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Best Firm Mattress:
Top Picks for Sturdy Support

UPDATED

Written by David Rubin

Reviewed by Dr. Michael Breus

Expert Tested

Table of Contents
line-star And the Award for Best Firm Mattress Goes to…

Plank Firm Luxe

The Plank Firm Luxe has a dual-sided design, so you can change the firmness level by flipping the mattress over. Each side is noticeably firm with impressive all-around performance and robust edge support.

If you are looking for sturdiness, prefer a firmer feel, or need extra support for pain relief, a firm mattress may provide the sleep surface you need. But a firm mattress shouldn’t feel like you’re sleeping on a cement block. Instead, it should balance strong support with light cushioning that helps your body ease into sleep.

When shopping for a firm mattress, finding the right mix of comfort, cushioning, and support can be challenging. That’s why we asked our testing team to evaluate dozens of mattress options and identify their picks for the best firm mattresses. We also assembled a guide covering the key things to know when deciding between firm mattress options.

If you want to look at a broader list of mattresses, including medium firm models, check out our list of the best mattresses of 2024. If you’re struggling with back pain and want a mattress that can provide relief, take a look at our guide to the best mattresses for back pain.

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Read on to see why the following five options made our top picks list of 2024’s best firm mattresses.

Sleep Doctor’s Picks

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Best Overall Mattress

Plank Firm Luxe

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

The Sleep Doctor’s Review

With the dual-sided Plank Firm Luxe, you get two exceptionally firm surfaces in one mattress. Our tests show this affordably priced hybrid is particularly well suited to anyone who needs extra support from their mattress, including back and stomach sleepers over 230 pounds.

BUY FROM PLANK
Firmness:

Firm / Very Firm

Back Support:

Good for Sleepers Over 230 Pounds

Ideal For:

Heavy Sleepers

Value:

Great Value

Pros

  • Flippable design gives sleepers the choice of a firm or an extra firm side
  • Excellent support for back and stomach sleepers over 230 pounds
  • Optional cooling cover dissipates body heat on contact

Cons

  • Both sides may feel too firm for most side sleepers
  • People who share a bed may notice when their partner moves or gets in or out of bed

If you’re in the market for a firm mattress, the Plank Firm Luxe from Brooklyn Bedding offers excellent bang for your buck. The reversible design features a firm (7) feel on one side and an extra firm (9) feel on the other, the latter being one of the most supportive surfaces our team has tested. When you want to change things up, simply flip over the Firm Luxe — the mattress is relatively lightweight and easy to lift with a partner.

Why We Like It

During hands-on tests, most of our back and stomach sleepers preferred the firm side of this mattress. Some testers who use these positions and weigh more than 230 pounds also felt comfortable on the extra firm side. If you’re a side sleeper, chances are you won’t receive enough cushioning from either surface, though some on our team gave the firm side favorable ratings.

The Firm Luxe’s perimeter feels quite stable, so the mattress earned high marks for edge support. Most of us encountered little to no resistance when moving across the surface. We also found that the mattress slept cool, though people who are “hot sleepers” may want to consider the cooling GlacioTex cover upgrade. Other notable qualities include below-average pricing and a wide size selection.

How Does It Feel?

The firm side contains fibers quilted into the cover, followed by two dense foam layers. Light contouring ensures you’ll get some cushioning from the mattress without too much sink or hugging. On the extra firm side, a single foam layer keeps your body on an even plane and barely conforms at all. Pocketed coils located between the comfort systems serve as the support core for both sides of the mattress.

Standard Firm Luxe models come with knit polyester covers. For an extra fee, you can swap in a cover made of GlacioTex phase change fabric engineered to capture and release body heat. Brooklyn Bedding offers a dozen sizes for the mattress, including a split California king for couples who share adjustable beds and several RV-friendly options.

Standard ground shipping is free within the contiguous U.S. Each order is backed by a 120-night trial period and 10-year manufacturer’s warranty.

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Best Value Mattress

Brooklyn Bedding Signature – Firm

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

The Sleep Doctor’s Review

The firm (8) Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid feels remarkably sturdy thanks to dense, responsive foam layers in the comfort system and robust pocketed coils. Even if you opt for the additional pillow-top, this mattress delivers plenty of reinforcement and shouldn’t sink too much beneath your weight.

BUY FROM Brooklyn Bedding
Firmness:

Firm

Back Support:

Good for Sleepers Over 230 Pounds

Ideal For:

Heavy Sleepers

Value:

Great Value

Pros

  • Quintessential foam-over-coil hybrid design at an approachable price
  • Sold in three designs, including an ultra-supportive firm option
  • Cooling pillow-top upgrade available for an extra fee

Cons

  • Most side sleepers will prefer a softer version of the mattress
  • Strong off-gassing odor for the first few nights

The firm Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid feels remarkably sturdy thanks to dense, responsive foam layers in the comfort system and robust pocketed coils. Even if you opt for the additional pillow-top, this mattress delivers plenty of reinforcement and shouldn’t sink too much beneath your weight.

Why We Like It

Our testing team found that the firm Signature Hybrid is best suited to back and stomach sleepers who weigh at least 130 pounds, and side sleepers who weigh over 230 pounds. Latex-like VariFlex transitional foam paired with a strong coil system ensures plenty of support and a noticeable bounce when you get into bed. Those who use these positions and weigh less should consider the medium soft (4) or medium firm (6) designs instead. During tests, the firm model excelled at edge support and ease of movement. Temperature control was another strong point, though people who run exceptionally hot in bed may need the cooling pillow-top upgrade to sleep comfortably.

How Does It Feel?

The firm Signature Hybrid’s topmost layer is composed of TitanFlex polyfoam, a dense material that contours evenly to distribute your weight, align your spine, and alleviate pressure points without sinking too much. Responsive transitional foam reinforces the supportive surface. Pocketed coils and dense base foam in the support core provide excellent overall stability and protect the edges.

Standard Signature Hybrid models come with covers made of soft, breathable cotton. You can add an extra foam layer encased in GlacioTex fabric, which makes the mattress feel softer without affecting its overall firmness. GlacioTex is engineered to dissipate heat on contact and feel cool at all times. Note this upgrade will increase the cost of your order by roughly 30%.

Read our full Brooklyn Bedding Signature Mattress review
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Best Mattress for Heavy Sleepers

Titan Plus

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

The Sleep Doctor’s Review

The Titan Plus is one of the firmest mattresses we’ve tested, making it well-suited to people over 230 pounds. Steady airflow through the coil layer helps the mattress stay cool, and you can add a phase change panel to the cover for extra thermoregulation.

BUY FROM TITAN
Firmness:

Firm

Back Support:

Good for Sleepers Over 230 Pounds

Ideal For:

Heavy Sleepers

Value:

Great Value

Pros

  • Exceptionally firm with a robust and supportive design
  • Optional cooling cover offers appeal for hot sleepers
  • Affordable pricing for a firm hybrid mattress

Cons

  • Inadequate cushioning for side sleepers under 230 pounds
  • Permits some motion transfer across the mattress surface

Brooklyn Bedding’s Titan Plus combines above-average durability and edge support, making it a good choice for sleepers over 230 pounds. It also has an attractive price-point, so shoppers on a budget can still take advantage of its benefits.

Why We Like It

The cover contains gel-infused memory foam designed to provide subtle pressure relief while drawing heat away from the sleeper. During our temperature control tests, thermal mapping tools detected very little heat buildup on the surface. The rest of the hybrid structure integrates foam comfort layers with a robust pocketed coil core. Our testers noted that the layer of TitanFlex polyfoam adapted to their bodies without conforming too closely.

How Does It Feel?

The Titan Plus has an 11-inch profile and a firm (8) feel. The stomach and back sleepers on our testing team found that the solid surface helped encourage proper spinal alignment, but those under 130 pounds and our side sleepers reported that it felt a little too firm.

The pocketed coils are designed to stabilize the top layers while encouraging a spinal alignment. Two inches of high-density polyfoam reinforce the base. The Titan Plus uses gel infusions and pocketed coils designed to help remove excess heat, and people who tend to sleep hot can opt for an additional cooling top panel.

Read our full Titan Mattress review
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Most Comfortable Mattress

Cloverlane 15″ Hybrid – Luxury Firm

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

The Sleep Doctor’s Review

The Cloverlane 15” Hybrid – Luxury Firm is a solid option for sleepers seeking a supportive bed with just enough cushioning to cradle sore joints. Whereas most hybrid comfort systems are composed of either foam or latex, this model combines the two for a truly balanced performance.

BUY FROM CLOVERLANE
Firmness:

Firm

Back Support:

Good for Sleepers Over 230 Pounds

Ideal For:

Back and Stomach Sleepers

Value:

Fair Value

Pros

  • Foam and latex comfort layers balance cushioning and responsiveness
  • Zoned support ensures plenty of support for the lumbar area
  • 365-night sleep trial and free White Glove delivery

Cons

  • May not be supportive enough for sleepers over 230 pounds
  • Foam may emit off-gassing odors for several days

Why We Like It

Among our testers, we found that side sleepers weighing at least 130 pounds and back sleepers up to 230 pounds were the most likely to find the Cloverlane 15” Hybrid – Luxury Firm comfortable. These sleep positions need steady support for the lower back but also require cushioning for the hips, shoulders, and spine. Stomach sleepers under 130 pounds also gave the bed positive ratings.

One of the bed’s standout features was the strong temperature control. Latex has naturally breathable properties to maintain a comfortable temperature. The latex in this model is also perforated to further aerate the surface. The coil system allows plenty of air to flow through the interior for additional thermoregulation.

How Does It Feel?

The Cloverlane 15” Hybrid has a thick Euro-top composed of adaptive foam with enhanced support in the lumbar area. Next you’ll find two inches of memory foam that promote gentle cushioning, with a thin strip of latex to maximize support in the hip area. An additional layer of polyfoam beneath ensures you won’t sink uncomfortably deep. Meanwhile, the coil system offers sturdy support for the entire bed, with reinforced edges to bolster the perimeter.

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Best Luxury Mattress

Helix Dawn Luxe

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

The Sleep Doctor’s Review

The firmest and most supportive of Helix’s luxury hybrids, the Dawn Luxe offers gentle cradling with a Euro-top surface and excellent overall reinforcement from its zoned coil system. A breathable, moisture-wicking cover also helps ensure a comfortable temperature throughout the night.

BUY FROM HELIX
Firmness:

Firm

Back Support:

Good for Sleepers Over 230 Pounds

Ideal For:

Heavy Sleepers

Value:

Fair Value

Pros

  • Designed for sleepers who don’t want to sink into their mattress
  • Moisture-wicking Tencel cover encases a sleek pillow-top
  • Zoned coil system provides targeted lumbar support

Cons

  • Limited ability to isolate motion
  • Lacks contouring preferred by many side sleepers

Made with high-quality materials, the Helix Dawn Luxe has a firm (8) feel designed with stomach and back sleepers in mind. Not only is this one of the firmest mattresses we’ve tested, it also features three foam layers in the comfort system to alleviate pressure points.

Why We Like It

Testers felt they got a good balance of support and contouring from the zoned support core, which focused its support on the back and hips while contouring the shoulders and legs. Our tests also showed that the thicker gauge coils reinforced the perimeter and reduced sagging along the edges. The high-density polyfoam that forms the mattress’ base helps ensure that the upper layers function optimally. We recommend the Helix Dawn Luxe for sleepers who want a higher-end firm mattress designed to provide good support. However, while back and stomach sleepers over 130 pounds are likely to enjoy this mattress, side sleepers may need something that provides a little more contouring.

How Does It Feel?

The Dawn Luxe features a breathable Tencel cover and a pillow-top cushioned with dense memory foam. Our testers reported that the foam interior gently contoured the body, and the cover kept the surface cool. Beneath the pillow-top, there’s also a layer of gel-infused memory foam that is engineered to alleviate pressure points and promote proper spinal alignment. Two layers of polyfoam complete the comfort system. We found that the thicker top layer provided a good balance of adaptive support and subtle bounce. The transitional polyfoam layer provided even contouring while absorbing shock from the steel springs.

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Best Mattress for Back Pain

WinkBed

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

The Sleep Doctor’s Review

The WinkBed is a luxury hybrid available in four firmness levels, including a standard firm (7) and a Plus (8) model specifically designed for people over 230 pounds. Dense comfort layers and zoned coils work together to keep your body aloft and reduce pressure along the spine.

BUY FROM WINKBED
Firmness:

Firm

Back Support:

Good for Sleepers Over 230 Pounds

Ideal For:

Heavy Sleepers

Value:

Good Value

Pros

  • Gel-infused and quilted Euro-top delivers good pressure relief for a firm mattress
  • Sturdy hybrid design provides impressive edge support
  • Choice of four firmness options

Cons

  • Thick coils generate responsiveness that can transfer motion on the firm version
  • Firm model may lack pressure relief for side sleepers

A firm mattress sometimes comes at the expense of pressure relief, but the WinkBed manages to merge support with comfort. With four different firmness options — medium soft (4), medium (6), firm (7), and Plus (8) — this mattress can accommodate a range of sleep positions and body sizes.

Why We Like It

Our testers reported that the coils provide robust support. This quality was most evident with the firm and Plus models. Steady airflow through the coils and the moisture-wicking Tencel cover also helped the WinkBed perform well during our temperature control tests.

We also found that the mattress does a great job of providing pressure relief at a variety of firmness levels. This makes the WinkBed a good choice for sleepers who prefer a firmer mattress but still need solid support at pressure points. We recommend either of these models to anyone looking for a balance of firmness or pressure relief.

How Does It Feel?

The WinkBed integrates contouring and bounce by combining polyfoam comfort layers with different-sized coils. The comfort system for standard models consists of a Euro-top with a eucalyptus-derived Tencel cover designed to wick away heat while gently cushioning pressure points. This is followed by a layer of adaptive polyfoam. In the Plus model, the comfort layer is composed of latex for added support and responsiveness.

Zoned coils make up the support core. Thicker coils rest beneath your midsection to push back against extra weight in your torso and hips, while thinner coils cradle the head and legs. The perimeter is also reinforced to limit sinkage when you sleep near the edges or get in and out of bed.

Read our full WinkBed Mattress review
opening quote icon I often recommend firm mattresses to sleepers who need a supportive and even sleep surface, including stomach sleepers and those weighing over 230 pounds. Hybrids and innersprings tend to be the most popular models with firmer options, but firm foam and latex models are available as well. opening quote icon
Dr. Michael Breus, Clinical Psychologist, Sleep Medicine Expert and Combination Sleeper

Do You Need a Firm Mattress?

You may need a firm mattress if you are a stomach sleeper, back sleeper, or weigh over 230 pounds. For stomach and back sleepers, a firm mattress keeps the midsection from sinking too deeply into the bed and pulling the spine into an unnatural curve. Heavier individuals may find that a firm model feels sturdier and keeps their body on an even plane.

People seeking deep contouring for pressure points should avoid a firm mattress. Likewise, side sleepers may experience excess impact on their shoulders and hips with a firm mattress.

Video: Is a Firm Mattress Good for You?

Watch our video to learn more about whether a firm mattress is best for you.

How to Choose the Right Firmness Level for You

The right firmness level is inherently subjective. You may have a natural preference for a firmer or softer mattress, but the optimal firmness also depends on your sleeping position and body weight, since these influence how your weight is applied to the mattress surface.

To help compare firmness levels across mattress models, we use a 10-point scale, with 1 being the softest mattress possible and 10 being the firmest. Most mattresses fall in the range of soft (3) to firm (8).

Under 130 lbs.Between 130 and 230 lbs.Over 230 lbs.
Side SleepersSoft (3) to Medium (5)Medium Soft (4) to Medium (5)Medium Firm (6) to Firm (7)
Back SleepersSoft (3) to Medium (5)Medium (5) to Firm (7)Firm (7-8) to Extra Firm (9)
Stomach SleepersMedium Soft (4) to Medium Firm (6)Medium (5) to Firm (7)Firm (7-8) to Extra Firm (9)

What’s Important to Consider in a Firm Mattress?

When shopping for a mattress, there are factors besides firmness that you should consider, including mattress type, your spinal alignment and body pain, edge support, pricing, returns, and warranties.

Mattress Type

Every type of mattress offers benefits and drawbacks based on its design and materials. For example, foam mattresses often provide above-average cushioning and motion isolation but can retain more heat, whereas hybrid and latex beds are known for their responsiveness but typically have a higher price tag. An adjustable airbed uses inflatable air chambers in its support core, and air can be added or removed via a remote control or smartphone app to adjust the firmness.

Spinal Alignment

If you want to avoid waking up with a sore back, you should consider how well a mattress encourages neutral spinal posture, since spending hours in bed with your spine misaligned can induce aches and pains. To promote healthy spinal alignment, a mattress should offer cushioning around pressure points without permitting excess sinkage.

Body Pain

If you have achy joints or other body pain, you should look for a mattress that can offer relief. Depending on your sleeping position and body weight, a firm mattress may facilitate spinal alignment to minimize back pain. However, if your mattress is too firm, it could generate painful impact around the hips, shoulders, or lower back.

Edge Support

Edge support describes how sturdy a mattress feels around its perimeter. Above-average edge support lets you take advantage of the full sleeping surface, which is important for couples. For a firm mattress, edge support also creates a more consistent and robust mattress feel.

Price, Sleep Trial, and Warranty

Mattress prices range from less than $250 to more than $3,000, with the cost largely driven by design, materials, size, and features.

Almost any mattress bought online will come with a sleep trial, which allows you to return it after trying it at home for a set period. This gives you time to make sure a mattress has the right firmness, which may take a few weeks to determine.

A mattress warranty protects against defects and will cover a repair or replacement, but warranties usually do not cover gradual decreases in firmness or other types of expected wear and tear.

Tips for Making Your Mattress Feel Firmer

If you want to make your existing mattress feel firmer without replacing it, a few simple steps may do the trick.

  • Try a mattress topper: Typically around 1 to 4 inches thick, a mattress topper goes on top of your existing mattress. This is helpful if you wish to adjust your bed’s firmness, but keep in mind that a topper can’t fully compensate for an underlying mattress that is sagging or extremely plush.
  • Rotate your mattress regularly: Repositioning your mattress frequently can prevent wear patterns that cause it to soften in specific places. We suggest rotating it 180 degrees about once a month.
  • Give your mattress the right support: Your mattress may take on a firmer feel if you put it on top of a sturdy base, like a box spring. You can also put a rigid board, known as a bunkie board, under the mattress to make it firmer. Be sure to check your mattress’ warranty, as some models can only be used with certain approved types of bases. 

Discover More Mattress Solutions

In addition to this guide to the best firm mattresses, our testing team has hand-picked top-performing beds in a variety of popular categories.

How We Test

Our testing team picked the best firm mattresses by thoroughly researching and trying out dozens of different models using our thorough product testing methodology. Our in-house testing lab includes equipment to measure performance metrics like pressure relief and heat retention. We also make sure that our team includes people with diverse sleeping positions and body weights so that our recommendations are based on feedback from multiple perspectives.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a firm or soft mattress better for back pain?

The best mattress for back pain varies depending on the individual and their body type, preferred sleeping position, and the type of back pain they experience. That said, research has shown that medium firm mattresses tend to offer a good mix of cushioning and support for people with lower back pain.

Is a firm mattress good for side sleepers?

Firm mattresses work for some side sleepers, but they are often too firm to effectively cushion the shoulders and hips of people who sleep on their side. Firm mattresses tend to work best for side sleepers over 230 pounds who want to avoid sinkage.

Does a firm mattress last longer?

Firm mattresses don’t necessarily last longer than other mattresses, as durability largely depends on the construction and materials within the mattress. Some firm mattresses are made with dense and robust materials that hold up extremely well over time. However, firm mattresses can also be made with lower-quality materials that can soften or break down over just a few years of use.

How can you make a mattress firmer?

You can make a mattress firmer by using a firm mattress topper, putting your mattress on a firm base, or placing a bunkie board underneath the mattress. You can also try to get more firmness from your existing mattress by rotating it on a regular basis, which avoids uneven wear and tear of the interior materials.

About The Author

David Rubin

Certified Sleep Science Coach, Director of Product Testing


David is a Certified Sleep Science Coach with a lifelong passion for well-being and health optimization. His interest in sleep developed with the arrival of his son, when sleep suddenly became a precious commodity.

  • POSITION: Side Sleeper
  • TEMPERATURE: Hot Sleeper
  • CHRONOTYPE: Lion

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