Is it better to have a firm or a soft mattress? The Pro's & Con's of each.

A little snippet of a childhood story which I'm sure you'll recognise!

'Goldilocks was very tired by this time, she went upstairs to the bedroom. She lay down in the first bed, but it was too hard. Then she lay in the second bed, but it was too soft. Then she lay down in the third bed and it was just right. Goldilocks fell asleep'  (Goldilocks and the Three Bears)

While some people want a mattress that feels like 'sleeping on a cloud', others are  keen to have something that is very flat and hard because they want 'proper support'. The truth is that neither extreme is terribly good for getting the best night's sleep. 

Very often the 'sleeping on a cloud' scenario comes from a memory of a mattress that was slept on many years before. And the sad truth is that it wasn't so much a wonderful mattress but a younger body that hadn't yet been put through the rigours of  life! As we get older and accumulate the little aches and pains that are part of our daily lives, finding that mythical mattress that will replicate how we slept when we were younger is a very difficult thing to do. 

A soft mattress is actually quite a difficult thing to achieve if you also want a mattress that's going to last for a decent amount of time. To make a very soft sprung mattress the springs need to be made of very thin wire, and of course that makes them more likely to distort as the mattress is used. Soft upholstery materials such as polyester have been used to create 'pillow top' mattresses, but the fibre compresses all too quickly and leaves you sleeping in something that can sometimes resemble a hammock. 

On the other hand a very firm mattress can cause more problems than it solves. It's a commonly held misconception  that a hard flat mattress is somehow 'better for backs'. Unfortunately, a mattress that is too firm for the sleepers weight can actually cause back pain because it doesn't allow the shoulder and hip to sink in a little so that the spine is  straight. It's very difficult to get a good night's sleep if a mattress is too hard.

While there are some people who for health reasons need a very soft mattress, and very occasionally someone who needs a very firm mattress,  the truth is, that like Goldilocks, what most of us need is that 'just right' mattress. To find out what that is, use our online calculator or give us a ring.