Do You Need Firm or Soft Mattress?

Finding the right mattress is the most foundational element for getting a good night of sleep. While many people might believe that “any old mattress will do” and often settle for the most economical option, a recent study by the National Institute of Health (NIH) found that “sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.” One of the most important considerations when deciding on the right mattress is determining the level of mattress firmness that is best for your particular body type, sleeping pattern, and orthopedic needs. Below, we offer a complete rundown of how to choose between a soft or firm mattress to get the best night´s sleep.

How Do You Know I Need Firm Or Soft Mattress?

In many cases, the decision between opting for a firm or soft mattress is one of personal choice. A good mattress is one that allows you to sleep throughout the night and feel rested the following morning, and some people will naturally sleep better on firmer or softer surfaces. It is important to mention, however, that mattresses are not simply classified as “firm” or “soft”, but rather are rated along a spectrum of firmness.
In some cases, however, a softer or firmer mattress may be more naturally suited to certain types of people and sleepers. In general, people with some sort of preexisting back condition that causes them pain would do well to opt for a softer mattress. Softer mattress that have foams that are designed to mold to the shape of individual bodies can alleviate both muscular and bone pain. People who do not have issues with back pain, however, are generally better off with a firmer mattress as this type of mattress allows the skeletal structure to absorb most of the pressure when sleeping. This in turn leads to less stress on the back muscles minimizing the possibility of spasms or muscle strains. Also, firmer mattresses also put less stress on the body´s circulatory system such as veins and arteries and this can help to improve circulation. Lastly, firm mattresses also keep the back in a straight position which allows for more oxygen intake when sleeping. This is especially important for people who suffer from sleep apnea and other sleeping conditions that negatively affect night breathing.

Sleepy’s Rest Firm Innerspring Mattress
A durable, supportive sleep surface by utilizing a unique coil design

Sleepy’s Rest Firm Innerspring Mattress Highlights

Brand: Sleepy's
Mattress Firmness: Firm/8
Mattress Construction Type: Foam and springs
Mattress Thickness: 9.5″
Compatible for Bed Frame Size: Twin, Twin XL, Full, King, Queen
Mattress Sleep Trial Time: 120 nights
Warranty: 5 years
Delivery: Free shipping and returns
Perfect For: Side, Stomach sleeper
Customer Rating: 4.2/5.0

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Sleep Zzz Natures Novel Latex Mattress
All natural materials for blissful nights and restful mornings

Sleep Zzz Natures Novel Latex Mattress Highlights

Brand: Sleep Zzz
Mattress Firmness: Firm/7, Medium Soft/4
Mattress Construction Type: Latex
Mattress Thickness: 12″
Compatible for Bed Frame Size: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Mattress Sleep Trial Time: 100 nights
Warranty: Lifetime
Delivery: Free shipping and returns
Perfect For: Back sleeper
Customer Rating: 4.8/5.0

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Essentials The The Uptown Lake Innerspring Mattress
Layers of cool gel memory foam on top and a high resiliency foam core

Essentials The The Uptown Lake Innerspring Mattress Highlights

Brand: Alpine
Mattress Firmness: Medium/5, Soft/3
Mattress Construction Type: Memory foam
Mattress Thickness: -
Compatible for Bed Frame Size: Twin, Twin XL, Full, King, Queen, Cal King
Mattress Sleep Trial Time: 100 nights
Warranty: 15 years
Delivery: Free shipping and returns
Perfect For: Side,Back sleeper
Customer Rating: 4.3/5.0

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Nolah Original 10 HR Polyfoam Mattress
Perfectly designed for side and back sleepers

Nolah Original 10 HR Polyfoam Mattress Highlights

Brand: Nolah
Mattress Firmness: Medium/5.5
Mattress Construction Type: HR polyfoam
Mattress Thickness: 10″
Compatible for Bed Frame Size: Twin, Twin XL,Full,Queen, King, California King
Mattress Sleep Trial Time: 120 nights
Warranty: Lifetime
Delivery: Free shipping and returns
Perfect For: Side,Back, Stomach sleeper
Customer Rating: 4.7/5.0

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The Pros and Cons of Firm and Soft Mattress

Soft mattresses are generally better suited for people who suffer from sort of preexisting back pain or who have suffered pain from normal sleeping on firmer mattresses. Furthermore, if you are a habitual side sleeper, a softer mattress, especially Memory Foam models, will naturally mold to the contours of your body including your hips and shoulders for a more comfortable night of sleep. Also, for people who are under 120 pounds in weight, a softer mattress is generally more comfortable as lighter people might not compress a firmer mattress making for a rigid sleeping surface.
Some of the other benefits of opting for a soft mattress include improved spine alignment for side sleepers, as this can help to alleviate spinal and muscular pain. Lastly, softer mattresses can help to improve cushioning for the hips, which is especially important for older people who suffer from hip and joint pain.
Soft mattresses also have a few drawbacks as well. Stomach sleepers should avoid soft mattresses as this can cause abnormal curvature of the spine and lead to long term pain issues. Furthermore, if you share a bed with your partner, child, or family member, softer beds tend to sink in leading to uneven and unbalanced sleeping surfaces. This can cause discomfort, excess heat, and generally lead to shallow sleeping patterns.

Which Kinds of Material to Choose When You Are a Firm or Soft Mattress Lover

For people who prefer firm mattresses, there are fortunately several different types of mattress materials to choose from. Today, it is possible to find Memory Foam models that are specifically designed for people who prefer firm surfaces. Innerspring mattresses can also be designed for medium firmness. If you are a hot sleeper and don’t want to deal with the excess heat that is often associated with synthetic foams, opting for a hybrid foam mattress made from natural latex can also be found in firm models. If you prefer a softer surface, one of the best mattress options is made from a combination of graphite-gel memory foam and a responsive polyfoam. The foam layer will work to relieve pressure points which is essential for people who habitually suffer from back pain.

Firm or Soft Mattress for Stomach/Back/Side Sleepers

The way in which you sleep is often the most important factor to consider when determining what type of mattress will be best for you. In general, the following rules can be applied when choosing between a softer or firmer mattress:

    • Side Sleepers: Softer mattresses are generally better for side sleepers as they are better at contouring the hips and shoulders. This can help keep the spine better aligned to reduce pain.

Casper Original Foam Mattress
A good option for side sleepers and light/average weight folks

Casper Original Foam Mattress Highlights

Brand: Casper
Mattress Firmness: Medium/4.5
Mattress Construction Type: Foam
Mattress Thickness: 10″
Compatible for Bed Frame Size: Twin,Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Canifornia King
Mattress Sleep Trial Time: 100 nights
Warranty: 10 years Limited
Delivery: Free shipping and returns
Perfect For: Side, Back sleeper
Customer Rating: 4.6/5.0

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Latex For Less Natural Latex Mattress
100% natural latex certificated by GOTS, Oeko-Tex Standard 100 and Eco-Institut

Latex For Less Natural Latex Mattress Highlights

Brand: Latex for less
Mattress Firmness: Medium/5, Firm/7.5
Mattress Construction Type: Latex
Mattress Thickness: 7″, 9″
Compatible for Bed Frame Size: Twin, Twin XL,Full, Queen, Split Queen,King,Split King,California King, Split California King
Mattress Sleep Trial Time: 120 nights
Warranty: 20 years
Delivery: Free shipping and returns
Perfect For: Side,Back,Stomach sleeper
Customer Rating: 4.8/5.0

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    • Back Sleepers: Back sleepers should opt for medium firmness mattresses as these will help to maximize the amount of oxygen taken in while sleeping. Firm mattresses for back sleepers also can keep the spine aligned. For people who are lightweight and sleep on their back, a slightly softer mattress might be a better choice.
Pranasleep Nidra 6 Latex Mattress
Mattress with Added benefit of conformance for stomach and back sleepers

Pranasleep Nidra 6 Latex Mattress Highlights

Brand: PranaSleep
Mattress Firmness: Extra Firm/8
Mattress Construction Type: Latex
Mattress Thickness: 13"
Compatible for Bed Frame Size: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Full XL, King, Queen, Cal King
Mattress Sleep Trial Time: -
Warranty: 10 years
Delivery: Free shipping and returns
Perfect For: Back, Stomach sleeper
Customer Rating: 4.6/5.0

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
    • Stomach Sleepers: Lastly, stomach sleepers should also definitely opt for a firm mattress as these allow the spine to stay straighter and can help avoid the development of scoliosis and other potentially serious spinal issues.
Tulo Comfort Foam Mattress
Proper alignment for back and stomach sleeper and enough softness for side sleeper

Tulo Comfort Foam Mattress Highlights

Brand: Tulo
Mattress Firmness: Medium Soft/4.5, Medium/5.5, Firm/7
Mattress Construction Type: Foam
Mattress Thickness: 10″
Compatible for Bed Frame Size: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Mattress Sleep Trial Time: 120 nights
Warranty: 10 years
Delivery: Free shipping and returns
Perfect For: Side,Back, Stomach sleeper
Customer Rating: 4.5/5.0

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Will A Firm Mattress Get Softer over Time?

All mattresses will get gradually softer over time. However, if you are worried about an excessively soft mattress that will sag, starting from an already soft baseline can shorted the durability of the mattress. Firm mattresses, then, are generally a bit more durable as the naturally-occurring softening process will be less noticeable than softer counterparts.

How Do You Firm Up A Soft Mattress?

Firming up a soft mattress is hard to do. If you do not want to invest in a completely new mattress, however, there are several dense mattress toppers that can be used to firm up a softer mattress that is causing you to lose sleep. These firm mattress toppers are usually manufactured from some type of memory foam material and can help you get a few more years out of a soft mattress that has become uncomfortable.