I test the world's best firm mattresses — 5 I'd buy in today's Memorial Day sales

A Firm Saatva Classic Mattress on a bed frame outdoors on a platform by the sea, a Tom's Guide price drop deals graphic (right)
(Image credit: Saatva)

If you're shopping the Memorial Day sales for a good firm mattress for much less than normal, I've rounded-up my top five recommendations here. My overall top pick is the Firm Saatva Classic, a luxury innerspring hybrid with excellent lumbar support and this weekend you can save $400 on the Saatva Classic at Saatva.  A queen is reduced to $1,695 (was $2,095), the cheapest price since President's Day.

As a long-term sufferer of lower back pain, I've always enjoyed the enhanced lumbar support of firm mattresses – even though I’m of a lightweight build – and the Saatva does this well. The Saatva Classic is this year's best mattress for all sleepers, but there are four other good firm mattress deals to look for this weekend and I've covered them below.

Today's Memorial Day mattress sales are your last chance to get a cheaper price on a new bed before prices rise over the summer months and I don't expect them to fall again until Labor Day in September. Here are the five firm mattress deals I recommend buying this weekend...

1. Saatva Classic by Saatva

1. Saatva Classic by Saatva

Was from: $1,395
Now from: $995
up to $400 at Saatva

Summary: The joy of the Saatva Classic is that it’s a customizable mattress with options to suit all sleepers. In our Saatva Classic mattress review, our testers trialed the Luxury Firm option, but I’d recommend the Firm option for those, somewhat obviously, looking for a firm mattress. Made from coils and a minimal amount of foam, the Saatva feels more like a luxury hybrid innerspring, although it’s still our top pick in our best hybrid mattress guide. I also love the addition of a lumbar crown, which instantly adds extra support for the lower back. 

Price history: You’ll never pay MSRP for the Saatva Classic, and a monthly Saatva mattress sale mean that there’s normally between 12-15% off. But this Memorial Day, Saatva have reduced the price of the Classic by $400 across all sizes, which is the best offer we’ve seen since Black Friday. This takes a queen down to $1,695 from $2,095.

Benefits: 365-night trial | Lifetime warranty | Free white glove delivery

2. The WinkBed Mattress by WinkBeds

2. The WinkBed Mattress by WinkBeds

Was: from $1,149
from $849
up to $300 at WinkBeds

Summary: One of the best mattresses for back pain, The WinkBed is customizable like the Saatva Classic but this time with four options to choose from. I’d recommend the Firmer option to most sleepers looking for a firm feel, unless you weigh over 250lbs, in which case you should pick the Plus version. Made with sturdier coils to support the lumbar region, along with gel-infused foam, our testers found that it offered the right balance of support and cushioning during our WinkBed mattress review

Price history: WinkBeds have an evergreen discount of $300 off the WinkBed, so the current Memorial Day offer is nothing new. However, for the levels of comfort and the customization options available, I think this mattress is reasonably priced with the discount. You can pick up a queen for $1,499 (MSRP $1,799).

Benefits: 120-night trial | Lifetime warranty | Free delivery

3. Titan Plus mattress

3. Titan Plus mattress

Was: from $699
from $489.30
up to $450 at Titan

Summary: Part of the Brooklyn Bedding empire, the Titan Plus is the best firm option for larger builds – we rate it as one of the best mattresses for heavy people. The Titan Plus will support a combined weight of up to 1,000lbs, with a combination of coils and comfort foam providing support. The mattress also has a quilted cover with gel memory foam sewn into it for added contouring. With a firmness rating of 8-10, it’s also a great choice for anyone who likes a firm mattress, although I’d suggest that lightweight sleepers may find it too hard and unyielding.

Price history: We see regular discounts of 25% off on the Titan, but this Memorial Day the mattress is reduced by 30% off all sizes with the code MEMORIAL30. This is a good price for a firm mattress of this quality, with a queen size discounted to $874 (was $1,149).

Benefits: 120-night trial | 10 years | Free delivery

4. Stearns & Foster Estate 

4. Stearns & Foster Estate 

Was: from $2,299
Now: from $2,099
Saving: Up to $400 off of every mattress size at Stearns & Foster, plus free $300 Visa gift card 

Summary: The Stearns & Foster Estate is as luxe as it is firm — this best-selling hybrid is found in the Ritz-Carlton hotel and has a firmness rating of 9/10. It’s available as both a soft or firm and with or without a pillow top. During our Stearns & Foster Estate mattress review, we reviewed a firm mattress with pillow top and our lead tester noted that her spine was cradled in correct alignment with the rest of her body. She didn’t experience any pain, but did feel a little pressure buildup after sleeping on her side. If you’re more of a combination or side sleeper, you might want to opt for something with a bit of sink-in support. 

Price history: Sales from Stearns & Foster are rare but right now there’s between $200-$400 off the listing price, plus you’ll get a free $300 Visa gift card — that’s Black Friday levels of savings. But you’ll have to be quick, this sale is due to end tomorrow. 

Benefits: 90-night trial | 10 years warranty | Free white glove delivery  

5. Plank Firm mattress

5. Plank Firm mattress

Was: from $849
Now: from $549.30
Saving: up to $520 at Plank by Brooklyn Bedding

Summary: Another bed that sits under the umbrella of the Brooklyn Bedding empire, the Plank Firm mattress boasts a flippable, all-foam design modelled on the minimalist beds that are popular in Asia. Both sides of the mattress are firm, but one side is slightly firmer than the other, so will be suitable for anyone who is seeking an ultra supportive sleep surface. All foam models are known to trap a little heat, but without much sinkage that shouldn’t be too much of an issue here. However, there is also an option to upgrade to a GlacioTex cooling cover, or opt for a hybrid version instead for added ventilation. 

Price history: The Plank Firm is usually discounted by 25%, but today’s Memorial Day mattress sale has driven prices down by 30% - that’s incredible value on a flippable bed of this calibre. Enter the code MEMORIAL30 at checkout and pay $1,037.40 for a queen (was $1,482). 

Benefits: 120-night trial | 10 years | Free delivery 

How firm is a firm mattress?

Firmness is a subjective thing, but I would generally suggest that a mattress rated at between 8 to 9 out of 10 is a firm mattress, with 9 to 10 being extra firm. As opposed to a medium firm mattress, which will contour a little around the body – particularly at the lumbar region, a firm mattress is designed to keep you lying on top of the mattress without sinking in. This doesn’t mean that you’ll be lying on a plank. The best firm mattresses still have comfort layers at the top and a little give that allows sleepers to feel comfortable as well as supported.

Who should buy a firm mattress?

The best firm mattresses aren’t only for back pain sufferers – heavier sleepers will also get better support from them, whilst back and stomach sleepers will find that their spines are kept perfectly aligned throughout the night.

These are the people I’d recommend a firm mattress to...

  • Back and stomach sleepers: A firmer mattress helps to keep the spine aligned and the hips in the correct position to prevent aches and pains building through the night. Plus, a firmer mattress will help support the natural forward curve of your lower back.
  • Lower back pain sufferers: Firm mattresses provide the support needed to keep your spine aligned, as I mentioned above. This in turn helps to reduce pressure points on your lower back, which will help to alleviate pain.
  • Heavier bodies: For those weighing over 250lbs, a firmer mattress will provide enough support to distribute weight evenly across the mattress, minimizing stress on the joints and helping to prevent sagging.

Who shouldn’t buy a firm mattress?

A firm mattress won’t suit all sleepers. Here’s who should avoid them:

  • Side sleepers: Side sleepers need more cushioning and a mattress that will contour to their hips and shoulders to prevent pressure building up. If you’re a dedicated side sleeper, take a look at our best mattresses for side sleepers recommendations to find a suitable mattress. 
  • Lightweight sleepers: Unless you suffer from lower back pain as I do, it’s likely that you’ll find a firm mattress simply too firm. Lightweight sleepers won’t get any contouring at all from a firm mattress, which could lead to pressure build up and joint pain.
  • Fans of the memory foam ‘hug’: Firm mattresses don’t give the sinkage and ‘hug’ that you’ll get from an all-foam mattress. If you like this ultra-plush feel in a mattress, take a look at our best memory foam mattresses for inspiration. 

More top Memorial Day sales to consider

Jo Plumridge
Mattress tester and sleep writer

Jo Plumridge is an experienced mattress reviewer with several years' experience covering all things mattresses and sleep, and who tests memory foam, hybrid and organic mattresses. What Jo doesn't know about a boxed mattress isn't worth knowing, so naturally we tasked her with producing a series of features for Tom's Guide looking at all aspects of mattresses, from how to pick between latex and memory foam (it's a tricky one), to the seven mistakes people make when buying a mattress for the first time. When testing the DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid for Tom's Guide, Jo said: "I loved the back support and pressure relief it offered. Plus, it looks far more expensive than it is." When she isn’t writing about sleep, Jo also writes extensively on interior design, home products and photography.