Woman touching orthopedic mattress

Is a Firm Mattress Better For You?

Is a firm bed better for you?

Desperate for a good night’s sleep? A firm mattress could be your answer

“Are firmer beds better for us?” is a question many ponder when searching for a new mattress. The reality is that a lot of information online about firm mattresses is heavily debated. Some say firm mattresses are bad for your back, while other sources say that firm beds are the miracle of a good night’s sleep. Since there’s so much confusion out there, we’ve researched for you to help you decide whether a firm mattress is healthy and better for you.

The benefits of a firmer mattress

A firmer mattress has a few advantages you may not know.

Optimal spinal support

Firmer beds provide better support for your spine. A firm mattress keeps your spine aligned while you sleep and takes the pressure off your hips and shoulders, which is especially beneficial for people who suffer from lower back pain.

Minimise tossing and turning

If you often find yourself changing positions and tossing and turning at night, it could be because your mattress is too soft. A firmer mattress will provide the stability you need to stay still throughout the night, improving sleep quality. 

Supporting your circulatory system

Firmer mattresses can improve circulation. If you have circulation issues or are prone to swelling, a firm mattress can help keep the blood flowing evenly throughout your body as you sleep.

Pressure relief

A firm bed can relieve pressure points. If pressure points build up during the night, a firm mattress can help by evenly distributing your weight and reducing the pressure.


Woman sitting up in bed holding onto her aching back.

The downside of a firmer mattress

Of course, there are also some drawbacks to consider before investing in a firm mattress.


  1. A firmer mattress may be less comfortable at first. If you’re used to sleeping on a soft mattress, it may take some time to get used to the firmer feel of a new mattress. Give it a few weeks to see if your body adjusts before making any decisions.
  2. Firm beds may not be suitable for all sleepers. If you sleep on your side or stomach, a firm mattress may not be your best option. These sleepers need a bit of give in their mattress to be comfortable throughout the night.
  3. A firm mattress may not last as long as a softer mattress. A firmer mattress often has less cushioning, which means it may not last as long as a softer mattress. If you’re concerned about longevity, look for a firm mattress with a thicker layer of padding.

The different types of firm mattresses

Memory foam

Memory foam mattresses conform to your body, providing support and pressure relief. These mattresses are usually on the firmer side but can be found in various firmness levels.


Latex mattresses are similar to memory foam but have a more bouncy feel. They’re often used in hybrid mattresses for a bit of extra bounce.


Innerspring mattresses have coils that provide support and bounce. These mattresses are often firmer than other types of mattresses but can be found in various firmness levels.

The history of firm mattresses

Firmer mattresses have been around for centuries. In fact, they were the only type of mattress available until the late 19th century. It wasn’t until the 20th century that softer mattresses became popular. 


Firmer mattresses were originally made with straw or horsehair. These materials provided support but weren’t very comfortable. In the late 19th century, cotton and wool became popular filling materials. These materials were softer than straw and horsehair but still provided support. 


The 20th century saw the introduction of springs as a way to provide support in mattresses which was a significant breakthrough in the mattress industry and led to the development of softer mattresses. Innerspring mattresses became popular in the early 20th century and are still widely used today.


But the question still remained, is a firmer mattress better than a soft one?

What mattress firmness is healthiest?

There’s no blanket answer for which bed firmness is the healthiest because everyone is an individual and has different preferences for what works best for them. However, there are some factors you can consider when choosing a firm mattress. 

Your sleeping position

Your sleep position plays a big role in determining the mattress firmness you need. You’ll need a firmer mattress to support your spine if you sleep on your back. Similarly, stomach sleepers will find a medium-firm mattress more supportive. A softer mattress for cushioning hips and shoulders is best for side sleepers.

Body weight

Your weight and body heat also plays a role in determining the firmness of your mattress. Heavier people will need a firmer mattress to support their weight, while lighter people will need a softer mattress.

Your health

If you have any health conditions, such as back pain or arthritis, you may need a specific type of mattress to help relieve your symptoms. For example, people with back pain often find relief on a firmer mattress.


There is no one-size-fits-all answer to which mattress firmness is healthiest. The best way to find out is to experiment with different firmness levels until you find one that’s comfortable for you.


graphic of various sleeping positions

Will my body adjust to a firm bed?

Your body may take some time to adjust to sleeping on a firmer mattress. It’s important to give yourself at least a few weeks to get used to the new mattress. If you’re still not comfortable after a few weeks, you may need to try a different firmness level or invest in some bed accessories like a mattress topper that will make the mattress softer.

Do doctors recommend a firm mattress? 

Not necessarily. While some doctors may recommend a firm mattress for specific health conditions, the medical community has no definitive answer on which mattress firmness is best. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what’s comfortable for you. 


A firmer mattress may be better for you if you need extra support for your back or joints and may help relieve back pain, but it’s not for everyone. A softer mattress may be better for you if you prefer a cushioning effect. 


If you’re unsure if a firm mattress is right for you, talk to your doctor or a certified sleep specialist. They can help you make an informed decision about which mattress is best for your individual needs.

How should a firm bed feel?

A firm mattress should feel solid and supportive. It shouldn’t sag in the middle or feel too hard. If you can feel the springs through the mattress, it’s too firm. The perfect firmness for you is a matter of personal preference, so it’s important to experiment with different firmness levels until you find one comfortable.

Comparing a soft mattress to a firm one

There are a few key differences between a soft and firm mattress. Soft mattresses are typically made of foam or other materials that provide cushioning, while a firm mattress is usually made of springs or other support materials. 


A soft mattress conforms to your body, while a firm mattress provides support. A soft mattress may be better for you if you prefer a cushioning effect or have certain health conditions, such as arthritis. A firm mattress may be better for you if you need extra support for your back or joints and may help relieve back pain. 


The mattress firmness scale ranges from extremely soft to medium firm to extra firm, so you’ll always be able to find the right firm support for the best night’s sleep. Whether you prefer a firm or soft mattress is ultimately up to personal preference. If you want to know more about the difference between soft and firm mattresses, we’ve done a deep dive for you. 

Find your next firm mattress at Sleep Firm

At Sleep Firm, we believe that everyone deserves a good night’s sleep. That’s why we offer a wide selection of firm mattresses to suit every need. Whether you’re looking for extra support for your back or joints or simply prefer a firmer sleeping surface, we have the perfect mattress. Browse our selection of firm mattresses today and find the perfect one for you.