Mattress Firmness Guide

Mike Stownel Mike Stownel
Firmness guide

Finding the perfect mattress that’s not too soft but not too firm can be more easily done with an understanding of mattress firmness. The findings of our comprehensive mattresses firmness guide will teach you about the four types of mattress firmness, which companies provide the best mattresses with free delivery, the recommended firmness for different mattress models, along with the pros and cons that surround the various levels of mattress firmness.

Mattress Firmness Guide

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What Does it Mean?

Depending on a sleeper’s body weight, preferred sleeping positions, personal and partner preferences, a mattress firmness level can quickly point you in the right direction to a mattress that is best suited for you.

What Choice on the Market - Firmness Scale

Mattress firmness is graded on a scale of 1 through 10. Most shoppers will notice mattresses labeled as soft, medium-soft, medium-firm, or firm in retail. Sleepers that weigh more may have to use medium-firm to firm mattresses instead of soft and medium-soft because those beds are constructed with additional support features.

How to Choose the Best One

Our guide highlights the best mattress companies in the industry, while our firmness chart embedded below will help you quickly narrow down which mattress firmness is optimal for you.

Pros & Cons


Soft Mattresses

  • Optimal for Lightweight Sleepers
  • Lightweight, plusher, and cloud-like
  • Best for side or combination sleepers
  • Not suitable for heavier sleepers
  • Provides more surface motion disturbance
  • Less postural and spinal support

Medium-Soft Mattresses

  • Suitable for side and sleeping couples
  • The body feels elevated from the mattress
  • Ample hugging and contouring
  • Not as soft or plush
  • Not ideal for stomach sleepers
  • Less postural support

Medium-Firm Mattresses

  • Suitable for back and stomach sleepers
  • Most popular mattress firmness level
  • Decreased motion surface disturbances
  • Not nearly as soft
  • Provides less contouring
  • Not made for lightweight sleepers

Firm Mattresses

  • Suitable for back, stomach, and heavier sleepers
  • Like sleeping “on top” of the mattress, not in it
  • Has better response and more resistance than soft/medium-soft
  • Not as soft are other mattress firmness grades
  • Provides little contouring or hugging
  • Not as versatile as more lightweight mattresses

Mattress Firmness Chart

The following chart will show the four types of mattress firmness, their firmness rating from a scale of 1 to 10, what kinds of sleepers are ideal for each firmness level, and how the mattress feels.

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1. Saatva

Price Range: $799 to $1,899. Offer: Get 200$ off and FREE glove delivery

Trial period: 180-nights

Warranty: 15 years

Financing : 0% APR, Klarna

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King


The Saatva Classic is the most popular luxury hybrid innerspring mattress with Plush Soft (3), Luxury Firm (5-7), and Firm (8) firmnesses. Over 80% of sleepers prefer Luxury Firm for a perfect balance of comfort and uplifting support. For those hard-to-please couples, the Saatva Classic bridges the middle ground splendidly.


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2. Puffy

Price Range: $795 to $1,995. Offer: $300 OFF + 2 FREE PILLOWS

Trial period: 101-nights

Warranty: as long as you own the mattress

Financing : 0% APR, Klarna

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King


The Puffy Lux’s body adapting dual cloud foam and total pressure relief make it suitable for back, stomach, and side sleepers. Cooling Cloud technology keeps hot sleepers cool while the mattress flexes a hypoallergenic, stain-resistant cover. The Lux mattress medium-plush (5-7) knows no equal for enhanced support and increased contouring.


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3. Layla

Price Range: $1,049 to $1,699. Offer: Up To $200 Off Mattresses + 2 Free Layla Memory Foam Pillows

Trial period: 120-nights

Warranty: Lifetime

Financing : 0% APR, Affirm

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King


Hybrid or memory foam mattresses, made with two levels of firmness in one mattress (flippable firmness). Layla Mattress provides excellent edge support for sleepers of all weights and has great motion isolation. Mattresses made with cooling technology and a very breathable cover that zips off for easy cleaning. Layla Mattresses are adjustable base friendly, come with 10 Year warranty & Free Shipping.


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4. Helix sleep

Price Range: $600 to $2,249. Offer: Save up to $200 OFF & Get 2 FREE Dream Pillows

Trial period: 100-nights

Warranty: 15 years

Financing : 0% APR, Klarna, Katapult

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Helix sleep

Sink in like a cloud with the soft feel of the Helix Sunset Luxe, perfect for side sleepers seeking additional pressure point relief, enhanced contouring, zoned lumbar support, and a responsive surface. The Sunset Luxe’s softer top layers render soft, lavishly plush comfort under a premium quilted pillow top.

Helix Sleep
Helix Sleep

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5. AmeriSleep

Price Range: $899 to $4,190. Offer: 30% Off Mattresses + Up To $399 In FREE Accessories

Trial period: 100-nights

Warranty: 100-days

Financing : -

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King


AmeriSleep is one of the most popular and best mattress companies. The assortment includes both hybrid or memory foam mattresses and completely eco-friendly latex mattresses. AmeriSleep provide one of the best guarantees for their products - 20 years warranty, as well as care about the quality and application of new developments in the production of mattresses such as: HIVE® technology that offers dynamic full-body support for a healthy sleeping position, lightweight cover that promotes airflow and prevents overheating, Bio-Pur® foam is more responsive and breathable than traditional foams.


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Mattress Firmness Types

Soft (1 - 2)

Composed of ultra-lightweight yet durable materials, soft mattresses will allow the body to sink deeply. There aren’t as many soft-rated mattresses due to a lack of demand and how it is most suitable for sleepers under 130 pounds, which doesn’t include the majority of the adult population. Often compared to sleeping on a cloud, soft mattresses deeply hug sleepers and make them feel as if they are sleeping “in” the mattress instead of on it.

Medium-Soft (3 - 4)

Not as cloud-like, medium-soft mattresses provide plenty of body-hugging and contouring for an exchange in softness. Sleepers will feel more raised on this mattress while this mattress is suitable for sleeping couples, lightweight side sleepers, and combination sleepers.

Medium-Firm (5 - 7)

The most popular go-to mattress firmness would be medium-firm. Medium-firm mattresses are known to provide the perfect balance between contouring and firmness. Additionally, there is less sinkage and conforming, while this mattress firmness is suitable for nearly every kind of sleeper.

Firm (8 - 10)

Firm mattresses have a significantly harder surface than soft to medium-soft mattresses. There is minimum hug or contouring, while sleepers may feel like they are sleeping on top of the bed instead of in it. It provides superior support and is best suited for back or stomach sleepers.

The Bottom Line

The battle between mattress firmness and support almost always boils down to the personal preferences of a sleeper. Knowing the four types of mattress firmness and your sleep preferences will significantly aid you in your quest to find the best mattress for you. While the most popular bedding choice is medium-firm mattresses, medium-soft and firm mattresses are also quite common and can cater to a broad demographic of sleepers.


What are the four types of mattress firmness?
The four types of mattress firmness include soft (1-2), medium-soft (3 - 4), medium-firm (5 - 7), and firm (8 - 10).
Which mattress firmness is best for lightweight sleepers?
Lightweight sleepers will want mattresses that have a firmness rating of soft to medium-soft.
Which mattress firmness is best for heavy sleepers?
Medium-firm and firm mattresses are best for heavier sleepers.
Which mattress firmness is best for back sleepers?
Mattresses that are medium-firm to firm are best for back sleepers.
Which mattress firmness grade is the most popular?
The medium-firm mattress grade is the most popular mattress firmness.

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Written by: Mike Stownel

Staff Writer - Researcher

Mike is an experienced Researcher and Writer. Now his challenge is to test, compare, and review the best sleep products like mattresses, pillows and sheets

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