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Home / Best Mattress / Best Firm Mattresses

Best Firm Mattresses

Logan Foley

Written by

Logan Foley, Certified Sleep Coach

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Methodology

We personally test every mattress featured in our reviews and guides to provide accurate, data-driven recommendations. Learn More

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After recent tests, we’ve updated our list to include the Helix Dawn as our best pick for couples. The Plank Firm Luxe remains our best overall firm mattress.

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Mattresses are often promoted as being “soft” or “plush.” However, we’ve found many people feel most comfortable on firmer mattresses. Our mattress tests have shown a firm feel usually means more support and less sinkage, which can benefit those who weigh more than 230 pounds. The back and stomach sleepers on our testing team also tend to prefer firmer mattresses that reinforce their midsections and reduce pressure points along their spines.

Firm feels were the main criteria for our list of the best firm mattresses, but we also based these top picks on factors such as durability, temperature regulation, and edge support. Each member of our testing team brings years of experience to our hands-on evaluations. Our diverse group consists of side, back, stomach, and combination sleepers who cover a wide range of body types. We rely on their feedback to evaluate mattresses for different performance metrics and assign ratings that reflect the experiences of most sleepers.

Best Firm Mattress Video

Watch our video below to learn more about our lab’s top picks for firm mattress.

Each of these mattresses not only offers a firm sleep surface but also stands out from the competition thanks to high-quality construction and above-average performance. Details about each of our best firm mattress picks can be found below. Scroll down even further for our comprehensive buyer’s guide, which discusses the pros and cons of firm mattresses, the people who benefit most from these mattresses, and what you can expect in terms of cost, longevity, and performance. If you’re shopping for firmer mattresses with a more responsive feel, we recommend checking out our list of the Best Latex Mattresses.

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Product Details

Best Overall

Plank Firm Luxe

Plank Firm Luxe
Price Range: $974 - $1,874
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Firm (7), Extra Firm (9)
Trial length: 120 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 10 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, Short Queen, Olympic Queen, King, Short King, RV King, California King, Split California King
Who it's best for:
  • Hot sleepers
  • Back and stomach sleepers
  • Those looking for multiple firmness levels in one mattress
Highlights:
  • Optional cooling panel for an additional fee
  • Flippable design with firm and extra firm feels
  • Short queen mattress and RV sizes available
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Brooklyn Bedding mattresses

Bottom Line

The Plank Firm Luxe has a flippable design for sleepers who are unsure of their firmness needs. Our testers who are over 230 pounds found the mattress incredibly supportive.

The Plank Firm Luxe — also known as the Plank Luxe Hybrid — is a flippable mattress with a firm (7) feel on one side and an extra firm (9) feel on the other. The latter is one of the firmest, most supportive surfaces our team has personally tested, but we also found the softer side highly stable and well-suited to people who need extra reinforcement from their mattress – particularly back and stomach sleepers.

How It Performed

During our hands-on tests, the Plank Firm Luxe earned its most favorable ratings from back and stomach sleepers weighing more than 230 pounds. Most testers agreed the firm side was more comfortable, though some of our stomach sleepers in this weight group received more support from the extra firm feel.

We also gave the mattress high marks for edge support and ease of movement. The coils create a responsive feel on both sides, allowing our testers to move across the mattress without feeling trapped or stuck, and each person felt stable when sitting along the perimeter. Temperature control was another performance area where the Plank Firm Luxe excelled, especially with the phase change panel upgrade.

What It’s Made of

The firm side of the Plank Firm Luxe contains a top layer of fiber padding, followed by two polyfoam layers. Our testers noticed light cushioning on this surface, resulting in even weight distribution and minimal sinkage. The extra firm side forgoes one of the underlying foam layers. As a result, we experienced no sinkage whatsoever on this surface. A shared support core of pocketed coils reinforces each side, resulting in strong pushback whenever one of our testers got in and out of bed.

A cover made from a quilted cotton-microfiber blend encases the entire mattress. This material is fairly breathable, and air circulates freely through the coil layer, so we detected minimal heat buildup during our temperature control tests. If you are an exceptionally hot sleeper, we recommend upgrading the mattress with a phase change panel sewn into both surfaces. Our testers noticed cooling bursts from these panels, which reduced heat buildup and kept the mattress at a comfortable temperature.

Brooklyn Bedding offers twelve sizes, including options for short queen and RV beds, and the company ships free to customers in the contiguous U.S. A 120-night sleep trial and 10-year warranty back Plank Firm Luxe purchases.

Best for Back Pain

Firmer WinkBed

Firmer WinkBed
Price Range: $1,149 - $2,049
Mattress Type: Innerspring
Firmness: Firm (7)
Trial length: 120 nights (30 night requirement)
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Sleepers who like the bounce of innerspring coils
  • People who tend to sleep or sit near the edge of the bed
  • Customers who want the peace-of-mind of a lifetime warranty
Highlights:
  • Plush Euro-top provides excellent cushioning
  • Coil system offers dynamic support
  • Lifetime warranty
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Get $300 off all mattresses

Bottom Line

We found that the Firmer WinkBed model is a great pick for sleepers over 130 pounds. The support system is sturdier in the middle to ensure your midsection doesn’t sink into the mattress core.

The WinkBed is a luxury hybrid available in four different firmness levels. After personally testing each design, we’re recommending the Firmer WinkBed (7) for anyone seeking a firm, supportive mattress. Our team was particularly impressed by the zoned coil system, which provided excellent reinforcement and pushback during our tests for ease of movement and edge support. The adaptive foam layers also contour evenly to reduce pain and pressure in the shoulders, lower back, and hips.

How It Performed

We noticed excellent overall stability when testing the Firmer WinkBed for edge support, and our testers could move across the mattress’ surface with relative ease. Temperature control was another highlight of our tests. We attribute the Firmer WinkBed’s excellent cooling to its moisture-wicking cover, gel-infused foam layer, and steady airflow throughout the coil system.

The mattress was particularly comfortable for the back and stomach sleepers on our team who weigh at least 130 pounds. Our side sleepers weighing more than 230 pounds also found the Firmer WinkBed sufficiently supportive. Lighter individuals may find this mattress too firm, but the Softer WinkBed (4) or Luxury Firm WinkBed (6) may be more suitable.

What It’s Made of

The Firmer WinkBed features adaptive polyfoam quilted into the cover, followed by a second foam layer. Despite the firm feel, our testers noticed a plush surface after getting onto the mattress and deeper cushioning as their bodies settled into the comfort system. The second layer is infused with cooling gel intended to dissipate body heat.

In the support core, thicker coils rest beneath your torso and hips – two areas where people tend to carry a disproportionate amount of weight. Most of our testers sank very little, if at all. This was especially true for the side and back sleepers on our team. The coils are also reinforced along the perimeter to protect the edges from sinkage. A cover made of eucalyptus-derived Tencel fabric encases the mattress. We noticed that this naturally breathable material made the surface feel cool to the touch.

Each Firmer WinkBed comes with a 120-night trial period. If you find this mattress feels too soft or too firm, you can exchange it for a WinkBed with a different firmness level at no extra cost. The replacement model comes with a 60-night trial. You’ll also receive a lifetime warranty against structural defects for the WinkBed you decide to keep.

Helix Twilight

Most Comfortable

Helix Twilight

Helix Twilight
Price Range: $699 - $1,449
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Firm (7)
Trial length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 10 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Couples
  • Sleepers who have a hard time getting out of bed
  • Side sleepers
Highlights:
  • Pocketed coils line perimeter for enhanced edge support
  • Pressure-relieving memory foam comfort layer
  • Free shipping to all 50 states
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Get up to $350 off + 2 free Dream Pillows

Bottom Line

Our side-sleeping testers over 130 pounds found the Helix Twilight comfortable compared to other firm mattresses. The reinforced perimeter also helped our testers who need assistance getting out of bed.

If you’re a side sleeper, most firm mattresses won’t provide enough cushioning or contouring for you to sleep comfortably. The Helix Twilight is a notable exception. The mattress contains two foam layers that adapt to the body, resulting in even weight distribution to alleviate pressure buildup in the shoulders and hips – a common issue among the side sleepers on our team.

How It Performed

Among our testing team, the side sleepers who felt most comfortable on the Twilight weighed at least 130 pounds. The mattress was also popular among our back sleepers of 130 pounds or more and stomach sleepers between 130 and 230 pounds. None of our testers struggled when moving across the Twilight’s surface, which we attributed to its strong coil system.

We’ve found that the Twilight sleeps quite cool. This is due to steady air circulation through the coil layer and a breathable knit cover to help the surface maintain a comfortable temperature. Our testers noticed minimal heat buildup on the surface when evaluating the mattress for temperature control. The Twilight’s firm, responsive feel also ensured strong performance during our ease of movement and edge support tests.

What It’s Made of

A memory foam comfort layer and polyfoam transitional layer make up the Twilight’s comfort system. While the mattress has a firm (7) feel, our testers noticed moderate yet even conforming from the Twilight’s foam layers. The support core contains pocketed coils with extra perimeter support. As a result, we felt strong pushback when lying near and sitting along the edges of the mattress.

If you’d like to upgrade, the Helix Twilight Luxe contains all of these elements as well as a pillow-top surface with additional foam padding. The side sleepers on our team weighing up to 230 pounds appreciated the plusher feel of this mattress. Twilight Luxe models also feature zoned support cores with thicker coils to reinforce the chest, stomach, and hips.

Helix offers free shipping to all 50 states. Twilight mattress purchases come with a 100-night sleep trial, and a 10-year warranty protects against structural defects.

Best Luxury

Saatva Classic - Firm

Saatva Classic - Firm
Price Range: $935 - $2,450
Mattress Type: Innerspring
Firmness: Firm (8)
Trial length: 365 Nights ($99 Return Fee)
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Split King, California King, Split California King
Who it's best for:
  • People who like the feel of an innerspring mattress
  • Sleepers who need extra lumbar padding
  • Shoppers who want free White Glove delivery
Highlights:
  • Available in 11.5-inch and 14.5-inch profiles
  • Memory foam lumbar pad alleviates pressure buildup in the lower back
  • Coil-on-coil design delivers firm support
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Buy more, save more. Get up to $500 off.

Bottom Line

The Saatva’s coil-on-coil design is firm where it counts but still has a bit of cushion thanks to its Euro-Top. The high-quality build edged out a lot of the competition during our durability tests.

The Saatva Classic is another luxury hybrid we’ve tested that’s available in multiple firmness levels. If you’re looking for sturdy support and a fair amount of responsiveness, we recommend the firm (8) feel. This mattress contains two coil layers. As a result, our testers noticed generous pushback and exceptional stability along the perimeter.

How It Performed

We found during our tests that the Saatva Classic’s dual-coil construction allowed the mattress to perform better than traditional hybrids in several key categories. Temperature control was one standout area. Both coil layers circulate air, and the cover is made of breathable organic cotton, so we didn’t detect much heat buildup on the surface. Our testers also noticed minimal sinkage along the edges, and none of us felt trapped when moving across the surface.

Our tests showed the firm Saatva Classic should be most comfortable for side sleepers weighing more than 230 pounds and back and stomach sleepers weighing at least 130 pounds. If you are lighter than these groups, the soft (3) or medium firm (6) versions of this mattress may be more suitable.

What It’s Made of

The Saatva Classic begins with a Euro-top surface containing foam and fiber padding to prevent the surface from feeling too stiff. A memory foam strip beneath your lower back can also promote even alignment and reduce pressure in the lumbar region and hips. The first coil layer consists of pocketed minicoils for transitional support, followed by a support core of low-gauge hourglass coils made from recycled steel.

You can choose between two profiles for your Saatva Classic. The 11.5-inch model contains 4-inch hourglass coils, while the 14.5-inch model contains 7-inch hourglass coils. If you’re seeking extra reinforcement, we recommend the latter – although both versions of the mattress proved highly supportive during various stages of our hands-on mattress tests.

After you’ve placed your order, Saatva works with you to coordinate free White Glove delivery that includes setup of the Saatva and removal of your existing mattress. You then have 365 nights to try it out with the option to return it for a refund, minus $99 deducted for return pickup. The mattress comes with a lifetime warranty to cover potential defects.

Plank Firm

Best Extra-Firm

Plank Firm

Plank Firm
Price Range: $699 - $1,499
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Firm (7), Extra Firm (9)
Trial length: 120 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 10 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split California King, Short Full, Short Queen, Olympic Queen, Short King, RV King
Who it's best for:
  • Sleepers who want an extra-firm option
  • People looking for a reversible firmness design
  • Those who put a premium on significant edge support
Highlights:
  • Flippable design with firm and extra firm options
  • One of the firmest feeling mattresses on the market
  • Optional cooling top panel enhances temperature regulation
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Brooklyn Bedding mattresses

Bottom Line

As the name implies, the Plank Firm doesn’t mess around with firmness. This model is the best bet for people over 230 pounds and anyone who’s had a hard time finding a mattress that’s firm enough.

Most of the flippable mattresses our team has tested feature at least one surface that falls between soft and medium. The Plank Firm is a solid choice for anyone who prefers to sleep on a firm mattress most nights. One side is firm (7), and the other is extra firm (9), the latter of which is among the firmest surfaces we’ve tested firsthand.

How It Performed

As a firmer-than-average mattress, the Plank Firm performed well in areas where other all-foam beds we’ve tested have fallen short. The edges felt highly stable to us, particularly on the extra firm side, and our testers could move across both surfaces with minimal sinkage. Above-average cooling was another quality we noticed throughout our tests. Even without the phase change panels, our temperature sensors detected very little heat buildup.

The majority of our testers preferred the Plank Firm’s firm side. In particular, our back sleepers over 230 pounds and stomach sleepers weighing at least 130 pounds felt comfortable and sufficiently supported on this surface. The stomach sleepers on our team weighing more than 230 pounds also enjoyed the extra firm side, but other testers found this surface too firm.

What It’s Made of

The Plank Firm’s firm side contains a top layer of soft fibers quilted into the cover, followed by a layer of TitanFlex polyfoam. We consider the TitanFlex a “best of both worlds” material that combines the traditional foam’s cushioning and latex’s responsiveness. Our testers noticed considerable bounciness when moving across this side of the mattress. The extra firm side does not feature any TitanFlex. We felt little to no contouring on this surface.

A support core of high-density polyfoam is located between the comfort systems. Our testers found that this layer provides excellent stability for each side. If you are a hot sleeper, we recommend adding a phase change panel to both sides of the mattress. This panel is sewn into the cover and intended to capture and remove body heat. While none of our testers felt excessively warm on either of the Plank Firm’s surfaces, we noticed a substantial difference in cooling and heat dissipation.

The Plank Firm is available in a total of 14 sizes. In addition to the six standard mattress sizes, you can choose a split California king if you and your partner share an adjustable bed base, an Olympic queen for extra width when sleeping with a partner, or several RV-friendly sizes. Brooklyn Bedding backs the mattress with a 120-night sleep trial. If you decide to keep the Plank Firm, you’ll also receive a 10-year warranty.

Helix Dawn

Best for Couples

Helix Dawn

Helix Dawn
Price Range: $799 - $1,549
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Firm (8)
Trial length: 100 Nights (30-Night Requirement)
Warranty: 10 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Back and stomach sleepers over 230 pounds
  • People who need strong edge support
  • Couples
Highlights:
  • Pocketed coil construction generates sturdy support
  • Mixed-foam comfort system offers light cushioning
  • Airflow through coils promotes ventilation
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Get up to $350 off + 2 free Dream Pillows

Bottom Line

The Helix Dawn is a great option for couples who prefer a more responsive surface for sex. The firm feel and coil system made the mattress easy for us to move across the whole bed without sinking at the edges.

Helix Sleep’s product line includes an extensive selection of hybrid mattresses, each designed for certain people based on body type, sleep position, and firmness preferences. The Dawn is the firmest of the brand’s luxury hybrids, and our test team rated it as an 8 on our 10-point scale. The foam layers offer a bit of surface cushioning, while a coil system gives the bed a responsive feel couples may enjoy for sex.

How It Performed

Our testers found the Dawn offered excellent reinforcement and should appeal to anyone who wants a firm mattress. The firm feel was best suited to back and stomach sleepers on our team who weigh more than 230 pounds, but those between 130 and 230 pounds should also appreciate the even surface. The coils helped the mattress sleep cool by generating consistent airflow throughout the interior.

If the Dawn sounds appealing but you’re looking for something slightly softer, the Twilight Luxe (7), Dusk Luxe (6), and Midnight Luxe (6) are also reasonably firm. Meanwhile, the Dawn Luxe upgrade may be a good fit if you’re looking for firmness with a bit more surface cushioning. This model has a pillow-top and zoned interior coils for extra support and a firm (8) feel.

What It’s Made of

The Dawn’s comfort system begins with a layer of polyfoam that slightly cushions the surface. Underneath is a polyfoam transitional layer that prevents your body from sinking into the coils. Our testers reported even contouring from head to toe and even support for your body, as well as some surface-level bounciness that made getting in and out of bed easier. The support core contains pocketed coils that reinforce the sleep surface with thicker low-gauge coils lining the perimeter to make the edges feel stable. A polyester cover encases the mattress, which measures 12 inches thick.

Helix Sleep offers free ground delivery to all 50 states. Your Dawn purchase includes a 100-night sleep trial for testing the mattress and a 10-year warranty against structural defects if you choose to keep it.

Bear Elite Hybrid - Firm

Best for Side Sleepers

Bear Elite Hybrid - Firm

Bear Elite Hybrid - Firm
Price (Queen): $2,111
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Firm (8)
Trial length: 120 nights (30-night break-in period)
Warranty: Lifetime warranty
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King
Who it's best for:
  • Back and stomach sleepers
  • Hot sleepers
  • People with pressure points who prefer a firmer mattress
Highlights:
  • Zoned comfort system offers targeted pressure relief to the hips and shoulders
  • Aerated foams and breathable support core prevent uncomfortable heat retention
  • 120-night sleep trial and lifetime warranty
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

30% off sitewide, plus 2 free Cloud Pillows with mattress purchase

Bottom Line

The Bear Elite Hybrid should serve co-sleepers well. Cushioning foams and a strong coil system ensure great edge support, easy movement across the surface, and good responsiveness for sex.

The Bear Elite Hybrid is available in three designs, the firmest of which we’ve placed as an 8 on our 10-point firmness scale. This version of the mattress caters to couples in several ways. Strong edge support allows you and your partner to use the entire mattress surface for sleep and sex, the sturdy coil system makes the surface responsive and easy to move across, and cooling components ensure excellent temperature regulation.

How It Performed

The firm Elite Hybrid’s most favorable ratings came from our side sleepers weighing more than 230 pounds, back sleepers weighing at least 130 pounds, and stomach sleepers between 130 and 230 pounds. Cushioning foam layers combined with a sturdy coil system made the mattress feel balanced and sufficiently supportive, particularly around the torso and hips, where people tend to carry more weight compared to other areas of the body.

We were also impressed by the Elite Hybrid’s temperature-regulating abilities. Our team attributes the mattress’ superior cooling to its breathable cover, copper-infused comfort layer, and coils that promote consistent airflow throughout the interior. None of our testers had a hard time moving across the mattress, and we noticed very little sinkage along the perimeter during our edge support tests.

What It’s Made of

The Elite Hybrid’s comfort layer is composed of memory foam infused with copper, which has natural cooling and moisture-wicking properties. A polyfoam transitional layer provides additional cushioning while maintaining even support for your body. While the mattress feels firm and supportive, we noticed even contouring and weight distribution from the foam layers. The polyfoam is also divided into five firmness zones, so we didn’t experience any sinkage around the midsection.

The support core consists of pocketed coils over a base layer of high-density foam. Strong pushback from the coils reinforces the zoned transitional foam, and all of our testers could lie comfortably on the mattress – even those weighing more than 230 pounds. A cover made from a Celliant-blend fabric encases the Elite Hybrid. Celliant is a textile engineered for exceptional breathability and heat dissipation. As a result, we felt minimal heat buildup when testing the mattress for temperature control.

Bear offers free shipping to customers in the contiguous U.S. and a 120-night sleep trial. Customers can return mattresses anytime after the 30-night break-in period. Elite Hybrid purchases come with a lifetime warranty that protects against structural defects.

DreamCloud Mattress

Best Medium Firm

DreamCloud Mattress

DreamCloud Mattress
Price Range: $799 - $1,499
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 365 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: Lifetime, limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • All sleep positions (back, side, stomach, combination)
  • Those who sleep hot at night
  • Sleepers over 130 pounds
Highlights:
  • Medium firm feel offers a versatile choice for many sleep preferences
  • Exceptional 365-night sleep trial
  • Quilted cover provides plushness, without excessive body sink
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

DreamCloud flash sale starting November 8: Get 25% off all products + $599 in free accessories

Bottom Line

We think the DreamCloud hits the sweet spot for most sleepers who weigh more than 130 poundsThis is especially true for side sleepers because the plush surface cushions pressure-sensitive areas without too much sinkage.

The DreamCloud feels a bit plusher than most of the other entries on our best firm mattresses list. This is largely due to its high profile and thick foam layers in the comfort system. The result is a balanced medium firm (6) feel, and we expect the mattress to appeal to a wide range of people across different body types and sleep positions.

How It Performed

As a medium firm mattress, the DreamCloud outperformed firmer hybrid models during several stages of our tests. The extra foam layers ensure above-average motion isolation, and our testers detected very little transfer when lying side by side. We also found that the mattress provides adequate cushioning for the shoulders and hips, making it popular with the side sleepers on our team – especially those weighing at least 130 pounds.

Our back and stomach sleepers also received adequate support from the DreamCloud. While the mattress was a bit too thick and plush for some of these sleepers, none of them reported excessive sinkage. Our testing also shows that the DreamCloud sleeps cool and feels relatively stable along the perimeter.

What It’s Made of

The DreamCloud features a pillow-top cushioned with adaptive foam, followed by memory foam and polyfoam layers. While the mattress felt supportive throughout our tests, we noticed deep cushioning and contouring from these layers. The support core consists of thick pocketed coils over a high-density polyfoam base. You may notice some pushback from these components, but not enough to compromise the foam’s pressure-relieving abilities or generate excessive motion transfer.

The entire mattress is encased in a cashmere-blend cover. Cashmere is a naturally breathable material with moisture-wicking properties, so our testers felt cool and comfortable lying on the DreamCloud and reported minimal heat retention. At 14 inches thick, the DreamCloud is a high-profile mattress and one of the thickest models we’ve tested. The extra height ensures plenty of room for foam layers without sacrificing coil support.

A below-average price-point and free shipping throughout the contiguous U.S. make the DreamCloud a good option if you’re shopping with a limited budget. We also recommend this mattress to anyone who needs extra time testing out their new bed, as all orders come with a sleep trial that spans 365 nights. DreamCloud backs the mattress with a lifetime warranty, as well.

Nolah Evolution 15 - Firm

Best for Spinal Alignment

Nolah Evolution 15 - Firm

Nolah Evolution 15 - Firm
Price Range: $1,099 - $1,699
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Firm (8)
Trial length: 120 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Back and stomach sleepers
  • Couples
  • Hot sleepers
Highlights:
  • Comfortable balance of strong support and light cushioning
  • Proprietary cooling cover and breathable coil support core limit heat buildup
  • Zoned coils provide targeted support and bolster the edges
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Get an additional $30 off the Nolah Evolution Mattress for total savings of $730 with code: SF730OFF

Bottom Line

The firm Evolution 15 feels remarkably stable for a mattress with such a deep comfort system. We didn’t sink too much when moving across the mattress or moving across the edges, yet most of the back and stomach sleepers on our team received adequate cushioning and didn’t feel pressure buildup.

The Nolah Evolution 15 is a luxury hybrid available in three firmness levels, including a firm (8) design for people who need strong support. We found this mattress very balanced and comfortable thanks to the Euro-top surface cushioned with thick foam layers and a zoned coil system that pushes back against areas of the body where our testers carry extra weight.

How It Performed

During our tests, the firm Evolution 15 was particularly popular among back sleepers. The most favorable ratings came from those weighing at least 130 pounds, but the mattress received “good” or better ratings across all weight groups. Stomach sleepers over 230 pounds also found the firm Evolution 15 comfortable and adequately supportive. For side sleepers, the medium (5) or medium firm (6) versions of this mattress will probably be more suitable.

Ease of movement was another area where this mattress performed well for our testers. The firmer feel and generous coil pushback allowed each tester to move across the surface without feeling stuck – a common issue for mattresses with deep foam systems. Other highlights of our tests included consistent cooling and stable perimeter support.

What It’s Made of

The Evolution 15 features adaptive foam quilted into the cover. This is followed by three additional foam layers. Each layer is progressively denser from top to bottom, so our testers felt different levels of cushioning and contouring as their bodies settled into the mattress. These foams also have an open-cell composition, so we didn’t notice much heat buildup.

Thicker coils beneath the torso and hips delivered enhanced support for each team member, including those who weigh more than 230 pounds. Additional perimeter support also made it easy for us to get on and off the mattress without much sinking or sagging at the edges. The entire mattress is encased in a cover made of proprietary cooling fabric.

Nolah ships free to customers in the contiguous U.S. The company offers a 120-night sleep trial, during which customers can return a mattress after a 30-night break-in period. Shoppers can also opt out of the sleep trial for a discount at checkout. Evolution 15 purchases come with a generous lifetime warranty.

Titan Plus

Best for Heavy Sleepers

Titan Plus

Titan Plus
Price Range: $699 - $1,299
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Firm (8)
Trial length: 120 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 10 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • People who weigh more than 230 pounds
  • Hot sleepers
  • Shoppers with limited budgets
Highlights:
  • Ultra-firm hybrid design provides excellent reinforcement
  • Optional phase change cover dissipates body heat on contact
  • Sturdy edge support helps you get in and out of bed with ease
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Brooklyn Bedding mattresses

Bottom Line

The Titan Plus may be geared toward people who weigh more than 230 pounds, but this mattress is suitable for anyone who needs above-average support to sleep comfortably. Consistent cooling, sturdy perimeter support, and a sex-friendly surface give the Plus an edge over many competing hybrids with softer feels.

If you weigh more than 230 pounds, you may need an exceptionally firm mattress to minimize sinkage around the midsection. The Titan Plus from Brooklyn Bedding registers as an 8 on our 10-point firmness scale, ensuring above-average reinforcement compared to other hybrid models. The top two layers provide gentle cushioning, but a sturdy support system stabilizes the mattress to keep your body aloft.

How It Performed

During our hands-on tests, the Titan Plus earned favorable ratings from our side, back, and stomach sleepers weighing more than 230 pounds. These testers were impressed with the stable feel and strong edge support, as well as how easily they could move across the surface. Back and stomach sleepers between 130 and 230 pounds also felt reasonably comfortable.

Our tests show cooling is a major strength of the Titan Plus. The GlacioTex cover is highly effective at dissipating heat — but even with the standard cover, the Titan Plus’ coils generate enough airflow to keep our testers comfortable. Given the bouncy feel, we also awarded the mattress high ratings for sex.

What It’s Made of

The Titan Plus begins with a memory foam comfort layer, followed by transitional polyfoam. These layers contour to a minimal degree but still distribute your weight evenly to reduce pressure in the shoulders, lower back, and hips. The support core consists of pocketed coils over dense base foam.

Standard Titan Plus models are encased in soft cotton-microfiber covers. For an additional fee, you can upgrade to a GlacioTex Cooling Cover composed of phase change material that captures and releases body heat to maintain a comfortable surface temperature. At 11 inches thick, the Titan Plus is considered a medium-profile mattress.

The Titan Plus is available in seven sizes, including a split California king for couples who use an adjustable bed. Below-average pricing for a hybrid and free shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S. make this mattress a solid choice for budget-conscious shoppers. You’ll also receive a 120-night trial period with your purchase and a 10-year warranty if you decide to keep the Titan Plus.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our testing team assigns a firmness value to every mattress we evaluate. We use a 10-point scale, ranging from 1 (softest) to 10 (firmest). For our best firm mattress picks, we exclusively looked at models with a firmness of 6 (medium firm) or higher. These include mattresses that are exclusively designed with firmer feels, as well as flippable models with at least one firm surface and mattresses sold in multiple firmness levels.

How We Evaluated These Mattresses

In all, we personally tested dozens of individual mattresses before deciding which models made our final cut. Our testers fall into groups based on weight and primary sleep position, so our findings should represent most sleepers regardless of their personal needs and preferences. For this list, we focused on defining qualities of firm mattresses such as surface feel and overall support. We also took pricing into account in order to make recommendations for shoppers on a budget.

To learn more about criteria we used for testing and rating firm mattresses, check out our product research methodology below:

  • Motion Isolation: This criteria refers to how effectively a mattress absorbs movement and prevents it from transferring across the surface. Motion isolation primarily concerns couples and other people who share their bed with someone else, as transfer can cause sleep disturbances.
  • Temperature Control: We evaluate temperature control based on a mattress’ ability to resist overheating and maintain a comfortable sleep surface temperature. Mattresses may sleep cool due to components with active cooling technology, or layers that passively promote airflow and breathability.
  • Pressure Relief: Many sleepers experience pressure buildup in areas such as the shoulders and hips. Mattresses can alleviate this discomfort and stop new pressure points from forming by cushioning your midsection and keeping your body on an even plane.
  • Off-Gassing: Off-gassing odor is common with new mattresses, particularly those that contain foam and other synthetic components. These smells generally dissipate within a day or two, but mattresses with more persistent off-gassing can lead to unpleasant sleep experiences.
  • Ease of Movement: A mattress that provides bounce and pushback will be easier for you to move across than a model that sinks beneath your weight. Although ease of movement is a strength of most firm mattresses, some models excel in this category more than others.
  • Edge Support: Mattresses with sturdy perimeter support feel relatively stable when you sleep close to the edges or get in and out of bed. This is another category where most firm mattresses perform well, especially those with mid-range profiles.
  • Sex: While preferences vary, most people prefer a responsive surface for sex that facilitates movements and provides good edge support. Cooling and temperature control are also important for this criteria.
  • Body Weight: During our mattress tests, we’ve noticed a strong link between body weight and preferred firmness level. Generally speaking, people who weigh at least 130 pounds and primarily sleep on their back or stomach feel most comfortable on firm mattresses.

Who is a Firm Mattress Best For?

Comfort is subjective, so there are no black-and-white rules about who should buy a firm mattress. The guiding principle we follow is that everyone should opt for the best fit for their needs and preferences. That said, there are general tendencies in terms of which people get the most benefit out of a firm bed.

We’ve found that two major factors play into the optimal firmness level: body weight and primary sleeping position. People who weigh over 230 pounds often prefer a firmer mattress because it keeps them from sinking too deeply into the bed, which can harm spinal alignment and cause overheating. The testers on our team who fall into this weight range typically prefer firmer mattresses over softer ones.

Firm beds tend to be a good fit for back and stomach sleepers. These sleep positions usually need a firmer feel to keep their abdomen and lumbar area from hyperextending, which can lead to lower back aches and pains. While there are exceptions, the table below provides an outline of the optimal mattress firmness level based on your weight and main sleeping position.

Weight Side Sleepers Back Sleepers Stomach Sleepers
Less than 130 Pounds Soft – Medium Medium Soft – Medium Firm Medium Soft – Medium Firm
130 to 230 Pounds Medium Soft – Medium Firm Medium – Firm Medium Firm – Firm
More than 230 Pounds Medium – Medium Firm Medium Firm – Firm Medium Firm – Firm

Sleeping Position

Your preferred sleeping position is closely tied to your ideal mattress firmness.

  • Side sleepers often struggle with a mattress that is too firm because it can generate uncomfortable impacts at their main pressure points, including the hips and shoulders. This is especially true for people under 130 pounds.
  • Back sleepers generally benefit from a firmer mattress that keeps their midsection from sagging into a U-shape that can strain the lower back.
  • Stomach sleepers have similar support needs as back sleepers but often prefer an even firmer bed. This helps ensure they don’t sink excessively due to their weight pulling downward, a sensation some of the stomach sleepers on our team have likened to “being swallowed” by their mattress.
  • Combination sleepers, who move between positions during the night, should feel comfortable on a firm mattress if they spend more time back or stomach sleeping. A firmer bed can also prevent feeling stuck in the mattress, making it easier to adjust positions during the night.

Body Type

Your body type and body weight can also affect how you experience the feel of a mattress. We recommend taking these factors into account when purchasing a firm mattress.

The more a person weighs, the more pressure they put on a mattress, so heavier people will sink more into any given bed. This means that people under 130 pounds tend to experience a firm mattress as very hard, but someone over 230 pounds may find it comfortable with the right amount of cushioning. Generally, as a person’s weight increases, so does their preference for a firm mattress.

Body Weight – Video

Watch this video from our Sleep Foundation Lab for a more in-depth look at how body weight affects the feel of your mattress.

How to Shop for a Firm Mattress Online

Buying a firm mattress online is both convenient and cost-effective. With a range of options to choose from and the ability to shop from home at your own pace, finding a great mattress is easier than ever.

We know it might seem odd to buy a firm mattress without feeling first testing it out to determine the firmness. Because of this, online mattress companies provide generous return policies known as sleep trials. This lets you use the mattress for a set period of time, usually 100 nights or more, with hassle-free returns. The sleep trial allows you to try the mattress in your own home, which gives you a far better sense of whether it will work for you.

Because there’s less overhead than with brick-and-mortar stores, it’s easy to find great deals for mattresses online. Mattress manufacturers frequently run promotions, and third-party sites like SleepFoundation.org often provide discounts or coupon codes to help you get the best price. Our site’s buying guides and reviews can also be a handy resource for finding the mattress that best fits your needs and budget.

Thanks to the compression process, online retailers can ship their “mattress in a box” for free, so shipping is almost always included in your purchase price. For standard ground shipping orders, the mattress is delivered directly to your doorstep. Some companies even include free installation or offer White Glove delivery for an extra charge. Ordering is as easy as a few clicks, and payment with a credit card or methods like Paypal makes finalizing your order simple. Some retailers even offer financing programs as well.

Buying Online vs. Brick and Mortar – Video

Watch the video below to learn the pros and cons of shopping for a mattress online or in a store.

Important Mattress Considerations

We know shopping for a new mattress can be overwhelming. Complex marketing campaigns can draw attention away from some of the most important considerations, and as a consumer, it’s easy to get lost in the weeds. For these reasons, we recommend staying focused on the following factors, all of which are likely to impact how satisfied you’ll be with your mattress purchase.

  • Mattress Type and Materials: We’ve found that the composition of a mattress is one of the most important factors driving its performance and durability. Each type has pros and cons, and identifying the type you’re most interested in can help you narrow the field for better comparison shopping. Read more about mattress types in the section below.
  • Price: Given how much you rely on your mattress to promote quality sleep, it’s a product worth investing in. Nevertheless, you have to work within your budget. A key factor to consider is how much you can realistically spend on a new mattress and any related accessories you might need, such as a new bed frame, sheets, or pillows.
  • Motion Isolation: If you share a mattress with someone else, good motion isolation can reduce the chances that your sleep will be disturbed by movement on another part of the bed. Firmer mattresses with less contouring usually transfer more motion, but the interior materials can significantly affect whether this transfer will disrupt your sleep.
  • Pressure Relief: A firm mattress can still provide pressure relief by sufficiently cushioning your pressure points. A slight amount of give, especially when tailored your weight, can contribute to proper spinal alignment.
  • Ease of Movement / Sex: Mattresses with responsive components are typically easier to move across than those with materials that sink beneath your weight. This factor is especially important for anyone who wants to effortlessly change their sleeping position or engage in intimate activities. Hybrid and latex mattresses tend to have the most bounce to facilitate movement.
  • Edge Support: You want your firm mattress to have that same feel across the bed, allowing you to effectively use the entire surface for sleep or sex. Strong edge support also allows you to sit on the edge of the bed without feeling like it is collapsing under you.
  • Temperature Neutrality: A mattress that retains heat can lead to a lack of sleep as you find yourself waking up in a sweat. If you tend to sleep hot, look for a mattress with materials that combat heat buildup.

Types of Firm Mattresses

If you’re not sure how to narrow down the available options, a good starting point is focusing on the types of mattresses available.

Each category of mattress has some shared characteristics of design and performance, but remember that there are exceptions. The type of mattress gives a sense of the likely feel, but the best information comes from digging into the details of any given brand and model.

Hybrid

Definition: Hybrid mattresses have two key components. The bottom component is the support core, which is built with innerspring coils. The top is the comfort system, and it is made with one or more materials like foam, latex, microcoils, wool, cotton, and polyester.

More Than Just Firm: With a strong base of coils, most hybrids have a firmer feel and quality edge support, but the comfort system brings extra benefits such as improved pressure relief and motion isolation. Most of the hybrids we’ve tested offer a good balance of cushioning and support.

Innerspring

Definition: An innerspring is made with one primary component, which is its innerspring support core. Unlike a hybrid, an innerspring has few materials that rest on top of the coils. Although there may be a thin amount of foam or fiber fill, it is usually not enough to strongly change the overall feel.

Reliably Firm: The lack of a developed comfort system means that innersprings tend to have a firm to extra firm feel. While they tend to lack pressure relief and motion isolation, most innersprings are reliably firm. The testers on our team who weigh more than 230 pounds typically feel most comfortable on innersprings.

Latex

Definition: Latex is a rubber material that can either be harvested from sap from trees or produced chemically. A latex mattress is made with interior layers that are exclusively latex, and in mattresses, that latex is most often natural rather than synthetic.

Pronounced Bounce: Latex can be designed to be different levels of softness, but it is almost always resilient and bouncy. A firm latex mattress makes it easy to move on the bed and often can provide mild pressure relief as well. During our tests, latex mattresses usually excel at ease of movement – especially compared to all-foam models.

Airbed

Definition: In an airbed, the support core is an air chamber that can be inflated or deflated to change the firmness. The air level is controlled by a smartphone or remote. There may be one or more layers above the support core to create a comfort layer.

Control Firmness at the Touch of a Button: No other mattress type provides as much control and flexibility as an airbed. With the push of a button, an airbed lets you make your bed feel harder or softer, allowing you to home in on your ideal firmness level. Airbeds typically ace our tests due to their customizable designs, and perform particularly well when we test for pressure relief.

Foam

Definition: All layers of a foam mattress are made with memory foam, polyfoam, fiber fill, or latex. Generally, the support core is high-density polyfoam, and one or more layers above serve as the comfort system.

Added Pressure Relief: Foams, especially memory foam, are able to hug the body by compressing in response to the amount of weight applied to them. Even in an otherwise firm mattress, this boosts pressure relief, which can be particularly useful to side sleepers. Firm all-foam mattresses usually earn their most favorable ratings from the side and back sleepers on our team weighing at least 130 pounds.

Accessories to Complement Your Firm Mattress

infographic of reasons why people buy new mattresses

infographic of reasons why people buy new mattresses

Picking out a firm mattress is step one to getting your bed set up to perfectly suit your needs. Once you have the mattress, though, it’s worth putting some thought into a few accessories to optimize your bed.

Pillows

The right pillow will help make sure that your neck is supported and in line with the rest of your spine. On a firmer mattress, the pillow won’t sink much into the bed, so you’ll notice more of the pillow’s loft. Pillows made with feathers, down, polyester, or shredded foam or latex allow you to manipulate the pillow into a comfortable position under your head, and this can be a big plus for side sleepers.

Back and stomach sleepers usually need lower-loft pillows, so thin pillows or models with a zippered cover that let you remove fill can be a good option. When a pillow is made with one piece of foam or latex, the loft is more stable. These pillows can work well on a firm surface as long as the selected loft matches with the support needs of the head and neck.

Mattress Toppers

If you’re looking for a firmer feel but don’t want to spring for an all-new mattress, a mattress topper can be a temporary solution. A topper usually has a thickness of 1 to 3 inches, and is designed to rest above your existing mattress and under your sheets. Toppers can be made of foam, latex, fiber fill, wool, or down.

A topper provides an easy way to change the comfort level of your mattress, but it won’t be as durable or reliable as a new mattress. In addition, if your existing mattress is sagging or showing signs of wear, that will drag down the performance of any topper placed on top of it. For this reason, a topper is most appropriate when you are on a tight budget or only need a minor or short-term adjustment.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is a firm mattress better for your back?

    While a firm mattress may be the best for one sleeper’s back, it could create pressure points for others. Your sleep position type and weight factor heavily into determining whether or not a firm mattress is better for your back. Generally speaking, the best mattress for your back is one that keeps your spine evenly supported. Support needs differ depending on how much you weigh and what position you sleep in.

    Our tests have shown firmer mattresses are best suited to back and stomach sleepers, especially those who weigh above 130 pounds. These groups may find that they sink into the core of a mattress that’s too soft, which can create an uncomfortable curve in the spine.

    A mattress that’s too firm can cause pressure buildup in some side sleepers and those who weigh less than 130 pounds. In order to choose the best mattress for your back, you should consider your mattress construction, weight, and sleep style. We recommend taking full advantage of a mattress’ sleep trial, as this is an excellent way to determine whether or not the firmness level is right for you.

  • What mattress types are most firm?

    People who prefer the feeling of sleeping ‘on’, rather than ‘in’, their firm mattress should consider innerspring or latex models rather than all-foam or hybrid.

    The latter two options usually have pressure-relieving foam comfort systems, making them feel subjectively softer. Innerspring beds typically have a thin comfort layer if they have one, while latex is naturally bouncier and more resilient than synthetic foams.

    All types of mattresses can be firm, but mattresses without pressure-relieving comfort systems usually feel subjectively firmer than those that include thick comfort layers. Pressure relief and firmness are not the same. A mattress that cradles the body can be firm enough to properly support people who need a firm or even extra-firm bed.

  • What is the best firm mattress?

    The best firm mattress satisfies all of your sleep requirements while providing the right amount of support. Knowing that you prefer a firm mattress is the first step in choosing a bed, but finding the right one also requires you to ask yourself other questions.

    In our experience with testing mattresses, we’ve learned sleep position is a particularly important consideration. Your primary position or positions will help determine the amount of pressure relief and support you need. Side sleepers, for example, can develop pressure points, aches, and pains on a firm mattress with minimal pressure relief. People who sleep on their backs, on the other hand, tend to need less pressure relief but may appreciate extra pelvic support in the form of ergonomic zoning.

  • Are firm mattresses better for sleepers with back pain?

    While a mattress that is too soft can cause or worsen back pain, the same is true for a mattress that is too firm. Instead of focusing on finding an extra-firm mattress, people with back pain should determine which mattress firmness is best for their body type and preferred sleep position. Your spine will not be properly aligned if your mattress is too soft, but an overly firm mattress can compress your joints and interfere with the natural curve of your spine.

  • Is mattress firmness the same thing as mattress support?

    Firmness and support are related but separate factors to consider when choosing a mattress. Mattresses that are too soft for your body will not offer the correct amount of support, but choosing a firmer mattress doesn’t necessarily mean it will be more supportive. In fact, an overly firm mattress can be unsupportive if it interferes with the natural curve of your spine.

    To determine the best firmness for your needs, take your weight and preferred sleep position into account. Rather than increasing your mattress firmness past this level, consider a bed with a robust support system — such as an ergonomically zoned hybrid mattress — if you require more support.

Still have questions?

Our product experts have extensive experience testing just about every sleep product on the market. Send an email to AskAnExpe[email protected] or call us at (877) 672-8966 with your questions and we’ll help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

About Our Editorial Team

author
Logan Foley

Certified Sleep Coach

Logan has extensive experience testing sleep products and producing sleep content. She is also a Certified Sleep Science Coach.