Are you sleeping on a mattress that’s too firm and waking up with aches all around your body? They are good in some cases, but if it’s not for you then how do you make a firm mattress softer and comfier?
A too-firm mattress can put a dent in your health, especially if your sleep quality plummets. You’re probably familiar with the uncomfortable feeling of your bed and the pain and aches you feel when waking up.
In this article, we will teach you several tricks that you can try to make your firm mattress softer without buying a new one. Read on!
If you’re on a tight budget, buying a new softer mattress might be your last option. But fear not, because we’ve compiled five ways to try and make your mattress softer and desirable to sleep on:
1) Invest in a Mattress Topper
If you’re looking to make your firm mattress softer, the quickest and easiest solution is investing in a top-notch mattress topper. These nifty little additions act like mini-mattresses, sitting atop your existing mattress to transform its feel and comfort.
Not only do mattress toppers change the feel of your current mattress, but they also protect it from natural wear and tear, as well as liquid-related damage such as stains from body oil, sweat, blood, urine, and even the occasional spill.
Memory foam mattress toppers, like the popular Eve Memory Foam Topper or the Silentnight Impress Memory Foam Topper, work a treat. They’re known for their softness, along with down, feather, and fibrefill options. However, be sure to give most latex mattress toppers a miss, as they tend to be on the firmer side.
Tips for selecting the right topper thickness and firmness level:
– Assess your current mattress’s firmness: If it’s very firm, opt for a thicker topper (5-7cm) for better cushioning.
– Consider your sleeping position: Side sleepers typically benefit from a softer topper, while back and stomach sleepers may prefer something with a bit more support.
– Keep allergies in mind: Hypoallergenic materials like memory foam and bamboo fibre are great for allergy sufferers.
– Don’t forget about temperature regulation: Look for toppers with breathable materials or cooling features if you tend to sleep hot.
2) Breaking the Mattress In
“Breaking in” your mattress means using it so it can soften up and start conforming to your body. When you first unbox a mattress, its firmness level is at its highest due to no usage. It usually takes around 30 to 60 days for your mattress to fully break in and feel more comfortable. However, this timeline can vary depending on the specific mattress and your individual preferences.
During this break-in period, it’s a good idea to rotate or flip your mattress every two weeks to ensure an even distribution of pressure. After the initial break-in period, aim to rotate or flip your mattress every three months to maintain its comfort and longevity.
If you’re in a bit of a rush to soften up your mattress, you can try a few gentle techniques. Depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations, you can roll over the mattress surface or even walk on it to help the material relax and soften up. Just be careful not to use excessive force or jump on your mattress, as this could potentially damage it or void the warranty.
You can also enlist a partner or friend to assist you in the break-in process. By taking turns rolling over the mattress or applying gentle pressure, you’ll be working together to make it softer and more comfortable.
Remember, patience is key when breaking in a new mattress. Give it some time, and soon enough, you’ll be sleeping like a baby on your soft and cosy bed.
3) Change Your Mattress Foundation
Mattress foundations can make a mattress softer or firmer, depending on what you use. For example, if you put your mattress on a flat, hard surface like the floor, the mattress would naturally feel firm since the floor compresses the materials inside the mattress.
If, however, you have a box spring, your firm mattress would feel soft since the springs beneath it provide flexibility and impact absorption. In this case, changing from traditional bed slats to a box spring can give you that extra bit of softness.
4) Use a Mattress Pad
Contrary to a mattress topper, a mattress pad is thinner and, thereby, cheaper. Pads have the same feature as toppers, albeit not as premium.
Pads come in a variety of materials, and if you need a touch of softness, it’s good to choose fluffy materials, such as cotton, wool, or fiberfill.
Although mattress pads are cheaper, be advised that they are less durable than toppers and can only last for 2-3 years.
5) Rotate or Flip Your Mattress
Although rotating or flipping your mattress doesn’t significantly soften your mattress, doing this can add more comfort to your body when sleeping. It also helps you prevent premature sagging issues from your mattress.
Rotating helps ensure an even distribution of pressure in the mattress, helping you feel the mattress softer and comfier. Flipping does the same, but do take note that not all mattresses can be flipped or rotated.
6) Turn Up the Thermostat
Turning up the thermostat and warming up your room may help your mattress (especially memory foam) to ease up a bit and feel softer than before. Memory foam softens with heat and gets stiffer when cold.
If the outside temps are cool, turn on the heater and warm up the room so your mattress will feel soft and more comfortable.
7) Replace Your Frame
Sometimes, your frame is the culprit for why your mattress feels firm and stiff. Frames with metal slats tend to feel firmer than frames using wood slats (since wood retains a certain degree of flexibility).
You can also choose a bed frame with thinner and more flexible slats to make your bed softer. However, take note that the frame might not be too durable as it has thin slats.
8) Adjust Your Sleeping Position
If you’re a side sleeper then it can make the mattress feel firmer as you sink deeper into the mattress as your weight and body heat help compress the mattress. You can try to adjust your sleeping position – we know this is no small feat and can take some time but it’s worth it. might take a lot of time to get used to, but it certainly helps.
Sleeping in your back is a good way to redistribute body weight, helping you feel the mattress as soft. You can also sleep on your stomach; however, the drawbacks might be more pronounced than the benefits.
9) Bond With It
Similar to breaking it in, bonding with your mattress (in the sense that you try to use it all the time) will eventually make the mattress softer than when it came brand new.
Certain activities to do to expedite the softening of your mattress are working on your bed, watching TV while lying down, or even having some light pillow fights. You enjoy, and you make your bed soft all in one!
10) Invest in a Softer One
When you feel all methods are ineffective, you’re down with the very last option: buying a softer one. You can either dispose of or donate your current mattress protector and mattress, then head to any one of the online outlets or local stores.
Before you checkout, try the mattress on for a good 15 minutes and see if its softness levels are perfect and on par with your preferred levels.
Can You Combine These Softening Tips?
Yes, you certainly can. Many of these methods would actually work best when combined together (such as methods 1-9). Method 10 entails buying a new mattress that’s softer (which doesn’t make sense to combine with the other tips above).
You also need to choose between using a mattress pad or a mattress topper. A pad would suffice if you’d like a softer bed, but if you opt to use a topper, you’ll have no need for the mattress pad.
Symptoms of a Mattress That’s Too Soft
Some signs indicate your mattress might be too soft—which is also a problem:
- You wake up with pain in your pressure points, especially in your neck and shoulders, as these body parts bear much of your weight.
- You constantly find yourself sinking into the mattress and finding it hard to get up as it seems to pull you down.
- You toss and constantly turn to find the perfect spot and sleeping position.
What is Causing My Mattress to Feel Hard?
One of the main reasons is that your mattress’s foam layers have not yet eased up. New mattresses tend to be firmer, but as time passes by, they soften up. Natural wear and tear actually softens up new mattresses, other factors include:
- Room temperature. Temperature can also make your mattress feel hard and unwelcoming of your body. PU foam (the main material of memory foam) firms up when the room is cold, so make your room warmer to make it softer.
- Bed foundation. If you use traditional frames with inflexible slats, your bed might feel too firm. Opt for box springs or frames with flexible slats to make your bed more accommodating.
What Happens if Your Mattress is Too Firm?
If your mattress is too firm, you may wake up with back pain as well as in pressure points such as your neck, shoulders, hips, lower back, knees, and ankles.
You may experience general discomfort manifested through tossing and constantly turning, trying to find a good sleeping position.
Although, mattresses that are too firm are durable and can withstand wear and tear very well.
Is a Softer Mattress or Firmer Mattress Better?
It depends. People generally like softer mattresses since it feels like you’re lying on clouds. However, softer mattresses can lead to aches and pains in the morning as they can bring your spine out of alignment.
Softer mattresses tend to be better for lightweight sleepers since they don’t sink too much into the mattress. Bigger people might benefit from firmer ones better, as firm ones offer more generalised body support.
Is A Softer Mattress Bad For Your Back?
It depends on the softness level of the mattress. If your shoulders and hips remain aligned when you lay down, it won’t be bad for your back. However, if you notice your hips sink into the mattress and are lower than your shoulders, it would likely cause you back pain.
The best mattress is where your neck, shoulders, and hips remain perfectly aligned.
Is A Firm Mattress Good For Side Sleepers?
Not really. Firm mattresses aren’t good when it comes to pressure relief and contouring abilities.
Side sleepers always need pressure relief and a bit of contour to maintain good spinal alignment. Without these, a side sleeper might wake up with a stiff neck, lower back pain, and shoulder stiffness.
We recommend getting a softer mattress if you’re a hardcore side sleeper.
Are You Ready To Make Your Firm Mattress Softer?
Overall, making a firm mattress softer can be done using two or more methods we’ve taught you. Nonetheless, it’s great to note that firm mattresses are not inherently bad. The firm and soft mattress debate are both ends of the same coin.
So if you have a firm mattress, you can visit this article again and carefully follow the methods.
We can never guarantee 100% effectiveness, so when all the other nine methods fail, don’t be scared to invest in a softer mattress. Good luck!