There are so many different types of mattresses to choose from, but which one is the best for you?
If you have back pain, a mattress that’s too soft may not provide enough support. If it’s too firm, it could cause more pressure on your spine and joints. That’s why finding the perfect balance can be difficult.
If you want to find out how to pick the right mattress for your aching back, you’ll want to stick around with us for a few more moments, because we’ll break it all down for you.
Three main types of mattresses
There are several types of mattresses that you can choose from, but we won’t name all of them. Instead, we’ll focus on the three of the most popular ones, so you can better understand how mattress type can affect its firmness, and effect on your back.
1. Memory Foam
Memory foam mattresses are the most popular mattresses for a variety of reasons. They’re great for your back because they contour to the shape of your body and provide support in all the right places, all while providing excellent motion isolation and pressure relief.
Their firmness can range from super soft to ultra-firm, despite their insides being extremely similar to one another.
2. Pocket Spring
Pocket spring mattresses are made from individually nestled springs. Each of these springs is free to move independently from one another, which is why these mattresses are pretty much perfect for your back – regardless of their firmness.
Unlike innerspring mattresses, pocket springs can easily tailor to each part of your body, regardless of the position you sleep in, and just like memory foam mattresses, they can provide support in all the right places.
Hybrid mattresses, as you can tell by the name, are mattresses that combine both pocket springs and memory foam. They’re the best of both worlds.
More often than not, they come with a high-definition foam base, on top of which you can find the pocket springs offering additional support. Naturally, you wouldn’t lie directly on top of springs, so you can expect one or more layers of plush memory foam on top of the springs.
Currently, hybrid mattresses are poised to overtake the throne from memory foam mattresses as the number one choice for a master bedroom, everyday mattress.
How do you measure the firmness of a mattress?
Unlike comfort, for instance, the firmness of a mattress is easily measurable.
Every mattress is rated on a firmness scale from 1 to 10 – with 10 being the firmest.
Generally speaking, anything from 4.5 to 7.5 on the firmness scale is considered a medium-firm mattress. A medium-firm mattress is the one most people would be satisfied with.
Anything lower than that is considered either medium-soft or soft. Just as like, anything over 7.5 is considered firm.
Can a mattress be firm and plush at the same time?
This is a question we often see, and the answer is – yes.
There are mattresses with zoned support, like the Hesperis Mattress from the, which provide the sleeper with tailored support on each section of the body.
For example, you need more support under your waist and thighs than you need under your shoulder or hips – especially if you sleep on your side.
Also, keep in mind that people’s body weight isn’t distributed evenly, so some of us might require a lot of support in certain areas to prevent sinking and uncomfortable, painful mornings.
How to choose perfectly firm mattress based on your sleeping position?
If you want to achieve healthy sleep, you need a healthy life mattress. However, what you also need to know is how to choose a mattress based on your sleeping preference.
1. Side sleeping
If you sleep on your side, then chances are that a softer mattress will be more comfortable for you. This is because a soft mattress provides pressure relief and softness under the hips and shoulders which side-sleepers need to get a good night’s rest.
Soft mattresses have been shown to improve quality of life as well as reduce pain and pressure in people who suffer from chronic back or hip pain.
2. Back sleeping
Back sleepers can benefit from both a plush and firm mattress. Sleeping on your back is the most optimal sleeping position for eliminating back pain, as it keeps the spine in alignment. A plush mattress will provide more cushioning and support for the neck and spine, while a firm mattress will help to keep the spine aligned.
Essentially, if you sleep on your back, you just have to know whether you need support or pressure relief to release the tension and pain from your back.
3. Front sleeping
When you sleep on your stomach, you must sleep on a firm mattress to keep your spine in proper alignment.
Generally speaking, our bodies are heaviest around the hips, and when you sleep on your tummy, your hips tend to sink into the mattress, forcing the spine to rest in a super uncomfortable position. The spine around your lower back should curve in an opposite direction, so unless you want to wake up with a super-painful lower back, you’ll ensure that you rest on a firm mattress if you sleep on your stomach.
How to choose a perfectly firm mattress based on your weight?
The rules are simple when it comes to your body weight, and there are only three of them.
- Lightweight sleepers should sleep on softer mattresses.
- Average weight sleepers should sleep on medium-firm mattresses.
- Overweight sleepers should sleep on firm mattresses.
Mix that in with your sleeping position and you’ll have yourself a perfect mattress for your back.
As you can see, there is no question that this decision depends on your personal preference, sleeping position, and body weight.
To sum up, if you prefer a softer mattress and are not overweight, then it would be best to go with the plush option. However, if you do not want an overly soft surface but need some support for your back (or hips), then we recommend going with something firmer.
The key is finding the balance that is right for you. Experiment with different types and firmness levels relying on our advice until you find the perfect mattress for your back pain.