How to Make a Mattress Firmer

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Written by: Alex Savy
Read 5 minLast updated on February 16, 2021

Many of us love plush beds that feel like a cloud.

But when a mattress is too soft, it kills your back. And your mood.

So, if that’s what you are dealing with right now, let me show you how to make a mattress firmer.

Tips on How to Make a Soft Mattress Firmer

#1 Flip the Mattress

Some mattress models can be used on both sides. If yours is one of them, flipping it might help. The other side would not be that worn out. This means it will feel sturdier.

By the way, to maintain the condition of your mattress, you might want to rotate and flip it regularly. Once in 3-6 months would be fine.

#2 Take the Mattress Outside

Such factors as mildew or mold can make your mattress too soft. Like when you washed it, didn’t let it dry completely and started using the bed, the dampness inside turns into mold and mildew. And when there’s too much moisture, the texture of the mattress can get compromised.

That’s why simply letting your bed dry can make it feel firmer. You can take the mattress outside to the fresh air and even leave it in the sun.

“If you have a memory foam mattress, it’s better to leave it in the shadow. Too much heat and direct sunlight can actually damage the material.”

#3 Create a Firm Foundation for Your Bed

Sometimes, to make a soft mattress firmer, you just need to use a firm base for it. You see, some mattresses lose their shape when their foundation is not stable enough. So, here are the options you may try:

  • Put your mattress on the floor. This might seem like your last resort, but the method really works. A firm flat surface can help your bed keep its shape and feel more supportive. 
  • Replace a bed frame. An old bed frame can’t really provide enough support for a mattress. So, if you need a firmer bed, get a more sturdy bed frame.
  • Place plywood boards between the frame and the mattress. The trick may come in handy when you can’t do the previous one. A couple of plywood boards underneath your mattress can stop it from sagging and make it feel firmer.

#4 Set the Right Temperature

If you use a memory foam mattress, the problem could be in the temperature. You see, when the room is too warm, memory foam may loosen its texture and become softer. By simply adjusting your thermostat and making the room cooler, you can make a memory foam mattress firmer. Plus, this can even help you sleep better.

#5 Replace Some Layers

Depending on how old your bed is, sometimes the only way to fix a sagging mattress is to replace some of its layers. This can help you save some money since you don’t really have to buy a new bed. Simply unzip the encasement and throw the old, worn layers away.

“Sometimes, a bed cannot be saved, especially when it’s too old and saggy, so your only option may be to buy a new mattress rather than trying to make the old one firmer.”

Some companies sell layers for their mattresses separately, so don’t worry, you will have something to fill your bed with. You can also try replacing some comfort layers with a thin topper.

#6 Use a Mattress Topper

This is definitely the easiest and the most effective way to make a mattress firmer. A good topper can change the way your bed feels in seconds. You just need to get the right one. (if you are a side sleeper, here are the best mattress toppers for side sleepers)

Thankfully, there are tons of options to choose from. The most popular materials for mattress toppers are foam (memory or polyurethane) and latex. Some manufacturers offer cooling toppers, which are usually infused with charcoal (sometimes green tea extract) or have a thin gel layer on the top to draw the heat away from your body. Mattress toppers also come in different thickness options. So, even if your bed feels terrible, an extra thick firm topper might save the day.

Also Read: Best Mattress Topper for Lower Back Pain Relief

“Feel free to experiment with your soft bed. You might want to try a couple of toppers or adding a mattress pad.”

Now, a little bit more on the materials, as they have specific properties. Foam toppers (both memory and polyurethane foam) are great for contouring and pressure relief. They may also help with motion isolation. Memory foam has that unique slow-hugging feel many sleepers enjoy. But it may make you feel stuck, especially if you are a heavier user and sink in deeper. Also, foam tends to sleep hot. Plus, there’s odor potential, which may be an issue for smell-sensitive people.

As for latex, such toppers offer bouncier support. Latex is cradling (but not as much as memory foam) and good for motion isolation. What’s great about this material is that it’s natural and safe. And odor potential is minimal. Besides, your new latex topper might only smell like rubber during the first day. After that, you don’t have to worry about chemical odors at all. Another great thing about latex is that it doesn’t sleep hot. At the same time, such toppers are pricier and unsuitable for people allergic to this material.

“Mind the difference between mattress toppers and pads. A pad is usually much thinner than a topper and has fiber filling in most cases.”

Do You Actually Need to Make Your Mattress Firmer?

By trying to make your mattress feel firmer, you might be making a mistake.

After all, what if a firm bed won’t be suited for you?

Therefore, it’s important to understand how each firmness level works for different types of users. Let’s take a look at the common sleeping positions:

  • Back sleepers. Such users typically benefit from sleeping on firmer mattresses, but make sure yours isn’t overly stiff and allows for some minimal sinkage for the hips and buttocks.
  • Side sleepers. If you are a side sleeper, perhaps making your mattress firmer is not the best idea. Side sleepers require a generous hug for their shoulders and hips (therefore, they benefit from sleeping on softer mattresses). If you sleep on your side on an overly firm mattress, you may develop painful pressure points.
  • Stomach sleepers. When sleeping on your stomach, you need firm support and don’t require much cradling. Therefore, if you are a stomach sleeper, go ahead and make your mattress firmer. Even an extra-firm bed shouldn’t hurt, especially if you are on the heavier side.
  • Combination sleepers. If you tend to switch positions during the night, you might want to use a medium or a medium-firm mattress. That “somewhere in the middle” feel typically works well for combo sleepers who don’t stay in one position for too long.

How old is your current mattress? And what do you do to make it firmer? Feel free to share in the comments down below!

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