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What makes a good bed if not the difference between firm and soft mattresses? A good mattress often serves as the foundation of a good night’s rest. While sleep quality is an amalgamation of different factors, the difference in your mattress can make good sleep happen.

There’s a variety of mattress selections in the market, which it’s hard making the right decision to choose just one. If you’re trying to figure out whether you need a firm or soft mattress, here’s our guide to help you make that decision. There are pros and cons coming with each mattress, but it’s up to you to figure out what’s conducive to your needs.

woman testing mattress on store

Why is firmness an important purchasing factor?

A mattress with the right firmness provides good sleeping support basing on your resting position, pressure points, or body aches. Meanwhile, the wrong mattress can exacerbate sleep loss, pain, and pressure points. One importance of firmness is how it affects your spine health.

Whatever your decision is, a firm and soft mattress, it should support your spine in its natural curves. This way, your head, shoulders, and back are aligned while you sleep. When this happens, your mattress can help encourage sleep, relax muscles, improve posture, and prevent back pain.

What if you need two mattresses with different firmness? Manufacturers and retailers, like Solace Sleep, offer a myriad of firmness preferences to suit your needs. Specialized mattresses with dual firmness or flappable mattresses are geared for individuals or couples with changing preferences.

How can you differentiate firm and soft mattresses?

It’s easy to discern between firm and soft mattresses. The former will compress and sink more if you apply pressure. Meanwhile, firm mattresses do not conform or sink easily when pressure is applied.

Moreover, the texture of the mattress depends on its construction and design memory foams, for example, are generally soft to alleviate pressure points and body pain. Latex mattresses, meanwhile, are generally known to be firm and ideal for back sleepers to use.

man lying down on mattress at a store

Firm and soft mattresses for types of sleepers

The two biggest factors that determine the right mattress density for you are weight and sleeping position. Here are guidelines to help you decide for your good night’s sleep.

Soft mattresses

A soft mattress benefits people experiencing body pain. They’re also recommended for lightweight individuals to sleep on. This type of mattress is ideal for:

  • Individuals suffering from body pain
  • Side sleepers for better spinal alignment
  • Lighter individuals

While softer mattresses alleviate pain and pressure points, these aren’t ideal for people who are:

  • Heavyweight individuals
  • Stomach and back sleepers
  • Hot sleepers

Overweight people can sink and find the conforming properties of soft mattresses hot and uncomfortable. Memory foams, for instance, are known to retain heat in its materials, thus, resulting in sleep loss. Hot sleepers would find the sot mattresses unpleasant to sleep on because it heightened the rising temperature.

Stomach and back sleepers will need a firmer mattress to support their spine. This is to reduce body pains from the lack of bedding support.

Firm mattresses

The density of this mattress is perfect for back and stomach sleepers because it allows support for your spinal alignment. What’s more, your body weight is distributed evenly on the mattress which lessens the pressure on muscles. When your muscles are less stressed, it’ll improve circulation and reduce body pain.

Firm mattresses also work wonders for people experiencing lower back pain. However, individuals suffering from chronic pain such as arthritis or scoliosis should avoid these dense beddings.

couple buying mattress on store and testing between firm and soft mattresses

Buying tips for firm and soft mattresses

There are factors to be considered when buying the best mattress for you. These elements shouldn’t be overlooked by simple personal preferences. Regardless, you need to think about what your body needs to get a good night’s sleep and all. Here are tips on how to choose a mattress.

Sleeping position. As stated above, side sleepers will do best with a softer mattress as it conforms more on your pressure points. This can alleviate and reduce pain forming on the neck, shoulders, and lower back. Meanwhile, back and stomach sleepers will benefit from firm mattresses to support their spinal alignment.

Weight. Lightweight individuals may find soft mattresses comforting, while it’s the exact opposite for heavy people. Overweight individuals won’t like the sinking, conforming properties of soft mattresses. Heat retention is also another factor with softer mattresses, especially with memory foams, that people don’t like. If you’re sleeping hot, invest on cooler beddings to rid of the discomfort.

Pain and discomfort. Depending on the pain itself, most will feel comfortable with soft mattresses to ease their soreness. People suffering from chronic back pain, however, have to refrain from using firm mattresses because it’ll only worsen the problem.

Individual or couple use. Are you alone in using the mattress or do you have a partner to share? Sometimes, couples have different preferences and opted for dual mattresses which offer altered density.

If heat and smell is an issue. Some people are prone to feeling heat or smelling odors. Soft mattresses are known to retain warm temperature and give off gas-smelling odors. Meanwhile, firm beddings don’t trap heat as much and keep away bad smells.

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