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Medium Firm Mattresses 101

Medium firm mattresses are supposed to be pretty much perfect for everyone. But don’t take our word for it. See for yourself why that’s the case. 

Shopping for a new mattress can be daunting, but only if you don’t know what you’re doing. But, even then, if you want to make sure you minimize shopping mistakes, all it takes is that you shop for medium firm mattresses.

Medium firm mattresses are made with all sleepers in mind, so it’s pretty safe to say that you won’t make a mistake whichever medium firm mattress you choose.

How’s that possible, you might wonder? Well, the answer to that and several other questions will be given to you in the following guide, but for now, let’s start with some basics and our three favourite medium firm mattresses.

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    What is the difference between firm and medium firm mattresses?

    A medium firm mattress is kind of a broad term. This attribute is usually awarded to mattresses in the 5.5 to 7.5 range on the firmness scale. Therefore, as you can see, there are some differences even between these mattresses themselves.

    To better understand the difference between medium firm mattresses, and say, firm mattresses, we’re going to have to take a look at the parameter that matters the most – firmness.

    Firmness scale

    It all starts with the firmness scale. The firmness scale is a scale with values from one to ten, and each number is assigned to a certain “feel” or “resistance” of the mattress, with one being the softest a mattress can be and ten being the firmest.

    As we have already said, a medium firm mattress would be the one between 5.5 and 7.5 on the firmness scale, and a firm mattress would be over 7.5.

    an image of a man pressing Vesgantti Pro Hybrid mattress

    Granted, the firmness of the mattress is a tad subjective. Basically, a lightweight person might find a 7.5 rated mattress quite firm, whereas a heavyweight sleeper wouldn’t. To avoid that kind of confusion, we’re looking at an average sleeper when we talk about these things.

    So, what’s the difference between a firm and a medium firm mattress, scale-wise? Well, the firm ones’ are higher up the scale. They’re firmer – that’s it.


    Another thing that you will find quite different when comparing a medium firm to a firm mattress is the overall softness of the mattress. Now, this one’s kind of given, seeing how one of these will be firmer than the other, but there are a few other things to consider, as well.

    Firmer mattresses are usually either pocket sprung or innerspring, as springs can be significantly firmer than, say, foam or latex. As such, these mattresses are far superior as far support is concerned. However, they usually lack softness, even in the top comfort layer.

    Medium firm mattresses, on the other hand, are usually hybrids, although they can easily be memory foam, gel-topped, sprung, latex, as well as innerspring. Because of it, medium firm mattresses, despite being more than adequately supportive, are also quite soft and comfy, thanks to the mixture of various materials and a myriad of layers.

    Our top 3 medium firm mattresses

    Now, we want you to meet our top 3 medium firm mattresses that we have tested and reviewed over the years.

    In fact, we’re so confident in our choice that we feel like it’s safe to say that all three of these mattresses will work for pretty much everyone.

    But, enough teasing. It is time to check out these mattresses

    1. Simba Hybrid

    Probably the best medium firm mattress in the world.

    Simba Hybrid is a hybrid mattress combining memory foam and mini pocket springs to create a seemingly perfect medium firm mattress.

    Beneath the breathable, knitted, hypoallergenic cover, we can find open-cell graphite infused Simbatex memory foam layer. Compared to regular memory foam, Simbatex foam is 30x more breathable.

    • Very comfortable and surprisingly cooling
    • Supportive in the right places, cosy in others
    • Excellent durability and longevity
    • Pressure-reliving and motion-isolating.
    • Some sleepers might find it soft
    • Minor overheating issues
    • Non-removable cover.

    2. Nectar Memory Foam

    Medium firm memory foam mattress? Is superior comfort its middle name?

    This Nectar memory foam 25 cm tall mattress might just be what medium firm mattresses are all about. It comes with a custom-designed quilted cooling cover, wicking away excess moisture and regulating body temperature. 

    This one comes with seven support zones, each of them perfectly designed to support and nurture different parts of your body as you sleep soundly through the night.

    • Very comfortable and surprisingly breathable
    • Lifetime warranty
    • Excellent durability and longevity
    • Pressure-reliving and motion-isolating.
    • Some sleepers might find it getting soft through the night
    • Minor off-gassing issues
    • No rotating handles on the cover.

    3. Millbrook Wool Luxury 4000 Pocket Mattress

    Medium firm blend of pocket springs, Hampshire wool and English cotton!

    Millbrook Wool Luxury 4000 Pocket mattress is a medium firm beast with up to 4000 full-sized pocket springs. As such, it is an excellent choice for most sleepers, especially when it comes to pocket sprung mattresses.

    First up, this is a double-sided mattress, meaning you will have to flip it every once in a while. But, what’s great about that is that you get to experience the fresh comfort of soft-to-the-touch cotton-viscose cover that will keep you both cool and cosy.

    • Very supportive and comfortable
    • 10-year warranty
    • Excellent durability and longevity
    • Breathable and temperature-regulating.
    • Minor off-gassing issues
    • Non-removable cover
    • Wool might cause allergies for some sleepers.

    The advantages of owning medium firm mattresses

    Now that we’ve met our top three medium firm mattresses let’s further explore the advantages of owning one of them (or some other medium firm mattress). Owning one of the best medium firm mattresses will definitely giv you a handful of advantages.

    Good for side & combination sleepers

    As you probably already know, one of the main factors to consider when choosing a mattress is your sleeping position. Most people sleep in one of three positions – side, back, and front. Also, most people switch between these three during the night. So, how do medium firm mattresses matter in this instance?

    Well, it’s quite simple, really. A medium firm mattress will offer a perfect combo of support and comfort, keeping your body properly aligned and supported during the night while also being super comfy. In the case of side and combo sleepers, medium firm mattresses do this perfectly.

    Not only will they allow for the side sleepers’ core areas like shoulder and hips to gently sink into the mattress, maintaining proper alignment all through the night, but they will also allow you to switch positions easily and still maintain the same level of comfort all night long.

    So, get yourself a medium firm mattress and say goodbye to the nights where you have to struggle just to turn around because your mattress is too soft, or those mornings where you wake up with a stiff shoulder and an aching back just because you’ve slept on your side.

    Good for most of the body types

    Another thing to keep in mind when shopping for a new mattress is your body type.

    We’re circling back to what we said earlier about firmness being subjective. Namely, a mattress could be rated medium-firm, firm, or even soft, but that still doesn’t mean that everyone will find it the same.

    For example, a 100-pound ballerina and a 250-pound rugby player are on the opposite sides of the body type spectrum. One is lean and lightweight, and the other one is buff and heavyweight. Naturally, what’s soft or firm for one of them will not be soft or firm for the other because a mattress is only as firm or soft relative to your own weight and body type.

    an image of women with different types of bodies

    Luckily, a medium firm mattress belongs to a spectrum of mattresses that is pretty much good for most body types. They’re made in such a way that both heavyweight and lightweight sleepers can still comfortably use them regardless of their sleeping position. Naturally, if you’re very light or quite heavy, you should probably consider getting something other than a medium firm mattress, but for the most part (and for most people), a medium firm mattress should suffice.

    Good for couples

    Some of us sleep alone, but most adults share their beds with their significant other. What’s funny about this is that most of the time, couples don’t really have the same sleeping preferences, so shopping for a new mattress might get a bit tricky.

    Also, you have to consider the fact that most of the time, there are some noticeable differences in body weight between partners, so that’s another thing to keep in mind.

    an image of a couple sleeping on medium firm mattress

    Fortunately, as we have already mentioned, medium firm mattresses do a great job of being universally comfortable and supportive, making them good for couples. Or even perfect, in some instances.

    Another neat thing about medium firm mattresses is that they’re usually quite good at isolating motion and minimizing motion transfer. In other words, they’re great at keeping you asleep while your partner is tossing and turning right beside you. So, in a way, these might very well be a key to a loving, long-lasting relationship.

    Good pressure relief

    Some people don’t really realize just how important pressure relief is. In fact, most people don’t care about it until they wake up in pain. You know those mornings where you wake up and your shoulder feels like you’ve slept on a boulder? Well, that’s because your mattress isn’t pressure-relieving enough.

    an image of a man lifting up a gel topped mattress

    One of the main advantages of medium firm mattresses is the fact that they will be gentle on your pressure points, mostly thanks to their ingenious design and a perfect balance between support and comfort. As you’ve seen from our top three medium firm mattresses, they usually sport a comfort layer right at the top. Because of it, our joints, hips, and shoulders are gently cradled and relieved from pressure so that we can comfortably sleep for as long as we want.

    FAQs about your medium firm mattresses

    In the end, we thought we’d answer some FAQs.

    There is no perfect way to do this. Essentially, you’ll want to lie down in your sleeping position and see how it feels. You could use guidelines and shop accordingly, but since most mattresses come with trial periods, so you can take your sweet time figuring out whether that one’s right for you or not.

    Once again, there is no perfect answer to this question. Generally speaking, if you're lightweight, avoid a mattress with a firmness rating over 7. However, as we've said previously, take your time testing the mattress by actually sleeping on it. That's the best way to get it right.

    A good way to make your mattress firmer is to either place it on a solid base instead of a slatted one. But also, you can place a firm mattress topper on top of your softer mattress and balance the whole thing out.

    If you can, get your hands on a soft mattress topper and place it on top of your mattress if it feels too firm. That should generally do the trick. If you want to take it a step further, place your mattress on a slatted base, and see if that helps.

    There is no ideal firmness rating for sleepers with back pain – at least not for everyone. But, generally speaking, a medium firm mattress with a 6.5 or 7 rating should be supportive enough for most people and most sleeping positions.

    Once again – there is no perfect answer. If your neck is aching, you’ll probably want to replace your pillow, as well as your mattress. But, just like in our previous example, a medium firm mattress with a 6.5 or 7 rating should do the trick.

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