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Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the best things you can do for your mental and physical health.
When you get high-quality sleep – which means getting in enough cycles of rapid eye movement (REM) and non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep per night – your concentration and memory improve.
Sleeping enough will also give your muscles a chance to rest and bring your hormone levels back into balance.
In your mission to get good sleep, your mattress can be your best friend – or it can be the bane of your existence.
So how can I make my mattress more comfortable? There are many ways you can make your mattress more comfortable:
- Get a mattress topper.
- Get a mattress cover.
- Get a better pillow.
- Get a duvet or comforter.
- Use higher-quality linen.
- Use a heating pad.
- And many more.
To learn about every single way that you can make your mattress more comfortable, read on.
How Much Can a Mattress Affect Your Sleep?
Many of us underestimate how a mattress can impact your sleeping patterns. A mattress that is too hard or too soft can result in spinal misalignment, making you sleep uncomfortably through the night and wake up with aches and pains.
Meanwhile, a mattress that is made with a material like memory foam can make you wake up in sweats if you sleep hot.
If you sleep cool, a pocket coil mattress may have you shivering through the night. Your mattress can present you with a host of other problems; it can be itchy, have a funny smell, or a strange texture, all of which are elements that contribute to a rough night’s sleep.
Unfortunately, mattresses can be expensive, and most of us can’t afford to simply go shopping for a new mattress in the face of discomfort.
That’s why you need to learn how to make a mattress more comfortable with things that can be found around the house and in local stores.
Accessories to Help Make Your Mattress More Comfortable
Just like a great accessory can elevate an outfit, a cleverly used bed accessory can transform your mattress.
A mattress topper, as its name suggests, is designed to sit atop a mattress, and give it an extra layer of comfort.
Like mattresses, mattress toppers can be made with a variety of different materials, including memory foam, latex, cotton, and wool.
Sleep experts have found that mattress toppers have helped sleepers get higher quality sleep and can relieve pressure points.
Mattress covers or mattress pads act as a barrier between bed sheets and the mattress. They can serve a variety of purposes, from giving your body another layer of support to protecting your mattress from wear and tear.
Of course, every bed has its pillows. But, just like the right quality mattress, the right pillows can transform how you sleep. And, they come for a fraction of the cost of mattresses! There are two types of pillows you need to look out for:
These are to cradle your head and keep your neck and spine in good alignment through the night.
Look for pillows that will contour around your head and neck; high-quality memory foam pillows work best.
Body pillows stretch across the length of your bed and, depending on the type, you can either hug them or lay on top of them.
A good body pillow will contour to the shape of your body, making you more comfortable, relieving pressure points, and maintaining your alignment through the night.
Duvets or Comforters
Thick and fluffy duvets and comforters are used more often in cooler countries. They are designed to cover you while you sleep and keep you warm and snuggly.
Duvets tend to be heavier than comforters and come with detachable covers, while comforters are lighter.
They can be made with a variety of different materials, including down, wool, and synthetic fibers.
Duvets and comforters can help make a hard mattress softer and keep you warm if your mattress sleeps cool.
Some people believe that there’s nothing more satisfying than sinking into crisp linens that have a high thread count.
They’re right; linens can go a long way in helping to make your mattress more comfortable. Each type of linen has a unique function:
Bed sheets are the sheets that go over your mattress or mattress topper.
Look for sheets with the highest thread count you can afford. Many people prefer Egyptian cotton sheets, but you can also use woven, sateen, or microfiber sheets.
Duvet covers go over the duvets that cover you. Since they come into direct contact with your body, it’s worth spending more on a high-quality duvet cover.
Long-staple cotton, sateen, and microfiber covers will add an extra layer of comfort to your bed.
Pillowcases cover your pillow and give you head something smooth and snug to rest on.
Silk pillowcases are the most luxurious ones you can opt for, although high-quality cotton also works beautifully!
If you live in a cool country, adding a quilt between your bed sheet and duvet will give you some added warmth and make your bed a little softer.
Getting the right combination and quality of bed linens, mattress toppers, mattress covers, and pillows can go a long way in making your mattress more comfortable.
Of course, if you have more specific reasons for why you’re finding your mattress uncomfortable, then you need to be more specific about how to go about making it better.
How to Make Your Mattress More Comfortable If You Sleep Hot
People who sleep hot tend to emit a lot of heat at night, which can quickly be soaked up and retained by the wrong sheets and mattresses.
Memory foam mattresses can be the worst type of mattress for a hot sleeper as memory foam traps heat.
However, it’s not feasible to simply swap a memory foam mattress with a cooler one.
If you sleep hot, here’s what you can do to be more comfortable:
- Use mattress toppers and mattress pads. Select a cotton, wool, or gel mattress pad to place between your mattress and your sheets. Each will absorb heat and moisture caused by sweating, helping to keep your body cool as you sleep.
- Use gel pillows. High-quality gel pillows will absorb heat from your body and contain gel cooling pads to remain cool.
- Take a look at your bed’s structure. If your bed is made with one continuous piece of wood, it may make your mattress hotter. Meanwhile, if it is made with wooden planks or wrought iron, your mattress may become cooler. This is because spaces between the bed frame allow your mattress to send heat outwards rather than making it retain heat.
- Get a moisture-wicking sheet. moisture-wicking sheets have a loose weave and pull moisture off the body, cooling you down.
- Choose the right nightclothes. Make sure that the clothes you’re sleeping in aren’t adding to your mattress woes. Get pajamas made with natural fibers like cotton or silk as they will allow air and heat to escape more easily.
How to Make Your Mattress More Comfortable If You Sleep Cool
If, on the other hand, you sleep cool, an innerspring mattress could be making you uncomfortable.
Innerspring mattresses are made with metal coils that allow heat to escape easily.
If swapping your mattress if not an option, here’s how you can stay warm while you’re sleeping:
- Use electric mattress pads and blankets. These cover your mattress and sit under your sheets. These contain wires which, when plugged in, heat the mattress and your sheets, keeping you warm and comfy. You can also get an electric blanket, which goes over your duvet.
- Pile on the duvets and quilts. If you are uncomfortable with the idea of bringing electricity into your bed, replace your cotton bedding with flannel or wool.
- Use a hot water bottle or heating pad. Slip a hot water bottle under your sheets 15-20 minutes before you go to sleep. It will warm up your whole bed, and your bedding will trap the heat, giving you a wonderfully warm barrier between your mattress and you.
- Wear woolen pajamas. They will help your body retain heat.
Is Your Mattress Too Firm or Too Soft?
If it isn’t the temperature of your mattress that is driving you up the wall, but its firmness, worry not – there are several things you can do!
Consider the foundation
While we often think about our mattresses, we often forget that the bed’s frame can also impact the firmness of the mattress.
Bed frames can be made of a variety of materials. For instance, box spring foundations, or frames that are made with box springs, tend to sag over time. This brings down your mattress and possibly makes it softer.
Meanwhile, platform beds have slates that mattresses can be placed directly on top. Platform beds tend to make your mattress more firm.
Understandably, changing the foundation of your bed may be as big of a mission as changing your mattress.
So, if it’s not a feasible option, here’s what else you can do to make your mattress softer:
- Use a mattress topper. Memory foam, wool, or good down mattress toppers are the softest ones.
- Break your mattress in. Many mattresses take time to adapt and adjust your body, so give your mattress time to break in!
- Check your room’s temperature. Some mattresses, like memory foam mattresses, tend to be more firm if they’re in cool temperatures. Keeping your bedroom warm is one way you could soften your mattress.
Meanwhile, if you’re struggling with a mattress that is too soft – and sinking into it each night – here’s how you can make your mattress more firm:
- Rotate your mattress. Lift up your mattress and rotate it 180 degrees, so your head is where your feet used to be. This will alternate the pressure that you put on each part of the mattress, allowing it to bounce back to its earlier shape.
- Flip your mattress. Flip your mattress so the bottom is facing the ceiling and the top is pushed against the bed frame. This is again to relieve pressure on the mattress so that it can come back to its original firmness.
- Add plywood planks under your mattress. This is easier than changing the foundation of your bed. Simply lay out plywood planks (available at hardware stores) under your mattress. These will make the surface under your mattress, and therefore your mattress, more firm.
- Adjust your room temperature. If cold temperatures make a mattress more firm, then warm ones make them softer.
- Dry out your mattress. Over time, mattresses can absorb moisture and become softer. Take your mattress out into the sun to dry it out; this may help with the firmness.
With these small measures, you can adjust the firmness of your mattress without having to spend a lot of money.
Have You Cleaned Your Mattress?
Aside from firmness, another reason your mattress can be uncomfortable is that it hasn’t been cleaned in a while.
A mattress that hasn’t been recently cleaned can be a hotbed for bacteria, bedbugs, funny smells, and odd stains. You may wake up feeling itchy, sweaty, smelly, or simply not well-rested.
To make sure your mattress is at its optimum cleanliness, make sure you’re maintaining it regularly. Here are a few tips to help you do that:
- Change your sheets regularly. Sheets can happily hold onto bacteria, so ensure you are changing them every two weeks.
- Air out your mattress. When stripping your mattress of its sheets, allow the mattress to breathe for a while. It’s helpful if you can drag it out into the sun and fresh air and allow it to sit for a few hours.
- Sprinkle on some baking soda. Baking soda is a wonderful way to remove odors from all upholstery, including mattresses. Let the baking soda seep into the mattress for 30 minutes before dusting or vacuuming it off.
- Vacuum your mattress. Use a handheld vacuum to vacuum both sides of your mattress thoroughly, making sure you’re not missing out on small dents.
- Use a stain remover to spot clean your mattress. For any tough stains that resist vacuuming and baking soda, use a stain removal stick or sponge to lift them.
- Use mattress protectors. Mattress protectors sit on top of your mattress, between the mattress and the bedsheets. They trap odors, bacteria, and dust and can be especially useful if you have allergies. Mattress protectors should be thrown in the wash every week, so they stay clean and fresh.
Design a Soothing Environment
Finally, even if you have the best mattress in the world, you won’t sleep comfortably if your bedroom ambiance isn’t right.
And, even if your mattress is uncomfortable, designing a soothing environment can go a long way in helping you sleep more comfortably. Some ways to do this are:
- Use scents to your advantage. Fill your room with soothing scents like chamomile and lavender, which have been found to calm you. Use scent diffusers, air fresheners, and even bed and pillow mists. They will make the room smell nicer and make it easier to fall asleep.
- Use a white noise machine. It will help reduce the disturbance of external noises and soothe your mind and body into slumber.
- Switch off technology and leave work outside. Your mind must see your bedroom as a place for rest, so switch off all distractions from your television to your laptop.
- Block out all light. When it’s dark, your body produces more melatonin, which helps you drift off to sleep. Switch off your night light and invest in heavy blinds or drapes.
Should I Buy a New Mattress?
If you’ve tried everything but are still unable to make yourself comfortable on your mattress, then it may be time to try a new mattress. Mattresses typically need to be replaced every 7-8 years.
Make a note of what exactly it is about your mattress that makes you uncomfortable and then do plenty of research to see which one will be the best fit for you.
Consider whether you sleep hot or cool, what your position you sleep in, and what firmness of mattress you need. Try to find a mattress that offers a 100 day trial period so you can return or exchange it if you’re still feeling uncomfortable.
However, if it’s only been a few years and your mattress is still in good condition, there’s a lot you can do to make it more comfortable without buying a new one.
First, use mattress accessories like mattress toppers, mattress pads, pillows, and good bed linens.
Next, try to gauge whether it’s the firmness or the softness of the mattress that is bothering you and adjust your room’s temperature, flip and rotate your mattress accordingly.
Finally, design a soothing environment to make your mattress and bedroom as a whole more comfortable; this may include using scents, controlling the lights and noise in your room.
Taking all these steps will help make your mattress more comfortable, and you can be assured night after night of good sleep and day after day of energy!