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How Do I Know What Firmness Of Mattress I Need

The Mattress Firmness Scale And How Much Firmness You Need

Mattress Buying Guide – How To Choose The Right Mattress For You!

Most manufacturers agree upon the use of a 10-point scale to define the firmness of their mattresses — but there’s no actual rule, and some devise their own separate systems. For those that do use the 10-point scale, however, the lower end of the scale indicates softer mattresses, while higher numbers are firmer. Here’s how it’s broken down, in a nutshell.

Other Important Considerations When Choosing A Mattress

A mattress is often a significant investment. Once you find the mattress of your dreams, you might hesitate before committing to the purchase. What if it doesnt quite measure up to the description, feels uncomfortable, or doesnt stay cool?

The good news is, most mattress brands understand your dilemma and offer some options to help give you peace of mind.

Whenever possible, consider the following before you click the Complete Order button:

Myth: You Cant Buy A Mattress Without Lying On It First

The largest difference people point out between buying a mattress online vs. in-stores is that fact that you cant lie on it first to test it out. In reality most online mattress retailers offer a generous risk-free trial period.

If you decide the mattress isnt right for you in that time window, you can typically return it for a full refund. Lying on a mattress for 10 minutes in a store wont show you how well you can really sleep on the mattress anyways since it can take up to 30 days to fully break in a mattress.

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How Well Does A Mattress Cushion And Comfort You

How well mattress cushions and comforts is dependent on the materials. As soon as you crawl into bed, youll realize how comfortable the top layer of the mattress is. As soon as you lie down, the comfort layer will cradle your pressure points and provide relief. You must test and feel a mattress to determine if it is comfortable for you. For some people, a firmer bed will feel just right, while others will prefer a softer mattress. Only you can accurately gauge whats comfortable to you.

How To Use Our Mattress Quiz To Find The Right Mattress


By answering a few short questions about your mattress preferences, sleeping position, and budget, well pair you with expert approved mattress recommendations that we believe will help you achieve better sleep.

Well also take into consideration your body type and health conditions to provide you with personalized options.

If youre in the market for a new mattress, you might be overwhelmed by how many options are out there. Between the new bed-in-a-box companies, legacy brands, and luxury options, theres a lot to consider.

These basics can help get you started as you narrow down your options.

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How Do I Know If My Bed Is Too Soft

A mattress that is too soft may have excessive sinkage, deeper than desired contour, and leave you feeling unsupported. Similarly to a mattress that is too firm, a mattress that is too soft can also cause improper spinal alignment.

This can result in waking up with lower back pain, shoulder neck, and/or neck pain.

Mattress Shopping Tips & Checklist

Now that youve learned all that factors that should influence your mattress buying decision, well simplify all that information down to the key questions you need to ask while shopping:

  • Am I ready for a new mattress?
  • Which material is best for me?
  • Is this mattress high quality in all the right areas ?
  • Are there any red flags I should avoid ?
  • Does this mattress accommodate my sleeping position?
  • What size mattress do I need?
  • How much can I spend on a mattress?
  • Where should I buy my mattress from?
  • How can I get the best deal on my mattress?

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Temperature Regulation And Cooling

The temperature of your bed can make a huge difference in the quality of your sleep. If youre too warm, you might wake up sweating or have trouble staying asleep.

Cooling mattresses have special features designed to help keep you cool as you sleep, including:

  • air cell or open-cell foam
  • gel infusions
  • mattress covers made from phase-changing, moisture-wicking, or stay-cool fabrics

Customer reviews can help provide a more accurate picture of whether the cooling features mentioned in the mattress description really work.

Sciatica And Sleep Position

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People who suffer from sciatica usually have problems sleeping in certain positions. However, there isnt any perfect sleeping position that works for everyone suffering from this condition.

But that also doesnt mean you should sleep through the pain all night here are some sleeping positions that might work for you if you suffer from sciatica.

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How To Negotiate For The Best Mattress Price

If youre married to buying a mattress from a store, then you can use some helpful tips on negotiating so you can be sure youre receiving the best price for your new mattress.

The good news is mattress prices are negotiable at most retailers, but the main strategy is to try to play one seller off of another. For example, if you secure a quote from one store, you can take it to their competitor and see that they beat the price. You can continue this process on and on and on by taking that lower price to a different competitor, and negotiating that price down even further. Another option would be to find the mattress you want online, and then get the retailer to match the price you see online.

But if youre not keen on the idea of going back and forth between mattress stores, youll be happy to hear that online prices are typically the best. All you have to do is find the mattress that fits you best, and then find the comparable model online.

How To Choose The Correct Firmness

We know that mattresses come in several degrees of firmness, and that to ensure a comfortable night’s sleep, we need to choose the one that best adapts to the contours of the body, enabling the heaviest parts of the body to sink into the mattress.To choose the mattress most suited to your body, your tastes and your preferences, it is very important to take into account the sleeping position you adopt. During sleep, the spine must be able to maintain its natural position. Choose a mattress that will take care of your body!

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We Take Crib Mattress Firmness Seriously

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 [email protected] from 9am-5pm EST, Monday-Friday.You can also find us on , , , or .

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Firmness Level Finder Chart

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With a better understanding of how weight and sleep position both dictate your mattress firmness needs, you can consider these factors together.

We developed the chart below to help Nolah mattress shoppers choose between our five mattress models. These values may not align perfectly with the scales used by other mattress brands, but it still provides a useful guide for shoppers.

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Does Memory Foam Always Mean Soft

No. Memory foam can come in a range of firmnesses. Firmness is determined by what is known as the foams Indentation Load Force Deflection, known as either IFD or ILD.

This is not a measure of the foams density, as the same density foam can have different IFD.

IFD/ILD is measured using the force in pounds required to compress a foam sample by 25% of its original height.

The lower the IFD, the softer the foam, and the higher the IFD, the firmer the foam is. Base foams typically have both higher density and higher IFD, while comfort layers will have lower IFD.

We Have Mattresses Of All Sizes And Thicknesses

Not all our mattresses are Swedish sizes. At IKEA, we have every size of mattress you could imagine. We have mattresses in Spanish sizes , and in standard European sizes .We also have mattresses of different thicknesses: you can choose between thinner and thicker ones. Now you’ve got no excuse for not choosing a good mattress to enjoy that comfort you need!At IKEA, you will find the best mattresses whatever your individual requirements. Some materials are better for those who feel the cold, others suit those who tend to feel warm, while others are great for restless sleepers.

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Motion Transfer: Does The Mattress Move When Your Partner Moves On It

If youre sharing a bed, its a good idea to go to the mattress store with your spouse and try out several mattresses. This will help determine how well a mattress reduces motion transfer when sleeping with your spouse, children, or pets.

A mattress with the right amount of comfort and padding will reduce pressure points while you sleep, resulting in less tossing and turning, fewer aches and pains when you wake up, and overall better sleep. When your partner moves on the mattress, it moves, which can disrupt your sleep. You run the risk of being woken up by your partners changing positions because the mattress transfers too much of that motion to your side of the bed.

Lay down on the bed with your spouse and have them switch positions while you rest on the opposite side. Take note of how much movement you are experiencing.

How Old Is Your Mattress

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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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How To Test For Support And Spinal Alignment

To test for support and spinal alignment, its best to lay on a mattress in-store or purchase one online and test it out during a sleep trial. Support and spinal alignment vary from mattress to mattress, so what you find comfortable might not be what your partner finds comfortable. Mattress support tells you how well it allows the spine to maintain its alignment and evenlydistribute weight. Proper mattress support is crucial to the resting body. Lack of support may result in muscle ache, back pain, stiffness, and lack of sleep. If youve been experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, your mattress is most likely not providing enough support and spinal alignment.

Your body isnt a straight line it has curves, and the appropriate mattress should support your back while supporting your arches. Back, side, and stomach sleepers will all require various levels of support in different places.

Heres how you can test out spinal alignment depending on your sleep position:

Back sleepers

Slide your hand under the small of your back while lying down on a mattress . The mattress may be overly firm if your hand readily glides under your lower back curve. The mattress is probably too soft if your hand doesnt slide through at all.

Side sleepers

Lie down on the side of your bed where you normally sleep. Ask someone to take a picture of your back or check your spine alignment. Check to see if your spine is straight. If it isnt, switch to a different mattress.

Stomach sleepers

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.

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The Problem With Firmness Extremes

Even though the firmness scale is measured between 1 and 10, it is unlikely youd ever come across a mattress that sits at the extreme of either end of the scale.

Why? Because level 1 or 10 would be so soft or so firm, theyd pretty much be at the point of ridiculousness and not actually suitable for anyone but the rarest of cases. A mattress with level 1 softness would have an extreme level of sinkage while not providing any meaningful support.

A mattress with level 10 firmness would nearly feel like sleeping on a tabletop extreme pushback levels with next to no sinkage or conforming properties and extremely thin soft comfort layer.

How To Determine Your Sleep Style

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Most people fall into one of three main categories for sleeping styles. These are side, stomach or back. If you find yourself sleeping in multiple positions, then youre a combination sleeper.

Note what position you find comfortable to fall asleep in and how you wake up to better understand what sleeping style you fall in to. Knowing this before looking at mattresses will be helpful. Once you know how youre sleeping, you can find a bed that caters to your sleep style.

Here are some general rules that can help you in your search for the perfect mattress.

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Do Mattresses Get Softer Over Time

Yes. Now, this doesnt mean your new mattress will get drastically softer over only several months of use. Instead, when your mattress ages after several years of use, it will soften, grow lumpy, and youll eventually need to replace it.

Your mattresss lifespan will depend on the type of mattress you havememory foam latex, hybrid, etcthough mattresses typically last between 7 to 10 years. With this in mind, your mattresss firmness does not affect its lifespan.

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:

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Firm Crib Mattresses: The Experts Agree Firmer Is Better

If you need more evidence to convince a partner, grandparent, or co-parent that a firm bassinet mattress and/or crib mattress is best for your baby, take a look at what some of the experts say:

Theres virtually no professional organization operating in child health and safety that doesnt argue the case for a firm crib mattress.

The experts have weighed in, and theyve made an overwhelming case in support of buying a firm crib mattress for your baby.

Where To Buy A Mattress

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When youre ready to buy a mattress, you have a lot of places you can go. You can buy a mattress from big box retailers, department stores, furniture stores, mattress specialty stores, and even online from the comfort of your home. Well give you the pros and cons of each option so you decide what works best for you.

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Preferences And Other Considerations

There are other important factors to consider when shopping for a new bed. If you tend to overheat at night, you will want a mattress that can help keep you cool. Latex runs cooler than foam, which is known for retaining heat. Hybrids and innersprings also sleep cooler, since air circulates between the coils. If you really enjoy the feel of foam but find it runs too hot, look for a foam bed that incorporates cooling components such as cooling gel, an aerated composition, or phase change material. Covers made of cotton or cooling fabrics can help regulate temperature, and wool layers wick moisture from your body.

If you with a partner, you may want to consider a mattress with strong motion isolation. This can help reduce sleep disturbances when sleep partners shift in the middle of the night. Many foam beds are highly effective at minimizing motion transfer, while latex beds have a bouncy feel that is less conducive to motion isolation.

Everyone has different priorities when it comes to finding an ideal mattress. Eco-conscious shoppers may prefer beds made with organic materials. People who sleep close to the edge of the bed might want a mattress with good edge support. Shoppers who are new to purchasing mattresses online may appreciate a bed with a long sleep trial. Figuring out your individual needs will go a long way toward finding the perfect mattress, so take our mattress quiz to get started on your search.

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Daniel Noyed

Certified Sleep Coach


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