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Choosing the Right Comfort for Your Sleep: Plush vs Firm Mattress


woman laying on bed

A good mattress is the cornerstone of a good night’s sleep, so choosing which one is right for you really is a big decision. There are a lot of factors to take into consideration when buying the perfect mattress for you. One of the best places to begin is with the comfort feel. How do you want your mattress to feel when you lie down on it? For most people, the answer is either firm or plush.

What is a Firm Mattress?

Everyone defines comfort in their own way and the conversation surrounding soft vs firm mattresses is one we have a lot with our customers. A firm mattress is, well, firm. It shouldn’t necessarily feel like a block of wood, but it’s the type of mattress that doesn’t have a ton of give when you push down on it. A firm mattress doesn’t have a sinking feeling but instead has sturdiness to it. For those not experiencing troublesome back pain, a firm mattress will generally be more comfortable. When you sleep on a firmer surface, your bones absorb most of the pressure, meaning there is less stress on muscles, veins, and arteries. Your muscles are less strained and your circulation is improved. A firm mattress also keeps your lower back from collapsing, which could allow for more oxygen intake while sleeping. Less sagging can mean the weight of the body is distributed evenly, which means no one part of the body is bearing the brunt of the pressure. Firm mattresses are generally better for those who sleep on their back or stomach, because they provide a more stable and even surface that you don’t sink into.

We have dozens upon dozens of firm mattress options. Just a few that we recommend include the Stearns & Foster Rockwell Luxury Firm and the ViSpring Tiara Superb Firm mattress. The Tiara is a handmade mattress that features three rows of hand side-stitching. It has only natural fillings, like blended Platinum Certified real Shetland wool, organic cotton, and hand-teased long-strand horsetail blended with Platinum Certified real Shetland wool. This makes your firm mattress quite comfortable and supple as well.

While we have many great firm mattresses, sometimes you want a mattress that is really, really firm. You want an extra firm mattress! We think one of the best extra firm mattresses is our own City Mattress Grand Teton Extra Firm. This innerspring mattress keeps your body aligned with individually wrapped coils, providing an independent sleep surface for optimal rest. Beyond this, both the PranaSleep Karma Peace Extra Firm and the PranaSleep Nidra 6 Extra Firm are great options. With either one of these mattresses, you’ll never wake up with aches and pains again, because your bed will be firm yet luxurious.

Look into a Plush Mattress

You may be thinking “Aren’t all mattresses cushiony? what is a plush mattress?” As discussed in our recent plush mattress article, a plush mattress is a mattress with a soft feel. A plush mattress will compress more easily when pressure is applied. It’s the type of mattress that you gently sink into, cradling and hugging you as you fall asleep. Softer mattresses are generally better for those who sleep on their side, as they better cushion the shoulders and hips. They’re also sometimes recommended for lighter individuals, as a too-firm mattress can end up not compressing for them at all.

A softer, plush mattress can give you the comfort and cushion you need to sleep happy throughout the night. So, what is the best plush mattress?  We have many to choose from, all of which are high-quality, soft, and comfortable. The Aireloom Jamboree Plush is a very popular option. The Serta iComfort Foam CF4000 Plush is another fantastic option because while it is very plush, it’s also specifically made to keep you cooler at night. The Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt Soft mattress features the Tempur-APR™ pressure relief in the support layer. It has 25% more Tempur material than other mattresses in the Tempur-Pedic lineup, in order to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. The result is a softer feel for relief of pressure points and contouring. Pillow-top mattresses should also be a consideration. In this article, we compare plush and pillow-top mattresses.

Don’t Forget About Support

In the competition between firm vs soft mattress, it is important to note that regardless of which comfort preference you decide on, support is what truly matters. A mattress without enough support for your spine can lead to muscle fatigue and a poor night's sleep, no matter if it is soft, firm, or anything in between. Whether the support is there or not has much more to do with the quality of the materials than how it feels. A well-made plush mattress is going to offer better support and spinal alignment over a poorly-made, cheap firm mattress. A mattress that is firm, yet poor quality will not support the body evenly. It is quite possible it will only support your body's heaviest parts. This does not allow your muscles to rest, as they must work throughout the night to find a comfortable position and maintain the correct posture.

A mattress that is perfect for your body’s exact needs will do three key things for you as you sleep:

  1. Allow you to rest in a neutral spine position, keeping your body straighter
  2. Keep your lower back from collapsing, which allows you to inhale more oxygen while you're sleeping
  3. Reduce the pressure on your entire body

Splitting Your Mattress

As we’ve said, your ideal mattress comfort is a personal choice. So, what happens if you need a firm mattress, but your partner wants a plush one? Don’t worry if you landed on different sides of the plush vs firm debate! We believe comfort shouldn’t involve compromise. You don’t have to sleep in separate beds to get what you want either. We’ll work with you both to put together a sleep system that combines two twin XL mattresses to form one king size bed. This way, you both get your favorite mattress!

The best place to purchase a new mattress is City Mattress! We have over 80 sleep comforts for you to choose from. Beyond just the size and brand of your mattress, you can actually choose how your new bed will feel. We carry Firm, Plush, Extra Firm, Medium, Euro Top, Cush, and Pillow Top. Choosing which one is right for you really is a big decision. That is why at every City Mattress location you will find Sleep Experts. These friendly, knowledgeable professionals will walk you through the entire showroom and have you try out as many different comfort options, brands, and styles as you need in order to feel really secure in your choice. As soon as tomorrow night, you’ll be sleeping on a new mattress you love!