The Best Firm Mattresses – Buyer's Guide

Our Recommendations:

Helix Mattress
Helix mattress
Loom and Leaf
Loom & Leaf mattress
Amerisleep Mattress
Amerisleep mattress
Read on to see the rest of our favorite firm mattresses for all you firm mattress sleepers who want the finest support and comfort in your bed.

Finding the Right Firm Mattress

Choosing a mattress that works with your unique body type is difficult. There are far more choices and customizable options than the average person has time to investigate, with a whole list of pros and cons to accompany each product.

That’s why we’ve decided to compile a list of our top five firm mattresses. Let’s take a look at the benefits of a firm mattress, along with all the other information you’ll need to make the right choice.

Manufacturer Model Mattress Type Price (Queen)
Amerisleep AS1 Memory Foam $999
Helix Hybrid $995
Loom & Leaf Memory Foam $1,099
Sleep On Latex Pure Green Latex $795
Voila Hybrid $1,199

Firm Mattress Reviews

Amerisleep AS1

The Amerisleep has five models total: the AS1 – AS5. The AS1 is their firmest model, which means that it’s an ideal choice for stomach and back sleepers. All Amerisleep beds are known for utilizing great materials and tech, such as Celliant covers, Bio-Pur foams, and Surface Modification Technology (SMT). But this model in particular is designed with sleepers who need more support than the average customer in mind.

This model uses memory foam for the comfort layer with a high density poly foam underneath. This gives the dual benefit of having a strong feeling of sinking into the material when you first lie down, but there is a high level of firmness just below the surface. This allows for a good amount of body contouring without the negative effects so often associated with memory foam. These include overheating and the feeling of being stuck in one position once your body has settled into the full sinking effect of the material.

Although the response time for this foam is a bit slow, it’s not a thick layer, so it’s fairly easy to navigate for sleepers who tend to change positions regularly throughout the night. In addition, the cover is made from Celliant, which promotes cooling. These features make it a great choice for people who have issues with chronic back pain and need a hard mattress but are looking for a bed that can also feel soft and comfortable.

We recommend this model for sleepers who are looking for an extra firm mattress that won’t get too hot and will keep their hips elevated and spine aligned correctly.

 

Amerisleep AS1 mattress

Helix

When it comes to customizability, it’s hard to top Helix. The process for choosing your mattress includes a quiz, where you are given several options to determine which mattress features are going to fit your needs most effectively.

The main thing that sets Helix apart from other mattress companies is their focus on meeting the specific needs of the customer. With so many ways to alter the design and construction of the mattress, it’s a great choice for sleepers who have chronic back pain issues or any other concerns which require them to make more nuanced choices when it comes to picking a bed that suits them.

This is a 10 inch model that includes a layer of micro coils and three layers of polyfoam. It also has a thin cover made from 100 percent breathable polyester. This allows for a cooler sleeping experience throughout the night by avoiding the buildup of trapped heat escaping from the body.

The firmness levels can be customized from a level of three all the way up to nine, and the thickness, density, and order of the materials can all be changed to match your sleeping style, unique body size, and shape. For stomach and back sleepers, as well as larger than average body types, the option to have such a firm bed may make all the difference in making that final decision on which bed is right for you.

Another thing that makes this bed an attractive choice is the ability to create different specifications for each side of the bed. This makes it possible for you and your partner to have the bed of your dreams (and not just your partner’s dreams) within one mattress. This is our favorite feature, and one that certainly factored into our decision to include this model in our list of favorite firm mattresses.

Helix Mattress

Loom & Leaf

It’s almost impossible to find a mattress that offers as much luxury as Loom & Leaf among competitors in their price range. This mattress is twelve inches thick, compared to the industry standard of ten inches, which gives it an extra amount of deep compression. With two firmness options, with a firmness rating of 6.5 for the Relaxed Firm variety, and a 9 for the Relaxed model, this is a product that offers higher than average firmness within the memory foam based mattress market.

Constructed from eco-friendly, hypoallergenic materials, this is a choice that will feel good on your conscience as well as your body. The cover is made from a mixture of organic cotton and flame-retardant thistle, which provides optimal coolness and airflow as well as an elegant softness to the touch.

There are four layers of US-sourced memory foam in this mattress that accommodate several key functions. Its first layer, the comfort layer, is crafted using 2” of high quality gel foam. It is formulated to provide temperature relief and utilizes a special swirl technology which keeps the cooling gel evenly distributed throughout the mattress. In addition, there’s an additional layer laminated to the top of that layer at the lumbar region to give added benefit to the lower back.

Below that is the compression layer, made from high-density visco elastic memory foam. This section, like the previous one, is slow to respond to pressure. This allows the material to conform to the contours of your body, creating a deep cradle to support your weight evenly.

The third layer is the transition layer. It’s a slab of polyfoam that is intended to create a support layer, which bears the weight of the softer memory foam found in the top two layers. Finally, the fourth layer, the foundational layer, is a five and a half inch section of high-density polyfoam. This base gives a large amount of durability to the bed, while also giving the mattress its shape and solid foundation of firm support. This bed is an excellent option for all sleeping styles, but it’s especially attractive for people who also like to sleep on their side. That’s because this bed which offers a good deal of sinkage while also keeping the spine in alignment.

Loom and Leaf Bed

Sleep On Latex Pure Green

It’s no easy feat to find an all latex mattress which is high quality and also within a reasonable price range. Sleep on Latex provides everything a person could want from a latex bed without having to spend an exorbitant amount of money to get it.

It’s constructed with three layers of latex and a quilted cover made from organic cotton with an interior layer of New Zealand wool. The wool provides air flow while also serving as a flame-retardant, which sidesteps the need for chemical fire-retardants or fire sock. The ability for this mattress to stay cool is impressive. This is an area where latex beds often fall short, but this model was built with an extra inch of material in the top layer, where most of the air transfer happens, and it makes a huge difference when it comes to temperature regulation.

Although this mattress doesn’t provide a lot of bounce, it has a very even amount of pressure provided to every part of the body, and a nice sinking sensation without leaving the sleeper feeling trapped in any one position.

For sufferers of chronic back pain issues, this bed is great for keeping the spine properly balanced. There is also a good response time with this material, though there is almost no motion transfer. This can be an important factor for sleepers who tend to roll around in their sleep and also don’t want to disturb their partner.

Sleep On Latex

Voila

Voila offers three different options for firmness, with their softest mattress receiving a 5/10 firmness rating, and their firm option showing a seven. These mattresses are a bit more expensive than their competitors, but there are valid reasons for this.

The first reason being the quality of the materials used to create this mattress, but perhaps most importantly is the brilliant design and attention to detail in its construction.

There are thirteen separate layers which combine to provide a truly blissful sleeping experience. Two layers of gel memory foam lie directly underneath the top layers of fabric, which gives a comforting, cooling effect. It also adds a great deal of pressure relief and support for the entire body.

Underneath the gel memory foam is a layer of latex foam, followed by several layers of high-density foam, pocketed coils, and insulator pads. The overall effect of this combination of technologies is a mattress which gives an initial feeling of softness, but which boasts an impressive amount of proper weight distributed support. And although it may prove too soft for people who primarily sleep on their stomach, this is a perfect choice for those who sleep on their backs, as well as side-sleepers and heavier than average body types.

 

Voila Mattress

How is Firmness Measured?

Mattress firmness is rated on a scale of one to ten, ten being the firmest and one being the softest. Of course the experience of firmness will differ greatly from person to person, depending on their size and weight distribution, but this scale offers us a general way to compare firmness between different mattress brands and models.

Doctors and chiropractors roundly agree that firmer beds are better for general health and well-being than softer ones, but how does that advice relate to this measurement scale?

Generally speaking, mattresses rated above the five mark will be better suited to fit the needs of people seeking a mattress that provides a greater than average amount of support. However, there are several other key factors to take into account beyond the firmness rating. The materials, amount of customizability, and the number of layers used when constructing the mattress can all affect the overall feeling of firmness that a sleeper will ultimately experience.

Is a Firm Mattress Right for You?

Although, as stated above, doctors tend to recommend a firmer mattress for healthy, restful sleep, it’s not the ideal choice for every type of sleeper. Those who tend to be light sleepers, or who primarily sleep on their side, will benefit greatly from a softer mattress.

Firmness is not a universal concept though. Many people will have very different impressions of the same mattress from one another. This has to do with many aspects, but the big three are size, weight, and weight distribution.

If you are 160 pounds, but most of your weight is located in your middle section, this is going to affect your overall experience of a mattress and its level of firmness or softness. If your midsection is properly supported but your head and feet feel like they are resting on solid rock, there is a disconnect between how the different regions of your body are reacting to that specific bed. This is why it’s important to test out different beds in person so that you can get a general feeling for how mattress firmness is experienced by your unique body type.

Heavier Sleepers. 

Firmer beds are better suited for heavy sleepers, those who primarily sleep on their back or stomach, and larger or heavier than average body types. It’s also highly recommended for people who suffer from certain types of back pain.

Hot Sleepers.

Hot sleepers may also find relief in a firmer mattress. By providing a greater amount of support, there is less heat transfer between the surface of the bed and the body of the sleeper. There are a variety of new technologies which aid in this effect, such as Celliant fabric, but a hard mattress will almost always provide a greater extent of success in this region than its softer counterparts.

Back Pain Sufferers.

Back pain is a critically important factor in the decision of whether you are the right candidate for a firm or extra firm bed or not. There is a large body of science to support the claim that a firm bed will provide better care for those suffering from pain issues. That’s because the curvature of the spine needs to be properly cradled and supported throughout the night to ensure that it is resting in a shape which is similar to its shape in an upright position. A firmer bed is better equipped to keep spinal alignment in a healthy range no matter which position a sleeper tends to maintain.

Side sleepers watch out.

People who sleep on their side, or sleep very lightly, report a less comfortable experience of firm beds. That’s because the pressure points on the body receive a greater deal of stress when you lie on your side, so a mattress has to respond with more softness and cradling.

If a bed is too firm it may affect how soundly a person sleeps as well. If they already tend to be light sleepers this can cause a person to wake up during the night, which leads to a greater amount of strain on the whole body system. This would certainly imply a need for a softer mattress. Looking into a hybrid option which offers the best of both worlds may also be an attractive options for people who are looking for the optimal support of a firm mattress but need the softness and sinkage of a softer bed.

Heavier than average body types will require a firmer mattress overall, but their impression of the rating scale will differ greatly from people who are smaller than them. This is why it’s very important to make sure you are getting information from a place of personal experience and research so that the information you find in your search for the perfect bed will be relevant to your specific body type and experience.

Benefits of a Firm Mattress

There are a wide variety of benefits to choosing a firm bed. First of all, when a bed is more firm, it is less likely to sag with age. This is incredibly important for heavier than average body types who move around a good bit throughout the night. If your bed is having to adjust to your movements and a large amount of weight, its overall construction will suffer greatly over time.

A firm mattress also provides a larger amount of edge support. If you have significant back pain and have a difficult time getting in and out of bed, this is going to be a very important factor for you to consider. A bed that is softer is going to maintain its shape for a shorter amount of time, and although you may be able to get in and out of bed fairly easily at the beginning, after a couple of years you may find that it gets significantly more difficult as the response and durability of the edges start to break down.

Sleepers who experience an unpleasant amount of heat during the night report a much better amount of airflow, and less trapped body heat when using a firm or very firm mattress. This, combined with greater bounce and a substantially increased amount of reaction, make firmness an important aspect of a mattresses qualifications for couples. Sharing a bed means adjusting to another person’s weight, as well as having to take into account a doubled amount of body heat. All of these reasons combined show a broad range of reasons to choose a firm or extra firm bed, depending on your needs.

Mattress Types

Foam

Foam mattresses are typically constructed using latex foam, memory foam, high-density foam, or some combination of the three. Companies have also recently started incorporating polyurethane and visco-elastic foams with a portion of plant-based content.

Although not traditionally considered to be great materials for achieving a mattress that rates high on the firmness scale, new advancements in mattress technology have raised the profile of firm foam bedding options significantly. There are now a wide variety of options available which satisfy the need for support and hardness in a mattress while also providing the comfort and sinkage associated with foam.

Latex

There are two main types of latex available on the market today, those being latex derived using the Talalay or the Dunlop process. Latex is generally created using a blend of the latex of the rubber tree and synthetic latex, which is made from petrochemicals, as well as other substances and fillers.

Latex has seen a resurgence in popularity with the increase in new latex materials which can provide a more durable and supportive product for the needs of the market. The amount of latex models which advertise impressive amounts of firmness and responsiveness is ever growing, with no sign of slowing down.

Hybrid

Hybrid mattresses are made using a mixture of foam and innerspring technologies (usually individually pocketed coils). Hybrid mattresses allow a mattress company to offer as wide a range of options within one product as possible. This means that someone who has very defined needs from their mattress can find options to meet all of their needs without having to spend an exorbitant amount of money to achieve that aim.

Innerspring

Innerspring is the traditional bed designs that most of us grew up sleeping on. They have also experienced the same influx of scientific research being implemented to increase the quality and diversity of options available for this bedding material option.

Traditionally known for offering a high amount of support and bounce, these materials have developed in the use of individually pocketed coils to offer less motion transference and a greater amount of contouring to fit the specific shape of the sleepers unique body shape.