Mattress firmness level: Definition
Mattress firmness: crucial for a good night's sleep
The firmness of most mattresses determines whether or not we can enjoy a healthy, restful sleep. If you are looking for a new mattress, you will sometimes come across different terms that describe the mattress firmness level. Medium firm, H1, ultra firm - what does that mean for your sleeping comfort?
Every sleeper prefers a different lying feeling. Maybe you move around a lot at night and want your mattress to cushion the movements? Or you have back problems and are looking for a mattress that relieves the pressure on your spine? A rough classification of the mattress firmness level can be made using body weight. However, the classic firmness level system is somewhat cumbersome; in the meantime, mattresses are available that can be individually and flexibly adjusted.
Which mattress firmness level is suitable for me?
There are five different mattress firmness levels on the market, which are defined by the body weight of the sleeper. It is crucial that the mattress of your choice is able to support your spine in an optimal and healthy way to prevent back problems. A mattress that is too soft or too hard puts strain on your back and has a negative effect on your sleeping comfort. When choosing your mattress, the sleeping position also plays a decisive role. People who prefer to sleep on their side need a mattress that flexes more in the shoulder and hip area, but can still support the spine in a healthy position. We have summarised the commercially available mattress firmness levels for you.
Hardness grade 1 is only recommended if you weigh less than 60 kilograms. This mattress firmness level is ideal for small and/or delicate people, but you should not use such a mattress if you exceed this weight limit. The mattress can lose its shape very quickly, bend or form hollows that can damage your back health.
Mattresses hardness level 2 and 3 are the standard firmness levels used in most bedrooms. H2 is suitable for people who weigh between 60 and 80 kilograms and is therefore mostly preferred by women. Various manufacturers also refer to this mattress firmness level as "medium" or "medium-firm". People over 80 kilograms find a restful sleep on the mattress with firmness level 3. Many couples equip their double beds with H2 and H3 mattresses to be able to give the respective partner an individual lying feeling.
Hardness grade 4 is already the last firmness level offered by most manufacturers. It designates mattresses on which people weighing 100-120 kilograms or more can sleep healthily. These mattresses often have the designation "firm" or "extra-firm", depending on the manufacturer. For people weighing 120 kilograms or more, there is the
Hardness grade 5. In general, the more you weigh, the firmer your mattress needs to be.
Is there a mattress firmness level for cold foam mattresses?
Is it possible to determine the hardness level of a cold foam mattress? Cold foam mattresses have the advantage that they adapt perfectly to the sleeper and thus offer balanced pressure relief. At the same time, the cold foam core supports the body in those areas where a firmer lying feeling is desired. With the 3D cube cut, the foam adapts to the body, supports it and balances the pressure in the areas where it is exerted. The back is relieved and the muscles can relax. However, this has little to do with the mattress firmness level. In the case of a cold foam mattress, it is the volume weight number that is decisive. The higher this number, the higher the quality and durability of the core.
How does the hardness level affect my body?
Most people do not conform to any given standard. The right mattress firmness level therefore also depends on your physique and the resulting centre of gravity. However, experts agree on one thing: as long as your spine can be supported straight in the side position and your intervertebral discs are not affected, you have found the right firmness level for you. But what happens if this is not the case?
Maybe you are someone who prefers a soft lying feeling because it makes you feel like you are lying on a cloud. But how does it feel for your back? If your mattress is too soft, your spine may sag. A U-shape forms at the level of your lower back because your hip area sinks too deeply into the mattress. You can recognise this by the fact that your waist bends a little when you lie down. The hammock effect makes you feel tense in the morning and may cause you pain. But a mattress that is too hard can also cause you big problems.
If your shoulder and pelvic area cannot sink in deeply enough, your spine curves. Intervertebral discs and vertebrae are put under a lot of strain and begin to ache. Pressure points are also possible in the areas that rest on the mattress. If you sleep on your back, you should make sure that your lumbar region is supported. Side sleepers need a base that is point-elastic and pressure-balancing. In order to decide on a mattress firmness level, it is a good idea to first test the respective mattress. By trying it out, you can then decide whether it meets your requirements in terms of lying feeling and sleeping comfort.