If you're looking for a highly supportive sleeping surface that promotes spinal alignment, then a medium-firm mattress is your best option for improving your sleep quality. Firm mattresses today get their support from a variety of materials, including memory foam, gel, latex, and traditional spring construction.
If you're looking for a new mattress on the firmer side of the spectrum, you'll want one that is supportive, comfortable, and long-lasting. We've tested dozens of mattresses over hundreds of hours, both in our labs and under real-world conditions with expert at-home testers.
Here are the best firm mattresses.
Saatva Classic Mattress
Available in two different firmnesses
Thick, plush pillowtop
Doesn't isolate movement
There's a fee to return
The first difference you'll notice with the Saatva Classic Mattress is that it doesn't arrive compressed in a box like many other popular online retailer mattresses. This is because the Saatva is primarily an innerspring mattress, with tempered steel base coils topped by individually pocketed coils. However, it also incorporates foam mattress innovations, with a layer of high-density memory foam running through the middle of the mattress to provide targeted lumbar support. Finally, there's the organic cotton pillow top.
The foam components of the Saatva Classic are all certified by CertiPUR-US, a non-profit that verifies that mattress foam exceeds emissions and materials standards, with no fiberglass, formaldehyde, mercury, or other heavy metals. The mattress also has durable edge support to prevent sagging and make it easier to get in and out of bed.
"I fell in love with this mattress pretty much immediately," our tester said. "I would often wake up with lower back pain, but the firmness on this mattress is perfect. In the first few weeks it softened slightly, which is to be expected. But so far it is still providing top notch support and comfort. I haven't slept this well in a while."
She did note, however, that the Saatva was a little warmer than she expected.
Although Saatva has a number of features designed for lower back support, another one of our testers praised the Saatva Classic's versatility. "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," they said.
The Saatva Classic Mattress is a particularly great pick for anyone looking for a firm mattress because it is available in two different firmnesses (plus a third "Plush Soft" option). "Luxury Firm" is more cushioned, and designed to sleep similarly to the bouncy but solid mattresses you'd find in a luxury hotel. "Firm" is less forgiving, and is meant to keep you from sinking into the mattress almost entirely. Saatva recommends it most for people whose doctors advise the purchase of a firm mattress.
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. The Saatva Classic also features a lifetime warranty, which will replace your mattress within the first two years of its lifespan. After two years, repairs and re-coverings are still available for a $149 processing fee.
Price at time of publish (Queen): $1,580
Type: Innerspring with hybrid features | Material: Organic cotton, memory foam, recycled steel, tempered steel | Thickness: 11.5 or 14.5 inches | Firmness: Firm | Warranty: Lifetime
Allswell The Brick Mattress
Motion isolation and edge support
Takes 24 hours to expand
We realize catching Zs on a literal brick probably doesn't sound very comfortable, but don't worry. It's definitely not too hard—the name is just a way to make it clear that this is the brand's firmest, most supportive mattress. It's got a sturdy base of individually wrapped coils to minimize motion transfer, plus edge support to prevent you from rolling off or sinking down if you sit on it.
Above the innerspring system is a thick layer of high-density foam for support and stability, then an inch of copper-infused memory foam. As a conductive material, copper has a temperature-regulating effect that helps cool you down if you overheat.
This all-star hybrid mattress arrives at your doorstep in compressed packaging. Just bear in mind the box will be heavy (the queen size is 90 pounds), and it'll take about 24 hours to expand. We appreciate the Brick's reasonable price tag, generous warranty, and free returns. You can also opt to have Allswell remove your old mattress for an additional fee.
Price at time of publish (Queen): $699
Type: Hybrid | Material: Coils, high-density foam, copper-infused memory foam | Thickness: 12 inches | Firmness: Firm | Warranty: 10 years
Stearns & Foster Lux Estate Cassatt Mattress
Ventilated coil system
Needs extra-deep fitted sheet
Stearns & Foster's Lux Estate Cassatt Mattress is available in three firmness levels, ranging from Luxury Plush to Luxury Ultra Firm, and can be additionally customized with a pillow top layer. There's a ventilated innerspring system at the base to encourage air circulation and prevent overheating. Just above, you've got two layers of fabric-encased micro-coils that promise to adapt to the needs of all sleepers. Next is a layer of CertiPUR-US certified, Tempur-Pedic memory foam, followed by quilted padding. The stretchy cover is Tencel lyocell, a naturally sweat-wicking fabric.
Since this mattress is 14.5 inches thick, make sure you get an extra-deep fitted sheet.
Price at time of publish (Queen): $2,749
Type: Hybrid | Material: Encased coils, memory foam, Tencel | Thickness: 14.5 inches | Firmness: Firm or extra-firm | Warranty: 10 years
Best for Back Pain
Boll & Branch The Mattress
Coils make some noise
Our tester loved the soft yet supportive, medium-firm design, and luxurious comfort offered by Boll & Branch's The Mattress. Additionally, she was a fan of the cooling effect. This is achieved with various natural materials, including graphite-infused latex and thermal-regulating wool.
The hybrid design also features upwards of 2,000 micro-coils that offer head-to-toe support while isolating movement. (Our tester said the springs sometimes make noise when you climb on.) The mattress is divided into three different zones, ensuring that the upper zone supports your shoulders and the center zone supports your lower back, providing targeted support to encourage the best possible sleeping alignment.
Rather than foam, The Mattress also incorporates more natural textiles, including long-staple, 100 percent organic cotton and natural latex.
Price at time of publish (Queen): $2,600
Type: Hybrid | Material: Steel coils, wool-poly blend, graphite-infused latex | Thickness: 13.5 inches | Firmness: Medium-firm | Warranty: 10 years
Bear Luxury Hybrid Mattress
For those on the fence between springs and foam, the Bear Hybrid provides the best of both worlds. This medium-firm mattress flaunts a foundation of fabric-encased coils, followed by a responsive comfort foam, then copper-infused memory foam. Copper is antimicrobial, so it won't harbor the bacteria that cause odors, plus it helps draw heat away from your body.
The surface features plush quilting and Feran Ice, a patented sweat-wicking textile with a cool-to-the-touch feel. This mattress also has edge support to keep you from rolling off. Since it's pretty heavy (the queen is over 100 pounds), we recommend unboxing it in the room where it'll end up.
Price at time of publish (Queen): $1,299
Type: Hybrid | Material: Copper-infused memory foam, comfort foam, fabric-encased coils | Thickness: 13 inches | Firmness: Medium-firm | Warranty: Lifetime
Kingsdown Prime Parkman Firm Innerspring Mattress
Takes weeks to ship
Innerspring mattresses are often considered the firmest type, but most modern models also feature a layer of foam. This is the case with the Kingsdown Prime Parkman. It has a robust innerspring system with hundreds of individually wrapped coils for firm, responsive support, plus a coiled perimeter for durable edge support.
On top is gel-infused memory foam that meets CertiPUR-US safety standards and a quilted surface with more gel fibers. The top layers help keep your body cool while relieving pressure points. This mattress does a great job of isolating movement too. Just a heads up, since it's made to order, it'll take a few weeks to ship.
Price at time of publish (Queen): $697
Type: Innerspring | Material: Pocket coils, gel-infused memory foam | Thickness: 12 inches | Firmness: Firm | Warranty: 10 years
Lucid 10 Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress
No edge support
This 10-inch-thick model is made of memory foam with a layer of cooling gel on top to prevent you from overheating at night. The base layer is also ventilated for extra breathability.
All foams are CertiPUR-US certified, so you can rest assured they're free of formaldehyde and VOCs (volatile organic compounds). This mattress doesn't have edge support, but the firmness helps prevent sinking. Beyond the budget-friendly price and responsive design, we like that it comes in 10 sizes. You can expect it to expand fully just a few hours after unboxing it.
It's a fantastic budget pick as well.
Price at time of publish (Queen): $450
Type: Foam | Material: Memory foam, gel | Thickness: 10 inches | Firmness: Firm | Warranty: 10 years
Best Memory Foam
Signature Design by Ashley Chime Firm Memory Foam Mattress
Conforms to body
Takes up to 72 hours to expand
No edge support
The firm, responsive memory foam found in the Signature Design by Ashley Chime material offers the perfect balance of support and body-conforming comfort. There's also a layer of high-density foam on the bottom for extra support and stability.
All foams are CertiPUR-US certified for chemical safety. While there's no built-in edge support, the firmness helps prevent you from sinking and rolling off. This affordable bed-in-a-box arrives in compressed packaging, so it might take up to three days to fully expand.
Price at time of publish (Queen): $300
Type: Foam | Material: Memory foam, high-density foam | Thickness: 8–12 inches | Firmness: Firm | Warranty: 10 years
Best Zoned Support
Helix Dawn Luxe Hybrid Mattress
Supports spinal alignment
Conforms to body
Needs extra-deep fitted sheet
Helix's Dawn Luxe features zoned support. While it's an all-around firm mattress, it's thoughtfully designed to meet your body's varying needs from head to toe. The lower section is firmer to cradle your hips and help align your spine, then slightly softer at the shoulders.
This hybrid mattress has a dense foam base, then individually wrapped support coils, followed by ergonomic foam, body-contouring memory foam, and finally, a top layer of the brand's signature Dynamic Foam (a latex-foam hybrid).
The medium-firm Midnight Luxe version was highly rated our tester, who said the firmness description was accurate. Since the Dawn Luxe is 14 inches thick, you'll need an extra-deep fitted sheet.
Price at time of publish (Queen): $1,849
Type: Hybrid | Material: High-density foam, memory foam, support foam, latex-foam hybrid, pocket coils, Tencel | Thickness: 14 inches | Firmness: Firm | Warranty: 15 years
Best for Back Sleepers
Serta Perfect Sleeper Firm Innerspring Mattress
Supports natural alignment
Not ideal for side sleepers
Calling back sleepers! Serta's Perfect Sleeper was designed with you in mind. This notably firm hybrid mattress has hundreds of densely packed, fabric-encased metal coils to prevent motion transfer and provide spine-aligning support from the neck down. Above the innerspring system is a layer of cooling and responsive gel-infused memory foam.
The surface features soft quilting, and there's edge support around the entire perimeter. This mattress is made to help back sleepers rest soundly without tossing and turning, though it might be slightly too firm for folks to snooze on their sides.
Price at time of publish (Queen): $699
Type: Hybrid | Material: Coils, gel-infused memory foam | Thickness: 12 inches | Firmness: Firm | Warranty: 10 years
Best for Side Sleepers
Parachute Eco Comfort Mattress
Conforms to body
About 60 percent of adults sleep on their sides. If you're part of the majority, Parachute's Eco Comfort Mattress might be the way to go. While extra-firm models aren't always ideal for side sleepers, this one is about a seven out of 10 on the firmness scale, which is just right.
The multi-layered design has a wool pad at the base, then pocketed spring coils with varying levels of zoned support for your shoulders, hips, and feet. Just above is an additional wool pad for temperature-regulating insulation, followed by one more layer of fabric-wrapped micro-coils that promise to isolate movement and contour to your unique shape. Then there's yet another wool pad, and finally, organic cotton quilting on the surface. All things considered, we just wish the price wasn't so steep.
Price at time of publish (Queen): $2,399
Type: Innerspring | Material: Coils, organic cotton, wool | Thickness: 12 inches | Firmness: Medium-firm | Warranty: 10 years
Best for Stomach Sleepers
Avocado Green Mattress
Not ideal for side sleepers
A medium-firm mattress is usually ideal for stomach sleepers. We like the Avocado Green, which stands out for its comfortable hybrid design and materials. The innerspring system has almost 1,500 tempered steel coils arranged in five zones to offer perfect support in all the right places. There's also reinforced steel around the perimeter for reliable edge support.
The upper layers consist of naturally derived, GOLS certified-organic latex rubber, plus humanely sourced wool that's Oeko-Tex certified. While this model is probably too firm for side sleepers, Avocado has a pillow-top mattress that would likely feel better on the hips.
Price at time of publish (Queen): $1,899
Type: Hybrid | Material: Coils, natural latex, organic wool, organic cotton | Thickness: 13 inches | Firmness: Medium-firm | Warranty: 10 years
Our favorite firm mattress is the Saatva Classic Mattress, which combines the best of innerspring durability with foam layers designed to provide extra lumbar support. While there are a number of budget options we like, Our favorite is the Allswell Brick Mattress, which is temperature-regulating, with excellent support and motion isolation. Those dealing with back pain should also consider the Boll & Branch Mattress, which has zoned support that will shape to your shoulders and lower back separately.
What to Look for in a Firm Mattress
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.
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.
"The lowest-profile mattresses may measure between 2 to 4 inches, but high-quality mattresses will measure around 14 inches," says Logan Foley, Managing Editor at the SleepFoundation.Org. "Typically, you should look for a mattress that is at least 12 inches thick."
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.
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.
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.
How do you make a mattress firmer?
An age-old trick for making a mattress firmer is by placing a sheet of plywood the size of the mattress beneath the mattress to add stability and help prevent sagging. You can also try flipping your mattress, replacing a box spring that is worn out, adding a firm memory foam mattress topper, using for a wood slat bed frame, or placing your mattress on a solid platform bed frame, or even on the floor if that appeals to you. But if your mattress is both sagging and past its prime, keep in mind that mattresses are not meant to last forever, and it may be time to replace it.
What makes a mattress firm?
Mattresses are made from different materials including memory foam, gel, latex, traditional springs, or a combination of these materials such as those combining springs with foam or gel with memory foam. Mattresses are constructed with various layers of materials that make them both supportive and comfortable. In general, a firm mattress uses more materials geared toward making it supportive and fewer comfort-oriented materials to produce a firmer feel.
Can you get used to a firm mattress?
You can. Years of sleeping on a saggy mattress may make the transition to a firm, supportive mattress feel like a shock. Give your body at least 30 days to adjust. Many mattress retailers understand that there is a breaking in period on a new mattress and offer no-strings returns after 30 days or sleep trials of up to 90 days. Read the fine print about return policies before purchasing so that you can give your body time to get used to your new firm mattress without worrying about getting your money back if it doesn’t work out between the two of you.
Why Trust The Spruce?
For this story, Theresa Holland compiled expert buying tips from a chiropractor and insights from our product testers, then researched today's best firm mattresses. After considering dozens of options, she ultimately chose models that stood out in terms of support, durability, and comfort features, like temperature regulation, motion isolation, and body-conforming materials. Holland has been covering mattresses, bedding, furniture, and home decor at The Spruce since 2019. You can read more of her articles on MyDomaine, Travel + Leisure, and People.