Best 12 Inch Mattresses
A 12-inch mattress can be a fantastic compromise between luxury and practicality. Thicker mattresses offer more beauty and comfort, while thinner mattresses are lighter and easier to move. A 12-inch mattress falls right in the middle in terms of mattress depth, which is why 12 inches is one of the most popular mattress depths.
However, choosing a 12-inch mattress can be tough because there’s such an abundance of choices. The good news is we’ve taken the confusion and uncertainty out of the mix. Below, you’ll find six of the best 12-inch mattresses on the market!
Best 12 Inch Mattresses of 2024
One of the best 12-inch mattresses is the AS3 by Amerisleep. This is perhaps the most versatile mattress on our list. It’s got it all: coolness, responsiveness, durability, and contouring. The AS3’s versatility is all thanks to its unique plant-based foam.
How the Mattress Feels
The AS3 is a true medium mattress. That means it has an equal balance between support and cradling. That makes it a great choice for couples, combo sleepers, and other sleepers who need a mattress that can accommodate a wide range of sleeping positions and body types.
The AS3’s plant-based foam also fixes a lot of the issues inherent to traditional memory foam. It’s more responsive and more breathable than regular memory foam. So you don’t have to deal with overheating or body impressions. But you also don’t have to worry about sacrificing contouring with this memory foam!
What It’s Made Of
The first layer of the AS3 is where the action happens. The plant-based Bio-Pur® foam is highly contouring without being overly warm or slow to respond. It breathes to keep you cool and bounces back as soon as you move.
Next up, the HIVE® transition layer offers five zones of pressure relief to ensure each area of your body gets the exact cradling it needs for you to wake up pain-free.
Finally, the Bio-Core® foam offers ultra-firm support to prevent your mattress from sagging and keep you lifted onto the sleep surface.
- Refresh cover fabric transforms heat for greater comfort
- Bio-Pur® lacks the heat retention and the slow response time of memory foam
- Soft and firm as needed through HIVE® technology
Sleepers who want a mattress that can enhance both their sleep and their performance should check out the Zoma Mattress. This sports mattress was designed by athletes for athletes. So it’s perfect for those with active lifestyles.
How the Mattress Feels
The Zoma’s feel hovers between a medium and a medium-firm. That makes it a fantastic option not just for athletes but forside and back sleepers and those with back pain. It provides lots of contouring while still offering enough support to keep you lifted onto the bed. This keeps your spine aligned and your back supported.
The gel memory foam also provides a thermoconductive and breathable sleep surface to help draw heat away from your body. That means you’ll notice the cool sleep surface as soon as you lie down, and you can expect that surface to last all night.
What It’s Made Of
The first layer of the Zoma Mattress is its breathable and cooling gel memory foam comfort layer. This foam doesn’t just draw heat away from your body. It’s also arranged into three distinct zones to offer ideal pressure relief to each area of your body.
The transition layer of the Zoma is made of Reactiv™ foam. This highly responsive layer ensures that the sleep surface bounces back into shape as soon as you move. That means no body impressions and no waiting for the bed to regain its shape. So even the most active sleepers can enjoy this all-foam mattress.
The final layer of the Zoma is the high-density support core. The Support+ foam provides lots of durability to keep your mattress sag-free for at least a decade. And it also fights sinkage to prevent you from winding up feeling stuck in your mattress.
- Mattress construction resists soft spots for a full decade
- Reactiv™ foam adds a bounciness similar to latex
- Base foam ensures consistent spine support and structure
If you’re shopping on a budget, one of the best 12-inch mattresses is the Vaya Mattress. This mattress keeps costs low without sacrificing quality or comfort. That means you can enjoy a great night’s sleep without breaking the bank.
How the Mattress Feels
One of the first things you’ll notice about the Vaya is its contouring. The highly adaptable Vaya Comfort Foam offers some of the best contouring on the market. That makes the Vaya an amazing mattress for those who need the ultimate pressure relief – like side sleepers and those with joint pain.
The Vaya Mattress also has a plush cover that offers luxurious softness and breathability. Combine that with the breathable open-cell memory foam, and you’ve got a mattress that can wick away body heat and sweat all night.
What It’s Made Of
The Vaya keeps costs low by keeping its design simple. There are only two layers. The first layer is the open-cell Vaya Comfort Foam that breathes all night to wick away heat and sweat. This comfort foam offers tons of contouring for the ultimate pressure relief.
The second layer of the Vaya is the highly dense Vaya Base Foam. This foam is solid and sturdy enough to make the Vaya just as durable as plenty of much more expensive mattresses. Despite its fantastic price tag, the Vaya will still last at least a decade.
All this comfort is wrapped in a plush and breathable cover that gives the mattress a pleasantly soft feel and keeps cool air flowing all night long.
- Inexpensive two-layer design maximizes comfort potential
- CertiPUR-US® certified foams for minimal off-gassing
- Base foam increases expected value by resisting sagging
The Nolah Signature 12 offers an excellent combination of pressure relief and cooling power. It features four layers of premium foam that provide stability and motion transfer control as well as breathability and cradling.
How the Mattress Feels
Lying down on the Signature, the first thing you’ll notice is its coolness. The proprietary Nolah AirFoam™ is breathable to keep cool air flowing around your body even as it hugs your curves and cradles your joints.
You’ll also notice the fantastic buoyancy this mattress sports. The high-resilience transition foam ensures you’ll stay lifted onto the sleep surface. That means you’ll never have to worry about sinking into or feeling stuck inside your mattress ever again.
What It’s Made Of
The first layer of the Signature is the cooling Nolah AirFoam™. This foam provides all the pressure relief in this mattress. It also keeps you cool and cradles your body without allowing you to feel stuck inside the mattress.
Next up, the high-resilience foam ensures buoyancy in the comfort layer. This layer is stronger and more durable than memory foam. But it’s not support foam. So it provides a buffer between you and the firm foam below without allowing you to sink into the bed.
Below, a layer of firm AirFoam™ enhances breathability throughout the mattress to ensure heat doesn’t get trapped inside. This firm foam also provides another layer of transition to the support foam beneath it.
Finally, the reinforced base foam keeps all the layers above supported. It also supports your body to provide total spinal alignment and ideal lift.
Those who want a memory foam mattress that offers enhanced back support to prevent back pain should check out the Loom and Leaf by Saatva. The Loom and Leaf provides lots of lumbar support to help keep your middle lifted and your spine aligned.
How the Mattress Feels
The extra lumbar support is the main feature of this mattress. The Loom and Leaf has several different features that help keep the middle of your body lifted into alignment with the lighter areas. This ensures your spine stays in a healthy line all night.
The Loom and Leaf is also a great mattress for those with allergies. It features an organic cotton cover and botanical antimicrobial treatments. That means it can fight common allergens like bacteria, dust mites, mold, and mildew. So sleepers with allergies can rest easy knowing their mattress can help keep them symptom-free.
What It’s Made Of
The Loom and Leaf starts off with a highly breathable organic cotton cover. This cover keeps air flowing to wick away moisture. And it also features antimicrobial treatments to keep your allergy symptoms at bay.
Next, the spinal cooling gel layer offers extra back support throughout the middle of the mattress as well as helping transfer heat away from your body and towards the mattress interior. Just below, the perforated memory foam helps pull heat even further away from you and cradles your body all at the same time.
Below, the two layers of high-density memory foam and transitional loft pad keep you lifted onto the sleep surface and protect your body from pressure exerted by the ultra-firm foam support core below.
Finally, the ultra-dense support core adds stability and durability to the upper layers of the mattress to ensure you get many years of comfortable sleep.
SAATVA LOOM & LEAF
- Antimicrobial infusions fight common allergens
- Organic cotton cover wicks away heat and moisture
- Enhanced lumbar support provides pain relief to those with lower back pain
If you want coolness and responsive contouring all wrapped into one, check out the Purple Hybrid Premier 3. This mattress features the famous Purple Grid that keeps you cool as a cucumber and bounces back underneath you as soon as you move.
How the Mattress Feels
The Purple Grid is about 80 percent air. That means the first thing you’ll notice when you lie down is the cooling air flowing through the gel Grid’s channels. This cooling air ensures temperature neutrality all night, so you won’t ever overheat or wake up shivering.
The hyperelastic polymer gel is also highly responsive. Whereas most foams – even the most responsive ones – have some lag time in springing back into place when you move, the Purple Grid bounces right back into place the second you change positions. This makes the Premier 3 a fantastic choice for active sleepers.
What It’s Made Of
The first layer of the Premier 3 is the Purple Grid itself. The Grid keeps air flowing to ensure temperature regulation. And it bounces back as soon as you move. Best of all, the premium plush cover atop the Grid allows you to feel all its benefits.
Next up is a layer of transition foam to add stability and support to the Grid before you get to the coils. The Premier 3’s premium pocketed coils all move independently of one another to allow this mattress to contour all the way through to the bottom.
Finally, another layer of transition foam adds even more stability to the mattress and helps protect the bottom of the coils from wear and tear.
PURPLE HYBRID PREMIER 3
- Purple Grid yields under pressure for responsive cushion
- Breathable mattress cover fabric with side panels
- Individually wrapped coils limit motion transfer
How to Choose the Right 12-Inch Mattress
Choosing the right mattress can feel like a daunting task, even if you’ve already decided on the right depth for you. But if you keep your sleep style and body type in mind, you can pick the right material and firmness without issue!
Material and Construction
The material your mattress is made of decides a lot of things about it. Mattress type dictates its responsiveness, its adaptability, its temperature regulation, and more. That’s why it’s vital to answer a few questions about your sleep style before you shop.
For instance, are you an active sleeper who likes to toss and turn? Do you sleep hot or cold? Do you have issues like back pain or joint pain that can cause you to need more contouring? Do you need more motion isolation because you sleep with a partner? Knowing this information can help you decide which mattress material will make the best fit for you.
Flexible polyurethane foam, otherwise known as memory foam, came onto the bedding scene in the 90s. As improvements in temperature regulation and responsiveness were made, memory foam exploded in popularity to the point it is now the second most popular mattress material on the market. And memory foam mattresses quickly overtaking the most popular mattress construction: innerspring.
This rise in popularity is due mostly to memory foam’s contouring, support, and motion isolation. No other mattress material can contour like memory foam.
Memory foam follows the curve of your body to offer pressure relief to your joints and customized spinal support all at the same time. That means a memory foam bed is a great solution for those who need pain relief for achy joints or sore backs.
See our memory foam mattress buying guide for more shopping tips.
Natural latex foam comes from the processed sap of the rubber tree. This foam makes for a highly durable and responsive alternative to memory foam. Even with all its modern advancements, many sleepers still find memory foam to be too hot or too slow to respond.
Latex foam is naturally breathable and naturally bouncy. That means active sleepers and hot sleepers alike may find a latex mattress is a better solution to their sleep needs than memory foam.
Keep in mind that latex foam wants to hold its own shape. That makes it somewhat less contouring than memory foam. Talalay latex is light enough that you probably won’t notice a difference between it and memory foam.
However, denser Dunlop latex is definitely noticeably less contouring. If you want a latex type that contours and relieves pressure, go for Talalay. If you want a latex that’s durable and offers tons of buoyancy, Dunlop is likely for you. See our Talalay vs Dunlop latex guide for more information.
Hybrid mattresses can offer the best features of both innerspring and all-foam mattresses because they feature a pocketed coil support layer topped by at least two inches of foam. This foam can be either latex or memory foam.
Pocketed coils can all move independently of one another, meaning hybrid mattresses can contour all the way through. Combine that with memory foam or latex, and you’ve got one adaptable mattress.
Another great thing about pocketed coils vs open coils is that pocketed coils can isolate motion without sacrificing responsiveness. The independent coils bounce back underneath you without sending waves of motion all over the bed.
That means you can have the contouring of memory foam without sacrificing responsiveness. Pocketed coils can also make a latex hybrid even more springy! Our buying guide for hybrid mattresses discusses all the must-know points in detail.
Innerspring mattresses feature an open coil support core and a comfort layer made of a number of materials from cotton to fiberfill to foam. The open coils are highly responsive and highly breathable. So if you want that traditional bouncy-bed feel, an innerspring bed might be for you.
However, innerspring mattresses do have some problems. Networked coils tend to transfer motion and cannot contour all that well. That means if you need lots of pressure relief or customizable support, you might want to rethink an innerspring.
Partners might want to rethink open coil systems as well because of their motion transfer issues. Mattresses for couples should keep the jarring motions of one sleeper from moving across the surface.
The firmness level of your mattress is the balance of cushioning and support it has. Mattress firmness is measured on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the firmest. You’ll rarely, if ever, encounter a mattress softer than a three or firmer than an eight.
Firmness should be based mostly on your sleep style and a little on your body type. How you sleep impacts the baseline firmness you’ll need and how the best mattress should feel. Meanwhile, your body weight can decide whether you need to increase or decrease the firmness from your baseline level.
For instance, a back sleeper typically needs a medium-firm mattress, but a lightweight back sleeper might need to go down to a medium.
Back sleepers need a combination of support and pressure relief that slightly favors support but does not eliminate contouring. These requirements are usually satisfied by a medium-firm mattress.
Medium-firm mattresses can follow the curve of your back to keep your spine aligned and ensure your body stays lifted onto the sleep surface all at once. That makes it the perfect mattress for back sleepers.
Combo sleepers like to switch things up. They might sleep on their sides one night and their stomachs the next. They might also flip from back to side to stomach all in one night. That means a mattress for combination sleeping needs to accommodate all these different positions.
Medium mattresses are typically versatile enough to accommodate multiple sleep positions, especially for combo sleepers who don’t have a preference for any one position.
Mattresses for side sleepers should offer more cushioning offer sufficient pressure relief to keep side sleepers pain-free. Side sleepers need the softest mattresses because their hips and shoulders make direct contact with the mattress.
A mattress that’s too firm can exert pressure on these joints, which can cause you to wake up with pain in your pressure points. Ideally, the mattress should gently enfold these areas and reduce tension.
This is why we recommend soft to medium mattresses for side sleepers. Side sleepers often enjoy foam mattresses for their conformability, though hybrid mattresses for side sleeping are good for anyone who enjoys a little bounce.
Stomach sleepers typically have lower back pain because their pelvises sink into the mattress, overarching the back and causing pain. This means stomach sleepers typically need the firmest mattresses to fight sinkage in the hips and keep the spine aligned. Good mattresses for stomach sleepers help them rest comfortably without waking up with pain in their lower backs.
There are two scenarios where your body type might affect your firmness needs: if you’re heavy or petite. Heavier sleepers are over 230 pounds, while lighter sleepers weigh in at under 130. Generally, if you fall between these two numbers, you can stick with the baseline firmness level that matches your sleeping position.
If you fall into the heavier category, you may need to increase the support in your mattress by going up a firmness level from the one that corresponds to your sleep style. A mattress for heavy people should also be at least 12 inches thick to ensure it has plenty of material to withstand wear and tear.
Those who fall into the petite category should do the opposite. Consider going down a firmness level from the one that goes with your sleep style. Mattresses for lightweight sleepers should quickly hug the body for pressure relief.
What is the ideal mattress thickness?
That depends on what you need. Kids’ mattresses, for instance, can be on the thinner side. If your small child’s mattress is as thin as six inches, that is perfectly adequate.
For older children and adults, the minimum mattress depth goes up to nine inches. This mattress thickness offers a lower profile bed and greater mobility for those who move frequently, but a nine-inch mattress might not be as comfortable.
12-inch mattresses are a fantastic compromise between luxury and comfort. A mattress that’s a full foot deep will offer lots of cradling and support, but it still won’t be too heavy or cumbersome. For those who know they won’t be moving a lot, a luxury mattress of up to 15 inches can offer a high-profile look. Thicker mattresses may be better for heavier sleepers as well because of the extra support or those who need more bed height.
Do I need a thicker mattress than 12 inches?
There are a couple of reasons why you might want a mattress that’s thicker than 12 inches. Heavier sleepers and couples could benefit from the extra depth. Thicker mattresses offer more support than thinner ones. That means heavier sleepers and couples will get more lift and support out of a 14-inch mattress or even a 15-inch or 16-inch model.
Mattresses with more depth also offer greater height. Those with larger bedrooms who need a luxurious tall bed to fill them out could benefit from a thicker mattress. Taller people who need a few extra inches to make their beds the ideal height might also do better with a mattress on the thicker side.
Which is the best firmness level for side sleepers?
Side sleepers of average weight need a soft to medium-soft mattress to offer lots of relief. They should choose a mattress for pressure points without eliminating all support. Choosing a memory foam mattress or a memory foam hybrid may also be a good decision for side sleepers, as these materials offer lots of contouring for added pressure relief.
Heavier side sleepers might do better with a medium mattress. A medium feel will offer more support and lift to keep plus-size side sleepers from sinking into the mattress and falling out of alignment. Petite side sleepers, on the other hand, should consider a truly soft mattress. Soft mattresses will offer enough pressure relief to petite side sleepers’ pressure points.
Can I put a 12-inch mattress on a platform bed?
You can put a 12-inch mattress on a platform bed. Platform beds are compatible with any mattress thickness and any mattress type. Just keep in mind that platform beds are low-profile. The lowest platforms may only rise a few inches off the ground. So putting a 12-inch mattress on a platform frame will likely create a bed that’s around 15 inches high.
A low-profile bed can offer a sleek, modern look. However, those with mobility issues should use caution. A low-profile bed can be hard to get in and out of, so if you’re older or disabled, it may be best to avoid bed frames lower than 24 inches. Alternatively, they can use bed risers to increase the bed’s height.
What is the best mattress material for hot sleepers?
There are several great mattress materials for hot sleepers. Gel memory foam is a good place to start when looking at cooling mattresses. Gel memory foam is highly thermally conductive. So it draws heat away from your body to keep you cool all night. Combining gel memory foam with pocketed coils can up the cooling power even more, as coils offer more airflow than foam.
Latex foam is also highly breathable. It can keep cool air flowing underneath your body all night, especially if it’s combined with pocketed coils. Regardless of whether you go with natural latex or gel memory foam, a hybrid will allow airflow all the way through the mattress. This keeps you cooler for longer periods.
Getting the right mattress doesn’t have to be a hassle. As long as you keep your sleep style and body type in mind, you can select the right firmness level for the most comfortable mattress. And selecting the right material is as easy as knowing how much responsiveness and coolness you prefer.