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How To Make Your Mattress Firmer: A Comprehensive Guide

By: Christina Davies
Updated on: April 05, 2024

Are you struggling with a mattress that feels too soft and lacks the desired firmness? Over time, foam mattresses themselves can lose their support and become less comfortable. While buying a new mattress might not be an immediate option, there are several techniques you can employ to make your mattress firmer and improve your sleep quality. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll look at different ways to make your mattress firmer so that you can wake up feeling more rested and full of energy.

Why You Might Need a Firmer Mattress

Before diving into the techniques to make your mattress firmer, let’s understand why you might need a firmer bed in the first place. Here are some common reasons for soft mattresses firmer is:

Sleeping Position

The way you sleep plays an important role in determining the firmness level you require. If you sleep on your back or stomach, a firmer mattress is essential to maintain proper spinal alignment. A much too soft mattress can cause your midsection to sink too deeply, leading to added pressure on your lower back.

Back Pain

A firm mattress helps support your back and promotes a healthy posture while you sleep. With a soft, bedding flat bottom, your body may sink too deeply, resulting in pressure points and disrupted spinal alignment. This can result in discomfort and back pain.

Mattress Wear and Tear

Over time, even the highest-quality mattresses will start to break down, especially if you share your bed with a partner or pets. If your mattress is sagging and no longer provides adequate support, it may be time to consider a new one. However, before making that investment, you can try various techniques to make your current mattress firmer and extend its lifespan.

Accommodating Different Sleep Preferences

If you share your bed with a partner who prefers a firmer sleeping surface while you enjoy a plush, fluffy bed, finding a middle ground is crucial. Instead of investing in a brand-new mattress, you can explore methods to adjust the firmness of your existing bed to meet both of your comfort needs.

The Importance of Mattress Firmness

The firmness of your mattress significantly impacts your sleep quality and overall well-being. It is crucial to find the right level of firmness that suits your body type, sleeping position, and personal preferences. Here’s why mattress firmness is essential:

Spinal Alignment

Proper spinal alignment is vital for restful sleep. A mattress with the appropriate firmness level helps maintain the natural curvature of your spine, preventing discomfort and promoting healthy sleep posture.

Pressure Relief

A mattress with the right firmness level distributes your body weight evenly, relieving pressure points. This prevents the development of aches and pains, allowing you to wake up feeling refreshed and pain-free.

Sleep Quality

A comfortable and supportive mattress ensures better sleep quality. When your body gets good support, you won’t move around as much at night, so you’ll have a better and more refreshing sleep.

Finding the Right Mattress Firmness for You

The ideal mattress firmness level depends on your sleeping position. Here’s a breakdown of the recommended firmness levels for modern mattresses for different sleepers:

Side Sleepers

Side sleepers typically require a firmer model and a softer sleeping surface to cushion their hips and shoulders. Firmer beds can create pressure points in these areas, leading to discomfort and pain. Opt for a mattress with medium to medium-soft firmness to ensure adequate support and pressure relief.

Back Sleepers

Back sleepers generally prefer a mattress with a medium-firm firmness level. This provides a soft mattress feel and a balance between support and comfort, ensuring your body is adequately supported while allowing gentle contouring to the natural shape of your body.

Stomach Sleepers

Stomach sleepers need a medium-firm mattress to maintain proper spinal alignment. Soft beds can cause the hips to sink too deeply, leading to strain on the lower back. Look for a mattress with a medium-firm to firm level of firmness to support your body adequately.

Combination Sleepers

Combination sleepers who frequently change positions during the night benefit from a mattress with medium-firm firmness. This level of firmness accommodates different sleeping positions and provides a comfortable balance between support and pressure relief.

Remember, these recommendations are general guidelines, and personal preferences may vary. Make sure you test different mattresses with various firmness levels to find the one that feels best and gives you the right support.

See Also: Do I Need a Firm or Soft Mattress?

How to Make Your Mattress Firmer

How To Make Your Mattress Firmer mattress feel firmer, mattress feel softer, thicker mattress, plywood underneath, solid support layer making, soft mattress firmer

Now that you understand the importance of mattress firmness and have identified the firmness level you need let’s explore various techniques to make your mattress firmer without breaking the bank. Here are some effective methods to make a mattress firmer to consider:

Flip or Rotate Your Mattress

One simple and effective way to make your mattress firmer is to rotate or flip it regularly. Over time, mattresses can develop indentations or sagging in specific areas due to prolonged use. Rotating or flipping your mattress allows for more even wear and tear, helping to maintain its firmness and support. Check with your mattress manufacturer to determine if your mattress is designed to be flipped or rotated. If so, aim to rotate or flip it every few months for optimal results.

Use a Mattress Topper

If your mattress is too soft, adding a mattress protector or topper can provide an extra layer of firmness and support. Opt for a firm mattress topper made of materials like hard foam, memory foam, polyurethane, or latex. These materials offer varying firmness and can help enhance the firmness of your two latex mattress toppers. Consider using plywood under the mattress topper for additional stiffness and support.

Replace Damaged or Worn-out Layers

Some mattresses are constructed with multiple layers held together by a mattress cover. If your mattress has this design, you may be able to replace specific layers that have become worn or damaged instead of purchasing an entirely new mattress. Open up the mattress and carefully remove the damaged layer, replacing it with a new one. This method can help restore the firmness and support of your mattress, potentially extending its lifespan.

Check and Replace Box Spring or Foundation

The box spring or foundation of your mattress plays an important role in providing support and maintaining the overall firmness of your bed. Over time, the coils in the box spring can lose their resilience and cause the mattress to feel less firm. If you notice a significant decrease in firmness, consider replacing the box springs, spring, or foundation. Opt for a new one that matches your mattress size and provides adequate support. This simple upgrade can significantly improve your bed’s overall firmness and support.

Add Plywood Support

Consider adding a plywood board between your mattress and the foundation for an affordable and easy fix. This additional layer of support can help enhance the firmness of your mattress. Before proceeding, consult your mattress manufacturer to ensure this method suits your specific mattress model. Choose plywood that matches the dimensions of your bed, and make sure it is untreated and sanded on the edges and sides to prevent any damage to your mattress.

Place Your Mattress on the Floor

If your mattress is excessively soft and none of the previous methods have yielded satisfactory results, a temporary solution is to place your mattress directly on the floor. This can provide a firmer and more supportive sleeping surface. However, remember that placing your mattress on the floor exposes it to dust, dirt, and potential pests. Ensure your bedroom is clean and free from allergens before opting for this method.

Adjust the Room Temperature

The ambient temperature in your bedroom can affect the firmness of certain mattress types, particularly memory foam mattresses. Memory foam tends to become softer in warmer temperatures. By adjusting the thermostat and keeping your bedroom slightly cooler, you can help maintain the firmness of your mattress. Experiment with different temperature settings to find the ideal level of firmness that suits your comfort preferences.

Air Out Your Mattress

Moisture absorption can cause mattresses to become softer over time. To counteract this, regularly air out your mattress in the sun. Sun drying your mattress not only helps restore firmness but also kills germs, bacteria, viruses, mildew, and other pests that may be lurking within. Additionally, airing out your mattress is an excellent way to clean it and maintain its hygiene.

Ensure the Bedding is Flat and Tight

The type of bedding you use can affect the perceived firmness of your mattress. If you desire a firmer feel memory foam bed, opt for fitted sheets that fit tightly and snugly on your mattress. Avoid using excessively thick or fluffy bedding, which can create a plush and less supportive sleeping surface. Choosing thin bedding materials and ensuring a snug fit can help enhance the firmness of your mattress.

Consider a New Bed Frame

The bed frame you use can have a significant impact on the overall support and firmness of your mattress. If your bed frame has weakened or broken slats, it’s worth investing in a new one. Look for bed frames with solid slats that provide a more supportive feel. Solid slats minimize the risk of sagging and ensure even weight distribution, contributing to a firmer and more comfortable sleeping surface.

Explore Trial Periods

Many online mattress brands offer trial periods, allowing you to test their mattresses before purchasing. If you find that your current mattress is too soft and none of the above methods have provided satisfactory results, consider exploring mattresses with trial periods. This way, you can experience the firmness and comfort of a new mattress firsthand and assess if it meets your specific needs. If the trial period mattress doesn’t meet your expectations, most brands offer hassle-free returns or exchanges, ensuring your satisfaction.

Invest in a New Mattress

If your mattress is excessively soft and worn out, or none of the previous methods have successfully improved its firmness, it may be time to invest in a new mattress. A new mattress will provide the firmness and support you need and improve your sleep quality and overall well-being. Think about how you like to sleep, your body shape, and what you like when you choose a mattress. Look for models that offer the desired level of firmness and provide proper spinal alignment for a restful and rejuvenating sleep experience.


Can I make a memory foam mattress firmer?

Yes, you can make a memory foam mattress firmer by using a firmer mattress topper or adding plywood support under memory foam models.

What are the benefits of a firm mattress?

Firm mattresses offer various health benefits. They help keep your spine in a good position while you sleep, which means you’re less likely to wake up with body aches and pains.

Is a firm mattress better for your back?

The suitability of a firm mattress for your back largely depends on your sleeping position and body type. Individuals who sleep on their back or stomach and those with heavier body types may find that a firmer mattress helps prevent excessive sinking and supports a healthier posture.

Can a mattress topper make a bed firmer?

Indeed, selecting an appropriate mattress topper can enhance the firmness of your mattress. A mattress topper acts as an additional support layer, creating a firmer sensation for your mattress.

Who needs a firmer mattress?

Heavier individuals, stomach and certain back sleepers often find a firmer mattress more comfortable. It assists in maintaining proper spinal alignment while sleeping. Conversely, side sleepers and those with lighter body types may prefer a softer mattress for pressure relief.

Is a mattress pad the same as a mattress topper?

A mattress pad and a mattress topper both sit atop the mattress, but they serve different purposes and offer distinct sensations. Mattress pads protect against allergens and offer a subtle alteration to the mattress feel. Conversely, firm mattress toppers add a thicker layer of comfort or support, which can significantly modify the mattress’s firmness and overall feel.


A firm and supportive mattress is vital for a good night’s sleep and well-being. While buying a new mattress may not always be feasible, there are several techniques you can employ to make your current mattress firmer. By rotating or flipping your mattress, adding a mattress topper, replacing damaged layers, checking your box spring or foundation, adding plywood support, or adjusting the room temperature, you can enhance the firmness and support of your mattress.

Additionally, considering a new bed frame or exploring trial periods for new mattresses can help you find the ideal level of firmness that suits your specific needs. Remember, a comfortable and supportive mattress ensures better sleep quality and a more restful sleep experience, contributing to your overall health and happiness.


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