SleepFoundation readers save $200 on a DreamCloud mattress + get $399 in free accessories
Sleepfoundation.org is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Many people look forward to sinking into bed at the end of a long day, but there’s a fine line between a mattress with a conforming feel and one that engulfs you. Soft, plush mattresses aren’t always the right choice for certain types of sleepers. In fact, many individuals can benefit from a firmer mattress that prevents sinking in deeply.
Medium firm mattresses rank around a 6 on the 10-point firmness scale. These mattresses are popular among side, back, and stomach sleepers in all weight ranges, particularly those between 130 and 230 pounds.
A mattress that’s too soft can cause the spine to shift out of alignment. This change in posture puts pressure on the lower back, hips, and shoulders. Meanwhile, an overly firm mattress may not be contouring enough to cushion pressure points and conform to the shape of the body.
A medium firm mattress should support the natural shape of the spine for many sleepers, though shoppers will need to consider other factors such as body weight and sleep position. We’ll cover our top picks for the best medium firm mattress, along with factors that shoppers should keep in mind before making a purchase.
SleepFoundation readers save $200 on a DreamCloud mattress + get $399 in free accessories
The DreamCloud is a hybrid mattress that combines the comfort of memory foam with the bounce of coils.
A plush layer of polyfoam is quilted into the breathable cashmere cover for added cushioning. A layer of gel-infused memory foam beneath the polyfoam is engineered to alleviate sharp pressure points without trapping heat.
Memory foam contours closely to the body for pressure relief. However, it can cause the hips and back to sink in deeply. To prevent sleepers from pressing into the mattress’ pocketed coil core, the DreamCloud includes a transitional layer of polyfoam.
The DreamCloud’s support core is made up of a series of individually wrapped coils, so it can respond to changes in pressure without transferring movement to the surrounding springs. This construction is intended to adapt to each sleeper’s body for targeted support while enhancing airflow. A layer of polyfoam in the base reinforces the support core.
Side sleepers between 130 and 230 pounds will likely benefit from the DreamCloud Mattress’ ability to cushion the shoulders and hips while gently keeping the spine aligned. The individually wrapped pocketed coils and contouring foam layers also make it a good choice for couples who want to prevent movement-related sleep disturbances.
DreamCloud provides free shipping and returns to residents within the contiguous U.S. The company’s sleep trial allows customers to try out their mattress for 365 days. In addition, DreamCloud offers a limited lifetime warranty on all of its mattresses.
Take advantage of a bundle at Tuft & Needle and save 15%
The Tuft & Needle Original is a medium firm (6) model that’s well-suited for various sleeping styles and body types.
With a 10-inch profile, the Tuft & Needle Original Mattress is composed of two open-cell polyfoam layers. The comfort layer contains 3 inches of T&N Adaptive foam. This uniquely blended polyfoam is designed with an infusion of graphite and gel beads intended to help pull heat away from the body.
A 7-inch layer of polyfoam acts as the mattress’ support core. While the Tuft & Needle Original’s comfort layer is engineered to hug the shape of the body, the dense base of the mattress prevents the hips and back from sinking in too deeply. This design makes the mattress ideal for pressure relief among back and stomach sleepers. The open-cell structure also promotes air circulation to dissipate heat.
Tuft & Needle’s flagship mattress has a breathable knit cover. Customers can upgrade their cover with an antimicrobial treatment for an additional fee. This treatment is meant to protect against microbes and help extend the mattress’ lifespan.
Compared to other luxury all-foam mattresses, the Tuft & Needle Original model has a lower-than-average price-point.
Tuft & Needle offers free shipping within the contiguous U.S. Along with a 10-year limited warranty, the company allows customers to try out the mattress for 100 nights.
Buy more, save more. $200 off Saatva Classic mattresses $1000-$2000, $300 off $2,000+ Classic mattresses. $200 off all other mattresses.
The Saatva Latex Hybrid is one of the newest offerings from a brand known for luxurious, high-quality sleep products. This medium firm (6) mattress offers enhanced support thanks to multiple zoned layers, making it suitable for people who tend to sink too deeply while they sleep.
The mattress begins with a top layer of GOTS-certified organic wool batting that serves as a fire barrier and adds extra cushioning to the surface. Wool also has natural moisture-wicking properties to help sleepers stay dry while they sleep. The comfort layer is composed of natural latex ventilated with small holes to push air upward for added cooling. The latex is divided into three firmness zones, ensuring extra support around the midsection and gentler cradling for the head, shoulders, and legs.
The support core contains pocketed coils produced from recycled steel. The coils are reinforced along the perimeter to reduce sinkage along the edges and make the surface easier to move across when you get in and out of bed. The base layer is made from a blend of organic cotton and wool, and the entire mattress is encased in a cover of breathable organic cotton.
The Latex Hybrid’s zoned layers help maintain a very stable surface. Most back and stomach sleepers who weigh 130 to 230 pounds won’t sink too much when they’re lying in bed, and the reinforced perimeter coils prevent feelings of “roll-off” for people who sleep close to the edges of their mattress. Latex is also a naturally responsive material. Combined with the coils, this mattress feels quite bouncy.
A slew of breathable and moisture-wicking components make the Latex Hybrid well-suited to hot sleepers and people who are prone to night sweats. The coils promote air circulation to create extra interior airflow. Eco-conscious consumers should also find the Latex Hybrid appealing, as many of its components are derived from sustainably sourced materials. The mattress has earned certifications from organizations such as the Rainforest Alliance and Global Organic Textile Standard.
White Glove delivery is available free of charge to all customers in the contiguous U.S. This service includes full setup in a room of your choice and removal of your old box spring and/or mattress upon request. The Latex Hybrid is backed by a generous 180-night sleep trial and a 15-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Best for Side Sleepers
Get $200 OFF + 2 FREE Dream Pillows when you spend $1,750 or more. Use Code: SLEEPFOUND200
Helix tailors mattresses to meet every sleeper’s specific needs. The Midnight Luxe is geared toward side sleepers and shoppers looking for a medium firm feel. Its hybrid construction includes four layers of foam and a pocketed coil core for maximum comfort and support.
The Helix Midnight Luxe Mattress includes a Tencel pillow-top. This specialty material contains fibers that are designed to absorb and evaporate unwanted moisture. Underneath this plush pillow-top is a layer of high-density memory foam, which closely conforms to the shape of the body.
Engineered to alleviate pressure points in the hips and shoulders, the Midnight Luxe contains an additional layer of gel-infused memory foam. This foam is designed to cushion and support the spine while preventing overheating. A transition layer of polyfoam keeps sleepers from sinking into the mattress’ support core.
More than 1,000 wrapped coils make up the Midnight Luxe’s 8-inch support core. This supportive base is designed to feel soft around the shoulders and firm around the hips. This construction is meant to keep the hips aligned with the spine to evenly distribute body weight. A base layer of high-density foam supports the coils.
Side sleepers between 130 and 230 pounds and back and stomach sleepers under 130 pounds will likely find that this mattress cradles the body while keeping the spine in proper alignment.
Helix offers free shipping to all addresses within the U.S. The company also provides a 100-night sleep trial, which includes a 30-day break-in period before a return can be initiated. The Midnight Luxe comes with a 15-year limited warranty.
Special Offer Up To $755 Off ($300 OFF + up to $455 FREE Accessories With Every Mattress)
The Puffy Lux Hybrid is an excellent choice for sleepers who want the “body hug” of memory foam paired with the support that comes with a coil support core. The mattress is a foam hybrid model with close contouring, comfortably cradling the body. This makes the Lux Hybrid a great choice for most side sleepers and sleepers under 130 pounds.
A stain-resistant polyester cover encases the mattress. The cover can be removed and machine washed. The comfort layers start with a 1.5-inch layer of gel-infused Cooling Cloud memory foam, which is designed to relieve pressure and absorb excess heat to keep the sleeper cool. Next is a 1.5-inch layer of Plus Dual Cloud polyfoam for further contouring. The transitional layer is 2 inches of breathable Climate Comfort polyfoam, engineered to wick away moisture. The support core features 6 inches of individually wrapped coils for support and enhanced motion isolation. Finally, a 1-inch layer of firm core support polyfoam provides extra stability.
Customers interested in the Lux Hybrid can try it out with Puffy’s 101-night sleep trial. Puffy offers free shipping to the contiguous U.S. Purchases come with a lifetime limited warranty.
Best for Back Pain
Get $300 off all beds + $399 in bedding accessories (a $699 total value)
The WinkBed is a hybrid model available in four firmness options. With a combination of solid pressure relief, edge support, and bounce, the mattress can accommodate the comfort needs and preferences of people who experience back pain during sleep.
The mattress uses a Tencel cover, which is soft to the touch and wicks heat away from the body. A foam enhancement in the lumbar region prevents the lower back from sagging and promotes better spinal alignment. This reinforcement is coupled with a zoned coil layer that provides extra support around the sleeper’s midsection. The coils are pocketed, so each coil can move independently and air can flow freely between them. Added edge support in the coil layer creates a sturdy perimeter.
The medium soft, medium firm, and firm versions of the WinkBed have a gel-infused foam Euro-top that cushions the body while pulling away excessive heat. A layer of microcoils allows airflow while responding quickly to position changes. The Plus version features a top layer of high-density polyfoam to contour to the body while providing additional support. Instead of microcoils, the Plus uses a layer of latex for enhanced support and durability.
Sleepers under 130 pounds will likely find the medium soft option most comfortable. Those who weigh between 130 and 230 pounds may prefer the medium firm or firm options. Individuals who weigh over 230 pounds might appreciate the extra support of the Plus mattress.
WinkBeds provides a lifetime warranty and a 120-night sleep trial on the WinkBed Mattress.
SleepFoundation readers get $400 off a Birch Mattress.
Many people naturally run hot in bed and are prone to sweating in their sleep, and living in hot or humid places can exacerbate this issue. The Birch Mattress is a good option for hot sleepers thanks to its material construction. These include a breathable cover made from organic cotton, a ventilated latex comfort layer that promotes cooling near the surface, and pocketed coils that generate airflow throughout the interior. The fire barrier also contains wool, which has moisture-wicking properties to keep you dry during the night.
Natural latex found in the Birch Mattress has received eco-INSTITUT certification, indicating the material has been tested for volatile organic compound emissions. The cotton is certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard, while the wool has earned a Wool Integrity NZ certification to ensure sheep are treated humanely. These certifications should appeal to shoppers who prefer buying sustainably made goods.
Durability is another asset. The latex holds up well over time and won’t develop indentations too quickly – a common complaint about memory foam – while the coils are sturdy enough to provide long-lasting support. The coils are reinforced along the perimeter to prevent excessive sinkage when you get on and off the mattress. Due to its medium firm (6) feel, the Birch Mattress is best suited to people who weigh at least 130 pounds.
The Birch Mattress is reasonably priced for a latex hybrid model and customers in all 50 states qualify for free ground shipping. Your order includes a 100-night sleep trial for testing out the mattress, as well as a 25-year manufacturer’s warranty against structural defects.
Best Pressure Relief
Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Avocado mattresses
Many sleepers experience lower back pain from improper hip and shoulder support. This lack of support can misalign the spine and cause sleepers to involuntarily tense their back muscles. The Avocado Green combines responsive Dunlop latex with a zoned coil system to limit excessive sinkage in the hips and shoulders, preventing lumbar pain.
The mattress is encased in a cover made of soft, GOTS-certified organic cotton, followed by a layer of breathable organic wool. The comfort layer features 2 inches of Dunlop latex, which has a naturally responsive feel and slight contour that traps less heat than foam. Next is another 1-inch layer of latex for extra cushion, followed by 8 inches of zoned pocketed coils in the support core.
The coils vary in thickness across five zones to provide different amounts of responsiveness and support. The thickest coils are zoned under the shoulders and hips to keep them in line with the spine, while the thinnest coils are in the center of the mattress for extra bounce. Another zone places reinforced coils on the perimeter for better edge support and greater usability.
The bed has an optional latex pillow-top for an additional fee. Without the pillow-top, the mattress has a firm (7) feel and an 11-inch profile. The pillow-top version adds 2 more inches of latex, resulting in a 13-inch profile and a medium firm (6) feel. Side sleepers and sleepers under 130 pounds may want to consider the pillow-top add-on for better pressure relief around the shoulders and hips. Most back and stomach sleepers should find sufficient support and comfort without the pillow-top.
Avocado offers free shipping to all 50 states, as well as a 365-night sleep trial. Additionally, the Avocado Green comes with a 25-year limited warranty.
Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Spindle mattresses
The Spindle Organic Latex Mattress has an adjustable construction that makes this bed uniquely equipped to support an array of different sleep preferences. Constructed with three 3-inch layers of Dunlop latex, the mattress varies in firmness and feel depending on how the layers are configured.
The Organic Latex Mattress is sold in two firmness options, medium (5) and firm (7). The medium option comes with two layers of medium firm latex and one firm layer, while the firm option comes with two medium firm layers and one firm layer. Sleepers can rearrange the layers to create a surface that best suits their preferences and needs. No matter the configuration, the mattress is 10 inches thick. The height includes 9 inches of latex and 1 inch of wool batting sewn into the cover. Engineered with GOTS-certified organic cotton, the removable cover unzips to enable sleepers to rearrange the layers.
The Organic Latex Mattress can accommodate a wide range of body types and sleep positions, but it’s especially well-suited for side sleepers below 230 pounds and stomach sleepers between 130 and 230 pounds. Less conforming than memory foam, latex has noticeable bounce and disperses heat away from the sleeper, making this a good option for sleepers who run hot.
The sticker price for the Spindle Organic Latex Mattress is about on par with similar organic latex mattresses. Spindle includes free shipping to the contiguous U.S. and a 10-year limited warranty on the mattress. The company also provides a generous 365-night sleep trial with a 60-day break-in period. If customers decide they aren’t happy with their purchase during that time frame, they can donate the mattress to charity and receive a full refund.
A medium firm mattress can suit a wide variety of sleepers. While comfort depends on personal preference, a person’s weight and primary sleep position significantly influence how a mattress contours to the shape of the body and relieves pressure points.
Mattresses that are too soft cause the sleeper to sink in near the hips, waist, and abdomen. This can strain the neck and lumbar region. A mattress that is too firm will not cushion pressure points in the shoulders, back, and hips.
Most individuals between 130 and 230 pounds prefer the light contouring and support of a medium firm mattress. This is especially true for back and stomach sleepers in this weight range. Side sleepers above 230 pounds tend to prefer a medium to medium firm mattress, while those who weigh less than 230 pounds tend to opt for softer models.
A medium firm mattress generally provides enough cushioning in its comfort layers to contour to the shape of the spine without causing it to sink out of alignment. A durable support core gently lifts the hips and abdomen for a balanced feel.
We’ll highlight the general guidelines for the best firmness levels for each individual’s sleeping position and weight range, but shoppers should consider their personal preferences before making a purchase.
|Weight||Side Sleepers||Back Sleepers||Stomach Sleepers|
|Less than 130 Pounds||Soft – Medium||Medium Soft – Medium Firm||Medium Soft – Medium Firm|
|130 to 230 Pounds||Medium Soft – Medium Firm||Medium – Firm||Medium Firm – Firm|
|More than 230 Pounds||Medium – Medium Firm||Medium Firm – Firm||Medium Firm – Firm|
Body type and sleeping position are two of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a mattress. Individuals who weigh more than 230 pounds tend to sink more deeply into soft beds, and often prefer firmer mattresses as a result. A firm mattress can contour to the natural shape of the body and support the spine.
People under 130 pounds generally need a softer mattress because they won’t sink in far enough on a firmer surface. A softer, more conforming mattress generally provides ample cushioning for pressure points.
Those weigh between 130 and 230 pounds tend to prefer a medium firm mattress, as it balances contouring with spinal support. However, sleeping position and personal preferences also play a role.
Buying a medium firm mattress online can save shoppers time that they would otherside spend browsing in-store models and speaking with salespeople. Shoppers can also save money, as online mattress companies typically have lower overhead costs than traditional brick-and-mortar stores, and can offer high-quality mattresses at more affordable prices as a result.
While buying a mattress online may seem like a drawback for those who want to test out their bed in person, many companies offer generous sleep trials to mitigate these risks.
A sleep trial allows customers to try out their mattress at home, typically for 90 to 100 nights. If the mattress isn’t the best fit, most companies allow customers to return their mattress, free of charge, within that time frame. Sleep trial requirements and conditions vary between manufacturers, and it’s important to read the fine print prior to making a purchase.
Along with sleep trials, many direct-to-consumer mattress companies lower costs for consumers through free shipping, returns, and seasonal promotions. Some mattress manufacturers offer free White Glove delivery and mattress removal, which makes the setup process easier.
Ordering a mattress online is usually a quick, simple process. You can choose your preferred mattress and enter your credit card information at checkout. Some companies offer financing options for shoppers who want to split the price of the mattress into multiple payments.
Mattress companies often use marketing jargon that may not accurately describe how their mattress will feel for different sleepers. This form of advertising is meant to appeal to all shoppers, without taking into account their unique body type or preferred sleep position. Rather than focusing on brand marketing, shoppers should consider the following factors when shopping for a new mattress.
Mattress Type and Materials
How a mattress feels depends on its construction and composition. A traditional innerspring mattress supports the spine and regulates temperature differently than an all-foam model. Understanding your priorities in a mattress can help narrow down the mattress types and materials you’re interested in when comparing brands and models.
Sleep quality affects nearly every aspect of your life, so investing in a high-quality mattress can be beneficial. Still, most shoppers have a budget to consider when comparing mattresses. There are plenty of well-made mattresses to suit every price-point. Setting a realistic budget from the start will help you find a mattress that suits your needs.
Motion isolation is an important feature for couples who share a bed. How a mattress transfers motion can greatly impact your quality of sleep. In general, the more contouring a mattress is, the better it isolates movement. Many medium firm mattresses have foam comfort layers that help reduce motion transfer. Couples who are concerned about sleep disturbances may want to consider a memory foam mattress, which isolates motion more easily than hybrid or innerspring models.
Medium firm mattresses typically support the spine and cushion pressure points for most weight ranges. Individuals between 130 and 230 pounds are most likely to appreciate the light contouring of a medium firm mattress. A semi firm support core also helps keep the spine aligned, which contributes to a mattress’ ability to reduce aches and pains.
Strong edge support allows sleepers to use the entire mattress surface without feeling like they may roll off the bed. Most medium firm mattresses offer sturdy edge support. Individuals who prioritize edge support and ease of movement in a mattress may want to focus on innerspring and hybrid models, as these mattress types are more likely to have coils support cores with reinforced perimeters.
Sleeping comfortably through the night can be difficult on a mattress that traps heat. Individuals who tend to sleep hot often benefit from a mattress that dissipates heat and promotes air circulation. Gel-infused memory foam, individually wrapped coils, and breathable covers are a few materials that are engineered to promote temperature neutrality.
Contouring refers to the way a mattress conforms to a person’s unique body shape. In general, foam mattresses provide better contouring than many innerspring and hybrid models, though this will depend on the comfort layers in the mattress. When combined with a sturdy support core, contouring mattresses often deliver enhanced pressure relief.
How a mattress performs is affected by its construction. There are five common mattress types: hybrid, innerspring, foam, latex, and airbed. Each mattress type offers a unique set of benefits and drawbacks for different sleeping positions and weight ranges.
Each mattress category shares certain characteristics that can give you an idea of how it will feel. However, different brands and models can differ widely in terms of quality and construction, so shoppers should still research the details of a mattress before buying.
Hybrid mattresses typically blend the durability of a traditional innerspring support core with the contouring comfort of foam or latex. The bottom section, or base, of a hybrid model often contains innerspring coils, which add bounce to the mattress. The top comfort layers are usually contouring materials, like foam or latex, that conform to the shape of the body.
Medium firm mattresses tend to offer a sturdy support core and contouring comfort layers for a balance of back support and pressure relief. Back sleepers between 130 and 230 pounds are likely to feel most comfortable on a medium firm hybrid mattress.
Innerspring mattresses primarily contain a coil support core, along with a thin amount of fiber fill or foam in its comfort layers. As a result, they’re typically firmer than other models. While innerspring mattresses typically don’t offer the same amount of contouring as foam, latex, or hybrid models, they can offer support and promote proper spinal alignment.
A medium firm innerspring mattress is suitable for most sleepers who weigh more than 130 pounds, particularly back and stomach sleepers. The relatively thin comfort layers and strong support core can prevent the spine from sinking out of alignment for these individuals.
Foam mattresses are generally constructed with multiple layers of memory foam and/or polyfoam. The support core typically includes high-density polyfoam to help support the hips and align the spine. The mattress’ comfort layers often include memory foam or softer polyfoam to cushion pressure points and contour to the shape of the body.
Medium firm foam mattresses generally provide more contouring and pressure relief than innerspring or hybrid models, making them ideal for side sleepers. That said, most people who weigh more than 230 pounds will find that a medium firm foam mattress does not prevent sinkage as well as models with coil-based cores.
Harvested from the sap of rubber trees or produced synthetically, latex is a responsive material that can add bounce to a mattress. Latex mattresses offer moderate contouring, but they don’t deliver the hug-like feel of all-foam models. The support core typically contains denser latex than its comfort layers.
Latex mattresses are a good choice for stomach sleepers looking for a medium firm feel. The mattress should be firm enough to keep the abdomen from sinking in and soft enough to cushion the chest.
An airbed allows you to control the firmness of the mattress. Airbeds are designed with air chamber support cores that can be inflated or deflated, depending on each sleeper’s preference. These mattresses typically come with a smartphone app or remote control that allows individuals to customize firmness. Airbeds usually have comfort layers of foam, latex, or fiber fill.
Airbeds offer a higher level of customization than other models, making them suitable for nearly all sleeping positions and weight ranges.
Once you have a medium firm mattress that suits your needs, accessories that complement your bed can help enhance your sleep quality.
A well-constructed pillow keeps the neck supported and the head cushioned. Keeping the cervical spine (neck) aligned is crucial for pressure relief.
Side sleepers tend to prefer lofty pillows filled with down, polyester, or shredded foam or latex. These materials allow you to manipulate the pillow for maximum comfort and neck support. A medium or high loft pillow should fill the space between the neck and shoulders.
Back and stomach sleepers typically need a low loft pillow to keep the cervical spine aligned.
If a brand-new mattress doesn’t work with your budget, a high-quality mattress topper can be a suitable temporary solution to enhance the comfort of your existing mattress. Mattress toppers typically measure around 1 to 3 inches in height. They sit on top of your mattress, under your fitted sheet, and are made of materials like down, foam, latex, or fiber fill.
A mattress topper isn’t a permanent fix, but it can provide a more comfortable surface to sleep on if you want to adjust the firmness of your mattress. That said, it cannot repair a broken or sagging mattress.
Medium firm mattress toppers add a slightly sturdier surface to soft mattresses and deeper contouring for overly firm models. Though toppers tend to be less expensive than a new mattress, they are less durable.
Medium firm mattresses feel noticeably firm when you lie down, but they also provide ample cushioning in their comfort layers. Mattress firmness is rated on a scale of 1 to 10, or extremely soft to extremely firm. Medium firm is toward the middle of this scale.
Individuals won’t sink into the mattress as deeply on a medium firm model as they would on a softer mattress. The balanced features of a medium firm mattress work together to ensure the spine remains aligned without sacrificing the contouring comfort that many sleepers prefer.
Medium firm mattresses can help prevent the hips and lumbar region from sinking in too deeply, which is good for the back. Proper spinal alignment is essential for all types of sleepers.
Mattresses that are too soft tend to sag near the hips, which strains the lower back. Mattresses that are too firm, on the other hand, can put pressure on the spine. Medium firm mattresses tend to balance contouring with full-body support, but shoppers should consider their sleeping position, body weight, and personal comfort preferences when selecting a mattress firmness.
If you aren’t ready to invest in a new mattress, a mattress topper can be used to make your current mattress more firm. Mattress toppers sit on the surface of your mattress and act as an additional comfort layer. They are produced in different height and firmness options to suit a variety of needs.
A mattress topper is not a permanent solution for making your mattress feel firmer, or a remedy for an unsupportive mattress. While foam, latex, or down toppers are not as durable as a new mattress, they can be used to temporarily adjust the firmness of your current mattress.
A medium firm mattress is suitable for many side sleepers, particularly those who weigh more than 130 pounds. That said, side sleepers typically need more cushioning than back or stomach sleepers. The comfort layers in the mattress must feel soft enough to alleviate pressure points in the shoulders and hips.
Side sleepers under 130 pounds likely won’t experience the pressure relief they need from a medium firm mattress. These sleepers tend to prefer a soft to medium mattress for additional cushioning.
Medium firm and firm mattresses are generally less susceptible to degradation than softer models. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t subject to normal wear and tear. While a soft mattress may sag more quickly, medium firm mattresses can still form impressions and lose support over time.
Most mattresses will need to be replaced every 6 to 8 years, as they tend to become less supportive in this timespan. Firmness is not the only factor to consider, as the quality of materials used and the construction of the mattress also affect its overall durability.
Whether a medium firm mattress can cause back pain will depend on several factors. Body type and sleeping position should both be considered before choosing a mattress firmness.
Individuals who weigh between 130 and 230 pounds are likely to experience moderate contouring and proper spinal alignment on a medium firm mattress. This can help prevent back pain.
Those who weigh less than 130 pounds may not sink into the mattress enough, which can put pressure on the lower back. Sleepers who weigh more than 230 pounds may sink into a medium firm mattress too deeply, which can press the spine out of alignment and lead to back pain.
Firm mattresses sit around a 7 or 8 on the 10-point firmness scale, or one to two points higher than medium firm (6) models. Medium firm mattresses have slightly softer comfort layers to contour to the shape of the body and cushion pressure points. Firm mattresses tend to offer less contouring, preventing the sleeper from sinking into the bed.
The Sleep Foundation editorial team is dedicated to providing content that meets the highest standards for accuracy and objectivity. Our editors and medical experts rigorously evaluate every article and guide to ensure the information is factual, up-to-date, and free of bias.
The Sleep Foundation fact-checking guidelines are as follows: