I test mattresses for a living — these are the 3 best firm mattresses on sale today

The WinkBed mattress
(Image credit: WinkBeds)

Fancy a firm mattress? For a segment of the population, sinking into a plush, pillowy surface sounds terribly unappealing – namely if they're staunch stomach sleepers or struggle with back pain. If you're in the market for a hard mattress, I've found three deals you'll want to check out as National Sleep Awareness Month comes to a close. My top choice is $300 off the WinkBed Firm, which drops the price of a queen to $1,499 (was $1,799).

Now I'll level with you as a veteran deal hunter and professional mattress tester: we're a few weeks away from one of the biggest shopping events of the year (Memorial Day) and the landscape isn't exactly teeming with stellar sales at the moment. However, if you do need a mattress ASAP, you'll be able to save as much as $800 by browsing the offers below. Whether you're seeking the best mattress on a budget or money is no object, I've got you covered. 

If these options don't excite you, take a look at our general list of the best firm mattresses, which are likely to be discounted during upcoming Memorial Day mattress sales. Otherwise, if you need a new firm mattress today, here are the three best deals I recommend you shop right now.

The best firm mattress deals to shop right now

1. The Best Firm Mattress Deal Overall: The WinkBedWas: Now:

1. The Best Firm Mattress Deal Overall: The WinkBed
Was: From $1,149
Now: From $849 at WinkBed

Summary: The WinkBed tops our best firm mattress guide for its outstanding support, especially for sleepers with back pain. A dedicated lumbar zone helps keep everything aligned  – a must for back pain sufferers – while a dual-layer Euro pillow top provides enough pressure relief for your back, hips, and shoulders. You'll feel like you're floating above this bed, rather than sinking right into it. If you're a heavier sleeper (over 250lbs) or like your bed to be extra-firm, there's the WinkBed Plus, which has a slightly different construction that includes high-density anti-sag foam, latex foam, and reinforced support coils. Read more in our WinkBed mattress review; we tested the slightly softer (yet still incredibly supportive) luxury firm option.

Price history: A $300 discount is WinkBed's evergreen sale offer but it's an excellent value, especially compared to the rival Saatva Classic, which currently costs a few hundred dollars more. A queen WinkBed goes for $1,499 (was $1,799). Note that the WinkBed Plus uses different materials and therefore costs $200 more.

Benefits: 120-night sleep trial | lifetime warranty | free shipping 

2. The Budget Pick: Dreamfoam Essential

2. The Budget Pick: Dreamfoam Essential
 From $274
Now: From $205.50 at Brooklyn Bedding

Summary: The all-foam Dreamfoam Essential mattress is one of our favorite cheap mattresses. It comes in five depth options (6 inches to 14 inches), with the shortest beds being the firmest. For most adults, we recommend the 10-inch size, which we tried in our Dreamfoam Essential mattress review and still found quite firm. If you're looking for a no-frills memory foam bed that offers loads of support and just enough contouring to give your joints a rest, you'll find it here. Also notable is the broad range of sizes on offer, including RV beds and less common dimensions like short king and Olympic queen. At this price, it's a great pickup for a camper, guest room, or college dorm.

Price history: There's 25% off across the board, which is Brooklyn Bedding's standard discount. That usually increases to 30% around major holidays like Memorial Day. In any case, if you need a firm mattress ASAP, you'll still be saving quite a bit of cash. A queen 6-inch Dreamfoam Essential mattress goes for $393 (was $524), while the 10-inch queen (which we recommend for most adults) drops to $524.30 (was $699). 

Benefits: 120-night sleep trial | 10-year warranty | free shipping 

3. The Luxury Pick: Beautyrest Black

3. The Luxury Pick: Beautyrest Black
From $1,849
From $1,549 at Beautyrest

Summary: The Beautyrest Black is a luxury mattress you can customize to suit your needs. Not only is it available in multiple firmness levels (including firm and extra firm), but you can also choose from four comfort levels that range from additional contouring to maximum temperature regulation if you sleep warm. No matter which one you pick, you'll enjoy the zoned support of Beautyrest's T3 Pocketed Coils and plant-based cooling tech to draw heat away from your body. If you have the cash to splash on a hotel mattress, make it this one. It'll be delivered right to your bedroom free of charge, too.

Price history: We saw up to $1,100 off over Presidents' Day weekend, but up to $600 off a Beautyrest Black mattress during a relative downtime for mattress sales is still good. The highest discounts are reserved for pricier models. The entry-level B-Class starts at $1,549 for a twin XL (was $1,849). At the other end of the spectrum is the K-Class with a firm pillow-top from $3,449 in a twin XL (was $4,049). Adding an adjustable base to your purchase will shave another $200 off, for a total maximum discount of $800.

Benefits: 100-night sleep trial | 10-year warranty | free White Glove Delivery 

Are firm mattresses best for back pain?

Not always. A firm mattress may be helpful if you have a lower back condition like sciatica or you deal with neck pain. Sleepers who weigh over 250lbs may also want something firmer to support them without feeling like they're 'stuck' in bed. 

However, the idea that you should sleep on a hard mattress for back pain is a myth. Everyone's interpretation of firmness varies, and back pain can be the result of something other than improper alignment (although you'll still want to find a mattress that'll properly support your spine). Also, if you're a side sleeper or weigh less than 130lbs, a firm mattress could create more problems than it solves. 

Ultimately, the best mattress for back pain will allow you to get the healthy, restorative sleep you need while alleviating severe discomfort. This doesn't have to be a plank of a mattress, but for some sleepers that'll end up being the right choice. 

Alison Barretta
Freelance reviewer and writer

Freelance writer and editor Alison is an expert mattress tester for Tom's Guide, and hails from Philadelphia, USA. Alison has reviewed a wide range of mattresses, pillows and other sleep accessories for Tom's Guide, putting the latest hybrid, memory foam and cooling mattresses from Casper, Nectar, Awara, Brooklinen and other leading brands through their paces. Alison has been sharing buying advice and retail news for over a decade. When she isn't reviewing mattresses, other home products or hunting for great deals to save you money, Alison can be found teaching/training in martial arts, fawning over skincare, and indulging in her quarantine-borne hobby: cooking.