Breaking the softness myth
Many people with sore backs tend to be under the impression that a soft mattress will help them feel as if they’re sleeping on a layer of clouds, which in turn will enable them to sleep more comfortably and reduce tossing and turning during the night.
The fact is that while mattress softness and comfort is subjective to a point, in this particular case, the medical data and opinions of experts indicate the belief that a softer mattress is better for your back couldn’t be further from the truth.
Walking around all day – or even sitting at a desk in the case of a knowledge worker – places stresses on both the skeletal structure and the muscles attached to them. Sleep is a time during which our muscles relax and repair themselves, and not having proper spine, neck and back alignment can place undue stress on the muscles surrounding this critical structure, forcing them to work harder during the night. Soft mattresses often mean that the hips sink further into the bed than the shoulders, curving the spine and reducing effective alignment, in turn making the muscles strain to pull the spine straight. This makes it likely that you’ll wake up feeling stiff and sore. In fact, if you can work out back pain by stretching for up to thirty minutes in the morning, it’s likely that you need to take a good look at your mattress as the culprit of your discomfort.
At the other end of the scale, another concern – particularly for those that sleep on their sides – is the propensity for hard mattresses to exert force on pressure points (again, primarily the hips and shoulders) which will in turn reduce correct spinal alignment as it will curve downwards around the rib cage due to the force of gravity.
Generally speaking, a mattress on the firmer side of medium is ideal for balancing support for your spine with that sensation of sinking into your mattress and feeling cushioned. This is why, on a 10-point scale (with one being the softest and 10 being the firmest), we’ve aimed for a firmness of 7.2 for our Koala mattresses. Our testing has indicated that this is appropriate for the majority of sleepers. However, as mentioned, at the end of the day, every person is different.
This is why we at Koala put our money where our mouth is by offering a 120-day trial period, after which, if you don’t like it, you can arrange its return for a full refund.
By blending support and comfort, we’ve developed a mattress that helps you fall asleep quickly, stay asleep longer and wake feeling refreshed (and free of back pain).
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