People spend one-third of their lives in their beds, sleeping at night. After all, sleep is one of the key factors responsible for health and well-being. A good night’s sleep can influence your mood and productivity the next day.
Bad sleep can result in low productivity and a frustrated mood when you wake up. So, sleep greatly affects a person’s mood, day, and health. But what’s affecting your sleep? One of the main factors doing that is the mattress you sleep on.
Mattresses provide the required support and comfort needed for a good night’s rest. If you’re missing out on better sleep because of your mattress, you’re probably wondering if you need a firm or soft mattress.
This decision is, however, not easy to make as it involves considering a few things. Here are some factors to help you decide if you need a firm or a soft mattress.
Your Personal Preference
Your personal preference is the most crucial aspect in narrowing down the right mattress for yourself. Personal choice and preference vary from person to person. A mattress that might feel medium-firm to you might be too hard for someone who prefers a soft mattress.
In the same way, you may like a soft mattress for its comfort, but it might be too uncomfortable for someone else. So the most important question is to first ask yourself what you prefer. To get a more objective understanding, you can set a benchmark. Lay down on your current mattress and see if you’d prefer something firmer or softer. You can also compare your mattress with the one you slept on at a hotel or someone’s house when you visited.
Once you’re at a furniture store, a pro-tip is to check a mattress by sitting or lying down on the one you’re considering. Try to remain seated for 10-15 minutes to check if it’s comfortable. Remember, when you are testing out a mattress at a store, you should do it within your usual sleeping position. For example, if you are someone who mostly sleeps on the side, it won’t be very useful to test out a mattress by sleeping on your back.
Your Sleep Position
The way you sleep also affects whether you should buy a firm or soft mattress. Back sleepers and stomach sleepers prefer firm mattresses because they maintain spinal alignment. On the other hand, they may sink into a softer mattress, which affects their spinal alignment.
On the other hand, people who prefer to sleep on their sides like softer mattresses that provide appropriate comfort and contour to the body. That’s because a firm mattress makes the surface harder for them to sleep comfortably.
Of course, if you switch between different positions through the night, you’ll need to settle for a mattress that’s not too firm or too soft.
Your Body Weight
Your body weight has a similar effect as your sleeping position. A heavier person who weighs more will sink into the mattress. Hence, a firm mattress is the most appropriate choice. As a general rule, this will be suitable for people who weigh over 140 pounds.
Similarly, someone who weighs less will find it difficult and uncomfortable to sleep on a firm mattress, so a soft mattress is an appropriate choice.
Your Partner’s Preference
If you share your bed with your partner or a child, you have to consider their preference, weight, and sleeping position. There are certain companies that help you get your bed customized by them.
You can also get each side of the bed custom-made according to your and your partner’s preference and need. This can provide maximum comfort and relaxation to you both.
Pros and Cons of Firm and Soft Mattress
Considering all the factors above, here’s a list of pros and cons of each mattress to better decide which one is most suitable.
Pros of a Firm Mattress
- It helps align your back and hips with your spine so you can comfortably sleep on your back or stomach.
- Provides enough pushback for plus-sized people so they don’t sink into the mattress due to their weight.
- It helps with blood circulation and reduces muscle strain due to its firmness.
- It prevents heat buildup due to its thin comfort layer, preventing you from overheating while you sleep.
Cons of Firm Mattress
- Initially, it can feel hard and uncomfortable if you’ve transitioned to a firm mattress from a softer one.
- It can aggravate conditions like arthritis, scoliosis, and joint pain if you already have them. People with such issues require a softer mattress to contour their curves and pressure points.
- It might feel uncomfortable and too hard for less-heavy people.
Pros of Soft Mattress
- They give you extra comfort and cushioning. The soft surface feels soothing.
- It’s a very comfortable option for people who sleep on their sides. Provides enough comfort to pressure points.
- A good option for people who weigh less. A soft mattress supports and cradles their body and offers appropriate comfort.
- A soft mattress can release the pressure that builds up in your body when you sleep on a firm mattress.
- It relieves back pain by cushioning your spine and backbone.
Cons of Soft Mattress
- Soft mattresses can be uncomfortable for back and stomach sleepers. They sink into the mattress, which puts their spine out of alignment.
- These mattresses can wear down very quickly because of their softer construction. They can grow lumps, develop sags, and even flatten in a short time.
- They can feel uncomfortable and unbalanced if you share your bed with your partner or a child. If you consistently sleep on one side of the bed, it can sink unevenly, making it uncomfortable when you decide to switch sides.
We hope this guide helped differentiate between the two main kinds of mattresses. Once you choose a specific preference, understand your sleeping position, and know the right firmness for your body weight, you can choose the right mattress to get a good night’s rest.