Top 8 Firm Mattresses of 2021

Overview Of Best Firm Mattresses

If you’re looking for a highly-rated firm mattress, chances are you’re a back or stomach sleeper, a heavier individual, or someone with a health concern that calls for a hard bed to sleep on. Luckily, you can get one of the best firm mattresses online. With all of the amazing new mattress technology, including Hyper-Elastic Polymer, you have a wide range of options, meaning you no longer have to sacrifice comfort for firmness. Whether you want the best extra firm mattress or you’re looking for a firm king mattress, you can find what you want in this helpful guide.

You might notice some consistencies in this post, such as all of these beds will rank as a medium-firm to ultra-firm on our firmness scale, all are going to be best mainly for people who favor their stomach and/or back and all should be accommodating for heavier folks.

  • Best Firm Mattresses Review Video

    Swipe to see why these made our list

    Swipe to see why these made our list

  • Why These Made Our List

    We use a firmness scale to help categorize the firmness level of every mattress we test. Our scale ranges from soft, to medium soft, to medium, to medium firm and finally, ultra firm. All of the beds on this list have been rated either a medium firm or extra firm. If you’re looking for the most supportive beds out there, check out our list of the Best Mattresses for Heavy & Obese People.

Compare the Best Firm Mattresses

Editor’s Choice

Saatva Classic
Saatva Classic
Why it’s Great
Saatva Classic is the original innerspring mattress online. It comes in three firmness options, all of which have coils for support and a fluffy pillow top.
Best for
Consumers seeking a supportive innerspring mattress
Individuals who want multiple firmness options to choose from
Sleep Positions
Back, Side and Stomach
Product Details
Firmness
All
Type
Pillow Top
Temp
Neutral

The Saatva mattress has several firmness levels available. The two firmest make our picks for being top-rated firm mattresses. These mattresses are built with a dual coil system of individually wrapped coils and a steel coil base. A plush Euro-top that is responsive makes sure you never feel stuck like it can happen with even an extra firm memory foam mattress.

saatva mattress review heavy sleepers
Two layers of coils and an organic cotton cover

The combination of foam and coils make the mattress suitable for all types of sleepers and body types, although most will do best with the medium-firm model because the other is extra firm. Saatva falls in the middle of the range for the mattresses we’ve included here in this list; a queen retails for about $1,499.

Why this is one of our mattress recommendations — The various firmness options, extremely durable back-to-back coil construction and an affordable price point for a luxury mattress earned it a spot in our best firm mattress review.

Best Medium Firm Mattress

Purple Hybrid
Purple Hybrid
Why it’s Great
Purple Hybrid is a coil mattress that features a proprietary comfort layer called Hyper-Elastic Polymer. It’s a unique mattress thats comfortable and great for hot sleepers.
Best for
If you’re looking for a unique, responsive mattress with a different type of feel
All types of sleepers (particularly back and stomach)
Sleep Positions
Back, Side and Stomach
Product Details
Firmness
Medium
Type
Unique
Temp
Breathable

The secret to the Purple Hybrid 2″, formally called the Purple 2, is its unique construction, which combines 7.5″ pocketed innerspring coils with a 2″ layer of the patented Hyper-Elastic Polymer. 

purple mattress review online bed in a box hyper elastic polymer
This is the main comfort layer on Purple mattresses

This makes the mattress bouncy and responsive and gives it a feeling of being both supportive and pressure relieving at the same time. It’s one of the best medium firm mattresses if you like the unique feel. The price is a little higher than the average firm mattress online but not egregious considering how unique it is.

Why we picked this mattress — We ultimately chose Purple Hybrid because it’s a unique mattress that’s comfortable and supportive with x-factor features that people love.

Best Extra Firm Mattress

Plank
Plank
Why it’s Great
Plank is one of the best firm mattresses online. It’s made in the USA and is flippable, so you can experience two different profiles on the same bed.
Best for
Stomach and/or back sleepers
People that want a firm mattress
Sleep Positions
Back, Side and Stomach
Product Details
Firmness
Firm
Type
Mixed Foam
Temp
Neutral

Plank Mattress is a new concept that lets you flip the mattress and enjoy either a “soft” side or a “firm” side. In truth, the soft side is more a medium-firm and the firm side is extra firm. This gives you two beds in one, and you can sleep on the side with the firmness you find most comfortable. 

plank mattress firmness

We think the mattress is good for petite and average individuals who sleep on their back or stomach, but heavy folks should probably look elsewhere. In terms of price, the Plank is one of the more affordable mattresses on our list.

Why this is one of the best firm mattresses online We put Plank on the list because it provides two firmness profiles in one mattress, making it versatile for back and stomach sleepers who need additional support. It also has a good value.

Most Comfortable

Avocado Green Mattress
Avocado Green Mattress
Why it’s Great
The Avocado Green Mattress is the most sought after natural/organic mattress online. It’s supportive, comfortable, and constructed with high quality materials.
Best for
Anyone that wants a natural/organic mattress
Stomach and back sleepers
People that want a firm, responsive mattress
Sleep Positions
Back, Side and Stomach
Product Details
Firmness
Firm
Type
Latex Foam
Temp
Breathable

One of the Avocado mattress’s strong attractions is the construction because it’s made from all-natural and eco-friendly materials. It combines steel pocketed coils and certified organic latex foam that gives a firm yet comfortable feel. You can also find Avocado as a medium-firm mattress if you opt for the topper.

This mattress is viable for all body types as long as you aren’t a petite side sleeper. It’s more expensive than the standard online mattress, but we think it’s a great value because of the upgraded organic materials and certifications.

avocado green mattress review
What more can we say? Avocado is a super comfortable firm mattress

Why we picked this mattress — We picked the Avocado mattress for one of the best firm mattresses of 2021 because it is an extremely comfortable firm mattress made of all-natural, hypoallergenic materials.

Best Semi Firm Foam Mattress

Loom & Leaf
Loom & Leaf
Why it’s Great
Loom & Leaf is one of the nicest, most luxurious memory foam mattresses online. It comes in two firmness profiles and has an organic cotton cover.
Best for
If you want a luxury memory foam mattress
People that want a firmer bed
Sleep Positions
Back, Side and Stomach
Product Details
Firmness
All
Type
Memory Foam
Temp
Neutral

Loom & Leaf mattresses are all foam and come in both a semi-firm and an extra firm version. The semi-firm version would be good for anyone who likes a firm mattress, while the extra firm version is best for heavy people and back or stomach sleepers. 

In Loom & Leaf’s thick construction, you can find a layer of laminated cooling gel meant to help regulate temperature, as it’s the same material found in hospital burn units! If you don’t like memory foam’s tendency to retain heat, this bed is a much better option. 

This is the most expensive mattress on our list. However, people who like premium mattresses with support and cooling tech might not mind.

loom and leaf mattress review cover
Loom & Leaf has a “firm foam” feel

Why we picked this mattress — It’s a luxury semi-firm mattress for those who love the slow responding feel of memory foam but hate how hot it sleeps. This thick foam mattress provides more support than your average all-foam bed, but it’s also able to provide some relief for those who sleep warm at night. It’s also one of the best extra foam memory foam mattresses if you go with that option.

Best For Heavy People

Titan
Titan
Why it’s Great
The Titan is a supportive hybrid mattress that has a firm, neutral-foam feel. The bed is specifically designed with heavy people in mind.
Best for
Back and stomach sleepers who prefer extra firm mattresses
Heavy people seeking an affordable yet supportive bed
Sleep Positions
Back, Side and Stomach
Product Details
Firmness
Firm
Type
Mixed Foam
Temp
Neutral

This bed is made for people who weigh over 250 lbs. As such, it is supportive and resilient, made with “TitanCaliber” coils. For heavy body types, it will be a comfortable semi-firm mattress. For petite to medium body types, Titan will likely be a little too firm. 

titan mattress review from brooklyn bedding for heavy and obese people
Titan is a firm mattress made for heavy people

Titan is under $1,100 for the firm queen mattress and under $1,400 for the king size mattress before promotions. Post-discount, the queen should be under the $1K mark.

Why we picked this mattress — The people at Titan wanted to make a quality mattress that suited sleepers over 250 lbs, and we think this accomplishes that. It has a durable, supportive construction and an affordable price tag for such a good firm mattress.

Best Natural and Organic Firm Mattress

Awara
Awara
Why it’s Great
One of the most affordable natural mattresses online is Awara. It has 9″ pocketed coils and 4″ of latex foam. It also comes with a full-year trial period and free returns.
Best for
People that want a hybrid mattress
If you have a tough time making up your mind (full-year trial period and free returns)
Mostly back and stomach sleepers
Sleep Positions
Back, Side and Stomach
Product Details
Firmness
Firm
Type
Latex Foam
Temp
Neutral
awara mattress review back sleeper
We think Awara is perfect for back and stomach sleepers

For people who value eco-friendly and sustainably made products, you may be interested in a mattress like Awara. Like Avocado, this bed omits harmful chemicals like ozone depleters and phthalates to ensure you’re sleeping soundly and safely.

It also utilizes natural Dunlop latex foam, meaning it’s more durable, supportive, and breathable than standard memory foam. It’s also hypoallergenic and antimicrobial, a plus for neat freaks or anyone prone to household allergens. 

Of course, the cherry on top for firm bed lovers is its mattress profile. On our scale from soft to firm, we rated it at a medium firm. This makes it a tad softer than the Avocado mattress but still great for back and stomach sleepers looking for a particularly firm mattress. Feel wise, it’s very bouncy and responsive, but it also feels like it has a big cushion on top.

Environmentally-friendly mattresses tend to be pricey, but Awara has quite the reasonable price tag — especially if you purchase around a promotion. For example, a queen size will retail for about $1,300 after discounts.  
Why we picked this bed – Latex foam is a naturally firmer material and combined with pocketed coils and natural wool and cotton, it makes for a firm, supportive, non-toxic mattress. It’s also resistant to gross household allergens like mold, mildew, bacteria, dander, etc. We think it checks many boxes for natural and organic lovers who sleep on their back or stomach.

Best Firm Hybrid Mattress

Helix Dawn Luxe
Helix Dawn Luxe
Why it’s Great
Dawn Luxe is an upgraded pillow top mattress from Helix Sleep. If you want a firmer profile and a luxury mattress, Dawn Luxe is worth considering further.
Best for
If you like firm mattresses
People that need a supportive bed
If you want a really good value
Sleep Positions
Back, Side and Stomach
Product Details
Firmness
Firm
Type
Mixed Foam
Temp
Neutral
helix moonlight mattress edge support

Helix is known for its vast amount of options, as it seems the strategy is to make a mattress for every type of sleeper. This, of course, includes back and stomach sleepers or heavy sleepers looking for an extra firm bed. 

They have six core models and “luxe” versions of each one, which brings us to the Helix Dawn Luxe. This mattress is the firmest and most supportive on their spectrum, not to mention it has a really premium design.

It’s six layers thick and includes a pocketed coil base layer for additional support and durability. The top layers are made with their proprietary foams, memory foam, and pillow-top, making it super comfy without compromising the firmness level. 

If you’re somebody who despises memory foam, you won’t have to worry about the Helix mattress because it provides a neutral-foam feel that’s much more responsive and airy than memory foam. We think the firmness level is a true firm, making it best for back and stomach sleepers of all sizes and heavy combination sleepers.

While it’s not the best for budget shoppers, Helix offers promotions from time to time to take the price down. A queen-size Helix Dawn Luxe bed retails around $1,800; however, they’ll bring it down $150 and throw in a gift at certain times of the year. 
Why we chose this mattress – Helix Dawn Luxe implies it’s a premium, luxury hybrid mattress and we’d have to agree. It’s super thick, supportive, firm, and ideal for any body type. We also think the feel is really accommodating, whereas memory foam or latex foam can be a little divisive because of their distinctive feels.

Best Firm Mattress Pricing

You might want a luxury firm mattress or to get the best firm mattress you can afford. Either way, you will find great options. Keep in mind that prices can fluctuate and discounts may be available, so keep an eye on any you like that might be more than you want to pay.

TwinTwin XLFullQueenKingCal King
 
Saatva Classic
$849$1,049$1,399$1,499$1,899$1,899
Purple Hybrid$1,399$1,599$1,699$1,999$1,999
Plank$799$899$999$1,274$1,499$1,499
Avocado Green Mattress$999$1,099$1,299$1,499$1,899 $1,899
Loom & Leaf$899$1,199$1,699$1,799$2,099$2,099
Titan$699$799$899$1,099$1,299 $1,299
Awara$999$1,099$1,199$1,299$1,499$1,499
Helix Dawn Luxe$1,099$1,349$1,649$1,949$2,349$2,349
why trust us icon

Why Trust Us

Get the kind of sleep you’ve only dreamed of with some help from our team of mattress experts. We personally test more than 175 of the best sleep solutions from over 60 leading brands on site, so you can be sure you’re getting unbiased reviews, fair comparisons and personalized recommendations.


The Review Team

  • reynoso

    Jack Reynoso

    Combo Sleeper

  • Dillon Payne

    Combo Sleeper

  • kenzie

    McKenzie Dillon

    Combo Sleeper

  • JD

    JD Christison

    Combo Sleeper

Extra Firm vs Medium Firm

There’s a huge difference between extra firm and medium firm. Even luxury firm vs. medium firm can be different. In our reviews, we consider extra firm mattresses to feel like a thin layer of foam on a board to represent the lack of pressure relief that an ultra firm mattress will offer. There are plenty of extra firm beds out there, but you will have a shorter list than if you were looking for a medium firm mattress, which is perhaps the most popular comfort level.

A medium-firm mattress offers a good amount of pressure relief but not so much that you’re “melting” into the bed. You should still feel the support but immediately recognize that this is semi firm, not ultra firm. The majority of brands offer a medium firm bed, or something just a little softer.

In our mattress recommendations, we always say it’s better to start too firm than too soft with your new bed, especially if you’re wondering what is the best firm mattress for your situation. Beds tend to get softer over time.

Finding The Best Rated Firm Bed For You

Changing mattresses can be difficult, especially when you’ve slept on a soft mattress for so long. Your body might need anywhere from several days to a full month to adjust to a new sleeping surface.

Why Purchase a New Mattress

Here are a few benefits of purchasing a new firm mattress:

  • Improved breathing and blood flow
  • Better spine and neck support
  • Improved overall sleep

Mattress Shopping Considerations

The process of finding a new mattress can seem daunting. We wish we could tell you plain and simple what the best mattress is for the money, but there are factors involved that make it dependent upon you and your preferences. With that said, here are a few things to consider when you’re shopping for a new mattress:

  • Your bed should be an investment in your life for the next 10-15 years. It’s where you spend about a third of your life. So we don’t suggest you pinch pennies unless you don’t plan on having your bed for the long-term. You can always look for a firm mattress sale if you want to save money.
  • Mattresses cost anywhere from $200 to over $3,000 (depending on size and quality). If you get a firm king mattress rather than a queen, you can expect to pay more.
  • Consider your sleeper type and weight. If you sleep on your back or stomach, a firm mattress can be beneficial for you. It can also be good for heavier sleepers who exert more pressure on a mattress, thus requiring more support. 

Doing some research before you shop and looking at mattress recommendations will help you answer the question, “what’s the best mattress to buy for me?”

Return Policies

Mattress reviews can’t tell you which bed you’ll like best. If you’re looking for an extra firm mattress, your idea of comfort may be different from most, because a majority of sleepers select a bed in the medium to medium firm range. Because of this, it’s important to get a mattress with a return period.

When you purchase from an online mattress company, you get to take advantage of their generous return and trial period policies. All of the brands listed above offer free shipping and will give you a risk-free trial period to make sure you find the most comfortable firm mattress for you.

Some brands give you an average of 100 days to test it out, while other companies like DreamCloud will give you an entire year. If you decide you don’t like your mattress within the trial period, you’ll be able to return your mattress for 100% of your money back. Most companies just urge you to wait at least 30 days before you make a final decision so you can allow your body to become acclimated to your new mattress.

Who Is A Firm Mattress Best For?

A poor mattress can have a huge impact on the quality of your sleep, as can a high-quality mattress. In general, firm mattresses are excellent for people looking for more support and relief from back pain. We’ll cover the specific considerations that might make firm mattresses your best choice.

Stomach And Back Sleepers

There are usually some specific qualifications for people who tend to seek out a hard mattress. The first is that you’re possibly a back or stomach sleeper. These sleepers need a firm surface that won’t let their head, hips or shoulders sink into the mattress too much, which would cause the spine to curve or arch. You need to keep their spine in neutral alignment, which can prevent back pain and wake up with soreness. We notice that back sleepers typically like a firmer surface, perhaps even an extra firm one, and belly sleepers might need a little bit more cushion such as a medium firm mattress.

Back and stomach sleepers generally sleep more comfortably on beds with a firmer profile, whereas side sleepers or combo sleepers need a little more cushion to provide pressure relief. We think the best option for stomach sleepers would be a medium mattress or firmer.

Heavy Individuals

Another reason you may want a firmer bed is that you might be a heavier individual. Firmness is a relative term to weight, making things tricky if you’re either much heavier (250 lbs+) or much lighter (100 lbs-). Heavier individuals tend to sink into a mattress deeper because they’re displacing more weight into it. This makes the bed feel softer for them. If you’re a heavier individual who sleeps main on their back or belly, or might just prefer an ultra firm bed in general, it can be more difficult for you to find what you’re looking for. Contrast with someone who weighs under 150 lbs who will think even a semi firm mattress is extra firm.

People with Specific Medical Conditions

The last reason for wanting a harder sleep surface is that you might have a medical condition that requires a firm mattress every night. Whether that has to do with spinal issues, breathing issues or something else, always consult with your doctor before making a final decision and purchasing a new bed.

Before you begin shopping for a mattress, evaluate all of these considerations. Knowing your preferences ahead of time will make the shopping experience faster and easier. Understanding what you need will also help you ensure you’re making the best choice about your next mattress purchase.

Who Is A Firm Mattress Worst For?

If you’re a side sleeper, the best mattress for you is probably medium to soft. As a side sleeper, you’ll need more cushion to contour around your hips and shoulders. If your mattress is too firm, there will be too much pressure around these areas that can misalign your spine and cause pain.

The Best Medium Firm Mattress Brands

We made one selection for the best medium firm mattress, there are a dozen or so fantastic beds in that firmness range.

These beds are some of the most popular. In many cases, people prefer a slightly firmer profile. In fact, if you want a bed to be firmer than a “medium,” you probably want to start a little up the firmness chain. Another reason would be that a medium firm mattress is accommodating because you can sleep in any sleeping position in many cases.

The best medium firm mattresses according to our experts are:

  • Leesa
  • Saatva
  • WinkBed
  • Avocado
  • Loom & Leaf
  • Purple

It’s not fair to say that the above is an exhaustive list. We also left out plenty of beds that come in multiple firmness options, including Brooklyn Signature, Amerisleep, Helix Sleep and Nest Alexander. You may want to look through our mattress reviews page to see more beds.

Best Extra Firm Mattress Brands

There’s a huge number of people that outright prefer an extra firm mattress. You get a little cushioning, but not much. Here are the best extra firm mattress brands:

  • Plank
  • Saatva
  • Avocado
  • Brooklyn Bedding
  • Big Fig

We could make our list much longer, but that’s a fantastic place to start. Our selection is often Plank because it offers two firmness options. There’s the medium firm and the ultra firm, so it’s kind of like the best of both worlds, making it perhaps the best firm mattress if you’re not sure which you’ll prefer.

Pros And Cons Of Sleeping On A Firm Mattress

Pros

  • Excellent for heavy individuals – Because firm mattresses have more support, they’re less likely to sag and create discomfort for heavier individuals.
  • Spine alignment – Firm mattresses allow your spine to rest in a more neutral position, helping relieve daily pain from slouching and curving.
  • Durability – Firm mattresses are built with more stability and are known to last longer than soft mattresses because you don’t sink into them as much. 

Cons

  • More painful for joints – People who suffer from conditions like arthritis might experience more pain from firm mattresses and increased pressure on their joints.
  • Breaking in period – If you aren’t used to a firm mattress, there’s a period of time where you’ll need to break it in and get used to it. It may feel too hard at first before you can get used to it.
  • Bad for side sleepers – A firm mattress might create too much pressure for side sleepers’ shoulders and hips

Once you’ve purchased your best mattress, enhance your comfort with some of the most popular firm mattress accessories:

  • Foam mattress topper – A foam mattress topper gives you a little more cushion if you’re still adjusting to your mattress or need a bit more contour while you sleep.
  • Sturdy foundation – A sturdy foundation is especially helpful for heavier individuals or couples. The foundation, like the one from Big Fig, serves as an extra support layer and provides additional durability.
  • Wraparound pillow – A wraparound pillow gives you extra support for your neck and shoulders. If you sleep on your side occasionally, a wraparound pillow can help relieve some of the pressure around your neck that the mattress might cause otherwise.

Best Firm Mattress Recap

MattressBest Of TitleFirmness Level
Saatva ClassicBest Firm Mattress8 out of 10
Purple HybridBest Medium Firm Mattress7 out of 10
PlankBest Extra Firm Mattress‘Soft’ Side 7 out of 10
‘Firm’ Side 10 out of 10
Avocado Green MattressMost Comfortable Firm Bed‘Pillow Top’ 8 out of 10
‘Standard’ 10 out of 10
Loom & LeafBest Semi Firm Foam Mattress‘Relaxed Firm’ 8 out of 10
‘Firm’ 10 out of 10
TitanBest Firm Bed for Heavy People‘Firm’ 10 out of 10
AwaraBest Natural and Organic Firm Mattress‘Firm’ 10 out of 10
Helix Dawn LuxeBest Firm Hybrid Mattress‘Firm’ 10 out of 10
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best type of mattress?
There is no single best “type” of bed, as long as it’s comfortable and supportive to you. For instance, some people will prefer an innerspring mattress, while others will want a bed made entirely of foam—it’s all up to you.
How does shipping and returns work with an online mattress?
When you purchase from an online mattress company, you get to take advantage of their generous return and trial period policies. All of the brands listed above offer free shipping and will give you a risk-free trial period to make sure you find the most comfortable firm mattress for you.
How do you rate a bed’s firmness?
Our testing team rates firmness from the perspective of the average American who weighs between 180 lbs and 200 lbs. If you’re over about 200 lbs, beds will feel softer to you. Conversely, if you’re under about 130 lbs, all beds will feel firmer.
What’s the difference between a medium-firm and firm mattress?
Our editors consider a medium firm mattress to be around a 6 to 8 out of 10 on the firmness scale, whereas an extra firm mattress is between 8 and 10 on that same scale.
Is an extra firm mattress good for the back?
An extra firm mattress is excellent for your back as long as you’re a back or stomach sleeper. A firm mattress provides support that aligns your spine to relieve pressure and pain.
What is the hardest mattress available?
Plank and Avocado offer some of the firmest mattresses you can buy online. The extra firm mattress is excellent for back and stomach sleepers while also offering a medium-firm side for more comfort.
Is it better to sleep on a hard or soft mattress?
A hard mattress is best for heavier individuals and back sleepers who need more spine support. A soft mattress is usually better for side sleepers or people looking for more joint relief while they sleep.