Best Mattresses of 2021

Best Firm Mattress

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1.) Saatva - Best Firm Luxury Mattress

Saatva mattress near an ocean view
  • Eco-friendly
  • Different firmness levels to choose from
  • Great edge and lumbar support
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For the classic innerspring feel, look no further than to the customizable Saatva mattress. This luxury mattress stands out for its edge and lumbar support, as well as for offering different firmness levels to choose from. Free white glove delivery sweetens the deal, where a team will come deliver your new bed and take away your old mattress.

Learn more in our Saatva mattress review.

2.) Plank by Brooklyn Bedding - Best Extra Firm Mattress

Big Fig mattress
  • Two firmness options
  • Highly durable
  • Outstanding pressure relief
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If you know you want a firm mattress but aren’t sure just how firm, we can’t recommend the Plank Brooklyn Bedding highly enough. That’s because the Plank is flippable, letting you choose between two firmness levels… one firm, the other extra firm.

3.) Casper Original - Best Online Firm Mattress

Woman sitting on a Casper Original mattress

Casper is one of the leaders in the bed-in-a-box space, and the Casper Original stands for its supportive, all-foam construction. Made up of three layers of memory foam, the center layer features ergonomic support sections to cushion the body’s main pressure points. This foam bed helps the hips, shoulders, and lower back stay uplifted and cushioned all while providing a firm feel..

Learn more in our Casper mattress review.

4.) DreamCloud - Best Firm Hybrid Mattress

DreamCloud mattress on a wodden platform
  • Affordable luxury hybrid
  • Great motion isolation for couples who share a mattress
  • Solid spinal alignment
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The DreamCloud provides a luxury hybrid mattress sleep experience, without the high price tag. It utilizes six layers of memory foam and coils to assist with excellent spinal alignment, pressure relief, and support that is attractive for all sleep styles.

5.) Helix Twilight - Best Firm Mattress for Side Sleepers

Helix Twilight Mattress
  • Rated well for motion transfer and edge support
  • Promotes air circulation
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The Helix mattress line is all about customization. Its unique Color-MATCH system will pair you with the mattress best suited to your sleep position. For those seeking something on the firm side, the Helix Twilight is the firmest option for side sleepers in the Helix roster. It’s one of our top firm mattresses, and highly recommended for side sleepers thanks to its pressure relieving memory foam layers.

Learn more in our Helix mattress review.

6.) Layla Hybrid - Best Firm Mattress for Couples

A couple makes their Layla Hybrid mattress
  • Dual-sided, offering a firm and soft side
  • Copper infused foam helps with cooling
  • Provides excellent spinal alignment
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Layla is known for their dual-sided mattresses, where sleepers can flip the bed to either a soft or firm side based on their preferences. The Layla Hybrid utilizes this unique design, but a layer of coils helps to keep the spine aligned and pressure points supported. Most importantly, this design works to prevent motion from moving across the mattress. This is important for couples because one person’s movement won’t disrupt their sleep partner on the other side of the bed. Copper infused memory foam also draws away extra body heat, helping to keep you both cool.

7.) Amerisleep AS1 - Best Firm Mattress for Back Sleepers

AS1 mattress set up in a room
  • Great for spine alignment
  • Special foams help keep you cool
  • Works well for back and stomach sleepers
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A fantastic option for back sleepers who need to keep their spines aligned and supported, the Amerisleep AS1 is a solid bet. It is the firmest mattress Amerisleep offers in their mattress lineup, it also provides great cooling not usually found in memory foam mattresses

8.) Cocoon Chill - Best Cooling Firm Mattress

Cocoon Chill mattress in a room
  • Offers great pressure relief
  • Highly responsive
  • High marks in cooling
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One of the best cooling mattresses, the Cocoon Chill uses a cooling cover with specialized technology called “phase change material” that takes in excess body heat and dissipates it. The result is a restful night’s sleep, sweat-free. The Cocoon comes in two firmness options, and for sleepers who need more support, choose the extra firm model.

Find out more in the Cocoon mattress review.

9.) Awara - Best Organic Firm Mattress

Woman sitting on an Awara mattress in a room
  • Sustainably sourced materials
  • Regulates body heat
  • Relieves pressure points
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The Awara is perfect for anyone who wants their firm sleep experience to be organically sourced. One of the best organic mattresses, the Awara is made with eco-friendly, natural materials like latex, wool, and cotton. It also is wonderfully cool to the touch, and it has a firmness level that can accommodate any sleeping position.

Learn more in our Awara mattress review.

Compare the Best Mattresses

Mattress Name Quick Overview Special Offer

Saatva

Saatva logo

Material: Hybrid (coil on coil and memory foam with euro pillow-top)

Firmness: Choose between plush, luxury firm or firm

Customer Rating: 4.8/5

MA Score: 8.7/10

Delivery: Free white glove delivery

Trial Period: 180 nights

Warranty: 15-year limited warranty

Price: $$

Save up to $200 off on any purchase of $1000+

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Plank

Brooklyn Bedding logo

Material: Memory Foam

Firmness: Firm to ultra-firm

Customer Rating: 4.8/5

MA Score: 9.1/10

Delivery: 4-8 business days

Trial Period: 120 nights

Warranty: 10 years

Price: $

Save 25% off

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Casper Original

Casper logo

Material: Memory foam

Firmness: Medium-firm to firm

Customer Rating: 4.5/5

MA Score: 9.1/10

Delivery: 2-7 business days

Trial Period: 100 nights

Warranty: 10-year limited warranty

Price: $

30% Off Bundles and 10% off Sitewide with code HOLIDAYFLASH

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DreamCloud

DreamCloud logo

Material: Hybrid (memory foam and coils)

Firmness: Medium- Firm

Customer Rating: 4.6/5

MA Score: 9.0/10

Delivery: 5-7 business days

Trial Period: 365 nights

Lifetime warranty

Price: $

$200 off Mattress plus Free Pillows, Mattress Protector and Luxury Sheets ($399 Value)

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Helix Twilight

Helix logo

Material: Hybrid (memory foam and coils)

Firmness: Firm

Customer Rating: 4.6/5

MA Score: 8.9/10

Delivery: 3-7 business days

Trial Period: 100 nights

Warranty: 10-year warranty

Price: $$

$100 off + 2 free Dream Pillows with code: PRESDAY100

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Layla Hybrid

Layla logo

Material: Hybrid (memory foam and coils)

Firmness: Soft and Firm

Customer Rating: 5/5

MA Score: 8.7/10

Delivery: 3-7 business days

Trial Period: 120 nights

Warranty: 10 years

Price: $$

$200 off + 2 Free Pillows + Microfiber sheets + Mattress Protector

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Amerisleep AS1

Amerisleep logo

Material: Memory foam

Firmness: Medium-firm

Customer Rating: 4.6/5

MA Score: 8.2/10

Delivery: 3-10 business days

Trial Period: 100 nights

Warranty: 20-year warranty

Price: $$

Get 30% off with code PRES30

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Cocoon Chill

Cocoon Chill logo

Material: Memory foam

Firmness: Medium-Soft and Extra-Firm

Customer Rating: 4.6/5

MA Score: 8.7/10

Delivery: 5-7 business days

Trial Period: 100 nights

Warranty: 20-year warranty

Price: $

Save 35% off and get a free pillow + sheets

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Awara

Awara logo

Material: Hybrid

Firmness: Medium-firm

Customer Rating: 4.8/5

MA Score: 8.8/10

Delivery: 2-5 days

Trial Period: 365 days

Warranty: Lifetime warranty

Price: $$

$300 Off with 10 Trees planted for each purchase $499 worth of free Accessories with mattress purchase

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MA Score: The Mattress Advisor Score is a weighted score that takes into account 14 different factors related to the mattress’ performance, function, convenience and the brand’s social responsibility.

Compare Features and Materials

Saatva Plank
Inside layers of the Saatva mattress Inside layers of the Big Fig mattress

What’s inside:

  • Quilted top layer: Provides soft cushioning and support
  • Coil layer: Assists with support, and motion isolation
  • Edge support layer: made of memory foam and helps with mattress durability
  • Memory foam layer: Additional support layer that specializes in pressure relief and comes in three firmness options
  • Coil base layer: Another coil system that serves as the base support layer, and helps maintain mattress structure

What’s inside:

  • Quilted layer. The top layer helps ensure firmness, and serves as the ultra-firm side of the bed
  • Support foam: This extra-firm foam provides ample support, and is meant to mimic latex foam’s support
  • High density foam: An extra layer of foam lends the mattress durability and support
  • Thick quilted layer: Slightly softer foam layer

Scored best in:

  • Spine alignment
  • Cooling
  • Edge support

Scored best in:

  • Pressure relief
  • Spine alignment
  • Responsiveness
Casper Original DreamCloud Premier
Inside layers of the Casper Original mattress Inside layers of the DreamCloud Premier mattress

What’s inside:

  • Cooling top layer: Open-cell foam, which is porous memory foam that allows body heat to pass through
  • Supportive memory foam layer: Designed with three zones to target and uplift pressure points
  • Base layer: Foam layer that gives additional support while keeping the mattress stable

What’s inside:

  • Soft cashmere blend top: Cashmere cover not only provides a soft sleep surface, but repels allergens like bed bugs
  • Euro top: Cushioned top layer that cradles and conforms to your body
  • Memory foam layer: Offers pressure relief and support
  • Support foam layer: Made to stop motion transfer and provide even more cushioning between the foam and coil layers
  • Coil system layer: Responsive coils assist with airflow, support, and pressure relief
  • Foundation: Dense foam that keeps the mattress stable

Scored best in:

  • Responsiveness
  • Spine alignment
  • Edge support

Scored best in:

  • Pressure relief
  • Responsiveness
  • Motion transfer
Helix Twilight Layla Hybrid
Inside layers of the Helix Twilight mattress Inside layers of the Layla Hybrid mattress

What’s inside:

  • Mattress cover: The stretchable top layer is designed for maximum air flow
  • Memory foam comfort layer: Designed with pressure relief in mind
  • Foam transition layer: Designed for cushioning and support
  • Coil system: Helps cradle the body, provide support, and minimize motion transfer
  • Base layer: Dense foam that offers durability and support

What’s inside:

  • Breathable cover: This soft cover encases the entire mattress, and allows air to flow through
  • Firm side: 1 inch of memory foam that is supportive and responsive
  • Memory foam layer: Copper infused foam layer that helps give firm support and cooling
  • Support layer: Cooling foam layer that serves as a buffer between the foam and coil system, and parlays extra support
  • Coil layer: Network of innerspring coils that assist with motion isolation, responsiveness, and edge support
  • Support layer: The same cooling support foam as the firm side of the mattress
  • Memory foam layer: A thicker memory foam support layer that works with the soft side
  • Soft side: Layer of memory foam that hugs the body and “sinks” in more than the firm side

Scored best in:

  • Cooling
  • Pressure relief
  • Motion transfer

Scored best in:

  • Spinal alignment
  • Responsiveness
  • Cooling
Amerisleep AS1 Cocoon Chill
Layers of the AS1 Mattress Inside layers of the Cocoon Chill mattress

What’s inside:

  • Cooling cover: Helps mediate your body heat with the help of Celliant technology
  • Plant based foam: Breathable cooling layer
  • Dense foam support layer: Provides eco-friendly durability and support

What’s inside:

  • Cooling cover: Knit cover that absorbs body heat
  • Memory foam layer: Top layer modifies to your body and cushions pressure points
  • Support layer: Customizable for firmness preferences and overall support
  • Base layer: Foam layer that assists with mattress structure and makes it secure in place

Scored best in:

  • Cooling
  • Spine alignment
  • Responsiveness

Scored best in:

  • Responsiveness
  • Cooling
  • Spine alignment
Awara
Layers of the Awara Mattress

What’s inside:

  • Organic quilted cotton cover: The mattress cover is made with sustainably sourced wool and cotton which helps prevent overheating
  • Organic Dunlop latex: This comfort layer helps with support and pressure relief
  • Five-zone support: Nine inches of pocket coils offer support from head to toe
  • Base layer: Made from cotton and foam to assist with durability and the structural support of the bed

Scored best in:

  • Edge support
  • Motion transfer
  • Durability

Which Sleepers Need A Firm Mattress?

While we don’t recommend firm mattresses for everyone, they certainly offer some advantages. Depending on your sleep position and what you’re looking for in your next new bed, one of these firmer options may be just right.

Sleepers with Back Pain

Firm mattresses can be beneficial in several ways. They support neutral spine alignment, which can be advantageous for anyone looking for the best mattress for back pain. Firm mattresses also make it easier to change positions, which can make them ideal for combo sleepers. It’s easier to get in and out of a firm bed, too.

Sleepers Who Run Hot

Some additional aspects to consider: Firm mattresses tend to be cool to the touch, and they rate well for edge support. As for downsides, firm mattresses usually don’t rate as well for motion transfer, which may be a problem if you sleep with a partner. They also tend to take a little longer to break in. You can anticipate that it will take 30 days before your firm mattress is fully comfortable.

Heavier Sleepers

Firm mattresses are great for heavier sleepers, because they ensure that support is being constantly provided. If a mattress is too soft, you can sink too far down into the bed, leading to unnecessary pain and lack of rest. A firm mattress ensures that plus-size sleepers are getting the pressure relief, spinal alignment, and general support needed from a mattress.

Related: The best cooling mattress for hot sleepers

Shopping Considerations

When seeking the best firm mattress, a number of shopping considerations stand out.

Types of Firm Mattresses

Innerspring: Usually known as a more traditional type of bed, innerspring mattresses incorporate various coils into a system within the core of the mattress. This coil system helps with overall support, pressure relief, and keeping the mattress durable.

Memory Foam: Memory foam mattresses have a cushioning, enveloping feel. This material allows more “sink” than other mattress types, which is important for those who sleep on their sides, and have joint or hip pain.

Hybrid: Hybrid mattresses merge two or more mattress types into one. The result is a mattress that combines the best offerings of two types of mattress.

Latex: Latex mattresses use rubber sap that is cured into a firm, yet bouncy material. Latex is organic, hypoallergenic, and outstanding for pressure relief.

Performance Factors

Set-up: Set-up is a consideration with any type of mattress. It may not take long to set up your firm mattress but plan for about a 30-day break-in period.

Pressure relief: One drawback to this mattress type is that firmer mattresses are usually not as ideal for pressure relief… though there are some exceptions.

Spine alignment: Spine alignment helps promote good posture. This is where a higher mattress firmness level is really valuable, as most of these mattresses rate very well in spinal alignment.

Durability: When shopping for your firmer bed, make sure you look for one that’s made with high-quality materials that will withstand the test of time.

Motion transfer: A firm model is unlikely to rate as well for motion transfer, though again, there are some exceptions. Better motion transfer scores generally mean the bed will be a better fit for couples, who can sleep without disrupting one another.

Temperature regulation: All types of mattresses should be made with overheating in mind. Again, a firm support mattress shines here, helping regulate your body heat throughout the night.

Responsiveness: If you’re looking for a contouring mattress that will adjust to your movements, the responsiveness score is a crucial number to keep in mind.

Edge support: Nobody wants a mattress that sags at the edges. Mattresses on the higher end of the firmness scale typically do really well in this regard.

Sleep Position

Back sleepers: Back sleepers can benefit from a firm mattress, because it provides a sleep surface that boosts the spine and prevents the body from sinking out of alignment.

Stomach sleepers: Firm mattresses are especially important for stomach sleepers, because similar to back sleepers, the bed helps keep the spine in alignment and pressure points elevated. By allowing no extra “give” it prevents pain from the body laying out of balance.

Combination sleepers: Combination sleepers are those who don’t subscribe to any one sleep style. Rather, they use multiple. A firm mattress makes certain that there will be support and comfort.

Side sleepers: When it comes to firm mattresses, side sleepers should be a little more wary about committing to a firm mattress. In most circumstances, side sleepers need a little more cushion for the shoulders and hips. Firm mattresses tend to keep sleepers on top of the mattress with little give. If this still sounds preferable, opt for a medium-firm option over an ultra-firm one.

Price

Of course it’s important to consider the price of your new mattress. Firmness shouldn’t impact your price point; you can find both budget-friendly and more high-end mattresses across all firmness levels.

Related: The best mattress under $1,000

Shipping and Delivery

Consider the cost of shipping (if any), the amount of time it will take for your mattress to arrive, and whether white glove set-up is available. Also consider the cost of mattress removal, should you decide you’re unsatisfied with the product. (Most of the time, this will be free, so long as you arrange for mattress removal within the sleep trial period.)

Related: The best mattress in a box

FAQ About Firm Mattresses

  1. What can I do to make my medium soft mattress feel firmer?

    If your existing mattress isn’t as firm as you might like, consider investing in a firm mattress topper. For gel memory foam mattresses, lowering the temperature in your bedroom can also enhance firmness.

  2. Are extra firm mattresses good for people with back pain?

    Firm mattresses tend to be good for people with back pain. The same isn’t always the case with extra firm models, which may not have enough give to promote good posture.

  3. How does a sleep trial work?

    You’ll have a specified number of days to try out your new mattress and see how you like it. If you decide it’s not for you, you can arrange to have it returned for a full refund.

Summary of Our Top Picks for the Best Firm Mattress

About the Author Josh Hurst

Josh Hurst lives and writes in Knoxville, TN. A recovering insomniac, he has a long-standing appreciation for the power of a good night's sleep.