Mattress Thickness Guide: What Thickness Is Right For You?

June 15, 2021 | Casper Editorial Team
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When it comes to finding your perfect mattress, you may start to feel like a sleep-deprived Goldilocks. You don’t want a mattress that’s too thin, which can strain your back and break down faster, but you aren’t sure how thick you want your mattress to be

With over one third of our lives spent in bed, the quality of your mattress, including its thickness, can play a key role in your overall health and happiness.1 

That’s why we’re here to help. 

In this mattress thickness guide, we’ll break down the various levels of mattress thicknesses to help you determine the best choice for you based on your unique sleep needs, including your sleeping position and body weight. That way, once you’ve identified the signs you need a new mattress, you’re guaranteed to find a mattress that’s just right.

Casper has ergonomic support designed into the premium thickness of every mattress. Browse our luxurious mattresses for ultimate comfort and support throughout the night.

How Thick is a Mattress? 

Mattresses are comprised of layers that, when combined, can range from between 2 inches thick to over twenty inches thick.2 

These layers are divided into two categories: 

Fountain or Base Layer 

Like the foundation of your home, the base layer of your mattress is responsible for providing overall durability and support. Without a thick enough mattress foundation, a bed will show signs of wear and tear sooner, such as sagging in the areas where your hips and low back lie. For optimal performance, your mattress foundation layer should be around 5 to 6 inches thick.2

Comfort Layers

The remaining layers of your mattress are comfort layers. These layers contribute to healthy spine alignment, pressure relief, and motion isolation (meaning the reduction of movement when your partner won’t stop tossing and turning in the night). When these factors come together, they form a comfort trifecta—a team of sleep superheroes working to save you from nights of discomfort and restlessness. 

However, if your comfort layers are too thin, you won’t receive the proper support you need to keep your spine in alignment and alleviate pressure from your lower back, shoulders, and hips no matter your go-to sleeping position. This occurrence may even prompt you to research how to fix a sagging mattress if indentations begin to form within the thin comfort layers of your bed. 

Similarly, if your comfort layers are too thick, you can experience that oversized marshmallow sensation, which also isn’t ideal for the health and longevity of your spine (or your bed). 

Mattress Thickness Breakdown 

When it comes to thickness, mattresses can be separated into five distinct categories.

  • Low profile – Low profile mattresses range from between 2 inches and 5 inches in height. 2They’re the thinnest mattress type you can find and are usually seen in fold-away beds and air mattresses. If you have a low profile bed and are interested in how to make a mattress softer, you may consider adding a mattress topper for an additional layer of comfort.
  • Slim profile – Between 5 to 8 inches, slim profile mattresses are typically made of dense foam, providing support without adding excess mattress height. These mattresses are ideal for children and sleepers with limited mobility who may struggle to get in and out of a bed that’s too high off the ground.
  • Standard profile – For standard mattress thickness, you’ll want a mattress height between 8 and 12 inches. With a quality foundation of around 6 inches, this standard mattress type can provide an additional 6 inches of comfort layer, providing a level of cozy performance ideal for most sleepers, whether you are a side, back, or stomach sleeper. 

In fact, the Casper Original Mattress falls into this category. It boasts eleven inches of polyurethane foam designed to ergonomically align your spine while also allowing air to circulate and keep you cool throughout the night when you’re tucked in between your bed sheets.

  • Deep or thick profile – Mattresses with thicknesses between 12 and 20 inches are classified as deep profile.5 Although the added layers of this thicker mattress type increase its price point, they also raise the mattress’ overall durability, making it an ideal choice for sleepers looking for optimal mattress comfort and pressure relief for years to come. 

The Casper Wave Hybrid Mattress is a perfect example of a thick profile mattress. Its 13 inches of support consists of 3 layers of AirScape cooling foam, supportive gel pods, and resilient springs for additional lift and bounce. 

  • Extra thick profile – With thicknesses of twenty inches or more, an extra thick mattress can provide the most amount of comfort layer.2 But it comes at a price. Not only are extra thick mattresses the most expensive thickness option, but they’re also extremely heavy, making them difficult to ship and move.  

How to Choose Your Mattress Thickness 

While understanding the categories of mattress thickness can narrow down your mattress search, identifying your unique sleep preferences and needs can help pinpoint the exact mattress of your dreams. 

When choosing a mattress thickness, you’ll want to consider: 

  • Sleep position – Whether you like to sleep like a starfish atop a warm rock, or a cat curled up on its side, different sleep positions can benefit from different mattress thicknesses. 
  • Back sleepers, for instance, should look for mattresses between 6 and 8 inches to best support their shoulders and bottoms, while maintaining spinal alignment. 
  • Side sleepers need additional support for the hips, making a mattress between 8 and 10 inches the ideal choice. 
  • Stomach sleepers, who need comfort for their fronts and support for their lower backs, should look for a mattress between 10 and 15 inches thick. With that said, stomach sleeping can strain your neck and back3, making it difficult for any mattress thickness to support you properly.
  • Body weight – Additional mattress thickness allows for greater amounts of weight to be evenly distributed over the mattress, which is essential for achieving spinal alignment and maximizing support. This is particularly beneficial to couples who need a mattress that can withstand the weight of two people rather than just one. 
  • Bed base – Aside from physical benefits, mattress thickness can also impact the feel and style of your bedroom. For instance, if you have a lower bed frame that captures a more Scandinavian look, a standard profile mattress, like the 10-inch Casper Element Mattress, can provide optimum support and durability without drawing too much attention to itself or adding too much height. 

Similarly, if you have a tall bed frame, you probably want to forgo an extra thick mattress and avoid leaping into and out of your bed every day. 

For a Mattress Thickness That’s Just Right, Choose Casper 

No matter whether you’re in the market for a softer mattress or a more firm mattress, with a Casper mattress, you can cozy up to pressure point relief, ideal spinal alignment, and long-lasting durability to achieve the sleep you’ve been dreaming of. 

We are sure you’ll find the mattress that’s just right for your individual sleep needs. To make the most out of your sleep, and find the mattress that’s just right for you, choose Casper. 

Sources: 

  1. Harvard Health Publishing. How much sleep do we really need? https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need 
  2. Sleep Report. Mattress Thickness, Does Depth Matter? Which Is Best? https://sleep.report/mattress-thickness/ 
  3. Healthline. Is It Bad to Sleep on Your Stomach? https://www.healthline.com/health/is-it-bad-to-sleep-on-your-stomach