Most people will agree that there's nothing close to the surreal feeling of sinking into a thick-and-plush mattress after a long, tiring day. But, how thick should a mattress be exactly to be able to render 'that' comfort? Well, it depends.
Mattress thickness is essential because a mattress that's too thin may wear out soon or strain your back, while one that's too thick may negatively impact your sleep quality.
When purchasing a new, different size mattress, there are ample things to consider – bed base size, sleeping positions, body types, the available choices, and the overall desired bed appearance. This guide aims to break down all these details and give you an idea of which mattress thickness best complements your needs and what to consider when deciding on a mattress thickness.
Mattress Thickness Chart
There is no 'one' universal size that suffices everyone's requirements when it comes to mattress thickness. Different people prefer (or need) different mattress thicknesses. However, most varieties of good-quality mattresses are somewhere between 8 and 14 inches in thickness.
The chart below summarizes the various thickness levels available in the market. It explains how they group mattresses:
|2 to 5 inches||Low Profile||Excellent choices for light sleepers and kids. Ideal for stowaway beds and bunk beds.|
|5 to 8 inches||Slim Profile||Slim mattresses with layers of foam; serve as great options for people with limited mobility.|
|8 to 12 inches||Standard Profile||This is the average mattress thickness that works well with most adults.|
|12 to 16 inches||Deep, Thick, or Tall Profile||Thick mattresses that are soft and durable. Ideal for plus-sized individuals.|
|More than 16 inches||Extra Deep, Extra Thick, or Extra Tall Profile||Extremely comfortable but expensive, and hard to get into for most sleepers.|
Factors That Influence the Mattress Thickness
Before you make your choice, it's highly recommended that you be well-versed with what contributes to the thickness of your mattress. Most mattresses comprise two main layers (although high-quality mattresses may have up to four layers): the comfort and base layers.
Each layer is specifically designed to provide cushioning and support for sleepers. These are composed of different materials that affect a mattress's overall durability and feel.
The soft, topmost layer of a mattress makes up the comfort layer. This layer stays in direct contact with the sleeper, which is why it is plushy by default. Usually, materials like cotton, wool, or polyfoam, are used to make this layer so that the mattress contours to the curves of the sleeper's body.
Most mattresses come with comfort layers with an average thickness of 2 to 3 inches for adequate support. The firmness of this uppermost layer is responsible for features like pressure relief, cushioning, and contouring in a mattress. Some luxury beds come with additional comfort layers to enhance squishiness or include cooling features in them. Also, these added layers tend to increase the overall depth of a mattress.
The base layer, or the support layer, refers to the mattresses' bottom region that acts as its foundation. This layer determines the durability or lifespan of a mattress. Usually, this layer consists of materials like polyfoam, latex, or pocketed springs depending on the type of mattress.
Thinner base layers can result in premature sagging in mattresses, whereas thicker base layers account for their higher durability. In most high-quality mattresses, the base layer contributes to at least 50% of the entire thickness of the mattress.
So, if the height of your bed is 10 inches, be sure that the base layer is no less than 5 inches thick. Without a thick enough base, your mattress will wear away quickly and start to sag in the high-pressure areas.
Mattress Thickness Breakdown
Depending on their thickness, mattresses can be classified into the following categories:
Low-profile mattresses are extremely thin mattresses that range between 2 to 5 inches in depth. These are generally meant for toddlers or infants in their cribs. However, people who prefer to sleep on a low-level bed can undoubtedly go for these.
These mattresses typically adorn fold-away beds, murphy beds, trundles, camp cots, and air mattresses. Due to their thinness, it's not advisable for heavy occupants to use low-profile mattresses as they may have to compromise with comfort.
Slim profile mattresses are another kind of thin bed that measures between 5 to 8 inches. These are made of dense foam material and can be seen in rooms with limited space.
Ideally, slim profile mattresses can be used in children's beds and by sleepers with limited mobility. Also, these are quite pocket-friendly.
Standard profile mattresses are the most commonly preferred size that offers a mattress height ranging between 8 to 12 inches. The standard mattress thickness works best for most adults. Due to its versatile nature, it is also compatible with most sleeping positions.
Unlike thinner, low-profile ones, these mattresses feature various materials, including latex, memory foam, springs, and more.
Deep or Thick Profile
Deep or thick profile refers to the category of mattresses between 12 to 16 inches in height. Mattresses with such thickness are typically high-quality, soft, and durable. These are suitable options for both side sleepers and plus-sized individuals.
A list of materials goes into making these mattresses, making them costlier than others. These medium-thick mattresses can also relieve people with sleep disorders, back pain, and other health concerns.
Extra Thick Profile
Mattresses belonging to the extra-thick profile come with a thickness of more than 16 inches. These are premium quality mattresses that offer a thick comfort layer. While they may appear attractive, the heavyweight makes them difficult to handle and hard to get into.
Since these are not easily foldable, shipping them gets quite challenging too. Deeper mattresses undoubtedly give your bed a luxurious look with their fillings and constructions. However, this makes them the most expensive as well.
How to Choose the Right Mattress Thickness?
While it's true that the thicker a mattress is, the softer it feels, it's not necessary that everyone feels comfortable on a huge mattress. It's essential to identify your personal needs and choices to simplify your quest for a perfect mattress. For choosing a mattress thickness that complies with your requirements, you must thoroughly acknowledge factors like sleeping position, body type, medical conditions, and bed base height.
Take a look below to see the best recommendations as per your conditions and sleep preferences.
A person's sleeping position determines the pressure points their body creates as they sleep. Depending on that, there may be optimal mattress thicknesses for all sleepers:
People who prefer to sleep on their sides require extra cushioning to reduce pressure off their shoulders and hips. Thick mattresses between 12 and 14 inches are best suited for side sleepers since they come with additional comfort layers to relieve muscle pain in those areas.
Back sleepers need support at their backs to keep their spines naturally aligned. A mattress around 10 to 12 inches deep takes care of this since it comes with a thick base layer and a comparatively thinner comfort layer. It prevents the sleeper from sinking.
Stomach sleepers require a somewhat rigid surface to reduce the chances of spinal misalignment. It helps support their abdomen and ease the strain on their backs. Mattresses that are 10 inches tall work best since these possess thinner comfort layers that account for a firmer surface.
Combination sleepers keep constantly tossing and turning throughout the night. They switch between multiple sleep positions and thus need a mattress that supports all their postures. They usually feel most comfortable on 12-inch thick mattresses since they balance softness and stiffness.
Your body type and weight are essential factors in determining which mattress thickness is appropriate for you. That's why it's crucial to choose a mattress that supports your body correctly. You'll put high or low pressure on your mattress based on your weight.
Lightweight Sleepers (weighing less than 130 pounds)
A mattress at least 12 inches thicker should work fine for petite sleepers. Its ultra-thick comfort layers provide pressure-point relief, contour their bodies, and reduce aches in high-pressure regions.
Average Weight Sleepers (weighing between 130 to 230 pounds)
Average sleepers mostly feel comfortable in medium-firm mattresses that offer a height of 10 to 12 inches. However, one should make the final choice after considering their sleep position and checking the materials used to make the separate layers.
Plus-Sized Sleepers (weighing above 230 pounds)
It's recommended that plus-sized sleepers choose a mattress of 12 to 14 inches in depth. The added thickness prevents the mattress from wearing out prematurely. Also, make sure that the comfort layer is at least 6 inches thick to ensure extra plushness and provide sufficient give.
If you have a sleeping partner, there will undoubtedly be more pressure on your mattress in comparison to the one that bears the weight of a single person. The extra weight may cause premature sagging and make it less supportive over time. So, for couples, or people sharing their beds, it's usually suggested to use a mattress with a thickness of at least 10 to 12 inches.
Health and Medical Conditions
People with specific medical conditions or health concerns may have to customize the thickness of their mattress to ensure maximum support and comfort.
Individuals who have arthritis, pain in the shoulders and lower back, or fibromyalgia should opt for an extra-thick mattress that offers a height of around 12 to 14 inches. Owing to their excess thickness and softness, these mattresses provide the necessary cushion for the patients' bodies and relieve their pain due to their extra thickness and softness.
For back pain sufferers, it's better to opt for standard profile mattresses in the range of 8 to 12 inches. These come with a medium-firm feel and prevent mattress sinkage. Also, these are soft enough to conform to the curvature of their spines and hence enhance support.
Height of Your Bed Base
When selecting a particular thickness for your mattress, it's necessary to consider the height of your bed base. It will make sure that the combined height of your bed after introducing the mattress doesn't become inaccessible.
The overall height of your bed equals the foundation height plus the mattress thickness. It's recommended not to let this total depth go beyond 25 inches. For instance, if your mattress is 14 inches thick, your bed base shouldn't exceed 11 inches in height. This way, it would be easier to get in and out of your bed.
Pros and Cons of a Thick Mattress
Thick mattresses are typically premium quality mattresses with an ultra-plush sleeping surface. Investing in a thick mattress is a superb deal to achieve a luxury appearance for your bedroom. However, these have some drawbacks too.
Let's take a look at both its pros and cons:
- Thicker mattresses can withstand heavyweights without breaking down or sagging.
- More durable due to thicker base layers (more than 6 inches).
- Offer more cushioning for side sleepers due to softer layers.
- Costly because of additional layers and materials.
- Extremely heavy and large, making them hard to transport.
- Being overly tall may be inconvenient for people with mobility issues.
A mattress is a significant enough investment. That means it's remarkably essential to consider all the necessary aspects before actually purchasing it. And, you just can't skip the thickness part!
You must know which mattress thickness should be just right to accommodate your body type and sleeping position and cater to your specific needs. Our mattress thickness guide tells you all of it in a sequence so that the process gets simpler than ever for you.