For many people, extra firm mattresses are the ideal choice. Once you understand the benefits that these mattresses offer, you can decide whether or not they are a good fit for your body type and your sleeping habits.
Mattresses that are rated as firm or extra firm do a good job of keeping your body aligned while you sleep, helping to support your back. In terms of posture, these mattresses keep your spine from bending too far in one direction or the other, which is something that happens commonly on mattresses that are too soft. You could also consider a firm mattress topper.
Extra firm mattresses are a particularly good choice for people who have large body frames or who weigh a lot. Unlike softer mattresses, they provide enough support that the body won’t sink down into the mattress, helping to maintain the natural curvature of the spine. Sinking too far into a mattress can throw the spine out of alignment, leading to pain and discomfort. Most people who have smaller frames or who don’t weigh a lot can get by with a mattress that is slightly less firm.
Stomach sleepers can benefit from extra firm mattresses, as well. The front of your body doesn’t have many pressure points, meaning that you don’t have to worry too much about experiencing pain or discomfort when sleeping on one of these mattresses. If you sleep on your back or on your side, on the other hand, you may want to go with a firm or medium-firm mattress rather than an extra firm mattress. These slightly softer mattresses are less likely to create pressure points on your shoulders or hips.
Partners who sleep together can also benefit from choosing an extra firm mattress. Because the mattress stays flat when you are laying on it, neither of you will wind up rolling to the middle of the bed, helping to ensure that you both stay on your separate sides. Motion transfer is also decreased, meaning that you don’t have to worry as much about bothering your partner when you roll over, move around, or get up out of bed.
Mattress Firmness and Back Pain
People with pain in their lower backs usually do best with medium-firm or firm mattresses. These mattresses are firm enough to provide support but not so firm that they create uncomfortable pressure points. For relieving back pain, medium-firm mattresses are generally ideal. They help keep the spine aligned, providing much-needed relief.