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You’ve got your sleep style down and you know what kind of bed you want. Now you’re on the hunt for the best firm mattress you can find. Well, we can help! In this guide, you’ll find our list of the best firm mattresses of 2020!
The best firm mattress is not necessarily rock hard. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. In our mind, the best firm mattress will be firm but not unyielding. It will have a combination of firmness, comfort, and support. Keep reading to learn more.
Quick Picks for the Best Firm Mattress
- Best Overall — Layla
- Smart Mattress — Eight Sleep Saturn+
- Hybrid — Kaya
- Luxury — Aviya
- Customized — Saatva
Later, we discuss the details of why these mattresses made our list of top firm mattresses and a whole lot more.
What are the Benefits of a Firm Mattress?
The best firm mattresses will provide a host of benefits to sleepers of all types. Some noteworthy benefits include:
Support – firm beds provide ample support where you need it most. This helps to reduce the risk of back and neck problems, and keeps you sleeping soundly.
Spinal Alignment – firm mattresses can help to keep your spine aligned properly by providing even support. With that said, you don’t necessarily want to go too firm, as that can cause uneven support.
Weight Distribution – firm mattresses do a great job of providing good weight distribution support. In other words, they support your whole frame, instead of just certain areas. This is particularly important for heavier folks.
Durability – by nature, firmer materials sag less and last longer. While those super-soft mattresses might be comfortable at first, they simply don’t have the same durability as a hard mattress.
Who Should Sleep on a Firm Mattress?
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution in the mattress world. Some folks will do best on firmer beds, while others will get better sleep on softer models. Here are some of the groups that tend to sleep well on firm beds:
Sleepers with Back Trouble – If you have back pain or health problems associated with back pain, you probably need the support that is offered by the firmest mattress. With back problems, you really need a mattress that is firm enough to keep your back aligned without allowing you to sink like a soft mattress might. Although, experts warn that sleepers with back pain don’t necessarily need a super firm mattress, and might do well with a medium-firm. See our guide to the best mattresses for back sleepers for more information.
Stomach Sleepers – If you sleep on your stomach and your mattress is too soft, it could cause your pelvis to sink, which can lead to back problems due to a misaligned spine. The top firm mattresses will stop your back from arching, which will help to avoid unnecessary problems. See our guide to the best mattresses for stomach sleepers to learn more.
Heavier Sleepers – If you are overweight, or just a large person in general, you’ll likely sleep better on a firm mattress. Firmer bed models have a better ability to support your body evenly, keeping your spine aligned properly. Soft beds, on the other hand, can create too much sag for heavy sleepers, which can lead to discomfort.
Who Shouldn’t Sleep on a Firm Mattress?
Lighter Sleepers – While a firmer mattress is advised for heavier sleepers due to sinkage and other factors, lighter sleepers might want to avoid firmer mattresses for the same reason. If you don’t carry a lot of weight, even the best firm mattress may be too firm and not allow enough give for you to sleep comfortably.
Personal Preference – If you’re someone who prefers the “hug” of a soft mattress that conforms more to your body, you’ll probably want to avoid firm mattresses. This is a matter of personal preference, so it’s going to be somewhat subjective – but it’s important to recognize your own likes and dislikes when choosing a new mattress.
Top Firm Mattresses of 2020 – Our Picks
Key Features: Flippable – mattress can be medium-firm or soft, depending on preferences; very affordable & well reviewed
Price Range (Twin-Cal. King): $499-$999 when you use coupon code SLEEPZOO
Risk-Free Trial: Try it risk-free for 120 nights
Layla is one of the most popular beds available from online retailers. It’s quite unique in the fact that you can flip the bed and sleep on either side. This makes it quite a versatile choice. The firm layer is a solid medium-firm, which is ideal for a lot of sleep positions. The soft side is comfortable without having too much sag.
Layla has several layers, with the top and bottom being made up of copper-infused memory foam. This blend has excellent cooling properties, because copper is highly conductive. Also, this bed provides incredible value, with prices starting from under $500 with our coupon code, SLEEPZOO! You can start with a 120-night trial for this mattress, so for the first 4 months you can return the mattress if you’re not happy with it.
Eight Sleep Saturn+
Key Features: Advanced smart features that track sleep quality and duration; solid medium-firm support
Price Range (Full-Cal. King): $699-$949
Risk-Free Trial: Try it risk-free for 100 nights
The Eight Saturn+ is the firmest model from Eight Sleep, which falls into a solid medium-firm rating in our tests. It’s an extremely comfortable bed, that’s versatile enough to be used by a variety of people, in a variety of sleep positions.
Where this model gets particularly interesting, though, is in the smart features. It comes with a smart cover that rests on top of the mattress. This cover syncs with your smartphone and smart home setups, and can do a lot to improve your sleep. It tracks 15 different factors, including heart rate, respiratory rate, sleep cycles, and more. It can even wake you up at the ideal time – based on your sleep pattern – using a smart alarm!
With the 100-night risk-free trial offer, coupled with a 10-year warranty, it’s clear that Eight Sleep stands behind their beds.
Key Features: Combines firm support (from coils) with softness and comfort of foam; best-in-class 20 year warranty
Price Range (Twin-Cal. King): $725-$1245
Risk-Free Trial: Try it risk-free for 120 days
Kaya is an innovative hybrid mattress that combines 5 layers: pocketed coils, transition foam, memory foam, responsive HD foam, and a ThermoGel infused cover. These layers provide the perfect combination of firm support (primarily from the coils) and luxurious comfort from the foam – while the cooling cover rounds things out by helping you avoid sleeping hot.
Kaya is offered at an incredibly reasonable price. We’d call it a medium-firm, or perhaps a medium – so, if you’re after a very firm mattress, this probably isn’t the best choice. With that said, Kaya Sleep truly stands behind their products with a 120-day risk-free trial offer and an incredible 20 year warranty.
Key Features: Hybrid mattress design utilizing coils and foam; multiple firmness levels available
Price Range (Twin-Cal. King): $699-$1299
Risk-Free Trial: Try it risk-free for 100 nights
Aviya is a luxury hybrid mattress at an affordable price. The company utilizes a combination of coils and foam to deliver superior comfort and great support. There’s also more customization options available than with many similar retailers; you can choose from soft, firm, or extra firm when selecting a bed.
For a hybrid model (which are typically on the pricey side), the Aviya provides excellent value. It’s backed by a 10-year warranty, and there’s a 100-night risk free trial to start off with. You can also take advantage of low pricing with an Aviya mattress coupon code.
Key Features: Highly customizable with tons of options; several firmness levels
Price Range (Twin-Cal. King): $649-$1399
Risk-Free Trial: Try it risk-free for 120 nights
Saatva offers three options for your mattress in terms of firmness. They have the Plush Soft, the Luxury Firm (which rates between 5-7 on the firmness scale) and the Saatva Firm, which rates 8 out of 10 in terms of firmness. Saatva mattresses are made with coil on coil construction. There is a bottom layer of coils and a top layer, which is individually wrapped. This eliminates the feeling of motion transfer. The mattress is finished off with a memory foam layer, a euro pillow top, and an organic cotton cover. You can even use this mattress with an adjustable base.
While Saatva mattresses are reasonably priced, financing is available for those who need it. You’ll get 120 nights for a trial, so you have plenty of time to determine if Saatva will work for you. If not, you can let them know and they will handle picking up your mattress, so you won’t be charged!
If you want to find the best firm mattress, those are some of your options. Our Mattress Guide offers plenty of information on the best mattresses for any firmness or sleep style.
Wondering why you should trust us and our recommendations? Here’s why:
Experience – Our team’s expert opinions have been featured in publications including Fatherly, Bustle, Brit + Co, and more. We have many years of experience in the mattress industry.
Testing – We conducted many hands-on tests of some of the most popular mattress models. We recognize that these first-hand experiences are essential to providing real value to our readers, so we spared no expense in testing the models we identified as top contenders.
Research – To help round out our own findings, we looked at many online resources. We heard from experts at Consumer Reports and other trusted firms, and looked at tons of online reviews. We focused on 2020 firm mattress reviews to get the latest “word on the street” from real, verified customers.
Interest – Everyone sleeps, but few are as obsessed with sleep than we are! Our writers report regularly on the latest fascinating sleep news, the newest and most exciting sleep science, and the most helpful sleep tips. Knowledge is power when it comes to getting better sleep, so we do our best to provide our readers with the resources they need.
How We Chose the Best Firm Mattress of 2020
There are a staggering number of different mattress models out there – so how did we possibly choose the best ones? In our search, we focused on these factors:
Firmness – while this one should be somewhat obvious, it’s also quite important. We focused on finding models that fell in the medium-firm to firm range. In most cases you won’t want a hard mattress, so we narrowed it down to models in the sweet spot of support levels.
Comfort – some firm models tend to sacrifice comfort for the sake of firmness – which we just don’t understand. You can definitely have the best of both worlds, so we focused our efforts on identifying models with excellent comfort (both initial and long-term).
Cooling – some mattress models tend to “sleep hot”, which can be a problem for those living in hot climates or those who simply run warm at night. We focused on models with good cooling properties.
Motion Transfer – since many of our readers share their beds with a partner, we sought to identify beds with minimal motion transfer. The models we chose have excellent motion isolation, meaning you won’t disturb your partner by tossing and turning or even getting out of bed.
Value – we want our readers to sleep better, and (unlike the mattress store down the street) we don’t want them to spend a fortune on a new mattress. We chose beds that are affordable and provide excellent value.
Perks – when buying a mattress online, it’s important to know that you have some flexibility if things don’t work out. Even the best firm mattress might not be the right fit for everyone. So, we chose models that offer great extended trial periods, typically of 3 months or more. We also went with companies that have good warranties and helpful customer service.
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