When deciding what mattress support is best for you, you have to ask yourself a number of questions. What a lot of people don’t know is that our mattress needs can change with every new mattress that we get. In other words, what might have worked for you eight years ago, may not now.

So, how do we know what is the right tension to get, and what actually determines the firmness of a mattress? At Mattressman, we have a range of five different tensions: softer, medium, medium-firm, firmer and extra firm. In order to determine what’s right for you, there are several questions that we need to ask ourselves in order to determine what firmness is best for us:

What Mattress Tension Do I Need?

How do you sleep?

Mattress firmness and sleeping positions go hand in hand, as some tensions simply cannot support a certain way of sleeping:

Side sleepers

You’re best suited to mattresses that are on the softer side. This is due to the fact that the softness can provide extra cushioning to the shoulders and hips, therefore promoting healthy spine alignment. Whilst other factors come into play, softer and medium mattresses are certainly preferential for this kind of sleeping position.

Back/front sleepers

On the opposite end of the spectrum, back and front sleepers need to receive the proper lower back support in order to wake up without aches and pains in the morning. Therefore, medium firm and firmer options are advised over softer mattresses. Having said this, sleeping on your stomach is generally not recommended because it adds pressure and strain to the neck and spine, but a firmer mattress is the best option for you if you can’t stray away from sleeping in this position. If you suffer from back and joint pain and are of a heavier stature, extra firm tension can help provide you back with the extra support it needs.

It varies

For those that can’t keep to one position, it’s best that you get a mattress with a firmness that can work well for all sleeping positions. This usually results in a medium or medium firm mattress, giving you both cushioning and firmer support when you need it.

What Mattress Tension Do I Need?

How kind of stature are you?

The spring gauge (wire diameter) will directly affect how much weight the mattress will be able to take efficiently. Here’s a general overview of various weight groups that are usually paired with mattress tensions:

  • Soft: children and adults up to 8-9 stone
  • Medium/medium-firm: 9-16 stone
  • Firmer: 16-20 stone
  • Extra-firm: 20+ stone

Whilst you may have a preference for how soft or firm you may want your mattress, it’s recommended that you loosely follow these guidelines, combined with the tips above, so that the mattress can support you to the best of its ability. If you use a mattress that has a soft tension in comparison to your weight, the springs could be overstrained and will cause them to deteriorate sooner.

What Mattress Tension Do I Need?

Who is going to be sleeping on the new mattress?

If you’re sleeping by yourself, simply follow the above advice to find what’s ideal for you. For those that will be sharing a bed with a partner, getting a firmer mattress could be the more sensible option. This is because the weight that the mattress comprehends has increased, and due to the reasons explained above, a firmer mattress is much more suitable for this.

If the mattress is going to be used as an occasional guest bed, a safe option to go for would be a medium-firm.

What Mattress Tension Do I Need?

And lastly, what level of mattress comfort do you prefer?

You should ask yourself this question last as you should consider the aspects that affect your posture and spinal alignment before what comfort level you prefer. Say that you’re 16 stone but you prefer a soft mattress: it would be impractical for you to get this mattress tension because you will never be fully supported, meaning you’ll wake up feeling the effects of it via aches and pains.

Essentially, you should prioritise your needs over what you want. It would just be an added bonus if the mattress you prefer is in line with everything that your body needs!