You sleep on your back. You sleep on your stomach. You sleep with a partner. You prefer a soft mattress—or a firm one.
No matter which of these preferences describes you, having the option to buy a soft, medium or firm mattress allows you to create a sleep experience that's perfect for you. Your sleep position, overall health and personal preference all factor into choosing the right firmness level. Feeling confident enough to make the right choice is another matter entirely.
From the Brooklyn Bedding Sleep Experts to you, check out this helpful guide about how mattress comfort levels work and the sleep styles they're best suited for—along with tips for buying your next mattress.
A soft mattress is one that allows for deeper compression from the top to the transitional layers. Soft mattresses are usually made with foams that have a lower ILD, or density, that can compress more deeply than other types of foams. Because the softer features are more prevalent in the top layers, it is absolutely possible to get a soft feel in both all-foam mattresses and those featuring innersprings—especially if the innerspring consists of individually encased coils, responsive to individual sleep needs while still reducing motion transfer between partners. A soft mattress is a great choice is you require enhanced pressure point relief, are particularly sensitive to firmer sleep surfaces, or like to feel as if you are being "hugged" by your mattress.
Soft might be right for you if:
- Your age or a health condition requires a gentler sleep surface to ease aches and pains
- You need greater cushioning of pressure points, like the shoulders and hips
- You sleep mainly on your side, back or a combination of both
- You prefer a contouring sleep surface that "hugs" your body when you sleep
The best "soft" mattresses:
- The Bloom Hybrid by Brooklyn Bedding offers naturally cultivated comfort with eco-friendly materials: superior pressure point relief is the hallmark of Talalay Latex, combined with a super plush cover made of Joma Wool™ and organic cotton.
- The Brooklyn Aurora, featuring patented TitanCool for ultimate temperature moderation, has a soft firmness option that expertly blends gentle contouring with responsiveness that doesn't lead to feeling "stuck" in the bed.
- The Brooklyn Signature has a soft firmness option that balances a cloud-like sleep surface with superior edge support and the exceptional pressure point relief of individually encased coils.
Medium is the most popular of all comfort levels, a perfect balance between cozy soft and super firm. A medium mattress is the best comfort level for partners with varied sleep positions. Medium is also a great option for combination sleepers, who spend an equal or nearly-equal amount of time on their backs, sides and stomachs.
Medium might be right for you if:
- You spend equal amount of time sleeping on your stomach, side and back.
- You prefer to a top layer that allows your body to sink in, while still feeling supported by a firmer core.
- You share a bed with a person of either a very different body type or a totally different sleep style.
- You prefer a sleep surface that doesn't have extremely deep compression, but does cradle your hips and shoulders.
The best "medium" mattresses:
- The Brooklyn Aurora has a medium firmness option with that "just right" balance between contouring and responsiveness. Because the Brooklyn Aurora is a hybrid mattress, it also offers the targeted pressure point relief of individually encased coils.
- The Spartan by Brooklyn Bedding features FDA registered Nanobionic® technology for faster rest and recovery—coupled with a foam that bridges the gap between the sink-ability of visco-elastic memory foam and the bounce of latex.
- The Brooklyn Bowery Hybrid is an entry point hybrid, constructed in a universal medium firmness level. Its top layer construction consists of quilted, gel memory foam and and two-inch transitional comfort layer. while a six-inch base of individually encased coils provides individual responsiveness and support.
A firm mattress helps maintain a neutral spine position. It keeps your body straighter and ensures that your bones bear most of your body weight, allowing your muscles to relax more. A firm sleep surface also helps reduce pressure on your circulatory system while helping to ensure your airways are more open. You may experience a deeper, higher quality sleep on a firm surface since you’re typically getting more oxygen. Despite its advantages, a firm level is not recommended for anyone with sensitive pressure points.
Firm might be right for you if:
- You sleep on your stomach.
- You prefer to feel as if you're sleeping on top of the bed, rather than sinking into it.
- You prefer a sleep surface that doesn't have deep compression, but does offer some contouring relief around your hips and shoulders.
The best "firm" mattresses:
- The Plank by Brooklyn Bedding was specifically designed for sleepers who can never find a mattress firm enough. Its flippable, two-sided construction lets you choose between zero loft, for an ultra-firm sleep experience, or minimal loft for a firm sleep experience. Bottom line: its ultra-firmer, flatter, flippable surface, creates a neutral spine position that’s better for your back and posture overall.
- The Brooklyn Aurora has a firm option that is unique: it offers the necessary reactivity to allow you the feeling of sleeping "on top" of the mattress, while still adjusting to your body each time you move. On a scale of 1 to 10, it is a softer 8 than other firm options but still maintains lumbar support, especially because of it's hybrid construction, featuring more durable, individually encased coils.
- The Brooklyn Signature is also offered in a firm option with the support of individually encased coils. It has the classic "on top" feel that many sleepers prefer in a firm mattress.
What's the biggest thing to keep in mind when choosing the right firmness level for you? Flexibility. Unless you get a no-hassle return policy with a trial that is at least 120 nights, it's probably not the right bed for you. This is especially true when you're replacing a mattress after sleeping on the same one for many years: your body will require at least 30 nights to adjust to a new mattress. At the end of the day, finding the right firmness level is is one of the most critical considerations when choosing a mattress—take your time getting the perfect sleep surface for you.