Are there any independent recommendations that can help me evaluate the quality of different mattresses?

Consider your sleeping position and weight when deciding what your best level of firmness is. For example, if you sleep on your stomach, you can choose medium firmness to achieve a balance between soft and firm. People who sleep on their side with shoulder or upper back pain should also consider the pressure-relieving qualities of a mattress before buying it, as poor pressure relief can cause tension in these areas.