Custom Mattress Firmness That Is Adjustable. The Great Mattress Firmness Lie. Firm mattress meaning?

What Do The Words Firm Mattress Really Mean?

August 4, 2011
Healthy Sleepmattresses

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Firm mattress meaning? What is it? Well…For all of you that believe you know you must have a firm mattress and nothing less will work. Are you sure you’re getting what you asked for? Do you really know what the words firm mattress mean in the mattress industry? Hang tight this article is going to make you second-guess your selection. I often just call it as I see it and this one is one that needs to be called out from the rooftops I quote “I’m looking for a firm mattress” or better yet check out a recent mattress ad “Firm Mattress On Sale Now”. Those two words firm and mattress may very well be the most overused words in the bedding industry.

Firm Is Over-Used As A Mattress Description

While the words firm mattress are all too often used together far too often I would only add that many other descriptions are thrown around like pillows on a little kid’s sleepover. As they say in the industry test out these; Extra Firm, Super Firm, Cushion Firm, Plush Firm, and Firm Pillow Top. By now I hope you can see where I am going with this. Each of these words while descriptive is not specific to what the mattress actually feels like.

Couple of buyers asking a sales rep the firm mattress meaning.

No Consistency in the Mattress Industry for Mattress Firmness

While somewhat helpful these descriptions are not clear and precise as to what the bed might feel like. A mattress shopper could and probably will visit several stores. Each will sell their very own version of what they call a firm mattress even if each bed was built exactly the same and was exactly the same firm salespeople would describe them as different as the words I shared above and some I may not have thought of off the top of my head. Why, because there is no standard firmness measurement within the entire bedding industry to define and determine a hardness or softness scale for customers to use as a basis of comparison.

The Misleading Firm Mattress Ad

I remember a couple who brought in an ad while I worked for a competitor Sleep Station in St. Louis, MO and the customer asked me to see the $199.00 queen-size firm mattress we had advertised. I took the couple back to see the mattress located in the far corner of the store and asked them to lie down to see if it met their comfort and support needs. The customer then asked me if I was kidding him. Did I say no why? He responded this is a piece of S*#t and it isn’t even firm. I told him I had firmer mattresses and he asked to see them. I showed him the other firm mattresses and he agreed that they were firmer than the one at $199.00 he’d just tried.

I explained that extra firmness would come at an additional cost and the one he ultimately chose was $400.00 more. He replied that he wasn’t going to pay that and that the company’s newspaper ad was misleading in by calling the $199.00 mattress firm. While I agreed that it was ridiculous to call the $199.00 mattress firm, especially when comparing it to more expensive and better-built beds it was without a doubt very firm when compared to other $199.00 beds both in our store and at the competition stores.

How Is Mattress Firmness Measured

The bottom line is at this time a 1 to 10 scale does not exist. While the firmness of foam can be measured with polyurethane foam, memory foam, and land latex rubber by using ILD or IFD it is rarely ever marketed and is only one measurement. Coil springs to my knowledge market no such measurement. I say give the shoppers all the information available so that they may compare mattresses on a level field that is easy to understand with no confusion. After all even doctors and chiropractors don’t agree on the proper mattress firmness.

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