Buying a Thin Mattress? 5 Things You MUST Avoid (Plus Our Recommendations)

Jonathan Prichard

Jonathan Prichard

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Buying a Thin [4 to 10 inch] Mattress Online? Top 5 Things to AVOID

There are several reasons why you might be searching for a thin mattress. They can be great for:


  • RV bunks with limited headspace
  • Cots
  • Situations where you an easily storable mattress
  • Sofa beds
  • Van mattress builds
  • and the list goes on!


However, even with an abundance of options online, finding the right thin mattress can be a challenge.

Regardless of the use, one thing is certain you want to be comfortable while using it!

The Top 5 Things to Avoid When Buying a Thin Mattress Online

Here are the top things you must avoid when buying online. Get this part right, and you’ll be sleeping like a baby on your new thin mattress!

1. A Lack of Adequate Support

This is a common issue with poorly constructed thinner mattresses. Less material and reduced thickness means that there’s less room for supportive layers of foam or coils.

This doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find an awesome thin mattress, it just means you need to be smart when doing your research — and having realistic expectations.

As part of your research, you’ll want to ask yourself (and the company you are considering) a few questions related to the quality of the support:

1. What type of material do I want in my mattress? (Coil, foam, memory foam, etc.)

2. What type of material is this particular mattress made of?

3. How much of the mattress is considered to be ‘the support’? (In general, the mattress needs a minimum of 3″ of support to be worth considering)

4. What is the weight limit, per person, for this mattress?

5. What is the warranty for this mattress?

These are all VERY important things to consider when shopping for your new mattress!

To save you some time, we’ve put together a list of thin mattresses in various heights. Each of these have been tested and proven to be great choices for anyone looking for a thin mattress.

2. Going TOO Thin

In order for a mattress to work, it needs some substance. Look for a thickness of around 4 to 4.5 inches at a minimum.

Anything less, and you may as well be sleeping on the floor there won’t be enough material in the mattress to provide you with adequate support!

This will lead to issues such as feeling the platform through the mattress, lower back pain, and even misalignment of your spine.

The 4.5 inch East Hampton memory foam cot mattress is a fantastic solution if you’re in need of an ultra-thin mattress that offers both excellent comfort and support.

It’s constructed from genuine Certipurus 4LB Open Cell Memory Foam, which contours to your body while reducing pressure around key joints. This model is also incredibly comfy and makes for an ideal guest bed.

As an added bonus, the East Hampton is reversible and has two levels of firmness to choose from extra soft with a cooling gel memory foam layer, or firmer for additional support.

3. Too Cheap to Be True

If it seems too cheap to be true, it probably is, and that’s definitely the case for those bargain-priced mattresses you’ve been eyeing up online (we’re looking at you, Amazon!).

Sure, there are some things in life you can skimp on, but a good night’s sleep isn’t one of them. So going for a high-quality, made-in-the-USA option is a no-brainer.

Generally speaking, if you’re paying $50 $150 or less for your mattress, it’s likely too good to be true.

"Generally speaking, if you're paying $50 - $150 or less for your mattress, it's likely too good to be true."

Not only are these mattresses often poorly built, but they use low-quality foam that doesn’t offer much in terms of support. They also or wear out prematurely, and the materials are often treated with harmful chemicals

These chemicals are notorious for ‘off-gassing’ posing serious health concerns from throat and skin irritation, to breathing issues, and even an increased risk of cancer.

In general, it is worth paying more for a mattress to avoid the problems that will occur if you opt for something cheaper.

But don’t worry high quality, American-made mattresses don’t always come with a high price tag.

The 5.5 inch Sedona RV mattress, made from plant-based ultra- supportive eco-friendly non-toxic foam, costs between $200 and $450 (depending on the size you need), including shipping!

It’s one of the most affordable non-imported mattresses anywhere on the internet, and it’s also a great all-rounder.

4. Mattresses Without Good Warranties

If you find a thin mattress for sale with anything less than a full 5 to 10-year warranty, take it as a warning sign that the manufacturer knows it won’t last that long.

Here are some important questions you should ask the company you are considering when it comes to warranties:

1. How long is the warranty for this mattress?
2. Is it a full warranty? Is it ‘pro-rated’? (‘Pro-rated’ means you have to pay part of the cost of replacing it)
3. If I have to submit a warranty claim, what does the process look like? (It should be fairly painless you should not be required to return the mattress to the company!)

If you can’t get clear answers to these questions, it’s time to look elsewhere!

5. Going the Topper-Only Route

Toppers offer almost zero support compared to an actual mattress.

We’re not saying don’t get a topper! The fact is, if you have a good quality mattress that needs a comfort boost, a topper can be a great solution.

However, if you’re planning on using ONLY a topper, it is important to understand the pitfalls.

The average mattress topper is usually somewhere around 23″ thick, and generally made from memory foam (or some other type of soft material).

These materials are not designed for support! You will be relying on whatever the topper is laying on for your support (usually a wood platform or the floor), and so it’s very likely that you will sink through the topper layers and immediately feel this platform.

Instead, we suggest that you consider a 45″ mattress that is designed to be supportive as a low-profile bed.

But what if you need something even thinner?

Keep in mind what we mentioned above in general, a mattress needs to be 4″ minimum to be considered a true mattress with adequate support.

At the very least, you’ll likely want something 3–3.5″. But in these cases, the mattress will need to be made from 100% support foam to be firm!

Our Thin Mattress Recommendations (From 4.5" – 8")

BONUS All of the mattresses listed below can be customized to your specific measurements!

  • Gel foam a fantastic feature for such a thin mattress
  • Supports adults without bottoming out
  • Incredible warranty (10 years, full)
  • Customizable, and can be made to your specs!
  • Affordable won’t break the bank
  • Supports adults without bottoming out
  • Great warranty (5 years, full)
  • Customizable and can be made to your specs!
  • Very affordable, given the quality of the mattress
  • Extra supportive, so great for those who need something firmer
  • Great warranty (5 years, full)
  • Customizable and can be made to your specs!
  • Gel foam helps this mattress remain comfortable, even with the low profile design
  • Supports adults without bottoming out
  • Fantastic warranty (10 years, full)
  • Customizable and can be made to your specs!
  • The pocketed coil design is extra-supportive (even for adults up to 300lbs each)
  • Awesome warranty (10 year, full + 10 year pro-rated)
  • Customizable and can be made to your specs!
  • A great high-end, gel foam mattress
  • Great for side sleepers, or anyone who wants a medium-firmness
  • Incredible warranty (20 years, full)
  • Customizable and can be made to your specs!

If none of these strike your fancy, the custom mattress route is always open letting you get creative with your own thin mattress!

How Thick Is a Thin Mattress?

Unfortunately, there aren’t any official industry guidelines for what constitutes a ‘thin’ mattress. This can make shopping for a thin or low profile mattress a bit of a challenge, especially online.

What one brand or company considers ‘thin’ may not be the same at the next store.

That said, we consider a thin mattress to be anything that is 8 inches thick or less.

The thinnest you’re likely to come across is around 4 inches; anything less is a mattress topper simply masquerading as a mattress!

Are There Different Types of Thin/Low Profile Mattresses?

Yes! There are various types of thin mattresses to shop for online, and which one you choose will depend on what, where, and how you plan to use it.

Things like sleeping style, frequency of use, preferred firmness, coolness, and more will all come into play.

Thin Foam Mattresses

Standard thin foam mattresses can range from incredibly comfortable to just plain terrible. The key factor here is the quality and density of the foam.

Many cheaper brands use materials made overseas and are downright painful to sleep on, offering virtually non-existent support and lack-luster cushioning.

But as with all things in life, you often get what you pay for.

If you spend a little extra, a thin foam mattress can be surprisingly luxurious. And with places like MattressInsider, you don’t have to spend a lot to get a lot of value.

Thin Memory Foam Mattresses

Memory foam ranks among the most comfortable types of low profile mattresses on the market.

Some simply have a topper, while others are made entirely from memory foam giving you a feeling of being embraced and supported over every inch of your body. Even while on a thin mattress.

What makes memory foam so interesting is its versatility. There are several types available, ranging from cooling gel memory foam, to rapid recovery foams that immediately adjust to your body’s movements. 

Thin Coil Mattresses

Some cheap coil mattresses are so bad that they make those low-grade foam mattresses we mentioned earlier feel comfortable.

We’ve yet to meet someone who enjoys the feeling of a metal spring digging into their back.

That said, there are high-quality coil mattresses that use modern coil systems to provide impressive support and comfort not seen with older designs.

These modern coil systems use individual pocketed coils that are reactive and supportive.

Thin Hybrid Mattresses

If you can’t choose between memory foam and coils, a hybrid mattress gives you the best of both worlds, combining the two together to provide a melding of support and comfort features!

Ultra-Thin Mattresses

While not exactly a material, the ultra-thin mattress is deserving of its own category.

Ultra-thin mattresses are usually around 4 or 5″ thick.

Because they’re so thin, they’re less likely to sag. Plus, they can provide excellent support for your back, and they’re also easy to store when they’re not in use.

What's So Great About Thin Mattresses?

In a world where bigger is usually better, you might be wondering why anyone would opt for a thin mattress when they could have a nice, plush, thick, pillowy bed to rest their weary head on.

There are several reasons why thin mattresses might be the better choice… and you don’t even have to sacrifice comfort, quality, or support to get just what you need/want.

User Friendly

Big thick mattresses add height to a bed. This can make getting in and out of it more difficult, especially for the elderly and for people with mobility issues. 

Thin mattresses can help keep that height to a minimum!


Thick mattresses are great in many ways, but they can also be an absolute pain in the rear end to move around. 

If you intend on moving, changing bedrooms, or updating the bed in an upstairs or downstairs living space, a thin mattress will cause you much less headache — being both nimbler as well as lighter weight.

Space Saving

Since they take up less room, thin mattresses are ideal for RVs, campers, bunk beds, and more! 

Some are so thin that they can even be purchased in foldable versions and packed away in storage until they’re needed again.


Thinner mattresses generally cost less, as less material generally translates to lower prices. 

Plus they’re smaller and lighter, so they’re cheaper to ship too!

Temperature Regulation

In some cases, a thinner mattress offers a cooler sleep as there are fewer layers to store and build up heat.

Have More Questions About Buying a Thin Mattress Online? Give Us a Call!

MattressInsider has been helping people get better sleep with high-quality, custom-tailored mattresses since 2008. 

It’s what we love doing, and why thousands of customers rely on us for all of their mattress dreams!

If you’re looking to purchase a thin mattress online, we’d love to help you find the perfect fit.

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