What Is the Ideal Mattress Thickness?

2023-01-15 00:01:49 - Patrick Gruce Patrick Gruce is a seasoned journalist with over a decade of experience in the tech and media industries, offering unique insights on the intersection of technology, media, and legal/regulatory issues through his background in journalism and law.

An extra-deep mattress is the epitome of relaxation and restful sleep. When shopping for a new mattress, taking the height into account can give you a better idea of how comfortable the mattress may be.

Sleeping on a mattress that is too thin or too thick can affect your quality of life and even your health. The height or depth of a mattress is the same thing. Mattresses that are more than 16 inches in depth are typically referred to as "extra deep" or "extra tall."

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Beds can vary in height depending on the size of the person sleeping on them and the thickness of the mattress they use. Your mattress's top should be 25 inches from the floor. If you sit on the edge of the bed, your feet will be able to reach the floor, making it much easier to get in and out of bed.

This article will go over some of the factors that go into determining the thickness of a mattress, as well as some things to keep in mind when shopping for a new bed of your own.

Statistics on Mattress Density

The depth of a mattress is not governed by any established norms. The standard thickness range for a premium mattress is 8–14 inches. The categories below will give you an idea of how mattresses are arranged according to their depth.

  • Thin mattresses, measuring 2 to 5 inches in height
  • 5-8 inch thickness: compact mattresses
  • Mattresses typically range in height from 8 to 12 inches.
  • Foam mattresses that are 12-16 inches in height are considered to be thick, deep, or tall.
  • Mattresses with a depth, width, or height of more than 16 inches

The first two bullet points refer to "thin mattresses," but it's important to distinguish between low profile and slim mattresses.

Mattresses with a low profile are typically air mattresses, or they can be found in cribs and fold-away beds. A toddler bed with a low-profile mattress is a good option, and these beds can also be used in guest rooms for short-term guests. (Since these beds rarely provide adequate comfort for adults and tend to fall apart quickly, we wouldn't recommend them for people who frequently host out-of-town guests.)

These thin mattresses have multiple layers of supportive foam. Adults will sleep better on these mattresses, and those with mobility issues should consider them as an alternative to thicker models.

What Affects Mattress Depth?

Each of a mattress's layers contributes to its overall height. The typical mattress has 2 layers, but higher-end ones may have 3, 4, or even more. Various substances are found in each successive layer. Your mattress's comfort, structural integrity, and longevity are all impacted by the materials used to make it. Every mattress has two primary layers: the comfort layer and the base layer.

Supple Thickening

To start, every mattress has a soft covering known as the comfort layer. The comfort layer of an innerspring mattress, for example, is typically a pillow top made of cotton, wool, or poly-foam. A mattress with a pillow top has an extra layer of plush fabric sewn on top and stuffed inside the cover.

In contrast, the comfort layers of latex, hybrid, and memory foam mattresses are made of either of these materials. The substances used in their foundation layers vary. The top comfort layer of a mattress determines its contouring and pressure relieving capabilities.

It is recommended that comfort layers be between 2 and 3 inches in thickness. For extra coziness, some mattresses have multiple layers of foam, wool, or memory foam; others have built-in fans or a special coil system to provide specialized support for the spine; still others use electromagnetic fields to induce a state of

It's common practice to refer to the layers immediately below the comfort layer as "transition layers." The transition layers in some mattresses are designed to provide extra support for specific areas of the body, such as the neck, shoulders, back, hips, and feet. Your shoulders and hips require a softer cushion, while your head, back, and feet require firmer support.

Base Layer

Mattress longevity is determined by the quality of the base layer, also known as the foundation layer. The mattress base should account for at least half of the total thickness in a high-quality mattress. If you're looking at a 12-inch mattress, for instance, make sure the foundation layer is at least 6 inches in depth. When it comes to mattress longevity, a thicker base layer is typically preferable.

The coils that make up the foundation of innerspring and hybrid mattresses are the most common type of mattress support system. Latex mattresses typically have a polyfoam base, while memory foam mattresses typically have a latex foam base.

Questions to Ask When Choosing a Mattress Depth

The recommended minimum thickness for a long-lasting and comfortable mattress is 8 inches, which should include a 2 to 3-inch thick comfort layer and a 5 to 6-inch thick base layer.

Generally speaking, the softer a mattress is, the thicker it is. Here, we'll go over some of the things to think about when settling on a mattress depth.

Body Position While Sleeping

No matter what sleeping position you prefer, the thickness of your mattress has an effect on how well you sleep. Different sleeping positions call for different amounts of support and cushioning. Mattresses available in a variety of thicknesses are able to meet these various requirements.

  • Mattresses that are 12 to 14 inches thick and provide ample support for the hips and shoulders are ideal for side sleepers. When you sleep on your side, your entire weight is distributed across these areas. The soft comfort layers offer the necessary padding to prevent soreness in the hips and shoulders.
  • A mattress that is 10 to 12 inches thick is ideal for those who sleep on their backs because it conforms to the body's natural curves and helps prevent spinal misalignment. Backache, neck pain, and muscle stiffness are all symptoms of spinal misalignment. You won't have to worry about your back sinking into a mattress that's only 10 to 12 inches in height thanks to the thick base layer and thin comfort layer.
  • If you sleep on your stomach, you should have a mattress that is at least 10 inches thick to minimize the risk of spinal misalignment. If you prefer a firmer mattress that resists compression under your abdomen, look for one with a thinner comfort layer.
  • Those who sleep in a combination of positions tend to prefer medium-firm mattresses that are 12 inches thick. Combo sleepers require a mattress with a middle ground between firmness and softness because they shift positions throughout the night.

Body Type

How your mattress gives under your weight is based on its thickness and the materials it's made from. To get a good night's sleep, you need a mattress that provides adequate support, and this is in part determined by your weight.

  • Those who weigh less than 130 pounds per square inch when sleeping should look into mattresses that are 12 inches in height or more. The deeper padding contours to their shape, easing soreness and pressure everywhere it touches.
  • Depending on how they prefer to sleep, average-sized (130-230 lb.) people can select mattresses ranging in thickness from 10 to 12 inches. If you're in the market for a thick mattress, it's important to research the materials used in each layer. On a medium bed, most people will find a good night's sleep.
  • Mattresses between 12 and 14 inches in thickness, with a comfort layer of at least 6 inches thick, are available to plus-size sleepers (those weighing more than 230 pounds). When the mattress's comfort layer is thick enough and has enough give, it can prevent sinkage.

How You Sleep (Solo or With a Partner)

When compared to a thin mattress, a thick one with multiple layers and a substantial base layer may provide more comfort and support. It's harder on a mattress when you have a bedmate than when you sleep solo. When weight is applied to a mattress of insufficient thickness, the mattress can sag. A mattress thicker than 10 to 12 inches is recommended.

Conditions Unique to Medicine

Mattresses with thinner comfort layers and a firmer support core may be appropriate for people with medical conditions like back pain. Mattresses between 8 and 12 inches in thickness, with a medium-firm feel, are recommended for people who suffer from back pain. These mattresses are well-balanced in terms of firmness; they provide adequate support to avoid sinkage and prevent back pain, but they are also pliable enough to follow the shape of your spine. Back pain can be alleviated by selecting a back support that contours to your spine's natural curvature.

People who suffer from joint pain, such as those with arthritis, shoulder pain, or hip pain, should opt for softer mattresses with more padding. Individuals in this predicament may benefit from a mattress thickness between 12 and 14 inches. Mattresses this thick typically have softer comfort layers that conform to your body, taking pressure off your hips, shoulders, and knees.

How High Your Bed's Frame Is

Take into account the height of your box spring, foundation, platform, or adjustable bed when selecting a mattress depth. No bed should be higher than 25 inches from the floor to the top of the mattress.

If your mattress is 18 inches thick, your bed's foundation shouldn't be more than 7 inches high. People with mobility issues, such as back pain, joint pain, or arthritis, may have trouble getting in and out of taller beds.

The Pros and Cons of Extra-Thick Beds

The hips, shoulders, and other trouble spots can all find relief on thick mattresses because they are typically softer than thin beds. On the other hand, thick mattresses can be more expensive and cumbersome to move around. It's important to think about the thickness of each layer and how it will affect the feel of the mattress when shopping for a new one.


  • Extra padding makes them a good choice for those who prefer to sleep on their sides.
  • It's safer to sleep with a partner on a thicker mattress, as thinner ones can sag under the weight of two adults.


  • Having more materials and layers means a higher price tag.
  • Harder to move or make the bed with because of its increased weight from multiple layers.
  • It could be difficult for people with mobility issues to get in and out of a thicker bed because of its height.


At what depth does one typically find a mattress?

Most mattresses are between 8 and 14 inches in height. Two to three inches of comfort layer and six to eight inches of support layer make for the best mattress. A 1-2 inch thick transition layer is also present in the majority of mattresses. The bare minimum for acceptable softness and longevity

Would a more plush mattress be preferable?

The most comfortable and supportive mattresses have a thickness of at least ten inches. A mattress that is 12 to 14 inches thick is likely to provide the optimal amount of support for those who sleep on their sides. Ten to twelve inches of medium firmness is ideal for back sleepers, while a mattress firm enough to prevent sinkage under the abdomen only needs to be ten inches thick. Sleeping on your stomach can misalign your spine, which can lead to pain.

Is it true that the base layer of a mattress has an effect on its longevity?

There is a correlation between the thickness of the foundation layer and the lifespan of a mattress. Long-lasting mattresses typically last between 8 and 10 years. This is especially true of those made with high-quality base foams or sturdy pocket coils. Make sure the foundation of your bed takes up at least half the total height of the mattress.

Which memory foam mattress thickness is ideal?

Superior body contouring support can be had from mattresses with a thickness of 10 to 14 inches of high-density memory foam. They are long-lasting, with a ten- to fifteen-year lifespan. A mattress made of memory foam that is any thinner than this may not be adequately supportive or long lasting, and may show signs of soft spots and sagging in as little as three to four years.

How about a 2-inch topping?

The typical thickness of a mattress topper is between 2 and 4 inches. You can get a softer or firmer mattress set by adjusting the fillings. A 2-inch-thick topper should be sufficient if you only want to slightly alter the feel of your bed. First, determine whether you prefer a soft or firm topper, and then make your purchase decision.


The most common complaint about mattresses is that they are either too thick to get in and out of easily or too thin to provide adequate support for a good night's sleep. In order to find a happy medium between being too thick and too thin, most people recommend a mattress that is 10 to 14 inches in thickness. It's best to choose a mattress with a thickness between 10 and 14 inches, depending on your preferences and the construction materials.

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