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A comfort layer exchange you can redeem once, at any time, to alter the feel of your mattress or to increase its lifespan (this option saves you time and money while reducing waste).

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Firm vs Soft Mattresses: What Are the Differences?

Firm vs Soft Mattresses: What Are the Differences?

What if you could drastically improve your life overnight?

We spend a third of our lives sleeping. The quality of our sleep determines the quality of our lives. So if we want the best night's sleep, we need to be sleeping on the best mattress.

But are firm mattresses or soft mattresses better? And do you really know the difference between them? Keep reading to discover our complete guide.

The Key Difference Between Firm and Soft Mattresses

We've put together a complete guide to helping you understand both firm and soft mattresses. Before we go any further, though, it's important to explore the key difference between them.

A firm mattress feels firm to the touch. And when you lay down on it, there is not much compression. With less "give," this mattress feels more supporting, but some people find it to be uncomfortably firm.

A soft mattress feels softer to the touch. When you lay down on a soft mattress, there is much more compression. This can give a pleasant sensation of "sinking into" the mattress, but too much of that sinking feeling keeps some people from getting to sleep.

As you'd expect, there are different benefits and drawbacks to each kind of mattress. We're going to explore all of the pros and cons in order to help you make a buying decision.

Firm Mattress Pros

If you have a history of back problems, then you might need to go with a softer mattress. For everyone else, though, the firm mattress can provide a surprising amount of relief for various aches and pains.

For example, sleeping on a firmer mattress means that the bones of your body will absorb more of the pressure when you lay down. This removes stress that would otherwise go to parts of your body like arteries, veins, and muscles. With less muscle fatigue and better blood circulation, your sleep will be seriously improved.

With a firm mattress, your lower back won't collapse while you sleep. This helps you receive more oxygen while you sleep. 

Finally, a firm mattress sags less and distributes the weight of your body more evenly throughout the surface. This is great for those who sleep on their back or front, but side sleepers may prefer something softer. 

Firm Mattress Cons

There are many great benefits to a firm mattress. However, there are also some drawbacks that you should be aware of.

Those with certain kinds of back pain need to watch out for firm mattresses. If you suffer from issues like scoliosis and arthritis, then the firmness of the mattress can actually make your pain worse.

Beyond that, the primary drawback of a firm mattress is that they take some time to get used to. If you previously slept in a very soft bed, switching to a firm mattress may be jarring at first. After a while, though, your body gets accustomed to the new mattress and you can enjoy the different advantages it offers.

Soft Mattress Pros

There are a few advantages to a soft mattress, especially if you experience regular back pain. Just as a firm mattress can make existing back pain worse, a soft mattress can provide the kind of relief you are looking for.

As we mentioned earlier, side sleepers benefit more from a soft mattress. That's because these mattresses provide the cushioning for your shoulders and hips that a firmer mattress cannot.

As an added bonus, a soft mattress can help to re-align your spine while you sleep. So regular rest on a soft mattress might just save you a trip to the chiropractor!

Soft Mattress Cons

Just as there are drawbacks to firm mattresses, soft mattresses have their own set of issues. And these problems start with those sleep on their back or front. In some cases, these sleepers may develop additional back pain with a softer mattress.

Softer mattresses are sometimes a bad idea for couples or families where multiple people share the same bed. The weight of each person can be an issue (more on this in a moment), especially if the weight is unevenly distributed between people in the bed.

Finally, a soft mattress may not last as long as a firm mattress. The exact durability varies by brand and model, but this is important information for anyone hoping their new mattress will last for many years.

The Question of Weight

We have reviewed how different kinds of sleepers generally require different kinds of mattresses. The relative weight of everyone on the bed should be another consideration before you buy a mattress.

Those who are heavier are likelier to experience back problems by sleeping on a soft mattress. And if you are heavier than your partner, a soft mattress may be bad because the heavier person sinks into the mattress more than the lighter person.

Lightweight people may generally prefer soft mattresses. This is because a firm mattress may not properly compress for a light person. In that case, the soft mattress will lead to a better and more fulfilling night of sleep.

Trust Your Instincts

Our guide will help you generally understand the different benefits and drawbacks of the firm and soft mattresses. However, one thing remains true for any mattress purchase: there is no substitute for experience.

If at all possible, we recommend laying down on a variety of firm and soft mattresses and seeing how they make you feel. Does this seem comfortable and supportive? Or like it will lead to several restless nights?

As a general rule, most people find firm mattresses a bit more comfortable than soft mattresses. But you aren't "most people," and only you can decide which kind of mattress will provide the best night of rest.

Ready for Some Good Sleep?

Now you know the important differences between firm and soft mattresses. But do you know where to find the mattress you've been looking for?

Here at Nest Bedding, we specialize in making each night's sleep better than the one before. To see what we can do for you, contact us today!