How to Break in a New Mattress

Last Updated On January 30th, 2024
How to Break in a New Mattress

Key Takeaways

  • Give Your Mattress Time to Break In: New mattresses, especially memory foam and hybrid ones, typically require 30 to 90 days to break in. During this period, the materials adjust to your body’s contours, making the mattress more comfortable. Patience is key, as it takes time for your body to adapt to the new mattress.
  • Try Methods to Speed Up the Break-In Process: You can speed up the mattress break-in process by allowing it to expand fully, applying pressure to various areas, and even warming it up by making your bedroom slightly warmer than usual.
  • Use the Sleep Trial: Most mattress manufacturers offer a sleep trial period during which you can return or exchange the mattress if you’re not satisfied. Make use of this trial to ensure you’re comfortable with your purchase in the long run.

Just like magic, time has a way of making things better – even when it comes to mattresses. If you’ve recently said farewell to your old mattress and welcomed a fresh new one into your life, congrats! You’re on the right track to enjoying the peaceful nights of sleep that you’ve been longing for.

Most new mattresses need some time to break in, usually around 30 to 90 days. During this break-in period, your body adjusts to the new support. It might feel like quite a stretch, especially if you’ve had trouble sleeping lately. The amount of time it takes for your mattress to feel just right can vary depending on the type of mattress you have and how you sleep.

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As you lay down, hoping for sleep to come, those minutes might seem longer than ever as you struggle to drift off. Rolling and shifting, you hunt for a comfy spot. Did you pick the wrong mattress? Is your new bed not as wonderful as you thought?

But, don’t worry. You might just need to become a pro at breaking in a new bed. Just like breaking in a pair of tight, noisy shoes, your bed also needs time to become softer and more inviting. This guide is here to show you every step of the way, covering all the important details, including what to do if it turns out your chosen mattress isn’t the perfect fit.

This guide is here to lead you through every step, covering all the essential details such as how long it takes to break in a mattress and even what to do if it turns out your chosen model isn’t the perfect match.

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How Long Does It Take a New Mattress to Break In?

Surprisingly, breaking in a new mattress takes around thirty to ninety days. Think about it: your body knows your old mattress well, and the new materials need time to get comfy. Different mattress types have various break-in periods due to their materials.

Just like breaking in a new pair of shoes, there are ways to break in your mattress. Remember, the mattress lifespan is 7-10 years, so a short wait for comfort won’t affect your mattress enjoyment time much. It’s also important to not try any break-in methods that can affect how long a mattress lasts.

Memory Foam Mattresses & Hybrid Mattresses

Hybrid mattresses and memory foam mattresses often need the most time to break in. It generally takes around thirty to ninety days, which depends on the foam types in the mattress. If your home is chilly, a memory foam or hybrid mattress might feel firm.

When it’s warmer, the bed gets softer. You can warm up the bed a little before you sleep using this trick. High-density memory foam beds last longer than low-density foam. So, not only does it make your memory foam mattress live longer, but it also takes a bit longer to get comfy. Lower-density memory foam usually takes less time to break in.

Innerspring Mattresses

Innerspring mattresses’ break-in time depends on their precise construction. If they have a pillow top or Euro top, the break in time is quicker, often within about 30 days.

Proper care is key for innerspring mattresses. Remember to rotate them every 3 to 6 months to avoid uneven wear. Without this, you might notice sagging and damage. An innerspring mattress does well with a box spring.

Don’t overlook your foundation or bed frame – having the right support from a bed foundation can completely change how your mattress feels. If you’re unhappy with your mattress in the beginning, give yourself and the mattress more time to adjust. While patience matters, you can also speed things up by trying these steps to quickly break in a new mattress.

Latex Mattresses

Latex mattresses can offer immediate comfort, and don’t forget, mattress support isn’t just about firmness. Supportive layers hold up the top part of the mattress. When you begin sleeping on a latex mattress, you’ll likely experience the expected comfort. Breaking it in won’t bring significant changes.

Moreover, natural latex, whether Dunlop or Talalay latex, won’t have off-gassing, meaning you won’t deal with any initial chemical smells.

Break in Your New Mattress – Tips & Tricks

Don’t let disappointment fool you about your new mattress – it might still be a great match. After buying a mattress, allow yourself time to adapt to the new setup and break-in time. Here are a few of our top tips for quickly breaking in your new mattress.

Allow Your Mattress to Breathe

If you got your bed online, it likely arrived in a box, all compressed. Most mattress companies usually wrap them in tight plastic too. The materials might give off a smell at first, which is called off-gassing, and this off-gassing smell can last a day or two. Also, most mattresses get squished from shipping so it needs time to get big again.

The time it takes depends on the exact model, around four to ten hours for it to fully expand. Sleeping on it too soon can be uncomfortable and mess up its expanding. What might help is letting your online mattress breathe without sheets or your body weight on it for the first day.

Allowing air to circulate around the mattress can help prevent moisture buildup and mold and mildew from flourishing.

Apply Pressure to the Mattress

To make your bed softer, give walking on it a shot. It’s great for latex and memory foam. If you’re not into walking on your bed, you can try piling books on it instead.

However, if you have an innerspring or hybrid mattress, crawling on your hands and knees is better. This is because too much body weight puts pressure on springs, which can make them wear out faster.

While it might be tempting, refrain from jumping on the mattress, as this can cause damage and reduce its lifespan.

Practice Patience

Don’t feel down if you’re not in love with your new bed right away. Your favorite shoes might have hurt your feet on the first day, too. Keep in mind that it might take around thirty to sixty days for your new mattress to feel really comfy. It’s natural for your body to notice differences, especially if your previous mattress had started to get softer and sag or develop body impressions.

Every mattress type differs, the better the quality, the more time it could take because of the tougher materials, so remember this as you go through the process.

Warm Up Your Mattress

Some mattress types, such as a memory foam mattress, consist of mattress materials that get softer and more flexible when it’s warm. So, if you’re eager to quickly break in your new mattress, make your bedroom a bit warmer than usual. This should make your bed feel cozier.

Just remember, super high temperatures can mess with your sleep, so there’s a tradeoff with this tip as you might need to cool your room down later for sleep. It’s better if your room is colder and you’re already planning to make it warmer.

Consistently Sleep on It

Don’t let frustration sneak up on you and trick you into ditching the mission, swapping your new mattress for the sleeping on the couch or sneaking into the guest room for a night’s rest. Remember, snoozing regularly on your fresh mattress can turbocharge the “breaking in” plan.

This trick should fast-track your mattress to a cozy dreamland. If you stick to consistently sleeping on it for a few nights during the trial period, you’ll likely find yourself enjoying the coziness of your purchase way sooner than you think.

Place It on the Right Foundation

Pause for a moment before placing your bed on that older foundation. See if these two parts can actually match up. Examine it closely to make sure your foundation is in good shape – not tired out, sagging, or cracked.

You might not always have to get a completely new foundation. However, if you’ve changed the type of bed you’re sleeping on, getting a fresh foundation could be the right move to make sure everything fits perfectly.

Trust Your Instincts

If you don’t feel good about the bed, don’t force it. But before you decide, give it a chance and take advantage of the sleep trial. Wait a few weeks, let your body get used to it, and if it still doesn’t feel right, you can always have the option to return the mattress.

Give It Enough Time

Ever wondered why mattress companies tell you to doze off on their product for a bunch of nights before deciding about a return or swap? Well, it’s all about your body getting used to the new stuff. Those mattresses that aren’t packed too tight tend to get comfy quicker than higher-density models.

Nowadays, mattress experts are all about giving you an extended tryout, so you can let your body get accustomed to the new sleep setup. If you’re worrying about a whole month of restless nights, don’t sweat it – you can always find a company that doesn’t lay down this rule, or you can just chat with the brand to express your concerns about being able to return a mattress.

Consider a Mattress Topper

In case you snagged a fresh bed with a quick test phase or you’re totally smitten with your new mattress, yet you’re still longing to know how to make your mattress softer or turn it into a firmer mattress, consider a mattress topper.

It’s like a layer cake for your bed, providing extra fluffiness or proper support as needed, without breaking the bank like a whole new bed would.

What About the Tags on a New Mattress?

The tag on a new mattress typically contains essential information about the mattress, including details about its materials, manufacturing date, care instructions, and compliance with safety standards. One crucial aspect of the mattress tag is the legal information that pertains to the warranty and the consequences of removing the tag. While it might be tempting to remove the tag promptly, it is advisable to resist the urge to do so.

The tag often includes a clear warning that removing it could void the warranty of the mattress. Manufacturers use the tag as a means to communicate important information to the consumer and to establish the mattress’s authenticity. It can also be helpful to review to make sure you have a fiberglass-free mattress.

In the event of a warranty claim, having the intact tag serves as evidence of compliance with care instructions and adherence to usage guidelines. This is important if, say, you need to measure mattress sag for the warranty.

If, however, the tag becomes an eyesore or feels uncomfortable against the skin, there is a practical solution. Rather than removing the tag, which may have legal implications, consider tucking it away or covering it with a thin, breathable mattress protector or a fitted sheet. This way, you can maintain the warranty validity while ensuring your comfort.

Always refer to the care instructions on the tag for specific guidelines on how to clean a mattress, ensuring it provides optimal support and comfort for years to come.

Does My New Mattress Have Fiberglass?

When shopping for a new mattress, some consumers express concern about the potential presence of fiberglass, a material that is commonly used as a fire retardant in mattresses. The worry arises from the fact that in some cases, fiberglass may be present in the mattress cover or as a part of the fire barrier. If it escapes, it can irritate a sleeper’s body and because the particles are so small, it’s difficult to clean up mattress fiberglass.

To avoid mattresses with fiberglass, you can take specific steps. Firstly, carefully research and choose mattress brands and models known for using alternative fire-retardant materials. Many manufacturers have responded to consumer concerns by incorporating natural or less controversial fire barriers into their designs, creating fiberglass-free mattresses.

Moreover, when purchasing a mattress without fiberglass, it’s crucial to read product descriptions and reviews to gain insights into the materials used. Look for certifications that indicate the mattress complies with safety standards without resorting to fiberglass.

Certifications from organizations such as CertiPUR-US and Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) can be indicators of a mattress’s commitment to using safer materials, good if you want a memory foam mattress without fiberglass.

If you’re uncertain about a mattress’s composition or concerned about potential fiberglass exposure, don’t hesitate to reach out to the manufacturer directly. Clear communication with the retailer or manufacturer can help you make an informed decision about a mattress that aligns with your preferences and safety concerns.

FAQs

Can you return a mattress if you don’t like it?

Yes, if you’re not sleeping comfortably and you’re within the sleep trial period, you can return the mattress for a refund or exchange. Make sure to check the specific sleep trial period offered by the store or manufacturer to ensure you’re eligible for a return. Different manufacturers have varying terms, so carefully read the fine print before making a mattress purchasing decision.

How can I speed up my mattress break?

To speed up the break-in process, especially if you have a memory foam or hybrid mattress, consider turning up the heat as it can help your mattress expand and adjust more quickly. You can also walk on it gently, apply some pressure to various areas, and use your hands to knead and flex the foam.

Remember, the natural break-in period may take a few weeks to a couple of months, and patience is key. Allow the mattress to breathe and use a mattress protector that doesn’t impede airflow can help the materials settle faster.

Do mattresses get softer over time?

Yes, many mattresses can become slightly softer over time as the materials settle and adapt to your body’s weight and temperature. This is more noticeable in foam and memory foam mattresses than in innerspring or hybrid ones. The extent of softening depends on the mattress’s quality and construction.

Mattresses also tend to get significantly softer over time from age, and even a firm mattress may lose some of its firmness as springs degrade and foam gets old. If your bed is older than 7 or 8 years, it’s likely time to consider replacing it for better sleep support.

Do new mattresses need to be broken in?

Yes, new mattresses do need to be broken in. Regularly sleeping on your new mattress not only helps break in the materials faster but helps your body adjust. As you sleep on the mattress and apply pressure, the materials will adjust to your body’s contours.

This process can take a few weeks to a few months. During this time, you might experience changes in comfort and support as the mattress conforms to your body.

Can a cheap mattress hurt your back?

Yes, a cheap mattress can potentially hurt your back due to inadequate support and lower-quality materials. It’s important to choose a mattress that provides proper support to avoid discomfort and sleep issues.

However, not all inexpensive mattresses are bad for your back. Look for reputable brands that offer a balance between affordability and quality to ensure you’re getting a mattress that supports your spine and provides comfort.

Conclusion

Mastering the art of breaking in a new mattress is a worthwhile endeavor that leads to enhanced comfort and sleep quality. By patiently allowing your mattress to adapt to your body’s contours and employing simple techniques like consistently sleeping on it, you’re paving the way for nights of restful slumber.

Remember, a well-broken-in mattress not only ensures your immediate comfort but also contributes to your overall well-being for years to come.


About the author

Mitchell Tollsen is a graduate student and a freelance writer who’s contributed to the Early Bird blog for three years. Mitchell’s always been fascinated by the science of sleep and the restorative processes our bodies undergo when at rest. The self-titled “Sleep Expert” is always looking for ways to improve his shut-eye, and throughout the years has implemented numerous lifestyle changes and tried dozens of sleep-promoting gadgets to determine the best ways to truly get better rest.

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