Firmness is one of the biggest selling points of mattresses available in the market today. Simply put, it’s how soft or hard a mattress feels. It’s also related to how supportive a mattress is when you are sleeping on it. Mattress firmness is so highly regarded that people are placing it at the top of their list of factors to consider when mattress-shopping.

While firmness is definitely not the only thing you should consider, it is very important. It is one of the main contributing factors to how good of a night’s sleep you are getting. There are a lot of factors to consider when buying a mattress but let’s start with this one.

Here are a few tips to remember in order for you to get the correct firmness of mattress that fits you best.

The Longevity of Firmness :

The first thing to consider for firmness is the age of the mattress. There are a lot of mattress types out there and not all are the same. If you’re in the market for a mattress and your primary consideration is firmness, it helps to orient yourself with the different mattress types so you can make an informed choice.

If your mattress is eight years old, it is probably a good idea to get a new one. Different mattresses have different lifespans when it comes to their firmness. Here is a quick list of the average lifespans of common mattress types:


This is the longest-lasting of the bunch. Its average lifespan is around 12 to 13 years. Despite the higher price tag, it is a worthwhile investment for its longevity and comfort.

Memory Foam:

This is the next longest-lasting in the list. This type of mattress usually lasts around 10 years with proper care. This type of mattress is also held in high regard for the comfort it provides.


A hybrid of different kinds of mattresses, this also lasts quite long. Similar to memory foam, this lasts around 10 years. This type of mattress usually consists of latex, memory foam, and a base layer of support foam.


This is the most popular option for mattress buyers, which usually lasts around eight years. This type of mattress makes up around 80% of all mattress sales. These usually have coils made from steel to provide support and comfort at an affordable price.


Pillowtop mattresses have the least longevity of the bunch. While somewhat affordable, these would only last you around six or seven years at best. This type of mattress has extra cushioning on the top. This provides extra comfort for the person sleeping on it.

 Some people require softer mattresses, while others require something a bit on the hard side. The proper support keeps the spine in alignment without creating pressure points. If the support is improper, this may cause pain or soreness.

Sleeping Positions :

The position you sleep in is also an important consideration when it comes to mattress firmness. Mattresses are designed to cater to specific types of sleepers. Which one are you?

Side Sleepers:

If you sleep on your side, you would need a little bit less support. Constant change in sleeping position means that you need something soft or with medium firmness. A super firm mattress will not conform to the body shape of a side sleeper, which could result in some discomfort.

Those who sleep on their back:

If you’re one of the many who sleeps on their backs, you’ll need a rather firm mattress in order for you to be comfortable. Something that is too soft may cause pressure points while back sleepers sleep. You should go for something that is firm, but still a bit soft is ideal. There are mattresses out there that possess just the right amount of firmness and softness. Go for this type of mattress and you’re on your way to good sleep.

Stomach Sleepers:

Support should be the number one priority for if you sleep on your belly. Your stomach will sleep in certain parts of the mattress, which causes discomfort. Support needs to be spread throughout the entire body.

Does Weight Affect Your Choice?

Weight is another important consideration in choosing mattress firmness. Sometimes, this is an important factor that most people tend to overlook. It’s the misconception that all mattresses are made to cater to everybody. Obviously, they don’t. Heavier people need completely different mattresses compared to lighter-set people.

Lighter sleepers :

(150 pounds or less) only need something on the softer side. This is because they only need minimal support while they sleep. They will not sink as much on mattresses compared to the other weight groups.

Average sleepers :

(150 pounds to 200 pounds) need something in the middle of the firmness range. A lot of mattress buyers fall into this category. It comes as no surprise that there are a lot of options available for these people.

Heavier sleepers :

(greater than 200 pounds) need a lot more support than others. However, it is important to not go overboard. Getting an extremely firm mattress will make you feel like you are sleeping on the floor.

The Effects of Pain and Discomfort during Sleep :

If you are experiencing pain while you sleep, maybe it is time to change your mattress and really think about its firmness. Different types of mattress firmness have different effects depending on the pain a person is experiencing.

Shoulder Pain:

Those who experience shoulder pain need something on the softer side. This is because these people tend to sleep on their side. This will give them comfort despite the constant toss and turn they do while they sleep. Luckily, there are companies that specifically design mattresses that are best for side sleepers with shoulder pain.

Back Pain:

Those with back pain will need something in the middle of the bunch. They need support, but they also need something that provides contouring.

Hip Pain:

Those with hip problems may have improper spine alignment, which leads to this pain. With this in mind, it is important that their mattress is quite supportive.

Consider Your Partner :

You should also consider your partner when choosing how firm your mattress will be. You should meet in a middle ground to make sure that both of you get a good night of sleep. Take your partner with you when you go shopping for a mattress. This is so you can find a perfect fit for the both of you.

Ask your partner about their specific sleeping preferences. They may be experiencing pain or discomfort when sleeping, so take this into consideration. A lot of people feel more comfortable sleeping on a mattress with mid-range firmness. It may be wise to spend more time looking for options with this level of firmness.

The Price is Right :

Look to invest quite a bit of money on a mattress. More often than not, expensive mattresses are worth the money because they are expensive for a reason. They keep their firmness longer compared to cheaper mattresses that lose support at a faster rate. But then again, not all inexpensive mattresses are low-quality. You just have to be meticulous about it.

Hopefully, these tips help you select the appropriate mattress firmness for you. However, you should always remember that firmness is not the only thing you should consider. Look at the other features that potential purchases have to offer. Hopefully, these things will help you make an informed decision.

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Mashum Mollah is an entrepreneur, founder and CEO at Viacon, a digital marketing agency that drive visibility, engagement, and proven results. He blogs at

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