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.
Best Firm Mattress Picks
Below are some of my favorite firm mattress. There are a ton of great firm mattresses out there, so use this list as a starting point, since naturally these top picks reflect my own preferences. And please let me know you have any additional questions on these brands or others!
Staff Pick: Best for Back Pain
Helix Twilight Mattress
Helix Twilight Mattress
The Helix Twilight has minimal sink or give while maximizing comfort with a layer of memory foam to cushion and relive pressure points. It's perfect for people whi like to feel they're laying on top of the bed.
Saatva is one of the most popular innersprings on the market, and the firm is no exception. A great supportive feel, and pretty much the standard when you think about a firm mattress. Note: Saatva also sells a luxury-firm model, which I think is more average firmness.
The Birch mattress uses natural materials like organic cotton and talalay latex to provide great comfort from an organic product! Use code SLEEPOPOLIS200 for $200 off the mattress.
Casper Essential Mattress
Casper Essential Mattress
A streamlined design gives the Casper Essential a firm feel that is great for those looking for strong support!
Best for Back Sleepers
The Bear mattress has a lovely medium firm feel that should suit most sleepers out there. While the firmness may be average, the sleeping experience is far above. Use code SLEEPOPOLIS to save 20% on your purchase!
Best for Stomach Sleepers
Stomach sleepers often prefer a firm mattress, so you're on the right page! Winkbeds is a great option for stomach sleepers because it has a very comfortable yet buoyant feel. You sink in just a touch, but the hips are kept from sinking in too far to make sure your spine is aligned when sleeping on your stomach.
Best for Sleeping Cool
Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Mattress
Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Mattress
The Brooklyn Aurora is actually cool to the touch! This high quality hybrid has a firm model as well, but not without a nice layer of foam on top, giving you a firm feel while still experiencing plush luxury.
Best for Side Sleepers
The Novosbed Mattress offers a classic memory foam feel, but also features three different firmness levels for sleepers still experimenting with their support needs. The firm model is definitely firm, but it still offers that conforming memory foam feel, making it great for sleepers that like a firm mattress but don't want to feel like they're sleeping on a board.
Plushbeds Botanical Bliss Mattress
Plushbeds Botanical Bliss Mattress
Plushbeds has a wonderful natural latex mattress with a variety of firmness options, including firm. This mattress certainly has one of the more buoyant feels at any firmness level with its classic latex construction.
The Allswell is an incredible mattress quality for the price - and it comes in a firm option. If you are looking for a firm hybrid on a budget, I would start with Allswell. Use code SLEEPOPOLIS15 to save 15% until June 30!
Top Firm Mattress Picks Explained
Best Mattress for Back Pain
Helix customizes your mattress to suit your preferences, and that can include making it firm. Though there is no one best firm mattress for back pain, the Helix takes into consideration a variety of factors (weight, body shape, sleeping position, etc) to design a mattress that aligns your spine, which can address back pain in some cases.
For more information on the customization process and the mattress in general, check out my Helix mattress review.
Best Innerspring Mattress
Saatva makes a lot of recommendation lists here at Sleepopolis, and the reason is that they make a very high quality and popular innerspring mattress.
The Saatva mattress is available in three firmness options, one of them being firm. It has a great innerspring feel to it, providing bounce and support that innerspring mattress lovers prefer. Learn more in my full Saatva mattress review.
The Saatva mattress combines a luxurious pillow-top layer with two sections of coils for that classic innerspring feel. Save $75 with the Sleepopolis discount!
Best Organic Mattress
If you’re looking for strong support the Birch has the firmness you need to keep your hips from sinking into bed to help with spinal alignment. The Birch uses a hybrid construction to create a supportive and bouncy bed so you can feel more on top of the bed than in it.
Along with the supportive benefits, the Birch also has the added advantage of being built with natural materials. The talalay latex comfort layer and organic cotton cover mean the Birch accomplishes its comfort without the use of polyurethane foams. So if you’re looking for firm support from a natural mattress the Birch could be for you.
Learn more in my full Birch mattress review
The Birch mattress uses natural materials like organic cotton and talalay latex to provide great comfort from an organic product, in fact all Birch products are Greenguard Gold certified! Use code SLEEPOPOLIS200 for $200 off the mattress.
Best Foam Mattress
The Casper Essential is a an all foam bed in a box mattress, but that doesn’t mean it lacks support. When testing the Casper Essential I found that it did a great job of keeping my hips from sinking into the mattress and my spine aligned in a good position. The three layer design gives the essential a nice firm feel that I really like for the Back and Stomach sleepers out there.
Interested in learning more? Check out my full review of the Casper Essential.
A streamlined, balanced feel makes the Casper Essential fabulous for a wide range of sleepers!
Best for Mattress Back Sleepers
If you’re a back sleeper than a firm mattress can be great for keeping your back in good alignment. By keeping your hips from sinking deep into bed, the Bear mattress does a good job of promoting spine alignment. This helps to avoid waking up with aches and pains that a soft and sagging mattress might cause.
The Bear is an all foam, bed in a box mattress that uses memory foam to provide a bit of contouring pressure relief up top. But don’t let that fool you, the Bear provides the support you need as a back sleeper to feel rested and ready to go in the morning. Along with the firm feel it also has benefits like a graphite infusion to help you sleep cool and a Celliant cover.
Interested in learning more? Check out my full Bear mattress review.
The cover of the Bear mattress uses celliant, which some studies suggest may help those with active lifestyles recover faster! Enjoy 20% off your order with the code SLEEPOPOLIS!
Best Mattress for Stomach Sleepers
WinkBeds offers a few firmness options, including a firm option. While the mattress is quite firm, it has a nice layer of quality foam on top, which makes it a good pick for stomach sleepers that like firm mattresses.
WinkBeds also offers the WinkBeds Plus, which targets heavy sleepers – however to a non-heavy sleeper it will feel like an extremely firm mattress (even firmer than the WinkBeds firm option). Learn more in my full WinkBeds review.
Built with a plush pillow top and a buoyant coil-on-coil structure, the WinkBeds is a great option for a wide range of sleepers! Enjoy $200 off your order with the code SLEEPOPOLIS200!
Best Cooling Mattress
Brooklyn Bedding Aurora
Brooklyn Bedding offers a firm option for its Brooklyn Bedding Aurora mattress. I wouldn’t recommend the Medium as I found it to be on the softer side, but if you generally sleep hot then they materials used here make the Firm Brooklyn Aurora a great choice for you.
For more information on the Brooklyn Bedding mattress construction and feel (note: I reviewed the medium firm option), read my full Brooklyn Bedding Aurora review.
Best Mattress for Side Sleepers
Novosbed not only offers a firm memory foam mattress, but they offer the option to have an additional “topper” added seamlessly to the bed to make slight adjustments to the firmness. This allows a side sleeper with a firm preference the ability to adjust the firmness slightly in either direction to suit their exact firmness preference.
Novosbed is a high quality memory foam feel, and is available in Canada as well. Learn more in my full Novosbed mattress review.
The Novosbed Mattress offers a classic memory foam feel, but also features three different firmness levels for sleepers still experimenting with their support needs! Click the link to save $100 on your Novosbed purchase!
Best Latex Mattress
PlushBeds is a great latex option that offers a firm version of several of its mattresses. These still have the classic latex feel, but with a significantly firmer touch to them.
The PlushBeds also have an all natural mattress construction, which is a big draw for many people as well. Learn more about PlushBeds in my full PlushBeds mattress review.
Best Hybrid Mattress
Looking for for firm support out of a bed in a box and don’t think an all foam mattress will do the trick? Check out the Allswell Luxe Hybrid. It uses a combination of soft foams for comfort and strong coils for support. Hybrids such as the Allswell Luxe do a good job of relieving pressure while still giving you the support you need for proper spine alignment.
I was impressed with the strong construction and feel of the Allswell. If you like a firmer mattress, Allswell is the one for you.
For more information you can read my full written review of the Allswell Luxe Hybrid.
Sleepers who want some serious bounce from their mattress will love the buoyant support of the Allswell Mattress! Use code SLEEPOPOLIS15 to save 15% until June 30!
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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