Best Medium-Firm Mattresses of 2023
Mar 8th, 2023 •
For many people, a great medium-firm mattress is the sleeper’s sweet spot. This firmness level lives in the comfortable space between too soft and too stiff that millions of sleepers like you prefer.
We’ve chosen our best medium-firm mattresses to help you find the one that works best for you. We’ll also share some expert tips on choosing the right mattress in our buyer’s guide.
Best Medium-Firm Mattress: Our Top Picks
- Editor’s Pick – Casper Original
- Best Mattress for Side Sleepers – Saatva Classic
- Best Memory Foam Mattress – WinkBeds Gravity Lux
- Best Mattress for Hot Sleepers – Leesa Original Hybrid
- Best Latex Mattress – EcoSleep Luxe
- Best Mattress for Back Pain – DreamCloud
- Best Mattress for the Money – Nectar
- Best Kids Mattress – Nolah Nurture
- Best Hybrid Mattress – Purple Hybrid
Why You Can Trust Mattress Advisor
We hold ourselves to the highest standards of integrity in our product reviews and other content by incorporating real customer feedback, empirical testing, and objective evaluations. Our results and recommendations are never influenced by the commission we may receive from brands, and products we receive are never guaranteed a positive review.
- Any sleeping position
- Restless sleepers
- Edge support
The original memory foam bed from Casper (6/10 firmness) is our Editor’s Pick, as well as a popular choice among bed-in-a-box mattresses.
Casper’s original mattress turns in a strong performance in almost every category we test for in our sleep lab. The highlights include 10/10 for responsiveness, 9.5/10 for spine alignment, and 8.5/10 for pressure relief. The medium-firm feel makes it a good option for any sleeping position.
Given its overall quality and performance, the Casper’s 7/10 cooling score is a bit of a letdown (although not uncommon for all-foam mattresses). Hot sleepers might consider adding a top-rated cooling mattress topper to increase breathability.
Best Mattress for Side Sleepers
- Side sleepers
- People with shoulder pain
- Hot sleepers
With the Luxury Firm option (6/10 firmness), the pressure-relieving Saatva Classic matches up very well with the needs of side sleepers.
This luxury hybrid’s testing scores in pressure relief (9/10) and spine alignment (10/10) are great news for side sleepers, who need a mattress that cradles sensitive pressure points and promotes a healthy sleep posture. With a 9/10 cooling score, it’s also a solid choice for people who get overheated during the night.
Prices for a queen-size start at nearly $2,000, a potential turnoff for budget shoppers. Couples, especially restless sleepers who toss and turn, should take note of the Saatva Classic’s mediocre motion transfer score (7.5/10).
Best Memory Foam Mattress
- People who love the memory foam feel
- Any sleep position
- Couples and co-sleepers
Soft, medium, and firm options
The Gravity Lux by WinkBeds is an innovative memory foam mattress with a Firm option (7/10) at the top end of the medium-firm range.
The WinkBeds Gravity Lux exemplifies many qualities of the best memory foam mattresses. Our testing finds that it’s highly responsive (9/10), excellent in providing pressure relief (9/10), and great at limiting motion transfer (9/10). The key ingredient is AirCell™ Memory Foam, designed with shock-absorbing air capsules.
The GravityLux’s 7/10 Firm option qualifies as medium-firm, but some side sleepers might want something that’s a little easier to sink into—closer to 6/10. Although WinkBeds does offer a lifetime warranty, regular price for a queen-size GravityLux is nearly $1,800.
Leesa Original Hybrid
Best Mattress for Hot Sleepers
- Sleepers who get overheated
- Couples and co-sleepers
- Side and back sleepers
The Leesa Original Hybrid (6.5/10 firmness) uses a combination of premium materials and hybrid design to deliver superior cooling.
We give this hybrid a 9.5/10 cooling score, which makes it one of the best mattresses for hot sleepers we’ve tested. Much of the credit goes to the comfort foam layer designed for high airflow and the pocket spring coil system. The Leesa Original Hybrid also earns perfect 10/10 scores in responsiveness and edge support.
If only the sleep trial and warranty matched the product. Leesa’s 100-night sleep trial and 10-year warranty meet the unofficial industry standards, but shoppers paying nearly $1,500 for a queen-size mattress could reasonably expect more.
Best Latex Mattress
- Sleepers who prefer latex foam
- People with allergies
- Back and stomach sleepers
Medium firm and firm options
This eco-friendly, dual-sided hybrid is built with multiple layers of latex. We gave it a 6.5/10 for firmness on its medium-firm side, and an 8/10 when positioned firm side up.
The EcoSleep Luxe is made primarily of organic materials and Rain Forest Alliance-certified latex, so it’s a good choice for eco-conscious shoppers who like the bouncy, responsive feel of latex. Back sleepers will find that it provides good pressure relief and good spine alignment. Stomach sleepers generally find the mattress to be comfortable, as well.
If you like the slow-moving feel of a memory foam mattress, you might be disappointed with the buoyant vibe. Couples might also be disappointed with the mattress’s comparatively low motion isolation. In our testing we found most sleepers could feel a partner’s movements from the other side of the bed.
Best Mattress for Back Pain
- People experiencing back pain
- Hot sleepers
The medium-firm DreamCloud (6.5/10) has a combination of properties that could add up to back pain relief.
Maintaining a healthy alignment through the lower and upper back is a critical feature of good mattresses for back pain, which makes the DreamCloud’s 9/10 spine alignment score highly relevant. A 9/10 score for pressure relief is a sign that the DreamCloud excels at gently supporting sensitive pressure points.
Although residents of the contiguous U.S. get free delivery, delivery to Hawaii and Alaska costs $150. Unpacking and setting up this heavy hybrid is a two-person job, and white-glove delivery costs $149.
Best Mattress for the Money
- Overall value
- Most sleeping positions
- Restless sleepers
The 6/10 medium-firm Nectar offers an intriguing combination of price and quality, resulting in a generous amount of long-term value.
At $1,049 regular price for a queen-size, the Nectar memory foam mattress is a great choice for shoppers with tight budgets. Backed by a lifetime warranty and 365-night sleep trial, the Nectar also earns high marks in our sleep lab for edge support (9/10), responsiveness (8.5/10), and pressure relief (8.5/10).
The Nectar’s only subpar performance scores are in the categories of spine alignment and cooling (7.5/10 scores for each). It might not be the best choice for maintaining healthy sleep posture and avoiding night sweats.
Best Mattress for Kids
- Children ages 10 and older
- Restless sleepers
- Children with allergies
Soft and Firm options
The firm side (6/10) of this flippable latex/innerspring hybrid could be the answer to helping your child sleep soundly through their growing pains.
The Nolah Nurture’s firm side is designed for kids ages 10 and up, and children of any age who suffer from allergies or skin sensitivities will appreciate the Talalay latex foam. It’s also highly responsive (9/10 score), a hallmark of a good mattress for kids since so many children go through a restless or fidgety phase.
Our testing process doesn’t give the Nolah Nurture high marks for spine alignment (7/10), worth noting if you’re concerned about your child’s sleep posture. The 7/10 motion transfer score might rule out sharing the bed with a pet.
Best Hybrid Mattress
- People with joint pain
- Side sleepers and back sleepers
- Hot sleepers
Medium firm: 7/10
The 7/10 firmness Purple Hybrid uses GelFlex material, transition foam, and innerspring coils to cover virtually all of the bases for a medium-firm hybrid.
We give the Purple Hybrid a flawless 10/10 score for pressure relief, which makes it a solid choice for most sleeping positions and people with aches and pains. Its 9.5/10 cooling score also puts it among the best mattresses for hot sleepers. Combination sleepers and people who toss and turn will appreciate its responsiveness (9/10).
Couples should note the Purple Hybrid’s 7/10 score for motion transfer—co-sleepers who toss and turn probably won’t get the most restful experience. At $2,399 regular price for a queen size, it’s also more expensive than many comparable mattresses.
Medium-Firm Mattress Buyer’s Guide
For most people, the firmness of their mattress probably seems like a matter of taste or comfort alone. They know what feels good, or at least what they believe feels good. They might automatically associate ultra-soft mattresses with luxury or firmer mattresses with substandard quality. It’s not always so simple.
Fortunately, we’re here to shed some light on the subject as it applies to medium-firm mattresses. We’ll help you understand how the mattress firmness scale works, what medium-firm feels like, and who it might be right for.
- What is a Medium-Firm Mattress?
- Which Kinds of Mattresses are Medium-Firm?
- Who Should Get a Medium-Firm Mattress?
- What to Look for Besides Firmness
What is a Medium-Firm Mattress?
The mattress firmness scale runs from 1 on the softest end to 10 on the firmest end. Most mattresses rate somewhere between 3 (ultra-plush) and 9 (super-firm) on the 10-point scale. A medium-firm mattress generally falls between 6 and 7.
Not everyone will experience mattress firmness exactly the same way. To a heavier person, for example, a medium-firm mattress might feel like just a medium. To most people, however, medium-firm will feel just like it sounds: one or two notches closer to firm than the middle of the road.
Which Kinds of Mattresses are Medium-Firm?
Materials, the building blocks of mattresses, have a big effect on how soft or firm the final product feels. So does the way that the materials themselves are processed and built into the overall design. Here’s a quick look at the connection between materials, mattress design, and firmness:
Firmness by Mattress Type
- Memory foam mattresses generally range between medium-soft and medium-firm, based on the density of the foam
- Latex mattresses tend to have medium firmness or above, mainly determined by how dense the latex foam is
- Innerspring mattresses are often on the firmer side, at least until the coils lose tension over time
- Hybrid mattresses that combine springs with foam, latex, or both, are usually in the medium to medium-firm range
Firmness, Density, and ILD
One term you might encounter as you shop for a mattress is ILD, which stands for Indentation Load-Deflection. ILD is a method used to measure the firmness of memory foam or latex foam. Some mattresses list their ILD ratings, while others don’t. An ILD rating of 15-17 should translate to medium-firm.
Without getting bogged down in technical details, just remember this general guideline: the denser the foam, the firmer the mattress.
Firmness Based on Thickness
Thinner mattresses can feel firmer than thicker mattresses since they have less material to provide cushioning. At the same time, a thicker mattress that uses denser foam can offset that tendency.
Who Should Get a Medium-Firm Mattress?
Medium-firm beds, while not universal, match up well with many types of sleepers. The 6-7 firmness range is particularly good for certain sleeping positions but not necessarily exclusive to them.
People likely to see good results with a medium-firm mattress include:
- Back sleepers, who don’t need to sink into the mattress very far to feel comfortable
- Combination sleepers who alternate between side-sleeping and back-sleeping
- People who weigh less than 230 lbs
- School-age children (roughly 5-18)
People who might need something a little bit softer or firmer than medium-firm include:
Medium-soft to Medium (4/10-6/10)
- Side sleepers, who need their hips and shoulders to sink into the surface to relieve joint pressure
- People who weigh less than 130 lbs, so they won’t feel like they’re lying flat on a stiff surface
Firm to Very Firm (7/10-9/10)
- Heavy people (230 lbs and up), so they don’t sink in deeply and feel trapped
- People with back pain, since sinking too far into the mattress puts pressure on joints
- Stomach sleepers, who need to avoid letting their hips sink in too deeply
As we said earlier, not everyone experiences firmness in the same way. For example, the listed firmness on a mattress often feels about one level softer for heavy people. A 7/10 on the firmness scale will feel more like a 6/10, a 6/10 will feel more like a 5/10, and so on.
If you buy a mattress online, be sure to take advantage of the sleep trial to determine whether the firmness feels right to you.
While firmness is a key part of choosing a mattress, it’s far from the only one. Here are some of the other factors to take into consideration:
Materials and Design
Most of today’s mattresses use memory foam, innerspring coils, latex, or some combination of those materials (a multi-layer hybrid). Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a general outline:
|Memory Foam||Pressure relief Spine alignment||Tends to sleep hot Most foams are synthetic|
|Innerspring||Solid firmness Good airflow for cooling||Less pressure relief Less motion isolation|
|Latex||Comfortable bounce Naturally cooling||On the pricey side Quality of latex varies|
|Hybrid||“Best of both worlds” design Coil layers improve cooling||Often more expensive Limited firmness range|
Our comprehensive review process includes testing each mattress in six performance categories:
- Pressure Relief — How well it supports pressure-sensitive areas
- Spine Alignment — Keeping the spine in a healthy, neutral alignment
- Cooling — Dispersing body heat away from the mattress (and you)
- Responsiveness — How effectively it responds to movement
- Motion Transfer — Keeping motion isolated to one part of the mattress
- Edge Support — Providing support throughout the mattress surface
Knowing how a mattress rates in these areas provides a fuller picture of the overall sleep experience you can expect.
Affordability and Value
A quality mattress in the popular queen size can typically cost $1,000 to $1,300. Some of the best budget mattresses fall into this price range, although you’ll often see a lot of variation depending on brand, materials, and design.
If a low price is your top priority, you can find plenty of mattresses under $1,000 and even mattresses under $500. You can also look for a combination of quality and affordability in the best mattresses for the money.
Ultimately, you’ll need to weigh your concerns as a shopper with your needs as a sleeper. A top-rated mattress that helps you enjoy restorative sleep for five, 10, or even 15 years could very well prove to be worth the investment.
Consumer and Customer Care
A few important questions can help you determine how trustworthy the company is.
- Does the company offer free delivery and returns?
- Are its products covered by a generous warranty?
- How does the company rate in customer satisfaction?
- Are prices displayed transparently and easy to understand?
Related: Get the full rundown on choosing the best bed for you in our Mattress Buying Guide.
Recap: Our Best Medium-Firm Mattresses
|Mattress||Award:||Mattress Advisor Score (out of 10)|
|Casper Original||Editor’s Pick||8.7|
|Saatva Classic||Best Mattress for Side Sleepers||9.0|
|WinkBeds Gravity Lux||Best Memory Foam Mattress||9.1|
|Leesa Original Hybrid||Best Mattress for Hot Sleepers||9.4|
|EcoSleep Luxe||Best Latex Mattress||8.6|
|DreamCloud||Best Mattress for Back Pain||9.0|
|Nectar||Best Mattress for the Money||8.7|
|Nolah Nurture||Best Mattress for Kids||8.4|
|Purple Hybrid||Best Hybrid Mattress||8.9|
Best Medium-Firm Mattress FAQs
Is a medium-firm mattress good for side sleepers?
For many side sleepers, a medium-firm mattress is an excellent option.
Side sleepers require cushioning at the key pressure points: the shoulders and hips. A medium-firm mattress with a soft pillow top provides the necessary support.
Is a medium-firm mattress good for back pain?
A medium-firm mattress can provide relief for sleepers with back pain. Medium-firm mattresses allow the hips and lower back to slightly sink into the surface, alleviating pressure buildup, while also providing enough support to help maintain spine alignment.
We recommend the DreamCloud as a top medium-firm mattress for back pain.
Mattress Firmness Guide
Learn what mattress firmness really means and how to determine which firmness is best for you.
Best Firm Mattresses
If you prefer a firm mattress, read this guide to learn about what to look for in the best firm mattress and how to choose a bed based on your sleeping style.
Mattress Accessories & Bedding
Best Firm Mattress Toppers
Firm mattress toppers not only increase the comfort of your sleep situation but they also offer incredible support to those who suffer from back pain and other ailments. Review our top picks for mattress toppers below to find an option that will best suit your needs.