As controversial as it may be, we stand by Goldilocks and her method of madness to finding the right mattress for her comfort needs. That’s because choosing the right kind of mattress for a healthier you is no myth or fairytale. In fact, sleeping on the wrong comfort level or even the wrong type of mattress can lead to restless nights which impairs thinking, mood swings, and can even cause the body to misalign (hello, frequent chiropractor visits).
One of the more misunderstood mattress comfort levels is the firm mattress. It sounds contradictory to rest on something sturdy, but there are several reasons some sleepers should be doing so. Read along as we explain the reasons why and give our picks of the best firm mattress from our catalog.
At a Glance:
Repeat after us: Comfort level and support are not the same thing. We know, it’s a fuzzy topic, but essentially, here’s what you should know:
- Comfort level: This is how a mattress feels to the body (i.e., a plush mattress will fully envelop the body).
- Support level: Put simply, this is how much a mattress sinks or gives; the higher the support level, the more level the surface remains and vice versa.
With that in mind, the qualities of a firm mattress include a resilient surface that responds to weight rather than reacting. In other words, instead of sinking, a firm mattress will distribute body weight across the entire surface as opposed to contouring and sinking at the heaviest parts like on a plush mattress.
These qualities are particularly great if you are a stomach sleeper or back sleeper, and it can also help combat the sinking feeling when sleeping with a partner. If you find yourself having lower back and lumbar pains when waking up, this could be a key indicator that the mattress you’re currently sleeping on is sinking and creating a pocket where your body becomes unaligned.
It’s the $1 million question: “Is a firm mattress good for my back?”
Yes! A firm mattress keeps your spine in alignment while you sleep. That’s because the surface remains level, meaning a parallel body as well. The benefits are just as prominent if you flip over on your stomach since the spine naturally bows along the curve of the back. When there’s too much give, the bend can be exaggerated, resulting in unhealthy posture that leads to aches, discomfort, and overall sleep that is not enjoyable.
Other benefits include:
✓ Less sinking means heat wicks away easier (cooler sleep)
✓ Firmness pinpoints bones, not muscles, reducing aches
✓ Less motion transfer
What’s the Difference? | The Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers
If you’re ready to enjoy the full-body body benefits of a firm mattress, give these nine models chosen by our experts a look.
1. Best Overall: Stearns & Foster® Lux Estate® Cassatt LE2 Luxury Firm Tight Top Queen Mattress-52512651
Luxuriate in the top-rated comfort of this firm hybrid mattress from Stearns & Foster, hand-tufted in a pillowtop surface for pockets of support your body will enjoy. Infused into the cover is premium PrimaCool fabric that uses Tencel made of eucalyptus for an especially cooling touch every kind of sleeper will enjoy. While firm to the touch, a combination of gel and memory foam hug the body for all-around relaxation that promotes healthy sleep.
2. Best Value: Sealy® Response™ Essential™ Prospect G3 Firm Innerspring Queen Mattress-521633Q
Experience a firm innerspring mattress on a whole new level with Sealy’s exclusive Posturepedic support specially design to cradle the body where it needs it the most. The sturdy feel of this mattress is accentuated by a responsive coil foundation that moves with the body to deliver comfort with every move. We recommend this firm mattress under $700 for shoppers looking to reliably upgrade their comfort level on a budget.
3. Best Luxury: Tempur-Pedic® TEMPUR-LUXEbreeze™ Firm Queen Mattress-10244150
There’s no better way to splurge than on your health, and sleeping on a Tempur-Pedic firm mattress means counting on state-of-the-art sleep technology worthy of being called luxury. This pick comes stacked layer upon layer with feel-good comfort, from the patented TEMPUR-LUXEbreeze cover, down to the temperature-adjustable foam material and side vents that provide extra breathability. At 13 inches in depth, this luxury mattress also provides enough support for couples.
4. Best Firm Memory Foam Mattress: Tempur-Pedic® TEMPUR-LuxeAdapt™ Firm Queen Mattress-10740150
Tempur-Pedic is also our recommendation for the best firm memory foam mattress, but with a 1.5 support level versus 1 on our luxury model, this firm queen mattress has a touch more resilience. Let the exclusive touch of the SmartClimate Dual Cover system and Tempur-Pedic memory foam technology nestle you in comfort that is firm where you want it and plush where it’s supposed to be.
5. Best Firm Hybrid Mattress: Beautyrest® Black® Hybrid X-Class™ Firm Queen Mattress-700810875-1050
Night and day, support and comfort—opposites can be a successful combination. Case in point, this best firm hybrid mattress from the Beautyrest X-Class series. At the base, T3 Pocketed Coils with tripled-banded springs provide an added layer of firmness and durable support. Whether you sleep on your back or stomach, HD memory foam and latex provide the ideal balance of contouring comfort to keep the body in proper form all through the night. This Beautyrest firm mattress is a hot buy with a 4.8-star rating, but with BlackICE cooling technology with RightTemp memory foam, this pick is all about cooling comfort.
6. Best Firm Pocketed Coil Mattress: SleepFit™ Elite Chairman 1.0 Traditional Firm Queen Mattress-26566
Did you know pocketed coils are individually wrapped for independent responsiveness and better durability than traditional innerspring coils? SleepFit masters that technology with this queen firm pocketed coil mattress from the Elite Chairman Series. Above, a quilted tufting adds an extra touch of luxury and serves as the perfect segue as you sink into gel foam. Royalty approved for your discerning sleep needs.
7. Best Firm Innerspring Mattress: Sealy® Response Posturepedic Plus Q3 Determination II Tight Top Ultra Firm Queen Mattress-52693651
Forget everything you thought you knew about innerspring mattresses and rediscover the new way to enjoy innerspring comfort with this Sealy firm mattress. An improved coil design—featuring encased springs and DuraFlex reinforced edges—delivers sound comfort from core to cover unlike outdated spring mattresses. Lie back, enjoy the gel memory foam support, and reimagine what innerspring mattress comfort can do for your sleep regimen.
8. Best Firm Eurotop Mattress: Kingsdown® Sleep- to- Live Nourish 1.0 Firm Euro Top Hybrid Queen Mattress-27263
As a leader in high-end mattresses, Kingsdown is a pro when it comes to sleep solutions reminiscent of luxury suites and the relaxing getaways you deserve. This edition features 800 specially gauged coils for hearty firmness at the base, and a complement of memory foam and gel in the center to surround the body in total comfort. The final touch of grandeur? A cool fabric cover and Eurotop surface—the ultimate way to stay refreshed and cozy all through the night.
9. Best Firm Mattress in a Box: Nectar Classic 3.0 Memory Foam Medium Firm Queen Mattress in a Box-Nectar3.0-Q
That’s right, there’s even a firm mattress in a box on this list for all you e-shoppers who’ve mastered the online shopping game. Luckily, this Nectar queen mattress is a jackpot of reinforced foam and cooling technology for a memory foam mattress that breathes, sustains the whole body in support, and has the ideal give for back and stomach sleepers alike.
Shop Firm Mattresses at Mattress Land
Only Mattress Land gives you access to BedFIT technology, an exclusive technology that uses over 11,000 calculations and 18 sleep measurements in order to find a sleep solution truly tailored to your needs. Whether you’re looking for a firm of plush mattress, or from memory foam to innerspring, our trained mattress specialists can help guide you to a scientifically tested bed that you will enjoy.
Experience the entire Mattress Land catalog and services by shopping online, by phone at (877)-477-5337 or at a mattress showroom near you in California, Nevada, Washington, and Idaho!