Is Your Mattress Soft or Firm?

Is Your Mattress Soft or Firm?

Anna Hoffman
Aug 24, 2011

On vacation this summer, I slept on a mattress that was so firm, my shoulder and hip were sore all day. My bed at home is a cushy, pillow-top situation that I adore, but sometimes I wonder if the whole mattress industry isn't some absurd scam that I've totally fallen for. After all, our great-great-grandparents slept on straw pallets, and many people from non-Western cultures sleep on thin pads or futons, and somehow I'm the one with back pain? So I know it's subjective, but I'm curious to know: is your mattress soft or firm?

Too hard, too soft…

Choosing a mattress is a totally personal experience, and different people will prefer different options. Basically, you want to pick one that allows your spine to be straight in every position, so it's in the same position as if you were standing straight up, just without the pressure on it. For heavier people, this means a firmer mattress that doesn't sink with their weight (if you feel like you're sinking in, it's too soft for you). For lighter people, this means a softer mattress that doesn't push back against them. (If you're in my vacation bed, it might not matter how heavy you are, since I believe that mattress was designed to resemble granite). But I imagine that some people just prefer a harder or softer surface, regardless of these guidelines.

Just right…?

So what did you pick, and why? Are you happy with your choice?

Images: Schramm;

Related AT posts: Maxwell's Year in Bed, especially Some Things I've Learned So Far