How To Make a Mattress Firmer

By Sanchita Sen Certified Sleep Coach

Last Updated On October 11th, 2023
How To Make a Mattress Firmer

Key Takeaways

  • Importance of Mattress Firmness: The firmness of your mattress can significantly impact your sleep quality and comfort. Finding the right balance of softness and support is crucial for a restful night’s sleep.
  • Ways to Make a Mattress Firmer: There are several cost-effective methods to make your mattress firmer, including using a plywood board, rotating your mattress, changing your box spring, and utilizing a firm mattress topper. These methods can enhance support and reduce the softness of your mattress.
  • Choosing the Right Firmness Level: The ideal firmness level for your mattress depends on factors such as your weight and sleeping position. Petite sleepers may prefer a softer surface, while average-weight sleepers may opt for a medium or medium-firm mattress. Plus-size sleepers often find firm mattresses more comfortable. Selecting the appropriate firmness level is essential for lumbar support and overall sleep quality.

If your bed is causing you to sink down or feel stuck, chances are you may need to firm it up. A firmer mattress gives you all the support you need for a restful night of sleep.

According to a 2009 National Library of Medicine study, Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source 75 percent of Americans have sleep problems a few nights per week or more, and 70 million people are currently affected by sleep problems. Sleep issues can be caused by stress, using electronic devices in bed, and even an uncomfortable mattress. According to that same study, using a medium-firm mattress can reduce back pain and improve sleep quality for average-sized sleepers.

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How to Make a Mattress Firmer

To get a good night’s rest, your mattress should have a good balance of softness and support; what that looks like depends on your individual sleeping position, weight, and comfort preferences.

If you find yourself “stuck” in your mattress a lot or you wake up with aches and pains, you might need a firmer bed. Buying a new mattress is an expensive solution, so before you do that, read about these tips that will help make your mattress firmer.

Check the Sleep Trial Period

If your mattress is new and it came with a sleep trial, take advantage. Most online mattresses include a sleep trial ranging from 90 to 365 days. If you think your bed is too soft, you have the option to return it for a refund within the sleep trial. Most companies pick up the mattress from your home and donate it to a local charity or recycle it responsibly.

Change Your Box Spring

Box springs wear out with time. If you have an old box spring, that may be the reason behind your bed feeling too soft. A worn-out box spring cannot provide sufficient support required for your mattress, making it feel softer than usual. Plus, buying a new box spring is cheaper than buying a new mattress.

Use a Plywood Board

Plywood boards can enhance support, especially at the bottom of the mattress. Placing a plywood board on top of your box spring or on the slats is a step towards boosting your bed’s firmness. The strong piece of plywood lying beneath your mattress makes it feel firmer. The board not only strengthens your bed but it may also keep dust and allergens at bay.

Let It Air Dry

Your bed absorbs moisture from the air, softening it. If you live in a humid region, your mattress might be retaining water. You can get rid of the accumulated moisture by leaving the bed to dry out in the sun. Sun drying the mattress not only firms it up, but the sun’s rays also kill bacteria, viruses, germs, mildew, and allergens trapped in the mattress.

Rotate Your Mattress

Most mattresses begin to sag after a period of time; depending on the mattress quality, that could be a few years after buying it, or just a few months. These sags, also known as “soft spots,” can make you feel stuck or trapped in bed. To avoid this, rotate your mattress every 3 to 6 months to ensure your weight is distributed evenly.

Use a Firm Mattress Topper

Using a firm mattress topper is a simple and relatively affordable way to firm up your mattress. Most toppers are made with latex or memory foam, which is known for being responsive and supportive.

Our Amerisleep mattress toppers: Support Lift® and Comfort Lift®. Our Support Lift® makes your mattress firmer, while our Comfort Lift® adds a layer of cushioning comfort. If you’re searching for a mattress topper to modify the feel of your bed, you can’t go wrong with our 3-inch Support Lift® featuring Affinity foam.

Our Support Lift®’s Affinity foam is buoyant and responsive—it contours to your body to ease pressure points, but it keeps you lifted and offers extra support. The Affinity foam in our mattress topper also contains HIVE® technology to promote healthy sleeping postures and prevent sagging, another beneficial feature when you’re looking to firm up your mattress.

Plus, our Lift® mattress toppers come with a 5-year warranty, so you can rest assured our toppers can deliver better sleep for at least half a decade.

Reset Your Thermostat

how to make a mattress firmer
Some mattresses, like memory foam mattresses, are temperature sensitive—they absorb heat and get soft. Likewise, a mattress in a colder environment grows firmer. Decreasing your room temperature or keeping a window open and a fan on may make your mattress more firm.

What Is the Right Firmness Level for You?

Firmness is a relative concept—what may be firm for you, may not be firm enough for another. Understanding the firmness level best suited to your body type is necessary for a sound sleep.

The ideal firmness for you depends on your weight. If you are petite, a softer surface will provide you with the best comfort and support—anything firmer may feel almost painful. But a firmer mattress may not feel hard to a plus-size sleeper who needs more support without sagging.

Petite Sleepers

Petite sleepers weigh less than 130 pounds. Usually, a soft or a medium soft mattress may provide them with their desired level of firmness. If they lie on a soft or a medium soft bed they will still feel like they are “on top” of it.

Average Weight Sleepers

Average weight sleepers weigh between 130 and 230 pounds. Usually, this group prefers a  medium or a medium-firm mattress. When they lie on a medium or a medium-firm bed, they will still feel on top of it while enjoying the plush comfort of the mattress.

Plus-Size Sleepers

Plus-size sleepers weigh more than 230 pounds. Usually, a firm bed provides them optimal comfort. They can still feel “lifted” and supported on a firm bed, while their weight compresses the mattress enough to create a cushioned feel.

Benefits of a Firm Bed

With prolonged use, beds may become soft and lack adequate support. While some amount of softness is expected, the softness has to be balanced with sufficient firmness for adequate comfort.

If you have back pain or are recovering from a back injury, we recommend a firmer mattress because it promotes lumbar support. A firm mattress will not compress with your weight; instead, it will relieve pressure on the lower back while supporting it.

Depending on your weight, a soft to medium bed is generally the preference for side sleepers. Side-sleeping is a healthy sleep position because it promotes heart health and may alleviate acid reflux. When you sleep on your side, your hips and shoulders bear the full weight of your body. A soft to medium bed provides adequate support so side-sleepers don’t feel strained or sore.


Does a mattress pad have the same effect as a mattress topper?

A mattress pad is thinner than a mattress topper and its main purpose is to make the bed feel softer. When on the lookout for a mattress topper to firm up your bed, be careful to not choose a mattress pad instead.

Does everyone need a firm mattress?

Everyone needs a bed with the right balance of plushness and firmness meant for their body type and sleeping position. Firmness is a relative term and its perception is subjective. We recommend a firm bed especially for plus-size sleepers, those who have back pain, or those recovering from a back injury.

What’s the quickest way to firm up a mattress?

If you want to modify the feel of your mattress, the simplest solution is a mattress topper. While most people look at these sleep accessories as a way to fix a sagging mattress, the primary purpose of mattress toppers is to adjust your bed’s feel. When comparing toppers, you’ll find thick, thin, soft, and firm options—with the variety out there, you can easily find something to fit your sleep needs.

If you’re looking for the best firm mattress topper, we’d have to recommend our Support Lift®. Our Lift® mattress toppers are thick enough to resist wear and tear and they’re available in both Comfort (soft) and Support (firm) options. They also contain sleep-promoting technologies and are backed by a lengthy warranty. Not only are our Lift® layers great mattress toppers, but they’re an incredible value, too.


If your bed feels too soft, you may not necessarily have to buy a new bed. No matter the type of mattress you use, there are options you may try out to make your mattress firmer and improve your sleep.

About the author

Sanchita Sen is a full-time writer focusing on the sleep health and mattress industry. She is a former journalist who has written numerous articles on the healthcare sector. Some of the topics she has covered include how to lucid dream, fever dreams, melatonin for sleep, and best gel memory foam mattress. Sanchita holds a Master of Arts in Communications from Convergence Institute of Mass Media and Information Technology Studies. She is also a published author, who seeks inspiration from both real life and the world of fiction.

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  1. Great information. All the above points about making a mattress firm are great. But it is preferable to me to buy a new firm mattress without changing this above things. Thank you very much for share this useful information.

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