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How To Make A Mattress Firmer

A few ways you can make a soft mattress firmer and more supportive.

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Before we begin, let’s first firm a few things up (get it). All jokes aside, this post is designed to be a helpful guide for you to firm up your existing mattress. Let’s get to it.

Why You Might Need A Firm Bed

There are many reasons why you might need a firmer mattress. Your bed may have simply arrived a little softer than expected. Also, some mattresses tend to get softer with time, as you break them in. If you have a back injury or some back pain, your doctor may have recommended that you sleep on a firmer surface. Or maybe your partner moved in, and they need a firmer mattress. Whatever it is, we’re here to help.

Let’s first go over some reasons why having a firmer versus a softer bed can be so important, and then we’ll talk about some options for making your mattress firmer.

Why Firmness Level Is Important

When we talk about firmness here at the Slumber Yard, know that we are doing so in a relative manner, as firmness is a term that is relative to weight. Basically, the less you weigh, the more you lay on top of a mattress, sofa, or any other surface for that matter. When you’re laying more on top of a surface, instead of sinking down in it, it will feel firmer to you. Because of this, petite people might find more mattresses feel firm to them.

On the opposite end of spectrum, the more you weigh, the more you sink into a mattress or other surface. Because you’re sinking down into the material more, the surface will feel softer. Heavier people might find more mattresses feel softer to them, and may have a more difficult time finding a firm enough bed. In some cases, though, we have found that heavier people will sink right through the comfort layers of a mattress and will settle more on the poly foam or coil base layers, which actually make the bed feel firmer. This isn’t good for your spine though.

Your sleeper type is also important when considering the firmness level you need in your mattress. Side sleepers tend to need a softer mattress that will accommodate their curves, instead of fighting against them and possibly limiting blood flow. Back and stomach sleepers will need a firmer mattress that will keep their spine in proper alignment while they sleep. Back and stomach sleepers shouldn’t have their hips or shoulders sinking into the bed too much, as this will cause the spine to be in an arched position, which can lead to back aches or other problems.

Plank is a firm mattress

Having a firm bed can also be better for your health. Remember, you sleep on your mattress for (hopefully) eight hours every night. Over the course of a lifetime, that’s a third of your life spent sleeping. 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. This study even explores the concept that firmer bedding can reduce back pain, improve sleep quality, and decrease overall stress.

Keep all this in mind as we explore the different options you have when it comes to making your mattress more firm.

Options To Increase Firmness

Trial period.Many online mattress brands have trial periods, so that you can really get to know your new mattress before you commit. Most companies offer a 100-night trial period, but others, like Nectar for example, have year-long trial periods. Check to see if your mattress is still within its trial period, because you might be able to return the bed for a full refund, and most of the time the company will come remove the mattress for you, also free of charge. You could also try contacting the company and see if they can help you. Novosbed will even send you a Comfort+ Kit, which is a free foam topper, if you feel the firmness of the bed isn’t quite right for you.

Try placing your mattress on the floor.If that makes it feel firm enough for you, you could either go for a cool college kid vibe and leave it there, or you can try slipping some plywood boards between your mattress and the bed frame. This will add some extra firm support and possibly harden your mattress.

Check your box spring.Box springs can wear out with prolonged use. When they lose their strength, they provide less support for your mattress than they should, which in turn may make your mattress feel softer. Replacing a box spring is usually much less pricey than replacing a mattress, and can help to harden up your bed.

Replace the worn out layers.More and more companies are manufacturing their mattresses with different layers of material, so it’s easy to switch out the ones that are more damaged. This is also a more affordable way to make your mattress firmer. Just make sure your mattress has a removable mattress cover and you’re not

Dampness.Your bed can become soft from absorbing moisture from the air. This is common in humid areas or if you live close to the beach. If you think this might be the problem, just take your bed and lay it in the sun, and let it dry out for the day. This should not only firm up your mattress, but the sun should also kill off any bacteria, mold, and germs that may have occurred from the dampness. If you’re super worried about a contaminated mattress, you can also pay for a professional cleaning, but make sure to try this first.

Mattress topper.I know, you’re probably thinking, aren’t mattress toppers suppose to make beds softer? But there are tons of great mattress toppers you can find on Amazon that will make your bed firmer. We suggest a dense memory foam or a latex one. Latex is a natural foam material made from the sap of rubber trees, and its known to be pretty firm and responsive. They have synthetic latex options, as well, which are usually cheaper. Toppers are usually around 2”-6” thick, so they can make your bed decently thicker, or just a little bit thicker, if that’s what you prefer. Also, mattress pads tend to be thinner and make mattresses softer, so look specifically for a topper.

Consider your room temperature.Some materials, like 100% memory foam or airy polyurethane foam, can be temperature sensitive. If you leave them in a cold room they We’ve even heard of pure memory foam freezing solid if left in a super cold climate! Try adjusting your thermostat in your bedroom to a lower temperature, or even leave a window open and get the fan going and see if that firms up your bed a bit. Likewise, a warmer temperature might make your bed softer.

Rotate or flip your mattress.Sometimes simply rotating your bed so that the heavier parts of your body lay in different spots can help. We always recommend that, no matter what kind of mattress you have, you rotate it seasonally to help prevent against sagging or impressions. If your bed is two-sided, you can also try flipping it to make it firmer. Just double check first that it’s a flippable mattress. Some beds, like the Plank for example, come with two different firmness levels on each side. If there aren’t different firmness levels, the unused side will still often be firmer.

Nest Flip is a double-sided mattress

If all else fails, get a new mattress. As we explained above, the firmness of your bed is very important for your spinal health, and to prevent against body aches and stiffness. This is especially true for strict back or stomach sleepers. Also, having a worn out bed that’s been around too long is just not great for your body. If you’ve had your bed for over 10 years and it’s much softer than when you first got it, it might be time for a new mattress anyway. You can check out our list of Best Firm Beds or Best Beds for Back Sleepers if you want some help figuring out which bed might be best for you.

How to Make a Mattress

How to Make Pillowcase Chair Covers for a Wedding

Things You’ll Need

  • Two cotton flat sheets in the size desired
  • Stuffing material
  • Sewing machine and thread

With the use of a sewing machine and other materials, making a homemade mattress is easy.

Sew the two flat sheets together on three sides, inside out, using a 1-inch seam. Repeat the process a quarter-inch away from the first seam. This will add stability. Turn the mattress sheet cover right side out where the seams are on the inside.

Decide if you wish to stuff your mattress with down feathers, shredded, flat, or egg carton-shaped fiber foam or with memory foam or other materials. Ripped-up clothing can be used as stuffing if desired. If using flat or other foam sheets, cut the foam a quarter-inch smaller than the size of the sewn-together mattress sleeve sheets.

Begin stuffing your mattress cover. For foam sheets, roll up the covers much as you would put on a sock and start at one end of the foam and work the cover up to the opposite end. For shredded foam or down feathers, stuff the material into the cover until full.

Pin or hand-stitch the end of the mattress cover together. Once you have a straight seam, sew the ends together using the sewing machine, attempting to keep the one-inch seam margins. Sew a second seam close to the first line of stitching to ensure the seams do not rip out.

Loose fiberfill, down or old clothing may shift as the mattress is used. Simply fluff the mattress regularly to keep the stuffing distributed evenly throughout the mattress.

How to make your own mattress

Shopping for a new bed can be overwhelming. It’s hard to separate the marketing claims from the facts. And the prices aren’t that easy to swallow either. Articles on how many toxic chemicals are present in average mattress aren’t helping you make your choice either. So, what’s your alternative? How will you find a bed that meets your needs, is within your budget, and suits your style too?The answer to that is DIY. Yes, you read it right. We’re talking about making your own mattress. And before you read any further, let’s clarify one thing. We’re not talking about how to make your own foam or other mattress components. Let’s not go crazy, yeah? We’re talking about getting the mattress components from different vendors and assembling it yourself.

So, how does one do that? Apparently, it’s easier than you’d think. The first thing you have to do is figure out what you want your mattress to be made of. Do you want latex foam or memory foam? Do you want to use polyurethane foam as the base foam? Or do you want something more natural such as wool batting, buckwheat hulls, millet hulls, and kapok? The point here is, you’ll need to do a fair amount of research on what “ingredients” you want your bed to have. You can go all natural or organic, or just a hybrid of various types of materials such as pocketed coil springs, latex foam, and memory foam. Whatever floats your boat. To check out your options for mattress fillings, you can visit these sites: DIY Natural Bedding , Open Your Eyes Bedding , Foam Order , and DIY Mattress Components .

Once you have the filling sorted out, you’ll need to find a mattress case. Now, some people have the skills to sew their own. Good for them! For those of you (including me) who aren’t as skilled, you can buy the mattress cover (called ticking) from some of the stores mentioned above as well as regular mattress stores and some online stores such as Amazon and eBay.

After you’ve gathered all your materials, the next step is to assemble your bed. Open your mattress case/cover and lay it down flat on the floor or on top of the bed frame. Whichever area you choose, just make sure you have enough space to lay out the bottom part of the cover entirely flat.

Once you have the cover laid out, place your filling on top. You’ll need to put the base first, whether it’s polyurethane, latex, memory foam, wool batting, etc. Once all the layers have been arranged properly, get the top part of the mattress case and cover your chosen materials. Then, just zip it closed and viola! You’ve made your own mattress!

If you’re not sure about the DIY mattress route, here are a few other reasons why you should. You get that feeling of accomplishment when you make something using your own two hands. You also feel safe that you know exactly what you’re lying on at night and breathing in as you sleep. No toxic chemicals for you! And the best part? If parts of your bed starts to break down, you can easily replace just that particular component. No need to get rid of an entire mattress. How’s that for a perfect bed?

6 Easy & Simple Ways to Make Mattress Firmer

A mattress definitely holds the key position when it comes to defining a good night’s sleep. It is important because, without having a proper mattress, you may not even think about having a calm and consistent sleep overnight. You will find yourself turning and tossing and may end up with groggy feelings in the morning.

To make sure you sleep better and enjoy a consistent sleep, you should consider buying a mattress which is thick enough to provide you the desired comfort and also is soft or firm depending on what your body needs.

However, there is a problem here, when you buy a new mattress it’s too soft or after using for a time your mattress become softer,… and your body do not like that. Do not worry! In this article, we’ll show youhow to make mattress firmerin simple and affordable ways.

Why thickness and firmness of your mattress are important?

Regarding the thickness and the firmness of the mattresses, we can say that you should select according to the way you sleep or what are the basic requirements or expectation you have while using your mattress.

Like if you are a side sleeper, you might be in need of a medium soft mattress whereas if you are a back sleeper you may need to get a firmer mattress. For the belly sleepers, it is always a good choice to buy a soft mattress.

But it is also true that when you buy your mattress it may be a little firm, but as the time passes the firmness of the mattress gets vanished or may slightly deteriorate due to the external factors and usage of the mattress.

Why mattresses lose their firmness?

The mattresses may lose their firmness because of the moisture, heavy usage, insufficient care, and lack of proper placement of the mattress. And if you are in need of a slightly firm mattress, you may need to treat it through proper ways so that you can restore its actual firmness or at least support it using different accessories to gain the firmness again.

Your Mattress is Too Soft? How To Make Mattress Firmer?

An easy way out to make sure you have a firmer mattress again is to replace it with a new one. But you should be aware of the fact that replacing your mattress may cost you 500-1000usd or more depending upon the kind of mattress you have or want to replace your old mattress. So, better not to go with the replacement option and try to look into easier, low cost and wise solutions, instead.

#Replace the worn out layers:

If you have a mattress having multiple layers, you may try changing the above layer and see if that works for you. It will cost a lot lesser than changing the whole mattress and you will get a firm support again.

#Give it a firm platform

Try to put your mattress on a plywood bed support. This will ensure that your mattress is supported in a firm way so that no part is sagging and will be kept straight.

#Use a firm mattress topper

Using afirm mattress topperis one of the easiest ways to get the firm mattress surface. You should use alatex mattress topperor ahigh-density memory foam mattress topperfor a firm yet adjustable support. Latex and memory foam toppers are the best choices to make mattress firmer.

If your existing mattress is too soft, you should buy a latex topper, because naturally, latex is firmer than memory foam.

In case you need soft yet form upper layer, you may choose a cotton filled mattress topper. A well-fitted mattress pad and cover can also supplement in retaining and enhancement of mattress firmness.

A mattress topper acts in protecting your mattress in many different ways.

  • One is that your mattress will have an extra layer which will be affected when you use your mattress and in the way and the actual mattress does not get direct affect on its surface.
  • It gives an extra soft or firm layer on the top of your bed, keeping it firm and in the actual form of the mattress, the way the mattress was before.
  • You should use a memory foam mattress topper if you have to get the firmness back for your side sleeping habit. This will give you medium firmness and a very good night’s sleep.
  • For those who need to transform into a new mattress through a mattress topper, a latex mattress topper would be the best.

The mattress topper only works on the mattresses which have minor sagging issues and not too damaged. Also, the mattress toppers can only supplement the mattress firmness on the top and they may not fix it if your mattress got damaged

#Keep the room temperature at an optimum level

Highs and lows in the room temperature can also affect the firmness of the mattress. If you could keep it normal, you can easily avoid the deterioration process of the mattress.

#Give your mattress a sun bath

Make sure you put your mattress under the sunlight after every few months. This will help the mattress rejuvenate its internal structure by stretching the cells and killing germs and mildew and release moisture.

#Flip your mattress often

Make sure you flip your mattress on a regular basis. This practice will help you retain the shape of the mattress and the mattress will not be overly used from one side or spot. When all areas get equal pressure, the deterioration process will be slow.

Among all these tips, we may consider two things the most important ones, moisture and wrong placement of the mattress may lead to the loss of firmness. So, if you can protect the mattress from these two factors, you can surely make it feel firmer and supportive.



Thank you that was very helpful. My bed is soft/plush and I wake up with lower back pain which goes after 10 mins. I am 68 years old so could be an ‘age thing’ I will get a firm memory foam topper see if that helps. Also do some back stretches my physio taught me

Kindest regards

You’re welcome, Anna.
You can take a look at this article to choose the best topper for your back: Best Mattress Topper for Back Pain

Hi I have a soft memory foam bed as well and wake up with lower back pain too. My older conventional mattress did not give me any pain. I think it’s probably your mattress, it should be firmer to avoid the pain contrary to some articles advice. Good luck.

Claire Bell says

Hi, I have been searching the Internet for approx 2 hours and this is the only site I have managed to find that someone “in the know” actually replies. I would appreciate it greatly if you could respond to this request via my email as well as posting on here please. (I am unlikely to be able to get back to this post and see your response, due to my dimness). I would greatly appreciate it if you can.

So… to the mattress topper. For many years now I have had a memory foam mattress, but due to a house move my original bed didn’t fit in my new bedroom. So I have bought a complete new bed and mattress. They were both fairly expensive and are only 3 months old. The base is one of those that opens/lifts up for storage. I stupidly didn’t buy a memory foam mattress this time and it is giving me untold problems with ongoing neck and shoulder problems, but I find I also have to support both sides of my waist with small cushions when I’m in bed. In my opinion this mattress is too soft and my issues are only going to get worse, not better.

Is there a mattress topper out there that will help to firm this mattress up that doesn’t cost the same as a half decent memory foam mattress?

Thanks very much in advance for any advice you may have and I really would appreciate an email to either respond to this question or at least send me back to this link.

Thank you for your kind words!
Normally, you will get notification of my reply in your email.

In that article, you can find top rated medium-firm to firm toppers which can help to make your mattress firmer. If you want more firmness (if your existing mattress is too soft), you should buy a latex topper, because naturally, latex is firmer than memory foam (but they are more expensive).

Hi, I clicked on the link for the latex mattress topper as you suggested and the description and reviews all indicate that it makes your mattress softer not firmer.
My situation is basically that I have back pain and my boyfriend and I have a brand new mattress that he loves and my back is hurting. So I figured if I could get a mattress topper for my half of the bed, that would solve my problem without disrupting his sleep.

Hi Eleanor,
Yes, latex toppers can both help to make your mattress softer or firmer (I mentioned both in that article). It depends on the firmness of the topper your choose: soft, medium-firm or firm. A soft topper will make your mattress softer. A medium-firm or firm latex topper will help to make your mattress firmer and help relieve back pain.
I also wrote an article about mattress topper for back pain here:

I have a mattress with an attached pillow top. I feel like I can’t clip it for that reason, but would the plywood help? My husband and I wake up every morning with back pain. Buying a new mattress is not in our budget at this time especially being the holiday season. Any suggestions would be appreciated, thank you!

Sorry for late feedback.
You should check your bed foundation, if it’s not good then using plywood can help a little.
You can consider buying a mattress topper too, an affordable mattress topper can improve your mattress. Take a look at our article on choosing mattress topper for back pain here:

Layla Paker says

Hi, Thanks for your the article. Everyone knows that a good mattress is important for your sleep. When we have used it for a while, it lacks softness, which causes problems such as back pain, knee pain, waking up at midnight. Make mattress firmer is a temporary solution, I wonder if I should change the mattress? I am in need some information. Can you give me a tutorial? Thank you very much, have a nice day.

I bought a king size ottoman bed with a memory foam mattress but I have not been able to sleep on it as its too soft I have neck and back pains. I cant get up form it its too soft and very uncomfy,

Could you please help?

Did you read the article and try our suggestions?
You can buy a medium-firm or firm topper to firm up your mattress. A good mattress topper can help relieve back pain too. Read more about choosing mattress topper for back pain here:

Which would sleep cooler, a firm memory foam topper or a firm latex topper? I have a new mattress that is too soft and does not allow me to turn over easy, but do not want something that adds heat as i like to sleep cool.

A firm latex topper is cooler. Generally, latex and gel-infused foam are top cooling materials.

Barbara watkins says

Thanks for this information. My frequent guest requires a firmer bed than that provided by my memory foam, which is almost new. I will look for a firm topper. What a relief to not buy a whole new mattress!

Thank you so much for this helpful article. I have been given a bed by a friend, but the mattress is a soft mattress and is far too soft for my partner who likes and needs a firmer mattress. Will a Latex mattress topper help firm up the mattress enough for him?

Yes, a latex topper can help.

Great article, just remember to use a mattress encasement on any mattress to keep it protected from bed bugs, spills, viruses, dust mites, allergens, etc.

I sleep on the floor and my back feels wonderful.

Brian M Salazar says

Your article was super useful. I looked into the latex topper but the brand you suggested (Ultimate Dreams) is not available in firm for a king size bed. Another brand (Pure Green by SleepOnLatex) is available and sounds promising. However, it doesn’t seem to come with a cover. In your experience, is a cover required?
My only other concern is if the bed sheets will fit with such thickness. I definitely need Firm though bc my tempurpedic has somehow become too soft since we got it a few years ago.

Butch Armstrong says

My issue is that I have a nice mattress that is only a couple of years that is soft for me since I have arthritis in my hips. The problem is now I have my girlfriend living with me, and she needs a firmer mattress. What do you think about cutting a mattress topper in half, or purchasing a twin topper to go on my queen bed. I fear that would put her side of the bed higher than mine. I really do not want to spend 1000.00 for a new adjustable mattress since mine is not old.

Hi Butch Armstrong,

Yes, you can put a topper on one side of the bed to adjust the firmness of your mattress. You can buy a thin topper (about 2 inches) to reduce the height difference.

Or, you can also try a medium firm topper to see if it’s comfortable for your hip. A medium firm topper can be a good solution for both of you.

Amber Elliott says

I am having a hard time finding a firm mattress topper. Do you recommend one? I bought my daughter and son n law a new bed and it’s not firm enough. So they are not using a 900 mattress.

Hi Amber Elliott,

Robert VandenHeuvel says

I fixed a Tempur-Pedic soft mattress that was too soft by adding a latex topper underneath it. I weigh 260 pounds and I have back deformities. The soft mattress felt great in the store but was causing pain at home, so I followed the recipes posted here and on Amazon and bought a latex topper 2″ and put it under the existing mattress on top of the box spring. It helps about 90% and the rest of the aches and pains are tolerable. I won’t be moving the topper to the upper side. This arrangement already works so well, and for only about $200

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How to Make a Mattress for Any Doll Bed

Do you remember a few months ago when I made the new bunk beds for our American Girl dolls? Well, our poor dolls have had nothing but a hard board to sleep on since then. I was just kind of dreading thedoll bedding pattern. Not that is it hard stuff to sew, it is just that sometimes I put off pulling out the sewing machine and making things like this. I think I make it worse than it really is in my mind. Ever been there, done that?

Well, I finally got over my mental block and made new mattresses for the new beds. Yay!

If you have been a follower of my blog for a long time, you may remember when I made bedding a few years ago for our first set of doll beds. This time Fairfield offered to sponsor this post and sent me a couple of products with which to make the doll mattress.

I had originally been planning to make the doll mattress in the exact same way that I made it a few years ago. However, when Fairfield sent me their project foam (affiliate link) as one of the possible items to use to make the mattress, I realized the 1″ thick foam would be perfect for the doll mattress. I also realized it would make the mattresses even easier to make. I always love when I can make a project more simple!

Now I realize that this isn’t directly a fun activity with the kids and myself, but I also know that when I make something like this for my girls they have a great time playing. To me, that helps make for a Real Summer of Fun. That is why I’m including this in my list of ideas for making this a summer of real fun. You can check out all the other Real Summer of Fun ideas in that post.

So let me show you how I made this doll mattress.


  • Doll bed(affiliate link)
  • 1″ Foamology Project Foam (affiliate link)
  • Fabric
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Pins
  • Fabric marker
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors

Start by measuring your bed. This pattern can be adapted for any size doll bed.

Our doll beds happen to be the beds from IKEA that I painted and customized. The portion for the mattress measures 12″ x 19″.

You will want to add 1.5″ to your measurements. Cut your fabric at that measurement. My fabric cuts were 13.5 x 20.5″.

Cut two pieces of fabric at this size.

I tried making the mattress casing the same size as the original mattress that I made a few years ago, but because this foam is thicker than the batting that I used last time, I needed to increase the cut fabric size.

Mark off your Foamology 1″ Project Foam with the dimensions of your bed.

Mine was 12″ x 19″. I was making 2 mattresses. One for each of my daughter’s beds. I marked off two mattresses.

Cut your foam to size following the lines you marked.

Now you need to sew your mattress casing. Place the two right sides (or patterned sides) of your fabric together and pin. Sew with a 1/2″ seam leaving an opening at the top or bottom of the mattress.

Before you turn the mattress casing right side out, pull each corner to a point and pin. This will give you your box corners for the thickness of the mattress.

Since I was using 1″ foam, I marked a line across the pointed end at the point where it was 1″ across. Use a fabric marker for this.

Sew on that line making sure to backstitch both at the beginning and end. Clip the excess fabric.

Now here is where I made this a super simple project. Turn your fabric right side out and place the foam mattress inside. You will need to wiggle and work the foam into the corners.

Last time I made these mattresses, my mom was in town. She doesn’t mind doing the hand sewing. She wasn’t in town this time. I really dislike hand sewing. I decided that the mattresses were going to be closed on the machine. In order to do it that way, you will need to pin the opening closed. Then add a second row of pins that will allow room for the presser foot, kind of like when I turned the one IKEA pillow into two.

To get a really narrow seam, if your machine has the ability to move the needle position, move the needle position to the right. Sew the opening closed remembering to backstitch both at the beginning and end.

Easy peasy! It may not look as perfect as the hand sewn closure, but it entailed no swear words and a happier mom, so it worked fantastically for me!

The dolls love their mattresses as well. They don’t mind that I went for the easy closure. I also didn’t add any buttons to the mattress this time. You could add a few buttons to help hold the mattress in place. I dislike sewing buttons as well and the foam is in the casing nice and snug, so I think it will have a hard time sliding around (which would be the point of the buttons).

These doll bed mattresses are just adorable. Both of my girls really thought about the paint for the bed as well as matching the bedding to the paint. So far they look great! Next week, I should be able to show you the reversible sheets we are going to add to the doll bedding.

In the meantime, you can whip up a doll bed mattress easy peasy. You can sew with your kids or you can sew it for them. Either way, it gives something fun for your Real Summer of Fun.

Don’t forget to follow Fairfield on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram for more great ideas and fun.

For more American Girl Doll ideas, follow my AG Pinterest Board. Tons of great ideas!

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