Do Firm Mattresses Get Softer Overtime? | The Bedding Planet (2023)

Everyone anticipates sleeping on a new mattress, especially after getting it from the store. However, you often get disappointed as it is too firm for comfort. Your sleep gets affected, and you wake up groggy.

To get optimum quality of sleep, you need the right materials. They are a bed of the right size, the ideal mattress, and the mood in the room. Mattresses come in all shapes and sizes, depending on the individual need. Gone are the days of reeds and grasses.

You now have options ranging from spring coils to gel-infused memory foam. All these types have one thing in common. When they are brand new, they tend to be too firm for comfort.

So, do these firm mattresses get softer overtime? The answer is yes. The longer you continue using a mattress, the softer it will become. But you do not have to wait a year for it to soften. Several techniques exist that you can use to get your beauty sleep in no time.

Before embarking on the journey to the store, know your bed type. A wooden bed frame with slats works best with hybrid mattresses. They break in easy, and you will be sleeping like an angel in no time.

In some cases, the mattress may not be the problem. Your bed might be too old to handle the new technology mattress. If it has passed down three generations, it is about time you get a new one.

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There are better bed frames now that offer ample lumbar support and the desired softness. These bed frames combine different elements to create ideal sleeping conditions.

Is a Firm Mattress Bad For me?

Having a firm mattress can have numerous benefits to your body. They offer sufficient support for your lower back and ease the strain on your muscles. A firm mattress helps to improve your blood circulation since your body is evenly placed.

Your snoring may be as a result of poor sleeping posture, by sleeping on a firm mattress may alleviate this. If you prefer to sleep on your stomach or back, you will be more comfortable on a firm mattress.

The even distribution of weight means that there are no pressure points on your body when you sleep.

How Soft Should my Mattress be?

Do Firm Mattresses Get Softer Overtime? | The Bedding Planet (1)

There is no set standard on how soft a mattress should be. The level entirely depends on you. However, there are some tell-tale signs to determine if you have achieved the right kind of softness. If you sleep on your side, then you should opt for a soft mattress.

It will ease the pressure on your shoulder and hips. Sufferers of conditions such as lower back pain and arthritis also need to use soft mattresses.

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A soft mattress comfortably adjusts to your body frame and eases pressure on your back and joints.

My Mattress is Too Soft, Should I Get a New One?

Experts recommend that you should replace your mattress every eight to ten years. However, you can still go on with your mattress until it becomes uncomfortable. It all depends on the care you give to your mattress during usage.

Classic cars exist because their owners take very good care of them. If you think that your mattress is too soft, there are ways to give it back that oomph.

Getting a stiffer mattress cover will do the trick. Visit your local mattress store and find one that feels good to lie on. You can also add a platform on the underside of the bed.

A stiff sheet of plywood will do the trick. Sometimes a simple flip can be all the difference. Flip your mattress 360 degrees and make sure when you place it, the feet section becomes the head section.

Memory Foam Mattresses

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These are ideal for anyone seeking a good night’s sleep. Having been around for nearly forty years, most manufacturers have this type of mattress within their product lines.

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They are available in three variations: gel-infused, plant-based, or petroleum-based. Each variety comes with its benefits, and the price ranges depending on the type.

The reason why memory foam has become so popular with sleepers is because of its versatility. As the name suggests, it adjusts according to your sleeping position and weight.

You are less likely to incur pressure pain with memory foam as compared to other mattress types.

It is highly resistant to allergens that may cause you difficulty in breathing, affecting your sleep. Bedbugs and dust mites avoid this model, given the compounds used to make it.

From a pricing perspective, they can be quite expensive as compared to other types. However, this depends on the brand, size, and type of material used.

In What Other Ways Can I Improve my Quality of Sleep?

Regardless of mattress type, there are some things you can do that will better your night. Here is a list of easy to do hacks that will not make you break the bank:

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  • You can add a mattress cover. Quilted covers are best since they offer extra cushioning on the mattress making it more bearable.
  • Change your sheets. You may be surprised that your mattress is not to blame for your sleeping woes. The material that your sheet consists of maybe the one causing you problems. Use sheets that are soft to the body and absorb sweat. You will enjoy going to bed.
  • Adjust your room temperature setting. Sleep experts recommend setting your room temperature between 18.5 and 22.5 degrees celsius for optimum sleep. Between these ranges, your body can cool down from the heat that you generate during your daily activities.
  • Block out any unnecessary lights. You can have dark-colored curtains in your room that will resist any light coming into your room. If having a light is necessary, you can use a sleeping mask instead.
  • Eat light and drink less. Heavy meals cause discomfort in the body, thereby affecting your sleep. Drinking a lot of fluids before bed will increase your trips to the bathroom when you sleep.
  • Adjust your sleeping position. If you find that when sleeping on your belly causes you no sleep, try sleeping on your side. It may take a little getting used to, but the results will be worth it.

How Would I Know What Mattress to Buy?

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Mattress buying is not rocket science. Any mattress store worth its name should allow you to test it before you make a purchase. However, you can always focus on these two points to make an informed decision.

Check whether you suffer from any conditions such as arthritis and lower back pain. Focus on your sleeping position. If you sleep on your back or stomach, then focus on firm mattresses.

If you are a side sleeper you will be more comfortable on a soft mattress.

Other factors may come into play such as budget, size, and bed type. But there are plenty of options from which you can choose. Take your partner with you when mattress shopping.

As people have different preferences. One ignored factor is body weight. Heavier people are more suited for firm mattresses.

Having your partner there will allow for a decision that is acceptable for both parties. It will lead to a better understanding between both of you. In special cases where there is a traumatic injury or a pre-existing condition, you can always consult with your doctor.

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Mattresses have come along since they were first introduced. There is an option for everyone out there. Manufacturers are increasingly coming up with new types every day.

A firm mattress will eventually get soft with prolonged use as it wears and tears. But if you purchase one and find it too uncomfortable, there are different ways to fasten the process.

You can either go back to the store for a refund or use the methods discussed above.


Do firm mattresses get softer over time? ›

Do firm mattresses get softer? All mattresses get a little softer within the first 50 to 60 nights of regular use. This is called the natural break-in period. However, this natural break-in doesn't make it an uncomfortable mattress, rather it tempers down the extra firmness of a new mattress.

Do beds get harder or softer over time? ›

A brand new mattress will often be firmer – sometimes much firmer – than it will become over time after the “break in” period. This firmness is caused by the foam layers. As you continue to sleep on your mattress, the pressure from your body will relax the foam and mold it more and more into your sleeping form.

Do innerspring mattresses get softer over time? ›

A brand-new mattress may be firmer than you anticipated, but you can easily soften it up by taking a few steps – literally. You can break it in by sleeping on it night after night, and you'll experience some softening over time.

Does foam get softer over time? ›

Memory foam will eventually soften without you having to do anything, besides sleep on it. The compression from your body alone will be enough to soften the foam, and you won't have to wait very long.

How do you soften a mattress that is too firm? ›

  1. Swap it for a softer mattress. Consult the booklet your mattress came with to see if your mattress has a sleep trial and if it's still valid. ...
  2. Break it in. ...
  3. Buy a softer mattress topper. ...
  4. Flip your mattress. ...
  5. Replace your bed frame or slats. ...
  6. Invest in a new divan base. ...
  7. Make your room warmer. ...
  8. Change your sleeping position.

Will my body get used to a firm mattress? ›

A firm bed might feel different in the beginning, but most people will adjust to it and come to love it in the long run. With a little patience, you'll begin to reap the benefits of sleeping on a firm mattress, and you might even find yourself asking yourself why you haven't switched a long time ago.

Is it healthier to sleep on a harder mattress? ›

When sleeping on a firmer surface, the bones absorb most of the pressure, meaning there is less stress on muscles, veins and arteries. Muscles are less strained, and circulation is improved. A firm mattress also keeps your lower back from collapsing, which could allow for more oxygen intake while sleeping.

Can Side sleepers use firm mattress? ›

Side Sleepers

This group needs a soft mattress that provides plenty of room to sink in for deep and cuddly pressure relief at the shoulders, hips, and lower back. A mattress that offers zoned support might be a good fit for these sleepers.

Why are hotel mattresses so hard? ›

In a Nutshell. Hotel beds don't cater to individual preferences and are often quite firm because they need to be durable to be able to withstand the varying body weights of guests. There are ways that you can make a hotel bed that feels too firm feel softer and more comfortable.

How do you know if your bed is too firm? ›

If you're waking up with back, neck or shoulder pain, your mattress might be too firm. If you wake up in the morning — or during the night — feeling discomfort at certain pressure points, like your shoulders, hips, or knees, your mattress is probably too firm.

Can a too firm bed cause back pain? ›

If your mattress is too firm, you might experience a few different symptoms. An overly-firm mattress can put excess strain on your pressure points (shoulders, hips, and torso) or cause spinal misalignment. You might also find that your body stays tense as you sleep, resulting in muscle, neck, or back pain.

How long does it take for a foam mattress to soften? ›

Adjustment Period to Break In Memory Foam

Generally speaking, the breaking in period to make your new bed feel softer can be anywhere between two to four weeks, but luckily for you, we have a few tricks up our sleeve that might help you speed the process up a bit…

How can I make my foam bed softer? ›

If you wish to speed up the breaking-in process, here are 5 ways to make your memory foam mattress softer:
  1. Just walk it off. It might sound strange, but you can walk gently on your mattress a few times daily. ...
  2. Warm it up. ...
  3. Show it some love. ...
  4. Top it up (with a topper!) ...
  5. Explore the adjustable firmness of the Ecosa Mattress.
13 Jul 2022

Does memory foam get softer when warm? ›

It should be expected that upon getting into a memory foam bed in the winter, it will initially feel firmer, and take longer for contours to form, as the material warms up. Reciprocally, a memory foam topper or mattress in the summer will soften more quickly, and take less time to form to your body.

What firmness are hotel mattresses? ›

What firmness of mattresses do hotels use? In most cases, you'll find a medium to a medium-firm mattress in your hotel room. And for a good reason. Medium-firm mattresses are generally good for any type of sleeper or any body type.

Is it better to sleep on a hard or soft mattress? ›

Body weight

Generally speaking, heavier people prefer firmer mattresses. Soft foams may sink in too much for comfort and adequate support. Conversely, lighter sleepers may sink in less and find firm beds to be uncomfortably hard, so they generally prefer soft to medium firm options.

Is a firm mattress better for arthritis? ›

But be careful, because softer mattresses can aggravate arthritis in the spine and cause further pain if it is misaligned while you sleep. That's why you will want a medium firmness mattress that aligns the spine, while providing your back with enough support.

Do doctors recommend a firm mattress? ›

Orthopedists recommend buying a bed that's as firm as you're able to comfortably sleep on. That's because over time, your mattress will begin to sink and get softer with consistent use. You don't want to end up with a bed that's too soft to sleep on after just 1 or 2 years.

Do heavy people prefer firm mattress? ›

If you weigh more than 230 pounds, our hands-on testing has shown a medium firm (6 out of 10 on the firmness scale) or firm (7-8) mattress with minimal cushioning layers and a strong support system will probably feel most comfortable. That said, mattress preferences are subjective.

How long does it take to break in a firm mattress? ›

Most mattresses have a 30–90 day break-in period as your body adjusts to your new mattress. This feels especially long if you're struggling to sleep.

Do side sleepers need firm or soft pillow? ›

Side sleepers – Side sleepers need a firmer pillow with medium loft to support their cervical spine at rest. Pillows that are too thick or too thin will disrupt the natural curvature of their neck, and can lead to cramps and pain over time.

What are effects of sleeping on too hard of mattress? ›

If your mattress is too firm, excess pressure on areas like your shoulders, hips, knees, side, and back can lead to aches and pains, Dr. Aouad says. Again, mattress toppers might come to your rescue here, especially as they're often designed to offer the plush experience that a too-firm mattress can't.

Who is a firm mattress best for? ›

What's comfortable for one sleeper might be uncomfortable for another. For a heavier body weight sleeper, a firm mattress can be comfortable and supportive, giving them a great night's sleep. A firm bed might also be comfortable to anyone who grew up on that kind of mattress or sleep surface.

Is a firm mattress less likely to sag? ›

Firm mattresses and high-quality mattresses are less likely to succumb quickly because their materials are usually denser. This means that it will take longer for them to break apart and begin to sag.

Do side sleepers need firm or plush? ›

Anyone who sleeps on their side wants to find a mattress that will relieve pressure on their shoulders and hips. Soft mattresses usually feature superior pressure relief, so side sleepers should keep that in mind. People with pain issues.

How do you sleep on a firm mattress? ›

So long as you're sleeping on a supportive mattress, lying on your back helps keep the hips elevated and aligned with the spine. This reduces pressure on the spine and supports healthy posture.

What kind of mattress do 5 star hotels use? ›

Upscale hotels usually use luxury mattresses that are either hybrid , traditional innerspring , or memory foam mattresses. Hybrid mattresses are becoming particularly commonplace, as they strike the balance between supportive innerspring coals and body-cradling memory foam.

Do luxury hotels use firm mattresses? ›

Most top tier hotels invest in high quality, luxury mattress designs that are between medium to firm range, providing excellent support for the back and relieving vital pressure points. These special mattresses do not just look pretty, but they offer a range of comforts and luxuries that you will not find in your home.

How firm should a bed be for side sleepers? ›

“Most side sleepers will do best on a medium-firm mattress, as a general guideline, but that will vary based on their height and weight,” Dr. Breus explains. “If you're a 250- to 300-pound person, you're going to look for a different mattress than a 120- to 130-pound person.

Do elderly like firm beds? ›

Firm mattresses are supportive, so they're a great option for older adults with issues like arthritis.

Why do Firm beds hurt? ›

A too-hard mattress forces your spine into an unnatural position and creates pressure points. Your mattress should have some give to keep your spine neutral.

Should people with back problems have a firm mattress? ›

Doctors used to recommend that patients with chronic pain sleep on a firmer mattress. However, studies have shown that people with low back pain who slept on hard beds had the poorest sleep quality. Firm mattresses are not recommended if you have more severe back conditions including scoliosis and arthritis.

Can a firm mattress cause sciatica? ›

Can Sciatica Be Caused by a Bad Mattress? While it's unlikely that a mattress is the root cause of sciatic nerve pain, a bad mattress can certainly exacerbate the problem. An unsupportive sleeping surface often contributes to the discomfort and may even make your symptoms worse.

Can a too firm mattress cause neck pain? ›

If the mattress is too firm, it will push on your pressure points and cause misalignment. If the bed is too soft, it will allow your body to sink into the bed, causing bad posture while you sleep, which can also result in neck or back pain.

Do mattresses need breaking in? ›

A brand new mattress requires a break in period because the materials have not had time to soften and conform to your body. The old mattress you've been sleeping on for years has adjusted to your body size, shape, and sleeping positions.

Can you be too heavy for memory foam mattress? ›

Is Memory Foam Good for Overweight People? Memory foam can provide a good mattress for a large person or a person with heavier body mass. High density memory foam mattresses are well suited to heavier sleepers thanks to their pressure relieving properties that soften gently on contact with your body.

Can a memory foam mattress be too firm? ›

Most of the time, the reason it is too firm is due to its temperature sensitivity and heat reactive properties. In other words, the qualities that make memory foam the best type of mattress can also cause it to be firm.

Do box springs make a bed softer? ›

For the most part, box springs aren't really necessary. However, box springs are a good match for spring mattresses because the coils in a box spring will align with the coils in your innerspring mattress. This makes the mattress feel softer and can help isolate motion and enhance its support.

How long do mattresses take to soften? ›

All mattresses have a breaking-in period. It's usually 30 days, but can go up to 90. The exact amount of time it takes to break in and get used to a new mattress depends on the type of mattress and how different your new mattress is from your old one.

How long does a firm mattress last? ›

Most mattresses should last between 7 and 10 years. However, there are many variables that can influence mattress lifespan. The original build quality of the mattress, the materials used, and even the weight and sleeping styles of the sleepers can all influence a bed's longevity.

Do firm beds break in? ›

If your new mattress appeared to be too firm, don't fall into despair: You can break it in and make it comfortable for sleeping just in a couple of days. The first thing to do would be to air the mattress out thoroughly, especially if you bought a bed in a box.

How do I know if my new mattress is too firm? ›

If you're waking up with back, neck or shoulder pain, your mattress might be too firm. If you wake up in the morning — or during the night — feeling discomfort at certain pressure points, like your shoulders, hips, or knees, your mattress is probably too firm.

What happens if you sleep on a hard mattress? ›

If your mattress is too firm, you might experience a few different symptoms. An overly-firm mattress can put excess strain on your pressure points (shoulders, hips, and torso) or cause spinal misalignment. You might also find that your body stays tense as you sleep, resulting in muscle, neck, or back pain.

How firm should a mattress be for side sleepers? ›

Above all else, this is probably the most important question to answer when considering firmness. Strict side sleepers will typically want something within the 3-6/10 range while back sleepers will want to go with something in the 5-7/10 range.

Should everyone sleep on a firm mattress? ›

Those without back pain and who sleep on their back or stomach will likely favor a firmer mattress. Side sleepers or those with back issues may prefer something softer – although it ultimately comes down to personal preference.

Are firm beds healthier? ›

In the doctor's office, the answer to the question, “Is a firm mattress better for your back” used to always be yes. Doctors used to recommend that patients with chronic pain sleep on a firmer mattress. However, studies have shown that people with low back pain who slept on hard beds had the poorest sleep quality.

Can a firm mattress cause stiffness? ›

Most people who experience back pain and stiffness should look to their mattress — or more specifically — their mattress's firmness level. If your back pain comes when you first wake up, but you can stretch to get rid of it within 15–30 minutes, then that's a major sign that your mattress is doing more harm than good.

Why does a firm mattress hurt my back? ›

A too-hard mattress forces your spine into an unnatural position and creates pressure points. Your mattress should have some give to keep your spine neutral.

Is an extra firm mattress good for side sleepers? ›

However, while firm mattresses offer great support, they aren't the best when it comes to pressure relief. Side sleepers might feel some serious pressure on their shoulders and hips when they lie on a firm mattress. Also, while comfort is subjective, many people don't find firm mattresses to be as “comfortable.”


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