Is a Firm Mattress Right for Me?
Are you a stomach sleeper, back sleeper or on the heavier side, weight wise? If so, you’ll most likely get the best, most pain-free sleep possible from a firm mattress. Or, at least one on the firmer end of the spectrum. Side sleepers may sleep better on a mattress that has slightly more give, for optimal spinal alignment and pressure relief.
Regardless of your sleep type, you may simply prefer the feeling of sleeping “on top of,” rather than “in” your mattress. If that’s the case, a firm mattress is probably the right choice for you, as long as you’re not waking up with back, neck, hip or shoulder pain on a regular basis. The kind of pain that may result from poor spinal alignment or pressure points may be a sign that your mattress is too firm or too soft for you.
Thinking About a Firm Mattress
There are a lot of great firm mattress choices out there. Our favorite is Saatva, which is especially good for pressure relief and customizable support. Pocket coils provide just the right amount of flexibility and motion isolation. Notably, the Saatva is available in a firm option, which is about a 7.5 on a scale of 1 to 10. The Saatva also provides layers of polyfoam, memory foam, and 2 inches of organic cotton. Including a 120-day trial period and a 15-year warranty, the Saatva offers fans of a firm mattress the optimal level of support.
The DreamCloud is another great option that provides superior pressure relief through a system of pocketed coils, as well as layers of foam. Like the Saatva, it is fantastically priced for its luxury quality and is great at isolating motion and keeping the sleeper cool. Unlike Saatva, the DreamCloud comes compressed in a box. But the DreamCloud is no small bed, at 15 inches thick.
If you want a memory foam bed and enjoy the conforming quality of that kind of mattress, look no further than the Loom & Leaf. It comes in a firmer option to provide the support for optimal spinal alignment that meets the needs of any stomach, back or heavier-set sleeper.
If you’re on a budget, a good choice is the medium-firm Nectar foam mattress. It comes with a surprising 365-day trial period, and a lifetime warranty. A layer of gel foam also makes the budget Nectar mattress good for keeping cool at night.
Finally, for an exceptional, firm-mattress sleep in the latex category, consider the luxurious Zenhaven flip-able mattress. The Zenhaven offers a different firmness on each side: a medium-soft, and a firm on the other. Backed by a 120-day trial period and a generous 20-year guarantee, the Zenhaven comes with free white glove delivery service that includes in-home setup and removal of your old mattress.
Tips for Choosing the Right Firmness
The most important factor in choosing the right mattress firmness for you is your size/weight. Whether you are a side, back or stomach sleeper is also important to consider. A side sleeper may want to go with a less-firm bed for more conformity and relief from pressure points. Whereas, a back or stomach sleeper would get better spinal alignment from a firm bed.
For average people between 130 and 230 pounds, a firmness of 5-6.5 on a 1-through-10 scale provides sufficient support. Lightweight stomach sleepers can still get adequate spinal support from a softer mattress (even a memory foam), but can certainly opt for a firmer mattress if they enjoy the feeling of a very supportive bed. Heavy stomach sleepers (over 230 pounds) get the best spinal support from a very firm mattress with a 6.5+ level of firmness.