How To Make A Memory Foam Mattress Firmer

Written By Marc Laurance  |  Articles  |  0 Comments

There are few things more luxurious than falling asleep on a memory foam mattress each night. However, after prolonged use, you may find yourself sinking into it, or even feeling trapped when you attempt to move. In some cases this can lead to lower back pain. Because of this, many people often end up thinking about how to make their mattresses firmer.

It’s good practice to regularly flip your memory foam mattress to make it firmer and avoid sagging. You can also invest in a foam mattress topper, add support such as plywood, and drying out the bed if moisture has made it less firm. These are simple, inexpensive ways to improve its firmness.  

It’s also good to understand the factors that affect firmness, or lack thereof, when it comes to memory foam mattresses. Read on to learn everything you need to know.

Just like most types of mattresses, memory foam mattresses are prone to sagging, which cause it to lose its firmness. The answer to when it does or why, will vary. Here are the common reasons why memory foam mattresses lose its firmness:


Regular exposure to pressure, such as when you use the bed each night, causes sagging and compression. It usually takes a few years of daily use for this to happen, but eventually it will lose its shape and support, resulting in you sinking much deeper into the bed. For some people this isn’t just uncomfortable but it makes you feel trapped when you try to move, or cause lower back pain.


Memory foam beds are one of those mattress types that are more sensitive to temperature. If it’s exposed to heat and humidity frequently, such as for individuals that live near the beach or in warmer climates, it’s not uncommon for these beds to lose firmness quickly since they become soft after heat exposure to allow the mattress to conform to your body in order to alleviate pressure.

Likewise, temperature sensitivity also means that the bed can end up becoming firmer when the temperatures are much cooler. Turn on the fan, lower the thermostat, or open the window to help firm up the mattress if the sagging isn’t drastic.

Poor Care & Maintenance

Memory foam mattresses need to be cared for and maintained properly. When we sleep, dead skin cells fall onto the mattress as well as other types of invisible debris including dirt. Over time, these will degrade the materials even if the mattress is of the highest quality, compromising its support.

Ensure that your mattress is cared for properly and routinely. Do this by stripping off the bedding and investing time in vacuuming the top, bottom, side, and every crevice in the mattress. Spray a cleaner on a clean cloth then blot it to remove stains– but never spray a cleaner directly on the memory foam bed itself.

Poor Support

If you are using a mattress that’s already 8 years old or more, its support cores may have suffered. Cheap mattresses are not made with the quality material needed to prevent wear and tear. This is why it’s always advisable to invest in a high-quality memory foam bed.

Using a mattress each night will also cause it to have insufficient support.

Making Your Memory Foam Mattress More Firm

The first thing you should do is to check for the warranty and sleep trial of your mattress. When it becomes too soft or loses its firmness within the first few months of use, some companies may be able to replace it if it’s within the warranty or trial period. You can also use this opportunity to ask the company to replace it with a firmer model.

However, if it’s no longer new and already starts to sag, it could be possible to file a warranty claim for replacement or repair.

If that isn’t possible, here’s what else you can do:

  • Flip: Mattresses that are double-sided, meaning both the top and bottom are made with memory-foam, should be flipped regularly (every three months is ideal) so that you can use both sides. When you flip and rotate it, this enables you to enjoy its firm side while extending its lifetime by many years.
  • Support: Adding extra support through a plywood sheet, platform bed frame, or the floor can be beneficial in improving firmness. Chances are, if your memory foam mattress isn’t placed on a foundation that’s solid enough, some parts of the bed can sink beneath the foundation, resulting in the bed being stretched out of shape.

While this is helpful, also keep in mind that solid platforms reduce air circulation in the bottom and encourages moisture wicking, which can lead to pests or mold growth. To avoid this, be sure to have a foundation whose slats are no longer than 3 inches apart to provide air circulation – necessary to cool down a warming memory foam mattress.

  • Topper: Using a memory foam topper is one of the most effective ways to improve firmness by reducing pressure in the main memory foam mattress. Generally speaking, a 2-inch topper should be good enough and will take the pressure of the wear instead of the mattress. For individuals that are over 230 pounds or sleep on their side, you can opt to use a thicker topper such as those that are 3 or 4 inches.

If you decide to use a topper, remember to also rotate and flip it the way you would the mattress. It’s also good to note that toppers are a more affordable solution compared to replacing the mattress, and can easily be replaced. Additionally, check the firmness of the topper before you buy it.

  • Drying: Moisture that accumulates within the mattress can soften it up especially if you live in humid climates or near the beach. Should you suspect moisture is the culprit, simply take your bed out and lay it under the sun to dry out for a whole day. This should firm up the mattress while also effectively killing any germs and bacteria that grew out of the dampness.

If you have the budget, you can also consider hiring a professional cleaning service to thoroughly dry and clean a contaminated memory foam mattress.

  • Replace layers: If your memory foam mattress is designed with a removable cover, unzip it and replace the worn-out layers with new ones. Check with the mattress company if you can make an order for a memory foam layer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to sleep on firm or soft mattresses?

The firmness or softness of the mattress you choose should depend on your sleeping position. Firmer mattresses are recommended for stomach sleepers, while soft mattresses are ideal for side sleepers, couples, and people who prefer sinking into the mattress.

However, if you already have back pain, a firmer mattress is recommended because it can provide you with the support you need in the right places.

What should I look for in a memory foam mattress topper?

Before deciding in a memory foam mattress topper, there are certain factors you should look out for:

Thickness: Memory foam mattress toppers range in thickness from 1 to 4 inches. Toppers that are 1-2 inches are usually thick enough to give your mattress added comfort and will extend the bed’s lifespan, while thicker toppers are recommended for side sleepers, or just about anyone who enjoys sleeping on a plusher mattress.

Size: Toppers come in all standard bed sizes and are made to fit right over the mattress. Go with the same size as your existing mattress to have the right fit.

Covers: Removable, washable covers are ideal for individuals with allergies. Covers are typically designed to be breathable and hypoallergenic, so you are cool and comfortable as you sleep.