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Best Medium Firm Mattress

UPDATED

Written by David Rubin

Expert Tested

Table of Contents

With its balance of cushioning and support, a medium firm mattress is often considered the “Goldilocks” firmness level. A mattress that is too soft may not promote proper spinal alignment, especially if you sleep on your stomach or back. On the other hand, a very firm mattress might not offer enough pressure relief to be comfortable. A medium firm mattress is often the solution, as its moderate feel works with different body types and sleep styles. 

After considerable research and testing, our team of sleep specialists came up with a list of choice medium firm models that can accommodate a variety of sleepers. We also break down important performance features so you can decide what to prioritize when mattress shopping.

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

Sleep Doctor’s Picks

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Best Overall Mattress

Helix Midnight Luxe

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

The Sleep Doctor’s Review

The Helix Midnight Luxe checks all of the important boxes if you’re seeking a medium firm mattress. Cushy foam layers, supportive coils, a sturdy perimeter, and a light, mellow bounce define this well-crafted hybrid model.

Buy From Helix
Ideal For:

Side Sleepers

Firmness:

Medium Firm (6)

Feel:

Plush, Supportive Surface

Plush, Supportive Surface:

Good Value

Pros

  • Deep foam layers provide close, even contouring to reduce pain and pressure buildup
  • Zoned coils push back against heavier areas of the body
  • Two cooling cover options

Cons

  • Too soft for most back and stomach sleepers over 230 pounds
  • Foam layers emit a strong off-gassing smell for the first few nights

Helix’s Luxe line features six mattresses, each one inspired by a model in the brand’s standard hybrid collection. Like the Midnight, the Midnight Luxe is designed for side sleepers between 130 and 230 pounds, but our tests show its plush medium firm (6) feel is suitable for a wide range of sleeper types. Hot sleepers, couples, and people with persistent pain or pressure points can also benefit from choosing this mattress.

Why We Like It

Our hands-on tests show the Midnight Luxe is a solid option for side sleepers across most weight groups, as well as back and stomach sleepers up to 230 pounds. The foam layers contour a bit closely, but dense transitional foam and robust multi-zone coils prevent people in this weight range from sinking too deeply into the mattress.

The Midnight Luxe is also a good choice for couples because the foam layers isolate motion quite well. By comparison, many hybrids struggle to limit motion transfer and can be disruptive for co-sleeping. We also found the mattress alleviates pressure and sleeps cool — though exceptionally hot sleepers may want to opt for the GlacioTex cover upgrade.

How Does It Feel?

The Midnight Luxe features two memory foam layers encased in a sleek Euro-top, giving the surface highly adaptive feel with close, even contouring. Memory foam softens when it comes into contact with body heat, so you’ll notice a gentle cradling effect when you get into bed. Transitional foam adds cushioning while creating a buffer between your body and the support core.

The pocketed coils are arranged in a zoned configuration with thicker springs resting beneath your torso and hips. This creates extra reinforcement where it’s needed and a gentler feel for lighter areas of the body. A cover made of moisture-wicking Tencel encases the mattress. For an additional fee, you can upgrade the cover to a GlacioTex fabric that captures and releases body heat on contact.

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Best Value Mattress

Silk & Snow Hybrid

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

The Sleep Doctor’s Review

The Silk & Snow is a quintessential hybrid with a balanced feel and premium features at an affordable price-point. One stand-out feature our testers enjoyed was the zoned polyfoam and coils. This zoning prevented their midsections from sinking too deeply into the mattress and straining the lower back.

Buy From Silk & Snow
Ideal For:

Side Sleepers

Firmness:

Medium Firm (6)

Feel:

Plush, Supportive Surface

Value:

Great Value

Pros

  • Excellent breathability and temperature control
  • Standout edge support
  • Zoned transitional and support layers for targeted pressure relief

Cons

  • Stomach sleepers who weigh at least 130 pounds may find they sink too deeply into the mattress
  • The responsive coils may transfer more movement from a restless sleep partner

Luxury performance without premium pricing defines the Silk & Snow Hybrid, an excellent choice for shoppers on a budget. The mattress combines pressure relief with responsiveness, so sleepers shouldn’t feel trapped inside the adaptive comfort system. Various cooling technologies are used to minimize heat retention, giving the mattress above-average temperature control.

Why We Like It

All six layers total 12 inches, and the medium firm feel registers as a 6 on the 10-point firmness scale.

The Silk & Snow Hybrid shows a high-quality mattress can also be affordable. Thoughtful details to enhance your sleep experience include adaptive memory foam to cushion the surface and zoning throughout the transitional and coil layers.

How Does It Feel?

An inch of quilted polyfoam gives the surface a plush feel without causing too much sinkage. Below is a 2-inch layer of dense memory foam that cradles the body to alleviate pressure points. Both foam layers contain gel infusions that are intended to wick away heat and moisture. A layer of zoned polyfoam gives targeted support to the back region for better sleep posture.

Pocketed coils form the support core, giving the mattress bounce and durability. The encased springs limit motion transfer, resulting in a quieter bed for individuals and couples alike. A zoned configuration provides greater support to the hips and lumbar region, while the shoulders and legs are allowed more give. The perimeter is reinforced with sturdier coils for increased edge support.

Read our full Silk & Snow Hybrid review
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Most Comfortable Mattress

Saatva Classic

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

The Sleep Doctor’s Review

The Saatva Classic is a high-end innerspring with thoughtful construction to match. A plush Euro-top and pocketed minicoils prevent pressure buildup in sore spots, while a lumbar pad and coil system keep the body on an even plane. This balanced feel was comfortable for many of our testers.

Buy From Saatva
Ideal For:

Back Sleepers

Firmness:

Medium Firm (6)

Feel:

Bouncy, Supportive Surface

Value:

Good Value

Pros

  • Available in two heights and three firmness levels
  • Plush Euro-top cradles the body
  • Zoned lumbar pad gives the lower back extra support

Cons

  • The coil-on-coil design may cause more motion transfer and noise
  • Sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds may need more cushioning

Using premium materials and quality craftsmanship, the Saatva Classic delivers both comfort and support. The mattress is available in two heights, 11.5 or 14.5 inches. Shoppers can also choose from three different feels: Plush Soft (3), Luxury Firm (6), and Firm (8). The Luxury Firm corresponds to a medium firm feel and performs well for diverse sleep styles, earning this design a spot on our top picks list.

Why We Like It

The support core uses heavier gauge hourglass coils to increase the mattress’ durability and responsiveness. Like the microcoils, each spring is encased to improve motion isolation. The double-coil construction helps prevent deep surface impressions from developing. High-density polyfoam lines the perimeter for extra edge support. Both heights use the same construction except that the 14.5-inch version uses a thicker layer of coils.

Saatva offers free White Glove delivery for customers in the contiguous U.S. This service includes professional installation and old mattress removal.

The Luxury Firm Saatva Classic combines the coil strength of classic innersprings with the adaptive, pressure-relieving surface of a newer hybrid model. The result is a balanced mattress that cushions the body and maintains even support.

How Does It Feel?

The mattress is covered in soft and breathable organic cotton that naturally wicks away heat and moisture. Polyfoam is sewn directly into the cover, forming a plush Euro-top that gently cushions pressure points. The cover features Guardin, a botanical-based treatment developed to resist bacterial overgrowth.

Next is a layer of memory foam with a proprietary lumbar wire. The technology is engineered to promote good spinal alignment and reduce aches and pains the next morning. A 4-inch layer of pocketed microcoils delivers targeted contouring while allowing air to circulate. The individually wrapped coils also curb motion transfer, so movement is less likely to travel across the mattress’ surface.

Read our full Saatva Mattress review
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Best Mattress for Side Sleepers

DreamCloud Premier

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

The Sleep Doctor’s Review

The DreamCloud Premier is a high-profile foam hybrid that strikes a balance between cushioning and support. Our testers found the adaptive foam comfort system effective at reducing joint pain, while the coil system kept their bodies on an even plane.

Buy From DreamCloud
Ideal For:

Hot Sleepers

Firmness:

Medium Firm (6)

Feel:

Plush, Supportive Surface

Value:

Great Value

Pros

  • Plush Euro-top for extra pressure relief
  • Sturdy coils provide great overall support
  • 365-night sleep trial

Cons

  • Sleepers who weigh more than 230 pounds may find the mattress too soft
  • The plush Euro-top may restrict movement on the surface

As a hybrid model, the DreamCloud Premier combines a thick comfort system with a pocketed coil support core. The mattress performs solidly across all categories, and its balanced medium firm (6) feel is suitable for most sleep styles. The six layers add up to 14 inches, making the Premier taller than average.

Why We Like It

The support core uses sturdy steel coils to balance stability with bounce. Each coil is individually wrapped in order to increase breathability and help sleepers stay cooler. Thicker coils along the perimeter enhance edge support so there is more usable surface area. A final layer of dense polyfoam stabilizes the upper layers while also absorbing motion.

The DreamCloud Premier is the best of both worlds for sleepers, even by medium firm mattress standards. A luxurious Euro-top design, pressure-relieving foams, sturdy coils, and cooling components highlight this standout hybrid model.

How Does It Feel?

A soft and breathable cashmere-blend cover is designed to keep the surface temperature neutral. Plush memory foam is quilted into the cover, forming a Euro-top that gently cradles the body. A thick layer of body-contouring memory foam provides additional pressure relief. Gel infusions are engineered to dissipate excess heat as the foam conforms to the sleeper. A transitional layer of polyfoam supports spinal alignment while minimizing motion transfer.

Read our full DreamCloud Premier Mattress review
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Best Cooling Mattress

Nectar Premier

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

The Sleep Doctor’s Review

A lot of all-foam mattresses sleep hot, but the Nectar Premier mitigates this issue with a top layer infused with cooling gel and phase change material. The result is an adaptive, pressure-relieving sleep surface that closely contours to your body without feeling excessively warm.

Buy From Nectar
Ideal For:

Hot Sleepers

Firmness:

Medium Firm (6)

Feel:

Close-Conforming Foam

Value:

Good Value

Pros

  • Phase change material counteracts heat absorption in the foam layers and maintains a cool surface
  • Excellent motion isolation for couples
  • All orders come with a 365-night sleep trial

Cons

  • Edge support is somewhat limited
  • Strong off-gassing odor can persist for up to 72 hours after unboxing

The Nectar Premier offers the best of both worlds for anyone seeking a cushy mattress that offers deep cushioning and decent temperature control. Cooling gel and heat-dissipating phase change material are infused into the top memory foam layer, which conforms closely without retaining too much heat, while the underlying transitional and support layers stabilize the sleep surface with sturdy support.

Why We Like It

Since the Nectar Premier is medium firm (6), side sleepers on our team weighing at least 130 pounds gave the mattress stellar ratings. Our back and stomach sleepers under 130 pounds also found the mattress comfortable and adequately supportive. If you sleep on your back or stomach and weigh more, you may need a firmer mattress.

Our tests show the Premier is an excellent choice for couples, as well. All three foam layers absorb movement and isolate motion transfer, so you and your partner can sleep soundly when the other person changes positions or gets up during the night. In addition to above-average temperature control, we also found the Premier effectively alleviates pressure — the memory foam’s cloud-like cradling promotes even alignment and reduces pressure buildup in sensitive areas like the shoulders and hips.

How Does It Feel?

The Nectar Premier begins with a thick memory foam comfort layer, giving the surface an invitingly plush feel. Cooling gel and phase change material infused into this layer help offset heat retention to keep you cool. Dense transitional polyfoam provides additional cushioning while pushing back against your weight and keeping your body on an even plane. The support core contains 7 inches of high-density base foam to reinforce the medium firm feel. A breathable cover encases the mattress.

Read our Nectar Premier Mattress review

Why You Should Trust Us

With so many different models available today, mattress shopping can be nothing short of overwhelming. This is where we come into play. As a team of seasoned sleep specialists, we’ve researched and personally tested countless mattress models. Our testing crew is made up of different body types and sleep styles, so we can assess how well a mattress performs for a broader population. Our goal is to help you determine if a medium firm mattress is the right fit for you and help guide you toward the most compatible models.

What Does Medium Firm Mean?

A 10-point scale is frequently used to determine mattress firmness. Most models fall between 4 and 7, as anything outside this range is considered extremely soft or firm. A medium firm mattress registers at about a 6, making it a middle-of-the-road feel. 

It’s important to keep in mind that the way a mattress feels depends on your body weight and build. Sleepers under 130 pounds don’t sink as much as heavier people, so they often prefer a softer model that cushions pressure points. People over 230 pounds often need a firmer model that keeps sinkage in check and encourages a straighter spine. A medium firm mattress is often the sweet spot for sleepers between 130 and 230 pounds. 

Is It Better if You Sleep on a Medium Firm Mattress?

Each sleep position has different support needs and will impact the way a mattress feels. We discuss the best firmness ranges for each sleep style.

Sleep Position
Mattress Firmness
Description

Side

Medium soft (4) to medium firm (6)

Side sleepers usually do well with a softer mattress that cushions pressure points on the hips and shoulders. Those over 130 pounds typically find a medium (5) to medium firm (6) model both plush and supportive. Side sleepers under 130 pounds often benefit from the extra give of a medium soft (4) feel.

Back

Medium (5) to firm (7)

Compared to side sleepers, back sleepers need a firmer design that can support the heavier lumbar region. People under 130 pounds can typically find enough support with a medium (5) feel, while heavier back sleepers usually fare better with a sturdier medium firm (6) or firm (7) model.

Stomach

Medium firm (6) to firm (8), with a thin pillow

Stomach sleepers also need a firmer model that prevents the midsection from sinking excessively, which can distort the spine. They also benefit from a thinner pillow that keeps the neck and upper spine from arching backwards too much.

Stomach sleepers over 230 pounds may need to go as firm as an 8, while those who weigh less have an easier time maintaining neutral spine alignment with a medium firm (6) or firm (7) model.

Would Side Sleepers Like a Medium Firm Bed?

Side sleepers between 130 and 230 pounds often feel comfortable on a medium firm (6) mattress. Those under 130 pounds, however, might need a softer model that offers a closer hug. Side sleepers over 230 pounds generally prefer either a medium firm (6) or firm (7) mattress. 

Is a Medium Firm Mattress Good for Your Back?

A mattress that promotes back health combines pressure relief with adequate spinal support. A medium firm model can strike this balance, especially for sleepers between 130 and 230 pounds. Softer mattresses that allow the body to sink excessively can cause lumbar strain, while an excessively firm surface won’t ease tension along the spine. 

Since relative feel and support depends on your sleep position and body weight, make sure to consider these factors before choosing a medium firm mattress. 

Other Ways to Make Your Bed More Comfortable

While a mattress is essential to getting a good night’s rest, a number of other factors can also improve sleep quality.

Extra Pillows Can be Useful

With so much focus on the mattress, shoppers sometimes overlook the importance of pillows when it comes to contouring and support. A pillow that works with your sleep style can add measurable pressure relief. 

Side sleepers usually do best with a medium or high loft pillow that closes the gap between the neck and shoulders, which helps align the spine. Using a bolster pillow between the knees can also even spinal alignment and alleviate pressure at the hips and lower back. Moldable materials like feathers, down alternative fibers, and shredded memory foam or latex are great for side sleepers who like to fold their pillows in half. 

Most back sleepers prefer a medium loft pillow that keeps the neck on a straighter plane. Stomach sleepers need a thinner pillow so that the head doesn’t arch back too much, which creates an unhealthy curve in the spine. 

Consider Buying a Split King for You and Your Partner

For co-sleepers with very different sleep preferences, sometimes compromising on one firmness level isn’t possible. Couples with greater budget flexibility might consider a split king frame that can accommodate two twin XL mattresses. This way each person can choose their preferred feel based on sleep position and body weight.

You Could Also Use a Mattress Topper for Extra Pressure Relief

Sometimes you can postpone buying a new bed by using a mattress topper. Usually between 1 and 3 inches thick, a topper is added to a bed’s surface and can make a firmer mattress feel plusher. 

For couples with very different sleep preferences, a topper can be used on one side of the bed to alter its feel. Mattress toppers are useful for making small adjustments to comfort, but they aren’t a substitute for a mattress that needs to be replaced. 

Make Sure Your Mattress Has Proper Support

Even a very high-quality mattress won’t be able to perform optimally if your bed foundation is worn-out or wasn’t properly assembled. An inadequate frame or base won’t support you or your mattress, as premature sagging is more likely to occur. Weak support usually translates to improper spine alignment and more aches and pains. Creaking is a tell-tale sign that your foundation needs to be adjusted or replaced entirely.

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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