When shopping for a new bed, it’s important to take into consideration your sleep style and mattress preferences when choosing the appropriate firmness. For example, back and stomach sleepers tend to do well on a firmer mattress because it provides the proper support to relieve pressure points and maintain the spine’s natural curvature. Softer mattresses, on the other hand, are better suited for side sleepers because they allow the hips and shoulders to sink into the mattress, relieving tension.When you’re searching and reading mattress reviews for a new firm mattress, some brands stand out amongst the crowd. High-quality foam and springs are often dependable signals of a better night’s sleep. In this guide, we’ll talk about the benefits of buying a firm bed as well as how to go about finding the best firm mattress for yourself.Best Firm Mattress: 30-Second SummaryThe Amerisleep AS2 is our recommendation for the best firm mattress of 2020. Its breathable cover and plant-based memory foam create a cooler, less-toxic sleep surface. Plus, this bed features Amerisleep’s HIVE® technology which provides the perfect balance of comfort and support for instant pressure relief.Best Firm Mattresses MattressHighlightPriceAmerisleep AS2Features HIVE® technology for superior pain relief.$979AvocadoEco-friendly latex foam with a slight bounce$1189Nest Alexander Signature HybridZoned support base with pocket spring coils$1499Nolah Signature 12”Breathable AirFoam® contours and supports the back$1569Original Purple®2 inches of Purple’s® "No-Pressure" grid$1099When you’re searching for a new firm mattress, some brands just stand out. Below, we’ve outlined five medium-firm to firm mattresses that deliver the perfect support for tension relief and a more peaceful night’s sleep.1. Amerisleep AS2Amerisleep offers five memory foam and three hybrid mattresses—each with a different firmness level. For a firmer feel, we recommend the AS2 because the medium-firm comfort level of this bed is ideal for back sleepers and those looking for relief from back pain.The AS2 features three different types of foam—a comfort layer of Bio-Pur® foam, a transition layer with zoned support, and a base of Bio-Core® foam.On the AS2, sleepers rest on an ultra-soft cover that wicks heat and moisture away from the body, so you never have to worry about overheating. Beneath this cover is a layer of Amerisleep’s plant-based memory foam, Bio-Pur®. This foam contours to the body to support each curve and relieve pressure points.Unlike traditional memory foam, Bio-Pur® is made with a portion of plant-based oils. The use of more eco-friendly material creates a bed that is less toxic and safer for you to rest on. Plus, Bio-Pur® is more breathable than traditional foam, so the surface of this bed remains cool and inviting.Beneath the Bio-Pur® foam is a transition layer featuring HIVE® technology. This layer contains thousands of hexagonal cutouts on the surface of the foam. Near the hips and shoulders, these cutouts offer more cushioning to prevent pressure build-up. Around the head, back, and legs, cutouts are closer together to create firmer support. HIVE® ensures that each area of the body has the perfect amount of cushioning and support for full relaxation.Supporting both of these advanced layers is a base of Bio-Core® foam. This layer maintains the structure of the bed and helps prevent sagging and indentations.The AS2 also comes in a hybrid model. If you prefer the slight bounce that comes with an innerspring bed but also want the pressure relief of foam, a hybrid mattress is a great option.The AS2 Hybrid features the same lightweight cover and plant-based memory foam, but this model has a base of pocketed spring coils. These coils move independently for contouring and motion isolation. Plus, like HIVE® technology, they are zoned to support each area of the body differently. Around the hips and shoulders, the springs provide more cushion. Near the back, they are firmer and offer more stability.When shopping with Amerisleep, they offer a 20-year warranty on each of their mattresses. Plus, they include a free 100-night trial period that allows you to test out the bed at home. Amerisleep wants you to be happy with the comfort and support of your new mattress.2. Avocado Green MattressIf you are looking for an organic bed, the Avocado Green Mattress is a great choice. This bed features only eco-friendly materials and offers a medium-firm comfort level perfect for those in need of a firm bed.The softcover of the Avocado Green is made of GOTS organic cotton and wool. The wool is a natural flame retardant, allowing Avocado to eliminate all toxic chemicals from their mattress.The comfort layer of this bed features GOLS organic Dunlop latex foam. This foam provides contouring around the curves of the body to relieve tension. The firmness Dunlop also keeps the torso lifted and in alignment with the head, which is needed when resting on your back.Supporting this layer is a base of pocketed spring coils. These coils are arranged in 5 ergonomic zones that provide a balance of firmness and compression. With increased edge support, there will also be very little motion transfer with this bed. The combination of Dunlop latex and the coil system gives this mattress a firmness similar to an innerspring mattress.Avocado Green offers a 10-year risk-free trial and a 25-year warranty.3. Nest Bedding Alexander Signature HybridThe Nest Bedding Alexander Signature Hybrid allows you to customize the firmness. When shopping with Nest, you can select either a plush, medium, or luxury firm comfort level. If you are looking for a mattress with more firmness, we recommend the luxury firm option.This hybrid mattress features a thermic phase changing cover that regulates body heat to keep you cool and relaxed. Beneath this cover is ½ an inch of Nest’s gel memory foam. This foam hugs the body for instant pressure relief. Plus, the gel infusion absorbs body heat from the surface of the bed, so there is minimal heat retention.A layer of Nest’s TitanChil Endurance Foam® lies beneath this comfort layer. TitanChil® is infused with Titanium to create a cooler night’s sleep. This layer is also responsive enough to keep the heaviest parts of the body lifted to ensure correct alignment.The TitanChil Foam® is supported by a SmartFlow Support® transition layer and a base of spring coils. The spring coils on the Nest Alexander move independently to form to the body more efficiently and for better motion isolation. This base is also reinforced with edge support to make getting in and out of the easier.A high-density polyurethane-foam layer lies beneath this spring coil system. This base provides even more durability. All foam layers have a CertiPUR-US® certification, so you can rest assured it is safe for those with allergies and other sensitivities.Nest offers a 100-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty.4. Nolah Signature 12”The Nolah Signature 12” comes with two firmness options—a medium-soft side and a firm side. Depending on your sleep positions, you can flip the mattress to suit your needs. For back sleepers, the firm side offers a stable support for the back and ensures proper alignment.The firmer side of the Nolah Signature features 1-inch of AirFoam™ memory foam. This material supports body weight evenly to maintain a safe, neutral spine. It provides just the right amount of cushioning to alleviate tension and firmer support to the lower back and head. This combination allows the muscles to relax and rebuild. AirFoam™ is also more breathable than traditional memory foam, so you always sleep cool and comfortable.If you are a side sleeper, you may prefer the medium-soft side of this mattress. This side has 2.5 inches of AirFoam™ and a response layer to prevent sinking.Supporting both sides is a base of high-density poly-foam that helps the mattress keep its shape throughout years of use. The cover of the Nolah Signature 12” is made of organic unbleached cotton, so you can be sure it is free of harmful pesticides. This cover also wicks away body heat for a cooler night’s sleep.Nolah offers a 120-night sleep trial to ensure the mattress is right for you. They also provide a lifetime warranty to cover any manufacturing defects, such as excessive sagging.5. Purple® OriginalPurple® is a popular bed in a box mattress brand that offers a unique no pressure support grid. The three layers of this bed work together to create a medium-firm comfort level that provides adequate support to the lower back.The top layer of the mattress consists of a stretch knit cotton that promotes air circulation around the surface of the bed. Beneath this cover is 2 inches of Purple®’s proprietary grid. The Purple Grid™ is made of Hyper-Elastic Polymer® specifically designed to withstand all types of pressure. No matter your body type, this grid hugs muscles and joints for instant tension relief.The elasticity of this material also prevents sinking, so the spine remains neutral. Plus, open-air channels throughout the grid push warm air away through the sides of the bed.Supporting this grid is two layers of poly-foam. Purple® calls these layers their Dual Layered Comfort Foam. The layer beneath the grid is soft and offers a deeper compression for sensitive areas like the hips and shoulders. The bottom layer is made of a high-density foam that maintains the structure and integrity of the bed. Both of these foam layers come with CertiPUR-US® certifications. This backing guarantees the bed will have very little “new mattress” smell.Purple® offers a 100-night sleep trial period and a 10-year warranty with each of their mattresses.Mattress Firmness Scale: From Soft to HardMattress firmness is rated on a scale of 1 to 10—1 being the softest and 10 being the firmest. Your sleep position and body type can determine the firmness level you’ll find most comfortable.Soft mattress (1 to 2 on the firmness scale): The best mattress for lightweight sleepers and side sleepers should be on the softer side. Since lightweight sleepers tend to sink less, they need a softer bed for adequate contouring.Medium-Soft Mattress (3 to 4 on the firmness scale): Suitable for lightweight sleepers and side sleepers. This firmness will cushion the hips and shoulders, but will also prevent sinking, so the spine stays neutral.Medium mattress (5 on the firmness scale): Ideal for side sleepers, combination sleepers, and couples. This firmness balances cushioning and support. A medium is suitable for couples with different preferences.Medium-Firm Mattress (6 to 7 on the firmness scale): This firmness is perfect for heavy sleepers, back sleepers, and those with back pain. The increased support prevents sinking, which can force the spine out of alignment.Firm Mattress (8 to 10 on the firmness scale): As with medium-firm, a firm mattress is suitable for stomach sleepers, back sleepers, and heavy sleepers. This firmness will prevent the chest from sinking when resting on your stomach. Plus, it will also keep the hips and shoulders aligned when back sleeping.Those Who Benefit From a Firm MattressFirm mattresses are beneficial for spinal alignment, posture, and back pain. However, firmer beds may not be the best mattresses for everyone. Firm beds are best suited for the following.Back or Stomach SleepersBack sleepers benefit from a bed that supports the natural curvature of the spine. If you sleep on your back, but you can put a hand between the lumbar spinal curve and the mattress, you may not benefit from such a hard sleep surface. Medium-firm beds are considered the best mattresses for back sleeping because they cradles the back, but also keeps the torso lifted and the spine neutral.Stomach sleeping forces the spine to curve unnaturally. This curve puts pressure on the back and neck. Those who prefer stomach sleeping need a mattress that is firm enough to keep the hips lifted to eliminate some of this curve. With a more neutral spine, the tension in the back will release.Heavy SleepersThose who weigh more than 250 pounds may not sleep well on a softer mattress. A soft bed can cause heavy sleepers to feel “stuck” in the mattress, making it difficult to move around.Even if a soft bed starts out feeling comfortable, it won’t benefit respiration and circulation, which can lead to poor sleep. A firmer mattress offsets that sinking quality and allows the lungs to expand.Less sinking also minimizes the likelihood that circulation will become restricted.Overheated SleepersFirm mattresses may keep you cool at night. Soft beds tend to envelop the body. For someone whose core body temperature tends to rise during sleep, a soft bed can cause night sweats. When we overheat, it can cause us to wake up and make it difficult to fall back asleep.When looking for a comfortable cooling mattress, keep in mind—a firm bed won’t sink, so there will be less insulation around your body. Unlike soft mattresses, a firm bed will allow more airflow—resulting in less nighttime sweating.Those With Poor CirculationUnlike softer mattresses, firmer beds allow your body to move while you sleep, which improves circulation. Softer mattresses hug against your body, affording you less room to move or adjust during the night. Less mobility can lead to circulation problems, minor aches and pains, and blood flow issues that can get worse over time.Back Pain SufferersTo alleviate back pain, the spine should be kept neutral. For a safe sleep position, the torso should remain lifted so the curve of the spine is not exaggerated, which can lead to tension build-up.The best mattresses for back pain are usually medium-firm. This comfort level is firm enough to ensure proper alignment, but it’s also soft enough to cushion pressure points and cradle the lower back.Arthritis SufferersAs with back pain, a neutral spine can help alleviate symptoms of arthritis. A firmer mattress ensures proper alignment and permits more mobility. With more freedom of movement, the joints will feel less stiff in the morning.Trying Out Your New MattressIf you are switching from a soft bed to a firm one, you may need to give your body time to adjust. As you shop, be sure you have a trial period of at least 30 days. This length of time will help you determine whether or not the comfort level is supporting you correctly.Most reputable online mattress companies offer a 100-night sleep trial to give you plenty of time to become accustomed to your new bed. If you are not happy with the mattress, they will arrange for pick-up and issue you a full refund.On the other hand, many in-store retailers will only offer return policies with their beds. These return policies usually span 30 to 60 nights and give you the option to return your bed if you’re unsatisfied.Frequently Asked QuestionsIs an extra firm mattress good for your back?Those who suffer from back pain typically find a firm mattress most comfortable. This firmness provides sturdy support to the back and prevents sinking. When the torso falls, it can force the sink out of alignment, putting pressure on the back muscles and creating tension. When the back is fully supported, back muscles can relax, and tension can release.When shopping, be sure to read the customer feedback for each model. Mattress reviews can help you determine whether or not the firmness is designed to support the back. Some mattress brands even offer specific technologies and support layers that target back pain.Which mattress is best, a firm or soft mattress?The answer to this question depends on your sleeping position. Those who prefer back sleeping and stomach sleeping tend to be most comfortable on a medium-firm to firm mattress. This firmness level ensures the torso remains lifted and in alignment with the head, so you wake with fewer aches and pains.Those who prefer side sleeping find medium and soft mattresses more suitable. This comfort level ensures the heaviest parts of the body, the hips and shoulders, are cushioned to relieve pressure.How often should I replace my mattress?If you are resting on an old mattress, chances are, it is no longer supporting you correctly. We recommend replacing your bed every 7 to 10 years. A high-quality memory foam mattress will last around 10 years, while latex mattresses last approximately 12 to 13 years.What are the standard mattress sizes?In the United States, mattresses come in standard sizes—twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, or California king. Queen size mattresses tend to be the most popular because they are suitable for couples and solo sleepers. Couples who feel cramped on a queen mattress may want to upgrade to a king, which offers 5 more inches of width. Taller individuals may prefer a California king which is 4 inches longer than a queen.How can I adjust the firmness of my current mattress?If you have a soft mattress and would like to increase the firmness, you can add a mattress topper. As you shop, be sure to select a topper with a firm feel. Latex foam or memory foam toppers tend to have a medium-firm to firm comfort level that can provide more stability to a soft mattress.ConclusionAdequate sleep is the key to better health. A bed suited to your specific needs can help you find the rest you need to feel your best. Finding the right mattress may take some time, but a good night’s sleep is well worth the effort.This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.