How Firm Should My Memory Foam Mattress Be

How Firm Should My Memory Foam Mattress Be?

So, how firm should your memory foam mattress be? It is a very tricky question, to which there is no one universal answer. Everyone has their own opinion on the matter because everyone has different sleeping profiles. One person may like to sleep on soft memory foam while another person may prefer harder memory foam. One partner may like medium memory foam while their partner on the other side of the bed likes to be engulfed in it.

Since memory foam firmness affects other features as well, it becomes a balancing act of what the consumer is willing to give up in order to achieve the perfect firmness for themselves or their relationship.

How Firm Should My Memory Foam Mattress BeSome people end up choosing the wrong option and are too embarrassed to say anything, choosing instead to deal with a firmness level that isn’t right for them for the duration of the mattress.

This is not what the memory foam experience is about, so if you in turn end up choosing the wrong firmness and you’re still in your guarantee period then by all means use it. The guarantee of satisfaction is there for a reason, and if you aren’t willing to make sure that the mattress you poured your hard earned money into isn’t as close to your specs as possible, then it will be money down the drain.

There are even some users who can’t settle on a particular firmness, coming to the conclusion that memory foam just doesn’t have the feel they want. There are too many options available to just settle, so here is a guide to doing your homework on how firm your personal mattress should be.

ILD Rating

How Firm Should My Memory Foam Mattress BeThe commonly misunderstood and misused ILD ratings reflect the indention load deflection and ranges from 6 to 40. Because it was so misused brands stopped listing them publicly and it became on an ask only basis. Years after the invention of memory foam, ILD is still misunderstood by the common customer and in the beginning of the early ages of memory foam resulted in buys that didn’t match up with customer interest.

The inclusion of layers also messed up how customers viewed ILD, and it all became a big mess with the more modernized memory foam became. Typically ILD for most brands range from 10-16, but varies wildly according to who you talk to. A higher ILD usually means more firmness, but it is a lot more complicated than that.

Humidity makes a major difference in the rating, and since every manufacturer has different conditions, a Serta rated mattress with 10 ILD and a Tempurpedic mattress with 10 ILD could have completely different firmness. It’s an over complicated table that makes ILD something that is more important on the manufacturing level more so than the consumer level.

Ideal Firmness

How Firm Should My Memory Foam Mattress BeRather than concentrate on what would be the best firmness universally, which is impossible, let’s concentrate on the best firmness for a consumer that has particular issues. For buyers with a lot of joint pain and muscles soreness, ideally the softer the better. This is because modern memory foam, especially gel solutions are able to target aching muscles based on temperature and contour the mattress so that they help to aid the healing process while you sleep. The body’s natural heat around sore areas works as a beacon for the memory foam mattress and lets it do the job it is supposed to do a lot easier.

For users that are coming from spring coil mattresses and didn’t have a problem with how it felt, then a firmer mattress will be more to their liking. This is relevant for all ages, as some people hate the sinking feeling of a mattress, and some also can’t get comfortable on a mattress that is too soft. A nice firm memory foam serves the purpose of bringing late adopters over without taken them too much out of their environment altogether at once, but still giving them benefits of memory foam.

A medium firm build is suggested for consumers that have partners with wholly different sleeping profiles than them. It is the safest bet, with the only other surefire option being to get a sleep number bed so they can set their individual settings on each side of the mattress. A medium firm option with memory foam usually keeps both parties happy and gets them through restless nights.

Foam Samples

How Firm Should My Memory Foam Mattress BeSome companies allow the users to order free foam samples so they can send it to their house and get a better feel of the type of firmness they would be ordering with a full mattress. It’s an interesting experience to say the least, but the problem is rolling around memory foam in your hands is a lot different than actually laying on it and moving around. You can’t compare the two experiences together, and it leads to a lot of dissatisfaction even after the sample arrives.

A sample that small won’t even work well in helping a customer figure out if they want a pillow with that type of firmness. The easiest way is to walk into a mattress store and lay down, take down the mattress information and do an online comparison of mattresses similar to the one you laid down on. There are many ways to figure out what’s best for your body than a foam sample, which once again is really a waste of resources.

Cons of Being Too Soft

A memory foam mattress that is too soft may tend to sink in its participants, which works great for sleeping but counters any other type of movement in bed. For users that like to sit up and read in bed, it becomes an uncomfortable chore.

Basically any type of physical activity in bed other than laying down can be a bit of a hassle, including sitting on the edge of the bed. Buyers who hate their bed being too soft usually end up with the medium firm profile, settling on the best of both worlds.

Cons of Being Too Hard

And then there is the option of having memory foam that is too firm, and some say feels like sleeping on a marble slab table. The main benefit of memory foam is how soft and stable it is, so by getting memory foam that is too firm you take away one of the best features it has to offer. This also includes the health benefits in aiding the body’s natural restoration process. Buyers that get a memory foam that is too firm are usually consumers that are coming over from coil mattresses and prefer it that way anyway.


Firmness is on a user by user basis, and can only be figured out with research by that individual. It is not recommended to seek foam samples, as that is both a waste of your time as well as the company’s.

Using this guide in tandem with others will yield the best results on the memory foam solution that works best in your particular situation, especially when a partner is involved with the process. And remember that you are not locked into staying with a memory foam you’re uncomfortable with, always take advantage of trial periods if they are available. Using these tools will optimize the memory foam experience and make it more advantageous for both sides.