Firmness is a difficult topic because it’s difficult to define between “soft” or “firm” and each it depends on their perceptions, understanding, and desires. To solve this confusion, I will show some guides to explain the different types of mattress firmness and sleepers find the ideal level of firmness.
WHAT IS MATTRESS FIRMNESS?
The mattress firmness will decrease during sleeping process. You should know that the firmness is not the same as support. In the first lie down, the mattress may immediately push back with a hard stiff-like sleeping surface.
Other mattresses have more comfort with lots of cushion, contour and hug sleepers, considering this to be plush or soft.
You can find the balance level of push-back, hug, and contour in some mattresses. It is considered as medium feel.
Firmness is subjective because sleepers have specific characteristics including comfort needs, your age, gender, body type, weight,… all of them are the factor effecting to mattress feels.
According to Best mattress review, you will get firmness rating that depended on the perceptions of the Best mattress review team and from hundreds of Best mattress reader feedbacks.
WHAT IS UNIVERSAL COMFORT?
Universal comfort mattresses are created to meet the most sleepers demand and 80% of sleepers like a medium feel mattress in the 5-7 firmness range. However, the best mattress has to make your body feeling comfortable from all angles. These foams layers mattresses can provide a consistent level of firmness, hug, and comfort for all sleepers.
Leesa is a great mattress with 6 out of 10 on the firmness scale. In addition, the design of foam layers gives comfort feel for all people. For example, for couples who want a balanced firmness level, Leesa is not a bad choice because Leesa decrease the light and heavy sleepers as well as create a consistent feel.
Thanks to amazing Avena foam of Leesa, lighter sleepers don’t sink terribly deep, while also giving push-back for heavier sleepers. As the result, both of them can express the balance between comfort and universal feel during sleeping.
Purple is other example about universal comfort mattress with 6-6.5 out of 10 on the firmness scale range. They have gel polymer to create top layer, so sleepers can get great cooling, instant response, good bounce, and a universal comfort feel.
Bear, Tuft & Needle, Casper,… are other companies have designed mattresses with the universal comfort classification.
SOFT VS. MEDIUM VS. HARD FIRMNESS
If you think that firmness level is not right for you, online mattress companies continue to create mattress with multiple firmness levels. It’s the good news for those who have specific feel needs.
Soft: A soft mattress with 3 to 5 out of 10 on the firmness scale, having a great hug and sinkage and usually in the 1.5-3″ range.
Medium: About 6-7 out of 10 with the middle of the road option for sinkage and hug to create universal comfort mattresses.
Firm: 7.5-9 out of 10 with float sleepers on top of the mattress, it’s very minimal sinkage or hug (1″ or less) for sleepers.
Nest Bedding, Brooklyn Bedding, Saatva, and Loom & Leaf offer the version for each their soft, medium, and firm mattress. Beside, other companies have made specific demands such as Helix (100% customizable), Zotto (perfect 5 out of 10 soft / medium), eLuxurySupply (slightly firm 7 out of 10), and 4Sleep (7 out of 10, but with pronounced hug).
Check out my full online mattress comparison post for more information.
IS FIRMNESS THE SAME AS SUPPORT?
Most of sleepers want support and firmness, but it’s not true. Firmness is the immediate feel when you first lie down and support keeps you spine in alignment.
When buy a new mattress, try to answer some questions for example how the mattress feels? Does it relieve pressure? Does it feel comfortable to you? Is it warm / cool? Is there lots of hug, push-back, or something in between? Any hinder your spine when you are lying?
GUIDE: How to Choose a Mattress
Remember that firmer mattresses give good support, but hard feel is creating pressure points then you have a new problem for your sleep.
Firmness types can lead to more confusion, with the firmness levels, the Bestmattress firmness scale is explained below:
- 1 out of 10, absurdly soft: With absurd sinkage, these mattresses are not providing support. Bestmattress has not recommended about this mattress.
- 2 out of 10, ultra soft: No support, Bestmattress also has not reviewed this mattress.
- 3 out of 10, very soft: usually in 5-3″ range, this mattress has 2 forms deep cushion hug with a cloud-like comfort (including Saatva’s soft or Alexander’s soft) and traditional deep contour memory foam such as Lucid. It’s a good choice for side sleepers.
- 4 out 10, soft: with more balanced feel because it’s a gap between medium and soft, for example: Amerisleep Colonial.
- 5 out 10, medium soft: giving a slightly soft. Like the 4 out of 10, the 5 is also a gap between “soft” and “medium” mattresses. It depends on your weight and size including Alexander medium, Loom & Leaf Relaxed Firm.
- 6 out 10, medium: this is a common firmness, preferring by majority of sleepers because it gives a balance feel with a moderate amount of sinkage, hug, contour, and great support. Ex. Leesa, Loom & Leaf, Brooklyn Bedding, Alexander.
- 7 out 10, slightly firm: less hug and skinage than the 6 (except 4Sleep). This mattress was created to bring a slightly firm feel as Tuft & Needle.
- 8 out 10, firm: this mattress usually is firm, has little hug and lots of push back, best for back or stomach sleepers.
- 9 out 10, very firm: Firm like the 8, but less hug and sinkage than the 8, especially extreme push-back.
- 10 out 10, ultra firm: a few mattresses can meet this category so Bestmattress has not reviewed.
HOW TO DECIDE WHICH FIRMNESS LEVEL IS BEST FOR YOU?
- What position do you sleep in? It seems a majority factor to determine your ideal firmness, for example, side sleepers usually need a firmness in the 3-6 range, stomach sleepers in the 5-7 range, and back sleepers in the 4-8 range.
- How heavy are you and what’s your body type? It also is the important factor because your weight and your body will directly impact on your firmness desires needs.
- Firmness isn’t support. Be carefully, support and firmness are not the same and you should choice a mattress which can meet your feel and pressure.
- Majority rules: If you are not sure about the firmness, I recommend the mattress in the 6 out of 10 range because it is the most common mattress firmness.
- Be careful with soft mattresses: Soft mattress can be perfect for most of people but it leads uncomfortable sleep because you choose a mattress too soft.