While research on the benefits of a firm mattress is limited, some people may prefer to sleep on one to support spinal alignment and relieve aches and pains. Choosing the right mattress for an individual’s health needs and personal preferences can help support restorative sleep.

A quick look at 8 of the best firm mattresses

Sleep is as vital for human health as eating a nutritious diet and being physically active. Systems throughout the body repair themselves during sleep. If people do not get the sleep they need, they miss out on these important, whole-body maintenance processes.

Learn more about why sleep is important for health.

Purchasing the right mattress for their physical conditions and sleeping styles can help people get the rest they and their bodies need. One of the first decisions to consider is whether to choose a soft or firm mattress.

How we chose

Our methodology

MNT chooses mattresses, sheets, pillows, and other bedding that meet the following criteria: 

  • Certifications: MNT will choose products that have CertiPUR-US or other certifications. This means that the products are low in pollutants and free from heavy metals and volatile organic compounds.
  • Size: MNT chooses products that are available in various sizes. 
  • Materials and fill: MNT selects products comprising different materials and fills, such as memory foam and latex, to suit a range of sleep and lifestyles. 
  • Budget: MNT features products available in a wide range of budgets. 
  • Firmness: MNT selects mattresses that are available in a range of firmness options to suit most people’s sleeping styles. 
  • Sleep trials: MNT chooses companies that offer sleep trials for their mattresses. 
  • Shipping: MNT will include shipping information, such as where the company delivers to and whether shipping is free. 
  • Warranties and return policies: MNT will include products with warranties and clear returns policies.
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Top firm mattresses for 2023

Below is a selection of firm mattresses that might be worth considering.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best for the firmest mattress: Plank Mattress

Plank Mattress over blue background
  • List price: from $849
  • Mattress type: memory foam
  • Height: 11.75 inches (in)
  • Sizes: twin, twin XL, short full, full, short queen, queen, king, RV king, Cal king, and split Cal king
  • Warranty: 10-year warranty

The manufacturer, Brooklyn Bedding, describes this mattress as one of the firmest mattresses available. It is suitable for people looking for a mattress that will not sink.

This mattress is also flippable, with each side featuring a different level of firmness. It has a 7-in base layer of high-density foam and a 2-in layer of comfort foam for additional support.

The company offers a 120-night trial period and free shipping with this product, which also comes with a 10-year warranty.

This mattress is available in a wide range of sizes, including options for recreational vehicles (RV).

Learn about RV mattresses.

Best for a hybrid mattress: Saatva Classic Mattress

  • List price: from $935
  • Mattress type: hybrid
  • Height: 11.5 in or 14.5 in
  • Sizes: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, split king, Cal king, split Cal king
  • Warranty: lifetime warranty

This hybrid mattress combines pocketed innerspring coils with a 3-in Euro pillow top consisting of fibers and foam. Saatva claims it is breathable, durable, and supportive.

People can choose from three levels of firmness, heights of 11.5 in or 14.5 in, and sizes ranging from twin to California king, including split king.

The company offers free in-room delivery and set-up, plus a 180-night trial and a 15-year warranty.

Learn more about Saatva mattresses.

Best for a cooling mattress: Serafina Pearl Cool Comfort

  • List price: from $799.99
  • Mattress type: memory foam
  • Height: 14 in
  • Sizes: queen, king, and Cal king
  • Warranty: 20-year warranty

This mattress comprises gel memory foam, which reportedly provides cooler sleep and relieves pressure points. The gel memory foam can help dissipate heat, making this mattress suitable for hot sleepers.

Learn more about gel memory foam mattresses.

This 14-in mattress features three layers and lets users choose the level of firmness they want, including firm, medium, or plush. The company also offers a 20-year warranty on this product.

These mattresses do not contain ozone depleters, heavy metals, or flame retardants, and the foam is CertiPUR-US certified.

Learn about the best cooling mattresses.

Best for a supportive mattress: Casper Original Mattress

  • List price: from $895
  • Mattress type: memory foam
  • Height: 11 in
  • Sizes: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, split king, Cal king
  • Warranty: 10-year limited warranty

The breathable top layer of the Casper Original Mattress has thousands of perforations to allow for airflow and heat dissipation. Zone support promotes healthy spinal alignment, while two foam layers offer firm support.

Learn more about cooling mattresses.

This mattress is available in all-foam or hybrid foam and spring models. The foam is CertiPUR-US certified, so it is free from ozone-depleting chemicals and phthalates and low in volatile organic compounds.

With the purchase of this mattress, Casper also offers free delivery, a 100-night risk-free trial period, and a limited 10-year warranty.

Best for a memory foam mattress: Cocoon Mattress

  • List price: from $769
  • Mattress type: memory foam
  • Height: 10 in
  • Sizes: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and Cal king
  • Warranty: 10-year warranty

Sealy makes this mattress using its proprietary PerfectFit memory foam, which provides support by adapting to a person’s shape. This may suit people who prefer a more medium-firm feel.

The mattress features three additional layers of memory foam and a cooling cover. It may benefit hot sleepers by offering a cooling sleeping surface.

It is 10 in high and suitable for users up to 500 pounds. Sealy also offers a 10-year limited warranty and free shipping and returns with this mattress.

Learn about the best memory foam mattresses.

Best for an antimicrobial mattress: Saatva Loom & Leaf

  • List price: from $1,095
  • Mattress type: memory foam
  • Height: 12 in
  • Sizes: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, split king, Cal king, and split Cal king
  • Warranty: lifetime warranty

Saatva states this mattress contains ultra-premium 5-pound memory foam, high-density foam, and gel-infused foam. These foam layers reportedly provide stable support, a cool night’s sleep, pressure point relief, and extra support for the lower back.

The mattress cover is organic cotton, which the company treats with a botanical antimicrobial application to prevent the growth of mildew, bacteria, and mold.

People can choose between firm and relaxed firm feels.

This mattress comes with a lifetime warranty and free shipping and returns. Saatva also offers in-room delivery, set-up, and mattress removal.

Best for back and stomach sleepers: Helix Dawn Luxe

  • List price: from $1,199
  • Mattress type: hybrid
  • Height: 13.5 in
  • Sizes: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and Cal king
  • Warranty: 15-year limited warranty

Helix states that this firm mattress is most suitable for back and stomach sleepers. It features zoned lumbar support from more than 1,000 wrapped coils, a transitional layer of high-grade polyfoam, and a layer of memory foam for body contouring and comfort.

The foam in this mattress is CertiPUR-US certified, which means it does not contain harmful chemicals. The TENCEL cover is breathable and helps wick away moisture.

Helix offers free shipping and returns and a 100-night sleep trial.

Best for couples: DreamCloud Hybrid

  • List price: from $599
  • Mattress type: hybrid
  • Height: 14 in
  • Sizes: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and Cal king
  • Warranty: lifetime warranty

This mattress contains several layers of memory foam and a layer of innerspring coils. The memory foam layers contain gel to relieve pressure points, and the individually wrapped coils provide extra edge support.

Additionally, the coils in this mattress respond dynamically to the pressure of people on the mattress, reducing motion transfer. This may make the mattress a good choice for couples.

DreamCloud offers free shipping and returns, and a 365-night trial.

Firm mattresses comparison chart

The following table compares the firm mattresses in this article.

Starting priceMattress typeHeightSizesWarranty
Plank$849memory foam11.75 intwin–split Cal king10 years
Saatva Classic$935hybrid11.5 in
14.5 in
twin–split Cal kinglifetime
Serafina$799.99memory foam14 inqueen–Cal king20 years
Casper$895memory foam11 intwin–Cal king10 years
Cocoon$769memory foam10 intwin–Cal king10 years
Saatva Loom & Leaf$1,095memory foam12 intwin–split Cal kinglifetime
Helix$1,199hybrid13.5 intwin–Cal king15 years
DreamCloud$599hybrid14 intwin–Cal kinglifetime

How to choose a firm mattress 

Key factors to consider when choosing a mattress include:

  • Allergies: Individuals with allergies should double-check that a mattress is suitable for them. Many companies sell hypoallergenic mattresses that do not contain any allergens. People should also consider allergies when purchasing pillows, sheets, and other bedding items. Learn about choosing the best mattress for allergies.
  • Sustainability: The mattress industry contributes to waste and landfills. To minimize environmental impact, choose a mattress that uses eco-friendly materials, or buy from a brand that is transparent about its sustainability practices. Learn about eco-friendly mattresses.
  • Additional services: Look for companies that provide convenient services such as delivery and installation. Some brands also offer to remove old mattresses, usually at an extra cost. Learn about how to recycle a mattress.
  • Partner preferences: People who share a bed may wish to discuss different preferences to choose the best mattress for each person.

What are the potential benefits of a firm mattress?

There are three basic sleep positions; back, stomach, or side. Back or stomach sleepers tend to prefer firm mattresses, as they support proper spinal alignment in those positions.

Back pain can cause sleep issues. For some time, people believed that those with back pain should sleep on firm mattresses. For some individuals, a firm mattress could prevent or reduce aches and pains. However, firm mattresses might not be the best choice for everyone.

A review of controlled trials found that medium-firm, adjustable mattresses were the best at improving sleep quality and comfort and promoting healthy spinal alignment.

Learn more about using firm mattresses for back pain.

Adjustable mattresses, or mattresses that a person can control, may help keep the body in alignment when people sleep on their back or front. Good spinal alignment prevents excess pressure and stress on different parts of the body and connective tissue.

Learn about adjustable mattresses for back pain.

Who should avoid firm mattresses?

Side sleepers may find a firm mattress uncomfortable. This is because the resistance a firm mattress provides can prevent proper spinal alignment in these individuals, causing discomfort and strain on the joints.

Learn about the best mattresses for side sleepers.

In contrast, people with lower body weight may prefer soft or medium-firm mattresses, as a firm mattress may prevent the body from sinking in comfortably.

Learn about the best soft mattresses.

Frequently asked questions about firm mattresses

The following are common questions and answers about these mattresses.

Who may benefit from a firm mattress?

Back and stomach sleepers may prefer firm mattresses for supporting spinal alignment.

Individuals who do not want to feel like they are sinking into a mattress may benefit from a firm mattress. For example, people with larger bodies may prefer the support that a firm mattress provides.

Who should avoid a firm mattress?

Side sleepers may prefer softer mattresses, as they allow a person’s shoulders and hips to sink into the mattress while keeping the spine level. A firm mattress may cause shoulder and neck pain in side sleepers.

People with a low body weight may feel uncomfortable on a firm mattress, as the body will not sink evenly into the material. Therefore, a medium-firm or soft mattress may be preferable.

Can a firm mattress treat back pain?

There is no definite evidence that a firm mattress can prevent or treat back pain. However, some people may prefer a firm mattress for spinal support.

According to research, individuals with back pain may benefit from a medium-firm, adjustable mattress. However, a mattress cannot replace other forms of treatment for back pain, such as physical therapy.

People with sleep difficulties due to back pain should speak with a doctor about management and treatment options.


Many people have previously believed that a firm mattress is best for someone with back pain, but research does not fully support this position. A medium-firm, adjustable mattress may be better for individuals with back pain.

Back or stomach sleepers may prefer a firm mattress, which can aid proper spinal alignment in these positions. People with larger bodies may also prefer the support that a firm mattress provides.

Sleep is essential for health and finding a mattress that suits personal taste, physical characteristics, and sleep styles can help individuals enjoy restful and restorative sleep.