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7 Tips to Make a Mattress Firmer

Written by, Viktor Gruevski

Updated July, 18, 2023

Do you spend sleepless nights tossing and turning in your bed because your mattress is too soft?

To help you make your mattress firmer, here’s a guide that covers everything from tips and tricks to change the feel of your mattress to the advantages a firmer bed offers.

Lie down and stay tuned to find out what they are!

How to Make the Mattress Firmer

Here are the best and easiest ways to make your mattress feel firmer. 

Check the sleep trial

Beds-in-a-box are becoming increasingly popular lately thanks to free-contact delivery, fast shipping and affordable prices. Even though online mattress shopping means you cannot try out the bed in the store, manufacturers offer a generous risk-free trial that will give you plenty of time to see if the firmness is right for you. 

Changing your bed base 

More often than not, the real problem is the bed base, not the mattress. An overused divan can make the mattress feel uncomfortable. Also, keep in mind that sometimes changing the divan will cost you less than changing the mattress. 

Using a mattress topper

If you want to change the feel of your mattress at a lower cost, you can purchase a mattress topper. There are many firm mattress toppers on the market in a variety of materials that can match everyone’s taste and budget.

Using plywood

If your mattress is sinking, you are dealing with a sagging mattress. Luckily, an extra layer of plywood can help improve mattress firmness. Simply put it above the slats or the box spring for extra stability and support.

Air drying the mattress

Another reason that your mattress is too soft can be liquid absorption. This is usually a problem for people that live in a humid area or are prone to sweating. The solution, however, is very easy: Just leave your mattress out in the sun to dry naturally. This will not only boost the firmness, but also kill all the germs and bacteria.

Keeping the bed flat

This might surprise you, but if you pull your bed linen tight to the mattress corners, it will put pressure on the mattress and temporarily make it feel firmer. 

Regulating the room temperature

Some mattresses, such as memory foam, tend to soften due to room temperature, so you should regulate the heat in your bedroom to keep its firmness. Or opt for a cooling mattress that will retain its shape for longer and will have the added benefit of cooler and comfier nights. 

The Right Firmness for Sleepers

There is no general rule for firmness level to begin with. What’s firm for one person can be soft for another. 

However, the optimal firmness depends on your weight.

Light sleepers

Sleepers weighing less than 9.2 st are classified as light or petite sleepers. Research shows that they need softer mattresses that quickly adapt to the shape of the body. The optimal firmness for this group varies from “soft” through “medium soft” to “medium”, or from 5 to 6.5 on the firmness scale. 

Heavy sleepers

On the other hand, heavy sleepers that weigh over 16.4 st prefer firmer mattresses that offer greater support. Their ideal mattress firmness fluctuates between “medium firm,” “firm,” and “extra firm”, i.e. between 7 and 7.5 on the one to ten firmness scale. 

Average weight sleepers

When it comes to average weight sleepers (weighing between 9.2 st and 16.4 st), they favor medium firmness with soft mattress pads and firm support. For them, the ideal firmness is between “medium soft” and “medium firm”, so somewhere between 5.5 to 6.5.

The Benefits of a Firm Mattress

What can a firm mattress do for you?

Improve alignment

If you are suffering from back pain, you’ll need a firmer mattress to improve your spinal alignment. Studies have shown that medium firm mattresses are ideal for sleep quality and improved alignment, as well as alleviating  common pressure points like shoulders, hips and back.  

Sleeping position

Besides being the healthiest sleeping position, side sleeping is also the most frequent one. Side sleepers need a mattress that will adapt to their body shape since pressure relief is especially important for them. Therefore, they need a medium soft to medium firm mattress

Back sleepers would need a medium to slightly firm mattress ensuring that their spine is properly aligned and the lumbar area is adequately supported. 

Doctors advise that stomach sleeping is the least healthy sleeping position as it can cause pressure to the neck and spinal muscles. However, if you feel the most comfortable sleeping face down, you can choose a medium to medium firm mattress for the most support.

Deep sleep

Quality sleep is one of the benefits of a firm surface. Sleeping on a firmer mattress reduces the stress in the veins, joints, and muscles, providing you with deep sleep that will help you wake up mentally and physically rested.

Bed maintenance 

Maintaining a mattress is a must if you want it to retain its shape and firmness. This means spot cleaning in case of spills and stains, rotating it once to twice a year and airing it out once in a while. 

Bottom Line

Hopefully, this article will help you choose the right firmness level for your needs, but if you have already purchased a mattress and find it too soft for your body shape and sleeping style, give any of the tips outlined above a try and make your mattress firmer in no time at all.

Frequently Asked Questions And Their Answers

How to make a mattress firmer?

To make your mattress firmer, you should try some of the tips below:

  • Check the sleep trial period.
  • Change the box spring or the bed base.
  • Add a mattress topper.
  • Use a plywood bed base.
  • Let your mattress dry or use a mattress protector.
  • Rotate your mattress.
  • Keep the bed flat.
  • Regulate the room temperature.

Alternatively, you could buy a mattress with adjustable firmness levels, letting you play with the feel of the bed until you hit the right note. In this case, we suggest trying the Dormeo S Plus or the iGel Advance 3000 Plush Top.

Can a topper make a mattress firmer?

Yes! A topper is placed above your mattress to provide firmness, comfort, and support, as well as to prolong the lifespan of your mattress. The best mattress toppers will also protect your bed from allergens, germs and bacteria. 

Do mattresses get softer over time?

Yes, in time, mattresses tend to soften due to the usual wear and tear. How soft the mattress gets depends on how frequently it’s used, what material it’s made of, and how heavy the sleeper is. There are, however, many tricks to make your mattress firmer and none of them involve buying a new one.

I'm an interior architect by education with a tendency for content writing and research. Whenever I’m waiting for the engine to finish rendering my model, I love reading and researching on a wide variety of topics. I especially love writing content that is backed up by thorough research and relevant data. Given my engineering background, I'm more for the empirical data, not the "I couldn’t help but wonder..." vibe. When I'm not busy writing or drawing, you can find me hiking with my beagle or binge-watching in my bed. There is no in-between.