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Best firm mattress 2024: Our favourite tried-and-tested mattresses for solid support

A mattress on a bed frame

We’ve put plenty of mattresses to the test. These are the best for a firmer feel

The best firm mattresses can provide support and comfort for those who are struggling to get a good night’s sleep on a bed that’s just too soft.

Indeed, in some cases, sleeping on a firmer mattress may even be better for you, particularly if you’re on the heavier side or you sleep in a certain position. If you’re sinking too deep into your mattress, then your weight will be spread unevenly and you might not get enough support in all the right places. This, in turn, can lead to back pain.

We’ve reviewed over 30 mattresses here at Expert Reviews, and we’ve picked out a few that stood out as feeling notably firmer in our tests. Our roundup features both foam and hybrid mattresses and covers a range of price points, but if you just want some quick recommendations, see our at a glance list below. And for more advice on buying a firm mattress, including some details on why you might need one, see our buying guide at the bottom of this page.

READ NEXT: Best mattresses

Featured deal

As part of Simba’s summer sale, you can now purchase our favourite premium mattress, the Simba Hybrid Pro, for only £997 in the king size. That’s a brilliant 25% discount that you’ll not want to miss, so you’ll need to be quick.

View deal at Simba

Featured deal

Our favourite firm mattress on a budget is even cheaper: Origin has slashed the price of its five-star Hybrid Mattress by 40%.

View deal at Origin

Featured deal

You can currently get the Otty Original Hybrid mattress for £125 off as part of Otty’s latest sale. 

View deal at Otty

Best firm mattress: At a glance

Best firm mattress overallOtty Original Hybrid mattress (~From £530)Check price at Otty
Best premium mattressSimba Hybrid Pro (~From £899)Check price at Simba
Best firm mattress on a budgetOrigin Hybrid mattress (~From £465)Check price at Origin

How we test mattresses

Controlled testing and lab conditions aside, the best way to get an impression of how good (or bad) a mattress is is by sleeping on it. And this is what we do.

That said, there are some important factors we take into account as we do so. How comfortable is it? Does it feel plush and soft or does it offer firmer support? We also consider edge support and motion isolation (if you sleep with a partner, do their movements in the night disturb you?). Temperature control is another very important factor: for instance, some mattresses such as all-foam ones, might be warmer than others – this would make them less suitable for sleepers prone to overheating.

And the base on which your mattress lies – whether it’s a sturdy divan base, springy slatted bed or even the floor – will impact how the mattress feels beneath you. Though we don’t always have access to several base types when reviewing mattresses, we try to test them on the floor as well as on a bed frame.

Lastly, we factor in any potential trial runs being offered – which are very common within the bed-in-a-box market – before finally asking the pressing question, is the mattress good value for money?

READ NEXT: Best hybrid mattresses

The best firm mattresses you can buy in 2024

1. Otty Original Hybrid mattress: Best firm mattress overall

Price when reviewed: From £530 | Check prices at Otty

Otty Original Hybrid mattress: Best firm mattress for most people

  • Great for… a firm, thick design
  • Not so great for... corner support

If you prefer a firmer feel, the Otty Original Hybrid is a fantastic choice. Constructed from 2,000 full-size pocket springs (140mm) alongside several layers of foam, the brand rates it as a 7/10 on their own “firmness scale”. While we did find it to be on the firmer side in our tests, it’s not actually the firmest on the list – though we still think this model is the best for most people. It’s comfortable and supportive (even if edge support could be improved). Our reviewer, who prefers to sleep on their back and side, said: “it provided excellent pressure relief in all the key areas, supporting my hips and lower back nicely.”

The Otty Original Hybrid has been subject to a few price increases and decreases over the years: it will now cost you £800 king size, which is pretty great value if you’re after a hybrid mattress without a four-figure price tag.

Read our full Otty Original Hybrid review

Key features – Type: Spring and foam hybrid; Sizes: Single to Emperor (also EU sizes); Trial period: 100 nights

Check prices at Otty

2. Emma NextGen Premium Mattress: Best value firm mattress

Price when reviewed: From £479 (single) | Check price at Emma

The Emma NextGen Premium mattress on a blue backgroundUpdate: Recently, Emma Sleep has received a number of negative reviews on Trustpilot, complaining of delayed delivery times and a lack of communication on the brand’s part. A spokesperson for Emma has told us that the brand is working hard to resolve these issues, and website delivery times have been updated accordingly.

  • Great for… value for money and motion isolation 
  • Not so great for… those who want a bit more bounce

We found the Emma NextGen to be one of the most comfortable bed-in-a-box mattresses we’ve slept on. On the firmer side of medium-firm, it’s well-suited to both back and side sleepers and also offers great motion isolation – making it a good choice if you share your bed with a partner. 

Like many hybrid mattresses, the NextGen Premium is made up of layers of foam and pocket springs. The latter are Emma’s ‘extra tall’ 18.5cm springs, which our reviewer noted make the mattress “feel properly structured and supportive” while also promoting airflow, making for a cool and comfortable sleep. 

If you prefer something softer or, more specifically, with a bit more “bounce”, then the Emma NextGen Premium is perhaps not for you. But if a firm mattress is what you’re after, it’s a great all round choice. And at £799 in a king size, it’s pretty good value for money too. Plus, you’ll get Emma’s 200-night trial, during which you can decide for yourself whether it’s the right mattress for you. 

Read our full Emma NextGen Premium review

Key features – Type: Spring and foam hybrid; Sizes: Single to super king; Trial period: 200 nights; Warranty: 10 years

Check price at Emma

3. Origin Hybrid mattress: Best firm mattress on a budget

Price when reviewed: From £465 | Check prices at Origin

Origin Hybrid mattress: Best firm mattress on a budget

  • Great for… spending less
  • Not so great for… turning, due a lack of handle

Origin’s Hybrid mattress is one of the most affordable in our rundown, but it impressed us enough to receive the maximum five stars in our review: our reviewer – who admitted to preferring a softer mattress – praised it for offering “an excellent balance between soft comfort and firm support”. It is soft enough for those who are after a bit more cushioning, while also “delivering the kind of ergonomic support adored by firm mattress enthusiasts”.

Like many newer hybrid mattresses, the Origin Hybrid contains a grid-based layer designed to optimise back support and provide more cushioning for lighter areas of the body. There’s also a solid foam layer for extra support where needed, even right at the edge of the mattress, so you make use of the whole sleeping surface.

Read our full Origin Hybrid Mattress review

Key features – Type: Spring and foam hybrid; Sizes: Single to super king (including small double); Trial period: 200 nights

Check prices at Origin

4. Simba Hybrid Pro: Best premium mattress

Price when reviewed: From £899 | Check prices at Simba

Simba Hybrid Pro: Best medium-firm mattress

  • Great for… fantastic, all-round support
  • Not so great for… those on a budget

Simba describes the Hybrid Pro mattress as ‘medium firm’ on its website, which we’re inclined to agree with. In our tests, we found it to be very supportive as well as comfortable. To quote our reviewer in his full-length review, “There’s a tautness you don’t find in foam comfort layers and, as such, there’s much less of a sinking feeling, which is definitely a very good thing.”

The Hybrid Pro is constructed from layers of foam alongside two layers of micro-pocket springs. The Pro’s upper wool layer is also effective, not just as a layer of comfort, but also when it comes to temperature regulation. At £1,329 in a king size, it’s not cheap, but this is a great mattress if you can afford it.

Read our full length Simba Hybrid Pro review

Key features – Type: Spring and foam hybrid; Sizes: Single to super king; Trial period: 200 nights

Check prices at Simba

5. Nectar Premier Hybrid: Best firm mattress with a long trial period

Price when reviewed: From £775 | Check prices at Nectar

Nectar Premier Hybrid: Best firm mattress for back sleepers

  • Great for… those who like a very firm mattress, its generous trial period
  • Not so great for… those on a budget

At the time of writing, Nectar has five mattresses in its roster, the Premier Hybrid being the most expensive at £1,000 for a king size. It’s a firm and supportive mattress, which our reviewer found to be quite a bit firmer than the Otty Original Hybrid featured above. As she said in her full-length review: “If you’re someone who likes the feel of a firm mattress, and you want something that’s going to be good for your back, then this is the design for you.”

Although we recommend it for back sleepers, we found it still accommodates a range of sleeping positions, and that motion isolation was also impressive. As we said, it’s the brand’s most expensive mattress, but it’s still a bit cheaper than the Simba and you get a very generous 365-night trial period too.

Read our full length Nectar Premier Hybrid review

Key features – Type: Spring and foam hybrid; Sizes: Single to super king; Trial period: 365 nights

Check prices at Nectar

6. HiGrid Premium Hybrid mattress: Best firm mattress for pressure relief

Price when reviewed: From £899 | Check prices at HiGrid 

HiGrid Premium Hybrid mattress: Best firm mattress for pressure relief​​

  • Great for… extra support
  • Not so great for… side sleepers, those who are petite or have a low body weight

This luxurious mattress contains an elastic “SmartGrid” layer that gives it an incredibly supportive, orthopaedic feel, and adapts to your body and your sleeping position. If you crave a firmer sleeping surface or you need pressure relief to ease musculoskeletal aches and pains, this durable mattress could be just the ticket. Indeed, our reviewer found it firmer than expected and, because of the supportive layers beneath the mattress’ top foam layer, disagreed with HiGrid’s 6.5 firmness rating.

Side sleepers and smaller people may find the HiGrid a little too firm for comfort, especially at first. The upper layers become more supple in time, but they never quite feel soft. Edge-to-edge support and motion isolation are excellent, but beware of lifting this absolute beast, which weighs 58.5kg for a king size.

Read our full HiGrid Premium Hybrid review

Key features – Type: Spring and foam hybrid; Sizes: Single to super king; Trial period: 200 nights

Check prices at HiGrid

How to choose the best firm mattress for you

How do I know if I need a firmer mattress?

If you find your current mattress too soft, this is an obvious indication that you might need a firmer one. Other indicators, as we’ve touched on above, include your body sinking too deep into your mattress, which can result in back pain.

As we said in our introduction, you might need a firmer mattress to support your weight if you’re on the heavier side. Another factor that will play a part in whether you need a firm or soft mattress is the position you sleep in. If you sleep mainly on your side, a mattress that’s too firm won’t be able to accommodate the contours of your body. On the other hand, if you sleep on your back and you’re trying to curb back pain, a firmer mattress may be the better option. Ultimately, you want a mattress that will be able to accommodate your sleeping position while also being firm enough to provide decent levels of support.

How firm is “firm”?

The answer to this, of course, is far from straightforward. We’ve tested a lot of mattresses here at Expert Reviews, and the ones that have made it onto our roundup above are the few that we feel stand out as being notably firmer than the rest.

However, as with anything mattress and bedding related, a degree of subjectivity is involved, and different people can have very different experiences with the same mattress. What we consider a relatively firm mattress, therefore, might still not be firm enough for you. With this said, our expert mattress testing aims to take into account different types of sleepers and we understand that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when recommending a mattress.

In any case, thanks to the bed-in-a-box market, you can avoid taking any financial risks when buying your new mattress. All of the brands we’ve featured in our roundup above come with a trial period at the end of which you can return your mattress for a full refund if you find that it’s not the right one for you.

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