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While some people love the feeling of a plush mattress, others prefer the no-nonsense and ultra-supportive feel of an extra-firm mattress.

Extra-firm mattresses made by reputable brands are harder to find than other firmness options. That means it’s especially important to do your research and make sure you’re getting a quality product.

We looked into the truly extra-firm options available and picked the best of the best. Read on to find our top mattress picks, how to shop, and who might benefit from an extra-firm mattress.

Pros

  • might not sag as quickly as softer mattresses
  • good for back and stomach sleepers
  • compared with a plush mattress, an extra-firm mattress may provide better spinal alignment

Cons

  • may feel uncomfortable at first if you’re used to a soft mattress
  • might not be comfortable for people with back pain
  • might not provide enough pressure relief for side sleepers

We zeroed in on the best products made by reputable brands. Here are the criteria we used:

  • Firmness rating: Many brands use a number scale to determine firmness level, with 9 to 10 being the firmest. Otherwise, they use terms like “ultra firm,” “extra firm,” or “very firm.” Our picks are the firmest you can find.
  • Trial period: Our picks include at least a 100-night trial, either directly from the manufacturer or from a third-party retailer.
  • Warranty: Our picks have at least a 10-year warranty to give you peace of mind, just in case your mattress has a defect or wears out too quickly. Double-check the warranty before you buy, as not all warranties cover the same things.
  • Customer reviews: We considered customer reviews in our picks to find the best-rated and most-loved mattresses.

Types of extra-firm mattresses

  • Innerspring: a mattress made with coils or springs as the main support system
  • Foam: a mattress with foam as the main support
  • Hybrid: a mattress that has coils or springs at its core, with layers of foam for added comfort

Pricing guide

Prices on our list are based on queen-size mattresses. The actual cost might vary depending on the size of bed you purchase.

  • $ = under $1,200
  • $$ = $1,200–$1,600
  • $$$ = over $1,600

Best-rated extra-firm mattress

Plank by Brooklyn Bedding

  • Price: $$
  • Mattress type: memory foam
  • Trial length: 120 nights
  • Sizes available: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, Cal king, split Cal king, short full, short queen, Olympic queen, short king, RV king

Brooklyn Bedding says the Plank was created for people who think a firm mattress is never firm enough — and the firmness level is in the name.

This mattress is flippable, with a firm surface on one side and ultra-firm on the other. Reviewers say both sides are comfortable and love that they have two different firmness options to use over the life span of the mattress.

Overall, reviewers rave about their improved sleep and back pain. They also recommend getting the optional cooling panel for temperature control.

Pros

  • Being flippable extends the life of the mattress. When one side starts to sag or get soft, simply flip the mattress over.
  • Reviewers love the cooling panel, and it’s an inexpensive upgrade.

Cons

  • People who sleep on their side may find that this mattress is too firm to give them a neutral spinal alignment.
  • Couples who have different firmness preferences won’t find any room for compromise with this bed. It’s best if all parties agree that they’d like an extremely firm mattress.

Buy the Plank by Brooklyn Bedding online.

Best extra-firm foam mattress

Saatva Loom & Leaf Mattress

  • Price: $$$
  • Mattress type: memory foam
  • Trial length: 180 nights
  • Sizes available: twin, full, queen, king, split king, Cal king, split Cal king

The Loom & Leaf firm mattress is only an 8 on the Saatva firmness scale, but the brand says it’s a good option for back and stomach sleepers or anyone whose doc recommends they switch to an extra-firm mattress.

The foam is designed to resist trapping heat, so this is a great option for people who tend to sleep hot, too.

Reviewers say the mattress is super comfy and has great motion isolation. That makes it a good pick for couples, since you won’t feel your partner moving around at night. Reviewers also say that Saatva has amazing customer service that goes above and beyond.

Pros

  • The mattress is reinforced with a special back support layer in the middle of the mattress, which could help with pressure relief.
  • All materials are eco-friendly, plant-based, or certified organic, even the antimicrobial treatment used to make the mattress last longer.

Cons

  • Some reviewers say the foam doesn’t stay extra firm past 1 or 2 years of regular use.
  • Each Saatva bed is built to order, which means it could take weeks for your mattress to arrive.

Buy the Saatva Loom & Leaf Mattress online.

Best extra-firm cooling mattress

Cocoon by Sealy Chill Mattress

  • Price: $$
  • Mattress type: memory foam
  • Trial length: 100 days
  • Sizes available: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, Cal king

The Cocoon by Sealy Chill Mattress is made of all foam. The cover is made from a material designed to dissipate heat and create a cool-to-touch feeling.

Reviewers say they’re impressed with this mattress’s ability to stay cool, even though it’s made from foam, which is usually known to trap body heat.

Couples also really like this mattress, with many saying it has great motion isolation that prevents tossing and turning partners from waking each other up.

Pros

  • People who love this mattress seem thrilled with their purchase, mentioning that the bed is cozy without being too soft or sinking underneath you.
  • Most reviewers who have to deal with Sealy customer service have nothing but nice things to say about getting a resolution for their problems.

Cons

  • Some reviewers say that the mattress ended up needing an additional topper to get the firm-to-soft ratio just right.
  • This mattress may not feel firm enough if you have more body weight. You may want to opt for the hybrid version instead.

Buy the Cocoon by Sealy Chill Mattress online.

Best extra-firm mattress for back pain

Beautyrest Harmony Lux Carbon Series

  • Price: $$
  • Mattress type: hybrid
  • Trial length: 100 nights
  • Sizes available: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, Cal king

Hybrid mattresses can be great for people with back pain. The coils offer a lot of support, while the foam provides extra comfort.

This option from Beautyrest is made with pocketed coils and gel foam. Pocketed coils move independently and offer more targeted support than innerspring coils, which all move together. Gel foam also traps less heat than traditional memory foam.

Reviewers say this Beautyrest mattress is high quality, built to last, and the answer to their back pain. They love that it sleeps cool and offers substantial support that they haven’t been able to find elsewhere.

Pros

  • This mattress offers the right combination of firmness for both back and side sleepers that need spine support.
  • You can add a pillow top in a medium firmness if you want more of a cozy feel but don’t want to significantly alter the firmness.

Cons

  • Some reviewers say they could feel lumps underneath the memory foam layers, which caused discomfort.
  • You’ll have to wait a bit for this mattress. Most orders ship after 2 to 4 weeks.

Buy the Beautyrest Harmony Lux Carbon Series online.

Best budget extra-firm mattress

Amerisleep AS1

  • Price: $
  • Mattress type: hybrid
  • Trial length: 100 days
  • Sizes available: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, Cal king, split king

The Amerisleep AS1 is a memory foam bed in a box that comes with free shipping and returns.

It’s one of the most affordable options in our list of top picks, but many reviewers say it doesn’t compromise comfort or durability.

Since it’s made with Bio-Pur material, the brand claims this mattress doesn’t carry the same downsides as other memory foam beds. Instead, they say their design keeps you cool while remaining eco-friendly and responsive.

Pros

  • The mattress comes with a 20-year warranty and 100-night sleep trial to help ensure it’s the right bed for you.
  • Amerisleep makes the bed in the United States with Bio-Pur material designed for breathability and comfort.

Cons

  • Some reviewers say they didn’t find the firmness to be comfortable.

Buy the Amerisleep AS1 online.

Best extra-firm hybrid mattress

Serta Perfect Sleeper Mattress

  • Price: $
  • Mattress type: hybrid
  • Trial length: 120 days
  • Sizes available: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, Cal king

This Serta hybrid mattress offers an extra-firm feel to provide serious support. It features gel foam and a cooling cover, each designed to help you stay cool at night.

Reviewers say this mattress is comfortable and provides the sturdy sleep surface they were looking for. Some sleepers mention the firmness didn’t hold up for as long as they’d like, though.

Pros

  • You can choose to add additional layers of foam to your mattress order if you’re interested in keeping a firm, cool surface but need more back support.
  • Side sleepers especially might appreciate how this mattress hits the right amount of firmness while still contouring the spine.

Cons

  • Some reviewers are disappointed in the durability of this mattress, saying the coil system becomes uncomfortable after just a few years.
  • Serta’s customer service ranking with the Better Business Bureau is currently an F after customers were dissatisfied with their problem-solving.

Buy the Serta Perfect Sleeper Mattress online.

Best extra-firm mattress for stomach sleepers

Helix Dawn

  • Price: $
  • Mattress type: hybrid
  • Trial length: 100 days
  • Sizes available: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, Cal king

The Helix Dawn is the firmest mattress that Helix currently offers. Reviewers say that it’s firm enough to feel like you’re on top of the mattress (as opposed to sinking into it), and they give the mattress high marks for edge support and motion isolation.

The mattress is firm enough that stomach sleepers will feel supported. But if you prefer to sleep on your side, you may feel like this bed doesn’t offer enough contouring to your liking.

Pros

  • You’ve got a 100-night trial and a 10-year warranty to protect your purchase.
  • Helix mattresses are made in the United States.

Cons

  • Side sleepers and combination sleepers may not feel this bed suits their needs.
  • The memory foam has a cooling feature but upgrading to a heat-wicking cooling cover costs extra.

Buy the Helix Dawn online.

Best extra-firm mattress for couples

The WinkBed

  • Price: $$$
  • Mattress type: hybrid
  • Trial length: 120 nights
  • Sizes available: twin, twin XL, full, queen, Cal king

The WinkBed is known for its breathability and pressure relief. The firmer option earns great reviews from people with more weight and from couples, who love the motion isolation it provides. Couples who left reviews say the mattress works well for a variety of body types and sleeping styles.

If the firmer option still isn’t firm enough, consider the “plus” option, which offers additional firmness.

Pros

  • It offers support but also has a cozy, soft feeling thanks to the pillow top.
  • Targeted lumbar support for individually wrapped coils may help relieve back pain.

Cons

  • Side sleepers may find that this bed doesn’t offer enough support.

Buy The WinkBed online.

Best extra-firm eco-friendly mattress

Avocado Green Mattress

  • Price: $$$
  • Mattress type: hybrid
  • Trial length: 365 days
  • Sizes available: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, Cal king

Avocado prioritizes their materials, using organic latex, and their mattresses are dye- and formaldehyde-free. They also offer you an entire year to try out the mattress.

Most online reviewers are happy with their Avocado Green purchase, though some say it takes time to get used to it.

Pros

  • The company uses eco-friendly materials and sustainable manufacturing practices.
  • Coils are arranged in ergonomic zones to provide extra back support.

Cons

  • It’s expensive for what amounts to be a pretty simple hybrid mattress.
  • Stomach sleepers and people with more weight might not find the mattress as firm as they want.

Buy the Avocado Green Mattress online.

Read our full Avocado Mattress Review.

Best adjustable extra-firm mattress

Saatva Solaire Adjustable Firmness Mattress

  • Price: $$$
  • Mattress type: hybrid
  • Trial length: 365 days
  • Sizes available: twin XL, full, queen, king, split king, Cal king, split Cal king

This mattress can be as firm or plush as you want, and you can adjust it according to your preferences. If you get a queen size or bigger, each side of the bed can pick their preferred firmness.

There are no coils in the mattress. Instead, air chambers that can be adjusted to your preferences are underneath the layers of memory foam. This bed is quite expensive, but some couples with different firmness preferences say they couldn’t be happier.

Pros

  • Saatva offers a 365-night trial and lifetime warranty on this mattress.
  • Saatva offers free delivery and setup, which is helpful since this bed has electronic components.

Cons

  • It’s the most expensive mattress on this list.
  • You need a special base to make the most of the adjustable options this mattress offers.

Buy the Saatva Solaire Adjustable Firmness Mattress online.

ProductPriceMattress typeTrial lengthWarranty length
Plank by Brooklyn Bedding$$foam120 nights10 years
Saatva Loom & Leaf$$$foam180 nights15 years
Cocoon by Sealy Chill Mattress$$foam100 nights10 years
Beautyrest Harmony Lux Carbon Series$$hybrid100 nights10 years
Amerisleep AS1$foam100 nights20 years
Serta Perfect Sleeper Mattress$hybrid120 nights10 years
Helix Dawn$hybrid100 nights10 years
The WinkBed$$hybrid120 nightslifetime
Avocado Green Mattress$$$hybrid365 nights25 years
Saatva Solaire Adjustable Firmness Mattress$$$hybrid365 nightslifetime

An extra-firm mattress is a very good choice for back and stomach sleepers who require extra attention to their natural spine alignment, such as if they seek relief from back and joint pain.

Other potential good candidates for an extra-firm mattress are:

  • Heavier sleepers. For people with more weight, an extra-firm mattress may provide the support needed.
  • Back sleepers. Back sleepers generally need to maintain a good posture as they sleep, so a firm mattress may help keep their spine lifted and supported.
  • Stomach sleepers. Stomach sleepers also typically need a firmer bed, which can help prevent the back from curving into a painful or unnatural position.

It might be tempting to assume that a firmer mattress means a more supportive mattress, but that isn’t really the case. Firmness doesn’t refer to overall support. Rather, it refers to how the top layer of the mattress feels.

Mattress firmness is generally rated on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the softest and 10 the firmest. However, not every company rates their mattresses the same way, meaning one company’s level 5 may feel different from another company’s.

The firmness of a mattress is ultimately measured by the amount of “give” it has when someone lies down on it. The firmest mattresses have the least amount of give. In contrast, the least firm mattresses feel soft and plush, and they sink when someone lies on top of them.

Firmness is just one factor that can add to the comfort level of your mattress. Here are some others to keep in mind as you shop:

  • Mattress type: Whether you choose an innerspring, foam, or hybrid mattress is based on preference. If you’re not sure what you like best, hybrid mattresses can be a great option since they incorporate elements from both innerspring and foam mattresses.
  • Motion isolation: Motion isolation refers to a mattress’s ability to absorb motion. If you share a bed with a partner, a mattress with good motion isolation can ensure no one’s awakened by any tossing and turning.
  • Pressure relief: Mattresses with pressure relief allow for some contouring near areas that bear the most weight at night, like the hips or shoulders. Extra-firm mattresses don’t allow a ton of sinking, making pressure relief harder to find. If you need pressure relief, look for mattresses made with foam on top for some added comfort and contouring.
  • Temperature control: Some mattresses use specific materials to prevent body heat from trapping or create a cool-to-touch feel. If you tend to sleep hot, try looking for mattresses that incorporate this technology.
  • Edge support: A mattress without good edge support will sink if you sit on the edge of it. This can cause sagging over time or make your bed less comfortable if you’re sharing with a partner.

Trying your mattress in a store before you buy might be helpful, but the true test for any mattress is sleeping on it.

Whether you’re buying online or in a store, make sure your mattress has an in-home trial with a return option if it doesn’t work for you.

Purchasing a new mattress is a fantastic start to creating a more comfortable bed, but there are other considerations as well:

  • Mattress topper: A mattress topper will keep the support of a firm mattress while adding a more cushioned sleep surface.
  • New pillow: Generally speaking, pillows should be replaced every 1 to 2 years, or, if your pillow isn’t comfortable, sooner than that.
  • Fresh sheets: A new set of sheets can freshen up your sleep space. For those who run hot, there are sheets designed to help keep you cool as you sleep.
  • A new comforter: Whether you prefer some weight to your comforter or a light, airy alternative, make sure your comforter meets your needs so you can get a great night’s rest.

Who should sleep on an extra-firm mattress?

Mattress firmness can make or break your night’s rest, but the type that’s best for you depends on personal preference. It’s important to find mattresses with solid trial periods that allow you to return the mattress if it’s not the one for you.

What sleeping position is best for extra-firm mattresses?

In general, back and stomach sleepers may prefer firmer mattresses, as the mattresses offer greater support and prevent that sinking-in feeling.

But whether you prefer a firm or extra-firm mattress largely depends on what you find most comfortable.

Is an extra-firm mattress good for back pain?

Research from 2015 found that custom-inflated medium-firm mattresses are best for those with lower back pain. So, if you’re experiencing lower back pain, an extra-firm mattress might not be the best fit for you. Instead, try opting for a lower firmness rating.

Do doctors recommend extra-firm mattresses?

Doctors recommend sleeping on a mattress that promotes neutral spinal alignment and deep sleep. A 2021 review suggests that a medium-firm mattress is the best option for getting this result. Keep in mind that the best mattress for you (and your doctor’s recommendation) will be personalized based on your body type, sleeping position, and other health factors.

Extra-firm mattresses are less common than firm, medium-firm, or plush mattresses. Not every major mattress manufacturer offers an extra-firm option.

Whether an extra-firm mattress is right for you largely depends on your personal firmness preferences. People with back pain might not find relief from a super-hard mattress.

If you decide to purchase an extra-firm mattress, make sure your purchase comes with a solid in-home trial period to make sure the firmness is really what you’re looking for.


Kathryn Watson is a freelance writer covering everything from sleep hygiene to moral philosophy. Her recent bylines include Healthline, Christianity Today, LitHub, and Curbed. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children, and her website is kathrynswatson.com.


Ruby Thompson is a market editor at Greatist. She recently graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism with a master’s degree in journalism, specializing in media innovation and content strategy. Outside of work, she spends most of her time snuggling her cocker spaniel pup, taking barre classes, and wishing she knew how to cook.