Squishy and soft or solid and firm? That’s the question that every sleeper has to answer for themselves when it comes to selecting the right mattress.
Mattresses differ just as much as sleepers do and there is no singular degree of firmness or plushness that earns the top spot for sound sleep. It’s all about personal preference—those who want to sink into their mattress the way they sink into a warm, welcoming hug will prefer the plush qualities of a soft mattress, while those who want to rest comfortably atop their mattress will love the supportive rigidity of a firmer bed.
So, which is the right mattress for you?
Whether you want the plush softness of our Nova Hybrid or the unwavered firmness of the Wave Hybrid, your mattresses got your back, literally.
Beyond identifying your sleeping preferences, you’ll want to understand the nuances of both firm and soft mattresses, and how both can be plenty supportive regardless of how squishy the materials are. In this blog, we’ll cover the differences between a plush vs. firm mattress, the benefits of each, and what to consider when making a purchase.
There’s more to the plush vs. firm mattress debate than simply how they feel to the touch. Much like running shoes, which provide different kinds of support based on your stride and the shape of your foot, mattresses can suit people differently depending on body type and sleeping position.
First, let’s think of the firmness level as how much or how little a sleeper sinks into a mattress. But the exact amount of sinking depends on both the mattress firmness and the weight distribution of the person sleeping on it.
If you sink less into a mattress, you’re either relatively light or have chosen a mattress with a more solid structure. Alternatively, sinking more deeply into a mattress might suggest that a sleeper is heavier or has opted for a softer mattress that conforms around the body as they sink into it.
Let’s have a look now at the benefits that each type of mattress brings to the table—or bed, in this case.
Although neither one is more or less equipped to provide support, here are the unique benefits that a firm mattress can offer, though it depends on the exact construction of the bed:
Considering what we know about firmness level, a plush mattress simply means that it will conform more to the shape of the sleeper rather than holding a more solid, rigid state. Though they may not be the right choice for some sleepers, well-constructed soft mattresses are still able to deliver more than enough spinal support for most.
Here’s an overview of the benefits some sleepers can enjoy from a plush mattress:
The firm vs. soft mattress debate has been going on practically since the beginning of time, or at least since the invention of high-quality mattresses, and will likely remain unresolved due to the subjective nature of sleep. So if you’re asking yourself, “Do I need a firm or soft mattress?” the answer is neither.
It’s not entirely about what you need, but what you want.
There is no universal need for a plush or firm sleep surface. There are, however, special considerations to be made according to what a sleeper wants based on their body type, sleep position, and individual characteristics. Below you’ll find some general recommendations based on the science of sleep and mattress construction.1
Consider choosing a firm mattress if:
Consider choosing a plush mattress if:
Regardless of what seems to suit your preferences “on paper,” look for a company that offers a trial period so that you can test out a new mattress properly before committing to it long-term.
In addition to plushness or firmness, there are other factors you’ll need to consider when finding the mattress that’s best suited to you. Every mattress manufacturer has its own unique method of achieving different degrees of firmness, but there are few specific strategies you’ll want to be familiar with.
Let’s take a look at mattress materials and zoning designs to help you make a more informed purchasing decision.
Mattress assembly goes hand-in-hand with how sturdy or how soft your sleeping experience will be. The materials used in the construction process play a significant part in not only the mattress cost, but also in determining the type of support you receive from your mattress.
Take a look now at a few of the most common mattress materials and how they alter the final product:
While it’s a total myth that soft mattresses are unequivocally unsupportive, it still holds true that they can be—that is, if they’re made without proper zoning. Rather than offering uniform cushioning from one corner to the other, a zoned mattress uses different degrees of firmness to support the three divisions of your spine (cervical, thoracic, and lumbar).
Casper’s Zoned Support™ system separates mattresses into three ergonomic zones that cradle hips and shoulders with varying degrees of plushness while providing more firm support to the lower back.
Whether you prefer plush, firm, or something in between, knowing your body and how you sleep is the first step to getting matched with the perfect mattress. The second step?
Trying out a mattress with Casper. But where to start?
No matter your preferences, you can sleep soundly knowing that all Casper mattresses are designed with support in mind. Consult with a Casper Sleep Specialist today and let the mattress matchmaking begin.