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Best Firm Mattress

For folks who need a little extra support while they slumber, a firm mattress can be a wonderful accessory. Outfitted with sturdy layers of either high-density poly foam or steel coils, these beds bolster the hips and lumbar region, positioning the sleeper squarely on top of the structure. But though firm mattresses are known for their solid, taut constructions, that doesn’t mean they’re meant to feel hard as rocks; on the contrary, they should still provide the sleeper with plenty of pressure relief and comfort. So, which mattresses fit the bill? Well, we’re so glad you asked!

Below, we’re going to introduce you to our favorite firm mattresses on the market. They run the gamut from budget-friendly foam buys to ultra-supportive coil machines and everything in between. After we run through our picks, we’ll then discuss the methodology behind our selections, pointing you toward all the factors you should consider when making a purchase of your own. We’ll also tally off some special tips you can use to make your search even more of a breeze.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into our favorite firm mattresses!

Best Foam

Tuft & Needle

Want a firm feel, but don’t like the idea of coils or springs? Then the all-foam Tuft & Needle may be your best bet. With a straightforward, two-layer design, this mattress has a surprisingly supportive feel that could work wonders for back and stomach sleepers looking for bounce and lift at the hips. 

Pros 

  • First and foremost, I like the no-frills construction, which allows the materials to speak for themselves. And what they have to say is that this is one firm bed! 
  • I also think this is a solid value buy, so could be a good pick for customers working on a tight budget. 
  • Ultimately, the real selling point of the mattress is its firmness, which works to support an even spinal alignment by lifting the hips up and out of the structure. 

Cons 

  • Side sleepers may find the mattress to be a bit too firm for their liking and may experience some jamming at the shoulders as they press into the bed. 
  • I’d also say that the bed may not work for heavier folks, who will likely sink straight through the bed’s two layers. 
Tuft & Needle
Tuft & Needle

The Tuft & Needle mattress offers sleepers a medium-firm feel, and that floating-on-foam experience! 

Best Value

Signature Sleep

If affordability is the most important factor in your search, you may want to consider the 8” Coil Mattress from Signature Sleep. This flippable bed features a sturdy system of encased coils sandwiched between thin layers of high-density poly foam, resulting in a supportive feel most akin to the innerspring mattresses of yore. 

Pros 

  • One of my favorite things about this particular Signature Sleep model is its price point, which could be a big selling point for any shoppers on a budget. 
  • The bed is also bouncy, providing excellent mobility for those sleepers who need to move around and change positions in the night. 
  • Since the bulk of the mattress is made of the interior coil system, it’s going to feel incredibly firm, which could be a selling point for those after an ultra-supportive vibe. 

Cons 

  • There’s virtually no body-contouring to this Signature Sleep model, so won’t provide the deep pressure relief that side sleepers or pain sufferers need. 
  • Additionally, 8” is a pretty low profile, which means many sleepers may find that they sink straight through its layers.
Signature Sleep
Signature Sleep

This flippable bed features a sturdy system of encased coils sandwiched between thin layers of high-density poly foam, resulting in a supportive feel most akin to the innerspring mattresses of yore.

Best Adjustable

Sweetnight

For those who need a little versatility in their lives, we recommend the adjustable Sweetnight Memory Foam mattress. Built with layers of gel-infused memory foam, cushiony comfort foam, and sturdy support foam, this bed is designed to alleviate tension at sensitive spots along the body, all without making the sleeper feel like they’re stuck in the mattress. 

Pros 

  • The flippable design allows folks to customize the bed to their specific needs and preferences, which could be a nice feature for sleepers who want a little adjustability. 
  • Though this bed is quite supportive and firm, it’s also super pressure-relieving, so could be good for those with aches and pains. 
  • In general, memory foam fans will appreciate the sink they’re likely to experience with this bed, which provides cushiony support to the shoulders and hips. 

Cons 

  • However, stomach sleepers may find that the bed isn’t quite firm enough for their needs, as they usually go for structures that position the spine in an even, healthy alignment. 
  • There’s also not a ton of bounce to the bed, so it may not be the best pick for combo sleepers. 
Sweetnight
Sweetnight

Built with layers of gel-infused memory foam, cushiony comfort foam, and sturdy support foam, this bed is designed to alleviate tension at sensitive spots along the body, all without making the sleeper feel like they’re stuck in the mattress. 

Best Spring Mattress

Zinus

If you’re an old-school kind of sleeper who prefers a classic innerspring feel, the iCoil 10” mattress from Zinus could be the one for you. Here, a 7.5” tall coil system reigns supreme, bringing a ton of bounce and support to the slumber party. And though there’s a bit of foam up top to comfort the sleeper as they hop into bed, it doesn’t take away from the firm support of the coils. 

Pros 

  • Perhaps my favorite aspect of the mattress is its tremendous bounce, which produces some fantastic mobility. 
  • Combo sleepers in particular could find a lot to love in the buoyant structure as they move around and change positions in the night. 
  • In general, fans of that traditional innerspring vibe will be quite pleased by the supportive nature of the bed. 

Cons 

  • Folks after deep pressure relief may need to look elsewhere, as there’s not a lot of sinkage or body-contouring to this structure. 
  • Couples may also find that the bed transfers a lot of motion, which could be a dealbreaker, especially if one of the bed mates is a restless sleeper.
Zinus
Zinus

If you’re an old-school kind of sleeper who prefers a classic innerspring feel, the iCoil 10” mattress from Zinus could be the one for you!

Best for Back Sleepers

Live and Sleep

It’s no secret that back sleepers tend to favor a little firm support at the lumbar region, and no mattress delivers this quite like the Live and Sleep mattress. Outfitted with plush memory foam and ultra-firm high-density poly foam, this bed delivers a one-two punch of pressure relief and support that could work wonders for those who like to doze in the supine position. 

Pros 

  • If you enjoy a gentle initial sink into your mattress, you’ll find a lot to love in this bed’s soft memory foam comfort layer. 
  • Specifically, this soft foam should fill in the space at the lower brack, helping to comfort this region and set the spine in a healthy alignment. 
  • In addition to back sleepers, side sleepers will likely enjoy the gentle pressure relief they’ll receive as they press into the bed. 

Cons

  • Stomach sleepers may find that the top layer of memory foam causes their hips to sink out of alignment with their shoulders, which can cause some uncomfortable bowing at the spine. 
  • This mattress also doesn’t have too much bounce, so may not be lively enough for folks who like to sleep in multiple positions. 
Live and Sleep
Live and Sleep

With its streamlined construction, the Live and Sleep could be great for those who appreciate a no-frills approach. 

How We Picked

Now that we’ve gone over our picks, let’s dig into the methodology behind our selections. Below, we’ll go over all the factors we consider when scoping out fantastic firm mattresses.

Type of Sleeper

One of the first things to think about is what kind of sleeper would be best served by a bed’s particular brand of firmness. Back, stomach, and heavier sleepers are the most typical fans of firm mattresses, but that doesn’t mean they’re all looking for the same thing.

  • Back Sleepers: For people who sleep on their back, a firm mattress helps to keep the spine in alignment and prevent excessive sagging at the lumbar region. Back sleepers should look for a firmness somewhere between 7 and 7.5/10 — firm enough to support the lower back, but gentle enough to cushion the shoulders over the course of a night.
  • Stomach Sleepers: Stomach sleepers, on the other hand, need a much firmer mattress. Why? Because they need to make sure their hips are lifted up and out of the structure to be in line with their shoulders. Otherwise, they’ll experience uncomfortable bowing at the back. An ideal firmness rating for a stomach sleeper hovers anywhere between a 7.5-8.5/10.
  • Heavy Sleepers: Folks over 250 lbs. may find a lot to love in a firm structure, mostly because these types of beds are designed to keep the sleeper positioned more “on top” of the mattress than “in” it. In addition to honing in on a bed with a 7.5-8.5/10 firmness rating, heavier sleepers will also want to keep an eye out for added edge support, which helps expand the usable surface area of the mattress.

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 that exceeds 1.5″, but you’ll want to make certain of the warranty details before purchase. In general, look for base layers of sturdy steel coils or high-density poly foam to prevent detrimental sagging.

Edge Support

Edge Support is another factor to look for in the best firm mattress. This is especially true for heavier 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.

Core support

Those who suffer from back, neck, or hip pain often look toward firmer mattresses to help alleviate tension across the body. While these issues all stem from different causes, one of the main culprits behind them is a lack of core support. Softer mattresses have a tendency to disrupt the natural alignment of the spine as different parts of the body sink into the structure at varying rates. While this is totally fine for some sleepers, others will find the inconsistent support detrimental to their comfort. To mitigate this, it’s important to look for a bed that lifts all parts of the body on top of the bed. Look for structures with “zoned support” or thick top layers of poly foam.

Air Flow

So you’ve found a great firm mattress, but does it breathe well? Air flow is especially important in firm mattresses because they’re usually much denser than softer ones. This density is great when providing the body with the support it needs, but less ideal when trying to stay cool throughout the night. To ensure fantastic breathability, look for foams infused with special cooling agents like graphite, copper, or gel. A tall coil system can also do a lot to encourage air flow throughout a structure.

Sleepopolis Tips

Let’s wrap up this guide with a few tips and tricks you can use to make your firm mattress search even easier!

  • When looking for a firm foam mattress, you’ll want to keep an eye out for latex and high-density poly foam. While memory foam can be great in a comfort layer, too much of the stuff will result in a soft structure that won’t give you the firmness you need.
  • Firm mattresses can sometimes be a little static, so if you need some bounce, opt for a hybrid model. These beds combine sturdy foams with buoyant coils for a pleasant lift that makes it easy to move around and change positions.
  • If you’re a couple looking for a firm mattress, you’ll want to make sure it has a thick foam top layer to absorb motion caused by tossing and turning in the night. A traditional innerspring is likely going to cause too much disruption as you and your bed mate sleep.
  • Both couples and heavier sleepers will also want to find a mattress that has an additional layer of foam edge support. This helps maximize the usable surface area of the mattress, extending the firm feel all the way to the sides.

Wrapping Up

And with that, we’ve arrived at the end of this guide! Whether you’re looking to snag a firm mattress for cozy back sleeping or secure a sturdy structure on a budget, you now have all the tools you need to find the mattress of your dreams.

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Logan Block

Logan is the content director of Sleepopolis, which means he not only reviews new mattresses every week, but also curates all the comparisons, best of pages, and video guides on the site. He takes a straightforward, honest approach to his reviews and endeavors to give viewers an objective look at each new product he tries out. Logan has perfected his method by personally testing over 200 different mattresses, so he’s not only able to discern the overall vibe of a specific bed, but to contextualize its feel within the bed-in-a-box market as a whole.

Logan Block

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