Too-soft mattress help
October 6, 2019 8:26 PM   Subscribe

My wife and I pulled the trigger and bought a new mattress, but we think that it's maybe too soft. Anybody have experience with a too-soft mattress? How did you fix the situation?

We had been sleeping on an Ikea mattress for several years, which was definitely on the firm side of things, but overall I thought it was a good one. We bought a mattress online because it was extremely inexpensive, but it had very positive reviews. The new mattress is in fact a good one, it's just softer than my wife and I are used to.

It's only been two nights we've slept on it and we both had the same problem; falling asleep is a breeze, but it's in the middle of the night, when we're asleep and turn over, it's apparently difficult to do, the bed being more saggy. I've sort of half woken a few times because of this.

So going forward I see two options. One, that we will adjust and simply get used to the extra softness over time. Two, we get a mattress topper, something more firm to balance things out. Has anyone had any experience with either of these?

Thanks in advance.
posted by zardoz to Home & Garden (13 answers total)
So a lot of the online mattress companies seem to have pretty good guarantees. Is returning it an option?
posted by bluedaisy at 8:36 PM on October 6, 2019

For simplicity's sake, I'll say returning it is not an option.
posted by zardoz at 8:49 PM on October 6, 2019

My parents put a layer of plywood underneath the mattress when they started having back problems. Apparently it firmed things up considerably.

If I were trying it I would go with a minimum of 3/4 inch thickness.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:01 PM on October 6, 2019 [3 favorites]

Are you using a box spring? Maybe get rid of that? You can try plywood, or just get a platform bed.
posted by amtho at 9:46 PM on October 6, 2019

No box springs, it's a basic Ikea frame with wooden slats. I suppose using plywood in addition to those would make things firmer, I might try that.
posted by zardoz at 10:48 PM on October 6, 2019

Plywood has as a considerable downside that it prohibits ventilation. I've seen plywood with a pattern of holes for that purpose....
posted by Ms. Next at 1:25 AM on October 7, 2019

Unless the slats are adding considerable spring, replacing them with plywood is not going to do much.

Generally, there’s nothing you can add to fix too soft- think about it as springs in series. Adding a really stiff spring on top of a soft one just makes the system a little bit softer.
posted by Jobst at 5:27 AM on October 7, 2019

You could try a latex topper. We use a different version of this one, and love it.

NB: it comes in three levels: soft, medium, and firm. We tried the medium and found it VERY firm, although our purpose was to add a layer of cushion to a firm mattress. We switched to the soft, and love it for our purposes. Take a read through the reviews.

If you're trying to substantially change the effect of your mattress, they recommend a 3". So maybe a medium 3"? Agreed that you can't really change a soft mattress too much, but if I were you, this is what I'd try.
posted by nosila at 7:03 AM on October 7, 2019

Give it a little more time to see if you get used to the softness -- it can take several nights to adjust. That said, if it's too soft for you, there's not a lot to do about that, because even if you put a firm thing on top of it, the overall structure is still soft.
posted by spindrifter at 7:46 AM on October 7, 2019

I tried fixing my too-soft mattress with plywood and it did nothing perceptible and wasted some money and hassling with a large piece of plywood and time. I sold it for cheap on Craigslist with a clear "no bedbugs, I'm 100% certain, it's just far too soft for me" and bought a slightly too-firm bed that I mediate with egg-crate foam and it's been great for six years now.
posted by vegartanipla at 11:17 AM on October 7, 2019

Could you try a bunky board under it?
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 7:46 PM on October 7, 2019

Traditional Igusa (Rush Grass) Tatami Mattress underlying a topper of some sort on top of too soft mattress .
posted by hortense at 9:08 PM on October 7, 2019

Thanks for the answers, all. I think we're going to try for a mattress topper. Japan (where I live) has a brand called Airweave that looks really nice, and is very firm. We'll wait another week or so, though, and see if we can get used to the new softness, which in the end is pretty subtle.

Thanks again.
posted by zardoz at 9:15 PM on October 7, 2019

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