EachNight articles include advertisements and affiliate links. We may earn a commission when you purchase through links on our site. Learn more Updated May 13, 2021If you have certain medical conditions, sleep on your stomach, or just like a lot of support, a firm or even extra-firm mattress could be an excellent choice for you. While they’re not as popular as, say, medium mattresses, extra-firm mattresses still have tons of benefits to offer.They can reduce stress on muscles, increase circulation, and prevent the lower back from collapsing, which may help improve breathing during sleep.But how do you know if you’re getting a high-quality extra-firm mattress, one that’s still going to feel like a bed rather than a slab of concrete? Below, we’ll go through some of the best extra-firm mattresses on the market and how to choose the right mattress for you.Best Firm MattressesBest Extra Firm Mattress Overall: Amerisleep AS1Best Extra Firm Memory Foam Mattress: Zoma Start MattressBest Extra Firm MattressesMattressHighlightPriceAmerisleep AS1Features plant-based Bio-Pur® to keep your temperature cool and prevent you from feeling "stuck" in the mattress.$909Zoma Start MattressContains Triangulex™ technology to promote healthy posture and eliminate pains.$404PlankFlippable extra-firm mattress for sleepers needing a super firm bed.$1274Big FigThermoGel comfort foam for a cooler night's sleep.$3999 Best Overall Extra Firm Mattress Amerisleep AS1 Price: $629-$1378Mattress Type: Memory FoamMattress Height: 1o inchesFirmness: 8.5Best for back sleepers, stomach sleepers, and those with back painAvailable in twin, twin XL, full (double), queen, king, California king, and split king Warranty 20 Years Sleep Trial 100 Nights Shipping FreeRecommended ForBack sleepers and stomach sleepers.Plus- size sleepers.Those with back pain and alignment issues.Mattress HighlightsFirm mattress with non-toxic Bio-Pur® foam.Highly supportive and temperature regulating.Ventilated cover promotes breathability.Save 30% off all mattresses on the Amerisleep AS1 with our discount code. Claim Deal If you’re looking for a mattress that will give you tons of lift without sacrificing comfort and cushioning, the Amerisleep AS1 may be the right choice for you. Though it’s a firm mattress, it still features contouring memory foam that can shape itself to your body and offer customized support and pressure point relief.The firm-feel AS1 boasts Amerisleep’s proprietary Bio-Pur® plant-based foam that offers more breathability and temperature regulation than traditional memory foam. To top it off, Bio-Pur® foam is eco-friendly and certified low in toxic chemicals.Reviewers appreciated the AS1’s breathability and temperature regulation. Many said it helped with their back pain in a way other mattresses had failed to do. The general consensus was this mattress offers tons of support but doesn’t skimp on pressure relief. Best Extra Firm Memory Foam Mattress Zoma Start Mattress Price: $279-$499Mattress Type: Memory FoamMattress Height: 1o inchesFirmness: 7 to 8Best for back sleepers and athletes Available in twin, twin XL, full (double), queen, king, California king, and split king Warranty 10 Years Sleep Trial 100 Nights Shipping FreeRecommended ForBack and stomach sleepers.Those with back pain.Athletes.Mattress HighlightsDesigned by and for athletes.Helps boost recovery from physical activity.Gel memory foam plus Reactiv® foam create a cooling and responsive mattress.Save $150 off all mattresses on the Zoma Start Mattress with our discount code. Claim Deal For side sleepers who still need a lot of support, this medium-firm option is the softest mattress on this list. Designed with athletic recovery in mind, the Zoma Start Mattress is the newest offering from Zoma.It features a 1-inch layer of gel memory foam to help wick away body heat, a 1-inch layer of Reactiv® material that offers adaptive support, and 8 inches of Support+® foam to firm up the mattress’s feel and help prevent sagging and soft spots.The Start Mattress is so brand new it doesn’t have reviews yet. However, reviewers of the older Zoma mattress appreciated its cooling AirCloth cover, its responsive Reactiv® foam layer, and its amazing ability to relieve pain and help sleepers wake up feeling refreshed and ready for another active day. Best Flippable Extra Firm Mattress Plank Mattress Price: $559-$1049Mattress Type: FoamMattress Height: 11.75 inchesFirmness: 8 to 10Best for back and stomach sleepersAvailable in twin, twin XL, full (double), queen, king, California king, and split king Warranty 10 Years Sleep Trial 120 Nights Shipping FreeRecommended ForStomach sleepers.Hot sleepers.Back sleepers.Mattress HighlightsFlippable mattress offers two firmness options.Offers optional PCM fabric for extra cooling power.Center foam prevents sagging and soft spots.Save Free Shipping on the Plank Mattress with our discount code. Claim Deal Firm, flat, and flippable, the Plank Mattress by Brooklyn Bedding offers an ultra-firm experience for those looking for the hardest mattress they can get and a traditionally firm experience for those who want their bed’s feel a little lower on the firmness scale. It does this by creating a flippable mattress that has two different firmness levels: a firm side and an ultra-firm side.For hot sleepers, this mattress offers a phase change molecule (PCM) fabric that wicks away body heat for maximum cooling. The .75-inch quilted top ensures minimal loft for ultimate firmness on the ultra-firm side, while the firm side features 1.5 inches of quilted comfort for a little extra cushion. The high-density center foam ensures the bed will maintain its firm feel throughout its lifetime.Most reviewers enjoyed that this dual-sided bed gave them the choice between a firmer mattress and the firmest mattress. The general consensus was this bed is very comfortable despite its high-firmness level. Some back pain sufferers noted reduced symptoms after buying this mattress. Best Extra Firm Hybrid Mattress Big Fig Mattress Price: $1399-$2099Mattress Type: HybridMattress Height: 13 inchesFirmness: 7 to 8Best for heavier sleepers and stomach sleepers.Available in twin, twin XL, full (double), queen, king, California king, and split king Warranty 20 Years Sleep Trial 120 Nights Shipping FreeRecommend ForHeavier individuals.Back sleepers.Those with lower back pain.Mattress HighlightsThe Big Fig is designed to accommodate big figures.Mattress boasts 5 layers of foam and pocketed coils for enhanced support.Offers superior coolness and motion isolation.Save Free Shipping on the Big Fig Mattress with our discount code. Claim Deal Designed specifically with heavier individuals in mind, the Big Fig Mattress offers a firm yet comfortable feel that provides much-needed support. From its ThermoGel-treated cover to its layers of high-density poly-foam to its pocketed coil core, everything about this mattress is designed to keep you cool and comfortable.This extra-firm bed features four layers of foam (1 layer of perforated gel and latex foam and 3 layers of high-density poly-foam) as well as 1600 individually wrapped 15-gauge pocketed coils for tons of flexibility and support.Most reviewers enjoyed the fact that this mattress offered enough support to help them feel lifted onto the bed without sacrificing pressure relief. Side sleepers said they appreciated this mattress is firm without being hard, and stomach sleepers were happy with the back pain relief offered by the Big Fig.How to Pick a Firm Mattress: A Quick GuideIf you already know you want a firm or extra-firm bed, congratulations. You’ve narrowed down one of the biggest factors in your bed buying experience. However, you still need to think about other big factors that will impact your sleep for the life of your mattress: namely its construction, size, and its materials.ConstructionMemory FoamMemory foam is a special type of polyurethane foam designed to cradle your body and relieve pressure points while you sleep. A lot of people think of memory foam as soft, but a thin memory foam comfort layer over a support layer of high-density poly-foam can make for a firm or extra-firm memory foam mattress.Even at this firmness, you won’t entirely lose the health benefits of memory foam. Memory foam mattresses can still contour to your body to offer pressure point relief and great support that fits your unique shape.If you prioritize contoured support, memory foam is going to be for you. Memory foam is also a good option for those who are shopping for a new mattress on a budget, as it is quite possible to get a quality memory foam bed for under $1000. However, if you like a lot of responsiveness and coolness in your bed, you might want to consider latex.Latex FoamMade from processed rubber tree sap, latex is an all-natural foam that offers better temperature regulation and bounce than memory foam. One of the best things about firm latex mattresses is they last forever. Latex mattresses are highly durable. Combined with the durability of firm mattresses, you could easily get well over a decade of use from this material.Latex is going to be more your speed if you prefer the responsiveness and/or coolness over contouring. Latex is also a good option for those who want natural rather than synthetic materials—organic latex is one of the most non-toxic, low-chemical mattress materials on the market today.On the flip side, latex is not as contouring as memory foam. It does have some contouring power, but if you want a mattress that is going to conform to every inch of your body, memory foam may be the right choice for you. Latex is also often more expensive than memory foam, which may be prohibitive for shoppers on a budget.InnerspringIf you like a firm mattress with a lot of responsiveness and air circulation, innersprings could be a good option for you. Their network of steel coils is already firm on its own, so all manufacturers have to do to make a firm innerspring mattress is top the support layer with a thin comfort layer.Innerspring beds are good for hot sleepers because their coil network promotes a ton of airflow, helping circulate your body heat away from you. Innersprings may also be up your alley if you like a traditionally bouncy bed. Those shopping on a budget will also appreciate the innerspring’s price tag.On the other hand, the pressure from the coils can cause pain in your hip and/or shoulder joints. Innerspring coils also break down faster than foam mattress supports because they lose tension and cause the mattress to sag in the middle, meaning you’ll be replacing your innerspring more frequently than any other mattress.HybridHybrid mattresses combine the airflow and responsiveness of coils (in this case pocketed coils rather than a coil network) with the cushioning comfort of 2+ inches of foam. Firm and extra-firm hybrid mattresses may have a thinner comfort layer and thicker foam transition layer, or they may have higher density foams in their comfort layers.Hybrids are great for just about everyone. They have springs for those who like bounce, they have foam for those who like contoured support, and they’re still flexible enough to accommodate an adjustable base for those who don’t like to sleep flat.The biggest pain point about hybrids is their price. This is hands down the most expensive mattress type, and they can cost several hundred dollars more than straight foam mattresses of the same quality and brand—not to mention how much more they cost on average than innersprings.Most people who sleep on a hybrid think the price is worth it, but if you’re shopping on a limited budget, some hybrids may be out of reach.Firmness Level: Who Should Sleep on a Firm or Extra-Firm MattressIf you’re not 100 percent sure you need a firm or extra-firm mattress, ask yourself these three questions: What’s my sleep style? What’s my body type? Do I have any medical issues?Stomach SleepersIf you sleep on your stomach, odds are you need a hard mattress. Stomach sleepers tend to experience lower back pain because their pelvises sink into the bed, over-arching the back and causing the spine to fall out of alignment. In most cases, the best mattresses for stomach sleepers are firm to extra-firm.Firm mattresses can help prevent this by keeping the pelvis lifted on top of the bed rather than letting it sink down, promoting healthy spinal alignment.Heavy SleepersDepending on your preferred sleep position, if you weigh more than 230 pounds, you probably need a firm or extra-firm mattress to evenly distribute your body weight. Plus-size stomach sleepers should consider an extra-firm mattress to give them the lift they need.The best mattresses for plus-size sleepers are firm or even a medium-firm as they’ll need a little more cushioning for their pressure points.Sleepers With Certain Medical ProblemsFirm mattresses can also help relieve certain medical ailments (watch out though; they can exacerbate others). For instance, those suffering from menopause or other hormonal conditions that cause overheating will appreciate a firm mattresses superior cooling power. Since you stay lifted on top of the bed, more of your body is exposed to the air, cooling you off.Softer mattresses also contour more and allow for more sinkage, which could exacerbate conditions where blood circulation is impeded. That means people suffering from cardiovascular disease or diabetes should consider a firmer bed, as it will not interfere as much with their circulation.On the other hand, back pain sufferers beware. Firm and extra-firm mattresses can sometimes increase back soreness and stiffness, especially if your pain is due to arthritis or scoliosis. If you suffer back pain, you’re better off going with a medium-firm mattress.SizeThe mattress size you need depends on a few things, including the size of your room, your height, how active a sleeper you are, and the number of sleepers in the bed.Single Sleepers (Twin/TwinXL/Full)Single sleepers with a small bedroom will probably want a twin mattress (or twin XL for taller sleepers). Single active/combo sleepers may wish to upgrade to the wider full size mattress to accommodate their movements during the night.Note that the full is also called the double bed because it technically can take two sleepers, but it is not wide enough to comfortably accommodate most couples on a nightly basis.Couples (Queen/King/California King)Couples with a smaller space might be most comfortable on a queen size bed, while couples with a large master bedroom will probably want a king to fill out their space. Couples with an extra-tall partner might consider a king mattress or a California king bed, as it is a full 7 feet long than a standard king.Couples with divergent firmness or material needs might also consider a split king, which is two twin XL mattresses placed in the same king size bed frame.Material CertificationsThe kinds of certifications your mattress may have depend on the kinds of materials it’s made of. Keep in mind that just because a mattress is made of a certain material, it may not necessarily have a certification (i.e. not all latex mattresses will be GOTS certified).Most mattress certifications require a lengthy and stringent process to prove that one or more components of the mattress are free of toxic chemicals, environmentally friendly, and/or socially responsible. Manufacturers must apply for a certificate and demonstrate they meet its requirements before they can display its logo on their products.CertiPUR-US®Memory foam products can obtain a CertiPUR-US® certification if they prove that their memory foam is made to CertiPUR-US®’s purity standards restricting the use of toxic chemicals in the manufacturing process. Mattresses must have little to no Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions and contain few to no chemicals dangerous to human health.GOLSThe Global Organic Latex Standard sets a high bar for latex products. Not only does GOLS demand latex be free of chemicals that could be dangerous to consumers, but this standard also has high expectations in the areas of eco-friendliness and social ethics.Latex farms, processing plants, and product manufacturers must demonstrate they have a low environmental impact and do not exploit their employees.GOTSGOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) has many similar requirements as GOLS. However, GOTS does not apply to latex products but rather textiles made of natural fibers such as cotton, bamboo viscose, wool, flax, etc.Innerspring mattresses with comfort layers made of cotton or wool, as well as foam mattresses with natural fiber covers, may apply for this certification.GREENGUARD GoldGREENGUARD Gold-certified mattresses have demonstrated they meet very rigorous purity standards and have extremely low VOC emissions, meaning they contribute little to no pollutants to indoor air.OEKO-TEX Standard 100An OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certificate shows that all components of a final product are free of harmful chemicals and won’t pose a threat to human or animal health or negatively impact indoor air quality.FAQsWho should sleep on an extra firm mattress?Extra-firm mattresses are best for two types of sleepers: stomach sleepers and plus-size sleepers (over 230 pounds). This is because they offer enough support to prevent sinkage that can cause back pain and other issues. Hot sleepers and sleepers with poor circulation may also benefit from firm or extra-firm mattresses because they don’t hug the body.Are there extra firm hybrid mattresses?Just like all-foam mattresses, hybrid beds come in a range of firmness levels, including firm and extra-firm. Usually, extra-firm and firm hybrids have a thinner comfort and/or transition layer that allows more of the firmness from the coil support core to show through. Firm and extra-firm hybrids may also sport high-density and/or firmer foams in their top layers.Are extra firm mattresses more durable?As a general rule, firm mattresses do stand up to sagging and soft spot development better than medium and soft mattresses. However, mattresses’ material is a huge factor in their durability, no matter their firmness.If a mattress has coils, it’s going to break down faster because the coils lose tension, which leads to sagging. Hybrids have pocketed coil support cores, meaning they’ll last much longer than innersprings, but they still won’t outlast most foam mattresses.Latex foam mattresses have the highest life expectancy. Natural latex is typically more durable than memory foam, with some latex mattresses able to last a couple of decades. That’s not to say memory foam won’t last a long time. Some high-quality plant-based memory foams can give latex a run for its money in the durability department.What mattress base do I need for my extra firm mattress?That depends on what material your mattress is made of and the kind of support you’re looking for. Box springs are only compatible with innerspring mattresses, so if you have anything else, you cannot use them as a bed base.Platform beds and mattress foundations are good options for those who need rigid support for their foam or hybrid mattress. These heavier mattresses need sturdier support than that offered by box springs.Those interested in elevating their heads and/or feet while they sleep will probably do best with an adjustable base. Adjustable bases are compatible with all mattress types except innerspring and can help you get into the position you find most comfortable.What mattress types are the firmest?Since all mattresses come in a range of firmnesses, the type of mattress you get isn’t necessarily going to be the main driver of your mattress firmness. Firm mattresses are designed and manufactured to be firm, regardless of what they’re made of. This means all mattresses, from memory foam to innerspring, can have a firm feel.Bottom LineExtra-firm mattresses can be great for certain types of sleepers. Firmer mattresses are best for heavier sleepers and stomach sleepers, both of whom need a lot of support. They’re also a good option for people with certain types of medical conditions.No matter what firmness level you choose, just make sure you’re getting a top-quality mattress with the right materials and certifications to meet your needs. That way, you can rest assured you’ll get a good night’s sleep for the lifetime of your mattress.About the author Kiera PritchardKiera Pritchard’s curiosity around dreams and dreaming sparked her passion for sleep science. In addition to freelancing for eachnight, Kiera is also a physical trainer and strives to help others lead healthy lives while asleep and awake. Since joining our team, Kiera has compiled multiple sleep health guides offering our readers advice on how to improve their days and evenings. Find more articles by Kiera Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Name Email I agree to the Terms and Conditions of this website.