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Selecting Mattress Firmness

Selecting Mattress Firmness

Selecting Mattress Firmness 1024 683 Jonathan Swindle

Ask anyone what type of bed they like, and you’ll get all types of answers. That’s because firmness, thickness, style, and other features are highly subjective. Each customer has a different perspective and definition of what these words mean based on their understanding and perception. The firmness of a mattress comes down to the initial feel when you first lie on the mattress. These are placed into categories like soft, medium, and firm. Because it isn’t as easy as looking at the mattress to decide what you like, where do you start if you’re shopping for a new mattress?

Is firmness the same as support?

It’s important to note that firmness is not the same as support. The firmness is simply how the mattress feels. Does it relieve pressure? Does it feel comfortable to you? Is it warm/cool? Are there lots of hug, pushback, or something in between? When considering the support of the mattress, you’ll want to think about how the mattress keeps your spine in alignment. When you’re lying in your preferred sleeping position, do you feel like the mattress is helping or hindering your spine in being straight?

Soft Mattress

A soft or plush mattress will have more of a cloud-like comfort with lots of cushion and immediately contour and hug sleepers. Typically, a soft mattress will fall anywhere between a 3 and 5 out of 10 on the firmness scale, with 10 being the most firm. Side sleepers typically need a soft or medium mattress that is able to contour to the curves on the body such as the shoulders and hips. If you’re extremely light (120 pounds or less), you might consider looking for mattresses that are rated slightly softer than what you think you actually need. Most firmness rating scales are based on the needs and weight of an average-sized sleeper.


A medium feel mattress will provide a balanced level of push-back, hug, and contour. The middle of the road option for sinkage and hug (anywhere from 1 to 2 inches), many of these could be considered “universal comfort” mattresses with the least amount of sleepers finding them to be “too firm” or “too soft.” This is also why a medium mattress is recommended for guest rooms or Airbnb rooms. A medium mattress will usually fall on 6-7 out of 10 on the firmness scale. Stomach sleepers usually need a medium or slightly firm mattress to allow for proper spine alignment and prevent lower back pain. Back sleepers can choose slightly soft, medium, or moderately firm, depending on the support they need.


A firm mattress will immediately push back with a stiff sleeping surface. With very minimal sinkage or hug (1 inch or less), these mattresses are designed to float sleepers on top of the surface of the mattress. Most will fall 7.5-9 out of 10. A firm mattress is an ideal option for heavier sleepers as deep compression support is critical for heavier sleepers (more than 200 pounds). You need a mattress that’s able to consistently support your weight while still remaining comfortable.

If you still can’t decide what might best suit your needs, call us at 361-244-6993 to set up a consultation appointment with our staff, or stop by and test out how the mattresses feel for yourself at 3413 S Staples St., Corpus Christi, Texas.

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