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 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 I’d say it’s quite the contrary. 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 its inclusivity. 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.
- – Best For Side Sleepers
- – Best For Back Sleepers
- – Best For Front Sleepers
- – Best For Combo Sleepers
- – Best For Couples
- – Best For Hot Sleepers
- – Best For Back Pain
Best Mattress For Back Posture – Sealy Posturepedic Backcare
- Good support for the lumbar region
- People with back pain: Individuals suffering from back pain can benefit from this mattress.
- Value seekers: This mattress is one of the most affordable firm mattresses in the market, with little to no compromise on quality.
- Firmness: Do not purchase this one if you want a cosy mattress.
If you require a firm mattress, there’s no need to splash out the price! The Sealy Posturepedic backcare Mattress is an excellent choice in the market for delivering firmness, body contouring, and relief!
This mattress has a medium-firm feel. It is made out of several materials designed to relieve back pain.
The memory foam underneath the cover is suitable for average and heavily weighted people. In addition, the polyester fillings are durable and provide excellent support.
The many foam layers underneath the mattress provide sturdy support and maximum comfort. So even a heavy weighted individual like me feels comfortable in the bed.
Now, I no longer have to worry about my arthritis. This phenomenal mattress supports the back spine efficiently. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants a solution to back pain. However, you should mostly sleep straight on your back.
I would opine that the mattress is not as comfortable for people who desire a soft feel. However, this mattress is a product for people who want a high-quality firm sheet on their beds. Definitely my go-to mattress these days!
Best Luxury Pick – Saatva Classic Mattress
- Three available firmness options
- Innerspring mattress
- 2 height options (29cm & 36cm)
- Sleepers with back pain: The firm support lent by the mattress makes it an ideal luxury pick for back pain.
- Specific firm preferences: If you have a particular preference, this customisable mattress is for you!
- Stomach sleepers: The Saatva’s firmness provides the necessary support to keep hips aligned and provide relief.
- Couples: The mattress does poorly in isolating motion; hence it can get uncomfortable for couples.
- Side sleepers: Heavyweight side sleepers above 130 pounds may find the mattress challenging to manoeuvre in without sinking too deeply.
The Saatva Classic is one of the finest innerspring mattresses on 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 firmness level 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, 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. A set of tempered steel support coils prevent the mattress from sagging.
Both sets of coils help create many structures to 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 help relieve tension from my lower back and provide instant relief to joints!
The mattress does have a few cons. The motion transfer feature is pretty high, so I’ll 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.
Best Premium Mattress – Brooke And Wilde Ultima Firm
- Over 6000 Nano and pocket springs in two layers
- Thermic cooling cover to reduce the temperature
- Non-slip base
- Cooling properties
- Sleepers who want firmness options: This mattress comes in 3 firmness choices – soft, medium and firm, making it suitable for all sleepers.
- Hot sleepers: If you like to sleep cool, this mattress is ideal for you due to its unique thermic cover.
- Premium Feel: The mattress’s wave technology and support foundation make it a premium product.
- Price is a concern: This mattress costs more than other brands with all the different layers and high-quality materials.
- You want a single size: Unfortunately, this mattress is not available in a single size variant.
Honestly, I am in love with this hybrid mattress. It feels premium, the tension is selectable, and the double size variant is a delight for my family. Importantly, this mattress suits all types of sleepers.
Therefore, even if you are a back, front or side sleeper, this mattress will always feel premium. The depth of this mattress is considerable, thanks to the 10-layer composition. I love the thermic cover that dissipates heat up to 2 degrees Celsius.
The memory foam allows excellent airflow. Then, there are those tiny Nano springs. This mattress has 2000 Nano springs. They function for even weight distribution. Further, another 4000 springs provide the much-needed bounce. Overall, the mattress design and layer distribution are phenomenal.
What I love about this mattress is the choice of firmness. Brooke and Wilde provide the customers with different levels of firmness. So, if you want a cosy mattress, opt for the soft variant. Consequently, the medium and firm choices suit balanced and relevant sleepers. I chose the medium variant, and it is undoubtedly a balanced mattress.
If you are someone like me who likes to test a product before investing, this company is suitable. Brooke and Wilde provide us with a 100-night trial with this mattress. Isn’t it amazing?
I agree that the cost is on the higher side. However, with the premium materials and a 10-year guarantee, this mattress is worth exploring.
Best for Average Weight Sleeper – The Amerisleep AS1 Mattress
- Memory foam mattress
- Very firm, feels with medium-low bounciness.
- Strong Edge Support
- Sleeps Hot
- Back and stomach sleepers: The firm and durable support make it ideal for gentle pressure in such sleepers.
- Hot sleepers: If you like to sleep cool, this mattress is ideal.
- Light contouring: The memory foam provides soft contouring to the body
- Strict side sleepers: The firmness may prove uncomfortable for many side sleepers
- Prefer Comfort: The two-inch memory foam may prove insufficient for providing complete pressure relief and comfort, especially for heavyweight sleepers.
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, especially for an average weight sleeper like me.
While lying down or sleeping, the mattress does an excellent job 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 contouring, but it does well with motion transfer. The presence of the memory foam can distribute motion across the mattress.
Even regarding temperature control, the Celliant cover allows for breathability and coolness.
With eco-friendly materials and its reasonable price, this mattress is a solid option for averagely weighted people. Furthermore, its excellent pressure relieving firmness is tremendous for most back and stomach sleepers!
Best Value For Money – REM-Fit 500 Ortho
- Open-cell memory foam comfort layer.
- Firm Tension
- Premium pocket springs
- Zoned memory foam
- People with joint pain: The firm and durable support are the best in the market, making it ideal for backache and joint pain relief.
- Partners who move a lot: The 4 layer hybrid design suits people who cuddle and move a lot during sleep.
- Couples: The excellent edge support and its low motion transfer properties make it an ideal choice for couples.
- Softness preference: While the firmness is ideal for support and added weight, it doesn’t offer a very plush and soft presence.
- Handles: This mattress does not have handles, so it can be hard to rotate for mobility.
The REM-Fit 500 is a single side mattress. I feel this mattress is definitely a top-notch product. It takes some time to adjust initially, but this mattress feels fantastic once you do.
Comfort, temperature regulation and excellent cushioning make this mattress a must-buy item. In addition, its layers are designed to provide maximum comfort and support.
Related Read: Best Cheap Mattresses
The high-density foam gives excellent edge support. Also, there are around 2000 springs in the second layer. These springs support the back exceptionally well. Further, the base has a 4 cm high-density foam.
The only disadvantage is the absence of handles. As this mattress is big, you need to rotate it from time to time. Hence, handles could have been beneficial. Other than this reason, the mattress does not have significant drawbacks.
Still, you need to be a lover of firm tension mattresses to buy this one. Do not add this mattress to your wish list if you prefer the softer ones. Like many other firm mattresses, you get a 100-night trial period with this one too.
Overall, if you want a value for money hybrid mattress, this product will not disappoint.
Buyer’s Guide for the Best Firm Mattress
Now that you know how these mattresses measure up, I will 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 help narrow your hunt.
Multiple brands offer you various firm mattress choices, but not all 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).
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! I know that 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. Your sleeping position exposes other body parts to your mattress, which each needs outstanding support.
If you’re a side sleeper like me, then a medium-firm mattress is good. However, if you’re a front sleeper, 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!
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 significant 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 toward 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. The durability ranges from five months onwards and could even last you a long time from what I’ve seen!
You might also come across brands that offer you a lifetime guarantee, but this isn’t that reliable. Mattresses will lose their initial firmness or support with repeated use, especially in a particular spot.
I recommend carefully looking at your durability options 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.
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 mattress’s durability is highly dependent on the materials used in its making. I know this seems a little too obvious, but it’s worth mentioning!
The denser the materials, the more likely they will sustain themselves 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 for 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 people prone to joint aches.
Considering I’ve dealt with these issues almost all my life and sleep apnea, I recommend investing in a pressure-relieving firm mattress. So, switch to a firm mattress if you seek a long-lasting solution to your backaches!
Firm mattresses are your best bud if you’re just as sweaty as me in bed.
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 latex and memory foam materials 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 recommend picking a mattress with adequate airflow technology that guarantees a cooler sleep. It happens that firm mattresses are your winning champion for this and keep your nighttime sweats away.
I mean your bed’s hugging ability when I say body contouring. 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.
It can get uncomfortable for some people and make motion isolation a little tougher to achieve. If you prefer the slight sinking feeling in your mattress, firm mattresses may not be your top choice.
The thin and dense layers and 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 proper pressure relief for your neck stiffness.
My shoulder ache continued into the better part of the morning, but 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
Do back sleepers need a firm mattress?
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. It can also be very uncomfortable in general.
I 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!
Are firm mattresses ideal for sex?
When it comes to sex, you’re looking for a responsive body contouring mattress. 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.
Suppose you’re looking for a bouncy experience. In that case, 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!
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.