HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT MATTRESS FIRMNESS?
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Every individual is unique and finding the right mattress depends on several factors. A single level of firmness will NOT work for everyone. Plus your preferred sleeping position also plays a large part in choosing the right mattress.
The correct level of firmness in a mattress will determine the right comfort and support that will fit specifically for you, There is no one-size-fits-all but the mattress should meet the following criteria:
Proper spinal alignment
Not harsh on muscle and joints
Let's take a look at these three criteria:
1. Responsive support
The term "responsive" refers to the adequacy of support for your body weight. A support that is firm and responsive provides a quick response to your every movement during sleep .ie you should not be struggling to turn or change positions during sleep.
Synthetic foams are examples of non-responsive support. They basically just absorbs your weight and will bottom out depending on its inherent density. Because synthetic foams are not responsive, they do not conform to every individual's unique body curvatures.
Natural latex mattresses, by nature, offers firm support and also is conforming to each sleepers body curvature to achieve optimal spinal alignment.
2. Natural spinal alignment
A good mattress with the correct level of firmness should support the head, shoulders, hips and heels at the perfect level so that the spine is always naturally aligned during sleep.
Natural Spine Alignment
In contrast, a firm (hard) mattress that does not "cushion" you will cause your spine to curve upwards while a too-soft mattress will cause your spine to curve downwards. Therefore, then your spine is not aligned naturally during sleep, over time you will start to wake up with backaches and pains.
When testing for a new mattress, do ask your partner to provide a visual check on your alignment.
3. No harshness on your muscle and joint
While a mattress should be firm and stable, it should not be hard. If the mattress is too hard, they will create painful pressure points on your joints and muscles, causing soreness and pain. Remember that your body will be subjected to this harshness for 7-8 hours every night.
Your mattress should be firmly supportive, but also softly cushioning you. It should have the right firmness to provide natural spinal alignment, while also be plush and gentle on you every night.
The correct level of firmness depends not just on the mattress but also on your weight and preferred sleeping position. A lighter person that is 70 kgs and below, would normally fit a softer mattress while a heavier person would need a firmer one. However, if you are a side-sleeper, you would prefer a mattress that is softer and gentler to your shoulders and hips.
Every person that has owned a mattress has over the years developed a certain preference over how their bed should feel like when they lie on it. When a mattress already provides firm support and good spinal alignment, the final test comes straight down to how you feel when you lie on it.
When shopping, you should be allowed to "sleep-test" on each mattress for a minimum of 5-10 minutes and not just by sitting on them and admiring the decor in the showroom. Bring a friend along and ask your friend to observe whether your sleeping posture is level and not curving down or upwards when you are lying on your sides. Your posture should be straight while the mattress should conform to your body curvature.