Firm vs Extra Firm Mattresses
Firm vs Extra Firm Mattresses: What Makes Them Different?
By modern dictionary definition, mattress firmness is defined as being the initial feel of a mattress. How does it feel under your hand? Firmness is often confused with support, but the two are not the same.
Similarly, firm and extra (or ultra) firm mattresses are not the same things, either. Let’s dive into what makes them different and what, exactly, firmness means within the mattress industry.
As we said, firmness is essentially the way a mattress feels to the touch. It’s easy to discern whether a mattress is soft or hard by simply laying your hand on it. If your hand sinks in or feels “cushioned” in any way, the mattress is likely soft or medium, but if there’s no give and your hand rests on the surface of the mattress easily, it’s firmer mattress.
In the bed manufacturing world, firmness is rated on a scale from 1-10. The softest mattresses are going to be within the 1-4 range, with medium taking the 5-7 spots, and firm being 8-10. Of course, the smaller the number, the softer the mattress.
The Differences Between Firm and Extra Firm
Firm mattresses are made using a combination of a coil system and multiple levels of firm, compressed upholstery. Firm mattresses over very little surface give and aren’t going to dent when something light is rested on top of them.
They have a thin layer of soft foam on top, which gives them the slight soft texture that you can feel if you’re sleeping on one. This layer is incredibly thin and isn’t very noticeable. In fact, many soft mattress enthusiasts feel as if firm mattresses have no softness at all because this foam layer is so miniscule.
Extra firm mattresses are made using the same materials – the coil and upholstery combination. However, they contain more layers of the hard upholstery, which makes them firmer to the touch than even the traditional firm mattress.
They may or may not contain the thin foam layer on top. This being said, there are very few extra firm mattresses that don’t contain this layer, so if you’re looking for one that does, you could be in for a bit of a challenge.
In addition, extra firm mattresses are different from firm mattresses because they are harder to find. You’ll find a plethora of firm mattresses in store but finding a truly extra firm mattress can be difficult. This is likely because they are less sought after and, therefore, manufactured by fewer companies. Because of this, there are also fewer extra firm options to choose from, which further sets them apart.
So, what’s the difference between firm and extra firm? As it turns out, there are very few differences worth noting. The two mattresses are the same on a base level, with the main difference being how much firm upholstery fabric is used during manufacturing.