If you don’t like the idea of universal comfort or you just don’t think that firmness level is right for you, not to worry. Many online mattress companies continue to develop great mattress builds that are available in multiple firmness levels. Having additional firmness options is great for those sleepers who have specific feel needs, especially in cases where those feel needs/desires don’t overlap with the medium feel.
Side sleepers under 130 pounds
Side sleepers under 130 pounds
Sleepers under 130 pounds; side sleepers under 230 pounds
Back and side sleepers between 130 and 230 pounds
Sleepers between 130 and 230 pounds; side sleepers over 230 pounds
Side sleepers over 230 pounds; back and stomach sleepers over 130 pounds
8 - 9
Back and stomach sleepers over 230 pounds
Mattress Firmness Guides
(1) Soft: Typically, a soft mattress will fall anywhere between a 3 and 5 out of 10 on the firmness scale, with 10 being the most firm. These mattresses have a significant amount of hug and sinkage, usually in the 1.5-3 inches range. ➣ View all best soft mattresses (Up to 70% off)
(2) Medium: 6-7 out of 10. The middle of the road option for sinkage and hug (anywhere from 1 to 2 inches), many of these could be considered universal comfort mattresses. ➣ View all best medium firm mattresses (Up to 70% off)
(3) Firm: 7.5-9 out of 10. With very minimal sinkage or hug (1 inch or less), firm mattresses are designed to float sleepers on top of the surface of the mattress. ➣ View all best firm mattresses (Up to 70% off)
How to Choose Mattress Firmness
The bottom line question is, what firmness level is best for you? There are a few factors to consider when making your choice. You’ll want to consider your sleep position, support needs, weight, and body type before making your choice.
(1) What position do you sleep in?
This is perhaps the most important factor that will determine you ideal firmness. Side sleepers usually need a firmness in the 3-6 range, stomach in the 5-7 range, and back in the 4-8 range. If you sleep in multiple positions, try to find a balanced level of firmness that hits both needs.
(2) How heavy are you, and what’s your body type?
Your body type and weight is also a major factor. If you’re very large, you will generally need a thicker mattress that provides better deep compression support. Additionally, very heavy sleepers may find that softer mattresses create too much sinkage due to the increased weight and pressure. Lighter sleepers typically engage more with the top layers and less with the core and base layers. Look for mattresses that have top layers that meet your firmness desires.
(3) Firmness isn’t support:
Don’t forget that support and firmness are not the same. You can find a mattress with great support that’s still soft and meets your feel and pressure relief needs.
(4) Majority rules:
If you’re not sure what firmness to try, I recommend going for something in the 6 out of 10 range. This is by far the most common mattress firmness available, and for good reason: 80% of sleepers prefer a mattress in the 5-7 out of 10 range. If you’re not sure where to start, try a medium feel.
(5) Be careful with soft mattresses:
Many times, my readers see the word “soft” and gravitate toward that. I would caution against this. Soft mattresses can be perfect if your preference and needs draw you to that. However, these are also the most returned mattress across the industry by far. Many sleepers buy a soft based on the name alone, only to find out that soft is actually way too soft. Mattresses in the 3-3.5 range are best for side sleepers, and those with most other sleeping styles will find them uncomfortable. Additionally, if you’re over 200 pounds, you may find that these mattresses create too much hug.
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FAQs Mattress Firmness
(1) What firmness of mattress is best?
Majority rules: If you’re not sure what firmness to try, I recommend going for something in the 6 out of 10 range. This is by far the most common mattress firmness available, and for good reason: 80% of sleepers prefer a mattress in the 5-7 out of 10 range. If you’re not sure where to start, try a medium feel.
(2) What is the difference in mattress firmness?
It’s important to note that the firmness and support level of a bed are different. Firmness relates to the uppermost layers of a bed, while support is provided in the middle and lower layers. All well-made mattresses offer an underlying support system, regardless of what the top layers feel like.
(3) Do I need a firm mattress or soft mattress?
Firm mattresses are better for stomach sleepers, hot sleepers, and those who like to sleep “on top” of their mattress. Soft mattresses are better for side sleepers, couples, and those who like to sink into their mattress. It really depends on the person and their sleep preferences.
(4) Do firm mattresses get softer?
A brand new mattress may be firmer than you anticipated, but you can easily soften it up by taking a few steps. Literally. You can break it in by sleeping on it night after night, and you’ll experience some softening over time.
(5) What bed firmness is good for backs?
If the mattress is too hard, it won’t accommodate the natural curvature of the spine in the lumbar area. For this reason, a Medium-Firm to Firm mattress usually works best for back sleepers. Side sleepers have high-impact areas where the body is the widest, notably at the shoulders and hips.
(6) What firmness of mattress is best for lower back pain?
Generally the mattress shouldn’t be too soft or too firm. Studies have leaned toward medium firmness mattress as being generally better for lower back pain .
(7) What does luxury firm mattress mean?
Luxury Firm mattresses are very similar to a firm mattress with a little extra padding to provide pressure relief. The luxury firm mattress contours to your body while still maintaining very firm support. Luxury Firm could also be defined as “Cushion Firm”.
(8) Do side sleepers need firm mattress?
Typically side sleeping requires a medium to medium-soft mattress to properly support your body, especially your midsection and lower back. If you are heavier than average you’re likely to need a firmer mattress and if you’re lighter than average you may want to go softer than average.
(9) Is a firm or soft mattress better for side sleepers?
Medium soft to medium firm mattresses are most common. For side sleepers, mattress firmness determines how cushioned the pressure points are. It affects how much the shoulders and hips sink into the mattress, which helps keep the spine aligned. A comfortable mattress will alleviate aches and pains.
(10) Who should sleep on a firm mattress?
Less sagging can mean the weight of the body is distributed evenly, which means no one part of the body is bearing the brunt of the pressure. Firm mattresses are generally better for those who sleep on their back, because they provide a more stable and even surface.
(11) Can a firm mattress cause back pain?
A mattress that’s too soft will cause your spine to fall out of alignment all night long, and a mattress that’s too firm will cause joint pressure in your hips that leads to pain in your lower back. You’re certain to feel this pain as soon as you try to get out of bed.
(12) Is memory foam firm or soft?
Memory foam can be very soft and marshmallow-like or very firm, just sinking in slightly when you lie on it. There are multiple factors that determine how firm or soft a memory foam mattress will feel and not all of those factors are determined by the memory foam itself. All memory foam mattresses are made in layers.
(13) Is extra firm mattress good for back?
A firm or extra firm mattress is beneficial to the health of your back by providing a level surface to the whole of your body while you sleep. This extra support helps your body maintain good posture and prevents your back from curving, which can happen on softer mattresses.
(14) Are firm mattresses bad for side sleepers?
The recommended mattress firmness for side sleepers is soft to medium-soft. If you sleep on your side, you may find many traditional mattresses are too firm and cause your arms to go numb. A softer mattress will allow your arm and shoulder to sink in more and provide more pressure relief on those areas.
(15) What if my mattress is too firm?
Try a mattress pad or mattress topper. Pillow-material mattress toppers can help soften a too-firm mattress, while thick pads or firm mattress toppers can add some more support. Consider room temperature.
(16) How long does it take to get used to a firm mattress?
How long does it take to adjust to a new mattress? Most mattresses take anywhere from 30 to 90 days to fully “break in.” Your new mattress may be different from your old one, or it may seem stiff from its newness, and thus may seem uncomfortable for a little while.