Soft, Firm, or In Between: Choosing A Mattress That’s Just Right

If you are like most people, you might feel a little like Goldilocks as you shop for a new mattress, aimlessly trying out different varieties only to discover that some are too hard or soft for your preferences. Mattress stores can be intimidating, especially if you aren’t sure whether you want a soft mattress, a firm variety, or something in between. To make your next mattress selection as simple as possible, read through the benefits of different varieties and consider these tips for choosing the best type for you.


Benefits of Firm Mattresses

Firm mattresses might not seem like the most luxurious option, but there is a reason that doctors and chiropractors suggest firm mattresses for people who suffer from back pain or mobility issues. In fact, according to the Spinal Health Institute, firm mattresses can help people with degenerative disc disease because they can make it easier for people to sleep on their stomachs. Here are a few other benefits of firm mattresses:

  • Spinal Alignment

Your mattress has a very important role each night while you sleep – cradling your body and supporting your spine. In order to get the best sleep possible, your spine should be supported and aligned. Firm mattresses offer more support than soft mattresses, helping to keep your spine in a comfortable, neutral position.

  • Weight Distribution

Because firmer mattresses offer more support, they distribute your weight more evenly. In addition to making the bed more stable for your sleeping partner, proper weight distribution will also fend off divots in your mattress and has been shown to decrease muscle tension and cramping.

  • Deeper Sleep

Proper spinal alignment and weight distribution can do more than just help you to climb out of bed without aches and pains. The benefits of firm mattresses can also make take pressure off of your muscles and help your arteries and veins to relax, which improves your circulation and contributes to better sleep. The sleep experts at also report that firm mattresses keep your upper airway unrestricted, making it easier to breathe freely as you sleep.

Benefits of Soft Mattresses:

Although firm mattresses are often touted for their health benefits, modern soft mattresses also have a wide range of perks that sleepers can enjoy. Here are just a few:

  • Plush, Soothing Feel

One of the things people love about soft mattresses is the plush, soothing feel of the mattress. Instead of feeling like you are lying on a cushion riddled with springs, you might feel as if you are resting on a cloud.

  • Easier to Drift Off To Sleep

Because soft mattresses tend to be more appealing and comfortable for people, some sleep studies have found that soft mattresses make it easier for people to drift off to sleep and stay asleep.

  • Alleviate Pressure Points

Soft mattresses are also a superior solution for people who have arthritis or who don’t have a lot of body fat. Because these people can have naturally occurring joint pain or an insufficient amount of internal cushioning, soft mattresses can help by alleviating pressure points.

Things To Consider When Trying Mattresses

Before you decide between a soft and a firm mattress, take the time to visit a mattress store, such as Best Mattress, to try different varieties out in person. Here are some things to consider as you test mattresses:

  • Time Will Tell

That mattress might seem comfortable at first, but how will it feel when you sleep on it all night long? Although it might seem awkward to try out mattresses in the store, the Huffington Post suggests laying on a potential mattress for at least 20 minutes before deciding whether or not you like it. This extended time-frame will help you to decide what you like and don’t like about the mattress, and give you the chance to try out different sleeping positions.

  • Sleeping Position

Think carefully about what sleeping positions you prefer. If you tend to mix up your sleeping positions, think about what position you are normally in when you wake up in the morning. Research has shown that soft beds are typically better for side sleepers, and firmer mattresses are more comfortable for back sleepers.

  • Mobility Issues

If you have mobility issues, keep in mind that softer mattresses might be more difficult to move around on or get off of in the morning. Extra cushioning alleviates pressure, but sometimes that pressure is needed to help you to regain your balance or move your body the way that you need to. If you have mobility issues but your sleeping partner doesn’t, consider choosing a firmer mattress and then buying a sheet of memory foam for your partner’s side. That way, you can each remain comfortable.

  • Preferred Nighttime Temperature

Some mattresses are more breathable than others, and some even have special mattress coverings designed to reduce surface temperature. Before you choose a mattress, think about your preferred nighttime temperature. Do you like to feel warm and cozy as you sleep, or do you like to stay cool and dry? Talk with your mattress store representative to learn which versions offer the breath-ability and fabrics that you prefer.

While we hope these tips are helpful, the true test will always be to try a mattress in person. Good luck!

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