Should you Choose a Soft, Medium or Firm Mattress?

The princess in the fairytale may have needed a stack of 20 mattresses to get to sleep – but if you find the perfect one, you won’t need anything else! Choosing the perfect mattress isn’t always easy – but when you’ve found the right one for you, it can make a huge difference to your nighttime comfort. In fact, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without it! Let The Sleep Shop help you learn about mattress firmness, and what it can mean for you…

Two Major Factors

There are two major factors to consider when you’re selecting your new mattress. First up is the mattress itself. You’re probably used to seeing mattresses described as soft, medium or firm – but did you know that these actually have specific, defined meanings in the mattress retail world? There’s nothing subjective about these words, and once you realise that, you’ll find it easier to pick your perfect mattress.


The firmness of a mattress is governed by the diameter of its spring tension wires. A soft mattress usually features wires with a diameter of 1.2mm, while an extra firm mattress uses 1.9mm. You might think that there’s not a lot of difference between those two numbers – but you’d be surprised! The two mattresses would feel completely different and offer you a sleeping experience that might feel like a bed of roses or a bed of nails, depending on your preferences.


Keep in mind, too, that the relative firmness of a mattress depends on its size. A medium single mattress, for example, will actually feel firmer than a medium king size. If you like, you can imagine that the same amount of firmness is being condensed into a smaller area, so the feeling will be quite different. If you’re upgrading to a bigger bed, it’s important to remember this, or you’ll be left wondering why your new mattress feels so strange.


The second thing you need to take into account is a bit more personal: it’s time to get on the scales! Don’t worry, you don’t need to tell anyone your magic number – but it’s definitely a good idea to know how much you weigh. That’s because the way a mattress feels depends on you.

Essentially, the lighter you are, the harder your mattress will feel. If you weigh 8 stone, then a firm mattress may be uncomfortably hard for you and you’ll feel like you’re just lying on the floor. But if your physique has more in common with a rugby player than a ballerina, that same firm mattress could be totally comfortable.


Remember, too, that firmness isn’t the same as support. The firmness of your mattress will affect your comfort, but if you’re suffering from back problems, then first and foremost, you’ll need to find one that’s supportive. Even an extra firm mattress may not give your back the support it needs to feel better. Look for orthopaedic options that are specifically tailored to your needs.

A Great Choice

No matter what type of mattress you’re looking for, you’re sure to find something in The Sleep Shop’s range. If you’re seeking something on the softer side, the 5ft King Size Sleepeezee MemoryForm Mattress is a good one to go for. This medium soft mattress has 800 pocket springs and a memory foam layer to adapt to your body. You’ll still enjoy some support, but the softness of this mattress makes it ideal for petite people or those who’ve found that they prefer a less firm sleeping experience. It’s a great choice if you’re on the lighter side, and tend to find firmer mattresses too stiff.

A Better Night’s Sleep

And if you want something seriously firm? The 5ft King Size Rest Assured British Wool Collection FIRMER Mattress boasts 2000 pocket springs and luxurious British wool for your comfort. It’s a great option for a seriously firm mattress, making it the perfect choice for people who sink like a stone into softer mattresses. If you find that regular mattresses just aren’t giving you what you need, then this is an ideal way to upgrade your bed, with the promise of a better night’s sleep.

Middle Ground

Maybe you’re like Goldilocks looking for the perfect bed: this mattress is too soft, that one is too hard…how can you find one that’s just right? The 5ft King Size Silentnight Pluto Miracoil Memory Cushion Top Mattress is a great happy medium. This medium-firm mattress is a popular choice for all kinds of people. It uses the unique Miracoil spring system for maximum comfort. Right in the middle of the firmness range, it’s a great option if you feel happier staying away from either extreme.

Once you’ve decided which type of mattress is right for you and made your selection, you’ll find bedtime is so much better. Nothing makes such a big difference like finding your perfect mattress – so lie back, relax and enjoy!