Top 3 Difference between Soft and Firm Mattress – Which Works Best ?

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By Jacob G. Turner

Guys, pain is panicky, but when it is back pain, believe me, it is even more panicky. But the good news is that by choosing the right mattress, you can get relief from back pain. You may get two popular types of mattresses out on the market, including soft and firm mattresses. So what could be better for back pain soft or firm mattress?

Well, many people consider that getting a firm mattress could be better for back pain though it’s not always true. Rather, having a firm mattress can cause more problems. Sleep rejuvenates our minds and body daily. Not everyone gets enough sleep, which is bad for their health. The soft vs. firm mattress controversy occurs when back pain sufferers try to locate the correct mattress. Which relieves back pain better? Let’s examine both types of mattresses and their pros and cons to help you choose.

What is the difference between soft and firm mattresses?

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Well, the basic difference between soft and firm mattresses is the feel. A firm mattress is enough harder than a softer one. On the other ways, a softer mattress is soft enough to touch. You can easily compress the softer mattress by using pressure. Also, a softer mattress will give you more comfort layers such as latex, foam, and pillow top.  

Benefits of firm and soft mattresses:

Benefits of a firm mattress:  

  • Choosing firm mattresses could be best for those who have no back pain.  
  • It protects your lower back from collapsing, which enables enough oxygen intake when sleeping.
  • Firm mattresses are suitable for those who want to sleep on their back.

Benefits of soft mattress: 

  • Usually, choosing a soft mattress is better for those who have back pain problems.
  • It is ideal for lighter people.
  • A soft mattress is better for those who sleep on their side. It aligns the spine as well.

The Soft Mattress Dilemma

Soft mattresses are constructed of memory foam or soft fibers that mold to your body. This can relieve joint pressure, but it can also misalign your spine, causing pain. It’s important to assess the type and location of your back discomfort before choosing a soft mattress. If your back pain is caused by a crooked spine, a soft mattress may not be optimal.

However, a soft mattress can help muscle-strained lower back pain sufferers. A comfortable mattress helps relieve lower back pressure. It’s also important to know that soft mattresses wear out faster.

Controversy Over Firm Mattresses

Firm mattresses, on the other hand, are made of denser materials that provide a more rigid sleeping surface. This can help keep your spine in alignment and prevent further back pain. However, a firm mattress may not be suitable for those who suffer from pressure point pain, such as hip or shoulder pain. A firm mattress can cause more pressure on these areas, leading to further discomfort and restless nights.

That being said, a firm mattress can be an excellent option for those with upper back pain caused by poor posture or spinal stenosis. The added support can help maintain a neutral spine position and alleviate discomfort.


What do I need to choose a firm vs soft mattress?

If you are a patient with scoliosis or arthritis, choosing a firm mattress couldn’t be the ideal choice. A firm mattress is responsible for increasing pain. On the other hand, a soft mattress can cause back pain if you are a heavyweight person. Most significantly, choosing a soft mattress is better to side sleepers.

There are several variables to consider while purchasing a mattress. Consider your back pain kind and location first. If your pain is caused by a crooked spine, a firm mattress may be preferable. Muscle soreness may require a softer mattress. Consider your sleeping position. Side sleepers may prefer a softer mattress, while back and stomach sleepers may prefer a firmer mattress.


In a nutshell, if you don’t have back pain or you need to sleep stomach or back, choosing a firm mattress is suitable. Some studies found that opting firm mattress is better for lower back pain. On the other hand, it is advisable to go for a soft mattress if you can’t get relief from back pain by using a firm mattress. However, consider the sleep position and back pain before choosing a mattress, firm or soft.

Helpful Resource:
Complete Guide: Read our full Article Best Mattress Topper for Back Pain

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