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- Best budget extra-firm mattress: Sealy Extra Firm Hybrid Mattress
- Best foam extra-firm mattress: Saatva Loom & Leaf
- Best extra-firm mattress for back pain: Beautyrest Harmony Lux Carbon
- Best innerspring extra-firm mattress: Serta Perfect Sleeper Trelleburg II Extra Firm Innerspring Mattress
- Best cooling extra-firm mattress: Cocoon by Sealy Chill Mattress
- Best rated extra-firm mattress: Plank by Brooklyn Bedding
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 an extra-firm mattress might work best for.
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.” All of our picks are the firmest you can find.
- Trial period. A solid trial period is super important. That way, you can test the mattress and make sure it’s truly the firmness level you want. All our picks include at least a 100-night trial, either directly from the manufacturer or from a third-party retailer.
- Warranty. All mattresses are at risk of eventual sagging, but this can be more noticeable to people who want the firmest bed possible. 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 fast. Be sure to double-check the warranty before you buy, since not all warranties cover the same things.
- Customer reviews. We considered customer reviews in all our picks to find the best-rated and most-loved mattresses.
Prices on our list are based on queen-sized mattresses. Costs may vary depending on the size of your bed.
- $ = under $900
- $$ = $900–$1,600
- $$$ = over $1,600
Best extra-firm foam mattress
Saatva Loom & Leaf (Firm)
- Price: $$$
The Loom & Leaf firm mattress is only an 8 on the Saatva firmness scale, but the brand says it’s ideal for back and stomach sleepers or anyone whose doc recommended they switch to an extra-firm mattress.
The foam is designed to resist trapping heat, so this is a great option for people who tend to sleep hot, too.
Reviewers say the mattress is super comfy and has great motion isolation. That makes it a good pick for couples, since you won’t feel your partner moving around at night. Reviewers also say that Saatva has amazing customer service that goes above and beyond.
Best rated extra-firm mattress
Plank by Brooklyn Bedding
- Price: $$
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 take advantage of 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.
Best extra-firm cooling mattress
Cocoon by Sealy Chill Mattress
- Price: $$
The Chill Mattress is all foam. The cover is made from a material that’s supposed to dissipate heat and create a cool-to-touch feeling.
Reviewers say they’re really impressed with this mattress’s ability to stay cool, even though it’s made from foam, which is usually known to trap body heat.
Couples also really like this mattress, with many saying it has great motion isolation that prevents tossing and turning partners from waking each other up.
Best extra-firm mattress for back pain
Beautyrest Harmony Lux Carbon
- Price: $$
Hybrid mattresses are 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 of each other and are known to 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.
Best budget extra-firm mattress
Sealy Extra Firm Hybrid Mattress
- Price: $
The Sealy Extra Firm Mattress is a hybrid bed-in-a-box with pocketed coils and a memory foam layer.
It’s a great pick if you’re trying to avoid spending a lot. Reviewers say this mattress is super comfortable and supportive.
Keep in mind that the memory foam layers might make this mattress feel a little softer than expected. But underneath the memory foam is a firm coil layer that reviewers say gives the right amount of support.
Best extra-firm innerspring mattress
Serta Perfect Sleeper Trelleburg II Extra Firm Innerspring Mattress
- Price: $$$
This Serta extra-firm innerspring mattress uses pocketed coils to provide serious support. It also has a thin layer of gel foam to provide some extra comfort while still maintaining its firmness.
Reviewers say this mattress is sturdy and the firmness really holds up without sagging. Some die-hard innerspring fans don’t love the gel foam layer on this mattress, but many reviewers appreciate the extra layer of comfort.
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 lays 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 down when someone lies on top of them.
Firmness is just one of the factors that can add to the comfort level of your mattress. Here are some other factors to keep in mind as you shop:
- Mattress type. Whether you choose an innerspring, foam, or hybrid mattress is based on personal 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 you don’t wake each other up if you toss and turn a lot.
- 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 for a ton of sinking, which can make pressure relief harder to find. If you know 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 feeling. If you tend to sleep hot, try looking for mattresses that incorporate this kind of technology.
- Edge support. This term refers to the amount of support on the edges of a mattress. 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 actually sleeping on it.
Regardless of whether you’re buying online or in a store, make sure your mattress has an in-home trial with the ability to return if it doesn’t work for you.
Also, if you’re a big fan of extra-firm mattresses, stick to brands with solid warranties.
Many mattresses can start to sag over time. This can be more noticeable in extra-firm mattresses. Choosing products from reputable brands with good warranties can help prevent sagging from becoming an issue.
Purchasing a new mattress is a fantastic start to creating a more comfortable bed, but there are other considerations as well.
Consider the following:
- Mattress topper. Try adding a softer, fluffier layer to your extra-firm mattress by purchasing a mattress topper. It’ll 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. Give yourself a fresh start with a new pillow to go with your new mattress.
- 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. Consider this top layer of your bedding when creating your best sleep environment. 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?
Research on extra-firm mattresses is limited, but a 2011 study found that mattress firmness in general affects pain, sleep, and daytime function.
It also found that people vary greatly in what mattress firmness helps them sleep the best and reduces their pain the most.
The upshot is that mattress firmness matters a lot, but everyone is different — so 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, because 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 mattresses good for back pain?
Research from 2015 found that medium-firm mattresses that are custom inflated are optimal for those with lower back pain.
So, if you’re experiencing lower back pain, extra-firm mattresses might not be the best fit for you. Instead, try opting for a lower firmness rating.
Extra-firm mattresses are less common than regular firm, medium-firm, or more-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 do 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.
Ruby Thompson is an associate editor at Healthline. 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.