The idea that soft or plush mattresses are most comfortable for everyone is a common misconception. People who weigh more than 230 pounds tend to prefer firmer mattresses with limited cushioning and strong support systems to prevent their bodies from sinking too deeply. The same is true for many back and stomach sleepers because these positions require extra reinforcement around the midsection.
Firmer mattresses also perform better in certain areas compared to their softer counterparts. Less sinkage often means more surface airflow, so firm surfaces often sleep cooler. Firm comfort layers also resist wear and tear better than soft layers, making them more durable over time. Other strengths shared by most firm mattresses include robust edge support, surfaces that facilitate easy movement, and good responsiveness for sex.
After personally testing hundreds of mattresses, we’ve selected five firm models that stand out from the rest. We evaluate firmness using a 10-point scale, with 1 being the softest and 10 being the firmest. All of the top picks below are at least 6 – or medium firm – on this scale, though some models are available in additional firmness levels. Scroll down to learn more about our best firm mattress selections.
Best Overall: Helix Dawn
Helix Sleep offers an extensive line of hybrid mattresses, each one designed for people with specific body types and primary sleep positions. The Helix Dawn is one of the company’s firmest models. While the mattress is geared toward back and stomach sleepers who weigh more than 230 pounds, the Dawn should be suitable for anyone who needs a robust support system to sleep comfortably.
The mattress is constructed with two layers of polyfoam over a pocketed coil support core. Both foam layers contour to a minimal extent, resulting in even support for most sleepers. The coils are also zoned to reduce sinkage along the perimeter, which allows you and your partner to use the entire surface of the mattress and makes getting in and out of bed easier. The coils promote air circulation throughout the interior to help maintain a comfortable temperature, so the mattress should sleep cool as well.
Other firm mattresses from Helix Sleep include the Dusk, Midnight, and Twilight. The company’s website features an online questionnaire to help you determine your ideal firmness level before buying a new mattress. The Dawn has a below-average price-point for a hybrid, and ground shipping is free for customers in all 50 states.
Best Value: DreamCloud Mattress
The DreamCloud is a great example of a luxury hybrid with strong performance ratings that carries an accessible price-point for shoppers on a budget. A Euro-top cushioned with memory foam and adaptive polyfoam gives the surface an invitingly plush feel when you get into bed, but robust pocketed coils and dense base foam stabilize the mattress to prevent excessive sinkage. This balance of cushioning and support gives the DreamCloud a medium firm (6) feel.
The DreamCloud’s thick foam layers contour evenly to reduce pressure and isolate motion well – two performance areas where hybrids often fall short. Air circulates freely throughout the coil layer, and the cover is a breathable cashmere-blend fabric, so the mattress also sleeps exceptionally cool. During our hands-on testing, we found the DreamCloud was best suited to side sleepers who weigh at least 130 pounds and back sleepers weighing up to 130 pounds.
In addition to its affordable pricing, the DreamCloud qualifies for free ground shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S. Each order comes with a year-long sleep trial, ensuring plenty of time to test out the mattress. Buyers also receive a lifetime warranty against structural defects.
Best Luxury: Saatva Classic
Saatva has earned a stellar reputation for luxury mattresses over the past decade and introduced several new models during that time, but the flagship Saatva Classic remains a popular choice for sleepers across different weight and position groups. A Euro-top hybrid design with coil-on-coil support makes the mattress feel exceptionally strong and responsive on the surface.
The Saatva Classic is available in three firmness levels, including two options at the firmer end of the spectrum. Medium firm (6) models feature Euro-tops cushioned with memory foam and soft fiber fill to provide gentle contouring. Based on our mattress tests, side and back sleepers up to 230 pounds should find this firmness most comfortable. The firm (8) feel has less surface-level padding, so these mattresses barely conform to the body. Side sleepers over 230 pounds and back and stomach sleepers weighing at least 130 pounds give the mattress favorable ratings. Customers can also choose between profiles of 11.5 or 14.5 inches, depending on how much coil support they need.
Saatva is one of the only online mattress brands to provide free White Glove delivery throughout the contiguous U.S. As part of this complimentary service, couriers assemble the Saatva Classic in a room of your choice and haul away your old mattress and box spring. You’ll also receive a generous 180-night sleep trial with your order.
Most Comfortable: Luxury Firm WinkBed
The WinkBed is another mattress sold in multiple firmness levels to accommodate different types of sleepers. Each version of the WinkBed has its strong points, but we’re spotlighting the Luxury Firm WinkBed for its balanced medium firm (6) feel that combines cushioning foam layers with extra-strength pocketed coils. Our hands-on testing shows the mattress is especially well suited to side sleepers who weigh 130 to 230 pounds, and back and stomach sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds.
Sturdy support is a major strength of this mattress. The coil system is zoned with thicker, lower-gauge coils beneath the midsection to reinforce the torso and hips – two areas where people tend to carry extra weight. The perimeter also has thicker coils to provide push-back and minimize sinkage when you sit along the edge of the mattress. Steady air circulation and a breathable Tencel cover help the mattress sleep cool.
Other options for shoppers include the Firm WinkBed and the WinkBed Plus, the latter of which is specifically designed for people who weigh more than 230 pounds. Each customer receives a 120-night sleep trial that includes free exchanges. If you order a Luxury Firm WinkBed and find it feels too soft, you can swap the mattress in for a firmer model at no extra cost. Shipping is free for all customers in the contiguous U.S.
Best Extra Firm: Plank
The Plank is a good option for people who need as much support from their mattress as possible. A flippable all-foam model, the Plank features a different feel on each side. One surface is firm (7) and the other is extra firm (9). The latter is one of the firmest feels we’ve encountered throughout our hands-on mattress tests and best suited to back and stomach sleepers who weigh at least 230 pounds. If you enjoy a firm feel but want light cushioning on your sleep surface, the firm feel might be more comfortable.
A support core of high-density polyfoam is located between the sleep surfaces and provides reinforcement for each side. A breathable cover encases the entire mattress. For additional cooling, customers can order a panel of phase change material (PCM) sewn onto both sides of the mattress. PCM captures and dissipates body heat to maintain a comfortable temperature for sleeping, even on hot or humid nights.
Affordable pricing and free shipping within the contiguous U.S. make the Plank a good choice for shoppers with tight budgets. Brooklyn Bedding offers 14 different sizes for the mattress. In addition to standard mattress sizes, a split California king for couples who use adjustable beds and several RV options are available.