8 Tips On How To Make A Mattress Softer

How To Make A Mattress Softer

When we say “it’s a comfortable mattress,” we’re often referring to a bed’s firmness and feel. It’s mostly subjective, a matter of personal choice. Some people prefer their sleeping space to be plush, with the right amount of sink. And maybe you belong to this group.

But the downside of buying a mattress online or in-store is that you only get the first impression of its firmness. It’s when you hit the sack that you live the full experience. The bed that felt or was advertised soft is actually too firm, causing pain and soreness. 

How to make a mattress softer? Before you’re paralyzed by overthinking, why don’t you try some hacks to improve the situation? This article is all about simple steps you can take right away. If your mattress trial period is ongoing, you have more options to try. If not, it’s not yet too late to learn a few new things.

Is your mattress too soft? Read these tips on how to make it firmer instead.

What Is Comfort Level?

The comfort level is connected with the firmness of your mattress. In the mattress industry, manufacturers use a firmness scale to help customers determine what’s right for them. The standard one ranges from 1 to 10, where 1 is softest and 10 is firmest. Some companies, though, use a reversed version where 1 is firmest and 10 is softest. Take note of this next time you shop.

Medium firmness, which is pegged between 5 and 6, is considered universal comfort. This means it is neither too soft nor too firm. It can be the baseline for sleepers of all shapes and sizes. But a good starting point would also be your preferred feel: soft or firm. Then, based on your sleeping position and weight, you can adjust the firmness.

For instance, a firm mattress is recommended for stomach and back sleepers. Plush is for side sleepers. If you’re lightweight, you might find 7 and up too firm. But if you lean on the heavy side, this might feel just right. Now, we assume that you have considered these factors before deciding to look for a softer mattress. 

Check out our tips on how to make your bed softer.

8 Tips On How to Make A Mattress Softer

1. Add A Mattress Topper

Toppers are usually thick and soft. So if you don’t mind adding elevation while softening up your mattress, this sounds like the most straightforward choice. This bedding item can be ordered from the same manufacturer. Make sure you’re buying the same size as that of your mattress. You would want it to cover your entire sleeping surface once you place it at the topmost part.

Of course, there are various types of mattress toppers. These are based on the materials used in making them. You have latex, memory foam, feather, and wool, among others. Also known as mattress pads, these are mainly designed for cushioning purposes. You can customize your choice, then, based on its support, pressure relief, and motion isolation capabilities. If you sleep hot, you can also opt for gel-based ones.

Getting a mattress topper is a cost-effective way to achieve a softer bed surface. You can score an under $100 item. But some can fetch an average price of $150 to $250. Expect wool and natural latex to be expensive. Feather and polyester blends are the most affordable. Memory foam ones are moderately priced.

Read our full review of the Best Mattress Toppers in 2020.

2. Check Your Bed Base

You might be using a new foundation to support your new mattress. Is it a platform bed or a slatted base? Either kind of bed frame can make the mattress feel firmer, according to experts. This is probably because of the fewer layers that separate your body from the bed base. If it’s indeed the reason, how can you change things up?

Adding a mattress topper, as earlier suggested, can help. But an alternative solution would be to use a box spring. With the right mattress, this can make your bed feel softer. You might have had one before replacing your old mattress. If it’s still in good condition, try inserting it between your foundation and mattress

However, make sure it is all right to do so. Some foundations do not go well with a box spring. For instance, a platform base works on a case-to-case basis. Mattress types are also a variable. Some users say that box springs do not complement memory foam models. The former does not provide adequate support to the latter.

3. Consider the Room Temperature

Some mattress types are sensitive to temperature. All-foam ones, particularly memory foam, are like this. So let’s say you got a soft memory foam mattress. And you also like to keep the bedroom cool while you snooze. Over time, you’ve felt your bed has become firmer. This is because the inner structure of its material has been kept intact. Memory foam loves low temperatures!

That sounds great if you are going for a firmer feel. But if you’re after a softer surface, you’ll have to warm it up a bit. Consider turning off the air conditioning at night. Use a fan instead. Don’t worry because you might get some reprieve during autumn and winter, as you’ll need to switch on the heater. The warmth is suitable for both you and your mattress.

Just one remaining problem here is if you sleep hot. You would have likely considered this and purchased a memory foam bed with cooling components. Otherwise, you can try a mattress pad with phase change technology.

4. Be Aware of the Adjustment Period

Most manufacturers, especially digitally native ones, offer trial periods. They set a period within which you can test out your mattress. The average length ranges from 90 to 120 days, equivalent to 3 to 4 months. More generous brands even bump it up to 365 days. This kind of perk is provided because it takes some time for your body to adjust to the new bed.

The required break-in period is 30 days, as some companies say this is the minimum amount of time your body needs. It makes sense because most models come in boxes. For easier shipment, they are compressed in these rectangular packages. Afterward, you’ll have to unroll and decompress your mattress. Then, wait for about 2 days for it to fully expand. 

While letting the decompression process run its course, you can add a mattress topper to soften up your sleeping space. Do not return or get a replacement right away unless, of course, the discomfort is preventing you from sleeping.

5. Spread the Sheets

DIY mattress

Are you wary about spending more bucks on a topper? Is it not practical to buy a box spring? Here’s a twist. We have some excellent tips on how to make a mattress out of blankets. You can use this while you’re waiting for your new bed to wear. Or you simply want to make it more comfortable without breaking the bank.

This idea is actually environmentally friendly, as you’ll be upcycling your old blankets. You can gather the materials from your closet or storage. Layers of wool blankets should work. Wool is a natural fire retardant, so you can rest assured your DIY mattress won’t catch fire. But if you have other kinds, feel free to use them.

So you’ll have to stack the old blankets together. Then, you wrap them up in a cover. It could be an old bed sheet or another blanket. If you don’t have the time or energy to sew this piece, you can just pile up the sheets atop the bed. You’re creating a layer of cushion here, which can substitute for a mattress topper.

6. Purchase A Body Pillow

While we’re being creative and resourceful, let’s consider adding a body pillow. No need to shell out a hundred bucks for a topper. No need to order a box spring in the hope of achieving a softer mattress. What you need is to generate a different source of coziness and comfort. At this point, we can think of nothing less than a body pillow.

This sleep accessory will serve as a cushion to your body. You’ll be snuggling with an object that is plush, not to mention, huggable. Resting your arms or legs on it can already make a difference. Even if you’re cradling it, you’re the one feeling more relaxed, comfortable, and less stressed. In turn, a body pillow can help you easily drift off to dreamland.

7. Flip It Or Reverse It

Flippable mattresses give you an advantage if you want a softer surface. This design comes in 2 firmness options: firm and soft. So if you’re not feeling the firm side, you can just flip to the plush side. With this kind of mattress, you can customize firmness without cost. This is why experts say it’s like buying 2 beds in one.

If your bed cannot be flipped, try rotating it. This practice lets you reverse the spot on which your head and feet lie. So what used to be the side that supports your feet now supports your head, and vice-versa. 

The downside here is that flipping and reversing do not apply to many models nowadays. They have precise arrangements that define their firmness and performance. Modifying these can make matters worse. For example, make sure the bed is not pillowtop or hybrid before flipping it. Also, don’t rotate mattresses that feature layers with targeted zones.

8. Request A Replacement

As for the last resort, you need to satisfy a few conditions before pursuing it. One, you must have checked your foundation and tried using a topper. Two, you’ve waited at least 30 days for the mattress to break-in. Three, you’ve also considered using old blankets and body pillows. And four, if your bed is flippable, you’ve rested on its soft side and still found it firm.

Next, check what your manufacturer says about replacements. Some companies are strict about this claim. But others have more lenient terms. If you’re allowed one replacement, by all means, take advantage of it. This time around, communicate your needs to customer support. Do everything you can to get the mattress your body reserves. A replacement request will be pointless if you still end up with another firm bed.

Lastly, do this within the specified time. You cannot delay it if you want to be able to score a replacement for free or a fraction of the original cost.


As promised, this guide dished out 8 tips on how to make a mattress softer. Some of them cost only a little. Others are even free. While the rest require you to spend some more bucks. Whatever you choose, think about it as investing in your comfort.

It might be unfortunate that the mattress you purchased is too firm for comfort. But patience is essential before you make a move, whether it’s buying a topper or returning your bed to the manufacturer. We cannot emphasize enough how crucial it is for you to follow the break-in period of 30 days.

And if you’re able to come up with a solution on your own, we’d love to hear about it. Feel free to share your experience or idea in the comments section. Other members of our community may benefit from it.

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