What is The Plank mattress and is it actually too firm to sleep comfortably on?

Plank Firm mattress in a bedroom
(Image credit: Brooklyn Bedding)

The Plank Mattress is one of Brooklyn Bedding's firmest, flattest beds. Modelled after the hard, flat beds found in parts of Asia, this all-foam mattress was designed to offer ultra-firm support for those with back pain. However, is it too firm for some sleepers?

A lot of the best mattresses for sturdy support are usually rated as an 8 or a 9 out of 10 on the firmness scale, but The Plank Mattress goes even further — offering 10/10 firmness. While its extra-firm feel ensures that sleepers will be be sturdily supported, the mattress has a double-sided design that allows you to flip it to a firm but softer side (8/10) if you find the firmer side too hard. 

Currently, you can get 25% off the Plank Firm at Plank Mattress, with a queen down to $999 (was $1,332). Here, we'll look take a look at the Plank Mattress's pros and cons, what sleepers will find it comfortable, who will find it too firm, and whether it's worth buying in this month's mattress sales

The Plank Mattress: Overview

Pros

  • Dual-sided design 
  • Wide variety of sizes 
  • Endorsed by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA)
  • Great support for stomach sleepers

Cons

  • Relatively thin 
  • Sub-par edge support
  • No cushioning pressure relief

If you're looking for a super supportive bed and prefer a firm feel over body-cradling, sink-in softness, then the Plank Mattress would be a great mattress for you. Its dual-sided design means you can choose between a firm and ultra-firm setting, and it also has 14 different sizing options, including Olympic Queen and RV sizes. Its flat design means it is one of the best firm mattresses for neck and back pain and it has the ACA's stamp of approval for its lumbar support and promotion of healthy spinal alignment. 

With these benefits come some drawbacks, with the most obvious being that it lacks the soft, cushioning pressure relief that a lot of sleepers need. Those who may need a plush bed include side sleepers and lightweight sleepers, and this mattress will not produce the soothing joint relief needed along their pressure points. The Plank Mattress is also relatively thin at 9.5 inches, and the edge support has been criticised for being weak. 

Price wise, the Plank Mattress is one of the best mattresses for under $1,000, with a queen size regularly discounted to $999. Extras include a 120-night mattress trial and a 10-year warranty. 

The Plank Firm: $849$594.30 at Plank Mattress
The

The Plank Firm: <a href="https://plankmattress.pxf.io/c/221109/1172836/14794?subId1=hawk-custom-tracking&sharedId=hawk&u=https%3A%2F%2Fplankmattress.com%2Fproducts%2Fplank%2Fqueen-yes" data-link-merchant="plankmattress.pxf.io"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">from $849 $594.30 at Plank Mattress
The Plank Firm is regularly discounted at 25% off, meaning you'll rarely have to pay more than $1000 for a queen size. Plank Mattress has also been known to roll out 30% off sales around holidays, too. 

The Plank Mattress: Prices & trial

The Plank Mattress sits in the mid-range tier at MSRP, making it a good value choice for a supportive mattress for back pain. It's evergreen 25% off discount is only bested by the occasional 30% off deal, which usually occurs around holiday sales events such as the recent Presidents' Day sales. It also comes with decent extras such as a 120-night trial, free shipping and a 10-yea warranty, which are standard benefits in the mattress world. 

The Plank Firm is also the most budget-friendly of Brooklyn Bedding's Plank range. The Plank Firm Luxe is a luxurious hybrid upgrade from the Plank Firm, and has a starting MSRP of $924 ( almost $200 more than the Plank Firm's starting price). There's also the Plank Firm Natural, which sits in the premium price category due to its top organic mattress materials.

The Plank Mattress: Design and materials

A close-up of the Plank Firm Mattress's texture

(Image credit: Plank Mattress)
  • Has a dual-sided design for adjustable firmness
  • Has a 6" layer of high-density foam for support
  • Has a 2" layer of comfort foam for firm contouring

While most flippable mattress designs are usually pointless (no sleeper needs a mattress that's rock-hard on one side and marshmallow-soft on the other), these dual sides come in handy as they're both firm, just at slightly different levels of firm so you can fine-tune your comfort. 

Although the best memory foam mattresses tend to be plush, the all-foam Plank Firm delivers firmness through its thick layer of high-density foam. Usually, the best mattresses for stomach sleepers use a tier of coils as their support base, but this 6" layer of firm foam provides a great deal of sturdy support for front, back, and heavyweight sleepers.

There's also a 2" layer of comfort foam on the softer side of the mattress, to add some contouring while staying firm. Both sides are topped with a quilted cover with stitching that ensures zero loft for a firm feel. The flat design takes inspiration from traditional Japanese floor mattresses, which are said to promote healthy spinal alignment and firm support. 

This mattress is relatively thin at 9.5". To put that measurement into perspective, the minimum mattress height we recommend for full support is 10". You may want to consider whether this height is thick enough for you, especially if you are a plus-sized sleeper or co-sleep. 

The Plank Mattress: Support and comfort

Plank Firm mattress

(Image credit: Brooklyn Bedding)
  • Firm support is great for stomach sleepers, some back sleepers, and heavyweight sleepers
  • Side sleepers and lightweight sleepers will find this too firm with not enough cushioning pressure relief

This mattress is ideal for heavyweight sleepers and those who sleep on their stomach, as these types of sleepers need ample, sturdy support in the hip region. If a mattress is too soft, their hips will dip into the mattress and cause spinal misalignment. When the spine isn't properly aligned, it can lead to lower back pain. The Plank Firm is supportive enough to prevent hips from dipping, keeping the spine healthily aligned and preventing lower back pain.

However, support and comfort are two different things, and some sleepers will find this mattress too firm. There are two kinds of sleepers who should avoid this mattress the most: side sleepers and lightweight sleepers (i.e. those who weigh under 130lbs). This is because these sleepers need cushioning, body-cradling support to contour and sooth pressure points in the hips, shoulders and knees. If a side sleepers rests on a firm bed, the mattress will feel to hard against their hips and shoulders and could even lead to soreness and joint pain. 

Should you buy The Plank Mattress?

Buy The Plank Mattress if...

You sleep on you're stomach: Stomach sleepers will benefit from the ultra-firm Plank Mattress as they need firm support in the hip region to promote healthy spine alignment and prevent back pain. 

You're a heavyweight sleeper: Heavyweight sleepers (those who weigh 230lbs and over) need sturdy support to keep their body well-aligned and weight evenly distributed. 

You're looking for a bed in a variety of sizes: The Plank Firm comes in a range of sizes that are both standard and non-standard. 

Don't buy The Plank Mattress if...

You're a side sleeper: This bed will not cushion the hips, shoulders, and knees, which are key pressure points when side sleeping. 

You're a lightweight sleeper: If you weigh under 130lbs, you'll need a soft bed for ultimate comfort, so petite sleepers will feel that the Plank Mattress is too firm. 

You like a sink-in soft, body-hugging feel : While some like a firm, responsive mattress, others enjoy a cloud-like, sink-in soft sleep surface, which the Plank Firm definitely cannot provide. 

The bottom line

Overall, if you suffer from back pain and need a mattress that will keep your spine healthily aligned, them this mattress is a good option. This bed provides ideal support for stomach sleepers and heavyweight sleepers, but side sleepers and those who weigh under 130lbs will find this mattress too firm. 

The Plank Mattress: Alternatives

Frances Daniels
Sleep Staff Writer

Frances Daniels recently joined the Tom's Guide team as Sleep Staff Writer, and her role includes covering all sleep and mattress news, in addition to mattress reviews and buyer's guides. Frances is a PPA-accredited journalist and is hugely interested in the relationship between good sleep and overall health. When not writing about sleep and mattresses for Tom's Guide, Frances enjoys writing about women's issues, health and wellbeing, the environment, and her native Wales.