There is a dark side to demanding a ‘firm’ mattress

Soft vs. Firm Mattresses: What Firmness Is Best for You?

Just like people, mattresses come in all shapes and sizes. From small and soft to large and firm, finding the mattress that is best for you is an essential part of a person’s health and how to sleep better.

One of the key components of finding the best mattress for you is figuring out whether or not you need a mattress that is soft, or a firm mattress, or something in-between. The answer might surprise you.

A Firm or Soft Mattress Depends on Your Sleeping Position

The preference between a soft or firm mattress is rooted in a person’s sleeping position, and in turn whether or not this is the best sleeping position that is good for the overall body. While you may have a favorite position that you find yourself waking up in a good bit of the time, it may not be the one that is actually best for your sleep and your health.

The human body is adaptive and automatically adjusts itself to counter any misalignment during sleep. Basically, comfort during sleep is an adaptive response, although one that may be the cause of other aches or pain you experience during the day.

Spinal Alignment is Key to a Good Night’s Sleep

When our spine is in its natural position, the neck, middle back and lower back are in good alignment. This means that our lungs are able to take in more oxygen, therefore increasing circulation and relieving joint and muscle pains.

Poor alignment during sleep prevents the body from relaxing, therefore causing someone to not only get less sleep, but feel poorly when they wake up the next morning.

Science Suggests a Firm Mattress is Better For You

That being said, which mattress is better? A hard one or a soft one? The answer might surprise you – it’s different for everyone.

Although there are schools of thought providing support for both hard and soft mattresses, science generally accepts the following as the best answer: when it comes to your body relaxing during sleep, it is necessary that your bones have some resistance.

The harder the mattress, the more your bones are forced to support your body during sleep, rather than relying on your muscles. This allows your muscles to relax, improving circulation. This also allows for your lower back to not sink in and collapse into the mattress.

Although a hard mattress might seem uncomfortable at first, eventually your body adjusts and your sleep improves.

Whether a Hard or Soft Mattress, You Need to Find Your Happy Medium

There are also those who are “team soft” when it comes to bed preference. There is also science behind the support of a soft mattress instead of one that is hard, and it really boils down to personal preference.

For some people sleeping on a hard mattress is an absolute nightmare — something that they just can’t do. While the science supporting a hard mattress may be more prevalent, at the end of the day everyone is able to find the best mattress for their needs.

If you are looking for more information regarding sleep pain and how to get a better night’s sleep, there is a trove of information on The Daily Doze for you to read. We don’t want you to have to use Mattress Firm’s return policy, so we want to help you find your perfect mattress the first time. Sleep happy!

About The Author

Craig McAndrews Craig McAndrews is the former chief strategy officer for Mattress Firm. In his role, he led product development and merchandising strategy, both in-store and online. When he was a regular contributor to The Daily Doze, he shared insights on to how make the mattress buying process a little easier, and what is really important when it comes to selecting your sleep system. Craig’s career in the bedding industry initially began with Sealy’s Stearns & Foster, where he regularly worked with Mattress Firm, giving him the opportunity to witness the company’s special culture first hand. He soon joined the Mattress Firm team as a franchise owner, and played a part in the company’s expansion into Arizona. Later, Craig served in a variety of roles for Mattress Firm; and his passion for helping customers “Sleep Happy” and commitment to sharing his extensive industry knowledge with his teammates have garnered the respect and admiration of coworkers and peers alike. Craig graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. He lives in Houston with his wife April and their two sons Ben and Nate. Best Night’s Sleep: His best nights’ sleep happen at home when he is with his family – and, of course, following a Cowboys win.

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