How to Make a Mattress Firmer

Is your mattress showing signs of aging? Are you waking up in pain, unable to get a good night’s sleep? Dips and indentations are a sure sign your mattress is experiencing wear and tear and this could be throwing your spine out of alignment. If purchasing a new mattress isn’t an option, the following tips and tricks for how to make your mattress firmer are your next best bet.

In This Article

9 Tips to Make Your Mattress Firmer

woman lying face down on bed

1. Take Advantage of Your Sleep Trial

If you’ve recently purchased a new mattress online and you’re feeling like it’s too soft (or too firm) you should check to see if you’re still within your sleep trial. Most bed in a box brands offer a standard 90-120 night risk-free at-home trial. Some brands like Nectar, Dreamcloud, and Level Sleep are good for a full 365 nights, or one year. 

If you haven’t surpassed your sleep trial this is likely the easiest and most beneficial solution.

2. Check Your Warranty

If your mattress has started to sag or show indentations you should check if your warranty is still valid. Impressions greater than .75” to 1.5” may be covered under your warranty and repaired or replaced free of charge.

3. Flip or Rotate Your Mattress

Sags and indentations are more likely to appear with increased wear and tear. This means even the firmest mattress can begin to soften over time. That’s why it’s a good practice to flip or rotate your mattress every so often.

Unfortunately, most mattresses aren’t designed to be flipped. But some mattresses, such as Layla, are. If you own a flippable mattress, try flipping it to benefit from a fresh surface.

If you don’t own a flippable mattress, don’t fret! Most all mattresses can benefit from being rotated. Changing where you lie in the mattress can help even out the feel and slow sagging. This practice is recommended every 3 to 6 months.

4. Use A Mattress Topper

Want to know how to make a firm mattress softer? Mattress toppers are an excellent solution, but what you may not have realized is some toppers, like the Lift by Amerisleep mattress topper, are also available in firm options for better support. Firm mattress toppers are a good choice for those who need more support but are not ready to buy a new mattress. 

Mattress toppers are available in a variety of different materials, such as memory foam, latex, and poly-foam. The material you choose will affect the overall feel of the topper. Latex, for example, provides a bit more bounce, while memory foam offers deeper contouring.

Woman shows the MicroGrip Technology on the underside Amerisleep mattress topper

5. Add Plywood For Support

Placing a thin piece of moisture-resistant plywood between your bed and the box spring, or the bed frame can improve firmness levels. This can, however, prevent proper airflow. This may lead to moisture build-up, which may encourage mold and mildew to grow. Using a waterproof mattress protector can help protect your mattress from this occurring.

6. Replace Your Box Spring or Bed Frame

If you’re experiencing less support from your mattress, your bed frame could be to blame. While box springs have a slightly longer lifespan than mattresses, they can and do wear out. Box springs typically last about 10 years before needing to be replaced. You’ll know your box spring needs replacing if: 

  • There is visible sagging or bowing across the box spring
  • There is any bending or damage to the steel grid
  • You experience any creaking noises when pressure is applied

If you are using a slatted frame with your mattress, check that the slats aren’t greater than 3” apart. Memory foam mattresses, in particular, can develop dips from frames with slats too far apart.

7. Place Your Mattress on the Floor

If your box spring or bed base lacks proper support, placing your mattresses on the floor could be an easy, no-cost solution. Positioning your mattress on a firm, flat surface, such as the floor, can provide instant improvement to your mattress’s support.

Like using plywood, you’ll want to be cautious of moisture build-up which can cause mold and mildew to grow. If you opt for the floor, we’d recommend propping your bed up every so often to allow for more airflow. Another good option is to use a waterproof mattress protector with your mattress.

8. Adjust Your Thermostat

If you’re wondering how to make a memory foam mattress firmer, this is perhaps one of the easiest tips you can implement. Temperature-sensitive, memory foam mattresses are designed to soften and conform to your body as it warms up. So, if your mattress is feeling too soft, it could be as simple as turning down the AC. 

Since colder room temperatures can make your memory foam mattress feel firmer, grab a fan, turn down the AC, or grab a cooling accessory such as the Pod Thermo Cover by Eight Sleep.

Related: Best Mattresses For Hot Sleepers

9. Let It Air Dry

Like body heat, moisture can also affect how soft or firm your mattress feels. Moisture can build up due to reduced airflow, humidity, and sweating. If you suspect excess moisture could be a problem, you’ll want to give it some time to breathe. 

Exposing your mattress to sunlight can help reduce moisture and eliminate mold and mildew. If you suffer from allergies, this could also help improve your sleep experience by eliminating allergens.

What Mattress Firmness is Right For You?

Side Sleepers

Your sleeping position is an important factor when choosing the ideal mattress firmness. Common problems for side sleepers include numbness and/or pain through the hips and shoulders. As such, side sleepers are best served by a mattress that provides contouring and pressure relief to ease aches and pains. Medium to soft beds are ideal choices for those sleeping on their side.

Back Sleepers

Regarded as the best sleep position for back pain, back sleeping promotes a healthy spine. Mattresses with a medium firmness are ideal. That being said, sleeping on your back does still present a few problems. For example, back sleeping can exacerbate sleep apnea, snoring, and acid reflux.

Stomach Sleepers

Back pain, especially lower back pain, is a common concern for stomach sleepers. That’s because most of our weight is found in the middle of the body. As a result, stomach sleepers are best suited with firm to extra firm beds. 

Neck pain is another concern for those sleeping on their stomach. Pillows with low profiles, such as the Purple pillow, help reduce strain on the neck.

Invest in a New Mattress

If the above tips for how to make a soft mattress firmer don’t work it might be time to invest in a new mattress. Not sure what type of mattress is best for your needs? You’ll want to take into account your sleeping position as well as your sleep preferences. Our mattress reviews are an excellent way to start your search, orr filter your search by browsing our top picks for best mattress.

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