The Plank Mattress: Firmest on the Market

Because we are the only mattress review web site that is managed by an industry veteran and mattress designer, we often get emails and calls from desperate customers begging us to recommend a supplier who makes a super-firm mattress. You have to understand what we’re really talking about here to comprehend what some individuals regard as firm, however.

I’ve designed mattresses for customers over the years that were custom built, rock hard, using the densest and firmest materials I could find. And in many cases, they just were not firm enough.

To design a really firm mattress, you need to understand why someone would be totally comfortable sleeping on a carpeted floor, even a bare floor, and that we’ve even known customers who place a sheet of plywood on top of their mattress, cover it with a sheet, and get a great night’s sleep.

There are specialized foam materials that are almost as hard as drywall, with only a minimal amount of flexibility, and literally, zero compression. This means that you could literally stand on the mattress and there would be so sinking in, no footprints, and no impressions. Often, the consumer looking for this kind of mattress has specific medical issues that make sleeping on conventional mattresses impossible.

A really firm mattress is actually wonderful for your back, and maintains perfect spine alignment. On a firm mattress, your spine becomes the axis upon which your body turns, without any curvature or misalignment, and often this calms the spinal column, nerves, muscles, and connective tissue by preventing any cantilevering or effort by the body to suspend itself in the wallows and depressions of a soft mattress.

The Plank Mattress by Brooklyn Bedding offers a truly firm and supportive mattress, that is flippable. One side is moderately firm with some yielding qualities, or the super-firm side, offering the most resilient and supportive feel of any bed in a box mattress option.

With many customers complaining that most “bed in a box” options are simply too soft, and collapse easily under the weight of a typical sized person, the market for firmer mattresses has never been hotter. Often it’s larger people, too that suffer on mattresses that are simply not supportive enough, even when they purchase what are described as medium firm to firm mattresses.

Often, folks over 200 lbs. have to deal with mattresses designed for humans weighing 120 lbs, and find themselves buried in a gulley, while their smaller spouses are nesting comfortably. This is a typical problem with couples in different weight classes, and most mattresses are not split into two sides offering firmer and softer options across the surface of the bed.

Many popular hybrid mattresses that are made both with a coil section as well as foam do tend to be firmer, but often the coils are lumpy feeling and do not offer a uniform, uplifting sensation. Super stiff coil systems also do not cradle and embrace the body as effectively as foam. The trick is, though, to use a foam that has much higher density that typical polyurethane foams used in mattress design and engineering.

Just How Hard Can You Make A “Firm” Mattress?

Let’s take a look at some comparisons of the density and firmness of some of the materials used in “so-called” firm mattresses as compared with a mattress we recommend call The Plank Mattress by Brooklyn Bedding.

Almost all firmer “bed in a box” mattress options have one characteristic in common, and that they are built around a single layer of 6-7” support foam, typically used near the bottom, and this foam is usually 32-40 ILD. To understand what ILD means, which is the “secret code” of the mattress building world, image a cubic block of wood, one foot in all dimensions.

If you wanted to measure the ILD of one material as compared to another, you’d need a thick piece of the foam your are evaluating. Imagine there are many blocks of the wood weight, weighing 3-60 pounds each, sitting on shelves in a lab.

So, we pick a block and place it on the subject foam and determine what weighted block would cause the foam to indent exactly one inch. That value is the ILD of the foam material, ILD standing for Indentation Load Deflection.

A typical, medium density mattress will have a layer of support foam built into it with an ILD of say, 28-34. This means the mattress, with all of its comfort layers stacked on top (usually 2-3, and they might be memory foam or latex, or gel foam, or even a quilted piece of tufted fabric) will impart a medium level of cushiness with a moderate amount of depression and immersion. Comfortable and cushy enough for the average person.

Chart showing typical “ILD” or density of various foams used in mattress construction. While 40-44 is considered very firm, the Plank Mattress uses a 50 ILD support foam in their bed.

Finally, A Mattress That Offers A Truly Firm And Resilient Feel- And It’s Flippable, Offering Two Options Of Comfort And Support

For the sleeper for whom the typical firm is never firm enough, a company called Brooklyn Bedding created The Plank Mattress. Designed to deliver an ultra-firmer, flatter, and more resilient feel, it offers a flippable surface, creating a neutral spine position that’s better for your back and posture overall.

Inspired by the minimalist approach to sleep in countries such as Japan, where Tatami mats one inch thick are the standard bedding, and chronic back problems are virtually non-existent, the design is the first of its kind for consumers desperate for a mattress that won’t sink, melt, collapse, or cave in.

The mattress was created to offer a “dual comfort design”, offering two variations: the top side of the mattress is standard firm; the bottom side is ultra-firm, allowing for a highly customizable sleep. Engineered to reduce pressure on your circulatory system, the Plank provides for better blood flow and better lower back support- compelling you to inhale more oxygen while you sleep.

The secret ingredient of the Plank Mattress is the 50 ILD interior foam support layer used in the construction of the mattress. The firmness extends all the way to the edge of the mattress as well, making transfer and sitting on the edge of your bed to put on shoes, for example, easier and safer.

Consider that a typical so-called “firm” mattress uses a support foam that is 25% less dense that the Plank Mattress interior support just goes to show you that most manufacturers can’t deliver on the promise of a truly resilient and supportive mattress option. I’ve built several super firm mattresses, including a latex mattress called the Titan, designed for obese people and performance athletes and used a 44 ILD foam that worked pretty well, but I think stepping up to the 50ILD foam option was a solid move to design and deliver a solid mattress option.

What’s most impressive about the Plank Mattress is the number of outstanding reviews by customers. Brooklyn Bedding used Potvo, a respected third party review platform for all of their bedding products, and the Plank has garnished a pretty stellar 4.9 out of 5 star rating, with 611 reviews catalogued. Pretty impressive.

Features And Benefits

The flippable design of the Plank also allows you to choose your ideal firmness level:

  • A .75” quilted top layer, patterned with continuous stitching, ensures zero loft, or unnecessary “poofiness”, delivering an ultra-firm sleep experience.

  • Or, flip the mattress, and a 1.5” quilted layer, woven with tack-and-jump stitching, provides a subtle loft for a firm and supportive sleep experience.

  • The “flatter” sleep surface is engineered to create a neutral spine position that’s better for your back and posture.

  • An optional cooling panel is available on both the extra firm and firm side, moderating temperature while delivering ultimate cooling on contact. You can choose this option while checking out.

  • Delivered in a box, allowing for easy transportation from your door to your bedroom.

  • Proudly custom made in the U.S.A. with a 10-year warranty.

  • Reasonably priced at $1249 for a Queen, and if you use this link, you will be offered a checkout code for 25% off

  • 120 Night No Questions Asked Trial, Made in U.S.A. , Free Shipping And Free Returns. Brooklyn Bedding’s 10 Year Limited Warranty covers indentations, defects, and totally backs you up.

The Plank Mattress option is The Mattress Buyer Guide’s #1 choice for a super-firm, resilient, and supportive mattress option that delivers on its promise.