The Best Firm Mattress – Top Picks for 2022

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Firm mattresses tend to be the best options for back and stomach sleepers since they help the spine stay aligned by supporting the hips and stomach. For heavier sleepers, a firm mattress could also help you avoid bottoming out and lead to a better night’s rest.

Why Do You Want a Firm Mattress?

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While some beds are designed to offer a gentle sinking hug, others are made to have you remain on top of the bed, keeping you cool and supported. Luckily, firm doesn’t mean uncomfortable, and different mattress types are available in firmer designs.

Whatever your reason for seeking a tougher bed, we’ve picked the best firm picks in every category, including a variety of materials and constructions to ensure there’s a choice for everyone.

Shopping Recommendation:

Are you confident that a firm mattress is the perfect option for you? If so, continue exploring this page!

If you're unsure or want to learn about more great mattress options available then we recommend you check out our guide on the best mattresses. It is a great starting place for most mattress shoppers because it includes a diverse list of mattress picks based on various preferences, styles, and needs. It also includes links to an additional 65+ best mattress pages from Sleep Advisor (example: best mattress for back pain).

Top 10 Firmest Bed Reviews

Editor's Pick

Plank Firm

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • All Foam Mattress
  • Best for Stomach Sleepers
  • Firmness Level: Dual Sided 7.5-8/10 – 9/10
  • 120-Night Trial
  • 10-Year Warranty

Firmer beds have plenty of benefits, from properly supporting stomach sleepers to helping people sleep cooler. For those looking for the right option, Plank Firm by Brooklyn Bedding should be firm enough to support you, while allowing some light cradling from the quilted top.

On this firmer Brooklyn bed, you’re not likely to sink in but rather lay on top of the supportive foams and enjoy a night of cool sleep. This option is great for stomach sleepers lacking proper spinal alignment, and while it might not relieve pressure points like memory foam, if you like sleeping on the floor, odds are that’s not a huge factor on your list.

What makes it unique?

  • As the foams are quick-responding, most sleepers shouldn’t have any trouble with repositioning.
  • For stomach sleepers, this bed is likely a dream come true, especially if you find yourself preferring less cushion.

Best Firm Hybrid Mattress

Saatva Original

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Memory Foam and Coils Hybrid Mattress
  • Best for Back and Stomach Sleepers
  • Firmness Level: 8/10
  • 365-Night Trial
  • Lifetime Warranty

Saatva’s Firm model is a supportive innerspring bed that features a coil-on-coil construction with firmer foams in its comfort layers. Sleepers should feel like they are floating on top of the mattress rather than sinking into it and the alignment should be great for most back and stomach sleepers.

The coil-on-coil design includes individually wrapped springs on top of an interconnected coil base. While the first layer of coils helps contour, the base helps prevent sagging and gives support. The steel in the base coils has been tempered, which increases their durability.

A firmer innerspring experience provides all the things people love about coils. From bounce to support, Saatva offers a high-quality package.

Why is it special?

  • The Saatva has premium features, including extra support for the lumbar region, as well as dual perimeter edge support, and the incorporation of organic cotton into its cover.
  • In addition, Saatva offers free White Glove Delivery and mattress removal.

Best Firm Luxury Mattress

Nolah Evolution

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Hybrid Mattress
  • Best for All Sleep Positions
  • Firmness Level: 5/10 (Plush), 6-7/10 (Luxury Firm), 8/10 (Firm)
  • 120-Night Trial
  • Lifetime Warranty

The Nolah Evolution is a fantastic find with multiple firmness levels to accommodate different types of people and sleep positions. The Evolution’s Luxury Firm model, in particular, should be great for most sleepers. The reason for this is that the Luxury Firm is hard enough to ensure the sleeper’s body remains well-aligned, but it still retains some softness to help with pressure buildup that can occur, particularly for side and back sleepers.

Nolah’s Evolution mattress has an impressive design that includes high-quality proprietary materials, such as the AirBreath™ Heat Escape Gusset, AirFoamICE™ foam, and HDMax™️ tri-zone support coils.

What else should you know?

  • The Evolution’s advanced cooling features should be helpful if you’re prone to overheating when you sleep.
  • The reinforced perimeter coils are great for couples. This top-notch edge support allows both partners to spread out across the bed and maximize surface space.

Best Firm Mattress for Side Sleepers

Helix Dawn Luxe

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Hybrid Mattress
  • Best for Side Sleepers
  • Firmness Level: 7.5-9.5/10
  • 100-Night Trial
  • 15-Years Warranty

The Helix Dawn Luxe mattress is an upgraded version of Helix’s Dawn model. The Dawn Luxe has zoned lumbar support and a premium quilted pillow top. You can choose between a Tencel™ or GlacioTex cooling cover. Both options enhance the airflow, pulling the heat away from your body to prevent overheating.

Heavier individuals should prefer the firmness level of this Helix mattress. The bed has three foam layers on top of individually-wrapped coils. The coil unit features more than a thousand coils that are softer under your shoulders and firm under your hips. The softness in the shoulders is ideal for those who lie on their side. 

What stands out?

  • The foams in this Helix mattress are CertiPUR-US® certified as free of any harmful chemicals.
  • Helix Dawn Luxe is also suitable for couples because it has good edge support and motion isolation.

Best Firm Mattress for Pressure Relief

Nectar

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Memory Foam Mattress
  • Best for Back and Side Sleepers
  • Firmness Level: 6.5/10
  • 365-Night Trial
  • Forever Warranty

Thanks to the generous trial period and reasonable price, the Nectar was made to suit most budgets with exceptional value. If you enjoy the traditional feel of memory foam but feel like you get stuck deeper than you’d like, Nectar could be for you.

Nectar uses a combination of three kinds of foam to provide the nice cradle many sleepers love without causing them to get stuck or overheat.

The Nectar offers great support and soft pressure point relief, this bed could be a great option for a variety of sleeping positions, helping to maintain proper alignment.

What stands out?

  • This Nectar model has one firmness level that’s suitable for most sleeping positions, making this a great match for most sleepers.
  • Nectar performs exceptionally well in important preference-based features as well, including motion isolation and edge support.

Best Firm Memory Foam Mattress

Bear Original

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Memory Foam Mattress
  • Best for Side and Back Sleepers
  • Firmness Level: 6.5/10
  • 120-Night Trial
  • Lifetime Warranty

If you want the gentle cushioning of memory foam while retaining firm support, then we think you should consider the Bear Original. This memory foam mattress features the best qualities of this premium foam: contouring, pressure relief, and motion isolation. However, the Bear also has a firmer feel that should appeal to sleepers who want this feature.

Included in the Bear’s memory foam layer is cooling graphite gel to keep the material from becoming too warm, which is often a problem for this foam. The middle layer is a responsive transition foam, easing the sleeper into the firm base while delivering added support. The base is a 5-inch thick high-density foam to keep the body level.

What stands out?

  • Unique to the Bear brand is the use of Celliant®, a performance textile that can reportedly improve performance recovery for active individuals.

Best Firm Mattress for Couples

Emma CliMax

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Hybrid Mattress
  • Best for Back and Stomach Sleepers
  • Firmness Level: 7.5/10
  • 365-Night Trial
  • 10-Year Warranty

The Emma CliMax is a hybrid that not only offers sleepers a firmer feel, but it also comes with features that make it a fantastic match for many couples. 

Motion isolation is often a priority for couples, as this helps limit the transfer of motion across the mattress. This is great if either your or your partner is a light sleeper and you have different sleep schedules. The CliMax performs well at isolating motion, so you’re less like to notice your partner’s movements during the night.

Another valuable feature this bed comes with is edge support, which means both sleepers should feel well-supported along the sides. A mattress with good edge support lets you use more surface space, which is ideal if you share a bed. 

What stands out?

  • The Emma CliMax comes with great edge support and motion isolation, both of which are important for most couples.

Best Firm Mattress for Heavy People

Titan Plus

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Hybrid Mattress
  • Best for Side, Back, and Stomach Sleepers
  • Firmness Level: 6.5-7/10
  • 120-Night Trial
  • 10-Year Warranty

Heavier sleepers often need firmer beds that prevent them from sinking through the layers and keep their spine in good alignment. Not only does the Titan Plus feature a firmer feel, but the mattress is specially designed for larger sleepers. 

This hybrid model features a quilted pillow top with an inch of gel memory foam inside to provide pressure relief as you lie on the bed. The Titan Plus also contains premium proprietary materials, such as TitanFlex™ foam and TitanCaliber™ coils. At the base is a two-inch thick high-density foam that gives the mattress durability and stability while providing added support to the coil unit.

What makes it special?

  • Heavier sleepers seeking quality support should love the industrial-strength coils in the Titan Plus. Additionally, these springs are individually wrapped in fabric to minimize motion transfer.
  • The coils should deliver added airflow for anyone prone to overheating during the night.

Best Firm Mattress for Kids

Leesa Studio

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Memory Foam Mattress
  • Best for Side, Back, and Stomach Sleepers
  • Firmness Level: 6/10 (Relaxed Firm), 7.5/10 (Firm)
  • 180-Night Trial
  • 15-Year Warranty

The Leesa Studio is an affordable mattress for kids who prefer a firmer bed. The bed is suitable for kids and lightweight adults because it’s 10 inches tall. Side and back sleepers should like the firmness level, providing support while cradling the body for pressure relief.

The Studio mattress has three foam layers of poly and memory foam. The memory foam is on the top to prevent your body from sinking into the bed. Side sleepers will like the foam cradling the body and reducing pressure build-up. Stomach sleepers may prefer a firmer mattress.

What stands out?

  • The Leesa Studio mattress is an affordable option that won’t break the bank. The construction is comfortable, long-lasting, and backed up by a 10-year warranty from Leesa.
  • This memory foam mattress has good edge support, so it’s good for people who like to spread out across the entire bed.

Best Firm Latex Mattress

Awara Natural Hybrid

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Hybrid Mattress
  • Best for Back and Stomach Sleepers
  • Firmness Level: 6/10
  • 365-Night Trial
  • Forever Warranty

The Awara is a luxury-style firm mattress built with durable Dunlop latex and steel coils to ensure your spine stays well-supported throughout the night. Dunlop is great for firmer beds because this manufacturing process typically provides more durable, firmer latex. This is further complemented by the supportive coils that include stronger springs along the perimeter for optimal edge support.

Latex beds are quickly gaining popularity because they can deliver great pressure relief but don’t have the heat retention issues that you can run into with memory foam models. Additionally, latex is a buoyant material, which will help make repositioning smoother for combination sleepers or those with limited mobility.

What makes it unique?

  • The Awara is one of the most eco-friendly beds out there. The materials include natural latex, organic New Zealand wool, and organic cotton.
  • The company gives shoppers an industry-leading year-long trial and a forever warranty.

Firm Mattress Buyer’s Guide

Who Should Sleep on a Firmer Bed?

One of the first things that you want to consider is what kind of sleepers benefit the most from a good firm option. If you usually sleep on your back or your stomach – you may fall into that category. At the same time, if you are heavier in weight or sleep hot at night, a firm mattress can allow you to sleep more on top of the layers rather than in them.

Back Sleepers

For those of you who like to sleep on your backs – firm, elevated support in the lower back region will work at keeping your spine in proper alignment, preventing sagging in the mattress that may lead to lower back pain.

Learn More: Best Mattress for Back Sleepers

Stomach Sleepers

Stomach sleepers also benefit from a hard mattress for reasons that are quite similar. If you prefer belly sleeping, you should consider a unit that will prevent your pelvis from sinking right into it in order to prevent poor spine alignment.

For More Info: Best Bed for Stomach Sleepers

Hot Sleepers

Hot sleepers may also find a great fit with harder beds. A firmer mattress will keep you on top of the bed rather than feeling like you’re inside it. As a result, this should help you feel cooler and less confined. This, along with built-in cooling features, could make a significant difference for people prone to overheating at night.

Read More: Best Cooling Mattress

Heavyweight Sleepers

Heavier sleepers are typically better suited for firmer beds with highly-supportive layers. Dense support layers are often helpful in preventing larger sleepers from bottoming out and hindering their spinal alignment.

Read More: Best Beds for Heavy Sleepers

Who Shouldn’t Get a Hard Bed?

Conversely, some people shouldn’t get a hard bed because they may feel more discomfort on them.

Side Sleepers

Those of you who like sleeping on your sides probably wouldn’t appreciate the extra firmness. While sleeping on your side, you exert a lot more pressure on a concentrated surface. If the bed doesn’t contour your body and sink appropriately, you can start experiencing pain in your shoulders and lower back.

Lightweight Sleepers

People who are lighter in weight (130 pounds or less) should also stay away from hard beds. Lightweight sleepers wouldn’t be able to exert enough pressure on the bed to sink and relieve their pressure points, which could end up causing more discomfort throughout the night.

Illustration of a Person Sleeping on Their Side on a Firm Mattress

Types of Firm Mattresses

Shoppers have their pick of different mattress types when searching for a firm mattress.

Innerspring

The innerspring mattress is the oldest, most traditional type on the market. Innerspring beds typically contain an interconnected coil unit and a thin layer of cushioning on top. Because of their construction, these beds are inherently firm already since they don’t have much cushioning to them.

Hybrid

A hybrid mattress contains several foam layers on top of an innerspring unit, though some include additional foam at the base. While traditional innerspring beds have minimal cushioning, hybrids input softer, thicker comfort layers on top. The firmness of a hybrid can vary depending on the manufacturer’s design, though you should be able to find a firm hybrid bed.

Latex

Latex mattresses contain latex foam that’s either natural, synthetic, or blended. They may also contain other foams or coils in their construction. Latex mattresses are known for being an eco-friendly alternative that offers great bounce and cooling. Certain latex beds are firmer than others depending on the design.

Foam

Foam beds include poly foam and memory foam. The firmness of these foams depends on the manufacturer’s design, as well as where the material is located in the mattress. Many foam beds contain softer memory foam on top with dense poly foam at the base. Companies produce foam mattresses in varying firmness levels.

Benefits of a Firm Model

Firm mattresses are suitable for sleepers who may sink into the middle layers of softer mattresses and miss out on all the contouring that the upper layers should offer. When you sink too far into a mattress, or “bottom out”, you may experience pain from the curve in your spine and a lack of support. Firmer beds come with unique benefits that could create a positive change in sleeping habits.

  • They are more comfortable for some

While it may seem like you can never have too much cushioning, too much of a good thing can hurt you. Firmer mattresses offer the perfect amount of support for the right type of sleeper. Those who experience lower back pain, neck stiffness, or joint issues could benefit, but those who struggle with shoulder and hip pain from side sleeping may want a softer model.

Read Our Full Guide: Best Mattresses for Back Pain


  • Deeper rest

You would never be able to get proper rest if your mattress is overly soft or if it’s sagging in certain sleep positions, such as on the stomach or back. With this in mind, a proper bed with the necessary amount of firmness will comprehensively align your spine, inducing a state of great relaxation.


  • Excellent alignment

If there is one thing that you should consider when picking a mattress, it’s spinal alignment. A firm bed can significantly help with this if used for the proper positions. Good spinal alignment is a vital component of preventing back pain.


  • Proper distribution of weight

A firm model offers splendid overall weight distribution, which can alleviate a lot of pressure points between the body and the bed.

What to Have in Mind When Buying a Firm Mattress

As you search online, there are a few guidelines you can use to help find something you will be comfortable with for years to come. 

Firmness

ideal range for side, back and stomach sleepers

There is a wide range of mattress firmness levels. We’ve decided to focus on those who score on the higher end of the scale.

Typically, for a mattress to be above the average, it has to be medium-firm, firm, and extra firm. These all have different purposes.

For instance, medium-firm beds are preferred by the vast majority of sleepers. Firm ones would feel slightly tougher in comparison, and the firmest ones are very sturdy.

Medium-firm beds are typically great for back sleepers while extra-firm ones can be used by stomach sleepers or heavyweight sleepers. The added firmness can help guarantee the necessary support.

Material

There are different types of materials that you can go for when shopping for a new bed. The four most common mattress types are memory foam, latex, hybrid, and innerspring. Many companies offer varying firmness levels in different types of beds, but some designs are naturally going to be firmer because of the specific materials. 

If you are a fan of memory foam mattresses, you could have a harder time finding a firm, let alone an extra firm bed. This is due to the natural properties of the material.

On the other hand, innerspring and latex materials are generally more responsive, and they can make it easier for the mattress to be firm. They are the predominant materials for most extra-firm solutions just for that reason.

Interested in exploring further? Follow our guide for different types of mattress materials.

all types of mattresses illustration

Edge Support

Good edge support allows you to feel equally supported along the perimeter, a beneficial feature for couples or anyone who wants more surface space use. Sturdy edge support also allows you to feel comfortable if you regularly sit on the side of your bed to change or put on shoes. 

The good news here is that firmer beds tend to perform well for edge support. In some cases, couples may be able to just get a bigger mattress if they need more space, but with a firmer mattress, you shouldn’t have to worry about feeling supported on the sides.

Body Weight

Your body weight will also be a factor in deciding whether a firmer bed is right for you. Typically, firm mattresses are recommended for the heaviest sleepers because they can help prevent them from bottoming out through the layers. Some average-weight sleepers may enjoy firm beds if they regularly lie on their stomachs or want firmer support in the back sleeping posture. 

On the flip side, lightweight individuals won’t like these beds because they’re too rigid to provide them with any pressure relief. A lightweight stomach sleeper may do okay on a medium-firm bed, though, and they can test this out during the at-home trial period.

Temperature Regulation

Temperature regulation is one of the most commonly underestimated characteristics and also one of the most important ones for many people. The airflow that your mattress allows largely determines the overall temperature of the unit.

The last thing you’d want is to wake up sweating through the night because you’ve picked a unit that retains a substantial amount of heat. Overall, a cooler bed is attributed to better sleep and proper rest. Innerspring, hybrid, and latex mattresses sleep the coolest. However, many companies use cooling gels to mitigate heat in memory foam beds as well.

The good news for hot sleepers is that the firmer feel allows you to be more on top of the mattress as opposed to in it. As a result, this should further help with temperature control.

View Our Full Guide: Best Cooling Mattresses

Animated Gif of Latex Mattress Breathability

Motion Isolation

Motion isolation refers to the bed’s ability to keep the movement from transferring across the bed. This is often another big concern for couples who want to avoid being disturbed by the other person’s movements. Memory foam beds containing all-foam layers usually perform best. Hybrids may have some motion transfer, but most of them have pocketed coils to manage this. Additionally, hybrid models with memory foam on top will further help with motion isolation. Innerspring and latex beds typically provide the least amount of motion isolation.

Pressure Relief

Pressure relief is the bed’s ability to alleviate discomfort in common pressure points like the hips and shoulders. Mattresses typically provide this through comfort layers and materials like memory foam and latex that are designed to cradle the sleeper to melt away pressure build-up. Because firmer beds don’t allow you to sink in as much, they may not provide as much pressure relief. However, medium-firm beds are often a great solution because they can still deliver good pressure relief.

Sagging

Sagging in firmer mattresses could be a serious issue for sleepers. In certain situations, excessive sagging is caused by the low quality of the material. That’s why we recommend making no compromises if you’re going to buy a firm bed.

Old mattresses, however, may no longer have the material or structural integrity to deliver the necessary amount of support. Keep in mind that the average useful lifespan for the majority of beds will range between 7 and ten years. Of course, there are a lot of factors that might affect and alter this such as usage, body type, and maintenance.

Get More Info: 7 Signs You're Sleeping On a Bad Mattress

Price

Your budget will also factor into your decision on which bed to get. The materials used in the mattress and whether they’re good quality will impact the price. Innerspring beds, which are usually one of the firmness types, are also some of the cheapest to get. Latex is another style that can offer good firmness, but because it’s a more top-of-the-line material, it will cost more. This is especially true for all-natural latex beds. Hybrids are another mattress type that can offer substantial firmness depending on the model, but these can be more expensive due to their advanced design. Firmer memory foam mattresses may be a higher investment, especially if the foam contains cooling properties too. Something to remember, though, is that online shopping is a great way to save on premium mattresses. The direct-to-consumer sales model cuts out middle-men costs so shoppers don’t have to pay as much as they might in-store.

Firm Mattress Accessories

If you want to firm up your mattress without investing in a whole new bed, you can get creative – and save money – by utilizing accessories.

Pillows

Firm pillows could help compensate for heavier areas that sink into your current mattress. For example, if you’re a stomach sleeper and your pelvis dips too far, causing back problems, try placing a pillow under your hips to help level out your spine.

Mattress Toppers

Mattress toppers are an excellent way to adjust your bed’s feel and cost hundreds less than a  bed. Toppers are usually available in standard mattress sizes to fit the dimensions of your mattress so there are no uneven spots. To provide a harder surface, look for toppers that are listed specifically as firm.

Frequently Asked Questions About Firm Mattresses

What is a Medium-Firm Mattress?

A medium-firm mattress provides a good balance of pressure relief and support to most sleepers. You want a bed that is soft enough to cushion the places where the body tends to develop pressure when lying down, but you also want a bed with enough support in place to keep your weight resting evenly. This blend is not the same for everyone or every sleeping position, but medium-firm tends to accommodate most sleepers in most positions.

Mattress manufacturers looking to capture the largest market for their brand aim for this firmness because it tends to be the most versatile feel across the largest population of body types.

You should also keep in mind that not every sleeper will experience a bed in the same way, and what feels medium-firm for one person might feel firmer to someone lighter than average. Likewise, someone significantly heavier might experience a medium-firm bed as softer.

How good is a firm mattress for those who have back pain?

A firm mattress is great for those who have back pain because it can help keep the spine in a healthy, neutral posture. Poor back posture during sleep can cause or worsen back pain, so good support is vital for this.  

What is the best firm mattress?

The best firm mattress depends on individual preference. For some, the extra-firm types are ideal while others may feel most comfortable on a medium-firm option. You’ll also have to consider other important features the bed provides, such as materials, cooling, edge support, motion isolation, and bounce. 

What is the difference between firmness and mattress support?

The firmness of a mattress refers to how soft or hard it feels when you lie down, whereas support refers to the bed’s ability to keep your spine in optimal alignment. Firmness may be able to enhance the bed’s overall ability to keep you supported, but ultimately, these are two different performance features.

How do you make a mattress firmer?

You can make a mattress firmer by adding a topper to the bed. Mattress toppers are made to alter the feel of a bed for more comfortable sleep, and they are available in softer or firmer models. If you’re looking to make your bed feel harder, then look for a firm topper.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many factors that you should account for when purchasing a firm mattress. By doing so, you’re placing yourself in a better position to find a truly great mattress that meets your needs.

Your mattress is one of the most critical requirements for a good night’s sleep. Make sure that you’re aware of the specifications so that you can conveniently make an informed and adequate decision based on your sleeping patterns, preferences, and requirements.

Sources and References:

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Katie is a content writer and serial hobby collector who enjoys naps almost as much as her pets do. When she isn't writing, she likes to ride her motorcycle, catch Pokemon with her hubby, and practice yoga with her dog.

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