A recent survey conducted by online mattress store Douglasbed.ca, showed that over 73% of those polled prefer a mattress with at least a “medium” rating on the firmness scale. The questionnaire directed survey takers to select a firmness level that they found most comfortable: Very Soft, Soft, Medium, Firm, or Very Firm.
A mere 17% claimed to have a liking for “soft” mattresses, while just under 9% said that they would prefer to sleep on a “very soft” mattress.
The survey also showed that for males, the most common type of bed was memory foam, with over 33% saying that this was their current home mattress. That was in sharp contrast to female respondents, for whom 46% claimed to own a traditional pillow-top mattress, and only 18% said they slept on memory foam.
Mattress Firmness Preference Linked to Back Pain
J. Talbot Sellers is a physiatrist who specializes in the rehabilitative treatment of back and neck pain at the NeuroSpine Center of Wisconsin. He prescribes to the theory that personal preference should play a role in mattress selection, rather than wholesale recommendations from advertisers.
So, it’s important to be in tune with your body’s needs, and to choose a mattress accordingly. This can vary according to body weight, sleep position, and a variety of other factors. Furthermore, firmness preference can change throughout life. Young people with stronger spines can normally handle a much firmer mattress, but as we age and the spine weakens, a softer mattress may be in order.
How Age Impacts Firmness Preference
The survey conducted by Douglas showed that there was a substantial difference between the firmness preferences of younger respondents and those who would be considered middle-aged. Persons aged 14 to 17 were almost 25% less likely than those aged 45 to 54 to indicate that they like a “firm” mattress. As stated above, this is a significant distinction, and certainly worth noting.
Furthermore, almost 36% of the same demographic — namely teenagers — claimed to like a mattress that would be considered “soft” on the firmness scale. This is in stark disproportion to the less than 10% of individuals in their late forties or early fifties that prefer a soft mattress. Once again, quite a large variance in preference.
Does Your Province Play a Role?
Interestingly enough, province of origin did not seem to have a significant impact on what type of mattress firmness respondents preferred. Canadians were relatively unified in terms of what sets the foundation for a comfortable night’s sleep.
For example, slightly over 34% of British Columbians stated that they like a “medium” firm mattress to sleep on, while just over 38% of those polled in Ontario picked “medium” as their preferred firmness. This was the number one choice for each province, with very little variation in terms of numbers.
What this tells us is that provincially, Canadians are rather uniform when it comes to the firmness levels they prefer for their mattresses. It’s clear that the major differences tend to come when we break things down by age, or gender.
Douglasbed.ca is a Canadian online memory foam mattress brand. With free shipping, a 120-day sleep trial, and a 15-year warranty, Douglas mattresses are designed to deliver a dramatically better sleep experience. Douglas is 100% made in Canada with premium, durable, and eco-friendly materials.
- On June 5, 2018