Mattress Firmness Guide

Mattress Firmness Guide

When it comes to mattress firmness, it can sometimes be a little tricky to figure out your ideal level of firmness. Why?

You see, the way a mattress feels in terms of firmness can be quite subjective for each person. It’s all about personal experience. Your preference for how firm or soft you want a mattress can change based on your body size, shape, and weight. So, it is really a matter of personal comfort.

Let us talk about mattress firmness in a way that is easy to understand. We have our Mattress Firmness Guide to help you understand what mattress firmness is all about and how to pick the right level of firmness for your individual preferences.

So, what exactly is mattress firmness? Let’s read about it!

What Is Mattress Firmness?

Firmness is all about how soft or hard a mattress feels, and it is pretty important to get it right for a good night’s sleep. The way a mattress feels depends a lot on the materials used to make it and how it’s built.

The mattress industry uses a “firmness scale” to make it easier for customers to figure out how firm or soft a mattress is. This scale usually ranges from 1 to 10. When we rate a mattress with a score of 1 it means that it is on the softest end, while a mattress with a score of 10 is the firmest.

Let us have a detailed discussion on levels of mattress firmness and how they relate to different sleep positions.

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Mattress Firmness Scale

It is important to understand that a single firmness level does not suit all sleepers. As your sleep requirements vary from another individual, your ideal level of mattress firmness also varies. The industrial mattress firmness scale usually ranges from 1 to 10 and covers a range of different levels of firmness.

  • Extra-soft mattresses are really soft, offering a gentle hug like sensation. They’re rated from 1 to 2 on the softness scale.
  • Soft mattresses are cozy but slightly firmer. They fall in the 3 to 4 range on the firmness scale.
  • Medium to Medium-firm mattresses are the most versatile and suit most people. They’re neither too soft nor too firm. They stand around a 5 or 6 on the scale. If you prefer a mattress which is a bit firmer, you can go for level 6 in firmness scale. On the contrary if you need a mattress that gently contours your pressure sores then a slightly softer mattress with firmness level 5 may be ideal for you.
  • Firm mattresses provide a solid and sturdy feel when you lie down on them, something very similar to a supportive base. They’re rated anywhere between 7 and 8 on the firmness scale.
  • Extra-firm mattresses are the firmest models. You’ll find them in the 9 to 10.

So, when you choose a mattress, consider how soft or firm you want your mattress to be, and pick the one that aligns your comfort preferences.

What Comfort Level is Right for You?

Different factors, like your weight, body type, and your sleeping position can all affect your mattress firmness level, based on what feels comfortable and supportive for you. So, when you shop for a mattress, keep these factors in mind and make sure you find the right firmness and fit for your needs.

While it is important to remember that mattress firmness is subjective, we’ve explained it in the form of a numerical firmness chart to help you understand the concept better.

Mattress Firmness Firmness Scale Sleeper Types
Extra Soft 1-2 Light-weight Side Sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds
Soft 3-4 Light-weight Side Sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds
Medium 5-6 Average-weight Side Sleepers, Combination Sleepers and Back Sleepers with weigh between 130 to 230 pounds
Firm 7-8 Average-weight and Heavy-Weight Back sleepers, and Stomach Sleepers who weigh between 130 to 230 pounds and more than 230 pounds.
Extra Firm 9-10 Heavy-weight Back Sleepers and Stomach Sleepers who weigh more than 230 pounds.

Let’s take a closer look at how these firmness options are different.

Mattress Firmness Levels

1. Extra Soft to Soft Mattresses (1-4)

Extra Soft and Soft mattresses are comfortable and feel really plush. But the thing is, they might not give you enough support. You may sink in too deep, which can lead to back pain or strain. So, you might want to consider something firmer to take care of your spine health and posture.

Who should opt for Extra Soft or Soft Mattresses?

Extra Soft or Soft mattresses help to relieve pressure from painful areas of your body. If you are a side sleeper, these mattresses can help take the pressure off your shoulders and hips. If you’re a light-weight side sleeper, a softer mattress might be a good choice because you won’t sink in too much.

Soft mattresses are usually made of foam, and they absorb motion well, which can be helpful if you share your bed with your partner or a pet. These mattresses are also a good option if you have joint pain or hip pain. They can relieve soreness from pressure points and make your sleep more comfortable.

Helix Sunset mattress is a good choice for side sleepers. It’s made with soft memory foam to give you good support and comfort, especially targeting your hips and shoulders. The mattress is on the softer side, with a firmness rating of 2-3 on a scale of 1 to 10. If you want to learn more about it, check out our Mattress Review!

Helix Sunset Mattress

2. Medium Firm Mattress (5-6)

Medium mattress firmness is preferred by many individuals because it works well for a lot of sleepers and sleeping styles. They’re suitable for people of different body types and can be an optimal choice if you and your partner have different sleep preferences.

When it comes to medium-firm mattresses, they usually have comfortable layers that hug your body, provide a sturdy support and relieve pressure. These beds are desirable for people who sleep in various positions, and that’s why they’re often suggested for combination sleepers, side sleepers and back sleepers.

Who should opt for Medium-Firm Mattresses?

If you’re an average-weight sleeper and like to sleep on your back or side, a medium-firm mattress could be just what you need. It provides good support to your hips, shoulders and neck and keeps your spine neutrally aligned.

Medium firm mattresses are suitable for people across all sleep positions: side, back, or stomach sleepers. If you’re a combination sleeper, medium-firm mattresses can work really well for you. They give you just the right amount of support and comfort you need. The firmness level works quite well for individuals who weigh between 130 and 230 pounds.

Puffy Cloud Mattress is a memory foam mattress with a medium-firm feel. Whether you are a stomach, back, or side sleeper, this mattress is suitable for you. Additionally it provides desirable motion isolation. If you want to learn more about Puffy Cloud, you can check out our comprehensive Mattress Review!

3. Firm to Extra Firm (7-10)

Firm to Extra Firm mattresses are on the firmer side. They won’t give you as much plushness and contouring as medium firm mattresses do. Firm to Extra Firm mattresses use durable materials and coiled core support, and that’s why they provide a better foundation as compared to softer ones.

Who should opt for Firm or Extra Firm Mattresses?

Firm or Extra Firm Mattresses are suitable for individuals who are back sleepers because they help keep your spine in a good alignment and prevent back pain. If you sleep on your stomach, you might also like a firm mattress because it can keep your stomach from sinking in too much and keep your hips elevated.

If you weigh between 130 to 230 pounds or over 230 pounds, a firm mattress will be a good option to support your body.

Brooklyn Bedding Plank Firm mattress is one such firm mattress. On the industrial mattress firmness scale from 1 to 10, it lies within the range of 8 to 10. Further the mattress suits back sleepers and stomach sleepers who fall within the average to heavyweight range So, if you like a supportive and firm mattress, this one might be a desirable choice for you. Learn more about this mattress through our comprehensive Mattress Review!

Brooklyn Plank Firm Mattress

Smart Take!

Our Mattress Firmness Guide has covered all the crucial aspects you need to know about finding the perfect level of firmness and comfort for your needs. From understanding what mattress firmness is all about, to its role in providing proper support and comfort, we’ve covered all the essential factors. You’ve also learned about the different types of firmness levels and which one suits your sleeping position or weight best.

Don’t forget to consider factors like material used in a mattress’s construction and features like temperature regulation and motion isolation, as they play a big role in your overall sleep experience. Different materials, such as memory foam, latex, innerspring, and hybrid combinations, have varying levels of firmness. Additionally, the thickness and density of these materials can also impact the overall firmness level of a mattress.

Remember, you have the choice to select your ideal firmness level to suit your sleep preferences. Whether you prefer a plush, medium, or firm mattress, this guide has given you all the tools you need to make an informed decision.

For more in-depth insights on mattresses and guidelines, feel free to check out our Mattress Reviews and Blogs. Here’s to your nights of cozy and uninterrupted sleep!

Oh! And don’t forget to explore our Cashback Rebate and Black Friday Deals on Explore top-notch mattresses and exclusive offers to enjoy a relaxing mattress shopping experience. Happy shopping!


Top Research on Mattress Firmness


Please note that these sources are independent and not affiliated with Their purpose is to provide you with valuable information on mattress firmness and its impact on back pain and spinal health, to help you choose a mattress suitable to your well-being.

FAQs About Mattress Firmness

Q1. What does a firm mattress feel like?

  • A firm mattress provides an optimum level of support and keeps your body from sinking in too much. When you lie on a firm mattress, it feels like you’re sleeping “on top” of it. Moving around on a firm mattress should be easy and it should alleviate your back pain over time.

Q2. How do I know if my mattress is firm enough?

  • If your mattress is too soft, you might wake up with a stiff and sore lower back. It might feel uncomfortable, and if you sleep on your stomach, you may wake up with pelvis pain or shoulder pain.

Q3. What happens if my mattress is too firm?

  • If your mattress is too firm, you may wake up with neck, hip, shoulder, and/or back pain. You might feel discomfort in these areas, and stiffness in your joints, especially around your knees and shoulders. These symptoms all indicate that the mattress is too firm for you and your body needs.

Q4. What level of firmness is best for back pain?

  • When in doubt, go for a ‘medium-firm’ mattress in case of back pain. It helps distribute pressure more evenly, reducing stress on muscles, veins, and arteries. Further it supports your lower back, allowing for better oxygen intake while you sleep.

Q5. What is the best mattress firmness for side and stomach sleepers?

  • For side and stomach sleepers, ‘medium’ level firmness stands as a suitable option. It provides both pressure relief and cushioning support. Look for hybrid mattresses built with foam or latex for ideal comfort.

Q6. Is it better to sleep on a firmer or softer mattress?

  • Soft mattresses are great for side sleepers and those with back pain. Firmer mattresses work well for stomach and back sleepers, or if you’re on the heavier side. It really comes down to personal preferences!

Q7. What firmness is best for all sleep positions?

  • Here’s a quick guide. Soft mattresses work best for light-weight side sleepers; Medium mattresses work for side, stomach, and back sleepers of all body types. Firm beds are ideal for stomach and back sleepers with average to heavier builds and Very firm mattresses are recommended for back sleepers who are on the heavier side.