Mattress firmness is one of the number one requirements when searching for the perfect bed and comfort level and no two firmness levels are the same.
Firmness: A highly subjective term when it comes to mattress description. But, what does it mean to have a “firm mattress”? Can a soft mattress be firm?
Although firmness is a term used by manufacturers, retailers, and customers, you’ll hardly ever find a nuanced discussion of what it means and why it is important when shopping for a mattress. In this guide, we’ll decipher all that.
We’ll look at how mattress firmness affects your body temperature while you sleep, motion transfer when your partner tosses and turns at night, and why it’s important for your sex life as well. Read on to learn how to choose the perfect mattress firmness.
What Does Mattress Firmness Mean
Firmness is a term used to describe the feel of a mattress with regard to the level of comfort you get when you sleep on it. Let’s break that down further.
If sleeping on your mattress feels like you’re lying on a concrete floor that would be one extreme level of firmness. On the other hand, if it feels like you’re floating of soft fluffy clouds that’s would be on the opposite end of the firmness spectrum.
It all depends on perspective. What feels “firm” to one person may not be comfortable for someone else. So, mattress manufacturers make them with different firmness levels to cater to every kind of customer there is.
Firmness vs. Support: What’s the Difference
Firmness and support are two terms that you’ll often find used interchangeably. However, in the mattress world, they don’t mean the same thing.
As stated before, firmness is the level of comfort of a mattress as pertains to how hard or soft it is to the user. Mattress support, on the other hand, means how well the mattress promotes spinal alignment.
So regardless of how hard or soft a mattress is, the level of support it offers means that it promotes pressure point relief to keep the spine in the proper position. While the types of mattress firmness depend on the user perspective, support is not subjective.
The Mattress Firmness Scale
The mattress firmness scale ranges between 1 and 10 with 1 being the softest and 10 being the firmest. Different types of mattresses with various firmness levels play a role in the support and sleeping position best suited for them. Here’s how:
Level 1-3: Soft
It’s rare to find a mattress with a firmness level of 1. Most soft mattresses usually fall in the 2 to 3 range.
Because of how soft they are these types of mattresses are excellent for relieving pressure points on the spine since they are able to conform to the body’s orientation. They can be a bit of a double-edged sword though.
Most people find that they have too much sink and contouring which may lead to excessive curvature of the spine when they sleep. In the long term, this may cause chronic back pain.
If you’re a side-sleeper, then you’ll find these ranges of mattresses suitable for you. This is because these categories of sleepers have the most pressure points at their hips and shoulders.
So since a soft mattress provides adequate cushioning at these points, they are the most comfortable for such sleepers. Those who usually sleep on their back and stomach wouldn’t find them as comfortable due to the sheer amount of sink. These mattresses will likely draw the spine out of alignment in the long run.
Level 4-6: Medium
Smack in the middle of the spectrum is the medium firmness range. The majority of individuals prefer this mattress firmness level. They provide the perfect balance of contouring and sink to relieve pressure points on the body while maintaining spinal alignment.
Most sleepers find this range of firmness ideal since it works well for people who sleep in multiple positions. It’s also the go-to for couples who share the same bed but prefer different sleeping positions.
Level 7-10: Firm
Level 7-10 of the scale represents the highest firmness levels. While they might not have the deep sinking and contouring features of softer mattresses, some are designed to offer sufficient levels of support with just the right amount of cushioning for the body’s pressure points without causing any long-term problems.
Side-sleepers would find these mattresses quite uncomfortable despite the pressure point relief they offer. This level of firmness is most suited for back and stomach sleepers since it prevents their abdomen from sinking deeply into the mattress.
The majority of sleepers find the mattresses at the highest range of this group to be highly uncomfortable. It’s better to test out the mattress before you purchase it to prevent any disappointment when you take it home.
Why Is Firmness Important When Choosing a Mattress
So far, we’ve established that the firmness of mattresses matters. But, do you understand why it’s important?
It goes beyond your preferred sleeping position and pressure point relief. It has everything to do with comfort.
Comfort is what determines whether you’ll have a hard time falling asleep when you get into bed. Or, spend countless hours tossing and turning as you attempt to find a comfortable position so that you can drift off to dreamland.
Having the right mattress plays a huge role in your overall sleep hygiene. An uncomfortable mattress means it’s not providing you with the right amount of support which increases your risk for developing chronic back issues and consistent soreness when you wake up.
With that in mind, how do you choose the right firmness level on a mattress? Here are 5 approaches you can use:
We can’t emphasize this enough: Firmness is subjective. It all depends on what your perception of comfort is.
So, a great starting point would be to think about your current mattress. If there was one thing you could change about it what would it be?
Would you prefer to have it a little firmer or slightly softer? You can also use other mattress experiences you’ve had for comparison.
For instance, maybe you spent a couple of nights at a hotel or at a friend’s house. What was your mattress experience there like? How would it compare to your current mattress?
You don’t need to know what their exact firmness levels were, but it can point you in the right direction with regards to getting a firm vs. soft mattress. These Leesa Mattress reviews can also help with the decision-making process.
Your body exerts pressure on your mattress. This ultimately determines how the mattress responds to your body.
Two different people with different weights might have conflicting perceptions of the level of firmness a particular mattress offers. If you weigh 130lbs or less, you should go for a plush mattress in the 2 to 5 range on the firmness scale.
For sleepers who weigh more than 130lbs but less than 230, medium-firm mattresses in the 4 to 6 range would be most suitable. Anyone who weighs more than 230lbs needs a firmer mattress preferably in the 6 to 8 range.
This would offset the exaggerated sink and contouring that heavier individuals experience when they sleep on plush mattresses. It also adds a much-needed layer of comfort required for a good night’s sleep.
Plush mattresses have a lot of sink and contouring. This limits the amount of air that flows around the body which causes heat to build up in the mattress and subsequently the body.
What’s more plush mattresses more so those made from memory foam are notorious for causing persons to sleep hot. If this is something you’d rather avoid, consider moving further up the firmness scale.
Plush vs. Firm Mattress: Which of the Two Is Better for Sex
Let’s face it. You need to cover all your bases before settling on the firmness level of your mattress. The perfect mattress for sex should have both firmness and bounce which ensures lots of movement and fun in the bedroom.
If you engage in frequent sexual activity, a plush mattress may pose a bit of a challenge. Both partners might find themselves sinking too much which may hamper movement on the bed.
A mattress that is too firm, on the other hand, may make it difficult to assume certain positions. A medium-firm mattress provides just the right amount of comfort and firmness to complement your sex life.
Motion transfer refers to how much movement on one side of the bed is felt on the other end. This is an important consideration for those who share a bed.
Mattress firmness levels that are higher up on the scale tend to have very little motion transfer. That way your partner’s movement in the middle of the night won’t awaken you or disrupt your sleep.
Key Health Benefits of a Cool Memory Foam Mattress:
Improved Cognitive Function
Memory foam mattresses contribute to health in unexpected ways. Sleep is vital for successful brain function. A proper night’s sleep can improve concentration levels during the day and lead to greater productivity. Not getting enough quality sleep impairs our ability to perform well at work, in school, and in all other aspects of our daily life. Also, it is much more difficult to focus and pay attention when we lack proper sleep. A memory foam mattress can greatly contribute to your quality of sleep and help you perform better mentally.
Less Risk for Obesity
Another health risk for sleeping on a poor mattress is weight issues and obesity. Poor quality of sleep is strongly linked to weight gain. Individuals with shorter sleep durations tend to weigh more and struggle with their weight longer than people who get adequate sleep. Scientific studies have shown that short sleep duration is one of the highest risk factors for weight gain and obesity. So if your mattress is hindering your sleep quality, it might be time to consider the advantages of upgrading to a memory foam mattress. It is time to obtain the type of support you’re looking for.
Pressure Point and Joint Relief
The memory foam mattress is designed to adjust to the contours of the body and provide exceptional pressure point relief. The gel compresses gently as you sit or lay on the mattress. This creates a soft, smooth surface with support customized for each individual body. Unlike older mattress types, you will not have to worry about sinking into the mattress. Your joints and vital pressure point areas around your neck, shoulders, hips, and back will feel relief. Memory foam cradles each body uniquely and instantly bounces back into shape. This allows for each mattress user to get a personalized level of comfort.
Science has proven that we sleep better when our body is cooler. Cooling memory goam mattresses have small gel bead infusions inserted during the manufacturing process. These beads significantly reduce the heat around them, which creates a surface that feels cooler, allowing for a more comfortable sleep. Having a cooler surface allows for better temperature control and can help prevent the body from overheating, allowing you to stay asleep longer. This will ensure less disruption in your sleep and more advantages to your health.
What Kinds of Mattresses are Best for Health?
Everybody buys a mattress, but nobody buys the right mattress. Using the best available resources, Napcloud brings to you mattresses that are designed explicitly after extensive research. These mattresses are superior in quality. The best feature of the mattress from NapCloud is the functionality.
Napcloud is a famous manufacturer of cost-effective mattresses. Their mattresses are user-friendly and have a high-performance rate. The company has successfully eliminated all forms of third-party involvement and controls every aspect, from factories to user’s doorsteps, of the manufacturing process. This reduces the cost of their products by seventy-five percent. They have vast amounts of delivery efforts using carton boxes to deliver their mattresses; this makes carrying their product easier for the customer.
Coir mattress is one of the more traditional solutions to the mattress problem. This method and type of mattress have been in use for a long time. They do not provide a tender experience of sleep because of their firm and not soft material. But still, their quality is firm and robust. They are durable and firm.
This mattress uses inner-spring technology which gives a lot of back support. The bed is also incredibly soft, owing to its unique top-foam quilting. Its spring structure makes sure of the lightness of the mattress. The springs are also anti-corrosive, this ensures the longevity of your mattress. The spring structure provides support and prevents sagging. This product also comes with a five-year manufacturer warranty.
The intelligent sleep technology used in this mattress gives you the peak level of comfort. The mattresses are multi-layered and are manufactured using Revlon and Lux foams. Nilkamal put in a lot of research and has surveyed the weather conditions in India along with the sleeping habits of Indians. The company is also the first to apply the weight and height chart in the manufacturing of their products.
These mattresses are superior in comfort because they are made of rubber. It is an excellent option for people who are very prone to allergies. This product is well known for its durability and can last for decades.
Why Should You Buy a Foam Mattress in a Box?
It’s indeed difficult to get the number of companies that sell mattresses online because there are so many. The number increases for those that sell mattresses in a box.
Another common fact in life is that mattresses are often replaced after eight to ten years. Mattresses are not expensive but they are somehow affordable. They are products that are not normally purchased by most families. On the other hand, there are families who are always willing to spend more on the product because they want something that is of high quality.
Users are normally willing to spend more money to buy better and more durable mattresses at higher costs. As this takes place, most companies are now beginning to compress their mattresses in a box, and this is very convenient in terms of logistics and delivery.
The sales of mattress in a box have greatly increased, and this is why you need to buy a foam mattress in a box.
Indeed, you will experience the wonderful and comfortable foam mattress in a box. Long are the days when one had to travel to a brick and mortar store to try and order a mattress as if they are buying a car. You can now get that experience by ordering online to receive the best mattress delivered to your doorstep in the quickest time possible.
Best Mattresses Suited for Lower Back Pain
Suffering from lower back pain? As you may know, there are eight among ten people who suffer from this condition. Some are severe, including slipped disc, herniated, or chronic muscle strain.
People develop severe back pain condition due to accidents, such as sudden fall, car accident, etc. But for some, chronic lower back pain is caused by inappropriate posture, especially people who are working in a sitting position.
Here are some ways to prevent back pain from getting worse:
- A person who has this should at least practice on how to follow the correct sitting posture.
- He or she should sit on an ergonomic chair to support the back.
- A patient should choose the appropriate mattress, depending on his or her current back condition.
However, there is no reliable research that will prove this. Neither is there a scientific explanation that will support the idea of choosing the appropriate mattress will help to ease your lower back pain. The only thing that will save you from this is to pick based on your personal preference and what mattress feels most cozy among the rest.
Picking the best option can be hard and complicated sometimes because there are hundreds, even thousands of mattresses available on the market today. Besides, there is a mattress that feels comfy when you try lying down on the showroom. It doesn’t always mean that this mattress is right for you, or you could be happy lying on it in the next few years.
Below are some few useful tips to assist you from picking the right affordable mattress:
Your Spine Should Need to Be Aligned
When you try lying down on your chosen mattress, check if your spine is aligned. As you may know, a good posture is also vital when you lie down or sleep. Your muscles and tissues which hold joints firm need to rest and recover while sleeping.
For example, if the mattress is too hard, or too soft, it doesn’t support your spine appropriately. Also, a mattress that’s firm enough will vary depending on the situation of each person.
For instance, a mattress that has a softer surface will be the best option to choose for a person who has broad hips. But if you have narrower hips, a mattress that has a firmer surface will match your needs.
Can’t Decide? Pick “Medium-Firm”
As mentioned earlier, there is no hard evidence to support the theory. However, there’s one study that has been conducted with people who suffer from lower back pain to use a “medium-firm” and “firm” affordable mattress for 90 days. Participants who chose medium-firm have experienced the least discomfort.
Innerspring Mattress is Good too
You may consider choosing a memory mattress than the traditional one, which is innerspring. The foam in this mattress forms your body accordingly. However, the only cons are that the mattress keeps the heat, and usually, the material may contain chemicals.
These tips, as mentioned above, will only guide you to pick the appropriate mattress for your back. It doesn’t guarantee that your back pain will go away by following this. However, it’ll help you to ease the pain you’re feeling, especially after sleeping from a tiring day. Surely, you’ll wake up with a smile on your face.
Top 5 benefits from Using Suitable Mattresses for Your Body
For a peaceful night’s slumber, you need to have an optimal sleep environment. Your bed and mattress are vital components here to enhance your shut-eye.
You can use a mattress pad or topper to add layers of space for better air circulation and cooling, and additional comfort while sleeping. If you are wondering how to sleep cooler on a memory foam mattress, you can opt for a gel memory foam mattress topper for the best sleep at night.
When it comes to pillows, pick out cooler materials such as cotton, feathers, and polyester. Some pillows come with cooling properties, such as gel memory foam or those that come with copper infusions.
Start with an agreeable sleeping cushion. The nature of your bedding is pivotal to your rest. Before you head out and search for bedding, it is essential to know the kind of sleeper you are. Side sleepers should look for something on the milder side while back or stomach sleepers should look for something all the more firm. Most sleeping pads have a life expectancy of 8 to 10 years so it’s a smart thought to put resources into decent bedding.
Spread the sleeping pad with a (discretionary) bedding cushion. A bedding cushion gives an additional layer of solace, yet it likewise shields your sleeping pad from the residue, spills and, might we venture to state, stains. Utilize a cotton (versus a polyester) sleeping pad cushion for additional breathability during the blistering summer evenings and protection for the winter.
Sleep plays a crucial role in your holistic wellness and impacts your body, mind, and psyche. When you’re spending the night on a mattress that offers you quality sleep, you’re investing in improving your physical and mental wellbeing.
Think of your bed as a sacred spot where you recharge energy. Choose your mattress with care, not only based on price and brand but suited to your individual needs.
A sagging mattress that prevents you from resting well needs to be replaced with a firmer version. Personal preferences do play a role, but you’ll need to consider criteria that won’t leave you with aches and pains in the morning, or worse, with future back problems.
Look at quality and comfort, combined with durability. Then opt for the best one you can afford. See it as a long term expenditure that will benefit you, and that’s ‘got your back’ for years to come.
Proper body alignment when you’re sleeping is vital. You’ll avoid all sorts of discomfort when your neck, spine, and back are positioned correctly.
A well-aligned mattress supports the natural curve of your spine. As a result, you’ll sleep with a perfect posture. You could place a pillow behind or between your knees to further help spine alignment and for added comfort.
Your preferred sleeping style plays a role in the mattress you need. A medium to firm option is suitable to most positions, so regardless of whether you sleep on your back, side, or stomach, it’s ideal.
Find an option that distributes your bodyweight evenly for the best overall support. As an example, side sleepers mattresses combined with proper pillows, give you the ultimate in spinal alignment. Your spine doesn’t sink into the bed, and it naturally ‘cradles’ the shape of your back.
These surfaces keep your spine supported and offer you added comfort and cushioning for pressure points such as shoulders, hips, and thighs. It’s a key factor for side sleepers to prevent added stress on your joints and back.
Response and Movement
If you’re sharing your bed, you need to consider motion transfer. Opt for a mattress that scores high on these criteria to prevent movement from the one side of the bed, disrupting the person on the other side.
Movement from partners and pets can be disturbing for light sleepers. You should also consider the entire surface, with ample support on the edges and the bed’s center.
A mattress with proper edge support will prevent you from ‘sinking’ into the center or rolling off over the edge. A good test here is to see if you can sit on the side and bend forward without falling off.
Responsiveness in a mattress indicates that it adapts to your body and movements. It offers the same support all round even if you switch positions.
Memory foam mattresses adjust to your body and molds around you in response to pressure and heat. The responsiveness can displace weight and promote restful sleep. It’s said to be ideal for older people or someone who is incapacitated, suffering from chronic pain and sore muscles.
Temperature control is important in your bedroom to promote a comfortable environment. Your mattress is also a heat conductor.
The ideal ‘cool’ option would be a medium or firm mattress that prevents sinking. Less heat will resonate, and you’ll be able to sleep well, even in warmer weather.
A mattress made of natural fibers will also promote breathability, and it can ‘trap’ pockets of air to insulate against extreme heat or cold. Memory foam mattresses can be temperature sensitive and retain body heat, making them less agreeable for warm climates.
The perfect mattress should distribute your weight evenly. You’ll need to find one that offers enough support for your entire body mass, or for two when you’re sharing your bed.
For more substantial bodies, a medium to firm mattress provides considerably better comfort. Soft beds won’t work well, as it slumps or sags under a more significant weight.
In addition to the added support, a firmer mattress will also help a bigger person get out of bed with ease.
The Bottom Line
If your current mattress is causing you sleepless nights it might be time to get a new one. Use the tips in this guide to help you pick the perfect mattress firmness level that suits your needs.
Choose a retailer that provides a sleep trial break-in period. This ensures that you get a feel for your mattress before deciding if it’s right for you.
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