Guide to Memory Foam Mattress Thickness Differences

Guide to Memory Foam Mattress Thickness Differences

What’s the Big Deal About Mattress Thickness?

When it comes to getting a comfortable night’s sleep on your mattress, an inch or two can make all the difference in the world. If you’re someone who really cares about mattress quality, you probably already have a viscoelastic memory foam mattress that conforms the shape of your body to cradle all pressure points and provide support where you need it the most. But is your mattress the proper thickness for optimal health and comfort?

This Bed Is Too Thin

How thin is too thin for a memory foam mattress?  Manufacturers have taken great lengths to design attractive marketing campaigns for lower thickness models like 6" mattresses, but buyers should beware.  First and foremost, a memory foam mattress should have at least 2 layers. If it doesn't, it's likely not true memory foam (we will explain further).

Furthermore, if it is less than 8" inches thick, the mattress really doesn't allow for the layers to function effectively for someone of an average adult weight. That said, a 6" mattress may be a value choice for either a guest or child’s bedroom.

The Importance of Layers

Now that you're considering a memory foam mattress of at least 8", a big question from there comes down to how the different layers work together to provide a unique feel. In the memory foam mattress industry, mattresses are typically constructed of some formulation of a high-density polyurethane foam core. This core is not memory foam, but the base layer with additional layer(s) of memory foam and/or other components.

In the experience of the team, the more memory foam you have as a proportion of the total thickness of the mattress, the higher the price the mattress will likely be. However, the feel will be more responsive, and you'll see more of the body contouring and pressure-relieving support attributes for which memory foam is known to have. Given this fact, you can't just take the total height at face value as two 8-inch memory foam mattresses may be very different and yield extremely different feelings when laying on them.

For example, you may see two 8" memory foam mattresses online at very different price points. Upon further inspection, the first one has a 5.5" base foam + 2.5" of memory foam, and the other has a 7" base foam + 1" of memory foam. Technically, both mattresses are considered 8" memory foam mattresses, yet the one with more memory foam would obviously have the most comfort. That is why it is important to conduct further research rather than going with what is in the general labeling of the product.

Quality Materials and Guarantees

On top of finding a quality mattress with the right amount of thickness, you have to make sure you invest in the right quality too. Since memory foam is made out of a polymer called Polyurethane, it can sometimes cause off-gassing, which is caused by volatile organic compounds (VOCs) breaking down into a gas. It is key to check the foam has been certified under CertiPUR-US® standards, which means that the foam has met a strict set of content, emissions, and durability standards. CertiPUR-US® is a U.S.-based foam testing and certification agency that makes sure all foams meet their criteria. At, all of our memory foam is CertiPUR-US® certified. You can learn more about off-gassing and the certification by visiting here.

One large benefit of purchasing a mattress is being able to take it home and try it out to make sure it is the right choice for you. Our 100 night sleep trial ensures that you will be able to try out the mattress that you purchased for a total of 100 nights in order to determine that the mattress you bought was the right one. For example, if you went with an 8” memory foam mattress but decided it was not giving you enough support, then you have the option to return it within those 100 nights. Our goal is to make sure you make the right investment, and also have a high-quality night sleep.

Firmness Level and Thickness

While it is a generality that thinner mattresses can skew firm because of the lower memory foam composition in the overall build, the thickness is really determined by the materials and layer composition. Always make sure to use the manufacturer's guidance in the firmness level, which is normally contained in the product title and description. 

Most people prefer a medium firm mattress because it offers support without being too soft. Weight is a huge contributor to choosing the correct firmness level, because each firmness level has a certain range of weight that it can support. For example, an individual that weights less than 130 pounds would be better suited for a softer mattress, because it would be able to confirm to their bodies more closely. An individual that would weigh between 130 to 230 pounds would match well with a medium-firm mattress, because it would provide an equilibrium of softness and support. An individual who weighs 230 pounds or more would be best suited for a firm to extra firmness level, which would give maximum support with minimal conforming.

Overall Recommendation

To summarize, the type of mattress that you would choose depends solely on your personal preference. Of course price is a big factor when it comes to purchasing a mattress. However, comfort takes precedence as well. Whether that is 8, 10, or 12 inches, you would not go wrong investing in either. If you want the best of both worlds, choose a memory foam that will have the right amount of comfort while also maintaining the support. As mentioned earlier, weight is a contributing factor when finding the correct firmness level. Depending on your weight, that will help guide you to the right level of firmness. In the end, the investment will be worth it.


Updated 10/07/2019