Is Your Mattress Too Soft? Here’s How to Find Out | The Bedding Planet (2022)

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The first thing we want our mattress to be is comfortable.

When we talk of comfort, we mean how firm or soft a mattress feels and how much support we get from it. A mattress can go from being too hard to too firm and vice versa.

In this post we will discuss the soft part of the firmness spectrum. A lot of people complain that their mattress is to soft. Sure it felt good when they first got it, but now the softness is ruining their sleep.

But, what are the signs of a mattress that is too soft? How can I tell? You can tell that your mattress is too soft if you wake up with lower back pain, overall muscle and joint stiffness, if you feel like you’re “bottoming out” when you lay down on your bed, and if you have a hard time getting out of your bed.

Read on to learn more about the signs of sleeping on a mattress that are too soft, and also how to make the mattress harder if needed.

5 Signs Telling You Your Mattress May be Too Soft

Is Your Mattress Too Soft? Here’s How to Find Out | The Bedding Planet (1)

Before we get to the signs, I must say that the following signs may also be because your mattress is too firm. You see, both a mattress that is too soft and one that is too firm will cause many of the same symptoms. If you think that your mattress is too firm, check out this post.

Sign 1: If you experience a stiff and sore lower back

A tight and aching lower back is the most prevalent symptom of an overly soft bed. This typically occurs first thing in the morning, after you’ve been in bed for a long time.

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While there are many reasons for a sore lower back, recurring morning aches and pains are usually a sign that your bed is the source of your discomfort.

Sign 2: If you find it hard to get comfortable

Tossing and turning are regular occurrences; stress, anxiety, and even bad health can all contribute to insomnia.

However, the length of time it takes to get comfortable at night is greatly influenced by your mattress. If you’re continually shifting your position, it could be an indication that your muscles aren’t able to rest completely. A symptom telling you that your mattress is too soft.

Sign 3: If you wake with neck or shoulder pain after sleeping on your stomach

Stomach sleepers should be extra careful with the firmness of their mattress. Sleeping on your stomach puts extra strain on your neck, jaw, and upper back due to the unnatural twisting required in that position.

If you still experience shoulder and neck pain even after sleeping on your stomach using the right type of pillow, that is a clear indication that your hips are sinking too deep into the mattress, and the solution is to get a firmer mattress.

Sign 4: If you find it hard to get in and out of bed

Are you finding it difficult to get in and out of your bed? If you find yourself “stuck” in your bed and find it hard getting up and off the mattress, your mattress may be too soft.

Though memory foam and other highly conformable materials might add to the problem, feeling “stuck” in a hybrid mattress or with latex or latex-alternative foam indicates that firmness is absent.

Sign 5: You feel like you’re “bottoming out” when you hop into bed

A good mattress should have three layers, including a top comfort layer, a middle transitional layer, and a bottom support layer.

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The comfort and transitional layers are made to adapt to your body’s curves and provide comfort. If you sink to the lowest support layers, your mattress is either excessively soft or old.

As you can see in the image below, the mattress is too soft making her hips sink down too much into the mattress. This is a common reason for back and hip pain.

Is Your Mattress Too Soft? Here’s How to Find Out | The Bedding Planet (2)

How to Fix a Mattress That is Too Soft

Step 1: Replace with a firmer mattress

Before looking into alternative possibilities, examine if your mattress comes with a sleep trial and, if so, whether it is still valid.

Many mattress sellers allow you to change from a softer to a firmer mattress if you find that you prefer a firmer choice after sleeping on it.

Step 2: Use a mattress topper

Is Your Mattress Too Soft? Here’s How to Find Out | The Bedding Planet (3)

Investing in a mattress topper is a great solution. A mattress topper sits on top of your mattress to offer extra comfort, support, and firmness.

Mattress toppers are found in a range of firmness levels and fillings, and they enhance the feel of your mattress.

Our firm mattress topper top pick:PlushBeds Natural Latex Topper – Extra Firm

Step 3: Put plywood between the bed frame and the mattress

Adding plywood or an MDF sheet below your mattress is one of the most popular ways to make a mattress firmer.

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Since the surface is solid and even, it will feel more supportive and help slow down the dipping and sagging of the mattress.

Step 4: Replace the divan base

Your mattress will not feel as firm on a sprung divan basis as on a solid platform divan base. This is because the base and your mattress move together while you sleep.

If you want to make your mattress firmer, switching to a platform divan base will do it immediately.

Step 5: Buy a new bed frame or slats

Is Your Mattress Too Soft? Here’s How to Find Out | The Bedding Planet (4)

Your bed frame’s slats may have become weaker, misplaced, or damaged. If that is the case, the uneven surface will impact the firmness of your mattress; replacing your bed frame or slats will solve this problem.

A new bed frame with new slats will provide more support. Go for bed frames with sturdy slats to make your mattress firmer. They create a more supportive feel.

Step 6: Rotate your mattress regularly

Turning your mattress is necessary to ensure that the fillings are well distributed. It helps keep your mattress firmer for longer and maintains it in good shape.

Check the care booklet to see if it has to be flipped or rotated and how often.

Step 7: Keep your bedding flat

Pulling your bedding tight to the corners of your mattress is an excellent technique to make your mattress feel firmer.

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Because the mattress is under more pressure, it feels more supportive. Pull the sheets tight across your mattress to ensure it remains firm every morning.

Changing your linens on a regular basis keeps your mattress smelling good.

Step 8: Air the mattress out

Moisture in the air might cause your mattress to become damp, hence softening it. This is particularly common if you live near the ocean or your bedroom becomes humid.

Remove the bedding from your mattress, open the windows, and let it air out for some time. This will assist in keeping the mattress free from becoming too soft.

Step 9: Alter your room temperature

Is Your Mattress Too Soft? Here’s How to Find Out | The Bedding Planet (5)

High temperatures can harm some mattress types, especially foam. Warmer temperatures make the fillings softer, so you won’t get enough support. Therefore, maintain a cold environment in your bedroom to keep your mattress firm.

Step 10: If all the options fail – buy a new mattress

However, if your mattress is old and worn down, these treatments will not improve long-term, making them ineffective. Investing in a new, firmer mattress would be a better alternative.

To guarantee that you get the finest night’s sleep possible, you should change your mattress every seven years. However, if the surface is bumpy and sinking in places, it may be time to consider acquiring a firmer mattress sooner rather than later.

Can a Mattress Topper Help Make The Bed Firmer?

As explained earlier, if you’re having trouble sleeping because of your soft mattress, using a mattress topper is a great way to make it firmer.

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Mattress toppers come in a variety of materials, including hard foam and memory foam. A memory foam mattress topper comes in a variety of hardnesses, allowing you to choose long-lasting firmness for your bed.

Again, we recommend thePlushBeds Natural Latex Topper.Make sure you choose the “extra firm” firmness if your current mattress is very soft.

FAQs

How do I know if a mattress is too soft? ›

6 Ways to Tell If Your Mattress Is Too Soft
  1. Persistent Morning Backaches. ...
  2. Sleeping Discomfort When a Mattress Is Too Soft. ...
  3. Unceasing Neck and Shoulder Pains in the Morning. ...
  4. Trouble Getting in and Out of Bed. ...
  5. You Can Feel the Bottom Layer of Your Mattress. ...
  6. Feeling Draggy During the Day. ...
  7. Find a Mattress That Isn't Too Soft.
9 May 2021

What happens if you sleep on a mattress too soft? ›

Back and stomach sleepers would benefit from a firmer mattress. A softer mattress can lead the hips and pelvis to sink in too much, which can result in poor alignment and ultimately, discomfort.

What can I put on my mattress to make it firmer? ›

One of the most popular suggestions to make your mattress firmer is to add plywood or an MDF sheet underneath your mattress. This is because the solid, even surface will make it feel more supportive. It will also prevent the mattress from dipping and sagging as quickly.

How do you make a soft mattress harder? ›

12 Easy Tips on How to Make Mattress Firmer
  1. Flip your mattress. ...
  2. Use a mattress topper. ...
  3. Check and replace damaged or worn-out layers. ...
  4. Check and replace box Spring or foundation. ...
  5. Add plywood support. ...
  6. Move the mattress to the floor. ...
  7. Adjust the room temperature. ...
  8. Air the Mattress out.
16 Aug 2022

Why soft beds cause back pain? ›

A mattress that's too soft will cause your back or hips to sag and your spine to fall out of alignment, which can lead to significant pain. A mattress that's too firm will put too much pressure on your joints, especially if you sleep on your side or your back.

Why are hotel beds too soft? ›

Hotels beds are incredibly comfortable thanks to their use of mattress toppers. These can significantly adjust mattress firmness and the quality of your rest. A mattress topper is simply an added layer of cushioning that rests on top of your old mattress and provides support and extra levels of comfort.

Will a mattress topper help a soft mattress? ›

While many sleepers use mattress toppers to soften a bed that is too firm, the right topper can also add firmness to a mattress that's too soft. A high-quality topper can significantly improve how your mattress feels and help you sleep more soundly.

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.

Can a too soft mattress cause sciatica? ›

Some people with sciatica notice their symptoms get worse when they're in bed. Lying down can increase pressure on your irritated nerve, especially if you sleep on a soft mattress that causes you to bend your spine while sleeping.

Can a soft mattress cause pain? ›

Soft mattresses, on the other hand, can also be problematic. While a soft mattress that conforms to your body's natural curves may help the joints align favorably, you might also sink in so deeply that your joints twist and become painful during the night.

Does a box spring make a mattress softer? ›

If you have a regular mattress, using a box spring support may help the mattress feel softer. If you have a memory foam mattress, check with the manufacturer before placing it on a box spring since many say that a box spring is not a good support for a memory foam mattress.

Does a mattress topper make a difference? ›

A mattress topper can make a soft mattress firmer or firm mattress softer. While feather and wool mattress toppers add extra softness to firm beds, memory and latex foam toppers provide added support to plush beds. A mattress topper makes it possible to give your bed the exact firmness you need for a comfortable sleep.

Why are hotel mattresses so hard? ›

Reasons that a hotel bed may be too firm include that hotels buy firm mattresses so that they last longer, some hotels use firmer futons which are influenced by Asian culture, and the breathability of the mattress.

What can I put on top of my mattress to make it more comfortable? ›

The most common and often most effective way to transform an uncomfortable mattress is using a mattress topper. This accessory is a thick (usually 2 to 4 inches) layer of foam or feathers that is placed on top of the mattress to change the feel and support of the bed.

Do mattresses get harder 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.

Are soft beds good for your back? ›

Advantages Of A Soft Mattress

A softer mattress is usually recommended for those who are experiencing back pain on a standard mattress, or those who have pre-existing back problems. They're also recommended for lighter individuals as a harder mattress can end up not compressing for them at all.

Why does my back crack so much when I wake up? ›

The sound of your back cracking or popping may be due to air bubbles in the synovial fluid surrounding and lubricating your joints. Putting pressure on this fluid when you stretch or twist your spine causes these gases to be released.

How do you sleep on a soft mattress? ›

How to deal with a too-soft or too-firm mattress
  1. If your mattress is too soft, try slipping some plywood boards between the mattress and the box spring or the bed frame. ...
  2. Try a mattress pad or mattress topper. ...
  3. Consider room temperature. ...
  4. If your mattress is too soft and it's two-sided, try flipping it.
8 Nov 2021

What kind of mattresses 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.

What firmness of mattress do most hotels use? ›

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.

What type of mattress do most hotels use? ›

Serta has been one of the most popular hotel mattress brands for years. These beds are the most widely used by many different hotels. The Serta Perfect Sleeper Hotel Collection is also offered for sale to anyone in most retail stores. The exact same mattresses you sleep on in many hotels can be bought for your home.

How do you fix a memory foam mattress that is too soft? ›

Tips for Making Your Memory Foam Mattress Firmer
  1. Flip your bed.
  2. Invest in a mattress topper.
  3. Replace the box spring or platform.
  4. Add extra support.
  5. Watch your thermostat.
  6. Beware of moisture.
  7. Move your mattress.
18 May 2021

Do firm beds last longer? ›

Do firm mattresses last longer? Firmness doesn't determine the lifespan of your mattress. Instead, your mattress's lifespan is based on the quality of materials. Most mattresses last between 7 to 10 years, regardless of their firmness.

Why is my memory foam mattress so uncomfortable? ›

A memory foam mattress can hurt your back if the mattress is too soft, too firm, too thin, lacks support, is sagging, is placed on the wrong frame, hasn't had enough time to adjust to your physical characteristics; or simply isn't a good fit for your body weight, body type, or dominant sleeping position.

Do you need a softer mattress as you get older? ›

No, you don't need a softer mattress as you get older. While a softer mattress is recommended for people who sleep on their stomach or side, older people actually need a firmer mattress.

Do side sleepers need firm or soft pillow? ›

Side sleepers should choose a thick, firm pillow compared to stomach sleepers who need a thinner one. The best pillow will keep your head and neck aligned when lying down. Any fill from down to foam can work for side sleepers as long as the pillow is thick enough to support your neck.

How do I know what firmness of mattress I need? ›

In general, side sleepers should look for Medium Soft to Medium Firm mattresses that can cushion their impact points. Back and stomach sleepers should look for Medium Firm to Firm beds that have only light conforming.

What type of mattress is best for side sleepers with back pain? ›

According to the manufacturer's website, foam mattresses are suitable for side sleepers as they support the pressure points while contouring the body. Additionally, 2021 research states that medium-firm mattresses are best for those with back pain.

What type of mattress is best for back pain? ›

Memory foam and latex mattresses are often considered the best options for back pain, as they conform to your body, cradling pressure points while supporting your spine and keeping it aligned.

Why does my middle back hurt when I wake up? ›

Having a poor sleeping posture is perhaps the most common and well-established cause of waking up with severe back pain. This happens so because repeated pressure is exerted to the vertebral column, especially if you have a tendency of sleeping on your side.

Why does my back hurt in bed in the morning? ›

Morning back pain is often attributed to the morning being the most vulnerable time for your spine. This vulnerability can be due to what you do before bed or how you sleep, but your back pain might also be a sign of an underlying issue with your nervous system.

Can a soft mattress cause neck pain? ›

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.

What mattress does not need a boxspring? ›

What is a Platform Bed? Platform beds don't look much different from a traditional bed. However, you don't have to use a box spring as you might with other beds. Instead, metal or wood slats form the base that holds the mattress.

Should I replace my 20 year old mattress? ›

Typically, manufacturers recommend replacing your mattress every eight years. But according to Consumer Reports, a mattress that's well cared for could easily last a decade. (Unless you're over 40. By that age, your body tolerates less pressure, which means you might need a new mattress after five to seven years.)

Will a Bunkie board make my mattress firmer? ›

A bunky board - a foam-covered, thin support typically used for bunk beds and platform beds - works much like plywood to make a mattress feel firmer.

Is a 4 inch mattress topper too much? ›

A 4-inch bed topper will be the best choice for those who crave a noticeably higher level of support while they sleep. Mattress toppers that are 4 inches thick are also great for side sleepers and people who tend to weigh more since they provide more comfort for your pressure points to help get that good night's sleep.

Do I need a mattress pad if I have a mattress topper? ›

Can you use a mattress pad and mattress topper together? While mattress toppers can help prevent wear and tear on your mattress, they're still susceptible to spills and stains. Using a mattress pad that covers both your mattress and topper can help extend the life of both products.

Do you put a fitted sheet over a mattress protector? ›

So do you still need a fitted sheet if you have a mattress protector? In a word, yes. Most of the best mattress protectors—even the softest, most expensive ones—use synthetic materials in order to create an effective barrier over the mattress.

Can a mattress that's too soft cause back pain? ›

Is a soft mattress bad for your back? It is if it's so soft that it doesn't support your spine. If you sink into the mattress so that your hips are lower than your shoulders, your mattress may be too soft and could be contributing to back pain. Keep in mind that weight is a factor when it comes to mattress firmness.

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.

Can a soft mattress cause pain? ›

Soft mattresses, on the other hand, can also be problematic. While a soft mattress that conforms to your body's natural curves may help the joints align favorably, you might also sink in so deeply that your joints twist and become painful during the night.

Can a too soft mattress cause neck pain? ›

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.

Why does my back crack so much when I wake up? ›

The sound of your back cracking or popping may be due to air bubbles in the synovial fluid surrounding and lubricating your joints. Putting pressure on this fluid when you stretch or twist your spine causes these gases to be released.

Can a too soft mattress cause sciatica? ›

Some people with sciatica notice their symptoms get worse when they're in bed. Lying down can increase pressure on your irritated nerve, especially if you sleep on a soft mattress that causes you to bend your spine while sleeping.

Why does my back ache when I wake up? ›

Back pain is common. It's also often felt first thing in the morning, particularly upon moving from lying down to standing. This pain is usually the result of stiffness from long periods of rest or decreased blood flow from sleeping. After moving around, symptoms usually subside.

Do you need a softer mattress as you get older? ›

No, you don't need a softer mattress as you get older. While a softer mattress is recommended for people who sleep on their stomach or side, older people actually need a firmer mattress.

Why do Chinese sleep on hard beds? ›

Firm Beds. Most people in China prefer to sleep on a firm mattress, claiming it is better for their backs. They believe the back remains properly aligned, with no sinkage throughout the night, if it is well supported.

Do side sleepers need firm or soft pillow? ›

Side sleepers should choose a thick, firm pillow compared to stomach sleepers who need a thinner one. The best pillow will keep your head and neck aligned when lying down. Any fill from down to foam can work for side sleepers as long as the pillow is thick enough to support your neck.

Is a hard mattress better for your back? ›

If you carry weight, sleep on your back, or sleep on your stomach, a firm mattress may help alleviate lower back pain by distributing your body weight more evenly across the mattress. This way, your back isn't curving as much while you sleep.

How often should you change your mattress? ›

Therefore, it's important to invest in the best mattress possible, and replace it according to expert guidelines. But when should you replace your mattress? Under normal conditions, mattresses should be replaced every 6 to 8 years. Of course, this is a general guideline and not a one-size-fits-all solution.

Why does my bed make my middle back hurt? ›

Your mattress and back pain

A mattress that is too hard can put too much pressure on the areas where you feel discomfort, whereas a mattress that is too soft will not provide support for the areas that need it, allowing the spine to spend long periods in poor and unhealthy positions.

Can soft mattress cause headaches? ›

A bed that's too mushy, too rigid, or not supportive enough can seriously hamper the quality of your sleep, leading to extra tension, stress and headache frequency.

Should shoulders be on pillow when sleeping? ›

Your shoulders should not be on the pillow. Not So Great: On your side, with your legs curled up towards the chest. This does not provide spine alignment for the shoulders and neck. It also does not evenly distribute weight throughout your body and can lead you to waking up in the morning with back pain.

Can a too soft mattress cause shoulder pain? ›

The shoulder zone must offer good give and pressure relief, but if at the same time, the whole mattress is too soft, this can also contribute to shoulder pain.

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