How to Choose the Perfect Mattress Thickness

When buying a mattress, most people focus on materials, size and price. While all these considerations are important, there is one widely overlooked area, and that is mattress thickness. The height of a mattress is an important consideration. But what height of the mattress is best?

When shopping for a mattress during mattress sale Toronto, most people are drawn to the idea that thicker equals more comfort. Thicker mattresses are believed to be firmer and offer better support. However, this is not always the case because you can get the same comfort, support and firmness from average mattress thickness. Each mattress thickness has its pros and cons. Your choice will be influenced by your body weight, whether you share your bed with a partner and the height of your bed. So, how thick should a mattress be? This post shares details on that and how to pick the best mattress.

Why Mattress Thickness Matters

If you are in the market for a mattress, you definitely have a couple of priorities. For most shoppers, their choice of mattress is influenced by its construction and materials. However, one area most people never think about is the height of the mattress. Needless to say, mattress height is of great importance when you want to end up with the perfect mattress.

The market is filled with mattresses of all heights. The standard mattress thickness ranges from 6 inches to 16 inches. If you want better spine support, you will need to go for mattresses that have a firmer feel. For relieving pressure points on the body, you should opt for a mattress with a plusher, softer feel.

As aforementioned, thicker mattresses are not always more comfortable. This is because comfort depends on your body type and sleeping position. Comfort is also influenced by the mattress’ construction and materials. The height of a mattress, however, matters because it correlates directly to the level of support you need. For example, heavy people need a thicker mattress so that the mattress doesn’t end up compressing or sagging. All things considered, it is better to have a thicker mattress.

Mattress Thickness Chart

When choosing a mattress, keep in mind the top of your mattress needs to be about 25 inches from the floor. That way, your feet can reach the floor when you are seated at the edge of the bed. Getting in and out of bed will thus be convenient.

Mattress Thikness Chart

Centimeters (CM)
Inches (")
  • Extra Thick Mattress
  • 35.56 cm – 50.8 cm
  • 14″ – 20″
  • Thick Mattress
  • 30.48 cm – 35.56 cm
  • 12″ – 14″
  • Standard Mattress
  • 20.32 cm – 30.48 cm
  • 8″ – 12″
  • Slim Mattresses
  • 12.7 cm – 20.32 cm
  • 5″ – 8″
  • Low Profile Mattress
  • 5.08 cm – 12.7 cm
  • 2″ – 5″

Advantages and Disadvantages of Thick Mattresses

Most of the mattresses on the market have a height of between 9 and 12 inches. However, it is good to note that the variation in the thickness profiles of mattresses should not be too perceptible if the mattress has been constructed properly. For most shoppers, a thicker mattress seems to be ideal. This is, however, not always the case. If you are unsure of the thickness to go with, here are the pros and cons of mattress thickness to help you make a more informed choice.

Thick Mattress Advantages

Thick mattresses are recommended for heavyweight people. This is because each layer is thick and able to offer adequate support under intense strain. A thin mattress cannot offer this level of support.

Thicker mattresses have a longer lifetime than thin mattresses. This is especially true because a thick bed support core is about 6 inches. Thick mattresses don’t sag as quickly.

Thick Mattress Disadvantages

Thick mattresses are heavier. They make it harder to clean underneath the bed or to move the mattress around. You will certainly need help when you want to move the mattress.

Thick mattresses are unideal for persons with restricted mobility. A thick mattress will make it harder for you to get in and out of bed if you have mobility issues.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Thin Mattresses

Thin Mattress Advantages

The main advantage of going for thin mattresses is they are less expensive than thick mattresses. You are more likely to get a great mattress for less than $1,000 if it is 10 or 11 inches thick.

Thin mattresses can be used with older bed frames. They can be used with bed foundations that are incapable of supporting the weight of thick mattresses. Unless you plan on getting a stronger bed, a thin mattress will be ideal.

Thin Mattress Disadvantages

While they are cheap, thin mattresses have one major drawback; they have a very short lifetime. These mattresses have thin layers. The thin layers are more likely to droop within a short period. Consequently, thin mattresses rarely survive a decade.

A thin mattress is not ideal for people who share a bed. Its weak structure might not be able to sustain the weight. As a result, it is very likely the thin mattress will start sinking in the middle quickly.

What You Need to Consider When Choosing the Mattress Thickness

Various Sleep Positions

The thickness of a mattress affects your comfort when sleeping. A mattress that is too thick or too thin can lead to poor sleep and even impact your health. With that being said, how much thickness is good for mattress? The answer depends on several factors, which include your health and sleeping position.

  • Combination Sleepers

  • You are a combination sleeper if you are comfortable sleeping in any position. If this describes you, you will be more comfortable on a 12-inch thick mattress that has a medium feel. Combination sleepers need a mattress that offers a balance between softness and firmness.

  • Side Sleepers

  • Are you a side sleeper? You will generally be more comfortable on a mattress that is 12 to 14 inches thick. The mattress should also offer plenty of cushioning to your hips and shoulders. These are the regions that bear most of the weight when side sleeping.

  • Stomach Sleepers

  • If you prefer to sleep on your stomach, you need a mattress that is 10-inches thick. This reduces spinal misalignment. The mattress should also have a thinner comfort layer, offering more resistance to compression beneath the abdomen. This gives a firm surface to sleep on.

  • Back Sleepers

  • If your preferred sleeping position is on your back, a mattress that is 10 to 12 inches thick will be ideal. A tall mattress with a thick base layer and thinner comfort layer supports will support the natural curvature of the spine and prevent misalignment.

Health Conditions

How thick should your mattress be? To determine this, you have to keep your medical condition in mind. If you experience back pain, a firmer mattress with a thinner comfort layer is recommended. This should be between 8 and 12 inches thick. The ideal mattress should also be medium-firm so that it is firm enough to support your back while preventing sinkage. A medium-firm mattress will, at the same time, be soft enough to conform to your spine’s natural curvature. This will relieve back pain by enhancing lumbar support.

If you have hip pain, arthritis or shoulder pain, you need a softer mattress to enhance cushioning. A mattress with a thickness of 12 to 14 inches will be ideal. It will offer plusher comfort layers that conform to your curves, relieving pressure off the hips, joints and shoulders.

Height of Your Bed

Is it better for your bed to be high or low? The ideal bed height must be considered when choosing the thickness of a mattress. The overall height of your bed, including the height of the mattress and the bed base, should not be more than 25 inches high. This means that if your foundation is 7 inches tall, the mattress you choose should not be more than 18 inches thick. You also have to account for your mobility issues. Persons with joint pain, back pain or arthritis may have trouble getting in and out of a tall bed. You may want to go with a thinner mattress or shorter foundation.

Body Type

When choosing a mattress, you must consider your body type. You need a mattress that is able to support your body adequately so that you can enjoy a restful night’s sleep. The thickness of a mattress and the materials used in its construction determine how it responds to your body weight.

  • Lightweight Sleeper

  • If you weigh less than 130 pounds, you are a lightweight sleeper. You need a mattress that is at least 12 inches thick. These mattresses have thicker comfort layers that conform to your body, thus relieving pressure points and reducing pain.

  • Average Sleeper

  • Average sleepers weigh between 130 and 230 pounds. If you are in this category, you need a mattress that is between 10 and 12 inches thick. Pay attention to the construction materials. Average sleepers feel better on medium beds.

  • Plus-size Sleeper

  • If you weigh more than 230 pounds, you will sleep better on a mattress that is 12 to 14 inches thick. It should also have a comfort layer of at least 6 inches. Thick comfort layers prevent mattress sinkage.

Sleeping Alone vs Sharing a Bed with a Partner

When sharing a bed with a partner, there is more pressure on the mattress. But which is better, a 6-inch or 8-inch mattress? The answer will depend on your body weight and preferred sleeping position. Keep in mind that a thinner mattress will sag under your weight. Go for a thicker mattress. When given a choice between 10 inch vs 12 inch, go for 12 inches. Thicker is more durable and supportive.

FAQs – Choosing the Best Mattress Thickness For Your Sleep

What is the average thickness of a mattress?

The average mattress thickness ranges from 8 to 14 inches. You should, however, make sure the mattress you pick has a comfort layer of at least 2 to 3 inches thick. The mattress must also have a base layer thickness of at least 6 to 8 inches. The majority of mattresses also have a 1 to 2-inch-thick transition layer. This is the minimum thickness that is needed for durability and adequate comfort.

Which is the most popular mattress thickness?

The ideal mattress thickness depends on several factors, including body types, sleeping positions, number of sleepers as well as personal preference. However, the most versatile mattress thickness is 1-inch and 12-inch. This offers different levels of firmness for all types of sleepers. Single sleepers and couples will also find amazing support and comfort from these two thicknesses. The 12-inch thickness fits plus-sized sleepers.

Is it better to have a thicker mattress?

For enhanced comfort, mattresses with a thickness of 10 inches or more are better. For side sleepers, a mattress with a thickness of 12 to 14 inches will offer extra cushioning. Back sleepers benefit from mattresses that are 10 to 12 inches thick and medium-firm. Stomach sleepers will sleep better on a 10-inch mattress that is firm enough to prevent sinkage beneath the abdomen.

Does the base layer of a mattress affect its durability?

The answer is yes. Mattresses that have sturdy pocket coils or durable base foams last between 8 and 10 years. When choosing a mattress, ensure the base layer is at least 50 percent the height of your bed.

What is the best thickness for a memory foam mattress?

High-quality memory foam mattresses that are 10 to 14 inches thick are enough to offer body conforming support. They can last 10 to 15 years. Memory foam mattresses that are thinner than 10 inches will not provide adequate support and will not be as durable. The thinner mattress will tend to sag or develop soft spots within 3 to 4 years.

Are 2-inch toppers enough?

Mattress toppers are 2 to 4 inches thick. Depending on the materials used in their construction, they can firm up or soften the bed. If you want to alter the feel of your bed a little, you should go with a 2-inch thick topper. Always check if the topper will soften or firm your bed before buying.

Final Thoughts on the Right Mattress Height

As seen in this mattress thickness guide, choosing the right mattress thickness is crucial to your comfort. A mattress that is too thick may make it hard for you to climb in and out of bed, whereas a mattress that is too thin may offer inadequate support, thus leading to poor sleep quality. If you are not sure which size of the mattress to buy, the 10 to 14-inch-thick mattress is the average mattress height.

Ready to buy a mattress? At Queensway Mattress Store, we offer the best mattresses in Toronto.


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