This post was written by the site owner – Dan Cartwright – who has been testing mattresses and reviewing products online since 2015.
Mattress firmness specifies how hard or soft a mattress feels when you lie on the materials.
Mattress firmnesses have traditionally been defined as extra-soft, soft, medium-soft, medium, medium-firm, firm, or extra-firm.
So where does the relatively new ‘luxury-firm’ level of firmness fit into this spectrum of comfort?
A luxury-firm mattress is a medium-firm mattress with extra padding on top of the mattress to provide extra pressure relief. This allows luxury-firm mattresses to feel both firm and soft at the same time – in order to cater to the widest range of sleeping positions and body types.
I’ve reviewed many luxury-firm mattresses over the years, so I know how they tend to feel and what the pros and cons are.
So in the rest of this article, I’ve explained in more detail the specific attributes of luxury-firm mattresses and three situations where a luxury-firm mattress is likely the ideal purchase.
7 Luxury-Firm Mattress Facts Explained
Most luxury-firm mattresses are medium-firm mattresses with a Euro top or pillow top attached to provide the extra layer or pressure relief.
The table below visualizes where the luxury-firm level of firmness fits in relative to the rest of the mattress firmness spectrum, and specifies the suitability relative to different sleeping positions and body weights:
|Firmness||Ideal Sleeping Style Suitability|
|Extra-soft||Side sleepers <130 lbs|
|Soft||Side sleepers 130 – 150 lbs|
|Medium-soft||Side sleepers 150 – 180 lbs|
|Medium||Front, back, side sleepers 150 – 200 lbs|
|Luxury-firm||Front, back, side sleepers 130 – 230 lbs|
|Medium-firm||Front, back, side sleepers 150 – 230 lbs|
|Firm||Front + back sleepers 200 – 230 lbs|
|Extra-firm||Front + back sleepers >250 lbs|
Below, I have listed 7 of the most important facts that you need to know about luxury-firm mattresses before you go ahead and buy one.
1: Luxury-Firm Caters to Most Sleeping Styles
The luxury-firm level of firmness is perfect for front, back, and side sleepers in the 130 lbs – 230 lbs range because it combines the pushback of a medium-firm level of firmness with the pressure relief of the extra padding to yield a supportive yet adaptive sleeping surface.
In other words, the extra padding gives the mattress a slightly softer feel that makes it suitable for lighter weighted sleepers – whilst also having enough pushback to help keep you well supported if you’re on the heavier side (up to at least the 230 lbs mark and potentially beyond).
You’ll typically find that many luxury-firm mattresses have a Euro top or pillow top because this additional layer of padding allows for variability in the ILD (indentation load deflection) relative to the foams used in the rest of the comfort layer.
(The comfort layer is typically the layer that makes contact with your body and so has a large influence over how the mattress will feel – a Euro top is an extra layer of padding that sits above this and is stitched into the mattress; whilst a pillow top also sits above the comfort layer but isn’t typically stitched flush with the edge of the mattress).
This is what makes it possible for a luxury-firm mattress to feel both pleasingly firm and soft at the same time.
2: Luxury-Firm Mattresses Are Softer Than Firm Mattresses
Luxury-firm mattresses feel softer than firm and extra-firm mattresses due to the inclusion of plusher materials and lower ILD values of any foams used in the medium-firm model.
This means that firm and extra-firm mattresses have more pushback and will feel harder when you first lie down on them – making them better for heavier weighted front and back sleepers over 230 lbs.
3: Luxury-Firm Mattresses Are Firmer Than Soft Mattresses
Luxury-firm mattresses are firmer than soft and extra-soft mattresses due to the higher ILD values of any foams used and greater cumulative surface tension.
This means that soft and extra soft mattresses are better suited to side sleepers and sleepers that weigh less than 150 lbs in general because the reduced surface tension means that you can sink more deeply into the mattress materials – reducing pressure on your body and in your joints.
4: Luxury-Firm Mattresses Can Feel Soft
The heavier you are, the softer a luxury-firm mattress will feel due to the greater amount of force you are placing on the mattress (unless you are so heavy that you push through the upper comfort layer and touch the firmer support core deeper down in the mattress).
This means that as you approach the 230 lbs mark, you may want to consider switching to a firm mattress if you are a front or back sleeper so that you don’t sink so far into the mattress materials to the point where you end up in bad posture (which is a common cause of back pain at night).
5: Luxury-Firm Mattresses Can Feel Firm
The lighter you are, the firmer a luxury-firm mattress will feel because the relatively lighter load that you are placing on the materials means that you will rest more ‘on top’ of the mattress – which increases pressure inside your joints and on the more angular regions of your body.
This means that if you are on the lighter side (potentially under 150 lbs, but certainly under 130 lbs) then you should consider a soft or extra-soft mattress to help absorb the pressure being placed on your body.
Lighter weighted side sleepers are particularly at risk of experiencing extra pressure on their shoulders, hips, and elbows because this angle puts a lot of pressure on those regions.
Based on my experience of testing mattresses, I have found that luxury-firm mattresses like the Nolah Evolution that have a zoned support core are better for side sleeping.
This is because the variable surface tension allows your shoulders to sink into the materials more than the hip regions – allowing you to rest on the mattress in better posture.
6: Luxury-Firm Mattresses Are Ideal For Heavy Side Sleepers
Luxury-firm mattresses are ideal for heavier weighted side sleepers in the 200 lbs – 230 lbs range (and sometimes beyond) because this type of firmness provides a blend of pressure relief and support that’s difficult to obtain with other mattress firmnesses.
If you’re a heavy weighted side sleeper, then you’ll know that it can be very tricky to get comfortable at night, so I would again recommend the Nolah Evolution because this luxury-firm mattress has zoned support to keep your shoulders comfy, and is also 15″ thick to guard against material compression.
7: Luxury-Firm Can Support Heavy and Lightweight Sleepers
Luxury-firm mattresses are able to cater to both heavier and lighter weighted sleepers at the periphery of the 130 lbs – 230 lbs range by providing a blend of pressure relief and pushback.
This contrasts with soft mattresses that are better for lighter weighted sleepers but cannot provide the pushback required to keep heavier weighted sleepers in good posture.
Conversely, firmer mattresses have the extra surface tension that can help heavier weighted sleepers feel more supported (especially in the front and back sleeping positions) but will likely feel uncomfortable for lighter weighted sleepers that need more pressure relief and weight distribution.
Medium-firm mattresses come close in their ability to cater to varying weight ranges, but the extra pressure relief provided by the luxury-firm variant makes it better for lighter weighted sleepers.
The Nolah Evolution is the best mattress that I’ve reviewed for both light and heavy weighted sleepers.
3 Signs a Luxury-Firm Mattress is Right for You
Whilst a luxury-firm mattresses offers maximum flexibility in terms of accommodating the most amount of sleeping styles, here are 3 specific situations where a luxury-firm mattress is more than likely going to be the best purchase:
1: You Have Pain That’s Aggravated by Pressure and Bad Posture
If you have arthritis, sciatica, back pain, shoulder pain or any other conditions that are made worse by sleeping in bad posture or sleeping on a surface that’s too firm, then a Luxury-firm mattress can help.
It’s important to consult with your doctor relative to your specific condition first, but a luxury-firm mattress can help to soften the pressure points and correct the poor posture that’s potentially making the pain worse when you lie down.
I can personally vouch for this, because as you can see in the picture above, I recently had surgery on my shoulder (and also on my knee) to remove broken cartilage in my joints and bone spurs due to my arthritis.
I personally found that sleeping in the Nolah Evolution helped to alleviate the discomfort in my joints both before the surgery and when I was in recovery.
2: You Switch Positions Often During the Night
If you’re a combination or restless sleeper that switches positions often during the night, then a luxury-firm mattress could be ideal for you.
This because not only will the extra pressure relief help to soften the friction points that may be causing your restlessness, but you’ll also be comfortable in the front, back, and side sleeping positions as you cycle through them during the night.
This contrasts with the harder and softer mattresses that may feel uncomfortable in certain positions as you turn over – which can result in you waking up.
3: You and Your Partner Have Conflicting Sleeping Styles
A luxury-firm mattress might be the ideal solution if you sleep as a couple and your sleeping styles don’t pair very well.
This is because this type of firmness can cater to a wider range of sleeping positions and body weights.
For example, if you are a 150 lbs side sleeper and your partner is a 230 lbs front sleeper, then you’ll need a plusher feel to reduce pressure points, and your partner will require a firmer sleeping surface to keep their hips in alignment to avoid back pain.
A luxury-firm mattress can cater to both of these contrasting requirements.
In contrast, a soft mattress would suit you but not your partner, and you’d likely feel uncomfortable in a firmer mattress whilst your partner probably wouldn’t.
A luxury-firm mattress is arguably the best mattress firmness because it caters to a wide range of sleeping styles – making it more likely that you and your partner will feel comfortable in the mattress.
Dan is the founder and head content creator at Bedroom Style Reviews.
He has been working as a professional online product reviewer since 2015 and was inspired to start this website when he ended up sleeping on a memory foam mattress that was too soft and gave him backache.
Through in-depth research and analysis, Dan’s goal with this website is to help others avoid such pitfalls by creating the best online resource for helping you find your ideal mattress, bedding, and bedroom furniture.
Dan is a qualified NVQ Level 2 Fitness Instructor with 6 years’ experience helping clients improve their health through diet, exercise, and proper sleep hygiene.
He also holds several college and university-level qualifications in health sciences, psychology, mathematics, art, and digital media creation – which helps him to publish well researched and informative product reviews as well as articles on sleep, health, wellbeing, and home decor.
Dan also has direct personal experience with insomnia, anxiety, misophonia (hypersensitivity to sounds), and pain from both acute and long-standing sporting injuries – he enjoys writing insightful articles around these subjects to help fellow sufferers of such conditions.
Learn more about Dan here.