Last updated on January 16th, 2023 at 07:06 pm
What Do We Mean By Mattress Firmness?
Knowing the right firmness for your mattress can help you get a better night’s sleep, and it is a personal preference. If you don’t know how firm your bed should ideally be for you, here are some tips from AllRightSleep.com to help you make the right decision.
There are countless options on mattress firmness. Although choices are a good thing, having so many at your disposal can get overwhelming when you try to narrow them down.
The most important aspect of a mattress is how comfortable it is when you sleep on it. This comfort is affected by how firm or soft it feels to you. Imagine a spectrum, with “very soft” on one end and “very firm” on the other. Between these two points are infinite degrees of firmness. The firmness level that you prefer the most is somewhere on this spectrum.
How to Measure Firmness?
Different mattress manufacturers use different ways to measure firmness—some rate it on a numerical scale. For instance, the firmness scale used by Saatva has levels that range from 1-10. This scale is relatively wide, so choosing one of the ten levels as your favorite can be difficult.
Manufacturers like Leesa and Casper don’t even offer options, and they offer one firmness that they claim is comfortable for everyone. It might be acceptable for someone who does not want to choose from thousands of options.
However, because each person is shaped differently, one type of mattress cannot fit everyone. Some brands have mattress labels like the “relaxed firm” from Loom & Leaf, which is somewhat unclear. If you want simplicity, you can group mattress firmness into three main categories, which are “soft,” “medium,” and “firm.”
In mattress ratings, firmness and support are two different things. Firmness refers to the mattress’s top layer, and support refers to the middle and bottom layers. High-quality mattresses have solid support layers regardless of the comfort level of the top layer.
Even if a mattress has a very soft top layer, the two layers under it can still provide good support. Many chiropractors point out that a firm bed is not guaranteed to give you more support, and how soft the bed feels it is just a description of the top layer.
What Is Your Preferred Firmness?
Finding the best firmness for your mattress requires more than just asking yourself if you like a soft or firm mattress. It’s not an easy question to answer because a lot goes into figuring this out. For example, if you are searching for the best platform bed mattress, it should be firm enough to support you, but on the other hand, it should be soft enough to offer a cozy night’s rest. If you have never dived into this question before, consider the following when deciding.
The Alignment of Your Spine
How comfortable you feel while sleeping depends on the alignment of your spine. Your spine is the core that supports your body when standing or sitting up. When you are awake, the muscles around your spine help you maintain good posture even when lying down.
However, when you fall asleep, these muscles relax, and support for your body is provided by whatever you are lying down on. An appropriate surface will provide good support for your spine and help keep it aligned. If the surface you are lying down on provides no support for your neck and back, you will arise to a body full of aches and pains the following day.
When you lie down on your back, your spine is not straight. Your spine has a natural curve, so the mattress you sleep on must support those curves. That reduces pressure on the points of your body that come in contact with the bed.
A mattress that keeps you well will distribute your body weight across the main points of contact around your shoulders, hips, and legs, and it should reduce pressure on those points. The right mattress should also support you in your favorite sleeping position.
For instance, if you like to sleep on your side, your shoulders and hips should feel supported, thus keeping your spine aligned properly.
Don’t forget that a soft mattress does not mean that you won’t have support. When you select a firmness level, you choose the top layer to keep your spine in alignment. The alignment can be affected by your weight and the position you like to sleep in.
Your Sleeping Position
When you lie down in bed, the amount of pressure placed on various body points depends on the position you like to sleep in and how much you weigh. For instance, a person who likes to sleep on his stomach will place a lot of pressure on the hips, and a person who sleeps on his back won’t feel the same pressure.
How firm you would like your mattress to be really boiling down your personal preferences. If you are still undecided, here are some tips to help you decide:
People who sleep on their sides often like a mattress on the soft side. A soft mattress can conform better to the body’s curves. It relieves pressure from the pressure points around the shoulders and hips, and it has enough give to allow the arm beneath the person a bit more comfortable to feel tingly or numb.
A person who sleeps on his stomach will like a firmer mattress to prevent the hip and pelvic region from sinking lower than the shoulders’ level. That will prevent your spine from curving unnaturally.
People who sleep on their backs enjoy the broadest range of firmness because their weight is more evening distributed across the pressure points. So, a firm, medium, or soft mattress would be appropriate for them. Going with medium would be good if you are a back-sleeper and still cannot decide among these three.
Whom You Share the Bed With
Your sleeping partner may prefer another level of firmness if the person’s weight is different from yours or if your partner likes another sleeping position. Without either of you sacrificing comfort for the other, choosing a mattress with medium firmness would be a safe bet.
How Much You Weigh
Your weight plays a big part in how firm your mattress should be. That is especially true if your body mass index is not within the normal range. The more you weigh, the more pounds per square inch you place on your body’s pressure points when you lie in bed. Someone who does not weigh much will feel pushed up by a firm mattress, while a person who weighs a lot will sink too deeply into a soft mattress.
Another point to consider for people on the heavier side is that a soft mattress makes their ability to get out of bed more difficult.
In general, heavier people will find a firmer mattress more comfortable, and lighter people will find a softer mattress. Follow the suggestions below:
– Firm mattress: for people with an above-average BMI
– Medium: for average BMI
– Soft to medium: for below average BMI
When you decide on the firmness you prefer, finding a comfortable mattress won’t be hard. If you plan to visit mattress showrooms, remember that the beds on display might have softened up over time because of the number of shoppers testing and sitting on them.
A brand new mattress would be firmer. It can take up to a month to break in, like those made from memory foam. An online seller of mattresses will often offer you a generous trial period for their beds. You will get time to break it in, and you can also get other helpful tips on finding the perfect mattress for a good night’s sleep.