Did your new bed turn out to feel more like a bench than a cloud? Don’t worry, we have some tips for you to make your mattress softer and more comfortable.
So you made the mistake of testing mattresses at the end of a long day, when anything would have been comfortable as long as you were off your feet. Now your bed has arrived and it’s too firm. Or maybe you switched up sleeping positions to your side, and now you need a mattress that will accommodate for your arm instead of pressing against it and giving you a dead limb to wake up to in the morning. Or maybe a partner moved in and they need a softer bed to sleep on. Whatever the reason might be, rest assured there are plenty of simple options to soften your bed up.
Let’s first talk about the reasons why having a softer mattress can be so important, and then we’ll go over some options for making your bed softer.
Why Firmness Level Is Important
Keep in mind that when we mention firmness in our Slumber Yard mattress reviews, we are doing so in a relative manner. Firmness is a term that is largely dependent on weight and body type. The more one weighs, the more they’ll sink down into a mattress and then the softer it will feel for them. Same goes for petite individuals, but just the opposite—the less you weigh, the more you’ll find yourself laying on top of the mattress, instead of in it. Because of this, petite people may have a harder time than others finding a soft-feeling mattress.
With some select mattresses, though, we’ve found that heavy individuals will actually sink through the comfort layers of the bed and end up laying more on top of either the poly foam or coil base layers, which will make the bed feel quite firm. This is a sign that you need a thicker, more supportive mattress.
Sleeper type is also super important when taking into consideration the firmness level of your mattress. Back and stomach sleepers usually need a firmer surface that will support their hips and shoulders to keep their spine in a neutral alignment. If the bed is too soft, back and stomach sleepers might find their hips sinking too deep in the bed, which makes the spine arch. Side sleepers will need a softer mattress that will be more accommodating for their hips and shoulders. If you sleep on your side on a mattress that is too firm, it will constrict the blood flow in the arms and hips, which can leave them feeling tingly or even cause you to lose feeling.
Many people find a soft mattress to be much more comfortable than one that is on the firm side. This can be extra important for those with conditions like scoliosis or fibromyalgia. Considering we spend a third of the day sleeping, which adds up to us spending almost a third of our lives sleeping, we should do so in comfort. Also, keeping the spine in proper alignment, whether sleeping on your back or on your side, is very important for the overall health of your body. Keep this all in mind as we talk about the different options you have when it comes to softening up a mattress.
Options For Softening Up Your Mattress
Break it in. If your bed is new and feels too firm, it may just need more time to break in a bit. Just like new shoes need to be worn in, so does your mattress. You can break it in by simply sleeping on it night after night like you normally would, or if you want to speed up the process, you could literally walk around your bed for a couple minutes a day. You could even have your kids (or borrow your sister’s kids) come and jump on it to soften it up quicker. Most mattress companies state that it can take up to 60 days to break in a new mattress. Novosbed won’t even accept returns before the first 60 days, and then offers to send you a Comfort+ Kit (a free foam topper) if you feel the firmness of the bed isn’t soft enough for you.
Check your trial period. More often than not, online mattress companies will have trial periods where you can test out your new bed in your own home before you fully commit to it. Most often companies offer a 100-night trial period, but some brands have extended trials. Nectar, for example, offers a year long trial period. If you got your mattress recently, check and see if it’s still under its trial period because it might be eligible for a free return and refund, and most companies will come and remove the mattress for you, as well.
Flip or rotate your mattress. If know your mattress is flippable, try out the other side. Some mattress companies like Layla have different firmness levels per side, so the other side of the bed may be softer for you. Also, we always recommend rotating your mattress seasonally to prevent against sagging or permanent indentations. When your bed has permanent indentations, it can mean that the comfort layers of the bed are compressed, making them feel firmer. Try rotating it so that the heavier parts of your body like your hips and shoulders are in different spots. Keep in mind that sagging and impressions can be a sign it’s time to get a new mattress, though.
Warm it up. Some common mattress materials, like memory foam or airy polyurethane foam, can be temperature sensitive. Much like how memory foam allows your body to sink into the foam as it absorbs your body heat, a warm room will help the whole bed to soften up. Try adjusting your thermostat, using a heated blanket, or switching to flannel sheets to warm things up.
Get a mattress topper. There are tons of great options on Amazon, and they’re much cheaper than getting a new bed altogether. There are different types of mattress toppers available that can add extra pressure relief or body contouring. We specifically recommend a thick memory foam topper, a goose down topper, or a wool topper for a softer feel. Be aware that egg crate style toppers can sometimes have too much texture and can annoy sensitive sleepers. You could also get a mattress pad, but toppers are thicker and more plush.
If all else fails, get a new mattress. Like we talked about in the intro, the firmness level of your mattress is very important for your spinal health. Having a bed that’s worn out, sagging, or much too firm can lead to body stiffness or trouble sleeping, which can lead to other issues. If these tips and tricks offered aren’t helping, it can mean it’s time to just get a new bed. Feel free to take our Mattress Finder Quiz if you need some help figuring out which bed might be best for you.