CHOICE membership

Soft, medium or firm. Which mattress feel do you prefer?

We have listened to your input so far and we’ll be conducting further testing, but for now the boffins in the mattress labs have some more questions that will help us refine our mattress testing methodology. In particular, we want to know if you prefer sleeping on something closer to a stone slab or if you’d rather sink in to a fluffy cloud.

So, which mattress type do you prefer:

  • soft
  • medium
  • firm

0 voters

Of course, we’re looking at other things too. If you haven’t already, please vote to help us refine our mattress testing considerations or leave a comment below.


When we lived in China, I enjoyed sleeping on a matress which was a little softer than a plank. It was good for sleeping on ones back and belly, but a little uncomfortable if one tried to sleep on the side.


I couldn’t handle the mattresses in China. So. Hard. I felt like I was sleeping on just the base :joy:

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After sleeping on a firm inner spring mattress for years and suffering from sore shoulders we made the change to a Tempur mattress and have not looked back. We will never buy another inner spring mattress again.

I’m a waterbed man myself. Perfect support and perfect comfort whatever my posture, and the perfect temperature summer or winter.


I’ve just bought a Lazybed mattress a couple of months ago. Like the Tempur buyer… I will never buy innerspring again.

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We recently purchased an Australian made medium to firm mattress from Bev Marks with a pillow top and are very happy ,went for king size a very stable mattress ,spent a lot of time trying others in store and other stores ,pillow top makes a big difference to comfort.
Staff were extremely helpful not pushy. One other was slightly better but an import and much dearer. Very happy with our choice.
We spent an afternoon choosing,think previous purchases in the past were made from few choices available and previous stores years ago were less discreet ie. busy stores like Myers etc always lots of people watching and passing by ,try and go early in week when quiet so you can take your time lying and turning over and sitting on edge of bed ,found some bed edges very uncomfortable and unstable.

Our latex mattress is over 20 years old, and is as comfortable as ever. Best investment we ever made.

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for everyone’s information I suggest you visit It’s U.S. based.

I prefer a firm mattress with stable edges but with the addition of a soft pillow top - perfect.

I thought i liked a hard mattress until we were away and we slept (tried to) on a hard mattress. The floor was more comfortable.

I am confused with commercials displaying a straightened spine on their mattesses. I have a firm mattress that does exactly that and I end up with a sore shoulder and hips.

I’d agree it took a couple of days for the odour to go away, it wasn’t that strong, but noticable - odour and off-gassing is not uncommon with a lot of products - new cars, furniture, etc but the precise clinical impact is not always established or clear. All forms of odour cause cancer in California … :slight_smile:

What is clear to me, in the 7 or so years I’ve slept on a Tempur mattress, is that I’d never go back to a conventional mattress.

That site is interesting - quite a few complaints but it’s a very small sample and there’s some good reviews as well. The “Expert Review” at the end is positive. Not sure what a new buyer would make fo the product based on the information there …

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There is a bit of a problem though - one person’s medium could be another’s firm %:slight_smile:

PS - I don’t want much :stuck_out_tongue: just a new age up with the times mattress that has her side independant of mine (but in the same mattress - separate mattresses for a couple are blurrk) & it needs to adjust - detect when I’m on my side or back & adjust accordingly. :smiley:

Having read the comments so far, one thing is clear… choice of mattress is down to personal preference.

The best mattress for you is the one which gives you (and your partner) the best night’s sleep without any pain or discomfort.

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… just as long as nobody says “mattress” to Mr Lambert :wink:


Hi @draughtrider

Interesting you mention the off-gassing as @BrendanMays was interested in articles/experience with regards to the make-up of mattresses [quote=“BrendanMays, post:2, topic:13935”]
Thanks for raising the issue @Iris. I agree, I couldn’t find much one way or the other regarding scientific studies to assess the potential risk of mattress materials or the chemicals they may or may not contain.

I was able to locate some studies on the issue but your experience and others with the smells, off gassing etc may also benefit others in that forum.


I guess its a term I learned in the fire service - we hear so much about people dying from “smoke inhalation” but the reality (from memory) is not like an out of control camp fire with that nice smell of burning gum leaves, quite different when all manner of modern materials combust. Doesn’t have to be a fire either, car on a hot day/etc. Then there’s what I’d call off-gassing of new products at ‘room temperature’ - which does seem worse in products sealed in plastic from the factory - I guess that’s not surprising - but to be clear I have no qualifications in this area, just ‘experience’ for what its worth. Part of that experience is with my kids who to varying degrees were very sensitive to what I’ll call ‘chemical smells’ including ‘normal’ perfumes and other stuff like glues, solvents, etc. We sought assistance from a specialist in the area in Melbourne and he said there was a good chance they would grow out of it - and for all intents and purposes they have.

Regarding mattresses and bedding in general - there was a fair degree of caution, air new things, wash new things maybe even twice and air them out until good - if no smell was apparent to an adult it was ok - and that seemed to work.

With the Tempur mattress I seem to recall it took a couple of days - maybe three(ish) - and I seem to recall we might have had it standing in the hall with a fan on it, or in the room with the ceiling fan going and windows open. The smell was noticeable, to the point where it seemed to make sense to air it out, but not to the point where it felt like a mistake buying it. It was enough that if it were one of the kids sleeping on it, then another day or two airing might have happened just to be safe.

It would be very interesting to do laboratory tests on products in some kind of controller environment where the gas products leaving a new product could be tested, typed and evaluated. There might still be debate about whether particular ones are actually dangerous, but at least that would be more information for consumers to balance their concerns.Sounds simple if you say it quickly, but I imagine catching the air leaving a container that has a mattress in it for example then analysing it for “anything dangerous” is probably not that easy … Then there are all sorts of other things, similar but different, like that teething ring and how it reacts to gallons of kinder-saliva, the list is never ending as are the permutations, unlike the budget for testing :slight_smile:

Maybe that is the reason Mr Lambert puts a bag over his head every time he hears the word “mattress” - blame Monty Python for that one !!

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I love my latex mattress, so soft, the only thing is it does get a little hot in summer but I have a thick mattress protector that helps with this.

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I have a back story (pun intended) of having a father whose back was broken in WW2 then reset straight, without the usual ‘s’ curve. That resulted in his chronic back pain thereafter if he did not have a firm mattress because he had to sleep on his back. Taking that on board in my early years I have been a side sleeper for as long as I can remember. Consequently, my mattresses need to allow for the greater depression by hip and shoulder than for abdomen, legs and feet. Thus a really soft mattress allows one’s hip to ‘bottom out’ (sorrry, another pun).
However, I opine this survey is slightly remiss if assessing only the mattresses. The pillows need to be assessed in combination with the mattresses. To do separate assessments, or only the mattresses, would be akin to trying to eat a soft boiled egg without a spoon. Can be done, but not as successful as combined.
For a side sleeper, it’s all about keeping the spine, from head to tailbone, as straight as possible.
For a back sleeper, it’s about getting the correct curvature to match.
For a stomach sleeper: really? I don’t know how you do it.
Yours faithfully,