Is a firm or soft mattress better for me?
Buying a Bed

Is a Soft or Firm Mattress Better For Me?

When you’re choosing a new mattress there’s a range of questions that you’re likely to ask yourself – is it better to have a firm or a soft mattress? Is a soft mattress supportive enough?

Firm Mattress? Soft Mattress? Or Inbetween?


You may have heard mixed reviews on whether you should sleep on a firm or a soft mattress. The reality is that there’s no one perfect mattress feel for everyone, and personal preference is the most important thing. There are however, some important factors you should consider when deciding what’s best for you.

Consider Your Body Type


It makes sense that the support a jockey needs at night in bed is different to the support a Wallabies player needs.


So consider your size and which points of your body feel the most pressure when you lay down (do you have broad hips or shoulders?). The SleepMaker Sleep Selector can help provide a bed match to give you support that suits your body type.

When You Test A Mattress, Lay In Your Usual Sleep Position


Whether you’re a side, back or tummy sleeper, always lie the same way as you would normally sleep at home. Spend 10-15 minutes on each mattress you try to ensure you have the right comfort and support.


The aim is to find the mattress that feels naturally comfortable and doesn’t put pressure on any particular points of your body. If you feel pressure on certain points of your body, the mattress is probably too firm for you.

Firm Isn’t Always Best


A firm mattress isn’t always the best. While a Firm mattress is usually more durable and can last longer than soft mattresses, a Soft mattress can usually be more comfortable for people who are overweight or have joint pain.

The myth that firm mattresses provide the best back support isn’t true. Again, it’s all about finding the right support for you. This means ensuring there’s no uncomfortable pressure on certain points of your body.

Firm or Soft Mattress For Hot Sleepers?


If you’re a hot sleeper, it may be best to opt for a firmer mattress. Soft mattresses allow your body to sink into the mattress further, reducing the amount of airflow. People who tend to get hot at night will benefit more from a firmer mattress as their body will be up higher and have more air circulating it. For more information, we have a dedicated blog post for the best mattress for hot sleepers on our website.

What are the key benefits of soft and firm mattresses?


Finding the perfect mattress can make you feel a lot like goldilocks, you have to try them all to find the one that’s just right for you. Before you kick off your shoes, here’s a handy guide to get an idea on how each mattress type feels.


Mattress Firmness Type



Firm Mattress Best fits a stomach sleeper
Supports heavier weights
Resistant to sagging
Less joint pain
Better temperature regulation
Prevents sinking
Can be adjusted with add ons 
Not as comfortable
Can cause pressure build-up
Not recommended to people with lighter builds
Often heavy
Medium Mattress Best fits a side or back sleeper
#1 choice mattress feel
Soft and supportive
Responsive to pressure
Works best for couples


Lacks enough support for heavier builds
Too firm for lighter builds
Retains heat
Soft/Plush Mattress Best fits a side sleeper
Very comfortable
Relieves joint and muscle pain
Molds to body shape
Can improve quality of sleep
Retains heat most
Causes body to dip
Sinking/stuck feeling
Prone to sagging

SleepMaker Comfort and Support Layer Technology


SleepMaker mattresses offer a wide range of comfort and support layer technologies that allow you to choose your mattress according to your personal sleeping preferences (firm, soft or a level in-between).


You can sleep well knowing that you’ll still be giving your body the support it needs.


Discover the range of SleepMaker mattresses, there is something for everyone whether you’re looking for an affordable quality mattress, back support mattress, or luxury mattress for the best sleep possible.

SleepMaker’s Unique Technology


Sleepmaker have developed a range of advanced technologies to ensure your body is supported and your sleep is restorative.


The comfort layers in all SleepMaker mattresses is made from premium Australian made Dunlop Foam, delivering excellent support, pure comfort and ultimate durability.


The high quality support layer of our mattresses enhances the pressure relieving properties of the comfort layers, as it contours to the body to help achieve natural spinal alignment.


So when you choose a SleepMaker Australian made mattress, get as comfy as you like. We’ve got your support covered.


View our range of mattresses here or take our Sleep Selector Quiz to find the right mattress for you.


Get More Bed Tips From Sleepmaker


Sleepmaker has a range of bed tips to help you get a better nights sleep. Discover our sleep guide articles:

What’s the Best Mattress Size For Me?
Is a spring mattress or foam mattress better for me?
The best mattress for hot sleepers
When is the right time to transition to a “big kids bed”?
When should I replace my bed?

Frequently Asked Questions



How do I know if my mattress is too soft or firm?

By giving it a test in store! Try out a few mattresses in a store near you. Just lie down in the usual position you go to sleep on. If you feel any aches in your back or neck, then that mattress might be too soft or firm. Or, consider how you sleep and match the mattress firmness to what your body needs. Are you a side, stomach or back sleeper? Each sleeping position needs different levels of support to ensure spinal alignment.

Do you need a softer mattress as you get older?

A soft or plush mattress is designed with a cushioned comfort layer you can sink into. It gives a lovely hugging sensation but usually, the softer the mattress, the less spinal support. As you get older, you need more support to your lower back and joints. You actually need a firmer mattress as you get older. A firmer mattress in medium feel gives enough back support while being soft enough to cushion and relieve pressure points and reduce aches and pains.

Which mattress is better for your back?

The best mattresses for your back are championed by back care professionals. At SleepMaker, our mattresses in our Performance and Luxury Edits have gained the support of either the Australian Chiropractors’ Association (ACA), the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) or Sports Chiropractic Australia (SCA). We’ve worked with these industry leading body alignment professionals to develop unrivaled back support in each mattress to virtually eliminate back aches and pains.

Is memory foam softer than a spring mattress?

Characteristically, foam is softer than steel. Memory foam, in particular, is designed to soften under applied pressure with your body heat to conform to your body. Memory foam mattresses feel softer to the touch but some might not feel the softest when lying down. Alternatively, steel springs in a spring mattress can vary in resistance to give softer or firmer feels. For the softest mattress, a plush mattress firmness is what to look out for.

What mattress firmness is better for side sleepers?

For people that sleep most of the night on their sides, a soft or medium mattress is best. Depending on your build or weight, will depend on which specific firmness you need. A softer mattress conforms more to your body shape to allow for targeted pressure relief. We recommend a memory foam mattress to most side sleepers.

What mattress firmness is better for back sleepers?

For back sleepers, and those that toss and turn, a medium to medium-firm mattress is the best mattress for better back support and comfort. It’s soft and cushioning where it matters while maintaining structure and support throughout the night. No wonder the medium mattress is Australia’s most popular mattress firmness.

What mattress firmness is better for stomach sleepers?

Stomach sleepers need the firmest mattress available. The softer a mattress, the more you’ll sink and, while facing down, the more your back bows. To maintain optimal spinal alignment, a firm mattress will ensure your hips stay level with your shoulders, therefore, mitigating back pain.

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