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Should I Buy Firm Or Medium Mattress

Which Kinds Of Mattresses Are Medium

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Materials, the building blocks of mattresses, have a big effect on how soft or firm the final product feels. So does the way that the materials themselves are processed and built into the overall design. Heres a quick look at the connection between materials, mattress design, and firmness:

Firmness by Mattress Type

  • Memory foam mattresses generally range between medium-soft and medium-firm, based on the density of the foam
  • Latex mattresses tend to have medium firmness or above, mainly determined by how dense the latex foam is
  • Innerspring mattresses are often on the firmer side, at least until the coils lose tension over time
  • Hybrid mattresses that combine springs with foam, latex, or both, are usually in the medium to medium-firm range

Firmness, Density, and ILD

One term you might encounter as you shop for a mattress is ILD, which stands for Indentation Load-Deflection. ILD is a method used to measure the firmness of memory foam or latex foam. Some mattresses list their ILD ratings, while others dont. An ILD rating of 15-17 should translate to medium-firm.

Without getting bogged down in technical details, just remember this general guideline: the denser the foam, the firmer the mattress.

Firmness Based on Thickness

Thinner mattresses can feel firmer than thicker mattresses since they have less material to provide cushioning. At the same time, a thicker mattress that uses denser foam can offset that tendency.

What Is A Firm Mattress

A firm mattress is 7 out of 10 on the mattress firmness scale. It provides a very flat, even surface and great spinal support for stomach and back sleepers. Firm mattresses prevent your lower back from collapsing, potentially making it easier to breathe at night.

Firm mattresses provide extra support for plus-sized sleepers as they tend to sink into softer mattresses. On the other hand, a firm mattress is likely too firm for petite sleepers since they dont put as much force onto the bed. This results in pressure points and pain for petite sleepers.

However, firm mattresses dont conform enough for side sleepers to be comfortable. Side sleepers will notice pressure build-up and achiness in their hips and shoulders if their mattress is too firm.

What If You Choose The Wrong Firmness

Discomfort while sleeping on a new bed can signal one of two things: either the firmness level of the bed isnt right for you, or you have not gone through a full break-in period with your bed.

If you have slept on the bed for longer than the breaking-in period and you are still experiencing discomfort, there may be options to adjust the beds firmness level to better suit your needs. To assess whether your bed is too soft or too firm, you can observe cues from your body. Certain sensations and pains can tell you what the problem is, and what you need to do to improve your comfort.

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Is A Firm Or Soft Mattress Better For Me

When youre choosing a new mattress theres a range of questions that youre likely to ask yourself is it better to have a firm or a soft mattress? Is a soft mattress supportive enough? You may have heard mixed reviews on whether you should sleep on a firm or a soft mattress. The reality is that theres no one perfect mattress feel for everyone, and personal preference is the most important thing. There are however, some important factors you should consider when deciding whats best for you.

Does Material Impact Mattress Firmness

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Material can impact the feel but not firmness. This is because all types of mattresses come in a range of firmness levels. Firmness isnt determined by material but by construction. That means whether you have a memory foam mattress, a hybrid, or an innerspring mattress, you can get the firmness you want.

For example, to create a soft mattress, manufacturers will add more layers of foam or other cushioning materials for more plushness. To create a firmer mattress, manufacturers simply take away the plush materials and either substitute firmer materials or leave less cushioning between your body and the support core.

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Who Is A Medium Firm Mattress Best For

A medium firm mattress can suit a wide variety of sleepers. While comfort depends on personal preference, a persons weight and primary sleep position significantly influence how a mattress contours to the shape of the body and relieves pressure points.

Mattresses that are too soft cause the sleeper to sink in near the hips, waist, and abdomen. This can strain the neck and lumbar region. A mattress that is too firm will not cushion pressure points in the shoulders, back, and hips.

Most individuals between 130 and 230 pounds prefer the light contouring and support of a medium firm mattress. This is especially true for back and stomach sleepers in this weight range. Side sleepers above 230 pounds tend to prefer a medium to medium firm mattress, while those who weigh less than 230 pounds tend to opt for softer models.

A medium firm mattress generally provides enough cushioning in its comfort layers to contour to the shape of the spine without causing it to sink out of alignment. A durable support core gently lifts the hips and abdomen for a balanced feel.

Well highlight the general guidelines for the best firmness levels for each individuals sleeping position and weight range, but shoppers should consider their personal preferences before making a purchase.

Medium Firm Firm

What Mattress Do You Need If You Suffer From Joint Or Back Pain

A good mattress needs to give both support and comfort and that includes ones for those who suffer from back problems.

Although a firm mattress is recommended by some retailers, you should always look for a mattress that keeps your back aligned while sleeping and relieves pressure points along your spine and joints. This has a lot to do with your weight , so its best to try a mattress before you buy many online retailers now offer a trial period where you can return the mattress and get your money back if you dont think its right for you.

The pillow you use will also affect your sleeping position and back alignment so make sure you pick one that suits your needs. Take a look at our pillow reviews to find out more.

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Whats The Best Mattress Of 2022

The best mattress for you will depend on your support needs. However, memory foam beds tend to rate the highest in terms of customer satisfaction. Memory foam beds contour to the curves of the body and provide instant pressure relief. Plus, this material is responsive enough to reform to the shape of your body as you change positions throughout the night. This combination makes memory foam the ideal choice for those with back pain and arthritis.

How Much Should I Spend On A Mattress

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Before using our mattress guide to start shopping for a new mattress, consider what youre willing to spend.

There are mattresses ranging from $200 $10,000, which is a significant price range. If youre looking for a higher-quality mattress that youll be sleeping on every night, we recommend spending at least $600 for a queen mattress. As the price increases from here, youll often see an increase in product quality, the mattress materials used, and even customer service.

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How Can You Make Your Bed Less Firm

If your current mattress feels too firm, you can add a pillow topper to increase the softness. Memory foam toppers are often available in either soft or medium. If your bed is too soft, a medium-firm to firm mattress topper will add more stability and support to the bed.

Our Amerisleep Lift Memory Foam Topper is available in two different firmness optionsComfort and Support. Comfort offers more compression to cradle the body. Support has a firmer feel that can be used to add firmness to your current mattress.

What Is Mattress Firmness

Obviously, the first thing youd like to account for is the essence of the characteristic. Believe it or not, there is a lot of misconception out there amongst potential mattress buyers. They tend to believe that mattress firmness ratings and support are the same things.

While the former directly correlates with the latter and they are mutually dependent, theres a difference. The firmness of the bed is its hardness, put in a very simple way. Is it soft or is it hard? Thats the type of question that you need to ask yourself. It’s subjective and different sleepers will have a different feel.

However, this has become a critical characteristic, and its an important metric which is accounted for by every buyer. After all, it determines the overall level of comfort as well as the support that the entire thing is going to offer. Have in mind that mattress size shouldn’t impact your overall firmness feel.

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What About Standard Spring Tensions

If youre looking at an entry-level mattress with only one spring tension it is usually a 1.4 gauge wire on the medium side. This is because it suits the largest number of sleepers as most people fall into this bracket.

The support from all similar spring foundations is relatively the same, particularly if the same spring gauge is used. One thing thats essential is to ask and find out the spring gauge or tension of any mattress you are buying. Where possible and if your budget allows you should always opt for a tailored spring tension like our Artisan Range of hand made mattresses.

What Firmness Do I Need If Im A Back Sleeper

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To keep the spine aligned, back sleepers tend to need more compression in the heavier region of their hips and buttocks and more support in the lumbar region. We suggest medium-firm mattresses for back sleepers because they provide enough support to fill in the gap in the lumbar region and enough softness to allow the pelvis to compress the bed, keeping the spine in alignment.

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Best Mattresses For Back Pain

People who have back pain need to pay particular attention to keeping their spines aligned. Research suggests that back-pain sufferers who slept on medium-firm mattresses felt more comfortable than those who didnt. The fluffier-topped foam mattress is on the medium end of medium-firm, while the flat-topped Tempur-Adapt is on the firmer side. For a more supple feel , try the innerspring Charles P. Rogers Estate SE or the all-latex Zenhaven both are two-sided, with one side being medium-firm and the other a bit firmer. Our guide to the best mattresses for back pain includes more recommendations.

Our pick

How Should You Sleep While Pregnant

During your first trimester, youll often feel sleepy and want to nap. Its important you get the rest you need so sleep in whatever position feels most comfortable, including on your front or back.

In your second trimester, youll feel the babys weight more, which can feel uncomfortable and put extra pressure on certain areas of your body. This is when a soft mattress will help, while your bigger bump means the recommended position to sleep in is on your left side, as sleeping on your back will cause your bump to press against a main blood vessel, which may cause you to feel faint.

During your third trimester, your lower back may be a source of pain as it supports your babys increasing weight. To ease this, continue to sleep on your left side and with a pillow under your head, between your knees and under and around your bump to ease discomfort and take pressure off your muscles and hips. Weve also reviewed pregnancy pillows to help mums-to-be sleep.

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What Position Do You Normally Sleep In At Night

Before mattress shopping, take special note as to what position you sleep in most often. Do a little bit of research on yourself when choosing a mattress. Make sure to note what position you naturally go to when you fall asleep and what position you find yourself waking up in. Waking up in a different position means that is probably the position you spend most of your sleeping hours in therefore, it is also the position youre in the bulk of the night. This will determine what firmness you will need in a mattress.

If you are a side sleeper, you should look into purchasing a plush or medium mattress. You will need the extra comfort layers to provide pressure relief for your hips and shoulders. Generally, people with a curvier figure need the added cushion found in plush mattresses.

If you are a back sleeper, a medium-firm mattress will be a good fit. Medium-firm mattresses are designed to provide the perfect balance between contouring comfort and pushback support.

If you are a stomach sleeper, a firm mattress is your best bet. A firm mattress provides you with the solid surface youll need to reduce back pain caused from spinal compression often associated with this sleep position.

Can I Use A Mattress Topper To Change Firmness Levels

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You can, but its a lot easier to go softer than go firmer. Plush mattress toppers can easily add cradling and contouring to an overly firm mattress. All you have to do is lie the topper over the comfort layer and put the sheet top of both of them.

Firming up your mattress can be a little more complicated because support comes from the mattresss core and not its top layer. Firm toppers can help add a firmer feel to the top of your mattress.

But if you want to shore up support, you may need to combine a firm topper with sturdier support under your mattress. Try a bunkie board or swap your box springs for a mattress foundation or platform bed.

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Benefits & Drawbacks Of Firm Mattresses

Firm mattresses have many benefits and support is chief among them. Firm mattresses are more supportive than soft mattresses and hold up the body, rather than letting it sink in too far. Lying on a firm mattress, most people will feel like they are sleeping on top of the mattress, and they should have no real issues moving around on the mattress.

This also makes firm mattresses cooler than soft mattresses. Lying more on top of the mattress, more of the body is exposed to the air that is moving around in the bedroom.

However, while firm mattresses offer great support, they arent the best when it comes to pressure relief. Side sleepers might feel some serious pressure on their shoulders and hips when they lie on a firm mattress. Also, while comfort is subjective, many people dont find firm mattresses to be as comfortable.

What Makes A Comfortable Mattress

We each have personal preferences when it comes to mattress comfort. But, as it turns out, the comfort level you prefer is based on more than just a preference.

When you lay down in bed, several things need to happen for you to feel supported. The spine needs to rest in a neutral position, pressure points need to be cushioned, and body weight needs to be evenly distributed. When these three needs are met, the body can fully relax, and the mind can drift off to sleep.

Your body type and sleep positions can determine the mattress firmness that will deliver the correct support. For example, if you are a side sleeper, you will need a soft mattress that cushions the curves of the body to prevent pain near the pressure points. But, if the bed is too soft, it can cause excessive sinking, which could force the spine out of alignment. Therefore, a medium mattress that provides a balance of compression and firmness is the best option for side sleepers.

Throughout this article, we will outline which mattress firmness is right for youfirm or medium.

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Firm Mattresses: Best For Back & Stomach Sleepers

A firm mattress is usually the best choice if youre a back or stomach sleeper. For stomach sleepers, firm mattresses provide the best spinal alignment by preventing the back from hyper-extending. Back sleepers also benefit from proper spinal alignment. For those with back pain, maintaining proper spinal alignment while sleeping prevents a stiff, achy back during the day.

Firm Medium Or Soft Mattresswhats The Difference

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Mattresses range from being plush to extra firm, and each type is best suited for different sleep styles, body sizes, and personal preferences. For example, a soft mattress is best suited for side sleepers, while firm mattresses provide better support for those with back pain.

The firmness of a mattress varies with the materials in the mattress, as well as construction methods. In general, an extra-firm mattress may have a pocket coil system for support that also prevents sagging. A soft mattress may include more layers of specialized foam to deliver a comfortable overall feel.

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Who Are They Suitable For

Firm mattresses are often recommended for stomach and back sleepers because they limit sinkage that can misalign the spine. When the spine shifts out of its neutral alignment by bowing too far into the mattress, it causes back pain.

People over 230 pounds may also find a firm mattress surprisingly comfortable. They remain steady under their body and often feel softer to a heavier person than the average sleeper.

Hot sleepers may also wish to choose a firm mattress because they retain less body heat than a softer bed. Firm mattresses conform less to a sleeper. This means they have less contact with the body and absorb less heat. The reduced malleability also increases airflow around a sleepers body.

Finally, firm mattresses are a good choice for sleepers who want to lie on top of their mattress instead of sinking into their bed.


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