What Thickness of Memory Foam is Best?

January 13, 2022 | Casper Editorial Team

Memory foam is known for its ability to conform to your body shape and support your joints, thus alleviating aches and pains. But even if you’re ready to embrace this material, you might be 

unsure of how thick your memory foam should be.

You’ve come to the right place. To choose your perfect mattress, it’s important to consider not only the memory foam mattress thickness but these additional four factors: the mattress layers, how much support it offers, its density, and how firm it is.

Use this helpful guide to find a memory foam mattress built for you to drift away on.

The 411 on Memory Foam Thickness 

Curious to know what thickness memory foam mattress you need to get? They can range anywhere from 8-14 inches. Typically, the standard mattress thickness is 10-12 inches, which is enough to conform to the body of the average adult sleeper. Thicker mattresses are another way to gain additional support. 

If you’re wondering what thickness memory foam mattress is best, these factors can influence whether you should try an 10-inch thick mattress or a 14-inch thick mattress:

  • Your body type
  • Your sleeping arrangements (i.e if you sleep with a partner)
  • Your bed height
  • Your back/neck pain problems
  • Your favorite sleeping position

If you need more support, opt for a thicker mattress.

While thickness is a great place to start, you’ll need to do a little research on your potential mattress to ensure it meets all your sleep needs.

Mattress Layers Matter

So, how many layers does a memory foam mattress have? Depending on the brand and manufacturer, it can vary, but the answer is typically two: a comfort layer and a base layer.

  • Comfort Layer – This top layer contours to fit your body and relieve any pressure. It is built of pliable memory foam.
  • Base Layer – This bottom layer is what supports everything. It is built with sturdy materials to prevent sagging. 

Sometimes these mattresses can come with a transitional layer that is in between the comfort and base layer. That middle part acts as a “buffer” and also helps to prevent sagging.1

What thickness memory foam mattress topper is best for you depends on your desired firmness and support, but one thing is for certain: you need more of the base layer than the comfort layer.

Support is the Basis for Comfort

To determine if the mattress has enough support, look at the base layer. 

As mentioned before, this layer is what holds everything up including you. That means it should be at least twice the size of your mattress. If your comfort layer is two or four inches, then make sure your base layer is at least four to eight inches. Depending on your body type and other factors, you may want to choose a thicker mattress.2

Sufficient support promises to prevent your bed from sagging. Plus, a good, durable base layer will ensure your mattress is in it for the long haul.

Density is a Key Detail

Have you ever considered your mattress’ density? 

As we’ve explored, thickness is not the only factor in support.

The higher the mattress density, the more it can support your body. The density of a memory foam mattress is measured in pounds per cubic square foot, or PCF. 

  • Low-density is 3 PCF.
  • Medium-density, or the “goldilocks of mattresses,” is 3-5 PCF.3
  • High-density is anything higher than 5 PCF.

While low-density mattresses are more lightweight and cheaper compared to the others, higher-density mattresses offer more support and durability. So, it’s best to go for a mattress that is at least medium-density. Anything lower can heighten your neck and backaches as well as break down sooner.  

The density chart for a polyfoam mattress will look different, so double-check to see if the mattress you’re looking at is polyfoam or memory foam. 

Not all Foams are Equally Firm

While you might assume that density is the main measure of mattress firmness, there is in fact yet another number to add to your mattress calculations.

If you want to know how firm a mattress is, look at its Indentation Load Deflection (ILD) rating. In the mattress business, manufacturers figure out how much pressure a mattress can take before it indents four inches into the surface. 

A high rating indicates a firm mattress, while a low rating indicates a soft mattress. Choose the option that best suits how you sleep. 

  • Soft – Any mattress from 1-4 is considered soft and is perfect for those who sleep on their side or are light sleepers. 
  • Medium – A 5-7 mattress is medium-firm and perfect for those who sleep on their back or have back pain.
  • Firm – A mattress rated between 8-10 is ideal for heavy sleepers and those who sleep on their backs or stomachs.  

Find Exactly What You’re Looking For with Casper

Quality sleep during the night is what gets us through the day. And for that, you need the right support. At Casper, we have exactly what you’re looking for. 

What thickness memory foam mattress is best? It all depends on your sleep preference and your needs. Our 11” all-foam Casper Original Mattress™ is designed to support your neck and back to provide a restful night. Want something more plush? Try out the Casper Nova Hybrid Mattress®. Either way, Casper 4D Sleep Technology™ means our mattresses are designed to relieve the pressure from those countless amounts of long workdays.

Make that daydream of an after-work, pain-free nap a reality with Casper.

Sources:

  1. Sleep Foundation. Mattress Comfort Layers. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/mattress-construction/mattress-comfort-layers 
  2.  Best Mattress Brand. Memory Foam Mattress Buying Guide. https://bestmattress-brand.org/memory-foam-mattress-buying-guide/ 
    Sleep Advisor. Our Memory Foam Density Guide in 2021. https://www.sleepadvisor.org/memory-foam-density-guide/