is it always better to use a thicker filter in furnace?

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Why else would they pleat filters?
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Every filter is different, they are rated for cfm and filtering ability. I have a 4" april air that has good flow and filtration, you have to find a rating in cfm, first pass % efficency and probably more to know what you are buying. There are 1-2 " junk and 1-2" very good filters made. How it seals in the case is maybe as or more important since unfiltered air just bypasses with a bad fit.
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james wrote:

Most of the HVAC work me and my brother do is commercial. Every new installation gets 2" pleated filters because they simply work better. Homeowners can have large air filters like Aprilaire Media Air Cleaners installed on their furnace/air handlers. http://tinyurl.com/yd8tq3 Someone posted that they had a problem with Aprilaire filter packs sealing so any installation should be checked thoroughly. There are several different brands of large air filters and you should pick one that has media you can obtain from a local supplier.
TDD
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wrote:

Air Bear has a positive tight seal
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ransley wrote:

Oh yea, I found Air Bear on The Internet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-a607j2dOo

TDD
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It is impossible to say from the information provided. The type of material the design etc all make differences. The most important factor is to make sure the filter meets the specifications given for your furnace.
Personally I believe far too much worry is made about filters. You need to meet the specifications for the furnace to protect it, but you should not really expect some sort of real change in air quality in your home because you use this or that air filter. Most of the advertising related to air filters or all kinds are all fluff. They don't provide any evidence that the products advertised add anything to the quality of life in the home where they are used.
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