How to Make My Soft Mattress Firmer

I recently wrote about how to make your firm mattress softer, but it’s since been pointed out to me that some people, many of whom are stomach sleepers, actually have the opposite problem and need to make their mattress firmer.

When it comes to dealing with a too-soft mattress that lacks the desired mattress firmness, the task of transforming it into a rock-solid surface can be quite challenging. Unlike a firm mattress that can be made more comfortable by adding some fluffy layers, the opposite transformation requires a different approach. However, fret not! There are methods available to make your soft mattress feel firmer, providing you with a reasonable level of comfort until you’re ready to replace it with a new one. Let’s dive into some options and explore how to tackle this issue effectively.

Flip or rotate the mattress

If you’re looking to adjust your mattress firmness, it’s worth checking if your mattress has adjustable levels of firmness in the comfort layers built into its design. Some types of mattresses are specifically designed to cater to different firmness preferences, allowing you to customize your sleeping experience. To determine if your mattress offers this feature, refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines or instruction manual. These resources will provide you with the necessary information on how to adjust the firmness settings and make the most out of your mattress.

When it comes to flipping or rotating your mattress, it’s crucial to consult the manufacturer’s guidelines beforehand. Not all mattresses are designed to be flipped or rotated, and doing so without proper instructions could potentially damage the mattress or affect its performance. The manufacturer’s guidelines will outline if your mattress is suitable for flipping or rotating, as well as any specific instructions or recommendations you should follow. By adhering to these guidelines, you can ensure that you’re taking the appropriate steps to maintain the longevity and performance of your mattress while potentially enhancing its firmness or comfort levels. I’ve also written about the flipping and rotating of mattresses here.

Mattress Topper

Investing in a mattress topper designed specifically for firming your mattress can make a world of difference. A mattress topper acts as an extra layer of cushioning and support to the comfort layers that can transform your sleep surface, providing you with the perfect level of firmness tailored to your preferences.

When shopping for a mattress topper, it’s essential to consider the materials used. Two popular options known for their firmness are latex and memory foam. Latex mattress toppers are made from natural or synthetic latex, known for their ability to offer excellent support and durability. On the other hand, memory foam toppers conform to your body shape, relieving pressure points and promoting spinal alignment. These characteristics of memory foam are why the memory foam mattress is so popular among modern mattresses. A memory foam mattress topper will retain body heat though, so hot sleepers may want to try a mattress pad instead.

Once you’ve chosen the right mattress topper, placing it on your existing mattress is a breeze. Simply position the topper on top of your mattress, ensuring it covers the entire surface. This additional layer adds support and firmness, allowing you to enjoy a more comfortable and restful sleep.

The benefits of using a mattress topper extend beyond firmness. Toppers can also help extend the lifespan of your mattress by providing an extra barrier against wear and tear. They can also improve the overall comfort of your mattress, making it feel like new again.

Mattress pad

Alternatively, consider utilizing a mattress pad instead to enhance the support of your mattress. Seek out pads equipped with denser foam or firmer fill materials to alleviate the sinking sensation and impart a firmer feel to your bed.

Mattress Topper vs Mattress Pad

If you want some extra firmness, using a firm mattress topper would be a better option than a mattress pad. A mattress topper is typically thicker and provides more substantial support, which can help in adding firmness to your mattress. Look for a latex topper or memory foam, known for their ability to enhance firmness while providing spinal alignment.

On the other hand, a mattress pad is generally thinner and primarily used for protection, comfort, or minor adjustments in feel, such as adding a bit of plushness. While some mattress pads may offer a slight increase in firmness, they are not specifically designed to significantly alter the firmness level of a mattress.

Therefore, if your goal is to make your bed firmer, choosing a mattress topper specifically designed for added support would be a more suitable choice.

Plywood board

Find a piece of plywood that matches the dimensions of your mattress and position it between the mattress and the bed frame to introduce extra reinforcement. By doing so, your body weight will be better distributed, and you can enjoy a firmer feel. This simple yet effective method can help optimize your sleeping experience by ensuring a more stable and supportive surface.

Both MDF (medium-density fiberboard) and plywood can be used to make a firmer surface, but plywood is generally the preferred option for its durability and strength. It is made from layers of wood veneer that are glued together, creating a solid and sturdy sheet. MDF, on the other hand, is made from compressed wood fibers, combined with resin and wax. While it can be used as a support surface, it is not as strong as plywood and may have more flexibility, which could limit its effectiveness in making the bed firmer.

Therefore, if you’re looking to make your bed firmer, I’d suggest you go with a piece of plywood due to its strength and stability.

Adjust the bed frame

If you have a bed frame that comes with adjustable slats or supports, you have another avenue to explore in your quest for a firmer surface. By reconfiguring these adjustable elements, you can potentially achieve a more stable and firm foundation for your mattress.

One option is to bring the slats closer together. This means adjusting the spacing between the slats so that they are positioned more closely, allowing for less flex and greater support. By reducing the gap between the slats, you create a more solid surface that can contribute to a firmer feel.

Alternatively, you can choose a tighter support system if your bed frame allows for it. This might involve selecting different types of support elements or adjusting the existing ones to provide a firmer base. A tighter support system helps minimize any excessive sagging or sinking that can occur with a soft mattress, providing more stability and support.

Consider a mattress replacement

If you’ve exhausted all your efforts to make your mattress firmer but it still feels as squishy as a marshmallow, it’s time to come to terms with the truth: you need a new mattress. Finding a mattress that matches your desired level of firmness is a valuable investment in your sleep quality and overall well-being.

A mattress that aligns with your firmness preferences can make a significant difference in your sleep experience. Instead of sinking into a soft abyss, you deserve the type of mattress that provides both coziness and support. Investing in a new mattress that meets your needs will ensure you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to conquer the day.

When searching for a firmer mattress, consider factors such as mattress type, materials used and overall comfort. There are various options available, ranging from an extra firm to a medium-firm mattress, allowing you to select the one that suits your individual preferences. Test out different mattresses in-store or take advantage of trial periods offered by online mattress companies to find the perfect balance of firmness and comfort.

Remember, a new mattress is an investment in your sleep quality and overall health. Don’t settle for a softer mattress that leaves you tossing and turning or waking up with aches and pains. Treat yourself to a cozy and supportive sleeping surface that will help you catch those Z’s with ease.


It’s important to manage your expectations when trying to adjust the firmness of your mattress using these methods. While these tricks can certainly have an impact on the overall feel and support, it’s essential to understand that they won’t work miracles and transform an extremely soft bed into an extremely firm one. Instead, the goal is to find the optimal balance that suits your comfort needs.

Don’t hesitate to explore different approaches and experiment with various techniques. What works for one person may not necessarily work for another, so it’s all about finding your own unique sweet spot of firmness. By trying out different methods, such as using mattress toppers or adjusting the bed frame, you can gradually fine-tune the firmness level and create a cozy and supportive sleep surface that caters to your preferences.

Remember, the journey to finding the ideal firmness is a personal one, and it may require some trial and error for different people with different body types. Be patient, stay open-minded, and keep experimenting. Ultimately though, you may find that it’s time to start fresh when you have the means. When you do, make sure you look for a mattress manufacturer that offers sleep trials, allowing you to test the mattress in the comfort of your own home for an extended period. This gives you the opportunity to assess whether the firmness level truly suits your preferences and sleep needs. By taking advantage of a generous sleep trial, you can make an informed decision and ensure that you end up with the perfect mattress.

Related Articles