The firmness of a mattress is a difficult subject to tackle, but it is one of the biggest factors that affect a person’s buying decision. Despite many guides and description for mattress firmness levels, you’re the only one who can decide whether a mattress is soft, medium, or firm. This is true because one product may seem too soft for one person, while it could be of medium comfort for you. In short, we all have a different perspective and description when it comes to mattress firmness and it’s all based on various factors, including requirements, understanding, and perceptions.
Mattress firmness is indeed a tricky topic and can cause confusion among many buyers. However, a number of consumers are turning to medium firm mattresses, which are dubbed as the “universal comfort level.” This mainly because of they are not too soft and not too firm – it’s just “right.” Note though that even medium firm mattresses can feel too soft or too firm for some people, so the final decision still rests in your hands.
What’s a Medium Firm Mattress?
When talking about the firmness of a mattress, this describes the feeling you get when you first lie down on it. If the mattress pushes you back and feels quite stiff, this is considered a firm mattress. If the mattress feels as if you are on a cloud with adequate cushioning and immediate contour and hug, this mattress is soft. But if the mattress has a balanced level of hug, contour, and push back, this mattress is considered a medium feel mattress. Then again, these firmness ratings are still subjective due to the fact that sleepers have specific needs. Age, body type, gender, and weight also play into how the mattress can feel to you.
Medium firm mattresses come in many different names, including plush firm, luxury firm, and cushion firm. But whatever the name is, they all mean the same: in-between soft and firm. It is also known as universal comfort mattress as some mattress companies offer only this firmness level in hopes of satisfying the needs of the majority of sleepers. About 80% of sleepers choose medium feel mattress because it’s more balanced than both soft and firm mattresses.
Medium vs. Soft vs. Firm
When you read mattress reviews, you will notice that there is a comfort scale used to rate the firmness of the mattress. Usually, the scale is from one to 10 where one is the softest and 10 is the firmest. Other reviews use the opposite, so make sure that you read the description properly.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 to 2: When a mattress is rated 1 to 2, this means it is a “very soft” mattress. It gives that cloudlike feeling and the mattress uses very soft materials for comfort. This allows the mattress to provide a plush sleep surface that the sleeper will surely sink into. If you’re a stomach sleeper, you should avoid this firmness level as well as those who sleep on their back. These two types of sleepers require additional support, which a very soft mattress can’t give. There are some back sleepers though who prefer this kind of mattress, particularly those who want to achieve the best possible pressure relief. Side sleepers are recommended to go for very soft mattresses.
3 to 4: A mattress in this firmness range is considered “soft” and this works ideally for most side sleepers. Some back sleepers also like the feel of a plush mattress that allows them to sink into the material. Once again, stomach sleepers shouldn’t go for a mattress this soft. If you’re in the market for a new mattress to replace your old one and you are a stomach sleeper, find a model that’s on the higher scale.
5 to 7: When a mattress is rated 5 to 7, it is considered a medium feel mattress, which is sometimes called the “Goldilocks” zone. This is because it is a mid-range mattress that offers a good combination of support and softness. What’s really great about this firmness level is that it is recommended for almost all kinds of sleepers, meaning it doesn’t matter what your sleep position is. Because it has medium firmness, it offers softness for side sleepers and enough firmness for stomach sleepers. As for back sleepers, it provides near-perfect balance between support and comfort. If you’re looking for a mattress for your guest bedroom, you will find this kind of mattress firmness helpful because it appeals to a wide range of sleep positions. While this is a good option for almost everyone, note that it is not perfect and there are some people who prefer a specific feel that’s either soft or firm.
8 to 10: Mattresses that are in this comfort scale are rated firm to very firm. If you want the firmest possible mattress on the market, go for the mattresses in this scale. This level of comfort though is recommended only for back sleepers, since stomach and side sleepers generally require a little bit more padding and softness. Firm to very firm mattresses usually have minimal padding as they simply focus more on providing sturdy back support to make sure the spine is aligned properly.
If you’re not sure whether to go for soft, firm, or medium, most people recommend medium feel mattresses. This is especially helpful if you’re looking into buying a memory foam mattress. Some mattresses in this category tend to harden when exposed in low temperatures, while it may become softer during hot days.
Is a Medium Firm Mattress Suitable for You?
When shopping for a mattress, sleepers will discover that there is one firmness level, which is suitable for them. Your decision making process are affected by some factors, including your body type, weight, medical conditions, age, and other specific requirements. If you’re looking to buy a medium feel mattress, here are some reasons why you should choose this level of firmness over soft and firm:
You have back pain.
If you’re sleeping on the wrong mattress, your temporary back problem can be chronic. It helps if you go for an ergonomic mattress, which encourages proper posture, while relaxing your muscles and promoting healthy sleep. It is true that there is no perfect mattress, but what’s more important is to select a mattress that can support your back and your spine among others.
According to a study with 313 participants who have lower back pain, medium feel mattresses helped them experience less pain as they lie on the bed compared to firm mattresses. Other doctors have also confirmed this finding, which is actually in stark contrast with the old recommendation to go for a firm mattress. A very stiff mattress will push against your spine and a very soft mattress will not give your back enough support. This is why a medium feel mattress is the ideal firmness for you.
It is also recommended that those with chronic back pain go for a good quality memory foam mattress with medium firmness. This type of mattress is ergonomic, so it’s helpful for those who want to avoid back pain or get relief from it. A medium firm memory foam mattress helps cradle the curves of the body, while providing enough support for the bony and muscular structures of the back. Our spinal cord has three curves:
1. Cervical spine, which is C-shaped and supports the head
2. Thoracic spine, which is the reverse C-shaped part of the spinal cord that supports the upper body
3. Lumbar spine, which is another C-shaped curve found in the lower back that serves as the foundation of the back
All these parts of the spine should be supported by the mattress. The right type and firmness of the mattress will help maintain the alignment of the curves of the spine as you lie on the bed; otherwise, this will cause you to have chronic back pain. Memory foam that’s medium firm can conform to the body as it has enough softness, while offering a firm surface, so it is not prone to sagging.
You sleep on your side and/or stomach.
When you’re sleeping on your side, you are creating several pressure points when you’re lying on the mattress. Typically, you are recommended to go for something soft or medium because both firmness levels can contour to the curves on the body’s sides.
Meanwhile, if you sleep on your stomach, this sleep position can create problems on the lower back. Due to this, you need a slightly firm or a medium mattress to keep the spine in proper alignment.
You’re a female.
In general, females require a medium feel mattress. This is because they tend to be heavier in the midsection than men, which is why male sleepers would sleep more comfortably in a softer mattress. Women tend to feel the excessive sinkage in the lower back, which can lead to back problems. This is why there should be balance in support and comfort and this can be supplied by a medium feel mattress as it can effectively bridge the needs of a female’s body.
You’re of average weight.
Your body weight is important in determining which level of firmness to go for. If you’re of average weight, you will feel the top layers more than the base or core foam or the materials. This is because there isn’t too much level of pressure that you place on the mattress, but enough for you to sink in a little bit. This doesn’t mean you should go for a soft mattress. As a matter of fact, you should choose a medium feel mattress, particularly if this firmness level also corresponds with your needs as well as other factors.
You share the mattress with your partner.
Because a medium feel mattress is neither soft nor firm, this level of firmness is good for couples, especially those who have varying preferences when it comes to comfort. The upholstery is just soft enough, which gives sleepers the all-round comfort that both persons need. This is also a good option for couples because most of the time, there is a difference in sleep style. Whether you or your partner is a back, side, or stomach sleeper, medium firmness can accommodate such difference without causing numbness and other problems, such as lack of circulation and comfort issues.
Best Picks for Medium Firm Mattresses
Once you have decided to choose a medium feel mattress, the next step is to look for a mattress brand and model that will suit your requirements. To help you make your decision faster and wiser, here are the top rated medium feel mattresses that will surely allow you to enjoy a restful sleep at night:
1. Amerisleep Revere
Amerisleep is one of the first companies to start the concept of online mattress. What sets them apart from many other brands is that they sell luxury memory foam, while maintaining affordability. This is achievable for them because they sell the mattresses directly to the consumer. Their mattresses are also more eco-friendly through the manufacturing process that they choose to carry out and they pair them with by using plant-based foams. These foams are quite unique as they are made with a high share of materials derived from plants and are manufactured in a facility with zero emissions. This particular process actually keeps the foam breathable and very responsive.
The Revere mattress uses a thick memory foam layer, along with a high quality foundation layer. It has a medium firm feel that’s good for people who sleep on their side and back, but can also be suitable for people who sleep on their stomach.
The Revere mattress readily contours to the shape of the body and offers adequate cushioning, while making sure that the body is evenly supported across the surface of the bed to prevent pressure points. This particular mattress from Amerisleep also ensures optimal alignment of the spine to fight lumbar and other problems that may occur in the back. These are just the highlights of the mattress. There are still a lot more features that are quite unique to this Amerisleep mattress.
Features of Amerisleep’s Best Selling Mattress, The Revere Mattress
– 12 inch profile height
– Cover comes with modern chocolate wave style that’s sure to be breathable all over
– No need to flip or turn
– Resists dust mites
– Consistent pressure relief and support
An adjustable foundation is usable with the Amerisleep Revere. Aside from the ones mentioned above, the mattress also comes with the following attributes:
– Cover is Celliant infused for improved blood flow and guaranteed to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep for a longer time.
– There are two layers for the mattress. The first layer is three inch Bio-Pur memory foam.
– The second layer is nine inch Bio-Core foam for better support.
– The mattress is approved by the Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC).
– The fire barrier used is approved by GreenGuard.
The mattress is wrapped in a cover that’s infused with Celliant, which is a thermo-reactive thread, so it is sensitive to heat (in this case, body heat). Celliant absorbs the heat of the body and turns it into infrared light. This process has many benefits, including that it helps heal body aches faster because it improves blood flow and circulation. It also helps you sleep about 15 minutes faster than mattress covers that don’t have Celliant. Because you sleep faster and you stay comfortable all night, you will wake up refreshed and with more energy in the morning.
The chocolate wave design somehow sets the mattress cover apart from the usual all white designs in many mattresses. It fits snugly all over the mattress, while making it look modern and sleek.
The first layer is comprised of three-inch memory foam, which has a large open cell structure. It is guaranteed to conform to the shape of the body, while making sure that you remain cool as you sleep. The memory foam used is known as Bio-Pur, which is comprised of plant-based materials since Amerisleep doesn’t use much petroleum in the manufacturing process. Bio-Pur is excellent at keeping the sleeper cool, relaxed, and comfortable all night.
The second layer is made of Bio-Core support foam, which provides support for the mattress. It is thick with nine inches profile to keep the spine and the whole body in its natural position. It has a solid foundation that contributes to pressure relief. Bio-Core assures that the mattress will remain durable for a long time. This layer also gives deep compression support for the Revere mattress.
One reason why numerous consumers are hesitant about buying a mattress online is because they cannot test it. But purchasing at stores doesn’t guarantee you that you will arrive at the best decision. You can lie down and have a feel of the mattress for 15 minutes or so, but that doesn’t mean you will be satisfied with your purchase. With the Amerisleep Revere though, there are attractive warranty and return policies to give you that peace of mind you need:
90 days trial: Test your mattress at the comforts of your home. This is more effective than testing at showrooms because there is no pressure from the sales representative who’s looking at you while you lie down on the mattress. The mattress offers a very long trial period that’s about three months long. If you’re not satisfied with the mattress, you can contact Amerisleep and ship the mattress back. You will get a full refund if you return the mattress within the period. The trial begins the day you receive your mattress.
20 year warranty: The Revere mattress, just like the mattresses from Amerisleep, comes with a 20 year warranty. It is divided into two parts: the first 10 years of the warranty allow the owner to get full replacement in case of manufacturing defects and other problems. The second 10 years of the warranty are prorated.
The Amerisleep Revere is rated 4.7 out of 5 stars based on the reviews of 981 customers in the Amerisleep website. Customers laud the support and the comfort they feel when they use the mattress. They also comment on the durability, the softness, and how the Revere mattress holds its shape after lying down on it. The majority of the customers who purchased the mattress loved it and there is a high chance that you will enjoy it too. Even better, the Revere starts at $899 and that’s very well-priced considering the specs, materials, and the sophisticated method of manufacturing the mattress.
1. Saatva Luxury Firm
Saatva claims that they have “America’s best priced luxury mattresses.” Saatva mattresses are created using coil on coil design where there are two layers of coils with distinctive properties and are built for specific purposes:
The lower coil is for connecting a base that takes on hourglass shaped steel, which is made to maintain a sturdy support for the mattress.
The top coil has wrapped coils that are individually wrapped, which contour to the body and are very responsive as the sleeper lies down on the mattress. These coils are responsible for ensuring motion transfer is eliminated. The coils aren’t close to one another, so that when the sleeper or sleepers move, such movement will not disturb the surrounding coils.
On top of the layers of the coil is a euro-style pillow top that gives the mattress such a luxurious feel, but still has balanced support. Saatva guarantees that the mattresses they offer can last for at least 10 years and the coils are made to last and perform consistently as they are toughened three times and baked in the oven with special care.
Features of the Saatva Mattress, the Luxury Firm Version
1. Individually wrapped coils in the above layer of the mattress that Saatva states are the most advanced coil construction for luxury mattresses
2. Edges are made sure to fight sagging over time and with dual perimeter support system for more sleep surface that’s really durable
3. With memory foam layer to support the whole back of the sleeper and prevent aches
4. Tempered steel support for the foundation to maintain the strength of the mattress
5. With plush cover that features organic cotton, along with Euro pillow top for more cushion
6. Feels like the mattresses in the finest hotels
7. Offers balance between cushion and contour
8. Good for back, stomach, and side sleepers as well as those who are combo sleepers
Because the Saatva Luxury Firm mattress offers not too firm and not too soft feel, it is currently the leading choice of sleepers. Saatva sells their mattresses exclusively online, so that means you can’t find them in stores. If you’re hesitant about buying online, there is less worry with Saatva mattresses as they offer a very long trial of 120 days. If you don’t like the mattress, you can return it free except for the delivery fee. This is indeed a very friendly return policy and the warranty is also very attractive. If the owner finds the mattress defective, such as there are problems with the structure or workmanship, Saatva will accept the return and will replace the mattress at no extra cost. Meanwhile, if the defect is found after three to 15 years, you can have it repaired with no cost.
2. Helix Mattress
If you’re looking for a mattress that’s not only medium in firmness, but also offers other features that will suit your own preferences, Helix mattress is a good choice. It is all about personalization where you simply supply answers to a really easy quiz that asks about your sleep positions, body type, and other personal questions. Answer truthfully before you check out and you will have a mattress that’s based on your response.
Just like Saatva, Helix only sells their mattresses online; there are no middlemen and they therefore pass on the savings to the buyers. But how does the brand guarantee that the mattress is indeed personalized according to the preferences of the buyer? From the answers given, Helix will tweak the mattress based on the following traits:
– The preferred firmness of the mattress
– Whether the user sleeps hot or not
– Support required by the sleeper depending on his or her body composition and sleep position
– Pressure relief needed
Since you’re looking for a medium feel mattress, you can state in the first category that you need medium firmness. Examples for the other categories are cool temperature, above average support, and high elasticity.
Even though the mattresses from Helix are customized, they are generally made of the following layers:
– Dynamic Foam which is comprised of two inches of foam that feels like latex
– Pocket coils that measure 2.4 inches
– Two inches of polyfoam as the comfort layer
– Four inches of polyfoam as the base layer
Aside from the customization, Helix also allows the customers to return the mattress within 100 days if they are not happy with it. A full refund is granted if you aren’t satisfied with the product and Helix won’t ask any questions. When you receive the mattress though, it will feel much better after a few days as it is shipped in a box and needs to decompress completely to be comfortable.
Helix mattresses are ideal for those who want a customized bed. However, if you want to know exactly what you will get upon purchasing, this is probably not what you’re looking for. They sell their mattress exclusively online, so you won’t really know what you’re getting until it is right at your doorstep. Additionally, Helix isn’t as established as other companies, such as Amerisleep, so some sleepers tend to be cautious. Still, they do offer good customer service and have a strong return policy in addition to a 10-year warranty to ensure the satisfaction of the customers.
Final Shopping Tips
As you buy a medium feel mattress, it is important that you know the difference between firmness and support. They are not the same even though many sleepers think that they are synonyms. The key is to understand that firmness is simply what you feel the moment you lie down on the mattress. The first few seconds will tell you whether the bed is firm, soft, medium firm. On the other hand, when talking about the support of the mattress, this denotes the ability of the mattress to keep the spine in its proper alignment.
The truth is that you can have a mattress that’s soft and yet there is enough support. There are also firm mattresses that aren’t as supportive because they can create many pressure points. What is really important is that when buying a new mattress, you need to think about both the support and the firmness of the product. You can do this by separating these two factors in your mind. Firmness of the mattress is how it makes you feel. Ask yourself whether it helps relieve pressure, feel comfortable, warm or cool for you, or has a lot of hug and pushback. As for the support of the mattress, you will know about it when you’re lying on your preferred position and it helps keep your spine straight. If it doesn’t, it is not a supportive mattress and can cause back pain.
When you select a mattress, you shouldn’t just think about the firmness of the mattress and as much as possible, avoid those that are too firm for you. Some salespersons may tell you that the firmer the mattress is, the better the support. While it is mostly true that firm mattress have good support, there are many times when hard feel creates more pressure points than softer ones.
If you’re not sure about which firmness to go for, it is a good idea to go for a mattress that’s considered medium firm. Looking at the firmness rating scale, go for one that’s rated around five to six out of 10. Such mattresses are the most common these days and they are for a good reason. Most sleepers prefer this comfort level because they are a good balance between soft and firm.