Buying a new mattress can be as important as buying a new car.
The mattress is where you retire into after the day’s work, incubate most of your promising thoughts and ideas, decide and ruminate over many of the steps you’ll ever take in life, and have your greatest and wildest dreams.
In addition, it’s a companion you’ll depend on for many years to decades. So, there’s much more to a mattress than most people think.
Another important fact worth knowing is that your mattress is one of those things that your health and quality of life hinge on. With a good and suitable mattress, you’ll enjoy sound sleep all the time, stay fit and healthy, maintain a good posture, and prevent bone and muscle pains that come with bad body alignment and sleeping positions.
With regards to level of firmness, mattresses range from the soft or plush types to the extra-firm types. In this guide, we’ll be discussing all you need to know about the extra-firm mattresses — their advantages and disadvantages, who should buy them, and things to consider when buying them.
We’ll also be looking at five of the best extra-firm mattresses available in the market at the moment and why we have picked them above others.
What exactly is an extra-firm mattress?
An extra-firm mattress is just what its name implies — a very stiff and firm mattress that does not give in to body pressure. Rather than lend itself to contouring or mold itself around body parts resting on it, an extra-firm mattress remains rigid for the purpose of giving maximum support to the body.
While extra firm mattresses are expectably made of firm components, they do vary in terms of their outward finish. Some have downright smooth and hard surfaces, some have pillow top surfaces, and some have their outermost layers made of memory foam, latex foam, hybrid foam, and so on.
As with other mattress types, extra firm mattresses come in various sizes — queen, king, twin, full size, and so on.
Advantages of extra-firm mattresses
Though they have their own downsides, extra-firm mattresses provide a good number of proven health benefits to their users. This explains why medical experts sometimes categorically recommend them to some of their patients. Here are some of the advantages of extra-firm mattresses.
Sleeping on extra-firm mattresses helps you to align your body properly during sleep — especially if you’re a back sleeper. Due to the firmness of this type of mattress, it does not give in to pressure from parts of your body, which sometimes leads to misalignment of body parts, bad posture, and aching of body parts.
Even weight distribution
The near-hard surface of an extra-firm mattress ensures that your body weight is evenly distributed on the same level during your sleep. This is particularly true for overweight people. Soft mattresses suck in this regard, causing some body parts to sink more into the mattress than others. This uneven distribution of body weight causes poor sleep quality in some users of soft mattresses.
Contrary to what many people think, the body cannot fully rest on a soft mattress because it’s always trying to adapt itself to any awkward position you place yourself in during sleep. An extra-firm mattress, on the other hand, isn’t that tolerant. It stays firm to hold your body parts in good positions, rather than support them in the wrong positions. This explains why extra-firm mattresses offer better sleep quality.
Better breathing and circulation during sleep
When you sleep on an extra-firm or hard mattress, your body weight is supported by your bones, leaving your muscles to relax. With muscle relaxation comes relaxation of arteries and veins, resulting in effective blood circulation during sleep. This type of mattress also prevents your lower back from collapsing when you lay on it, leading to maximal dilatation of the airways, which in turn leads to better breathing and inhalation of more oxygen during sleep.
Disadvantages of extra-firm mattresses
Extra-firm mattresses, like all other products, are not perfect. Their multiple benefits notwithstanding, they also have their fair share of disadvantages — such as the following.
If you’re not used to sleeping on firm or hard surfaces, you can find an extra-firm mattress very discomforting. For some people, this can be so bad that start feeling pain on their shoulders, buttocks, and other pressure parts after waking up from a long sleep. But this good thing is, within a few days you’ll get used to it, and you’ll start enjoying better sleep.
For very weak, sick, or disabled people, such as stroke patients, an extra-firm mattress can cause pressure sores because it causes reduced blood circulation to body parts that press against it for long periods. So, very weak elderly people as well as disabled and paralyzed individuals should not be nursed on extra-firm mattresses.
Who should use an extra-firm mattress?
It goes without saying, but extra-firm mattresses are not for everyone. You’ll benefit immensely from an extra-firm mattress if you belong to any of these categories of people:
- Those who are sticklers for good posture.
- Those who have long-standing body aches and pains resulting from bad sleeping positions.
- Those who are used to sleeping comfortably on hard or firm surfaces.
- Those who want to correct spine and posture misalignments.
- Those who have no disabilities or paralyzing ailments.
- Overweight people.
Buying an extra firm mattress: Things to consider
Because a mattress is one of your most important possessions, choosing it should be research intensive. In other words, you need to carefully scrutinize every option that comes your way when you’re looking to buy your extra-firm mattress. If you have no experience with this, you can easily end up with a dud.
But with adequate knowledge and understanding of what to look out for, you can easily choose the right mattress that will not only help your health significantly, but will also last longer than you ever imagined. Here are some of the important things to consider when buying an extra-firm mattress.
Type of surface
Extra firm mattresses come in different designs and covered with various surface materials, such as memory foam, latex foam, hybrid foam, and so on. Others are covered with soft-feeling pillowtop or plush material, while others have a plain, hard-feeling surface. So, you have a good number of options to choose from in this regard. This makes little difference, though, and your choice would be determined by your budget and personal preferences.
Although thicker mattresses are widely believed to be more durable and capable of lasting longer, this is not true in many cases. However, it’s recommended that you buy a mattress that is at least 6-inches thick. While you have many options to choose from (6 inches, 10 inches, 12 inches, etc.), your final choice here should also be based on budget and personal preference.
When looking to buy a new mattress, there’s really no reliable way to tell which one would last long or which one has good edge support, since you can only figure those out after using the product for some time. But by reading reviews of the product as left by real buyers, you’d get some insight into the product’s durability, edge support, manufacturer’s customer support, and other important things. So, you’d do yourself a lot of good by reading buyer reviews before going for a product. It goes without saying, but the more reviews a product has, the better.
Refund policy and warranty
It goes without saying, but you should only for a mattress for which there manufacturer has slammed a comfort guarantee that you’re comfortable with. This could range from few weeks to 120 days, depending on the manufacturer. In addition, be sure to check the manufacturer’s warranty. While this could range from 10 to 25 years, longer is better because a longer warranty somehow indicates huge manufacturer confidence in the product’s durability.
Most people think more expensive products are always better, but this isn’t always true. There are many extra firm mattresses that sell for cheaper but are better than some pricier ones. So, don’t get fooled by price; the more expensive ones are not always better, and the cheaper ones are not always mediocre. To get some insight into what you’re likely to get from any product, read reviews by buyers who have used the product for some time.
BEST EXTRA-FIRM MATTRESSES REVIEW: OUR TOP 5 PICKS
Extra-firm mattresses abound in the market. And making the right choice can be a head-scratching experience because there are zillions of options to choose from. If you’re quite inexperienced, you stand a good chance of winding up with a bad choice — even if you know what to look out for.
But here’s good news: We scoured the market to compare several different extra-firm mattresses by trusted brands — with the aim of making things easier for you. We compared them based on real buyer reviews (as seen on Amazon.com), features, brand trust, and other important factors. And based on our criteria, we came up with these as our top five picks.
|Rank||Product Name||Type||Thickness||Warranty||Our rating||Price|
|1||Beautyrest Recharge Montano Luxury Firm Mattress||Hybrid foam||11.5 inches||20 years||9.5/10||Check|
|2||Zinus Responsive Memory Foam||Memory foam||10 inches||10 years||9.2/10||Check|
|3||BodyComfort Select 2000 Luxury Extra Firm Mattress by Sleep Inc.||HD firm foam||13 inches||10 years||9.0/10||Check|
|4||LUCID 10 Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress||Memory foam||10 inches||25 years||8.5/10||Check|
|5||Brentwood Gel Infused HD Memory Foam Mattress||Memory foam||7 inches||25 years||8.0/10||Check|
1. Beautyrest Recharge Montano Luxury Firm Mattress
If you have a taste for not just high quality, but also luxury-feel products, then chances are you’ll love the Beautyrest Recharge Montano Luxury Firm Mattress. With a thickness of 11.5 inches, the mattress is made with hybrid foam and employs the Beautyrest Pocketed Coil Technology, which involves the use of several pocketed coils in providing back support and motion during sleep. So, the firm feel notwithstanding, you won’t wake up feeling uncomfortable.
The Beautyrest Recharge Montano Luxury Firm Mattress also comprises AirCool foam, which provides additional support and comfort as well as effective breathability. GelTouch is also incorporated for effective pressure relief.
Aesthetically, the mattress is seductive, as it sports the exclusive AirCool BeautyEdge foam encasement and AirCool Mesh Border fabric, both of which provide adequate edge support, ventilation, and breathability. So, you won’t wake up sweating all over.
Just so you know, this extra firm mattress is made in the USA by Simmons, a trusted brand with a solid reputation. Available in Queen, King, and Full sizes, it comes with the durable Triton Foundation (box spring) and 20 years manufacturer’s warranty. And it is certified by CertiPUR-US for durability, performance, and content.
If you’re having backaches or body pains due to long-term use of the wrong mattress or sleeping in the wrong posture, this mattress is your best bet. Many users have testified to its therapeutic advantage in this regard.
Downside: For the first few hours to days after you start using this mattress, expect the usual awkward smell that it emits due to its internal components. But don’t worry, it would go away within a very short while.
2. Zinus Responsive Memory Foam
The 10-inch thick Zinus Responsive Memory Foam is another great option if you’re looking for the right extra-firm mattress. Truth be told, this mattress has a really firm look, as it sports a smooth, plain, luxurious surface cover. It comprises 2 inches of Viscolatex responsive foam, 1 inch of memory foam, 2 inches of high density support foam, and 5 inches of high density base foam.
Thanks to the manufacturer’s patented compression technology, the Zinus Responsive Memory Foam ships in a compressed form in a compact box. So, you’ll have to wait for up to 2 days for the mattress to rise to its full size.
The mattress is CertiPUR-US certified, so there are no doubts over its durability and performance. It’s made in the USA by a trusted brand (Zinus) and comes with a 10-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.
To eliminate the pesky odors perceived when new mattress gas out, the Zinus Responsive Memory Foam is infused with green tea, natural plant oil, and charcoal.
If what you’re looking for is a really firm (close to hard) mattress, then this product is for you. It’s available in King, Queen, Full, and Twin sizes.
Downside: This mattress doesn’t ship with a box spring.
3. Sleep Inc. 13-Inch BodyComfort Select 2000 Luxury Extra Firm Mattress
Another aesthetically alluring extra-firm mattress, the 13-inch thick BodyComfort Select 2000 Luxury Extra Firm Mattress by Sleep Inc. comprises hundreds of premium innersprings in its substance to enhance support and confer durability. It’s convoluted surface promises great body support and sleep comfort.
It comes covered with a TENCEL luxurious cover, which does a good job at managing moisture and regulating temperature around the body. It also comes with a 360-degree foam encasement that provides good edge support. If you’re looking for a thicker firm matress, then this is a good option to consider.
The BodyComfort Select 2000 mattress is available in King, Queen, and Full sizes. And it comes backed with a 10-year non-prorated manufacturer’s warranty. It doesn’t include a box spring; you’d have to buy one separately if you don’t have already.
Downside: Not as firm as others on this list. But that’s because it’s a foam mattress, NOT a spring mattress. So, it’s more correct to call it a firm foam mattress. If you’re a stickler for foam mattresses, then this remains your best bet.
4. LUCID 10 Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress
Another 10-inch thick extra firm mattress, the LUCID 10 Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress comprises 2.5 inches of gel-infused ventilated memory foam surface combined with 7.5 inches of high density base foam. The mattress also employs the compression technology that allows for much easier shipping in a compacted form.
The LUCID 10 Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress is CertiPUR-US certified, which means it has been tested for safety of materials used, durability, performance, and environment-friendliness. Its selling point is most probably its ability to regulate temperature, thanks to its TENCEL blend fabric cover, which controls moisture and creates a comfortable air layer that regulates temperature. Another unique upside is its therapeutic effect on back ache as reported my many users.
Since it comes in a compressed form, you’ll need to give some hours for it to expand to its full size. One good thing about this mattress is that it doesn’t really produce any strong smells. Note, however, that this product doesn’t come with a foundation.
The LUCID 10 Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress is available in eight different sizes (Twin, Twin XL, King Queen, Full, Full XL, Short/RV Queen and California King. It comes backed with a staggering 25-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Downside: Manufacturer support is questionable.
5. Brentwood 7″ Gel Infused HD Memory Foam Mattress
If what you’re looking for is an extra-firm RV mattress, then the Brentwood Gel Infused HD Memory Foam Mattress is your best bet, and it’s made for use in RVs. Measuring 7 inches thick, the mattress comprises 1 inch of gel-infused high density memory foam combined with 1 inch of comfort foam and 5 inches of foam base support.
The mattress’s HD memory foam layer comprises millions of particles that keep the mattress cool and comfortable. And it sports a beautiful cover made from natural bamboo fibers than you can remove and wash when necessary. The mattress is made of anti-microbial and dust mite resistant material, so that’s a huge plus.
The Brentwood 7″ Gel Infused HD Memory Foam Mattress comes shipped in a compressed form and weighs about 30 pounds. It is made in the USA and is CertiPUR-US certified. It comes in four different sizes (RV Short Queen, RV Short King, RV Short Twin, and RV Short Full). And it’s backed with a 25-year manufacturer’s warranty.
If you’re a camper, then this is arguably the best match for your RV. Nonetheless, nothing stops you from converting it to home use.
Downside: More suitable for recreational vehicles.
While we’re convinced that all the extra firm mattresses featured in this guide are reliable, we understand that your personal preferences are important, too. So, whichever you decide to go for, you won’t go wrong.
But if you’re a lover of luxury looking and feeling mattresses that combine firmness and comfort, then you’d be impressed by the Beautyrest Recharge Montano Luxury Firm Mattress. If you’re on a tight budget but still want a great extra-firm mattress, consider buying the Zinus Responsive Memory Foam. If you’d prefer something slightly thicker, then the 13-inch thick BodyComfort Select 2000 Luxury Extra Firm Mattress by Sleep Inc. is your best bet. And if what you’re looking for is the perfect extra-firm mattress for your RV, you’d be absolutely fine with the Brentwood Gel Infused HD Memory Foam Mattress.
Important note: When buying any of these products on Amazon.com, be sure to select the right size and thickness before adding the product to cart, so you won’t mistakenly order the wrong option.