Is A Firm Mattress Best? 

 September 10, 2010

By  Dr. John Vilkelis

I can’t tell you how many times I have a patient come into my office and ask, “Should I get a firm mattress or a soft one?”

I would like to say that it’s clear cut and the answer is the same for everyone but that would just be untrue.

The first thing I would tell you about looking for a mattress is the most important.  Your spine has natural curves that curve from front to back and back to front depending on the area of your spine (see the image below).


Your mattress needs to support your entire body when you lay down.  What I mean by this is the mattress must come up to meet the curves of your spine and hips when you lay on your back or side (You should never sleep on your stomach; it’s bad for your neck and low back).  Without that support you will eventually wake up with back or neck pain.

You also have to consider how the mattress will stand up to the wear and tear you dish out.  Larger people will put more wear and tear on the mattress and a firmer mattress may stand up to that a little better.  Remember not to sacrifice support for better durability.

I would say that in the end you should go with a bed that feels more comfortable to you and has the proper support.  If you would like recommendations on specific brands of beds, please feel free to contact me so we can discuss it.

Finally, while we are talking about sleep arrangements I thought I should mention pillows.  You must also get a pillow that offers you the proper support.  This again means that you should find a pillow that comes up to meet the curve of your neck and support that curve.  So the same holds true for the firmness of the pillow, it is a matter of personal comfort and preference.

So a firm mattress is not necessarily the best mattress for you.  Find the right bed and pillow and a good night’s sleep is in the bag.

Please let me know what you think of this post.  I would be happy to share your experience.

Dr. John Vilkelis

Dr. Vilkelis has been in private practice for over 27 years. He has a reputation for truly caring for his patients and goes the extra mile to make sure people get the help they need. He accepts patients of all ages and is eager to help you get well and stay healthy. Give him a call today at (914) 618-4330.

Dr. John G. Vilkelis

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