There’s a lot of debate about whether firm or soft mattresses are better. The reality is that there’s no straight answer— different bodies have different needs.
However, there are clear benefits to choosing a firm mattress for some individuals. Here’s everything you need to know about firm mattresses to determine if this is the best option for your bed upgrade.
Helps with Joint Alignment
One of the main benefits of firm mattresses is that they provide ample joint support and alignment. This consideration is important for athletes and those who tend to experience soreness after a long day.
The firmness puts the weight load on the bones, taking it away from the muscles and circulatory system. Additionally, the alignment provides better circulation, which can assist with deep, restorative rest.
Can Help Reduce Snoring
Another significant benefit of using a firm mattress is that the support keeps the lungs adequately inflated, and the airways open. As such, people who snore or have sleep apnea will breathe a bit better. This effect can help reduce the frequency or intensity of snoring, ensuring everyone in the room sleeps better.
While it may seem like someone who snores is sleeping deeply, this often causes disruptions to the sleep cycle, which can lead to chronic fatigue and cardiovascular stress.
Better for Heavier Individuals
Heavier people tend to be more comfortable on firm mattresses, as they sink in nicely, creating a feeling of softness and comfort without taking away the support.
However, heavier individuals will often find that they create an indent in a firm mattress over time. You can avoid this effect by rotating and flipping the mattress at least once per year.
Better for Back and Stomach Sleepers
The support offered by a firm mattress is better for stomach and back sleepers than a soft mattress. As mentioned before, the support and alignment can help alleviate pain and keep back sleepers’ spines in alignment.
This consideration is especially important for stomach sleepers, who are more susceptible to back pain from their sleeping position. Sleeping on a soft mattress on one’s stomach will cause the spine to dip, which can lead to low back pain over time.
Tend to Be Longer Lasting
Firm mattresses tend to be more durable and long-lasting. In other words, it takes longer for the quality to degrade, which can help enhance the lifespan of your bed. This consideration is important for budget-minded individuals who want to get the most out of their investment.
Firmness Can Agitate Some Conditions
While there are many benefits to using a firm mattress, there are also a few pitfalls worthy of consideration. Many people who have existing joint or spinal issues, such as arthritis and scoliosis, should not use a firm mattress.
While this type of bed offers support that prevents pain for the average person, the firmness can create pressure points and cause more discomfort for people with these conditions. If you or your partner have either of these issues, consider something softer.
Bad for Side Sleepers
Firm mattresses don’t conform to the contours of a side sleeper, which can put a lot of stress on their joints. While side sleepers can combat these effects with well-placed pillows, it’s generally uncomfortable and not a great long-term option.
Uncomfortable for Lighter Individuals
Lighter individuals also find firm mattresses uncomfortable as gravity doesn’t work in their favor. They don’t get the same sinking effect and sense of comfort as heavier individuals experience.
A firm mattress can also be problematic in bed-sharing scenarios if one person is significantly heavier than the other. The motion transfer and weight distribution can cause a slight tilt toward the heavier individual, which can make sleeping a challenge.
Firmness is Subjective
Finally, another key consideration when shopping for firm mattresses is that there’s no regulation over how the word “firm” is used— it’s all subjective. A firm mattress from one company could be significantly softer than one from another company, with no way to determine the difference except to lay on each.
Additionally, our personal definitions of firmness also vary. For example, a mattress that feels firm to one person might feel soft to another. When shopping for mattresses, it’s important to get a sense of what firmness actually means before making a final sale.
Use these guidelines and tips to help you find the right mattress for your comfort and health.