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How To Choose Latex Mattress Firmness

How To Choose Latex Mattress Firmness

Wondering how to choose the perfect firmness, when shopping for a new latex mattress? The firmness of your mattress must meet your particular sleeping needs, in order for you to experience the quality sleep you deserve. It should support your natural curves, which is important for relieving pressure points. It should also support proper spinal alignment as well.

In order for you to determine which mattress firmness is going to fully support your body when sleeping, you’ll first need to think about your sleeping position.

Sleeping Positions and Firmness

So how do you choose the perfect mattress firmness? By figuring out what your ideal sleeping position is. Yes, it really is that simple. Do you sleep on your side most of the time? Or, do you sleep on your stomach or back? If you're not sure, you could be someone who happens to take turns sleeping in all three of these positions. Follow this general guide: 

  • Stomach Sleepers: medium firm is recommended. Stomach sleepers need firmness and support so they don’t experience back pain, which can occur when sleeping on a mattress that is too soft.
  • Back Sleepers: medium firm and/or firm is recommended. Back sleepers only make up about 15% of the population, and need firmness and support for proper spinal alignment.
  • Side Sleepers: medium is recommended. Side sleepers will benefit from sleeping on a medium latex mattress, as too much firmness won’t provide them with cushioning for their hip and shoulder while laying on their side.

Mattress Firmness Levels

What are the levels of firmness for mattresses?

  • Soft: What does a soft mattress mean? It means that the mattress was made using a soft support system, and includes a soft comfort layer.
  • Medium: What does a medium mattress mean? It means that the mattress was made using a medium support system, and includes a soft comfort layer.
  • Medium Firm: What does a medium firm mattress mean? It means the mattress was made using a medium firm support system, and includes a medium firm comfort layer.
  • Firm: What does a firm mattress mean? It means the mattress was made using a firm support system, and includes a firm comfort layer.

What Exactly Does Mattress Firmness Mean?

It can be easy to confuse the firmness of a mattress with the support of a mattress, which are two completely different things. The firmness of a mattress is determined by the top layers and the support of a mattress is determined by the middle and bottom layers. The underlying support system of a mattress must be made with high quality materials, in order for the top layers to perform their job.

So how is mattress firmness determined? By its Impression Load Deflection (ILD), which measures how soft or firm a mattress is, by figuring how much pressure is required to sink a large round disk one inch into a mattress’s surface. The higher the number, the firmer the mattress.

When shopping for a medium mattress the ILD rating should fall somewhere between 24 and 26. When shopping for a medium firm mattress, the ILD number should fall somewhere between 29 and 31.

Tips for Choosing the Right Mattress Firmness

Here are a few additional things to consider, in order to ensure that you choose a mattress firmness that works for you!

  • Consider your weight. Your weight matters when choosing the firmness of a mattress, which is why sleepers who weigh more than 200 pounds will often choose a latex mattress as their new mattress choice.
  • How long do you want the mattress to last? Medium to medium firm mattresses last much longer than soft mattresses.
  • Do you sleep with a partner? If you and your sleeping partner require different firmness levels, a good compromise often involves choosing a medium firmness mattress.
  • Minimizing pressure points. A medium to medium firm mattress is recommended when it comes to minimizing pressure points.

Eco Terra Mattress

Why doesn’t Eco Terra offer the ability for people to buy a soft mattress or an extra-firm mattress? Because a soft mattress tends to make sleepers sink really far into the mattress, and extra-firm mattresses offer very little give when it comes to essential pressure point support. This is why Eco Terra has chosen to only offer medium mattresses and medium firm mattresses, as these two firmness levels are easily able to accommodate the majority of the population's sleeping needs.

For those of you who have decided that a medium or a medium firm latex mattress will meet your sleeping needs the best, understand that you have nothing to lose by trying our quality latex mattress as we give you a full 90 nights to sleep on it to see if it’s indeed right for you.  

Patrick Gunther

Patrick is an accomplished writer. He has been in the retail mattress space for the past 9 years, and more specifically in the natural mattress niche. He blogs on the subjects of natural mattresses, sleep, health, fitness, and green living.