Mattress Firmness and Sleeping Position is one of the important aspects to take into consideration, when you are choosing a new mattress.

Firmness, as a mattress industry term, refers to How SOFT or How FIRM mattress is. The firmness scale goes from the softest to the firmest: ULTRA PLUSH, LUXURY SOFT, SOFT, MEDIUM SOFT, LUXURY/CUSHION FIRM, MEDIUM FIRM, FIRM, EXTRA/ULTRA FIRM.

Sleeping position may vary through the night, but still there is a position which is your favorite or the most comfortable one.

  • Side Sleeping position is the most common one.
  • Back Sleeping position is the most recommended by the doctors.
  • Stomach sleeping position is the least recommended by the doctors.

The following recommendations for the mattress firmness for each sleeping position are based on the human body skeletal and muscular structure. It is called musculoskeletal system, where all our muscles, ligaments, joints and bones, including spine, work together. Therefore, the wrong mattress choice will affect the body and cause pain in the neck or back or hip area. So, the goal is to achieve perfect spinal alignment with no pressure points.

Side Sleeper.

Soft – Medium Soft- Luxury/Cushion Firm.

The recommended mattress firmness for side sleeping position ranges from soft – medium soft – luxury firm or cushion firm. The top layers of the mattress should accept the impression of a shoulder and a hip. In this position, the body is resting on the ankle, knee, hip and shoulder. There are no major muscle groups in the first 3 locations, thus putting most of the burden of weight on the shoulder muscle. The mattress should allow the shoulder and the hip to sink down into the mattress, distributing the weight and leveling the body and spine.

right mattress for a side sleeping position

Right mattress choice.

Right mattress provides a body with correct posture, where all parts of it are aligned, keeping the spine straight. The body weight is distributed and there is no pressure building in your shoulder.

Mattress is too firm for side sleeping position

Mattress is too firm.

A too firm mattress can lead to excessive strain on the shoulder causing stress, pain and lack of circulation. This will result in tingling and numbness in the arm, hand and fingers. It can cause pain on all pressure points by not providing enough pushback on the surrounding areas.

Mattress is too soft for side sleeping position

Mattress is too soft.

A too soft mattress allows the hip area to sink down more into the mattress than other parts of the body (usually it is our heaviest part), causing a misalignment of the spine, which will cause back and neck pain.

Back sleeper.

Luxury/Cushion Firm – Medium Firm – Firm.

The recommended mattress firmness for back sleeping position ranges from luxury firm – medium firm – firm. You may choose any mattress that comfortably supports body weight and shape. The proper mattress fit supports the neck and shoulders, the lumbar and behind the knees. The body should come in contact with the mattress from head to toe.

right mattress for back sleeping position

Right mattress choice.

Right mattress fills the gap between shoulder blades, in lumbar area, under the knees and heels, providing the body with the correct posture and maintaining natural spine curve.

mattress is too firm for back sleeping position

Mattress is too firm.

A too firm mattress leaves the gap between shoulder blades, underneath the lower back and knees. As a result, the body will overcompensate and try to conform to the mattress. Thus, putting strain on lower back muscles and causing lower back and hip pain.

Mattress is too soft for back sleeping position

Mattress is too soft.

A too soft mattress allows torso and hips to sink down more into the mattress than other parts of the body (usually it is our heaviest part), causing a misalignment of the spine, which will cause lower back pain.

Stomach sleeper.

Luxury Firm – Medium Firm.

The recommended mattress firmness for stomach sleeping position ranges from  luxury firm – medium firm. The degree of firmness depends on body weight.  The heaviest part of the body is the central and hip area. So, good support is needed there to prevent a concave position, where the hips are lower than the head and feet.

right mattress for stomach sleeping position

Right mattress choice.

Right mattress conforms to the body shape and provides support for the body weight to maintain correct posture and the natural spine curve.  There is no tension on the lumbar and neck area. The arms, rib cage and knees fit the mattress with no pressure accumulation.

Mattress is too firm for stomach sleeping position

Mattress is too firm.

A too firm mattress doesn’t conform to the body and puts excessive strain on the shoulders and arms (causing lack of circulation, resulting in tingling and numbness in the hands and fingers), the rib cage and knees. Thus, will result in pain and discomfort.

Mattress is too soft for stomach sleeping position

Mattress is too soft.

A too soft mattress allows the central and hip area to sink down more than other parts. Thus, causing a concave position, where the hips are lower than the head and feet. This causes tremendous stress on the lower back and neck.