Firm vs. Soft Mattress: Which One is Better? - Somnuz Mattress

Firm vs. Soft Mattress: Which One is Better?

When shopping for a mattress in Singapore, one of the most important and complicated factors that you should consider is firmness.

Choosing between a soft or firm bed can depend on different things, including your comfort preferences. What makes it more complicated is that what’s soft or firm to someone’s liking might be different for another. Considering the myriad of mattress options available online, it’s totally understandable to feel overwhelmed by your choices.

While a great part of your mattress shopping journey is based on your preferences, there are many objective factors that can help you make the most of your purchase.

In this guide, we’ve put together the features and benefits of a firm and soft mattress, as well as some things that you should consider when determining what’s best for you.


How is Mattress Firmness Measured

How is Mattress Firmness Measured

How can you identify whether a mattress is firm or soft? It’s important to note that mattress firmness is not divided into two categories. It’s composed of a spectrum with different levels of mattress firmness.

Aside from the physical feel of your mattress, you can check the firmness level of a mattress based on a standard 10-point firmness scale. In this firmness scale, softer mattresses fall under the lower end of the scale, while firmer mattresses are on the higher end. A mattress with a firmness rating of 3-4, for example, is softer than a bed falling under the 7-8 firmness rating.

Some factors, like the materials and construction, can influence the firmness of a mattress. Some mattresses even feature additional layers that can further affect the feel of the sleeping surface.

Here’s a general view of the mattress firmness rating that we use at Somnuz:



Firmness Rating



Very Soft

Allows your body to sink into the mattress while conforming to its shape.



Considerably conforms to the shape of your body, providing a hugging feel when you lie down


Medium Soft/ Medium Firm

  • Offers a good balance between firmness and conformity
  • Sinks less but still conforms comfortably



Offers a helpful pushback feel and pressure relief with minimal conformity


Very Firm

Does not conform to the shape of your body when you lie down

Offers greater pushback feel


At Somnuz Singapore, we consider a mattress under 5-6 firmness levels medium soft to medium firm. So, any mattress variety below 5 is soft, while a mattress above 6 will provide more pushback support.

Generally, mattresses with spring layers will be a bit firmer than an all-foam bed. Hybrid pocketed spring mattresses with additional comfort layers can offer better conformity for sleepers who prefer this type of comfort in their rest.


Benefits and Downsides of a Firm Mattress

Benefits and Downsides of a Firm Mattress

When it comes to body support, a firmer mattress is a choice that many mattress shoppers prefer. The pushback feeling that this mattress type provides is helpful for people with back pain. A firm mattress is also generally helpful for many sleeping positions.

Here are the benefits of a firm mattress:

  • Features the sleeping on a mattress that many sleepers love
  • Supports the natural curves of your spine, preventing back and muscle pains
  • Some firm mattress varieties allow you to move comfortably on your mattress without too much motion transfer
  • Offers enough support for mattress sharers and heavier sleepers
  • Firm mattresses are generally cooler than soft mattresses
  • Evenly distributes the weight of the sleeper throughout the mattress

It’s also good to talk about the drawbacks of a firmer bed:

  • Switching from a soft mattress to a firmer one may initially feel uncomfortable
  • May not offer the best pressure relief compared to a softer mattress
  • People with existing back problems may benefit more from a softer mattress since a firm mattress does not provide enough conformity to the sleeper’s body


    Benefits and Downsides of a Soft Mattress

    Benefits and Downsides of a Soft Mattress

    Many people associate the plush feel of a soft mattress with comfort, which can be true. Sleepers who enjoy the cloudy and conforming feel of a soft mattress might enjoy a memory foam mattress or a hybrid mattress with memory foam layers.

    Below are the advantages of choosing a soft mattress:

    • Offer enough pressure relief, which is ideal for people with existing back problems
    • Comfortable for side sleepers who tend to lose their natural body alignment with a firmer bed
    • Ideal for light sleepers
    • Absorbs motions efficiently, so you can toss and turn without disturbing your partner
    • Comfortable for sleepers who prefer a plush sleeping surface

    The drawbacks of a soft mattress are:

    • May cause a feeling of being stuck, especially for restless sleepers
    • Will not provide the right support for heavier sleepers
    • Less breathable and can trap heat to conform to the shape of your body
    • May not be the best for bedsharers, especially those with different body types


    Making a Decision

    Making a Decision

    Choosing the right mattress firmness is an important step when buying a mattress in Singapore. One of the things that you should consider when choosing the right mattress firmness is your comfort preference. Other factors to consider include your sleeping position, body type, and sleeping situation.


    Sleeping Position

    Sleeping Position

    Side sleepers generally benefit more from a softer mattress. This allows your hips and shoulders to sink without straining your back or affecting the natural alignment of your spine. 

    Back sleepers may benefit from a medium-firm mattress with the right sinkage and pushback support to maintain the S shape of the spine during rest. Stomach sleepers, on the other hand, need a firmer mattress to prevent their spines from sinking when lying down on their stomachs.


    Body Type

    Body Type

    Light sleepers may enjoy the plush feel of a softer mattress. Heavier sleepers, on the other hand, may sink and not receive enough support when using a soft mattress. In this case, a medium-firm to firm mattress is a better choice to balance the conformity and support of the sleeping surface. People with mobility issues will also find it easier to get in and out of a firmer mattress without feeling stuck.


    Sleeping Situation

    Sleeping Situation

    Are you a hot sleeper? A restless sleeper? Do you share your mattress with your partner? Your sleeping situation can influence the type of mattress that you need.

    As we mentioned earlier, a firmer mattress generally sleeps cooler than a soft mattress. So, if you are a hot sleeper who sweats a lot at night, you may want to go for a firmer mattress. Some breathable mattress types are latex mattresses and innerspring beds. If you love the conforming feel of foam for your sleep, a pocketed spring mattress with foam layers is a conforming yet cool solution.




    If it’s time to replace your mattress, make sure to choose a new one that fits your needs and satisfies your comfort preferences so you can get the most out of your mattress investment. To achieve this, it’s important to do your research and properly test your mattress. Somnuz can help! If you love the innovative feel of a pocketed spring mattress, you may want to check out our mattress comparison guide before purchasing online. You can also visit our experience centres to test the mattress in person.

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