Selecting the Best Level of Mattress Firmness

Selecting the Best Level of Mattress Firmness

In a previous post we discussed the different sizes of mattresses and how to choose between a king or a queen mattress size. Making that decision is similar to deciding on what level of firmness fits your needs. Picking a soft, medium, or firm mattress is a matter of preference that can be guided by your size, shape and body weight. There are a few standards that can help you understand how to find what works best for you. Then you will be well on your way to a night of restorative sleep!


The first thing to understand is that there is a difference between firmness and support. The firmness of a mattress refers to the initial feeling that you experience when lying on it. It’s that feeling of you either sinking into the mattress and feeling the contour of the mattress around your body, or, the opposite where you feel that you are resting on top of it and you feel some push-back. Support refers to how well the mattress keeps your spine in alignment, something that SpineAlign is well known for doing since it was developed by Dr. Jason Loth, a sports chiropractor.


The mattress industry has standardized a firmness scale that goes from 1-10, with 10 being the firmest and 1 being the least. Because SpineAlign is dedicated to keeping the spine in proper alignment with its pillows and mattresses, only medium and firm mattresses are available. In this case, a medium mattress would be about a 6.5 out of 10.


The SpineAlign medium mattress is preferred by sleepers who need to balance contour with support. Because back sleepers may experience unnecessary tension and pinching at the lower back, this group is recommended to use a medium level of firm. That’s because if the mattress is too soft, the hips may dip out of alignment with the shoulders. Medium firmness is good for combination, back and side sleepers who need to balance contour with support. It is recommended for a total body weight that is under 200 lbs.


A firm mattress is great for sleepers who don't need as much contour and prefer not to sink into their mattress as much. The firm mattress helps to lift the spine into a neutral alignment. This will establish support and comfort across the back. The SpineAlign firm option is more of a "plush" firm, so it offers more of a cradling experience than typical firm mattresses, but still less than the medium. Typical firm mattresses can make it feel like you're sleeping on a concrete slab. Our firm mattress offers the comfort and postural support of a firm mattress that you would expect, but with just a little extra cushion. This is a great option for back and side sleepers with a total body weight over 200 lbs.


As you probably have understood by now, there really isn’t a right or wrong mattress firmness. It’s more about what you as an individual feel is comfortable and supportive, knowing that the SpineAlign Luxury Hybrid will always keep your spine in proper alignment.


To help make a decision, ask yourself a few questions:

  1. What position do you sleep in? Are you a side, back or combination sleeper?
  2. What is your weight? Heavier people usually prefer a firmer mattress.
  3. How is your body shaped? People with a heavier mid-section most often select a firm mattress to support spinal alignment.


We hope that this helps the decision on what type of mattress to select. Know that whatever you select, SpineAlign offers a generous 100-night trial.