You might have heard people compare sleeping on a plush mattress to sleeping on a cloud and are maybe considering getting one for yourself. The idea of a mattress you can sink into after a long day certainly sounds heavenly. But plush mattresses are not for everyone and can actually cause some people aches and pains.
If you are thinking of getting a plush mattress, read this article first. You will find out what a plush mattress is and what type of sleepers they are suitable for. You will also find suggestions on how you can make your bed feel like sleeping on a cloud if a plush mattress is not suitable for you.
What is a Plush Mattress?
A plush mattress should have a super soft feel created by thick comfort systems. The plushness is usually created by one or several comfort layers on the top of the mattress that isolate motion and ease pressure. In plush mattresses, the comfort layer is often four or more inches thick, while in firmer mattresses it will be between one and three inches thick.
Plush mattresses, allow you to sink into your mattress. They are low on firmness levels and made with materials that contour your body. What mattress manufacturers consider a plush mattress varies slightly, with some rating anything up to five on the firmness scale as plush, while for others, it may be up to four.
Is There a Difference Between Plush and Soft Mattresses?
While the term plush is usually used to describe mattresses with thick comfort layers on top of the mattress, the term soft often refers to the overall firmness level of the mattress. For example, a soft mattress can be made entirely with low-density foam, whereas a plush mattress can have an innerspring core with a comfort layer on top.
However, the term plush can be used to describe soft mattresses. Therefore, it is important to look into the details of mattresses sold as plush and soft. Is the entire mattress made with soft foam or does it have a firmer core? Entirely soft mattresses can often feel even softer than plush mattresses, depending on the core material.
How Do Plush Mattresses Compare with Firm Mattresses?
The firmness level refers to how firm or soft a mattress feels when you are lying on top of it. As mentioned, ratings vary between mattress companies but in general, they are rated on a scale from one to ten with one being the softest and ten the firmest.
Most plush mattresses have a firmness level of one to five (or four, depending on the manufacturer), while firm mattresses are between seven and ten. However, how firm a mattress will feel to different sleepers is subjective.
For example, petite sleepers are likely to find a mattress rated six on the firmness scale very firm, while heavier sleepers are more likely to find them as medium. This is because a heavier person will sink deeper into the mattress.
This means that plush mattresses are considered more suitable for lighter sleepers. Very plush mattresses are not recommended for heavier sleepers because there would be too much sinking, leaving the spine out of alignment.
How do Plush Mattresses Compare with Medium Mattresses?
On a one to ten scale, medium mattresses generally have a firmness level of five or six. Medium mattresses are suited for most people in Canada. They are a good option for heavier sleepers who prefer to sleep on their side and for lighter sleepers who prefer a firmer mattress.
Medium-firm and medium mattresses are the most common mattresses in Canada because they contour better than firm mattresses while giving you more support than plush or soft mattresses. If you prefer a plush mattress, you need to make sure it provides enough support for your spine. For most sleepers, a medium-soft to medium-firm mattress is a better option.
How Is Firmness Different From Support?
Sometimes people talk about the firmness and support a mattress provides as the same thing but there is a difference. The firmness level of a mattress refers to how firm or soft a mattress feels when you are lying on it, while the level of support measures how well the mattress keeps your spine in the proper alignment,
However, the two are closely related because the firmness of a mattress affects the level of support it provides. For example, a mattress with a firmness level of eight can support the spine of a heavier sleeper perfectly because it prevents them from sinking in too much but a lighter sleeper will need more flexibility so a softer mattress would be better.
When you are shopping for a new mattress, consider both the level of firmness and the level of support a mattress will give you. While a blush mattress may feel incredibly comfortable and inviting as you lie on it, during the night you may sink in too deep. This means your spine will not be in a neutral position while you sleep, which is likely to lead to aches and pains.
Types of Plush Mattresses
If you are interested in getting a plush mattress and it suits your body type and sleeping preferences, there are different types of plush mattresses on the Canadian market.
Mattresses that are rated as one or two on the firmness scale are considered ultra-plush. They are extremely soft and are not recommended for most people, even the lightest sleepers. They offer very little back support and allow parts of your body, such as your hips and shoulders, to sink in far too deep. Mattresses rated four or five will give better support, while still feeling soft.
A pillow top refers to a soft comfort layer used with hybrid and innerspring mattresses. They can add a plusher feeling and help contour the body better. The comfort layer is usually made with wool, cotton, or down. Most often, they are attached to the top of the mattress but you can find them sold separately, too, if you would like to add a pillow top layer to an existing mattress.
A Euro top is similar to a pillow top. The main differences are that the Euro top is under the mattress cover and is made with firmer materials, such as fibre or dense foam. Like the pillow top, the Euro top is used to provide a softer top layer for hybrid and innerspring mattresses.
Who Can Choose a Plush Mattress?
Since plush mattresses are not for every sleeper, who are they best suited for?
If you weigh less than 60 kg (130 pounds), you are likely to find a plush mattress better than either a medium or firm mattress. A softer mattress will contour your body but not sag too much as it would do with a heavier sleeper.
People who prefer to sleep on their side can opt for softer mattresses, especially if you are a lighter sleeper. Softer beds allow the hips and shoulders of side sleepers to sink in while keeping the spine in a neutral position. For further support, side sleepers can choose a pillow that best supports their spine in their preferred sleeping position.
Lighter Back Sleepers
If you weigh under 60 kg and prefer to sleep on your back, consider a plush mattress. It will contour your body without letting you sink in too deep into the mattress. Back sleepers weighing more than 60 kg should choose a medium or firm mattress for better support.
Sleepers with Shoulder or Hip Pain
If you suffer from hip or shoulder pain regularly, a softer mattress can be a good option and help alleviate the discomfort. This is because the soft mattress will conform to your body better, providing better pressure relief. You should consider a blush mattress if you have hip or shoulder pain, especially if you prefer to sleep on your side.
Softer mattresses are better for isolating motion, meaning that you will not feel your partner’s movements as much. However, the mattress should still be supportive enough to keep the correct spine alignment.
If you and your partner are very different weights, consider having separate twin bed or half queen mattresses, with a mattress topper on top of them to provide both sleepers with the best possible comfort.
Back Pain and Plush Mattresses
People who suffer from back pain should avoid plush mattresses. If your mattress is too soft, it could exacerbate the back pain. A soft mattress will not provide enough support for most Canadian adults and an incorrect spinal alignment is likely to make any existing back pain worse. If you often have back pain, choose a mattress recommended for people with back pain.
Stomach Sleepers and Plush Mattresses
If you are a stomach sleeper, a plush mattress is not the best option. Your body weight is distributed differently compared to back or side sleepers and your midsection is likely to sink in too much if your mattress is too plush. This will create strain in your neck and lower back. Over time, the unnatural curvature created by the midsection sinking in too low is likely to cause discomfort and pain.
How to Create a Plush Feel
If you cannot have a plush mattress, there are ways you can create that feeling even with firmer mattresses. It starts by choosing the right mattress for you. Get a mattress that suits your body type and sleeping preferences. When you have the right support and contouring, you will feel the most comfortable in bed.
Add a mattress topper to your bed. Even if you need to choose a firmer mattress for your body type and preferred sleeping position, a softer mattress topper can help to create a plush feel, while the mattress underneath will still give you the support your spine needs as long as the topper is not too thick.
Choose soft bedding that feels gentle against your skin and helps to promote a comfortable sleeping experience. For example, bamboo sheets or Egyptian cotton sheets are great for a bit of luxury and comfort. Sheets made with percale weave are breathable and lightweight, helping you stay cooler if you often sleep hot.
Choose pillows that provide support for your head and neck. If you like to sleep on your side, look for the best pillows for side sleepers. Many people find that down pillows give them a feeling of softness in bed. You might also like to consider using silk pillowcases for a luxurious and smooth feel.
Plush mattresses are mattresses with a comfort layer that gives the mattress more softness and allows the sleeper to sink in more. Whether you can choose a plush mattress depends on your sleeping position and body type.
People who sleep on their stomachs or have back pain should avoid them as they can allow sections of the body to sink in too much. On the other hand, they can be a suitable option for petite sleepers and people with shoulder or hip pain. People who cannot have plush mattresses can create a plush feeling by choosing softer bedding, pillows, and duvets.
Frequently Asked Questions
If your mattress allows you to sink in too much either because the entire mattress is soft or it has a plush top layer, consider getting a mattress topper made with a firmer material. A firmer mattress topper can prevent you from sinking too deep into your mattress.
How long a plush mattress will last depends on the material it is made with as well as how well the mattress is maintained. On average, mattresses last between seven and ten years.
Plush mattresses are not recommended for people who suffer from back pain. Because the mattress is softer, it allows parts of your body to sink deeper, which can lead to a curved rather than neutral spine position. This can make existing back pain worse.