Best Firm Mattress of 2024 – CNET

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an overview of the original Nectar mattress

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Firm mattresses aren’t for everyone but if you are a stomach sleeper, it can be a lifesaver. You might not realize but the extra firmness helps to promote proper spine alignment. This can help alleviate pain and discomfort in your neck, back and hips. Firmness is a scale, so just because you need a firmer bed doesn’t mean you’ll sacrifice pressure relief. The level for you depends on your support needs and personal sleep preference. Medium-firm mattresses offer some pressure relief, while firm mattresses offer maximum support. 

I have tested over 100 different mattresses throughout my career and have slept on the job for hours in honor of curating our CNET best lists. For our best firm mattress review, we compiled a list of the most comfortable hybrid mattresses, affordable firm beds, memory foam models and more. Read on to find your ideal mattress match. 

Continue on below to find your ideal mattress match. 

What is the overall best firm mattress?

A person touching and feeling the top of the firm Saatva Classic mattress

Getting a feel for the Saatva Classic mattress.

Jonathon Gomez/CNET

The Saatva Classic is a high-end mattress available in three different firmness levels and two height profiles. Considering each mattress is made to order, you’ll essentially get a customized bed made to fit your preferences. It also has an ultra-supportive design, unlike most beds I’ve tested. Inside, the Saatva Classic boasts two coil layers and extra lumbar reinforcements. 

Note that all prices quoted are the list price for a queen size, not inclusive of the frequent deals that mattress makers offer.

Read more: Mattress Firmness Scale Explained

Best firm mattress: Video

Watch CNET video producer Owen Poole review the best firm mattresses.

Best firm mattresses of 2024

Helix Dawn mattress: The Helix Dawn bed is a very supportive hybrid mattress that’s as firm as firm beds can get, similar to Plank. Rated around a 9 to 10 on the firmness scale, it could be a great firm mattress pick for stomach or back sleepers under 230 pounds who want maximum support at an affordable price. I also like its general foam feel; it’s similar to the foam in your favorite comfy couch. It’s more breathable and more responsive to pressure than memory foam. 

GhostBed Flex Mattress: Rated a 6 to 7 out of 10 on the mattress firmness scale, the GhostBed is classified as a medium-firm mattress. It’s made of a combination of latex-like memory foams that have a soft, springy feel, but also provide enough support so you don’t feel like you’re sinking into the mattress (and then waking up in pain). It also has two rows of reinforced coils around the edge of the bed that hold the layers up and contribute to excellent edge-to-edge firmness level support.

Read more: Best Mattress for Side Sleepers for 2023


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team member laying on the edge of the Nectar mattress

Video producer Wes testing out the edge support on the Nectar mattress

Wesley Ott/ CNET

CNET editors pick the products and services we write about based on editorial merit. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission. 

To test firm mattresses, we use our own instincts and pay close attention to how firm a bed feels. Particularly in comparison to other mattresses. We look for how the foam responds to our body, how far we sink into the bed and how supportive a bed feels in each sleeping position. If a bed presses strongly into our shoulders and hips while lying on our side, that’s a good indicator that it’s firm. 

Read more on how we test mattresses.


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Sleeping position

firm mattress sleeping positions visual that shows alignment for back, stomach and side sleepers

CNET

Back and stomach sleepers are the types who usually sleep most comfortably on a firm mattress. Side sleepers typically like softer beds that offer pressure relief to the hips and shoulders. If you’re a side sleeper, you may not want a firm bed. 

Weight 

The lighter you are, the firmer a mattress is going to feel. People under 150 pounds will likely perceive a medium-firm bed as firm. The opposite is true for heavier sleepers; the heavier you are, the softer a bed is going to feel. If a bed is rated around medium-firm and you weigh 245 pounds, it will likely feel closer to a medium instead. Keep this in mind when you’re shopping for a bed so you choose the most suitable one. 

Firmness type

All firm beds aren’t made to be the same. Beds that are considered firm land between six and 10 on the firmness scale. Beds rated around 6 to 8 are considered among the medium-firm range, while 8 to 10 is firm territory. Medium-firm beds offer both pressure relief and support, while firm beds offer maximum support. 


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The best firm mattress will depend on your personal preferences, body type and sleeping style. We found that some of the best firm mattresses that range from medium-firm to firm include:

  • Saatva Classic
  • Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe
  • Plank
  • Avocado Green
  • Nectar
  • Purple Rejuvenate
  • WinkBed
  • Dreamfoam Doze
  • Helix Plus

It primarily depends on your favorite sleeping position. If you’re a back or stomach sleeper, a firm mattress does a great job of keeping your neck and spine in proper alignment.

Hotels tend to furnish their rooms with beds that fall in the medium to medium-firm range. That way, they can accommodate a wider range of sleeping position options because the beds aren’t too firm or too soft. 

Latex foam mattresses are generally the firmest compared with other foam mattresses, followed by innerspring mattresses. With that being said, there are plenty of softer latex mattress and innerspring mattress options on the market, too. It’s difficult to generalize about firm bed mattresses when there are so many different ones on the market.

If you sleep on your back or stomach, a firm mattress can keep your spine and neck in a straight alignment to prevent you from sagging into the bed and experiencing back pain. If you’re a side sleeper, a firm mattress can push into your body and promote a curved spine.

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