How long does it take to get used to a new mattress?

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Written by: Alex Savy
Read 6 minLast updated June 1, 2021

The joy that comes with getting a new mattress is priceless. But it is often short-lived because of the initial discomfort that usually accompanies sleeping on a new mattress. Truth is, it takes time and deliberate effort to get used to a new mattress.

A new mattress material is firm and needs time to soften and conform to your body. But before that happens, what should you do with your new mattress? And exactly how long does it take to feel comfy on a new mattress? The answers you’re looking for are written below.

Why the need to get used to your new mattress?

A new bed has been proven to significantly increase sleep quality and reduce back pain (1). However, when you slip into your new mattress immediately after purchase, your high hopes of having quality sleep would be dashed. This is why you need to be deliberate about getting used to your new mattress.

How long does it take to break in a new mattress?

It is important to note that all mattresses have a breaking-in period. But the exact time to break in and get used to a new mattress differs depending on the mattress and how different it is compared to your old one.

The breaking-in period of most mattresses is usually around 30-90 days. Because this period is essential, most mattress companies don’t entertain a return or exchange request before the initial 30 days elapses.

But here’s the kicker:

Let’s check out some factors that affect how long it takes for you to get used to a new mattress;

1. Thickness

On your first night of sleeping on a new mattress, you may discover that it is much thicker and tough than you had expected. This does not indicate that you have made the wrong choice of a mattress or that something is wrong. 

But because most mattress manufacturers now purposely produce mattresses that are thicker (See extra firm mattresses here) than how they used to be, the thickness affects the time frame for you to get used to a new bed.

2. Odor

A new mattress adds beauty to your bedroom and brings exciting thoughts of quality sleep to mind. But this initial euphoria could turn gloom after perceiving the odor from the protective packaging of the mattress.

The odor from a new mattress results from a process called off-gassing. This off-gassing is due to the volatile organic compounds (VOC) produced during manufacturing. 

When unwrapped, the scent of these VOC escapes the plastic packaging and takes some moment to vanish completely.

These VOCs are not harmful. However, it can make you uncomfortable to sleep on the mattress until the smell is no more. 

3. New Sheets

If you are like most people who can’t sleep well in new sheets they are not used to, it might take you a bit to get acquainted with a new mattress. Depending on the size of mattress you purchased, you may find it challenging to get new sheets that fit perfectly immediately. 

You need to pay attention to your mattress size when buying or sewing a new bedsheet. If your new mattress is a large-sized one like a king-size mattress, then you need to be even extra deliberate about the type of sheet you go for. You want a bedsheet that covers all the edges and doesn’t have to stretch too much in the process.

4. Soreness

You may experience some soreness after the first sleep on your new mattress. This is because your body, which is used to how your old mattress supported it, is yet to be accustomed to the new.

The new mattress, although supporting your body properly, still feels uncomfortable. But it is up to you to become familiar with the new mattress. Getting used to this may take much time.

Quote Box

Sleeping on a new mattress can be uncomfortable but it is required for you to get used to a new mattress.

How to get used to a new mattress

If you are having a hard time getting comfortable with your new mattress, these tips can help you get used to it faster.

  • Give it time to breathe.

It is always exciting to receive a new mattress but resist the urge to jump right on it. Instead, give it time to breathe. This is important because new mattresses always come compressed and wrapped in plastic.

You need to give your new mattress enough time to expand fully. For mattresses that have innerspring like a hybrid mattress, they expand faster than those with just foam components like a memory foam mattress.

  • Sleep on it every night

No matter how uncomfortable a new mattress makes you feel, please resist the urge not to sleep on it. Consistently sleeping on your new mattress will help break in the material faster and aid your body to adjust to it. In addition, not consistently sleeping on it may delay your process to get comfortable with the new mattress.

  • Warm it up

Keeping your bedroom a few degrees warmer than usual is an excellent way to make your bed feel softer and more comfortable. However, this works best if you’re in a colder room, as high temperatures can also disrupt your sleep.

Also Read: Best Mattresses for Adjustable Beds

FAQ

What’s the most effective way to get comfortable with a new mattress?

The most effective way to get comfortable with a new mattress is to have patience and give it time.

Is it normal for a new mattress to be too firm?

Yes. Manufacturers now produce mattresses that are firmer than they used to be.

Conclusion

As you may be aware, you spend about 26 years of your life sleeping and 7 years trying to get to sleep. So that’s 33 years of your life spent in bed. So it goes without any argument that you shouldn’t have to compromise when it comes to your comfort.

What has been your experience with a new mattress and how long did it take you to get used to it? Feel free to share your experience in the comments below, as we would love to hear from you.

References:

  1. Bert Jacobson, Ali Boolani, Doug Smith. (March 2009). Changes in back pain, sleep quality, and perceived stress after introduction of new bedding systems. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2697581/

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