Firm or Soft Mattress? Memory Foam Mattress Firmness Guide

Firm or Soft Mattress? Memory Foam Mattress Firmness Guide

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What is your mattress preference? Do you like firm or soft mattresses? All of our memory foam products come with a firmness rating, to help you find your perfect match.

We delve deeper into what mattress firmness means, how important it is, and which is right for your sleeping style.


Why Is Firmness Important?


The firmness of your mattress is directly related to the comfort and support you gain from it.

Different people require different firmness ratings according to a range of considerations;


All of these factors need to be taken into consideration when finding the right mattress firmness for you.


Is Firmness the Same As Support?


No, firmness and support are not the same thing. While support is about how well the mattress promotes correct spinal alignment, firmness is all about the feel of the mattress.

For example, it is perfectly possible to find a soft feel mattress with adequate spinal support. Whether you prefer a hard or soft mattress, you don’t have to compromise on support.


Is It Better To Sleep On A Hard Or Soft Mattress?


This depends on your individual sleeping needs. Specifically, your weight, comfort preference and whether or not you suffer from back pain. Heavier sleepers may feel more comfortable on a firmer mattress as it will feel softer. Whereas, lighter people may find a firm sleep surface uncomfortable on pressure points.

However, what it really comes down to is personal preference!

Let’s take a look at some different sleeping issues and which firmness is best;


Firm or Soft Mattress for Side Sleepers?


If you sleep on your side, your shoulders, hips and ankles are pressed against the mattress for extended periods of time. This can become uncomfortable on firmer mattresses. A soft or medium soft mattress is better suited to side sleepers as it will cushion joints and allow you to sink softly into your mattress.


Firm or Soft Mattress for Stomach Sleepers?


Sleeping on your front can put a strain on your lower back without the proper support. Overly soft mattresses that allow you to sink deeper aren’t usually the best option for front sleepers as they exaggerate the arch in the spine.

Instead, a medium or medium firm mattress works well for most stomach sleepers.


Firm or Soft Mattress for Back Pain?


Back pain can really affect your sleep. If you suffer from back pain, a medium firm to firm mattress could provide long-term relief as it offers optimum support and promotes healthy spine alignment.


Firm or Soft Mattress for Pregnancy?


The right firmness level during pregnancy is largely down to personal preference, however, sleeping on your side whilst pregnant is widely considered a safe and comfortable sleeping position. For this reason, a softer mattress will help provide cushioning around pressure points.


The Memory Foam Mattress Firmness Guide


We categorise our mattresses in several firmness’s, to try and give you the best possible idea of how it’s going to feel. Ultimately, assessing the firmness of a mattress is a totally subjective and personal thing, so our firmness ratings are more of a guide than a final verdict.

Choose from;

  • Soft support
  • Medium soft support
  • Medium support
  • Medium firm support
  • Firm support


When considering the firmness rating of your chosen memory foam mattress, it’s important to realise that:

  • Different types of mattresses feel different – for example, a firm memory foam mattress won’t feel as firm as a traditional coil mattress due to the properties of foam.
  • Firmness is influenced by weight. A memory foam mattress will feel firmer to a lighter person and softer to a heavier person.
  • Soft doesn’t mean unsupportive. Our ‘soft’ memory foam mattresses have a soft and luxurious top layer of memory foam, with a firmer base foam below to provide the support you need to sleep healthily.


      Types Of Mattress and Firmness


      The type of mattress you choose will have a major effect on the firmness feel. For example, a firm spring mattress will feel much harder than a firm memory foam mattress.


      Spring Mattresses


      In a pocket spring mattress, the firmness depends on the tension of the springs and the thickness of the mattress cover. Traditional spring mattresses tend to feel firmer than other types of mattresses.


      Memory Foam Mattresses


      Memory foam softens and moulds to the contours of your body on contact with pressure and heat. This means that memory foam mattresses tend to feel softer than spring mattresses as they are designed to provide extra cushioning where you need it.

      However, that’s not to say you can’t mix up the firmness. We offer memory foam mattresses ranging from soft to firm.

      Benefits of memory foam include;

      • Pressure point relief
      • Correct spinal alignment
      • Lumbar support
      • Relieves back and joint pain
      • Excellent movement absorption
      • Durable
      • Hypoallergenic 

      Hybrid Mattresses


      Hybrid mattresses which feature a pocket sprung base and a memory foam comfort layer provide a good balance between comfort and support. The firmness level will come mostly from the memory foam top layer.


      Advantages of Soft Mattresses


      Advantages of a soft mattress include;

      • Well suited to lighter people
      • And for those who sleep on their side
      • Cushioning around pressure points 


      However, soft mattresses can put extra strain on the spine for stomach sleepers and may feel too soft for people of a heavier weight. If you’re sharing with a partner of a differing weight, a soft mattress could become unbalanced over time.


      Best Soft Memory Foam Mattresses


      To find the perfect soft mattress for you, look out for the soft symbol on our website.

      Here’s our top pick;

      4G Aircool Ultra Memory Foam Mattress

      4G Aircool mattress


      The 4G Aircool Ultra Memory Foam Mattress combines soft support with cooling technology. It’s ideal for those who love to sink deep into their mattress, but often get too hot at night. 4G Aircool technology and a Eucalyptus infused cover provide a breathable and hygienic sleep surface while the deep reflex foam base provides full body support.

      Ideal for;

      • Hot sleepers
      • Sensitive skin

      Advantages of Firm Mattresses


      Firm mattresses can provide;

      • Better circulation
      • A more comfortable sleep surface for sleepers of heavier weights
      • Better weight distribution
      • Well suited to stomach sleepers and back sleepers 


      However, side sleepers may find firm mattresses uncomfortable on joints and those who suffer from joint pain may need a softer surface.


      Best Firm Memory Foam Mattresses


      If you’re looking for a firmer and more supportive mattress, you’re in the right place. Just look out for the firm symbol on our website.

      Here are some firm mattresses to look out for;


      Coolmax Classic Memory Foam Mattress

      Coolmax mattress


      The Coolmax Classic Memory Foam Mattress comes with a cooling, removable cover and a firm feel. An affordable option that doesn’t compromise on support.

      Ideal for:

      • Hot sleepers
      • Guest bedrooms
      • Those on a budget


      Coolmax Deluxe Memory Foam Mattress

      The Coolmax Deluxe Memory Foam Mattress features a deeper layer of memory foam atop a supportive reflex base. The washable cover is made from breathable Coolmax fabric to keep you cool throughout the night.

      Ideal for:

      • Hot sleepers
      • First time homeowners

      Essentials Eco Sleep Memory Foam Mattress

      Essentials Eco Mattress

      The Essentials Eco Sleep Memory Foam Mattress combines memory foam, reflex foam and re-engineered eco foam to provide an affordable, firm-feel mattress.

      Ideal for:

      • Eco conscious sleepers
      • Those on a budget

      Essentials Plus Memory Foam Mattress


      The Essentials Plus memory foam mattress provides firm support, with high density foam and a washable cover.

      Ideal for;

      • Students
      • Rental properties
      • Those on a budget

      Advantages of Medium Mattresses


      Medium firm mattresses;

      • Provide a happy medium between soft and firm mattresses
      • Are suitable for most types of sleeper
      • Can work well for bed sharing


      Best Medium Firm Mattresses


      If you’re looking for a happy middle ground between soft and firm, these mattresses should do the job;


      Guru Boxed Mattress

      Guru mattress


      The Guru bed-in-a-box mattress provides medium soft support and comes rolled for convenience. 4G technology increases airflow while the triple layer design provides the ultimate in comfort.

      Ideal for;

      • All sleepers
      • Those looking for quick and easy delivery


      Komfi Ikon Trio Memory Foam Mattress

      Komfi Ikon Trio Mattress


      The Komfi Ikon Trio mattress offers medium support for those looking for a little extra luxury. The triple layer design combines breathability, comfort and cushioning.

      Ideal for;

      • Sleepers looking for luxury
      • Medium support


      Orthopedic Classicpedic Memory Foam Mattress

      Classicpedic mattress


      Suffer from back pain? An orthopedic mattress provides increased support through strategically placed grooves in the foam. The Classicpedic Memory Foam Mattress is our bestselling orthopedic mattress for sleepers seeking additional back support, without compromising on comfort.

      Ideal for;

      • Back pain sufferers
      • Those looking for medium firm support


      Test Before You Buy


      If you live in Yorkshire or the surrounding areas, come and visit our Wakefield Bed Shop and decide the firmness of our mattresses for yourself! We have a wide range of mattresses on display – and you’ll get to see where all the magic happens. That’s right, our bed shop is onsite at our Mattress Factory!

      If it’s a bit too far to come and visit us in West Yorkshire, there is another way. Our memory foam mattresses come with a 100 night trial period, so you can try it out in the comfort of your own home and decide if it’s right for you. If it’s not, we can help you find the perfect mattress replacement… and you only have to pay the difference (if there is one!).


      What Kind of Mattress Firmness Is Best? It’s Up to You!


      If you have any other questions, please get in touch! We’ve been doing this since 2001 and we’ve picked up a thing or two about mattresses along the way … We can suggest some mattresses which we think you’d like based on your build, sleeping habits and budget.

      Start browsing our collection of memory foam mattresses today!

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