Is Your Mattress Firm Enough? A Simple Guide.

lady sleeping mattress firm

Is your mattress firm enough? Before we get into it, let’s clear up the confusion around mattress firmness vs. support:

It is not the same thing.

A supportive mattress need not be known as “firm”, and a firm mattress may not necessarily offer great support.

For example, Genie mattresses are not known as soft or medium or firm, because instead, they offer the best support for the majority of people.

Bear the issue of firm vs. support in mind as you read through this simple guide to show you which mattress firmness is going to be best for your personal needs.

What’s firm [not love] got to do with it?

Courtesy of Tina Turner (do you even remember her?), what’s mattress firm got to do with it?

Actually, nothing.

Not if the mattress is made from all the right things and offers support for the body pieces that need support…

Anyhoo, now you have your answer, you can stop reading. Just buy a mattress that offers excellent support. Like the Genie mattress.

But if you still want to know if your mattress firm is enough…you need to know that firmness is subjective – what’s firm for one person may be considered soft for another.

This is because each person has their own very specific comfort needs, and how firm a bed feels will vary based on age, gender, body type, weight, and some other stuff.  

Mattress firmness must be chosen according to your individual needs in order to prevent pressure pain caused by weight distribution and sleeping positions, which we’ll dive into in a bit.

Body weight and mattress firmness

Some mattresses, like the Genie mattress, are created for “universal” comfort; that means that most people will have a good night’s rest on it, because of how it’s been made; to feel comfortable no matter how you sleep, and as long as each body in the bed weighs up to 200 kg.

Mattresses like these, have layers of foam that can handle just about every weight.

But coming back to firmness levels…in essence, the lighter you are, the softer your mattress should be. The heavier you are, the firmer your mattress should be.

Now the problem with this is that each bed manufacturer sets their own standards as far as firmness goes, so what one manufacturer may deem as a soft mattress firm, is another manufacturer’s medium. To help you, here’s a tip:

Soft = under 60 kg

Medium = under 90 kg

Firm = 90 kg +

Now, the bigger the bed, the more firm the mattress needs to be if you’re heavy set, so a soft single bed may be a medium as a double bed.

The reason why heavier people need a mattress firm enough is because of deep compression support; a medium mattress firm may sink.

Hybrid designs (made from a combination of coil springs and foam), like the Genie mattress, offer the best support and comfort for people over 55 kg.

What can happen if you don’t get a mattress firm enough for you

These conditions can be attributed to sleeping on the wrong mattress for your body type and sleep habits:

  • A lack of energy.
  • Aches and pains during the day.
  • Depression.
  • Memory.
  • Lack of alertness.
  • Problem-solving skills are blunted.
  • Increase in blood pressure.
  • Increase in feeling stressed.
  • Weight gain.

Granted, as with all health niggles, these same ailments don’t always mean your mattress should be tossed, but it could be. That’s how serious mattress support is.

There are also other elements related to your sleep that could be the cause, like what you eat, drink, diseases, watching telly in bed, what you did before retiring, and so on, but here’s how you know your mattress may need an upgrade:

  • Your mattress is older than 10 years.
  • Dust mites bring on allergies, worsening skin conditions and asthma.
  • The mattress sags in certain places.
old mattress firm

What to look out for: soft vs. medium vs. firm vs. SUPPORT

How the mattress is made is key; the “ingredients” of the bed, and how well those ingredients are put together.

A mattress with good technology gives good support, and where you have good support, firmness does not matter, except in special cases.

For example, obese people may need to look for mattresses that stipulate they are made for heavier people.

Hybrid mattresses like Genie mattresses can be called universally comfortable because just about every person will sleep well on them. This is because the mattress is made of individually pocketed springs and latex foam; the springs working independently of each other, allowing for greater support.

Mattresses that include a final layer of latex or foam, eliminate pressure point pain:

Genie Mattresses Cutaway

What to look for in differing firmness levels:

Soft mattresses usually consist of an additional soft comfort layer on the top of the mattress. For most people, the mattress will sink considerably.

Medium mattresses usually consist of a medium firmness comfort layer. If you lay on the bed, you’ll experience slight sinking.

Firm mattresses usually consist of a firm comfort layer. On these mattresses, there will be no sinking whatsoever.

Selecting the right mattress firmness for your needs

Sleep position

Your sleeping position has everything to do with choosing the firmness of a mattress

Bed mattress

It must be repeated: a supportive mattress like the Genie mattress is the answer for most people, no matter their habitual sleeping position, but if you insist on going for firmness, then follow this guide:

Side sleepers should choose a soft mattress.

Stomach and back sleepers need more firmness.

You + partner?

By now, you may be wondering how on earth you should choose a mattress for it’s firmness when you’re a hefty 116 kg, but your wife’s a petite 52 kg?

You need a firm mattress and she needs a softer one…how’s that going to work?!

It’s pretty simple really…just get a mattress that has good support instead of looking for firmness levels, and you’re good to go.

Talking of partners…the best mattress firmness for sex is medium to firm. Just saying.

Back problems

People with back problems should choose a supportive mattress, never a soft one which does not align the spine, but makes it sink in. However, ironically, if you’re experiencing back pain on a standard mattress, a soft one may help (more confusion, right?!)

Generally speaking though, soft mattresses can cause backache.

best-beds-Mattress firm Spine Alignment

The best solution is a mattress that offers good support. Level of firmness is not important; support is.


Unless you weigh more than 200 kg, you, and the majority of people don’t need to worry about mattress firmness if you focus instead on support.

A hybrid mattress, made from individually pocketed springs, together with latex, offers excellent support that is ideal for most people who don’t have extra special needs.

Download our free guide to purchasing the better bed