Buying a new mattress can sometimes turn out to be a daunting task. You will find yourself asking yourself questions like; is it better for me to buy a firm or soft mattress?

To make the matter worse, you may have heard mixed reviews about the advantages of sleeping on a firm and soft mattress. Despite the hype, the truth is there is not a single option that will feel perfect for everyone.

Actually, what feels comfortable and supportive to me may be a disaster waiting to happen to you what matters most is your personal preference in choosing best mattress for back pain and whether you suffer back pains or not.

In this article, I will show the benefits and disadvantages of each option so you can decide for yourself what can work well for you. As a bonus, I will also show you some of the factors you need to consider to find the best mattress firmness for you.

Firm mattress


  • It reduces pressure to the circulatory system allowing for better blood flow
  • It maintains a neutral spine position keeping your body straight
  • It prevents your lower back from sinking allowing you to inhale enough oxygen while sleeping
  • It facilitates the use of props like body pillows under your back
  • With time the body adapts to sleeping on it and it starts feeling comfortable


  • It is hard to break-in especially when you’re changing from a soft one
  • It is not suitable for people with back pains
  • It can put a painful pressure on specific pressure points
  • It is not easy to notice the firmness differences between harder mattresses
  • It creates indentations easily

Soft mattress


  • Helps in reducing back and joint pains
  • It is ideal for side sleepers
  • Very comfortable for light sleepers
  • It is easy to customize your ideal softness using pillow-top systems


  • It loses firmness over time and become inappropriate after a short period
  • Not ideal for couples as it is hard to establish the ideal softness for both
  • Lacks enough support and this pushes the spine out of alignment affecting sleep quality

Going back to our original question keep in mind that a firm mattress tends to hold up pressure points like the shoulders and his and allow all the rest of the body to sag. This means your lower back is unsupported.

As a result, your spine loses its curvature in that area increases the chances of back pains. That is not all if you are a hot sleeper a firm mattress is a good choice. Unlike a soft mattress, a firm mattress does not sink and therefore allows greater airflow keeping your body cool.

On the other hand, a softer mattress responds quickly to your body shape keeping the spine in its natural curvature. But since it lacks adequate support, it may allow the rest of the body to sag and this may lead to a poor sleeping posture.

1 secret when testing the suitability of a mattress

Regardless of your sleep pattern, always lay in your usual sleep position. This helps you to assess the comfort and support level it offers. Again spend at least 15 minutes on every mattress you try keeping in mind that the ultimate goal is to find a mattress that is naturally comfortable and one that does not exert pressure on your body.

Bottom line

Quality sleep is a product of proper body alignment during sleep. Therefore proper body alignment is necessary for a luxurious night rest. While there are other factors you need to consider to sleep more deeply the most important is your personal preference and or whether you have back pains or not. A firm mattress is ideal for hot, heavy and back sleepers while a soft mattress is ideal for light and side sleepers.

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