Mattress Thickness Guide


What to consider when choosing a mattress thickness

It should be at least 8 inches thick, with a comfort layer at least 2 to 3 inches thick and a base layer at least 5 to 6 inches thick if you want one of the most durable mattresses that will stay comfortable for years.

If in doubt, talk to the experts at Bureau of Bedding.

Usually, the thicker the mattress, the softer it is. In this section, let’s go over the things to think about when choosing the thickness of your mattress.

Sleeping position

No matter where you sleep, the mattress feels different depending on its thickness, which affects how well you sleep. While some sleeping positions require more support, others require more padding. Mattresses can accommodate these different sleeping needs with different levels of thickness.

side sleeping: The best mattresses for side sleepers typically range in thickness from 12 to 14 inches and provide plenty of shoulder and hip support. When you lie on your side, these areas support the weight of your entire body. Soft comfort layers provide the cushioning needed to reduce pressure build-up in the shoulders and hips. And it helps keep dreams from turning into nightmares.

Rear frets: To support the natural curve of their spine and prevent spinal misalignment, people on their backs need mattresses which are 10 to 12 inches thick. Back discomfort, neck pain or muscle stiffness can be caused by or worsened by a misaligned spine. Your back is supported and won’t dig into the 10- to 12-inch-high mattress with a firm base layer and thin comfort layer.

For stomach sleepers, mattresses should be 10 inches thick to prevent spinal misalignment. Mattresses with a thinner comfort layer, which offers resistance to compression under the abdomen, will offer a harder sleeping surface.

Sleeping combination: Medium-firm 12-inch mattresses with a medium feel are usually suitable for combination sleepers. Combination sleepers want a mattress that offers a balance between firmness and softness, as they alternate sleeping on their side, back, and stomach during the night.

Do you sleep alone or with a partner?

Thicker mattresses can be more supportive than thinner mattresses due to multiple layers and a high base layer. When you share a bed with a partner, there is more pressure on your mattress than when you sleep alone. A thinner mattress may sag when subjected to more pressure. A mattress with a minimum thickness of 10 to 12 inches is required.

Special medical conditions

Thinner comfort layers and firmer mattresses may be necessary for people with specific health issues such as back discomfort. Back pain sufferers should opt for medium-firm mattresses in the 8- to 12-inch range. These beds are soft enough to follow the natural curve of your spine, yet firm enough to support your back and prevent the mattress from sagging. Adapting to the natural curve of your spine improves lumbar support and relieves back discomfort.

Those with hip, shoulder or arthritis pain require softer mattresses for better cushioning. For people with certain medical conditions, mattresses with a thickness of 12 to 14 inches are suitable. This is to relieve pressure points on your shoulders, hips and joints, as mattresses of this thickness often include plush comfort layers that conform to your shape.


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