Updated at: 08-06-2023 - By: Helen Skeates

A cushion firm mattress is exactly what it sounds like: a mattress with a firm, cushioned surface. It’s a firm mattress with some extra padding. It will feel more comfortable than extremely firm mattresses while still providing solid support.

Cushion firm mattresses are also known as luxury firm mattresses by some manufacturers. Is this mattress style the one you should be sleeping on? Read on to find out!

What Is A Cushion Firm Mattress And Is It For You?

A firm mattress that has a slightly plusher feel is known as a cushion firm mattress. This design makes up for the lack of softness and contour that normally comes with a firm mattress. It’s important to note that different manufacturers use the term “cushion firm” to describe their mattresses in different ways.

Sealy Banstead Cushion Firm Queen 12 1/2" Cushion Firm Tight Top Mattress  and Standard Base 9" Height | Turk Furniture | Mattress and Box Spring Sets

Cushion firm vs plush mattress

A plush mattress is the “next level” up from a hard one. Plush mattresses have four inches more foam on the top layer than cushion firm or other firm mattresses, and some even have a quilt on top. Softer still are the so-called “ultra-plush” mattresses that may be available.

Cushion firm vs pillowtop mattress

Most mattress brands reserve their plushest feel for their pillowtop models. Some manufacturers even call their plush models “pillowtops,” adding to the confusion. A pillowtop bed, on the other hand, is easily distinguished from others by its additional, removable padding at the top.

Cushion firm vs Eurotop mattress

Adding extra padding to the top of a mattress, as in a Eurotop, is similar to making a pillowtop bed. This layer differs in that it is available in a variety of firmnesses, from extremely firm to extremely plush. Because of this, a firm Eurotop bed provides the same level of support as a standard firm mattress while also providing more suspension thanks to the additional foam.

Is Cushion Firm Good For Side Sleepers?

If you tend to sleep on your side, you may find that a cushion firm mattress works best for you. Keep in mind that very hard beds are not recommended for this position, as they will not provide adequate support to the body’s heaviest parts. Pain in the lower back and the shoulders, which is common for people who sleep on their sides, will result.

However, keep in mind that everyone’s idea of comfort is different. You should test out a cushion firm mattress to see if it suits you. You need a contoured support that cushions your back and shoulders to alleviate pressure points.

Since the shoulders and hips won’t sink too far while still being supported, your spine will stay in a neutral position on a medium-firm or medium-soft bed. After you’ve done that, it’s time to think about your weight and the mattress you’ll be sleeping on. Cushion firm mattresses should prevent excessive sinkage even if you are on the heavier side, but the comfort layer should still be customized to your preferences.

Is Cushion Firm Same As Medium?

Is the definition of a mattress with a cushion firm feel still baffling to you? Since it falls in the middle of the firm and soft spectrums, manufacturers classify this bed as their medium-firm option. If a medium mattress suits your needs and preferences, you can assume that a cushion firm bed will be available to you.

Firm vs medium-firm

You can think of the firmness scale that beds use to help you visualize this. The scale runs from 8-10 for a very firm mattress to a flat 5 for a very soft one. It will be comfortable to sink into, but it won’t cave in to the weight of your body.

How Do I Know If I Need A Firm Or Plush Mattress?

How do you figure out the ideal level of firmness for your bed? Do you want a soft one or a hard one? The first thing to think about is your weight; heavier people need a firm bed to keep their spine in a neutral position and prevent sinkage.

A person who weighs less than 130 pounds should use a mattress that provides minimal support. When you’ve mastered that, it’s time to think about where you want to lay your head at night. Choose a firm mattress if you tend to sleep on your back or stomach, and a softer or medium-plush one if you tend to sleep on your side.

What Firmness Of Mattress Is Best?

Due to individual differences in weight, height, preferred level of firmness, and preferred sleeping position, it will be impossible to recommend a single mattress firmness as optimal. However, your experience will vary depending on how firm you like your coffee.

Extra soft mattresses (rated 1), soft mattresses (rated 2-3), and very soft mattresses (rated 1) all tend to sink the sleeper’s body into the mattress. Medium soft would be a 4, while medium, or balanced, would be a 5. Beds rated 7 and 8 are extremely firm and do not allow any sinkage at all, while a 6 is considered medium-firm.

Finally, a 9 or 10 on the firmness scale indicates an extremely hard mattress. Most people only think about beds that are between 2 and 8 on the firmness scale, so you may want to have this one made a little softer.

Best Firm Mattresses of 2022

Editor’s Pick – Saatva

The Saatva was chosen as the best mattress by our editors because of how well it supports both single and shared sleepers. Sleeping “on top” of its firm layer of individually wrapped pocketed coils will encourage proper spinal alignment and a restful night’s rest. The Saatva’s central layer of memory foam provides pressure relief without compromising the “hugging” feel of the mattress, which is why so many of us prefer it. It comes in Plush Soft, Luxury Firm, and Firm options for firmness.

There is a lifetime warranty and a sleep trial period of 365 nights with the Saatva.


  • If you sleep on your side, but still want a firm mattress thanks to the support of the innerspring coils, the Soft model is a good choice.
  • Its responsiveness, durability, and edge support make it a fantastic choice for couples.
  • White glove delivery is included at no extra cost with the purchase of a Saatva and entails setup in the room of your choice and removal of your old mattress.


  • If you’re a light sleeper, you might feel your partner’s movements because of how easily the innerspring coils transfer motion.

Best Firm Hybrid –Helix Dawn

There’s a lot to like about this firm hybrid mattress, including its firmer feel and wonderful blend of comfort and support. The Helix Dawn is made with premium polyfoam that relieves pressure and durable pocketed coils for support. Those who prefer to sleep on their stomachs or backs should find the mattress to be comfortable. The Helix Dawn should provide adequate support for sleepers weighing more than 250 pounds for the same reason.

There is a 100-night trial period and a 10-year warranty on the Dawn.


  • The Dawn is the firmest of Helix’s six mattress offerings. The Helix Dawn Luxe is a high-end variant of the original.
  • If you’re a combination sleeper who values mobility, the Helix Dawn’s springs’ buoyancy will have you sleeping more on top of the bed than “in” it.
  • The Helix Dawn’s special cooling cover and breathable pocketed coil layers do an excellent job of dissipating body heat for hot sleepers.


  • The firm Helix Dawn is not a good choice if you prefer a mattress with a lot of sinkage and contouring.

Best Firm Memory Foam Mattress – DreamCloud

If you prefer a firmer mattress but still value the body contouring benefits of memory foam, the DreamCloud might be the perfect option for you. This creates a well-rounded experience that is sure to please back sleepers in particular.

DreamCloud offers a full year to try it out and a lifetime guarantee.


  • Gel memory foam, which doesn’t retain heat, was used to make the comfort layer, so it can help with temperature control.
  • The layer below that is made of transitional, responsive foam, which adds bounce and collaborates with the top layer to maintain spinal alignment.
  • The pocketed coils in the DreamCloud add a layer of nice, firm support.


  • There is only one firmness level available for the DreamCloud. Not that that’s a knock on the bed, but it is something to consider.

Best Firm Mattress for Back Pain – WinkBed

The WinkBed’s conventional, supportive feel (like that of an innerspring mattress) makes it a good option for those who suffer from back pain while they sleep. There are three firmness options to choose from, plus a Plus version for larger individuals. Those who prefer a more substantial mattress texture can choose between two options: a firm or a medium-firm option.

The WinkBed has a lifetime guarantee and a sleep trial that lasts for 120 nights.


  • The gel-infused top layer, the pocketed coils, and the breathable cover all contribute to the mattress’s cooling properties.
  • It’s a good option for couples because of how long lasting the mattress is.
  • Each variant of the WinkBed comes with a Euro pillowtop to soften the feel slightly without compromising on support.


  • The WinkBed, like most hybrids, does a poor job of isolating motion compared to a traditional foam mattress. If your partner’s movements in the night wake you up frequently, this may be something to think about.

Best Firm Mattress for Stomach Sleepers – Brooklyn Bedding Plank

The Plank, by Brooklyn Bedding, is a flippable mattress with two firm sides (one firm and one extra-firm) for the price of one. If you sleep on your stomach and need a lot of support to keep your hips lifted and your spine in a neutral position, the mattress should work well for you on either side. The extra-firm side provides the most robust support of any mattress on this list, making it a good option for stomach sleepers who find a standard firm mattress to be too soft.

Estate Hurston Luxury Cushion Firm Mattress 524910 by Stearns & Foster at TownHouse Galleries

The Plank has a 10-year guarantee and a sleep trial that lasts for 120 nights.


  • If you sleep on your back and prefer a mattress with a firm feel, the Plank is a good option.
  • You may be surprised to learn that the Plank is made entirely of foam, given how firm it feels. However, unlike some innerspring mattresses, the high-density foam base provides even more comfort and support.
  • The cover of the Plank can be equipped with a cooling panel made of Phase Change Material to aid in heat dissipation. If you sleep on your stomach and prefer to keep cool, this may be a useful accessory.


  • The cost of the bed will increase because the cooling panel is sold separately.

Best Firm Mattress for Athletes – Bear

Some people believe that sleeping on a Bear mattress, which is made entirely of foam but has a cover made of Celliant, can speed up the healing process.

Bear is an exceptional business because it caters to athletes with specially designed mattresses. The Bear original, the company’s most popular mattress, is covered in Celliant, a fabric that controls body temperature. Some people think it can help with circulation and healing. If you prefer a firmer mattress and are active (like a triathlete) or if you have back problems (like some people do), this could be a good option for you.

The Bear is backed by a lifetime guarantee and a 365-night sleep trial.


  • The Bear is constructed entirely of foam, and its plush cushioning features a graphite gel infusion for added cooling.
  • The Bear’s 7/10 firmness comes from the combination of its soft top layer, a responsive transition layer, and a 6′′ support layer.
  • The Bear’s exceptional motion isolation makes it a good choice for couples.


  • The Bear may not last as long as a mattress with springs would because it is made entirely of foam.

Best Firm Mattress for Back Sleepers – Casper

Unfortunately, you can no longer buy this bed. Check out our compiled list of the top mattresses currently on the market to assist you in making your next mattress purchase.

Sleeping on one’s back is best on a firm mattress, and the Casper stands out because of its Zoned Support. This bed is designed to provide extra support where it’s needed most—at the hips and lower back—while relieving pressure where it’s most uncomfortable—at the shoulders. The end result is a firm but comfortable feel that people who sleep on their backs will appreciate.

The Casper has a 10-year guarantee and a 100-night sleep trial.


  • The Casper is a responsive mattress, so it should work well for people who use multiple sleeping positions throughout the night.
  • The Casper has sturdy edge support despite being made entirely of foam.
  • The Casper has been designed to sleep cool thanks to its layers of open-cell Airscape foam.


  • Stomach sleepers who are extremely particular about their mattresses should look elsewhere than the Casper.

Best Firm Mattress for Pressure Relief – Nolah Evolution

The Nolah Evolution is a medium-soft hybrid mattress, so it manages to strike a good balance between firm support and plush comfort. When you sink into the top foams of this bed, I think you’ll feel a lot of pressure relief, especially if you sleep on your back or side. Cushioning at the hips and shoulders is made possible by the plush pillow top, making it ideal for those with chronic pain.

There is a lifetime guarantee and a sleep trial of 120 nights on the Nolah Evolution.


  • It performed well in motion isolation tests, which is great news for couples who want to sleep undisturbed by their partner’s rustling.
  • Nolah’s AirFoamICETM, featured in this mattress, is designed to keep hot sleepers comfortable all night long.
  • You can make full use of the Nolah Evolution’s surface area because it features sturdy edge support.


  • If you sleep on your stomach, you may find the Nolah Evolution to be too plush.

Best Eco-Friendly Firm Mattress – Birch

The Birch is Helix Sleep’s all-natural offering, and its name says it all. It’s not only eco-friendly, but also comfortable and supportive thanks to its use of organic cotton, organic wool, natural latex, and pocketed coils. It is firmer, so it is suitable for those who prefer to sleep on their backs or stomachs. Those who sleep in various positions throughout the night will appreciate the bed’s springiness.

There is a 25-year guarantee and a 100-night sleep trial on the Birch.


  • Good news for warm sleepers and partners: the bed’s organic materials keep things cool during the night.
  • It has been certified as Greenguard Gold, so you can rest assured that it will not release harmful chemicals or VOCs into your home.
  • It has the traditional latex texture that so many people prefer.


  • The lack of contouring and pressure relief will make it an unsuitable choice for side sleepers.

Best Budget Firm Mattress – Leesa Studio

The Leesa Studio is a great option for those looking for a high-quality mattress without breaking the bank. Back sleepers in particular will appreciate its combination of support and pressure relief. It will ease their discomfort and support their spine in a neutral position. This mattress is firm enough that I believe stomach sleepers will feel their hips and shoulders settling into a neutral position in relation to their spine.

Leesa backs its Studio mattress with a 10-year guarantee and a 100-night sleep trial.


  • The cover is made of moisture-wicking material, so you won’t overheat.
  • Good edge support means you can make full use of the Studio by Leesa’s sleeping area.
  • It does a good job of dampening motion, so you won’t be bothered by your partner’s writhing around in bed.


  • If you tend to sleep on your side, you may prefer a softer mattress to alleviate pressure.

How to Choose a Firm Mattress

Now that you’re familiar with some of the top firm mattresses on the market, we’ll go over some tips for making the right purchase when shopping online. Remember that support (how well a mattress keeps your spine aligned) is different from firmness (how the mattress initially feels when you lie down).

Mattress Materials

It’s common knowledge that some mattresses are firmer than others. I suggest an innerspring, hybrid, or latex mattress if you prefer a firm surface to sleep on. Extra details about each are provided below.

Latex mattresses are constructed with layers of latex foam and typically have a firm texture.
  • Beds that have springs inside are typically firm and springy because they are made of steel coils covered in thin layers of foam. View our recommended innerspring mattresses.
  • Bedding made from natural latex utilize latex foams in their building processes. These materials can be extremely firm and supportive despite their inherent durability, coolness, and bounce. The support systems of latex mattresses are frequently a hybrid of latex and steel coils. If you think this is something you might be interested in, check out our top latex mattresses page.
  • Hybrid bed mattresses Add innerspring coils for support to the top comfort layers, or vice versa. There are many great choices for those who prefer a firm mattress, despite the fact that their firmness levels can vary widely. Check out our top 10 list of hybrid mattresses for more information.
  • Beds made of foam because they use foam rather than coil support cores, they may not be as long-lasting or supportive as other mattress types. However, there are some very firm foam beds available, and you can find them on our list of the top ten memory foam mattresses.

The Best Mattress Firmness for your Body Weight

Now, let’s compare the experiences of people of varying sizes on a mattress described as “firm.” A firm mattress may or may not be ideal for you, depending on your weight and build.

  • persons who sleep quickly since they won’t sink quite as far into the top layers of the mattress, heavier people typically prefer firmer mattresses. Light stomach sleepers shouldn’t have any trouble with just about any firm mattress, as they don’t require as much pressure relief. If you like a firm mattress but are on the lighter side, you may want to stick with a medium-firm mattress. Beds with this level of firmness will provide slightly more pressure relief to lighter people.
  • Normal-sized snoozers will probably find that mattresses live up to their claims. That’s why you can trust that a firm mattress lives up to its name. Any typical sleeper who favors a firm surface will do well on such a bed. If you sleep on your side, however, you may want to consider a softer mattress to reduce stress on your hips and shoulders.
  • individuals who tend to sleep a lot are a good complement to mattresses with a firm texture. Many mattresses will feel too soft for these sleepers because of the average sleeper, making even the firmest mattresses feel more like medium-firm. It’s also possible that a mattress made especially for heavy people would work. For more choices, explore our recommended heavy-person mattresses.

Pressure Relief

The ability of a mattress to alleviate pressure points is crucial. Even though firm mattresses typically provide less pressure relief than softer beds, that doesn’t mean you have to skimp on comfort. I would suggest looking for a mattress with a few layers of firm memory foam that contours to your body if pressure relief is important to you. This will soften the blow slightly while still permitting a firm experience.

Motion Transfer

How much do you think your movements will be felt when you sit on the other side of the bed?

How much movement is transmitted from one side of a mattress to the other is defined as the motion transfer. Most people who sleep with a partner or pet on their bed prefer a mattress that isolates motion well. While it’s true that firm mattresses don’t have the same level of motion isolation as softer beds, it is possible to find a firm mattress that does. Those looking for a bed that does a good job of isolating motion should consider a hybrid mattress with a memory foam top layer, or a firm all-foam mattress.


The cost of the mattress should be your last consideration when shopping for a new, firm one. The price of a bed can range from inexpensive to extravagant, depending on the quality of its construction. Some foam and hybrid mattresses are reasonably priced, while latex and innerspring mattresses are typically more expensive.

Shopping online, waiting for sales, and using our mattress coupons can help you save a lot of money on this expensive purchase. For more information on how to save money when purchasing a new bed, please refer to our best cheap mattresses guide.

Who a Firm Mattress Is Best For

See below for a description of the types of people who could gain the most from a firm mattress. If you want more help deciding which mattress firmness is best for you based on your weight, height, and preferred sleeping position, have a look at our comprehensiveMattress Firmness Guide.

  • People who sleep on their backs can benefit from firm support because it allows them to maintain a straight spine throughout the night. If you sleep on your back and experience pain, this is crucial information.
  • The Stomach Sleepers need a mattress with a lot of give because there aren’t many spaces between their bodies and the surface when they lie down to sleep. This necessitates a mattress that won’t give too much where the hips are concerned. When the hips drop, the lower back arches, which can cause chronic pain.
  • People weighing over 250 pounds prefer firm mattresses because they last longer and don’t get saggy like soft ones do. Most mattresses are designed for people weighing between 130 and 250 pounds, so I’d advise these sleepers to select a firmer model than they believe they require. This means that heavier people will experience a softer mattress than lighter people. Beds that are advertised as being extra firm are more likely to meet the expectations of heavy people.
  • Ailing back sufferers tend to favor firm mattresses because they must pay closer attention to their sleeping positions than the average person. A great deal of lower back pain can be prevented or alleviated by maintaining a straight spine while sleeping. If this is a problem for you, you may also want to take a look at our compilation of the best mattresses for back pain.

Who a Firm Mattress Isn’t Best For

Some people need more sinkage or softer support to keep their spines in alignment and avoid pain while they sleep. Check out the list below to find out who could use some gentler treatment.

  • The Side Sleepers prefer a softer to medium-softer mattress because it reduces stress on their hips and shoulders while they sleep. When you lie on your side, your spine stays in a natural alignment thanks to the natural sinkage that occurs around your hips and shoulders. The best mattresses for side sleepers can be found in our selection.
The sweet spot for side sleepers in terms of mattress firmness.
  • Achy-shouldered and -hipped sleepers additional pressure relief that a soft mattress provides. For those who fall into this category, we have compiled a list of the top mattresses for shoulder pain and best mattresses for hip pain, respectively.
  • Gentle snoozers often discover that firm mattresses are even firmer than advertised. Because of this, I usually advise these sleepers to stick with medium-firm or medium-soft mattresses to ensure adequate pressure relief.
  • Fans of Memory Foam prefer softer mattresses because they like to “sink” into bed when they get into bed. If you prefer to feel enveloped by your bed rather than floating above it, then perhaps one of our best soft mattresses would be more to your liking.

How Do You Measure Mattress Firmness?

Mattress firmness is rated on Sleepopolis’ own mattress firmness scale. One end of the scale represents the firmest mattress ever made, while the other represents the softest. A 6.5 on the firmness scale is considered the norm in the business. If you prefer a more supportive sleep surface, look for a mattress with a rating of 7 or higher on the mattress firmness scale. Check out the table below to see the different levels of mattress firmness, and read our How to Choose a Mattress guide for more details.

The level of firmness in mattresses is examined.
  • 1–5 Mattresses are the most comfortable beds ever. A mattress in this price range should be comfortable, but it should also provide adequate support. The Helix Sunset is a comfortable and supportive bed.
  • 6 The typical mattress is a medium-soft bed. Beds that score a 6.5 or higher are considered medium-firm. If you sleep on your side, I suggest a mattress that scores between 6 and 6.5 on the comfort scale. One fine instance of this category of bed is the GhostBed Luxe.
  • Beds on mattresses are as firm as they get. An excellent illustration of a firm bed is the aforementioned WinkBed. A 7 on the firmness scale should be just right for most people looking for a firm mattress.
  • 8 mattresses are extra-firm beds that work well for stomach sleepers who require a lot of back and shoulder support. The Plank is an excellent illustration of a very firm bed.
  • 9 mattresses as being extremely firm, providing almost no give. On the firmness scale, I have never rated a bed a 9.
  • 10 is where I’d put a floor made of hardwood. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever sleep on a bed as firm as this one.

Hemingway Signature Cushion Firm Mattress

Pros and Cons of a Firm Mattress

You may not be convinced that a firm mattress is the best option for you. To help you make up your mind, here are some of the benefits and drawbacks of firm mattresses.

Benefits of a firm mattress

  • Firm beds typically last longer than soft mattresses, which is a major benefit for many people. Avoiding mattress sagging before its time may be as simple as selecting a high-quality firm mattress. Don’t let that rule out the possibility of a durable soft mattress, though.
  • Some people find more back support on firm mattresses. It is possible to find a bed that is both soft and supportive; firmness and support are two different things. On the other hand, a firm mattress is a safe bet if you need a lot of support.
  • A firm mattress may be the best option if you’re concerned about the safety of your edges. These bed frames shouldn’t give in or collapse under your weight. As a bonus, this can give the illusion that your bed is larger than it really is.
  • Many modern firm mattresses feature pocketed coil layers designed to increase airflow, leading to a cooler night’s sleep. Hot sleepers will appreciate this feature very much.
  • A firmer mattress can make you feel less like you’re “stuck in bed” and more like you’re floating above it. This could be convenient for those who sleep in a variety of positions throughout the night.
  • A firm bed allows you to more easily disperse your body weight across the surface, which is beneficial for reducing pressure points and extending the life of your mattress.
  • Those who sleep on their backs or bellies will find that a firm mattress is more conducive to proper spinal alignment. This ensures that their spines will remain in a neutral position while they sleep.

Drawbacks of a firm mattress

  • It’s possible that a firm mattress won’t provide the sort of plush, cozy feel you’re after.
  • On firm beds, support comes at the expense of some pressure relief. Those who sleep on their sides or suffer from hip or shoulder pain may not appreciate this.
  • A firm mattress is not for you if you prefer a mattress that sinks slowly and provides some hug and sinkage. In general, these mattresses are more reactive.
  • Firm beds don’t provide enough sinkage around the shoulders and hips to allow the spine to drop into a neutral position, which can be problematic for side sleepers.


What is the best type of mattress for side sleepers?

Regrettably, this is not a question with a simple solution. Mattresses for side sleepers tend to be highly subjective. However, your personal tastes are a great starting point for discovering the best mattress for you. A hybrid or innerspring mattress, for instance, could be a good option for side sleepers who enjoy a springy bed. Mattresses with memory foam or multiple thick foam layers are a good choice for people who like to sink into their beds. Latex mattresses are another option for those seeking an all-natural bed.

How firm should a mattress be for side sleepers?

Those who sleep on their sides tend to feel more comfortable on softer mattresses. This provides extra security against being slammed in the chest or hips. Nonetheless, you should still try to find a mattress that provides adequate back support.

Where should your arms be when sleeping on your side?

Many people who sleep on their sides do so with their arms near their chins, but this isn’t the most comfortable position. Another recommendation for sleeping on one’s side? A pillow tucked in between the legs can help maintain proper spinal alignment while you sleep.


When searching for a new bed, you may come across a cushion firm option. Exactly what does it mean when a mattress is described as “cushion firm?” This mattress is considered medium-firm because it is firm but has some give to it, making up for the lack of contour that is common in firm beds.