For some sleepers, a well-constructed firm mattress can create an optimal sleeping experience. Generally, people who sleep on their back or stomach enjoy a firm mattress; these types of mattresses are also well suited to heavier individuals as they provide better support and can minimise sagging in the long run.
If you are unsure where to start or what firm mattress types are out there in the UK, we hope you can get an idea of the various options available. It's important to keep in mind that a firm mattress should be comfortable yet supportive.
(Important Facts, Studies, Advice, Considerations & FAQs In Conclusion).
|MATTRESS||TYPE||FIRMNESS||TRIAL & WARRANTY||PRICE|
|Sealy Posturepedic Backcare||Pocket sprung||Extra-firm||NA
|Brook + Wilde Lux||Hybrid||Firm||100 Nights
|REM-Fit 500 Ortho||Hybrid||Firm||100 Nights
|Silentnight Eco Comfort Miracoil Ortho||Pocket sprung||Extra-firm||60 Nights
|Dormeo Options Pocket Sprung||Pocket sprung||Firm||NA
1. Sealy Posturepedic Backcare Extra Firm Mattress
|• PostureTech Core Support
• Handcrafted in the UK
|• Those with allergies
• Sleepers who prefer edge support
• People who require orthopaedic support
The Sealy Posturepedic Backcare Extra Firm Mattress is locally made and approved by the National Bed Federation and Allergy UK, as it has been scientifically proven to remove common allergens.
Sealy’s firm mattress uses a unique spring layer in its construction, the PostureTech Core Support Springs. These springs are designed to provide a high level of firmness and orthopaedic support. The spring layer was engineered to distribute weight evenly, creating further bodily support and pressure relieving properties. This firm mattress was also designed to aid in spinal alignment.
The Sealy Posturepedic Backcare Extra Firm Mattress has a few extra features designed to provide even more stability. These include the Edge Guard support and the Power Pack support system. Edge Guard provides edge to edge support and can offer extra stability while preventing the sides from sagging. The Power Pack support system was designed to target back support by giving you enhanced orthopaedic care.
The mattress is well received by customers and has an excellent rating from hundreds of reviews with a high score for its support. Additionally, you also receive a 5-year guarantee with your Sealy firm mattress.
2. Brook + Wilde Lux Firm Mattress
|• Wave technology
• 10-year warranty
• Made in the UK
|• Those seeking spinal alignment
• People who prefer pocket springs
• Sleepers who require pressure relief
The award-winning Brook + Wilde Lux Mattress comes with a choice of firmness degrees, with Brook + Wilde stating that the firm option is “less springy but more supportive” than the other comfort levels.
The spring layer in the Brook + Wilde Lux Mattress is split into 2 separate layers. This first layer features 1,000 tight gauge pocket springs standing at 135cm tall that can offer both bounce and pushback. The second spring layer features 2,000 mini pocket springs designed to move with you as you sleep for further support that can help reduce pressure points.
In between the spring layers, we find Brooke + Wilde's wave technology. This is made from support foam with added density that can aid in spinal alignment and provide care for your shoulders. Designed in a wave shape, this layer has 4 separate support zones with softer and thinner foam around the neck and shoulder areas.
The Brook + Wilde Lux Mattress is made in the UK and comes with a 100-night trial and a 10-year guarantee.
3. REM-Fit 500 Ortho Mattress
|• 15-year guarantee
• Hybrid design
• Orthopaedic pocket springs
|• Sleepers who enjoy open-cell memory foam
• Those who like edge-to-edge support
• Hot sleepers
The REM-Fit 500 Ortho Mattress is a multi-award-winning firm mattress designed to help those who suffer from back pain, as it has been engineered as an orthopaedic mattress. REM-Fit has very positive customer reviews, particularly on third-party platforms.
The spring layer is key in this design as it contributes heavily to the firmness of the mattress. The REM-Fit 500 Ortho Mattress uses 2,000 springs that are 15cm tall. The springs are constructed from triple tempered steel and encased in a pocket of fabric. This allows the springs to move and respond individually, isolating movement specifically to the springs with pressure applied to them. The tempered steel produces the firm feel of the mattress, ensuring lasting support.
To add extra comfort, REM-Fit includes a zoned foam layer that is made from open-celled memory foam. This foam layer sits above the springs, relieving tension whilst keeping the firmness of the springs. While the zones in this layer provide extra cushioning that can prevent pressure from building up, the open-cell construction can provide cooling and comfort.
If you buy the REM-Fit 500 Ortho Mattress, you will receive a 100-night trial period and a guarantee of 15 years.
4. Silentnight Eco Comfort Miracoil Ortho Extra Firm Mattress
|• Miracoil zoned spring system
• 60-night comfort exchange
|• Individuals who value sustainability
• Sleepers who prefer an extra-firm mattress
The Silentnight Eco Comfort Miracoil Ortho Mattress is made from 100% recyclable materials, making it a good eco-friendly option. It is designed to be extra firm and has very positive customer reviews.
The Silentnight Eco Comfort Miracoil Ortho Mattress features a unique spring layer that helps to keep the mattress firm. Silentnight uses their Miracoil system, in which the springs are designed to be twice as long in less space. This can offer improved pressure relief and support. The Miracoil layer also features edge to edge support that provides more stability on the sides of the mattress.
Within the layers, the zoned coils have 3 separate zones. Zones 1 and 3 are softer and aim to provide comfort for your upper and lower body. In contrast, zone 2 includes firmer support for your hips and lower back. The difference between the zones was designed to help with spinal alignment.
The Silentnight Eco Comfort Miracoil Ortho Mattress also features a Purotex treatment, which is a natural treatment to help combat allergens and keep the mattress fresh. Included in your purchase is a 60-night comfort exchange, which allows you to exchange your mattress for a different one if you're dissatisfied. Silentnight also offers free deliveries to the UK and a 5-year guarantee.
5. Dormeo Options Pocket Sprung Firm Mattress
|• Environmentally friendly
• Ecocell foam
• Reduced motion transfer
|• Individuals on a budget
• Sleepers who enjoy a cooler mattress
• Those who prefer a no-flip design
Dormeo is an environmentally conscious brand committed to causing less of an impact on our environment. As such, Dormeo looks at materials and methods that benefit the environment and are even registered with the Furniture Industry Research Association. The Dormeo Options Pocket Sprung Mattress is a cheaper firm mattress option with some very positive reviews and a 1-year warranty.
The mattress includes a full-sized pocket spring layer. This layer features individually wrapped pocket springs that respond and provide support individually. This means your movements will only move the springs you lay on and may therefore reduce motion transfer. The springs aim to cradle your body and provide support where needed.
The Dormeo Options Pocket Sprung Mattress features breathable layers of Ecocell foam and breathable Airmesh sidewalls. Both of these features can target overheating by allowing air to circulate freely throughout the mattress. The Ecocell foam also has an elastic 3-dimensional cellular structure. This allows for air circulation but also provides comforting support.
Who Could Benefit From A Firm Mattress
There are many different things to consider when choosing a mattress, and ultimately it comes down to personal preference. However, some individuals may benefit more from a firmer mattress, depending on factors such as body weight and sleeping position.
When choosing a mattress for heavy people, typically weighing over 230lbs (104kg), a firmer mattress could be a suitable option. With a softer mattress, it may be more likely to sag under pressure and extra weight over time. Therefore, a firm mattress could prevent a heavier individual from sinking into the layers and potentially maintain its structure for longer. Additionally, firm mattresses could also be more durable due to the materials used, often springs and latex.
Sleeping positions can play an important part when selecting the firmness of a mattress and stomach sleepers may benefit from a firmer option. With a softer mattress, front sleepers can experience sinking in the hips, which could cause the back to arch and potentially cause issues with spinal alignment. A firm mattress may offer greater support for the hips and reduce pain in the back.
Important to note:
If possible, try to avoid sleeping on your front, as it can leave your head in an unnatural position and potentially compress your spine.
Similarly to stomach sleepers, back sleepers may also find that a firmer mattress could help with spinal alignment as the firm mattress surface can help keep the spine straight rather than curved due to sinking. This extra support may also facilitate reducing lower back pain.
Individuals who sleep on their sides may need to exercise more caution regarding firm mattresses. Due to this sleeping position, there may be more chance of creating pressure points as the firmness of the mattress can press into the hips and shoulders. To avoid this, adding a foam mattress topper could help to alleviate the pressure and create a softer surface.
Back Pain Sufferers
Back pain is an ever-growing problem; it is believed that one-third of us✓ will suffer from lower back pain each year. For this reason, it makes sense to find a suitable mattress for back pain with the correct level of firmness. It is believed that a common cause of back pain is poor posture. Therefore, a firm mattress may assist with this as it can help keep the spine straighter due to a lack of sinking. Moreover, it can offer elevated support on the back, hips and shoulders.
With that being said, despite the common belief that firm mattresses are the best option for back pain, studies✓ show that if a mattress is too firm, it may cause more harm than good. Results revealed that extra firm mattresses actually left sleepers suffering from lower back pain with poorer sleep quality. Nevertheless, the same study also found no difference between medium-firm and firm mattresses regarding sleep quality.
Perks Of A Firm Mattress
- Back pain: A firm mattress may help with spinal alignment for front and back sleepers, which could reduce lower back pain.
- Durability: Softer mattresses could potentially sink more due to pressure on the foam, whereas steel coils may not wear down as quickly.
- Edge Support: Due to the firmness of the mattress, the edges could be less likely to sag, which could be ideal for those sharing a bed or who tend to sleep on the edge
- Cooler sleep: Firm mattresses often contain more springs and less foam. These features can increase airflow and allow for a cooler mattress.
Downsides Of A Firm Mattress
- Side sleepers: Individuals who tend to sleep on their sides may end up putting more pressure on their shoulders which could potentially cause discomfort
- Pressure relief: Those suffering from shoulder or hip pain may want to avoid firm mattresses as they are known to provide less pressure relief. Using a pillow top mattress can be a beneficial way to relieve some pressure.
- Lightweight sleepers: Those with a lighter bodyweight may not provide enough pressure on the mattress, and the firmness could be more uncomfortable.
- Comfort: While there are plenty of firm mattresses with foam, these layers can often be thin and, therefore, not ideal for those who prefer a soft, cushioned feeling.
Types Of Firm Mattresses
The firmness of a mattress is subjective and can also be modified by using mattress toppers or accessories. For instance, memory foam mattresses are not known for being especially firm. However, they can be adjusted with the right accessories or when combined with springs. Despite this, some mattress types are recognised as being firmer.
- Innerspring: One of the oldest mattress types out there, innerspring mattresses consist of coils and springs, often combined with thin layers of foam. The steel coils can often provide greater support while creating a bouncy feel. The less foam within the layers, the more likely it is to be firmer. Thicker springs may also lead to the mattress feeling firmer.
- Latex: This is a rubbery material created using the sap from trees. Many latex mattresses contain natural latex, as well as others offering synthetic or blended latex. As these mattresses can be combined with foam, they may come in varying degrees of firmness. However, those on the firmer scale are said to provide a good amount of pressure relief.
- Hybrid: A hybrid mattress often consists of inner springs and a comfort layer, which can be made using various materials, such as latex, foam or cotton. Combining springs and a comfort layer means you may find a good balance between firmness and comfort. If you want the mattress to be firmer, you can opt for a mattress with a thinner comfort layer.
Some mattresses, which claim to be hybrid, include a mini-spring layer. However, these springs are often too small to offer any substantial support.
Mattress Firmness For Children
As we know, every child is different, so it’s essential to consider that child’s individual needs when selecting a mattress. When it comes to choosing the firmness for a children's mattress, there are both pros and cons.
Firm mattresses can help to keep the back and spine straight while sleeping. According to pediatric chiropractor Anna Saylor, a firm mattress may be beneficial as it can potentially help keep the spine aligned as the child’s body is developing and growing.
Another advantage is that a firm mattress can provide good edge support, so a parent can read or stay close to their child before bedtime without the sides sagging. Firmer mattresses may also offer extra support and durability if your child tends to move around a lot in bed.
On the other side, firm mattresses are less likely to offer that sinking, cushioned feeling that may provide comfort for a child. As children are lighter, they are also more likely than adults to feel the firmness of a mattress. To combat this, it could be a good idea to add a topper or consider a medium-firm mattress which may provide a good balance between firm and soft.
On a more serious note, it is believed that firm bedding can reduce the risk of sudden death syndrome (SIDS) for younger children and babies. Research✓ has found that soft bedding increased the risk of SIDS, due to suffocation, by up to five times when compared with firmer bedding. There are plenty of cot bed mattresses that are available and recommended for small children.
Sleeping With A Partner
Selecting the firmness for a mattress for couples may be a little more tricky as individuals tend to have different preferences regarding the firmness scale. These preferences could depend on sleeping position, body weight and any pains or injuries. If this is the case, there’s the option to invest in a dual firmness mattress that allows you to split the firmness depending on your needs. You can also opt for zip and link mattresses, which allow you to join two smaller mattresses together.
Different materials also have different levels of firmness which may or may not appeal to couples. Despite innerspring mattresses generally being firmer, they are known for being less effective for motion isolation and could be a little noisier due to the springs.
A hybrid mattress may be a good alternative. It can provide a good level of comfort and stability, including edge support, which could make it a good mattress for sex. Latex mattresses can also offer varying degrees of firmness with a good bounce due to their elasticity. Noise reduction may also be reduced in latex mattresses.
Mattress Firming Accessories
There are many reasons to consider mattress firming accessories. You may be unable to invest in a new mattress, only require support for specific body parts or simply want to adjust your current mattress.
- Mattress Topper: If you currently have a softer mattress and prefer a firmer feel, a firm mattress topper could provide a good balance. Toppers can also help to protect the mattress and increase pressure relief.
- Pillows: A firm pillow should provide a good level of support for the head and neck and can aid in spinal alignment. There are also pillows for side sleepers that offer firmness to help fill the space between the head and shoulders while supporting the neck.
- Knee Pillows: This could be a good option for side sleepers as it could potentially decrease the pressure placed on the knees and can help to align the spine. The support provided by a firming knee or leg pillow may also provide pain relief to the back or hips.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best firm mattress?
Innerspring mattresses are known to be firmer, while foam mattresses are generally softer. Additionally, you can modify the firmness of a mattress by using mattress toppers and accessories.
How firm should a mattress be?
This entirely depends on factors such as weight and sleeping position. However, the most important point to note is that your mattress should provide you with an aligned spine.
With that being said, heavy sleepers may prefer the support of a firmer mattress. Back or front sleepers may also appreciate the added support for their lower back.
How firm should a child’s mattress be?
For younger children and babies, a firmer mattress is recommended as it can help support a child's developing spine and potentially reduce the risk of SIDS✓.