Firm mattresses are becoming increasingly popular nowadays, and for good reason. A firm mattress offers several health and sleep benefits over softer mattresses, which are the reasons more and more people are choosing them for their bedrooms. Before diving into the reasons why firm mattresses are trending, let’s clarify what exactly makes a mattress “firm.” Firmness refers to how soft or hard a mattress feels.
Mattresses are given a firmness rating ranging from 1 to 10 – with 1 being the softest and 10 being the firmest. Most experts recommend a firmness level between 5-7 for proper spinal alignment and support. A firm mattress typically rates around 7-8 on the firmness scale. These mattresses have a solid, rigid feel that doesn’t sink much when you lie on them. Rather than contouring to your body’s shape like softer mattresses, they push up to gently support your body in optimal alignment. F
Benefits of a firm mattress
There are quite a few reasons why firm mattresses have been growing in popularity over the past several years. The leading driver is likely increased awareness of their health and pain relief benefits.
- Better spinal alignment
The most well-known best firm mattress benefits are proper spinal alignment. When your spine maintains its natural curvature while lying down, pressure points are minimized and your entire body stays in a comfortable position. Firm mattresses provide an extra lift to promote spinal alignment.
- Less back pain
With better spinal alignment comes less pain and aches. Plush mattresses that allow your midsection to sink in torque your spine out of its neutral position. It leads to uneven weight distribution and tension buildup. Firmer mattresses keep everything on an even plane for reduced back strain.
- More muscle recovery
Athletes and active people stand to benefit the most from firm mattresses. Deeper compression support allows sore muscles to fully relax and rebound overnight. You’ll wake feeling recharged instead of more tired and achy.
- Cooler sleep
Since firm mattresses don’t let you sink into them, there’s more air circulation to wick away body heat. The result is a cooler and more comfortable sleep, as well as more restorative REM sleep. If you’re someone who runs hot, a firm bed will help you sleep better.
Tips for buying a firm mattress
If you’ve weighed the pros and cons and decided on a firm mattress, here is what to know before you starts shopping:
- Consider the different firmness ratings
As mentioned, most firm mattresses fall between 7-8 on the 10-point firmness scale. But some brands classify a 6 as a firm, while others say 9. Be aware of these differences while browsing options. Look for a mattress with a firmness of around 7-8 for the best experience.
- Prioritize support materials
The highest-quality firm mattresses contain materials explicitly designed for support rather than plush comfort. These include high-density polyfoam, reinforced coils, and stable latex layers. Cushy memory foam and pillow tops don’t belong in a strong mattress. Choose depth over softness.
- Try it out first
Don’t purchase a firm mattress without testing it first, either in-store or during an at-home sleep trial. While firm is generally best for back and stomach sleepers, personal feel preferences still apply. Make sure the firmness suits your sleeping position and weight. And give it a few weeks to adjust before deciding.