I purchased a 2-inch gel topper with the mattress because I was a little concerned that it would be too firm, so I can't say for sure what the mattress alone would be like. That said, I am so happy with the purchase. My old mattress was a "Doctor's Choice" firm product that cost more than twice as much. The old mattress plagued me with pressure points. This memory foam mattress has just enough give, that I no longer have pressure points, yet feel well-supported. It can be a little harder getting up from the bed because it lacks the bounce of a traditional mattress. No bad smell noticed. I also bought a matress encasement system, which I would recommend to others. The packing information that comes with the bed notes that there is no way to clean spills and stains from the bed. It's better to protect the mattress.