What Is The Best Mattress Firmness For You?

What Is The Best Mattress Firmness For You?
One of the best feelings in the world is being able to climb into a comfy bed after a long day and drift straight off to sleep. 

If you can’t remember the last time this happened, it might be time you change your mattress and decide what is the best mattress firmness for you. After all, a mattress is one of the biggest tools that you need to get your recommended 8 hours of sleep a night. 

When it comes to getting the right type of mattress, there’s one key factor that you need to consider: the firmness. 

Having a mattress that is too soft or firm will have a massive impact on your sleep. Like Goldilocks, you need to get this one just right. Luckily, this guide will show you how. 

Ready to get started?

What are the types of mattress firmness? 

Mattress firmness is a measure of how soft or firm a mattress is. Although different brands may use different scales, generally firmness can be measured on this scale. 

1SoftThis is the softest kind of mattress with lots of room for you to sink into. Doesn’t offer any muscle support
2Very soft with a lot of sink and slightly more support than one.
3Soft with slightly less sinkage, but still 1.5-3 inches when you lay on it. Best for side sleepers. 
4Medium SoftSoft, with a more balanced feel and more support.
5Medium A true medium between soft and firm. 
6Medium FirmMostly firm, with a little soft sinkage. 
7FirmFirm, but will still offer some sinkage and contouring around the body. 
8A firm mattress that doesn’t contour as much around the body. Perfect for stomach sleepers. 
9Very firm with little sinkage. 
10Extra Firm Extremely firm with 0 pushback or sinkage. 

The lower the number, the softer the mattress. The higher the number, the firmer it is. 

Most people will tend to go with mattresses in the middle of the range. It’s rare to find people get the most comfortable night’s sleep on a 10 mattress, which is best described as a brick but the fundamental is that you find out what is the best mattress firmness for you.

Is firmness the same as support?

No, firmness is not the same as support. 

Firmness is a measure of how soft or firm a mattress is. Support is how much support the mattress can offer to your spine, posture, and muscles while sleeping. The two measurements don’t align, so firmer mattresses don’t automatically mean you’ll have more support. 

The amount of support that you get from mattresses can vary so the best mattress firmness for you might also be the one that offers more support.

Soft mattresses

Because soft mattresses conform to the body, they can help relieve certain pressure points and keep the spine aligned for some people. For others, the contour can further curve the spine while sleeping. 

Medium mattresses

Medium mattresses tend to offer the most support, as they can help reduce pressure points without people sinking too far into the mattress. 

Firm mattresses

For some back and stomach sleepers, the firmness of these mattresses helps stop their lower back or abdomen from sinking into the mattress, helping keep the natural alignment of the spine. 

Best online mattress comparison:

Mattress BrandTypeFirmnessOur RatingReviewOfficial Site
Ergoflex ReviewMemory FoamMedium-Firm
9.7
Read ReviewVisit Website
Nectar Mattress ReviewMemory FoamMedium-Firm
9.5
Read ReviewVisit Website
Simba Mattress ReviewHybridMedium-Firm
9.4
Read ReviewVisit Website
emma-mattress-logo-smMemory Foam or HybridMedium
9.3
Read ReviewVisit Website
Eve Mattress ReviewMemory Foam or HybridMedium-Firm
9.0
Read ReviewVisit Website
Tweak mattress reviewHybridCustomisable
8.9
Read ReviewVisit Website
HomyLink ReviewHybridMedium
8.7
Read ReviewVisit Website

Is it better to have a soft or firm mattress? 

There’s no right or wrong answer to this question. Because everyone is different, it just depends on what type of mattress that you feel most comfortable and supported on. 

If you prefer feeling like you’re sinking into bed, you might want a softer mattress. If you like to feel a solid surface underneath, you’ll like a firm one. 

It’s all about preference and finding what is the best mattress firmness for you.

What firmness of mattress should I get? 

The mattress firmness that you need depends on a few different factors. Here are a few areas that will help you decide on what is the best mattress firmness for you.

1. Comfort 

When selecting the right mattress type, your comfort has to come first. After all, if you’re not comfortable on it, you’re never going to relax and settle into a peaceful night’s sleep. 

If you don’t know what kind of mattresses that you prefer, you need to go out and test some. If you’re doing this in-store, lay on a mattress for 10-20 minutes and notice how your body is feeling. Keep testing different firmness levels until you find the one that’s right for you. 

2. Weight

The more weight you put on the mattress, the firmer it should be.

Weight can have a key role in the mattress type that you buy. That’s because different weights influence the firmness level of your mattress as they try to spread the weight. 

Generally speaking: 

  • If you weigh less than 130 pounds, a softer mattress might be the best fit for you. 
  • If you weigh between 130 and 230 pounds, you might want to choose a mattress that falls on the medium range of the firmness scale. 
  • If you weigh over 230 pounds, you might want to consider a firmer mattress. This is because the level of sink you’ll experience on softer ones will be considerably more, making them unsuitable to people who are heavier. 

However, these are just guidelines. There are other factors that you need to consider, including your own comfort.

3. Sleeping position 

Different mattress firmness will suit different sleep positions better and that is why it is fundamental that you know what is the best mattress firmness for you. That’s because different sleep positions put pressure on different points in your body, meaning that you need different levels of support for the way that you sleep. 

If you’re a side sleeper

You might want a soft to medium-firm mattress. This is because most of the pressure will be at your shoulders and hips and the softer give of a mattress will contour around these areas, keeping the alignment of your spine. If you want extra support as a side sleeper, you may want to also consider these pillows for side sleepers. 

If you sleep on your back

You might want a medium-firm mattress. This is because you will need more support on your lower spine to prevent it sinking into the bed and disrupting the natural alignment of your spine.

If you sleep on your stomach 

You may want a firmer mattress. This is to prevent any part of your abdomen or pelvis from sinking further into the bed, which will create an unhealthy shape of your spine. 

If you move about in the night

You might want to consider a medium-firm mattress. This is because these mattresses will give you the best of both worlds, helping to accommodate whatever sleeping position that you are in. The more responsive a mattress is, the better it is for you. 

4. Sleeping partners

Both you and your partner need to be happy with the mattress firmness. One important thing to consider also is motion transfer.

If you sleep with a partner, you need to choose a mattress that facilitates both of your needs. One factor you also might want to consider is motion transfer. Because softer mattresses contour around your body, they’ll have less motion transfer than firmer ones, meaning your partner is less likely to be woken up. 

Mattresses that are too firm or soft can have an impact on your sex life. So if you’re planning on sharing a bed, the best mattress firmness for you might be something on the medium range of the firmness scale. 

5. Temperature 

Because softer mattresses counter to your body, they might not be a good fit with those that need to keep cool during the night. This is because the mattresses keep a layer of air around your body, which gets heated up and warms you up through the night. 

Certain mattress types can be made with cooling materials to help with this problem if you prefer a softer mattress. 

6. Pain

If you’re prone to any sort of pain, such as back, hip or shoulder pain, you might want to select the mattress firmness very carefully. 

  • For back pain, you are best using mattresses in the 5-8 range. 
  • For hip pain, you’re best using a softer mattress, in the 3-5 range. 
  • For shoulder pain, you need to avoid firmer mattresses and are best going for softer options in the 3-5 range. 

Some of the best mattresses on the market right now

Want a headstart in finding your next mattress at the best level of firmness? These are some of our top picks of the best mattresses on the market. 

Ergoflex 

Ergoflex Review
  • Medium-Firm
  • Memory Foam
  • Our rating: 9.7/10 

Combining comfort and support, the medium firm memory foam mattresses is one of the best on the market. It comes with orthopaedic pressure-relief and 5G memory foam that helps you ‘sink into’ the mattress without losing that key support.

Read the full review here. 

Nectar

Nectar Mattress Review
  • Medium-Firm
  • Memory Foam
  • Our rating: 9.5/10 

The Nectar mattress has incredibly low motion transfer and high support but is on the firmer side of the scale coming in about 7. This makes it a great option for those that prefer a firm mattress. Better still, the Nectar has the longest trial period in the industry with a whopping 365 nights. 

Read the full review here. 

Simba 

Simba Mattress Review
  • Medium-firm
  • Hybrid
  • Our rating: 9.4/10 

As the only company to include springs in a mattress-in-a-box mattress, the hybrid Simba mattress makes itself perfect for a number of different sleeping positions or those that move around a lot during the night. You’ll get a big 200 days to trail the mattress and a massive 10-year guarantee. 

Read the full review here. 

Emma 

  • Medium 
  • Memory foam/Hybrid 
  • Our rating: 9.3/10 

If you sleep with another partner, the Emma mattress is definitely one to consider with an incredibly low motion transfer. It has three levels of high-quality memory foam and is available in hybrid combinations to create the best mattress option for you. 

Not sure what to choose between memory foam or hybrid mattresses? Read our handy guide here. 

Read the full review here. 

Eve

Eve Mattress Review
  • Medium-Firm 
  • Memory foam/Hybrid 
  • Our rating: 9.0/10 

Eve has one of the largest selections of mattresses of all of the mattress-in-a-box brands, meaning you’re more likely to find the best mattress firmness and type for you. However, if you want the premium versions of the mattress, be prepared to be paying more. 

Read the full review here. 

Tweak

Tweak Mattress Review
  • Customisable firmness
  • Hybrid 
  • Our rating: 8.9/10

One of the best things about the tweak mattress is that you can customise the firmness level to your specifications. It’s made from foam inserts, meaning that you can create a bed that’s different for you and your partner, or has a softer or firmer section to get the exact level of support for certain pressure points. 

Read the full review here. 

HomyLink

HomyLink Mattress Review
  • Medium 
  • Hybrid
  • Our rating: 8.7/10

The HomyLink, have a range of four types of mattresses which are the cheapest selections on the market, making them perfect for those on a budget. However, the warranty only lasts 3 months so in some cases, you might get what you pay for. 

Read the full review here. 

How do I know if my mattress is too firm?

Finding exactly what is the best mattress firmness for you might require a little testing so make sure you assess if your mattress is not too firm.

Your mattress may be too firm if you feel any of the following: 

  • Numb or tingling shoulders or hips;
  • Having your shoulders, hips or knees pushed up above the rest of your body;
  • Feeling like you’re sleeping on top of the mattresses or away from it.

How do I know if my mattress is too soft? 

Your mattress may be too soft if you feel any of the following: 

  • Difficulty getting in or out of bed (and not because you don’t want to!);
  • Having your shoulders, hips or knees sink below the rest of your body;
  • Feeling like you’re falling to the bottom of the mattress. 

Does a firm mattress get softer?

All mattresses get softer with use.

Yes, firm mattresses do get softer over time.

When you first get a mattress, it will be at its firmest because the foam layers are brand new. As you start to sleep on it, your body will relax the foam and soften it up, making it less firm over time. 

How do you soften a mattress that is too firm?

If you found out what is the best mattress firmness for you and it is softer than what you have, you might want to soften it.

One way to soften a mattress is to sleep on it, as this will help relax the foam and naturally soften it over time. You can also speed up this process by literally stepping on the bed and walking up and down it a couple of times. 

Another way to soften your mattress is through a mattress topper, which adds a softer more supportive layer to the top of your bed. 

Do firm mattresses last longer?

Yes, firm mattresses can last longer than soft mattresses. This is because soft mattresses are susceptible to premature staffing and indentations, whereas firm mattresses are less likely to degrade in this way. 

When it comes to mattress types, latex mattresses were found to last the longest with an 8-12 year average lifespan.

The best mattress firmness: a summary

Choosing the right type of mattress firmness depends entirely on your preferences and the way that you sleep. This guide should illuminate you to find out what is the best mattress firmness for you – but to get the best measure you need to be trying them for yourself. 

When you’re ready, remember that we’ve reviewed some of the best mattresses out there to get you started buying your next one.