.
Sharing a new bed with a partner will add more pressure to your mattress than sleeping alone. Putting extra pressure on a thin mattress will cause it to sag and may impact your sleep. If you’re sharing your bed, it should be at least 10 to 12 inches thick to prevent sinkage.
Sleeping on a thin mattress may not provide enough cushioning for some sleepers and might lead to disruptive sleep. Additionally, some beds offer thin mattresses that are not the best for plus-size sleepers.
These mattresses are prone to sagging and will not be able to support your body.
Most memory foam mattresses are between 6-14 inches thick. While 6 to 8-inch beds are an excellent choice for infants and small children, they’re not the best for adults. We recommend a 10 to 12-inch mattress memory foam bed for adult sleepers for the proper support.
A queen size mattress can measure anywhere from 8 inches to 18 inches deep. Most sleepers prefer to sleep on mattresses at least 10 to 12 inches thick. Extra thick mattresses may be difficult for some individuals to climb into. So you may want to use a low-profile foundation for better access to your bed.