How Make Mattress Firmer

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How to Make a Mattress Firmer With a Bed Board

How to Make a Mattress Firmer With a Bed Board

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A comfortable mattress is key to a good night’s sleep, which is key to the quality of your day. A mattress that is too soft for your liking may cause aches and pains or result in a less-than-restful night. Firm up that sagging nightmare by placing a bed board beneath it. Bed boards come in all shapes and sizes, some designed for use between a mattress and box spring, some with just a mattress. You can also make the bed board yourself from plywood, firming up that saggy situation once and for all.

The Plywood Sandwich Solution

Plywood cut to the size of the mattress acts as a do-it-yourself mattress support that fits between mattress and box spring, making a mattress firmer. This comes in handy for a mattress that’s too soft overall, or for a mattress or box spring that sags in some areas due to age. Measure the mattress and cut a sheet of 3/8-inch plywood to the same size; this may require two sheets of plywood if the bed is queen size or larger. To achieve curved corners matching the mattress, set the mattress atop the cut plywood, trace the corners, then saw along the traced lines. Sand the board and edges smooth to prevent snagging or splinters, wipe the dust away and then set it on the box spring with the mattress on top.

Mattress-Only Support System

If your mattress has no box spring as support – for instance, a foam or latex mattress designed for use without the box springs, or on a platform bed designed for just a mattress, plywood comes to the rescue once again. Remove the mattress from the bed frame and measure the inner frame area upon which the mattress rests. Cut the plywood to size, then place it in the frame bottom. Depending on the frame type, you may wish to bolt the plywood down by drilling holes through both the plywood and frame. If the bed has slats to support the mattress, set the plywood atop the slats or remove the slats entirely.

Hinging on Comfort

Some premade bed boards are hinged, designed to use with adjustable beds such as hospital beds or home-based versions with head- and foot-raising capabilities. These are available in hospital supply stores in various sizes compatible with common mattress models. Some versions are thin and fold up, accordion style. Hinged or folding bed boards are designed for use between the mattress and box spring.

Bunky Board Bolster

A bunky board – a foam-covered, thin support typically used for bunk beds and platform beds – works much like plywood to make a mattress feel firmer. These are sold in shops that sell bunk beds and come in standard bunk bed and platform bed sizes, such as twin, full and queen.

How to Make a Mattress Firmer

A flat and firm mattress guarantees a good night’s sleep. While the mattress you picked out might have been perfect for you originally, your mattress will soften over time. Not only can a too-soft mattress be uncomfortable, but also it can cause back issues. Prevent or fix a mattress that’s lost its firmness by following these simple tips.

Preventing a Too-Soft Mattress

Step 1 – Controlling the Temperature

If you can regulate the temperature in your bedroom, you can combat your mattress getting softer faster. The warmer the temperature in your room, the softer the mattress will get. Colder temperatures make it easier for mattresses to retain their firmness, so keep your room cool.

Step 2 – Providing Adequate Support

If your mattress has inadequate support, it will go soft more quickly. Make sure your mattress has adequate support, like a plywood base, and never simply put the mattress on the floor.

Fixing a Too-Soft Mattress

Step 1 – Buying a Mattress Topper

A mattress topper is a cushion-like pad that goes on top of your mattress. You can purchase ones in varying prices and qualities. Memory foam is a popular choice. Most toppers come with a strap that can be wound around the corner of the existing mattress, so that it doesn’t move. Place a topper on your too-soft mattress to fix the issue without having to invest in a completely new mattress.

Step 2 – Replacing the Existing Plywood

Before replacing the plywood under your mattress, check with your manufacturer for their recommendations. Then, if appropriate, purchase some plywood that has the same measurements as the mattress. Make sure the plywood is not treated, and that it has been sanded for even edges and sides. Replace the existing plywood on your mattress with the new one. Use the same type of materials on the new plywood that was used to secure the old plywood.

Step 3 – Replace the Box Spring

Box springs are known for giving in to the wear and tear of daily use. If your box spring is losing functionality or if it’s broken, replace it with another quality box spring to restore the original firmness. In addition, this will help raise the height of the mattress, giving you a firmer and flatter surface to sleep on.

How To Make A Mattress Firmer

A comfortable mattress is the ingredient of a good night’s sleep. Each of us has different preferences regarding comfort, and the same goes for mattresses. You should buy a mattress that fits your needs, but sometimes things can go wrong; you may end up with one which is too soft. Mattresses can also get saggy and lose their form over time due to wear and tear.

Replacement is not always an option and of course, it does not apply for new ones. So today we are going to offer you some simple tips on how to make a mattress firmer.

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Make Your Mattress More Firm: 6 Easy Steps

1. Manipulating Bedroom Temperature

Temperature can affect the firmness. Generally, higher temperatures make it soft, while a colder environment makes it firm. So you can try lowering down the bedroom temperature using an air conditioner for a firmer finish. This will ensure that your sleep surface remains at a temperature that you love. Plus, it can significantly affect mattress life and longevity considering hot environments can cause sagging and hence reduce its overall lifespan.

2. Using Toppers

Mattress toppers are mini sheets of memory foam or latex that can be put over the existing mattress surface to add support and make it firmer; these are typically anything between 2-6 inches in height. They also come in other fillings such as polyester, cotton, wool, and other natural and synthetic materials, which are usually much thinner (approx 1-2 inches) and are often calledpadsas opposed totoppers. Pads will most likely make your sleep surface softer, so best to avoid these. Buy a topper matching your current bed size for a cheap but effective solution. They come with straps that can be used to hold them in place. It is easy to attach them and add robust support for extra support.

3. Using Plywood Support

Lack of adequate support can make even the best mattress feel softer than usual. For best results, you can place a piece of plywood underneath when the boxsprings are no longer proving enough support. One thing to note is the plywood should match the mattress dimensions exactly; too small and there will be overhang, too large and the wood may protrude and cause injury. Additionally, smooth out the edges so that sharp corners are removed. You should check your manufacturer for recommendations before placing the plywood as it can sometimes invalidate the warranty. If placing the plywood does not solve your problem, then try replacing the boxspring.

4. Place It On The Floor

If it is not possible to follow the above methods, then you can place the mattress on the floor instead. Of course, there are certain things you need to keep in mind when placing on the floor, such as dust and bugs from the carpet, or colder temperatures emitting from tiled or laminate flooring, or even cold drafts from nearby doors. If done correctly, this can be a cheap way to make any which is soft to become firm. For more information, check our latest post on floor mattresses.

5. Flip It

Some mattresses can be used on both sides, but not all. If yours is a double-sided, then it’s possible. If it isn’t double sided then you may cause more damage than good. By flipping a mattress over onto the other side it can cause the surfaces to wear evenly, thus increasing the lifespan. Try flipping every so often, perhaps every 6 months or so. Regular changing of sides makes it retain shape for a more extended period.

6. Killing Bacteria

Another excellent way to make firmer is to have it out under the sun. You could do it every few months. Not only does it dry out and resolve mold, damp and mildew issues, but it can also kill many germs and bacteria as well. While not as effective as when you give it to a professional cleaner, it is definitely one of the things that you should try out which will make a difference.


The six things mentioned above are the cheapest and easiest methods. Which one you choose depends on your circumstances and budget, but as you can see it is quite simple to achieve effective results in a DIY fashion with little or no cost at all. Try some of them out, almost certainly you will see good results instantly.

How To Make a Mattress Firmer if It’s Too Soft

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You spend one-third of your life in bed. Sleeping on a bed that doesn’t fit your comfort needs can be painful and leads to lifelong problems. It’s painful on your back, your shoulders, and can eat away at how many hours of sleep you get.

If your back pain usuallygoes awayafter you get up and move around for an hour or so, then your mattress is the crux of the problem. Back pain can be caused by sleeping on a mattress that is too soft and/or one that’s too firm. Before you go out and spend money on a new bed there are a few tricks that can help you get a few more years out of your current one.

The following information will guide you through these tricks and help you understand what the mattress industry calls “the comfort test.” Read on and you will find out just how to make a mattress firmer.

Traditional Mattresses

Mattresses break in over time. If it’s is sagging in the middle and has adequate support underneath, that is a good indicator that its time for a new bed. This means the inner support system is breaking down. However, prior to going out and buying a new mattress, make sure to look into the warranty. Traditional innerspring beds like Sealy, Simmons, and Serta have stipulations for mattress replacement like sagging; it must be at or exceed one and a half inches. However, note that any stains void the warranty and many stains – no matter what they are – land in the zero-tolerance zone for a replacement.

It is always a good idea to protect it with a waterproof mattress pad, preferably one that carries the identical warranty as your mattress. Protect it with a waterproof mattress pad immediately after purchase. Regardless if it is sagging or not, there are a few ways you can make your mattress firmer.

Making It Firmer

The very first step you should take to see if your mattress can get firmer is to place it on the floor. Traditional box springs have give or spring to them. They work like shocks for your car but are designed for your mattress. By placing it on the ground, you can easily identify if that change in the firmness works for you. If it does, you can mimic the floor by placing plywood on top of the box spring. This will dilute the spring that the box provides to your mattress. If your bedroom set allows for you to completely eliminate the box spring, replacing it with plywood will get an even firmer feel.

Be careful as this fix cannot be done on a standard metal frame. It needs to have supporting slats running from left to right under the plywood for two reasons:

  1. it will sag without them
  2. your warranty will be voided.

The great thing about this trick is that you can try it at home before you have to deal with getting plywood, measuring it out then running to the hardware store at least three times (three is the unspoken “rule” of do-it-yourself home projects after all).

Mattress Toppers

The mattress industry does offer mattress toppers that can assist you in making it firmer. These can be costly, especially if you have a king-size bed, but they can add life to it. Make sure you buy one with a return option because most places you are buying them from comes in the box off the shelf.

There aren’t many places that allow you to try them in the store, and even then, the real test is trying it on your mattress at home. Doubling up the last two tricks is an additional option to potentially enhance firmness. The combination of plywood under your bed plus a firm mattress topper can pay dividends if it’s is too soft, particularly if you have a pillow top mattress.

Foam Mattresses

Not all beds have traditional innerspring. There is an entire industry of all foam beds made famous by Tempur-Pedic. The plywood trick stated above does not apply to Tempur-Pedic products because their box springs do not have any spring to them. They have the plywood trick already built in. It is critical to understand that all foam beds – especially memory foam – are sensitive to the temperature of your home. If you need to firm up your Tempurpedic, or any foam mattress, try setting the room temperature colder. This will harden the foam.

If you traditionally have the room temperature on the warmer side, the bed is already softer than normal. It goes both ways. Memory foam is the “top dog” of comfort layers. It’s pricey, comfortable, and lasts a long time. However, all memory foam, whether it is in a mattress topper, your mattress orisyour mattress can be manipulated by the temperature of your home. For an all foam bed that needs to be firmer, you can enhance the impact by getting a firm pad and adjusting the temperature.

The best way to change the comfort of an all foam bed is to adjust the temperature of the room. Making the room cooler is easier because if you need to be warm and cuddly, you can just add more blankets. However, if you need it to be softer and can’t sleep in the heat, making the room warmer isn’t a viable option. In this case, finding a suitable mattress topper is your best bet because they come in all types of comfort and softness.

Making Foam Mattresses firmer

There tends to be a “set it and forget it” mentality when it comes to beds. You get it home, dress it up, and you go about your day. Over time you spend six to eight hours in the same spot on your bed and like footprints in the sand – your mattress will start to have body impressions.

Rotate and Flip method

That’s why it’s important to rotate it at least twice a year. The foot of your bed doesn’t support the same weight as the head of your mattress. By rotating it you are evening out the comfort layers and allowing it to break in evenly. This goes for both traditional and all foam mattresses.

Two-sided mattresses are a thing of the past. Most of the industry leaders moved away from making two-sided mattresses years ago but you might still have access to one. If you have a two-sided mattress it’s important to flip it as well as rotate it. Understandably life happens and remembering to rotate or flip it can fall off your radar.

Try rotating it concurrently with changing your smoke detector batteries during Daylight Savings time changes. If you are in Arizona (or another place that doesn’t acknowledge the absurd tradition of Daylight Savings time) set a calendar notification for every six months. Your mattress will thank you for this.

The Sagging Mattress

A saggy mattress won’t offer the comfort you need. As a matter of fact, chances are, you will wake up with an achy back #SaggyMattress

Sagging mattresses typically mean that it’s time for a new bed. There are four major ways you can correct the sagging without splurging:

  • the plywood trick
  • rotating the bed
  • replacing the box spring (more to follow)
  • purchase a firm mattress topper

These will help extend the life of your mattress. Unfortunately, if these tricks miss the mark, you may need to look into either purchasing a new bed or into the warranty of your current mattress.

Much like the spinal column in the human body, when it is sagging in the middle it means the support is starting to give out. That indicates that the most important part of your mattress is no longer functional. However, there is another solution.

Replace the Box Spring

Box springs are vital to how your mattress feels. Over time box springs can lose their ability to support both you and the mattress. If so, sagging will be immediately evident as well as waking up with back pain. Fortunately, replacing the box spring on your mattress is relatively inexpensive compared to purchasing an entirely new set.

Another way to firm up the box spring is to use the plywood trick as stated earlier. Remember, both the mattress and the box spring work together. In order to have the best sleeping surface, the support underneath your bed needs to be strong and sturdy.


Bedding nowadays tends to be robust and glamorous. If you are trying to make it firmer, make sure to keep the top bedding of your bed sleek and tight. This means pulling the fitted sheet to mimic a wetsuit type fit (free of wrinkles and acting like a second layer of skin). Remember that mattress toppers add to the height of your bed. If you go with a firm mattress topper (or any topper), you may need to make sure you have deep-pocketed sheets to fit over it.

Water Weight

Did you know that beds can double even triple in their original weight? That’s due to the combination of condensation and sleeping on it night after night. Evaporation is another way to make your mattress firmer.

Carefully place it in the sun for a few hours and let nature do the work. This will harden the comfort layers that have been absorbing moisture every night. Think of it like a wet sponge – if you place a wet sponge out in the sun, it dries up and gets firmer. The same can be said about your mattress. An added bonus is this will also kill off unwanted bacteria.

Last Resort

If nothing seems to work in your favour, the final step when it comes to trying to make your sagging mattress firmer, soft beds firmer, firm beds softer, or to even eliminate that nagging back pain is to purchase a new mattress either at the store or online.

They don’t last forever and if your mattress is long overdue for an upgrade, it might be a good time to consider purchasing a new mattress. Current technology in mattresses has been able to split hairs in comfort needs for all types of sleepers.

If it’s a firm bed you want, make sure you don’t get swept away into getting a pillow top with a firm layer. Stick to firm and medium because over time that pillow top will break in and you will be forced to re-evaluate your mattress situation all over again.

Also, be sure to purchase your mattress from a credible organization that offers a trial period. It takes time for your body to get used to it, and it takes time for it to break in. Remember that the bed you lay on in the store will not feel like the one you bring home. It takes time to acclimate to your body and the environment.

Wrapping it Up

You might be telling yourself that the mattress industry is as convoluted as their latex foam layers and you’d be right. But like any high price purchases – researching is key. The current mattress you have at home can be made firmer by several methods mentioned such as:

  • the plywood trick
  • getting a firm mattress topper
  • adjusting the temperature
  • rotating it regularly
  • placing it under the sun
  • keeping the bedding tight
  • replacing the box spring
  • purchasing a new mattress set.

It can be made softer by adding any number of mattress toppers available. If you are unsure of what comfort category works for you, step into a store and try them out. No matter what your situation is if your back, neck, shoulders or even your significant other is sore in the morning, pay attention to the signs your body is giving you.

It may seem like a lot of work to fix it but it will provide exponential value if it ends up giving you a few more years on your current mattress. Remember, spending six to eight hours a night out of alignment will really place a damper on your day, sleep, and your overall quality of life.

Rest assured, your comfort is worth the investment.

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.

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