Among the different considerations when buying a mattress, firmness is considered one of the primary factors along with price and material. For many people, firmness is equivalent to how comfortable mattresses are for sleeping. While some prefer firm and soft mattresses, others prefer medium-firm mattresses.


In terms of firmness preference, the experience of what’s comfortable may depend on your needs. Finding the best mattress firmness for your sleeping needs and what works best for your sleeping position can be challenging, especially if you’re surrounded with lots of options. Fortunately, there are ways for you to determine the right firmness level. You can find more information about mattresses by reading below and keeing the following considerations in mind to help you:

Know the Different Mattress Firmness Ratings

There are various key terms that mattress manufacturers use to determine firm and plush mattresses. For instance, manufacturers usually make use of words or numbers to describe the mattress firmness. Below are the different mattress firmness rating you should know:

  • Soft – Soft mattresses offer the least support and are very sinkable.
  • Medium Soft – These mattresses feel sinkable and plush, and provide a body contouring, which makes them good for people who like their body to feel hugged by their mattresses.
  • Medium – Mattresses that are medium firm offer the perfect balance between firm and soft mattresses. These are less sinkable and offer some plushness, which is ideal for most people regardless of their sleeping positions.
  • Firm – These mattresses are relatively stiff and keep the spine of the sleeper aligned more if they are heavier or sleep on their front. Oftentimes, firm mattresses are perfect for sleepers with back pain.

Determine Your Preferred Comfort Level

When choosing a new bed, you can easily pick the best mattress firmness level based on your perceptions of comfort. Since firmness is subjective, only you can determine what type of mattress feels great for you. Thus, testing out as many mattresses as possible before you make your final decision on firmness is a good idea.

It’s also important to take note that mattress brands have different scales when it comes to firmness, so what you might like about the firmness of a certain brand might not be applicable to another brand. See to it that you have full understanding of what firmness you prefer from different companies for you to make a well-informed decision.

Bed Comfort

Choose the Best Mattress Firmness Based On Weight

Mattresses respond to the pressure and weight of the body. Due to this, the sleeper’s weight may influence how a mattress feels and what level of firmness typically provides a restful night’s sleep.

Those who weigh less than 130 lbs. must choose soft-firm mattresses. This is because firm mattresses don’t offer much contouring for people at this weight. Therefore, if you’re a lighter sleeper, you need soft mattresses.

Sleepers weighing between 130 and 230 lbs. do best with medium-firm mattresses. At this level of firmness, there’s enough cushioning to create a supportive and comfortable sleep surface without the risks that may come from a firmer or softer design.

Sleepers with over 230 lbs. of weight must opt for firm mattresses because heavy people put more pressure on the bed. A firm mattress can provide cushioning without risking the mattress comfort layer and offer sufficient support. When you make your choice keep in mind that for bigger folks, thicker mattresses are always better.

Know Your Sleeping Position to Choose the Best Mattress Firmness

If you want to buy a mattress with the right firmness, you need to consider your sleeping position for better comfort.

If you’re a side sleeper, you can go with medium-firm mattresses, which can support your sharp curves. These mattresses are also ideal if you’re a heavy person. Usually, memory foam and latex mattresses are great choices.

For back sleepers, medium firm mattresses are suggested. An ideal choice is pocketed coils with a latex top mattress.

Stomach sleepers, on the other hand, can choose a medium to firm mattress. This mattress will offer you the most comfortable sleep as it keeps your spine aligned.

Sleeping Position

Consider Temperature

Several kinds of mattresses become hot and others are made to be cooling. For example, memory foam is very soft and may become hot. If you do not want to sleep hot, you might want to move up from softer mattresses to ones that are a bit firmer, or look for a gel-infused memory foam mattress for cooler sleeping.

Motion Transfer

If you have a sleeping buddy who tosses and turns throughout the night, you might like a mattress with less motion transfer. This would point to the need for pocketed coils or memory foam. If motion transfer is a problem and you’re a stomach sleeper, find pocketed coils with minimal memory foam at the top.


Mattress firmness is more a matter of preference, but your sleeping position will generally help you determine the firmness level that you find comfortable. Remember that firmness isn’t the same as support, and all firmness levels can be supportive.

Other than your sleeping position, you also need to keep some considerations in mind like weight, temperature, and bed motion. If you purchase a mattress online, make sure to take advantage of sleep trials for you to test out your choice and return it if the mattress doesn’t have the right firmness level. With this, you’ll be able to find the perfect mattress suited for your sleeping needs.

Published in: Home advice | Author: Irene


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  1. Robert Conrad says:

    After reading this guide about mattresses I decided to change my mattress. I’m a back sleeper and my old mattress was hard. I bought a new one which is now medium firm and I my sleep improved so much! The right mattress is really important for a good sleep and well being.

  2. Zachary Tomlinson says:

    One of my colleagues is looking for a mattress for his new apartment unit since he moved into an apartment close to our office. Your suggestions on how he should consider the weight and how firm and comfortable the mattress is perfect! I should share this with him so we could use it as a guide as we look for a furniture shop.

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