A question that you should seriously consider is what level of firmness do you need to purchase. In a store, the associates many times refer, incorrectly, to a plush bed as a more comfortable bed. You know that comfort is subjective, and the rep in the store cannot tell you how comfortable a bed really is. The firmness you should look for it determined by all of your personal factors, such as your height, weight, and preferred sleeping position. Other factors include, but are not limited to, soreness or stiffness in the morning, medical concerns such as injury or chronic painful conditions, and personal preference. A firm mattress may well suit a healthy, athletically built back sleeper, but an ultra plush mattress may be the best solution for an overweight fibromyalgia patient who sleeps on their side. Here are some guidelines.

  • Do you sleep on your back or side?
  • Is your body shape dense? A short but husky 160lb man will sleep different from a tall, slim 160lb man.
  • Do you currently or recently experience pain while you sleep or when you wake up? If so is it routine?
  • Do you have any adverse medical concerns which cause pain or limit movement? Do those conditions affect your entire body or only selected joints or limbs?

Of course, there is no way for us to tailor the reviews you will read on this site based on those questions. Even though we strive to be an all-inclusive resource for your bed and mattress shopping needs, we cannot and will not recommend a specific model of bed. Most bed retailers have specialized and trained agents who can take the answers to the above questions and help you formulate a shopping plan which should suit your needs. What we can do is offer some general observations about the firmness of a mattress.

An ultra firm mattress, the firmest category which Beds.org will rate a bed at, is sometimes considered useful for people who are light and/or small. Children and young teens may not object to a bed this firm. In general, this type of bed will feel similar to lying down on a thin layer of padding on a carpeted floor. Typically, the majority of beds which fall into this category will be spring beds, and are usually the cheapest models in their brand and line. As an example, a popular online retailer lists the Spring Air Back Supporter line as having an entry level ultra firm mattress about $30.00 cheaper than a comparable plush model. This is magnified when evaluating upper tier mattresses, as the more expensive materials are used in these beds and the manufacturer can reduce the amount of those expensive materials when manufacturing an ultra firm mattress.

firm mattress is only slightly softer than its ultra firm counterpart. Whereas the ultra firm model may feel like a thin layer of padding on a carpeted floor, a firm model will resemble lying on top of a thick sleeping bag, or a comforter folded onto itself a few times. The firm models you may see in stores typically are well suited for athletically built people. Given the firm overall feel it may still be possible for the surface to feel plush. This is done typically by using very soft foams at the surface of the bed, plus pillowtop and/or euro-top layers can add this plush initial feel. Don’t mistake this for overall feel though. Make sure you lie down on the bed for 10 – 15 minutes before making an assessment based on firmness.

The plush models offered by most manufacturers are the most common and abundant models available. This is simply due to the face that a bed is designed to be comfortable, and many people do not find firm to be comfortable. Plush models typically begin to incorporate more advanced features in the line of beds. As an example, you may see a memory foam layer in a plush model which is not available in the same models firm bed. Plush beds generally have more comfort foam layers and are pillowtops or euro-tops are most common in this level.

Lastly there are ultra plush models of most beds. These models are the crème-de-la-crème in the bed business. Ultra plush beds mostly resemble sleeping on a cloud. This reference is so close, in fact, that many manufacturers use the word ‘Cloud’ in the name of the model frequently. An ultra plush bed can have disadvantages, such as improper spinal alignment. If you move from a firm model to an ultra plush model, you could also feel pain and stiffness for several days as your body adjusts to the new surface. Most medical professionals agree that unless the supportiveness of the bed is not correct for your body, then there is no general problem with sleeping on a very soft bed.


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