Peaceful Sleep: Does Mattress Thickness Play a Role ?

Does Mattress Thickness Matter?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions amongst buyers who are hesitant to purchase a thinner mattress. However, you may be surprised to find out that thicker mattresses do not equal a better sleep experience.

In fact, it is advised that a mattress between 9 and 14 inches in width is the best for sleep quality. Mattresses that are thicker than 14 inches are attractive in the store as they look more plush and comfortable, however this is not always the case.

How to Tell If a Mattress is Comfortable?

We each have our own comfort preferences, body supportive needs and sleep patterns. Ever wonder why you can’t sleep as good in a hotel as you do at home? Or the reverse? You may sleep better in a hotel bed than you do at home. The reason for this is individual preferences that determine how well we will sleep. If you’re sleeping on the wrong type of mattress, you will be uncomfortable regardless of how thick it is.

A good night’s rest has more to do with the firmness level, the temperature (cooling ability), support level, body contouring and bounce. This is why the answer to the question, “Does mattress thickness matter ?” is more complex than a definitive “yes” or “no.”


mattress thick ness
Mattress thickness

Superb Quality is Key

The construction of the mattress matters more than the thickness. For example, how well is the mattress made? What type of materials are used for each layer? How firm or soft is each individual layer? These factors have much more to do with the overall outcome.

A thick mattress with low-quality materials will be just as uncomfortable as an extremely thin mattress. It is important to have appropriate thickness. Having the right balance of firm, plush, support, bounce and body contour is the only way to find your perfect fit. This leads back to the original question, “Does mattress thickness matter?”

Before making a final determination on mattress quality, we must first analyze the layers. Most mattresses have anywhere from 2 to 5 layers of support. Low-quality, inexpensive mattresses typically rank on the lower end of layers. Each layers is designed to provide a unique benefit.

The very top layers are used as “comfort layers.” When you test out a mattress, the immediate comfort you feel is from the first two layers. The “cooling” effect comes from these top two layers.

The layers located underneath these top two layers are known as “supportive layers.” The supportive layers are responsible for providing the mattress with balance, flexibility and firmness.

The final layer is known as the foundation layer. This is what holds the mattress together and provides compression support. The mattress’s durability is developed in this layer. Similar to construction, the foundation is what sets the tone for the rest of the project. This is true when comparing mattresses as well. A sturdy foundation will provide enough support for the mattress.

Understanding the Ratios

The Foundation

Very high-quality mattress use 50% thickness from foundation. Mattresses that have less than 50% thickness from foundation are not likely to last long. The mattress will begin to sag after continued use and be uncomfortable and unsupported . As a general rule of thumb, if a mattress is 10/ 12 inches thick, the foundation should be 5 inches thick at the absolute minimum.

The Support Layers

The support layers of the mattress provides resistance to force/ support. The function of this layer also depends upon which type of mattress you are shopping for- firm or plush. It is important to understand what feel works best for your body and sleep habits.

The Comfort Layers

The comfort layers are made out of materials such as pillow top and memory foam. This layer is responsible for comfort and full body contouring. When a customer tries out a mattress in the store, they typically experience that “comfy” feeling from these top layers.

Conclusion: Does Thickness Really Matter?

The short answer to this is yes and no. As we uncovered, thickness does not necessarily mean comfort. The material, build and quality of your mattress is what determines comfort. Comfort also has a different definition for everyone, some prefer firm mattresses, while others prefer plush ones. Selecting a mattress with a well-made foundation is key.

It is also important for the comfort layers to be a minimum of 2 layers thick and provide you with adequate body contouring. Finding the perfect mattress for you is possible, ensuring you look for the highest quality materials and support possible.

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