Replace The Damaged Or Worn Out Layers
Most mattressesare usually made from several layers held in place by a mattress cover. Sometimes the reason why you may not be getting enough support is that some of these layers is damaged or simply worn out.
Inspect your mattress in detail and if this is the case, you can try to flip the layers or get the new ones to replace those that are damaged. This is also a more affordable way to firm up your mattress.
Do I Need A Firm Or Soft Mattress
This depends on your sleeping position and body weight. A good mattress provides you with the right level of firmness suited to you. Side sleepers are best-suited to soft or medium-soft beds, while back and stomach sleepers prefer medium-firm or firm beds.
We do not recommend stomach sleeping because it may strain your spine, causing health problems such as back pain or neck ache. Combination sleepers need a perfect balance of softness and firmness to cater to their changing sleep positions through the night. They can enhance their sleep experience on a medium bed.
If you weigh less than 130 pounds you will need a softer mattress, while those weighing above 230 pounds will need a firmer bed. If you weigh between 130 to 230 pounds, a medium mattress is perfect for you.
Invest In A New Bed Frame Or Slats
The slats on your bed frame may have weakened or they might have been displaced or broken. If they have, the uneven surface will affect the firmness of your mattress, so investing in a new bed frame or slats will fix this.
A brand new bed frame with new slats will offer more support. To make your mattress firmer, you should consider bed frames with solid slats as they provide a more supportive feel.
Whats The Difference Between Firm And Soft
The obvious difference between a firm on soft mattress is the feel. A firm mattress is more rigid to the touch and has less give. A softer mattress will compress more easily when pressure is applied.
Its important to note that mattress feel is not just split into two categories its more of a spectrum. This means theres lots of choice, which can be both a positive and a negative.
All types of mattress can be made from all materials. The firmness or softness of a mattress either depends on the spring tension or general tension of construction within the mattress. However, a mattress can also include an outer layer or some upholstery which affects the perceived firmness. A memory foam topper, for example, can give a superficial feeling of firmness but not actually have the properties of a truly firm mattress.
Both types of mattress exist in a variety of budgets. However, in order to get exactly what you want, it can be worth spending a little extra.
Best Soft Mattress: Amerisleep As5
Amerisleeps AS5 is their softest model designed to cushion and cradle the pressure points when side sleeping. This mattress is also perfect for lightweight individuals who tend to experience minimal sinking because the Bio-Pur® foam responds with very little pressure.
Since Amerisleeps Bio-Pur® comfort foam is made with plant-based oils, it is naturally more breathable and has more elasticity than most mattress foams. So, while it provides deep contouring, AS5 wont become over-heated and uncomfortable.
Since soft mattresses tend to create excess sinking, Amerisleep includes two unique foam layers that promote a neutral spine. Their Active Flex foam is buoyant to keep the hips and shoulders lifted and aligned, while their Affinity foam with HIVE® technology provides targeted support to the lumbar spine to reduce lower back pain.
These three layers are supported by Amerisleeps Bio-Core® foam, a sturdy material that helps reduce sagging and indentations.
The AS5 also comes with a generous 20-year warranty and a 100-night sleep trial period.
- Ultra-soft comfort layer to prevent pressure points
- Bio-Pur® plant-based foam is non-toxic
- Supportive foam base is resistant to sagging
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Making The Best Choice For You
One of the benefits of todays mattress market is that the options are endless. This means that both firm and soft mattresses are available at a variety of price points, so you can typically find the exact firmness youre looking for within budget. All firmness levels are available regardless mattress type, meaning that you can find soft, medium, and firm versions of all-foam, hybrid, innerspring, and latex mattresses.
When selecting a soft or firm mattress, youll want to take note of several factors, including your sleeping position and areas of back pain. As weve mentioned, side sleepers tend to enjoy soft mattresses, while back and stomach sleepers bodies agree with firmer ones. If youre not dedicated to one sleeping position or have a sleeping style that differs from your partner, a medium firm mattress can be a safe bet. Keep your size in mind when shopping, too. Lightweight back sleepers may do well on a soft mattress. Conversely, heavyweight side sleepers may find the contouring they need in a medium or firm mattress.
Beyond these factors, selecting a firm or soft mattress is up to your preferences. When shopping around, lay on a variety of mattresses with different firmness levels and, prior to making a decision, be sure the manufacturer offers a trial period thats long enough for you to get a good feel for whether the bed will suit you in the long run.
Make Your Mattress Firmer On One Side
Some people want their bed to be firmer, while their spouse or significant other would rather make the mattress softer. In cases like that, you may want to look at how to make a pillow top mattress firmer on just one side, allowing both of you to have your ideal level of comfort.
You can test some of these methods, but know that it may be difficult to make firmness adjustments to just one side of the bed.
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Flip Or Rotate Your Mattress Regularly
Turning your mattress is important as it ensures the fillings are evenly distributed. It can help keep it firmer for longer and keep your mattress in good condition.
You should check the care booklet to see whether it needs flipping or rotating and how often. If you’d like to know more about turning your mattress, we have more information in our helpful guide.
What Are The Disadvantages Of A Soft Mattress
Though they might seem like the more comfortable choice based on feel, a soft mattress can be difficult to adjust to, especially for stomach sleepers. This is because soft mattresses have plenty of give, which might cause unnatural curving of the spine during sleep, leading to back pain or other chronic body pain.
Soft mattresses can also be the wrong choice for heavier sleepers. Since theres already a natural amount of sink that comes with most soft mattresses, heavier sleepers might experience an excessive amount of give, and sink too deeply into their bed.
This is also why softer mattresses are less likely to be recommended to couples, especially when opting for a smaller-sized mattress, since this can also lead to excessive sinking. Soft mattresses that are of poor quality can also lose their shape quicker than hard mattresses, so be sure to check the warranty measures of your bed before investing in something softer.
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Should You Use Plywood To Make A Mattress Firmer
We have seen this crop up regularly whenever someone talks about how to make a mattress firmer. While we follow the logic plywood sandwiched between your mattress and bed can create a more supportive base not all manufacturers love this one, even though many sleepers swear by it.
They caution that some materials, such as foam, need space to breathe properly, so if you place plywood directly against it, you might create the perfect breeding ground for mould. That would void your warranty.
As with placing your mattress on the floor, check with the brand you bought your mattress from to see what they think of the plywood fix. Also ask them if they can supply you with a comfort upgrade in the form of a pad that sits on top of your too-soft mattress.
Can A Soft Mattress Cause Back Pain
Yes. Soft mattresses are good for petite people and side sleepers. Sleep position plays a big role here back sleepers and stomach sleepers are likely to have pain in their back, especially lower back pain.
Making a mattress firmer will help back sleepers achieve proper spinal alignment. It will also offer some relief to stomach sleepers, although their sleeping position is a problem in itself.
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Flip And Rotate The Mattress
For older mattresses, you might just need to flip or rotate them every so often to make them feel firmer again. However, ensure that your mattress is flappable and rotatable. The logic here is that you might have laid on one part of your mattress for too long that it has started giving in but once you rotate and flip it you lie on a new spot thats still firm.
Add A Mattress Topper
Many mattress toppers are made to provide more cushion, but some models add more firmness to a sleep surface, like latex mattress toppers. Latex foam is firmer than memory foam and has a responsive bounce. You wont sink as deeply and might find it easier to switch sleeping positions.
A mattress topper may be a temporary solution to a sagging mattress, but if you start experiencing pain when you wake up that fades during the day, it might be time for a new bed.
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What To Consider When Purchasing A Firm Mattress Topper
Well give an in-depth overview of the top things to look for when purchasing a mattress topper. Shoppers looking for a firm topper should keep in mind that factors like their body weight, sleep position, existing mattress, and the thickness of the topper can all affect how firm it will feel to them.
PriceThe price of a topper will depend largely on its construction. Budget-friendly models often cost less than $100, while high-end toppers with down or innovative materials can cost over $1,000. There are plenty of options available to fit different budgets, and many high-quality mattress toppers are available at affordable price-points.
Sleeping PositionYour sleep position plays a major role in how you experience your sleep surface. Side sleepers typically prefer more contouring and cushioning to accommodate their hips and shoulders, while back and stomach sleepers usually need more support to prevent their hips from sinking in too deeply. Because of this, side sleepers often prefer a thicker, softer topper, and back and stomach sleepers may favor a thinner, firmer option.
Quality MaterialsMaterials directly affect the performance and durability of a topper. Quality materials may last longer, which may be especially important for people seeking a firm, even sleep surface that resists long-term body impressions. While toppers made of quality components generally cost more upfront, they may be a better value if this quality enhances their lifespans.
Is Your Current Mattress Causing You Pain
If you are currently suffering from neck or back pain, make note of when youre experiencing the pain the most. Is your pain worse at night or in the morning? If your pain is worse when you wake up, your mattress is likely the cause. Getting a new mattress with the proper support and comfort for your body will greatly alleviate this for you. Certain mattress features can provide relief and additional support depending on where your pain is.
If you are suffering from lower back pain, it is recommended that you find a mattress that provides solid support, with just enough cushion. This is usually found in a medium or medium-firm mattress.
If you are suffering from shoulder or hip pain, find a mattress that provides a happy combination of comfort layers and support features. Look for a plush, medium, or medium-soft mattress to help provide pressure relief.
If you are suffering from restless leg syndrome, nighttime heartburn, or GERD, you may want to look into an adjustable mattress base in addition to a new mattress. Sleeping on an incline helps to alleviate these nasty pains.
As always, we recommend you consult a physician if you have any further issues or questions concerning choosing a mattress and your health.
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How Mattress Firmness Is Measured
Firmness levels are typically rated on a scale of 1-10, and the vast majority of beds offer a firmness level between a 4 and a 7, as this is what tends to be comfortable for most individuals. You can find products softer or firmer than these ratings however, they often require a special order.
When you’re reading reviews, keep in mind that firmness is subjective, and the plush nature of a bed can feel unique to various individuals. However, at Sleep Advisor, we try our best to keep our ratings consistent to help our readers can dream in comfort.
Interested in learning more? Check out our mattress firmness guide here.
Move The Mattress To The Floor
A hard floor can provide the same uniform support as a plywood board and is a suitable method for firming up your mattress if you need an immediate solution. However, leaving your mattress on the floor is not the best solution in the long run because it can expose your mattress to dirt, pests, and mildew.
The floor presents the same problem as a piece of plywood, preventing air from circulating through the bottom of your mattress and collecting absorbed moisture. This moisture can build up and let mold grow in and around your mattress. Too much humidity can also soften up your mattress.
Is keeping your mattress on the floor for a while unavoidable? Then lift it once a week and lean it against a wall to let airflow through the mattress.
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Whats A Soft Mattress
On the firmness scale, soft mattresses are roughly between a 2 to 3. A soft bed is highly responsive and easily conforms under a sleepers body.
Whats unique to soft mattresses is their thick comfort layer made from materials such as memory foam or latex. The mattresses are usually about 12 to 14 inches thick, while the comfort layers are at least 2 to 4 inches thick.
More Vulnerable To Sagging
Some soft mattresses can wear down quicker than firm mattresses because they arent as sturdy and durable. The soft comfort layers can flatten, grow lumpy, and develop sags. So, the bed will need to be repaired or replaced sooner than if you had a firmer mattress.
However, a high-quality mattress with a durable support core can last up to 10 years, no mattress how soft it is.
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Importance Of Thickness And Firmness Of A Mattress
When shopping for memory foam, foam, latex foam, or innerspring mattresses, the thickness and firmness matter. You should choose a mattress that is specific to your sleep position or based on your expectations. For example, stomach sleepers should invest in a soft mattress, while side sleepers should find medium soft mattresses more comfortable for their shoulders and hips. For back sleepers, a firmer mattress can give your weight enough support to minimize the aches and pain in the morning.
Turn Down The Thermostat In Your Bedroom
If you have a foam mattress and normally sleep in a warmer room, one thing you can try is cooling down the room. The cooler temperature can make your foam mattress feel firmer, since heat can soften the density of the foam. It’ll also help you sleep a bit better.
Keep in mind that your body heat will also affect it some, but it can’t hurt to try turning down the thermostat to see if it makes a difference for your mattress. Try cooling down your room at least a few hours before bed so that the room and mattress has enough time to cool down.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
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Place Your Mattress On The Floor
Placing your sagging mattress directly on the floor can help you sleep better, especially because floors offer even firmness and wont jostle around like plywood. This is certainly the cheaper alternative to getting a new mattress foundation, but it does come with its pitfalls.
Having your mattress on the floor can actually weaken support over time and leave it vulnerable to damage from dust and allergens.
Change Your Box Spring
Box springs often last longer than mattresses, but they will need to be replaced eventually. The inner coils will eventually lose support and sag, providing uneven support. Most box springs shouldnt be used for more than a decade, and you should check their condition if you hear squeaks or creaks or if the wood smells.
Using a box spring with a mattress can also cause the bed to sag prematurely if the box spring doesnt provide the full support the mattress needs. Memory foam mattresses shouldnt be placed on a box spring, nor should any other type of foam mattresses such as latex and poly-foam.
Removing the box spring and replacing it with a solid or slatted foundation for a memory foam mattress can make your bed feel firmer.
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