We spend 1/3rd of our lives sleeping. A good night’s sleep reduces stress, improves our memory, and lowers blood pressure. It boosts immunity, helps weight loss, improves mood, and keeps your heart healthy. Good sleep reduces the chances of getting lifestyle diseases like type 2 diabetes. It also increases our ability to tolerate pain. This means if you have a sprained ankle or suffer from chronic pain. A good night’s sleep raises the pain threshold.
Last but not least, a good sleep makes you smarter. Like DaVinci grabbing-15-minute eye shut can make your brain more productive and effective. You will be more attentive, focused, and sharper. With so many benefits why not get sufficient rest and relaxation. For this, you get a suitable mattress or add a soft mattress topper at the bottom.
Back sleepers are comfortable on medium-firm mattresses. Mattresses made of memory gel foam, memory foam, latex are suitable for them. Side sleepers rest best on soft mattresses which are usually hybrid. Latex, memory gel foam and memory foam mattresses are suitable for them.
Stomach sleepers typically require a firm mattress as the spine alignment should be such that it does not block the respiratory passage. And the body should not sink into the mattress to obstruct air circulation. Latex, natural latex, memory gel mattresses, and foam mattresses are suitable for them. These sleepers should get themselves a body pillow to relieve pressure on their back and hips.
So, if you bought a mattress and it feels excessively firm then you will require to figure out two things. Is it firm because it is new? Or is it firm because you bought a firmer mattress than requires. You should refer to the rating scale for firmness levels when you buy a mattress. Find out the type of sleeper you are – back, tummy, or side.
Match it with the type of mattress you need before buying it. Scale rating 1 is extra soft where the mattress conforms to your body and you sink deep into it. Rating 2 – 3 is soft where the sleeping surface conforms to the body but not as much as 1. Rating 4 is a medium soft bed which is firmer than the previous level.
Level 5 is medium and the surface doesn’t sink much and conforms even lesser. Level 6 is a medium-firm bed that sinks little and conforms moderately. Level 7-8 is a firm bed where there is no sinking with minimal conforming. Level 9 – 10 stands for an extra firm bed where there is no sinkage or conforming.
Mattresses are constructed in various ways out of different types of materials.
Memory foam is supportive, durable, and warm material. The polyurethane foam is sensitive to heat. It softens as it meets body heat. It conforms to the shape of your body cocooning you in its warmth while supporting your weight. They are available in soft, medium, and firm rating.
Innerspring mattresses have an internal spring system for support. These springs are made of steel, but they may break, bend, or lose their springiness over time. They are available in soft, medium, and firm rating.
Latex is made of rubber which may be natural or synthetic material which is hypoallergenic. This means if you have allergies and respiratory issues then this is the mattress for you. They are available in soft, medium, and firm rating.
Hybrid mattresses are a combination of innerspring overlaid with memory foam or latex. They are available in soft, medium, and firm rating.
You should also keep another fact in mind – scientifically, mattress firmness is also matched to a person’s weight. They are classified according to the user’s weight.
Lightweight Group – People less than 130 pounds should use softer mattresses that conform closely to their bodies. The ideal firmness setting is soft (2 – 3), medium soft (4), or medium (5).
Average Weight Group – People between 130 – 230 pounds should use mattresses with soft padding and firm support. The ideal firmness is medium-soft (4), medium (5), and medium-firm (6).
Heavyweight Group – People weighing more than 230 pounds should sleep on firmer beds that conform minimally and offer support. The ideal firmness is medium-firm (6), firm (7 – 8), and extra firm (9).
The other parameter to consider about a mattress is its thickness. Mattresses maybe 10 inches thick but you also find a 5-inch-thick mattress. Then there are 15-22-inch-thick mattresses too. Pick the mattress thickness according to body weight. Lighter people should use shorter mattresses and heavier people, thicker ones.
If you bought your mattress after considering all the above factors. Even then the mattress seems firm. As it is within the trail, guarantee and warranty period it is best to exchange it. But if it cannot be exchanged for some reason or it is just new.
How to Make a Mattress Softer?
Here are some ways to make the mattress softer.
Use a soft mattress topper or mattress pad – Most mattresses are made of three layers – support layer, comfort layer, and cover. These layers work in tandem to offer you a supportive comfortable surface to sleep on.
The support layer contributed to the firmness of the mattress. It is the main part of the construction that lends support to your body. It may be made of foam, spring, or both.
Foam – The support layer of mattresses is made of high-density reflex foam. Un-sprung mattresses use layers of foam with different densities.
Springs – are metal coils mostly steel that lend support to the body. There are two main categories – the standard or open coil sprung system and the Bonell or pocket sprung system.
The comfort layer – makes up the upper few inches of the mattress. These layers can comprise a variety of materials up to varying depths. They lend towards a luxuriant cushioned surface to sleep on. This layer may include, latex, memory foam, gel-infused foam, poly-fiber, or natural fillings such as feather, cotton, silk cotton, silk, wool, etc. Each of these materials brings a different benefit and property to the comfort layer.
Cover – holds the support and comfort layers together tightly. This gives shape to the mattress. The cover helps the mattress maintain shape for many years to come. The integrated construction lends portability to the mattress. Some covers have handles stitched into them for this purpose. Covers may be made of damask or knitted materials. They may have different finishes such as quilted, tufted, or plain. In quilted and tufted mattresses, the comfort layer is attached to the cover to create a pattern. This not only brings a pillowed luxuriant feel to the mattr ess it also holds the materials in place. In plain mattresses, the comfort layer is left as it is making it easy to roll the mattress.
If your mattress is firm despite the thick luxuriant comfort layer then get yourself a mattress topper. It is the quickest and most economical way to soften your mattress. They are made of the same material as the comfort layer – feathers, foam, latex, polyfoam, etc. They are 1 – 4 inches thick and are available in firmness ratings similar to the mattresses. You can get a less firm or softer mattress topper than your mattress.
Warm it up – Memory foam softens when warmed. It retains body heat and conforms to the body. Most people enjoy foam mattress and toppers because it cradles the body. This relieves pressure points and makes good use of the body heat to return comfort and support to it. You could warm your mattress or the mattress topper by turning up the thermostat or using a blanket to retain the body heat. The other option is to use electric blankets. They soften the entire mattress or the topper than just the area around your body.
Break-in your mattress – This means if it feels firm because it is new. Walk (of course, without shoes) on the surface for a few minutes. This loosens the construction and softens the materials in the support and comfort layers. Of course, sleep on the mattress every night. Soon you will have the perfect firmness and softness to sleep on!
Rotate and flip it – You could do this in two ways. You could turn the mattress through 180. This means the end near your headboard is at the footboard and vice versa. Or you could flip the mattress where the top faces down. Doing this regularly not only cause uniform wear and tear it also softens the bed according to your requirement and comfort.
In conclusion, all mattresses come with a recommended foundation. For example, if you switch from an innerspring mattress to a memory foam one then you will have to remove the box spring. On the other hand, if your mattress is made of materials other than memory foam. Then you require a spring box as a foundation to make it softer.
Innerspring mattresses work best with box springs. These boxes have springs inside that work as motion isolators adding bounce to the bed. Foam and latex mattresses require a firm foundation thus platform beds are ideal.
The platform beds may have a solid baseboard. Or they may have a crisscross grid or slats. This offers adequate support to the mattress according to the adequate firmness of your mattress. Whatever the base – a box spring or a platform foundation. Get the mattress of the right firmness for a soft bed. Or top it with a soft mattress topper of the right firmness.