How to choose the best extra firm mattress

When you’re choosing a mattress, there are literally thousands of different choices. Having so many options is nice but it also can be a little bit daunting. When choosing one single mattress to sleep on every night for the next few years, it’s a big decision and the seemingly infinite amount of choices can make the entire process a bit overwhelming.

Luckily, there is a lot of information online that can help steer you in the right direction. 

One of the most important aspects of choosing a mattress comes down to firmness. Firmness can be directly related to comfort. If you’re looking to choose a mattress that is soft, you won’t be pleased with sleeping on extra firm beds and vice versa. 

When choosing a mattress, think of soft and firm as the two extremes with soft being at one end at firm being at the other. Obviously, mattresses land everywhere in between. 

It’s important to know that firmness in mattresses and support are two different things. The mattresses’ firmness will relate to the top layers of the bed and support comes in the way of the foundation of the bed and the layers in the middle. All well-fabricated mattresses will offer a pretty sound support system despite what the layers on the top might feel like. Mattresses that are classified as very soft stil have a strong support system. Support is pretty much unilateral throughout the bed industry. If people are going to be sleeping on something day in and day out for years, the support is very important to be strong and sturdy. So, when you’re choosing a mattress don’t get fogged up between the differences. Just go forward with the notion that all beds have a lot of support and all you really have to do is choose the firmness. A mattress that is very firm does not mean it has more support than soft ones. Firmness and overall softness only refers to the actual feeling of the bed.

With that said, a lot of people prefer to sleep on mattresses that are extra firm. There’s no right answer or wrong answer when it comes to firmness, it’s all about personal preference and subjectivity. 

Sleeping comfortably usually depends on your sleeping habits which is directly related to your spinal alignment. When you stand for example, your spine is naturally supported as a result of your posture. When you’re laying down while you’re awake, your muscles are still active and it provides support. But, when you fall asleep, the body relies on its surface to keep that same alignment. Which means, your bed is a crucial part when it comes to keeping your spine aligned. If you’re sleeping on something that is too soft, or vice versa, depending on your preference, you could wake up in pain or with aches in your neck, shoulders, and backs. 

And nobody wants to start their day off in pain. 

When we lay on our backs, they aren’t straight. There’s a natural curve so while you’re sleeping, having support is integral to alleviating pressure points. It’s for those reasons that many sleepers prefer to have extra firmness. A lot of people like a hard feeling to help keep their spine aligned and they’ll notice less pressure on their neck, back, and shoulders in the morning. It’s a common misconception to think that soft mattresses are what result in the most comfortable sleeps. For a lot of people, the harder the mattress, the better the sleep. 

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The way you sleep is a big part of choosing your mattress’ firmness. People who sleep on their stomachs for example, might prefer a bed that is extra firm because it helps to keep their vital organs protected. You don’t want to put too much pressure on your back on soft mattresses by trying to protect your rib cage. Extra firm mattresses will do that itself. 

Side sleepers will generally opt for a softer feel because it alleviates pressure points on their shoulders and hips. People who sleep on their backs will have the most range in choosing a firmness, mostly because the back is a much sturdier muscle than your obliques, hips, or rib cage. 

Extra firm mattresses are also good choices for sleepers who carry a bit of extra weight. Heavier sleepers might have the tendency to sink more into their mattress if they’re sleeping on soft beds and light sleepers might feel their pushed to the top of a hard bed. People who have limited mobility will also not want to choose too soft of a mattress because they could feel like they’re sinking and it could be sometimes problemsome to try to get out. Generally, the higher up you are in BMI (body mass index), the more firm you’ll want your mattress to be.

Innerspring mattresses tend to be the most valued when it comes to firmness. Innerspring mattresses are made out of metal coils and the higher the coil count, the more firm the mattress will be. Latex mattresses are made from a rubbery material that, while offered in a range of soft and hard, usually tend to land on the firmer scale. For people looking for an extra firm bed, latex and innersprings are smart choices. Memory foam, while they can be bought in the extra firm variety, tend to be the better choice for sleepers who want to sleep on something a bit softer. 

In the end, if you’re an heavyweight sleeper and you’re finding yourself in pain a lot after sleeping, your mattress could be too soft. Potential bed-buyers should do a good amount of research and take in a bunch of different firmness levels before making a decision. But for sleepers who are keen on choosing an extra firm mattress, you should give some serious consideration to innerspring coil mattresses and latex beds. They also tend to be very durable and affordable.