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Are you tired of restless nights and waking up with aches and pains? It might be time to reconsider your mattress choice. While the charm of a plush mattress can be inviting, switching to a firm mattress could be the key to unlocking the best sleep and improving your overall health. 

In the Firm Mattress Handbook, we’ll explore why firm mattresses are gaining popularity, the importance of choosing the right mattress, and how it can impact your sleep quality and well-being. 

Before we dive deeper into mattress buying, one question needs to be answered: what is firmness? Mattress firmness is how soft or hard a mattress feels when you lie on it and is often measured on a scale ranging from soft to extra firm. Most mattress brands use a scale from 1 to 10 to clarify how firm or soft a mattress is; with 10 being extra firm.

It's important to understand that mattress firmness is subjective; what feels extra firm to one person might be perceived as soft by another. Given that firmness is subjective, it's crucial to find a firmness level that aligns with your sleep position and weight to ensure optimal support and comfort. A firmer mattress will provide that extra support to maintain proper spinal alignment throughout the night, reducing the risk of waking up with aches and pain. 

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Firm Mattress

Support Levels

When choosing a mattress, prioritize one that provides excellent support, especially for your lower back and hips, which are more sensitive to discomfort during sleep. Factors such as your weight, height, and sleep position are crucial in determining the appropriate support level. For instance, a firm mattress is ideal for back and stomach sleepers because it provides the necessary support to prevent the lower back from sinking in, reducing the risk of back pain and ensuring that the hips and spine remain aligned throughout the night.

If you’re a side sleeper, a firm mattress might not be the best choice due to the increased pressure points at the shoulders and hips. These areas hold more weight and pressure when lying on your side, which can lead to discomfort and pain. A softer mattress allows these pressure points to sink in slightly, distributing body weight more evenly and reducing stress on these areas.

Temperature Regulation

Some mattresses contain materials like memory foam that trap body heat and cause you to sleep hot. Find a mattress with breathable materials and cooling technologies to keep your body temperature regulated during the night.

Motion Reduction

If you share your bed with a partner or a pet, choose a mattress with motion isolation and edge support capabilities to minimize disruptions from movement.


Consider the materials used in your mattress. Memory foam mattresses are known for contouring the body, yet provide excellent pressure relief. Latex mattresses are durable, responsive, and offer a supportive sleep experience. Hybrid mattresses are the best of both worlds, combining layers of foam and/or latex with innerspring coils for optimal support and comfort.

Bonus Points

Other factors to consider when selecting a firm mattress may also include products with third-party certifications or endorsements. One valuable endorsement to look for is The American Chiropractic Association (ACA), a respected organization dedicated to promoting spinal health and wellness. 

Why Plank is Right for You

Crafted for those who prioritize back health and posture, Plank boasts an ultra-firmer, flippable surface, inspired by the minimalist sleep traditions of Asia. Designed with dual comfort in mind, it offers two variations: standard firm on one side and ultra-firm on the other, ensuring a customizable sleep experience. Plank is engineered to reduce pressure on your circulatory system, providing better blood flow and unparalleled lower back support, compelling you to inhale more oxygen while you sleep. 

At Plank, we recognize the value of mattress compatibility, so we provide a 120-night sleep trial for all our mattresses. If, within that trial period, you find that your new mattress isn't the right fit, we'll assist you in disposing of it and initiate your return process.

Furthermore, we realize the importance of a supportive and restful night's sleep. That's why we've curated two extra-firm mattress options designed to meet your specific needs:

Plank Firm

Our ACA-endorsed extra-firm, all-foam mattress provides the extra-firm support your back needs. Built with high-density foam layers, the Plank Firm provides the ultimate extra-firm support while soothing hips and shoulders for long-lasting and restorative sleep. If the extra-firm mattress feels too firm, simply flip the mattress for a medium-firm feel. The flippable design of the Plank also improves the longevity of the mattress! You can also add the optional Glaciotex™ Cooling Cover to both sides of the mattress that removes excess heat from the sleep surface to prevent sleeping hot. Plus it contains comfort layers made to maximize both pressure point relief and body contouring. 

Plank Firm Luxe

Similar to the Plank Firm, the Plank Firm Luxe is an ACA-endorsed mattress that underwent a three-month study and found that this luxe design reduces spinal stress, improves lumbar support, and alleviates back pain. It’s the firmest hybrid mattress on the market, and features the same flippable design of the Plank Firm! The added benefit of the Plank Firm Luxe is the introduction of individually encased coils; which allows the mattress to support you where you need it most while ensuring superior motion isolation between sleep partners or pets. Like the Plank Firm, you can add the Glaciotex™ Cooling Cover to the mattress to keep you cool and comfortable all night.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Soft or Firm Mattress Better for You?

Firm mattresses are highly favored by back and stomach sleepers for their superior support, maintaining proper spinal alignment, and preventing overarching of the spine. By providing a firm surface, they distribute body weight evenly, reducing pressure point pain and promoting restful sleep.

Is a Firm Mattress Better for Back Pain?

A firm mattress is highly recommended for individuals with back pain, offering superior spinal stress reduction, enhanced lumbar support, and improved sleep quality. Plank’s unique design and firmness meet all these requirements to give you a good night’s sleep so you feel refreshed and revitalized each morning. Did we mention Plank is endorsed by the American Chiropractic Association and praised by customers for significantly reducing back pain? 

Is a Firm Mattress Good for Side Sleepers?

Side sleepers generally benefit more from softer mattresses, as these provide the necessary cushioning for the hips and shoulders, aiding in maintaining proper spinal alignment. In contrast, back and stomach sleepers do not require as much contouring. They achieve better spinal support from firmer mattresses, which help prevent sinkage and ensure a more stable sleeping surface.