Firm vs. Soft Mattress – Which One is the Best for You?

Firm vs Soft Mattress

Let’s face it: buying a mattress may be a stressful experience. Online shoppers have access to hundreds of beds in various sizes and types. A mattress purchase is also a significant financial commitment, so consider it carefully.

Every mattress firmness guide consumers should ask themselves one question: Do I want a hard or soft mattress? This is an excellent place to start because the hardness of the mattress will significantly impact how supported or comfy you feel when lying on it.

Much comes down to personal preference, but hard and soft mattresses have more definite advantages and disadvantages.

What Is Firm Mattress?

On the mattress firmness scale, firm mattresses range from 7 to 9. These mattresses keep their firm surface and prevent users from sinking into the bed because they have more tremendous pushback than soft mattresses.

The comfort layers of firm mattresses are typically 1 to 2 inches thick, while firm mattresses are often 10 to 12 inches thick. Sleepers can thus use the beds’ strong support while still receiving minor contouring to keep them comfortable.

Benefit Of Firm Mattress

If you frequently experience back pain, firm beds are perfect for maintaining proper spinal alignment. A healthier product might be ideal if you’ve ever visited a chiropractor, suffered dull discomfort along your sciatic nerve, or found your lower back aching.

When we think of a bed, most imagine getting into a cushion resembling a cloud. However, many stomach and back sleepers prefer a firmer surface because it aligns their backs better. Soft top layers nevertheless provide a comfortable yet supporting structure on more durable surfaces.

What Is A Soft Mattress

Soft mattresses often fall between a 2 and a 3 on the mattress firmness rating. A soft Kingsdown queen mattress is susceptible and easily conforms to a sleeper’s body.

The distinctive feature of soft mattresses is their substantial comfort layer consisting of latex or memory foam. The comfort layers are typically at least 2 to 4 inches thick, whereas mattresses are often 12 to 14 inches thick.

Benefits Of Soft Mattress

Those with pre-existing back issues or who experience back pain on a regular mattress are typically advised to switch to a softer mattress. Additionally, lighter people should use them because a harder mattress may not compress them.

Since they better cushion the shoulders and hips, softer mattresses are typically preferable for persons who sleep on their sides. A softer mattress also helps to correct the spine when lying on the side.

What’s The Difference Between Firm and Soft?

When looking for a new mattress, you have probably seen that each has a different “firmness level.” However, how is this level established? A standard firmness scale, with 1 being the softest and 10 being the firmest, is used by several brands.

The extremes of this spectrum are firm or soft mattresses. Nevertheless, mattresses rated a 10 or a 1 are exceedingly hard or soft, respectively, and are not frequently produced.

On the firmness scale, a firm mattress falls between a 9 and a 7. Because these beds don’t have much give, the surface usually stays level and allows for slight sinking.

How to Decide If You Need a Firm or Plush Mattress

Whether you need a soft vs. firm mattress depends on several factors, including personal preferences, sleeping positions, and specific health considerations. Here are some points to consider when making your decision:

Sleeping Preferences: Determine whether you prefer a firmer or softer sleeping surface. Some people ponder are firm mattresses better or more supportive and comfortable, while others prefer the cushioning and plushness of a softer mattress.

  1. Sleeping Position: Your preferred sleeping position can influence your choice. Back and stomach sleepers generally benefit from a firmer mattress that provides proper spinal alignment and prevents sinking. Side sleepers often prefer a plush mattress that offers pressure relief for the hips and shoulders.
  2. Body Weight: Your body weight can also play a role. Heavier individuals may require sleeping on a firm mattress to ensure adequate support, while lighter individuals may find a plush mattress more comfortable.
  3. Pain or Health Considerations: Consider any existing pain or health conditions. People with back pain or joint issues may benefit from a firmer mattress that provides better support and alignment. However, individuals with pressure point sensitivity or conditions like fibromyalgia might find a plush mattress more suitable for pain relief.
  4. Partner Partialities: If you share your bed with a partner, their preferences should also be considered. Discuss and consider finding a mattress that accommodates both your needs, such as a medium-firm option that provides a balance between support and plushness.
  5. Trial Periods and Returns: Remember that many mattress companies offer trial periods or return policies, allowing you to test the mattress at home and assess its comfort. Take advantage of these policies to ensure you make the right choice.

Choosing a firm mattress vs. a soft one depends on your personal comfort preferences and needs. Consider the factors mentioned above, try out different options if possible, and take your time to make an informed decision that promotes restful sleep and overall well-being.

What to Consider When Choosing Between Firm vs. Soft Mattress

Not all plush vs firm mattresses are created equal, and not every mattress is designed to fit every person. Each of us has specific requirements and tastes. The following characteristics will help you choose the right bed for you.

Individual Preferences

Think about the way you prefer to feel before bed. You might choose a softer mattress if you frequently prefer to sleep on your cushy couch to your wooden bed. However, you’ll probably like a firmer type if you don’t like the sensation of sinking into a bed.

Your Size

People who weigh less than 130 pounds frequently require a softer product since their lightweight often prevents the numerous layers in a more authoritarian type from activating. A heavier person, however, will probably need a more durable type because a soft bed might not support them adequately.

Position for Sleeping

The average requirement for a softer surface for side sleepers is to accommodate their contours, aches, and pains. As long as their backs are healthy, back sleepers could also enjoy these. Stomach sleepers and sure-back sleepers frequently appreciate a firmer construction to maintain the hips lifted.

Preferences for Couples

Sharing a bed with a partner could be difficult, but some models can be helpful. If you have limited space, having a bed with excellent edge support is essential so you may spread out as widely as possible without worrying about falling off. To lessen disturbance, a mattress with excellent motion isolation is vital.


A new mattress purchase is a tough choice. The surface significantly impacts our spinal health and sleep quality we sleep on. We need enough sleep to operate, work, love, and live adequately. Without it, none of these things are possible.

Remember what we covered previously, and think about your preferred sleeping posture. There will undoubtedly be a mattress-like Sealy Posturepedic hybrid that meets your wants and preferences, even if not all beds are created equal. You need to consider the crucial elements, and you should have no trouble falling asleep.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to sleep on a soft or firm mattress?

The preference between a soft or firm mattress varies from person to person. It’s important to choose a mattress that provides adequate support and comfort based on individual preferences and needs.

Should side sleepers have a firm mattress?

Side sleepers often find a mattress with a medium firmness or plushness more suitable, as it can help alleviate pressure points and provide better cushioning for the hips and shoulders.

Is a firm or soft mattress better for body aches?

The choice between a firm or soft mattress for body aches depends on the underlying cause of the discomfort. Some individuals may find relief with a firm mattress that offers better support, while others may prefer the contouring and pressure relief provided by a softer mattress.

Is a firm bed better for your back?

The ideal mattress for back health differs for each individual. While a firm mattress is often recommended for individuals with back pain, it’s important to consider individual preferences and seek a mattress that offers proper support and spinal alignment, regardless of firmness level.


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