Let’s start with an important point: a firm mattress doesn’t have to be a hard mattress. What sets a firm mattress apart from its softer brethren is that it offers more support while you sleep, helping to keep your spine in line and relieving, especially if you are a bigger person or a mixed sleeper who tosses and turns. Support comes from extra layers of foam or cushioning that support the body’s weight and prevent the bed from falling over.
So if you’re looking for a mattress that’s comfortable and offers ample support, you should first focus on the firmness level – you don’t want to sink into the mattress, but you do want enough cushion to help relieve pressure on your shoulders and hips (remember the important alignment of the spine). There are also different levels of firmness. You can get a medium firm mattress, a regular firm mattress, or an extra firm mattress, depending on your sleep needs.
If you have the firmness look, there are a few other factors you should consider. This can include motion transfer (if you share your bed) and if you want an adjustable base to optimize your sleep position. The type of mattress (foam, memory gel foam, pocket spring mattress,) is also important to consider when making your choice, as well as whether you are a cold or hot sleeper.
So, are you ready to invest in a? We’ve put together this list to help you sort through them and find the best firm mattress that meets your needs.
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The Casper Original is a true memory foam mattress constructed in three layers – a traditional memory foam base, a second layer of memory foam with specialized zones and a top layer of perforated memory foam. This foam mattress top layer serves two purposes: it expertly adapts to your body and allows more air to circulate, which means I felt fresh and comfortable all night sleeping on this Casper mattress.
Casper also has Zoned Support – it’s divided into three separate “zones” that have varying levels of mattress firmness. The foam under the shoulders and upper body has a softer mattress feel, so the foam mattress provides the sleeper with much-needed pressure relief in these areas. The foam near your hips, waist and lower back has a firmer mattress feel, to provide the proper firmness level of support to keep your body and spine aligned so you don’t sink or fall into the mattress. Basically, with the Casper mattress you get the best of both worlds. When I woke up in the morning, I had no lingering pain – something I was dealing with with my previous mattress.
Read our review of Casper Original.
Somehow firm and soft, the Intellibed Signature Matrix Grand is truly the best of both worlds. Squeezed between layers of latex and foam, this hybrid mattress features a Gel Matrix, an elastic gel that flexes and moves to contour your shape and evenly distribute your body weight. I’m not sure how Intellibed does it, but the firmness of the mattress provides ample support to keep the spine in proper alignment, while the softness allows for just the right amount of giving to relieve pressure without sagging.
As I settled down on the mattress, I could feel the pressure leaving my body. And after a few weeks, I was sleeping through the night and waking up with no pain.
Cocoon by Sealy says most sleepers prefer a mattress that has ample support, but it’s not. also firm – something I’ve definitely found to be true of me – so in response to that, he’s made a specialized memory foam designed to provide the perfect fit of the firmest bed. Perfect Fit memory foam, as it’s aptly called, adapted to my body, providing pressure relief and support where I needed it most.
This Cocoon chill memory foam sits on top of another layer of foam, a Responsive Comfort Layer, which provides a little extra softness (something many traditional memory foam mattress options are missing) and some extra support for your baby. mattress never sinks or sags. And the stretch mesh cover that wraps these layers is made from a proprietary material that absorbs and dissipates heat, so I was comfortable and the mattress stayed cool to the touch.
The Saatva mattress is built with layers of luxury foam latex innersprings and a comfortable cushioning layer reminiscent of a pillowtop. This provides enough cushioning to make the mattress comfortable, but not so much that you feel like you’re sinking and misaligning. The hybrid mattress also has memory foam in the center of the mattress that provides special lumbar support, so your spine stays aligned, providing pressure relief, especially when you’re sleeping on your side – something that many other firm mattresses fall short of.
With the Saatva mattress, there are two firm options – firm (rated 8 out of 10 on the standard mattress firmness scale) and firm luxury (rated 5 to 7 out of 10) – and two mattress heights – 11.5 inches and 14.5 inches. If you go with the deepest mattress, make sure you also have deep pocket sheets.
Rated 6 to 7 out of 10 on the mattress firmness scale, the Ghostbed is rated as a medium firm mattress. It’s made from a combination of latex-like memory foams that have a soft, springy feel, but also provide enough support so you don’t feel like you’re sinking into the mattress (and then wake up in pain). It also has two rows of reinforced coils around the edge of the bed that support the layers and contribute to excellent end-to-end firmness level support.
Of all the firm bed options on this list, the Ghostbed mattress brand felt more like a traditional box-spring mattress, in all the right ways. Another thing I really liked about this mattress is that it always felt cool to the touch. The foam mattress padded cover has cooling fibers that are woven directly and help disperse body heat.
The Helix Plus Hybrid Mattress, rated 7 to 8 out of 10 on the firmness scale, is designed to provide extra support for heavier sleepers, while being an excellent choice for sleepers of any size and shape. It’s made from wound coils and multiple layers of memory foam in varying densities, but the real star of the show is a 4-inch layer of high-density foam. That extra foam held the other layers in place, providing adequate support, but also adding some cushioning that provided relief to my shoulders and hips.
Since the mattress is thicker – it’s 13 inches tall – it will feel firmer if you have a lower body mass index, but I thought it had just the right amount of elasticity. It was comfortable in any sleeping position (even prone sleepers or combo sleepers) and provides movement isolation very well so I didn’t bounce even when my boyfriend moved in the middle of the night. Read more in our full Helix mattress review.
Is a firm mattress better for sleeping?
It mostly depends on your favorite sleeping position. Whether you sleep on your back or stomach, a firm mattress does a great job of keeping your neck and spine in proper alignment.
How firm do hotel mattresses use?
Hotels tend to furnish their rooms with medium to mid-sized beds. That way they can accommodate a wide range of sleeping position options because the beds aren’t too firm or too soft.
Is the plush firmer than the medium?
Typically, when you see the term “plush” when describing a mattress, it means it’s more towards the soft side of the spectrum. Therefore, a soft mattress is softer than an average mattress.
What types of mattresses are the firmest?
Latex foam mattresses are generally the firmest compared to other foam mattresses, followed by innerspring mattresses. With that said, there are also plenty of softer latex mattress and innerspring options on the market. It’s hard to generalize firm bed mattresses when there are so many different ones on the market.
Is a firm mattress better for your back?
If you sleep on your back or stomach, a firm mattress can keep your spine and neck in line to prevent you from falling into bed and experiencing back pain. However, if you sleep on your side, a firm mattress can push your body forward and promote a curved spine.
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The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended for medical or health advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.