Support, Firmness and Ventilation
Mattress support shouldn’t be confused with mattress firmness. The support corresponds to the sagging of the mattress, its resistance to sinking, but also to its stability and cushioning. A good support for the spine will prevent back pain, for example.
Firmness is primarily about the feeling of comfort when you lie down on the mattress. It depends on many factors such as the fabric or the thickness of the filling. There are various levels of firmness: very soft, flexible, balanced, firm, very firm.
Regardless of the desired level of firmness, don’t rely on what the label says. There’s no standardised scale of firmness, so each manufacturer defines it in their own way. Note that many manufacturers provide tables that relate mattress shape to firmness. However, there’s no hard and fast rule! It’s up to each person to choose according to their preferences. The important thing is to choose a mattress that supports your body, especially your spine.
Is a Thick Mattress More Comfortable?
The thickness and density of the mattress depends above all on the type of mattress: springs, foam or latex, on its filling, but also on whether it’s to be used daily or as a guest bed. Generally speaking, foam and latex mattresses are thinner than spring mattresses. Foam mattresses, for example, are usually between 18 and 25 cm thick. This can vary depending on the layer (memory foam, for example). Between 14 and 18 cm, they are more suitable for an extra bed or cot. Spring mattresses are 25 cm or thicker.
Does a Mattress Topper Offer Better Support?
The mattress topper is placed directly on the mattress, protected by a draw sheet and held in place by a fitted sheet. It increases comfort and protects the mattress. However, a mattress topper doesn’t change anything in terms of support: the support of the spine is identical, whether there’s a mattress topper or not.
We all perspire to some extent during the night. Good ventilation increases a mattress’ life span. Ventilation depends on the type (foam, spring, latex, hybrid…) and quality of the mattress. If you tend to perspire a lot, it’s best to avoid viscose or viscoelastic (memory foam) mattresses and opt instead for spring or latex.