What Can You Do To Make A Hard Bed Softer & More Comfortable?
Life is too short to spend it sleeping on a bed that doesn’t make you feel like a million bucks.
If you just bought a mattress and it seems overly firm, you’ll need to figure out a few things:
- Does it feel hard just because it’s new? Will it soften up over time?
- Did you buy something that simply isn’t right for you?
In the first case, you’ll be happy with your bed in no time. I’ve got a few tips that’ll help you break in your bed so it’s more comfortable.
If your situation is more like the latter, you’ve got a tough decision to make. Returning something this bulky (and personal) is a pain the rear. And some companies have more generous return policies than others, so you might not even be part of the return window.
Since you’ve already got the thing in your house, perhaps there’s a way to salvage the situation andmake your firm mattress softer.
Making Your Firm Mattress Soft
Check Your Foundation
If you’ve recently bought a mattress and it feels to firm, the first thing you should do is check your foundation. The reason is that not all types of mattresses are suited for different types of foundations. For example, if you recently switched from an innerspring bed to memory foam, you’ll need to ditch the box spring.
On the other hand, if you have something that’s not memory foam, then a box spring foundation can make your bed feel softer. This is something to keep in mind if perhaps you don’t have a box spring.
As a general rule, remember that box springs are designed for innerspring mattresses. Just as the name implies, it’s a box with springs inside that function as motion isolators for bouncy and disruptive coiled beds.
The foundation itself can be either a solid or slatted platform. Platforms tend to make a surface firmer, so if you’re feeling especially uncomfortable and you have a foam bed you may want to consider an adjustable base that may not be as hard.(See our top mattresses for platform beds here.)
Stepping on the Bed
A brand new mattress may be firmer than you anticipated, but you can easily soften it up by taking a few steps. Literally. You can break it in by sleeping on it night after night, and you’ll experience some softening over time. However, if you want more comfortable sleep sooner, you can walk across the top of it every day, preferably for several minutes at a time, and that should soften it up quicker.
It probably goes without saying, but I recommend doing this procedure without shoes, so that everything stays clean.
Use a Mattress Topper
Buying a topper is one of the quickest, most effective, and cheapest ways to make a hard surface softer. By adding a supportive layer to the top of your bed, you can enhance pressure point relief and contouring. There are different materials available, including latex, memory foam, wool, cotton, feather, polyfoam, and down alternative.
The most popular option is memory foam. If you go with this variety, get something that is under two inches thick and a lower density for extra softness. (See our guide on memory foam density.)
Warm it Up
This tip works if you’re sleeping on a memory foam mattress. Because memory foam responds to external temperatures, a warm room will make it softer, and a cold room will make it harder. If you’re sleeping in a chilly bedroom, consider upping the thermostat a few degrees to make things warmer.
Rotate and Flip It
If your mattress can be rotated or flipped, this option might provide some relief. It won’t work for pillowtop beds, but most others are flippable. You have two options:
- Rotate it 180 degrees. Now the area that supported your head will now support your feet and vice versa.
- Flip it over so that the top side is facing down.
Just like you rotate your tires regularly for even wear, the same should be done for your mattress.
Making Your Soft Mattress Firm
Check Your Foundation
If your bed is getting older, the first thing you should do is check your foundation to make sure everything is intact and there hasn’t been excessive wear and tear. Without a solid foundation, you’re likely to feel the uncomfortable effects of a sagging mattress.
If you have a boxspring, check to make sure that it feels firm and resilient. If not, it’s time to have it replaced. If you have a platform with slats, check to make sure that none of them are broken, sagging, and they’re no more than three inches apart. Anything more and the bed won’t have enough support, which will create a sagging or sinking feeling.
Here’s a cool life hack that’ll only cost you a couple of bucks: put a thin board, like plywood, between the mattress and the boxspring. You’ll get a firmer surface, and if you and your partner have different preferences, you can just put the board on one side of the bed.
Make it Cooler
As you know, memory foam responds to temperature. Since you can make a mattress softer by warming it up, the same is true when you want to make it harder. Cooling the room down to a lower temperature will stiffen up the material and make your bed feel firmer.
Rotate and Flip It
While this tip was mentioned as a way to make a hard mattress softer, it’s usually more effective for making a soft and saggy cushion feel firm again. Because we tend to sleep in the same area of the bed, it’s not unusual for it to have indentations and body impressions that rob your body of support.
By rotating or flipping it, you may be able to find a spot that has the firmness you’re seeking.
Mattress Topper (again)
It’s a lot easier to use a topper to make a firm bed soft than the other way around, but it is still possible. There are a couple of materials that will subtly enhance the firmness of your mattress, though it won’t be dramatic. The materials you should look for are Dunlop latex and compact wool. Avoid foams, as they’ll have the opposite effect.
Does our bed have a removable zipper cover? If so, you may be able to take out old, saggy layers with fresh, firm ones. You may need to get the help of a professional, and make sure you double check your warranty. Manufacturers tend to void a warranty if you’ve materially altered their products.
How to Make Your Bed Comfortable
Have you ever had one of those days where you long for the moment that you can get home, crawl under the blankets, and relax? Pure heaven, right?
I’ve found that one of the easiest ways to ensure that my bed is the most comfortable space in the house is through a special layering technique. Each part of is a delightful sensation of softness and luxury.
Here are my top four go-tos for a comfortable night of sleep:
- Soft flannel sheets: In cooler weather, nothing beats the coziness of flannel sheets. When the weather heats up, I switch to jersey, t-shirt sheets. They are so soft!
- Add a memory foam mattress topper: Side sleepers tend to need more pressure relief on their hips and shoulders. A topper made out of memory foam provides the perfect amount of cradling support.
- Add a mattress pad cover: Get a quilted variety that holds your topper in place while doing double duty as an extra layer of padding.
- Get a body pillow: Sometimes I like to snuggle, but I don’t always want some hot, sweaty human with dragon breath taking up my space. That’s why I love my body pillow. I get all the benefits of a snuggle partner without any of the drawbacks(You can check out this one that we’ve reviewed earlier).
Frequently Asked Questions
Does a hard bed cause back pain?
Beds that are too hardortoo soft can both cause back pain. In the case of one that is too firm, you’ll find that it’ll push on your pressure points (hips, shoulders, and torso) and cause misalignment. One way to tell if your mattress is too hard is if your arm falls asleep even though you’re not putting much weight on it.Here you can see some of the picks that can relieve back pain.
Why does a new mattress feel firm?
Some types of mattresses feel firm when they’re brand new, and they can take some time to settle. This is especially true for memory foam. Some online companies compress their beds in a box for shipping. When a company does this, you’ll find that it will already be soft.
However, if your bed arrives fully intact, expect a bit of an adjustment period. It might be 30 days or more. Just like when you buy shoes and have to break them in to get rid of that “new” feeling, the same holds true for this type of product.
Does adding plywood underneath the bed make it firmer?
Yes, absolutely! You only need to do this if you have boxsprings. Otherwise, a solid platform frame will have the same effect.
Can I make my memory foam mattress firmer?
Yes, there are a few ways to make a memory foam bed feel firmer. The first is to sleep in a colder room. Cooler temperatures firm up the foam material. Another thing you can do is get a firm topper.
Whether you got a new bed that doesn’t match your expectations, or you have an old bed that’s starting to show its age, you can use one or more of these tips and make your sleep experience something that you actually look forward to each night.
Sources and References:
- The influence of bed firmness on sleep quality – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- 3 Signs Your Mattress Is Too Soft – health.com
Author: Sleep Advisor
Our team covers as many areas of expertise as we do time zones, but none of us started here as a so-called expert on sleep. What we do share is a willingness to ask questions (lots of them), seek experts, and dig deep into conventional wisdom to see if maybe there might be a better path towards healthy living. We apply what we learn not only to our company culture, but also how we deliver information to our over 12.7M readers.
Sleep research is changing all the time, and we are 100% dedicated to keeping up with breakthroughs and innovations. You live better if you sleep better. Whatever has brought you here, we wish you luck on your journey towards better rest.
Transparency Disclosure– We may receive a referral fee (at no additional cost to the buyer) for products purchased through the links on our site or other applicable pages. To learn more, please read our full disclosure pagehere. We also encourage you to read about how we may research and/or test Products here.
6 Types of Foam – Qualities To Look Out For
10 Top Rated Trundle Beds – Our Reviews and Ratings for 2020
How to Properly Wash (or Clean) Your Pillows
How Can You Make a Mattress Firmer – 7 Helpful Tips And Tricks
How To Pick a Carpet for Your Bedroom
Menopause and Insomnia – What’s Burning? Oh, it’s me.
Our 8 Highest Rated CBD Oils for 2020
What is Beauty Sleep and How Can I Get it? The Science Revealed
9 Tips for Sleeping Better in a CPAP Mask
Sleep Chronotypes – Are You a Bear, Wolf, Lion, or Dolphin?
Transparency Disclosure– We may receive a referral fee (at no additional cost to the buyer) for products purchased through the links on our site or other applicable pages. To learn more, please read our full disclosure page here.We also encourage you to read about how we may research and/or test Products here.
- About Us
- Contact Us
- Terms & Conditions
- DMCA Policy
- Sleep Calculator
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to better health and better rest, but no one has time to sleep, let alone figure out how to upgrade the sleep they’re getting.
From figuring out how to buy a mattress, suggesting ones that are good for different needs and body types, or breaking down the newest science behind technology and wellness breakthroughs, Sleep Advisor has you covered.
Make Your Mattress Softer
The best way to alter the comfort of your mattress, short of buying a new mattress, is to add a mattress topper. Mattress toppers, pads, and even some mattress protectors will usually add a layer of comfort padding that can have a significant impact on the feel of your mattress.
Mattress Toppers, Pads, and Protectors
The best way to change the comfort of a mattress, particularly make it softer, is with a mattress topper. Mattress toppers are usually designed to add a few inches of padding, commonly memory foam, on top of your mattress. This can have a drastic impact on how much pressure relief your mattress provides, and make the sleeping surface significantly softer. Mattress pads are generally thinner, often just a quilted layer of cotton or another more mundane material, but this can still have a noticeable impact on the softness and pressure relief of your mattress. Mattress pads also commonly including temperature regulating pads, whether that be a heated mattress pad or a pad with cooling gel. Lastly, mattress protectors’ primary function is to protect your mattress from spills and dirt, but these products often use soft fabrics or padding that can also help your mattress feel softer. Depending how much of an effect you want, and if you are interested in any other features, any one of these options has the potential to breathe new life into your mattress.
- Mattress Toppers – often a thick layer of memory foam, can make your mattress much softer
- Mattress Pads – often thinner, quilted cotton is common, can also have temperature regulating features
- Mattress Protectors – primarily to protect from spills and dirt, can also have thin padding
Memory Foam and Latex Toppers
The most popular mattress toppers are made from memory foam and latex foam, and they can substantially change the feel of your mattress. Memory foam mattress toppers are a great choice for sleepers who enjoy body-hugging comfort and conforming support that memory foam is known for. Latex foam mattress toppers are ideal for sleepers who like the feeling of sleeping "on" a mattress, rather than "in" it. Latex foam is more responsive than memory foam, so it doesn’t produce the same sinking feeling that some sleepers dislike. If you’re not sure which type of mattress topper will give you the comfort you desire, or if you have questions about a mattress topper you saw on our site, you can call 1-800-455-1052 to speak to a friendly mattress expert who can give you all of the information you need to make a confident purchase and improve your sleep.
How to make your firm mattress softer
New mattress too hard? Try these tips before you return it.
If your bed is too firm it can cause aches, pains and disrupt your sleep.
Did you set up a brand-new mattress , only to wake up the next day and find it too firm? One of the downsides of buying a mattress online (or even a store IRL) is that you don’treallyknow what it’s going feel like until you sleep on it. Even if you have the chance to test out your mattress in a store before you buy, sometimes that’s not enough to know how comfortable it will be to sleep on. So if you prefer a softer mattress, but keep waking up after sleeping on your new bed with aches and pains from the firmness — it’s not too late.
Before you resort to going out to buy a new mattress — consider these tips below to help make your new bed more comfortable. Is your mattress too soft instead? Try these tips to make a soft mattress more firm .
Try a mattress topper
A plush mattress topper or mattress pad can help your bed feel softer.
Don’t underestimate the power of a soft mattress topper to totally change the way your bed feels. This is one of the least expensive options since you won’t have to replace the mattress or bed frame to feel a difference.
Some things to look for when you check out a mattress topper are "plush," or down-filled toppers. Memory foam can be a good option, but sometimes these toppers will feel more firm. If you currently have a memory foam mattress and it feels too firm, try a plush pillow top mattress topper. If you have a regular mattress but want to see if memory foam will feel softer, you can always get a soft, less dense topper to see if it helps you.
Consider the foundation
It’s important to consider what type of foundation you have if you want your bed to feel softer.
If you have a new memory foam mattress, chances are you may have ditched your box spring for a different support. This could be part of the problem since a box spring may feel softer compared to a more firm surface, like a platform or slat foundation.
If you have a regular mattress, using a box spring support may help the mattress feel softer. If you have a memory foam mattress, check with the manufacturer before placing it on a box spring since many say that a box spring is not a good support for a memory foam mattress.
Give it some time
If you just purchased a new bed, it may simply take some time to "break in" the mattress. If you purchased a "bed in a box" or memory foam mattress that came compressed inside a box, it may take some time to fully expand and could feel less firm over time. Try waiting it out a few more days before deciding it’s time to return it and try another mattress.
If you want to try giving the mattress some time to wear in, you can always add a softer mattress topper on it in the meantime while you wait. This will of course vary depending on the type of mattress you have, but it’s worth trying if you’re patient and aren’t losing too much sleep.
Check the temperature in your room
Do you like to keep your bedroom really cool at night? If you have a memory foam mattress this could actually make the mattress feel more firm. This is because the memory foam mattress material is more sensitive to temperature.
Your body heat could help it feel a bit softer, but to really feel the difference consider warming up your room at night to help the mattress feel more soft.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
How to Make A Firm Mattress Softer
If you’re anything like me then you will love your sleep. Some days – days that drag a little long, or go a little worse than planned – the only thing keeping me going is the thought of my bed at night. The thought of shutting up shop and closing myself off from the outside world. Bed can return you back to top form the following day and make the day before seem all too much like a bad dream. After a nightmare day, bedtime comfort can often be a lifesaver, with comfort and sleep going hand in hand. Or do they?
Sometimes, giving the items in your bedroom a spruce is all you need to get a decent night’s sleep, especially your mattress. I think we can all have slight problems with our mattresses but I think I have been lucky. But even during the moments when you might not be able to afford a new mattress, or it might not be at the top of your priority list, you can still find ways to improve the sleeping situation without having to spend vast amounts of money putting it right. You might just need a little bit of creativity and a lot of willing. But it is doable.
Making a firm mattress a little softer is always a great idea. You will often find your sleep improving through tailoring what you lie on when you sleep and this can only be a good sign. The better you sleep the better your days will go and the earlier you will start tackling the things you need to do in your life. The earlier you wake, the earlier you will sleep – the cycle goes around and around. No matter how little difference you think your mattress can make, you could very well be a little bit surprised.
It’s also not just your mattress you might want to think about. The bed frame is often something that can fall underappreciated and become underwhelming and often it’s one part of the bedroom that gets forgotten about in the process of refurbishing. That can do as much good – or as much damage – as a new mattress and some new pillows can do for a starter. You want a steady, firm frame, with no uneven parts and preferably strong and sturdy, with wooden slats or something similar. It is more helpful to your posture and comfortable to your sleep to own a solid bed.
I would like to take you through some of the ways in which we can get your mattress to the most comfortable position and feel while not spending a whole load of money to get to that position in the process. There are some quick and easy steps that don’t break the bank.
Helping Soften Your Mattress
I’ve always found that the best way to solve your mattress issues is to buy a new mattress. There are some great mattress reviews online that will help you decide which you may want. I know it sounds simple and maybe a little more than you wanted to pay but to be honest, bedding is built to last these days and with the right decision you will feel comfortable for longer.
I understand that most people aren’t able to go ahead and buy a new mattress right off the bat, but there are still a few ways to help. Firstly, consider a mattress topper.
A mattress topper is a piece of material – sometimes foam – that you will put on the top of your mattress before you dress it, to make it more comfortable and take away some of the hard, uncomfortable feel to the bed. Simple and easy to use, this will offer you a really comfortable feel and have you avoid needing to buy anything too expensive.
Have you ever thought about rotating and changing around your mattress to a different side of the bed? If the problem with your mattress is that it’s old and the springs have gone, it could be a good idea to take a look into this. One of the major things with old mattresses is that you tend to sleep in one place each night, which is fine, but when it comes to years down the line and you’re getting a little uncomfortable, flip the mattress and sleep on the other side and the opposite end. You will find that your body is heavier than your feet (naturally!) and that there is still a lot of strength and cushion in that old dog yet. This will buy you time to save up some serious money for a new bed/mattress and still keep you comfortable when sleeping. Not the ideal solution, but it is free and easy.
Maybe you’ve already got a new mattress but it is still a little on the tough side. As memory foam mattresses become more popular, people often just throw them on their bed and think nothing of the finer details. Memory foam is temperature sensitive so, during the winter months as the home gets colder, the memory foam mattress finds itself a little tougher and harder than usual. But fear not! If you have, or can buy yourself and electric blanket, plug that in and warm the bed up for half an hour before you get in and you will find the foam comfy, cozy and warm to boot. That’s the perfect way to get into bed at night.
There are a few ways to help make your firm mattress a little softer. It’s never the ideal situation to be in and if you’re not really wanting to buy a new one, you can get by with avoiding doing so. I would say, though, that if you can spend some money doing so, it’s always good to keep in mind purchasing a fresh, new mattress and doing your research when doing so. It’s a serious matter, how you sleep, so it’s worth the investment you put in.
How To Make A Mattress Softer
A few ways you can make a firm mattress softer and more accommodating.
Did your new bed turn out to feel more like a bench than a cloud? Don’t worry, we have some tips for you to make your mattress softer and more comfortable.
So you made the mistake of testing mattresses at the end of a long day, when anything would have been comfortable as long as you were off your feet. Now your bed has arrived and it’s too firm. Or maybe you switched up sleeping positions to your side, and now you need a mattress that will accommodate for your arm instead of pressing against it and giving you a dead limb to wake up to in the morning. Or maybe a partner moved in and they need a softer bed to sleep on. Whatever the reason might be, rest assured there are plenty of simple options to soften your bed up.
Let’s first talk about the reasons why having a softer mattress can be so important, and then we’ll go over some options for making your bed softer.
Why Firmness Level Is Important
Keep in mind that when we mention firmness in our Slumber Yard mattress reviews, we are doing so in a relative manner. Firmness is a term that is largely dependent on weight and body type. The more one weighs, the more they’ll sink down into a mattress and then the softer it will feel for them. Same goes for petite individuals, but just the opposite—the less you weigh, the more you’ll find yourself laying on top of the mattress, instead of in it. Because of this, petite people may have a harder time than others finding a soft-feeling mattress.
With some select mattresses, though, we’ve found that heavy individuals will actually sink through the comfort layers of the bed and end up laying more on top of either the poly foam or coil base layers, which will make the bed feel quite firm. This is a sign that you need a thicker, more supportive mattress.
Sleeper type is also super important when taking into consideration the firmness level of your mattress. Back and stomach sleepers usually need a firmer surface that will support their hips and shoulders to keep their spine in a neutral alignment. If the bed is too soft, back and stomach sleepers might find their hips sinking too deep in the bed, which makes the spine arch. Side sleepers will need a softer mattress that will be more accommodating for their hips and shoulders. If you sleep on your side on a mattress that is too firm, it will constrict the blood flow in the arms and hips, which can leave them feeling tingly or even cause you to lose feeling.
Many people find a soft mattress to be much more comfortable than one that is on the firm side. This can be extra important for those with conditions like scoliosis or fibromyalgia. Considering we spend a third of the day sleeping, which adds up to us spending almost a third of our lives sleeping, we should do so in comfort. Also, keeping the spine in proper alignment, whether sleeping on your back or on your side, is very important for the overall health of your body. Keep this all in mind as we talk about the different options you have when it comes to softening up a mattress.
Options For Softening Up Your Mattress
Break it in.If your bed is new and feels too firm, it may just need more time to break in a bit. Just like new shoes need to be worn in, so does your mattress. You can break it in by simply sleeping on it night after night like you normally would, or if you want to speed up the process, you could literally walk around your bed for a couple minutes a day. You could even have your kids (or borrow your sister’s kids) come and jump on it to soften it up quicker. Most mattress companies state that it can take up to 60 days to break in a new mattress. Novosbed won’t even accept returns before the first 60 days, and then offers to send you a Comfort+ Kit (a free foam topper) if you feel the firmness of the bed isn’t soft enough for you.
Try to break the mattress in quicker
Check your trial period.More often than not, online mattress companies will have trial periods where you can test out your new bed in your own home before you fully commit to it. Most often companies offer a 100-night trial period, but some brands have extended trials. Nectar, for example, offers a year long trial period. If you got your mattress recently, check and see if it’s still under its trial period because it might be eligible for a free return and refund, and most companies will come and remove the mattress for you, as well.
Flip or rotate your mattress.If know your mattress is flippable, try out the other side. Some mattress companies like Layla have different firmness levels per side, so the other side of the bed may be softer for you. Also, we always recommend rotating your mattress seasonally to prevent against sagging or permanent indentations. When your bed has permanent indentations, it can mean that the comfort layers of the bed are compressed, making them feel firmer. Try rotating it so that the heavier parts of your body like your hips and shoulders are in different spots. Keep in mind that sagging and impressions can be a sign it’s time to get a new mattress, though.
Warm it up.Some common mattress materials, like memory foam or airy polyurethane foam, can be temperature sensitive. Much like how memory foam allows your body to sink into the foam as it absorbs your body heat, a warm room will help the whole bed to soften up. Try adjusting your thermostat, using a heated blanket, or switching to flannel sheets to warm things up.
The warmer the memory foam bed is, the softer it will appear
Get a mattress topper.There are tons of great options on Amazon, and they’re much cheaper than getting a new bed altogether. There are different types of mattress toppers available that can add extra pressure relief or body contouring. We specifically recommend a thick memory foam topper, a goose down topper, or a wool topper for a softer feel. Be aware that egg crate style toppers can sometimes have too much texture and can annoy sensitive sleepers. You could also get a mattress pad, but toppers are thicker and more plush.
If all else fails, get a new mattress.Like we talked about in the intro, the firmness level of your mattress is very important for your spinal health. Having a bed that’s worn out, sagging, or much too firm can lead to body stiffness or trouble sleeping, which can lead to other issues. If these tips and tricks offered aren’t helping, it can mean it’s time to just get a new bed. Feel free to take our Mattress Finder Quiz if you need some help figuring out which bed might be best for you.