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Best Firm Mattress

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So you already know what kind of sleeper you are; now it’s time to shop around for the best firm mattress on the market. Firm mattresses are commonly preferred by back sleepers, stomach sleepers, or people who are on the heavier side. In addition to knowing who these mattresses are best for, it also helps to know what factors are key- because as product reviews have shown, not all firm mattresses are created equal.

The best firm mattress has a nice balance of support and firmness. It addresses sagging potential, edge support, air flow, and provides great support to your core- that includes the spine, hips, and neck. A rock hard mattress isn’t necessarily a good mattress. Look for mattresses that call attention to pressure points and natural support of the core muscles.

Who Sleeps On Firm Mattresses?

So, first off- what type of sleeper might benefit from a good firm mattress? Back sleepers, stomach sleepers, and heavy sleepers are all potentially in the market for a great firm mattress. For people who sleep on their back, a firm mattress keeps your spine in alignment and prevents excessive sag into the contours of a soft mattress.

Stomach sleepers benefit from a firm mattress for similar reasons. Stomach sleepers keep a very flat profile, which results in fewer gaps between your body and the mattress. The best firm mattress for stomach sleepers will be firm enough to keep your back from arching, while also preventing your pelvis from sinking down into a soft mattress. For overweight sleepers, soft mattresses lead to unnecessary sagging, and in the end may result in back pain or neck stiffness.

Firm mattress range from a 7-9 out of 10, where 10 is the most firm

Firm mattress range from a 7-9 out of 10, where 10 is the most firm

It’s important to note that your weight, body type, sleeping position, and feel preferences all factor in to the ideal firmness and support you need. For example, a 130 pound stomach sleepers most likely won’t need as firm of a mattress as a 200 pound stomach sleeper. Consider your weight and body type when determining the firmness you need. Also, check out our mattress firmness guide for more information on selecting the feel and firmness that’s most appropriate to your.

Mattress Sagging

Sagging in a firm mattress can be a big problem for sleepers. In some cases, excessive sag is due to inferior material quality and in other cases it’s just due to the actual material properties. Many mattress warranties will cover sagging the exceeds 1.5″, but you’ll want to make certain of the warranty details before purchase. Mattress sagging and foam indentation can occur gradually over time.

Mattresses that are very old may simply no longer have the structural or material integrity to provide an appropriate level of support. 8 to 10 years is a good lifespan for most mattresses, however, weight, usage, body type, and firmness requirements may increase or decrease the total performing lifespan of your mattress.

Edge Support

Edge Support is another factor to look for in the best firm mattress. This is especially true for overweight sleepers. For many people, the bed plays multiple roles during the day, and many people find themselves sitting on the edge to do a variety of activities. If you fall into this category, it’s especially true for you! Mattresses that claim to be firm, yet are lacking in edge support could eventually become a problem.

Poor edge support can lead to mattress sagging as you sleep regularly on it. For sleepers who share a bed (with a spouse, pet or child), you may find yourself sleeping on the edge more often than you’d like. That means the qualities of the edge of the bed need to be as consistently firm as the center of the mattress, not a weak point for inevitable failure.

Proper mattress construction and materials create optimal support

Proper mattress construction and materials create optimal support

If you utilize a Split King you will also want to make a point to ensure you’re looking at mattresses with great edge support. Poor edge support in a Split King setup will yield a virtual no-mans land in the middle of the mattress.

Lastly, amorous activities are a final consideration you’ll want to consider when determining edge support. Many couples enjoy utilizes the edge of the mattress for sex. Your weight and amorous preferences can guide you on the level of edge support and push back that you need. See our best mattress for sex for more information.

Core Support

Unhappy sleepers typically look for firmer mattresses when they are struggling with back pain, neck pain, or hip pain- all core muscles that, if irritated, can begin to affect how the rest of your body feels. Support of the spine, hips, and neck while you sleep will leave you feeling more energized, well-rested and ready to tackle the day. Over time, inconsistent support on any of these areas may activate certain pressure points and begin to cause discomfort or pain. Proper support maintains that core alignment and prevents excess pressure and strain on those muscles.

Air Flow

So you’ve found a great firm mattress, but here’s a question you may not have considered yet. Does it breathe well? Air flow is especially important in firm mattresses because they are typically much denser than softer mattresses. This density is great when providing your body with the support it needs, but it’s less than ideal when trying not to overheat yourself during the night.

As a general rule, inexpensive foam mattresses are not going to have the air flow your mattress needs to help keep you cool at night. Due to their construction, innerspring and hybrid mattresses naturally have better air flow and retain less heat while you sleep. But what these mattresses have in air flow, they might lack in body support so be sure to look for that critical core support in the construction.

The top gel layers in the Loom & Leaf help to improve cooling

The top gel layers in the Loom & Leaf help to improve cooling

What’s the best firm mattress?

So you know what factors are important in the best firm mattress. You know who benefits from firm mattresses, what to look for, and why it’s good for your body. But now here’s the million dollar question- what one is the BEST firm mattress? Because every body is different, there are actually a few different ones I’d recommend. The best firm mattresses are:

Memory foam. Natural materials, balanced hug, great feel. Available in firm & relaxed firm.$999Read Review
Memory foam. Traditional cover with deeper hug.. Available in firm, medium, & soft.$1,099Read Review
Hybrid design with coil-on-coil construction. Great edge support, bounce, and cooling. Available in firm, medium, and soft.$899Read Review
Customizable feel. Built from latex, microcoils, & polyfoam, Customization makes it great for couples & varying firmnesses.$850Read Review
All latex comfort layers. Great bounce, response, and cooling. Available in firm, medium, & soft.$712Read Review
High density memory foam. Comparable to Tempur-pedic Contour line of mattresses. Available in firm, medium, and soft.$999Read Review

All of these mattresses have a couple key factors in common. They have minimal foam indentation over time, have a material construction that allows for efficient core support, and even pressure point distribution. Additionally, all of these mattresses have good to very good edge support.

Side sleepers would most likely not be satisfied with these choices, due the excessive firmness that a side sleeper doesn’t require (or typically benefit from, see here if you’re a side sleeper) While all sleepers are different, there is one thing we can be certain of. If you’re in the market for the best firm mattress, rest assured knowing that these factors will give you the confidence you need to make an educated choice. Better rest for your body is right around the corner!

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