Should I Buy A Firm, Or Soft Mattress?



This may seem like a simple question, but even if you’re sure about what level of firmness you prefer, there are a variety of ways to get what you want. The good news is that in the last few years mattress companies have adopted many new technologies and construction methods. The not-so-good-news is that all the different options can make the selection process a bit complicated. Today, we’re going to give you some insights to make the journey more simple. 


The First Step – Review Your Needs




Is mattress firmness really just a personal preference? Sure it can be, when you’re young and in tip-top shape. For the rest of us, the support a firm mattress provides may be a necessity. The reason why is the same firm support we need in some areas can make existing aches and pains flare up in other areas.

It’s a good time to ask yourself how your needs might have changed since the last time you bought yourself a mattress. Once you make a note of your needs, you can find ways to improve your sleep.


Sleeping Position And Pressure Points

Shoulder pain is one of the most common complaints from side sleeping. Often, the first thought is to try a mattress topper. The trouble is mattress toppers aren’t designed with different zones for different parts of your body. The softness you gain for your shoulders may make them too soft for your hip pain. 


Body heat And Viscoelastic Foam 

When memory foam was first introduced by Nasa, its performance was revolutionary. It virtually eliminated motion transfer, and the comfort level was completely unheard of. Eventually, we discovered that memory foam mattresses sleep a little hot.




That is to say, the early forms of memory foam mattresses were not the best at pulling away body heat during the night. Things have gotten much better now with the new approaches to memory foam. 


Pros And Cons of Different Mattress Types

Adjustable Air Mattress 

Pros – Larger versions of this mattress allow each person to adjust the firmness on their side of the bed. Each person can change their mattress as often as they like according to their needs or preferences, even throughout the same night. 

Cons – These are basically air mattresses with a pump that can be used to inflate and deflate the mattress. The air bladders used can, over time, leak requiring the pump to re-inflate to maintain the desired level of firmness. Adjustable air mattresses can be expensive.


Viscoelastic Foam/Memory Foam

Pros – Current and high-end versions of this technology feature different firmness layers and zones of firmness to provide both firm support and comfortable softness to alleviate joint pain.

Most versions will work with an adjustable bed frame. 

Cons – Can be expensive. Mattresses are heavier than other types.


Hybrid Mattress

Pros – These mattresses combine the body conforming benefit, and motion isolation of memory foam with tradition features like pocketed coils and a pillow top.

Cons – There is a range of prices for this type of mattress, but they are near the higher end. 




Inner Spring

Pros – Springs, whether they are pocketed coils or not, have been trusted in mattress construction for a long time. 

Cons – When used on their own, without other features, inner spring mattresses might not give you the level of comfort you might be looking for. At the lower end of the price range, these mattresses can be of poor quality. Motion transfer is also a problem for restless sleepers.



Pros –  All-natural latex rubber is harvested from renewable resources. Many hospitals use latex mattresses because of their performance and durability. 

Cons – It’s easy to confuse all-natural latex with synthetic latex. Without a breathable cover and topper, latex mattresses can sleep a little hot.


Tips to Help You Fall Asleep

Even though a brand new mattress may help you sleep better through the night, so many of us have trouble falling asleep. Here are some tips to help you fall asleep. Keep trying different ideas until you find the one that works best for you. 


“I can do this!”  It may take a while at first, but you can definitely get better at falling asleep. The more confident of this you can be, the less you’ll get stressed about falling asleep.


It sounds a little silly, but the more you worry about not falling asleep, the worse it gets. Being more relaxed about the whole subject helps. 


Establish a regular schedule. It might be a bit of a pain at first but just like babies and puppies, routine works. Eventually, your body and mind will get used to falling asleep at the same time of day each night, and before you know it, things will wind down naturally.


Limit screen time at bedtime. These days, it’s practically impossible to avoid a smart device, but you can set a hard stop before you go to sleep. In the meantime, look for ways to activate sleep mode with warmer colors that your screen can use to reduce the amount of blue light.




Try melatonin. It might take a few nights before you start to feel the effects but keep at it. More and more people swear by it. 


Get enough sunlight during the day. The benefits of vitamin D are many, and all you have to do is spend enough time outside with the sun. It couldn’t be easier.


Bedtime snacks can keep you up. If you can cut out snacks after dinner, great. If you can’t, please make sure these snacks don’t keep you up longer or make it too difficult to digest during the night. 


Ask a Sleep Expert From The Bedding Mart!

Do plenty of your own research and then see the mattress in person. The best way to buy a mattress is to see it in person. Sit on it to test the edge support and to see how high it is. Lie on the mattress to feel how comfortable it is.

Try different sleeping positions and ask your partner how much motion is transferred to their side of the mattress. Don’t forget to try a mattress larger than you’re used to. If you can, test drive an adjustable frame and cycle through the different positions. You won’t be the first person to fall in love all over again. 


Sleep is too important to rush through the shopping process. Take your time to find what works best for you. Find a trusted store and ask their experts to take you through all the pros and cons of each mattress. 




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