Your Guide to Mattress Firmness


January 9, 2024

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Has your search for the perfect mattress got you asking, "what is a medium-firm mattress?" Is it indeed the ideal mattress? Well, you'll be finding out exactly that in this guide.

Mattress firmness may be the one factor that could make or break a good night's sleep. And with recent studies stating every 4 in 10 Australians to be deprived of sleep, knowing your mattresses is certainly welcome!

On the mattress firmness chart, 5-7 levels of firmness is a medium-firm mattress. Most people find this category of mattresses to be comfortable and adaptable. They provide just the right amount of support, as well as being quite accommodating. 

Soft Mattress

Soft mattresses tend not to offer too much support as you sink into them. At first, they might be comfortable or smothering, depending on your preference. However, they will cause your spine not to be aligned, which can cause back issues in the future. Having said that, if you’re on the lighter side or if it's a mattress for children, then it will be better. 

Medium-firm mattress

This is the goldilocks option, and most mattresses are marketed as medium-firm because it's what's needed to align your spine in the best way. 

OnHealth reports that sleeping on your side or back is the most common sleeping position. This is because the natural curves of your spine can be maintained during sleep by medium-firm mattresses. It provides the right amount of pressure relief for your shoulders and hips in the sleeping positions mentioned. It’s also the recommended position as opposed to sleeping on your stomach.

Firm Mattress

If you sleep on your front, you will need a firmer mattress as that will help align your spine correctly. But this would not be recommended for most people unless you’re on the heavier side and need a firm mattress for the support. 

Factors to consider when the firmness

Now, finding the right mattress is certainly not a random process. There are specific factors that can dictate the kind of mattress you get. Here are some to consider;


Your mattress’ firmness needs to be suited to your body weight. For instance, if you’re on the heavier side, a medium-firm mattress is ideal. It’ll cushion pressure points like your hips and shoulders while also supporting your weight. For lighter sleepers, a soft-medium bed will do just fine cushioning as well as supporting the body.

Age and health

For older sleepers, medium-firm mattresses have two significant benefits. They’re great for spine alignment and are easier to get up from than soft beds. Besides, regardless of age, if you have back pain or any spine-related problems, medium-firm beds are a perfect choice. Health-conscious sleepers choose them even if they don’t show any signs of such issues. 

How you sleep

Medium-firm mattresses are great if you usually sleep on your back or stomach. It helps sustain the spine’s natural curve and avoid backache. However, if you’re primarily a side sleeper, you’ll need extra cushioning for your shoulders and hips. That means medium-soft beds are more likely the right choice. You can test different levels of firmness to make sure you’ve made the right pick.

Bed situation

If you share a bed with a partner or a pet, there are two things to consider. The first is whether your sleep buddies are comfortable on a mattress of your choice. If not, you could get single mattresses of different firmness levels set on the same bed.

Personal mattress preference

Now you may have perfectly healthy sleep no matter what mattress but want to get one you find comfortable. In that case, do give medium-firm beds a try. They’re the most accommodating mattress category you can find. Weigh all the pros and cons if you find it tough to decide and let that be a guide. And yes, firmness can be subjective. So do give yourself a few tries before deciding what mattress to get.

What makes a great medium-firm mattress?

Now, what makes some medium-firm mattresses better than the others? We’ve considered three crucial quality indicators to make our pick. Our ideal mattress delivers balanced comfort, ease of maintenance, and overall customer satisfaction. 

Comfort and support balance 

The best medium-firm mattresses score a 6 to 7 on the firmness scale. They strike a perfect balance between comfort and support. The upper layer is soft enough to relieve the sleeper’s pressure points, while the lower layers sturdy to provide balance. Mattresses of this category eliminate any instance of sleep disruption caused by movement. They provide zero partner disturbance. 


Quality mattress are easy to maintain. They’re primarily foam-based and not as dense as traditional mattresses. You shouldn’t have a problem moving them around when needed. Such mattresses also have additional features like removable covers. It makes it easy to keep the mattress clean. You can toss the cover in the wash whenever it gets dirty or as a part of routine cleaning. 

Overall Customer Satisfaction

Other factors that go into the best medium-firm mattress include an extended trial period and warranty provision. Customers must have confidence in the product’s quality. Variability in size and design is also a must to accommodate different sleepers. Mattresses are a long-term investment, so you must make the right choice before purchasing one. 

Emma Original Mattress 

Emma Original can be considered an ideal medium-firm mattress. With pressure-relieving and point elastic foam, it provides both firmness and comfort. It is also light and has a washable cover. Emma Original is available in five different sizes: single, double, queen, and king. For its foams, the mattress has an OEKO-TEX® non-toxic certification and is completely safe for users. In addition, it is reasonably priced and comes with a 10-year warranty and a 100-day trial period.

For more info, check out our Emma review.

Bottom Line

Sleep is when your body switches to repair and revitalise mode. According to Healthline, it's when some of the most critical processes of the body take place, including the storing of information, cell repair, and immunity-building.

We hope our comprehensive guide has helped narrow down your hunt for the perfect sleep-inducing mattress. With the average human sleeping for about one-third of a lifetime, it's certainly worth taking mattresses more seriously!