Mattress thickness plays a crucial role in how much comfort a sleeper derives from their beds and overall sleep health.
A thin mattress won't provide much support for heavy sleepers and therefore is best for light sleepers.
Are you wondering what the right mattress thickness is for you?
This article will outline some of the basic principles of mattress thickness and look at what you should consider when purchasing your bed.
Before we go any further, it's important to know the variables contributing to the thickness of any mattress.
Manufacturers may include many layers in a mattress. The average thickness of a mattress, however, is influenced by just two layers.
This is the soft, plush layer or the top of your mattress. It is where you sleep and where you will experience the most comfort.
Your mattress comfort layer must offer a welcoming feeling that allows you to sink into your mattress when you lay on it.
Often, this layer is made out of memory foam which is notorious for being one of the more comfortable materials for sleepers.
This is the layer beneath your comfort layer. The base or support layer provides support and helps to distribute weight evenly across the mattress.
A supportive base ensures that you don't wake up sore, but it also needs to be thick enough to maintain shape with daily use.
Additionally, it helps the mattress retain its structure over time, meaning you don't have to buy a new one each year.
Remember, a top-rated mattress in a box in Canada will offer the right balance of comfort, support, and durability. Be sure to check those out!
Now, let's look at what factors to consider to help you choose the right mattress thickness.
Generally, your body weight, sleeping position, and medical condition all play a role in choosing your mattress thickness.
Let's look at these in detail:
Your body weight is a function of the amount of pressure you'd exert on your mattress. As a result, heavier people will require thicker mattresses than lighter ones.
Also, if you are looking to answer the question, how long does a mattress last? It would help if you considered your body weight too.
See the weight categories below to determine the right mattress thickness for you.
If you are a petite sleeper weighing 130lbs or less, you should go with a thinner mattress.
Additionally, you'd want to be careful when choosing a mattress because your small body size makes you more susceptible to pressure points.
This can lead to uncomfortable sleep and even back pain. Mattresses (12 inches or thicker ) will be the perfect fit if you fall into this category.
If you are an average-sized sleeper weighing between 130 and 230lbs, you'll need a 10 to 12-inch mattress.
Your sleeping position will also be a crucial factor too. For instance, if you sleep on your side, you'd want a little thicker or thinner mattress for adequate support.
If you are over 230 pounds, you will probably want to go with a thick mattress. This is because your body will exert more pressure, leading to a loss of support and a sagging mattress.
For heavy sleepers, it's recommended that you consider getting mattresses that are 14 inches in thickness or higher.
A thick mattress gives you a much better sleep and helps strengthen the spinal column and joints.
Once you've figured out your weight, your sleeping position is the next thing to consider when choosing a mattress.
This determines the amount of support you'll need from your bed.
For instance, if you're a back sleeper, you'll want a mattress thick enough to support your spine.
On the other hand, stomach sleepers will need thinner mattresses because their bodies will be lying flat and need to sink into the mattress more for adequate spinal alignment.
See the sleeping positions below to determine what thickness of the mattress is right for you:
If you are a back sleeper, you'd want to purchase a mattress with a thin comfort layer and a thicker base.
This helps your hips and spine align better when your back is on top of the mattress.
Ideally, the standard mattress thickness for back sleepers should be 10-12 inches.
A side sleeper needs a thicker base to support the hips and shoulders. Hence, a mattress with a thick comfort layer will be the right fit.
These mattresses for side sleepers should be about 12-14 inches thick.
This will help reduce pressure on your shoulders and hips because the mattress will support your body weight better.
If you are a stomach sleeper, you'll need a thinner mattress. The standard mattress thickness for stomach sleepers is between 10-12 inches.
Usually, stomach sleepers tend to lie flat while they sleep rather than curling up, as in the case of side sleepers.
This means that less pressure will be exerted on the mattress than side or back sleeping positions where your hips and spine can become misaligned.
Not all people are the same when buying mattresses; some have a medical condition that should influence their decision.
For instance, people suffering from Parkinson's Disease tend to move a lot during their sleep(1).
Their bodies tend to rock and roll as they toss and turn, especially when changing positions.
If your doctor mentions this type of medical condition, then you should go with a firmer mattress that can support your movements without causing discomfort or pain.
As discussed above, there are many factors that you should consider when looking for a mattress.
The thickness of your mattress is one of the factors, but it's not the only one. In general, you should factor in your weight, sleeping position, and medication condition when choosing a mattress thickness.
An 8-inch mattress may not provide enough neck, hip, and back support. It could suffice if you're a lighter single sleeper, but low-profile mattresses and thin mattresses often don't offer adequate comfort.
Mattresses typically vary in thickness from 8-14 inches on average. A comfort layer of at least 2-3 inches thick and a support layer of at least 6-8 inches thick are required for stability of the mattress and general comfort of the sleeper.
There are many types of mattresses with varying thickness available in the market today, and choosing the one that best fits your needs may be tough.
It doesn’t matter if you go for a king size mattress, your decision will depend on your weight, pain history, sleeping position, sleep quality, and personal preference.
Start with the considerations above to help bring home the right mattress for you. Good luck.
If you have questions about your mattress thickness, leave them in the comments below, and we'll get back to you soon.
Yurii Brown is the Founder and Sleep Content Writer at SleepingNorth. Within his first year running the website, he has published over 50 articles that educate readers on sleep and help them find the most suitable sleep products. He pays more attention to analyzing each mattress construction, the different materials used within it, the feel each material contributes, and the best sleeping position they would work for. Having properly examined each product, he provides in-depth reviews that cut to the chase and provide readers with the value they need for more restorative sleep hygiene.