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How to Make a Soft Mattress Firmer

July 25, 2013
How ToIn the Bedroom

Sometimes we make the mistake of buying a mattress that is a bit too soft other times our bed begins to lose much needed support either way giving lift to the body’s structure and maintaining comfort is critical to a great night of sleep. We are often asked how to make a soft mattress firmer and today we share a handful of helpful tips.

While you may have initially selected a firmer mattress because it is what you preferred, today your body is telling you that this bed is sagging and you feel like you were beaten by the mattress all night long. It is a fact that a our body’s support and comfort needs change over time and just like your body over time the mattress  can change too. Whether the change is taking place due to personal taste, changes to the mattress due to wear, or even medical issues changes can be made without having to buy a new mattress.

  1. Room Temperature affects Mattress Feel: Many of today’s mattresses use building materials that are affected by room temperature. Memory foam is the best example of this. Foam’s that respond to cool or warm temperatures can become firmer or softer respectfully.
  2. Mattress Pads can tweak the feel of a mattress: There are many different kinds of pads and each can uniquely change the feel of your bed. The filling can be polyester, down, feather, wool, cotton, and many other natural and synthetic materials. The quilting or material used to fill the mattress can be loose and fluffy or tight and compact which can alter either slightly or dramatically the way you feel and sleep in you mattress and can be purchased reasonably at your local department store or on line.
  3. Doctors say put a piece of plywood under your mattress: Many physicians agree that putting a sheet of plywood underneath the mattress. This extra firm surface can help a sagging worn mattress when a worn out boxspring just isn’t enough to support it. Newer mattress sets it is recommended that you contact the retailer to avoid the possibly of voiding your mattress warranty. Replace the boxspring or foundation: Insufficient base support is often a key to a mattress losing firmness. There is a difference between boxspring and foundations be sure to understand the difference. Determine which your mattress needs and replace it. Mattresses that are still under warranty it is best to contact the dealer or manufacturer of the mattress.
  4. Adding center support to your steel bed frame: Many times we go out on service calls only to find that the steel bed frame does not have support bars or feet in the middle, a must to comply with any mattress still under warranty. In the case of king and queen beds another must because the distance that makes up the width is 60-76 inches, a distance far too great to leave unsupported. Center Supports Bars span the width and support the bed laterally while vertical feet support the steel bars up and down.
  5. Place the mattress on the floor: If cost of a frame or boxspring is too expensive a cheap alternative can be to place the mattress on the floor and eliminate the boxspring. You can also build an inexpensive wood pedestal and platform similar to that of a hardside waterbed pedestal.
  6. Flip the mattress over: If the mattress is 2 sided turning the mattress over can regularly can promote more even wear and temporary needed firmness.
  7. Mattress toppers alter mattress firmness: Mattress toppers are a great way to change the feel of soft bed and make it firmer. Toppers can be purchased most anywhere big box stores, online, and department stores etc. They come in a variety of firmness’s and are built from things like latex rubber, wool, memory foam, polyurethane foam, wool and much more. Thickness is key so look for companies that will allow exchanges or returns in case the feel isn’t right. Thinner models will have less effect on firmness than thicker mattress toppers.


Please understand these are not all cure-alls and are really more stop gap measures or quick fixes with little or no budget in mind. Sometimes the best choice is to simply replace the old soft mattress with a new firm mattress and boxspring.