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Best Memory Foam: Zinus Memory Green Tea Mattress at Amazon
"An eco-friendly option with five layers of foam, and no chemicals."
Best for Back Pain: Purple Mattress at Purple
"Hyper-Elastic Polymer Smart Comfort Grid offers support for the spine."
Best Support: Tuft & Needle Adaptive Foam Mattress at Amazon
"Valued by customers for its firm product as well as its customer service."
Best Budget: Nectar Foam Mattress at Nectar
"The four-layer mattress has a lower price point and trial period."
Best Medium Firm: DreamCloud Luxury Medium Firm Hybrid Mattress at DreamCloud
"Great choice for restless sleepers that sleep in many different positions at night."
Best Extra Firm: Plank by Brooklyn Bedding Two-Sided Mattress at Amazon
"This dual-sided mattress offers ultra-firm and firm sleep surfaces."
Best for Side Sleepers: The Essential by Casper at Amazon
"The Zoned Support keeps the spine aligned for side sleepers."
Best Firm-Hybrid: Alexander Signature Hybrid Luxury Firm at Nest Bedding
"Combines the best of memory foam and coils for a better night’s sleep."
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.
To help you find the best one for your needs, here, the best firm mattresses.
Best Memory Foam: Zinus Memory Green Tea Mattress
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 at 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.
Best for Back Pain: Purple Mattress
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 proper support but 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 non-toxic and hypoallergenic materials were a plus for buyers paired with its durable construction. The mattress is motion-isolating so your partner won’t disturb you if they get up frequently during the night. 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
This company is valued by customers for their high-quality products as well as their 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, according to users, making it one of the better 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 Foam Mattress
Being on a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice sleep or comfort. Nectar has consistently been rated by consumers as one of the best mattresses on the market and their signature medium-firm memory foam mattress ranges from about $400 for a twin to under $1,500 for a California king. Their mattress works with all bed frames (box spring, platform, etc.) and has a ton of other features that users 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. Reviewers also raved about Nectar’s no motion transfer feature. This cuts down on the bounce you feel when the bed is jostled. Nectar offer’s 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 was a major selling point. It was also easy to use and a big plus for consumers who preferred to try other brands at home before making a final decision.
Best Medium Firm: DreamCloud Luxury Medium Firm Hybrid Mattress
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 Two-Sided Mattress
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: The Essential by Casper
Skeptics have made this mattress company a star for side-sleepers. Casper has created mattresses that solve nighttime pain problems and cut down on reviewers’ sleepless nights. The built-in special zoning makes this bed ideal for those who sleep on their side. The Zoned Support keeps the spine aligned for side sleepers who can get kinks and pinched nerves when the hips, shoulders, and neck are perpendicular to the bed. It is firmer under the hips and softer under the shoulders to keep the spine in a natural alignment. The 10-inch thick mattress is topped with 1.5 inches of proprietary foam that reviewers found was good at keeping them cool and comfortable. The top layer remained firm yet cushiony. The second layer of memory foam relieves pressure points and the third layer leads to the finch base layer. It arrives in the iconic white and blue striped box for easy transportation to any room in the house.
Best Firm-Hybrid: Alexander Signature Hybrid Luxury Firm
A true hybrid mattress combines the best of memory foam and coils for a better night’s sleep. Nest Bedding’s Alexander is one of the best mattresses that combines foam and coils to create a "luxury firm" bed. It features four layers of quality materials starting with a plush quilted cover. The copper-infused Energex memory and smart flow foam cover the Quantum Edge pocketed coils. These wrapped coils provide a firm foundation as well as airflow so body heat doesn’t build up while you sleep. Together they create a comfortable bed for couples or heavy sleepers. The copper keeps you cool and the pocketed coils provide a satisfying bounce to this fairly firm mattress hybrid. The Alexander arrives tidily encased in a box. Reviewers mentioned it didn’t have a heavy odor after being unpacked and didn’t irritate sensitive pressure points after months of regular use.
If you're a side or back sleeper who wakes up with back pain, we recommend the Purple Mattress because it's designed to support you in all the right places and has excellent breathability. If you're looking for a budget-friendly option, the Nectar Foam Mattress (view at Nectar) is affordable and comfortable for all sleeping positions.
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.