Ideal thickness for Mattress

If you are planning to set up a new sleep setting, what are the things that you would consider?

Well, many of you might say that you would consider purchasing a comfortable mattress and a pair of pillows. And to select a good mattress you might consider the budget, which of course is very important, other than that you might consider the number of sleepers, the material of the mattress, lifespan of the mattress, and the degree of firmness. Quite satisfactory! But, there is another crucial aspect about your mattress that you should consider. We will further discuss this aspect.

The thickness of the mattress is one of the most important aspects which you should consider while purchasing your mattress. Settling for a thin mattress can cause more harm than good over the long run. The idea behind using a thick mattress is to provide your body with sufficient support without causing pressure buildup in any part of your body. Thereby, offering you an excellent sleep experience.

How to Select An Ideal Thickness for Mattress

To sleep comfortably, your mattress must offer a balance. A soft cushioning effect is enjoyable. However, too much cushioning may cause a sinking effect leading to back pain. Besides this, firmness is desirable. However, too much of it may be uncomfortable giving you ‘sleeping on a rock’ experience. These are the factors you must consider, to select a mattress of ideal thickness:

  • Number of Sleepers

As the number of sleepers increases, the weight on the mattress also increases. Hence, a thicker mattress is required to accommodate the greater weight. Using a thinner mattress for more sleepers will result in failure of delivery of adequate support by the mattress. This can eventually lead to back pain. If you are looking for a couple mattress or that for multiple sleepers, it is advised to calculate the combined body weight before proceeding to purchase.

For example, if the combined body weight is 150 kg or more, a mattress thickness of 12 inch (30.48cm) is ideal. For 150 kg and lower, mattress thickness of 10 to 12 inches is adequate. Likewise for 120 kg and lower, mattress thickness of 8 to 10 inch and for 100 kg and lower, mattress thickness of 6 to 8 inches. Finally, for 80 kg and lower, mattress thickness of 4 to 6 inch is favorable.

  • Physique of the Sleepers

For heavily built people, a thicker mattress is required. Considering the body built of the Asian community, a mattress of 6 inches (15.24cm) is sufficient. On the other hand, for lean people any type of mattress can work fine.

  • Space Availability

To accommodate the thickness of the mattress, the length and width of the mattress is also increased. Therefore a thicker mattress demands greater space.

For example, a queen-sized mattress (60 × 80) requires a room of size 10 by 10ft. And similarly, a king-sized mattress (76 × 80 inch) requires a room of size 12 by 12 ft.

  • Sleeping Style

People with different sleeping styles feel comfortable in mattresses of different thicknesses.

For example, side sleepers have pressure demands on their hips and shoulders. Hence they require a mattress thickness of 12 to 14 inch. For back sleepers, mattress thickness of 10 to 12 inch is ideal. On the other hand, stomach sleepers require a mattress thickness of 10 inches (25.4 cm). This is because the stomach should be provided with uniform support, to protect the spine and other internal organs. Finally, combination sleepers, requiring mattress thickness of 12 inches (30.48) is fine.

  • Budget

This is also an important factor to consider. This is because depending on the thickness and material, the price increases.

  • Firmness

Individuals with medical history such as arthritis, shoulder and hip pain require mattresses which are less firm or softer. A mattress thickness of 12 to 14 inch would be adequate for them. However, those suffering from chronic back ache require a mattress which is moderately firm so that the body doesn’t sink into the mattress. They require a mattress thickness of 8 to 12 inch.

Layers of the Mattress

The different layers of the mattress determine the thickness of the mattress. They are:

  • Comfort layer

This is the uppermost layer of the mattress which determines the features such as contouring of the body, temperature control and insulating the motion. The thickness of this layer is around 2 to 4 inch. The firmness of the mattress increases as the thickness of the comfort layer decreases.

  • Support layer

This is the second layer of the mattress. It delivers adequate support to the body and maintains the structure and contour of the body. This layer is usually quite thick and consists of materials like memory foam and latex foam.

  • Transition layer

This  is not necessarily found in all the mattresses. It is usually found in between the support layer and the foundation layer.

  • Base or foundation layer

This layer is also known as the foundation layer. This serves as a platform or foundation for the rest of the layers above it. Hence, this layer determines the longevity of the mattress.

You have now learned about a very crucial factor which is the thickness of the mattress. What else do you need to complete your new sleep setting? Pillows! Pillows are available in the market in various sizes. However, the most common among them is the standard pillow of size 20 by 26 inches. The standard pillows can fit perfectly on a king-sized mattress. Likewise, 2 standard pillows can fit perfectly on a queen-sized mattress. They are one of the most economical options available in the market. They are also available with various stuffings such as cotton and polyester.


We must keep in mind to select the right mattress considering all the above factors. Going for a thicker mattress can be on the costlier side. However, we should try to purchase one of greater longevity and easier maintenance. Replacing a mattress is a tough task and therefore, we must buy one which is worth the while.

Larry Alton is a blogger and passionate writer at She loves cooking and is fond of traveling.




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