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How Firm Should Mattress Be

Firmness Based On Sleeping Position

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The majority of us are multi sleepers, meaning that we tend to turn around and change sleeping positions during the night. However, you probably have one sleeping position that you prefer when falling asleep: back, stomach, or side. As you probably understand, the way you sleep should also have an impact on your mattress choice.

Stomach Sleepers

Stomach sleepers should pick either medium or medium-firm mattresses. While sleeping on your stomach is not the healthiest position due to the unnatural curving of your body, when you pick a bed that’s on the firmer side, you will provide your hips with the needed support and will be able to maintain your spine in the straightest possible position.

Side Sleepers

Side sleepers usually prefer quite soft mattresses that can range from 3 to 6. When sleeping on a too-firm mattress, side sleepers might experience unpleasant support in their shoulders. Needless to say, when your shoulders are elevated more than needed, your spine will crook and, in the long run, it might lead to some serious issues.

Back Sleepers

Back sleepers dont have that many requirements regarding mattress firmness scale. If youre sleeping on your back, then my advice is to consider mattresses that are from 4 to 8, depending on your weight. Thats exactly what I’ll be discussing in the further section. I’ve noticed that back sleepers tend to appreciate innerspring mattresses the most.

Combination Sleepers

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Is A Firm Or Plush Mattress Better

Whether you prefer a firm or plush mattress depends on factors like sleep position, body type, and personal comfort preferences. Again, the quality of your mattress will have more to do with the brand you choose and the materials used in its construction.

Its hard to say one type is definitively better than another.

Sleeping Style On Different Firmness Level

Sleeping style is mostly influenced by your sleeping position and the firmness level of your mattress. The term sleeping style refers to your position when you sleep. It is not only the sleeping position but also the comfort and quality of sleep. Whenever you wake up in the morning, you should be feeling well-rested. Sleeping style on different firmness levels helps improve your sleep quality and supports the back and neck.

The firmness level of the mattress is an important factor that affects the quality of sleep. If you are using a mattress that is too soft or too firm, it can cause pain in the back and neck.

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What Makes A Mattress Firm Or Soft

First off, most mattress companies use a 1-10 scale to rate how firm their mattresses are. At Mattress Clarity, we also use a 1-10 scale, and we consider 6.5 to be medium-firm. Anything below 6.5 is going to be on the softer end of the spectrum, and anything above 6.5 is going to be firmer.

A mattresss firmness is going to be mainly determined by its construction and materials. For instance, an innerspring mattress with no real comfort layer is probably going to be firmer. Of course, the grade of the coils will also affect the firmness and support of the mattress but, generally, innerspring mattresses are going to be firmer-than-average. Mattresses that feature latex are also usually firmer and more supportive latex is a very durable and dense material that doesnt have quite the give that some foam mattresses have.

Speaking of foam, memory foam mattresses are often softer-than-average this material is known for its comfortable feel and great pressure relief. In fact, some of the best bed-in-a-box mattresses feature memory foam alternatives such as Adaptive Foam or AirFoam that are also quite soft.

Whats Your Body Weight

Aireloom Enchanted Luxetop Firm Handcrafted Mattress

Yes, thats a really important criterion to consider. Relying only on the way a certain mattress feels is a bad decision it may seem that its just a perfect option, but if you choose the wrong product, it will have its negative consequences. So, lets take a look at the three categories of weight and mattresses that are better for light, average & heavy people.

If you weigh less than 130 lbs

The scheme is simple: the lighter a sleeper is, the less is pressure on a mattress. Consequently, they can afford softer options they just dont sink into them as much as heavier people do. By the way, people who weigh significantly less, for example, only 110-120 lbs can choose even softer mattresses than we recommend for side/back/stomach sleepers.

If your weight is from 130 to 200 lbs

The number of options that work pretty well for people who belong to this group is overwhelming. Thats why the best strategy for them is to focus more on other important things besides firmness, for example, position, number of sleepers, overheating/no overheating, chronic back pain/no back pain, etc.

Medium mattresses are pretty good for them, mostly because they are pretty good for all, but still you can find a lot of great options in this category. If you understand that you need more support or more softness, you can also look through the super firm and super soft mattresses.

If you weigh more than 200+ lbs

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Best Firm Mattress: Amerisleep As2

The Amerisleep AS2 has a medium-firm feel that back and stomach sleepers often prefer. The plant-based Bio-Pur® foam in the comfort layer conforms to the body with very little sinkage, ensuring the hips and shoulders remain lifted on the mattress.

With the help of its soft, perforated cover, body heat quickly dissipates, leaving behind a cool and inviting sleep surface that wont cause uncomfortable night sweats.

The transition layer of the AS2 features Amerisleeps Affinity foam with HIVE® technology, a zoned support layer designed to cradle the lumbar spine and protect the joints from pressure points. For those with chronic back pain, this mattress ensures the spine remains neutral, so the muscles can fully relax and heal during sleep.

The base of the AS2 features Amerisleeps Bio-Core® support foam, a durable material designed to prevent sagging. This layer also provides further protection against spinal misalignment and over-sinking.

Amerisleeps AS2 mattress comes with their 100-night sleep trial so you can test out the mattress at home and make sure its right for you. They also include a 20-year warranty which covers structural and manufacturing defects.

Amerisleep AS2

The Difference Between Plush Medium And Firm Mattresses

Your bed is the piece of furniture you probably use the most in your home. Hours are spent on it each and every night, not to mention any midday lounging time. If youre a student, your bed may be your prime studying spot, or if you work from home, it may even be your office. Being comfortable in bed is important, so you should consider all of the available options when youre buying a new mattress, which are typically replaced every five to seven years.

Mattress comforts are extremely subjective and a variety of terms will be used to describe the firmness level of a mattress. There isnt a universal list of specifications to determine which word should be used to describe the feel of a mattress. And, comfort levels will be impacted by the type of construction, components used, and manufacturer. This makes a lot of people wonder if a plush, medium, or firm mattress will be right for them.

To figure this out, there are a number of questions to ask yourself when deciding between plush vs. medium vs. firm mattresses.

  • What is the difference between a plush and firm mattress?
  • What is the difference between a medium and plush mattress?
  • What is the difference between a firm and medium mattress?
  • What position do you normally sleep in at night?
  • Is your current mattress causing you pain?
  • What mattress do you feel most comfortable on?
  • What type of mattress is best for you?

This article answers some basic questions to help you decide which mattress best suits your needs.

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Firmer Or Softer What Mattress Should I Buy

There are plenty of different types of mattresses, but even if we focus only on soft and firm, itd be still pretty difficult to answer the question, Should I choose a harder or a softer mattress?

The manufacturers sell mattresses of different firmness, and usually, you can find all the firmness options in one brand. However, some manufacturers often provide the customers with the statistics on their most popular mattresses and their firmness levels . Heres the infographics that shows the most popular firmness options of some mattress brands.

Now lets consider the benefits and drawbacks of firm and soft mattresses.

Are Firmness And Support The Same Thing

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Firmness and support are not synonymous as you might think. They are quite different from each other, and you should keep both in mind while purchasing your mattress.

Firmness is how the mattress feels when you lie down on it. It might feel soft and cozy or hard. However, support denotes whether your mattress can keep your spine in its natural alignment.

If you get confused between the two, try answering the following questions. To understand your mattress firmness, ask yourself whether it has a lot of cushioning or offers pushback. Does it feel comfortable? Now, to know how supportive your mattress is, try to find out if it keeps your spine aligned while sleeping. If your spine gets bent, you are not getting enough support.

The support offered by a mattress does not depend on its firmness. Whether it is a firm or plush mattress, it can give you the needed support. Make sure you consider both these factors while shopping for your new mattress to get the best results.

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Can Stomach Sleepers Use Softer Mattresses

This is typically not a great idea. Stomach sleepers need lots of lift to avoid lower back pain. If they dont get it, they could be waking up sore and miserable every morning. Stomach sleepers who prefer softer mattresses should consider medium-firm beds rather than going for softer mattress feels.

What If Im Not Sure What Firmness Level I Want For My Mattress

If you are unsure what firmness level is going to be right for you, theres really no way around it youll need to test some mattresses out for yourself.

You can try out mattresses in a showroom to get a gauge on what feels comfortable to you initially, but youll need more than just lying on a bed in a showroom to know for sure.

If you have an idea of what firmness level may be right for you, make sure to go for a mattress that is free and easy to return for either a refund or exchange.

Many mattress-in-a-box companies offer generous risk-free trial periods that allow you to try the mattress out at home for anywhere between 90 nights to a full year.

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How Firm Should Your Mattress Be

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Looking for the best mattress for comfort and support? Then one thing you need to take into account is how firm it is. For example, you’ll often hear that foam mattresses are on the softer side, while sprung mattresses are on the firmer side. But what does that actually mean?

Firmness is usually described by mattress manufacturers as somewhere on a spectrum between 1 and 10, where one is the softest and 10 is the firmest. On a soft mattress, you expect to sink into it, while on a firm mattress youll feel more like youre lying on top.

In truth, youre never likely to encounter either a 1 or 10 mattress because both would be super-uncomfortable. The softest mattresses that are actually available fall between 3 and 5, and a person of average weight would expect to sink around 1.5-3 inches into them.

A medium mattress is between 6 and 7, and an average person would expect to sink around 1-2 inches into one. And a firm mattress is between 7.5 and 9, where youre basically lying on top and not sinking in very much at all.

Replace Your Bed Frame Or Slats

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Check your bed frame to see what kind of slats you have. Solid slats make your mattress feel a lot firmer as they are designed to offer more support by adding pressure to your mattress.

To make your mattress softer, you could invest in a bed frame with sprung slats. This is because sprung slats provide more cushioned support and move with your mattress throughout the night.

If you’d like to find out more about the different types of bed frame slats, check out our guide.

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Invest In A New Divan Base

A solid platform base will make your mattress feel a lot firmer. This is because the solid, flat surface provides a lot more support for your mattress but has no ‘give’.

We suggest replacing the solid base with a sprung base because they offer more plush support. This is because the base gently cradles the mattress while you sleep rather than a sturdy flat surface.

How Much Firmness You Like

The firmness of a mattress does not always reflect its overall level of support. This means you shouldnt count on the firmest mattress being the most supportive, but it also means you can still get the support you need from a softer mattress.

Ultimately, it is up to you and your personal preference. If you like a plush-feeling mattress but require spinal support, soft and pillow-top mattresses offer the best of both. You can also choose a firmer mattress with your ideal level of support and then add a thin or thick plush mattress cover on top.

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Importance Of Thickness And Firmness Of A Mattress

When shopping for memory foam, foam, latex foam, or innerspring mattresses, the thickness and firmness matter. You should choose a mattress that is specific to your sleep position or based on your expectations. For example, stomach sleepers should invest in a soft mattress, while side sleepers should find medium soft mattresses more comfortable for their shoulders and hips. For back sleepers, a firmer mattress can give your weight enough support to minimize the aches and pain in the morning.

How Do I Know If My Mattress Is Too Firm

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If you are a side sleeper, look for the following signs to determine if your mattress is too firm.

  • You experience pain and stiffness near pressure points, such as your hips and shoulders.
  • Your arms quickly fall asleep with little pressure.
  • You frequently wake with back pain due to a misaligned spine.

Back sleepers tend to benefit from a firmer mattress. However, if you can place a hand between the lumbar and the mattress, you may want a bed with a bit more softness, such as a medium-firm bed.

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Cons Of A Soft Mattress

In some cases, soft mattresses may be less durable due to sagging. They can make aches and pains worse for stomach and back sleepers, and heavyweight individuals may find that theyre not supportive enough. Extremely soft mattresses can also cause trouble for couples. If one partner is heavier and sinks further into the mattress, the other partner can experience an uncomfortable, uneven sleeping surface.

Too Harsh On Lightweight Sleepers

We usually don’t recommend sleeping on super soft mattresses, not unless those are the only ones that are comfortable for your body weight. Your weight is an essential criteria for choosing a mattress. Lightweight sleepers need a super soft base that automatically contours their body without them exerting much pressure.

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Making The Right Choice For You:

No matter who is going to sleep with you, investing in the right sized mattress is one of the most important factors. Size is a key determiner of the quality of the sleep youll have. So dont rush into picking a certain size mattress because thats what youve always had.

View our range of mattresses here or take our Sleep Selector Quiz to find the right mattress for you.

What Type Of Sleeper Are You

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We already mentioned the type of sleepers, but lets sum it up. Here are the basic recommendations for people who prefer to sleep on the back, side, stomach, or combine it all.

For those who sleep on their stomach

These people usually choose a firmness 5-7, i.e., medium, or firmer mattresses. This can be easily explained by the fact that they still need to sink into a mattress a bit, but they still need more support. So, the medium is perfect.

For those who sleep on their side

Well, these sleepers need softer options, 3 to 6, to be exact. Such soft and medium mattresses will provide a bit more sink, which is essential for a side sleeping position: people who prefer it, need proper spinal alignment plus just the right amount of sink for cushioning shoulders and hips.

For those who sleep on their back

Sleepers who fall under this category are quite versatile they can sleep really well on mattresses of any type, from 4 to 8. This range will give you enough support and will align your spine appropriately.

Combination sleepers

Combination sleepers are pretty much like those who sleep on their back they can choose between a wide range of options. Average sleepers who prefer not to choose an only position can enjoy sleeping on mattresses of 3-8 firmness level.

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