How to Make Mattress Firmer 12-Step Guide


Some people like a soft bed like a marshmallow, but if yours is too soft to give you the back support you need, it’s time to learn how to make a mattress firmer. Most of the time, it’s because the bed has sagged, but sometimes it’s because you chose the wrong firmness for your body.

It happens, and that’s one reason why all of the best mattresses come with a trial period so you can make sure your choice is firm enough for you.

Most people can sleep well on medium-firm mattresses because they keep the spine straight without being too hard. Even though very soft mattresses are cozy, they can cause joint pain and problems over time, especially if you are. You might sink too far into the bed to be adequately supported.

Here are twelve simple ways to make a mattress firmer and better for sleeping on. This guide will help people find a way to make their beds a little bit firmer.

12 Helpful Hints for Firming Up a Sagging Mattress

Even though it may seem that sleepers have little control over their sleeping conditions, that is not necessarily the case. Many people don’t realize the extent to which they have control over the firmness of their sleeping surface.

As a result, many companies now allow customers to try out their new purchases for a few months before making a final decision. In that case, customers can send it back to the maker and get a complete refund or swap it out for something more substantial.

Flip the Mattress

Because the other side of a mattress might be different in hardness depending on the model and manufacturer, particular mattresses can be flipped to increase their firmness. The most common type of bed with this feature is the “flippable” bed, which may be used either way.

Since the side that seldom gets used tends to be the sturdiest, a two-sided mattress isn’t strictly necessary. That is something sleepers should look into before purchasing.

Also Read: How To Flip a Mattress or Rotate a Mattress

Use a Mattress Topper

They are often intended to soften the ground beneath you as you sleep, although not all brands achieve this goal. Some are more concerned with bolstering existing structures than others. If you want a firmer mattress, all you need to do is add the right topper.

Memory foam and latex are only two examples of the materials that can be used to create these tops. Some may do better than others, so keep that in mind. If you want to learn more about a product, you can consult the manufacturer’s website or a local merchant.

Check and Replace Worn Out Layers

Damaged layers can be the culprit in some cases. Even though not all manufacturers design their products with easily removable layers or covers, many provide this option.

Consider replacing any layers that are damaged or worn. If that’s the case, this may boost your bed’s firmness to make it more comfortable.

Check and Replace Box Spring or Platform

Pressure-resisting layers can be strengthened by using box springs or platforms. Sleepers may need to replace these at some point due to normal wear and tear.

In any case, spending a fortune is unnecessary, as cheap choices are available. Changing the bed’s foundation could be the answer to your sleeping problems.

Add/ Replace Plywood Support

Putting plywood under the mattress can help, either between the mattress and box spring or directly under the mattress if you don’t have a box spring. Doing so is similar to adding a foundation layer to your mattress, which can increase the mattress’s firmness.

Confident bedding makers advise against placing plywood under a bed to prevent mold growth. To a greater extent, this is true for all-foam mattresses.

Move Mattress to the Floor

A bed frame isn’t always the best option, and sleepers may be familiar with this strategy. Bed bases can benefit from additional support if placed on the floor, an option for those who don’t want to spend any money.

This should be the least expensive choice; some individuals may prefer it because a bed frame might be bulky.

Watch That Thermostat

Maintaining vigilance over the temperature setting on the thermostat is another must. The firmness of a mattress can be affected by temperature, which may seem like it wouldn’t matter. People who sleep on memory foam mattresses may benefit more from a cold sleeping environment.

Air the Mattress out

Beds can be made softer through the gradual absorption of moisture. Although this is inevitable, it can be mitigated by routinely exposing the mattress to fresh air and sunlight.

The sun’s rays can help firm up the mattress while eliminating any bugs, mold, or mildew that may have made their home there. Also, this is an excellent method for making your mattress firmer as you clean it.

Give it Time to Breathe

However, a mattress can also become more pliable if it retains moisture from the sleeper. Your mattress may become damp during the day and night if you reside in a humid region.

Get some sun on your mattress by taking it outside. A mattress can become a breeding ground for germs, mildew, and allergens if it isn’t regularly cleaned, but sunlight can help.

Keep bedding flat

The firmness of your mattress can be affected by the quality of your fitted sheets. A snug fit puts strain on the mattress and may reduce sensitivity. This is because the snug fit of the sheets will impede the mattress’s natural expansion and contraction against it.

Replace Old Layers

If your mattress has a removable cover, like some latex and memory foam mattresses, then you have this alternative. If the mattress can be unzipped and its layers moved, the worn layers can be removed and a new one put in place. Inquire with the company’s support staff about the possibility of placing a new foam layer order.

Use Taut Bedding

A pillowtop mattress, which is more comfortable for side sleepers, is ideal for this technique. The top layer of these beds is exceptionally plush and comfortable. It may feel amazing initially, but it may not be supportive enough. In particular, those who sleep on their stomachs or backs.

Use a large flat sheet or comforter in place of the fitted one. Stretch out the blanket or sheet and tuck in the corners. As a result, the down or other pillowtop material can be compacted to make for a firmer sleeping surface.

Why Is Firmness Important?

The firmness of a mattress affects not just the ease with which a sleeper can get in and out of bed but also the alignment of the spine and the release of pressure on the hips, back, and other pressure points.

Sleepers may have pain when a mattress is tough, but when it is too soft, there is a risk of sinkage and lack of support.

What Role Does Thickness Play?

More substantial individuals may benefit from a thicker design because of the reduced chance of bottoming out. Another personal preference is how much padding you prefer to sink into when you sleep.

However, thickness does not always indicate sinkage because it can also indicate the presence of additional transition layers and a robust support layer.

The Firmness of Mattresses for Different Sleepers

If you have wondered what the optimal level of firmness for your mattress is, the response to that question may vary depending on the type of sleeper you are.

Side Sleeper

When a person sleeps on their side, they bear the most weight on their hips and shoulders. A mattress should be relatively soft, especially for side sleepers, to alleviate pressure and properly mold the body. Side sleepers should look for a mattress with a firmness level between 3 and 6.

Back Sleeper

Back sleepers need a somewhat firmer mattress to prevent their hips and shoulders from sinking lower than the rest of their bodies. They should be fine on a mattress with a firmness level of 6.

Stomach Sleeper

Most people who sleep on their stomachs need a firmer mattress. When sleeping on a soft surface, the spine might arch, resulting in pain in the lower back. They do best on a mattress with a firmness level of 6-8.

Combination Sleeper

People who are combination sleepers move around during the night. That’s why the mattress you choose must have good back support and contours to your body to help alleviate stress points. Choose a mattress firmness between 3 and 8, depending on your preferred sleeping position.

Advantages of a Firm Mattress

You should know the health benefits of firming up a soft mattress now that you know how to do it.

The spine’s natural curvature is reduced by lying on a firm mattress, leading to better posture when you wake up. The pressure points in your body, including your spine and joints, will feel more at ease on a firmer mattress, resulting in more restful sleep.

You can sleep in various positions thanks to the firmness of the mattress. As a combo sleeper, invest in a medium-firm mattress to get the most out of your night’s rest.

A firm mattress reduces tossing and turning, allowing for a more pleasant night’s sleep.

Because there is no sagging or bulging, the regular upkeep of the mattress is simplified. One more benefit of a firmer mattress is that it requires less frequent replacement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Memory Foam require any Unique Care?

Because memory foam conforms to its surrounding temperature, buyers should take extra precautions to ensure their bedding doesn’t sag. Milder temperatures generally result in a more complex surface, but temperature extremes might damage the material.

What is the Best Way to Repair a Pillow Top Bed?

Sagging is another issue with a pillow top, although this is also fixable. To remedy this, layer on more blankets beneath the sheet, or remove the top (if one is available), and fluff it in the dryer.

Does your Back feel Better on a Firm Mattress?

Most individuals choose firm mattresses because of the additional back support and pressure relief they provide for the spine and joints. You may think of an orthopedic mattress as an example of this product because it is often firmer and is made with your back’s health in mind.

However, a firmer mattress isn’t always the answer, so if you’re dealing with back pain, it’s best to consult a medical specialist. If you have back pain and are looking for tips on how to sleep better, you should read our guide.

How can I Firm up my Sagging Mattress?

If your mattress has sagged but you’re not ready to buy a new one, you can fix the problem in a few different ways. The most straightforward technique, typically one of the expensive options, is to use a firm mattress topper.

It is also possible to fill any depressions in the mattress with hard pillows and then cover the bed with a sheet to keep the pillows in place.

Finally, you should examine the base of your mattress. If it doesn’t provide even support, your mattress may eventually sag. A foam mattress should never be placed on a box spring, and the distance between bed slats should be no more than 3 inches.

Can a Mattress be made Firmer by Placing Plywood Underneath it?

Sure, if you want a firmer mattress, you may do worse than to slip a sheet of plywood or particleboard under it, trimmed to the size of your bed. A solid piece of wood will not allow air to circulate, so that moisture will build up on your mattress. To avoid waking up with a mildewy mattress, you must purchase wood resistant to moisture.

If you want a firmer bed, you can also try placing your mattress directly on the floor. It’s recommended to prop your mattress up and lean it against drywall for a few hours every week to prevent excess moisture from accumulating in the fabric. Once a week is a good target for doing this.


Many people find it hard to make a mattress firmer, but there are ways to deal with a bed that starts to sag a little. Depending on your setup, each method may give you different results, so it might help you understand what your mattress needs ahead of time.

Another essential thing to remember is warranties. Some products may still be under warranty, so you could get a replacement to fix any problems. If not, following the suggestions could help you sleep much better.

You can save a lot of money if you know how to make a mattressĀ firmer. We hope these tips help you turn your soft, sagging mattress into a firm, comfortable one. And if you ever need to buy a new mattress, you know how firm it should be.

About the author

Best Mattress Advisor Editorial Team

Our dedicated team of experts, with more than two years of experience in the bedding industry, is committed to helping you achieve your best sleep yet. From in-depth reviews to comprehensive guides, we cover almost every aspect of sleep products, including mattresses, pillows, bed frames, and accessories. Explore our website and discover why we're the go-to resource for all things sleep-related.

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Best Mattress Advisor Editorial Team

Our dedicated team of experts, with more than two years of experience in the bedding industry, is committed to helping you achieve your best sleep yet. From in-depth reviews to comprehensive guides, we cover almost every aspect of sleep products, including mattresses, pillows, bed frames, and accessories. Explore our website and discover why we're the go-to resource for all things sleep-related.

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