Before we go into the guide, let us see whether to buy a thick or a thin mattress.
Why should you go for a thick mattress?
Thick mattresses are ideal for heavily built people. Side sleepers enjoy sleeping on thick beds because they offer excellent support.
Why should you not go for a thick mattress?
People having restricted mobility issues must avoid thick beds. Thick mattresses are naturally more expensive than their thinner counterparts.
When is a thin mattress preferable to a thick bed?
Thin beds are comparatively easier to transport. Of course, thin beds cost substantially less than thick mattresses.
When should you avoid thin mattresses?
Thin mattresses are less durable than the thicker beds. Thin beds cannot withstand the user’s weight for extended periods.
Does mattress thickness matter?
Yes. Thickness matters because it relates to the comfort of your experience and the overall support it provides to the user. Therefore, high-quality mattresses are manufactured in multiple layers, like the core base, the support layer, and the comfort layer.
Generally, the comfort and support layers have varying degrees of thickness. All the layers together constitute the mattress’s overall thickness.
Let us now discuss the purpose behind having comfort and support layers separately and with varying thickness levels.
The comfort layer constitutes the topmost layer of your mattress and is responsible for making you feel comfortable so that your body remains at ease. Therefore all mattresses, regardless of whether they are manufactured to provide support and firmness, have a distinct comfort layer.
Besides making you feel comfortable, the comfort layer helps regulate body temperature. It is the most flexible part of your bed, made of materials that adjust its shape to suit your body’s contours. It makes you feel comfortable and allows you to sleep in different positions. The comfort layer ensures that your blood circulation is at the optimum.
Usually, comfort layers are made from memory or polyurethane foam, depending on the type of mattress you buy. Mattresses designed to provide more comfort than support have thicker comfort layers. Thus, luxury mattresses have thicker comfort layers to provide the highest comfort and luxury.
The support layer lies immediately beneath the comfort layer and supports your body. The support layer defines your posture alignment and makes your body stay in the proper posture rather than providing a feeling of sinking or elevation.
A mattress can sometimes have more than one support layer because it prevents the comfort layer from sinking too deep and maintains the core layer’s integrity.
Support layers are highly dense and made from materials like latex, rebonded, HR, and memory foam, depending on the mattress type. The support layer helps maintain the mattress’s structure and prevents sagging.
Thus, the support layer complements the comfort and core layer while absorbing the body’s pressure from the innerspring coils beneath it.
How thick should the comfort and support layers be?
It depends on the purpose for which you use the mattress. Users looking for comfort more than support can choose mattresses with multiple foam layers because they offer better comfort.
The comfort layer in such a mattress can take up 50% of the overall mattress thickness, allowing your body weight to sink into it. Such mattresses have thinner support layers.
In contrast, users purchasing mattresses to support backache issues must look for beds with thinner comfort layers. They must go for mattresses where the support layer is nearly or over 50% of the overall thickness. The materials that form the support layer have high density to provide uniform support to the body.
The mattresses available on the Indian market are usually between six to ten inches thick. Therefore, you can choose your mattresses depending on your requirements. For example, mattresses that provide more comfort have a comfort layer ranging between three to five inches. On the other hand, a mattress used for supporting back pain must have support layers between four to six inches.
An 8-inch mattress for comfort has a comfort layer of between five inches and a support layer of around two inches. In contrast, a mattress of similar thickness for supporting backache has a support layer of five inches and a comfort layer of two inches. Thus, the thickness of the mattress matters a lot.
Does the mattress’ thickness depend on its type?
The mattress thickness depends on the materials used in its construction because one material with a specific density might offer reactive pressure up to a certain degree, whereas another material with the same density may not.
Therefore, mattress manufacturers use different materials for constructing mattresses.
Regular foam mattresses are helpful from a comfort angle because these beds do not have a substantial support layer. These beds sink more than memory or latex foam beds under the user’s weight. Therefore, such mattresses must be sufficiently thick to support the body weight. Therefore an 8-inch foam mattress can have a comfort layer comprising up to six to seven inches of regular foam.
While regular foam offers more comfort, the bonded foam mattresses are firmer and offer better support to the user’s spine. Therefore, they work well as orthopedic mattresses. Such beds are excellent for heavy individuals because bonded foam can withstand body weight and deliver uniform reactive pressure.
Bonded foam is ideal for use in the support layer. Usually, these beds are comparatively thinner than regular foam beds. A bonded foam bed with three to four inches of thickness can withstand heavy weights comfortably.
Mattresses have a memory foam layer to absorb body pressure without returning it. These mattresses give a sinking experience to offer the highest levels of comfort. Memory foam can adjust to body contours and comfort your spinal cord column. Since memory foam mattresses compress while absorbing pressure, they must have an excellent support layer of polyurethane or high-resilience foam.
Memory foam beds require a high-density support layer to ensure they do not sag or lose their bounciness. Thus, the mattress holds its shape for extended periods. The ideal memory foam beds must be at least eight inches thick with a support and comfort layer of equal thickness.
Latex foam mattresses have a comfort layer made from medium-soft or medium-firm density latex foam, depending on your requirements. Users seeking more comfort can choose an additional PU foam layer in the quilt. The benefit of PU foam is that it balances the bouncing effect of latex foam and provides more comfort.
Generally, the latex foam layer is between two to four inches, depending on the comfort level you seek. Since latex foam is expensive, mattress manufacturers do not construct entire beds made of latex foam. They prefer medium-soft or medium-firm latex foam in the comfort layer, whereas the support layer is PU or HR foam.
The benefit of latex foam is that it lasts long. So a three-inch latex foam layer is sufficient to deliver a comfortable sleeping experience.
Innerspring mattresses are unique because they have different spring systems for comfort and support layers. Generally, the spring layers are at most four inches. These mattresses have additional sponge or foam in the topmost comfort layer to provide more comfort. Orthopedic mattresses have a more robust layer to provide the necessary support and alignment to the spinal cord column.
Usually, a spring mattress should have a total thickness of eight inches to provide the ideal combination of comfort and support.
Dual comfort Mattress
Memory foam and latex foam beds cannot be used on both sides as you do with spring beds. However, dual comfort mattresses offer the luxury of using them on both sides. Therefore, dual-comfort mattresses are usually seven to eight inches thick. Such mattresses have double support and comfort layers with a total thickness of three to four inches. It enables you to use the mattress on both sides.
What are the different thickness options available in mattresses?
Mattresses are usually classified into three categories, depending on their overall thickness. These beds have comfort and support layers with varying degrees of thickness.
Slim Mattresses – Mattresses with a total thickness of up to five inches qualify as slim mattresses. They are budget-friendly, light, and comfortable to carry anywhere. Usually, such mattresses are used in guest bedrooms.
Everyday Use Mattresses – Ideally, the daily use mattress must be six to eight inches thick. You can have a thicker comfort or support layer, depending on your preferences. For example, a thicker comfort layer is preferable for comfort, whereas a thicker support layer is ideal for people with back issues.
Hospitality Mattresses – Generally, you find huge mattresses in hotels that offer excellent bounciness and comfort. They are special-use mattresses with a thickness of over eight inches. Depending on the budget, they can extend to ten to twelve inches thick or even more.
Does your sleeping pattern define your mattress’ thickness?
Yes. Your sleeping patterns are critical in deciding the thickness of the mattresses you purchase. For example, people preferring to sleep on their backs can manage with slimmer mattresses, whereas side sleepers or those sleeping on their stomachs require thicker beds.
Back Sleepers – The comfort layer allows the body to sink into the bed with its weight, but the support layer ensures perfect orientation. Therefore, people sleeping on their backs can choose beds with a comfort layer of two to three inches thick and a support layer of three to five inches. So, the ideal mattress for back sleepers must be six to eight inches thick. You can always use a mattress topper if you need more comfort.
Side Sleepers – Side sleepers can find their shoulders sinking into the beds more than their heads. It can affect spinal cord alignment. Therefore, the support layer should ideally be firmer and denser to support the body contours. Therefore, if the comfort layer is three to four inches thick, the support layer thickness must be four to five inches to ensure perfect spinal cord alignment. So the overall mattress thickness can be eight to ten inches thick.
Stomach Sleepers – Though sleeping on the stomach is not advisable, many people do so. Usually, obese people with thicker waists need thicker mattresses because of the presence of abdominal fat. The thicker the mattress, the more comfort it provides to the spine. People with less abdominal fat need beds with a denser support layer to ensure their spine remains upright. Ideally, stomach sleepers need mattresses with a thickness of eight to ten inches.
How does your weight define the mattress’ thickness?
Besides your weight, your BMI and body distribution are crucial in deciding the mattress’s thickness.
Underweight people can adjust to thin and thick mattresses equally comfortably. Such people do not have any specific preferences. They can choose mattresses with an ideal thickness of up to eight inches. Depending on their preferences, they can choose a more prominent comfort layer if comfort is their priority. Underweight people with back issues can select orthopedic mattresses with a firmer support layer.
People with an average body weight do not face many issues with choosing their beds because most beds on the Indian market scene are ideal. However, if you seek more comfort, you can choose a bed with a more significant comfort layer, like memory foam or latex foam beds.
On the other hand, people with back problems can choose mattresses with a more prominent support layer. The ideal mattress thickness can be between six to eight inches.
Overweight people need thicker and denser beds because they can have posture and blood circulation issues. Such people require a medium-firm comfort layer and a thicker and denser support layer. Obese people should choose beds thicker than eight or ten inches to provide ideal comfort and support.
Do your partner’s sleeping habits affect your bed’s thickness?
Your partner can have a different bodyweight distribution. He could be a restless sleeper who tosses in bed, frequently changing positions. Therefore, the ideal mattress must have adequate comfort/support layer thickness and support motion isolation.
Spring mattresses are not advisable because your partner’s movements can affect your sleep. However, the modern pocket coil innerspring system is good. High-density rebonded foam or HR foam mattresses are not ideal for multiple people. The perfect thickness level must be around six to eight inches, with a comfort layer of two to three inches and a support layer of three to four inches.
Pros and Cons of thicker mattresses
- Thicker mattresses are comparatively more durable because they use high-density foam layers, innerspring systems, etc.
- Thicker mattresses offer more comfort because of more defined comfort, support, and base/core layers.
- Thicker beds provide better leeway for spinal adjustment and are ideal for people with back problems.
- Thicker mattresses can support more weight and are best for supporting multiple people.
- Compared to thinner beds, thicker mattresses are more expensive.
- Thicker mattresses pose more challenges to getting out of bed because the body weight sinks into the mattress.
- Thicker mattresses are comparatively heavier than their slimmer counterparts. Hence, transporting them can be a significant issue.
Deciding on the optimum thickness for your mattress can be challenging. However, we have made it simple in this article. It should not be a problem to select the ideal mattress thickness for your home, depending on your requirements and preferences.