Best Firm Mattress 2021 – Which One Should You Buy?

Updated June 2021

Best Value

Nectar_+_Memory_Foam_Mattress_+_mattress_white_background_angle-removebg-preview

Nectar Memory
Foam Mattress

Luxury Pick

Saatva_+_Solaire_Adjustable_Mattress_Queen_+_Bedroom_Setting-removebg-preview

Saatva Classic
Mattress

Averageweight Sleeper

Amerisleep_+_Mattress_AS5_+_Mattress_White_Background_Angle-removebg-preview

The Amerisleep
AS1 Mattress

Heavyweight Sleeper

GhostBed_Flex_+_Mattress_+_Mattress_White_Bacckground_Straight-removebg-preview

The Big Fig
Mattress

The Best Mattresses

Your soft, plushy and bouncy bed may be fun to sleep on, but it’s also the reason for your persistent backaches. Trust me; I know the heartache (and backache) that comes with it.  

Although, ever since I invested in a firm mattress that gave me the support I needed, I’ve experienced a drastic change.

If you’ve read my rambling about my backaches, you’ve probably also seen my list of reasons why firm mattresses are god’s gift. 

In case you haven’t, this article should cover all your doubts. 

People often associate firm mattresses with discomfort, but it’s quite the contrary, I’d say. Firm mattresses provide enhanced orthopaedic support, especially for sleeping positions that put your back at risk, like sleeping on your stomach. 

It’s straightforward, healthy and pressure-relieving for your joints and muscles too.

What I love the most about new mattress technology is the inclusivity it offers. Everyone deserves a good night’s sleep, and now it’s possible!

After scouring for options and using these personally, I can confidently confirm (pun intended) that these are the best firm mattresses of 2021. 

Nectar Memory Foam Mattress review

Organic Luxury Hybrid Mattress with Natural Foam & New Zealand Wool.

Specification

Depth 30 cm
Weight 56 kg (40 lbs)
Dimensions Twin is 96.52 cm x 190.5 cm
Materials Quilted memory foam, gel memory foam, Hi Core memory foam, cooling cover made of Tencel

Key features

Recommended for

Avoid If

If you require a firm mattress, then there’s no need to splash out on the price! The Nectar’s Memory Foam Mattress is an excellent choice in the market for delivering firmness, body contouring, and relief!

The flagship Nectar mattress has a medium to firm feel, corresponding to a 6-6.5 on the firmness scale. The mattress is made out of several delightful materials, all designed to provide maximum comfort!

The gel memory foam underneath the cover gives contouring feel to the body. The gel does a great job of keeping the body cool and fresh. Say goodbye to overheating!

The many foam layers underneath the mattress provide sturdy support and maximum comfort. Even a medium or average weighted individual like myself feels comfortable in the bed.

I tend to feel a few aches in my joints if I’ve had a physically strenuous day, so the medium-firm feel of the bed provides just the right amount of pressure relief. Even lightweight sleepers can feel their bodies contour ideally within the mattress curves and experiences pleasing sinkage!

The bed offers a no-motion transfer. Hence there’s very little possible bounce. 

I would opine that the mattress isn’t the most cooling one in the market due to the abundance of foam and gel layers. Additionally, the bed is great if you live in slightly colder areas or prefer the warmth in a mattress!

Saatva Classic Mattress review

Organic Luxury Hybrid Mattress with Natural Foam & New Zealand Wool.

Specification

Depth 29 cm & 36 cm
Weight 45 kg (100 lbs)
Dimensions Twin is 96.52 cm x 190.5 cm
Materials Several layers, which include the polyfoam, memory foam and coil systems

Key Features

Recommended for

Avoid If

The Saatva Classic is one of the finest innerspring mattresses in the market! It offers delicious spinal support that reduces back and joint pain.

Saatva comes in all sorts of customisable options. You can adjust the height by choosing between the 29 cm and 36 cm options. Even the firmness levels are up to choice!

The plush soft is a viable option to select if you like body-hugging, softer foamed mattresses. They’re handy for light sleepers like myself who enjoy contouring. I’d say the firm levels of this mattress is around 3-4, which is ideal!

Before settling down with the plush soft, I had chosen the luxury firm during my trial period. It is one of the more popular mattress choices among users, with my girlfriend enjoying it best. The firm levels of this mattress are around 5-6.

Lastly comes the firm-level mattress. For those sleepers who like a traditional innerspring mattress with a strong feeling, this one is for you, with a firmness level of around 8-9!

The Saatva Classic comes packaged in five distinct components, all designed to amplify comfort and sleep quality. The pillow top is made out of organic cotton, making me feel cool and refreshed throughout my sleep. 

The individually wrapped gauge coil helps contour my body while reducing motion transfer and providing pressure relief. An additional set of tempered steel support coils for a beautiful job of preventing the mattress from sagging. 

Both sets of coils help create many structures support and keep the cool air flowing at night! 

One of the winning features of the mattress is its two back support features, which greatly help with pressure relief. The lumbar zone technology and memory foam layer helps relieve tension from my lower back and provide instant relief to joints! 

The mattress does have few cons. The motion transfer feature is pretty high, which means that I’ll most probably feel the other person tossing and turning about if I’m sleeping with someone. Also, if you’re a side sleeper, the luxury firm option may be too difficult to sleep in. 

The Amerisleep AS1 Mattress review

Organic Luxury Hybrid Mattress with Natural Foam & New Zealand Wool.

Specification

Depth 25 cm
Weight 20 kg (45 lbs)
Dimensions Twin is 96.52 cm x 188 cm
Materials Composed of two foam layers, Bio-Pur foam and Bio-Core foam layer, along with a soft, breathable Celliant cover

Key Features

Recommended for

Avoid If

The Amerisleep AS1 is one of the most affordable mattresses in the market for average weight sleepers. With a simple construction and all-foam feel, the mattress ticks the box for providing all sorts of soothing pressure relief.

The Celliant cover is stretchy and soft, making it comfortable to sleep in. The Celliant component present is known for adding a cool touch.

The Bio-Pur foam is sustainably and organically sourced and offers a sense of bounciness and light contouring. The ultra-supportive Bio-Core Foam prevents sagging, which is especially important for an average weight sleeper like me. 

While lying down or sleeping, the mattress does an excellent job of cushioning my pressure points. At the same time, it doesn’t cause me to sink too deeply. The firmness, roughly about 7-8 on a scale, acts as an excellent foundation for my joints and pressure points. 

The AS1 doesn’t provide the most amount of contouring, but it does well with motion transfer. The presence of the memory foam can distribute motion across the mattress.

Even in regards to temperature control, the Celliant cover and allows for breathability and coolness. 

With eco-friendly materials and its good affordability, this mattress is a solid option for people who’re averagely weighted. Furthermore, its excellent pressure relieving firmness is tremendous for most kinds of back and stomach sleepers! 

The Big Fig Mattress Review

Organic Luxury Hybrid Mattress with Natural Foam & New Zealand Wool.

Specification

Depth 33 cm
Weight N/A
Dimensions Twin is 96.52 cm x 190.5 cm
Materials Composed of top layer cover made of ThermoGel Technology, one layer of latex, one layer of high-density polyfoam, and many individually wrapped coils

Key Features

Recommended for

Avoid If

The Big Fig is a beast of a mattress! The incredible support, durability and well-rounded structure make it a life-long investment. Its layers are designed to provide maximum comfort and support to heavily weighted individuals like myself.

The high-density foam gives excellent edge support. The nearly 1,600 layers of the coil are great for providing extra support and balance. The multiple layers of polyfoam prevent sagging and make my sleeping experience comfortable to the fullest. 

I love to sleep cool, so this mattress does wonders for me. I always wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and cool.  The gel-infused latex is one of my favourite features because of how refreshing it makes the bed! 

The innerspring does a great job of adding structure. Not only that but the support and durability it lends to all sleepers are fantastic. Great for all those pesky muscular aches and pressure joints. 

The responsiveness in the mattress is excellent, as well. It’ll bounce back into good shape as soon as you rise from it. Hence motion isolation is pretty strong, as well. 

The only con is that the mattress may seem too firm for average weighted and smaller weighted people. While on the higher end, it provides the best comfort and support to an average weighted individual like me and is made of the best quality possible! 

Comparison Table

Mattress

Award

Rating

5/5
5/5
5/5
5/5
5/5

Buying Guide

Features to look for in Mattresses.

Now that you know how these mattresses measure up, I'm going to take you through the entire selection process. No matter what sleeping style you naturally use, it's essential to understand the basic eligibility. That can help you make more accurate purchases according to a specific brand or area and helps narrow your hunt.

Multiple brands offer you various firm mattress choices, but not all of them are the same. In this buyer’s guide, I’ll walk you through the criteria that make a mattress the best in the market. Pay attention; nothing mattress more than your comfort (besides these hilarious puns, of course).

Sleeping Style

Your natural sleeping position plays a significant role in determining the firmness of the mattress that suits you. There are usually three kinds of sleepers- side sleepers- like myself, back sleepers and front sleepers. You can alternate sleeping positions throughout the night as a combination sleeper too! From what I know, combination sleepers find it more challenging to find a mattress that suits them best. A medium-firm mattress with soft and firm features should ideally suit you if you're a combination sleeper. It's really all right to switch it up! While there are different kinds of sleepers, there are also medium-firm and firm mattress options to choose from. Your sleeping position exposes different parts of your body to your mattress, which each need unique support. If you’re a side sleeper like me, then a medium-firm mattress is a good choice for you. However, if you’re a front sleeper, that is, if you prefer sleeping on your stomach, I’d recommend a firm or extra firm mattress. That will provide you with that extra support for your back, neck and joints and prevent sinking too!

Weight

While curating the 'Best Winners' list, I always consider weight because of its importance in choosing a mattress. While sleeping positions and other factors play a major role in mattress choice, all sleepers may have variable options. Weight is not like these factors. The softness or firmness of a mattress is a matter of preference, in my opinion. It also determines the support provided to your pressure points and the oxygen flow through your body. What I absolutely love is the inclusivity of all-weights across brands. My girlfriend is a side sleeper and a lightweight sleeper, and if given a choice, I would opt for a softer mattress type. Whereas I, an average-weight sleeper, would prefer a medium-firm mattress. My history with shoulder pain and backaches makes me more inclined to these! Hybrid mattresses and medium-firm mattresses are ideal for both of us, so we don’t worry too much. You could choose beds like these that serve you and your partner, if applicable, to maintain a steady balance. I am also a hot sleeper; I've noticed that firmer mattresses are most convenient for people like us. It helps us stay cooler and helps maintain a mattress's firmness over a while.

Durability and Price

Most brands offer you a warranty and guarantee with their mattresses. From what I’ve seen, the durability ranges from five months onwards and could even last you a long time! You might also come across brands that offer you a lifetime guarantee, but this isn’t all that reliable. Mattresses will lose their initial firmness or support with repeated use, especially if it’s in a particular spot. I would highly recommend you look at your durability options carefully before investing in a firm mattress. Factors such as the density of the foam, the indentation, the springs and the layers of a bed should help you gauge its quality. Firm mattresses are designed to provide your bones, muscles and other pressure points with adequate support for longer durations. Losing its firmness can make you sink in bed and lead to different complications like a curve in your spine! Since you’re investing in the perfect mattress for your needs, it’s worth paying close attention to its average lifespan too. I’m here also to remind you that firm mattresses are usually cost-efficient and much cheaper from a price perspective. So, don’t go broke over your simplistic and efficient mattress!

Materials and Pressure Relief

The durability of the mattress is highly dependent on the materials used in its making. I know this seems a little too obvious, but it's worth mentioning for sure! The denser the materials, the more likely it is to sustain itself for a longer time. It means that it can endure longer without sagging and indenting. If you’re looking for temperature regulators and soft covers in your mattress, you can opt for memory foam mattresses. These provide you with the perfect blend of firmness and relief and can be latex too. However, this can be an expensive choice. It can be gel foams that regulate body temperature or even layered foams consisting of viscoelastic foams that comfort your pressure points. Springs or coils in innerspring mattresses or pocket spring mattresses help give a mattress the structure and firmness to sustain itself. That is particularly important if you're looking for mattresses to relieve pressure. Firm mattresses are ideal for heavyweight or front sleepers and for people who are prone to joint aches. Considering I’ve dealt with these issues almost all my life, along with sleep apnea, I recommend investing in a pressure-relieving firm mattress. So, switch to a firm mattress if you’re seeking a long-lasting solution to your backaches!

Temperature Regulation

If you’re just as sweaty as me in bed, firm mattresses are your best bud. Softer mattresses consist of various layers of foam that make temperature regulation increasingly challenging. The materials that make up softer mattresses are primarily the reason for body heating. These include materials like latex and memory foam too that tend to absorb heat. That can cause your body to heat up unnecessarily too. My girlfriend, who cuddles while sleeping, doesn't mind me being a hot sleeper, but that's still a bit of an insecurity for me. I would recommend picking a mattress with adequate airflow technology that guarantees a cooler sleep. It just so happens that firm mattresses are your winning champion for this and keeps your nighttime sweats away.

Body Contouring

When I say body contouring, I really mean your bed's hugging ability. That is an important feature to consider because the indentation of a mattress can affect your already existing issues. It could potentially affect your spinal alignment, especially if you're a heavyweight or front sleeper too. It can get uncomfortable for some people and also makes motion isolation a little tougher to achieve. If you alternatively prefer the slight sinking feeling in your mattress, firm mattresses may not be your top choice. The thin and dense layers, along with the flat surface, resist any form of body contour. That makes them less conforming and more solid. They often lack the extra soft feeling and padding, making them harder to mould and providing the right amount of pressure relief for your neck stiffness. My shoulder ache continues into the better part of the morning, but I found that a firm mattress helped keep it in control. Look for this essential feature on your next purchase to get the optimal and most potent support from your mattress!

Frequently Asked Questions

Well, back sleepers are more common than front sleepers but less common than side sleepers. Their spinal alignment is usually not problematic because of the even pressure on the back. However, a soft mattress can be potentially harmful to their back. 

Besides their back, their hips, knees and kidneys also need ample support to resist sinking and causing misalignment. 

A firm mattress could provide that, but it is not my top recommendation for you. An extra firm mattress can cause stiffness to the neck and back and cause muscle aches, too and can also be very uncomfortable in general.

I would recommend a medium-firm mattress for back sleepers that inches slightly more towards the soft side. A memory foam with gel layers would be a good choice for your body’s temperature too!

When it comes to sex, you’re looking for a body contouring mattress that’s responsive. You ideally get these features in medium-firm to firm mattresses. It helps create a sensual experience and feeling in the bedroom too. Trust me, I know.

If you’re looking for a bouncy experience, then softer mattresses could do the trick, but I wouldn’t recommend it for a few reasons. They’re often noisy and are not as responsive as other types. It causes sinking and can be pretty frustrating. 

Additionally, edge support is an added benefit of firm mattresses ideal for several positions. 

Since firm mattresses are known for their pressure-relieving features, they can support you and your partner’s spine and help you rest easy too!

It may be true that I have a slight bias towards firm mattresses because they’ve helped me so much. However, that’s precisely the point of this review too!

I’ve found firm mattresses to suit my lifestyle and help alleviate significant aches that make sleeping impossible.

If you face any of these issues or find that a firm mattress suits your sleeping style or lifestyle, these are the essentials you’ll need.

In terms of design, firm mattresses have many options based on your needs – for solo or shared beds. 

While firmness is often synonymous with support, you should look for personal cues to help you track what features you need to prioritise.

I’ve analysed these from multiple perspectives and hope that your hunt for the best firm mattresses is much easier now.

ABOUT the author

Max Stevens

Max Stevens is theMatttressDude Editor-In-Chief with a genuine love and passion in making reviewing many mattresses. Max works diligently to ensure only the best Mattress ever make onto the platform and are showcased in theMattressDude carefully curated, tested and expertly researched, informative buying guides.

Related Content