Updated May 30, 2020If you struggle with sleep, the problem could be your mattress. Your bed may not be giving you the right level of comfort and support. This is common in too-soft or too-firm mattresses. Instead of spending the money to replace a still-good mattress, there are other techniques you can implement to create a more comfortable bed.Problems with a Too-Soft or Too-Firm MattressDepending on your body weight and preferred sleeping position, you may feel a mattress is too soft or too firm. A too-soft mattress won’t give you the support you need for healthy spinal alignment. A too-firm bed lacks pressure relief and may worsen pressure-build up areas, like the shoulders and hips. The best mattress should provide you with a balance between comfort and support.The right firmness level is based on your body weight and sleeping position. Otherwise, if you choose just any mattress based on what’s popular, you could struggle with sleep and experience more aches and pains.Body WeightThe more you weigh, the more support you need. A firmer surface can better support your weight without sagging. In contrast, if you weigh less than 130 pounds, a softer mattress is a better option. A softer surface allows your body to sink into the bed, conforming around you and relieving pressure points.Sleeping PositionsSide sleepers need a medium to soft mattress to get that extra cushioning in their shoulders and hips. When sleeping on your side, all your weight is concentrated on that side, creating pressure build-up. A softer bed cushions your shoulders and hips to reduce pressure.Stomach sleepers are the opposite. Lying on the stomach places intense pressure on the spine due to gravity. This pressure could lead to back pain. If you feel the most comfortable sleeping on your stomach, you need a medium to firm mattress. The firmer surface keeps your body resting on top without sinking too deeply into your bed.Combination sleepers find the best comfort resting on a medium to medium-firm mattress. Combinations sleepers toss and turn, switching between two to three sleeping positions each night. A medium surface encourages spinal alignment, no matter which sleeping position you’re currently resting in.Back sleepers feel most comfortable on a medium to firm bed. This firmness cradles your hips and supports your lower back. Also, sleeping on your back puts your body in a neutral position—you may experience less pressure than other sleeping positions.How to Make Your Mattress FirmerIf you feel stuck in your mattress or don’t get enough support at night, your mattress may be too soft. Adding some type of firmness to a soft mattress may improve your sleep quality. A firmer surface may also reduce back pain.Check the FoundationThe problem may not be your mattress; it could be your foundation. If your foundation is not providing firm support, it may cause your bed to sag. Examples include box springs with damaged coils and wood or metal slats more than 3 inches apart.You may also have the wrong foundation for your mattress. Box springs are best for innerspring mattresses—coils in a box spring act as shock absorbers. On the other hand, latex, hybrid, and memory foam mattresses need a solid or slatted foundation to provide even support.A more cost-effective solution to replacing your mattress foundation is adding a plywood piece between your bed and the current foundation. The solid plywood provides firmer support to the mattress without sagging.Rotate Your MattressMost modern mattress models have a single construction build. They don’t need to be flipped, but they do require regular rotation. Rotating your mattress 180 degrees every three months ensures even wear and tear. Rotation may also prevent a visible sag from the area of the bed you sleep on the most.Some mattress models are designed to be flipped, including dual-sided models and traditional innerspring mattresses without pillow tops. Flipping the mattress gives you a firmer feel, or a side not yet worn out from regular use.Add a Mattress TopperMany mattress toppers are made to provide more cushion, but some models add more firmness to a sleep surface, like latex mattress toppers. Latex foam is firmer than memory foam and has a responsive bounce. You won’t sink as deeply and might find it easier to switch sleeping positions.A mattress topper may be a temporary solution to a sagging mattress, but if you start experiencing pain when you wake up that fades during the day, it might be time for a new bed.Replace the LayersSome mattress models contain interchangeable layers. The layers aren’t glued together and can be rearranged to alter the firmness level. If you’re still within your sleep trial or warranty, some mattress companies will send you extra layers or provide a service where the company picks up your mattress and alters the firmness for a small fee.How to Make Your Mattress SofterYou may feel a firmer mattress feels too hard and toss and turn at night because of it. To fix this, there are a few simple methods you can do now to improve your sleep. These methods can also save you from having to buy a new mattress.Break it InOften a new bed will feel firmer than the showroom model you tried out. This is normal. Once you receive your new mattress, give it time to break in. Most mattress manufacturers give you a sleep trial, lasting between 90 to 120 nights.It may take up to 30 days for your body to adjust to a new sleep surface. Sleep trials give you extra time to adjust. Plus, if the mattress feels too hard, a sleep trial allows you to exchange the bed for a softer model.Other mattress manufacturers may not offer a sleep trial, but instead, provide a 30-day return policy. Return policies are not as good as sleep trials, but they give you time to adjust to a new bed.Add a Mattress TopperAdding a mattress topper is an excellent way to soften a hard mattress. Mattress toppers give your body more cushion that your current bed lacks. For example, many innerspring models have thin comfort layers that aren’t enough to relieve pressure points.Adding a mattress topper increases pressure relief in heavier sections of your body, like your shoulders and hips. Adding a down alternative or memory foam mattress topper is one of the best ways to soften a too-firm mattress.Rotate Your MattressLike with a too-soft mattress, rotating a too-firm mattress evens out wear and tear. The bed is less likely to sag in certain areas and may ensure a long lifespan. For best practices, rotate your mattress every three months.If you have a two-sided mattress with different firmness levels, simply flip your bed to the softer side.Warm it UpFor those with a bed containing heat-sensitive materials, like memory foam, raising the thermostat’s temperature can soften your mattress. Memory foam softens under heat and pressure but bounces back to its original shape at room temperature. A cooler bedroom could be the reason behind a too-firm bed.Another method is adding a gently warmed mattress pad. Many models are electronic with adjustable heat settings. Using a mattress pad on low heat softens memory foam.Consider a Split King MattressFor couples with different sleep preferences, a split king mattress is a perfect solution. Split king beds are two twin XL mattresses placed side by side. Each person can choose their mattress with customized comfort and support without having to compromise.To enhance comfort, you may want to think about purchasing an adjustable base. An adjustable base allows you and your sleep partner to elevate your side of the bed without disturbing each other. Adjustable beds are more expensive than other mattress foundations, but you may find it’s worth it.FAQsHow do you fix a mattress that is too soft?A couple of ways to fix a mattress that is too soft is to check the foundation and add a mattress topper. Your current foundation may not be the right one for your bed, or it could be worn out. For instance, memory foam, hybrid, and latex mattresses get better support from a solid or slatted surface. Adding a piece of plywood between your bed and the foundation can give you more support.How can I make my mattress firmer on one side?Couples may have differing sleep preferences—one person prefers a firmer surface, while the other person likes a softer mattress. An excellent solution is to add a mattress topper. Mattress toppers add softness or firmness to a surface. Placing a mattress topper on your side of the bed may give you the extra cushion or support.Can you flip a pillow top mattress to make it firmer?You should never flip a pillow top mattress. Pillow top mattresses have a one-sided build, meaning they’re not intended to be flipped. They can be rotated to even out wear and tear.Flipping a pillow top mattress could damage the comfort layers—instead of resting on top, the comfort layers are not on the bottom with the full weight of the bed and you pressing down. Comfort layers are made to cushion and relieve pressure points, not support.Is it better to sleep on a firm or soft mattress?The firmness level depends on several factors. Sleeping on a firmer surface is best for plus-size sleepers, back sleepers, and stomach sleepers. They need a firmer surface to stay rested on top of the bed without deep sinkage.Side sleepers and lightweight sleepers rest better on a softer mattress since a soft surface better cushions the body and relieve pressure build-up areas, like the shoulders and hips.How do you fix a sagging mattress?There isn’t a way to fix a sagging mattress, but adding a mattress topper can provide a temporary solution. Mattress toppers made of latex boost your bed’s support compared to a memory foam mattress topper. Latex is a firmer material and has a responsive bounce, so you won’t have to worry about feeling stuck inside your mattress.ConclusionA too-soft or too-firm mattress could be the reason why you struggle with sleep. A bed’s firmness should be based on your body weight and sleeping position, not what’s popular. Both weight and sleeping position determines how a bed’s surface feels. These factors can help you find the right balance between comfort and support for a good night’s rest.This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional. Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Name Email I agree to the Terms and Conditions of this website.