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Are Firm Mattresses Better?

By Callie Paige

The type of mattress you have is pivotal in ensuring you get a good night’s sleep, and the firmness is a critical part in that. 

So which is better: a soft, medium or firm mattress?

Let’s start with soft mattresses…

Soft Mattresses

Softer mattresses are often sidelined in favour of other firmnesses, but disregarding soft mattresses straight away isn’t always best.

If you typically experience back or joint pain when sleeping on a medium or firm mattress, then a softer mattress could offer some relief. A softer mattress will allow your body to sink into it, offering more comfort for those who aren’t able to relax into a firmer option.

In order to get good quality sleep, you need to be able to lay in a comfortable position with your body properly aligned. For lighter people, a firmer mattress may not compress and adapt to your body enough. If this is the case, you may be more comfortable on a softer mattress that compresses more easily.

However, because soft mattresses don’t typically offer as much support as medium to firm options, you may find that they cause back pain, especially if you sleep on your back or stomach. The lack of support also means that they may also push your spine out of alignment and because your body will need to work to counteract an unnatural sleeping position, this can reduce your quality of sleep.

Medium Mattresses

A mattress with a more medium firmness can be great for a wide range of people. They offer more support than soft mattresses do, but because they stay neither completely in shape or compressed, they allow you to sink in somewhat and adapt to the contours of your body, proving comfortable for a variety of sleeping positions and body types.

Medium-firm mattresses are also seen as a better option for couples. If you sleep with a partner, it’s likely that at least one of you will move or turn during the night. A medium mattress won’t move as much as a softer one might so it will prevent you rolling together and disturbing each other.

Firm Mattresses

One of the main benefits of a firmer mattress is that, in some cases, it can offer more support than its softer counterparts and encourage natural sleeping positions that allow for proper spine alignment and prevent unnecessary strain on your muscles and reduce the chances of back pain.

A firm mattress is less likely to become lumpy or sag on one side, so you might find that it lasts you much longer than a softer mattress would. But if you would like your firm mattress to feel a little more luxurious, a soft mattress topper can be added to provide comfort without compromising on support.

However, firm mattresses don’t always necessarily offer the best level of support. If you buy a mattress that is too firm and doesn’t compress and adapt to the shape of your body, it will push your spine and joints out of alignment and cause back and neck pain when you wake up.

Also, when it comes to pressure mapping, firm mattresses are not always the best option. Because a firm mattress will stay solid, your weight may not be distributed evenly enough to get support in the exact places you need it. Even weight distribution encourages your bones to take most of the pressure and allows muscles, arteries and veins to relax, improving circulation. So without adequate, precision support, you may struggle to get better quality sleep.

So which type of mattress is the best?

Honestly? The best type of mattress will depend entirely on you. The firmness that works best can depend on a huge range of factors, from your age, height and weight, to your history of back, neck and joint pain and preferred sleeping position.

While a slightly softer mattress may suit someone who sleeps on their side, a mattress that is a bit firmer and provides more evenly spread support will likely be better for those who sleep on their front or back.

As a rule, medium-firm mattresses are often the most recommended as the best for your body and for a great night’s sleep by buyers and doctors alike. Firm enough to offer sufficient support, but flexible enough to move to suit your body, medium to firm mattresses are usually best for relieving and preventing back pain, but with additional cushioning for comfort.

And when you combine this firmness with high quality memory foam, chances are, you’ll get the best of both worlds. Sid’s high density memory foam adapts to every curve and contour of your body, providing support right where you need it, without compromising on luxury or comfort.