Mattress Comfort Guide

A good mattress is essential for a great night’s sleep. As it is designed to support your body and provide comfort as you rest, choosing the right one for you can be a big decision. Sleep plays a key role in our general health and well-being, which is why it’s beneficial to have good-quality, restful sleep as opposed to restless, uncomfortable or broken sleep. This can often be determined by your mattress. With most people spending over a third of their life in bed, it’s worth working out which mattress type suits you the best. Choosing the right mattress isn’t a one-size-fits-all process, as everyone has different requirements and preferences regarding their sleeping space. Various types are available on the market, so deciding which will work best for your needs can be difficult. There are also several comfort grades, from firm to medium, to soft. However, their suitability for an individual is determined by endless external factors, including spine health, weight and sleeping position. At British Beds Direct, we’re dedicated to helping you find the perfect mattress so you can sleep each night soundly. Our mattress comfort guide explains the different firmness levels to help you choose the perfect option.


1. How firm should my mattress be?

2. Which firmness mattress should I choose?
2.1. Soft medium
2.2. Medium
2.3. Medium firm
2.4. Firm
2.5. Extra firm

3. What mattress is best for me?

How firm should my mattress be?

There is no right or wrong answer when determining how firm your mattress should be. This is because it ultimately comes down to personal preference, so whether you love having a sturdy mattress that offers excellent support or prefer to experience more cloud-like comfort, there’s a mattress to suit your requirements. Before you buy a mattress, it’s important to consider your spine health. The spine typically has three natural curves, which you must support throughout the night. A good mattress will hold your spine in a neutral position, aligning your head, shoulders, buttocks and heels. This helps to distribute your weight evenly so that you can sleep comfortably and avoid unnecessary pressure in one area of your spine. The right mattress will help promote better sleep so you can feel well-rested and refreshed.

Which firmness mattress should I choose?

The firmness rating of a mattress refers to how firm it is and ranges from 1 (very soft) to 10 (very firm). Most mattress types are available in various firmness ratings so that you can choose one suitable for you. For example, you could choose a pocket-sprung mattress in a soft, medium or firm rating. While the firmness of your mattress is down to your taste, you may find certain ones more comfortable based on your weight, sleeping position and other factors. Below, we’ll explore the firmness options we offer and who they are suitable for.

Soft Medium

Soft medium is our softest option on the firmness scale and is ideal for those seeking a gentle level of support. It is most suitable for sleepers with a lighter build, as it gives them more support than sleepers with a heavier build. If you sleep on your side, a soft medium firmness will help to align your spine and cushion your shoulders and hips to keep you comfortable throughout the night. Unlike firmer mattresses, a softer mattress is often recommended to those experiencing back pain or pre-existing back problems as they help alleviate pressure on your joints.


Medium mattresses are perfect for those looking for a soft mattress with increased support. This winning combination makes them extremely versatile and suitable for all body types. As medium mattresses offer an amazingly soft structure with added support, they allow sleepers to lay comfortably on their side, front and back, making them ideal for those who often switch sleeping positions during the night. While they are considered a more luxurious option, it’s important to note that softer mattresses can be problematic for bed sharers, as the sleep surface could become unbalanced depending on each person’s weight. In this case, you’ll need to find a firmness to suit both parties.

Medium Firm

A medium-firm mattress offers an excellent balance between medium and firm, so you can enjoy some of the benefits of a firm mattress without compromising on comfort. They are still suitable for side, front and back sleepers but are more suited to those with an average build. This is because firmer mattresses are unlikely to compress enough to properly support a lighter body weight. A medium-firm mattress is more rigid to the touch than a soft variety and doesn’t compress as easily, so it’s important to consider this when choosing the right mattress for you. 


Firm mattresses are higher on the firmness scale and offer a more supported sleep than soft and medium options. They are likely to be more comfortable for those who do not experience back pain than a softer mattress, as they put pressure on the bones rather than your muscles, veins and arteries. This promotes better circulation and helps prevent muscle strain in the long run. They also distribute your weight more evenly so that no one part of your body is receiving more pressure than another. A firm mattress is most suited to front and back sleepers with average to heavier builds, as they provide a stable and even surface.

Extra Firm

While extra-firm mattresses may not be for everyone, they can offer many benefits to back sleepers. They are designed to hold your spine in alignment, preventing it from curving, unlike softer mattresses, so they can effectively maintain your posture. They are one of the most supportive mattress types on the market, so they can prevent your body from sinking as you sleep, making them ideal for those with a heavier build. Firm mattresses also make an excellent option for bed sharers due to their more rigid structure. Its firmness means it doesn’t bounce as much when you move, so you won’t disturb your partner while they sleep.

What mattress is best for me?

If you’re unsure which mattress type to choose for your bed, it always helps to try laying on the mattress you’re interested in to determine whether it’s right for you. While your sleeping position, weight and personal preference will help you decide on a suitable mattress, there may also be additional factors to consider. There are now many other varieties of mattresses, such as open coil, pocket spring, memory foam, reflex foam, natural and more. Each caters to a different set of needs, whether you’re looking for a super-soft sleeping experience or a mattress made with natural fibres. Once you’ve chosen the firmness of your mattress, explore the various options available to upgrade and tailor it to your needs. We’re proud to offer an extensive selection of high-quality mattresses for you to choose from. Our collection offers soft medium, medium, medium firm, firm and extra firm designs, so you’re guaranteed to find the right mattress to give you a comfortable and restful night’s sleep.


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