Can a Firm Mattress Cause Body Aches?


Your mattress is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you’re dealing with body aches — but it might be the culprit. It’s true: the mattress you sleep on could be causing your body aches, and a firm mattress could even be to blame.

So, what can you do about it? First things first, let’s explore whether or not there’s a connection between firm mattresses and body aches. We’ll dive into potential causes and provide some remedies for anyone who is dealing with discomfort caused by their mattress of choice.

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We’ll also offer tips on how to select a mattress that will help keep body aches away and make sure you get the restful sleep that your body needs. So if you’ve been dealing with wake-up stiffness, pain or headaches, read on!


The Link Between Mattress Firmness and Body Aches

It’s a common notion that you have to have a soft mattress to keep your body from aching. But research suggests that might not always be the case. Depending on your body type, sleeping on a firm mattress could actually reduce aches and pains.

The key is finding the right balance between support and comfort. A mattress that’s too hard can create pressure points, leading to aches and pains. On the other hand, a mattress that’s too soft can cause your spine to sag, resulting in pain as well.

Most people do best when their mattress combines comfort and support features like pocket coils, memory foam, or latex foam. A combination of these materials helps align your spine for proper posture during sleep—and it reduces pressure points if your body sinks into the bed just enough for cushioning!

How to Determine the Firmness Level of Your Mattress

When it comes to figuring out how firm your mattress is, there’s no hard-and-fast rule. What might feel firm to one person could be considered soft to another, so it’s important to consider your personal preferences.

If you want an easier way to figure out if your mattress is too firm, a good starting point is the “push test”. Simply press your fingers into the surface of the mattress, and gage how much it resists the pressure—the more resistant the mattress is to being pushed in, the firmer it is.

Another way you can determine firmness level is by looking at its materials and construction. A mattress with a thicker comfort layer and generous quilting will likely be softer than one with a thinner comfort layer and little support. When in doubt, ask for advice from experts online or at a mattress store before making your final decision.

What Is the Ideal Firmness Level?

When it comes to mattresses, it’s not as simple as “firm” or “soft.” Different mattress types come in different firmness levels, which can range from extra soft to extra firm. So how do you know what’s the ideal firmness level for you?

One way to figure out what firmness level works best for your body is by considering the following points:

  1. Your own body: Each person’s body size, shape, and weight distribution are unique, so consider your own when choosing mattress firmness. A heavier person might prefer a firmer mattress while a lighter person might prefer something softer.
  2. Your sleeping position: Different sleeping positions require different firmness levels. Back sleepers may benefit from a medium-firm option while side sleepers may need a softer mattress to provide cushioning and support.
  3. Your current mattress: It’s helpful to compare your current mattress to any other test mattresses you try out during the buying process — after all, nothing beats an apples-to-apples comparison of how two mattresses feel for you!

Remember, comfort is paramount when it comes to mattresses — that’s why shopping for one can take so long! So take the time to try out different levels of firmness and find the one that works best for you and your body aches (or lack thereof).

How to Choose a Firm Mattress for Comfort and Support

If you’ve decided that a firm mattress may be the best choice for you, here are some things to look out for:

A Layer of Comfort

Don’t necessarily assume that all firm mattresses are the same – even if they all feel hard. Look for a mattress that has an extra layer of comfort on top, or hypoallergenic panels to improve air circulation and keep you cool.

Supportive Layers

Ideally, your mattress should have multiple layers underneath its surface that provide support. Look for mattresses that have individual pocket springs, foam cores, and memory foam layers which will mold to your body shape, relieving pressure and supporting your body better through the night.

Better Warranty Coverage

It’s also important to check the warranty coverage of any firm mattress you plan to buy. Look out for extended warranties on parts as well as labor matters – this can give you an added level of comfort when it comes to making sure your firm mattress is covered in any eventuality.


Alternatives to Consider if You Have Body Aches and Sleep on a Firm Mattress

If you have an aching body and you sleep on a firm mattress, you may be looking for alternatives for a better night’s sleep. You’re in luck — there are several solutions that you might want to consider.

Try a medium-firm mattress

If you’re used to sleeping on a firmer surface, this option might be the best way to go. A medium-firm mattress can provide some cushioning while still maintaining the support that your body needs. And, if you don’t like it, there are other alternatives as well.

Look into mattress toppers or pads

You can opt for a memory foam topper or pad and place it over your current mattress. This will add some extra cushioning while still giving your body the necessary support it needs. Make sure to choose one made with quality materials so it lasts longer in the long run.

Invest in an adjustable bed frame

An adjustable bed frame is an excellent solution if you want to customize your sleep position without having to buy a new mattress altogether. An adjustable bed frame lets you raise and lower your head and feet according to your comfort level, providing additional support for any areas of discomfort in your body.

FAQs About Firm Mattresses and Body Aches

You may be wondering: could a firm mattress really be causing your body pains? Let’s take a look at some of the FAQs surrounding firm mattresses and body aches.

Does sleeping on a firm mattress cause body aches?

It can, but it depends on your individual situation. Firm mattresses offer no give, which means your body has to work harder to stay in a comfortable position—which can cause unneccessary strain on your joints. If you suffer from existing aches and pains, you may find that a softer mattress offers more support, as it adapts to your specific shape and movement throughout the night.

Are there other benefits to firmer mattresses?

Absolutely! For people who struggle with back or neck pain, since firmer mattresses provide more support, they can help straighten out the spine. There are also firmer mattress models specifically designed for people with chronic pain conditions.

What if I don’t like my firm mattress?

If you’re not content with the level of firmness that your mattress provides, you could purchase a mattress topper with extra cushioning on one side — this will let you maintain some amount of firmness without sacrificing comfort. It could also be worth investing in an adjustable base that allows you to customize the positioning of your head and feet for better alignment of your spine while still providing comfort and support for sore muscles and joints.


In conclusion, the best mattress for your body aches is a medium-firm mattress. It’s important to remember that everyone is different and has different bodies, needs and preferences. Therefore, it’s important to try out a few different mattresses before making a decision. When it comes to sleeping comfortably and reducing body aches, a mattress that supports your body and is neither too soft nor too hard can make a world of difference.


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