Memory Foam Mattress – Should I Get a Soft or Firm Bed?

images (6)The most important factor for selecting a mattress is personal comfort. If a bed feels good, then it will largely contribute to better sleep and a healthful sleeping position. However, many shoppers go about searching for a new mattress with preconceived notions about what they “should” be looking for.

The medical community often gives confusing advice. Some doctors say a firm mattress is better for support and some say a softer mattress is better. But this advice is contradictory and too simplistic to be helpful. Firmness is not directly related to proper support or comfort, so the advice is not as helpful as it could be. Good advice would say to get a mattress that:

  • Reduces pressure points – evenly distributes pressure across the surface of your body, not just the heavy parts of your body.
  • Keeps your spine in a neutral position – supports your inward body curves (neck, lower back) as well as your outward body curves (hips, shoulders), maintaining a natural body position.
  • Feels comfortable to you – Your body is smart; It knows that personal comfort will naturally contribute to healthful sleep and a natural body position.

Foam mattresses come in varying firmness levels based upon the firmness of the foam used to make the mattress and how the bed is constructed. Both latex and memory foam mattresses are made up from 2 or more layers of foam. The top layer is soft, contouring to your body and offering gentle support. The lower layer or layers provide firm support, maintaining your healthful body position.