Your Guide to Extra Firm Mattresses
With a wealth of top-quality extra firm mattress options out there, it can be challenging to find the right kind of mattress that suits you. There are plenty of factors to take into consideration – are you a front, back, or side sleeper? Do you have back problems? Do you prefer a firm mattress or a snuggly-soft one?
Most people think that the firmness ratings stop at ‘firm’. However, there is another level of support available for those who think that ‘firm’ just isn’t firm enough – Extra Firm. They’re commonly rated as 9 or 10 on the firmness scale. But who needs an extra firm mattress? Well, it could be down to personal preference or as a result of back problems that are made worse by a softer mattress.
They’re not commonly available, but if a firm mattress isn’t enough for you then it’s well worth seeking them out. They won’t suit everyone, but it’s worth considering upgrading if you have back issues, are larger or heavier than average, or just love a really firm feel to your mattress.
What type of extra firm mattresses are available?
There are several different types of extra firm mattresses in the UK.
Hybrid mattresses combine memory foam or latex and a spring core. These are a great option if you want a mattress that contours to the shape of your body, but keeps the level of support dialled up to the maximum.
Latex mattresses are similar to memory foam, but tend to be more responsive to movement and are firmer than memory foam, so you get a much greater level of support. It’s also a very breathable material, which is ideal if you suffer from night sweats and want a mattress that stays cooler.
Sprung mattresses use a traditional steel spring coil matrix to provide the support you want, and may also include a thinner layer of memory foam or polyfoam. They’re great if you love the feel of a traditional sprung mattress but want the cushioning of memory foam as well.
The first port of call if you suffer from back pain has to be your GP to find out exactly what’s causing your back issues. While the common consensus is that firmer mattresses are good for lumbar support, it’s not always the case, especially if you tend to sleep on your side rather than on your front or back. What a firm or extra firm mattress does is help you realign your spine while you sleep, keeping it in a neutral position so that pressure points on the hips, shoulders, and lower back are reduced.
Extra firm mattresses are best suited to those who sleep on their stomach or flat on their back. If a mattress is too soft then it’ll let the hips sink into the layers of padding, rather than keeping them flat and level. This can misalign the spine, causing greater lower back and hip pain. If you sleep on your back or your stomach and suffer from back problems then an extra firm mattress may suit you perfectly.
What is the difference between firm and extra firm mattress?
A firm mattress has a lower firmness rating, usually a 7 or 8 on the scale. They also often contain more layers of padding than an extra firm mattress, so they’ll feel softer to the touch. If you already have a firm mattress but don’t feel it’s offering you the comfort you need, then you have two options. You can look for a new mattress such as those in Benson’s extra firm mattress selection. Alternatively, you could add an extra firm mattress topper to your existing bed to update your firmness levels on a budget.
Which is the best mattress for back pain?
If you suffer from back pain then you can choose from a number of extra firm mattresses. UK sellers have expanded their range over the last few years to cater to the demand, so you’ll find extra firm mattresses in Argos or right here at Winston’s Beds. The Winston’s No1 13500 Pocket Spring Mattress comes in a variety of firmness ratings including extra firm, and is one of the best mattresses for combatting back pain currently available. Don’t forget, if you’re not sure what level of firmness you want you can always buy an extra firm mattress topper. UK shops (including Winston’s Beds) carry toppers in a variety of firmness ratings to add an extra level of comfort and support.
What is the firmest orthopaedic mattress?
Most orthopaedic mattresses fall into the ‘firm’ category, but they also include extra firm options too. When our customers ask us ‘What is the firmest mattress UK suppliers provide?’ we usually point them towards our exceptional Winston’s Premium Cotton 1500 Pocket Spring Mattress. This represents one of the best quality orthopaedic mattresses available today, and is specifically designed to minimise pressure points and give real relief for back and joint pain sufferers for a better night’s sleep.
When you’re looking for extra firm mattresses, make sure they are designed to ensure your spine stays in a neutral alignment position and provide zero movement transfer. This means you’ll get a more restful night’s sleep with less moving around to ‘try and get comfortable’. (A bonus of this is that it also means your partner gets a better night’s sleep, too!)
Is an orthopaedic mattress better than memory foam?
While memory foam cradles you and contours to the shape of your body, an orthopaedic mattress will give you more in the way of support and a firmer feel. An orthopaedic mattress is specifically designed to alleviate back pain, but can be used by those who simply prefer a firmer feel as well. Put simply, you don’t have to have a bad back to appreciate the comfort of an orthopaedic mattress!
Many orthopaedic mattresses (even extra firm ones) also incorporate layers of memory foam into their design to provide a more cushioned feel but with no compromise on the amount of support given. These may be more suitable if you prefer to sleep on your side, as the memory foam layer will cradle your body and allow you to relax into a position without any pressure points to irritate your back, shoulders or hips. This gives a more restful night’s sleep.
Can a mattress be too firm?
The simple answer is yes, it can. If you find yourself waking up in the morning with back, shoulder or neck pain then your mattress may be too firm for your needs. Look out for pain in certain areas like the hips or shoulders (especially if you’re a side-sleeper) which may indicate that your mattress is creating pressure points.
If your mattress doesn’t contour to the shape of your body then it’s not doing its job, even if you’ve gone for an extra firm option. A dead giveaway that your mattress is not the right firmness for you is if you stay overnight in a hotel and get a better night’s sleep than you do normally, then your mattress is probably too firm. The easiest way to combat this without buying a new mattress (especially if you’ve only just bought your current version) is to add a pillow topper. Conversely, if your mattress is too soft then you can also add an extra firm mattress topper to give you the support you need.
Ask Winston’s Beds
Buying the right mattress isn’t just a financial investment, it’s an investment in your health and well-being. If you’re not sure whether you need an extra firm mattress or if another option would suit you better, talk to our friendly team and we’ll be happy to help you make the right decision.