We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.
- 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 dug 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’s 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 100-night trials either directly from the manufacturer or 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. All our picks have at least a 10-year warranty to give you peace of mind 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.
Terms to know
- 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
Prices on our list are based on a queen-sized mattress. Costs may vary depending on the size of your bed:
- $ = under $800
- $$ = $800–$1,600
- $$$ = over $1,600
Saatva Loom & Leaf (Firm)
The Loom & Leaf firm mattress is an 8 on Saatva’s firmness scale, but the brand says it’s perfect for back and stomach sleepers or anyone whose doc has recommended switching to an extra-firm mattress.
The foam doesn’t trap 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 and works great for couples. They also say that Saatva has amazing customer service that goes above and beyond.
Plank by Brooklyn Bedding
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.
Cocoon by Sealy Chill Mattress
The Chill mattress is all foam. The cover is made from a proprietary material that’s supposed to dissipate heat and create a cool-to-touch feeling.
Reviewers say they were 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.
Beautyrest Harmony Lux Carbon
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.
*Beautyrest usually offers free white glove delivery, but it’s been suspended due to COVID-19.
Sealy Extra Firm Hybrid Mattress
The Sealy Extra Firm Mattress is a hybrid bed-in-a-box with pocketed coils — which are individually wrapped and move separately from each other — 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.
Serta Perfect Sleeper Trelleburg II Extra Firm Innerspring Mattress
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 didn’t love the gel foam layer on this mattress, but many reviewers appreciated the extra layer of comfort.
Firmness is just one of a bunch of 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 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, definitely 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.
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.
In general, back and stomach sleepers may prefer firmer mattresses because they 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.
Research has 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 mattress 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.