In This Article
Are you considering purchasing a firm mattress? If so, there are a few things that you should know before you bound into a brand-new firm bed.
Should You Go Firm?
It used to be thought that firmer mattresses were good for relieving back pain. But recent studies have shown that a medium to medium-firm mattress is better at relieving back pain. So if you suffer from chronic lower-back pains, a hard bed might not be the best thing for you.
Firmer mattresses are great for supporting extra weight, and if you are bigger or heavier, they don’t feel as hard, they feel right. But a smaller person who doesn’t have enough weight to push into the mattress can feel like they are sleeping on a brick. So if you are aren’t big, or with a body index of over 25%, you might find a medium-firm mattress more comfortable in the long run.
Ok. Now that we got that out of the way, how do we decide what makes the best firm mattress?
The very best firm mattresses will actually be firm. So our top pick will have to have an 8 out of 10 rating or higher on a scale from 1 to 10. Anything below that is medium-firm and softer.
The other qualities we look for in the best beds are how well it supports your back and spine, if it relieves pressure no matter in what position you sleep, motion transfer, the quality of materials that are used to make the mattress, surface temperature regulation, and considerations such as the warranty, sleep trial, and return policies.
Most mattresses nowadays are built for ‘everyone’ this means they are medium-plush to medium-firm. So if you are looking for the best firm mattress, we already have our search narrowed down because many of the top brands don’t offer firmly in their product lines.
We’ll go over the best firm mattresses in and also give you a few options that are the best for specific styles of sleep. But before we get into the best beds, let’s take a closer look at the factors we consider in our ranking system.
A bed’s ability to isolate motion so that the energy does not transfer across the bed is essential for anyone who shares their bed with a partner. This rule holds especially true with firmer beds because the stiffness makes it inherently harder for the bed to absorb energy. The best firm mattresses will be designed with motion transfer in mind.
The best firm mattresses will support your body weight and keep your back aligned no matter if you sleep on your side, your stomach, your back, or all three. A properly aligned spine is one of the main factors in relieving chronic back pains and getting a good night’s rest.
It would be easy to categorize pressure relief with back support as these two factors work in unison. Great beds are comfortable in any sleep position. These beds conform to the points, edges, and protruding curves of your body without feeling pressure, pinching, or push-back that can cause poor sleep.
If you are hot and sweaty while you sleep, you will most likely be uncomfortable and not get a rejuvenating night of rest. Top sleep product brands recognize this and put a lot of effort into researching and developing new and innovative ways to keep the sleeping surface of their beds cool. That said, some brands are much better than others at temperature regulation.
Mattresses have recently gotten a bad rap because many toxic, harmful chemicals are often used to create the component that the manufacturing process of these materials can be damaging to the environment and create an unsafe workplace.
Because of this, a few select brands have chosen to be very careful about the materials they use, and the processes involved in making their mattresses. The companies that decide not to cut corners at the expense of our health and environment get extra points in our book.
Warranty, Trials & Considerations
When two mattresses are quite comparable, it may come down to which one has the better warranty package, sleep trial, or risk-free features like no charge for pickups on mattress returns. Other considerations might help a sleep company to stand out as well, such as community or environmental initiatives.
Alright. We have established our baseline on the main factors to consider when shopping for the best firm mattress. So let’s dive in and look at our top pick, the runners-up based and some beds that are great for particular circumstances that may or may not apply to you, even if they are not necessarily ‘firm’ beds.
Muse – Best Overall
Muse recently made headlines in the Huffington Post with their online quiz that makes it easy for you to choose the perfect all-foam mattress to suit your needs. Instead of going the one-size-fits-all route, Muse has dedicated their efforts to providing custom tailored comfort to their customers.
Muse is one of few brands that offer a true firm mattress, and it also tops the charts for all of the key factors that we use in deciding who makes the best firm mattress. The bonus kicker is that the price is right as well. You can pick up their king-size bed for $1100.00 or a Queen for $950.00
Muse offers a 120-night risk-free trial, and if you decide against keeping the mattress, they’ll pick it up for free and donate your rejected bed to charity. Knowing that you’ll get a full refund and won’t be charged for delivery or pick up makes trying out Muse a no-brainer.
When you order one of Muse’s firm mattresses, it is compressed and rolled up, then delivered to your door in as little as five days.
How it’s Built
Muse has concentrated on three main areas: cooling (temperature regulation), contouring support, and pressure relief. The beds are designed in Charlotte and manufactured in the United States as well with toxic-chemical-free materials. They even managed to get CERTIPUR-US certified.
So they have met the rigorous standards for emissions, content, performance, and durability. The foam is made without ozone depleters and made without PBDEs, TDCPP or TCEP (“Tris”) flame retardants.
The construction is relatively straightforward. Muse uses a soft and breathable ‘phase-changing material in their firm mattress cover that absorbs ambient room temperature to help offset your body heat. This process makes the cover fabric feel remarkably fresh.
Below the moisture wicking and phase-changing cover is a 2-inch layer of temperature-regulating gel foam. The cooling properties of the gel foam further help to keep you cool even during hot summer months, but it is also incredibly responsive to your body shape and motion. The next layer is a memory foam that acts as the central contouring support layer. This is the customizable layer that creates your firmness selection.
You’ll never feel like you are sagging or sunk too deeply into the mattress. The supportive foundation is made out of a durable, super high-density foam that will make sure your weight is fully supported even if you’re a built like an NFL lineman.
Pressure Relief & Spinal Support
The combination of foam densities it perfect for relieving pressure while maintaining back support no matter how you sleep. Tests using pressure maps show that Muse indeed is the best firm mattress at minimizing pressure no matter how you sleep. Back and stomach sleepers barely show up on the pressure sensors. It’s almost as if they were floating on the bed. Side sleepers see only the slightest amount of pressure at the hips.
I was blown away when I saw these results because this mattress blows away beds that easily cost three and four times as much. This bed is hands down, the best firm mattress available.
Solay -Best Firm Mattress Under $2,000
Solay has made a splash in the premium hybrid mattress markets. Solay has blended the best of both worlds; the contouring pressure relief of gel foams and memory foams, plus the support and durability of individually wrapped, pocketed coils.
Soley is proudly made in the USA with high-quality materials. And they have made a name for themselves by donating a portion of each sale to charity.
Solay isn’t truly a firm mattress; it is medium-firm. So it could not be our overall best firm mattress winner. But it does sleep firmer than it initially feels. If you just push into the plush foams on the surface layers, the bed will feel medium in firmness, but once you lie down on the bed, the inner coils come into action with firm support. If you are a bigger or heavier person, the full support of the springs will be more apparent, and the mattress will feel firm and durable.
Priced at $1595.00 for a King and $1295.00 for a Queen, this mattress is one of the absolute best on the market for under $200.
The Solay mattress utilizes a soft, stretchy, and breathable TENCELⓇ cover. TENCEL is known for its moisture wicking and temperature-regulating properties. But Solay didn’t stop there in their efforts to ensure a cool and comfortable night of sleep. The top layer of the bed is a cooling gel foam explicitly designed to transfer heat away from your body and stay fresh.
Next in line is a motion isolation memory foam. The motion-reducing foam helps to stop the transfer of energy across the bed. So if you sleep next to someone who is a fussy sleeper, you won’t feel the movement nearly as much as you would on some other beds. This layer of memory foam is also the first step in contouring and conforming comfort.
Next is a one-inch support layer of foam. It covers the 6-inch pocketed spring coils below to spread your weight evenly across the individually wrapped, steel spring system. The flexible coils give you support where you need it most and seeing how they are individual, not connected; they further enhance the reduction of motion transfer. Around the outside of the springs are smaller, tighter coils that help to provide excellent edge support. If you and up sleeping along the edge of this mattress, you’ll feel just as comfy as if you were in the center.
The combination of spring and foam layers come together fantastically to relieve pressure points and help you get the deepest rest possible.
Lucid – Best Firm Mattress Under $1,000
Lucid is unique in the bed-in-a-box industry because they offer a vast assortment of mattresses and trims. Everything for firm 6-inch thick mattresses suited for kids and teens, to 16-inch thick latex hybrid beds for your master bedroom.
You can get a firm to medium-firm, long-lasting latex hybrid in king-size for $879.00. When applying our ranking criteria, this makes Lucid the best firm mattress for under one-thousand dollars. They ship for free and have a 10-year warranty so you can be assured that your bed will last.
The 12-inch Lucid mattress uses real latex, layered on top of memory foam. Lucid uses a transitional foam layer in the middle to effectively distribute your weight along the 6.3-inch, individually-encased steel coils.
Zinus – Best Firm Mattress Under $500
Zinus is one of the most trusted, firm mattress brands. They have well over 120,000 online reviews. Zinus is another brand that doesn’t believe in one-size-fits-all solutions. For this reason, they make different mattresses for every type and size of the sleeper.
Zinus Cooling Gel Memory Foam Mattress is the best firm mattress for under five-hundred dollars. In fact, you can get a luxuriously thick (14-inches) king size for just under 470 dollars.
The Cooling Gel Foam bed comes with a cool, knitted Jacquard cover and is made with four different layers of foam: four inches of swirl foam, 1.5 inches of comfort foam, 4 inches of high-density foam, and 4.5 inches of high-density support foam.
With the Zinus, you get a firm mattress that stays cool, while supporting your back and relieving pressure at a bargain price.
Best Firm Mattresses for Specific Sleep Positions
Muse – Best Firm Mattress for Side Sleepers
You already know that Muse was our top pick for the all-around best firm mattress, but it also does well for certain types of sleepers.
Muse outshines every other brand for those who sleep on their sides. Using pressure sensing maps, tests showed that where most beds show pressure hot-spots along the hips, side, and shoulders, Muse only showed the slightest amount at the center of the hip area. This is the best firm mattress for side sleepers.
Nuvanna – Best Firm Mattress for Stomach Sleepers
Nuvanna started as an idea to bring balance and peace into the lives of as many people possible. What better way to do that than to help people feel physically and mentally refreshed each morning.
If you sleep on your stomach more often than not, you might want to look into the Nuvanna mattress. It is more towards medium-firm than firm, but it is just about the perfect sleeping surface for those who prefer to sleep face-down.
Casper – Best Firm Mattress for Back Sleepers
If you have been researching online mattress companies, chances are you have come across Casper. They are probably the most popular brand on the market right now. They launched late in 2014 and are already valued at nearly $250 million.
Casper mattresses use different firmness levels for the three main areas on top of the bed: legs, core, head, and shoulders. The ‘zoned’ support is ideal for back sleepers. Your buttocks, legs, and shoulders are cradled without pressure points while your lower-back is given a little bit firmer support.
DreamCloud – Best Firm Mattress for Heavy People
Dream Cloud is starting to dominate the ‘affordable luxury’ hybrid market. Their mattress is more medium-firm than firm, but the support is superior to almost any other mattress on the market regardless of comfort level. They offer 5-star hotel luxury at a price that most people can afford. Their quality and craftsmanship are excellent, and you sleep like a baby on their hand-tufted cashmere euro-tops.
The full-body support provided by Dream Cloud’s pocketed and individually wrapped steel coils is ideal for bigger and heavier people. The side support is fantastic, and the durability is off the charts. They even come with an ‘everlong’ warranty, so your bed is guaranteed for as long as you own it.
After assessing each of the predetermined criterias that helps us determine the best firm mattress, Muse stands out as the clear winner. We also gave you a few highly-recommended alternative options, and we hope that after reading this, your quest to find the best firm mattress is nearly complete.