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Best Firm Mattresses

What is the Best Firm Mattress?

If you had to buy a mattress and consider only one factor, firmness would be it. How soft or firm a mattress correlates to overall comfort and support, as well as pressure relief for sleepers, temperature neutrality, and motion isolation. And while the firmness level of a bed can't tell you everything about it, it's a great north star to get you started.

Generally, we say that stomach and back sleepers and those who weigh over 200 lbs prefer a firmer bed, but so do a lot of other people. You already know you want a firm mattress, but which one and how firm? We're here to help.

Check out our picks for best firm mattress models below. Our selections are based on our own product testing and verified customer reviews and ratings. Further down, we'll discuss firm mattress benefits for different sleepers.

A Note on Firm Mattresses

Firm mattresses get a bad rap. We get it -- in a mattress showroom, it's hard to deny the immediate and deep body hug you get from a thick memory foam bed. And by the time we're shopping for a new mattress, our old one is often sagging and worn out. A fresh firm bed can feel like a shock.

The problem is the softest beds just don't offer the support a lot of sleepers need to keep their joints and spine in neutral alignment, causing pain and stiffness that most of us don't think to attribute to a bed that feels so cozy.

Bottom line: Firm doesn't mean hard and as with any mattress, you can't really knock a firm bed until you've spent about a month sleeping on it.

To rate firmness, we use a 1-10 scale with 1 being the softest and 10 being the firmest. Most mattresses made today fall between 3 (soft) and 8 (firm). Here we'll focus on mattresses considered 6 (medium firm) or firmer. Most medium firm, firm, and extra firm beds provide minimal body-conforming, but excel at maintaining even support and preventing sagging.

Our Top Picks

Leesa Hybrid - Best Balanced Hybrid
  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Firmness Level: Medium Firm (6)
  • Price: $1,699

 

MemoryLux - Most Supportive
  • Mattress Type: Foam
  • Firmness Level: Medium Soft (4), Medium (5), Firm (7-8)
  • Price: $1,599

 

Plank - Best Extra Firm
  • Mattress Type: Foam
  • Firmness Level: Side 1: Firm (7-8); Side 2: Extra Firm (9-10)
  • Price: $999

 

Saatva - Best Bang for Your Buck
  • Mattress Type: Innerspring
  • Firmness Level: Soft (2-3), Medium Firm (6), Firm (7-8)
  • Price: $1,399

 

Titan - Best Heavyweight
  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Firmness Level: Firm (7-8)
  • Price: $999

 

WinkBeds Plus - Best Luxury
  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Firmness Level: Firm (7-8)
  • Price: $1,799

Leesa Hybrid- Best Balanced Comfort

 

Price: $1,699

Height: 11"

Firmness: Medium Firm (6)

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Pressure Point Relief: 3/5

Sleeps Cool: 4/5

Motion Isolation: 3/5

Edge Support: 4/5

Durability: 3/5

Ease of Movement: 4/5

Sex: 4/5

Off-Gassing: 3/5

 

leesa hybrid mattress

Highlights:

  • Adaptive mixed-foam comfort layers offer close contouring
  • Strong pocketed coils ensure even support and less sinkage along the edges
  • Breathable and temperature-neutral for hot sleepers

Ideal For:

  • People who weigh 200 pounds or less
  • Those seeking a bed with strong edge support
  • Hot sleepers
  • Couples

The Leesa Hybrid is one of our best medium firm mattress picks. Constructed with comfort layers of polyfoam and memory foam, the mattress contours somewhat closely to your body while maintaining a supportive and responsive feel. This creates a combined feeling of sleeping "on" and sleeping "in" the mattress, but your body won't sink excessively.

The Leesa Hybrid's support core consists of 6-inch pocketed coils and a base layer of high-density polyfoam. The coils reinforce the perimeter very well to minimize sinkage when owners are sitting or lying near the edges. Additionally, the coils promote steady airflow to help the mattress maintain a comfortable temperature.

Because the mattress has a medium firm feel, it is best suited to sleepers who weigh between 100 and 200 pounds. We also recommend the mattress for back and stomach sleepers who weigh less than 100 pounds due to its comfortable balance of contouring and support. On the other hand, people who weigh more than 200 pounds may find the mattress a bit too soft.

The Leesa Hybrid isolates motion and reduces transfer fairly well compared to other hybrids, and the coils are reasonably quiet. This makes it a good choice for couples. Although the mattress alleviates some pressure, people with chronic pressure point issues may feel more comfortable on a softer bed that conforms more closely.

The Leesa Hybrid's price-point is on par with the average hybrid model's. The company also offers free shipping to all 50 states and Canada. The mattress is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.

Read Our Full Leesa Hybrid Mattress Review


MemoryLux - Most Supportive

 

Price: $1,599

Height: 11"

Firmness: Medium (5)

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Pressure Point Relief: 4/5

Sleeps Cool: 3/5

Motion Isolation: 4/5

Edge Support: 3/5

Durability: 3/5

Ease of Movement: 3/5

Sex: 3/5

Off-Gassing: 3/5

Winkbeds Memorylux Mattress

Highlights:

  • Deep body-conforming and excellent pressure relief
  • Pillow-top cover padded with gel-infused foam for extra cushioning
  • Absorbs motion and eliminates transfer for couples

Ideal For:

  • People who weigh at least 100 pounds
  • Sleepers who like the conforming feel of memory foam
  • Couples
  • People with chronic or severe pressure points

The MemoryLux by WinkBeds is one of our best firm mattress picks for a few reasons. The bed is constructed with a memory foam comfort layer, along with polyfoam quilted into the cover for extra padding. The mattress also has a transitional polyfoam layer divided into different firmness zones. This ensures comfortable cradling for your head, neck, and legs, and more support for your shoulders, back, and hips.

The MemoryLux is available in three firmness levels: medium soft, medium, and firm. The firm model is very well-suited to sleepers who weigh at least 100 pounds, especially back and stomach sleepers who need enhanced support around the midsection. The mattress is also a good choice for people who experience pressure points. The memory foam conforms closely and evenly to reduce pressure in sensitive areas, and this creates a feeling of sleeping "in" – as opposed to "on" – the mattress.

We also recommend the MemoryLux for couples due to its excellent motion isolation. The mattress is virtually silent when bearing weight, as well. However, people who have a hard time getting in and out of bed may struggle with the MemoryLux due to its weak edge support and tendency to sink somewhat deeply. The mattress may also be a heat trap for some.

The MemoryLux is a bit more expensive than the average memory foam mattress, but its price-point is still reasonable. WinkBeds also offers free shipping within the contiguous U.S. and White Glove delivery for an added charge. The MemoryLux is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty.


Plank - Best Extra Firm

 

Price: $999

Height: 11.5"

Firmness: Firm (7-8)

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Pressure Point Relief: 2/5

Sleeps Cool: 3/5

Motion Isolation: 2/5

Edge Support: 4/5

Durability: 3/5

Ease of Movement: 4/5

Sex: 3/5

Off-Gassing: 2/5

Plank Mattress

Highlights:

  • Distinctly firm feels on both sides of the bed
  • Less conforming allows more surface airflow and better cooling
  • Better-than-average durability

Ideal For:

  • People who weigh at least 100 pounds
  • Back and stomach sleepers
  • Those who normally sleep hot on all-foam beds
  • Couples

The Plank by Brooklyn Bedding is a reversible mattress. One side has a firm (7-8) feel and conforms a bit, but sleepers should feel very supported. The other side is extra firm (9-10) and best suited to sleepers who want little to no body contouring. We recommend the firm side of the Plank to sleepers in any position who weigh at least 100 pounds. For the extra firm side, back and stomach sleepers weighing more than 200 pounds will likely be most comfortable.

The bed's shared support core consists of high-density polyfoam. This material provides excellent stability to the entire mattress and keeps sleepers on an even plane. The polyfoam also reinforces the perimeter to prevent excessive sinkage. The Plank has better-than-average edge support compared to other all-foam mattresses, and those who prefer sleeping near the edges don't need to worry about feelings of "roll-off."

You can choose to add a cooling top panel made of phase-changing material. This component helps the Plank's surface maintain a cool, comfortable temperature, and is a good option for people who usually feel too hot on memory foam or polyfoam mattresses. Without the top panel, the mattress sleeps a bit warmer.

In addition to being one of the best extra firm mattress options available, the Plank's price-point is very affordable, making the mattress a high-value pick. Brooklyn Bedding also offers free shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S., and backs the mattress with a 120-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.


Saatva - Best Bang for Your Buck

 

Price: $1,399

Height: 11.5" or 14.5"

Firmness: Medium Firm (6)

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Pressure Point Relief: 4/5

Sleeps Cool: 4/5

Motion Isolation: 2/5

Edge Support: 4/5

Durability: 4/5

Ease of Movement: 4/5

Sex: 4/5

Off-Gassing: 5/5

saatva mattress

Highlights:

  • Responsive coil-on-coil construction
  • Steady airflow through coil layers helps regulate temperatures
  • Free White Glove delivery for all orders

Ideal For:

  • People who weigh at least 100 pounds
  • Sleepers who prefer very responsive mattresses
  • Hot sleepers
  • Those who need help setting up their mattress

The Saatva is a luxury innerspring featuring a Euro-top cover with polyfoam and memory foam comfort layers. The mattress also contains a transitional layer of pocketed minicoils over a support core of recycled-steel bonnell coils. This coil-on-coil design makes the mattress feel exceptionally responsive and springy. Both coil layers also promote steady airflow to keep the mattress at a comfortable temperature.

You can choose from medium soft, medium firm, and firm feels for their Saatva. The firm (7-8) option feels very supportive. The comfort layers conform to the body and support the spine but sleepers won't sink beneath the surface, making the Saatva ideal for people who prefer sleeping "on" – not "in" – their mattress. In addition to firmness options, you can choose between 11.5-inch and 14.5-inch profiles for their mattress.

Like other innersprings, the Saatva does not isolate motion very well and the coils may produce noises from time to time. As a result, couples may experience sleep disruptions on the mattress. And while the mattress is exceptionally supportive, it will not alleviate pressure to the same extent as a memory foam or all-latex bed.

Saatva offers free White Glove delivery throughout the contiguous U.S. This service, which includes in-home assembly and old mattress removal, typically costs at least $100. The mattress is also backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a 15-year warranty.

Read Our Full Saatva Mattress Review


Titan - Best for Larger Sleepers

 

Price: $999

Height: 11"

Firmness: Firm (7-8)

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Pressure Point Relief: 3/5

Sleeps Cool: 4/5

Motion Isolation: 4/5

Edge Support: 4/5

Durability: 4/5

Ease of Movement: 4/5

Sex: 4/5

Off-Gassing: 3/5

Titan Mattress

Highlights:

  • Specifically designed for heavy people
  • Premium foams cushion the body without sinking
  • Robust pocketed coils stabilize the bed and reinforce the edges

Ideal For:

  • People who weigh more than 200 pounds
  • Hot sleepers
  • Couples
  • Value seekers

The Titan by Brooklyn Bedding is a hybrid model specifically designed for heavier individuals. This mattress contains a comfort layer of gel-infused memory foam, followed by a transitional layer of TitanFlex polyfoam that has a latex-like responsiveness. The support core consists of pocketed coils and a 2-inch polyfoam base layer.

The Titan's surface has a firm (7-8) feel. The memory foam contours very little while the TitanFlex and coil layers help maintain even, sag-free support for sleepers. This results in a feeling of sleeping "on" – rather than "in" – the mattress, and heavier individuals won't sag excessively as they might on a softer bed. The memory foam absorbs a fair amount of motion, as well, and this can help reduce disruptions for couples.

Like the Plank, the Titan is available with a cooling top panel made of phase-change material. The mattress sleeps fairly cool without the panel due to steady airflow through the coil layer, but people who tend to feel overly hot in bed may wish to opt for this extra component. While the Titan is very comfortable for heavier individuals, we don't recommend the mattress for people who weigh less than 100 pounds. The bed may also feel a bit too firm for some sleepers who weigh 100 to 200 pounds.

Even with the added cooling panel, the Titan has a very affordable price-point. Brooklyn Bedding will ship to all 50 states at no extra cost to shoppers. The mattress is also backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.


WinkBed Plus - Best Luxury

 

Price: $1,599

Height: 13.5"

Firmness: Medium Firm (6)

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Pressure Point Relief: 3/5

Sleeps Cool: 4/5

Motion Isolation: 3/5

Edge Support: 5/5

Durability: 4/5

Ease of Movement: 4/5

Sex: 4/5

Off-Gassing: 4/5

WinkBed Plus Mattress

Highlights:

  • Zoned latex layer offers enhanced support for the shoulders, back, and hips
  • Very firm and springy feel
  • Excellent edge support thanks to low-gauge perimeter coils

Ideal For:

  • People who weigh at least 100 pounds
  • Sleepers who prefer very responsive mattresses
  • Hot sleepers
  • Those who have a hard time getting in and out of bed

Another bed designed for heavier individuals, the WinkBed Plus hybrid is constructed with a latex comfort layer. Latex is more responsive than memory foam, creating a noticeable bounce on the bed's surface. The latex is also divided into firmness zones to ensure strong support for the shoulders, back, and hips, and more comfortable cradling for the sleeper's other areas.

The support core features pocketed coils encased in high-density foam. The coils are also zoned to reinforce the perimeter against sinkage. As a result, the mattress offers excellent edge support and is a great choice for people who struggle getting in and out of bed. We also recommend the WinkBed Plus for hot sleepers. The latex is fairly breathable and the coils promote strong airflow to regulate the bed's overall temperature. The cover, made of a eucalyptus-based Tencel fabric, provides additional surface cooling.

The WinkBed Plus is best suited to people who weigh more than 200 pounds. Back and stomach sleepers weighing 100 to 200 pounds may also find the mattress comfortable thanks to its exceptional support, but people who weigh less than 100 pounds – particularly side sleepers – may find the mattress too firm.

WinkBeds offers free shipping to customers in the contiguous U.S. The WinkBed Plus is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty, both of which are longer than average.


How to Choose Mattress Firmness

 

Your ideal firmness primarily depends on your body type and normal sleep position. For instance, a heavier side sleeper may have completely different firmness preferences than a lighter back or stomach sleeper.

  • Body type is important because some beds provide more support than others. Softer mattresses often conform closely to your body, which can improve spinal alignment and alleviate pressure, but these models may sag too much if you weigh more than 200 pounds. Firmer beds tend to feel more supportive – but lighter people may find these mattresses do not conform closely enough to feel comfortable or reduce pressure.
  • Sleep position is another key variable because a mattress will feel different to side, back, and stomach sleepers. Side sleeping can lead to poor spinal alignment if the shoulders and hips are not even, so people that use this position may find softer beds that cushion their body are most comfortable. Lighter side sleepers typically prefer softer beds, while heavier side sleepers tend to find medium to medium firm beds most comfortable. The back and stomach sleeping positions naturally align the spine, so these sleepers need more support around the midsection to prevent excessive sinking. For this reason, back and stomach sleepers often prefer firmer mattresses than side sleepers.

Remember that recommended firmness isn't one-size-fits-all and that firmness is truly a spectrum. Be sure to ask yourself some questions. Do you want a mattress with comfort layers that hug your body that respond quickly to your weight? Do you prefer no hug, and feel better with an even plane? Your answer is likely somewhere in the middle, and that's okay because there's a bed for that.

Is a Firm Mattress Better for Your Back?

 

The ideal mattress should both conform to your shape to alleviate pressure and also provide ample support for the joints and spine. For a lot of us, a medium firm feel provides the best balance of these attributes. The comfort layers cushion the body and support the spine, but sleepers don't sink too deeply beneath the surface. However, people with chronic back pain should test our different firmness levels in order to find the right mattress. You can also check out our top picks for the best mattresses for back pain.

Mattresses with firm or extra firm feels will not conform as much. Many of these models have thinner comfort layers that cannot hug the body as closely as materials found in medium firm beds. That said, firmer mattresses tend to be more durable because their comfort materials won't lose their shape as quickly as those with softer layers. This helps to preserve the mattress and ensure better support over time.

Are Firm Mattresses Bad for Side Sleepers?

 

No, firm mattresses are not necessarily worse or less comfortable for side sleepers. This usually comes down to body type and size.

A firmer mattress might be optimal if you are a side sleeper who weighs more than 200 pounds. These beds offer better support and sink less for heavier individuals, and those who sleep on their side may experience the best spinal alignment on a mattress that does not conform as closely to the body.

It's true that many side sleepers prefer softer mattresses that pad the shoulders and hips, align the spine, and reduce pressure throughout the body. And this is particularly true for side sleepers who weigh less than 100 pounds. These sleepers may find that firmer beds do not conform closely enough.

Side sleepers who weigh 100 to 200 pounds may find a medium firm mattress more comfortable than a firm or extra firm model. Medium firm beds offer a more balanced feel that combines body-contouring and even support.

What About Stomach and Back Sleepers?

 

Back and stomach sleepers are a bit different because these positions naturally align the spine without extra cushioning for the shoulders and hips. The ideal mattress for most back sleepers will cradle the spine and support the midsection in order to reduce pressure and maintain even support.

Stomach sleepers typically have the same needs, but extra support around the hips is often needed because sleeping face-down can cause the entire body to sink too deeply into the mattress. Lack of support can result in added aches and pains for stomach sleepers around the neck, shoulders, and lower back.

Are Firm Mattresses Better for Heavy Sleepers?

 

Firm mattresses are recommended for sleepers who weigh more than 200 pounds because they provide stronger support and do not sag as much compared to softer beds. However, there is no "best firmness" for different weight groups. Rather, each mattress buyer should consider their body type, sleep position, and firmness preferences when choosing a new model.

For example, a side sleeper who weighs more than 200 pounds and prefers a bit of body-conforming will likely find a medium or medium firm mattress most comfortable. Softer beds may conform too much, leading to uneven support and added discomfort, whereas a firm or extra firm mattress may not conform enough.

A back or stomach sleeper who weighs more than 200 pounds may feel differently. Many will prefer a firmer, hard mattress that offers enhanced support to the lower back and hips to minimize sagging.

Are Firm Mattresses Good for Couples?

 

A firm mattress will be suitable for any couple, provided both people feel comfortable on the same sleep surface. Those with preferences that strongly differ may want to consider a dual-firmness mattress with a distinct feel on each side. A mattress topper may also be used to alter one side of the bed while the other maintains a firm feel (more on this in the next section).

Beyond personal preferences, medium firm mattresses are considered best for sex because they offer a responsive, bouncy surface without hindering movement (a common issue for softer mattresses).

One thing to note is that softer mattresses tend to isolate motion better than firmer beds. This is because softer beds absorb movement and prevent transfer from spreading across the surface. Firmer beds may not isolate as much movement, potentially leading to more nighttime disruptions for co-sleepers when their partner switches positions or gets in and out of bed.

Do Firm Mattresses Last Longer?

 

Yes, generally. Firmer mattresses are more durable than softer models because their comfort layers will not lose shape as quickly. Over time, softer mattresses can feel less supportive as the comfort materials begin to deteriorate. Beds with pillow-top covers are considered particularly susceptible to early sagging and other forms of wear and tear.

The quality of materials also plays a major role in mattress longevity. Low-density foams will begin to wear out more quickly than medium- or high-density foams regardless of the bed's firmness level. The best extra firm memory foam mattress models feature denser comfort layers that retain a supportive shape for at least six and a half to seven years. The same is true for blended and synthetic latex. These materials are reasonably durable, but organic and natural latex tend to withstand wear and tear for much longer, resulting in a longer mattress lifespan.

Support layers are also important. Beds with high-density foam support cores have decent expected lifespans, but models with latex and/or steel coil systems in the support layers tend to be much more durable because these materials do not wear out as quickly.

How to Make a Mattress More Firm

There are a few ways you can make your sleep surface feel firmer without replacing your mattress. We recommend finding a mattress topper that provides the firmness level, motion control, and temperature control you're looking for. However, it's important to note that most mattress toppers are designed to make a mattress softer. Shop carefully and review firmness ratings specifically.

Depending on its age, you might need to replace your foundation. Like mattresses, box springs and bed frames can deteriorate and lose strength over time. This can cause the mattress to sag and feel less supportive as a result. You might also be able to make a quick fix by placing plywood boards beneath the mattress to reinforce the foundation.

Don't forget to consider your mattress warranty. Most manufacturers recognize excessive sagging as a defect that warrants mattress repairs or replacements. Usually, the sagging must measure at least one-half of an inch deep to be considered a defective issue. Warranties never include repairs or replacements for owners who decide their bed feels too firm after the sleep trial has ended.