Mattress Thickness Guide – Choosing the Right Size

Updated on November 29, 2023

Whenever you’re shopping for a mattress, this should be seen as an investment in your health, your sleep, and overall quality of life. Sleep is such a big part of everyone’s day; it’s what helps you unwind and recharge so you can take on the next day. But with that said, it’s not only about finding the perfect pillow for your head; for the right bedding that’s nice to look at but also warm, your mattress matters too. In fact, you could say that your mattress is essentially the most important aspect.

Honestly, buying a mattress can be a bit overwhelming for the fact that this is going to play such a major role in how well you sleep at night. You might be asking yourself what material is best, what size you should get, how soft or firm it should be, and then there’s the aspect of thickness, too. That’s right, memory foam mattress thickness is a thing, and it’s going to significantly impact both your comfort and the quality of sleep each night. You might even be surprised to find out that the foam mattress thickness is going to play one of the biggest roles too in getting that good night’s sleep.

Since it can be challenging to pick the right one, this guide is here to help you out! There’s so many different options out there in mattress thickness that you might be asking yourself, “What’s best for me? What should I buy?” You can hands-down expect to get a solid understanding of the different thickness options out there and how each one affects sleep. So, here’s everything you need to know, from understanding a foam mattress thickness is best for you!

Why Does Mattress Thickness Even Matter?

Have you ever been to a hotel and noticed that the mattresses were fairly thick? What about in-home decor photos that show off bedding? Well, mattress thickness is more than just aesthetics and gives off the illusion that the bed is soft and comfy. It actually plays a pretty vital role in how comfortable and even how supportive your mattress is going to be. The thickness of the foam mattress can impact multiple things, such as:

Comfort

So, the first thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that the foam mattress is directly related to its comfort level. Generally speaking, a thicker mattress tends to provide more cushioning. If you’re a side sleeper or someone who loves that “laying on a cloud” feeling, then this is the best option for you. Plus, thicker mattresses almost always have more layers of foam; this is perfect since it can contour your body’s shape, leading to that plush feeling when lying down.

Support

It’s absolutely true that the thickness of the mattress is linked to comfort, but support is another thing to keep in mind. Do you have back problems? Do you often feel muscular aches and pains when waking up each morning? What about overall uncomfortable muscle stiffness?

If you experience any of these on a regular basis or need additional support due to medical reasons, then you absolutely need to consider support because your current mattress might not be providing the support you need. A thicker mattress can provide better spinal alignment, and it’s also meant to distribute your body weight more evenly by reducing any chances of certain areas having too much pressure.

Durability

For the most part, thicker mattresses just tend to have a longer lifespan than the thinner ones. A mattress with more material is almost always less likely to develop sagging or wear over time. So, if you think about it, if you get a thicker mattress, you’ll actually be saving some money in the long run since you won’t have to deal with replacing it frequently.

Edge Support

So, another thing that needs to be put into consideration, also leading to why the thickness of the mattress matters so much, is going to be the edge support. You don’t want to feel like you might roll off the bed every time you’re on it; the thought alone is uncomfortable, and you just can’t expect to get a good night’s sleep either. So, thicker mattresses will have better edge support, meaning that you can use the entire surface without feeling like you’re going to roll off the bed at any moment.

foam mattress with gray color on wooden slat bed frame

What are the Different Types of Foam Mattress Thickness Options Available?

Honestly, there’s a thickness out there for anyone’s sleep preference. Since they come in so many different thicknesses, here are the most common ones you can expect to find when you go out shopping:

6-inch Mattresses

This is essentially the thinnest mattress that’s available. These are usually used for children’s beds from toddlers to teenagers, but they are technically adequate for young adults ranging from 20 to 30, too. This mattress thickness can also be optimal for guest bedrooms, where they won’t get a lot of use daily. They do lack plushiness that a lot of people look for, but on the bright side, they are a pretty affordable option if you’re looking at something for occasional use.

8-inch Mattresses

Since the 6-inch mattress isn’t particularly the most comfortable, the 8-inch mattress can provide a bit more support and comfort. This is also fairly budget-friendly and is best used for teenagers and college-aged adults. This is still a pretty suitable option for a guest bedroom, too, thanks to its affordability.

10-inch Mattresses

This is the most popular choice for adults of all ages, thanks to the fact that this strikes the perfect balance between providing so much comfort, support, and weight distribution, and the cost is spot-on, too! Since it has additional foam layers, this is able to provide a good night’s sleep every night, and it’s perfect for just about every sleep position out there. So, whatever your sleep preference is, you can absolutely expect the 10-inch foam mattress to suit you.

12-inch Mattresses

For those who want to feel as if you’re sleeping on a mountain of feathers or a soft, plushy cloud every night, then this one’s for you. The 12-inch mattress is for those who crave ultimate comfort and softness when they go to bed. There are more foam layers and thicknesses to this type of mattress, so for those who have chronic pain, back or hip problems, or if you want a more luxurious sleeping experience, then you can’t go wrong with this.

13- to 14-inch Mattresses

Essentially, any mattress that’s over 12 inches is ideal for heavier individuals or those who are looking for a luxurious sleep experience. It’s similar to the 12-inch mattress thickness since it’s also focused on contouring the body, distributing body weight evenly to avoid any potential pressure points, and it’s just so soft and plushy to the touch, too.

So, whether you’re a heavier individual, wanting a luxurious sleep, or experiencing chronic pain, then this could be an option too. Just be sure to check to see if 12-inch foam mattresses will work or 13+ inch mattresses will work; comparing the two in person is going to significantly help in making the right decision.

Factors That You Should Consider When Choosing the Right Foam Mattress Thickness

At the end of the day, choosing the right foam mattresses is really just a personal decision, but to a degree, this can affect your overall health. Your sleep is everything, and the quality of sleep you get each night is going to severely impact your quality of life. So it’s important to really think about it and these factors. So, here’s what you should keep in mind.

Your Sleep Position

Is there a sleep position that you know is your go-to? Such as lying on your back or side? Well, your sleep position preference needs to be considered before buying a mattress.

  • Back sleepers: The average back sleeper is going to benefit from a mattress that has a medium thickness, such as an 8-inch thick mattress. This type is definitely the best for spinal support.
  • Side Sleepers: Side sleepers need some good cushioning for their hips and shoulders, and the 12-inch mattress (or even a thicker one) is going to provide that much-needed cushioning.
  • Stomach Sleepers: Firm support is best for stomach sleepers, so you can’t go wrong with 8-inch to 10-inch thick mattresses.

Body Weight

This is something that a lot of shoppers don’t keep in mind when they’re buying a new mattress, but your weight needs to be put into consideration. At the end of the day, you need to provide support for your body while not applying pressure to certain areas, meaning the weight needs to be equally distributed.

If you’re lightweight, then a 6-inch to 10-inch thick foam mattress will suffice. If you’re in the average range, then you can’t go wrong with 10-inch to 12-inch thick mattresses, but if you’re heavier, then 12-inch or thicker is going to be best because you need to have enough support and distribution for your body.

Medical Conditions

Needless to say, medical conditions can impact your quality of life and the quality of your sleep, too. Medical conditions such as chronic pain, back problems, stiffness, and so on need to be considered. Ideally, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional, such as your GP or even a physical therapist, if you have one.

Why’s that? Well, everyone has their own specific needs, so one person with back problems might not benefit from the same mattress thickness as someone else with back problems. So be sure to consult them first before making this investment in your mattress; they’ll know which mattress thick will suit you best.

Budget

Thicker mattresses tend to be more on the expensive side; since a mattress is an investment in your sleep, it can be seen as well worth the money. But at the same time, not everyone can afford a high-end thick foam mattress. So, it’s best to consider the cost in relation to your comfort and support needs. It’s worth spending a little more if you can. Be sure to look out for sales to get a good deal.

Bed Frame

Not every bed frame can easily accommodate a mattress, particularly thick ones. So, you’ll need to ensure that your bed frame can accommodate the thickness of the mattress you’re choosing. Usually, thicker mattresses will require a compatible frame or box spring for proper support.

Aesthetics

The bed frame is important, but what about the aesthetics? Well, thicker mattresses tend to dominate a room; they’re very eye-catching. In general, a thick mattress usually gives the impression that a room is comfortable and luxurious. A thin mattress doesn’t really offer that appearance, aesthetically speaking, of course. While aesthetics are important, what matters most is your physical comfort, so be sure to prioritize that first.

Temperature

Are you someone who loves feeling cooled off when you’re sleeping, or do you prefer to feel warm? Mattress thickness and temperature do play a role together. If you’re someone that just can’t stand the heat and wants to feel cooled off when sleeping then a thicker mattress might not be ideal since these tend to retain more heat. If you’re a hot sleeper, then either opt for a thinner foam mattress or look into gel-infused memory foam instead.

The Balance of Comfort and Support

At the end of the day, it’s the quality of sleep that matters. Selecting the right foam mattress thickness is a crucial step in ensuring a restful and comfortable night’s sleep. There needs to be this perfect balance between ensuring that you’re comfortable enough to fall asleep and getting enough support so you don’t suffer any aches or pains.

So it’s all going to be based on your health, weight, sleeping position, bed frame, and budget. But all of these factors will absolutely help you get a better sleep experience and will help you get the mattress that suits your needs. Just remember that this is a long-term investment, and choosing the right one means you’ll be getting peaceful nights and feeling refreshed every morning for years to come!

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Learn more about sleep health, mattress care, product comparisons and reviews and more directly from the team at Wolf Mattress.

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