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Tips on How to Make Your Mattress Firmer

by Olly Mason

Dear Goldilocks,

You might have had a bad response to a hard mattress that one time in the woods, but for some, a firm surface is a dream come true—literally. In fact, a firm mattress provides the ideal comfort level for individuals who sleep on their back or on their stomach (also known as the prone position).

For these sleepers, a mattress too soft sinks at the torso where the body is the heaviest. When this happens, the spine bends out of alignment, creating unnatural flexion and pressure points along the weakest points on the body.

Instead of ditching your current sleep situation, learn how to make a mattress firmer and save yourself from a complete replacement. The tips to how are included in this guide, so follow along to enjoy better sleep as early as tonight.

Related: 8 Best Firm Mattresses

At a Glance:

Best Ways to Make a Mattress Firmer

Benefits of Making a Mattress Firmer

Ideal Mattress Firmness by Sleep Position

Why Trust Us?

Best Ways to Make a Mattress Firmer

Rejoice! Relief is on the way with this easy guide on how to firm up a mattress straight from our experts.

Start with a Box Spring…

Man and woman moving a mattress box spring

Or whichever foundation you currently use with your mattress. Box springs—which are recommended for innerspring and pocket coil mattresses—are far from eternal. Depending on quality, an average box spring lasts 5–10 years, but heavy use can cause damage to the coils and frame, resulting in less support for your mattress and a decrease in firmness.

For some users, the profile of a standard box spring can make it difficult to get in and out of bed. To reduce damage by improperly using your mattress, consider low-profile or an extra-low profile mattress foundation.

Learn More: Do You Need a Box Spring?

Additional Reinforcements

Take note of platform foundations and their solid bases that deliver superior support. The same effect can be replicated with a little DIY using a piece of plywood fitted between a mattress and its foundation. It’s a relatively inexpensive solution for equalizing firmness across your mattress’s surface and to boost firmness.

Consider Room Temperature

Bear with us here—there’s logic behind this suggestion. Just remember mattresses “breathe,” so when a room is too cold or too warm, its materials can expand or contract. In general, this is less of a concern for coil mattresses, but for memory foam mattresses and hybrid beds, a simple change can make a difference.

Regular Rotations

Young couple smiling while rotating a mattress

Finding your groove during sleep is one of the greatest satisfactions, but if you’re only using one specific area on your mattress, you’re missing out on a lot of real estate for comfort. Regardless of the mattress firmness you sleep on, a rotation every three to six months prevents you from overusing a single space, and in turn, decreasing its firmness.

Note: Rotation is not the same as flipping. Simply swapping where you lay your head with where you place your feet is sufficient to create an even sleeping field.

Mattress Topper

Person lifting an orthopedic mattress topper

For even more flexibility for your bedtime routine, consider adding a firm mattress pad to your sleep space. Mattress toppers are especially convenient because they can easily be taken off and replaced, are simple to maintain, and they come in a variety of comfort levels for every type of sleeper—even those who prefer a softer surface.

Benefits of Making a Mattress Firmer

Now that you know how to make a bed firmer, discover why a sturdy mattress can be beneficial to your health.

Spinal Alignment

If you sleep in the fetal position, contoured support is crucial for healthy spine posture, but when it comes to back and stomach sleep positions, the opposite is true. Proper spinal alignment is parallel with the hips, shoulders, and neck, but excessive sinking causes that orientation to fall out of place. A firm mattress resists sagging, helping to keep the body in a neutral and healthy position that is more comfortable and better for you.

Better Sleep

Your bones are better at carrying the weight of your body than your muscles. It’s pure logic, but many sleepers fail to realize the body’s inner infrastructure is best supported on a firm surface. Doing so allows your body to work naturally to suspend its own weight, taking the load off sensitive areas where pressure points commonly develop, such as the shoulders, hips, and lumbar.

Increase Mattress Longevity

Sturdy mattresses are made with durable materials that are more resistant to use, wear, and tear. Whereas plush mattresses sag extensively under the pressure of too much weight, firm mattresses are perfectly suitable for couples or sleepers larger in stature. Adding or improving your bed’s resiliency is a surefire way to ensure it stays out of the landfill.

Ideal Mattress Firmness by Sleep Position

There’s no blueprint to the science of sleep, but generally, sleepers find the most success at night when they identify the right kind of comfort suited for each sleep position. Here’s a brief guideline:

Stomach Sleepers

The number one thing stomach sleepers should avoid is a mattress with too much give. A big part of determining how firm a mattress should be comes down to a sleeper’s size, but in general, stomach sleepers are recommended innerspring, pocketed coil, and hybrid mattresses. A good rule of thumb is to test-try medium mattresses and gauge your firmness needs from there.

Side Sleepers

On the other hand, side sleepers get the best out of plush mattresses. Memory foam is best at keeping the body gently cradled with the hips and spine aligned, along with a soft feel that doesn’t push on pressure points.

Learn More: Which Sleep Position is Best for You?

Back Sleepers

Keep your back completely flat and you’ll be on your way to deep REMs in no time. How? Mattresses ranging from firm to extra-firm should do the trick. You’ll also want to make sure there’s plenty of support (a higher support number is better), which can conveniently be found on virtually any type of mattress.

Why Trust Us?

Behind every one of our satisfied customers, there’s a team of dedicated sleep experts who understand the science of sleep on a deeper level. While other chains can recommend a mattress, we guarantee you’ll enjoy rejuvenating sleep, thanks to our exclusive BedFIT technology that performs an astounding 11,000 calculations across 18 essential body measurements to ensure full-body relaxation night after night.     

In other words, we don’t doze when it comes to the quality of your sleep. With over 13 million sleep profiles built, the Mattress Land experience is unlike any other on the market, with a proven record of success that can only be found at our stores.     

Learn More: BedFIT 101   

Shop Sleep Solutions at Mattress Land

For a better you, start with a better mattress. At Mattress Land, we carry a large stock of quality mattresses in every type on the market, plus the bed sizes and comfort levels you’re looking for. And with our BedFIT experience, our sleep specialists can pair you with the right kind of support you need to help put an end to sleep discomfort.    

Shop today online, by phone at (877)-477-5337, or at one of our mattress showrooms located in California, Nevada, Idaho, and Washington.