Sleep is vital to our overall health and well-being, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in three adults don’t get enough rest. And when it comes to quality sleep, the firmness of your mattress can make a significant difference. In fact, research suggests medium-firm mattresses are best at reducing risk of lower back pain and improving sleep quality.
How can you tell if you need a new mattress? On average, a mattress should be retired after seven to 10 years. If you’re waking up with body pain, you’re tossing and turning all night or you just can’t seem to get a restful night’s sleep, it’s probably time to invest in a replacement.
To find the best firm mattresses, we analyzed data on more than 650 mattress options and ranked them in terms of mattress firmness, affordability, comfort, their try-and-return policies and more. See which mattresses made the list. Note: This ranking focuses exclusively on queen-size mattresses. Prices are accurate as of the publication date, and availability of mattresses is subject to change.
Best Firm Mattresses of 2022
Sealy Essentials Pillow Top Mattress
Price: $649 | Type: Hybrid | Sleep trial length: 100 nights
Made in the U.S., the Sealy Essentials Pillow Top Mattress offers extra cushioning, support and airflow with SealyCool gel foam and SealyCool air gel foam technologies, both of which are certified for safety by the CertiPUR-US program. With an open coil design and reinforced SolidEdge foam border to increase durability, this firm mattress is available in heights ranging from 5.5 inches to 13 inches. When purchased from an authorized retailer, the mattress is backed by a 10-year limited warranty.
Bear Original Mattress
Price: $749 | Type: Foam | Sleep trial length: 100 nights
With a firmness level of 7.1 out of 10, Bear’s Original Mattress comes with a lifetime warranty and 365-day free return policy. Both CertiPUR-US certified and GREENGUARD Gold certified, it’s free of dangerous chemicals and pollutants. The mattress cover is woven with breathable Celliant fibers to keep you cool while you sleep, and the graphite gel memory foam interior uses open cell construction to help increase airflow and adapt to your body. Shipping is free within the continental U.S., and the mattress usually arrives in two to seven business days.
Linenspa 10-Inch Memory Foam Hybrid Mattress
Price: $299.99 | Type: Hybrid | Sleep trial length: 30 nights
The Linenspa 10-inch memory foam hybrid mattress is a medium-firm option with a 1.5-inch layer of memory foam on top of 2.5 inches of comfort foam and a 6-inch base of steel springs and foam. The mattress is designed to be durable and supportive, and its CertiPUR-US certification confirms no harmful chemicals or fire retardants are used in the production of the mattress. It comes with a 10-year limited warranty, as well as a “no questions asked” 30-day return policy. Arriving in about two to seven business days, the mattress ships free in the continental U.S.
Dreamfoam Chill Memory Foam Mattress
Price: $419.20 | Type: Foam | Sleep trial length: 120 nights
The high-density base foam of the Dreamfoam Chill Foam Mattress comes in a variety of thicknesses—from 6 inches to 14 inches— to accommodate all sleeping styles. The 6-inch and 8-inch models are the firmest (firm and firm-medium) and recommended for back and side sleepers, and the 10-inch, medium-firm model suits back, side and stomach sleepers. Each layer of foam utilizes open cell technology to increase airflow. Dreamfoam is hypoallergenic and CertiPUR-US certified, and all options come with a 10-year limited warranty. The brand also uses an environmentally-friendly Nano Stain Terminator Finish, which helps protect the mattress against stains and spills. Shipping is free.
Helix Twilight Mattress
Price: $1,099 | Type: Foam | Sleep trial length: 100 nights
Incorporating Helix Soft Touch Design to increase softness and airflow, the 12-inch Helix Twilight mattress is firm enough for side sleepers. Layers of Memory Foam Plus, Helix Dynamic Foam and high-grade polyfoam combined with 8 inches of individually wrapped coils offer comfort and lumbar support while contouring to your body. A perimeter of coils offer additional support. Purchase of this CertiPUR-US certified mattress includes a Soft Touch Design mattress cover to help maximize airflow and is backed by a 10-year limited warranty. Delivery times vary and shipping is free in the U.S.
Amerisleep AS1 Mattress
Price: $899 | Type: Foam | Sleep trial length: 100 nights
Amerisleep’s firmest mattress option, the 10-inch AS1 model is designed for back and stomach sleepers and is compatible with any bed frame. Its eco-friendly, plant-based Bio-Pur memory foam uses an open cell design to promote airflow and keep you cool at night. The AS1’s Refresh Cover is made from scientifically-engineered fibers that draw body heat away from the skin, turning it into infrared energy, which helps improve sleep quality and increase blood circulation. Made in the U.S., this CertiPUR-US certified mattress is low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs), backed by a 20-year limited warranty and ships free in seven to 10 business days.
Casper Original Foam Mattress
Price: $1,295 | Type: Foam | Sleep trial length: 100 nights
With Casper’s 4D Sleep Technology, the Original Foam mattress has four body-contouring layers consisting of polyurethane foam, zoned memory foam and durable base foam, all CertiPUR-US certified and tested for low VOC emissions. Features include Zoned Support to optimize spinal alignment, AirScape to increase airflow and a Signature Casper Feel mattress cover. The mattress is covered by a 10-year limited warranty. Shipping is free in the continental U.S. and delivery usually takes three to nine business days.
Layla Memory Foam Mattress
Price: $949 | Type: Foam | Sleep trial length: 120 nights
A flippable mattress, Layla’s Memory Foam Mattress has two sides, allowing you to choose between soft (a firmness level of four out of 10) and firm (a firmness level of seven out of 10). Made with layers of CertiPUR-US certified copper gel memory foam, airflow foam and base foam for breathability, airflow and support, the mattress is backed by a lifetime warranty. The copper in Layla’s gel memory foam is antimicrobial to keep your mattress fresher, and the copper’s increased conductivity helps carry heat away from your body to keep you cool. Shipping is free, and mattresses arrive within three to five days of order placement in 48 states; transit time varies by location.
Price: $1,249 | Type: Foam | Sleep trial length: 101 nights
The Puffy Mattress (a firmness level of six to eight out of 10) is designed to be versatile, accommodating back, side and stomach sleepers. Its five layers include a stain-resistant and hypoallergenic Cloud Cover, breathable Cooling Cloud foam, supportive Climate Comfort foam, 6 inches of high-density Core Support foam and a grip base cover for stability. Puffy’s memory foam is gel-infused to keep sleepers cool at night, and all materials are CertiPUR-US certified and low in VOCs. Made in the U.S., the mattress comes with a lifetime warranty, free shipping and arrival within two to five business days in 48 states.
Sleep Innovations Shiloh 12-Inch Memory Foam Mattress
Price: $339.99 | Type: Foam | Sleep trial length: 0 nights
A quilted cover tops a 2.5-inch layer of advanced Suretemp memory foam and 9.5 inches of Premium Base Foam in the CertiPUR-US certified Shiloh Mattress. Its dual layers are designed to support sleepers while keeping them cool. The product is available at retailers including Amazon, Walmart and Wayfair; shipping time varies. Made in the U.S., Sleep Innovations mattresses are backed by a 10-year warranty.
To determine the best firm mattresses, we analyzed data on more than 650 mattress options, ranking them in terms of:
- Free shipping availability
- Free returns availability
- Sleep trail availability and length
- Warranty length and details
- Mattress thickness
- Mattress firmness
- Pillow top option availability
- The brand’s reputation in the industry
For this specific ranking, we focused exclusively on queen size mattresses. Star ratings were determined solely by our editorial team.
What Constitutes a Firm Mattress?
Mattress firmness is ranked on a scale of one to 10, from softest to firmest. A rating of seven to nine, or firm, means the mattress has almost no sinkage and little contouring. A rating of nine or 10, or extra firm, means there is no visible sinkage or contouring at all. Mattresses rated between seven and 10 are best for individuals weighing over 230 pounds and stomach sleepers who like extra support when they sleep.
Some brands—mainly boxed beds—sell mattresses with a universal medium-firmness to appeal to a broad range of sleepers, says Thomas Tozer, a chiropractor at Imperium Chiropractic in Wisconsin. “I think firmness and supportiveness often get confused. I always recommend a supportive mattress. Support comes from the materials used to build the product—the quality and number of springs, the quality of the foam or gel used, or the combination of these materials. I tell people to consider getting a mattress that is on the firmer side because you can always make a mattress softer by adding a mattress topper,” he says.
Benefits of a Firm Mattress
One of the biggest benefits of a firm, supportive mattress is proper posture support and spinal alignment while sleeping, says Tozer, but the mattress should be comfortable as well.
Because we remain in our beds for hours, it’s very important to be in a sleeping position that gives our spine support, says Sheetal DeCaria, M.D., a double board-certified anesthesia and pain-management physician and owner of Revitalize Medical Center in Illinois.
“A firmer mattress—versus a very soft one—provides needed support for our spine,” says Dr. DeCaria. “When we are in a sagging mattress, our muscles are overworking to try to support us, and it can lead to pain.”
How to Choose the Best Firm Mattress for You
In order to make the best decision, make sure you understand the firmness level, materials used and overall feel of the mattress, says Tozer.
Choosing the right firmness is truly a personal preference. “Different types of mattresses (air, memory foam, latex, innerspring, hybrid) offer different firmness options,” says Tozer. “By purchasing a mattress that comes with a warranty and trial period, you can feel more confident that you will be able to find the right mattress for you.”
When you lay on a mattress, it needs to support the natural curvature of your spine, says Dr. DeCaria. “If someone were to look at you from the side, your head, shoulders and heels should fall within neutral alignment. If it’s too firm, it will cause pain in the pressure points of your body. If it’s too soft, your spine will not be supported, leading to strain and pain,” she says.