Optimal firmness of a mattress

If you are looking for the right mattress, one of the most important factors to consider when making a purchase decision is the firmness of the mattress which boils down to this comparison of firm vs soft mattress. But what exactly does this mean? And what are the different degrees of firmness?

What must the right mattress look like?

In general, a good sleeping mattress should not be too soft or too hard. However, these are factors that cannot be judged in a general way, because the firmness that is good for you depends on a number of aspects.

In general, a sleeping mattress should not be such that you sink too deeply, nor should it feel as if you are lying on hard ground.

What does hardness mean and what should be considered when choosing a sleeping system?

The degree of hardness indicates the firmness of a mattress and is influenced by the compression hardness of the material. Depending on the manufacturer, it is designated H or F and can be divided into different degrees. The higher the degree, the harder and more resilient the sleeping surface. The degree is usually listed in connection with the body weight.

However, weight is not the only factor. Often personal feelings and sleeping habits also play a role. Some people can sleep better on a somewhat firmer base, some prefer to sleep on a softer one. The preferred sleeping position is also a decisive factor in how firm you should sleep. For example, hard mattresses are more suitable for stomach sleepers.

Nevertheless, it should be noted that a heavy person puts too much strain on a soft mattress when sleeping. It would quickly wear out, so it cannot provide sufficient ergonomic support for the spine. For a hard mattress it is more comfortable for tall and strong people, while a soft mattress is more suitable for petite people.

All in all, it can be said that a sleeping mattress must yield sufficiently to be able to support the spine of the sleeper. However, the body must not sink in completely.

How many degrees of firmness are there?

There are 5 different degrees of firmness established on the market, each of which is designed for different requirements.

H1 – soft

H1 is designed for a body weight under 60 kg. Some manufacturers make these sleeping pads directly as custom-made products. People who weigh more than 60 kg should choose a mat with a higher degree of firmness, even if they like to lie softer. A soft mattress is simply too quickly worn out and does not provide the necessary support.

H2 – medium hard

H2 is particularly suitable for sleeping for someone with a body weight between 60 and 80 kg. Heavier people should not choose sleeping pads with this degree, as they will not get the necessary body support.

H3 – hard

Sleeping systems with this degree of hardness are most frequently purchased in Germany and are suitable for a body weight between 80 and 100 kg.

H4 – very hard

This grade is suitable for people with a higher body weight between 100 and 120 kg. Depending on the manufacturer, this degree of hardness of a mattress is also called firm or extra firm.

H5 – ultra hard

Documents with the grade H5 are very rare. They are ideal for people with a body weight between 120 and 160 kg.

What does the hardness of the different types of mattresses depend on?

Normally, cold foam mattresses with a high density are more durable, more elastic and more stable than cold foam underlays with a lower density. The higher this is, the greater the support effect when sleeping. Nevertheless, the density is not directly related to the degree of hardness.

A hard mattress made of cold foam can have a low weight and a soft version a higher one. The quality of a cold foam mattress cannot therefore be measured by its apparent hardness. The hardness levels of a cold foam mattress are only determined by the different types and depths of the incisions and by the compression hardness of the foam.

How can you determine whether you have chosen the right degree of hardness?

Once you have chosen the right degree of firmness of a mattress, your spine will lie straight and horizontal in a lateral position. Your sleeping mat ensures that your inter-vertebral discs and your spine are optimally supported and that your body maintains an anatomically natural position while lying down. This allows for a relaxed and restful sleep so that you wake up the next morning without tension and back pain. Whether soft or hard – suitable sleeping mattresses are available for all requirements.

Mark C. Beaver

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