mattress thickness guide (1)

Your Mattress Thickness Guide

When it comes to mattresses, there are usually two things that come into play: thickness and support. There are many mattress thickness options available on the market today, but if you’re not sure which one is best for you, here’s a guide to help make your decision easier.

Mattress Thickness Chart

Low profile mattresses

Slim Mattresses

Standard Mattresses

Tall, Thick, Deep Mattresses

Extra Tall, Extra Thick, Extra Deep mattresses

2 - 5 inches

5 - 8 inches

8 - 12 inches

12 - 16 inches

16 inches +

Factors Affecting Mattress Thickness Preferences

When it comes to mattresses, there is no ideal mattress thickness that suits all. There are usually two things that come into play: thickness and support. There are many mattress thickness options available on the market today, but if you’re not sure which one is best for you, here’s a guide to help make your decision easier.

In this section, we'll look at different factors that can affect mattress thickness preferences.

Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions may affect what mattress thickness you need. If you have back pain, arthritis, or hip pain, look for thicker mattresses because they often provide better cushioning than thinner beds. 

An 8 to 12-inch thick medium-firm mattress is a good choice for back pain sufferers. That’s because mattresses this thick are firm enough to support your back and prevent mattress sinkage while having soft enough comfort layers to conform to the natural curvature of your body. Conforming to your spine’s natural curvature enhances lumbar support, relieving back pain.

People suffering from arthritis, shoulder pain, or hip pain should choose a 12 to 14-inch thick mattress because it often has a plusher comfort layer that conforms to the curves of your body. This relieves pressure points on your shoulders, hips, and joints.

how thick should your mattress be (2)

Body Weight

If you are overweight, the thickness of your mattress is especially important to consider. Mattresses come in varying thicknesses, typically ranging from 6 inches to 16 inches or more. The thicker the mattress, the more resilient and durable it will be in supporting your weight and maintaining comfort over time. 

Mattresses that do not have a high enough thickness may not be able to support your weight, potentially leading to discomfort and sagging. If your BMI is 25 or higher, it is important to find a mattress that is at least 10 inches thick.

People who are obese (a BMI of 30 or more) should look for a mattress 14 inches thick or greater. People who have a BMI of 40 and above should consider an extra thick mattress of 18 inches.

The heavier you are, the thicker mattress you should consider purchasing. People who weigh between 250 and 400 pounds should look for a mattress at least 10 inches in thickness. Those weighing more than 400 pounds will want to choose something 14 inches or thicker.

Follow the above guidelines if you are looking for a durable and comfortable mattress that is sure to last. Remember that your body weight plays a key role in this decision, so it may be helpful to speak with a doctor or nutrition specialist about what an ideal number would be for you before purchasing a new bed.

Mattress Thickness and Your Sleeping Position

Sleeping positions can dictate the need for different mattress thicknesses. Whatever your specific needs are, it's important to know what type of mattress is best suited for you before purchasing one:

Best Mattress Thickness for Back Sleepers

Back sleepers will often want a thicker mattress to help maintain their spine alignment and prevent pain in the lower back.

The key is a relatively thick base layer and thinner comfort layer, so your mattress should be at least 10 inches tall. This provides the necessary support and strength to ensure you wake up pain-free.

mattress thickness

Best Mattress Thickness for Side Sleepers

Side sleepers will likely want extra cushioning to keep them from sinking into the bed too much while still having enough support for their shoulders and hips.

The right mattress thickness for a side sleeper is around 12 to 14 inches. This will help spread out the body weight evenly and prevent any uncomfortable pressure points especially if you are a heavy person.

Read More: How Firm Should a Mattress be for a Side Sleeper?

Good Mattress Thickness for Stomach Sleepers

Stomach sleepers might like something with a thinner comfort layer that won't push up on their stomach or restrict movement during the night.

To minimize the risk of spinal misalignment in this sleeping position, stomach sleepers require mattresses that are 10 inches thick.

Pros and Cons of Thicker Mattresses

The pros of thick mattresses are:

  • Thick mattresses are better for heavy people because each layer is thicker and can provide support under heavy body pressure.
  • Thicker beds are more durable because they won't sag as fast as thin mattresses.
  • Another advantage of a thicker mattress is that it's usually more comfortable compared to thinner models.

The cons of a thick mattress include:

  •  Thick mattresses are heavier, so if you need to move it, you'll most likely need help.
  •  Another disadvantage of a thick mattress is it will usually cost you more because they are made with higher quality materials.
  •  Thick mattresses might be difficult for people with reduced mobility to get in and out of bed.

Pros and Cons of a Thin Mattress

The pros of a thin mattress are:

  • It is very light and easy to handle because of its low weight
  • They come in a wide variety of price points, so you can get one at any budget
  • Even with older bed frames and foundations that may not be able to support the weight of a thick mattress, a thin mattress can still be used.
  • Low profile mattresses are great choice for bunk beds and trundle beds

The cons of a thin mattress are:

  •  They don't last very long because the layers are thin so they can become compressed much faster
  •  The mattress might start sagging in the middle if it is used by two people.
  •  Not the best choice for couples because a thin mattress can't hold up to the weight of two people for a very long time.
  •  Doesn't support weight evenly because of thin layers.
  •  Can be uncomfortable if you sleep on it wrong or sit on the edge.

Can A Mattress Topper Help Improve A Thin Mattress?

A mattress topper is a pad or an additional layer that is placed on top of your mattress to give it extra thickness. The benefits include:

  • It makes thin mattresses more comfortable and inviting because it acts as a cushion that spreads the weight of your body evenly
  • You can choose between different thicknesses, depending on how much you want to increase the height of your bed
  • Most importantly, it will make thin mattresses last longer because adding an extra layer on top of it will help distribute the weight evenly, preventing the layers from getting compressed and sagging

The best type of mattress topper to choose if you want to make your thin mattress thicker and more comfortable is an organic latex topper. It provides the perfect amount of firmness and comfort to make an uncomfortable mattress feel like heaven.

Organic latex mattresses are also very durable, so they will last considerably longer than thinner mattresses that have no extra layer on top.

how thick should your mattress be

Are Mattress Dimensions Linked to Mattress Thickness?

The answer is NO. the thickness of the mattress is not related to its size. A King, Queen or any other size can come in a variety of thicknesses. A lot of people think that the larger the mattress, then the thicker it should be. 

Unfortunately, this is not always true and we have seen some big-name manufacturers list very low thicknesses for their King size mattresses. This can be confusing and we think it is important for people to understand this issue.

Typically the thickness of a King, Queen or any other size mattress will be related to how firm and supportive it is (this is more relevant in larger sizes), but its actual dimensions are not related to the mattress’ thickness.

How High Should My Bed Be?

It depends on your height and your age, but 25-28 inches is the average. When choosing your bed height, you should take into consideration not only your own physical comfort, but also your personal style and sleeping position. 

Bear in mind that if you´ve got mobility issues, you may want to go with a lower bed. Likewise, if you´re much taller than average, you may want to consider a higher bed.

Why Are Mattresses So Thick?

Some mattresses are quite thick because they are made with high quality materials and special designs that provide extra comfort. Mattresses for heavy people tend to be thicker than standard models because they have more layers, which will support weight much better.

Thickness is also a matter of your personal preferences. The average height of a mattress in the US is about 8 to 12 inches, but you can find them lower or higher than that.

Having a thick mattress can be beneficial if you weigh more because it will provide extra support to your body and spine, but they are also more expensive.

Mattresses that are thicker tend to last longer, which is another advantage of choosing one with lots of layers. However, they are usually heavier than thinner models and they can be difficult to handle on your own.

If you want a mattress that will last long and provide extra support and comfort, look for one with lots of layers and thickness. On the other hand, if you prefer more lightness in your bed, choose a thin mattress with fewer layers.

mattress thickness guide

Do I Need Bigger Sheets for A Thick Mattress?

If your sheets are constantly popping off your bed, we recommend purchasing tight-fitted sheets with deep pockets to keep them on. As a general rule, mattresses thicker than 14 inches may need a larger size sheet to fit properly.

Furthermore, if you have additional items like mattress toppers or pads in your bed, you'll need a bigger pocket size. If you have a thick mattress, look for sheets with:

  • Deep pockets: Thick mattresses may require room for sheets to wrap and tuck under the mattress. Look for a sheet with deep pockets that will fully encompass your bed.
  • Elastic all around: With thicker mattresses, an elastic band all around the fitted sheet will help keep it in place.
  • Extra fabric on the side: A deep pocket fitted sheet should have more fabric on the side that reaches under your mattress, making it easier to tuck. Look for sheets with extra fabric at the end of the pocket that you can fold under and tuck into your mattress.

How Do I Measure Mattress Thickness?

In order to measure your mattress height, you will need to use a measuring tape. Before measuring, remove any bedsheets and mattress pads. This will ensure you get the most accurate measurement for your mattress thickness.  

If you’re measuring for fitted sheets and you use a padded mattress topper, do not remove the topper from the measurement.

Should I Use a Mattress Topper to Make Mattress Thicker?

If you find your mattress too thin and your bed feels too hard or too soft, a mattress topper may be an option. Mattress toppers can add up to 4 inches of thickness and also provide a softer or firmer sleeping surface, depending on the topper your choose.

There are several reasons why you might need additional thickness for your mattress for a good night's sleep:

  • If you have a worn or lumpy mattress that needs to be replaced but you can't afford to buy another one, a mattress topper can be an inexpensive way to update your outdated bed for more comfortable sleep.
  • If your mattress sits on the floor, adding height is another way to increase comfort and make getting in and out of bed easier.

We recommend using organic, hypoallergenic mattress toppers or pads that include natural materials such as latex, wool and cotton because they are the healthiest options for your bedroom. 

They contain no harmful chemicals or irritants, are resistant to dust mites and mildew, allow for proper airflow around the mattress so it doesn't collect dirt and debris, and they will last several years without breaking down.

How Thick Is a Decent Mattress?

A standard mattress thickness is about 10 to 15 inches, depending on the mattress's various layers will affect its firmness and comfort level. It's worth knowing that, generally, the thinner the mattress, the harder it will feel.

Additionally, while thickness is not the sole indicator of a mattress's longevity and general quality, you can expect that thicker mattresses will last longer and provide more comfort than thinner ones.

mattress thickness

What Is The Most Popular Mattress Thickness?

The most popular mattress thickness is 12 inches, which falls in the middle of the 8-14 inch average range for mattress thicknesses.

The comfort layer of your mattress should be at least 2-3 inches thick, while the base layer should be at least 6-8 inches thick in order to provide adequate comfort and durability for your mattress.

A 1-2 inches thick transition layer is common in most memory foam mattresses, this layer is meant to provide extra support so you can sleep comfortably.

What's The Difference between a 10-Inch And 12-Inch Mattress?

The difference between a 10 inch and 12 inch mattress is that a 10-inch mattress may work for less-heavy couples who are back sleepers, but a 12-inch one will be more supportive and longer lasting for most people, especially side sleepers. You may have to pay a little extra for a 12 inch, but your back and neck will thank you for it!

Is A 4-Inch Mattress Thick Enough?

A 4-inch mattress thickness may not be enough for many people, especially if you are a heavier person or you sleep on your side. It's because thinner mattresses provide less cushion and support for your body, and they can lead to poor sleep.

We recommend choosing at least 6 inches of thickness to provide adequate support and maximum long-term comfort.

For people with lower back issues and limited budget, we recommend opting for an 8-inch mattress which will be firmer than average while still providing the right amount of support.


Choosing the right mattress thickness is important for your comfort. All people are different, so assess what is best for you by taking into account your sleeping position, your weight, the style of bed you want, and the type of bed frame you'll be using.

By remembering these factors when shopping or surfing online for mattresses, your quest to find the perfect size will be much easier. The best kind of mattress is an organic mattress made of all natural materials such as those used in organic mattresses now available online.

These mattresses are free from harmful chemicals and are great for your health. Check our review of the best organic mattresses for more information.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *