Buying a Thin Mattress? 5 Things You MUST Avoid (plus our recommendations)

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 need to easily store the mattress when not in use
  • sofa beds
  • van mattress builds
  • and the list goes on!

Even with the abundance of options, finding the right thin mattress online can be a challenge. Regardless of the use case, one thing is certain – you want to be comfortable while using it! If you’re in the market for a thin mattress, be sure to read the rest of this article before clicking on that “checkout” button. You might just be surprised at what you didn’t know.

Or, feel free to skip down to our top picks for thin mattresses – ranging in heights from 4.5″ to 8″ 🙂

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

Here are the top things you MUST avoid when buying a thin mattress 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 have 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 support in a thin mattress:

  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 need 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 mattresses have been tested and proven to be great choices for anyone looking for a thin mattress.

2. Going TOO Thin

Be realistic – in order for a mattress to work, it needs some substance. Look for a thickness of around 4-4.5 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, low back pain, etc.

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 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 with 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, using low-quality foam that doesn’t offer much in terms of support, or wears out prematurely, the materials are also 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. For example, the 5.5 inch Sedona RV mattress, made from plant-based ultra- supportive eco-friendly non-toxic foam, costs between $200-$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.

Questions you should ask the company you are considering when it comes to warranties (these are important!):

1. How long is the warranty for this mattress?
2. Is it a full warranty? Is it prorated? (prorated 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, we just want to have the proper expectations. 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 2-3″ 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); it’s very likely that you will sink through the topper layers and immediately feel this platform.

Instead, we suggest that you consider a 4-5″ mattress that is designed to be supportive as a low-profile bed.

Need something 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 will likely want something 3-3.5″; but in these cases, the mattress will need to be made from 100% support foam – so it will be firm!

Our Thin Mattress Recommendations (from 4.5" - 8")

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

  • gel foam is a fantastic feature for such a thin mattress
  • supports adults without bottoming out
  • incredible warranty (10 years, full)
  • customizable (can be made to your specs)
  • affordable; won’t break the bank
  • supports adults without bottoming out
  • great warranty (5 years, full)
  • customizable (can be made to your specs)
  • affordable given the quality of the mattress
  • extra supportive. Great for those who need something firmer
  • great warranty (5 years, full)
  • customizable (can be made to your specs)
  • gel form helps this mattress remain comfortable with the low profile design
  • supports adults without bottoming out
  • fantastic warranty (10 years, full)
  • customizable (can be made to your specs)
  • pocketed coil design is extra-supportive (adults up to 300lbs each)
  • awesome warranty (10 year, full + 10 year pro-rated)
  • customizable (can be made to your specs)
  • great high-end gel foam mattress
  • gel foam great for side sleepers, or anyone who wants a medium-firmness
  • incredible warranty (20 years, full)
  • customizable (can be made to your specs)

Or, go the custom mattress route and create 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 product that is 8 inches or less thick. The thinnest you’re likely to come across is around 4 inches; anything less is akin to a mattress topper simply masquerading as a mattress!

Know Your Lingo: In the bed industry, a thin mattress is often known as a low-profile

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 all come into play.

Here’s a breakdown of the most popular types of thin mattresses on the market:

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 lackluster 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 stores like Mattress Insider, you don’t have to spend a lot to get a lot of value.

Thin memory foam mattresses

Memory foam ranks among some of 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 on a thin mattress.

What makes memory foam so interesting is its versatility, with 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 inches 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.

But 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.

Let’s take a closer look at the Benefits of Thin Mattresses:

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 people with mobility issues. Thin bed mattresses keep
that height to a minimum.


Thick mattresses are great in many ways, but they can 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 apartment or living space, a thin mattress will cause you much less

headache, being both nimbler as well as lighter weight. Not to mention carrying an unwieldy thick mattress could be dangerous.

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 be purchased in foldable versions and packed away in storage until needed again.


Thinner mattresses generally cost less. Less material translates to lower prices to consumers. 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 since there are fewer layers to store
and build up heat.

Have More Questions About Buying a Thin Mattress Online? – Give us a Call! 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
rave about our products on and offline.

If you’re looking to purchase a thin mattress online, we’d love to help you find the perfect fit
for you and your family. Our team is always eager to go above and beyond, and we appreciate the opportunity to make sure your experience with us is one that you’ll remember for all the right reasons.

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