Getting A Mattress With The Right Firmness

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We have received some emails asking us what we think the best firm mattress is and why.  This is a very tough question to answer for a number of reasons.  We wanted to put together a few thoughts on some points of consideration for people who know they like a mattress that is “firm,” whether it’s medium firm or even firmer.

You Are The Ultimate Judge Of Firmness

Consider two people.  One person weighs 100 pounds and the other weighs 300 pounds.  Wouldn’t you think that they might have different opinions on how firm or soft a particular mattress feels?  They most certainly will.  So if one person has a mattress that they like because it is “firm,” someone else might not think it’s firm enough, or they might think it is too firm.  It is therefore a little risky to go off of one person’s opinion on firmness.  Your sleeping position will affect how firm you think a mattress is as well.

Side Sleepers Beware

In general, I would advise that people who mainly sleep on their side try to find a mattress that is a bit on the softer side.  That is because a firmer mattress will put a lot of pressure directly on the hips and shoulders, making for an uncomfortable experience.  If you can’t get to sleep easily in the first place, then any possible benefits of having a firmer mattress a rendered moot.  Overall, if you sleep on your side, really analyze why you want to shop for a mattress that is firmer before you make the purchase.

picture of a hand showing off the firmness of a mattressDon’t Forget To Consider Important Other Factors

Any type of mattress can be made to be firmer or softer.  You can have a firm latex mattress just as easily as you can have a firm innerspring or air mattress.  It’s therefore important to understand important other factors for finding the right mattress for you.  What are those factors?  I’ll list out a few here.

General Feel– Memory foam mattresses have a very different feel from traditional innerspring mattresses.  Memory foam has that slower-moving feel where you might think that you are sleeping “in” the mattress rather than “on” it.  You should decide which type of feel you prefer.

Bounciness– Certain types of mattresses can be resilient and bouncy.  Latex is especially known for producing that type of feel.  This is something that again comes down to personal preference.

Motion Isolation– If you sleep with a partner, then you might want to find a mattress that does well with motion isolation.  That means when your partner moves around, you don’t really feel it on your side of the mattress.

Budget– Budget is always a major consideration when you shop for mattresses, pillows, or really any type of furniture.  A cheap “firm” mattress might be really poor quality and lead to major issues down the road.

So What Should You Do?
I would recommend doing the basic research you would do for finding any mattress.  Figure out your budget.  Decide the type of feel that you want and start to narrow down your choices for mattresses.  When you are making your final decision, remember the precautions that I’ve written about here so you don’t end up making a bad decision.

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Joe Auer

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.

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