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HomeFirmWhat Mattress Firmness Is Best For Me

What Mattress Firmness Is Best For Me

How Much Should My Mattress Budget Be

Best Mattress For Side Sleepers Like Me! (Ultimate Buying Guide & Coupons)

The sticker price of a mattress often depends on the materials used in its comfort layer and support core. The majority of beds sold today fall into one of five categories based on their construction. Further down, we’ll delve into how to choose a mattress type based on specific materials.

Mattress Type
$2,000 to $2,400

Material construction is not the only factor that affects pricing. Other variables may include:

To give you an idea of how much mattresses cost, the table below lists sticker prices and shipping costs for some of today’s leading mattress models.

Free shipping to contiguous U.S. Custom design for people over 230 lbs. $1,599

Learn About Different Mattress Materials

Before you buy, familiarize yourself with the most common mattress types and how they are constructed.

  • Innerspring mattresses use coils, which often provide a traditional bounce feel and strong support.
  • Latex mattresses typically offer more bounce and responsiveness than innerspring mattresses, and they tend to sleep cooler.
  • Memory foam mattresses are designed to contour to the body, which may lead to pressure relief. Some users of memory foam report that the material sleeps warm.
  • Hybrid mattresses combine memory foam or latex layers atop an innerspring mattress, often with the goal of providing a mix of softness and support.
  • Air mattresses use an air pump to inflate the mattress to the desired firmness level. Typically, each side of the bed uses a separate chamber of air to accommodate two sleepers with differing preferences.

Mattresses are also rated based on firmness. In general, a mattress that is too old or too soft may not support the spine well enough.

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  • Materials: GOLS-organic latex, pocketed support coils
  • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
  • Trial period: One year

Many of todays mattresses are made from memory foam, which typically contains synthetic chemicals. If youre looking for something a bit more eco-friendly, consider the Avocado Green Mattress. Its constructed of organic ingredients, including a layer of organic latex sitting on top of more than 1,000 pocketed support coils. The mattress has a gentle-yet-firm feel and five distinct ergonomic zones that adapt to your pressure points and provide relief where you need it. The thoughtful construction also helps reduce motion transfer and distributes weight more evenly so the mattress can contour to your bodys natural shape. Its best for back and stomach sleepers.

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All About Mattress Firmness

When purchasing a mattress, one of the first steps is choosing a mattress firmness level that suits your needs. Mattress firmness can be confusing, however. What one person feels is luxuriously soft may feel uncomfortably firm to someone else. While mattress firmness is somewhat subjective and dependent on personal preference, it is important to choose a firmness level thats suited to your sleeping style and personal preference. Otherwise, youll suffer from more than interrupted sleep you could develop problems such as back pain.

In short, mattress firmness refers to how the mattress feels when you first lie down on it. Does it push back and feel stiff, or contour and cushion your body? Even though individual preference is subjective, there is a numerical mattress firmness scale to help you understand what to expect when you lay on a particular mattress. The scale runs from 1 to 10 and covers the three common mattress firmnesses: soft, medium, and firm.

In this guide, well discuss the mattress firmness scale, mattress firmness levels, and what firmness rating works best for different sleep preferences and body types.

To learn even more about what to look for in a mattress, check out our comprehensive Best Mattress guide.

What Is The Best Firmness For A Mattress

Sealy® Mattresses ESS5 Osage Tight Top Firm Queen ...

With this understanding of firmness in place, its time to riddle that age old question: What is the best firmness for a mattress? As you probably gathered, there is no one answer for this all-important Q. Why? Well, because firmness is such a personal thing. An ultra-firm mattress might be excellent for a stomach sleeper, but absolutely horrible for a side sleeper.

To help you better contextualize this question in terms of your own sleeping needs, lets break down firmness by position.

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Which Mattress Firmness Suits Me

We use a 1-10 scale to measure how soft or firm a mattress feels, with 1 being the softest and 10 being the firmest. Most mattresses made today fall between 3 and 8. The following table breaks down different firmness levels based on the 1-10 scale.

Firmness Rating
Sleepers feel very little contouring. The mattress will not sink, and should feel very supportive. Side sleepers who weigh more than 230 lbs.

Back and stomach sleepers who weigh at least 130 lbs.

Side sleepers who weigh 230 lbs. or fewer

Back and stomach sleepers who weigh less than 130 lbs.

9-10 Sleepers feel little to no contouring. The mattress will maintain a flat, even surface with no sinkage whatsoever. Like extra soft, this firmness level is very uncommon. Side, back, and stomach sleepers who weigh more than 230 lbs. Side, back, and stomach sleepers who weigh 230 lbs. or fewer

The information in the table above represents the general consensus among sleepers, so there are definitely exceptions. You may weigh less than 130 pounds and prefer a firmer mattress, or weigh more than 230 pounds and prefer a softer mattress. However, the best firmness for you will likely be tied to your body type and sleep position.

Suitable For Back And Stomach Sleepers

When resting on the back, the hips and buttocks tend to sink. If the mattress is too soft, these areas may sink excessivelyresulting in a misaligned spine and tense muscles. Back sleepers tend to sleep best on a firmer bed that will prevent sinking and keep the hips in line with the shoulders and head. When the spine is neutral, the body can fully relax and repair.

Our spines naturally curve, but when sleeping the stomach, this curve can become exaggerated. Over time, the pressure this position places on the back and neck can lead to chronic pain. In most cases, it is best to avoid stomach sleeping. However, if you find it difficult to avoid this position, the best mattresses for stomach sleeping are firmer. A firm bed will keep the hips lifted to reduce the pressure on the spine.

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Whats The Difference Between A Firm And Soft Mattress

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.

If You Like Some Bounce In Your Mattress Is It The Right Amount And The Right Kind

Best Firm Innerspring Mattress (Which Hybrid Bed Is Right For You?)

Many of us grew up sleeping on an innerspring mattress, so were conditioned to like a bed with a little bit of bounce . Youll find more bounce, obviously, in innerspring mattresses and innerspring-forward hybrids. But memory foam with latex layers or an all-latex mattress can counteract that sunk-in feeling, too, with an elasticky springiness that some people prefer to the traditional innerspring bounce. Both coils and latex may feel more comfortable if you shift positions a lot as youre falling asleep or otherwise moving around in bed, alone or with a partner.

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What Are The Best Mattress Types

Each of the five main mattress types offers distinct benefits and disadvantages. The best mattress type for you depends entirely on which mattress qualities matter most to you. If you’re a hot sleeper, for example, then you should seek out a bed with breathable, temperature-regulating components. Those with back pain may need a conforming and pressure-relieving mattress instead.

Since the early 20th century, innersprings have dominated the mattress market. These models still represent the greatest percentage of annual mattress sales in the U.S. Memory foam mattresses that contained high-density foam bases and no springs first appeared in the 1980s airbeds with adjustable air chambers were introduced around the same time.

Over the past decade, online “bed-in-a-box” mattress brands have reshaped how mattresses are bought and sold. These brands represent a more affordable alternative to shopping in a brick-and-mortar mattress store. You can also choose from a wide range of individual bed-in-a-box models that fall into one of the following five categories.

A Flippable Mattress That Gives You The Best Of Both Worlds

Layla Sleep

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  • Materials: Memory foam, support foam
  • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
  • Trial period: 120 nights

Laylas mattress has a four layer construction, including a 4.5-inch layer of support foam thats specifically aimed at keeping your back aligned. This layer also combats the sinking feeling that you get with other memory foam mattresses, so you dont feel like youre dropping too far into the mattress when you sleep. The mattress is flippable, with both a soft and firm side, but back pain sufferers will likely feel the most comfortable on the firm side.

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Drawbacks Of A Soft Mattress

Soft mattresses often promote sinking. However, if certain parts of the body fall too far, the spines natural curve could become exaggerated. Therefore, it is best to look for a soft bed with a response layer that gives the body a slight lift, so the spine remains neutral.

Since soft beds contour so closely to the body, they can also cause overheating. When shopping for a soft mattress, be sure to select one with cooling properties, such as breathable, plant-based foam, cooling gel microbeads, or copper infusions.

Why Does Firmness Matter

Strong Extra Firm Mattress

Some people may just take it as a given that firmness is a key consideration when shopping for a mattress. But we know that our readers often want to go deeper and understand why, so lets delve into the big reason for why firmness matters: comfort.

Its hard to overstate the importance of comfort. An inviting, cozy mattress plays a huge role in getting a good nights sleep. If the first thing youre thinking about when you get into bed is how uncomfortable you are, its unlikely that youre going to sleep well. Additionally, having a welcoming mattress plays a role in your broader sleep hygiene. Experts recommend developing a routine around sleep that includes a sleep environment that induces relaxation and peace of mind. Having a comfortable mattress is a big part of forming that sleep environment.

Comfort also matters because it can play a role in whether or not you wake up with aches and pains. If you spend hours every night in an uncomfortable position or trying to contort your body to get comfortable, its typically only a matter of time before you start feeling the effects. An uncomfortable mattress is also probably not providing you with the support you need, increasing the risk for back issues and consistent soreness in the mornings.

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How To Buy A Firm Mattress

How do I know if I need a firmer mattress?

If you find your current mattress too soft, this is an obvious indication that you might need a firmer one. Other indicators, as weve touched on above, include your body sinking too deep into your mattress, which can even result in back pain.

If youre on the heavier side, you might need a firmer mattress to support your weight. Another factor that will play a part in whether you need a firm or soft mattress is the position you sleep in. If you sleep mainly on your side, a mattress thats too firm wont be able to accommodate the contours of your body. Ultimately, though, you want a mattress that will be able to do this while also being firm enough to provide decent levels of support.

How firm is firm?

The answer to this, of course, is far from straightforward. Weve tested a lot of mattresses here at Expert Reviews, and the ones that have made it onto our roundup below are the few that we feel stand out as being notably firmer than the rest.

However, as with anything mattress and bedding related, a degree of subjectivity is involved, and different people can have very different experiences with the same mattress. What we consider a relatively firm mattress, therefore, might still not be firm enough for you.

Anything else I need to know?

When You Should Get A New Mattress

If youre not getting a good nights sleep, if youre waking with aches and pains, or if youre just not comfortable in bed, it may be time to get a new mattress. Think about where youre hurtingif you wake up with shoulder or back pain, or hip, knee, or other joint pain, your mattress may not be properly cushioned or supportive for you. Also, if your current mattress sags visibly or has a permanent indent in the shape of your body, its likely time for a new one. And if you find that you sleep better away from home , thats another red flag.

If you consistently wake up with neck pain, your pillow might be the culprit.

Now, before you plunk down hundreds or thousands of dollars, youll want to rule out a couple of things. If youre plagued by neck pain, your pillow might be the culprit, and you may want to consult our guide to the best bed pillows. And if you have a new supportive mattress that just doesnt feel cushy or soft enough, you may be able to improve it by adding a good mattress topper.

Simple ways to make your bed more comfortable

  • After 300 hours sleeping on 17 models, weve chosen four memory-foam, latex, and fiber-filled mattress toppers that we think will work for most sleepers.

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I Bought A Mattress That Is Too Firm What Can I Do

If your mattress is too firm and youre still within the timeframe of your sleep trial, return the mattress! If you dont have that option, you might look into a mattress pad or mattress topper that would go under your sheets. Many plush mattress toppers are available that can significantly change the feel of your bed.

Ask For Recommendations Online

Best Firm Mattress 2021 – The Firmest Mattresses Of The Year!

Announce on your social media accounts that you are looking for a new mattress, and ask friends and family members to post their suggestions. Consider including details about your health condition, as some people might have a similar experience and can give more specific recommendations. You could also visit Spine-healths and ask people who are in a similar situation as you.

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Should You Choose Stiff Or Soft

This is along the same lines, as when we speak about comfort and support. Exactly like a mattress should never be too hard, it should never be too soft.A mattress should be as neutral as it can be, to ensure both your body and spine remain in a neutral position.Too much rigidity in a mattress will irritate the stress factors, making pinched nerves, in addition to the blood to stop flowing. If you discover that a lot of the times you awake, with the feeling of getting pins and needles in your body, this is an indicator of a mattress thats too rigid. And if your mattress is too soft, this can create a sagging effect, somewhat like a hammock. When this happens, you can find yourself with back pain, because of your spine not being properly aligned.This is why its crucial to find a mattress that is close to neutral. You need your mattress soft in the proper places, without being overly soft. But you also want your mattress to be supportive, without being overly rigid.

How Old Is Your Mattress

This is the very first question you need to answer. Why? Well, the age of your mattress can play a big role in determining whether or not you need a new one. As a general rule of thumb, youll want to start thinking about getting a new bed if youve had your old one for over 8 years. This isnt a set standard by any means, but is usually a good benchmark for checking in with your mattress and figuring out whether its still doing its job re: Lulling you to sleep!

For a quick primer on the typical expiration dates for different mattress materials, check out the graphic below:

While these numbers are helpful in contextualizing the lifespan of your mattress, the best way to determine whether or not its time to boot the old gal is to listen to your body. Are you waking up with new pains in the morning? Do you have trouble finding a comfortable position at night? Have you noticed any new dips in your mattress that cant be fixed by rotating it regularly? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it may be time to bid adieu to your bed.

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