How to Make a Memory Foam Mattress Firmer and Have the Best Night’s Sleep

In this article, we cover all possible ways, from adding support or a topper to changing the mattress.
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Last updatedLast updated: September 19, 2022
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To enjoy optimal sleep comfort, the ideal is to have a mattress that is neither too soft nor too firm. Memory foam mattresses are the softest of all types of mattresses. While they’re great for side sleepers and people with light body build, they’re not comfortable for the stomach, back, and heavy sleepers.

So, if your mattress is too soft for you or your sleeping style, you don’t have to replace it. There are several solutions to firm up your memory foam mattress and get the comfort you need. In this article, we’ll be talking about how to make a memory foam mattress firmer. Most options are not as expensive as buying a new firm mattress. So, don’t worry about the price side of things.

Are You Sure You Need a Firmer Mattress?

You probably need a firmer mattress if you tend to sleep on your back and stomach. Do you sink far into the mattress when sleeping? Then you need a firm mattress. This level of firmness helps release pressure points (neck, shoulders, back, hips) to better balance and distribute weight and, of course, give your body greater support. Moreover, firm mattresses of 8 to 10 on the firmness scale are  recommended for babies Trusted Source How Firm is Firm Enough for a Baby Crib Mattress? If your baby’s crib mattress feels firm enough for you, is it okay for them? Learn whether this rule of thumb is helpful when buying a new crib mattress. www.naturepedic.com if your child sleeps with you on the bed. You should choose a firmer mattress if:

  • You sleep on your stomach or back
  • You are heavy – 250 pounds plus
  • You have neck, back, or hip pains when you sleep
  • You grew up using a firm mattress

The Best Level of Firmness for Different Types of Sleepers

Below is a table showing the firmness rating of mattresses in general, their sensations, and best sleeping positions.

Firmness level

Sensation

Sleeper type

H1

Very soft People who weigh 130 pounds or less

H2

Soft

Side sleepers

H3

Medium firm

Combination sleepers, side sleepers, and sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds

H4

Firm

Heavy sleepers, back and stomach sleepers, sleepers with back, neck, and hip pains

H5 Extra firm

Very heavy sleepers (250lbs+) and back sleepers

Benefits of a Firm Mattress

These mattresses are essentially composed of latex or spring. The materials protect your mattress against moisture and fight dust mites. Firm mattresses give you better blood circulation and improve the release of pressure points.

They relieve pain related to poor spine positioning, such as a herniated disc. Also, firm mattresses are durable over time and generally age better.

Firm mattresses are recommended for back, stomach, or heavier sleepers. For back sleepers, a firm mattress keeps your spine aligned and prevents excessive sagging in the contours of a soft mattress.

The ventral sleeper benefits from good support for the spine. It reduces the spaces between your body and the mattress.

The best firm mattress should prevent your back from hollowing out while preventing your pelvis from sinking like in a soft mattress.

Possible Drawbacks

First, a mattress that is too hard only supports the pelvis and shoulders. On the other hand, too much firmness in a mattress will prevent the hips and shoulders from sinking enough for better enveloping comfort. In the long run, the sleeper could feel pain in the lower back, the hips, and the shoulders.

As a mattress that is too hard will exert permanent pressure on certain parts of the body, it  can stop blood circulation Trusted Source Is sleeping on the floor good for you? Benefits and side effects Evidence of the benefits of floor sleeping tends to be anecdotal. This article covers the possible benefits and risks of sleeping on the floor and how to do it. www.medicalnewstoday.com , forcing you to unconsciously change your position during your sleep. Result: the more you move during the night, the more your sleep will be disturbed.

How to Make a Soft Memory Foam Mattress Firmer (5 Options)

Not sure what to do to make your mattress firmer? In most cases, you won’t really have a miracle solution. We advise our readers before buying a mattress to know their sleep positions and look back on models from major brands that offer sleep trial periods.

If this is not your case, you have other options, including buying and adding a firmer mattress topper. Regardless, the best topper for firming a mattress is the Plushbeds topper, as it’s made of latex, the best material for firm toppers and mattresses. But asides from the choice of a topper, there are a few other options you can look at.

Option #1: Use Firm Support

Your mattress can feel tender if it doesn’t have enough support. If your mattress is on a box spring structure or other sprung surfaces, it may not have enough support to promote firmness. If you put a sheet of 3/20 cm or plywood or chipboard between the box spring and the mattress, your mattress will have more support and feel firmer.

In this case, ensure that the plywood is the same width and length as the mattress. If too short, it will result in an overhang.

Make sure you sand the edges smooth and around the corners of the board to avoid damaging the mattress or harming yourself!

Option #2: Lay the Mattress on the Floor

If you don’t want to try a sheet of plywood right away, lay the mattress on the floor. The hardness of the floor will increase the stability of the bed, and there’ll be no sagging. You can either temporarily leave it while you build or get enough funds for a solid base to adjust the mattress to the desired level.

However, placing it on the floor permanently is not advisable. It  will reduce its durability, stability, and feel Trusted Source Should Mattresses Be Placed Directly on the Floor? | Sleep Foundation Do you need a bed frame or foundation for your new mattress? Should mattresses be placed directly on the floor? Find out inside. www.sleepfoundation.org  as it’s designed to sit on a bed base or frame. Also, with some mattress brands, doing this means  your mattress warranty is void Trusted Source Can You Put Your Mattress on the Floor? - Casper Blog Can you put a mattress on the floor? It depends on your bed type and room conditions. We explore the pros, cons, and safest ways to do so. casper.com .

Option #3: Use a Mattress Topper

How to Make a Memory Foam Mattress Firmer and Have the Best Night's SleepA soft mattress can often be made firmer with a topper. As in mattresses, there are different types of mattress toppers: soft, memory foam, medium-firm, and firm, usually made of latex. So, you should choose a latex foam topper with the right firmness, like the Amazon Basics Firm Mattress Topper. It’s made of latex with gel infusion and measures 2 inches in height.

However, you’ll also find memory foam models among the best memory foam mattress toppers. The difference is that these have thicker densities.

Option #4: Evaluate and Replace Box Springs

A box spring mattress can quickly lose its effectiveness with prolonged use. This may provide less support for your mattress than necessary, and your bed may be too soft for you to sleep on.

There are two approaches to solving this. The first is to get a new box spring bed. This will restore your bed to its original condition, assuming your mattress is still in good condition. Another option is to use a hard support over the box spring construction.

Option #5: Buy a New Mattress

If all of the above fail to make your mattress more comfortable, your next choice will probably be to buy a new one. Latex is one of the best firm mattress materials online. But you will also find firm options in the best memory foam mattress on the market.

If your mattress is older, there’s a good chance that modern mattress technologies will provide you with what’s perfect for you. Contemporary memory foam mattresses offer a choice of firmness options, each offering you the right amount of support for your pressure points while lying in bed.

Why Does a Memory Foam Mattress Get Softer, and How to Prevent It?

Below are possible reasons why a mattress can get softer over time, and what you can do about it.

High Temperature

Higher temperatures generally result in softer memory foam mattresses, while a colder environment makes them firmer. If your mattress is more comfortable during the colder months than in the summer, a lower temperature (or bedroom heater) can keep the air conditioning cool enough in the winter to meet your needs.

Worn Layers

Some mattresses are made in the form of multiple layers stored in the cover. Some have a core support layer and a comfort layer that includes an insulator, a mid-layer, and a quilted layer. If some of them are damaged or worn, it can affect the firmness of the mattress.

You can replace any of these layers with a harder layer by opening up the mattress, removing the damaged layer, and replacing it.

Moisture, Mold, and Mildew

Your mattress can become soft due to moisture and contamination with mold and mildew. If you dry out the mattress, mold and mildew will be lost. Take the mattress out into the sunlight and let it dry. Not only does this firm up the mattress, but it also kills any bacteria and germs that contaminate it. This is often the case with mattresses that have been allowed to get damp. You can also pay for the special cleaning, but try a DIY first; it could make a difference!

The video below explains how to prevent a memory foam mattress from sagging over time.

Final Thoughts

You want to know how to make the mattress firmer when you find that your mattress has become softer over time. You can check if it needs to be dried, as moisture can soften the mattress.

If you’re using memory foam, it could also be due to heat. As you make the room colder, your mattress should become firmer. If these changes haven’t made any difference, you can also use a topper or add plywood to adjust the firmness of your mattress.

Using a firm mattress topper seems like one of the easiest ways to firm up the surface of your soft memory foam mattress, but you still have to know which type to choose. It is recommended to select mattress toppers made of latex or high-density memory foam, which offers more support.

If your best solution is to change the mattress because the model you currently own is worn, we recommend that you opt for a model with a trial period (you can find some with 30 to 100 nights).

Now you’ve seen how to make a memory foam mattress firmer. Sometimes sleeping on a very soft mattress isn’t ideal for support and posture.

References

1.
How Firm is Firm Enough for a Baby Crib Mattress?
If your baby’s crib mattress feels firm enough for you, is it okay for them? Learn whether this rule of thumb is helpful when buying a new crib mattress.
2.
Is sleeping on the floor good for you? Benefits and side effects
Evidence of the benefits of floor sleeping tends to be anecdotal. This article covers the possible benefits and risks of sleeping on the floor and how to do it.
3.
Should Mattresses Be Placed Directly on the Floor? | Sleep Foundation
Do you need a bed frame or foundation for your new mattress? Should mattresses be placed directly on the floor? Find out inside.
4.
Can You Put Your Mattress on the Floor? - Casper Blog
Can you put a mattress on the floor? It depends on your bed type and room conditions. We explore the pros, cons, and safest ways to do so.
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