How Thick Is The Average Mattress?

Updated October, 2020
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Most mattresses are between 8 to 14 inches thick. A standard mattress is between 8 to 12 inches thick, while a deep or tall mattress is 12 to 16 inches thick. Any mattress thinner than 8 inches is usually best for young children or adults with limited mobility.

Factors affecting mattress thickness

Number of layers

If we breakdown a mattress to its basic construction, nearly all consist of a base layer and a comfort layer. The base layer must be at least half of the mattress's height to ensure durability. The comfort layer is usually 2-3 inches thick and can consist of cotton, wool, poly-foam, latex or memory foam, depending on the mattress. High-quality mattresses may have additional layers, known as transition layers. These transition layers are specially made to offer comfort to specific parts of your body like the head, shoulders, back, hips and feet. Mattresses with these additional layers are thicker and therefore more expensive.

Materials used

The materials inside a mattress directly correlate to how thick it's going to be. Memory foam mattresses are typically made to be around 10 inches tall. A hybrid mattress combining both foam and a pocketed spring coil base is going to be much thicker due to the height of the coils and the added layers of memory foam and transitional foam.

Firmness level

Whether you prefer an extra-firm bed or a cloud-like plush mattress, how thick a mattress is, can determine its firmness level. Softer feeling mattresses tend to combine multiple comfort layers, transitional layers, and usually feature a pillow top. All of these materials naturally create a thicker mattress. However, firmer feeling beds use minimal materials, usually consisting of just the basics: a base layer and a comfort layer. This leads to a thinner mattress overall.

What thickness of bed do I need?

The answer to this question depends on your personal needs, which is affected by your preferred sleeping position, body weight and any health conditions you have. Determining the best mattress thickness for your needs is crucial. The last thing you want is to wake up in the morning with unnecessary pain or soreness.

Sleeping position

  • Side sleepers need a softer, thicker mattress to help comfort their shoulders and hips. Out of all sleeping positions, this one has all of your body weight on a smaller surface area, so more cushion is needed.
  • Back and stomach sleepers need a mattress at least 10 inches thick with a thinner comfort layer to reduce the chances of spinal misalignment.
  • Those who alternate between sleeping positions throughout the night need a mattress between the previous two options at 12 inches thick.

Body weight

  • Lighter individuals (less than 130 lbs) should consider a mattress 12 inches or thicker.
  • Those with an average weight (130-230 lbs) should choose a mattress between 10 to 12 inches thick.
  • Plus-size individuals (over 230 lbs) should choose a mattress between 12 to 14 inches thick.
  • You should also take into account whether you're sleeping alone or with a partner. If your mattress has to support two people, it should be thicker to accommodate the extra pressure (about 10 to 12 inches).

Finally, if you have any chronic pains or joint problems, you should consult your doctor before buying a new mattress. Thicker mattresses tend to be softer, but it's best to know for certain what is best for your unique needs.

Where can I find a great, affordable mattress (in 2020)?

If you're searching for an affordable mattress that offers a wide range of comfort and pressure relief, we've compiled a list of mattresses for you to consider:

  1. Saatva Mattress - fantastic for all sleep positions, and is rated our Best Mattress of 2020.
  2. Idle Sleep - great for responsive pressure relief.
  3. Puffy - feels like you're sleeping on a cool cloud (at a good price).
  4. Ghostbed - beautiful, plush cover w/ aerated latex and healthy spinal alignment.
  5. Winkbeds - 3-stage back relief with free shipping and returns.

Read our short, well-researched 10 Best Mattresses of 2020, here. Our ultimate goal is to help you pick your perfect mattress online, today!

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Saatva is our top pick for the #1 mattress in 2020! They're a luxury bed shipped directly to your door (with white-glove delivery), and over 50,000 reviews.

Check Price →
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