Mattress Thickness Guide: How to Choose?
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Mattress Thickness Guide

Mattress thickness is a critical but frequently disregarded factor that affects how a mattress feels and functions. Some people believe that thicker mattresses are associated with luxury, while the thinner models typically cost less and have an uncomfortable experience.

Actually, the question of how thick a mattress should be is not ask straight forward as you may think. The ideal mattress thickness can be shaped by your sleeping position, body weight, and the height of your bed frames and foundations.

What is Mattress Thickness

Mattress thickness is also called “mattress height” or “mattress depth,” typically, you can measure the mattress thickness from the bottom of the bed to the crown. A too-thin or a too-thick mattress has a significant impact on the quality and comfort of your sleep.

Traditionally, it is viewed that a thick mattress is a representation of quality and luxury. This is true to some degree, considering that a thicker mattress means more materials are used to give those extra inches. Whether it means that it is comfortable or gives you an excellent sleep experience is something highly subjective.

First of all, know that there is no perfect mattress thickness. Secondly, the average thickness is also specific to mattress types. For instance, regular futon mattresses, mattresses for cribs, murphy mattresses, and sofa bed mattresses are thinner than the mattresses we spend on every night.

Here is a thickness table for your reference. 

Mattress Thickness ChartThickness (Inches)Thickness (Centimeters)
Extra Thick Mattress16+ inches40.64+ cm
Thick Mattress12 inches - 16 inches30.48 cm - 40.64 cm
Standard Mattress8 inches - 12 inches20.32 cm - 30.48 cm
Slim Mattress5 inches - 8 inches12.7 cm - 20.32 cm
Low Profile Mattress2 inches - 5 inches5.08 cm - 12.7 cm

In the following table, we list the more common types of mattresses and their thickness, you can choose the right material and thickness according to your needs.

TypesMemory foamHybridLatexInnerspring
Common thickness8-14 inches10-12 inches6-13 inches7-12inches

This chart is just for your reference, there is no set standard for mattress thickness. According to the characteristics of the mattress material and their sleep preferences to choose the right mattress thickness can be.

What Affects Mattress Thickness

The internal materials determine your mattress thickness; most mattresses have at least two layers inside, made from different materials, such as memory foam, latex and spring coils. The different materials affect the durability, softness and support of the mattresses, which can affect the end sleep experience. Some mattresses have 3-5 layers for more functional partitioning, such as cooling gel layers or transition materials for a richer level of quality sleep.

Comfort Layer

Comfort Layer

Some luxury mattresses may have more than one comfort layer, providing the sleeper with cooling technology or targeted support. These extra layers may contribute to the overall height of your mattress.

There are other layers beneath the comfort layer, often called transition layers. They may offer a buffer to the supportive base layer, thus allowing for a good transition from the comfort layer to the base.

Support Layer

Support Layer

The same as the comfort layer, there are various materials as the base layer in different types of mattresses. Coil support systems are generally the primary material for the support layer of spring mattresses and hybrid mattresses. Mattresses such as latex or memory foam generally have support layers latex or foam layers that are denser to provide a sturdy base.

How to Choose Mattress Thickness

There is no universal rule for mattress thickness or which thickness is best, but there are a few considerations. Novilla's product team recommends a thickness of 10-12 inches, which is feasible for most average-sized adults. There are also other factors that influence your choice of mattress thickness.

Sleeping Position

Body Weight

Your weight and the pressure you put on the mattress are closely related. Too much pressure on your bed could cause deformities in your mattress due to excess load, which affects your overall comfort and support experience during sleep. Let's see what thicknesses you may require at different weight ranges.

  • Lightweight Sleepers(less than 130 pounds)

    There is usually a misconception that lightweight sleepers need only a thin low profile mattress for quality sleep. We can tell from our experience that this is not actually true. Although there is no exact scientific evidence to suggest this, most online articles recommend that a 12-inch mattress would be the best option because it comes with a thicker comfort layer and therefore will provide better overall support for better muscle relaxation.

    In actual fact, people that are in the lighter part of the weight category usually don't exert enough weighted pressure to affect the transition or base layers too much. Their body contouring stays within the comfort layers or gel layers.
  • Mid Weight Sleepers (between 130 to 230 pounds)

    The ideal thickness option for mid-weight sleepers is 10-12 inches with medium firmness. This is very dependent on your actual sleep position. As mentioned, if you are a side sleeper, then it’s possible you need more thickness. You should check the construction of the mattress, as different combinations of layers can affect the final sleep experience.
  • Plus-Size Sleepers(above 230 pounds)

    For plus-size sleepers, it is necessary to pick a 12-14 inches mattress with at least 6 inches of the comfort layer. A thicker mattress can prevent sagging and extend the life of the mattress. We also recommend that plus-size sleepers not buy memory foam mattresses because there would be too much sinkage and ineffective support. You should consider a hybrid or a full coil mattress with a resistant support base.

Sleep Partner

Adults who are single typically have less weight on the bed, thus they won’t require as thick of a mattress. When two persons share a bed, the additional weight may make the mattress less supportive and may even lead it to sag sooner than expected. In order to support the weight of two adults, the best thickness of mattresses for couples is at least 10 to 12 inches. You could even consider a mattress that is 12 to 14 inches thick if you and your partner are heavier.

Specific Medical Needs

For people with existing medical conditions such as back pain and arthritis, specific needs should also be considered. Mattresses in the average thickness (10-12 inches) with medium firmness are enough for the back pain sufferer. Follow medical advice if the pain is unbearable, as there could be underlying problems that a mattress cannot solve.

Also, pregnant women or the elderly with limited mobility should avoid mattresses with excessive thickness, thicker mattresses make it difficult to get in and out of bed and may create more issues than the comfort it supposedly brings.

Height of Your Bed Base

Height of Your Bed Base

Take into account the height of your box spring, foundation, platform, or adjustable bed frame when choosing the thickness of your new mattress. Including your bed base and the mattress topper, the overall height of your bed shouldn’t exceed 25 inches. Sit on the edge of the mattress and check to see if your feet can rest comfortably on the floor to determine if your bed is at a reasonable height. It means that tall sleepers could require a mattress with extra height, looking at a set of bed risers or a mattress topper to slightly increase the total height to a comfortable level. 

Pros & Cons of A Thick Mattress

Thick mattresses give an image of luxury, comfort and good rest. Most people are looking for a quality sleeping experience. A thick mattress naturally becomes their first choice when purchasing a brand-new one. There is no denying that a thicker mattress is typically softer than a thin one due to its added comfort layer and plushness. 

Pros & Cons of A Thick Mattress

  • They provide more cushioning
  • Does not sag easily and can support more weight

Thick Mattress Cons

  • They are more expensive because they contain more layers/materials
  • Heavier and can be complicated to clean/store
  • Too tall for people with limited mobility

Novilla Mattress Height

We provide hybrid & memory foam mattresses in different sizes of 10-inch and 12-inch, giving you various comfort options.

Best price for side and stomach sleepers on sale - 10-inch Hybrid & Memory Foam Mattresses

10-inch Hybrid & Memory Foam Mattresses

Perfect for: all sleeper types (especially back and stomach sleepers), better weigh no more than 230 lbs.

Made with CertiPUR-US certified gel memory foam and high-density foam/pocketed coils. It provides medium-firm support to conform to your body and keeps you in a comfortable temperature.

Shop 10-Inch Mattresses
Best price for side and stomach sleepers on sale - 12-inch Hybrid & Memory Foam Mattresses

12-inch Hybrid & Memory Foam Mattresses

Perfect for: all sleeping positions, including side, back, stomach,and combo sleepers, available in different firmness levels.

Designed to deliver optimal comfort and promote spinal alignment. It may be the best choice for those who suffer from back pain, or for back and side sleepers who enjoy contouring support.

Shop 12-Inch Mattresses

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