8 Easy Ways to Break in Your New Bed (Mattress)
You finally ditched your worn out mattress and you got yourself a fresh new bed. Congratulations, now you can get the restful night of sleep that’s been eluding you for months.
As you lie down and wait for sleep to overtake you, you may start to notice that the minutes are ticking by and you’re not falling asleep.
You toss and turn, looking for a comfortable position. Did you make a mistake? Is your new bed a dud?
You might just need to learnhow to break in a brand new bed. Similar to a new pair of stiff and squeaky shoes, your bed needs time to soften up, too. This article can help walk you through everything you need to know, including what to do if you really did buy a model that’s not a good fit.
Why Do You Need to Break in Your Mattress?
Shoes aren’t the only things that need to be broken in. Car engines, jeans, baseball gloves, and yes, even mattresses, all require a breaking in period.
Think of it this way: you’re used to your old mattress. The saggy indents, the worn-out springs, and the frayed materials are all familiar to you. When you lie down on a new, stiff surface, it’s bound to take some time to adjust to it.
Your body may have been compensating and may not be used to what it feels like to be in proper alignment. Or, the mattress may be especially firm for the first month or two.
Expect the first few nights or weeks on your new bed to feel different. Some people find bliss the first night, while others may struggle for a month or longer.
To accelerate the process of breaking in your new bed, follow the tips below.
Breaking in a New Mattress – Tips & Tricks
Let Your Mattress Breathe
If you bought your bed online, chances are it came compressed or rolled in a box. At the very least, it’s been wrapped tightly in plastic.
The materials may give off an off-gassing odor for a day or two. Further, if your mattress was compressed for shipping, it can take some time to expand to its full size.
Depending on the exact model you bought, it can take four to ten hours to expand to its full size. Sleeping on it too soon not only can cause you discomfort, but it can also affect the ability of the mattress to expand correctly. What may help is allowing your mattress to breathe without any sheets or bodyweight for the first 24 hours.
Put on the Pressure
If you are eager to soften the surface of your bed, try walking on it. This technique works well on latex and memory foam surfaces.
If your mattress is an innerspring or hybrid, crawl on your hands and knees instead. The reason for this distinction is that springs can buckle or deteriorate more rapidly when your body weight is overly concentrated.
If you don’t feel comfortable walking along your bed, try stacking piles of books on it instead.
Try not to get discouraged if you don’t love the way your new bed feels straight away. Your favorite pair of shoes might have given you a blister the first day you wore them, too. Remember, it can take thirty, or even sixty, days for your new mattress to feel like home.
The higher the quality, the longer it might take due to the durability of the materials, so that’s something else to keep in mind during this process.
Warm it Up
If you have memory foam, one thing that you might not have known is that the material tends to soften and become more malleable when it gets warm. Therefore, if you’re in a particular hurry to break in a new mattress, try keeping your bedroom a few degrees warmer than normal. It should make your bed feel softer.
Take note that high temperatures can also disrupt your sleep, so this tip is a bit of a tradeoff. It works best if you’re in a colder room, and you had planned on warming it up anyway.
Sleep on It Consistently
You might get discouraged and be tempted to take a break from the process and spend a night on the couch or in the guest room. It may be helpful to keep in mind that consistent use of your mattress can accelerate the breaking in process. This should allow you to enjoy your purchase that much sooner.
Put It in the Right Foundation
Before plopping your bed on the old foundation, check to make sure the two pieces are compatible and that your foundation isn’t worn out, sagging, or broken. While you may not always need a new foundation, you might need to get a replacement if you’ve switched the type of bed you’re now sleeping on.
Follow Your Gut
If you know that deep down this bed isn’t for you, then by all means, don’t suffer through it. However, it might be worth giving it a chance before rushing to judgment.
Give It the Full Time
Most companies ask customers to spend a specific number of nights sleeping on the material before deciding to initiate a return or exchange. These brands know that many people require some time to adjust to sleeping on something new. The amount of time they specify is usually the upper limit of when their customers either decide they love or hate their purchase.
If they say to sleep on it for thirty nights before asking for a return, then why not give it a go? If you’re concerned about being locked into four or more weeks of sleeplessness, try looking for a company that doesn’t have this requirement or reach out to the brand with your concern.
How Long Does It Take to Break In?
Innerspring models are typically broken in relatively quickly. The springs are naturally designed to adjust to your weight, and the pillow top section above them isn’t overly thick or firm. You may find comfort your first night, though it could take up to four weeks.
One thing to keep in mind with these beds is that the springs can degrade more quickly than high-density memory foam. Because of this, remember to rotate your mattress from head to foot every three to six months.
There’s some variation in the time periods of latex. It may depend on whether the latex is natural or synthetic and whether the product is pure latex or a hybrid.
Generally speaking, there is a fair amount of air in these beds, causing them to be broken in more quickly. You could expect to be acquainted with your fully broken-in mattress within two to fourteen days.
Low-density memory foam often feels like a comfortable cloud the first night, but it could leave you feeling like you’re sinking into a hole a few short months later.
Higher-density models may take longer to break in, but they should last you a lot longer. The higher the density, the longer the break-in period of the memory foam model. It could take up to sixty days.
What if It Never Breaks In?
You may know the saying, never say never. Eventually, the mattress should be broken in, though that may not mean that it feels comfortable.
It’s a good idea to at least wait the minimum amount of time required by the manufacturer. After that, if your new mattress is still not a match, then contact the company for a return or exchange.
Most companies offer more than one model. Check and see if you can exchange what you’ve got for something softer or firmer.
After all, they’d rather deal with the expense of supplying you with a different bed than losing you as a customer altogether.
If there’s no other available or suitable model from the manufacturer or retailer, then you may have to return your bed and start the shopping process over again. Make sure that you’ve got your receipt to initiate a return.
Also, during your trial period, take extra care not to stain, soil, or damage the product. While most companies will donate your returned item rather than resell it, they could potentially reject your claim if you’ve abused the product.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the fastest way to make a firm mattress soft?
The fastest way to make it soft is to spend as much time on it as possible. So, in addition to sleeping on the firm surface, sit or lie on it when you’re watching television, reading, working, etc. If you can’t spend that much time on it, pile it with books when you’re not at home.
Is it effective to walk on it?
Yes, this technique is helpful, especially for memory foam and latex surfaces. For innerspring or spring hybrids, it may sound childish, but crawl around on your hands and knees instead of your feet to distribute the weight more evenly and prevent excess concentrated pressure on the springs.
How can I tell if my mattress is too firm?
If you wake up feeling numbness or pain in your shoulders, arms, or hips, the surface may be too firm. Conversely, if your biggest complaint is low back pain, that’s a sign that the bed is too soft.
Is it normal for a new mattress to cause back pain?
While there could be discomfort associated with a new mattress, if you are experiencing back pain every morning, there’s probably another explanation. You might have purchased a firmness level that’s not compatible with your weight or sleeping position.
Another explanation is that the back pain could be caused by your lifestyle. Take a look at how much time you spend sitting or slouching or whether you engage in high-impact athletic activities. Any number of these factors could be responsible for your back pain.
You’re maybe already familiar with the stats about how many years of your life you spend in your bed, so it goes without saying that you shouldn’t have to compromise when it comes to comfort. Before committing to your purchase, make sure you do your research. Here are some helpful hints that can help you out before hitting the purchase button:
- Read customer reviews. Pay particular attention to those that mention situations similar to yours (low back pain or having arthritis, for example).
- Review the return policy. Are you required to sleep on the mattress for a certain number of nights? Does the company give you ample time to make a final decision?
- Find out if the company has an exchange policy. They may allow you to switch your bed out for a firmer or softer model.
- Check to see if there’s a local showroom where you can try before you buy. Showrooms may not always provide a real-life experience, but they can help if you’re deciding between two models.
- Find out if the company offers any accessories to help ensure your satisfaction. Some manufacturers provide “comfort kits” that can make your mattress softer or firmer, depending on your preferences.
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.
How Long Does It Take To Get Used To A New Mattress?
BY: Chris Young, getbestmattress.com
A mattress is never meant to last, no matter how much we love and feel comfortable with it. Over time, it starts to depreciate as the weight of your body becomes too much for it to carry. Usually, indentations become permanent, causing the mattress to break down even faster.
Purchasing a new mattress can be an exciting time, and many people fall in love with their mattresses right away, but it can also be a time of some trepidation. Difficulties can present themselves when you’re trying to get comfortable with something that is new. You may think that the mattress doesn’t exactly conform to your body. It may take a while before you become comfortable and acquainted with your new mattress.
In this case, there are several things that you might want to review when trying to break in your new mattress.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A NEW MATTRESS.
(1) It may take some time for your body to become familiar with the new materials that comprise the mattress. Your old mattress has conformed to your body type, so it might be a while for your body to consider the new mattress to be as comfortable as the old mattress. It can take up to eight weeks for your body to adjust to the new surroundings. Some people are allergic to some types of materials, so it may be wise to check what are the materials that were used to manufacture the mattress.
(2) On occasion, you might be privy to a smell that comes with the new mattress . This is normal after taking off the protective coating that covers it after being sent from the factory. Smells that were at the location where it was being manufactured will become trapped when it is sealed. These smells will stay in side of the packaging until they are released when opened. This doesn’t mean that the mattress is ruined. The smell is not harmful to people. The odors should dissipate over time, allowing the person to use the mattress without the annoying smells.
(3) When you receive the new mattress, you may notice that there are several scuffs, blemishes, or loose threads that are seen. This is normal from the manufacturing of process and doesn’t mean that it is damaged. These small complications are very common and don’t change the durability, the comfort, or the validity of the warranty that comes with the mattress.
(4) You may experience the mattress as being too thick or tough because of it being new. Modern mattresses that are created today are manufactured to be thicker than those built in the past. You may notice that your bed is further from the floor than it was before. Your older sheets may not fit, and you may have to purchase others to accommodate the new size. Many times, the headboards and the footboard can be adjusted in order to change the size of the bed to match the new mattress. You can purchase deep-pocket sheets to fit your new mattress to make it more comfortable and to match your tastes better.
(5) One thing to remember after purchasing your new mattress is to give it a firm and sturdy support. If you don’t have a strong foundation that supports the mattress, then it will start to sag and degrade causing your warranty to become invalid. King and queen sized mattresses require that you have a bed frame with a middle support.
These are but a few things that might happen while trying to incorporate a new mattress into your sleeping regimen. You must keep in mind that several obstacles my present themselves while you become accustomed to the change. Remember that all mattresses that are manufactured in the United States are hand-made and may have several errors that creep into their manufacturing process. You may see possible skipped threads, or errors with the seams, as well as fabric scuffs and other issues. This doesn’t destroy or hinder the performance of the mattress, or devalue the warranty that comes with it.
HOW WILL YOU FEEL DURING THE FIRST COUPLE OF DAYS?
After inspecting and setting up your new mattress, you are now ready to sleep on it and to see how it will feel for your body. There will be many kinds of differences that you will associate with the new mattress. Here are some of the complications that you might experience while resting on it for the first few nights.
(1) You may find that you are waking up sore from a night’s rest on the new mattress. This is the most common complaint that is made by people. Your body has become to the way that the old mattress has been comforting your body, but in the wrong ways because it is old and needed to be replaced. Now, your body is finally being supported in the correct manner and now it must become familiar with the correct way of resting on a mattress. After some time with resting on the mattress, your body will feel less sore, leaving you with an adequate night of sleep and comfort.
(2) You might expect to find falling to sleep difficult and distracting but eventually, this will stop as your body becomes more familiar with the nuances of having a new mattress.
(3) You may toss and turn at night as you try to rest.
(4) Waking up in the middle of the night might be an issue as well, but it will subside in several days as you become more accustomed to your bed with a new mattress.
The amount of time that it will take for you to become used to the fact of having a new bed will not take long as your body begins to rest better. It is different for many people and the length of time can vary. It can take a few days for some, and for others, they discover that it takes longer.
In the end, you should eventually be able to rest on your new mattress as you finally head off into a good night sleep. It is suggested to try the mattress for at least 30 days in order to truly assess whether it is the best mattress for you.
Getting Used To a New Mattress – What you must know
Now that you have bought a new mattress, you should be hoping for a better sleep and night experience. However, it has been three days of sleeping on your bed, and you are still wondering when your body will get used to this mattress. Darn it; you can’t wait to enjoy every second of your sleep!
There are various types of mattress: latex, airbeds, waterbeds, memory foam and innerspring. And different brands are manufacturing one or more of the mentioned types. Meaning that various models differ regarding skipped threads, upholstery material used, contoured seams and many others. Nonetheless, a mattress is the same.
Regardless of which type you sleep on, your body will use the same muscles, take up the same sleeping style, etc. However, the difference comes in when you switch from an old to a new mattress. Usually, you will use your muscles differently in both instances, and this is what makes the difference.
What do you need to know about a new mattress?
The first thing you will notice when you unwrap your mattress is a faint smell. This is what we refer to as off-gassing. In simpler words, off-gassing is a scent that a new mattress gives off due to its packaging and chemical composition. This odor is as a result of the breakdown of volatile organic compounds, usually common in household products. The smell may last for up to 2 days. Therefore, to get rid of it entirely, you are advised to air your mattress before spreading your bedsheets.
Comfort impressions will certainly happen in new mattresses. Don’t get it wrong; it is by no chance a defect! To even this out, you could try sleeping in areas where the impressions have not been formed yet. Alternatively, you can follow a monthly rotation schedule to ensure that your mattress conforms evenly on all parts.
What is the adjustment period?
When you sleep in a new bed, you will feel a slight discomfort. Nonetheless, this is not to say that your mattress is not of quality. One thing that professionals keep in mind while manufacturing mattresses is your ultimate support and comfort. You may not recognize the full details on the first use of a new mattress but with time, you will appreciate it. It is somewhat ridiculous that you need a month or so to sleep comfortably on a new bed. Well, aren’t you supposed to get cozy from the first night?
Don’t worry, though, here is some news to console your thoughts. It all depends on each person’s body. There are some who will take one month while others up to 2 months. You could consider a new mattress like buying a pair of shoe. The first day you wear your newly bought shoes you are likely to get blisters. It will take a few times of wearing for your feet to feel comfortable in them.
In a nutshell, it will take a minimum of 30 days for your body to adapt. Therefore, don’t give up on your mattress too early. It will do you more harm than good. People who rush into discarding their new beds often make a big mistake. They spend much on buying a mattress after another and end up settling on one of the mattresses bought just because they couldn’t get a better one.
I am Jim Thomas and I am the editor of this blog. The sole purpose of this blog is to help people make an informed decision rather investing in a wrong Mattress. I work with a team of enthusiastic people who research sleeping experience and how mattresses should be designed for ultimate comfort and better health.
Collaborating with my expert team, I will share everything about mattress reviews and how mattress affects your daily life.
How Long Does It Take to Get Used to a New Mattress?
Recently,we have been talking about some of the symptoms of an uncomfortable mattress. Let’s say that you’ve recognised that you need a new mattress and have bought one (hopefully from us). Falling in love with a new mattress is the exception rather than the rule. For most people, a little time is needed to get used to a new sleep system.
Does it Take Long?
Most find they need up to a month to get used to a brand-new mattress. This period may be longer if you previously used a ‘bad’ mattress for an extended period. Sleeping on a mattress that doesn’t sink and squeal is a new experience for the body, and it needs to get used to that. Sometimes, the fantastic adaptation benefits the body affords can also be a curse too.
What Should You Expect During the Adjustment Period?
Experts are well aware that there’s an adjustment period that comes with mattresses. But no new mattress should be uncomfortable. What you may experience is more tossing and turning than you are used to as the body gets used to the new mattress.
This is especially noticeable with amemory foam mattress, which moulds to the body. Think of it as the body’s way of finding the most comfortable position in a new sleeping spot.
Don’t Give Up Too Soon
Not falling in love with your mattress immediate y does not mean you should give it up. Mattresses can sometimes be like a new pair of shoes. You need to break it in. Try out your mattress for a few weeks before reaching a conclusion that it is not what you expected.
If you do decide to exchange the mattress for another one, you will need to go through the adjustment period again. This is why retailers are so careful with educating consumers about when they should and should not give up on a mattress.
It is also why the industry standard has been to offer a ‘comfort guarantee’. Retailers offering guarantees from the 30-day mark are taking into account the adjustment period.
How did you deal with your adjustment period?
How Long Does It Take to Break in Your New Mattress?
At Mattress Advisor, you’ll find comprehensive, unbiased reviews on the best mattresses and bedding products and thoroughly researched tips for getting your best sleep.
Believe it or not, breaking in your new mattress can take up to 30 days…and in some cases, even longer. In a society that values instant gratification, this isn’t always the news that people want to hear. But if you think about the amount of time you’ll likely own your mattress for (7-10 years), waiting 30 days until it’s just right doesn’t seem so bad.
We’ll help you understand why it’s so important to break in your mattress, give you some tips for breaking it in, and help you determine if (and when) it might be time for a change.
How to break in a new mattress
These eight steps can help you break in a new mattress more quickly.
1. Let the mattress air out
Once your new mattress springs to life, it may look like it’s ready to use, but often times it’s just been freed from being compressed in a plastic casing. Many new mattresses can give off a slight chemical odor when you first open it, which is totally normal. Before you throw on your sheets and hop into bed, it’s best to give your mattress a few hours to air out. Opening the windows or putting on a fan helps. The smell of a new mattress can have an impact on the quality of your sleep the first night, which can actually put a damper on your overall feelings about it. So let it breathe first, and then start putting it to the test.
2. Sleep on the mattress every night
If you’re not sleeping as well as you expected to after the first few nights on your new mattress, your first instinct might be to migrate to the couch. Resist the urge. The more consistently you sleep on your mattress, especially within the break-in period, the better (and faster) your body will start adjusting to your mattress and vice versa.
3. Use a supportive foundation underneath
Often times when people purchase a new mattress, they put it right on top of their old bed frame or foundation. Having the right level of support for your mattress can have a big impact on how comfortable that mattress feels, especially during the initial break-in period. If your old foundation is worn and unstable, you’re probably not experiencing the mattress the way it was intended. Pay attention to the type of bed frame or foundation that’s recommended by the company you bought your mattress from. (We list this out for you on all of our mattress review pages.) You can also find some of our favorite foundations and bed frames in this article if you’re in the market for a new one.
4. Add pressure by walking on the bed
It may sound (and look) a little silly, but walking or crawling around on your mattress can actually help break it in a little faster. The additional pressure helps to loosen the materials in the mattress and speed up the process of taking its intended shape.
5. Turn up the heat
Notthatkind of heat. (Although if we’re being honest, heated bedroom activity doesn’t hurt when breaking in your mattress.) But we’re talking about the actual temperature of the room here. Heat can be helpful for the break-in process, particularly if you purchased a new memory foam mattress. It can help soften up the materials and speed up the break-in period. And you don’t have to turn your bedroom into a sauna either – even a few ticks up on the thermostat can help.
6. Talk about the process
If you’re sharing your new mattress with someone else, having an open conversation about your quality of sleep and how you’re feeling on the mattress can help with your collective decision to keep the mattress or not. While it may not physically help break it in, it could help make you more aware of things you might not notice. For instance, maybe your sleeping partner is starting to notice that he/she is waking up with less back pain, and you start to realize the same is true for you.
7. Give your mattress time
Some mattress companies will not even accept returns until after you’ve slept on the mattress for a full 30 nights. And there’s a good reason for that. While it may seem like a long, tedious process, it’s better to wait and see if the mattress adjusts to your body and becomes more comfortable before you initiate the return process and start looking for a new one. In some cases, the break-in period can last even longer than 30 days, so it’s a good idea to check with your mattress company on the recommended time frame.
8. Consider exchanging or returning the mattress
Having a comfortable mattress is critical to your quality of sleep, so if your gut is telling you this just isn’t going to work out and you’re waking up in pain every morning, then by no means should you suffer through the rest of the break-in period. But your first impression may not always be indicative of how comfortable you’ll feel on the mattress. That’s why laying on a mattress for a few minutes in a mattress store doesn’t give you an accurate representation of how well you’ll sleep on that mattress long-term. So don’t be let down if your mattress doesn’t end up being what you expected it to be – there’s really no way to know until you try it…for a good while.
Why do you need to break in your mattress?
Breaking in your mattress is often compared to breaking in a new pair of shoes: it takes time and patience and yes, even the occasional blister. But sometimes those shoes turn into your best, most comfortable pair and the break-in period was well worth the wait. The same thing is true for mattresses. As much as you want to love and embrace your new, well-earned mattress as soon as it’s set up in your bedroom, it might not feel like blissful slumber after the first night.
That’s because you and your new mattress are still getting used to each other. The materials in the mattress need time to fully take shape – to soften and flex into their natural, intended firmness. Your mattress will start conforming to your body shape and adjusting to your movements and sleeping positions, but this won’t happen immediately.
Your body is also getting used to this new sleeping surface. With any new mattress, it’s going to feel different than the mattress you’ve been sleeping on for years. If you bought a different type of mattress, (e.g. you had an innerspring and now you have a memory foam mattress) your body will need to readjust to the new materials and new feel of your mattress. It’s important not to confuse “uncomfortable” with “unfamiliar” when it comes to breaking in your mattress.
Dr. Scott Bautch, President of the American Chiropractic Association’s Council on Occupational Health, put it best:
“When you transition to a new mattress that you aren’t used to, just because you can’t get comfortable for a week or two doesn’t mean you are sleeping on a bad mattress. You need to have realistic expectations. If you go from a really bad mattress to a better one, you are going to have a break in period.”
What if your mattress still isn’t comfortable after the 30-day break-in period?
If you’re still not completely satisfied with your mattress after breaking it in for 30 days, there are a few things you can do.
- Wait a little longer.If you’re still not in love with your new mattress but aren’t ready to give up just yet, there’s no harm in giving it more time, as long as your trial period allows it. Most mattress companies offer trial periods that are 100+ nights for that very reason. So feel free to take advantage of this and give it a couple of more weeks. Depending on the type of mattress you have, you might actually need more than 30 days to get the full effect.
- Exchange it for a different feel.Often times when mattress companies offer more than one model or varying levels of firmness, they’ll allow you to exchange your mattress for something more or less firm depending on your liking. If you’re waking up with pain or numbness in your pressure points, then you might need something a little softer. If you’re finding it hard to get out of bed or starting to develop lower back pain, you might want to opt for a firmer mattress. You can also read more about how to choose your mattress firmness here.
- Return it for a new one.You may feel defeated if you ultimately decide to return your mattress after the break-in period, but it happens to lots of people. Think of it as a learning experience – now you know what you want (and don’t want) in a mattress and can make a more informed decision next time around. And if you ordered from a company with a risk-free return policy, you really have nothing to lose. If you decide to send your mattress back and get a new one, our mattress guide can help you find your next bed! Or see the best mattresses for back pain so your next bed isn’t a such a pain.
Breaking in your mattress can seem like a doozy, but sometimes good things take time. If you have any questions about breaking in your mattress or have some of your own tips to share, drop us a line in the comments below.