Eachnight may earn commissions for products you purchase through our links. Our articles and reviews include affiliate links and advertisements, including amerisleep advertising. Learn more Updated September 4, 2021Plush mattresses feature thicker comfort layers than firm mattresses. They give sleepers a soft, cushioned feeling. In contrast, firm mattresses give sleepers a more responsive, less cushy feeling.Which firmness level you need depends upon your body size, sleep position, and joint support needs. Mattress firmness ranges from 1 to 10. Plush mattresses usually fall at a 3 or lower on the firmness scale. Firm mattresses are at a 7 or higher. In the middle are medium mattresses. These mattresses are best for couples and those with back pain. Some companies also carry medium-soft and medium-firm mattresses.This article will explain what a plush mattress is and who should sleep on a soft mattress. We’ll also look at the benefits and drawbacks of firm mattresses. To wrap up, we’ll answer some of the most common questions about plush mattresses.What is a Plush Mattress?Sleeping on a plush mattress feels like you’re on a soft, cushioned cloud. One common misconception about plush mattresses is that they aren’t supportive. Support is different from comfort or feel. A mattress can be both plush and foster adequate joint support. You shouldn’t be sleeping on a mattress that isn’t supportive.BenefitsSoft mattresses offer sleepers a soft, hugging sensation. The contouring that a softer mattress offers aids in pressure relief. This body cradling is helpful for those with joint issues like arthritis.Petite sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds will be most comfortable and supported by a plush mattress. Smaller framed individuals need the body-holding sensation this mattress offers. Too-firm mattresses let the pressure build up in their bodies.Side sleepers or those with neck, shoulder, and hip pain also enjoy a plusher mattress.DrawbacksNot everyone will feel comfortable or supported when resting on a plush mattress. The intense contouring of this mattress can feel uncomfortable for larger sleepers. The sinking sensation of a softer bed can lead to overheating and difficulty getting out of bed.Those who need firmer support will feel stiff or sore after sleeping on a plush mattress. Body aches are a common indicator that you aren’t sleeping on a supportive mattress. The indentation that your body makes in a plush mattress makes it prone to early sagging.What is a Firm Mattress?Firm mattresses have a thinner comfort layer. Their design better holds the weight of larger framed sleepers. People over 230 pounds will feel supported without sinking into the mattress’s surface.Both back sleepers and stomach sleepers prefer firmer mattresses over their plush counterparts. The anti-sink design of a firm mattress provides support to reduce joint pain. Plus, the responsive surface minimizes the chances of spinal misalignment.BenefitsSleeping on a firm mattress is beneficial for back pain sufferers. Mattresses for back pain offer the right level of support to reduce their pain. Firmer beds also lower the risk of night sweats and improve circulation.When you sleep on a firm mattress, you won’t have to worry about being trapped or having trouble getting out of bed. These issues are common with poorly made soft mattresses. The responsive design of firm mattresses eliminates these problems.DrawbacksThere are some noticeable drawbacks to be aware of when purchasing a firm mattress. While firm mattresses can be more supportive, they can also have a rigid or stiff feeling. This feeling is normal when first breaking in a new mattress. If it persists for longer than a month, your bed is too firm.Sleeping on a too-firm bed will result in joint pain and muscle stiffness the next day. A too-firm mattress can make it difficult to find a comfortable position and fall asleep. Over time, this can diminish the quality of sleep you’re getting.Plush vs. Firm: Which Do I Need?Stuck on whether you need a firm or soft mattress? Whether you need a firm, plush, or medium mattress depends on several factors. Here are the top four factors to consider when choosing the right mattress:Body size: Smaller framed or lightweight sleepers are most comfortable sleeping on a plush mattress. Plush mattresses give these individuals the body-hugging support to sleep comfortably. Large framed, heavier sleepers should opt for a firmer mattress. Firm mattresses provide these people with the right level of support to minimize sinking and avoid discomfort.Sleep position: Your preferred sleep position also impacts how firm of a mattress you need. Side sleepers and combination sleepers typically enjoy a plusher mattress. Plush mattresses give these people extra cushion for their neck, shoulder, and hip joints. Back sleepers and stomach sleepers need a firmer mattress. Firm mattresses aid in back support and promote a neutral spine position.Sleeping alone vs with a partner: If you’re sleeping alone, you won’t have to factor in the weight, sleep position, and joint support needs of your partner. Those planning to share a bed with a partner will need to ensure the bed is comfortable and supportive for them as well. Medium mattresses are a popular choice amongst couples.Age: Your age is another determinant that can impact your ideal firmness level. Older individuals may need firmer or plush mattresses depending on their health conditions. If you have mobility issues, you may need to aim for a firmer mattress. In contrast, those with severe joint pain may need to choose a plusher mattress.Some sleepers prefer a bed that’s soft but not too soft. For these sleepers, we recommend a medium-soft mattress. Similarly, some individuals want a bed that’s firm but not overly so. They may find a medium-firm mattress is the key to a good night’s rest.FAQsHow do Euro top and plush mattresses differ?Euro top mattresses have a thick comfort layer that is stitched underneath the surface of the mattress. Pillow top mattresses have the same style of comfort layer, except that it is stitched into the top or surface level of the mattress. For more information, read our Euro top vs pillow top mattress guide.A Euro top mattress is also likely a plush mattress. However, not all plush mattresses are Euro top mattresses. Both mattresses provide sleepers with a soft sleeping surface via extra cushioning.Is a plush mattress good for your back?Plush mattresses can be good for back pain sufferers who are lightweight or sleep on their side. For these sleepers, a plush mattress lowers tension and relieves pressure points located along the back and spine.However, plush mattresses aren’t ideal for all sleepers who have back pain. Larger framed sleepers who sleep on their back or stomach need to choose a firmer mattress. Firmer mattresses are necessary for these sleepers to get enough support and to maintain proper spinal alignment.Can you flip a plush mattress?You cannot flip a plush mattress (or most modern mattresses) unless they are double-sided. Flipping a mattress that is not double-sided results in you sleeping on an uncomfortable surface. Instead, you can rotate your mattress every 3 to 6 months to promote a more even wear.Are plush mattresses bad for you?Plush mattresses are not bad. However, a plush mattress may be uncomfortable or lacking in support for certain individuals. If a mattress is too plush or soft, it won’t provide you with a good night’s rest. Sore muscles, stiff joints, or body aches are a good sign that your plush mattress isn’t providing you with adequate support.What is the difference between plush and an ultra-plush mattress?An ultra-plush mattress would be a 1 on the mattress firmness scale, whereas a plush mattress is a 3. Ultra-plush mattresses are the softest beds available. For most sleepers, an ultra-plush mattress is too soft and lacks joint support.Ultra-plush mattresses can be too claustrophobic, creating a “stuck” feeling for the sleeper. Plus, it’s hard to find a bed this soft. Since it’s not suitable for most sleepers, the average company doesn’t offer beds with ultra-plush feels.ConclusionPlush mattresses feature a thicker comfort layer and a softer sleep surface. Your body size, sleep position, and joint health impact how firm of a bed you need. Smaller sleepers who prefer to sleep on their side are most comfortable and best supported by a plusher mattress. Those with arthritis or other joint conditions can also benefit from a softer bed.A heavier person who sleeps on their back or stomach needs a firmer mattress. Firmer mattress prevents these individuals and those with mobility issues from sinking into their bed. Medium mattresses are a good choice for couples because they fall in the middle of the mattress firmness scale.About the author Kiera PritchardKiera Pritchard’s curiosity around dreams and dreaming sparked her passion for sleep science. In addition to freelancing for eachnight, Kiera is also a physical trainer and strives to help others lead healthy lives while asleep and awake. Since joining our team, Kiera has compiled multiple sleep health guides offering our readers advice on how to improve their days and evenings. 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