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Finding a good mattress with the right firmness can be challenging, especially online. We’ve made a list of the best medium-firm mattresses to get you started in your search.

Comfort is key when choosing a new mattress, and that means finding the right level of firmness.

The firmness of a mattress doesn’t refer to its level of support. Instead, mattress firmness refers to the top layer of the mattress — it’s what you feel when you lie down.

If you want a mattress that balances cushioning comfort and the support you need for a good night’s sleep, a medium-firm mattress may be a good choice. We rounded up 11 of the best options to help you get started.


  • appropriate for a wide range of sleepers
  • good option for alleviating lower back pain
  • helps maintain proper spinal alignment in all sleep positions
  • distributes weight evenly for more comfortable sleep
  • good compromise if you share your bed with someone who prefers a softer or firmer sleep surface than you do


  • may feel too firm for petite sleepers who prefer a soft sleep surface
  • may not be supportive or contouring enough for those with more weight
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We chose mattresses rated medium-firm by each brand. To narrow the list, we considered:

  • Safety and brand reputation: All the medium-firm mattresses on our list comply with federal flammability standards and are made by reputable companies who stand by their products.
  • Materials certifications: We prioritized mattresses with third-party material certifications like CertiPUR-US, Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS), and Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).
  • Free trials and warranties: Each mattress on our list comes with a free in-home trial and competitive warranty.
  • Customer reviews: We read reviews for each mattress to see what customers say about them.

What does reputable mean, exactly?

When we describe a mattress company as reputable, we mean the brand:

  • displays a commitment to quality, safety, and customer service
  • hasn’t been involved in recent lawsuits
  • has transparent business practices

Knowing a company is doing things the right way, especially for a big-ticket purchase like a mattress can make a difference.

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Prices are based on a queen-size mattress.

  • $ = under $1,000
  • $$ = $1,000–$1,600
  • $$$ = over $1,600
MattressPriceTypeHeightBest forMaterialsWarranty and trial
Saatva Classic Mattress$$$ hybrid11.5 or 14.5 inback pain reliefmemory foam, coilslimited lifetime; 365-night trial
Saatva Solaire Mattress$$$adjustable hybrid13 incouples who can’t agree on a firmness levellatex, memory foam, air chamberslimited lifetime; 365-night trial
DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid Mattress$hybrid14 incouples trying to compromise on firmnessmemory foam, innerspring coilslifetime; 365-night trial
Naturepedic Chorus Organic Mattress$$$hybrid10 inthose who want organic materials at a reasonable pricefoam, micro coils25-year limited; 100-night trial
Tuft & Needle Original Mattress$foam10 insleepers on a budgetadaptive foam10 years; 100-night trial
Nest Bedding Quail Responsive Foam Mattress$$foam 10 inmotion isolationfoamlimited lifetime; 365-night trial
Leesa Original Hybrid Mattress$$hybrid11 inmulti-position sleepersmemory foam, pocketed coils10 years; 100-night trial
Avocado Green Mattress$$$hybrid13 in (with optional pillow top)sleepers who prioritize organic materialslatex, wool, cotton, pocketed support coils25 years; 1-year trial
Nolah Natural 11-Inch Mattress$$$latex hybrid11 insleepers looking for temperature-regulating materialsTalalay latex, support coilslifetime; 120-night trial
Nolah Evolution 15-Inch Mattress$$$hybrid15 inhot sleepersfoam, support coilslifetime; 120-night trial
Birch Luxe Natural Mattress$$$hybrid11.5 inall sleeping positionscashmere, wool, latex, pocketed coils25 years; 100-night trial

Many people prefer medium-firm mattresses because they offer a combination of comfort and support. But this firmness can have other benefits, too.

Some evidence suggests that medium-firm mattresses can improve sleep comfort and quality.

Other research suggests self-adjusted, medium-firm mattresses may help improve comfort and the quality of your sleep if you live with back pain.

Medium-firm mattresses can also be a good choice if your preferred sleep position varies. They’ll give you the support and cushion you need as you move from your side to your back to your belly.

Medium-firm mattresses work well for people with low to moderate body weights. They’re also a good compromise if you share your bed with someone who prefers a firmer sleeping surface than you do (or vice versa).

A note on firmness ratings

Most companies use a firmness scale from 1 to 10. One is the softest, and 10 is the firmest. A medium-firm mattress typically falls between 5 and 7.

Keep in mind this scale isn’t a universal definition. In other words, one brand’s 5 may feel a little different from another brand’s 5, and so on.

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If you’re searching for a medium-firm option, it helps to keep a few things in mind:

  • Mattress ratings: Mattress ratings will vary from brand to brand, but they can offer a good starting point. Opt for a mattress in the range of 5 to 7 on the scale.
  • Mattress type and materials: You can find medium-firm mattresses in hybrid, memory foam, or innerspring options. Innerspring mattresses use coils for support, while hybrid mattresses feature a mix of coils and foam. There are a few types of foam mattresses, including memory and latex.
  • Material certifications: Make a point of shopping for mattresses with materials that have third-party certifications. That way, you’ll know the company has met stringent quality standards for safety.
  • Performance: Beyond firmness level, consider the importance of features like motion isolation, temperature regulation, edge support, and off-gassing. If you share your bed with a partner or tend to sleep hot, you’ll want to find a medium-firm option that suits your needs.
  • In-home trials and warranties: Whether you’re shopping in store or online, opt for a mattress with a generous in-home trial and easy returns or exchanges. Also, look for a brand that offers a warranty in case you run into issues.

If upgrading your mattress isn’t an option at the moment, you still have other ways to make your bed more comfortable. Think new pillows, sheets, and comforters, a supportive mattress topper, or even bedroom ambiance.

Pillows and bedding

The right pillow can make a world of difference in the quality of your sleep. If you regularly wake up with pain in your neck and upper back, try swapping your pillow for one designed to accommodate your preferred sleep position.

If you tend to overheat during the night, consider a cooling pillowcase and comforter to stay comfortable.

Scratchy sheets or heavy comforters that keep you overly warm can also stand between you and a good night’s sleep. Consider new sheets in classic cotton, silky-soft bamboo, breathable linen, or luxurious silk — they might be worth the upgrade.

It can also help to switch your comforter to match the season instead of using the same one year-round. You may sleep better with a lightweight summer option in the warmer months and a sturdier one to stay warm and toasty when it’s cooler.

Mattress toppers

A mattress topper can be a smart and economical way to instantly refresh your bed. Depending on what you buy, you can:

  • add softness or support
  • make your bed cooler or more contouring
  • accommodate your preferred sleeping position
  • top your bed with different materials like memory foam and latex

Bedroom ambiance

It’s easy to fixate on the bed itself if you have trouble sleeping, but don’t forget to consider your sleep environment as a whole. A study from 2012 found that room temperature is one of the most important factors for high quality sleep.

Try setting the thermostat to roughly 65°F and using bed linens that will keep you warm in cooler months and cool in warmer months.

You can also make your room more snooze-friendly by:

  • blocking exterior lighting with room-darkening curtains or shades
  • replacing bright bulbs with dimmer lights
  • making your bedroom a device-free sanctuary

Finally, you might even consider painting your bedroom walls. Pale shades of blue, green, and even yellow can help calm and relax you. Opt for a matte finish to keep light from reflecting, which may be too stimulating when trying to wind down for sleep.

Get more tips to create the bedroom of your dreams.

How do medium-firm mattresses compare with soft and firm mattresses?

Medium-firm mattresses are designed to have a softer, more cushiony feel than firm mattresses, which are usually around an 8 on the firmness scale. Soft mattresses, typically between 2 and 3 on the scale, tend to compress faster and more easily than medium-firm mattresses when you lie down. You’ll notice more of a “sinking in” sensation, too.

Are medium-firm mattresses good or bad for back pain?

Research from 2015 suggests that self-adjusted, medium-firm mattresses can help improve sleep quality in people with back pain.

Who are medium-firm mattresses best for?

Medium-firm mattresses can accommodate a wide range of sleepers. They’re supportive and cushioning enough for most sleeping positions, particularly for people who weigh between 130 and 230 pounds. People under 130 pounds generally tend to find softer mattresses more comfortable.

Sleepers with more body weight may want to consider mattresses specifically designed for long-term comfort and quality to get better rest.

They can also be a good choice if you need to compromise with a partner who has a different opinion of comfort. And if you’re dealing with back pain, a medium-firm mattress may help.

Does ‘medium-firm’ mean the same thing to everyone?

No. Remember, firmness refers to how a mattress feels when you lie down on it. Things like body weight and preferred sleeping position will affect how a mattress feels to you, and it could be quite different from what someone else is feeling, even if they’re right next to you!

Medium-firm mattresses are a popular choice for a reason. Designed to provide plenty of support and a comforting feel, they work well for people with low to moderate body weight, those who switch positions during the night, or people who share their bed with a partner.

Jessica Timmons has been working as a freelance writer since 2007, covering everything from pregnancy and parenting to cannabis, chiropractic, standup paddling, fitness, martial arts, home decor, and much more. Her work has appeared in mindbodygreen, Pregnancy & Newborn, Modern Parents Messy Kids, and Coffee + Crumbs. See what she’s up to now at jessicatimmons.com.