Nothing beats the feeling of hopping onto a thick, soft mattress. The thickness or otherwise of a mattress determines how comfortable you rest. Mattress thickness ranges from 2 inches (mattress toppers) – 20+ inches (Extra firm mattresses). Standard ones range from 6 – 9”. Luxurious or posh ones fall in the 12 – 20+ range.
So, what is the ideal mattress thickness?
Before delving deeper into mattress thickness, it is worth mentioning that these factors should inform how thick or otherwise your mattress should be:
- Height preferences
- Mobility issues
- Medical/health conditions
- Mattress type
The thicker the mattress is, the deeper into your pocket you will have to dig. Regarding thickness, if the base support at the bottom is good, and the top layer is comfortable, then that mattress is worth buying. On the flip side, if the layer on the top is substandard and support base weak, then that mattress is worthless to buy.
What about thinner mattresses, what situations should you consider them?
Thinner mattresses are great solutions for children. A child’s mattress height needs to be kept low to ensure they don’t fall and hurt themselves. Remember that baby bones are sensitive or fragile and should they fall, it can be disastrous.
Moreover, low profile mattresses bring down the distance from your house’s ceiling to the baby’s head which mitigates the risk of your baby getting injured on his or her head.
Firstly, Let’s Look At The Mattress Layers That Form Thickness
Layers constitute a mattresses’ thickness. They include:
- Cover finishes
- Comfort layer
- Support layer
A mattress cover is a material that covers it. Knitted and damask are the main two types of covers. They vary hugely in functionality and touch.
Just like their name suggests, these are knitted. Their knitting is with a soft fabric featuring elasticated properties. In most instances, it is present in latex or memory foam mattresses. It equally boasts impressive breathability.
They feature a soft finish. Although the finish is lax, it is hard-wearing. Created from woven material, these covers are quite popular due to their impressive breathability. Often, they do not have patterns.
Plain covers do not feature any quilting or tufting. Often, they are present on rolled mattresses.
Tufted cover finishes are slightly heavier due to their fillings. They are great if you are looking for some warmth.
Quilted cover finishes also go by the name ‘micro-quilted.’ They feature some form of stitching on their comfort layer to create a pattern. They are the ultimate luxury and provide the highest form of softness.
The comfort layer is just a couple of inches above the surface of the mattress. It features an array of materials that have different depths tailored to provide a supportive and comfortable surface. Every type of material within this layer brings with it dissimilar benefits and properties.
The common types of materials that constitute the comfort layer include:
- Natural fillings like horsehair, silk, wool, bamboo or cotton – Layers made of natural fillings are perfect if you do not move or change your sleeping position during the night.
- Latex – Latex almost resembles foam. Layers made of latex material feature sap that has been removed from trees. Latex layers are durable, soft and comfortable.
- Soft white fibers – Soft white fiber layers are mostly present in budget mattresses. When mixed with other materials like cotton, they create such a comfortable, yet affordable mattress.
- Gel-infused foam – These layers utilize many chemicals to provide the mattress with durability, support, and softness. Because of these attributes, they tend to be expensive. They offer sleepers a plushy experience while at the same time handling your pressure points.
- Memory foam – As you sleep on a memory foam layer, it not only softens but also provides your body the utmost support it needs for a restful sleep.
- Polyurethane – This layer makes a mattress denser. If you are a heavier sleeper, a mattress with a polyurethane foam layer is your best bet as it does not get damaged regardless of the weight.
Finally, yet importantly, there is a supportive layer. It is your mattresses’ major part. In addition to providing your body the utmost support it requires; it also determines its level of firmness.
The following parts make up the support layer:
Foam can be used within the supportive layer. When utilized in high-density form, it goes by the name reflex foam. Some beddings contain only foam without springs. A perfect example is every foam mattress. It only comprises of various foam densities. Because of their lack of springs, they are lighter in comparison to the spring mattresses.
What is more, naturally, the foam has a high density. As a result, foam mattresses are hypoallergenic as they do not provide a thriving environment for dust mites. If you suffer from allergies, you should consider mattresses featuring a foam supportive layer.
Most mattresses have springs. Together with the comfort layer, springs offer your body the necessary support it needs. The two major classifications of spring systems are pocket sprung system and standard sprung system. The former also goes by the name ”Bonnell” system or ”open coil” system.
Mattress Thickness Guide
The following are the different mattress thickness levels:
Extra Thick (Luxury)
While it is attractive, an extra-thick mattress features a prohibitive weight. This feature makes it a no-go zone for the infirm and elderly. Another bad highlight of ultra-thick mattresses is the fact that finding a set of sheets that is deep enough to cover the entire mattress is challenging.
Furthermore, they are the costliest of all. Since folding or rolling them is complicated, shipping them tends to be complicated. The fact that they are vast means they will take too much space in your room both practically and visually.
With that being said, you should consider this option if you do not mind the cost. They can also make excellent choices for those that consider themselves romantic due to their Victorian nature.
Deeper or thicker mattresses are great at giving your bed a sumptuous look coupled with a comfier sleep at night. With their fillings, materials, and construction, these mattresses undoubtedly provide an impression of luxury and style.
If you have always desired your mattress to have a decadent feel, this is the thickness level you should consider in your mattress. Enjoy a balance of affluence and support.
Ideal for: High-end buyers
Best Extra Thick Mattress – Beautyrest Mattress (While this mattress is 18-inches, it has the features of an extra thick mattress).
- Luxurious and comfortable
- Ideal for a Scandinavian room design
- A great choice for big rooms
Medium-Thick (Affordable Luxury)
12 – 20”
Mattresses of this thickness level feature an array of materials. This means that they are the most complex of the offerings on this list. Many premium mattresses are this category. The fact that many materials go into the making of this mattress means that they are costlier than others.
Medium-thick mattresses are good options for those suffering from sleep disorders and back pain. Although they are pricey, during end-of-season sales, they have deeper discounts.
Ideal for: Those looking for premium options
Best Medium Thick Mattress – Loom and Leaf
- Perfect for those with health concerns like sleep disorders
- An array of options to choose from
- Some can be costly
Standard (Most Popular For Family)
8 – 12”
There is a variety of mattresses on this thickness level. Unlike the thin and low-profile offerings that feature foam only, these can be made from materials such as:
- Memory foam
Rolling and shipping these mattresses is easy. They are good for different types of sleepers due to their versatile nature.
Ideal for: Normal beds and different types of sleepers
Best Standard Mattress – Nectar Mattress
- Different firmness options to choose from
Thin (Youth, Guest room)
5 – 8”
Thinner mattresses are mostly created from foam. In addition to being handy for rooms with limited space, you can also use them on youth beds and baby cribs. Their tiny size does not distract your décor’s easy flow.
A good highlight about them is that their pricing is moderate or reasonable which makes them a good choice for those in a tight budget. If you are a light sleeper who does not mind minimal cushioning, you should also consider buying this mattress.
Ideal for: Youth beds and baby cribs
Best Thin Mattress – Ole Sleep Mattress
- Easy to fold and store
- Reasonable pricing
- Short lifespan
Low Profile (Special Use)
2 – 5”
Normally, most people are into thicker mattresses as they believe they are more comfortable compared to their thinner counterparts.
With time, as thicker mattresses become outdated, they become slim rendering them uncomfortable. It is from this perception that most people hate thin mattresses. Nonetheless, that should not be the case.
Today’s thinner mattresses boast high quality. They feature similar top-notch material that thicker ones do only that it is in a tinier space. Courtesy of advancements in technology and innovations in the industry, impressive thinner designs are now available. High-quality thin mattresses are now available.
Do you have challenges embarking and disembarking from your bed? Then you need to sleep on a low mattress. Low profile mattresses work excellently with a design scheme that is minimalist featuring clean lines.
Campers can also find these mattresses handy due to their small size nature. They are also light making them portable when moving into the woods.
Do you dread making your bed when you wake up? Then you need to consider this mattress. Handling the changing of sheets on a slim mattress is effortless. The mattresses’ lightweight simplifies your work.
Ideal for: Stoway beds, camp cots, and air mattresses. They also make great options for window seats, antique bed frames, bunk beds and trundles.
Best Low-Profile Mattress – Linenspa Mattress
- Highly affordable
- An excellent choice for light sleepers
- Easy to spread sheets
- Not good for heavy people
What’s The Relationship Between Mattress Thickness And Sleeping Positions?
One of the vital factors you should consider to land the best mattress thickness is your sleeping position. It is a major factor to guarantee optimum comfort. Here is how you need to choose a thickness level based on your sleeping position:
Most of the population prefers to sleep on their side. If you are among the many, you need more support for your shoulders and hips.
A mattress with a thickness of 8 – 10 inches should make a perfect choice. Buy one that features solid foam core coupled with a softer foam on the outside for the utmost comfort and support. You can also go for a thickness level of 12” if it is effortless to flip.
Firm mattresses with a thickness of 6 – 8” are a good option for back sleepers. This thickness level provides the necessary support to shoulders and back. In addition to that, they guarantee proper spine alignment. Always remember that back sleepers ought to settle for an innerspring mattress or hard latex foam with not less than 4” of memory foam at the top.
Front sleepers are a rare species. They need more comfort and less support. A mattress with a thickness level of not less than 10” and 15” at most makes perfect sense.
When it comes to mattress type, memory foam is ideal for stomach and front sleepers. If you are a front sleeper that weighs more, additional inches guarantee more comfort.
Heavier front sleepers should choose a strong innerspring mattress, high-density foam or solid core mattress.
Although expectant women prefer different sleeping positions, most rest on their side.
To enjoy the utmost comfort, you should settle for a mattress whose soft top is 4 – 6 inches. It should have soft memory foam coupled with a base featuring hard latex foam. What makes memory foams a good choice?
They are excellent since they can go up 12” in terms of thickness.