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Mattress Too Firm? Here are 5 Ways to Make Your Mattress Feel Softer

Our tips for making a firm mattress feel softer

Are you sleeping on a mattress that’s too hard for you? Mattresses that are too firm can’t accommodate for the natural curvature in your body, resulting in a lack of support and pressure relief. If you’re tired and have muscle tension the next morning, the firmness of your mattress could be the culprit.

The good news is, you don’t need to buy a new mattress. You can spend less than the cost of a mattress to get a softer feel out of the one you have. Plus, you can “break in” your too-firm mattress if it’s new or rotate it regularly as it gets older. If you’re looking into buying a new mattress, this may be a more affordable option to make your mattress last longer and fit your comfort needs

How to tell if your mattress is too firm


  1. Waking up with pain or stiffness: If you consistently wake up with pain in your neck, shoulders, back, or hips, your mattress might be too firm. Proper mattress firmness should provide adequate support while still contouring to your body’s natural curves.

  2. Restless sleep: If you find yourself tossing and turning throughout the night, trying to find a comfortable position, your mattress may be too firm, causing discomfort and preventing you from getting deep, restorative sleep.

  3. Pressure points: If you experience numbness, tingling, or aching in certain areas of your body, such as your hips or shoulders, this may indicate that your mattress is not providing enough cushioning, leading to the development of pressure points.

  4. Sleeping on your stomach or side feels uncomfortable: A mattress that is too firm can make it difficult for side and stomach sleepers to find a comfortable position, as it may not contour to the body’s curves adequately, causing misalignment and pressure point developmen

5 Ways to Make Your Mattress Softer

1. Add a Softening Mattress Topper

Certain mattress toppers are designed for making your bed softer. Toppers are essentially thick, responsive, mattress-sized pieces of foam you roll out and lay on the top of your mattress. The proper mattress topper is able to provide a whole new feel to an overly firm mattress. It’s typically 2 or 3 inches in height, and you can choose from different levels of softness. There are two main types of mattress toppers to choose from.

Memory Foam Mattress Toppers: Memory foam mattress toppers provide a significant level of softness, comfort and pressure relief while still supporting your body. Memory foam is an elastic-like foam that conforms to the curves of your body. Memory foam was initially invented by NASA and has quickly become one of the most popular sleep materials in the industry. 

Best Memory Foam Topper for Changing the Feel of Your Mattress
The Puffy “Softening OR Firming” Mattress Topper
From $179

The Puffy mattress topper comes in 2 different options (firm or soft). The soft option is made specifically for softening up a firm mattress and is great for customers looking to get a little more comfort out of a mattress that may be too firm for their liking. This topper also comes standard with a built in elastic cover to help hold it in place on your mattress. 

Latex Mattress Toppers: Latex foam is more springy and responsive than memory foam. If you want a soft feel without the sinking effect, a latex topper might be for you. Latex is an all natural product that is poured and molded out of the rubber tree. Latex is also great if you have allergies or want a completely chemical free sleep environment. Latex comes in a variety of firmnesses and if you are looking to soften your sleeping surface, one of the softer options will be a great option for you. 

Best Latex Topper for Changing the Feel of Your Mattress
100% Natural Latex “Soft or Firm” Topper by Plushbeds
From $230

The latex mattress topper by Plushbeds is a great for anyone looking for a natural sleep surface or who prefers the feel of latex over memory foam. This topper comes with a variety of firmnesses from soft to extra-firm. We recommend choosing 3″ thickness and either a soft or med-soft in order to soften your firm mattress. Plushbeds is known throughout the industry for their quality natural sleep products and is a trusted source. 


2. Add a Mattress Pad

Mattress pads are a thin quilted layer of cotton or wool padding that add less support than a mattress topper, but do add cushioning in order to add comfort and make a mattress feel softer. They also smooth out any crevices in your mattress for a flatter feel. Some mattress pads include temperature regulating technology, such as heating or a cooling gel to dispel body heat. If you only need a slightly softer feel, a mattress pad might be the way to go.

Best Mattress Pad
Handmade Natural Wool Pad by Plushbeds
From $549

Enjoy the plush piloow comfort of a wool topper. Add comfort to soften any mattress.

This topper is handmade in the USA, with the finest quality, ethically sourced, 100% natural wool and cotton. It is hypoallergenic, and 100% chemical and cruelty-free. 

Each natural wool topper is hand tufted and carefully stitched, for superior comfort and lasting durability. This craftsmanship results in a luxurious sleep experience, with exceptional comfort every night.

3. Add a padded mattress protector

mattress protector is a thin but waterproof covering made to protect your mattress from spills and dirt. Many mattress protectors contain a thin fabric or padding layer that helps make your bed softer. Adding one to your mattress or on top of a mattress pad can help add softness.

Best Padded Mattress Protector
Luxury Cooling Mattress Protector by Brooklyn Bedding
From $99

This mattress pad is made with conductive material to draw heat out and away from your body, creating a cooler sleep environment. It also is made with a luxurious, silky smooth fabric that adds comfort to your mattress and elevates your overall sleep experience while protecting the life of your bed. Not only is it waterproof but its hypoallergenic design protects also against bacteria, bed bugs and dust mites. The protector covers your mattress like a fitted sheet for easy on and off removal. Its also designed to be washable for easier care, simply toss it in the wash with warm water, no bleach, then tumble dry on low.

4. Rotate/Flip Your Mattress


If you have an older mattress, flipping it over may reveal a flatter side that feels softer. If your mattress feels lumpy, try turning it over horizontally and rotating it around so that you’re sleeping on the opposite side as before. You can repeat this every six months to continually get the best shape and cushiony feel from your mattress. 

5. Break it in. Step on it.


If your mattress is brand new, it can sometimes feel extra firm until it has been broken in. You can speed up the break-in process by jumping on it with your shoes off and walking on it to. Sleeping on it every night will soften the bed slowly over time, but walking around on it for just five minutes a day in the first week will soften it up quickly. 

What is causing my mattress to feel hard?

A firm mattress is generally caused by denser foams and a firmer support foam or innerspring unit. Firmer mattresses generally have less comfort layers on top of their support system or base foam, which makes them feel firmer. By simply adding additional comfort layers on top of your mattress you can achieve a softer feel, while still benefitting from the support system of your mattress. 

Is a softer mattress or firmer mattress better?

When it comes to firmness of your mattress the level all depends on your personal body type and comfort preferences. While a firmer mattress may be better for someone who has back pain, that needs additional support, a softer mattress may be better for someone who sleeps on their side or who requires more pressure relief benefits. It is important not to confuse a soft mattress with a saggy mattress. A softer mattress means your mattress still has a solid supportive base and just utilizes additional comfort layers, while a saggy mattress means your mattress support system has broken down and you will need to purchase a new mattress. 

Is a softer mattress bad for my back?

If you have a back generally it is recommended that a firmer mattress is better due to the increased support and spinal alignment. The most important thing is to make sure you have a quality mattress that is supportive. A softer mattress that is supportive will still be a quality sleeping surface for your back. You can check out our post for our favorite mattress toppers for back pain if you are interested in which we would recommend. 

Can I Combine These Softening Tips ?

The more of these techniques you use, the softer your mattress will be. Whether you need to add onto your mattress or simply break it in, you can always continue adjusting the softness by trying any of the techniques above. Once you’ve improved the softness of your bed’s feel, you can enjoy better sleep with adequate support. 

Need to buy a new mattress? What should you do with your old mattress?

When you purchase a mattress online you are left to find a way to get rid of your old one. Luckily “A Bedder World” has mattress disposal services throughout the country. We work with mattress recycling centers to make sure your old mattress gets disposed of in the most eco-friendly manner possible. To date we have recycled over 500K mattresses. Book a pick up here. Or try recycling it yourself!

Problems From a Too Firm Mattress


  1. Poor spinal alignment: A too firm mattress can cause your spine to become misaligned, leading to back pain and discomfort.

  2. Pressure point development: When a mattress is too firm, it can create pressure points on your body, leading to pain, discomfort, and even reduced circulation.

  3. Sleep disturbances: Discomfort from a too firm mattress can make it challenging to fall asleep and stay asleep, resulting in sleep disturbances and reduced sleep quality.

  4. Aggravation of existing health conditions: A mattress that is too firm can exacerbate existing health issues, such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, or chronic pain.