A Guide To Mattress Firmness Levels

a teddy bear on a mattressChoosing a new mattress can be associated with opting for a new lifestyle. Sounds dramatic but a correctly chosen mattress can immeasurably improve your sleep patterns, which in turn, has been proven by doctors to improve a person’s health.

When choosing a new mattress there are several important things to take into account. As on average we spend a third of our lives in bed, it is important that we take the time to analyze the information available to help make the right decision.

The firmness of a mattress is the key component to a comfortable night’s sleep. Selecting a mattress that is too firm or too soft will result in an uncomfortable sleeping pattern that could also lead to problematic aches and pains.

Luckily, today we live in the digital world where information is available for us to make an informed decision. Also, there are many online Mattress companies that offer products of varying firmness along with a trial period for a specific time.

What You need To Know About Mattress Firmness Levels

Mattress Firmness

When choosing a new mattress, it is important not to get caught up with the misconception that the firmness ratings of a mattress have no bearing on support. There is an important difference but the question to be asked on buying is whether the mattress is hard or soft?

Why Does Firmness Matter?

The fundamental characteristic of the mattress is a critical part of the decision -making process and should not be underestimated. Not only will this decision have a bearing on the bed support but also on the most important aspect of how comfortable it will be.

The firmness of a mattress matter because it is linked to the fundamental performance in everything associated with comfort and support.

Firmness Grading System

The phrase ‘One firmness fits all’ is a saying that encompasses an average of the majority of sleepers. The fact that has been derived from numerous studies is that approximately 80% of those tested prefer a range of between 5 and 7 on the scale of firmness.

With these tests in mind, it is fair to assume that a metric of between 6 and 10 would suit the majority of sleepers who are looking for a comfortable night’s sleep.

These tests are of course are only a guide and some people would throw scorn on the idea of a one size fits all approach. However, facts dictate that the majority of people prefer, and are more comfortable with the firmer medium given by their mattress.

As people have become more aware of the health benefits, provided by a properly supported body during sleep, so more research has been undergone. More manufacturers have entered the market giving the consumer a much wider choice.

It is strongly recommended that checks are done to make sure that any mattress you choose is reliable for your particular needs and fits correctly with any integral base for stability. Firmness and support will tend to vary between different manufacturers.

For instance, some producers use cheaper quality materials which may appear firm but even over a short time fail to provide vital support. When you have done your research and before you make your final decision, this is something that needs to be considered.

Mattress Support vs Firmness

As we have already mentioned in the above paragraphs, many people regard firmness and support as their only guide on completing a purchase. However, these two things are different and can have a distinct benefit or worse a huge regret.

To avoid a bad shopping experience, and worse several nights poor sleep It is important to underline the difference to alleviate any upsets.

Simply put, the firmness of a mattress is gauged by the feeling of comfort when you first lie down. On the other hand, support refers to keeping your spine in alignment which will provide for a healthy and comfortable sleeping position.

It is easily possible to have a very soft mattress that provides a lot of support or a firmer one that is supportive but creates pain on parts of the body with pressure points. Because people may vary due to particular sleeping problems it is vital that good research is carried out before purchase, or make sure there is a trial period.

a couple checking the firmness level of a mattress

Chart of Mattress Firmness Levels

Extra Soft: Rated 1 – 2

On first trying this type of bed a person is almost engulfed in its incredible softness. Although initially comfortable this rating has no chance of delivering any worthwhile support. This soft type of mattress should be avoided as with time there will be no comfort and a possibility of harm to a person’s spine.

Soft: Rated 3 – 4

This is usually a plush mattress with a sinkage range of between 1 ½ – 3 inches. These are usually provided in two different types, a contour memory foam, and a deep hg cushion. These are sometimes preferred by people who want to sleep on their sides. Not ideal for stomach or back sleepers.

Mid -Range Medium: Rated 5 – 6

This is the range of firmness that is preferred by approximately 80% of the people surveyed. Options can vary but an average 6 could be a reasonable option for back and front sleepers depending on uncomfortable ailments.

Hard: Rated 7 – 8

The majority of people may find this range to be slightly too hard for them initially. It is something that would need getting used to but over time will have great support for people who suffer from a bad back. This grade is noticeable by a lack of hugs and also the absence of sinkage.

Extra Hard: Rated 9 – 10

This rated firmness is avoided by most manufacturers mainly due to demand. There is a small market but mostly from therapeutic centers. For the majority of the general public, this rating of extra hard will be too uncomfortable to sleep on.

Final Thoughts

As you will note from the above list, there are lots of things to bear in mind when purchasing a new mattress. A good night’s sleep is the main requisite to a healthy lifestyle, so it is important that you acquire a bed that is not only comfortable but also one that offers the correct firmness and support.

Want More Info On Mattresses?

If you need more help choosing a mattress then we have lots more great articles that you can find on our homepage here https://www.soundsleeping.org.

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