Soft or Firm: Which Mattress is Right For You?

Image of hand pressing into a mattress

The mattress you sleep on can drastically affect your sleep quality, and your quality of life. That’s a bold statement – and a true one. Millions of people spend a third of their lives on mattresses that are either too soft or too firm for their needs, resulting in chronic aches and pains and a nightly sleep that isn’t restful. 

If you are wondering how to sleep better, the best place to start is with your mattress. If it is time to replace your mattress, that’s actually great news! You get to really invest in a mattress that is going to improve your overall health and wellbeing.

The first question that you will have to determine is how firm a mattress you need. Soft or firm – which mattress is right for you?

With all of the options in the market today, even this question can feel overwhelming. So let’s get into some of the pros and cons and details about mattresses, so that you can begin to understand what mattress will be right for you.

What makes the perfect mattress?

The perfect mattress will vary from person to person, based on personal preference. But one thing to consider is your spine health. Spine health doesn’t make headlines very often, but it really should! A healthy spine will help carry your body well into old age.

The spine has a natural curvature that needs to supported while you sleep. The right mattress will support the spine comfortably in a neutral position, and that will mean a different firmness depending on your weight, height, and age.

When laying down on a mattress with the perfect give, you should feel no pressure – your shoulders, hips, and spine should be able to relax completely and it will feel almost like you’re floating. With the right mattress, your muscles will be able to fully relax overnight, your body will be able to rest and recover, and your posture can even improve. Sleeping on a mattress that is either too soft or too firm could leave you waking up every day with pain in your back, along your spine, and throughout your limbs. 

What’s the difference between a soft and firm mattress?

The firmness of a mattress falls along a spectrum to soft and pillow-y to hardly any give. Mattresses today come in a wide range of materials from modern springs to latex and high density foam. There are also hybrid models that combine materials, and don’t forget that there are also a wide range of mattress toppers that can modify the mattress. (Remember that it is possible to soften a firm mattress with a mattress topper but it’s not really possible to make a soft mattress firmer.)

Pros and Cons

All mattresses have pros and cons, and your choice will completely depend on your specific needs. But generally speaking, these are the pros and cons of each.

Firm mattress: Pros and Cons

A firm mattress provides a more stable surface area and that means that the bones absorb most of the pressure. There is less stress on muscles, veins and arteries, circulation can improve and there is less sagging. If you don’t suffer from aches and pains, a firmer mattress might be suitable, and they are often more comfortable for those who sleep on their backs.

When switching to a firmer mattress from a softer one, the transition can take a bit of time for the body to get used to. If you have found that your mattress is too firm, adding even a thin mattress topper can be a great solution.

Soft Mattress: Pros and Cons

For those with aches and pains, a soft mattress can feel more comfortable on the joints and limbs. They also tend to be more comfortable for side sleepers, and for anyone with spine pain. However, for anyone with more body mass, a soft mattress can actually be damaging over time because the body sags and the muscles strain.

Soft mattresses may also have a shorter lifespan than a firmer mattress, again it depends on a person’s weight and size.


Understanding your sleep habits, patterns, and goals is the best place to start. We invite you to come into our store if you are looking for a mattress in Surrey or surrounding area. Our incredible staff will help you “test drive” a range of mattresses so that you can confidently decide on a new mattress that will hopefully change your life for the better!