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Best Firm Mattresses: 10 Comfortable Options for a Solid Night’s Sleep

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Updated February 8, 2024

When it comes to picking the best mattresses, it’s all highly subjective: For some, it means a bed that conforms to its shape around you, while for others, it’s all about keeping the heat down to avoid night sweats. Yet for others, it’s about sturdy, supportive firmness, and if that’s you, you’re in luck—I’m running down the best firm mattresses around. Lie back, prop your head on your extra-firm pillow and let’s get started.

What to consider when buying firm mattresses

Sleeping position

“If you’re a back or stomach sleeper, you absolutely want to invest in a firm mattress that supports your back and spine,” says Purdy. “Sleeping on your stomach actually can put stress on your spine, which can lead to back and neck pain, so investing in a good-quality firm mattress is key beyond getting a restful night's sleep.”

Ongoing back issues

“If you tend to find yourself with consistent back pain, it's worth it to invest in a firm mattress that provides you with additional support to help provide relief,” Purdy explains. “Lower-back and neck pain can happen if you’re not properly supported—a firm mattress will help keep your spine in a supported, neutral position. If you experience pain in your muscles or joints, a firm or, at least, medium-firm mattress will also improve your overall sleep quality and be the best fit for you.”

Personal preference

All of that said, you also have to go with what you know you can sleep on. Maybe a super-firm mattress will be better for your back in the long run, but that probably won’t be a priority if you’re so uncomfortable that you can’t sleep. Ideally, you want to find a compromise that supports you while still being comfy enough to look forward to getting into bed each night.

Our top picks for the best firm mattresses

Best extra-firm mattress: Brooklyn Bedding Plank Firm

If all these other beds are still too soft, Plank Firm is easily the most solid mattress I’ve ever laid down on. Made from thick, high-density foams that support the back while allowing just enough give to be gentle on your hips and shoulders, it’s definitely not for everyone—but for those in search of a seriously firm sleep, this is the one.

Specifications:

  • Mattress type: Foam
  • Trial period: 120 days
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Firmness: Very firm
  • Available sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, short full, queen, short queen, olympic queen, king, short king, California king, split California king and RV king (in several sizes)
  • Price on publish: $561.80 - $1,149

What we like:

  • If it’s too firm, you can flip it over, since the other side is medium-firm
  • Good edge support

What we don’t like:

  • Not suitable for people whose partners need a softer mattress

The bottom line:

An incredibly firm mattress, this bed is a great option for those who want as little give as humanly possible.

Best extra-firm mattress
Plank Firm

Best firm mattress for side sleepers: Helix Twilight Luxe

Side sleepers tend to need a mattress that’s soft enough to contour to their hips and shoulders, but if you’re one who likes things on the firmer side, Purdy urges you to consider the Helix Twilight Luxe. Combining firm memory-foam layers with a plush pillow top, it’s solid enough to support you, but soft enough to cushion the joints that need it most. You can also shop confidently with Helix, as they also made our lists for the best memory foam mattresses, best queen mattresses, and best king mattresses, among many others.

Specifications:

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Trial period: 100 days
  • Warranty: 15 years
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Sizes available: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king and California king
  • Price on publish: $1,030.30 - $2,155.30

What we like:

  • Zoned lumbar support for enhanced contouring
  • Memory foam provides pressure relief for hips and shoulders

What we don’t like:

  • Some customers complain that it’s not firm enough for their needs

The bottom line:

This bed from Helix is a sturdy, but comfortable mattress designed with side sleepers in mind.

Best firm mattress for side sleepers
Helix Twilight Luxe

Helix Twilight Luxe

Best firm mattress for heavy people: Titan Plus Luxe

Built with plus-size, large and tall people in mind, the super-sturdy Titan Plus Luxe combines five different layers to ensure a highly supportive, yet comfortable night’s sleep. (It also made our list for the best mattresses for side sleepers and best hybrid mattresses.) Up to 90 8-inch coils sit atop a layer of high-density base foam, but the bed is also made with Energex transition and Titanflex comfort material, all with a quilted top of gel foam.

Specifications:

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Trial period: 120 days
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Available sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king and split king
  • Price on publish: $674.30 - $1,349.30

What we like:

  • Sturdy, solid construction
  • Supports up to 1,000 pounds

What we don’t like:

  • A few customer reviews complain about the lack of edge support

The bottom line:

This is an extra-sturdy firm mattress, built to support weights up to 1,000 pounds, while still being comfortable.

Best firm mattress for heavy people
Titan Plus Luxe

Titan Plus Luxe

Best firm mattress in a box: Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid

If you want your mattress to be sent to you, rather than having to go pick it up and haul it home—and who wouldn’t?—opt for a mattress in a box. This bed is Purdy’s pick. It features two different layers of foam atop a layer of coils and a Flex base. “I love that you can choose your firmness level,” she says. “A bonus is that this brand delivers straight to your door so you get quality, support and convenience.”

Specifications:

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Trial period: 120 days
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Firmness: Medium-firm (with a firm option)
  • Available sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, short full, queen, short queen, olympic queen, king, short king, California king, split California king and RV king (in several sizes)
  • Price on publish: $498.80 - $1,119.30

What we like:

  • Less expensive
  • Available in firm, medium or plush
  • Moisture-wicking

What we don’t like:

  • Some customers complain that even the firm option is too soft

The bottom line:

This option from Brooklyn Bedding is an inexpensive mattress available in three firmness levels and delivered right to your door.

Best firm mattress in a box
Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid

Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid

Best firm foam mattress: Bear Original

While it doesn’t take firmness to the same extremes as the Plank, the Bear Original is still a seriously solid mattress, made from a combination of high-density foams and cooling gel memory foam, then topped with a quilted Tencel cover to help with breathability. Built to relieve pressure on your shoulders and hips while still keeping your spine aligned, it’s designed to feel like a hybrid, at the price point of foam.

Specifications:

  • Mattress type: Foam
  • Trial period: 120 days
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Firmness: Firm
  • Available sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king and split king
  • Price on publish: $511 - $1,099

What we like:

  • Minimal motion transfer
  • Less expensive

What we don’t like:

  • Those sharing a bed with someone who dislikes firm mattresses may struggle

The bottom line:

For those looking for more serious firmness, this less expensive option will fit your bill.

Best firm foam mattress
Bear Original

Bear Original

Best medium-firm mattress: Leesa Original Mattress

For a medium-firm option, Purdy recommends the Leesa Original mattress (which also made our list of the best king mattresses). “This one has great airflow and is the perfect medium-firm mattress!” she says. “I love the foam feel for extra pressure relief.” Composed of a high-density foam base, topped with a layer of memory foam and one of breathable comfort foam, it’s finished off with a soft, breathable knit cover for an extra level of comfort.

Specifications:

  • Mattress type: Foam
  • Trial period: 100 days
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Firmness: Medium to medium-firm
  • Available sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king and California king
  • Price on publish: $749 - $1,399

What we like:

  • Mix of foams makes it supportive, yet comfy
  • Free delivery
  • Has an average customer review score of 4.5 out of 5, from over 20,000 reviews

What we don’t like:

  • A handful of customer reviews say it’s too soft for their needs

The bottom line:

This bed from Leesa is a supportive mattress with a little more give than the others on our list.

Best medium-firm mattress
Leesa Original Mattress, Twin

Best kids’ firm mattress: Birch Kids Natural Mattress

Those looking for a firmer mattress for their kiddos can feel comfortable about purchasing the Kids Natural from Birch (which is one of the names on our list for the best organic mattresses). Made from natural and certified-organic materials (including natural latex and organic cotton and wool), it’s firm on one side, aimed at 3- to 7-year-olds, but can be flipped over to reveal a softer side for older kids ages 8 to 12.

Specifications:

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Trial period: 100 days
  • Warranty: 25 years
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Available sizes: Twin and full
  • Price on publish: $842.80 - $1,030.30

What we like:

  • Flippable, double-sided design
  • Made with natural materials

What we don’t like:

  • Might be too firm for pickier kids

The bottom line:

A flippable, kid-friendly mattress, this bed is free from chemical fire retardants, polyurethane foams and adhesives.

Best kids’ firm mattress
Birch Kids Natural Mattress

Birch Kids Natural Mattress

Best firm mattress for back pain: Purple Rejuvenate Mattress

Our pick for the best mattress for back pain was recommended by board-certified family-medicine physician Dr. Laura Purdy, MD, MBA. “This mattress has three zones to support all three sections of your body, so it's the perfect supporting firm mattress,” she says. Incorporating several sections of edge-to-edge coils, a layer of high density GelFlex Grid Plus and a quilted Euro top, it’s custom designed for support and bodily alignment.

Specifications:

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Trial period: 100 days
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Sizes available: Twin XL, queen, king, California king and split king
  • Price on publish: $3,995 - $8,490

What we like:

  • Antimicrobial finish
  • Cooling cover
  • Three separate support zones–head and shoulder, lumbar and hip and lower leg and feet–to make sure each part of your body is settled appropriately.

What we don’t like:

  • Expensive

The bottom line:

This option is a pricey, yet extremely well-designed hybrid mattress dedicated to supporting you in all the right places.

Best firm mattress for back pain
Purple Rejuvenate Mattress

Purple Rejuvenate Mattress

Best firm mattress for back and stomach sleepers: Beautyrest Harmony Lux Hybrid Mattress Empress

Back and stomach sleepers will benefit from a medium-firm to firm mattress, and according to Purdy, this is a good choice that will work for both. “This is the best combo of foam and coils to give you comfort and support,” she says, referring to its multiple layers that feature coils, charcoal memory foam, high-density gel-infused foam, breathable AirFeel foam and Tencel yarn for a cooler sleeping surface. Bonus: It’s made with sustainable SEQUAL fabric, a material made from up to 10% upcycled marine plastic (from litter found in the ocean).

Specifications:

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Trial period: 100 days (if purchased from Beautyrest)
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Firmness: Medium-firm (with a firm option)
  • Sizes available: Twin, full, queen, king and California king
  • Price on publish: $1,399 - $2,099

What we like:

  • Adjustable base compatible
  • Available in firm, medium or plush
  • Sleep surface is made from recycled plastic bottles

What we don’t like:

  • Some customers say it runs a little warm

The bottom line:

This is a medium-firm mattress that will suit both back and stomach sleepers with its mix of coils and foam types.

Best firm mattress for back and stomach sleepers
Beautyrest Harmony Lux Hybrid Mattress Empress

Beautyrest Harmony Lux Hybrid Mattress Empress

Best adjustable firmness mattress: Saatva Solaire Adjustable Firmness Mattress

Our bodies change over time, and for many of us, it happens on a near-nightly basis, with various aches and pains mysteriously coming and going. If no bed you’ve tried seems to work all of the time, you should consider a mattress that you can tweak whenever you want. “This mattress is amazing because you can fine tune and adjust to your specific preference,” says Purdy. “There are literally 50 levels of firmness, making it absolutely possible to find your perfect firm preference.” If you’re looking to dress your bed, Saatva also made our list of the best places to buy bedding, best percale sheets, best duvet covers, and the best pillows.

Specifications:

  • Mattress type: Adjustable
  • Trial period: 365 days
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Firmness: Variable, from soft to firm
  • Available sizes: Twin XL, full, queen, king, split king, California king, split California king, upper-flex queen and upper-flex king
  • Price on publish: $2,245 - $4,690

What we like:

  • Very customizable
  • Free in-room delivery and setup
  • Several customer reviews mention the company’s great customer service

What we don’t like:

  • A few customer reviews note that the mattress slopes down a little too much around the edges

The bottom line:

This bed is a Goldilocks mattress that lets you adjust your firmness level until it’s just right.

Best adjustable firmness mattress
Solaire - Twin XL - Innovative Adjustable Mattress - 50 Unique Firmness Settings - Compare to Sleep Number

Solaire - Twin XL - Innovative Adjustable Mattress - 50 Unique Firmness Settings - Compare to Sleep Number

How we selected the best firm mattresses

I made my selections after consulting with our expert sources, and trying out several of the picks on this list in person. I also ensured that every firm mattress I listed here had glowing customer reviews, in terms of support, comfort and longevity.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What type of mattress is firmest?

“Mattress firmness is a function of the amount and type of material in the top or ‘comfort layer’ of the mattress, which determines how it feels when you lie down on it,” says Byron Golub, vice president of product and merchandising at Saatva. “Your size, weight and sleeping position (front, side or back) can also affect how firm the mattress feels under you.”

“Although memory foam tends to have a reputation of being softer than innerspring and latex mattresses, no one mattress type is inherently softer or firmer than another,” Golub continues. “Mattress firmness has to do with its design and construction. Additionally, every manufacturer uses its own firmness scale (there is no universal scale, unfortunately), so what is considered firm by one person will feel different from a firm mattress by another.”

Is it healthier to sleep on a firm mattress?

It really depends on your personal needs: If you wake up feeling fine on a soft mattress, go for it. But if you need more support, then a firm mattress is likely the better way to go. “Humans spend so much of their lifetime sleeping, which makes investing in a good-quality mattress important for your overall health and sleep quality,” says Purdy.

What level of mattress firmness is best?

“Because firmness is so subjective, you’ll need to consider your preferred sleep position when choosing the right level for you,” says Golub.

Here are his recommendations:

Side sleepers

“If you’re a side sleeper, your mattress needs to be soft enough to cradle your hips and shoulders and promote the correct spinal alignment, taking the pressure off those sensitive joints so your muscles can relax.”

Back sleepers

“Back sleepers will do best with a medium-firm mattress, because a mattress that’s too soft will cause your back to sink into the bed too much, while a mattress that’s too firm will not provide adequate lumbar support to the natural curve of your lower back.”

Stomach sleepers

“Stomach sleepers will benefit from a firm mattress that lets your body maintain the best possible spinal alignment while sleeping in the prone position. A mattress that’s too soft will pull your midsection down, exaggerating the curve of your lower back. This is especially true for heavier people.”

Do most hotels use firm mattresses?

“Because hotels cater to people of all sleep preferences, they typically use a mattress in the medium-firmness range to accommodate most sleepers,” says Golub. “Remember that hotels change their mattresses more frequently than the average consumer, so they may seem more firm because of their relative newness.”

How do you make a firm mattress softer?

Even the best mattresses can sometimes feel harder than you bargained for. Here’s Golub’s advice on making them more comfortable:

Add a mattress topper

“Consider adding a mattress topper [not to be confused with a mattress protector] made of memory foam, latex, or one filled with down or a down alternative to your sleep surface. Toppers are usually between 1- and 3--inches thick and can add a cushioned layer to a mattress that feels too firm. These are especially helpful during the break-in period of a mattress.”

Adjust the thermostat

“Change the temperature of your room or your sleep surface. Some mattress types, like memory-foam mattresses, soften in warm temperatures. If your room is too cold, consider adjusting your room temperature or using a heated blanket or flannel sheets to warm it up a bit more.”

Flip it over

“While most mattresses today aren’t designed to be flipped, a small number still are. If yours is one of the few that can be flipped, you may find that one side of the mattress is softer than the other. For example, our Zenhaven Latex Mattress was specifically designed to be flippable and has two different comfort levels: A softer comfort level on one side and a firmer one on the other.”

Is a firm mattress good for back pain?

Again, firmness is subjective, but you definitely need something supportive. “It’s so important to sleep on a mattress that supports your spine and back,” says Purdy. “A mattress that’s too soft will not provide you with enough support and you may experience back pain.”

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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