Shopping for a mattress online, many companies advertise that their mattress is the softest, that their mattress has the best pressure relief – what about those people who are looking for a firm, supportive mattress?
Those who are seeking a quality firm mattress can stop looking – we’ve got our picks for the best firm mattresses – these eight mattresses are all firmer-than-average and offer the support that stomach sleepers and some back sleepers really need.
While these are all firm mattresses, they vary in terms of style and construction – there’s something here for everyone – read on to find the absolute best firm mattress!
The Best Firm Mattresses
- Best Firm Mattress For Back Pain – Helix
- Best Extra Firm Mattress – Plank
- Best Rated Firm Mattress – Birch
- Best Luxury Firm Mattress – Saatva HD
- Best Firm Mattress for Side Sleepers – GhostBed
- Best Firm Hybrid Mattress – Awara
- Best Medium-Firm Mattress – Lull
- Best Firm Mattress for Heavy People – Big Fig
Those who are in the market for a firm mattress should check out these eight fantastic options – while they are all firm mattresses, they have significantly different designs, feels, and features.
Best Firm Mattress For Back Pain
If you’re searching for a firm mattress to help soothe your back pain, look no further than the Helix.
The great thing about Helix is that it is a company whose primary focus is customization and flexibility. Helix makes it particularly easy for customers to find the exact firmness and feel that they are seeking, making it a great option for people with specific pain points. Customers can take a sleep quiz in which they answer questions regarding sleeping position, firmness preferences, and sleeping temperature; Helix will then send a mattress specifically based on these answers.
Customers can also select from Helix’s extensive line of mattresses. Those who are looking for a firmer mattress can choose either the Helix Dawn or Helix Twilight, their two firmest mattresses – these two should definitely provide the requisite amount of support you need.
The Helix mattresses are also fantastic for couples; each partner can take their own sleep quiz and Helix will customize both sides of the mattress separately. Many couples often have issues finding a mattress that fits both partners’ sleeping preferences, but that shouldn’t be a major issue with the Helix mattresses!
If that’s not enough, Helix also offers Luxe upgrades for all of their mattresses – this adds features like a quilted pillow top, zoned coils, and a breathable Tencel cover to the mattress . People who are looking for a more luxurious option should definitely consider the upgrade.
What Makes The Helix Stand Out?
- Customers can participate in a sleep quiz, and Helix will send a mattress based on their specific answers.
- Helix offers two firm, supportive mattresses, the Helix Dawn and Helix Twilight; they should both be a good match for stomach sleepers.
- Both sides of the mattress can be customized, making it one of the best mattresses for couples with different sleeping preferences.
- Hot sleepers should consider the Helix mattresses – the coils promote airflow and, with the Luxe upgrade, the Tencel cover should provide additional cooling.
Read the full Helix Dawn mattress review
Helix provides customizable mattresses that can be a great fit for any type of sleeper; click the link below to save up to $200 on a Helix mattress and get 2 Free Dream Pillows.
Best Extra Firm Mattress
So there are firm mattresses, and then there are extremely firm mattresses; the Plank is definitely the latter. It is a flippable mattress and features two sides that are firmer-than-average – the ultra-firm side is a 9/10, and the firm side is an 8/10 – the firm side is absolutely the firmest mattress I have slept on.
This extra firmness makes the Plank ideal for stomach sleepers who need even more support; stomach sleepers of many sizes shouldn’t feel their hips bowing into the mattress. In addition, back sleepers who prefer a firmer mattress could find what they are looking for on both sides of the Plank.
The Plank comes from Brooklyn Bedding, producer of high-quality, value mattresses – the company owns its own factory, allowing them to cut out the middleman and sell their mattresses for a significantly lower price.
Those who are looking for a mattress that is firmer-than-firm and don’t want to break the bank should love the Plank mattress from Brooklyn Bedding.
What Makes The Plank A Great Extra-Firm Mattress?
- The mattress is flippable and offers an ultra-firm side and firm side; this offers sleepers two firmness options in one mattress
- The firm side is exceptionally firm, making the Plank one of the best mattresses for stomach sleepers on this list.
- Back sleepers who require more support will find what they need on both sides of the Plank.
- The Plank is made by Brooklyn Bedding, so it is a fantastic match for those who are on a budget.
Read the full Plank mattress review
The Plank is a very firm mattress that is a great match for stomach sleepers and those who need extra support.
Best Rated Firm Mattress
Birch By Helix
The Birch mattress is one of our highest rated firm mattresses we’ve personally tested with an overall score of 4.2 out of 5. The Birch scored particularly high for its support, durability, and cooling ability. If you’re looking for a long-lasting firm mattress, the Birch is a great choice.
Let’s take a look inside the mattress: The Birch by Helix is a firm latex hybrid mattress that incorporates Talalay latex, organic cotton, and individually-wrapped coils. The use of natural materials in the construction of the Birch helps make it a naturally cooling mattress so you won’t have to sweat through your sleep. If you want something a little less firm, the mattress is also available with an optional pillow top.
Without the pillow top, the Birch by Helix is one of the firmer mattresses we have tried. The Talalay latex is a dense material that has very little give and, together with the coils, they should offer the firm support that many are looking for. This makes the Birch a great choice for back sleepers, stomach sleepers, and anyone else who’s looking for extra support from their mattress.
The other upside of Talalay latex is its excellent durability. That means the Birch will stay firm and supportive for many years to come.
What Makes The Birch By Helix Stand Out?
- The Birch contains eco-friendly materials for those who prefer something more organic.
- The Birch by Helix’s latex and coils should make for a cooler night of sleep.
- The mattress is quite durable and should be a good long-term investment.
- The Birch is a firm latex mattress that should provide excellent support.
Read the full Birch by Helix mattress review
The Birch is a comfortable and supportive latex mattress. Save $200 on the Birch and get 2 free pillows by clicking the button below.
Best Firm Luxury Mattress
The Saatva HD is the company’s mattress made specifically with larger people in mind. It features materials like latex, high-density memory foam, and high-grade coils that should offer the firmness and support that larger people are searching for.
Even heavier stomach sleepers should get the support they need under their hips when they are lying on the Saatva HD. They should not bow in at the center and feel lower back strain.
The Saatva HD is also one of the best firm luxury mattresses on the market. With its hotel look and feel, the Saatva HD is a firm mattress for those who sleep like they’re on vacation every night.
What Makes The Saatva HD Stand Out?
- The Saatva HD is a very supportive mattress that is firm and designed to handle heavier weights.
- The mattress features some very durable materials so it should stay in good shape for a number of years.
- Hot sleepers should not be waking up covered in sweat when using the Saatva HD.
- The Saatva HD boasts a luxury look and feel that should please those looking for something on the higher end.
Read our full Saatva HD mattress review
The Saatva HD is a supportive mattress made specifically for larger people. Click the link to save $200 on the Saatva HD.
Best Firm Mattress For Side Sleepers
While firm mattresses are a fantastic option for stomach sleepers and back sleepers, they usually aren’t the best mattresses for side sleepers – but with the GhostBed mattress, this is not the case – it should be an excellent choice for side sleepers who prefer a firmer mattress.
Side sleepers require a mattress that provides pressure-relief on their shoulders and hips, and the GhostBed features a latex layer over a soft, comfortable memory foam layer; together, these layers should provide the necessary pressure relief while still feeling on the firmer side.
At the same time, the GhostBed should be supportive enough for both back sleeping and stomach sleeping; on our firmness scale, we rated the GhostBed at a 7.5/10, firmer-than-average.
Those who are seeking a firm mattress that will work for all three sleeping positions should check out the GhostBed!
What Makes The GhostBed Stand Out?
- The mattress is great for combination sleepers who switch positions at night.
- The GhostBed features an excellently balanced foam feel that shouldn’t make sleepers feel stuck in the mattress.
- The mattress contains ventilated latex and gel memory foam, two materials that should promote cooling in the mattress.
Read the full GhostBed mattress review
Ghostbed is a very supportive mattress that is ideal for back and stomach sleepers, and it is also a great value - right now, customers can get 25% off the GhostBed and 2 free pillows.
Best Firm Hybrid Mattress
The Awara mattress is a latex hybrid that contains 4″ of Dunlop latex and 9″ of pocketed coils; latex hybrids are some of the firmest types of mattresses, and the Awara is no exception – we found it to be approximately 8/10 on our firmness scale.
The Dunlop latex is an extremely supportive material as are the pocketed coils – they will provide an exceptional amount of support for stomach sleeping – the mattress also features a tufted cover that should allow back sleepers’ hips to sink in just the right amount. Even heavier stomach sleepers and back sleepers should receive the support they need with the Awara mattress.
Latex is also a fantastically durable material – while some mattresses might start to sag under heavier weights, this should not happen with the Awara – again, this makes it a excellent match for larger sleepers.
Those who are looking for a supportive mattress without harmful chemicals are also going to like the Awara – Dunlop latex is an all-natural material that is both organic and eco-friendly – people who want to sleep on a clean and all-natural mattress should definitely consider the Awara.
What Makes The Awara Stand Out?
- It is an all-natural latex hybrid that does not contain harmful chemicals; it is organic and significantly better for the environment than many other foam mattresses.
- The Awara is one of the best latex mattresses out there.
- The Awara mattress should be a supportive option for both back sleepers and stomach sleepers.
- The latex is extremely breathable and the coils allow for a good amount of airflow; this makes it an excellent pick for hot sleepers.
- The mattress shouldn’t sag too quickly, and it should also be able to handle heavier weights.
Read the full Awara mattress review
The Awara is a firmer latex hybrid mattress that could be a good pick for back and stomach sleepers. Click to save $300 on your purchase.
Best Medium-Firm Mattress
The majority of these mattresses are considerably firmer-than-average, but what about those people who want something just a little firmer-than-average? Well, that’s where the Lull mattress comes in – it scored a 7/10 on our firmness scale and is the best medium-firm mattress on our list.
This makes the Lull a fantastic fit for lightweight sleepers who don’t require an extremely firm mattress. Lightweight back sleepers and stomach sleepers should get enough support on the mattress. Also, the Lull features a thin layer of gel memory foam, so lightweight side sleepers should get some decent pressure relief with some pushback as well.
The mattress boasts a balanced foam feel that will let sleepers sink in just a bit – sleepers will get some of that soft memory foam feel without getting stuck – it should be quite easy for people to switch positions on the Lull.
Lightweight combination sleepers should find just what they are looking for with the Lull.
What Makes The Lull Stand Out?
- The Lull is the softest mattress on this list and should be a good match for lighter people who sleep in all three positions.
- The mattress has an excellent balanced foam feel, providing good pressure relief while still allowing sleepers to move around.
- The Lull is one of the best mattresses for lightweight sleepers.
- The Lull features a breathable cover and gel-infused memory foam; the mattress should not be sleeping particularly hot.
- Back sleepers of many sizes should find the perfect balance of comfort and support on the Lull mattress.
Read the full Lull mattress review
Lull is a great fit for those looking to get a slight memory foam feel and for those who sleep on their back or stomach - customers can get $250 off right now by clicking through the link below.
Best For Heavy People
The Big Fig is a mattress made specifically for larger sleepers – it contains extremely supportive materials such as latex foam, multiple layers of high-density polyfoam, and individually-wrapped coils – the mattress is designed to support over 1000 lbs!
Since I am a medium-weight person, we asked our larger team member, Marten, to review the mattress – he thought the mattress was quite firm, around 8/10 on our firmness scale.
The Big Fig was definitely supportive enough for Marten when he was stomach sleeping – even though he weighs over 250 lbs, he did not feel like his hips were bowing into the mattress. Also, while the Big Fig was too firm for a back sleeper of his size – the Big Fig should be a fantastic match for back sleepers who weigh over 300 lbs.
Larger people put more strain on a mattress due to their added weight; the Big Fig should be able to stand up to the extra strain for many years while remaining firm and supportive.
What Makes The Big Fig Stand Out?
- The Big Fig is a mattress made just for heavier people – it features supportive materials that are designed to support over 1000 lbs.
- Heavier stomach sleepers and much heavier back sleepers should get the requisite amount of support on the Big Fig.
- The mattress contains extremely durable materials, so it should be a fantastic long-term investment.
- People should not be sleeping hot on the Big Fig; the coils promote airflow, and the perforated gel-infused latex will assist with cooling as well.
Read the full Big Fig mattress review
The Big Fig is a very supportive mattress. It is very durable and designed to support much larger weights. Use our coupon to save $200 on your mattress.
Heavyweight Sleepers – Over 230 lbs
Firmness really is subjective – that means a mattress that feels firm to me might not feel the same to someone else – this is especially true when we think about larger sleepers – they have more support needs and may find these mattresses to be firmer or softer than I did. That’s why I asked Marten, who is 6’7” and weighs 250 lbs, to try out these mattresses and talk about his experience:
As Joe mentioned, I reviewed the Big Fig mattress because it is made specifically for larger people like myself. It is a very firm mattress that offers the support I need as a larger stomach sleeper; I believe much larger back sleepers should also find this to be a fantastic match.
The Plank is the absolute firmest mattress I have slept on – both sides are supportive and the firm side is a fantastic fit for heavier stomach sleepers – the less firm side should be a better option for much heavier back sleepers.
The Awara is a latex hybrid that definitely provides me with the support I need; it is a particularly good choice for heavier back sleepers and stomach sleepers.
I found the GhostBed to be supportive enough for me when I was back sleeping; while I found it to be a bit too firm for back sleeping, much heavier back sleepers could find it to be a better match.
Helix is excellent because they will customize a mattress to meet sleepers’ specific needs; they even make the Helix Plus mattress for larger people, and I find it supportive enough for back and stomach sleeping.
How To Choose a Firm Mattress
When you’re shopping for a firm mattress, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind. The first, as covered in our previous section, is what types of mattresses you’re looking for–certain types are more firm than others.
You should also factor in how firm of a mattress you really need and what firmness type will be best for your body type. We’ll dive into each of these factors.
The Mattress Firmness Scale
Most people who talk about mattresses score their firmness on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the softest and 10 being the firmest. Most mattresses tend to fall between a 6-8/10 with a medium to medium-firm firmness feel.
Anything in the 8-10 range can be considered a firm or extra firm mattress. The most extra firm mattresses you will see are usually a 9/10 like the Plank mattress.
Keep in mind that firmness is subjective. That’s why when we evaluate mattresses, we use Joe and Marten’s perspectives to show how firmness changes based on your body type.
Heavier people put more pressure on a mattress, sinking further into the layers and usually feeling the more firm base layer. Those who are around 200+ pounds typically experience a firmness around 1 to 1.5 points higher than average weight people.
To rest comfortably on a mattress, heavy people should look for firmer mattresses with a dense comfort layer on top to avoid sinking into the mattress. Check out our list of the best mattresses for heavy people to learn more.
Innerspring mattresses are some of the firmest mattress types since they are made with layers of coils. Some innersprings are more bouncy than others, but their surfaces are usually pretty firm. See our best innerspring mattresses to learn more.
Foam mattresses are some of the softest mattresses. Memory foam, gel foam, foam blend, and poly foam mattresses are all generally the most soft, though some foam mattresses are more dense than others and can lean more towards the medium-firm side.
Latex mattresses have a similar feel to foam beds except they are more bouncy and breathable. These beds can range from soft to very firm depending on the indentation load deflection (ILD) ratings, a measurement similar to density.
Hybrid mattresses combine materials, using an innerspring base layer with a comfort layer of top made of varying materials like foam, latex, or wool. With so many combinations, hybrid mattresses can fall anywhere on the firmness spectrum, though they tend to be medium to medium-firm.
Pros Of A Firm Mattress
- Firm mattresses support great spine alignment and edge support.
- Firm mattresses isolate motion well. This is great for couples who don’t want to feel their partner moving around on the other side of the bed.
- You won’t sink in too far. If you like sleeping on the bed rather than in the bed, this will appeal to you.
- Firm beds support heavyweight people well so they can sleep comfortably.
Cons Of A Firm Mattress
- Firm mattresses are less pressure-relieving. Without a soft, contouring surface, you may get pain in the shoulders, hips, and other pressure areas.
- It takes a more particular sleeper to be comfortable on a firm mattress. Most people like a soft to medium mattress.
- Firm mattresses take longer to fully break-in and adjust to. You may need to use up more of your sleep trial period to determine if it’s right for you.
RELATED: Firm vs. Soft Mattress
Who Should Get A Firm Mattress?
Firmness is, of course, subjective, but most will agree that these five mattresses are on the firmer side – besides those who simply like the feel of a firm mattress, who should consider getting a firmer mattress?
- Stomach sleepers. Those people who sleep primarily on their stomachs should be considering a firm mattress – they want to ensure that they’re getting enough support on their hips because, if not, they can bow into the mattress and cause the spine to get out of neutral alignment.
- Back sleepers. Those who need the best mattress for back sleepers will also want something firmer, but not extremely firm; they want a mattress that will let their hips sink in just a bit and, at the same time, they need that firmness and support to ensure that they don’t drop into the mattress.
- People who like to sleep on top of their mattress. For those who prefer not to sink into their mattress, a firm mattress is a particularly safe bet – firmer mattresses usually don’t have the “give” that one finds on softer mattresses and, because of this, most should be sleeping on top of the mattress as opposed to “in” it.
- Hot sleepers. When someone sleeps “on top” of a mattress, they have less of a chance of sleeping hot – in contrast, if someone sinks into a softer mattress (especially something with memory foam), they could feel themselves start to heat up. Memory foam can trap heat and direct it back at sleepers, however, if one is on top of a firmer mattress, they have less chance of this happening.
Who Shouldn’t Get a Firm Mattress?
Firm mattresses are not for everyone so, if customers fit the following criteria, a firm mattress is probably not the best choice for them.
- Side sleepers. In general, firm mattresses are not the best match for side sleepers because they usually require a mattress that will provide pressure relief for their shoulders and hips – firm mattresses are not fantastic with pressure relief, so side sleepers should look for something softer. Check out the best mattresses for side sleepers.
- Those who like to sink into their mattresses. Those who like to sink into their mattress and feel enveloped by it might not find a firm mattress to be an excellent choice – they will want to look for something softer, perhaps a mattress that contains memory foam.
In the end, a firm mattress can be a great fit for stomach sleepers, back sleepers, larger sleepers, and those who just want some extra support – those who are in the market for a firmer mattress should definitely start with these eight fantastic options.
As a reminder, here are our top picks for the best firm mattresses:
|Helix||Best For Back Pain|
|Plank||Best Extra Firm Mattress|
|Birch||Best Rated Firm Mattress|
|Saatva HD||Best Luxury Firm Mattress|
|GhostBed||Best For Side Sleepers|
|Awara||Best Firm Hybrid Mattress|
|Lull||Best Medium Firm Mattress|
|Big Fig||Best For Heavy People|
Is an extra firm mattress good for your back?
Those who sleep on their back or deal with back pain usually want to find a mattress that is approximately medium-firm – if a mattress is too firm, it could push the hips out of the mattress and the spine out of proper neutral alignment – this could lead to significant issues with back pain.
Is a firm mattress good?
It really depends on what people are looking for – for instance, a firmer mattress might not be good for side sleeping because it won’t offer enough pressure relief – it could be good for people who require more support, such as back sleepers, stomach sleepers, and larger people.
Do firm mattresses get softer?
All mattresses, no matter how firm, will get softer over time – materials such as memory foam and even coils will start to weaken after they have been in use for a few years – some materials, such as latex foam won’t soften as quickly, however.
Joe Auer is the editor of Mattress Clarity. He mainly focuses on mattress reviews and oversees the content across the site.
He likes things simple and take a straightforward, objective approach to his reviews. Joe has personally tested nearly 250 mattresses and always recommends people do their research before buying a new bed. He has been testing mattresses for over 5 years now, so he knows a thing or two when it comes to mattress selection. He has been cited as an authority in the industry by a number of large publications.
Joe has an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and an MBA from Columbia University.
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