The firmness of a mattress often gets confused with support in the minds of consumers. If a bed doesn’t create pressure points and keeps the spine properly aligned, it has good support. It’s essential since waking up in pain usually results from the lack of adequate support from the mattress.

Initially, how a mattress feels is what firmness is all about. Support goes hand-in-hand with the level of firmness, no matter what type of bed you use.

Mattresses of universal comfort got introduced to the market by some online mattress companies. While these mattresses only offer one level of firmness, they support different kinds of sleepers, thanks to their layered design and the structure of the foams.

The firmness level of 4-7 out of a range of 10 is what most sleepers prefer. For consumers to find the best firm mattress for them, universal comfort mattresses match these numbers.

However, not all people like the idea of universal comfort in a mattress, especially since each person has unique needs when sleeping.

If universal comfort is something you want to get away from, and you’d instead find the optimal firmness yourself, you have to know how to figure out the mattress firmness that fits you perfectly.

Read on to learn why firm mattresses are good for your health and how to find the best one for your back.

Why Is A Firm Mattress Good For Your Health?

There’s a long list of reasons why you should start using a firm surface mattress. Even health professionals support the idea of spending seven to eight hours of sleep on a firm mattress at night.

Here are some of the benefits it provides:

Superior Comfort

While there’s no such thing as too much support, too little support is common in many mattresses nowadays. Thus, if you have joint, back, or neck problems, you’re better off with a bed with the right firmness, which gives you superior rest. It’s especially essential for older people so that they’ll have the chance to enjoy a relaxing and restful sleep every night.

Proper Spine Alignment

For your backbone to function at its best the next day, it has to get appropriately aligned during sleep. Simply saying, even when sleeping, proper posture is essential.

You can avoid a lot of strain or stress in your back as you get through another day if you’re going to use a mattress with the right firmness since it’s better at keeping your spine aligned nicely.

Great Night’s Sleep

Since you’re likely going to experience unorthodox sleeping positions when you sleep on a sagging mattress, your body will always try to compensate, making it unable to fully rest.

Always remember that to enjoy a deeper sleep, not only your spine but also your neck, limbs, and other body parts require an excellent posture. Essentially, your whole body needs a comfortable and cozy retreat. To achieve this, a mattress with perfect firmness is all you need.

Proper Distribution Of Weight

Again, your body will most likely sag in one direction without enough support. Misalignment in muscles and joints usually results from it.

A firm mattress can solve the problem for you by giving enough support to your body.

Other Health Benefits

As you probably already know, proper rest will result in proper health. Your body repairs and rejuvenates itself as you sleep – it’s the time when the insulin levels get reduced, Human Growth Hormone (HGH) gets activated, and cells get restored, among others.

If you can’t achieve adequate rest due to a lack of support from your mattress, you’re going to miss out on these health benefits. Thus, further emphasizing the importance of finding and using a firm mattress.

What’s The Best Firm Mattress For Your Back?

Several factors influence the firmness level that’s going to be the best one for you. These factors include your preferred position when sleeping and your body type and weight.

Sleeping Position

Everyone has a unique way of sleeping, whether it be on the stomach, back, or side. While the position that an individual sleeps in isn’t much of an issue, most people don’t use or even bother to search for a mattress that fits their current style of sleeping. Most of them fail to realize that there’s an ideal firmness level for each sleeping position since every style has specific needs.

Take a look at the things to consider when finding the best firm mattress for your sleeping style.

  • Stomach Sleepers

Support should be the number one priority of people who like to sleep on their stomach. For stomach sleepers, it’s the torso that applies the most pressure. So, a mattress that’s capable of providing equal support across the body is what they need.

A too-soft mattress results in the curving of your spine. It’s especially true when the mid-section of the bed sinks in the middle, causing problems, such as lower back pain.

With respect to your mattress surface, you should be as flat as possible when sleeping on your stomach. It’s easy to misalign your spine, causing discomfort and pain by making even a simple mistake, like using a tall pillow. In general, in a range of 0-10, the ideal firmness level of a mattress for stomach sleepers is 5-7. However, depending on other factors, there could be outliers who fit the 4 or 8 firmness for a slightly softer or hard feel.

  • Back Sleepers

People who like to sleep on their backs should carefully consider both support and firmness since they need the right amount of push back. That said, they have to avoid too-soft mattresses that will only create pressure points. Prolonged back problems resulting from spinal misalignment is also possible if a bed doesn’t support the sleeper.

The right softness in a back sleeper’s mattresses will eliminate the pressure points, while still providing excellent support. Out of a range of 0-10, the most appropriate firmness level for people who like to sleep on their backs is 4-7.

  • Side Sleepers

Side sleepers rotate from both of their legs straight to one bent and one straight a lot of times. Simply saying, they don’t remain in the same position all the time.

That said, people who like to sleep on their side need a 3-6 firmness level in a mattress for a soft to medium firmness. Relieving pressure points on the back and neck is possible with a soft bed having a lot of support.

A soft enough mattress that can contour to the body curves is what side sleepers need, especially that feel and firmness are incredibly crucial for them. This is essential so that side sleepers can avoid shoulder pain, neck pain, and lower back pain – discomforts that usually results from lack of support by a mattress that’s too firm.

  1. Body Type And Body Weight

Another crucial thing to consider when selecting the best firm mattress is your body type and weight. They affect the support, cooling, feel, hug, and sinkage that each bed provides.

Please take note that it’s impossible to find a one-fits-all formula for a mattress. To meet the ideal support and feel that your body requires, you have to find the specific firmness of a bed, depending on your body type and weight.

Your ideal mattress and your weight and preferences should align with each other. Check out some recommendations below.

  • Less Than 150 Pounds

If your weight is less than 150 pounds, a mattress with a firmness of 5-6 is what you need. Even a four is still okay as long as the bed doesn’t sink too much.

If you’re a side sleeper, opt for 3-4 firmness level for a softer feel. Plush mattresses are excellent for side sleepers as they tend to hug your pressure points and provide stability.

  • 150-200 Pounds

The industry standard of 5-7 also works fine for people who weigh 150-200 pounds. The 5-7 firmness level is capable of providing the ideal support and comfort for your weight.

However, it’s also perfectly fine to opt for softer beds. In that case, a 3-5 firmness range would be the best choice, especially if you like to sleep on your side.

  • 200+ Pounds

To adjust for sinkage, you have to choose a firmer mattress if you weigh 200+ pounds. It’s essential since heavier individuals cause more pressure points on the back when they sleep.

For a soft feel and excellent support, consider coil mattresses that are 12 inches thick, especially if you have cooling problems.

Conclusion

To summarize things up, you need a firm mattress for adequate support to your back during sleep. A firm mattress will correctly align your spine, helping you avoid back pain, and giving you the chance to enjoy a great night’s sleep.

When choosing a firm mattress, consider your preferred sleeping position, as well as your body type and weight. Side sleepers should opt for a bed with a 3-6 firmness level. Back sleepers are better off with a 4-7 firmness while people who like to sleep on their stomachs should go with a 5-7 range.

Your weight can also be a factor, the heavier you get, the more support you’ll need from your mattress. Of course, the position you prefer when sleeping still plays a role here.

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "Sleep 101: How To Find The Best Firm Mattress For Your Back," in Medicalopedia, February 26, 2020, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/8402/sleep-101-how-to-find-the-best-firm-mattress-for-your-back/].