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What is the difference between a plush mattress and a firm mattress?

What does soft mean compare to medium-soft? And is there really a difference between firm and medium-firm? Is there any advantage to these firmness levels?

These questions come up quite a bit discussing mattress preferences with my customers. Mattress firmness is something you only think about when purchasing a new mattress every 8 to 10 years or so. It can be a frustrating procedure to choose in a short period of time while shopping in a store.

Well, I can tell you there is a difference between these levels and how you sleep. Each firmness level will have an advantage depending on your sleep position. Here are some general rules on comfort level and sleeping positions that work for most people. To illustrate I will use a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is the softest and 10 being very firm.

Stomach Sleeper

Stomach sleepers usually require a firmness between 5 and 7. This is mainly because they would require proper contouring and a bit of sinkage to accommodate the fact that their stomach is underneath the main weight. This is important. Soft or very firm mattresses will not provide you with the necessary support or spinal alignment.

Side Sleeper

Side sleepers will require the softest mattresses. You can sleep on your sides and experience serious pressure relief in the mattress range of 3 to 6. This is due to the awkward sleeping position as the pressure is channeled to the side and it’s concentrated at a smaller surface.

Back Sleeper

Back sleepers require a lot less regarding firmness, and that’s why they are particularly versatile. You can sleep well on a mattress with a firmness between 4 and 8, and you would experience the necessary support. This is something that you would want to take into account.

Lots of factors to take into consideration and again, this is not a one size fits all scenario. I’ve spoken with stomach sleepers that want a plush mattress where the rules dictate otherwise. The same goes for back sleepers who want a firm mattress. At Bill’s Bed we offer a choice. Our mattress is two-sided. One side that offers a plush feel and the other side that offers firm. It’s your choice to the side of the mattress you choose, post-purchase in the comfort of your home.

The firmness level will dictate whether you lay “in” your mattress or “on” your mattress. An incredibly soft mattress will let you sink into the layers and a very firm mattress allows you to lay on top of the mattress. Remember there is no right and wrong, just personal preference and your sleep position. 

At Bill’s Bed, we have removed the frustrating procedure to choose by producing a two-sided mattress where one side is plush and the other is firm. Our 100-night risk-free trial allows our customers to sleep on each side to find their own comfort level.