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Mattress Research Center > Mattress 101 > Support v. Comfort

Support Vs. Comfort

What's the Difference?


When shopping for a mattress, there are two things to consider: support and comfort. While these two terms are often used interchangeably, they actually refer to separate concepts.

The easiest way to think about support versus comfort is to remember that support is for your back, while comfort is for your body.

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Support For Your Back

Support refers to the ability of your mattress's inner structure to resist the downward pressure applied to it by the weight of your body. A good innerspring or foam mattress will sense the weight applied against it from various parts of your body, and respond with the proper upward resistance, thus providing support for your back and spine.

Comfort For Your Body

A mattress's comfort is provided by materials layered on top of the innerspring. Through the use of firming pads and high density foam, varying levels of hardness (firmness) can be obtained. Likewise, different levels of softness (plush) are achieved by layering a mattress with soft materials like foam, Dacron, wool, silk, or cashmere. To identify the feel of every mattress US-Mattress carries, we have developed our exclusive 10 Point Comfort Scale®.

Firmer Isn't Always Better

It's easy to make the mistake of thinking that a firm mattress will provide better support for your back than a plush or pillowtop mattress, when in fact, most manufacturers use the exact same innerspring in their firm, plush, and pillow top models. In other words, you would get the same support from the hardest mattress as you would from the softest.

Keep these two concepts in mind as you shop for your new mattress. Once you discover your ideal combination of comfort and support, finding your perfect mattress is that much easier. If you want to take things even further, discover what is inside a mattress

For more information on selecting the right mattress, please visit How to Shop, or call us at 1-800-455-1052.

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