Why do some people prefer a firm mattress over a soft one? The short answer is that mattress preferences are extremely personal. But there are many different things that can make a firm mattress the correct choice for certain people, and the wrong choice for others.
Firstly, one’s sleep position can influence how firm of a mattress they want. Even if people move around a lot during the night, they likely have a main sleep position that they spend the majority of their time in.
Side sleepers tend to prefer softer, plushier mattresses that don’t put pressure on their hip joints, knees, and shoulders. But people who sleep on their stomach tend to enjoy the support of a firm mattress, which ensures that their spines are properly aligned and their body weights well-distributed throughout the night.
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Another consideration: If you have any injuries, or suffer from specific aches and pains, you’ll want a mattress that alleviates these issues rather than worsening them. Again, this is a personal decision. Someone with lower back pain may find that a firm mattress supports their spine and makes them feel better, but another person with lower back pain may feel more comfortable on a softer, enveloping, memory-foam mattress.
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There is no right or wrong answer. Plus, what alleviates injuries and aches can vary greatly from person to person depending on things like their weight, height, muscle composition, and how much they move around at night.
One thing to note: People can always make a firm mattress feel softer by adding a memory foam topper, cushion topper, or other layers on top of the actual mattress. However, there is no easy, inexpensive way to make a soft mattress feel firmer.
When it comes down to comparing a firm vs soft mattress, there are many reasons why someone would prefer a firm mattress. But mattress firmness is a personal decision. Spend time testing out a mattress before you commit to making a purchase — and look for mattresses with a good warranty program or trial period so you can return anything that doesn’t work for you. If you’re looking for a great firm mattress, check out our list of the best firm mattresses of 2020.
Featured image: Hans.P/Shutterstock
Joe Auer is the editor of Mattress Clarity. He mainly focuses on mattress reviews and oversees the content across the site.
He likes things simple and take a straightforward, objective approach to his reviews. Joe has personally tested nearly 250 mattresses and always recommends people do their research before buying a new bed. He has been testing mattresses for over 5 years now, so he knows a thing or two when it comes to mattress selection. He has been cited as an authority in the industry by a number of large publications.
Joe has an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and an MBA from Columbia University.