Find a firm mattress
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We spend about a third of our lives sleeping (yes, you read that right), which means finding a comfortable mattress is more of a necessity than an option. However, a mattress shopping mission can be quite the chore without good information. If you’re one of those people who tends to find the dreamiest sleeps on a firm mattress, we have some recommendations for you along with a bit of advice on who makes a good candidate for a firm mattress.
Firm mattresses are generally those that fall at 7 or greater on the 10-point firmness scale (note that 7 is sometimes considered medium–firm). The firmness scale is an objective scale that’s used pretty consistently across the mattress industry, but keep in mind that this firmness scale is not strict science.
When buying a new mattress, you’ll want to find something that is firm enough to offer support, but still soft enough that it will contour and conform to your body. Ideally, you want something that’s supportive but doesn’t irritate pressure points. Personal preference and sleep position are equally important considerations here.
Firm (or medium–firm) mattresses usually work best for back sleepers or stomach sleepers, whereas side sleepers will typically find more comfort on a softer mattress. Firm mattresses are also recommended for people with lower back pain.
Here are a few of our favorite firm mattresses, each ranking at least a seven out of ten on a firmness scale. You can always find more on our mattress reviews page.
Made in Los Angeles using organic, natural, and non-toxic materials, the Brentwood Home Ojai Mattress is a medium–firm mattress option that’s both comfortable and supportive and falls at an 8/10 on the firmness scale. The company offers free shipping and a 120-day trial period.
Brentwood Home gets a perfect score (five stars!) in our mattress reviews. See why: check out House Method’s Brentwood Home mattress review.
Most Zinus mattresses are available in various levels of firmness, and they are super affordable (none of our Zinus recommendations here exceed $450 for a queen). For a firm mattress, choose from the Pressure Relief Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress, Cooling Gel Memory Foam Mattress, and Cooling Pocketed iCoil Spring Mattress.
Beyond free shipping, Zinus’ 100-day trial period lets you make sure you love your mattress. If not, you can send it back within the first 100 days for a full refund.
Airweave mattresses fall at around 8.5–9.5/10 on the firmness scale, making them some of the firmest mattresses out there and excellent for back and stomach sleepers. Rather than made of foam or innersprings, Airweave mattresses use a patented “airfiber” technology.
While only one firmness option is available, the company says you can adjust the firmness of its mattresses by changing the base (a slatted frame will make the mattress feel a bit softer, and a solid frame will make the mattress feel more firm). Airweave ships free within the contiguous United States and offers a 60-day return period for a full refund.
Known to be one of the most eco-friendly mattresses out there, the Avocado Green Mattress lands at a 7/10 on the firmness scale. It’s designed to keep your spine aligned, so you’ll notice that the lumbar area of the mattress is more firm to offer support, whereas the pelvic and shoulder areas are softer. Shipping is free (aside from the pillow-top king, which costs $99 to ship), and you’ll have the opportunity to take advantage of Avocado’s 100-day trial period.
Supportive and made of all-natural materials, the eco-friendly and hypoallergenic Zenhaven by Saatva mattress comes in two firmness options. Choose gentle-firm for a mattress that falls somewhere around a 7–8/10 on the firmness scale. Shipping costs start at $99 and will be reimbursed if you decide against the mattress during your 120-day home trial period.
What do you look for in a new mattress? We asked three people in their 20s, 40s, and 60s what’s most important to them in getting a good night’s sleep.
So, why are mattresses so expensive? Many mattresses are pricey, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find something affordable if you’re working with a limited budget. Learn why mattress prices can be so high and how to find a cheaper option.