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Firm Vs Soft Mattress – Which Is Best?

Hey guys, Dave here for Thebettersleepstore

When you’re shopping for a mattress there’s a lot of things you want to keep in mind 

It’s gonna be like the feeling you’re looking for, the construction and even price 

One of the first questions you want to answer is: firm or soft?

Do you want a firm mattress or a soft mattress?

Well I want to talk about just that today 

I want to talk about what makes a mattress firm, what makes it soft, the drawbacks and benefits of each and who should get one over the other. let’s get started!

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What Is A Firm Or Soft Mattress?

All right, before we get started if you want to see a list of our top picks for best soft mattresses or best firm mattresses just head over to

They’re gonna find some great mattresses review, some bedding reviews and some great information about how to find the best mattress for you.

Let’s talk about firm mattresses and soft mattresses, first off, what are we talking about when we say firm and soft 

firm mattress

Here at Thebettersleepstore to use a scale of 1 to 10 and six-and-a-half is about medium firm right in the middle of that scale

Beneath six and a half, you’re gonna be getting softer 

5 and a half or a five above that you’re getting firmer

You’re gonna have like seven, seven and a half eight sometimes even nine, that’s going to be on the firmer end 

soft mattress

Below six and a half soft

Above six and a half is going to be firm 

Construction Makes A Mattress Firm Or Soft

Now, what makes a mattress firm and what makes a mattress soft 

First off, think about construction like what materials are used in that mattress

For instance, innerspring mattresses are going to be firmer than all-foam mattresses 

That’s not all the time but in general, it’s kind of what you’re looking for 

With an innerspring mattress, a lot of times it’s going to be coiled with sometimes not a lot of comfort layer above that 

That’s gonna be firmer than something with memory foam, it’s very very soft and lets you sink in 

Read more:

How A Quality Mattress Contributes To Home Security – as detailed on Safetyhub

Comfort Layers And Mattress Firmness

At the same time you want to think about what is the comfort layer, how thick is the comfort layer on that mattress?

If it’s an innerspring mattress, it might have a soft pillow top, a plush pillow top, it’s a thick plush pillow top, it might be on the softer end, also with a memory foam mattress

Just because it has memory foam does not mean it’s going to be a soft mattress

For instance, the Brickley embedding Aurora has a very thick layer of memory foam on top 

That is going to be on the softer end,

Then you have the original All Swell mattress also have memory foam on top of there 

But a much thinner layers that feels much firmer, especially to me 

Bodyweight And Mattress Firmness

That being said you also want to think about your body weight 

I am a larger person and a lot of times a mattress is going to feel firmer to me than it feels to a lighter person 

A lot of times when you find some mattress to be like a 6 out of 10 a lot of times, I’ll find it to be a 6 and a half or a 7 out of 10

That’s because my weight drags me further into the mattress, I’m hitting some firmer layers beneath the comfort layer doing some more firmness than a lighter person might 

But that’s, in general, it makes a mattress firm and what makes us soft but now I want to talk about the drawbacks and benefits of each type of mattress 

Firm Mattress Benefits

So what are the benefits and what are the drawbacks of a firm mattress 

First off, in terms of benefits, in general, they’re going to be more supportive than a soft mattress 

so a better match for heavier people and sleep musicians like back sleeping and stomach sleeping

They’re also going to be better for cooling 

When you’re on a firm mattress you’re more on top of the mattress and when you’re on a soft mattress you’re sinking in further 

When you’re a firm mattress there is more room for air to flow of your body versus when you’re under the soft mattress

Definitely makes for a cooler sleeping experience in general 

It also makes it easier to move around, again if you’re more on top of the mattress or the firm mattress it’s easier to change positions versus on a soft mattress not quite so easy 

Firm Mattress Drawbacks

The drawback to a firm mattress is

First off not as with pressure relief as a soft mattress 

Especially for side sleeping, you might feel more pressure on your shoulders and your hips

They’re also just in general not as comfortable as a soft mattress 

Now comfort is relative but in general and people are thinking of comfortable usually thinking of something on the softer end

Soft Mattress Benefits

Let’s talk about the benefits and the drawbacks of soft mattresses 

First off, in terms of benefits, one of the main benefits is a superior pressure relief

Usually, on a soft mattress, you’re going to find better pressure relief than you find over on a firm mattress 

As I said before comfort and comfortable that those kind of terms are very very relative when it comes to mattresses 

But in general, people find soft mattresses to be more comfortable than firm mattresses 

Soft Mattress Drawbacks

In terms of drawbacks, in general, soft mattresses are not going to sleep quite as cool as a firm mattress

That’s because you’re sinking further into the mattress

In general, getting less airflow over your body 

Especially, if you’re dealing with memory foam that can trap heat 

So soft mattresses are not the best with cooling

They’re also not the best with mobility, it’s usually more difficult to move around on a softer mattress 

And then, last but not least, in general, soft mattresses are not going to be as supportive, not good with support, especially when compared to a firm mattress 

Now what most you probably want to know is who should get a firm mattress and who should get a soft mattress 

Related Buyers Guide:

Who Should Choose A Firm Mattress?

In terms of who should get a firm mattress, they’re going to be a better match for stomach sleepers 

Stomach sleepers require a more supportive mattress, something to ensure their hips don’t bow in when they’re lying on their stomachs 

In general, a firm mattress which is a good match for stomach sleepers they’re also a good match for back sleepers in general 

For back sleepers, you want to find something closer to that medium-firm at that balance of comfort and support but if your mattress is way too soft 

You’re not gonna get enough lumbar support, you’re gonna kind of drop into the mattress 

For a lot of back sleepers, a firmer more supportive mattress is a better option

Now it’s also a better option for people who like to sleep on top of their mattress 

again with a firm mattress, you’re not sinking in so far 

You like more of that sleeping on top feel go for a firm mattress

Because of that when you’re on top of a mattress, again there’s more room for airflow a better match for hot sleeper

If you are a hot sleeper I would lean towards a firmer mattress 

Then last but not least, just if you have mobility issues you move around a lot at night, going more

Towards the firmer end is going to be a better option, in general, been a softer mattress better for those who have mobility issues 

Read More:

Who Should Choose A Soft Mattress?

Who should get a soft mattress 

First off, in general, a soft mattress is going to be a better match for side sleepers

A soft mattress does allow you to sink more into the mattress when you’re on your side better pressure relief under your shoulders and your hips 

If you just like the feeling of sinking into your mattress of sleeping more in the mattress versus on top soft mattress a better way to go

It’s also sometimes a good match for people who have pain issues specifically those who have issues with joint pain 

A softer mattress can relieve that pain a little bit 

So definitely talk to your doctor about that but, in general, a soft mattress might be a better match for you

Then last but not least, a lot of times, soft mattresses are better for couples 

Specifically, if they feature memory foam in their construction that kind of material can absorb motion 

So if your partner moving around at night you shouldn’t disturb one another

Now I want to answer some frequently asked questions about firm mattresses and soft mattresses 

Is A Firm Or Soft Mattress Better For Back Pain?

The first question is what is better for a person with back pain, a firm mattress or a soft mattress 

In general, want to look for something right in the middle

A medium-firm mattress with a balance of comfort and support, this will ensure that stay in proper neutral spinal alignment and won’t exacerbate or add to that back pain 

Is A Firm Or Soft Mattress Better?

The next question is what is better a firm mattress or a soft mattress

I’m not gonna say one is better than the other just depends on what you’re looking for 

A firm mattress is going to be a better match for stomach sleepers, some back sleepers and those like to sleep on top of their mattress

A soft mattress to be better for side sleepers those who prefer to sink more into their mattress

Is A Firm Or Soft Mattress Better For Side Sleepers?

Now the third question is what is better for side sleepers a firm mattress or a soft mattress

A soft mattress is going to be better for side sleepers

That’s because it allows them to sink in a little bit more and feel less pressure on the shoulders and their hips 

Do Firm Mattresses Get Softer?

The last question is do firm mattresses get softer

In general, that is true firm mattresses can soften up over time

If they have some type of foam in there that can start to soften over time and start to sag, even if there are coils in there those can also start to weaken over time and make the mattress feel softer

Read More:


At this point, you should know which one is right for you a firm mattress or a soft mattress 

But if you’re still a bit confused when a personal recommendation- leave a comment below 

If you want more information on mattresses and want to read some great reviews head over to





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