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How Do I Know What Firmness Of Mattress I Need

What Is Universal Comfort

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Universal comfort, or universal firmness, is a term applied to mattresses that are designed to meet the needs of the majority of sleepers. These tend to fall between 5 and 8 on the firmness scale, and most would describe them as having a medium or medium-firm feel. In recent years, many mattress manufacturers have started to carry at least one mattress that falls into this category. While the promise of universal satisfaction regardless of sleeping position, weight, gender, or age is appealing, you should always test a mattress described as universally comfortable. These mattresses arent necessarily a one-size-fits-all. Be sure to take advantage of the trial period, read reviews, and make sure its truly a balanced, comfortable feel you enjoy.

How Is Pillow Firmness Measured

As of now, theres no universal method for effectively measuring pillow firmness. In general, the term refers to how much the pillow sinks whenever you apply weight to it. Certain brands have their own unique pillow firmness scales, so its important to keep this in mind when comparison shopping. The most common terms for measuring pillow firmness are below.

Soft: These ultra plush pillows are great for sleepers who need very little support, such as stomach sleepers. They offer very little resistance and easily conform to your head and neck. Because these pillows lack firmness, they can lead to neck pain when used with the wrong sleep position.

Medium Soft: These pillows offer a little more support than the softest pillows, while still feeling plush. However, larger bodied sleepers who might require more loft and firmness than what these pillows offer.

Medium: Neither too soft nor too firm, these pillows suit back sleepers and those whore likely to change positions at night.

Medium Firm: These pillows are very firm, but not so much that they lack give. They offer a great deal of support for the head and neck, while also providing conformity and some extra cushioning.

What If My Partner And I Have Different Firmness Preferences

As with most relationship issues, start with communication. You and your partner should discuss both what your ideal firmness is and what you perceive to be your acceptable range. If there is overlap, you can look for a mattress that works for you both. If your firmness needs are wholly incompatible, you can look for mattresses that are offered with split firmness levels so that each side of the mattress has a different feel.

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Best Mattress Firmness For Preferred Sleeping Positions

So how do you choose the perfect mattress firmness? One of the easiest ways is by figuring out what your ideal sleeping position is. Yes, it really is that simple.

Do you sleep on your side most of the time? Or, do you sleep on your stomach or back? If you’re not sure, you could be someone who happens to take turns sleeping in all three of these positions.

Eve Sleep Premium Hybrid: 782 Evesleepcouk

How do I know if I need a new mattress?  Review &  Buy

Sizes available: Double, king, super king

Mattress depth: 28cm

Material: Memory foam and springs

Trial period: 100 nights

Guarantee: 10 years

This extra-deep, vacuum-packed hybrid mattress is next level, in our opinion, especially when it comes to people who sleep at least part of the night on their backs and, unlike the Emma hybrid that goes for folk of any shape and size. This is particularly good news for tall and/or overweight back sleepers, for whom no other mattress came close in our tests.

The durability is outstanding, so it should last you longer than other mattresses. It also gets 10 out of 10 from us on breathability, comfort and support, being just slightly firmer than medium. Eve says its down to the combination of special layers and years of product development, focus groups and testing. The top provides a comfy lift, followed by a contouring memory foam layer, then a firmer foam support layer and a sturdy foam base layer that also encloses full-sized pocket springs. You wont disturb your partner when you roll over and the cover is washable. It does smell a bit at first, but not for long, and no mattress scored higher for edge to edge support.

Read our complete round-up of the best mattresses 2021

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Do You Really Need A New Mattress

Many people change their beds after just a few years, and thats perfectly fine if you can afford it. The fact is, its not a small investment, so take a moment to determine do you really need a new.

Generally, after seven or eight years you will most likely need a new mattress. Of course, it depends on the quality and material . And if you feel back or neck pain it might, your bedding is a good place to start.

Here is the average mattress lifespan in years based on material and type:

How Old Is Your Mattress

Dr. Perry warns that mattress springs break down over time, which makes your bed softer. This can aggravate a patients back, he says.

Based on this, does it makes sense for you to get a new mattress, or can you reduce pain and stiffness with your old one? While this is likely to vary among individuals, medical research may help shed some light on the question:

A study in Applied Ergonomics measured the comfort and quality of sleep for 27 patients with low back pain and stiffness. The participants recorded their sleep comfort and quality in their own beds for 21 days and then with a prescribed bedding system, which they used for 12 weeks. The study found that the participants showed progressive improvement in back pain and stiffness on the new mattresses and their quality of sleep improved significantly.

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What Is Mattress Firmness

The firmness of a mattress refers to the initial feel you experience when lying on it. Are you sinking into the mattress, or resting right on top of it? Are you experiencing a lot of push back, or do you notice that the materials are contouring to the curves of your body? These are just a few of the questions you can ask to determine whether or not a mattress is soft, medium firm, or firm.

To help consumers understand firmness, the mattress industry will often score its beds on a firmness scale with a range from 1-10. A mattress that scores a 1/10 would be the softest mattress in the world, and one that scores a 10/10 would be the firmest. For reference, a score of 6.5/10 is widely regarded as the industry standard for medium firmness. Ill describe the firmness scale in more detail below.

But for now, lets go over what soft, medium firm, and firm mattresses actually feel like.

Firmness Levels In Different Types Of Mattresses

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Now that you have a better idea of what kind of firmness levels there are, you can begin to look at which types of mattresses offer you options in that range. The firmness levels in different mattresses depend on the type, quality, and quantity of the materials used in the comfort layers, as well as the design or composition of the materials.

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Understanding The Firmness Scale

So, now that we know what the three major firmness groups are, lets revisit the entire firmness scale. This will give you a better idea of what a 3/10 or a 7.5/10 actually feels like when youre doing your mattress research.

As I mentioned up top, these interpretations are subjective, but I think they offer some good insight into how these numbers translate into a real-life, on-the-bed situation.

Are Certain Mattress Types More Firm

As a matter of reputation, memory foam is known for being more plush while latex and innerspring mattresses are considered to be firmer. However, this is highly dependent on the specific design of the mattress and the formulation and construction of the mattress materials. As a result, we encourage you to look at the details of any specific mattress rather than assuming that a mattress will have a particular feel because it is made of a certain material.

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The Firmness Scale In

In this section, well offer more detailed information about these general firmness levels including about how they can influence support and the types of sleeping positions best suited for them.


A 1 on the firmness scale is extremely rare, but many mattresses are offered in the 2-3 range.

Support: because their softness allows them to conform closely to the body, very soft mattresses can help to relieve pressure points and keep the spine aligned. However, the flip side of this is that for many people, there is simply too much sink and contouring, and the result can be to induce an excessive curvature in the spine.

Sleeping positions: of the main sleeping positions, a very soft mattress is usually best for side sleepers. Side sleepers tend to have more pronounced pressure points at the hips and shoulders and can benefit from more cushioning at those points. For the majority of both back and stomach sleepers, the amount of sink in a very soft mattress can draw the spine out of alignment.


Support: these medium-firm mattresses usually offer the best overall support because they have enough contouring to reduce pressure points while not permitting excessive sinking into the mattress. Spinal alignment for most people is best maintained on a mattress of this firmness.


Whats The Difference Between A Firm And Soft Mattress

How Do I Know If My Mattress Is Too Firm ...

When shopping for a new mattress, you have likely noticed that each one comes with a firmness level. But, how is this level determined? Many brands rely on a standard firmness scale from 1 to 10with 1 being the softest and 10 being the firmest. Firm and soft mattresses are at opposite ends of this scale. That said, youll rarely find mattresses rated as a 10 or a 1 because those are extremely firm and extremely soft beds that arent commonly made.

A firm mattress rates between a 9 and a 7 on the firmness scale. These beds have very little give, so the surface tends to remain even and allows for little sinking.

A soft mattress rates between a 2 and a 3 on the firmness scale. These beds compress quickly and easier when pressure is applied. Most sleepers experience some level of sinking when resting on a soft bed.

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Pros Of A Soft Mattresses

Soft mattresses feel comfortable to the touch. Theyre what we think of when we imagine a cozy, restful nights sleep. Theyre also excellent for individuals experiencing back pain on firmer surfaces. Side sleepers also gravitate towards them as their sleeping position tends to require softer surfaces that allow for greater contouring at the shoulders and hips to alleviate pressure.

Sex And Firmness Levels

Two main factors influence how a bed performs for sex: responsiveness and sinkage. Mattresses that are responsive and bouncy make movement easier, while those that absorb motion can make it more challenging. Additionally, a surface that sinks deeply may inhibit movement. That said, contouring can also enhance traction. While responsiveness and contouring are determined largely by materials, couples often find that softer models provide extra traction but are more difficult to move on.

Some other factors to consider include edge support and noise potential. Mattresses with stronger perimeters let couples use the entire surface, and quiet models allow greater discretion. Firmer mattresses frequently have sturdier edges, though soft models may include reinforced perimeters to make the full surface usable. Noise level is a result of a mattress materials and construction, but the ample comfort system of some soft mattresses could help muffle sounds.

Firmness Range
Beds in this category conform closely and sink deeply, which can make movement more difficult.Poor to Fair
4-6 out of 10Medium soft to medium firm mattresses typically have enough support for sexual activity while also contouring to provide traction and remain comfortable.Good to Very Good
7-10 out of 10Mattresses in this category may be too firm to be comfortable, though they often enhance movement by preventing sinkage.Fair to Good

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How Do I Tell If My Mattress Is Too Firm Or Too Soft

There are a few ways to tell if your mattress is too firm or too soft.

If your mattress is too soft, you might wake up sore in the morning. You might toss and turn throughout the night. Additionally, you might have trouble getting out of bed because you sink in too far. If you are a stomach sleeper, you will notice neck and back pain, if your mattress is too soft.

If your mattress is too firm, you will not receive proper pressure relief. You will have aches and pains, and you might wake up feeling tired, and unrefreshed. A good mattress should contour to your pressure points, even if it is just a little bit. No pressure relief whatsoever indicates that your mattress is too firm for you.

We Take Crib Mattress Firmness Seriously

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Every Naturepedic crib mattress offers the perfect amount of firmness for your baby, making for a safer sleep environment.

Each of our crib mattresses is made with our organic cotton batting, which creates a mattress surface thats extremely comfortable for your baby without sacrificing on firmness. Soft, comfortable, and firm just right!

We would love to help you choose the best organic crib mattress for your baby.

Our goal is always to make the purchasing process easier for parents. You can view our full selection of organic crib mattresses on our website.

Let us know if you have any other questions we can answer for you!

You can reach our customer service team at 1.800.917.3342 or email them at from 9am-5pm EST, Monday-Friday.You can also find us on , , , or .

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If Youre A Stomach Sleeper

Stomach sleeping can be pretty problematic from a pain point of view, especially when it comes to the lower back. Stomach sleepers are similar to back sleepers in that when lying flat the spine is in a neutral position.

But, a mattress that is too soft on top and allows the hips to sink below the rest of the body throws that alignment out and puts pressure on the lower back.

Like back sleepers, stomach sleepers need a firm enough mattress that wont let the midsection sink too deep but still has enough softness that the surface will conform to the body and cradle the areas that need it.

Most stomach sleepers will choose a mattress in the Medium-soft to Medium-firm range. Heavier stomach sleepers may even go up to a Firm.

Different Body Types Need Unique Solutions

As with sleep position, you’ll want to consider your weight and body type before selecting a mattress. Each mattress model is constructed to support sleepers in certain weight groups. Firmness, thickness, and material construction all come into play.

If you weigh less than 130 pounds, you’ll probably feel most comfortable on a soft to medium soft mattress . These beds conform the closest to your body to alleviate pressure points in the shoulders, lower back, and hips. A firmer bed may not provide enough contouring, resulting in added pressure and discomfort.

If you weigh 130 to 230 pounds, you’re a good candidate for a mattress with a medium soft to medium firm feel. The bed will feel firm enough to support your shoulders, lower back, and hips, but soft enough to cushion and conform to your body.

If you weigh more than 230 pounds, you may want to consider a medium firm to firm mattress . Softer beds will sink more, and you may experience uncomfortable sagging especially between your shoulders and hips. A firmer, more supportive mattress will keep you on an even plane. You may also need a thicker mattress with extra support layers. Beds with lower profiles often sag too much for people who weigh more than 230 pounds.

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Sciatica And Sleep Position

People who suffer from sciatica usually have problems sleeping in certain positions. However, there isn’t any perfect sleeping position that works for everyone suffering from this condition.

But that also doesn’t mean you should sleep through the pain all night here are some sleeping positions that might work for you if you suffer from sciatica.

Why Is Pillow Firmness Important


Pillow firmness is important because it will directly impact your comfort level and sleep quality. There are a few factors to consider when trying to decide if a pillow is the right firmness for you:

Sleep position: You want a pillow that will provide just the right amount of comfort and support depending on your preferred sleep position. For example, a stomach sleeper will prefer a soft pillow with little loft because it helps their neck remain in a neutral position. Alternately, a side sleeper will need a firm pillow with a good amount of loft to achieve proper head and neck alignment.

Weight: Body weight can impact the amount of firmness you need to get the best possible support. For example, buckwheat pillows are great for pain and pressure relief, but theyre not recommended for sleepers who weight less than 130 pounds.

Head or neck pain: If a pillow isnt firm enough to support the head and neck, pain and discomfort can become an ongoing issue.

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