Bottom gated thin-film transistors (TFTs) with various sputtered SnO active layer thicknesses ranging from 10 to 30 nm and different passivation layers have been investigated. The device with 20 nm SnO showed the highest on/off ratio of 1.7 × 104 and the smallest subthreshold swing of 8.43 V dec−1, and the mobility (0.76 cm2 V−1 s−1) was only slightly lower than in TFTs with a thicker SnO layer. However, both the mobility and the on/off ratio of the 15 nm SnO TFT dropped significantly by one order of magnitude. This indicated a strong influence of the top surface on the carrier transport, and we thus applied an organic or an inorganic encapsulation material to passivate the top surface. In the 20 nm TFT, the on/off ratio was doubled after passivation. The performance of the 15 nm TFT was improved even more dramatically with the on/off ratio increased by one order of magnitude and the mobility increased also significantly. Our experiment shows that polymethyl methacrylate passivation is more effective to reduce the shallow trap states, and Al2O3 is more effective in reducing the deep traps in the SnO channel.