Mattress Topper to Make Bed Softer
Generally, getting the perfect mattress for yourself is all about choosing the right firmness level for your body type and sleeping position. If you're a side sleeper, you'll need a soft mattress to offer more pressure relief on your hips and shoulders. On the other hand, back sleepers need a medium to medium firm sleep surface that can help keep the spine in a neutral posture.
A firm sleep surface prevents sinkage beneath your back, which eliminates the chances of spinal misalignment. Lastly, stomach sleepers should use firm mattresses for enhanced support beneath their lumbar region. This helps reduce the chances of straining their spine and waking up sore.
However, overly firm mattresses can't accommodate your body's natural curvature. This results in a lack of support and pressure relief, leading to poor sleep quality. Fortunately, softening your sleep surface a little bit might help you. And the good news is you don't have to spend hundreds of dollars to change the firmness level of your bed. A few simple tricks, such as investing in a mattress topper, can go a long way in making your bed softer for your comfort.
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How Can a Mattress Topper Change the Firmness of a Mattress?
If you're unsatisfied with how your mattress feels but you’re not ready to spend hundreds of dollars on a new one, the best cheap mattress toppers can help you make it firmer or softer. Generally, the right mattress topper can change and improve the comfort level of different mattresses at an affordable price. So, if you're not ready to invest in a brand-new bed, you can still enjoy that new mattress feel without breaking the bank.
While the best mattress toppers for your needs can improve the support and comfort of an older or slightly worn mattress, it can't change its physical characteristics or any damage it has. That said, if you want to use a memory foam topper to soften your bed, you should keep in mind that it's just a temporary solution that won't help you fix a bed that's way past its prime.
Which Type of Topper Should I Buy?
Mattress toppers come in various materials, sizes, and firmness options. Before you buy a mattress topper, you’ll want to consider your body weight, sleep positions, and comfort preferences.
Memory Foam mattress Topper
Memory foam toppers, like the Puffy Mattress Topper, are highly contouring for incredible pressure relief. Memory foam is primarily used in soft mattress toppers because it responds to body heat and weight to conform deeply to the body. However, it’s well-known for trapping heat. So, if you’re a hot sleeper who enjoys the feel of plush memory foam, you should look for a natural latex topper, gel infused memory foam or a cooling mattress topper with open-cell technology.
Latex Mattress Topper
Natural latex toppers boast excellent contouring and pressure relief, with incredible temperature regulation and durability. Unlike memory foam models, latex mattress toppers are more supportive and don’t feel as soft as down or feather toppers.
Wool Mattress Topper
Wool mattress toppers are natural alternatives that are soft and fairly temperature neutral. The material's breathability makes wool toppers suitable for hot sleepers and year-round use.
Pillow Top Mattress Topper
Made with materials like feathers and down, pillow top mattress toppers feature a lofty, cloudlike feel that provides a soft sleeping surface for your mattress. Pillow tops are often plush and breathable, but some are less durable and lack pressure relief.
What Happens if Your Mattress is Too Firm?
Sleeping on a firm mattress can be ideal for young fit bodies with string spines and plenty of flexibility. However, a firmer sleep surface may be very painful and uncomfortable if you're overweight or have a backbone that lacks flexibility.
If your mattress is too firm, it could cause joint and back pains. It could also affect your posture as the surface might not properly support your spine. You won't get restorative sleep, which could affect your overall well-being and day-to-day life.
How to Know if Your Mattress Needs a Soft Topper
Contrary to popular belief, an overly firm mattress isn't the same as a supportive sleep surface. Choosing the right mattress is a delicate balancing act that needs an ideal blend of a solid, sturdy mattress firm enough to help you maintain a healthy sleep cycle. However, how can you tell when your mattress is too firm?
Here are tell-tale signs of a bed that's way too firm:
- Waking up with neck and back pain
- Increased tossing and turning
- Waking up feeling tired
Once you've determined that your old mattress is too firm for your taste and comfort, it's time to find a more restful alternative.
Can a Mattress Soften Naturally?
Mattresses tend to soften over time due to constant use and natural degeneration. Once you begin using your new bed, it will feel less firm and supportive over the weeks following its purchase. This is commonly known as the breaking-in period. If your mattress becomes significantly softer for comfort and doesn't provide as much pressure point relief as it used to, a mattress pad can help you recreate its firmness. You can also use a mattress protector to keep your bed safe from spills and wear and tear.
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How Long Will it Take to Break in Your Mattress?
Most sleepers daydream about leaping into their new mattress' plushy comfort layers once it arrives. But a new mattress will often feel firm as it hasn't been slept on. This is particularly true for beds that come in boxes and need enough time to decompress.
Depending on its composition, it can take 1 to 3 months to break in a new bed.
Here's a quick guide for a general overview of the breaking-in period for different mattress types:
- Memory foam - Memory foam mattresses, composed of multiple layers, often need a longer break-in period. If you're using this mattress type, expect it to reach ideal softness within sixty days.
- Latex - Latex beds boast the shortest break-in period, reaching optimum levels of softness in approximately 2 to 14 days.
- Spring - Since spring mattresses are constructed to adjust to the sleeper's body weight, their break-in period should last about 30 days.
Other factors that influence the breaking-in period of a mattress include:
- Your body weight
- The surface that your mattress sits on
- The duration of continuous use of the mattress
During this time, your body adapts to your sleep surface, and you start getting used to your new mattress. If your mattress is still too firm to offer the desired support and comfort, it may benefit from a soft mattress topper and other artificial softening methods, as discussed below.
Can a Mattress Topper Fix a Mattress that Feels too Firm?
Memory foam toppers, such as the Layla Memory Foam Topper, can help you sleep comfortably on beds that are too firm. As the name suggests, these sleep accessories are placed at the top of a mattress, offering an extra layer of plush comfort on top of your existing bed.
Purchasing a plush mattress topper is among the simplest and most reliable ways of making the mattress underneath softer. They're usually sold individually as accessories and feature 1 to 4 inches of latex, foam, feathers, wool, down, or down alternative. A new mattress topper typically cost between $150 to $450, which is inexpensive compared to getting an entirely new bed.
You want to choose a topper thickness depending on how firm your bed is. For instance, 3-inches thick toppers, such as the GhostBed Memory Foam Mattress Topper, can drastically soften your mattress if you use an overly firm mattress. And unlike most memory foam toppers, this dense memory foam topper won't sleep hot during warmer months. This makes it a suitable option for hot sleepers. On the other hand, if your sleep surface is slightly too firm, 1 or 2-inch soft mattress toppers are suitable for a mild change.
Other Tips to Fix a Firm Bed
Does your mattress still feel too firm for your liking even after adding a memory foam or latex topper? These tips can also make it feel softer and more comfortable:
Rotate the Mattress
Rotating your mattress according to manufacturer guidelines will soften it and provide some relief. If you choose to rotate your firm mattress, consider turning it 180 degrees to allow the part that supported your feet to support your head and vice versa.
This helps redistribute the pressure on your mattress to prevent pressure during sleep and damage from the same spot. Hollow and compressed sections of your sleep surface will have enough time to develop and soften. It's always wise to rotate your mattress regularly (at least twice a year) to even out wear and tear and prolong its lifespan.
Note: Most beds shouldn't be flipped unless your manufacturer recommends it. Most modern mattresses are constructed to be one-sided, so flipping your mattress might only result in poor comfort and a high chance of damage.
Adjust Your Room Temperature
Some common mattress materials, such as airy polyurethane or memory foam, can be temperature sensitive. Just like a memory foam mattress allows a sleeper's body to sink into the surface as it absorbs body heat, a warm room will soften it up, while a cold room will make the whole bed harder. That's why you should always ensure your room temperature is balanced and consistent.
The perfect temperature for your sleep environment is a degree cooler than the temperatures outside. Of course, this is assuming that it's not freezing outside.
When softening your mattress and memory foam mattress toppers, try adjusting your thermostat, switching to flannel sheets, or using a heated blanket to warm things up. This will make your bed more supple and malleable, which increases its softness.
Place Plywood Below the Mattress
Putting plywood below your mattress helps in the perfect balance and alignment of both your mattress and the mattress topper. Remember to talk to your manufacturers to see whether they can recommend another viable solution to your firm mattress before adding plywood.
If they give you the green light, choose plywood that matches the size of your mattress to evenly distribute your mattress' weight across the sleep surface and avoid a sagging bed. Also, confirm that the plywood isn't treated and its sides and edges have been sanded before installing it in your bed.
The leveling of your mattress and even weight distribution across the sleeping surface should help prevent excessive pressure on the mattress and further deterioration.
Change Your Sleeping Position
If your efforts to soften your mattress don't bear fruit, try changing your sleep position. Certain sleeping styles, such as back and stomach sleeping, are more compatible with firmer mattresses. Generally, back sleeping is considered healthy, especially for spinal alignment. Although side sleepers may have difficulty sleeping on a firmer mattress, the robust support could help keep your back aligned while sleeping face-up. Since stomach sleeping is the most compatible position with firm mattresses, opting for this sleeping style could help you feel comfortable on your bed.
Get a Softer Mattress (If All Else Fails)
As mentioned earlier, your bed's firmness level is crucial for your spinal health. Using a sagging mattress that's worn out and overly firm can lead to body numbness and trouble sleeping, which can further cause serious health issues. If the strategies described in this article aren't helping, it might be time to get a new bed.
Ideally, sleepers should replace their mattresses every seven years so they can always get a good night's sleep. However, purchasing a softer mattress is the perfect alternative if your old mattress is damaged or lumpy and too uncomfortable to sleep on.
Aside from reducing your sleep quality, an excessively firm sleep surface can lead to back and joint problems. Luckily, observing the tips above should help you enjoy those long and comfortable nights you so badly yearn for. Most mattresses have return policies that enable you to return your uncomfortable bed and get a new one with the right firmness. So, if you've recently purchased a new mattress that turned out to be too firm for your liking, check online to confirm whether they have a return window.