The 8 Best Firm Mattresses in 2023, Tested by Sleep Editors

The 8 Best Firm Mattresses in 2023, Tested by Sleep Editors

Best Firm Mattress Overall

Saatva Classic Mattress Firm

Classic Mattress Firm

Best Firm Mattress Overall

Saatva Classic Mattress Firm

Credit: Courtesy of Retailer
Pros
  • Firm yet comfortable
  • Three comfort levels to choose from
  • Holds its shape well over time
  • Amazing 365-night in-home trial
  • Free delivery and setup

Hybrid or “multi-position” sleepers who switch between their stomachs, backs, and sides throughout the night have it rough. Finding the right mattress can seem impossible because they essentially need multiple mattresses in one. Men’s Health writer Mike Richard knows from experience. His take on the versatile Saatva Classic Mattress: “Most firm mattresses are never quite firm enough, especially those with a plush topper that feels like I’m getting sucked into the bed. The Firm version of Saatva’s Classic Mattress is totally different. It’s soft enough to feel comfy, but really supportive for my back and hips, especially after a long day of hiking.”

If you’re not ready for a seriously firm mattress, it’s also available in Plush Soft and Luxury Firm. Both are excellent choices. No matter if you choose the 11.5-inch height or the 14.5-inch height, laying on this mattress feels every bit as luxurious as a fine hotel bed, and maybe the best part—at least for us—is how green it is. We loved how the naturally breathable organic cotton cover allows better airflow to help disperse body heat. It’s comfortable through every season, including the height of summer.

Other bonuses: A responsive dual-coil design made of recycled carbon steel that’s tempered three times for superb durability. And it’s all assembled in the USA. Saatva’s mattresses are pricey, but the quality is unparalleled, and we think it’s well worth the investment. This is the part where we tell you you’re going to spend about a third of your life sleeping on it, so what’s a good night’s sleep worth to you?

Bottom line: If you appreciate a firm sleep surface and tend to flip-flop between sleeping on your stomach and your back throughout the night, pick this one up. It’s also great for couples looking for a compromising “middle ground” mattress. It’s our hands-down pick for the best firm mattress overall.

Mattress Type Innerspring
Mattress Sizes Available Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Split King, California King, Split California King
Mattress Heights Available 11.5″, 14.5″
In-Home Trial 365 nights

Best Firm Mattress for Side Sleepers

Purple Restore Mattress (Firm)

Restore Mattress (Firm)

Best Firm Mattress for Side Sleepers

Purple Restore Mattress (Firm)

Credit: Courtesy of Retailer
Pros
  • Soft, yet supportive
  • Versatile design satisfies a variety of sleepers
  • Non-toxic, hypoallergenic
  • 100% made and assembled in the USA

Purple stands out with its premium Purple Restore mattress. It features a unique hybrid construction that combines pocketed, edge-to-edge coils with two inches of its proprietary GelFlex grid. You’ve probably seen the in-your-face commercials, and while it might seem like a gimmick, trust us, it’s the real deal.

Available in Soft and Firm comfort levels, we found the latter perfect for persistent pain relief. Tester Mike Richard suffers from chronic back pain. After only a week on the Purple Restore Mattress, he noted, “I’m a chronic flip-flop sleeper who’s tossed and turned at night for more than 20 years. I spend probably 70% of every night on my side and the rest on my back. I sleep better and longer on this mattress than almost any other I’ve tested.”

The GelFlex system is extremely supportive, but there’s a noticeable amount of give, similar to what we’ve seen in firm memory foam mattresses. It has a firm bounce that snaps back quickly. It makes for great motion isolation, which is a nice-to-have for couples, especially those who frequently toss and turn.

There isn’t much we don’t like about the premium Purple Restore. It’s definitely the best firm mattress for side sleepers we’ve tested in the last year. The only downside? It’s pricey. Even on sale, you can expect to pay more than $2,000 for a Queen.

Mattress Type Hybrid
Mattress Sizes Available Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King
Mattress Heights Available 11.5″
In-Home Trial 100 nights

Best Firm Mattress for Back Sleepers

Tuft & Needle Essential T&N Original Mattress

Essential T&N Original Mattress

Best Firm Mattress for Back Sleepers

Tuft & Needle Essential T&N Original Mattress

Now 20% Off

Credit: Courtesy of Retailer
Pros
  • Good compromise mattress for couples
  • Great support for back and stomach sleepers
  • Cooling knit top layer
  • Incredible price point
  • Free returns
Cons
  • Might be too firm for side sleepers

We’re long-time fans of Tuft & Needle mattresses. The brand’s Essential T&N Original Mattress is still a favorite of ours. What you get is a medium-firm sleeper with a cooling knit top and memory foam layer, followed by a foam comfort and stability layer. It’s a design that caters well to back and stomach sleepers looking for the extra support that a more plush mattress just can’t provide. This was a favorite among both sides of our panel, too: Those who prefer firm support and those who like their mattresses on the softer side. All of which makes it a solid choice for couples who can’t agree on which mattress firmness to buy.

One of our testing couples—-she likes her mattresses plush and he prefers firm—has shared this mattress for years, and they both love the combination firmness. “Every time we travel, I think about how I wish we could take our mattress with us.”

T&N’s proprietary Adaptive foam technology ranks significantly above traditional memory foam by everyone on our panel. It bounces back better than most, and is much cooler too. We found sleeping on this mattress even in the dead of summer with no AC to be surprisingly comfortable.

But the one thing that’s impossible to overlook is the price. You can land a Queen for less than $800 delivered with free shipping and free returns, which makes this one of the best firm mattresses for those on a budget too.

Mattress Type Foam
Mattress Sizes Available Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King
Mattress Heights Available 9.5″
In-Home Trial 100 nights

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Best Firm Mattress for Couples

Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Adapt Firm Mattress

TEMPUR-Adapt Firm Mattress

Best Firm Mattress for Couples

Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Adapt Firm Mattress

Credit: Courtesy of Retailer
Pros
  • Very versatile for couples
  • Adapts to your weight, temperature, and sleep style
  • Cools better than ordinary memory foam
  • Great motion isolation
  • Industry-leading durability

It’s hard enough to find a good firm mattress, but finding a good firm mattress that works for two people sharing a sleep surface is damn near impossible. Tempur-Pedic’s TEMPUR-Adapt is designed to keep two sleepers happy.

It’s available in four comfort levels (or “Feels,” in TP lingo), but the Firm version is one of the best pressure-relieving mattresses we’ve ever slept (hard) on. It uses Tempur-Pedic’s proprietary foam that goes beyond traditional memory foam with a collection of layers that work together to keep your back and hips properly aligned. Plus, it automatically adjusts to your weight, skin temperature, and how you sleep, making it a versatile option.

It’s also the most summer-friendly mattress we’ve ever tested, keeping us cool even in June heat with no AC. The open-cell structure of the Tempur material, along with cooling yarns woven into the cover, absorb and dissipate heat better than every other memory foam mattress we’ve tried.

Another plus for couples: The mattress is enhanced with advanced motion-absorbing properties, so you and your partner can sleep comfortably and undisturbed through each other’s shifting. In our experience, it’s a game-changer for fussy couples who tend to change positions a lot throughout the night. When paired with the brand’s Smart Base, the mattress can also be adjusted to several positions, including a more upright one for reading or watching TV. If your partner tends to snore, a gentle incline of the head can help ease it up and give you both a good night’s rest.

Almost every model in Tempur-Pedic’s catalog is pricey. A queen-sized Firm version of this model tops well over $3,000. But if you can afford it, trust us, it’s worth the splurge.

Mattress Type Memory foam
Mattress Sizes Available Twin, Twin Long, Full, Queen, King, Split King, California King, Split California King
Mattress Heights Available 11″, 12″, 13″
In-Home Trial 90 nights

Best Medium-Firm Mattress

Casper Wave Hybrid Mattress

Wave Hybrid Mattress

Best Medium-Firm Mattress

Casper Wave Hybrid Mattress

Now 20% Off

Credit: Courtesy of Retailer
Pros
  • Excellent pressure relief
  • Hybrid design satisfies couples
  • Durable
  • Free delivery and easy setup

Like Tempur-Pedic, Casper takes a multi-layer approach to most of its mattresses. The Wave Hybrid is built with five layers to provide comfort, support, and pain relief for almost any sleeper.

We’d describe the only available firmness as “medium-firm” (about a 6 on a 10-point scale). This is a reasonably firm mattress that’s perfect for those who don’t like the rock-hard support of a legit firm—with a capital F—model. The top layer is soft enough to provide a little give, so we never feel like we’re sleeping on top of the mattress. That’s thanks to comforting gel pods under the waist and lower back. It cradled most of our test sleepers just enough but never gave us that “sunk-in” feeling typical of pure memory foam. It’s supportive throughout the body, too, especially in the hips. After sleeping on it for two weeks, one of our testers noted considerably less back pain. It’s also plenty firm to support heavier sleepers over 250 pounds.

The hybrid design also makes this a good option for couples looking to compromise when one person prefers a plusher mattress and the other likes theirs on the firm side. We found the combined layers to be very adaptable to a wide variety of sleepers.

There’s plenty to like about this hybrid (mostly) firm mattress. But this is Casper’s “luxury” model, and it comes with a price tag to match. Expect to pay north of $2,800 for a queen version, although eagle-eyed deal hunters might find it on sale for closer to $2,300.

Read more: Best Mattess Toppers

Mattress Type Hybrid
Mattress Sizes Available Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Mattress Heights Available 13″
In-Home Trial 100 nights

Best Firm Mattress for Heavy Sleepers

Brooklyn Bedding Plank Firm Luxe Mattress

Plank Firm Luxe Mattress

Best Firm Mattress for Heavy Sleepers

Brooklyn Bedding Plank Firm Luxe Mattress

Now 25% Off

Credit: Courtesy of Retailer
Pros
  • Maximum support for heavy sleepers
  • Great for stomach and back sleepers
  • Decent cooling cover (optional)
  • Great price
Cons
  • Motion isolation isn’t great
  • $99 return fee

In general, heavy sleepers (anyone weighing more than 250 pounds) who typically sleep on their back or stomach prefer firm mattresses—like, seriously firm—to prevent the “sunken-in” feeling of OG memory foam. (More on that below …) If you fall into this camp or you like the support of sleeping on the hardwood floor in your living room, Brooklyn Bedding’s Plank Firm Luxe mattress is your man.

It bills this ultra-rigid mattress as the firmest on the market. The two-sided design adds the flexibility of choosing between Firm (7 out of 10) and Extremely Firm (10 out of 10), and those numbers don’t lie. Our panel agreed this to be the firmest mattress we’ve tested by far. It was a win for our heaviest testers and those back sleepers who prefer maximum support. One tester noted: “It’s like sleeping on my concrete porch—I love it!”

Both sides are constructed of high-density foam that left us feeling completely supported, sleeping on top of—rather than in—the mattress. That same design also makes for easy ingress (getting into bed) and egress (getting out of), with strongly supported sides.

We found the optional GlacioTex cooling cover to rank slightly above average in keeping us cool and regulating our temperature throughout the night. It’s certainly better than traditional memory foam.

Unfortunately, that same ultra-rigid construction makes for near-zero motion isolation. If you happen to sleep with a partner or SO, you’re going to feel every twitch and shift they make in the night. It’s physics really, so there isn’t an easy way around this.

Still, with an all-in price of just over $900 delivered (less than $700 on sale), this is easily the best firm mattress for heavy sleepers or back sleepers looking for the ultimate support.

Mattress Type Hybrid
Mattress Sizes Available Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King, Split Cal King, Short Queen, Short King, Olympic Queen, RV King
Mattress Heights Available 13.25″
In-Home Trial 120 nights

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Best Pressure-Relief Firm Mattress

Leesa Studio Mattress

Studio Mattress

Best Pressure-Relief Firm Mattress

Leesa Studio Mattress

Credit: Courtesy of Retailer
Pros
  • Medium balance that leans slightly firm
  • Pressure-relieving support
  • Plush enough for side sleepers to enjoy
  • Great price (with free delivery)
Cons
  • Not as cooling as we’d like

Firm doesn’t always have to mean rock-hard. Leesa’s Studio Mattress is another great, well-balanced mattress for those looking for a solid combination of support, comfort, and pressure relief. It’s an ideal choice for almost any brand of sleeper, whether back, side, or stomach.

Leesa uses an all-foam makeup to build this 10-inch mattress. In many ways, it feels like a traditional memory foam mattress designed for all sleeping positions. Side sleepers will enjoy the Studio’s level of “sink” the most, as it contours just enough to provide proper support and pressure relief without feeling too plush. But the stomach and back sleepers on our panel (those who aren’t die-hard extra-firmers) found it to be supportive enough for their tastes, too, especially when they had a significant other sharing their bed to think about. One tester, in particular, said that after sleeping on the Studio for two weeks, the chronic pain in her hips had almost completely disappeared.

Lest we forget to mention that a Queen-sized Studio is available for under $800 delivered (with a 100-night in-home trial), making it one of the best budget firm mattress buys of 2023. You might even have some leftover cash to buy a nice frame or some bedroom furniture.

Mattress Type Foam
Mattress Sizes Available Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Mattress Heights Available 10″
In-Home Trial 100 nights

Best Luxury Firm Mattress

WinkBeds Luxury Firm Mattress

Luxury Firm Mattress

Best Luxury Firm Mattress

WinkBeds Luxury Firm Mattress

Now 17% Off

Credit: Courtesy of Retailer
Pros
  • Great pressure relief
  • Fluffy pillow top cover
  • Excellent edge support
  • Cooling gel-infused surface
Cons
  • Delivery times can lag due to demand

Finding a mattress that balances comfort and support is a challenge, and a Luxury Firm mattress is often the best of both worlds. WinkBeds appropriately named The WinkBed is built with a multi-layer construction that guarantees pressure-reliving support and plush (but not too plush) comfort.

At the top of the mattress is a soft cover made from Tencel, a eucalyptus-based performance fabric. The next layer is a pressure-relieving quilted Euro-pillowtop that ensures your back, hips, and shoulders receive superior cushioning and support. And lastly is a layer of individually-wrapped pocketed coils and an extraEDGE support system provides a more sleep-able area through enhanced edge support. All of which was a win for our picky in-house testers who don’t typically like firm mattresses. Most were surprised to actually sleep well on a mattress billed as “firm.”

We found the memory foam layer to be thin enough to feel comfy but not “enveloping” which can get claustrophobic, particularly in true memory foam models. The innerspring core layer also adds great motion isolation for couples who tend to flip and flop in the night.

At around $1,500 (for a Queen), The WinkBed is priced in the midrange of most of the models we’ve tested. It’s not the most affordable, but with a premium hybrid design that satisfies even the pickiest anti-firm sleepers, it’s worth the investment.

Mattress Type Hybrid
Mattress Sizes Available Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Mattress Heights Available 13.5″
In-Home Trial 120 nights

Who Is a Firm Mattress Best for?

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Like “comfort,” firmness is subjective. What’s firm to your significant other might feel too soft for you, and vice versa. Firmness can vary widely between manufacturers too. In general, these are the things to consider when shopping for a firm mattress:

Sleep position

Sleep position—whether you prefer to sleep on your side, stomach, back, or a mix of the three—is the biggest deciding factor in which mattress firmness is best for you. Stomach and back sleepers will want more support and a firmer mattress; side sleepers typically like soft/plush or medium-firmness models. There are no firm rules (pun intended), which is why we always recommend trying in person when possible, even if you ultimately plan to buy online.

Body size/weight

While it’s ultimately a personal preference, heavier people tend to prefer firmer mattresses. Soft or plush models often don’t feel supportive enough, and they may feel as though they’re “sinking in.” Smaller or lightweight sleepers typically feel the opposite. They may find firm mattresses too hard and like they’re sleeping on top of the mattress rather than cradled in it.

Consider your partner

Those sharing their sleep space with a partner or child (or dog) will likely need to think about their mattress firmness preferences too. That usually means finding a compromise in the form of a medium-firm mattress in the 5-6 range on a firmness scale (with 10 being the most firm). Other options include mattresses with adjustable firmnesses or split mattresses where each partner gets a different firmness level.

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How to Shop for a Firm Mattress Online

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From firmness to comfort to how pressure-relieving a mattress is, there are many factors that go into finding the right one for you. That’s why it’s best to test-drive any new mattress in person, so you can try before you buy. But sometimes, that’s not an option. Maybe there isn’t a showroom near you, or you’re looking at a direct-to-consumer model that only sells online. Whatever the reason, it’s worth digging a little deeper before clicking that Buy button. At the very least, make sure whatever mattress you buy has a good return policy. The best firm mattresses include at least a 100-night in-home sleep trial, while some (like Saatva) offer a full year.

If you can’t be bothered to compare dozens of models (like we did), the Saatva Classic Mattress Firm (or Luxury Firm if you prefer something a little plusher) is the best firm mattress overall. It’s soft yet supportive, and we love the way it aligns our spine, whether sleeping on our side or back. Plus, the free delivery and setup with a whopping 365-night in-home trial mean zero risk that you’ll end up with a mattress you don’t like.

For the absolute firmest mattress on the market, Brooklyn Bedding’s hardwood-floor-like Plank Firm Luxe Mattress is your man. The double-sided design provides two options: Firm or Extremely Firm, making it perfect for heavyweight and back sleepers.

For budget-minded shoppers, Tuft & Needle’s Essential T&N Original Mattress is the best option. It’s firmer than average, with a good sleep surface for couples looking to compromise between too hard and too plush.

What to Look for in a Firm Mattress

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A good firm mattress should be supportive enough for your body frame and weight. Like a good pair of shoes, it shouldn’t feel like it’s “digging in” to any part of your body. It should also adjust to your movements, and adapt to support you in any position. All of this is impossible to determine online, however.

Even if you plan to buy your next mattress online, check local retailers to see if your candidates are available in-store. If so, grab your favorite pillow (or two) and test-drive them before pulling the trigger. Nothing beats an in-person test nap. It’s the only way to know for sure if a particular firm mattress is right for you.

Keep in mind that almost any mattress feels good for the first few minutes, especially if you’ve already been walking around shopping for hours. To really test out a new mattress, you want to lie down in the position you typically sleep in—the position you’re most comfortable—for at least 10-15 minutes. That’s enough time for your body to tell you whether a particular mattress is firm and supportive enough for you.

How We Selected the Best Firm Mattresses

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Our editors and sleep-obsessed writers spent hundreds of hours testing dozens of firm mattresses over the last year. We slept a lot (and sometimes we didn’t) to compare the overall comfort, support, quality, and price of every model. Plus, we looked at every in-home trial and return policy to know whether each manufacturer stood behind their product. In the end, we narrowed our top picks to the eight best firm mattresses of 2023.

Lettermark

Mike Richard

Mike Richard has traveled the world since 2008. He’s kayaked in Antarctica, tracked endangered African wild dogs in South Africa, and survived a near-miss great white shark attack in Mexico. His travel advice has appeared on the websites for Forbes, Travel + Leisure, CNET, and National Geographic. He loves the great outdoors and good bourbon, and (usually) calls Tulsa, Oklahoma home. Mike also enjoys speaking in the third person. 

Headshot of Christian Gollayan

Deputy Editor, Commerce

As Men’s Health’s Deputy Editor, Commerce, Christian Gollayan oversees all shopping content on menshealth.com. He relocated back to New York by way of Portland, where he was the Associate Managing Editor at TheManual.com. Christian’s work has also been featured in InStyle, Food & Wine, the New York Post, and Tatler Asia. 

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