How Firm Is A Foam Mattress

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The Best Firm Mattresses – Top 6 Beds and Buying Guide

Our Research

Mattresses Considered
Hours of Research
Mattress Executives Interviewed
Sleep Experts Consulted

Quick Overview

When it comes to mattresses, softer does not always mean better. While many sleepers prefer beds that conform closely, others prefer to feel that they are lying “on” their mattress as opposed to “in” it. For example, heavier individuals and stomach sleepers often both prefer firmer beds. Overly soft mattresses sink too deeply beneath their bodies, compromising support and creating aches and pains. In addition to accommodating sleepers with certain preferences, firmer mattresses carry other benefits. They tend to be more responsive and better for sex, and often sleep cooler than mattresses that conform more closely.

Best Firm Mattresses
  • Editor’s Pick– Plank by Brooklyn Bedding
  • Best Value – Saatva
  • Best Luxury – Birch Mattress
  • Best Latex Mattress – Zenhaven
  • Best Memory Foam Mattress – Loom & Leaf
  • Best Hybrid Mattress – The WinkBed
  • Best Flippable Mattress – Layla Hybrid

Mattress firmness is evaluated using a 1-10 scale, with 1 being the least firm and 10 being the firmest. The vast majority of mattresses sold today fall between a 3 (‘Soft’) and an 8 (‘Extra Firm’). Below, we’ve reviewed the best firm mattresses of 2020, looking exclusively at those with a firmness rating of ‘Medium Firm’ (6) or higher. Our picks are based on verified customer and owner experiences, as well as intensive product research and analysis. Read on to learn more about firm mattresses and discover the best mattress for you.

First Time Buying a Mattress?

Hop down to our Buyer’s Guide for a crash course on finding the best firm mattress.

Our Top 7 Picks

  • Flippable with two firmness options
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • 10-year warranty
  • Strong, durable support
  • Sleeps cool and responds well

  • Multiple firmness options (4, 6, 7.5)
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • 15-year warranty
  • Strong, durable support
  • Good conforming and pressure relief

  • Medium Firm (6.5)
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • 25-year warranty
  • Natural, eco-friendly components
  • Consistent temperature neutrality

  • Durable, natural Talalay latex
  • Dual firmness design (4, 7)
  • Organic cotton and wool cover
  • Free White Glove delivery

  • Multiple firmness options (5.5, 8)
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • 15-year warranty
  • Excellent motion isolation and close conforming
  • Free White Glove delivery

  • Multiple firmness options (4.5, 6.5, 7.5)
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Above-average responsiveness
  • Good pain and pressure relief

  • Flippable Design (soft (5) on one side, firm (7) on the other)
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • 10 year warranty
  • Good motion isolation for couples
  • Great pressure relief

The Best Firm Mattresses – Reviewed

Editor’s Pick – Plank by Brooklyn Bedding


  • Flippable with two firmness options
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • 10-year warranty
  • Strong, durable support
  • Sleeps cool and responds well

Tuck readers get 20% off the Plank Mattress with code: TUCKSLEEP20

Editor’s Pick Overview

Our Editor’s Pick is the Plank mattress from Brooklyn Bedding, a flippable mattress with one side that is ‘Firm’ (or 7 on the 1-10 firmness scale) and another side that is ‘Extra Firm’ (or 9). This makes the Plank one of the firmest mattresses available today. It is ideal for those who prefer firm mattresses that do not conform very much, which often includes stomach sleepers and those who weigh more than 230 pounds. The mattress is constructed with firm foam layers on both sides, as well as top quilted foam layers that provide a bit of cushioning.

The Plank also isolates motion isolation to a significant extent and produces no noise when bearing weight. This makes it suitable for couples who prefer firmer beds, particularly if one or both of the sleepers awaken easily due to movement or noise. Compared to other all-foam beds, the Plank sleeps fairly cool as well. This is due in part to its breathable cotton-polyester cover.

Brooklyn Bedding offers free shipping to customers anywhere in the U.S. The Plank is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.

The Bottom Line.

The Plank is one of the firmest mattresses you’ll find today, with not just one, but two, firmness levels — both of which are accessible from the same mattress. This flexibility is designed for sleepers who aren’t quite sure of just how firm they need their mattress to be.

Recommended for:

  • Back and stomach sleepers.As a foam mattress, the Firm side of the Plank can provide some contour for back sleepers, while either firmness setting can work for stomach sleepers.
  • Sleepers in the average and heavy weight groups.Either the ‘Firm’ or ‘Very Firm’ sides of the Plank mattress provides sufficient support for these sleepers.
  • People who prefer mattresses that conform very little.The Plank mattress maintains a flat yet comfortable surface.
  • Those who sleep hot.There’s no risk of sinking into this mattress and it doesn’t trap body heat.
  • Couples.The foam isolates motion well, reducing disturbances during the night.

Not Recommended for:

  • Side sleepers of below-average weight.The Plank mattress may not provide sufficient give to these sleepers, creating the potential for spinal misalignment.
  • Shoppers who want to be able to return their mattress quickly.Brooklyn Bedding requires a 30-day break-in period for their sleep trials.

Best Value – Saatva


  • Multiple firmness options (4, 6, 7.5)
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • 15-year warranty
  • Strong, durable support
  • Good conforming and pressure relief

Tuck readers get $100 off the Saatva Mattress.

Best Value Overview

A mattress with an expensive price-point does not necessarily mean it is high-quality – and by the same token, many low-cost mattresses outperform their higher-end competitors in several key areas. Our pick for the firm mattress with the best value is the Saatva, an innovative coil-on-coil innerspring that uses two spring layers to provide exceptional comfort and sleeper support.

The comfort system contains pocketed coils, along with memory foam and polyfoam layers, while sturdy bonnell coils reinforce the support core very effectively. The result is a mattress that offers consistent body conforming and pressure relief, and also withstands sagging and indentations. The Saatva mattress also sleeps very cool, thanks in part to strong airflow throughout both coil layers.

The Saatva is available in three firmness settings – Medium Soft’ (4), ‘Medium Firm’ (6), and ‘Firm’ (7.5) – as well as 11 1/2″ and 14 1/2″ profiles. This product range should accommodate most sleepers regardless of their firmness preferences, body type, or sleep position. The two firmer options should be sufficient for anyone who prefers a firmer bed. The ‘Medium Firm’ design offers some conforming and is suitable for most sleepers between 130 and 230 pounds; and the ‘Firm’ option should be sufficient for anyone who weighs more than 230 pounds, including back and stomach sleepers.

Saatva offers free White Glove delivery – including in-home assembly and old mattress removal – to all customers in the contiguous U.S. Competing brands typically charge at least $100 for this service. The Saatva is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a 15-year warranty.

The Bottom Line.

The Saatva mattress features an innovative construction in both ‘Medium Firm’ and ‘Firm’ settings, with a competitive price-point and perks like free White Glove delivery. Backed by a 15-year warranty, this bed will satisfy sleepers looking for a firm mattress and a good deal.

Recommended for:

  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination).Different firmness settings allow sleepers to choose the best firmness rating for them.
  • Sleepers in the average and heavy weight groups.A sturdy coil support core combined with a ‘Firm’ firmness setting will support sleepers of heavier body weight.
  • Back pain sufferers.While the ‘Firm’ is a true firm, the Saatva’s comfort layers provide adequate conforming for sleepers with back pain.
  • Those who tend to sleep hot.The Saatva sleeps cool, thanks to a breathable cotton cover and airflow-promoting coil core.

Not Recommended for:

  • Those who need to move or rotate their mattress frequently.The Saatva mattress is heavier than average.
  • Couples.The Saatva’s innerspring core does not absorb motion well, so sleepers may wake up from noise or movement if their partner shifts positions often during the night.

Best Luxury – Birch Mattress


  • Medium Firm (6.5)
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • 25-year warranty
  • Natural, eco-friendly components
  • Consistent temperature neutrality

Tuck readers save $200 on a Birch Mattress.

Best Luxury Overview

Our Best Luxury pick is the Birch Mattress, a premium latex hybrid constructed from eco-friendly materials. The comfort system includes a top layer of natural and organic wool, followed by a secondary comfort layer of natural Talalay latex. These materials create a Medium Firm (6.5) feel that offers great support for back and stomach sleepers weighing at least 130 pounds, as well as heavier side sleepers.

The mattress also sleeps fairly cool thanks to its breathable organic-cotton cover, ventilated latex layer, and consistent air circulation through the pocketed coil layer. Because latex is naturally durable, the Birch Mattress has a longer-than-average expected lifespan, as well. The coils reinforce the bed nicely, resulting in minimal sagging in the sleep surface and sinkage along the edges.

The Birch Mattress has a price-point that is below-average compared to other latex hybrids. Birch also offers free shipping to all 50 states. The bed is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a 25-year warranty.

The Bottom Line.

With organic materials and an eco-friendly construction, the Birch Mattress is designed to provide a luxurious, breathable sleep experience for a very long time.

Recommended for:

  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination).The Birch Mattress feels firm and supportive for stomach and back sleepers, while providing enough give for side sleepers.
  • Sleepers in the average and heavy weight groups.Dense latex foams resist sagging and offer superior support for heavier body types.
  • Eco-conscious shoppers.Organic and natural materials are good for the environment, and provide a longer-lasting, more sustainable bed for the sleeper.
  • Hot sleepers.The Birch Mattress is made from naturally breathable materials that keep the mattress surface cool.

Not Recommended for:

  • Lightweight sleepers.The Birch Mattress may feel too firm for these sleepers.
  • Those looking for an extra firm mattress.As a 6.5 on a scale of 1-to-10, the Birch Mattress offers more of a middle-of-the-road firmness when compared to our other top picks.

Best Latex Mattress – Zenhaven


  • Durable, natural Talalay latex
  • Dual firmness design (4, 7)
  • Organic cotton and wool cover
  • Free White Glove delivery

Tuck readers save $100 on the Zenhaven Mattress.

Best Latex Mattress Overview

The Zenhaven is an all-latex mattress that possesses a slate of features that make it a top choice for people who want a firm bed. The mattress has a distinct firmness feel on each side. The Firm side is a 7 on the 1-10 firmness scale, and the other side is a 4. This design gives people who generally prefer a firmer mattress a degree of flexibility in case their comfort preferences change.

The Zenhaven uses four layers of Talalay latex, a material that is known for its buoyant and springy feel. The two innermost layers are denser and serve as the support core for the bed. The two outermost layers are designed with fives zones, providing added responsiveness near the body’s major pressure points. The overall result is a firm sleeping surface that still relieves pressure and promotes spinal alignment.

The outer latex layers are aerated, letting air flow through to keep the mattress cool no matter which side you choose to sleep on. An organic cotton cover with an underside of organic wool provides additional comfort along with moisture-wicking for natural cooling.

The Zenhaven is manufactured by Saatva, who offers free White Glove delivery, which includes setup of the Zenhaven as well as removal of an old mattress. Once the Zenhaven is delivered, you have 120 nights to test it out and decide if it is the right fit for you. For the long-term, Saatva provides a 20-year warranty.

The Bottom Line.

The Zenhaven offers a ‘Firm’ (7) on one side, with a ‘Soft’ (4) on the other, making it a perfect fit for anyone who needs a firm mattress now, but may want something softer later.

Recommended for:

  • Sleepers of all body weights and sleeping positions.With its quality latex construction, the Zenhaven offers a durably firm mattress surface with sufficient contour for varying sleep positions.
  • People who like firmness flexibility.Sleepers can simply flip the mattress to enjoy a different firmness level.
  • Those who tend to sleep hot.Organic latex is naturally cool and breathable, while the organic cotton cover includes an underside of moisture-wicking wool.
  • Sleepers with allergies.This mattress is made from all-natural materials that are hypoallergenic and resistant to mold and bacteria.
  • Couples.The Zenhaven sleeps virtually silent and absorbs motion well.

Not Recommended for:

  • Those looking for strong edge support.You can experience sinkage when sitting on or sleeping close to the edge of the bed.
  • Sleepers on a budget.As an all-latex mattress, the Zenhaven does carry a higher price-point than other types of mattresses.

Best Memory Foam Mattress – Loom & Leaf


  • Multiple firmness options (5.5, 8)
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • 15-year warranty
  • Excellent motion isolation and close conforming
  • Free White Glove delivery

Tuck readers save $100 off a Loom & Leaf Mattress.

Best Memory Foam Mattress Overview

The Loom & Leaf by Saatva is a memory foam mattress offered in two firmness options. These include a ‘Firm’ (8), making it one of the firmest foam beds available, as well as a ‘Medium’ (5.5) option for sleepers who prefer a balance of firmness and softness.

The Loom & Leaf is built with comfort layers of gel memory foam and standard memory foam that hug the body and alleviate discomfort without excessive sagging. The mattress also sleeps fairly cool compared to other foam beds, due in part to its organic cotton cover. Another key strength of the Loom & Leaf mattress is motion isolation. Because the mattress absorbs and minimizes transfer so well and is virtually silent, it is a good option for couples – particularly if one or both of the sleepers awakens easily due to motion or noise.

Because Saatva manufactures the Loom & Leaf, this mattress is available with free White Glove delivery for customers in the contiguous U.S. The mattress is also backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a 15-year warranty.

The Bottom Line.

The Loom & Leaf mattress is an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10, making it the firmest mattress on our list and one of the firmest foam mattresses you’ll find today.

Recommended for:

  • Side and back sleepers.Memory foam comfort layers offer these sleepers sufficient contour to feel comfortable, relieving pressure points.
  • Sleepers in the average and heavy weight groups.High-quality foams resist sagging, providing durable support for sleepers with heavier body weights.
  • Back pain sufferers.Two comfort layers of high-density memory foam deliver excellent pressure point relief.
  • Couples.All-foam beds like the Loom & Leaf absorb motion very well, preventing sleepers from being disturbed from their partner shifting or moving during the night.

Not Recommended for:

  • Those who tend to sleep hot.Due to the dense foams, the Loom & Leaf can have a tendency for trapping body heat.
  • Those sensitive to smell.The bed may have a strong off-gassing odor at first, but this should dissipate within a few days at most.

Best Hybrid Mattress – WinkBed


  • Multiple firmness options (4.5, 6.5, 7.5)
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Above-average responsiveness
  • Good pain and pressure relief

Get $200 off a WinkBeds mattress as a Tuck reader with code: TUCK200

Best Hybrid Mattress Overview

Most hybrid mattresses offer a balance of body-contouring pressure relief and robust support. The WinkBed is a standout in this category for several reasons. It is constructed with comfort layers of polyfoam, gel memory foam, and pocketed minicoils, as well as a compressed-cotton lumbar pad that targets pressure points in the lower back and hips. As a result, sleepers experience above-average pain relief.

Three firmness options are offered for a standard WinkBed: ‘Medium Soft’ (4.5), ‘Medium Firm’ (6.5), and ‘Firm’ (7.5). This range should accommodate most sleepers that prefer some level of firmness in their bed. Additionally, the WinkBed Plus is a ‘Firm’ option that is specifically designed for heavier individuals; it swaps out the memory foam and minicoil layers for a single layer of latex. All four versions of the WinkBed sleep fairly cool and provide great edge support. The mattress is fairly quiet compared to other hybrids, as well.

The WinkBed is somewhat expensive, making it a good pick for shoppers with bigger budgets, but it still falls short of the average hybrid’s price-point. WinkBeds offers free shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S.; the mattress is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty.

The Bottom Line.

WinkBed caters to all body types by offering not one, but two, true ‘Firm’ variations of their mattress. The WinkBed Plus suits individuals with above-average body weight, while the standard WinkBed supports individuals of below-average and average body weight.

Recommended for:

  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination).Hybrid construction offers some contour for those who need it, while maintaining firm support for all sleep positions.
  • Sleepers in all weight groups (light, average, heavy).While the WinkBed offers four different firmness options, the Plus and Firm models will be preferred by those looking for a harder feel.
  • Back and hip pain sufferers.Whether you go with the standard ‘Firm’ or the WinkBed Plus, the comfort layers contour to the body and alleviate pressure points.
  • Those who tend to sleep hot.The WinkBed regulates temperature well, thanks to a pocketed coil support core and a stretch-knit Tencel lyocell cover.

Not Recommended for:

  • Those who wake easily.The WinkBed has a bouncier feel and some motion transfer.
  • Shoppers who want to be able to return their mattress quickly if needed.The 120-night sleep trial includes a mandatory 30-night break-in period.

Best Flippable Mattress – Layla Hybrid


  • Flippable Design (soft (5) on one side, firm (7) on the other)
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • 10 year warranty
  • Good motion isolation for couples
  • Great pressure relief

Tuck readers save $210 on the Layla Hybrid Mattress

Best Flippable Overview

The Layla Hybrid is a flippable, luxury hybrid mattress with a ‘medium’ (5) firmness on one side and a ‘firm’ (7) feel on the other side.

This mattress features a comfort layer on each side consisting of copper-infused memory foam. This foam conforms closely to the sleeper’s body to relieve pressure points, while the copper infusion is designed to prevent the foam from trapping as much body heat, sleeping cooler. The support core consists of pocketed coils, making for a more supportive bed with more airflow than the original Layla.

The flippable design makes the Layla Hybrid perfect for those who have variable firmness preferences, or those aren’t quite sure which firmness is best for them. The Layla tested very well in motion isolation, pressure relief, edge support, and temperature neutrality, taking all of the best qualities from both foam and innerspring mattresses.

The Layla Hybrid comes with free shipping and a 120-night sleep trial, so you can try it before you commit to it. Additionally, it comes with a 10-year, non-prorated warranty.

Recommended for:

  • Sleepers of all body weights and sleeping positions.The two different sides allow for a variable firmness that should accommodate all sleeper types.
  • People who like firmness flexibility.The flippable design allows for sleepers to change their firmness setting from night to night.
  • Couples.The Layla sleeps silently and absorbs motion exceptionally well.
  • People with chronic pain.The close conforming memory foam in its comfort layers ease pressure points.
  • People who don’t like the feel of memory foam.The Layla hybrid has a traditional memory foam feel, which some people don’t like.
  • Shoppers on the Budget.The Layla Hybrid is a luxury mattress, and is somewhat pricey.

Best Firm Mattresses Buying Guide

Below, we share everything sleepers need to consider when buying a firm mattress, along with our best tips for buying a new mattress.

Buyer’s Guide for Firm Mattresses

What You Need to Know about Sleeping on a Firm Mattress

Mattress firmness refers to how the bed’s surface feels underneath a sleeper’s body, and is directly tied to the materials used in the topmost comfort layer of the mattress. At Tuck, we evaluate firmness in mattresses using a 1-to-10 scale, with 1 being the least firm and 10 being the firmest. However, most mattresses sold today fall between a 3 (or ‘Soft’) and an 8 (‘Firm’). When we talk about a firm mattress, we’re referring to beds with a rating of 7 or higher on this 1-to-10 scale.

Choosing the Best Firm Mattress

If we had to boil down what makes a great mattress, it’d be how well it keeps your spine aligned while you sleep. Your mattress’s ability to support proper spinal alignment is essential to feeling comfortable while you sleep, and well-rested upon waking up. Some sleepers require a firm mattress to achieve this, especially heavier sleepers and those who sleep on their back or stomach.

Heavier individualsprefer firmer mattresses because they provide more comfort and support than less firm options. With a softer mattress, heavier people can sink too deeply into the mattress surfaces, incurring aches and pains as their spine gets pulled out of alignment.

Stomach and back sleeperscan experience similar problems with soft mattresses. For stomach sleepers, their pelvis or belly area may sink into a softer mattress, creating a curve in their spine that leads to discomfort. While back sleepers can require more contour from their mattress, they need a mattress that prevents their hips from sinking too deeply.

Finally, firm mattresses typically offer a cooler sleep surface, since there is a reduced ability for the mattress to conform closely to the body and trap heat. This quality makes them a favorite amongthose who tend to sleep hot.

Selecting Your Firmness Level

Mattresses come in a variety of firmness levels. If you’re interested in a firmer mattress, a mattress that rates as ‘Medium Firm,’ ‘Firm,’ or ‘Very Firm’ will likely be what you are looking for. To hone in on the best firmness level for you, you’ll need to take into account your bodyweight and sleep position.

Let’s start with bodyweight. For the purposes of this page, ‘average weight’ is defined as 130 to 230 pounds. Generally speaking, people who are on the heavier side tend to prefer mattresses that are firmer, while those on the lighter side often choose mattresses with lower firmness ratings.

Pressure relief is a key reason for this trend. Firmer mattresses require more weight for sleepers to sink into the mattress and alleviate their pressure points, and people in the below-average and average weight groups may not weigh enough to enjoy these qualities. On the other hand, softer mattresses may sink too deeply beneath heavier sleepers, resulting in added pain and pressure.

The table below lists the most popular firmness ratings for below-average, average, and above-average weight groups.

Weight GroupMost Commonly Preferred Mattress FirmnessBelow-average (Less than 130 Pounds)4 (Medium Soft) and LowerAverage (130 to 230 Pounds)5 (Medium) to 6 (Medium Firm)Above-average (More than 230 Pounds)7 (Firm) and Higher

In addition to bodyweight, firmness may also be linked to the sleeper’s preferred position in bed. People who sleep on their side require mattresses that help align their spine and alleviate pressure points that commonly develop due to this position. Back-sleepers, on the other hand, sleep in a position that naturally aligns the spine and do not require a soft mattress as often. For this reason, back-sleepers tend to feel more comfortable on a firmer mattress than side-sleepers.

Stomach-sleepers in the average and above-average weight groups may also prefer firmer mattresses because they will not sink too deeply. If a mattress is too soft, then heavier stomach-sleepers may sink too far and experience neck and shoulder pain.

The table below represents firmness preference trends among sleepers based on bodyweight and sleep position.

Weight GroupPreferred Firmness for Most Side SleepersPreferred Firmness for Most Back SleepersPreferred Firmness for Most Stomach Sleepers
Below-average (Less than 130 pounds)3 (Soft) to 5 (Medium)4 (Medium Soft) to 6 (Medium Firm)4 (Medium Soft) to 6 (Medium Firm)
Average (130 to 230 Pounds)4 (Medium Soft) to 6 (Medium Firm)5 (Medium) to 7 or 8 (Firm)6 (Medium Firm) to 7 or 8 (Firm)
Above-average (More than 230 Pounds)5 (Medium) to 6 (Medium Firm)6 (Medium Firm) to 7 or 8 (Firm)6 (Medium Firm) to 7 or 8 (Firm)

Ultimately, every sleeper is different when it comes to mattress firmness, and we highly recommend testing out mattresses with different firmness ratings in order to pinpoint the feel that is best for you.

Selecting Your Mattress Type

Due to their material composition, some mattresses are inherently better suited to providing a firm sleep surface than others. For example, hybrid, innerspring, and latex beds can provide dense, firm support, while memory foam beds tend to fall on the more cushiony side. However, there are exceptions to every rule, as our Editor’s Pick, the Plank, demonstrates. It’s an all-foam bed with a true ‘Firm’ (7) rating.

To help you find your ideal mattress type, below we review the different types of mattresses, and evaluate their suitability for sleepers seeking a firm mattress.

Foam Mattresses

Best Firm Foam Beds:

Mattress Brands
Mattress Brands

Foam mattresses are made entirely of foam, with higher-density polyfoams in the support layer and polyfoam and/or memory foam comfort layers. Higher-density foams beget a firmer feel, and they tend to be more durable, too. Sleepers looking for a firm mattress will want to keep an eye out for higher-density foams, particularly in the comfort layers. These will provide conforming and pressure point relief, while still feeling quite firm.

Average price (Queen):$1,044.16

Expected lifespan:5 to 6 years

Benefits for firm mattress shoppers:

  • Still able to offer contour for sleepers with chronic pain, while maintaining a firm surface
  • Foam absorbs motion and noise, offering a quiet sleep environment
  • Widely available

Drawbacks for firm mattress shoppers:

  • Tendency to trap heat
  • Potential for sagging, so sleepers may need to buy a new mattress sooner vs. later
  • Minimal edge support

Latex Mattresses

Best Firm Latex Beds:

Mattress Brands

Latex mattresses can be made entirely of organic latex, or with a mix of natural or synthetic latex foams. These mattresses naturally have a denser quality to them, especially those made from Dunlop latex. Both types of latex offer some contour to sleepers, but Talalay latex can have a bouncier feel, so sleepers looking for firmness often prefer Dunlop.

Average price (Queen):$1,970.51

Expected lifespan:7 to 8 years

Benefits for firm mattress shoppers:

  • Dunlop latex has a firm, dense feel
  • Latex provides some contour and support, without sinking too deeply
  • All-natural latex beds are hypoallergenic, providing more restful sleep for those with allergies

Drawbacks for firm mattress shoppers:

  • Expensive, especially all-natural models
  • Potential for sagging with synthetic models
  • Minimal edge support

Hybrid Mattresses

Best Firm Hybrid Beds:

Mattress Brands
Mattress Brands

Hybrid mattresses feature pocket coils in their support core, which is surrounded by base polyfoam. The comfort layers are made of latex and/or memory foam. Hybrid mattresses vary in firmness depending on the comfort layers. The coil support core offers some contour, while still having a dense feel overall. If the comfort layers feature higher-density foams, or thinner foams (as our top Hybrid Mattress Pick, The WinkBed, does), the result is a firm feel appreciated by those who prefer a firm mattress.

Average price (Queen):$2,076.70

Expected lifespan:6 to 7 years

Benefits for firm mattress shoppers:

  • Offer some contour for sleepers, while still maintaining a firm and relatively cool sleep surface
  • Excellent edge support for those who like to sit on the side of their bed
  • Good support and pressure relief

Drawbacks for firm mattress shoppers:

  • Depending on construction, can be heavy and difficult to maneuver
  • Typically more expensive
  • Some potential for noise

Innerspring Mattresses

Best Firm Innerspring Beds:

Mattress Brands

Innerspring mattresses have a support core made of innerspring coils, with foam comfort layers on top. The suitability of a particular innerspring mattress for firm sleepers will often come down to the plushness of the comfort layers, as the support coil grid offers uniform support with minimal contour.

Average price (Queen):$1,037.97

Expected lifespan:4 to 6 years

Benefits for firm mattress shoppers:

  • Strong edge support
  • Inexpensive
  • Widely available
  • Sleep cool for most

Drawbacks for firm mattress shoppers:

  • Minimal conforming and pressure relief
  • Shorter-than-average lifespan
  • Noise potential

Other Considerations for Sleepers Interested in a Firm Mattress

Firm mattresses offer unique benefits (or drawbacks, depending on your perspective). Below we share some of the construction and performance qualities shared by most mattresses rated as a 7 or higher on the firmness scale. Take a look and evaluate whether qualities will improve or detract from your sleep experience

Longer Lifespan/Less Sagging

Softer mattresses are prone to premature sagging or indentations in the sleep surface that can cause back pain and pressure over time. Firm mattresses are less susceptible to sagging and indenting, and typically last much longer.

Lower Thickness

One reason mattresses are firm is a lack of additional foams and other cushioning materials in the comfort layer. As a result, they tend to have low profiles compared to soft mattresses.

Less Expensive

The cushioning and padding that makes softer mattresses thicker is also the reason why many of these models have higher price-points compared to firmer mattresses.

Minimal Conforming and Pressure Relief

Sleepers do not sink as deeply into the surface of a firmer mattress, which may result in less pressure relief compared to softer mattresses.

Sleeping Cooler

When sleepers sink into a mattress, this can limit airflow and cause the surface to feel uncomfortably hot or warm. Firmer mattresses have better airflow and sleep cooler — although this also depends on the comfort layer materials, as foam and latex mattresses tend to retain more body heat from sleepers and feel much hotter than innersprings or hybrids.

Fewer Odors

Off-gassing smells are a common complaint regarding mattresses with high concentrations of foam. Firmer mattresses tend to have less foam, meaning they produce less off-gassing odor.

May Be Too Firm for Sex

When it comes to evaluating mattresses for sex, the top-rated models — usually Medium or Medium-Firm — offer a balance of comfort and responsiveness. Firm mattresses may be responsive but many lack the cushioning to accommodate comfortable sex.

Lower Weight/Easier to Move

Not surprisingly, mattresses with more layers tend to weigh more than those with fewer layers. For this reason, firmer mattresses tend to be lighter and easier to move than their softer counterparts.

The table below rates Soft, Medium/Medium-Firm, and Firm mattresses based on the performance factors described above:

Performance FactorSoft (4 and Lower)Medium to Medium Firm (5 to 6)Firm (7 and Higher)
LongevityPoor to FairGoodGood to Very Good
ThicknessThickestThickerLeast Thick
Average PriceHighMedium to HighLow to Medium
Conforming and Pressure ReliefFair to GoodVery GoodPoor to Fair
Heat RetentionPoor to FairGoodVery Good
Off-gassingPoor to FairFair to GoodGood to Very Good
SexPoor to FairVery GoodFair
Easy to MovePoor to FairFair to GoodGood to Very Good

Tips for Buying and Maintaining a Firm Mattress

If you have determined that a firmer mattress is right for you, please review the following tips for purchasing a suitable model and keeping it in good shape.

Take Advantage of Sleep Trials

Many manufacturers offer mattress sleep trials, which allow customers to test out their mattress for a given length of time (typically 90 to 120 nights). The customer may then return the mattress for a full or partial refund before the sleep trial ends. In some cases, they may also be able to exchange their mattress for a model with a different firmness rating. If you are unsure about your specific firmness of choice, then a sleep trial can be highly beneficial. All of the firm mattresses on our list offer sleep trials of 100 nights or more.

Consider Dual Firmness

Let’s say you prefer a firmer mattress but your partner would rather sleep on a softer surface. Some manufacturers offer ‘dual-firmness’ mattress designs that feature different firmness ratings on each side of the bed to accommodate couples with varying preferences. These options tend to be more expensive than standard, single-firmness mattresses, but dual-firmness can be invaluable for some couples.

Shifting Firmness Preferences?

A flippable model may be best. Although they are not common, some manufacturers offer flippable mattresses with different firmness ratings for each comfort layer and a shared support core. This is a suitable option is you prefer sleeping on a firm mattress some — but not all — of the time. Our Editor’s Pick, the Plank mattress by Brooklyn Bedding, is a flippable mattress.

Know What’s Covered in the Warranty

Most mattress warranties consider sagging and indentations as long as they measure to a certain depth (1? to 1 1/2?, in most cases). One thing that is not covered under most mattress warranties: changes in the owner’s firmness and comfort preferences. So if you decide the firmness of your mattress is not right for you after the sleep trial has ended, you may not be able to replace or exchange it at a reduced rate.

Match Your Pillows & Bedding

The right pillows and bedding can enhance the sleep experience on a firm mattress.

Because sleepers don’t sink as deeply into firmer mattresses, they often require thicker, high-loftpillowsfor cushioning between their heads and the sleep surface. Medium- and low-loft pillows, by comparison, may not provide enough cushioning and can lead to increased neck and shoulder pain. Usually, the right pillow height depends on your sleep position. When sleeping on a firm mattress, you’ll still want to take your sleep position into account, and then add a bit more loft for comfort.

  • Back sleepersbenefit from medium- and high-loft pillows, depending on the space between their back/shoulders and neck. These pillows should be tall enough to prevent the head from falling back and wrenching the neck out of alignment; however, they should also be plush enough to let the head sink just enough to stay straight with the neck. Shredded memory foam and gel-infused foam work well for firmer mattresses. See our picks for the best pillows for back sleepers.
  • Stomach sleeperssleep best with low-loft pillows. These provide cushioning for the head, without causing the head or neck to twist back and up, and out of alignment with the rest of the spine. When sleeping on a firm mattress, choose a low-loft pillow with special attention to the materials. The filler should be soft enough to allow the head to sink into the pillow, but the material needs to be durable and supportive throughout the night. Premium down and latex pillows are good options. See our picks for the best pillows for stomach sleepers.
  • Side sleepersfind comfort from the tallest pillows of all. Mid-loft or high-loft pillows are best. Ideally, the height of the pillow should match the width between the shoulder and the neck. Then, look for filler materials that keep their shape throughout the night. Otherwise, you’ll find your face sleeping on the hard mattress surface. A thick memory foam, feather, or buckwheat pillow will provide comfortable support on a firm mattress. See our picks for the best pillows for side sleepers.

If you eventually find your mattress to be too firm, and your sleep trial had ended, you can soften your bed by using a mattress topper with a lower firmness rating. In addition to improved comfort, some toppers can also add support. A wide range of mattress toppers are sold today. These include low-priced options like fabric, fiber, and feather toppers, as well as more expensive memory foam, latex, and wool toppers.

Memory Foam: Pros and Cons

Considering a memory foam mattress or similar product? Read what sleep experts say about it.

Few things feel as good as a good night’s sleep. That’s especially true if sleep seems to escape you, night after night after night.

If you’ve heard about memory foam, you may wonder if it could improve the quality ofyoursleep. Some people swear by it. Others are less enthusiastic.

What exactly is memory foam? And what are its pros and cons? Here’s information to help you decide whether memory foam is worth a try.

What Is Memory Foam?

First designed in the mid-1960s for NASA airplane seats, memory foam is made from a substance called viscoelastic. It is both highly energy absorbent and soft.

Memory foam molds to the body in response to heat and pressure, evenly distributing body weight. It then returns to its original shape once you remove the pressure.

In addition to protecting against impact, these properties make memory foam very comfortable. After its "virgin flight" for NASA, memory foam made a foray into other applications. For example, it was used as cushioning in helmets and shoes. Medicine found a use for it in prosthetics and products to prevent pressure ulcers such as seating pads for people who are severely disabled.

Then, memory foam really took off. It’s now well known for its use in pillows, mattress pads, and mattresses, which come in different densities and depths.

What Are the Benefits of Memory Foam?

Could the special properties of memory foam enhance your sleep? Sleep specialist Donna L. Arand, PhD, says that objective studies supporting the claimed benefits of memory foam — or the effects of any particular type of sleeping surface — are lacking.

This is true for a variety of reasons, she says. This type of sleep study can be expensive, if conducted independently. Or it is "chased" by a shadow of bias, if supported by industry.

Also, some sleep technology, such as memory foam, is relatively new, so it hasn’t been well studied. But perhaps one of the more difficult stumbling blocks to testing the health benefits of mattresses such as memory foam is the subjective nature of sleep. It is simply difficult to measure.


Sometimes the brain’s electrical activity, measured with an electroencephalogram (EEG), and other findings recorded during a sleep test don’t always match up perfectly with a person’s subjective experience, says Arand, who is the clinical director of the Kettering Sleep Disorders Center in Dayton, Ohio. "They might say, ‘I had a great night’s sleep,’ but the EEG parameters might not really indicate that."

Sleep is not only subjective, but preferences for sleep surfaces are individual, Arand says. "There’s quite a bit of variability between individuals in terms of what type of surface — whether it’s firm, hard, or soft — they prefer when they’re sleeping," she says. "As far as we know, there is no rhyme or reason for that."

Many of Arand’s patients who use memory foam have offered unsolicited glowing reports like these about memory foam: "I’m sleeping great." "Best sleep I’ve ever had." "I love going to bed at night." Arand says these anecdotal responses may be one-sided. That’s because she and other staff don’t ask all their patients about their sleep surfaces. "We may only be hearing the good stuff," Arand says.

Kathy R. Gromer, MD, sleep specialist with the Minnesota Sleep Institute in Minneapolis, agrees that memory foam may improve sleep. "It can, if it relieves painful pressure points," she says. But Gromer adds that memory foam doesn’t do anything for sleep apnea or other sleep-breathing disorders — and sleep disorders are the primary complaint of most her patients.

"When you lie on the memory foam, the heat from your body softens it in appropriate points," Arand says, "so this helps to support your body along the curves and natural lines of the body." Memory foam manufacturers claim this helps relieve pain and thereby promotes more restful sleep. And, though consumers often believe that very firm mattresses are best, more "giving" mattresses like these may lead to better sleep in people with back pain, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

Although there aren’t scientific data to support the hypothesis, Arand wonders whether memory foam sleep surfaces might be especially helpful for older people. For them, minimizing extra movement could reduce the number of times they awaken during the night. Being less aware of a bed partner’s movements might be an extra benefit, she adds. "Without the coiled springs, you feel your sleep partner’s movement less, and that might help, too."


What Are the Disadvantages of Memory Foam?

Gromer says that memory foam products may retain body heat, which could make them less comfortable in warm weather. However, Arand has not heard this complaint from her patients. "In our culture, most people can adjust their thermostats or blankets for the appropriate season," Arand says.

When new, memory foam can produce an odd chemical smell — a phenomenon called offgassing. To minimize this problem, the Sleep Products Safety Council, a sleep products trade group, recommends airing out the mattress or pad for at least 24 hours before putting sheets on it. "If you follow directions, the smell dissipates quickly," Arand says, "But I’ve never heard of anyone having reactions to it."

Are Memory Foam Products Safe for Young Children?

"I would strongly recommend avoiding this and similar very soft materials for use in infants’ beds," Gromer says. "That’s because soft bedding traps [carbon dioxide] and increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) deaths."


NASA Scientific and Technical Information: "Forty-Year-Old Foam Springs Back With Newer Benefits."

Donna L. Arand, PhD, clinical director, Kettering Medical Sleep Disorders Center, Dayton, Ohio; research associate professor, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine.

Kathy R. Gromer, MD, sleep specialist, Minnesota Sleep Institute; medical director, Respiratory Care Program, Saint Paul Technical College.

National Sleep Foundation: "Buying the Right Mattress for You."

Sleep Products Safety Council: "Mattress Odors" and "Sudden Infant Death Syndrome."

What Is A Plush Bed? Is It Perfect For You?

Shopping for a mattress, especially if it’s your first time, is like a jump into the unknown. There are going to be a lot of terms that you are undoubtedly unaware of. That’s no reason to back out, though. We are here to help.

These types of beds are usually the ones who have customers confused the most. We’ve taken the liberty to provide you with a quick overview and clarification of one of thecommonly preferred options out on the market – plush mattresses. You’ve certainly heard of this term. In case you wonder what it means – you’re about to find out!

If you want to find out more which are our recommended beds in this category– See our top-rated plush mattresses.

Plush Bed Meaning

The term “plush” is used interchangeably by a lot of different companies which want to describe the overall level of softness brought by the surface comfort layer of the mattress. The thing to consider, however, is that this is not the correct usage of the term.

This type of surface is softer, but it still provides a good amount of support. Of course, in order to be perfectly aware of the term and what it means, it might be a good idea for you to familiarize yourself with the difference between a soft, firm and plush mattress.

Who Should Choose a Plush Mattress?

Different Sleeping Positions


If you are a stomach sleeper and you prefer the so-called “freefaller” sleeping position, you might want to look for something firmer. The problem is that softer beds can create pressure points on your stomach and chest and cause your spine to bend improperly. Firm beds are much better for this position.


These mattresses should be used by side sleepers. They offer a reasonable sinkage which would contour your body as you lay on your side. This is the only position where we recommend this level of firmness, otherwise, go with medium for more support.


Back sleepers are the perfect target group for this type too. But, make sure to opt for the highest quality brands to avoid sagging after couple months.

Different Pain Areas

Back Pain

It’s common that improper bedding can cause pain points, including back pain. Even though most memory foam beds offer fantastic contouring and pressure relief, it’s typically viewed as better to go for a slightly firmer option (at least medium).

Pain management and reduction is such an important an important part of life, and it can be difficult to know where to look. Read here for more information on top options to consider.

Hip Pain

Most people suffering from hip pain are sleeping on their sides on a firm bed. That means that softer surface will most likely help you get rid of the hip pain.

Shoulder Pain

Much like the point above, the bed should be able to conform to your body, allow for pressure relief and have enough support, so it doesn’t unnaturally curve your spine.

Shifting Around

If you like to move around while sleeping, most people prefer options that do not excessively hug your body like memory foam does.


Being that most plush beds are made from foam, that means lower motion transfer. This is going to ensure that you don’t feel the movements of your partner.

Your Weight

Now, if you are overweight, you will need a firmer option to avoid sinking too deep. On the other hand, if you opt for a 15″ or more it can still be soft but supportive enough.

Common Comparisons

Plush vs. Firm

The truth is that firmer beds are very comfortable too. Don’t confuse subjective firmness feel and support, those are two different things. It’s just down to your personal preference but if in doubt, harder options will be better for your spine in the long run.

Plush vs. Ultra-Plush

Ultra-plush models rarely provide the support you need. We still haven’t tested any beds in the 1-2 on a firmness scale of 1-10 (10 being the firmest). We do not recommend that you go with this range.

Plush vs. Pillow Top

Pillow top beds have an extra layer which is rarely thicker than one inch. This is designed to bring an additional amount of comfort without any added support. The pillow top could also come separately, and it could be used to enhance the comfort of any given bed. In most cases, it’s added on top of beds with coil construction.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Plushy?

Plushy is a bed feel which is both comfy and sturdy at the same time. It allows splendid sleeping sensation which is also quite healthy.

What is a Plush Firm Bed?

A plush firm mattress is one which provides the support of a firm bed and the comfort of a pillow top one. You would feel like sleeping on a cloud without any of the potential spinal damages.


As you can see, a plush bed and its many variations could be a viable and very convenient option. In fact, a lot of people prefer it over the firm models because it brings a convenient combination of the most sought-after capabilities – comfort and support.

You could enjoy the cloud-like sleeping sensation without worrying about the “trapped” sensation brought to you by memory foam or the spinal misalignments which could be caused by an overly softer unit. This bed type is a great solution if you like to sleep on your side or back and prefer to move around freely throughout the night.

Sources and References:

  1. Considerations When Buying a New Mattress –

Author: Sleep Advisor

Our team covers as many areas of expertise as we do time zones, but none of us started here as a so-called expert on sleep. What we do share is a willingness to ask questions (lots of them), seek experts, and dig deep into conventional wisdom to see if maybe there might be a better path towards healthy living. We apply what we learn not only to our company culture, but also how we deliver information to our over 12.7M readers.

Sleep research is changing all the time, and we are 100% dedicated to keeping up with breakthroughs and innovations. You live better if you sleep better. Whatever has brought you here, we wish you luck on your journey towards better rest.

Do I Need a Soft or Firm Mattress?

Quick Overview

Whether you need a ‘soft’ or ‘firm’ mattress will ultimately depend on your body, budget, and personal preferences. The right firmness level for a given sleeper varies by height, weight, and sleep position.

Additionally, mattress firmness is often linked to pricing and performance factors like durability and pressure relief. Due to the wide range of mattresses sold today, multiple firmness options are available for memory foam and latex beds, innersprings, hybrids and other common mattress types.

Read on to learn more about finding a mattress with the right firmness level for you and your sleep partner.

Why Is Firmness Important?

A mattress with the right firmness level will provide adequate support and alleviate pressure points throughout the sleeper’s body. Mattresses that feel too firm or not firm enough can create joint discomfort, back and shoulder pain, and exacerbate pressure points.

How soft or firm a mattress feels will largely depend on how the comfort layer (or comfort system) is constructed, as well as its overall thickness. The comfort layer is defined as the body-cushioning system that forms the topmost part of the mattress, and its composition will determine how closely the mattress conforms to a sleeper’s body. Common comfort layer components include polyfoam, memory foam, latex, and/or steel microcoils, as well as the mattress cover. Some mattresses have a single-layer comfort system, while others may have as many as four or five individual layers in the comfort system.

Other factors can be used to evaluate firmness in different mattress types. In innerspring mattresses, the gauge (or thickness) of steel coil and other metal components can affect overall firmness. In mattresses made entirely of foam and/or latex, firmness may be linked to a measurement known as indentation load deflection (or ILD). ILD refers to how much weight is needed to indent a sleep surface by 25%; mattresses with low ILD ratings are not as firm and require less weight for indentation, while mattresses with high ILD ratings are firmer and require more weight.

Due to the wide range of firmness preferences among individual sleepers, many mattress manufacturers offer models with multiple firmness options. Additionally, some mattresses are available in ‘dual firmness’ or ‘split firmness’ designs that feature different firmness settings on both sides of the top surface; these models are geared toward couples with differing firmness preferences. Other ‘flippable’ models feature different firmness settings on both the top and bottom surfaces, and they can be rotated whenever the owner wants to change the firmness.

Firmness vs. Support

Firmness is tied to bodily support, although it’s important to differentiate between these two terms: firmness refers to how a mattress feels as soon as a sleeper lies down, whereas support refers to how well a mattress maintains an even and sag-free surface, aligns the sleeper’s spine, and relieves pressure throughout the night.

That being said, mattresses that are too soft or too firm may lack proper support for certain sleepers. Excessively soft mattresses often sink excessively, which can compromise support for heavier individuals. These beds may also create discomfort for those who sleep on their back or stomach, since both of these positions require flat surfaces for good spinal alignment.

Alternatively, many lighter individuals find that excessively firm mattresses do not conform closely enough; as a result, they do not experience as much pain and pressure relief as heavier people. Side sleepers also tend to prefer mattresses that are less firm; this position often requires surfaces that conform closely to align the spine and alleviate related aches and pains as they develop.

In addition to firmness, sagging and indentations in the sleep surface can also negatively impact mattress support. Minor indentations of 5 inches or less may not affect how the mattress feels, but deeper sagging can cause pressure points to develop in affected areas of the sleeper’s body. Generally, mattresses built with high-density foam, Dunlop latex, or coil support cores withstand sagging and indentations to the most noticeable extent.

How Is Firmness Measured?

At, we rate mattresses using the following 1-10 firmness scale:

  • 1 (Extra Soft):An extremely plush sleep surface that sinks deeply beneath a sleeper’s body.
  • 2-3 (Soft):A very plush surface that conforms closely and sinks somewhat deeply.
  • 4 (Medium Soft):A plush surface with adequate conforming and minimal sinking.
  • 5 (Medium):An even balance of firmness and conforming with little sinking.
  • 6 (Medium Firm):A low-conforming surface with very little (if any) sinking.
  • 7-8 (Firm):A sufficiently firm surface that conforms to a degree without any sinking.
  • 9-10 (Extra Firm):An extremely hard surface with no conforming or sinking.

It’s important to note that mattresses with firmness settings of ‘1’, ‘9’, or ’10’ are quite rare because the vast majority of sleepers prefer surfaces with firmness settings of 2 to 8. As a result, most mattresses sold today fall between ‘Soft‘ and ‘Firm.’

Firmness and Sleeper Type

Body weight and sleep position are arguably the two most important factors for determining the right mattress firmness.

People with below-average weights generally feel more on mattress with lower firmness settings; if the mattress is too firm, then they may not weigh enough to feel any conforming or pressure relief. On the other hand, people who weigh more than 230 pounds may experience uncomfortable sinking on mattresses with low firmness settings.

Sleep position is key because it determines which areas of the body need more cushioning and support.

  • Back sleepers require more spinal and lower back support to maintain proper spinal alignment and prevent pain and discomfort from developing.
  • Side sleepers have vulnerable pressure points at the shoulders and hips, and also require neck support for proper spinal alignment.
  • Stomach sleepers generally need firmer mattresses to adequately support their hips and prevent uncomfortable sinking; most physicians do not recommend stomach sleeping due to the high risk of discomfort and pressure.

As a result, a side sleeping individual who weighs 150 pounds will react quite differently to the feel of a mattress than a back or stomach sleeper who weighs 300 pounds. Additional factors include the sleeper’s shoulder, waist, and hip measurements.

Using customer reports and product analysis data, the table below features the most popular firmness setting for individuals with different weights and sleep positions. Please note that this table reflects general findings; mattress firmness preferences are highly subjective, and we strongly urge all buyers to test out multiple firmness settings before buying a new mattress.

Weight GroupSleep PositionOptimal Firmness Range
Lighter than average
(Less than 130 lbs.)
SideMedium Soft to Medium
BackMedium Soft to Medium Firm
StomachMedium Soft to Medium Firm
(130 to 230 lbs.)
SideMedium Soft to Medium
BackMedium to Firm
StomachMedium to Medium Firm
Heavier than average
(More than 230 lbs.)
SideMedium to Medium Firm
BackMedium Firm to Firm
StomachMedium Firm to Firm

Firmness and Mattress Price

Although mattress price-points vary from brand to brand, models with low firmness settings (1 to 3) tend to be the most expensive due to extra padding layers that make the comfort system feel exceptionally soft.

Additionally, high-end materials like Talalay latex and gel memory foam tend to produce comfort systems with the softest settings. Alternatively, firmer mattresses feature less padding and are usually cheaper by comparison.

Firmness and Mattress Performance

The firmness setting may be used to determine how a mattress will perform in the long run. Performance factors tied to mattress firmness include the following:

  • Durability:Mattresses with low firmness settings – particularly innersprings – tend to be the least durable due to premature sagging and indentations in their relatively soft sleep surfaces. Firmer mattresses are less susceptible to this type of degradation, and their average lifespan is significantly longer.
  • Pain/pressure relief:Mattresses with mid-level firmness settings (4 to 6) tend to alleviate the most bodily pain and pressure, since they are designed to offer a balance of comfort and support. Models that are too firm or not firm enough provide less pain and pressure relief by comparison.
  • Smell:Off-gassing odor is an issue for most mattresses, but mattresses with low firmness settings (1 to 3) tend to produce stronger, longer-lasting smells because they have thicker foam layers; off-gassing is a major complaint among foam mattress owners. Firmer mattresses, on the other hand, generally contain lower amounts of foam and, as a result, produce less odor.
  • Temperature neutrality:Medium Firm and Firm mattresses typically retain less body heat and sleep somewhat cool as a result, while mattresses with lower firmness settings usually sleep warmer. However, temperature neutrality is more closely linked to mattress type; innersprings and hybrids tend to retain less body heat than foam and latex models.
  • Sex:Mattresses with mid-level firmness settings tend to be best for sex because they are sufficiently responsive without causing too much sinkage. Firmer mattresses are usually responsive enough for sex, as well. Mattresses with lower firmness settings may also be responsive but sinkage is an issue for some.
  • Ease of moving:Mattresses with low firmness settings are usually heavier, and need to be rotated more often, than mattresses with higher firmness settings.

The table below features a summary of pricing and performance expectations for mattresses with different firmness settings:

Firmness RangeExtra Soft to Soft (1-3)Medium Soft to Medium Firm (4-6)Firm to Extra Firm (7-10)
PriceMost expensiveAffordableMost affordable
DurabilityPoor to FairFair to GoodGood to Very Good
Pain/pressure reliefFair to GoodGood to Very GoodPoor to Fair
Odor potentialPoor to FairFair to GoodGood to Very Good
Temperature neutralityPoor to FairFair to GoodGood to Very Good
SexFair to GoodGood to Very GoodGood to Very Good
Ease of movingPoor to FairFair to GoodGood to Very Good

Firmness and Pillow Loft

Pillows play an important role in mattress firmness preferences. Pillow loft, or pillow thickness, can greatly affect the feel of a mattress. The thickness of a pillow is measured using the term ‘loft’. Low-loft pillows measure less than 3 inches thick, medium-loft pillows measure 3 to 5 inches thick, and high-loft pillows measure more than 5 inches thick. A good rule-of-thumb when choosing pillows for a mattress: the lower the firmness setting, the lower the pillow loft.

The table below features a detailed breakdown of the optimal pillow loft for different firmness settings:

Firmness RangeLow-Loft Pillow RatingMedium-Loft Pillow RatingHigh-Loft Pillow Rating
Extra Soft to Soft (1-3)Very GoodFair to GoodPoor
Medium Soft to Medium Firm (4-6)Fair to GoodVery GoodFair to Good
Firm to Extra Firm (7-10)PoorFair to GoodGood to Very Good

Mattress Buying Tips

Many mattress manufacturers list a firmness setting with different models. If this information is not available online for a particular model and you are unable to test out the mattress in person, we strongly recommend reaching out to that company’s customer service division to inquire about its firmness level.

Many online-only mattress brands offer sleep trials for new customers. These trials are typically 30 to 90 nights in length; customers have the option of returning their mattress for a full or partial refund before the trial period ends. In some cases, customers may be able to exchange their mattress for a different model — but it is important to read the fine print, since some brands do not allow customers to exchange their mattress for a model with a different firmness level.

Additionally, most companies will not honor warranty claims for customers who are dissatisfied with the firmness level of their mattress, or whose comfort preferences have changed since they made their original purchase. Unless the mattress shows another type of defect covered under the warranty (such as deep indentations or protruding wires), mattress owners will likely be unable to replace their mattress for a model with a different firmness setting.

Mattress Firmness Checklist

Before purchasing a mattress, here are a few firmness-oriented considerations to make:

  • What is your mattress budget?Mattresses with low firmness ratings tend to be more expensive than those with higher firmness ratings.
  • What is your weight?People who weigh less than 130 pounds usually feel more comfortable on ‘Soft’ or ‘Medium’ mattresses, while those who weigh more than 230 pounds often prefer higher firmness ratings. People who fall in the middle, fittingly, tend to prefer ‘Medium Soft’ to ‘Medium Firm’ surfaces.
  • What is your preferred sleep position?Generally speaking, side-sleepers are more comfortable on mattresses with lower firmness ratings, while back- and stomach-sleepers prefer mattresses with higher firmness ratings.
  • Do you have chronic back pain or constant pressure/discomfort?If the answer is yes, then you may feel most comfortable on mattresses with mid-level firmness ratings.
  • Is off-gassing a major issue?People who are sensitive to strong smells may prefer firmer mattresses, since they produce less off-gassing odor compared to mattresses with lower firmness ratings.
  • Do you sleep hot?Mattresses with ‘Medium’ or ‘Firm’ ratings typically retain less body heat than those with ‘Soft’ ratings, and sleep cooler as a result.
  • Do you plan to use the mattress for sex?Mattresses with lower firmness ratings tend to be more responsive – and thus, better for sex – than those with higher firmness ratings.
  • Do you plan to move/rotate the mattress on your own?Mattresses with lower firmness ratings tend to be heavier (due to additional padding layers) than firmer mattresses. Additionally, less firm mattresses need to be rotated more often on average.
  • What type of pillows do you own?Low-loft pillows are best paired with mattresses that are less firm, while high-loft mattresses go with firmer mattresses. If you do not own pillows with the right loft level, then you may need to purchase new ones in order to feel comfortable.
  • Are firmness exchanges allowed?Before committing to a specific brand, be sure to review the terms of their sleep trial and mattress warranties. In some cases, you will not be able to exchange your mattress for a model with a different firmness once the initial purchase has been made.

Firmness FAQ

Lastly, we’ll answer some common additional questions regarding mattress firmness options.

How can I test out firmness before buying?

Those who visit brick-and-mattress stores can arrange to visit one of these locations and lie down on a mattress to test the firmness. However, physical stores typically have a narrower selection of beds and price-points tend to be higher due to overhead costs related to maintaining a brick-and-mortar establishment.

Many online mattress brands do not operate brick-and-mortar locations, but they offer ‘sleep trials’ that allow customers to test out a bed before committing to a full purchase. Most sleep trials begin on the date of purchase and delivery, and extend for at least 90 consecutive nights; in rare cases, the trial may span one year or longer.

If the customer is dissatisfied with their bed before the trial period expires, then they may return it for a full or partial refund (depending on the brand’s trial offer). Some companies will also arrange for the mattress to be picked up from the customer’s residence at no extra charge, while others will apply shipping and transportation fees to the total refund amount.

One thing to note: some mattress sellers impose a mandatory break-in period. This means customers must test out the mattress for a certain amount of time (typically at least 30 nights) before they qualify for a full refund on their return.

What if I have different firmness preferences than my partner?

Differing firmness preferences can be a challenge for couples, but many of today’s beds address this concern by offering multiple firmness settings. These include mattresses with dual-firmness, meaning each side of the bed has a different firmness setting.

Other mattresses are flippable, with a different firmness setting on the top and bottom surfaces. These beds may be more suitable for couples who are willing to compromise on firmness night-to-night.

For couples with different preferences who would rather not purchase a new mattress, toppers can be very useful. A mattress topper is an individual layer of cushioning that rests on top of the mattress, usually beneath the top sheet. Most toppers make the mattress feel softer but some can actually increase the firmness. Common topper materials include memory foam, latex, down/feather blends, and wool.

I bought a mattress and I don’t like the firmness level. What can I do?

First, look into the bed’s return policy. If you are dissatisfied with the firmness but 90 nights have not elapsed since the original purchase or delivery date, then you may be able to return the bed for a full refund or, in some cases, exchange it for a different model from the same brand.

If the trial period has passed, then you will most likely be unable to return the mattress for a refund. Most mattress warranties stipulate that mattress repairs or replacements are not available simply because the owner’s firmness preferences have changed; in other words, firmness preference is not considered an identifiable defect.

Those who want to change the feel of their mattress after the trial period expires can use a topper to increase or reduce their bed’s firmness. If six to seven years have passed since the mattress was purchased, then it may be time for a new bed; the average mattress will perform for about seven years before it needs to be replaced.

Are different materials firmer than others?

When evaluating mattress firmness, material composition is usually a poor indicator. A bed’s comfort layers may contain memory foam or polyfoam, latex, minicoils, wool, and other materials with firmness settings ranging anywhere from ‘Extra Soft’ to ‘Extra Firm.’ How these materials are engineered will determine how firm or soft they feel.

However, as noted above, some materials tend to be more supportive than others. For example, beds with Dunlop latex and/or coils in the support core typically maintain flat sleep surfaces with minimal sagging.

On the other hand, memory foam and polyfoam beds tend to develop sagging and indentations in the sleep surface that compromise support, regardless of how soft or firm these materials actually feel.

As a general rule, use the bed’s listed firmness setting to evaluate how it feels and avoid using the mattress materials as criteria. If the firmness setting is not listed, feel free to contact the brand’s customer service division to inquire.

I’m (X) weight and sleep in (X) position but I don’t like the firmness level your table says I’d like. What’s up with that?

Although our general mattress assessments are mostly accurate, firmness preferences are highly subjective.

Just because a sleeper has a certain weight and/or preferred position does not necessarily mean their optimal firmness setting will correspond to the majority of sleepers in their weight or position group. A lighter individual or side sleeper may prefer an ‘Extra Firm’ bed, while a heavier person or back/stomach sleeper may find a softer bed is most comfortable.

Ultimately, the most important consideration is the firmness levelyouprefer, regardless of body type of sleep position. The best way to decide is to test out as many different firmness settings as possible.

Best Firm Mattress Reviews

Our review of the top rated firm mattresses online for the money.

Many of the hard mattresses on the market today are quite comfortable, and don’t sacrifice quality. On this list are the best rated firm mattresses that range from medium firm to extra firm and also vary in terms of materials. As a heads up, whenever we discuss prices, we are referencing the queen size mattresses, although we’re often factoring in the king mattress as well.

Overview Of Best Rated Beds

So you’re looking for a firm mattress, whether it’s a queen or king size. Chances are you’re a back or stomach sleeper, or you’re a heavier individual, or maybe you have a health concern that calls for a hard bed to sleep on. Back in the day, a firm mattress meant that you had to have a spring mattress on top of a foundation. Think of your grandma’s old mattress in her guest bedroom, or your dorm bed.

But now, with all of the amazing new mattress technology, including Hyper-Elastic Polymer, you have a wide range of options to choose from, meaningyou no longer have to sacrifice comfort for a firm mattress. With that in mind, it’s time to take a quick look at our list of the best rated firm mattresses for the money:

  • Firm Coil Mattress— Saatva Classic
  • Best Medium Firm Mattress— Leesa Hybrid
  • Best Extra Firm Mattress— Plank
  • Natural Materials— Awara
  • Semi Firm Foam Mattress— GhostBed Luxe

You might notice some consistencies in this post, such as all of these beds will rank as a medium firm to ultra firm on our firmness scale, all are going to be best mainly for people that favor their stomach and/or back, and all should be accommodating for heavier folks.

None of these beds will be the best options for side sleepers, as they need a soft, pressure relieving surface to accommodate for their hips and shoulders when on their side. In this post, we’ll explain what are the best firm or hard mattresses, and why.

What Is The Best Firm Mattress?

Changing mattresses can be difficult, especially when switching from a soft mattress to a firm one. Your body might need anywhere from several days to a full month to adjust to a new sleeping surface. But many times, these changes will be better for you in the long run. Having a sagging or worn out mattress can lead to issues with the spine, breathing, and blood flow. They can also just negatively affect your night’s sleep, which can cause issues with how you perform during the day.

The process of finding a new mattress in general can sometimes seem daunting. Your bed should be an investment in your life for the next 10-15 years, a happy place, and where you spend about a third of your life sleeping.

Mattresses are also a costly item, being anywhere from $200 to over $3,000 (depending on size and quality). We wish we could tell you plain and simple what the best mattress is for the money, but there are too many factors involved. As just one example, if you want a medium firm mattress there are about 20 products to consider, which are totally different from if you want an extra firm mattress. Making sure you do your research on your specific needs regarding how you like to sleep is very important before taking the leap and purchasing a new mattress. Not only that, but if you get a king size mattress rather than a queen, obviously there will be a major impact on price.

Firm Coil Mattress

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Medium Firm Mattress

Extra Firm Mattress

Natural Materials

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Foam Mattress

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Saatva is a luxury mattress that’s offered in three different firmnesses. All three come with an organic cotton Euro top cover. Whether you want an extra firm mattress or one that’s a little softer, Saatva has an option for you. If you want a firm king size mattress, Saatva is one of the best picks online.
Leesa’s coil bed is one of the most comfortable medium firm mattresses sold online. The bed combines 6" pocketed coils and various foams. It’s supportive, firm, and completely worth your time to learn more about. It’s a pretty darn good bed for the money.
Plank is a two sided firm mattress that’s price-conscious and offers a new take on an online mattress. It’s also from one of the largest brands out there, Brooklyn Bedding. If you’re looking for an extra firm mattress, Plank is just that (at least on one side) and should be plenty comfortable.
Awara is a cost-effective mattress that’s about a medium firm and should work for most sleeping positions. All things considered, if you’re in the market for the best semi firm mattress for the money, Awara has to be considered.
GhostBed Luxe is a semi firm mattress with plenty of cooling technologies. This is one of the most comfortable firm foam beds we’ve reviewed, and it has some special temperature-regulating features.


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Extra Firm vs Medium Firm

When it comes to a new firm mattress, there’s a gigantic difference between extra firm and medium firm. In our reviews we generally consider extra firm mattresses to feel like a thin layer of foam on a board. I know that doesn’t sound appealing, but it represents the lack of pressure relief that an ultra firm mattress will offer. There are plenty of extra firm beds out there, but you will have a shorter list than if you were looking for a medium firm mattress, which is perhaps the most popular comfort level.

A medium firm mattress offers a good amount of pressure relief, but not so much that you’re “melting” into the bed. You should still feel the support, but immediately recognize that this is semi firm, not ultra firm. The majority of brands we’ve published reviews for offer a medium firm bed, or something just a little softer. You’d rather start too firm than too soft with your new bed, especially if you’re wondering what is the best firm mattress for your particular situation.

The Most Comfortable Mattress Is A Subjective Term

We mention this in almost all of our mattress reviews. We want to bring it up here to remind you that comfort—and even firmness—is a relative term. If you’re looking for an extra firm mattress, your idea of comfort will be different from most people because most people select a bed in the medium to medium firm range.

Additionally, your weight affects your interpretation of feel and firmness. The more pressure you’re applying to the bed, the softer it will feel. Thus, if you have a semi firm mattress, to you it might feel like a soft bed. Likewise if you’re petite, a semi firm bed might feel ultra firm. With that in mind, finding the most comfortable firm mattress might not be as straightforward as you had hoped since our opinion is most certainly different from yours. We might think one mattress is comfortable and you disagree. Mattress shopping is subjective, there’s no way around it.

Saatva Mattress


  • Those who want a firm mattress with a Euro top cover
  • All body types
  • People that want a luxury bed that sells for around $1,000-$1,200 (great value for the money)
  • If you want a choice between an extra firm and medium firm mattress
  • People that want a bed from one of the top rated online brands

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Saatva is our “Firm Coil Mattress” choice for this list. Saatva is a luxury mattress brand that doesn’t believe their beds should be put in boxes, so they offerfree white-glove delivery.

This means a delivery company will hand deliver your new mattress to you (with or without the white gloves), set it up exactly how and where you want it, and then remove your old mattress— all complimentary. The downside to this is that they charge $99 for returns, should you change your mind about the bed. We doubt you’ll do that, but we mention it so you’re aware.

Two layers of coils and an organic cotton cover

Saatva comes in multiple firmness levels, and for this post we specifically like the two firmer options. We rated them as a medium firm to firm on our firmness scale. This bed is built with a dual coil system of individually wrapped coils and a steel coil base, and then has a firm Euro top that’s very responsive, so you will probably never feel “stuck in the mud.” This bed has some bounce to it (great for pillow fights), and an organic cotton cover that we think smells like burlap (in a good way!).

It’s oh so nice and sells for just over $1,000

The springs in this mattress make it accommodating for all body types, but we recommend most people, including combination sleepers, look into the medium firm model. They also have the firm model, but remember, that’s an extra firm mattress.

Free White Glove Delivery

120 Night Trial Period

Free Mattress Removal

Organic Cotton Cover

Leesa Hybrid


  • All body types (Sapira is thick/supportive)
  • Those who like a neutral foam feel (and want a supportive bed)
  • Anyone that wants a premium mattress with a we-cut-out-the-middle-man price
  • Anyone that needs a semi firm mattress
  • If you want one of the best rated mattresses online

This bed has afirmer neutral foam feel with a textured cover mixed in. It’s actually one of the more unique beds that we’ve tested to date.

In total, Leesa is about 11″ thick comprised of pocketed coils and a few different foams, plus a really nice, silky cover. Because the bed is about a medium firm, you won’t necessarily feel all of the layers, but rather you will just noticed that it has comfortable foam feel.This is the type of bed you want to nestle intoand never get out of.

Inside Leesa’s coil mattress

Because it is such a thick and luxurious bed, it will be a pretty good option for heavy people or anyone that just wants a supportive bed. In general,you will remain on top of the mattress, which is why from the get-go we say it’s a little better for people that spend most of the night on their belly/back. Of course, it will soften with use, but on day one it will be quite firm.

Leesa’s coil mattress belongs in a five-star hotel

Perhapsthe best part about Leesa is just how accomodating it is, especially if you get the king size mattress. If you’re ok with the firmness level, we imagine the feel of the bed will be no issue. It’s the type of bed that nearly everyone agrees is comfy even if it’s too firm, or they had original wanted something different.

Free Shipping & Returns

100 Night Trial Period

10 Year Warranty



  • Anyone that wants a choice between ultra firm and semi firm
  • If you want an inexpensive firm foam mattress (after-discount it’s under $850 for a queen size)
  • Anyone that wants the option to flip their mattress

Plank is a new mattress concept in that it’s double sided, and both sides are firm. They have a medium firm side and an extra firm side. You can see our firmness ratings for each side in the graphic below.

As you can see, we rated their “Soft” side as a semi firm and the “Firm” side as an extra firm. Despite the firmness level, however, we recommend medium and petite individuals try out Plank. If you’re heavy (i.e. well over 250 lb) there are other options to look into such as the Big Fig mattress.

Brooklyn Bedding intentionally created Plank to have a minimalist design

This bed isgreat for back and stomach sleepers, though, combination sleepers will probably be fine on the softer side. At the end of the day, though, we put Plank on the list because of the firmer side for people that want an ultra firm mattress. If you need a comfortable firm mattress, Plank gives you two chances to get it right.

Free Shipping & Returns

120 Night Trial Period

10 Year Warranty

Multiple Firmness Options



  • Anyone looking for an low-price mattress that’s still very nice and comfortable
  • All body types
  • If you want a bed with certain natural/organic materials
  • If you’re watching your wallet, but still want a highly rated firm bed

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Awara is an inexpensive hybrid mattress that ships directly to you. It’s also fairly new to the mattress scene and is backed by Resident Home, the company that brought you Nectar and DreamCloud. This coil mattress is constructed withpocketed coils and a foam top layer. Some Slumber Yard team members have compared the feeling of this bed to that of laying on an extra-thick bed of grass, because there’s a thin layer of cushion before the firm ground, or in this case, individually wrapped coils.

Our overall firmness rating for the bed is closer to a medium firm, which means it will be able to accomodate all sleeping positions, although some people that sleep on their side might consider it too firm. Still, we find it to be supremely comfortable, especially when you think about the fact that it’s a wallet-friendly mattress.

If you take one look at the price tag, you’ll know why we call it a great value

Awara has certain natural materials, comes with free shipping and returns, and has a “forever” warranty. The MSRP is under $1,500 for the queen size mattress. And that is before you apply any discounts. Most of the time, you can expect the queen size to cost you about $1,200. If you go to you can see current deals and offers.

Free Shipping & Returns

365-Night Trial Period

Natural & Organic Materials

GhostBed Luxe Mattress


  • Those who want a semi firm bed that still has pressure relief
  • Hot sleepers that can’t get comfortable on a normal bed
  • All body types (one of the thicker foam beds)
  • Anyone that wants a longer warranty

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The GhostBed Luxe is for those of you who tend to sleep hot, and are looking to cool down.This bed uses gel-infused foam with a mix of a Japanese cooling fiber, giving you a “GhostHug” feel (a cold foam hug). Heavier folks will probably get that “GhostHug,” but average sized individuals might not because the lighter you are, the less you sink into the material.

Although this is technically a firm bed, it’s actually more of a semi firm bed. We think it’s very comfortable and would be a nice pick for a wide range of sleepers.

The GhostBed Luxe is cool-to-the-touch

The GhostBed Luxe is going to be accommodating for heavy folks because it’s a thicker bed made with quality materials, and of course the firmness helps it to manage heavier people. Even so, we prefer you look into a coil bed first, but GhostBed Luxe is one of the better options for overweight and large individuals.

Free Shipping & Returns

101 Night Trial Period

25 Year Warranty

Review Team

Rated By Us

Here at the Slumber Yard, we literally have a room piled full of queen mattresses that we test out on a daily basis. We have a complete spectrum of beds, ranging from college student prices to almost over-the-top luxurious—and some that are just fantastic mattresses for the money. We have published reviews of poly foam beds, memory foam mattresses, latex mattresses, beds with coils, and more. We think about things like whether or not there’s enough edge support on the queen mattress for couples. Will this bed sleep hot, or cool? Is this too much for my child’s twin mattress? We take all the guesswork out of the equation for you, because we’re basically mattress nerds. So, if you’re searching for ultra firm or semi firm, we’ve got you covered.

How We Selected Firm Mattresses

We have a firmness scale here at the Slumber Yard to help categorize the firmness level of every mattress we test. It makes things easier for both us and you. Our scale ranges from soft, to medium soft, to medium, to medium firm, and finally, ultra firm. All of the beds on this list have been rated either a medium firm or extra firm. Please keep in mind that firmness is a term dependent on body weight, which we explain later in this post, but we have a wide range of Slumber Yard team members in all different body shapes and sizes, which helps us find a median place on the firmness scale for each bed. If you’re looking for the most supportive beds out there, check out our list of the Best Mattresses for Heavy & Obese People.

Who Is A Firm Mattress Best For?

There are usually some specific qualifications for people who tend to seek out a hard mattress. First is that you’re possibly a back or stomach sleeper. These sleepers need a firm surface that won’t let their head, hips, or shoulders sink into the mattress too much, which would cause the spine to curve or arch. You need to keep their spine in neutral alignment, which can prevent back pain and waking up with soreness. We notice that back sleepers typically like a firmer surface, perhaps even an extra firm one, and then belly sleepers might need a little bit more cushion such as a medium firm mattress.

Another reason you may want a firm bed is that you might be a heavier individual. Firmness is a relative term to weight, which can make things tricky if you’re either much heavier (250 lb+) or much lighter (100 lb-). Heavier individuals tend to sink into a mattress deeper, because they’re displacing more weight into it. This makes the bed feel softer for them. If you’re a heavier individual who sleeps main on their back or belly, or might just prefer an ultra firm bed in general, it can be more difficult for you to find what you’re looking for. Contrast that with someone that weighs under 150 lbs who will think even a semi firm mattress is extra firm.

The last reason for wanting a harder sleep surface is that you might have a medical condition that requires a firm mattress every night. Whether that has to do with spinal issues, breathing issues, or something else, always consult with your doctor before making a final decision and purchasing a new bed.

How To Clean Your New Mattress

Since the covers on the mattresses listed above aren’t machine washable, you’ll have to take a few extra steps to get them clean when you or your loved one makes an accidental spill. It’s pretty simple — all you need is a mild detergent, warm water, and a towel. Just make sure you don’t use too much water because it may cause damage to the foam in your mattress, which is obviously the last thing you want when you’re just trying to clean up some orange juice from breakfast-in-bed.

Many online mattresses have removable covers, but you need to be careful because that doesn’t mean it’s machine washable. If you do, you’re at risk of shrinking the cover to the point where it won’t fit over your mattress anymore. If your desire for a bed with a removable cover outweighs your yearning for one of our top rated firm mattresses, check out our review on a Helix Mattress and Yogabed.

The Best Medium Firm Mattress

We made one selection for the best medium firm mattress, but the truth is that there are a dozen or so really fantastic beds in that firmness range. And for the record, we consider a medium firm and semi firm mattress to be the same thing.

Now, why are they so popular? Well, in many cases people just prefer a slightly firmer profile, but in other cases, it’s about starting firmer because all beds. In fact, if you want a bed to be just firmer than a “medium” you probably want to start a little up the firmness chain. Another reason would be that a medium firm mattress is really accommodating because in many cases you can sleep in any and all sleeping positions. That means, if you’re spending a lot of time on your side at night, often times a semi firm mattress will be plenty accommodating—and the same would be generally true for people laying on their stomach or back, too.

There are countless other reasons why you might like this style of bed, but let’s not waste anymore time—let’s take a look at the best medium firm mattresses, according to our editors:

It’s not fair to say that above is an exhaustive list. The truth is that there are dozens of medium firm mattresses that we like a lot, and you probably will too. We’d say, you can start with our list and expand from there. Also, we left out plenty of beds that come in multiple firmness options, including Brooklyn Signature, Amerisleep, Helix Sleep, Nest Alexander, and plenty of others. You may want to look through our Mattress Reviews page to see more beds.

What About The Extra Firm Mattress?

We’ve covered the semi firm mattress, but what about the ultra firm one? After all, there’s a huge number of people that outright prefer an extra firm mattress—whether because of a health condition or just for comfort. An ultra firm mattress is one that doesn’t have a whole lot of give. The idea is that you feel as if you’re laying on a thick bed of grass. You get a little cushioning, but not much. With all of that in mind, let’s take a look a list of best extra firm mattresses:

Clearly, we could make our list much longer, but that’s a fantastic place to start. Our selection, often times, is Plank because it offers two different firmness options. There’s the medium firm and the ultra firm, so it’s kind of like the best of both worlds. If you’re wondering what is the best firm mattress, we do think plenty of people will like that bed, but of course there are countless other great options.

More About Online Mattresses

Most of the mattress reviews we’ve published include a “boxed mattress,” and will show up outside your front door inside packaging that’s about 4 ft tall (or a bag, but it’s still the same concept). At first glance, you might wonder if you accidentally purchased a mattress topper. We assure you, whatever size mattress you ordered is going to be in there. If you’re still a little skeptical, you’ll warm up to the idea once you don’t have to struggle carrying a mattress as tall as you are through your front door all the way to your bedroom.

How do they compress a 6 ft long queen mattress to only ⅔ the size? The simple answer is they’re rolled up and compressed, so they take up a lot less space than they normally would inside your bedroom. Once you remove the packaging from your new mattress, you’ll want to lay it on a flat surface and wait about 24-48 hours so you can allow time for it to decompress and off-gas. The entire online mattress concept just offers a wonderful product for the money.

How Did The Slumber Yard Get These Mattresses?

Basically all of our mattresses are sent to us straight from the company so we can properly review, and compare the beds to other brands. Even though that’s the case, we’ll always keep our reviews unbiased and honest. Other than some other review sites out there, we aren’t owned by a company and we don’t accept bribes. If we say we like a mattress or product, you can rest assured that the members on our team with a range of body types and sleeper types gave it our stamp-of-approval.

Returns and Trial Periods

When you purchase from an online mattress company, you get to take advantage of their generous return and trial period policies. All of the brands listed above offer free shipping and will give you a risk-free trial period to make sure you find the most comfortable firm mattress for you.

Some brands give you an average of 100 days to test it out, while other companies like DreamCloud will give you an entire year. If you decide you don’t like your mattress within the trial period, you’ll be able to return your mattress for 100% of your money back. Most companies just urge you to wait at least 30 days before you make a final decision, so you can allow your body to become acclimated to your new mattress.

This is another thing online mattress companies has over many Brick-and-mortar retailers. The brands who are strictly in-store usually require you to exchange your mattress, rather than get your money back with a return. We want to note there are a few states who charge a small mattress recycling fee to safely get rid of your mattress, so double check to see if your state is one of them.

The Best Size Of Firm Bed

In general, the size of bed you get has little to no impact on its firmness rating or overall comfort of the bed. The one thing that we want to point out is that if you have two people on the same bed, they will have different estimates in terms of how firm it is. That said, the best way to make two people happy on the bed is to have them get a firm king mattress. Why is that so? Well, they will have more room on the king size mattress so they don’t bump into each other all the time. Getting comfortable for one person can be difficult—especially on an older mattress—and when you add a second person, the equation gets quite a bit more difficult to solve. We advise “sizing up” and getting a king mattress. Now, obviously, you’d get a firm king mattress since you’re interested in the beds in the 6-10 range in terms of hardness.

Having said all of that, we realize that not everyone can afford a king mattress. In that case, for one person or two, we suggest the queen size mattress, which measures in at 60″ x 80″ typically. A firm queen mattress will generally have fairly strong edge support, so if you are sleeping with a partner, that’s an advantage over certain other beds. But how much larger is the king mattress than the queen? It’s about 25% larger in terms of overall space, which is why we say couples should get a king if they can afford it.

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