The 9 Best Firm Mattresses of 2021

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Best Firm Mattresses

The Spruce

Our Top Picks
This award-winning hybrid mattress comes in luxury firm and firm styles.
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This eco-friendly option features five layers of foam, and no chemicals.
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Runner-Up, Best Memory Foam:
Saatva Loom & Leaf Mattress at Saatva
For a luxe feel, opt for this premium memory foam that's ideal for stomach sleepers.
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Best for Back Pain:
Purple Mattress at Purple
The Purple mattress uses a comfort grid to support you in all the right places while you rest.
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The fan-favorite brand created a foam material that's supportive and strong.
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The four-layer mattress has a lower price point and trial period, so you can be confident in your purchase.
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This hybrid mattress is a great choice for restless sleepers that sleep in many different positions at night.
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This dual-sided mattress offers ultra-firm and firm sleep surfaces, so you can choose the one that's right for you.
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Best for Side Sleepers:
Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Adapt at Amazon
If you're a side sleeper, this mattress has spring coils and memory foam to create the right amount of comfort and support.
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If you’re in the market for a new mattress, you are no doubt looking for a product that will be supportive, comfortable, and long-lasting. Firm mattresses today get their support from a variety of materials, including memory foam, gel, latex, and traditional spring construction. Some mattresses are a hybrid of several of these components, such as memory foam and gel, or foam and springs. No matter which material you prefer, there are plenty of options to choose from—and if you experience low-back pain, research published in 2015 shows a medium-firm mattress may help you sleep more comfortably.

To help you find the best one for your needs, read on for the best firm mattresses.

Best Overall: Saatva Classic Mattress

Saatva Classic Mattress
What We Like
  • Available in two firmnesses

  • Thick, plush pillowtop

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't isolate movement

  • There's a fee to return

Saatva's Classic Mattress is their most popular style, and it's easy to see why. The chiropractor-approved mattress features a support coil base, CertiPUR-US-certified high-density memory foam, and individually pocketed coils to keep your spine aligned and reduce pressure on the lower back while you sleep. The mattress also has durable edge support to prevent sagging and make it easier to get in and out of bed. What's more, the mattress is topped with a plush Euro pillowtop for extra pressure relief and cushioning.

The Saatva Classic Mattress is available in luxury firm and firm styles, so you can choose the right firmness for you. The mattress also boasts free white glove delivery and setup and a 180-night sleep trial. It's available in all standard sizes, as well as twin XL and split king, and you can choose from two mattress heights.

"After a month, I was fully hooked and all in on the Saatva. It was just as soft and comfortable when I slept on my back as when I slept on my side as if it knew just how to adapt to my varying sleeping positions."—Lindsay Boyers, Product Tester

Best Memory Foam: Zinus Memory Green Tea Mattress

Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress
What We Like
  • Made with gel- and green tea-infused memory foam to regulate temperature and reduce odors

  • CertiPUR-US-certified foam

  • Reduces motion transfer

What We Don't Like
  • Takes at least 24 hours to expand

  • May be too firm for some

Zinus has created an eco-friendly firm green tea mattress that provides a firm surface without coils or toxins. A green tea mattress uses natural oil from the plant and leaves in lieu of synthetic fillers such as petroleum. The Zinus green tea mattress is thick—a foot in depth—and offers significant support with its five layers of foam. This also brings down the price while maintaining a high level of quality over the long term. It is shipped to your door in a slim box and pops open to expand to its normal size over a day or two. A knitted jacquard cover protects the 2-inch gel-infused memory foam that pillows around the body but keeps the spine nicely aligned for side, back, and stomach sleepers. The 3-inch comfort foam cushions you as you sleep. The two layers of 3.5-inch high-density foam offer firm support for the entire bed and together reduce motion that is felt on the surface.

Runner-Up, Best Memory Foam: Saatva Loom & Leaf Mattress

Saatva Loom & Leaf Mattress
What We Like
  • Creates the feeling of floating on top of the bed

  • Gel-infused foam layer to help you stay cool

What We Don't Like
  • Transportation fee for mattress returns

If you like a luxe feel on your firm mattress, the Loom & Leaf from Saatva might be the one for you. Made with 5-pound memory foam and high-density support foam, the firm mattress creates the feeling of floating on top of the bed. It's a comfy and supportive choice for stomach sleepers and anyone who likes a firmer sleep surface. There's also a gel-infused foam layer to help hot sleepers stay cool, and the mattress has a soft quilted organic cotton cover that's antimicrobial. What's more, all the foam is CertiPUR-US certified, so you can be sure it's free from harmful chemicals.

The Loom & Leaf is available in all standard bed sizes, and there's also a relaxed firm option for those who prefer a little more plushness in their firm mattress. To help you buy with confidence, Saatva offers a 180-night home trial and a 15-year warranty. Plus, the company provides free white glove delivery to the room of your choice.

Best for Back Pain: Purple Mattress

Purple Mattress
What We Like
  • Instantly conforms to the body

  • Excellent breathability

What We Don't Like
  • Poor edge support

Aches and pains can be exacerbated by a bad mattress, leaving you sore and cranky during the day. For a more restful night's sleep, invest in a mattress with both proper support and enough cushion that it won't feel like sleeping on a board. Purple Mattress is a firm mattress that supports you in all the right places while you rest. The Hyper-Elastic Polymer Smart Comfort Grid offers support for the spine to maintain its natural curve. If you tend to get hot at night, the open-grid design cushions your body and keeps the air flowing to keep your body temperature down under piles of covers. Its nontoxic and hypoallergenic materials, combined with its durable construction, are a major plus. Also, the mattress is motion-isolating, so your partner won’t disturb you if they get up frequently during the night. Also great: this relatively new company continues to use customer feedback to tweak its products. 

"We found that for back and side sleeping, the Purple performed beautifully. It cushioned, conformed, and cooled—earning top marks on all accounts. However, the Purple could lead to issues for stomach sleepers. The deep cushioning caused uncomfortable bowing in the lower back. If you spend most of your time on your stomach, this might not be the right mattress for you."—Stacey L. Nash, Product Tester

Best Support: Tuft & Needle Adaptive Foam Mattress

Tuft & Needle
What We Like
  • Made with Tuft & Needle's proprietary foam

  • Pulls heat away from your body at night

What We Don't Like
  • May not be firm enough for some

  • Takes 72 hours to expand

This company is valued for its high-quality products as well as its customer service, competitive pricing, and superior materials. Tuft & Needle has used customer feedback to create a new foam base that is infused with cooling gel and graphite to pull the heat from your body at night. The poly-blend plush cover is soft, breathable, and heat-wicking. It is thicker than previous Tuft & Needle covers, so it won’t tear or pill up over years of tossing and turning in the washer. The company created a foam material that is stronger and more supportive, making it one of the better medium-firm mattresses on the market. The entire bed comes rolled up neatly in a box for easy placement in any room on any floor.

Best Budget: Nectar Memory Foam Mattress

The Nectar Memory Foam Mattress
What We Like
  • More affordable than other options

  • Gel memory foam and cooling Tencel mattress cover are good for hot sleepers

  • Minimizes motion transfer

What We Don't Like
  • May not be firm enough for some

  • Takes 24 hours to expand

Being on a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice sleep or comfort. Nectar has one of the best mattresses on the market, and their signature medium-firm memory foam mattress is wallet-friendly. Their mattress works with all bed frames (box spring, platform, etc.) and has a ton of other features that you'll love.

For one thing, the four-layer mattress has a gel-infused, quilted memory foam layer that surrounds a dense foam core so it perfectly aligns with the back and hips no matter what your sleeping position. There's also the no motion transfer feature, which cuts down on the bounce you feel when the bed is jostled. Nectar offers an extended trial period if you want to try it out before plunking down a big deposit on a bed. That, paired with the year-long full money-back guarantee, is a major selling point for consumers who prefer to try other brands at home before making a final decision.

Best Medium Firm: Dreamcloud Luxury Hybrid Mattress with 6 Premium Layers

Dreamcloud Luxury Hybrid Mattress
What We Like
  • Individually wrapped coils and gel memory foam provide support and contouring

  • Reduces motion transfer

What We Don't Like
  • May not be firm enough for some

A medium-firm mattress is a favorite choice for those who tend to be restless sleepers. If you don’t always sleep in one position, DreamCloud’s Luxury Hybrid Mattress can help you find the sweet spot no matter where you lay your head throughout the night. It has 15 inches of engineered foam and coils topped with a true tufted cashmere blend Euro top. Whether you sleep on your back, side, stomach, or a variation of all three, the DreamCloud was made to make you sleep better in any position. The breathable fabrics and patented BestRest coils offer firm support for the gel-infused memory foam that distributes body heat. 

Best Extra Firm: Plank by Brooklyn Bedding Mattress

Plank Mattress
What We Like
  • Dual-sided mattress with firm and ultra-firm sleep surfaces

  • TitanFlex foam prevents you from sinking too far into the mattress

What We Don't Like
  • Takes 24 hours to expand

  • May be too firm for some

The dual-sided Plank mattress offers two sleep experiences: One side has a .75-inch quilted top layer for an ultra-firm sleep surface, while the other side offers standard firmness with a 1.5-inch quilted layer. Whichever side you prefer, the firm, flat sleep surface is designed to create a neutral spine position and help you sleep comfortably. Beyond that, the mattress has 7 inches of high-density base foam for durability and stability, along with 2 inches of firm TitanFlex foam for deep compression support that prevents you from sinking too far into the mattress while you snooze.

The mattress is available in all standard sizes and arrives in a box, so you'll want to allow 24 hours for your new mattress to fully expand. If you're in the market for a truly firm mattress, the Plank is a great choice that gives you two firmness options in one. Plus, the mattress is backed by a 10-year warranty, so you can rest easy knowing that Plank has got you covered if there are any issues.

Best for Side Sleepers: Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Adapt

Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Adapt Mattress
What We Like
  • Combines spring coils and foam to provide support along your sides

  • Cool-to-the-touch knit cover with an antimicrobial treatment

What We Don't Like
  • May not be firm enough for some

For side sleepers who prefer a firmer sleep surface, the TEMPUR-Adapt Medium Hybrid mattress combines spring coils and layers of support and comfort foam to relieve pressure points along your shoulders, hips, and knees. The 11-inch mattress also has a cool-to-the-touch knit cover with an antimicrobial treatment that's resistant to allergens like dust mites and dander.

The TEMPUR-Adapt mattress may help side sleepers wake up without the usual aches and pains. Another plus? This model is one of the most affordable mattresses in the Tempur-Pedic line, so you can get a good night's sleep at a more budget-friendly price.

Final Verdict

Overall, our top choice is the Saatva Classic Mattress because it's luxuriously comfortable and comes in two firmness options. If you're looking for a budget-friendly option, the Nectar Foam Mattress (view at Nectar) is affordable and comfortable for all sleeping positions.

What to Look for in a Firm Mattress

Material

When buying a mattress, it’s essential to consider what material (or combination of materials) it’s made from. There are a variety of commonly used mattress materials, including foam, steel coils, and latex, all of which have various pros and cons. For instance, many people like how foam contours to the body, but it can get uncomfortably warm during the night. Coils, on the other hand, are better at keeping you cool, but you’re more likely to feel your partner shifting around.

Thickness

Today, mattresses can be anywhere from six to 20+ inches thick. The thickness of a mattress can impact your experience in a few ways. For one, heavier individuals tend to need thicker mattresses to support their bodies and minimize sagging. Further, thick mattresses often need special sheets with “extra deep” pockets—an additional expense on top of your purchase.

Heat retention

When shopping for a mattress, think about whether you tend to get hot or cold at night. Certain materials, such as memory foam, are better at retaining heat, while others are better for temperature regulation, like latex and gels.

Standout Features

Third-party certifications

When choosing a new mattress, you may want one that's been third-party tested for consumer safety. For example, a foam mattress with CertiPUR-US certification is free of heavy metals, ozone depleters, and other potentially harmful chemicals. If you're looking for organic products, like a 100 percent organic cotton mattress cover, keep an eye out for Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification.

Motion transfer

If you sleep next to a partner or a pet, you might want a mattress that reduces motion transfer. With this feature, your sleep is less likely to be disturbed when your partner rolls over or gets out of bed.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was edited and researched by Cristina Sanza, a lifestyle writer specializing in home products and organization hacks. To keep our product picks current and help you pick the best firm mattress, she reads customer reviews, third-party articles, and brand websites. To make this list, she also considered each pick's material, thickness, and heat retention.

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Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Radwan A, Fess P, James D et al. Effect of different mattress designs on promoting sleep quality, pain reduction, and spinal alignment in adults with or without back pain; systematic review of controlled trials. Sleep Health. 2015. 10.1016/j.sleh.2015.08.001