Shopping for a mattress can be a daunting experience. There are hundreds of mattresses available online, and they come in a variety of styles and sizes. Furthermore, purchasing a mattress is a significant investment, so you should proceed with caution.
Every mattress buyer should ask themselves one question: Do I want a firm or soft mattress? This is a good place to start because mattress firmness has a significant impact on how comfortable or supported you feel on a mattress. Yes, personal preference plays a significant role, but there are some factual advantages and disadvantages to both firm and soft mattresses.
Mattress Firmness Levels
The firmness of a mattress is primarily determined by its construction and materials. An innerspring mattress, for example, with no real comfort layer is likely to be firmer. Of course, the quality of the coils will influence the firmness and support of the mattress, but innerspring mattresses are generally firmer than average.
Memory foam mattresses are frequently softer than average; this material is well-known for its soft feel and excellent pressure relief. Simply because a mattress contains memory foam or soft foam does not guarantee that it will be softer than average. It is entirely dependent on the thickness of the comfort layer.
Firmness is truly subjective and is determined by the size and weight of the sleeper. A light person may find a mattress with a memory foam layer on top to be quite soft, but a heavier person may press through the comfort layer and feel the mattress is firmer. At the same time, a heavier person can really compress the coils on an innerspring mattress, making it feel softer, whereas a lighter person may not really push in, making the mattress feel firmer to them.
Firm Mattress Advantages and Disadvantages
Support is one of the most important advantages of firm mattresses. Firm mattresses are more supportive than soft mattresses and keep the body from sinking too deeply. When lying on a firm mattress, most people will feel as if they are sleeping “on top” of the mattress, and they should have no trouble moving around.
Firm mattresses are also cooler than soft mattresses. Lying more “on top” of the mattress exposes more of the body to the moving air in the bedroom. Firm mattresses, on the other hand, provide excellent support but fall short when it comes to pressure relief. When lying on a firm mattress, side sleepers may experience significant pressure on their shoulders and hips.
Soft Mattress Advantages and Disadvantages
Soft mattresses really shine when it comes to pressure relief. They allow side sleepers to sink in a little deeper, relieving pressure on the shoulders and hips. Furthermore, people generally describe soft mattresses as “comfortable.”
Soft mattresses, while very soft and pressure-relieving, are usually lacking in support. They are typically incapable of supporting heavier weights and do not always provide adequate support for back and stomach sleeping.
Furthermore, when people sink into a soft mattress, they may have more difficulty moving around and changing positions at night. They may also complain about sleeping hot because a large portion of their body is not exposed to the bedroom air.