Replacing your mattress can be exhausting. Navigating the stores and websites, debating between foam and springs, and determining the best mattress size and how much to spend can leave you feeling like you need a good nap.
One constant we can share is that firmness and support are not the same thing in a mattress! When we talk about support with our customers, we are referring to the feeling you have in a bed when your entire body feels comfortable, aligned and in harmony. You can have a soft bed and still be completely supported, allowing your body to relax and drift off to sleep.
“Firmness” is highly subjective based on personal preference and dictates how hard or soft a mattress feels. What’s firm for you may not be firm for others, and what’s soft for others may not be soft for you.
How can I tell if my mattress is too soft or too firm?
How you sleep affects how the mattress feels to you. If a side sleeper wakes up with sore hips, shoulders and knees, the mattress may be too firm. On the other hand, if a side sleeper wakes up with a sore back, then the mattress could be too soft.
To help alleviate these aches and pains, Sleepy’s and SleepMaker work closely with the Australian Chiropractors Assocation (ACA), to ensure our Chiropractic Collection of mattresses are made with quality materials for the ultimate spine support and care. Your sleeping position acts as a guideline for choosing the right mattress support for you.
We have put together mattress support guidelines based on your sleeping position.
The ACA agree that sleeping on your back is the best position for your spinal health. Sleeping on your back evenly distributes weight across the surface of your body, allowing your head, neck and spine to rest in a neutral position. It can also help minimise pressure and ensure proper alignment of your internal organs. You may choose to place a pillow under your knees to keep to the natural curve of your spine. If you are a back sleeper a medium to firm mattress is a comfortable option and will support your spine. A soft or plush mattress may also suit your sleeping preferences if you are a back sleeper, it’s entirely subjective. You could consider investing in an adjustable base which will allow you to elevate your feet and or head to your preferred position.
When positioned correctly, side sleeping has several benefits such as, reduced joint and lower back pain. To ensure you are positioned correctly, try lying on your preferred side with your lower leg straight and upper leg bent. Place a pillow between your knees and bend both your knees and hips slightly, to position your pillow. This will reduce pressure placed on your back and throughout your body. A mattress with medium firmness is able to mould and hug your body, to provide support on your hips. If you are a side sleeper, a soft or plush mattress may suit your sleeping preferences.
According to the ACA, stomach sleeping will eventually create problems with your spine and it is not a recommended sleeping position. It puts unnecessary pressure on your neck due to twisting your head and the straining of your lower back. Most of your weight is in the middle of your body, which makes it difficult to maintain a neutral spine position. If you do sleep on your front, a firm mattress is best suited for stomach sleepers in order to push back against your body for spinal support.
Trying a new sleep position comes with many benefits, check out our guide to The Best Sleep Positions for Your Health.
We have compiled the key information into the Mattress Comfort Scale below as a guideline:
What Size Mattress Should I Get?
A deep, restorative night’s sleep is becoming more and more necessary for our busy lives. For those who like a lot of space in bed or who share a bed with another, how do you find a bed that is big enough?There are a myriad of reasons and lifestyle changes, that create the need for a new mattress. For example, you might be starting a family, moving houses, downsizing, or expanding your bedroom space or children are outgrowing their first beds. The rule of thumb is the length of your mattress should be at least 10-15cm longer than the tallest sleeper and you may consider going up a size if you are sleeping next to a sprawler, or have kids and pets climbing into bed. Other consideration in size selection include:
- If you share a mattress with a partner and struggle as a ‘hot sleeper’, increasing the size of your mattress can create some breathing space, so you can both maintain your individual sleeping temperature.
- For those who are constantly woken up by a partner tossing and turning in the night, a larger mattress can help reduce partner disturbance as it isolates the movement.
Our mattress size indicator below will help you find the best mattress size for your lifestyle.
What are the Different Mattress ‘Feels’ or Comfort Levels?
There are several different comfort levels that a mattress can offer. The “firmness” in your mattress from Sleepy’s is categorised into three main “feels.”
The best way to explain mattress feels is to think about the experience you have when you first lay on a mattress. The feeling you have in a bed when your entire body feels comfortable, aligned and in harmony. You can have a soft bed and still be completely supported, allowing your body to relax and drift off to sleep.
The cloud-like comfort experienced when sleeping on a plush mattress comes from the luxurious materials used, and its greater ability to conform to the shape of your body. For a touch of indulgence and a higher price point, an extra plush mattress is suitable for those who like a soft feel mattress. An extra plush feel will have you wrapped in a plush, cloud-like hug. The extra layers of soft foams add height and comfort to the mattress.
Mattresses that are a plush feel are a particularly good choice for those who prefer hugging support, as the conformable materials will cradle the hips and shoulders, dispersing body weight and minimising spinal stress. This mattress is suitable for those seeking a soft, cloud-like sleep surface. The ‘hugging’ sensation occurs when every part of your body that is touching the bed feels like you are snuggling into a big, fluffy, soothing cloud. The top panel has ‘cushiony’ look and the surface is flexible under your body as it contours and moulds to your shape.
When you lay on a mattress and have a balanced level of contouring and push back, this is a medium feel. A cloud like experience, the top panel is neither too lofty nor is it too inflexible under your body. The mattress moulds and conforms to your body but it is not claustrophobic, nor do your hips and shoulders feel like they are being pushed upwards. The feel of medium mattresses suits a wide range of people and is a popular choice.
A firm mattress will immediately push back against your body, it has an inflexible surface and very little puffiness and “bounce” in the top panel. These mattresses can assist in facilitating a neutral spinal position, keeping the body straight to regulate correct posture. They can also help to reduce pressure on the circulation for better blood flow.
Our Extra Firm Mattresses offer whole-body support. With an inflexible surface that is neither plush nor bouncy, the extra firm foams offer the benefit of minimised partner disturbance. Designed to relieve back stress by cradling the hip and shoulder regions.
How do you know what feel is right for you?
The feel of a mattress is highly subjective because it depends entirely on your personal experience. The subjectivity comes from your own personal needs, preferences, experience, body shape, age, health and aches. We recommend using our Find Your Mattress tool to help narrow down your options, before visiting your closest store and trying the mattress! Aim to lay on the bed for at least 15-20 minutes, to really gauge what is right for you.