A firm mattress, in general, may seem uncomfortable to a wide variety of people. If you look at a mattress from the traditional perspective of comfort, aren't they always soft? The answer is debatable in this context and calls for more clarity. Comfort changes for every individual, and a soft mattress or a firm mattress can have their comfort levels. It would be best to have a firm mattress when you see yourself sinking in beyond the point of comfort in your current mattress. A firm mattress is essential when you see yourself sleeping odd or on the side and waking up with aching shoulders or paining regions in your body. Most importantly, it would help if you had a firm mattress for your comfort and support, which your current mattress might not be fulfilling. Sleep is something you should strive to keep as constant and deep as possible, and there is no better way than by focusing on what makes you feel supported.
Advantages of a firm mattress:
Firm mattresses offer more than the comfort of sleeping with adequate support. You can experience numerous medical benefits and lifestyle boosts with the experience of sleeping soundly on a firm mattress. There is also the factor of how firm a mattress has to be to be helpful. Here is how a firm mattress can help:
- Lower back pain relief:
A medium-firm mattress is an excellent option for people with lower back pain issues. Our lower back pain arises from lack of activity and exercise (sedentary lifestyle) or over strenuous long hours and bad postures. It can also be an issue that arises from sleeping on a mattress that is too soft to support your lumbar spine area. A medium-firm mattress is useful as it not only fills up and contours the S-Shape of the lower back but supports it as well. This helps the spine maintain its natural shape, stay supported, and eliminate any pains from sleeping in wrong orientations or mattresses.
- Best for different sleeping positions:
In addition to aiding your lower back against pains, firm mattresses are perfect for various sleeping positions. Ideally, medium-firm mattresses are excellent for back sleepers as firm mattresses. They uphold your spine in its natural position and help support the weak parts in it and uphold your pelvic bone. A medium-firm mattress is best for back support as it helps your spine stay relaxed yet supported, and the density helps you feel comfortable. The contouring of the mattress is very comfortable for anyone looking for help with pains.
Medium-firm to extra firm mattresses are also suitable for stomach sleepers. Stomach sleepers can enjoy support in a way that they feel at comfort and not like they're not able to breathe because of different pressure on your stomach and chest area. So, if you're sleeping on your stomach, a medium to extra firm mattress can also help your spine relax as much as possible without bending downwards.
- Weight distribution:
Medium firm or extra firm mattresses are suitable for overweight people as they feel more comfortable and supportive. A medium-firm surface absorbs pressure from your body and distributes it for better comfort and regulating blood pressure. On the other hand, if an overweight person were to sleep on a soft mattress, it would cause the body to sink and exert different pressures throughout the body. This would cause blood circulation issues, discomfort, and cause heat insulation.
The uniform pressure distribution would also benefit people with pains as the firm surface wouldn't allow these areas to sink below the point of comfort. If you are concerned about a mattress as an overweight person, a medium-firm to extra firm mattress is best for your body's long-term maintenance. You can also choose a dual-comfort mattress with one side medium firm and the other side extra firm.
- Orthopedic use:
Medium-firm and extra firm mattresses are also the main components of an orthopedic mattress. While there may be different components inside the mattress like HR Foam, or Latex foam in comfort or support layers, orthopedics must have a medium-firm to extra-firm surface. A firm surface is essential for orthopedics as it helps keep your body in an easy-to-get-up shape as well as plenty of support.
If you have diagnosed body conditions, a medium-firm or extra firm mattress can help keep these areas adequately supported, which is quintessential for long term health. In such a case, a soft mattress would do more damage as it would cause these vulnerable areas to sink or get less support and prevent blood circulation. As per your doctor's prescription, you should choose the proper type of firmness in your orthopedic mattress. A firm mattress is excellent for people with chronic pain issues as it also regulates and improves the physiological fitness of your body.
- Motion isolation:
If you finalize a foam-based medium-firm mattress like HR Foam or latex foam mattress, you can also enjoy their motion isolation properties. HR Foam, bonded foam, latex foam, and pocket coil innerspring mattresses offer different degrees of motion isolation. While latex foam mattresses offer the best form of motion isolation, others are no far behind. Motion isolation properties cover both edge fall protection and how the mattress movement affects the side where your partner or child might sleep.
Latex foam offers exceptional motion isolation support, and innerspring mattresses offer excellent conforming for your body. In other foam mattresses like HR Foam or bonded foam, the motion isolation is the kind where it resists motion with their high responsiveness and makes it easier to move yet isolate all the movement to one side. Suppose you're looking for a mattress that completely omits any scope of motion isolation despite long-term use. In that case, you might be better suited for latex foam mattresses that cover a wide range of motion isolation features and scenarios. Although latex foam isn't necessarily extra firm, its density can determine how firm it is to the surface. Otherwise, it simulates the softness of memory foam (depending on density again).
What makes a mattress firmer?
Any mattress or the raw material isn't naturally firm. It has to be made firm with the help of density enhancement while manufacturing and elements like innerspring layers can make them firm. While a bonded, aka bonded foam layer or core, can help make the dual-comfort or your single-use mattress extra firm, there are other elements to consider in the mix too. Innerspring mattresses have a common property of being medium-firm to extra-firm.
It also depends on the construction of your mattress, as different types of innerspring mattress types offer different levels of firmness.
Where a continuous coil would have a wireframe that runs around the frame and offers support and firmness to the comfort layer, pocket coil, and Bonnell coil are different. It is also possible to make your mattress medium-firm with the help of ultra-density memory foam. This way, you get something that behaves like HR Foam yet contours your body and offers support simultaneously.
A higher number of springs and strength of the spring coils can also make the mattress better suited for the extra firm level requirement. Ultimately it comes down to how you prefer your mattress, as different raw materials and construction types offer different comfort and support. Latex mattresses can also share firmness, and it depends on the manufacturing processes as it is a naturally sourced material.
Types of firmness in the best mattresses of 2020:
The kind of firmness you need is also present in varying degrees and can change with different mattresses. Here is a better explanation of firmness in mattresses and how it changes with different mattresses:
- Medium-firm: Medium-firm mattresses are ones that have some level of plushness to them. That is, unlike firm or extra-firm mattresses, they are high-density forms of foam mattresses. Rebonded foam mattresses, HR Foam, or latex foam mattresses can be medium-firm mattresses with a firm surface yet conform to your body. This is because, despite very high density, they are still foam and can only get so firm to last long years without compromising on your sleep quality. Medium-firm mattresses are excellent for people with average or above-average BMI, but not in the obese classification.
Medium-firm mattresses can easily contour the vulnerable parts of your body and offer comfort and support for your spine and shoulders. It is best for people with mild body issues or sedentary lifestyles, as it helps keep your body comfortable, yet the support and firmness help you sleep any way you want. Medium-firm mattresses also have a decent level of uniform pressure distribution, and the temperature regulation helps sleep in those hot summer nights. Motion isolation is also good enough to let you sleep without disturbing your partner.
- Firm: Firm mattresses result from different components like pairing HR Foam or bonded foam. Firm mattresses are perfect for people with body issues like chronic or back pain. A firm mattress helps align and support your spine as well as distribute weight. Moreover, you can also enjoy firm mattresses if you are generally athletic. Most athletic people do not need extra care and plushness of memory foam or soft mattresses.
Firm mattresses help you move quickly but restrict motion, nonetheless depending on the construction. Innerspring systems like Bonnell coil or pocket coil systems can also be used to make a mattress firm with HR Foam in the comfort layer, where the spring system helps with the support. You can also explore our other hard mattress range for firm surface options that suit athletic requirements too.
- Extra-firm: Extra-firm mattresses are also suitable for people looking for even more support than any firm mattress can offer, leaving the plushness aside altogether. Extra-firm mattresses have a flat and rigid surface that doesn't bend to contour your body as the primary focus tends to move to support the weight than bend or conform around it. Extra firm mattresses may be for you if you have a doctor's recommendation for an extra firm orthopedic mattress or face chronic body issues.
Chronic pains and other issues like higher bodyweight can be reasons why someone might need the support of an extra-firm mattress. Rebonded foam or HR foam with very high-densities and innerspring systems can make an extra-firm mattress. Depending on the requirement, you might see them in different configurations. In orthopedic mattresses, extra-firm mattresses can be used to completely omit any scenario of bending or giving in to pressure in your vulnerable regions.
Medium-firm, firm, or extra firm mattresses have similar properties, yet their comfort, support, and sleeping experience can also change. It depends on your requirement, and the best way to test them out and get a feel is to visit your nearest King Koil dealer or showroom. The best way to get a mattress that suits you and matches your firmness requirement is to use our SleepID tool or the Kiosk in showrooms. Firm mattresses are perfect in general for people who need support for their body and orthopedic purposes. The best way to check if you need a firm mattress is to evaluate your lifestyle, BMI, and preference.
If you have been using memory foam, PU foam, or low-density mattresses and cannot sleep comfortably, it might be time for a firm upgrade. A firm mattress also doesn't mean it would be like sleeping on a rock. The comfort and experience depend on the comfort layer and the mattress's construction. Another way to rely on a firm mattress is to consult your doctor or physician if nothing else seems to be working. It comes down to how you sleep at night, and your comfort and long-term health should be the priority.
1. Are firm mattresses good for my back?
Firm mattresses are the best choice for your back, as they offer excellent support. Logic may tell you that you need a soft mattress that lets your spine bend, but it is the opposite. Firm mattresses are the best option for people with chronic pain, shoulder pain, or general discomfort from sleeping on a soft mattress. A firm mattress helps your spine maintain its natural shape irrespective of the sleeping orientation you choose. You can sleep in the back, side, fetal, or stomach sleeping position, but there is nothing better than a firm or medium-firm mattress at best. A firm mattress doesn't cause any pain or discomfort, as it depends on your mattress's construction and your body type.
2. Firm mattresses seem to be uncomfortable. How are they suitable for orthopedic use?
Medium-firm to firm mattresses are excellent options for orthopedic use. This is because, in softer mattresses, your vulnerable parts may feel the superficial comfort, but they need much more support. The same way any fractured bone needs a plaster and little movement, the same way your chronic pains and diagnosed issues need little to no movement. This movement restriction is only possible in firm mattresses, and the comfort layers can be adjusted for some level of superficial comfort. However, the core experience must be rigid enough to let your spine, shoulders, or other areas rest with excellent support. HR Foam, bonded foam, or latex foam mattresses present in your mattress's comfort layer are best suited for orthopedic purposes.
3. Do firm mattresses gather heat?
Firm mattresses dissipate the body temperature efficiently. Unlike memory foam mattresses or softer mattresses that contour around your body, causing heat to build up, firm mattresses regulate temperature. These factors also depend on the mattress material, construction, and comfort layer of your firm mattress. However, in winters, you might need to use a blanket to trap your body heat and can be initially cold, but they're suitable for most seasonal changes too.
4. Can firm mattresses lead to a lousy sleeping experience or body pains?
It depends on your body type, but firm mattresses are generally used for maintaining chronic pains and other issues. It can seem like sleeping on a firm mattress would cause pains, but it depends entirely on your fitness level and body form, to be specific. The best way to assess whether a firm mattress is suitable is to use our SleepID to check out the compatible products and eliminate any remaining doubt by experiencing in-house in our showrooms.
5. Would a dual-comfort firm mattress be better for orthopedic use or single-use:
A dual comfort mattress would have varying levels of firmness. The degree of firmness depends on either side having the proper density in comfort layers. On the other hand, a single-use orthopedic mattress would be built to address severe physiological diagnoses issues. If you feel discomfort or mild diagnoses, a dual-comfort mattress might be better. And if you have a doctor's prescription for a particular kind of mattress, you should strictly follow it. Single-use orthopedic mattresses are best suited for people with severe diagnoses and doctor prescriptions.