How Hard Is A Medium Mattress

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Beautyrest Hybrid BRX1000-IP Medium Mattress Review

Updated January 13, 2020

TheBeautyrest Black Hybrid BRX1000-IP Mediumis a modestly priced model in their hybrid collection that’s $1,299 in a queen size. It’s a medium-feeling bed so it appeals to most people. If you’re considering this bed you can read our entire review below:

Comfort Scale Rating

The BRX1000-IP Medium mattress has a medium feeling that werate 4 on our 10 pointComfort Scale (a 1 is hard, 10 is softest.) This bed appeals to most people because it’s a medium feeling bed, so it’s not too hard or too soft.

Expert Video Review

Here’s our quick BRX1000-IP Medium Mattress Video Review. It highlights the features, benefits and our impression.

Pros & Cons

PROSCONS
  • Premium materials and construction
  • Outstanding support and contouring
  • Minimal motion transfer
  • 1000 Series Pocketed Coils
  • Trusted brand
  • None

Pressure Test Results

We’vepressure tested the BRX1000 Medium Mattresswith petite, average and large body size people on their side and back sleeping positions to see what kind of support and comfort you can expect. (Learn how we test.)

The test results confirm thatthis mattress performed wonderfullyin providing good back support and relieving excess pressure on peak pressure points like the hips and shoulders. In terms of weight distribution, this bed was able to relieve most of the pressure points on all of the bodies and sleep positions used in our testing. These bodies represent the majority of people which gave us the widest possible results for an accurate outcome.

If you focus on the illustrations shown below you’ll notice several colors that represent varying amounts of pressure. Red areas indicate an excess in pressure which can cause discomfort leading to tossing and turning. Yellow areas show where there’s increased pressure, though not so much to be called ‘excessive’. Green areas are what we want to see, they’re the areas where the pressure relief in the mattress is doing its job correctly. Light blue areas in the lower back portion of the bodies show where the bed is giving the sleeper proper support for spinal alignment. Based on this information you can see whythis bed earned 5 out of 6 ‘recommended’ scoresfor its ability to relieve pressure and support your back.

Avg Pressure: 19 mmHg – Area: 506 inches 2

Avg Pressure: 22 mmHg – Area: 554 inches 2

Avg Pressure: 17 mmHg – Area: 444 inches 2

Avg Pressure: 20 mmHg – Area: 429 inches 2

Avg Pressure: 17 mmHg – Area: 334 inches 2

Avg Pressure: 19 mmHg – Area: 313 inches 2

The Main Beautyrest Hybrid BRX1000-IP Medium Features in Detail

1. InfiniCool Plus

The top of the mattress and its cover include material thathelps to pull heat away from your bodyso you can sleep cooler. Sleeping cool is important so you get a good night’s sleep.

2. Beautyrest Gel Memory Foam

Gel Memory Foam is the material thatconforms to your body’s curvesand also helps to pull and dissipate excess body heat.

3. 1000 Series Pocketed Coils

The 1000 Series is a pocketed coilinnerspring supporting your bodyunderneath the foam layers above it.

Comfort Depth Video

Wemeasured how far your hips and shoulders sinkinto the Beautyrest Hybrid BRX1000-IP Medium mattress with different body types.

Andrew’s Comfort View

Aaron’s Comfort View

Richard’s Comfort View

Warranty

The BRX1000-IP Medium mattress has a 10 year warranty against factory defects.

Conclusion

TheHybrid BRX1000-IP Mediummattress is part of the Beautyrest Hybrid collection by Simmons. It’s a medium feeling bed so it will becomfortable for most everybodybecause it’s not hard or soft. It has a price of $1,299 in a queen size so it’s also moderately priced and has all the main features in the BRX1000 collection.

Most people will find this mattress comfortable since it’s not too hard or too soft. It will alsoappeal to you if you sleep on your side or your backparticularly with how well the bed performed during the pressure testing phase of our expert review. Thismattress earned five recommendationsout of six possible for its ability to relieve pressure points and provide back support for proper spinal alignment.

The mattress features cooling and conforming foams on the top. It has InfiniCool Plus on the very top which helps to pull heat away from your body. Thenit has gel memory foams underneath to conform to your body’s curves as well as to also pull heat away.The support comes from a pocketed coil innerspring which is well designed. Thepocketed coils move independentlyso they really support areas under the curves of your body. They also help minimize the movement of your sleeping partner when they’re moving or getting into our out of bed. That kind of feature helps you sleep better at night.

The mattress is reasonably priced at $1,299. It’s in the range of nicer beds from all manufacturers. And since it has the key features you’d expect in a hybrid mattresswe think it’s a good bed to consider, especially for the price.

Beautyrest Hybrid BRX1000-IP Medium Specifications:

BACK SLEEPERSIDE SLEEPER
LARGE PEOPLELargest 10% of adults 210-273 lbs
AVERAGE PEOPLEMiddle 50% of adults 134-218 lbs
PETITE PEOPLESmallest 10% of adults 111-135 lbs
Product Name
Queen Price
Mattress Comfort
Comfort Scale Number
Coil Count
Coil Gauge
Comfort Padding Layers
  • 1" Beautyrest Gel Memory Foam
  • 2" Beautyrest Gel Memory Foam
  • 1" Medium Comfort Foam
Warranty
  • 10-year warranty against manufacturer’s defects
  • No Flip, No Rotate
  • Non-prorated
Back Support System
  • 1000 Series Firm Pocketed Coil
  • 1-1/2" Energy Foam
Quilt Top of Mattress
  • InfiniCool Plus
Edge Support
  • BeautyEdge Foam Encasement
Recommended For Side Sleepers Who Weigh
  • 210-273 lbs
  • 134-218 lbs
  • 111-135 lbs
Recommended For Back Sleepers Who Weigh
  • 210-273 lbs
  • 134-218 lbs
  • 111-135 lbs

About The Author Joe Nashif

A jack of all trades in the mattress industry, Joe is a merchandiser who’s seen the changes in the products and trends for many years. Active in Brazilian Jui Jitsu, along with related injuries, he enjoys resting at home with family, too.

Sarasota & Venice Mattress Stores

Mattresses are a major part of our lives, but how hard or soft they are can make a big difference for the quality of sleep you’ll get. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each type.

Pros of a Hard Mattress

1. They facilitate a neutral spine position, keeping your body straighter
2. They reduce the pressure on your circulation system, allowing blood to flow better
3. They prevent your lower back from collapsing, which allows you to inhale more oxygen while you’re sleeping
4. They support the use of props like body pillows and pillows between the knees
5. The human body can adapt to sleeping on a hard mattress and begin finding it comfortable

Cons of a Hard Mattress

1. Changing to a hard mattress (from a soft one) can be uncomfortable for several days
2. Studies have suggested that hard mattresses are not a good option for people with certain lower back problems (arthritis, rheumatism, scoliosis, etc.)
3. It can be harder to notice the differences in firmness between harder mattresses, and some may not be quite firm enough
4. Very few locations ever advertise their mattresses as "hard and solid" instead of "soft and plush", perpetuating the problem of people who are harming their bodies by sleeping on the wrong type of mattress
5. Body weight can eventually create indentations

Pros of a Soft Mattress

1. Soft mattresses can reduce back pain and help aging individuals deal with joint pain and problems
2. Slimmer, lighter people can sleep on a medium-firm mattress and enjoy the plushness without sacrificing spinal support
3. Soft mattresses can be a better option for people who sleep on their side, especially in a fetal position
4. Softness can be added through the use of pillow-top systems, allowing for a firm primary mattress with just a bit of softness on top
5. Research is continuing to work on ways to support the body even when softer mattresses are being used

Cons of a Soft Mattress

1. The softness can push a spine out of alignment and reduce the quality of sleep
2. Soft mattresses can be more expensive than their firmer counterparts
3. Two people may disagree on the amount of softness they want in a bed, making it harder to share
4. Soft mattresses tend to grow softer over time and may cease being appropriate after a few years of use
5. Tend to result in below-average buyer satisfaction

In short? You may want to consider a firmer mattress unless your doctor says otherwise.

Do I Need a Soft or Firm Mattress?

Quick Overview

Whether you need a ‘soft’ or ‘firm’ mattress will ultimately depend on your body, budget, and personal preferences. The right firmness level for a given sleeper varies by height, weight, and sleep position.

Additionally, mattress firmness is often linked to pricing and performance factors like durability and pressure relief. Due to the wide range of mattresses sold today, multiple firmness options are available for memory foam and latex beds, innersprings, hybrids and other common mattress types.

Read on to learn more about finding a mattress with the right firmness level for you and your sleep partner.

Why Is Firmness Important?

A mattress with the right firmness level will provide adequate support and alleviate pressure points throughout the sleeper’s body. Mattresses that feel too firm or not firm enough can create joint discomfort, back and shoulder pain, and exacerbate pressure points.

How soft or firm a mattress feels will largely depend on how the comfort layer (or comfort system) is constructed, as well as its overall thickness. The comfort layer is defined as the body-cushioning system that forms the topmost part of the mattress, and its composition will determine how closely the mattress conforms to a sleeper’s body. Common comfort layer components include polyfoam, memory foam, latex, and/or steel microcoils, as well as the mattress cover. Some mattresses have a single-layer comfort system, while others may have as many as four or five individual layers in the comfort system.

Other factors can be used to evaluate firmness in different mattress types. In innerspring mattresses, the gauge (or thickness) of steel coil and other metal components can affect overall firmness. In mattresses made entirely of foam and/or latex, firmness may be linked to a measurement known as indentation load deflection (or ILD). ILD refers to how much weight is needed to indent a sleep surface by 25%; mattresses with low ILD ratings are not as firm and require less weight for indentation, while mattresses with high ILD ratings are firmer and require more weight.

Due to the wide range of firmness preferences among individual sleepers, many mattress manufacturers offer models with multiple firmness options. Additionally, some mattresses are available in ‘dual firmness’ or ‘split firmness’ designs that feature different firmness settings on both sides of the top surface; these models are geared toward couples with differing firmness preferences. Other ‘flippable’ models feature different firmness settings on both the top and bottom surfaces, and they can be rotated whenever the owner wants to change the firmness.

Firmness vs. Support

Firmness is tied to bodily support, although it’s important to differentiate between these two terms: firmness refers to how a mattress feels as soon as a sleeper lies down, whereas support refers to how well a mattress maintains an even and sag-free surface, aligns the sleeper’s spine, and relieves pressure throughout the night.

That being said, mattresses that are too soft or too firm may lack proper support for certain sleepers. Excessively soft mattresses often sink excessively, which can compromise support for heavier individuals. These beds may also create discomfort for those who sleep on their back or stomach, since both of these positions require flat surfaces for good spinal alignment.

Alternatively, many lighter individuals find that excessively firm mattresses do not conform closely enough; as a result, they do not experience as much pain and pressure relief as heavier people. Side sleepers also tend to prefer mattresses that are less firm; this position often requires surfaces that conform closely to align the spine and alleviate related aches and pains as they develop.

In addition to firmness, sagging and indentations in the sleep surface can also negatively impact mattress support. Minor indentations of 5 inches or less may not affect how the mattress feels, but deeper sagging can cause pressure points to develop in affected areas of the sleeper’s body. Generally, mattresses built with high-density foam, Dunlop latex, or coil support cores withstand sagging and indentations to the most noticeable extent.

How Is Firmness Measured?

At Tuck.com, we rate mattresses using the following 1-10 firmness scale:

  • 1 (Extra Soft):An extremely plush sleep surface that sinks deeply beneath a sleeper’s body.
  • 2-3 (Soft):A very plush surface that conforms closely and sinks somewhat deeply.
  • 4 (Medium Soft):A plush surface with adequate conforming and minimal sinking.
  • 5 (Medium):An even balance of firmness and conforming with little sinking.
  • 6 (Medium Firm):A low-conforming surface with very little (if any) sinking.
  • 7-8 (Firm):A sufficiently firm surface that conforms to a degree without any sinking.
  • 9-10 (Extra Firm):An extremely hard surface with no conforming or sinking.

It’s important to note that mattresses with firmness settings of ‘1’, ‘9’, or ’10’ are quite rare because the vast majority of sleepers prefer surfaces with firmness settings of 2 to 8. As a result, most mattresses sold today fall between ‘Soft‘ and ‘Firm.’

Firmness and Sleeper Type

Body weight and sleep position are arguably the two most important factors for determining the right mattress firmness.

People with below-average weights generally feel more on mattress with lower firmness settings; if the mattress is too firm, then they may not weigh enough to feel any conforming or pressure relief. On the other hand, people who weigh more than 230 pounds may experience uncomfortable sinking on mattresses with low firmness settings.

Sleep position is key because it determines which areas of the body need more cushioning and support.

  • Back sleepers require more spinal and lower back support to maintain proper spinal alignment and prevent pain and discomfort from developing.
  • Side sleepers have vulnerable pressure points at the shoulders and hips, and also require neck support for proper spinal alignment.
  • Stomach sleepers generally need firmer mattresses to adequately support their hips and prevent uncomfortable sinking; most physicians do not recommend stomach sleeping due to the high risk of discomfort and pressure.

As a result, a side sleeping individual who weighs 150 pounds will react quite differently to the feel of a mattress than a back or stomach sleeper who weighs 300 pounds. Additional factors include the sleeper’s shoulder, waist, and hip measurements.

Using customer reports and product analysis data, the table below features the most popular firmness setting for individuals with different weights and sleep positions. Please note that this table reflects general findings; mattress firmness preferences are highly subjective, and we strongly urge all buyers to test out multiple firmness settings before buying a new mattress.

Weight GroupSleep PositionOptimal Firmness Range
Lighter than average
(Less than 130 lbs.)
SideMedium Soft to Medium
BackMedium Soft to Medium Firm
StomachMedium Soft to Medium Firm
Average
(130 to 230 lbs.)
SideMedium Soft to Medium
BackMedium to Firm
StomachMedium to Medium Firm
Heavier than average
(More than 230 lbs.)
SideMedium to Medium Firm
BackMedium Firm to Firm
StomachMedium Firm to Firm

Firmness and Mattress Price

Although mattress price-points vary from brand to brand, models with low firmness settings (1 to 3) tend to be the most expensive due to extra padding layers that make the comfort system feel exceptionally soft.

Additionally, high-end materials like Talalay latex and gel memory foam tend to produce comfort systems with the softest settings. Alternatively, firmer mattresses feature less padding and are usually cheaper by comparison.

Firmness and Mattress Performance

The firmness setting may be used to determine how a mattress will perform in the long run. Performance factors tied to mattress firmness include the following:

  • Durability:Mattresses with low firmness settings – particularly innersprings – tend to be the least durable due to premature sagging and indentations in their relatively soft sleep surfaces. Firmer mattresses are less susceptible to this type of degradation, and their average lifespan is significantly longer.
  • Pain/pressure relief:Mattresses with mid-level firmness settings (4 to 6) tend to alleviate the most bodily pain and pressure, since they are designed to offer a balance of comfort and support. Models that are too firm or not firm enough provide less pain and pressure relief by comparison.
  • Smell:Off-gassing odor is an issue for most mattresses, but mattresses with low firmness settings (1 to 3) tend to produce stronger, longer-lasting smells because they have thicker foam layers; off-gassing is a major complaint among foam mattress owners. Firmer mattresses, on the other hand, generally contain lower amounts of foam and, as a result, produce less odor.
  • Temperature neutrality:Medium Firm and Firm mattresses typically retain less body heat and sleep somewhat cool as a result, while mattresses with lower firmness settings usually sleep warmer. However, temperature neutrality is more closely linked to mattress type; innersprings and hybrids tend to retain less body heat than foam and latex models.
  • Sex:Mattresses with mid-level firmness settings tend to be best for sex because they are sufficiently responsive without causing too much sinkage. Firmer mattresses are usually responsive enough for sex, as well. Mattresses with lower firmness settings may also be responsive but sinkage is an issue for some.
  • Ease of moving:Mattresses with low firmness settings are usually heavier, and need to be rotated more often, than mattresses with higher firmness settings.

The table below features a summary of pricing and performance expectations for mattresses with different firmness settings:

Firmness RangeExtra Soft to Soft (1-3)Medium Soft to Medium Firm (4-6)Firm to Extra Firm (7-10)
PriceMost expensiveAffordableMost affordable
DurabilityPoor to FairFair to GoodGood to Very Good
Pain/pressure reliefFair to GoodGood to Very GoodPoor to Fair
Odor potentialPoor to FairFair to GoodGood to Very Good
Temperature neutralityPoor to FairFair to GoodGood to Very Good
SexFair to GoodGood to Very GoodGood to Very Good
Ease of movingPoor to FairFair to GoodGood to Very Good

Firmness and Pillow Loft

Pillows play an important role in mattress firmness preferences. Pillow loft, or pillow thickness, can greatly affect the feel of a mattress. The thickness of a pillow is measured using the term ‘loft’. Low-loft pillows measure less than 3 inches thick, medium-loft pillows measure 3 to 5 inches thick, and high-loft pillows measure more than 5 inches thick. A good rule-of-thumb when choosing pillows for a mattress: the lower the firmness setting, the lower the pillow loft.

The table below features a detailed breakdown of the optimal pillow loft for different firmness settings:

Firmness RangeLow-Loft Pillow RatingMedium-Loft Pillow RatingHigh-Loft Pillow Rating
Extra Soft to Soft (1-3)Very GoodFair to GoodPoor
Medium Soft to Medium Firm (4-6)Fair to GoodVery GoodFair to Good
Firm to Extra Firm (7-10)PoorFair to GoodGood to Very Good

Mattress Buying Tips

Many mattress manufacturers list a firmness setting with different models. If this information is not available online for a particular model and you are unable to test out the mattress in person, we strongly recommend reaching out to that company’s customer service division to inquire about its firmness level.

Many online-only mattress brands offer sleep trials for new customers. These trials are typically 30 to 90 nights in length; customers have the option of returning their mattress for a full or partial refund before the trial period ends. In some cases, customers may be able to exchange their mattress for a different model — but it is important to read the fine print, since some brands do not allow customers to exchange their mattress for a model with a different firmness level.

Additionally, most companies will not honor warranty claims for customers who are dissatisfied with the firmness level of their mattress, or whose comfort preferences have changed since they made their original purchase. Unless the mattress shows another type of defect covered under the warranty (such as deep indentations or protruding wires), mattress owners will likely be unable to replace their mattress for a model with a different firmness setting.

Mattress Firmness Checklist

Before purchasing a mattress, here are a few firmness-oriented considerations to make:

  • What is your mattress budget?Mattresses with low firmness ratings tend to be more expensive than those with higher firmness ratings.
  • What is your weight?People who weigh less than 130 pounds usually feel more comfortable on ‘Soft’ or ‘Medium’ mattresses, while those who weigh more than 230 pounds often prefer higher firmness ratings. People who fall in the middle, fittingly, tend to prefer ‘Medium Soft’ to ‘Medium Firm’ surfaces.
  • What is your preferred sleep position?Generally speaking, side-sleepers are more comfortable on mattresses with lower firmness ratings, while back- and stomach-sleepers prefer mattresses with higher firmness ratings.
  • Do you have chronic back pain or constant pressure/discomfort?If the answer is yes, then you may feel most comfortable on mattresses with mid-level firmness ratings.
  • Is off-gassing a major issue?People who are sensitive to strong smells may prefer firmer mattresses, since they produce less off-gassing odor compared to mattresses with lower firmness ratings.
  • Do you sleep hot?Mattresses with ‘Medium’ or ‘Firm’ ratings typically retain less body heat than those with ‘Soft’ ratings, and sleep cooler as a result.
  • Do you plan to use the mattress for sex?Mattresses with lower firmness ratings tend to be more responsive – and thus, better for sex – than those with higher firmness ratings.
  • Do you plan to move/rotate the mattress on your own?Mattresses with lower firmness ratings tend to be heavier (due to additional padding layers) than firmer mattresses. Additionally, less firm mattresses need to be rotated more often on average.
  • What type of pillows do you own?Low-loft pillows are best paired with mattresses that are less firm, while high-loft mattresses go with firmer mattresses. If you do not own pillows with the right loft level, then you may need to purchase new ones in order to feel comfortable.
  • Are firmness exchanges allowed?Before committing to a specific brand, be sure to review the terms of their sleep trial and mattress warranties. In some cases, you will not be able to exchange your mattress for a model with a different firmness once the initial purchase has been made.

Firmness FAQ

Lastly, we’ll answer some common additional questions regarding mattress firmness options.

How can I test out firmness before buying?

Those who visit brick-and-mattress stores can arrange to visit one of these locations and lie down on a mattress to test the firmness. However, physical stores typically have a narrower selection of beds and price-points tend to be higher due to overhead costs related to maintaining a brick-and-mortar establishment.

Many online mattress brands do not operate brick-and-mortar locations, but they offer ‘sleep trials’ that allow customers to test out a bed before committing to a full purchase. Most sleep trials begin on the date of purchase and delivery, and extend for at least 90 consecutive nights; in rare cases, the trial may span one year or longer.

If the customer is dissatisfied with their bed before the trial period expires, then they may return it for a full or partial refund (depending on the brand’s trial offer). Some companies will also arrange for the mattress to be picked up from the customer’s residence at no extra charge, while others will apply shipping and transportation fees to the total refund amount.

One thing to note: some mattress sellers impose a mandatory break-in period. This means customers must test out the mattress for a certain amount of time (typically at least 30 nights) before they qualify for a full refund on their return.

What if I have different firmness preferences than my partner?

Differing firmness preferences can be a challenge for couples, but many of today’s beds address this concern by offering multiple firmness settings. These include mattresses with dual-firmness, meaning each side of the bed has a different firmness setting.

Other mattresses are flippable, with a different firmness setting on the top and bottom surfaces. These beds may be more suitable for couples who are willing to compromise on firmness night-to-night.

For couples with different preferences who would rather not purchase a new mattress, toppers can be very useful. A mattress topper is an individual layer of cushioning that rests on top of the mattress, usually beneath the top sheet. Most toppers make the mattress feel softer but some can actually increase the firmness. Common topper materials include memory foam, latex, down/feather blends, and wool.

I bought a mattress and I don’t like the firmness level. What can I do?

First, look into the bed’s return policy. If you are dissatisfied with the firmness but 90 nights have not elapsed since the original purchase or delivery date, then you may be able to return the bed for a full refund or, in some cases, exchange it for a different model from the same brand.

If the trial period has passed, then you will most likely be unable to return the mattress for a refund. Most mattress warranties stipulate that mattress repairs or replacements are not available simply because the owner’s firmness preferences have changed; in other words, firmness preference is not considered an identifiable defect.

Those who want to change the feel of their mattress after the trial period expires can use a topper to increase or reduce their bed’s firmness. If six to seven years have passed since the mattress was purchased, then it may be time for a new bed; the average mattress will perform for about seven years before it needs to be replaced.

Are different materials firmer than others?

When evaluating mattress firmness, material composition is usually a poor indicator. A bed’s comfort layers may contain memory foam or polyfoam, latex, minicoils, wool, and other materials with firmness settings ranging anywhere from ‘Extra Soft’ to ‘Extra Firm.’ How these materials are engineered will determine how firm or soft they feel.

However, as noted above, some materials tend to be more supportive than others. For example, beds with Dunlop latex and/or coils in the support core typically maintain flat sleep surfaces with minimal sagging.

On the other hand, memory foam and polyfoam beds tend to develop sagging and indentations in the sleep surface that compromise support, regardless of how soft or firm these materials actually feel.

As a general rule, use the bed’s listed firmness setting to evaluate how it feels and avoid using the mattress materials as criteria. If the firmness setting is not listed, feel free to contact the brand’s customer service division to inquire.

I’m (X) weight and sleep in (X) position but I don’t like the firmness level your table says I’d like. What’s up with that?

Although our general mattress assessments are mostly accurate, firmness preferences are highly subjective.

Just because a sleeper has a certain weight and/or preferred position does not necessarily mean their optimal firmness setting will correspond to the majority of sleepers in their weight or position group. A lighter individual or side sleeper may prefer an ‘Extra Firm’ bed, while a heavier person or back/stomach sleeper may find a softer bed is most comfortable.

Ultimately, the most important consideration is the firmness levelyouprefer, regardless of body type of sleep position. The best way to decide is to test out as many different firmness settings as possible.

Hard Mattress Vs Soft Mattress – Which Is Better

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Poor body alignment and an improper mattress may prevent you from enjoying deep, restorative sleep. Sleep ergonomics can help you improve your sleep quantity and sleep quality. Read on to know more about this.

How well your body is aligned during sleep is, in essence, a strange, yet a very important, question. It is a strange question because common sense dictates that any posture in which you are able to sleep comfortably is a good one for you.

Yet, it is an important question on two counts: the position you are comfortable sleeping in may prevent your body from realigning itself, and misalignment can cause various health issues in the long run.

Besides other things, misalignment can cause or worsen back pain and affect both the quality and quantity of your sleep. Sleep deprivation or poor sleep quality, in turn, can impact your physical and psychological health.

Why do we get comfortable with an improper sleeping posture?

A comfortable sleeping position may not be always an ideal one, but why do we get comfortable with an improper sleeping posture in the first place? The answer lies in the inherent nature of the human body.

The human body, you see, is very adaptive. It automatically adjusts itself to counter any misalignment. If your body is not aligned properly, it will position itself in such a way as to counter any prevailing misalignment.

Comfort, simply put, can be an adaptive response, and may not be necessarily good for your health.

Importance of alignment when we sleep

Here’s one test question for you:do you often experience daytime sleepiness, headache, fatigue, and/or lack of focus after a night’s sleep?

If yes, chances are your body is poorly aligned during sleep.

To be more specific, you may be breathing shallowly during sleep. There is a clear and strong relationship between body alignment and breathing and sleep quality.

Structural imbalance in the body affects breathing, which, in turn, affects sleep quality. When our spine is in its natural position – a position in which the neck (cervical), middle back (thoracic), and lower back (lumbar) are in good alignment – our lungs are able to hold more oxygen. Adequate intake of oxygen during sleep facilitates smooth functioning of the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS), which induces and promotes relaxation.

On the other hand, reduced oxygen intake causes an excess production of cortisol (the stress hormone) and adrenaline, which prevents the body from relaxing. Correct body alignment during sleep also promotes proper blood circulation throughout the body and relieves joint pain, both of which help you get a good night’s sleep.

In whichever position you sleep, it is important that you maintain a ‘spine-neutral’ position (neutral spine position is the same as the spine’s natural position).

The mattress you sleep on has a huge influence on your structural balance. If the mattress is not appropriate, it can create, mask, and/or worsen structural imbalances, which can be detrimental to good sleep. It can also lead to health conditions such as sleep apnea and back pain.

Hard Mattress vs. Soft Mattress

Some say a hard mattress is better than a soft mattress, some say a soft mattress is better, and some say whichever type of mattress you are comfortable with is the right one for you.

Nevertheless, it is now believed that a it’s not only the firmness of the mattress but it’s ability to support the right parts of your body correctly. Proper alignment is critical to prevention of tossing and turning which leads to sleep disruption. We put together aspecial web classthat goes deeper into this…

Advantage of Hard Mattress

The new ergonomics of sleep dictates that when it comes to mattresses, less is usually better. The less cushioning the mattress provides, the more it is likely to support or facilitate a neutral-spine position during sleep.

According to the ergonomics of sleep, it is necessary that bones have some resistance for good sleep. When you lay down on a hard bed with a thin, hard mattress, your bones bears the most, if not all, of the pressure.

This, in turn, frees your muscles and allows your arteries and veins to relax. As a result, the blood circulation in the body improves, helping you sleep better. The other benefit of a hard mattress is that it prevents your lower back from collapsing when you lay on it. This ensures that your airways are not constricted, permitting you to inhale more oxygen. Ample oxygen intake, as we’ve seen already, is crucial for good sleep. Switching to a hard mattress after sleeping for many years on a soft mattress may not be easy.

You may feel a bit uncomfortable during the first few nights. The feeling of discomfort usually dissipates on its own within a few days. That said, people who have health issues like back pain, rheumatism, arthritis, weak capillaries, or scoliosis should not go for a hard mattress.

Technology is slowly evolving and beginning to understand that just the right firmness is required to support the body.

Advantage of a soft mattress

A new study has pointed out that a soft mattress may be beneficial to people with back problems, refuting the age-old belief that people with back issues should sleep only on hard surfaces. Here are the details of the scientific study: In the study, Spanish researchers analyzed the effect of mattresses on 313 participants who had back pain. The participants were randomly divided into two groups.

One group was asked to sleep on a firm mattress that had a softness rating of 2.3 out of 10. The other group was asked to sleep on a medium-firm mattress that had a softness rating of 5.6. The duration of the study was 90 days. The researchers assessed the patients at the start of the study and upon the completion of the trial.

Patients were also asked to assess their condition on a daily basis and to rate on a scale of 1 to 10 the intensity of pain they felt on rising from the bed, the intensity of pain while sleeping, and the degree of discomfort, disability, or pain they experienced during the day on a scale of 1 to 10.

At the end of the study, all participants experienced improvement in their condition. However, the participants who slept on a medium-firm mattress for 90 days experienced better results. The condition of participants who experienced back pain while lying down improved by as much as 80% on a medium-firm mattress, and 70% on a firm mattress.

The degree of discomfort experienced during the day decreased by an impressive 50% for participants who used a medium-firm mattress, and 30% for those who slept on a firm mattress. Overall, the participants who slept on a medium-firm mattress for the duration of the trial were less likely to require any pain-relieving drug treatment.

Again, it’s important to have the “right firmness”.

So what is the right firmness?

Great question! We cover that in our web class…

Disadvantage of a soft mattress

A soft mattress may be disadvantageous for healthy people as it may cause the back to collapse when you lie on it. When the back is collapsed, the lungs are not able to take in as much oxygen, which can prevent you from getting good sleep.

Bottom Line

Proper body alignment during sleep is necessary as it allows you to enjoy a good night’s sleep. Your mattress affects your body alignment which influences the quality of sleep.

The answer is lies not only in the firmness but also material which distributes weight correctly.

Plus there are certain things you can do to sleep more deeply so you can feel energized, refreshed and ready to take on the world!

We dive deep into this and much more…

…in a special web class that will give you powerful tips to sleep better and also help you understand further the 1 Secret To A Better Night’s Sleep.Hint: it’s what you sleep on!😉

What Is A Plush Bed? Is It Perfect For You?

Shopping for a mattress, especially if it’s your first time, is like a jump into the unknown. There are going to be a lot of terms that you are undoubtedly unaware of. That’s no reason to back out, though. We are here to help.

These types of beds are usually the ones who have customers confused the most. We’ve taken the liberty to provide you with a quick overview and clarification of one of thecommonly preferred options out on the market – plush mattresses. You’ve certainly heard of this term. In case you wonder what it means – you’re about to find out!

If you want to find out more which are our recommended beds in this category– See our top-rated plush mattresses.

Plush Bed Meaning

The term “plush” is used interchangeably by a lot of different companies which want to describe the overall level of softness brought by the surface comfort layer of the mattress. The thing to consider, however, is that this is not the correct usage of the term.

This type of surface is softer, but it still provides a good amount of support. Of course, in order to be perfectly aware of the term and what it means, it might be a good idea for you to familiarize yourself with the difference between a soft, firm and plush mattress.

Who Should Choose a Plush Mattress?

Different Sleeping Positions

Stomach

If you are a stomach sleeper and you prefer the so-called “freefaller” sleeping position, you might want to look for something firmer. The problem is that softer beds can create pressure points on your stomach and chest and cause your spine to bend improperly. Firm beds are much better for this position.

Side

These mattresses should be used by side sleepers. They offer a reasonable sinkage which would contour your body as you lay on your side. This is the only position where we recommend this level of firmness, otherwise, go with medium for more support.

Back

Back sleepers are the perfect target group for this type too. But, make sure to opt for the highest quality brands to avoid sagging after couple months.

Different Pain Areas

Back Pain

It’s common that improper bedding can cause pain points, including back pain. Even though most memory foam beds offer fantastic contouring and pressure relief, it’s typically viewed as better to go for a slightly firmer option (at least medium).

Pain management and reduction is such an important an important part of life, and it can be difficult to know where to look. Read here for more information on top options to consider.

Hip Pain

Most people suffering from hip pain are sleeping on their sides on a firm bed. That means that softer surface will most likely help you get rid of the hip pain.

Shoulder Pain

Much like the point above, the bed should be able to conform to your body, allow for pressure relief and have enough support, so it doesn’t unnaturally curve your spine.

Shifting Around

If you like to move around while sleeping, most people prefer options that do not excessively hug your body like memory foam does.

Partner/Couples

Being that most plush beds are made from foam, that means lower motion transfer. This is going to ensure that you don’t feel the movements of your partner.

Your Weight

Now, if you are overweight, you will need a firmer option to avoid sinking too deep. On the other hand, if you opt for a 15″ or more it can still be soft but supportive enough.

Common Comparisons

Plush vs. Firm

The truth is that firmer beds are very comfortable too. Don’t confuse subjective firmness feel and support, those are two different things. It’s just down to your personal preference but if in doubt, harder options will be better for your spine in the long run.

Plush vs. Ultra-Plush

Ultra-plush models rarely provide the support you need. We still haven’t tested any beds in the 1-2 on a firmness scale of 1-10 (10 being the firmest). We do not recommend that you go with this range.

Plush vs. Pillow Top

Pillow top beds have an extra layer which is rarely thicker than one inch. This is designed to bring an additional amount of comfort without any added support. The pillow top could also come separately, and it could be used to enhance the comfort of any given bed. In most cases, it’s added on top of beds with coil construction.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Plushy?

Plushy is a bed feel which is both comfy and sturdy at the same time. It allows splendid sleeping sensation which is also quite healthy.

What is a Plush Firm Bed?

A plush firm mattress is one which provides the support of a firm bed and the comfort of a pillow top one. You would feel like sleeping on a cloud without any of the potential spinal damages.

Conclusion

As you can see, a plush bed and its many variations could be a viable and very convenient option. In fact, a lot of people prefer it over the firm models because it brings a convenient combination of the most sought-after capabilities – comfort and support.

You could enjoy the cloud-like sleeping sensation without worrying about the “trapped” sensation brought to you by memory foam or the spinal misalignments which could be caused by an overly softer unit. This bed type is a great solution if you like to sleep on your side or back and prefer to move around freely throughout the night.

Sources and References:

  1. Considerations When Buying a New Mattress – spine-health.com

Author: Sleep Advisor

Our team covers as many areas of expertise as we do time zones, but none of us started here as a so-called expert on sleep. What we do share is a willingness to ask questions (lots of them), seek experts, and dig deep into conventional wisdom to see if maybe there might be a better path towards healthy living. We apply what we learn not only to our company culture, but also how we deliver information to our over 12.7M readers.

Sleep research is changing all the time, and we are 100% dedicated to keeping up with breakthroughs and innovations. You live better if you sleep better. Whatever has brought you here, we wish you luck on your journey towards better rest.

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