How Thick Are Mattresses?

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ranging from 8 to 14 inches

Mattresses typically vary in thickness from 8 to 14 inches. A comfort layer of at least 2-3 inches thick and a foundation layer of at least 6-8 inches thick are required for the greatest mattress. A 1-2 inch thick transition layer is also included in most mattresses.

Quick Answer

Luxury, comfort, and a good night’s sleep are all linked with thick mattresses.

Everyone wants to sleep in a beautiful bed every night, so considering the height when purchasing a new mattress will give you a better feel of how comfortable the mattress may be.

Mattress thickness influences your comfort since sleeping on a mattress that is either thin or too thick may lead to poor sleep and negatively damage your health.

The mattress’s thickness is also known as its height or depth.

Exceptionally deep or extra-tall mattresses are those that are thicker than 16 inches.

The height of your bed is also affected by the thickness of your mattress.

The top of your mattress should ideally be 25 inches above the floor.

When sitting at the edge of the bed, your feet may reach the floor, making it easier to get in and out of bed.

This article discusses the elements that influence mattress thickness and what to consider when selecting the thickness of your new bed.

Mattress Thickness Chart

There are no industry standards for mattress thickness.

The majority of high-quality mattresses are 8 to 14 inches thick.

The table below shows how mattresses are classified depending on their thickness.

  • Low-profile mattresses range in thickness from 2 to 5 inches.
  • Slim mattresses are 5 to 8 inches thick.
  • Standard mattresses range in size from 8 to 12 inches.
  • Mattresses that are 12 to 16 inches thick, deep, or tall
  • Mattresses that are thicker, deeper, or taller than 16 inches

Although the first two bullets refer to “thin mattresses,” there is a distinction to be made between low-profile and slender mattresses.

Low-profile mattresses are often air mattresses or cribs and fold-away beds.

A low-profile mattress is ideal for a toddler, and it may also be used in guest rooms when an extra bed is required.

(We wouldn’t suggest them for folks who often entertain out-of-towners as these beds aren’t normally comfy for an adult and they break down rapidly).

Slim mattresses include foam layers that provide comfort and durability.

These mattresses can accommodate people more comfortably and are an excellent solution for folks with restricted mobility who prefer not to sleep on heavy mattresses.

Factors Determining Mattress Thickness

The depth of a mattress is determined by the thickness of each layer inside it.

Most mattresses have two layers, but high-quality mattresses may have three, four, or more.

Different materials are used in each layer.

These materials have an impact on your mattress’s cushioning, support, and longevity.

The comfort layer and the foundation layer are the two essential layers present in all mattresses.

#1. Layer of Comfort

The luxurious top layer of the mattress is the comfort layer.

The comfort layer in certain mattress types, such as innerspring beds, is a pillow top made of cotton, wool, or poly-foam.

A pillow top is a soft material surface layer that is sewn and packed with the mattress cover.

Other mattress styles contain latex or memory foam comfort layers, such as latex, hybrid, or memory foam mattresses.

Their foundation layers are built from various materials.

The hardness and feel of a mattress’s top comfort layer determine its contouring and pressure-relieving properties.

To offer enough cushion and support, comfort layers are typically 2 to 3 inches thick.

Some mattresses may have many comfort layers to increase plushness, or they may contain specific sleep technology like cooling features or tailored back support.

These additional layers lying underneath the comfort layer are typically termed transition layers.

Transition layers in certain mattresses provide personalized comfort to various parts of your body, such as your head, shoulders, back, hips, and feet.

Firmer support is required for your head, back, and feet, while a softer cushion is required for your shoulders and hips.

#2. Base Layer

Mattress durability is determined by the base layer, often known as the foundation layer.

The foundation layer accounts for at least half of the overall mattress thickness in most high-quality mattresses.

If you’re purchasing a 12-inch mattress, for example, be sure the base layer is at least 6 inches thick.

Mattresses with a thicker foundation layer are often more durable because they prevent mattress sinking.

The foundation layer of classic innerspring and hybrid mattresses is constructed of coils.

The foundation layer of most memory foam mattresses is poly-foam, but the base layer of latex beds might be latex foam or poly-foam.

What to Consider When Deciding on Mattress Thickness

If you want one of the most durable mattresses that will keep you comfortable for years, it should be at least 8 inches thick, with a 2 to 3-inch comfort layer and a 5 to the 6-inch thick foundation layer.

The thicker the mattress, the softer it feels.

In this part, we will go through the things to consider when choosing on the thickness of your mattress.

#1. Position for Sleeping

Different mattress thickness levels change the feel of the mattress, which affects your sleep quality regardless of your sleeping position.

Certain sleeping postures need more padding, while others require more support.

Mattresses of differing thickness levels can accommodate these diverse sleep requirements.

Side Sleepers: The finest mattresses for side sleepers are typically 12 to 14 inches thick and provide enough cushioning to the shoulders and hips.

In the side sleeping position, these areas carry the weight of your whole body.

The soft comfort layers give the necessary padding to relieve discomfort in the shoulders and hips.

Back Sleeping: Back sleepers need mattresses that are 10 to 12 inches thick in order to maintain the natural curve of their spine and avoid spinal misalignment.

Spinal misalignment produces or aggravates back discomfort, neck soreness, or muscular stiffness.

A mattress that is 10 to 12 inches tall with a solid foundation layer and a smaller comfort layer supports your back and keeps it from sinking.

Stomach Sleepers need 10-inch thick mattresses to avoid the possibility of spinal misalignment.

Mattresses with a thinner comfort layer give a firmer sleeping surface, preventing compression under your abdomen.

Combination Sleeping: Mattresses with a 12-inch thickness and a medium feel are often appropriate for combination sleepers.

Because combination sleepers alternate between sleeping on their sides, backs, or stomachs during the night, they need a mattress that strikes a balance between hardness and softness.

#2. Body Shape

The thickness of a mattress and the materials used in its construction influence how well it reacts to your body weight.

You should choose a mattress that is supportive enough for a restful night’s sleep, and your weight will play a role in this decision.

Mattresses 12 inches tall or thicker are a suitable alternative for lighter folks (those weighing less than 130 pounds).

The thicker comfort layers contour to their body, easing pressure spots and alleviating aches and pains.

Average Sleepers (weighing 130 to 230 pounds): Depending on their resting posture, average-size sleepers may pick between 10 and 12-inch thick mattresses.

Check the material used to construct each layer of a thick mattress to learn how it affects the feel of your mattress.

A medium bed is suitable for average sleepers.

Plus-Size Sleepers (those weighing more than 230 pounds): Plus-size sleepers may pick from 12 to 14-inch thick mattresses, with a comfort layer at least 6 inches thick.

Mattress sinkage may be avoided by using thicker comfort layers with enough give.

#3. Sleeping Alone or Sharing Bed With a Partner

Thicker mattresses with many layers and a tall base layer may be more supportive than thinner mattresses.

When you share a bed with a spouse, the strain on your mattress is greater than when you sleep alone.

More pressure applied to a thinner mattress might cause it to droop.

A mattress that is at least 10 to 12 inches thick is required.

#4. Particular Medical Conditions

Patients suffering from specific medical issues, such as back discomfort, may need firmer mattresses with thinner comfort layers.

Back pain patients can choose 8 to 12-inch mattresses with a medium-firm texture.

These beds are hard enough to support your back and prevent mattress sinkage, yet soft enough to adhere to your spine’s natural curve.

Conforming to the natural curve of your spine improves lumbar support and relieves back discomfort.

Those with arthritis, shoulder discomfort, or hip trouble require softer beds for better cushioning.

Mattresses 12 to 14 inches thick are an excellent choice for persons suffering from certain medical issues.

This is due to the plusher comfort layers that contour to your curves, easing pressure areas on your shoulders, hips, and joints.

#5. Your Bed’s Base Height

Consider the height of your box spring, foundation, platform, or adjustable bed when deciding on the thickness of your new mattress.

Your bed’s entire height, including the bed foundation and mattress, should not exceed 25 inches.

If your mattress is 18 inches thick, your bed base should be no more than 7 inches tall.

People with restricted mobility, such as those suffering from back pain, joint discomfort, or arthritis, may struggle to get into and out of higher beds.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Thick Mattresses

Thick mattresses are often softer than thin beds, providing a softer surface for the hips, shoulders, and other sensitive regions.

However, thick mattresses have significant disadvantages, such as being heavier and more costly.

Consider the thickness of each layer and how it affects the feel of the mattress when purchasing a new bed.

#1. Benefits

  • They provide additional cushioning, which is particularly beneficial for side sleepers.
  • Thicker mattresses can support two people’s weight, but thinner mattresses may droop.

#2. Drawbacks

  • They are more costly since they have more layers/materials.
  • Heavier owing to the additional layers, making it difficult to raise the mattress while making the bed or transporting it to another room.
  • Thicker beds may become overly tall, making it difficult for persons with restricted mobility to get into and out of bed.


What is the typical mattress thickness?

Mattresses typically vary in thickness from 8 to 14 inches.

A comfort layer of at least 2-3 inches thick and a foundation layer of at least 6-8 inches thick are required for the greatest mattress.

A 1-2 inch thick transition layer is also included in most mattresses.

This is the bare minimum for good comfort and durability.

Is a thicker mattress preferable?

Mattresses 10 inches thick or more are recommended for maximum comfort and support.

If you sleep on your side, a mattress 12 to 14 inches thick would most likely offer the additional padding you want.

Back sleepers often choose a 10 to 12-inch thick medium-firm mattress, while stomach sleepers may need a 10-inch mattress hard enough to avoid sinkage under your tummy.

We do not encourage stomach sleeping since it might create spinal misalignment and discomfort.

Does the foundation layer have an impact on mattress durability?

Yes, the thickness of the foundation layer does have an impact on mattress durability.

Mattresses with strong foundation foams or pocket coils often last 8-10 years.

When choosing on mattress thickness, make sure the base layer is at least half the height of the bed.

What thickness memory foam mattress is best?

High-quality memory foam mattresses that are 10 to 14 inches thick are enough for providing body-conforming support.

They are long-lasting, lasting 10 to 15 years.

Thinner memory foam mattresses may not be sturdy or durable enough, producing soft areas and sags after three to four years.

Is a 2-inch topper sufficient?

Mattress toppers may range in thickness from 2 to 4 inches.

They may soften or firemen your bed depending on the materials used to construct them.

If you just want to change the look of your bed, a 2-inch thick topper should be enough.

Before purchasing, determine if it is a soft topper or a hard topper and then choose appropriately depending on your needs.


Too-thick mattresses make getting in and out of bed problematic, while too-thin mattresses may not provide adequate support for a good night’s sleep.

When you choose a mattress that is 10 to 14 inches thick, you achieve a balance between too thick and too thin.

Depending on your demands and the materials used to construct the mattress, a mattress in the 10 to 14-inch range is preferable.

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Ryan is a RV product expert with nearly a decade of experience researching, developing, and testing RV products.

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