Best Firm Mattress

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While some people may associate mattress comfort with plushness, a firm model can be more beneficial for certain types of sleepers. Stomach and back sleepers, for example, require extra support to maintain good sleep posture. People over 230 pounds also need a firmer mattress to prevent their body from excessively sinking, which can impact spinal alignment. Others may simply prefer the feel of a firmer bed. 

We’ll cover everything you need to know so you can select the best firm mattress for your needs. Our sleep specialists have researched and tested a variety of mattress models, focusing on features that have the greatest effects for firm mattress comfort levels, such as edge support, temperature control, and motion isolation.

Our Top Picks

Mattress
Pick/Award
Mattress Type
Firmness Level
Price

Best Overall

Innerspring

Soft (3), Medium Firm (6), Firm (8)

Best Value

Hybrid

Firm (8)

Best for Back Pain

Foam

Firm (7)

Best Luxury

Hybrid

Firm (8)

Best Pressure Relief

Innerspring

Medium Soft (4), Medium Firm (6), Firm (7), Firm (8)

Best Cooling

Hybrid

Medium (5)

BEST OVERALL

Saatva Classic

product image of the Saatva Classic
Highlights
Ideal For
  • Memory foam lumbar pad designed to relieve back pressure
  • Available in 11.5- and 14.5-inch profiles
  • Free White Glove delivery
  • People with chronic back pain
  • Those who prefer a mattress with more bounce
  • Hot sleepers
See the best prices on the Saatva Classic

While many innerspring mattresses have only one layer of coils, the Saatva Classic uses two layers to provide both support and responsiveness. The mattress also uses memory foam and polyfoam to deliver targeted pressure relief, which creates a firm and comfortable surface that’s good for just about any sleep position. 

Naturally breathable organic cotton and a quilted Euro-pillow top form the mattress’ surface. Our testers found that the combination of polyfoam and fibers added a plush feel without sacrificing firmness. A memory foam lumbar pad and proprietary spinal zone active wire provide additional support to the lower back and midsection, making this mattress a good pick for those needing pressure relief for aches and pains.

The hundreds of steel microcoils included in the comfort system help balance out that great pressure relief with a little bounce. The support core, which is made using 13-gauge steel coils, reinforces the upper layers while increasing the mattress’ durability. Lower-gauge coils like these are thicker than higher-gauge coils and can help make a mattress firmer.

The double-layer construction allows more space for air to circulate, while the encased springs limit motion transfer. The support core is surrounded by a high-density polyfoam perimeter to increase edge support.  

The Saatva Classic offers 11.5- and 14.5-inch profile options. The mattress also comes in three different firmness levels: Plush Soft (3), Luxury Firm (6), and Firm (8). 

Customers have 365 nights to test the mattress and decide if it’s a suitable fit. If you elect to return the mattress, you’ll receive a full refund excluding a $99 return shipping fee. The mattress also includes a lifetime warranty and free White Glove delivery. 

We found the Saatva Classic to be an all-around solid pick for sleepers who want a firm, supportive mattress that still provides a bit of bounce and pressure relief. While it could be a good fit for any sleep position, our tests indicated that side sleepers under 230 pounds may enjoy it the most.

BEST VALUE

Titan Firm Hybrid

Highlights
Ideal For
  • Value seekers
  • People who sleep hot
  • Sleepers over 230 pounds
  • Customers who want pressure relief without deep contouring
  • Sleepers with joint or back pain
  • Couples
See the best prices on the Titan Firm Hybrid

Brooklyn Bedding’s Titan Firm Hybrid combines above-average durability and edge support, making it a good choice for sleepers over 230 pounds. It also has an attractive price-point, so shoppers on a budget can still take advantage of its benefits. 

The Titan Firm Hybrid has an 11-inch profile and a firm (8) feel. The stomach and back sleepers on our testing team found that the solid surface helped encourage proper spinal alignment, but those under 130 pounds and our side sleepers reported that it felt a little too firm.

The Titan’s cover contains gel-infused memory foam designed to provide subtle pressure relief while drawing heat away from the sleeper. The rest of the hybrid structure integrates foam comfort layers with a robust pocketed coil core. Our testers noted that the layer of TitanFlex polyfoam adapted to their bodies without conforming too closely. 

A firm mattress relies on a strong support system, and the Titan Firm Hybrid is no exception. Six inches of pocketed coils are designed to stabilize the top layers while encouraging a spinal alignment. Two inches of high-density polyfoam reinforce the base, contributing to its high durability rating during our tests. The Titan Firm Hybrid uses gel infusions and pocketed coils designed to help remove excess heat, and people who tend to sleep hot can opt for an additional cooling top panel. 

The mattress ships free of charge for customers in the contiguous U.S. Purchases include a 120-night sleep trial, but customers must keep the mattress for at least 30 days before making a return. The Titan Firm Hybrid also includes a 10-year warranty.

We recommend the Titan for sleepers over 230 pounds who are looking for an affordable firm mattress that provides a good balance of support and pressure relief. Its cooling technology may also make it a good fit for hot sleepers.

BEST FOR BACK PAIN

Burrow Lyric Hybrid

Highlights
Ideal For
  • Pairs adaptive foam layers with sturdy pocketed coils for pressure relief and support
  • Dense foam encasement minimizes sinkage along the perimeter
  • Steady airflow and a cooling cover help ensure great temperature regulation
  • Side sleepers over 130 pounds
  • Hot sleepers
  • Those with persistent upper or lower back pain
See the best prices on the Burrow Lyric Hybrid

If you weigh 130 pounds or more and experience chronic back pain, you may need a firm mattress to sleep comfortably. However, firmer mattresses sometimes offer less pressure relief, another important consideration if you’re dealing with back pain. Luckily, the Burrow Lyric Hybrid provides a good balance between firmness and contouring.

The Lyric Hybrid is considered firm (7), but it’s constructed with three foam layers to cushion the body, cradle the spine, and reduce pain and pressure points in the shoulders, lumbar region, and hips. The top layer is composed of adaptive polyfoam to give the surface a plush feel. A memory foam transitional layer provides additional contouring while serving as a buffer between your body and the support layers.

The Lyric Hybrid’s support core consists of pocketed coils over a base polyfoam layer. The coils are encased in high-density foam to secure the edges and prevent excessive sinkage when you get in and out of bed – a helpful feature if you’re concerned about mobility. Our testers also found that the coils helped the surface feel responsive, making it easy to move across the mattress.

When testing the Lyric Hybrid in our sleep lab, we looked at its ability to regulate temperature. This involves taking measurements of the mattress’ surface temperature, as well as noting how air flows through the mattress. Our tests showed that the Lyric Hybrid does a good job of allowing airflow through its coil layer and keeping the surface cool, making it a solid choice for hot sleepers. 

Couples who prefer responsive surfaces for sex should also be satisfied with the Lyric. Its combination of coils and foam provides a good amount of bounce and makes it easy to move on the mattress.

During our tests, the Lyric Hybrid earned its most favorable ratings from side sleepers over 230 pounds. Back and stomach sleepers weighing 130 to 230 pounds also felt it was a good fit.

The Lyric Hybrid is affordably priced compared to other hybrid models, and Burrow offers free ground shipping for all orders. Each purchase includes a sleep trial that allows you to test out the mattress for up to 100 nights. Should you decide to keep the Lyric Hybrid, you’ll also receive a 3-year warranty.

Our tests showed that the Lyric Hybrid is a great choice for side sleepers dealing with back pain. Its cooling, responsive design also makes it a solid option for hot sleepers looking for a balance of pressure relief and support.

BEST LUXURY

Helix Dawn Luxe

Highlights
Ideal For
  • Designed for minimal sinkage
  • Heat-wicking Tencel and pillow-top cover
  • Zoned coil system for targeted support
  • Back and stomach sleepers
  • People who want a quiet mattress
  • Couples looking for bounce and edge support
See the best prices on the Helix Dawn Luxe

Made with high-quality materials, the Helix Dawn Luxe has a firm (8) feel designed with stomach and back sleepers in mind.

The mattress features a breathable Tencel pillow-top made with dense memory foam. Our testers reported that the foam interior gently contoured the body, and the Tencel cover kept the surface cool. Beneath the pillow-top, there’s also a layer of gel-infused memory foam that is engineered to alleviate pressure points and promote proper spinal alignment. 

Two different layers of polyfoam complete the comfort system. We found that the thicker top layer provided a good balance of adaptive support and subtle bounce. The transitional polyfoam layer provided even contouring while absorbing shock from the steel springs. 

Testers felt they got a good balance of support and contouring from the zoned support core, which focused its support on the back and hips while contouring the shoulders and legs. Our tests also showed that the thicker gauge coils reinforced the perimeter and reduced sagging along the edges. The high-density polyfoam that forms the mattress’ base helps ensure that the upper layers function optimally. 

The Helix Dawn Luxe comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a 15-year warranty. Shipping is free to all 50 states.

We recommend the Helix Dawn Luxe for sleepers who want a higher-end firm mattress designed to provide good support. However, while back and stomach sleepers over 130 pounds are likely to enjoy this mattress, side sleepers may need something that provides a little more contouring.

BEST PRESSURE RELIEF

WinkBed

Highlights
Ideal For
  • Gel-infused Euro-pillow top for extra pressure relief
  • Breathable Tencel cover derived from eucalyptus
  • Four firmness options
  • Sleepers with sore muscles and stiff joints
  • People who enjoy a closer hug without compromising support
  • Couples who want a quiet mattress
See the best prices on the WinkBed

A firm mattress sometimes comes at the expense of pressure relief, but the WinkBed manages to merge support with comfort. With four different firmness options — medium soft (4), medium (6), firm (7), and Plus (8) — this mattress can accommodate a range of sleep positions and body sizes. 

The WinkBed integrates contouring and bounce by combining polyfoam comfort layers with different-sized coils. The comfort system for standard models consists of a Euro-top with a eucalyptus-derived Tencel cover designed to wick away heat while gently cushioning pressure points. This is followed by a layer of adaptive polyfoam. In the Plus model, the comfort layer is composed of latex for added support and responsiveness.

Our testers reported that the WinkBed’s support core, which includes large, individually wrapped coils, minimized motion transfer and promoted enough airflow to keep them feeling cool. These coils are arranged into different zones based on gauge, or thickness, to ensure extra reinforcement for heavier areas of the body and less sinkage along the edges. 

Customers have 120 nights to test the mattress and determine if it’s a good fit. WinkBed includes a lifetime warranty that covers possible flaws in materials or craftsmanship. The company also offers free shipping on orders delivered to the contiguous U.S.

Our testers found that the WinkBed does a great job of providing pressure relief at a variety of firmness levels. This makes it a good choice for sleepers who prefer a firmer mattress but still need solid support at pressure points.

BEST COOLING

Tuft & Needle Hybrid

Highlights
Ideal For
  • Pillow-top construction
  • Adaptive foam and microcoils for responsive support
  • Graphite and gel infusions designed to reduce heat buildup
  • Hot sleepers
  • People under 230 pounds who prefer a firm feel
  • Couples who appreciate a quieter bed
See the best prices on the Tuft & Needle Hybrid

The Tuft & Needle Hybrid is designed for hot sleepers who enjoy a supportive but not overly firm feel. The mattress uses different cooling technologies to help minimize heat retention, including pocketed coils, carbon fibers, and graphite infusions. Our testers reported that the mattress’ above-average responsiveness helped keep them on top of the mattress, which can also prevent overheating.

While sleepers under 130 pounds typically benefit from extra cushioning, not everyone enjoys an extra-plush feel. The Tuft & Needle Hybrid’s medium (5) feel is suitable for lighter-weight sleepers who want a solid surface that isn’t too firm. The mattress also performs well for people between 130 and 230 pounds, regardless of their preferred sleep position. 

The Hybrid features three comfort layers and a sturdy coiled core in a 12-inch profile. Our testers found that the stretchy polyamide-polyester cover added a plush feel to the surface. Beneath that, the carbon fibers and graphite infusions in the memory foam interior are formulated to draw heat away from sleepers. A thicker polyfoam layer supports spinal alignment, while microcoils allow the mattress to lightly hug the body. The transitional polyfoam layer below prevents deep impressions from forming. 

Tempered steel coils form the support core, lending the mattress stability and above-average edge support. The springs add what our testers felt was a moderate degree of bounce, which makes changing positions easier. The pocketed coils also promote airflow, helping to keep you cool.

The Tuft & Needle Hybrid includes a 100-night sleep trial, and shipping is free for customers in the contiguous U.S. The company stands behind the mattress with a 10-year warranty.

This mattress is a great pick for hot sleepers who weigh under 230 pounds. The solid edge support also makes it a good fit for anyone needing a bit more stability when getting in and out of bed.

Why You Should Trust Us

Our team of qualified sleep specialists evaluated a range of firm mattresses before consolidating our list of top picks. We factored in performance features like edge support, temperature control, motion isolation, and ease of movement when assessing each model. 

Each mattress was personally tested by our sleep panel, which is made up of people with various sleep styles and body types. We recognize that choosing a mattress is an important decision, which is why we put a lot of research into finding the best firm mattresses for different sleep positions and budgets. 

Should You Sleep On a Firm Mattress?

Whether or not a firm mattress is appropriate for you depends on a number of factors, including your body weight and preferred sleep position. Heavier individuals typically prefer a firmer design, while sleepers under 130 pounds tend to enjoy more contouring. 

Firm mattresses have the added benefit of extra support and durability, so they often have a longer lifespan than softer models. However, firmer mattresses tend to provide less body hugging, which many sleepers prefer. Firm mattresses don’t always offer optimal pressure relief, either, particularly for side sleepers, who require extra cushioning for their shoulders and hips. 

The best way to determine if a firm mattress is right for you is to try one for at least 30 days. We strongly recommend taking advantage of a company’s sleep trial, which allows you to sleep on the mattress for a certain amount of time before deciding to keep or return it. 

Pros
Cons
  • Less premature sagging and a longer lifespan
  • Lower price-points, often due to less complex comfort systems
  • Better temperature control for cooler sleep
  • Insufficient pressure relief for some body sizes and sleep positions
  • Minimal to no hugging sensation
  • Lacks plush, cloud-like feel that some sleepers enjoy

Is a Firm Mattress Better for Your Back?

Firm mattresses can minimize back pain by promoting good sleep posture. A firmer mattress can also distribute body weight more evenly, putting less strain on your muscles and spine. On the other hand, a mattress that lacks proper support or is too soft can cause the lumbar region to sink excessively, resulting in aches and pains. 

A mattress that is too firm, however, can place too much pressure on your joints. In other words, avoiding back pain doesn’t necessarily mean finding the firmest mattress possible. Optimal comfort requires choosing the right level of firmness and support based on your weight and sleep position. 

How To Determine the Right Firmness for You

When selecting the right firmness level for your needs, it’s helpful to know how firmness is assessed and what you can expect from different firmness levels. Optimal firmness varies based on sleep position, body type, and personal preference. 

Our Firmness Scale and What Makes a Mattress Firm

Our sleep specialists determine mattress firmness according to a 10-point scale, with 1 being extremely soft and 10 exceptionally firm. The majority of mattresses on the market today fall somewhere between soft (3) and extra firm (9).

Mattresses ranging from medium firm (6) to extra firm (9) are typically favored by people seeking a firmer surface. However, body weight and preferred sleep position can affect how a mattress feels. The heavier you are, the more a mattress will compress. This means that someone under 130 pounds might find a medium (5) feel sufficiently firm, while a sleeper over 230 pounds could find the same model uncomfortably soft. 

Any mattress type can be considered firm, but certain materials and construction methods are intrinsically firmer than others. Models with thick comfort systems usually provide a softer, more cushioned feel, especially if they rely on body-hugging memory foam. Latex mattresses tend to be firmer than all-foam designs unless the latter employ high-density support cores. Hybrids often have sturdier surfaces because of their steel coil cores. However, any mattress type can be constructed to have a firm feel. 

Based on Your Sleep Position

Your sleep style largely determines whether or not a firm mattress is a good fit for you. Back sleepers typically benefit from a firm model that distributes their weight more evenly. A softer mattress can cause too much sinkage, putting strain on the spine and lower back. Similarly, stomach sleepers need a firmer mattress to prevent the midsection from sinking, which creates an unnatural curve in the spine. 

Side sleepers generally require a softer mattress since pressure points can otherwise build in the hips and shoulders. Side sleepers under 130 pounds often require an even softer mattress to prevent pressure points from forming. 

Based on Your Body Type

How much a mattress sinks in is directly proportional to body weight. The more a person weighs, the more a mattress will compress. Excessive sagging can lead to a shorter mattress lifespan, which is another reason why it’s important to choose a firmness level appropriate to your body type. Sleepers over 230 pounds need a firmer surface that is less likely to develop deep impressions. Conversely, sleepers under 130 pounds usually require a softer mattress that conforms to their body. 

How Can I Tell if My Mattress Is Too Soft or Too Firm?

It can take some time for your body to acclimate to a new bed, which is why most mattresses include sleep trials. It’s best to try out a new mattress for at least 30 days before deciding if it’s too soft or too firm. 

Waking up with sore muscles and stiff joints is a sign that your mattress is too soft and not adequately supporting your spine. Difficulty getting in and out of bed also suggests that you need a firmer design.

If you find that your muscles aren’t fully relaxing, then you might benefit from a softer model. Sore shoulders and hips, particularly if you’re a side sleeper, often indicate the need for a firmer mattress. 

How To Make Your Mattress More Firm

If you’re wanting a firmer feel but aren’t ready to purchase a new mattress, there are a few ways to create a sturdier surface. For instance, mattress toppers can make a softer bed feel more supportive by adding a few inches of structure. A topper can fine-tune the feel of your mattress, but it won’t substantially change its performance. In other words, an old mattress with deep impressions won’t suddenly come back to life with even the firmest mattress topper. 

An aging bed frame or box spring can also sometimes cause a mattress to feel less firm. It’s a good idea to periodically check slats and other bed frame parts to make sure everything is secure. If you don’t need to replace your foundation, then adding a new box spring or a bunkie board between your mattress and frame can also give your bed a firmer feel.