Medium-firm mattresses are a great choice for many sleepers. Back sleepers, stomach sleepers, heavier individuals (230 pounds or more), and those with back pain often find this firmness ideal because it is supportive enough to keep the spine aligned during sleep. However, it also has enough compression to cushion and protect the joints from pressure points.
If you are considering a new mattress, a medium-firm bed may be just what you need for a better night’s sleep. This article outlines some of the best medium-firm mattresses on the market. Plus, we explain how to determine if a medium-firm bed is right for you.
Best Medium-Firm Mattresses
- Amerisleep AS2 – Best Mattress for Back Sleepers, Stomach Sleepers, and Back Pain
- Amerisleep AS2 Hybrid – Best Mattress for Heavy Individuals
At Amerisleep, each of our mattresses is designed with a specific body type and sleep position in mind. We understand that each sleeper requires a different level of comfort and support to experience deep, restorative sleep.
Our two medium-firm mattresses, the AS2 and the AS2 Hybrid, are constructed to keep the hips and shoulders lifted and aligned to reduce muscle tension and pain when back or stomach sleeping. Below, we break down the various layers of these two mattresses and explain why they may be right for you.
Price of a queen size: $1259
Our AS2 is our all-foam medium-firm mattress, perfect for back and stomach sleepers and those with back pain. This mattress has a 2-inch Bio-Pur® comfort layer that contours closely to the body, ensuring the joints are cushioned, and the lumbar spine is supported.
Since our Bio-Pur® foam is made with plant-based oils, it is more responsive than traditional memory foam varieties, preventing the uncomfortable feeling of being “stuck” in the mattress and unable to move around freely. This responsiveness helps prevent spinal misalignment that could result in morning aches and pains and aggravate back pain.
The use of fewer synthetic oils also makes Bio-Pur® non-toxic, eco-friendly, and breathable. This airy foam, combined with our soft, ventilated cover, keeps the surface of the AS2 cool yet cozy and inviting. On the AS2, sleepers won’t have to worry about nighttime sleep disruptions due to overheating or night sweats.
Beneath the Bio-Pur® top layer is 2 inches of our Affinity Foam with HIVE® technology. This layer is embedded with hundreds of hexagonal cutouts that respond to different levels of pressure. Near the joints, cutouts are softer and more conforming to prevent pressure points. Along the back and neck, cutouts are firmer to prevent excess sinking.
The base of the AS2 is made with 8 inches of our Bio-Core® foam, a sturdy foam designed to prevent premature sagging and indentations. This base ensures the AS2 will keep you supported and sleeping in a healthy sleep posture for many years.
Like all our mattresses, the AS2 comes with a 20-year warranty and a 100-night sleep trial.
- Bio-Pur® plant-based comfort layer
- Affinity foam with HIVE® technology provides a balance of cushioning and support
- Targeted support to the lumbar spine for a healthy sleep position
Price of a queen size: $1329
The Amerisleep AS2 Hybrid is similar to our memory foam AS2. However, our hybrid version has a slight bounce due to the base of pocketed spring coils. This buoyancy works great for heavier sleepers (those over 230 pounds) because it makes changing positions and getting in and out of bed more comfortable.
The AS2 Hybrid has a 2-inch Bio-Pur® comfort layer for maximum comfort and breathability. Beneath the comfort foam is a layer of our responsive Affinity foam to increase support and spinal alignment. With this supportive layer, body weight stays evenly distributed so the spine remains neutral and the muscles can fully relax and heal.
The coils in the base of the AS3 Hybrid are pocketed for increased comfort and pressure relief. These coils move separately from each other rather than as a unit. This feature reduces motion transfer, so you won’t disturb your partner when changing positions throughout the night. The reinforced edge support also improves motion isolation and prevents sagging and indentations.
The AS2 Hybrid arrives at your door with free shipping. It also comes with a 20-year warranty that covers sagging and indentations greater than .75 inches.
- Bio-Pur® layer contours and protects the joints from pressure points
- Responsive Affinity transition layer prevents excess sinkage
- Pocketed spring coil base reduces motion transfer and premature sagging
Is a Medium-Firm Mattress Right for You?
Medium-firm mattresses are not right for everyone, but they offer even weight distribution, spinal support, and restful sleep for many sleepers. Below, we explain who might find a medium-firm mattress comfortable.
When resting on your back, the hips tend to sink into the mattress. An overly-soft mattress can cause the hips to sink too much, forcing the spine to bow. Resting with the spine in an awkward position all night causes the muscles to tense and leads to pain and discomfort. Therefore, mattresses for back sleepers should be medium to medium-firm. A firmer sleep surface keeps the hips and shoulders lifted and aligned to alleviate muscle tension.
Stomach sleeping can exaggerate the natural curvature of the spine, causing pressure to build up in the neck and lower back. Therefore, the best beds for stomach sleepers are medium-firm to firm. A mattress with minimal compression will lessen the curve of the spine and alleviate pressure.
Heavier individuals, those 230 pounds or more, tend to sink into the mattress throughout the night. On a soft mattress, heavier sleepers may sink too much, causing the spine to bow and pressure to build up in the lower back. Additionally, if the mattress is too firm, it can cause painful pressure points near the joints.
The best mattresses for heavier sleepers are medium-firm because they are firm enough to prevent over-sinking but soft enough to prevent pressure points.
Back Pain Sufferers
For those with back pain, the spine needs to remain neutral. Otherwise, the back muscles will tighten and clench throughout the night, leading to tension and pain. Over time, sleeping in awkward positions can make back pain worse.
The best mattresses for back pain are medium-firm. The sight firmness keeps body weight evenly distributed so the muscles can fully relax and recover during sleep.
Sleepers Who Should Avoid a Medium-Firm Mattress
While medium-firm mattresses are ideal for many people, some sleepers may find these beds too firm. In most cases, lightweight individuals and side sleepers prefer a softer mattress and should avoid medium-firm beds.
Lightweight people who weigh 130 pounds or less tend to experience minimal sinking. On a medium-firm to firm mattress, friction can develop near the heavier parts of the body, such as the hips and shoulders. Throughout the night, this friction can cause painful pressure points near these areas.
Therefore, lightweight individuals should rest on a softer mattress to cushion the body’s curves and alleviate tension.
When side sleeping, the hips and shoulders bear all of the body weight. On a medium-firm to firm mattress, these sensitive areas are at risk of developing pressure points. Mattresses for side sleepers should offer more contouring and compression to keep these areas protected throughout the night. In most cases, mattresses for side sleepers are soft to medium.
Types of Medium-Firm Mattresses
There are several types of medium-firm mattresses on the market, each with a slightly different feel. Below, we describe the mattress types you will come across when shopping for a medium-firm bed.
Memory Foam Mattresses
Memory foam, or viscoelastic foam, is responsive and conforming, so it immediately molds to the body for maximum comfort and pressure relief. For this reason, memory foam mattresses are perfect for relieving pain and discomfort during sleep.
Memory foam mattresses are available in many different firmness levels, including soft, medium-soft, medium, medium-firm, and extra firm. The various foam layers within the bed will determine the overall feel of the mattress. When shopping for a medium-firm memory foam mattress, look for one with targeted lumbar support and cushioning near the hip and shoulder joints to prevent pressure points.
Since traditional memory foam layers tend to retain heat and moisture, we suggest that you purchase one with cooling features, such as plant-based oils, gel memory foam, airflow channels, or mineral infusions.
Latex Foam Mattresses
Latex foam contours closely to the body like memory foam. However, latex foam has more buoyancy, keeping sleepers resting on top of the mattress rather than cradled. Heavier individuals can benefit from a latex mattress because it helps prevent over sinking and spinal misalignment.
Latex foam is resistant to bacteria, viruses, mold, and mildew. It is also highly durable—with some latex foam mattresses lasting up to 12 years. Since latex foam can be produced with sustainable methods, these beds are often eco-friendly and free of harmful chemicals and additives.
Hybrid mattresses have a 2 to 3-inch top layer made of foam, typically memory foam or latex foam. However, instead of a foam base, hybrids have a spring coil base. Most high-quality hybrid beds use pocketed spring coils, which are individually wrapped for motion isolation and accurate contouring.
Like memory foam and latex beds, hybrids are available in several different firmness levels, including medium-firm. However, no matter which firmness you choose, all hybrids have a slight bounce thanks to the coil base. This buoyant quality makes changing positions and getting in and out of bed easier.
Innerspring beds have been around for many years, and the design continues to evolve. Like hybrid mattresses, innerspring beds have spring coils for support and a softer top layer for comfort. Many innerspring beds also have an attached pillow top to increase comfort and pressure relief.
However, unlike hybrids, many innerspring beds have very thin comfort layers that do not provide enough contouring. Also, traditional innerspring coils are connected, so when coils on one side of the bed are compressed, the coils on the other side of the bed move. This creates motion transfer that can disrupt your partner as you change positions throughout the night.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can side sleepers sleep on a firm mattress?
In most cases, side sleepers find firm mattresses uncomfortable. Side sleepers need contouring to cushion and support the curves of the body. If the mattress is too firm, pressure and tension can build up along the side of the body and leave you with stiff, aching joints and muscles in the morning.
Is memory foam bad for your back?
No. In most cases, memory foam mattresses help alleviate back pain. However, it is important to get a memory foam mattress with the correct firmness. If the mattress is too soft for your body type and sleep position, it could cause the hips to sink too far into the bed. This sinkage often causes the spine to bow, causing pressure and tension to build up in the back muscles.
The best mattresses for back pain are medium to medium-firm to keep the spine aligned and the muscles relaxed during sleep.
What mattress do chiropractors recommend?
For patients with chronic or acute back pain, most chiropractors recommend medium-firm mattresses. Theof a medium-firm bed is perfect for those living with pain because it alleviates muscle tension and promotes healing.
How do I know if my mattress is too firm?
Whether you are a side or back sleeper, pain and stiffness near the joint could be a sign that your mattress is too firm. If you notice that you frequently wake with joint pain that lasts throughout the day, you may need a soft mattress to cushion and protect these sensitive areas.
How can I make a firm mattress more comfortable?
If your current mattress is too firm for your preferences, you can increase the softness of your bed by adding a memory foam mattress topper. The right mattress topper can add some much-needed contouring and pressure relief to your mattress, helping you wake with less pain.
If you’re a back or stomach sleeper or frequently experience back pain, you may benefit from a medium-firm mattress. The support of a medium-firm bed ensures your spine stays neutral and your muscles remain relaxed throughout the night, helping to ease tension and promote healing.
This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.