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In this guide
If there’s one feeling we really hate, it’s the feeling of disappointment. You know, that restaurant you made a reservation for weeks in advance. When you finally get there, after hyping it for months, the food is tiny and cold, the service is indifferent and the music’s so loud you can’t actually hear your mates. Yeah, disappointing.
Luckily, you can avoid that feeling if you’re after a firm mattress by checking out our guide to the best firm mattress in Australia. We’ve done all the hard work for you, digging into the materials, quality and construction of a wide range of mattresses to deliver you the ones that, we think, really are firm mattresses. We’ve even read through hundreds of real Aussie sleeper reviews to understand what they’re really like to sleep on. There’s no limp lettuce in sight, promise.
The best firm mattresses in Australia
Emma Comfort Mattress
- The removable, washable cover which is the only one we’ve found.
- It’s pretty light for a mattress in a box so it's easy to move.
- The lack of partner disturbance.
- Some sleepers (including Daniel, our tester) found it very firm (and borderline hard).
- The buying process isn’t the most streamlined.
Cosier co-founder and design lead Daniel got hands on with the Emma Comfort mattress so we know that this is a firm foam mattress. In fact, it’s a super firm mattress. For those of you chasing a firm mattress, it could be right for you.
This extra firm feel is probably because there’s no deep, plush cushioning top layer with the Emma Comfort. It’s straight onto foam. There are 2 layers of foam in the mattress: Airgocell foam which minimises partner disturbance while being moisture wicking to keep you cool and dry all night long. There’s also a layer of supportive HRX foam to help your hips, shoulders and spine stay in their correct alignment. It’s also breathable to promote good airflow.
Together, this gives the Emma Comfort the sense that you’re being gently hugged as it moulds to your body as you move. It has great pressure relief and is very supportive, whatever sleep position you’re in.
Choose this if…
You’re after the best extra firm mattress.
- Wide range of sizes, from single all the way up to super king.
- Flippable firmness layers so you can choose from anywhere from medium to firm.
- Proudly Aussie company that’s certified carbon neutral.
- Removable and washable cover.
- No handles (although the Ecosa mattress doesn’t need rotating or flipping).
- Some sleepers find it too firm, even on the medium feel.
- Returns can be hit and miss.
Another all foam mattress, the Ecosa is the mid-range option from er, Ecosa. What sets the Ecosa apart from other firm mattresses in this guide is that it has flippable firmness levels so you can choose a feel anywhere from medium to firm. Even on the medium side, a lot of Aussie sleepers find it firm.
The Ecosa contains memory foam and ergonomic support foam. The top layer is G-7 gel memory foam which delivers that ‘sinking in and being held’ feeling. But it springs back as you move around so you won’t get stuck in one position. Thanks to the open cell design of the ECO-Tex memory foam, it’s slightly bouncy, like a traditional spring mattress (but without the squeakiness).
We reckon the Ecosa is a strong contender for the best firm mattress in Australia. Not only for the quality materials and customisable firmness, but because Ecosa is a great Aussie company that’s Australia’s first certified carbon neutral mattress company. They’ve got a wide range of sustainability initiatives, including offsetting the carbon emissions from the manufacture of the Ecosa mattress.
Choose this if…
You want a customisable firm mattress with a side of environmental fuzzies.
Peace Lily Mattress
- Flippable firmness layers so you can choose a medium or firm feel.
- Huge range of sizes which is the widest of all mattresses we’ve reviewed.
- The clean, green naturalness of the mattress, including its sustainable manufacturing.
- That it’s handcrafted.
- Heavy to move, lift and turn.
- Returns policy isn’t great with customers in non-metro areas having to arrange a charity pick up or drop off.
- Delivery timeframes are vague.
The Peace Lily has an advantage when it comes to being the best firm mattress: it’s made of latex. Latex is probably the most firm mattress material out there. Because unlike foam and memory foam, you don’t sink into it - instead, you sleep on top of it. So already that sensation of being on, and not in, your mattress makes it feel like a firm sleeping surface.
Known for being excellent at relieving pressure, the Peace Lily mattress responds to your every movement, cushioning you as you move about. It’s an especially good mattress for side sleepers who appreciate the cushioning on their hips and shoulders.
The great thing about the Peace Lily is that, like the Ecosa, you can choose your firmness level. You can flip the mattress from the medium side to the firm. Most Peace Lily sleepers say it does take a while to get used to the mattress, especially if you’ve not slept on latex before. But they also go on to say that once they’ve adjusted to it, it gives a comfortable night’s sleep.
That’s not the only great thing about it though. Peace Lily impresses us with their commitment to ethical and sustainable manufacturing and producing the most natural mattress possible, including using 100% certified organic cotton and natural rubber latex. We also like that it comes with a 25-year warranty, the longest of any we’ve seen. The only thing to be aware of? It’s heavy with the super king weighing a whopping 63kg.
Choose this if…
You want as natural a firm latex mattress as possible.
The Noa Lite
- The firm support for back and stomach sleepers.
- Good entry level mattress, especially for guests and older kids.
- Sturdy handles for easily moving the mattress.
- Quite thin especially compared to other mattresses in a box.
- No focus on ethical or sustainable manufacturing.
- Delivery problems.
Like Ecosa, Noa has multiple mattress offerings. The Lite is their most affordable mattress option - yet it’s a hybrid. (Traditionally the most expensive mattress type, so already a tick from us.) Noa is straight up about the feel of the Lite: it’s a firm mattress, ideal for back and stomach sleepers. Side sleepers might find the lack of cushioning for their shoulders and hips uncomfortable.
That’s because like the Emma Comfort, the Noa Lite goes straight into foam. The layers inside this mattress include a cooling gel memory foam layer for deep pressure relief while wicking away heat and moisture. There’s also a layer of adaptive transition foam to minimise partner disturbance. Finally, the layer of steel pocket springs gives the traditional mattress bounce. This mixture of memory foam and pocket springs offers deep pressure relief and a slight sinking / moulding feeling, with the bounce and movement of a traditional mattress.
The thing that stands out for us about the Noa Lite is that it’s specifically marketed as a firm mattress and it seems to deliver on this, without being uncomfortable.
Choose this if…
You’re a back or stomach sleeper who wants a hybrid mattress that’s explicitly labelled as firm.
Ergoflex 5G Memory Foam Mattress
Good for bad backs
An optimal firmness (medium firm) combined with 3 layers of memory foam makes this highly supportive for bad backs.
You’ll find the highest graded foam density of any mattress in a box in the Ergoflex 5G. This should ensure your mattress lasts.
3 layers of foam
Memory foam shapes to your body, supporting you whatever sleeping position you're in. The bottom 9cm layer of foam acts as support for the layers above, ensuring it stays firm for its entire life.
Keeps you cool
The middle layer aims to stop heat building in your mattress and keep air flowing around it so you stay cool on hot nights.
Antibacterial removable cover
If you’ve got allergies, or want to keep things clean, the removable cover is machine washable and naturally antibacterial (it’s made with Tencel).
They’ve been around longer than their 10-year warranty and were the first brand to deliver their mattresses in a box. They know their stuff.
Starting from $949 and going up to $1,799, they’re not the most affordable mattresses we reviewed.
Even with the premium materials, the basics are overlooked - like a handle.
It’s medium-firm only (although our research shows this is ideal for back pain).
You get just 30 nights to try it which is the lowest trial period we found.
Once upon a time, it was thought that firm mattresses were best for bad backs (more on that question below). But recent research shows that people with lower back pain who sleep on very hard mattresses report the poorest sleep quality. Soft mattresses also aren’t great for back pain as you can sink in too much, causing your joints to twist. Which lands us on a medium to medium-firm mattress that supports proper spinal alignment - like the Ergoflex 5G.
Because the Ergoflex 5G is a memory foam mattress, it tends more towards the firm. Memory foam is incredibly supportive and pressure relieving, but it’s not particularly bouncy. It’s more something you sink in and feel held by.
As well as memory foam, the Ergoflex 5G has a 5cm airflow layer for cool sleep plus a 9cm high resilience foam base. Other reasons you might love the Ergoflex 5G is that Ergoflex was the first manufacturer to deliver mattresses in a box and the thousands of happy Aussie sleepers. It racks up almost 5 stars on ProductReview.com.au. The only not quite so good bit? It only has a 30-night trial.
Choose this if…
You want the original firm mattress in a box.
- The adjustable firmness levels, from medium through to medium-firm and firm.
- The removable, washable cover to keep things smelling sweet.
- Quality materials, including latex and memory foam.
- Thousands of happy Aussie sleepers.
- Lack of details, including shipping and basic stuff like weight.
The Onebed Original is an all-foam mattress that, like the Ecosa and Peacelily, you can adjust the firmness of. Again, like the Peacelily, it has a bit of an advantage in the firmness stakes because it contains latex, as well as memory foam. The flippable layers allow you to move the latex layer to the top for a firmer feel.
Most Aussie sleepers reckon it’s more on the firmer side, even on the medium firmness level. Aside from the firmness, sleepers rate the Onebed as great at minimising partner disturbance and delivering a cool night’s sleep.
We love that the Onebed Original has quality materials, customisable firmness, a removable and washable cover for easy care, and thousands (literally) of happy Aussie sleepers.
Choose this if…
You want a well loved firm mattress.
How we picked the best firm mattresses
Picking what we feel are the top firm mattresses in a box came down to the following features:
- Perceived firmness: what the mattress brand classes the mattress as versus what real Aussie sleepers feel they are.
- Adjustable firmness: we wanted mattresses where you can adjust the firmness to your preference, normally by swapping layers around. A few of our picks have this feature.
- Materials: we looked for quality materials, especially latex as that’s thought to make the firmest mattress.
- Mattress type: we wanted a range of mattress types, including foam and hybrid mattresses, to ensure all preferences were catered for.
Who is a firm mattress good for?
The best mattress for you is the one that’s most comfortable. And that’s completely subjective. But there are some sleepers who would most enjoy firm mattress benefits. These sleepers are determined by 2 things: weight and sleeping position.
Sleepers that weigh more than 100kg might appreciate a firm mattress. That’s because it keeps them from sinking too heavily into their bed, which can affect proper spinal alignment and can also cause overheating.
The other sleepers that might benefit from a firm mattress are back and stomach sleepers. They need a firmer mattress to keep their stomach and lower backs from hyperextending as gravity pushes down on these areas, causing aches, pain and problems.
What mattress types are most firm?
All mattress types can be firm. Mattresses that lack pressure-relieving comfort layers (normally the top, plush cushioned layer) can feel firmer than those with these layers. This is probably why the Emma Comfort, which goes straight onto foam without a cushioning top layer, feels like a super firm mattress.
Latex mattresses are often thought of as the most firm mattresses, as well as traditional innerspring mattresses. However, with the exception of the latex Peace Lily, all our picks are foam or hybrid mattresses and we rate all of them as firm. So really, we stick by our first line: all mattress types can be firm.
Is a firm mattress good for your back?
The best mattress for your back is one that keeps your spine in its proper alignment - and that doesn’t necessarily have to be a firm mattress. Whether a firm mattress is good for your back comes down to 2 things: your weight and your sleeping position. Sleepers over 60kg might find that a firmer mattress is good for their back, as it prevents them from sinking too deeply into it, causing pressure to build up on their lower back. This is especially true for sleepers over 60kg who sleep on their stomach or back.
The best way to see if a firm mattress is good for your back? Take advantage of the trial periods.