The 7 Highest Rated Firm (Hard) Mattresses in 2020
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One of the first things you ought to do when you go ahead and start looking for a bed is to identify the type of sleeper that you are. Do you prefer to sleep on your sides, back or stomach? As long as you get that sorted out correctly, you are good to go.
The next thing to consider, and probably the one that would ultimately determine your choice, is the mattress firmness. We are going to take a closer lookat some top rated firm mattresses on the market. They are usually preferred by people who like to sleep on their backs or stomach.
For more options, we recommend that you read our highlights of best-rated brands and see the winners for each category.
Of course, that’s far from being enough when it comes to determining the firmness level of your bed. There are quite a few things that you would have to account for to understand what makes a great firm (or extra-firm) mattress. That’s why we’ve taken the liberty of providing you with everything you need to know in a structured and comprehensive manner. Hopefully, after you are done the reading, you’ll be confident choosing your ideal “hard” mattress.
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Top 7 Firmest Bed Reviews
Saatva – Affordable Luxury
Saatva’s Firm model is an especially supportive innerspring bed that features a coil-on-coil construction with firmer foams in its comfort layers. Sleepers should feel like they are floating on top of the mattress rather than sinking into it and the alignment should be great for most back and stomach sleepers.
The coil-on-coil design includes individually wrapped springs on top of an interconnected coil base. While the first layer of coils helps contour, the base helps prevent sagging and gives support. The steel in the base coils has been tempered, which increases their durability.
Why is it special?A firmer innerspring experience provides all the things people love about coils. From bounce to support, Saatva offers a high-quality package.
It has premium features, like an enhancement to the lumbar area, as well as a dual perimeter edge support, and the incorporation of organic cotton into its cover. In addition, Saatva offers free White Glove Delivery and mattress removal.
Nectar – Exceptional Value
This bed was made to suit most budgets with exceptional value due to the generous trial period and reasonable price. If you love the traditional feel of memory foam but feel like you get stuck deeper that you’d like it most mattresses, Nectar could be for you. Firm and supportive, but great for pressure points, Nectar uses a combination of three types of memory foam to provide the deep cradle many sleepers love without causing them to get stuck or overheat.
Because of the great support and soft pressure point relief, this bed could be a great option for a variety of sleeping positions, helping to maintain proper alignment. Though Nectar allows you to sink in comfortably, it shouldn’t retain heat like other memory foam options because of its breathable cover and the gel-infused top layer of foam.
What stands out?This bed was made with one firmness level to be suitable for most sleeping positions so you shouldn’t have to worry if you’re a combination sleeper or your partner sleeps differently than you. Combined with the extra-long trial, its versatility makes it a great value.
Plank by Brooklyn Bedding – Extremely Firm
Firmer beds have plenty of benefits, from properly supporting stomach sleepers to helping many sleep cooler. For those looking for the right option, Plank by Brooklyn Bedding should be firm enough to support you, while allowing some cradling so you don’t feel like you’re sleeping on an actual plank.
On this firmer Brooklyn bed, you’re not likely to sink in but rather lay on top of the supportive foams and enjoy an evening of cool sleep. This option is great for stomach sleepers for proper spinal alignment, and while it might not relieve pressure points like memory foam, if you like sleeping on the floor, odds are that’s not a huge factor on your list. However, if the bed is a little too soft for your liking when it arrives, you can even flip it over for a firmer feel.
What makes it unique?As the foams are quick responding, most sleepers shouldn’t have any trouble with repositioning, and though it’s an all-foam model, with gel infusions, it shouldn’t retain heat.
For stomach and back sleepers, this bed is likely a dream come true, especially if you don’t find yourself preferring less cushion.
Brooklyn Aurora – Amazing Cooling
For those who want to sleep on a firm cooling mattress with great features, the Brooklyn Aurora is one of the best we’ve seen, which is offered in a Firm configuration. The Brooklyn Aurora uses proprietary Titanflex™ latex alternative as the main foam in this bed with cooling and support mechanisms built into every layer. With pocketed coils, memory foam, and copper gel integrated into various parts of the bed, we know it may be oversaid, but this mattress has it all.
Why is it special?Brooklyn aims to pass along their savings in manufacturing to the customer, which is why they own their manufacturing process, cutting out middlemen. This means customers could get luxury quality and materials in a bed in box option without paying an exorbitant amount.
However, that’s not even the best part of this bed. While it’s exceptionally firm, it also has bounce, motion isolation, and edge reinforcement for those who want support they can rely on.
Loom & Leaf – Memory Foam
Firm memory foam? Although it may seem too good to be true, especially to stomach and back sleepers, the Firm model from Loom & Leaf is an incredibly supportive memory foam solution.
With the perks of a luxury mattress crossed with a firmer feel, this bed should elevate sleepers without making them feel like they’re sleeping on a rock.
The supportive foam and quilted organic cotton cover give it some comfort while the overall construction of the layers delivers firm support. With a cooling Spinal Zone Gel pad in the center third, sleepers should experience ideal temperature regulation and some extra support for the spine. This is especially helpful when lying in a position with a lot of surface area contact with the bed.
What stands out?For a good firm memory foam solution, it is hard to beat Loom & Leaf. It is an exceptionally well-made product that feels truly high-end. If you decide to purchase, you’ll even receive complimentary White Glove Delivery and mattress removal services.
Zenhaven – Flippable
If you’re not quite sure if you need a harder mattress but suspect that maybe you should try one out, Zenhaven is a safe option because you can flip it over at will for a new feel– it is dual-sided. The brand claims that its Gentle Firm side feels 18% firmer than its Luxury Plush side.
Zenhaven uses four layers of tree-tapped American-made Talalay latex, bundled in organic New Zealand wool and cotton. The Talalay process for producing latex ensures a durable and consistent material that should also be hypoallergenic. The brand has taken its production one step further by innovating the Talalay design to include five zones for even more support for the shoulder and torso areas.
What makes it unique?Zenhaven has a luxurious latex feel, giving the body a buoyant sensation when lying down, along with solid support and quick responsiveness in each layer. If you find yourself in need of a softer bed, it’s only a flip away.
Complimentary White Glove Delivery and free mattress removal are part of the Zenhaven package, making your best night’s sleep even more hassle-free.
Love and Sleep by Nest Bedding – Budget Choice
Nest Bedding® built its entry-level Love & Sleep budget bed with so many higher-level features that we’re surprised at the price. Their multiple comfort levels include a Firm mattress that works well for exclusive stomach sleepers and back sleepers who like a little extra support.
This iteration of the Love & Sleep has a supportive 8-inch foam core that is topped with a 2-inch layer of Energex foam that provides pressure relief and contouring. The entire bed is wrapped in a durable cover integrated with phase-change materials to help keep your temperature regulated throughout the night.
Why do we love it?The company has included some impressive cooling technology and a generous sleep trial/warranty package with their beds that give it fantastic value in the entry-level space. Additionally, for being an all-foam bed, this model does well with motion isolation and provides enough bounce to keep most sleepers happy.
There is also a Lifetime Comfort Guarantee that helps ensure your satisfaction for as long as you own the bed.
Who Should Sleep on a Firmer Bed?
One of the first things that you want to consider is what kind of sleepers benefit the most from a good firm option. If you usually sleep on your back or your stomach – you may fall into that category. At the same time, if you are a heavier regarding weight, you’d also likely benefit a lot from a hard mattress that is more stiff than what a side sleeper needs.
For those of you who like to sleep on their backs – the harder bed will work at keeping your spine in proper alignment, and it should prevent excessive sagging and contouring.
Stomach sleepers, on the other hand, also benefit from a hard mattress for reasons that are quite similar. They tend to keep a particularly flat profile, which results in fewer gaps between your body and the bed. With this said, if you prefer belly sleeping, you should consider a unit that will prevent your back from arching. At the same time, the bed should prevent your pelvis from sinking right into it.
Who Shouldn’t Get a Hard Bed?
Naturally, some people wouldn’t prefer a particularly hard bed. Those of you who like sleeping on their sides probably wouldn’t appreciate the extra firmness. The reasons are numerous.
Right off the bat, the very first thing that you should consider is that while sleeping on your side, you exert a lot more pressure on a concentrated surface on the mattress. That’s why the sinkage can be a lot more. If the bed doesn’t contour your body and sink appropriately, you can start experiencing pain in your shoulders and lower back.
People who are light regarding weight should also stay away from hard beds. The reason is quite simple – they wouldn’t be able to exert enough pressure on the bed to sink and would likely float on top of it. This is a rather unpleasant sensation that can also cause a lot of issues.
Benefits of a Firm Model
Obviously, firm mattresses are suitable for a particular types of sleepers. There are numerous benefits brought by a firmer bed, so let’s have a look.
The truth is that you can never have too much support. However, the opposite is true. Firmer mattresses offer an expressed amount of support, and they are a lot more comfortable if used by the right person. Those of you who experience lower back pain, neck or joint issues could benefit.
You would never be able to get a proper rest if your mattress is overly soft or if it’s sagging for the positions we’ve discussed. With this in mind, a proper bed with the necessary amount of firmness will comprehensively align your spine, inducing a state of great relaxation.
If there is one thing that you should consider when picking a mattress, that’s the spine alignment. A firm bed can significantly help with this if used for the proper positions.
A firm model offers splendid overall weight distribution which can alleviate a lot of pressure points between the body and the bed.
As you have started your search online, there are a few guidelines you can use to help find something you will be comfortable on for years to come. While some people like to go to shops like Mattress Firm or other local stores, if you prefer to shop online, reference the following tips to help make your selection.
There are different types of firmness levels when it comes to it. We’ve decided to focus on those who score up the higher end of the scale.
Typically, for a mattress to be above the average, it has to be medium firm, firm, and extra firm. These all have different purposes.
For instance, medium-firm beds are preferred by the vast majority of sleepers. It’s estimated that about 80% of people prefer this particular firmness level. Firm ones would feel slightly less tough in comparison, and the firmest ones are very sturdy.
Hard mattresses are great for back and stomach sleepers while extra-firm ones can be used by people who are substantially overweight or are just very heavy. This would help guarantee the necessary support.
There are different types of materials that you can go for. The most preferred on the market when it comes to beds are memory foam, innerspring and latex.
Now, if you are a fan of memory foam mattresses, you could have a harder time finding a firm, let alone extra firm bed. This is due to the natural properties of the material.
On the other hand, innerspring and latex are materials are generally more responsive, and they can make it easier for the mattress to be a firm. They are the predominant materials for most extra-firm solutions just for that reason.
Beware of Sagging
Sagging in mattresses that are firmer could be a serious issue for sleepers. In certain situations, the excessive sag is caused by the low quality of the material. That’s why we recommend making no compromises if you’re to buy a firm bed.
Old mattresses, however, may no longer have the material or structural integrity to deliver the necessary amount of support. Keep in mind that the average useful lifespan for the majority of beds will range between 8 and ten years. Of course, there are a lot of factors that might affect and alter this such as usage, body type, weight, and others of the kind.
The edge support is quite important for some, and it’s amongst the factors that you can account for. Poor edge support could potentially lead to quicker sagging of your mattress as you sleep regularly on it.
For those sleepers who share it with someone else, you are likely to find yourself on edge a lot more than you’d like to. This is when you can definitely appreciate proper edge support.
However, another way to help get around it is to get a bigger size if you are part of a couple. For instance, instead of getting a good Queen size mattress, you can order a King size so there is more available space for each person.
Amorous activities are also an important consideration. Interestingly enough, quite a lot of couples enjoy taking advantage of the edge of the bed for sexual activities. Most of the options outlined above do not suffer from this problem.
Temperature (Air Flow)
This is one of the most commonly underestimated characteristics and also one of the most important ones for many people. The air flow that your mattresses allows largely determines the overall temperature of the unit.
The last thing you’d want is to wake up sweating through the night, just because you’ve picked a unit that retains a substantial amount of heat.
You can aim for something cooler and innerspring and latex are the leaders in this segment, though there are often gel infusions in memory products. Overall, a cooler bed is attributed to better sleep and proper rest.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Medium-Firm Mattress?
When you’re looking for a bed, you’re looking to blend the perfect amount of two key features, which are pressure relief and support. You want one that is soft enough to cushion the places where the body tends to develop pressure when lying prone, and you also want a bed with enough support in place to keep your weight resting evenly. This blend is not the same for everyone or every sleeping position, but Medium-Firm tends to accommodate most sleepers in most positions.
If you’ve been doing some mattress shopping, you’ve probably heard the words “medium-firm” a lot: there’s definitely a reason for this. Mattress manufacturers looking to capture the largest market for their brand aim for this firmness because it tends to be the most versatile feel across the largest population of body types. It is also ideal for combination sleepers who switch positions at night.
It’s important to keep in mind that not every sleeper will experience a bed in the same way, and what feels Medium-Firm for one person might feel quite a bit firmer to someone who is significantly lighter than average. Likewise, someone significantly heavier might experience a bed marked Firm as quite a bit softer.
Choose an orthopaedic mattress for firmer support
If you suffer with back, joint or musculoskeletal problems, an orthopaedic mattress could give you the support you need at bedtime. Or you may simply prefer the support from a firmer mattress, in which case these mattresses would suit you too. Orthopaedic mattresses are designed to give you maximum support, offering better weight distribution to help gently relieve those sleep pressure points.
Choose your orthopaedic mattress
Orthopaedic solutions for a blissful nights sleep
Sealy Ortho Mattress
The Sealy Ortho Support is ideal for those who prefer a firm sleeping surface. Featuring Sealy’s Posturepedic spring system, the mattress profiles your body to provide the maximum support and comfort.
Clima Control Latex Mattress
Our bodies have impeccable air conditioning as we go about our everyday lives. The Clima Control Latex Ortho features a sophisticated system that helps regulate our body temperature while we sleep, which is important for optimum comfort throughout the night.
Como Backcare Firm Mattress
With 1000 individually pocketed springs, the Como Backcare Firm has premium ultra firm orthopaedic support to ensure you sleep well all year round. It’s seasonal – with one side layered with English wool to keep you warm on chilly winter evenings and the other side offering the coolness of quality synthetic fibres in summer.
Silentnight Ortho Choice Mattress
Introducing the Silentnight Ortho Choice Eco 1400 mattress, featuring their unique Eco Comfort Fibres™ – sustainable and breathable fibres that are 100% recyclable and intelligently constructed to deliver superb comfort night after night.
Pure Magnificence Mattress
The Pure Magnificence is a luxuriously handcrafted bed like no other. Handcrafted in Britain by Staples, master bed makers for over 120 years, the Pure Magnificence indulges you with sumptuous all-natural fillings of British Highland wool, bamboo, alpaca and pashmina.
Sealy Haven Mattress
our bedroom should be a sleep haven – a place where you can enjoy a blissful, rejuvenating rest every night. Our premium mattresses from The Sanctuary Collection by Sealy allow you to do just that.
Slumberland Halo Pocket Mattress
The Slumberland Halo Pocket 1400, with the finest Belgian damask fabric and traditional hand tufted finish, offers the ultimate in true support and is ideal for those who prefer a firmer feel. Part of the Slumberland Solutions collection, this mattress is the work of nearly 100 years of expertise in making mattresses.
Tempur Helsinki Mattress
Sumptuous quilted fabric using TEMPUR Extra Soft Material for the ultimate in plush comfort. The original TEMPUR material – our breakthrough technology derived from NASA – relieves pressure points and absorbs partner motions.
Natural Bamboo Ortho Mattress
An extra firm mattress; with 2000 responsive pocket springs. Superbly resilient, sumptuous natural fillings of Bamboo, Wool, Alpaca, and Tencel.
Sealy Activsleep Ortho
The Sealy Ortho Extra Firm provides support across the entire sleeping surface. Do you wake up easily during the night due to a partner or pet moving? The mattress features Sealy’s PostureTech Zero Deflection (ZD) system which combats both weight and movement to avoid motion disruption
Myers Orthorest Mattress
With over 800 pocket springs and layers of myerpaedic support, the Orthorest 800 Mattress is the ultimate bedroom companion. Edge to edge technology allows full use of the mattress and prevents you from rolling out of bed while tufting pre-tensions the mattress for a firmer feel.
Ortho Options Mattress
If you require extra firm orthopaedic support from your mattress, the Ortho Options is perfect to compliment your sleeping style. With its extra firm coils to provide consistent all-over support for your whole body, the Ortho Options is a fantastic all-rounder mattress and great value.
Orthopaedic mattress sizes
Select your prefered mattress size
Find your perfect orthopaedic mattress
Select your preferred mattress type
Originally developed by NASA, memory foam mattresses are topped with a layer of temperature-sensitive foam that moulds to the shape of your body as you sleep. This offers exceptional support, relieving the pressure on your joints for a truly luxurious night’s sleep.
These mattresses contain hundreds of individual springs, housed in their own fabric pockets. Each one moves independently, so you get just the right amount of support on your pressure points. It also means you’re less likely to be disturbed when your partner rolls over at night.
If you’re looking for a hard-working, durable mattress at a great price, take a look at our open coil mattress range. For years the UK’s most popular type of mattress, open coil mattresses contain a lattice of springs that help spread your weight more evenly.
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Best Mattress for Lower Back Pain
In this Article
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If you have a bad back, you should buy the firmest mattress you can find — right? Not so fast. While that used to be the common wisdom, there’s no solid research behind it. The latest thinking is that there isn’t one type of mattress that’s best for everyone, including people with chronic back pain. Let personal preference guide you, and choose what feels most comfortable.
But making the right choice can be tricky. So many products are on the market, and just because a mattress feels good when you lie down on it in a showroom doesn’t mean you’re going to be happy sleeping on it for the next several years.
Here are a few tips to guide you:
It Needs to Keep Your Spine Aligned
You may not realize it, but good posture is important when you sleep. The muscles and ligaments (tissue that holds joints together) in your back need to relax and recover while you snooze. If a mattress is too firm — or too squishy — it won’t support your spine at your neck or lower back the way it needs to. What’s firm enough (but not too firm) is different for everyone: If you have wide hips, for instance, a slightly softer surface may be better. You need some more give in order to keep your spine in alignment. Someone with narrower hips might be better off with a firmer surface.
When in Doubt, Go вЂMedium-FirmвЂ™
Research is limited, but in one study, researchers assigned new mattresses to more than 300 people with low back pain. They used either "medium-firm" or "firm" mattresses for 90 days. Those in the medium group reported the least amount of discomfort.
You might consider getting a memory foam mattress (instead of a traditional innerspring one). The foam molds to your body. The downside: Some memory foam mattresses keep in heat; and the material might have more chemicals.
Take a Longer Test-Drive
If you have a great night’s sleep and wake up pain-free after staying at a hotel or in a friend’s guest room, copy down that mattress’s model number. Or choose a mattress that comes with a money-back guarantee: A growing number of companies will let you buy a mattress and use it for anywhere from 30 to 100 days and send it back for a refund if you’re not happy with it.
Just Buy Something
When researchers from Oklahoma State University randomly assigned 62 people to sleep in a variety of new beds for 28 days, they found that almost everyone started to sleep better. That was true regardless of which model they were given, though people who slept in the cheapest beds did report more lower back pain than those in the medium- and higher-priced beds.
The most important thing seemed to be that the beds were new. They noted that the average age of the participants’ old beds was 9.5 years. And they concluded that "sleep quality may be dependent on timely replacement of bedding systems." The takeaway: If you’ve been sleeping on the same mattress for 9 or 10 years (or more), it’s time to get a new one. Almost any new replacement is going to be better than the saggy foundation of an old mattress. But it may pay to spring for at least a mid-priced model.
Pillows and Positions Matter
Even if you have the right mattress, itвЂ™s not the only thing that counts when it comes to managing your back pain as you rest. Sleep position is important, as are the kind of pillows you use and where you place them.
Cleveland Clinic: "Is Your Sleep Position Causing You Back Pain?"
Consumer Reports: "Mattress Buying Guide."
Harvard Healthbeat: "What Type of Mattress is Best for People With Low Back Pain?"
Jacobson, BH. "Grouped Comparisons of Sleep Quality for New and Personal Bedding Systems."Applied Ergonomics, 2008.
Kovacs, FM. вЂњEffect of firmness of mattress on chronic non-specific low-back pain."Lancet, November 2003.
Mayo Clinic: "Slide show: Sleeping positions that reduce back pain."
University of Utah Health Care: вЂњGood Sleeping Posture Helps Your Back."
Orthopedic Mattress Review
What Is An Orthopedic Mattress?
An Orthopedic Mattress is designed to support without pressure points that will cause blood clots and bed sores. These beds are used by people who are bed ridden and have limited or no mobility. They are used in Hospitals and nursing homes by trained staff. The reason they must be trained staff is because the air mattresses used are multi chamber mattresses that can be inflated in sections to give the maximum support with the minimum pressure. These mattresses also give the spine the perfect alignment, weather you are a back sleeper or side sleeper.
Millions of people suffer, many needlessly, from induced pain and discomfort. In many cases this is due to poor sleeping conditions and unsuitable mattresses. Either, mattresses that are too old or of poor design and construction. In most cases this could be helped or even cured by the use of an Orthopedic mattress.
Our body needs it’s rest to repair and make good every night. Our back and spine are the most important part of our bodies. The spine carries our nerves communicating to our whole body. So a damaged back and/or spine is going to have an effect on our arms, legs and neck. If we are in pain this is going to have an effect on our ability to work. Time off work can be very costly to you and your employer. Then there’s the effect on home life, not being able to do the garden, clean the house, clean the car, lift the shopping into the car and play with the children.
The word Orthopaedic was first used by Nicholas Andry (1658-1742). Andry was the professor of Medicine at the University of Paris and Dean of the faculty of Physick. In 1741, at the age of 81, he published a famous book called Orthopaedia: or the Art of Correcting and Preventing Deformities in Children. Nicholas Andry coined the word “orthopaedics” in French as orthopedie, derived from the Greek words orthos (“correct”, “straight”) and paideion (“child).
So how did the word Orthopaedic come from being a word for children’s care to be a word to describe a mattress for adults?
Jean-Andre Venel was a Genevese physician who studied dissection at Montpellier at the age of 39, and in 1780 established the first orthopaedic institute, which was the first hospital dedicated to the treatment of children’s skeletal deformities. He is considered by some to be the father of orthopaedics or the first true orthopaedic surgeon in consideration of the establishment of his hospital and for his published methods.
In 1851 Antonius Mathysen, a Dutch military surgeon, invented the plaster of Paris cast. Many developments in orthopaedic surgery resulted from experiences during wartime. On the battlefields of the Middle Ages the injured were treated with bandages soaked in horses’ blood which dried to form a stiff, but unsanitary, splint. Traction and splinting developed during World War I. The use of intramedullary rods to treat fractures of the femur and tibia was pioneered by Gerhard Küntscher of Germany. This made a noticeable difference to the speed of recovery of injured German soldiers during World War II and led to more widespread adoption of intramedullary fixation of fractures in the rest of the world.
David L. MacIntosh pioneered the first successful surgery for the management of the torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) of the knee. This common and serious injury in skiers, field athletes, and dancers invariably brought an end to their athletics due to permanent joint instability. Working with injured football players, Dr MacIntosh devised a way to re-route viable ligament from adjacent structures to preserve the strong and complex mechanics of the knee joint and restore stability. The subsequent development of ACL reconstruction surgery has allowed numerous athletes to return to the demands of sports at all levels.
That’s a brief history of how Orthopaedics came from children’s care through to adult care. Somewhere along the line the mattress industry adopted the word to mean a mattress that will assist with the straightening of the skeletal. This is done by relieving pressure from the prominent points as we lay down. It is important to keep in mind that there is no government or industry specification for an Orthopaedic mattress.