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How to choose the right mattress firmness

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How to choose the right mattress firmness

If you’re thinking of buying a new mattress one of the most important factors to consider is the mattress firmness. You need to find a comfortable mattress that fits your needs so that you can get a good night’s sleep. How comfortable a mattress is related to how soft or firm a mattress feels and different mattresses have various firmness options ranging from soft to very firm. If you’re sleeping on a mattress that gives you aches and pains and a lot of discomforts when lying on it, it means your mattress is the wrong firmness for your body.

Mattresses that aretoo hard can aggravate your pressure points or if too soft can disrupt your spine’s alignment and cause you pain. There are several things you need to look at before you decide which mattress is right for you.

Finding the right firmness level

Body weight

When you lie on a mattress it responds to the weight and pressure of your body which makes it one of the key factors that can help you determine the firmness level of your mattress. Body weight differs from person to person and the more you weigh the more pressure you exert on your pressure points when you lie on your bed. Lighter people tend to go for softer mattresses with a firmness scale of 2-5 to get the full benefits of pressure point relief.

An average-sized person has the best advantage since you can sleep on a medium soft or medium firm mattress. This will provide enough cushioning with a supportive and comfortable sleeping surface where the mattress isn’t too soft or too firm. For heavier people, a firm mattress with a firmness scale of 6-8 is the best option to support your weight. Heavy people put a lot more pressure on the bed than an average person so they’re more likely to sink in a soft mattress than a firm one. A firmer mattress has denser comfort layers and firmer support cores for greater support.

Sleeping position

Your sleeping position is very important when deciding the firmness of your mattress. This might be surprising, but most people don’t put much thought which position they sleep on their beds. The amount of pressure you put on certain parts of your body depends on which points are supporting most of your body weight. Each sleeping position has its own preferred firmness option, but it all depends on your personal taste.

Side sleepers will go for a soft mattress since most of your body weight is concentrated on your shoulders and hips. A softer surface will cushion your pressure points and properly aligning your spine to avoid putting undue pressure and tension on the parts so that you don’t get shoulder and hip pains.

Back sleepers are at an advantage because their body weight is evenly distributed across the mattress which makes it a great sleeping position providing ample support for your spine. A medium to firm mattress will make sure your body doesn’t sink into the bed while maintaining its natural curve to avoid back pains.

Stomach sleepers put more pressure on their stomach and pelvis because they support most of your body weight. This position places a lot of pressure on your lower back and neck because of twisting your head at an unnatural angle. A medium or firm mattress like the saatva mattress, for example, will provide support to your hips and back so that your hips and pelvis don’t sink lower than your shoulders. This can cause your body to have an unhealthy U-shape.


Spine alignment

Sleeping on a good mattress that is the correct firmness will support the natural alignment of your spine while properly supporting your head, shoulders, hips, and heels. If you sleep on a mattress that is too firm, you will experience pain in your pressure points and if the mattress is too soft, it won’t provide your body with the required support causing your body to sag. This will cause your body and spine to misalign resulting in aches and pains when you wake up in the morning. When you’re asleep your muscles are relaxed so your body depends on the sleeping surface to maintain your body’s alignment.

You might think that when you lie on your back your spine is straight when in actual fact your spine has a slight natural curve. So the mattress you sleep on is supposed to support the natural curvature of your spine and help relieve pressure points. When choosing the right mattress firmness, you need to consider the pressure points that come into contact with your bed. Also the kind of support it offers without putting more pressure, compatibility with your sleeping position, and how well it distributes your body weight.



You can determine the firmness level of a mattress depending on how you feel when you lie on it. To get a point of reference, you can lie on mattresses with different firmness levels for about 15 minutes to know whether it’s the right one for you. You might be surprised to find that the comfort level you thought was good for you is a softer or firmer than you realized. And also as you grow older your body changes and the level of comfort also changes which means the mattress firmness will be different.

If you’re switching to a different brand of mattress, each mattress brand has different firmness levels and will have a different feel. So, if you’re used to a certain feel from a specific mattress brand that doesn’t mean it will be the same with another brand. Go with the mattress that makes you feel comfortable.

Final word

Once you choose the correct firmness level that fits with your needs it becomes easier to find a comfortable mattress. A mattress’s firmness varies with a person’s preference, so what feels right to you might be too soft or too firm to another person. Choose the right mattress that will provide proper spine alignment and one that is comfortable.


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