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Is a Hard or Soft Mattress Better for Back Pain?

If you wake up every morning with a sore back, it might be the texture of your mattress that is affecting your health. A good mattress is vital for comfortable sleep and maintaining health. Your body weight and sleep position determine how soft or how firm your mattress must be.

Back sleepers, side sleepers, or stomach sleepers, anyone can suffer from back pain because of a deformed mattress. When you sleep on a mattress with the right amount of softness, it can give you a night of better sleep and more comfort. An ideal mattress is supposed to liberate you from backache and other body pain.

Through this article, we’ll help you know what amount of firmness or softness can give you relief from back-related issues.


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

If you have ever gone mattress shopping already, you might have noticed that every mattress comes with a firmness level. This firmness level is one of the first things mentioned in the tags of a mattress.

The firmness levels range from 1 to 10, 10 being extremely firm and 1 being the softest. We will hardly find mattresses that are 1 or 10. If you need a firm mattress, you might look for something between 7 to 9. If you need a soft mattress, you should look for something between 2 to 4. Mattresses that are neither too firm nor too soft, lie between 5 to 6.


What is the firmness of different mattress types?

firm mattress

In case you don’t know, there are different types of mattresses available in the market. They differ in size, height, price, quality, and material used. Similarly, they all vary in firmness levels.

  • A memory foam mattress has a variety when it comes to firmness levels. They can be ultra-soft or extra0firm based on your liking. When you buy a memory foam mattress it is necessary to check the other materials that it comes with to get the desirable feeling.
  • A latex foam mattress comes in two varieties. The first ranges from firm to medium-firm. The other one has a medium-firm to a soft texture.
  • A hybrid mattress consists of a coil base for better stability. It forms the top comfort layer of the mattress that decides the firmness of your bed.
  • Any innerspring mattress is bound to have firmness due to the spring coils present inside it. If paired with comfortable foam, it can give you a relaxing feeling along with support.


Benefits and Limitations of a Firm Mattress:

A firm mattress offers even weight distribution, aligns the spine correctly, and offers very little sinking. There are some other advantages and drawbacks of a firm mattress which we have mentioned here.


  • It is ideal for back and stomach sleepers. It helps in aligning the back, buttocks, and shoulders.
  • It is comfortable for plus-size sleepers. A firm mattress makes it easier for them to toss and turn in bed.
  • It prevents overheating and keeps you cool throughout the night.
  • A firm mattress improves blood circulation. It is good for patients with heart diseases and diabetes.


  • It is not good for side sleepers. They may feel pressure build-up along the curves of the body.


Benefits and Limitations of a Soft Firm Mattress:

Soft Firm Mattress

When you sleep on a mattress, there is space between you and the bed. This space can increase on a firm mattress and cause problems for your health. On the other hand on a soft mattress, the space between you and the bed is almost zero. The curves of your body align with the soft mattress.


  • It has proven to be very good for side sleepers.
  • It is cozier and more comfortable.
  • It is good for light sleepers.
  • It is preferred by people who want a sinking effect.
  • It is advised to people with arthritis.
  • It gives relief on pressure points.


  • A soft mattress can cause overheating which can lead to night sweats.
  • It may disrupt the natural curve of a spine.


The Final Verdict

After going through the functions of a firm mattress as well as a soft mattress, it has become easier for us to decide which one is the most suitable for your back. The best mattress for your back should neither be too hard nor be too soft.

A mattress must offer softness along with firmness. Too much of both can destroy your mattress feel. A mattress must relieve you from back pain as well as align the curve properly.

Some companies have also designed special mattresses to get rid of back-related issues. However, you should try and test the mattress before purchasing one and get the feel of it. We have made it a bit simpler for you to decide the best mattress for your back.

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