How to Make a Mattress More Comfortable

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Sometimes, we realize our mattress simply isn’t working for us anymore. What once was a place of rest and relaxation can transform into a worn-out and uncomfortable mess. Your first reaction might be to just replace your mattress, but don’t act too quickly. 

If your mattress is becoming less comfortable or was never really comfortable in the first place, there are a couple of tricks you can try before spending money on a new one. In this article, I’ll cover some steps you can take to make your mattress more comfortable.

How to Make a Mattress More Comfortable

You may be experiencing an uncomfortable mattress for a variety of reasons — it could be too firm or too soft, worn out or in need of an updated box spring. These are all fixable problems. However, your mattress needs to be in somewhat good condition in order to rectify these issues. 

If the mattress is damaged, it’s probably time to replace it with a new one, especially if your current one is old. Old mattresses are typically more than 10 years old. If your mattress is in decent shape but just not feeling right, you can try doing some of the following.

Rotate or Flip Your Mattress

Your mattress may feel worn out if you’ve consistently slept on the same side for years. You can even out the pressure and weight distribution placed on the mattress by rotating or flipping it. However, some mattresses aren’t meant to be flipped. Many mattresses have multiple layers that are specifically designed from top to bottom, so flipping it will have you on the support side instead of the comfort layers. Always check to see if your mattress is flippable before flipping it. Some mattresses, like the Layla Original Mattress, have one side that is firmer and one side that is softer, so you can flip it to fit your preference.

If you have a sagging mattress, you can try rotating it so the side normally by your feet is now by your head. You’ll be sleeping on a fresh part of the mattress that is less worn out. This part of the mattress can feel brand new since it’s less slept on.

Invest in a Mattress Topper

If your main issue with your mattress is its feel, you may want to consider getting a mattress topper. Mattress toppers are an extra layer you can put on top of your mattress to make it firmer or softer. In our best mattress topper guide, we rounded up our top picks of the year. Like mattresses, mattress toppers come in different variations to fit your needs. For example, some toppers are designed to be extra cooling and promote airflow, so these could be good choices for people who sleep hot.

Try a Mattress Pad

Often, people get confused between mattress pads and mattress toppers. Both are meant to make your bed a bit more comfortable, but they’re different products. Mattress pads aren’t nearly as plush or cushiony as mattress toppers, but they can still add an extra layer of comfort under your sheets. Some are used as mattress protectors.

Check out our guide to the best mattress pads to see if this option is right for you and to learn more about our favorite ones on the market.

Replace or Upgrade Your Bed Frame or Box Spring

The reason you’re not getting a good night’s sleep may not be related to your mattress at all. If your mattress is sitting on a poor bed base, it can affect the way the mattress performs. 

Inspect your current bed frame or box spring and check for damage or imperfections. You might need to replace or fix certain parts or get a new one altogether. Adding an extra plywood board between your mattress and bed frame could also make all the difference. If you can’t fix the issue, head over to our best bed frame guide to see our top picks.

Adjust the Temperature

Believe it or not, the temperature of your room can sometimes affect the way certain types of mattresses feel. For example, cold temperatures can make memory foam mattresses feel firmer. You can try turning down the air conditioning or using a heated blanket to bring the foam back to life.

Tips to Sleep More Comfortably

Your mattress may certainly be the reason for poor sleep, but there are other bedding-related issues that could also be the root of the problem. Here are a few tips that could enhance your overall sleep experience.

Find the Right Pillow

Here at Sleepopolis, we stress the importance of finding the right mattress for your body type and preferred sleeping position. However, finding the right pillow is important for all the same reasons. The loft or firmness of the pillow you use could be what’s affecting your sleep quality. 

Luckily, we have a guide that covers how to find the right pillow for you and offers some great options. Sleeping with a body pillow may also help increase your comfort, particularly if you are a side sleeper or if you are pregnant.

Get the Right Bedding

The bedding you use could also be bringing down the quality of your sleep. Just like mattresses, different types of bedding benefit different types of sleepers. For example, if you tend to get hot throughout the night, you may feel much more comfortable using bed sheets with cooling properties. Flannel sheets can also keep you cozy if you tend to sleep cold. There is a wide variety of sheets on the market, but check out our best sheet guide to browse our favorites.

Use a Headboard

Not only can they make your bedroom look more aesthetically pleasing, but headboards can also improve your sleep experience. While it doesn’t affect the feel of the mattress, it can make your bed a more comfortable place to lounge and settle down before falling asleep. It can also help keep you insulated so you can stay cozy all night long. See our best headboards guide for more information.

Choosing the Right Mattress For You

There may be nothing fundamentally wrong with your mattress, but it’s possible it feels uncomfortable because it’s not meant to accommodate your personal sleep needs. Here are some sleep factors to consider when questioning if a mattress if right for you:

Sleeping Position

Different sleeping positions require different mattress features. For example, the best mattress for a back sleeper may be a sleeping disaster for a stomach sleeper. 

  • Back sleepers: Back sleepers sleep best when their mattress offers both comfort and support. They’ll need a mattress that provides contouring and pressure relief, especially in the lumbar region. They can also benefit from a sturdy mattress that provides a bit of lift to ensure proper spinal alignment. Some of our favorite mattresses for back sleepers are in our best mattresses for back sleepers guide.
  • Side sleepers: Side sleepers need a mattress that isn’t too firm and puts pressure on their hips and shoulders, but also isn’t too soft and doesn’t provide proper support. It’s important that the shoulder and hip area has extra cushioning to prevent pain on the pressure points. Luckily, there are plenty of mattresses out there that are just right for side sleepers, and we’ve rounded them up in our best mattresses for side sleepers guide.
  • Stomach sleepers: This sleeping position is the least common among all sleepers, with only 16 percent identifying as stomach sleepers. These sleepers usually benefit from a firm mattress, otherwise, their hips will sink too far into the mattress and cause their lower back to form a “U” shape. Sleeping in this position, with the spine out of alignment, for too long can lead to serious back pain. Luckily, we have a guide on the best mattresses for stomach sleepers to ensure this never happens.
  • Combination sleepers: Combo sleepers are ones who tend to sleep in a bit of every position throughout the night. These sleepers need a bed that is both comfortable and supportive, which all of the mattresses in our best mattresses for combination sleepers guide should provide. Combo sleepers can also do well with a mattress that is responsive and bouncy. This allows them to easily switch between sleeping positions without disrupting their sleep.

Body Type

Your height and body weight are two additional factors that can affect the performance of a mattress. Those heavier in weight may do best on a supportive mattress that is designed specifically with them in mind. Our guide to the best mattresses for heavy people explains some great options. Innerspring mattresses and hybrid mattresses also tend to be extra supportive. Sleepers who are more lightweight may find mattresses feel firmer to them than to those who are average to heavy weight.

Taller people may benefit from a mattress that has extra length to provide them with enough leg room to feel comfortable. A California king mattress and an Alaskan king mattress are both extra long and these additional inches may be just what some tall folks need.

Sleep Temperature

Some sleepers get hot and sweaty at night, while others get cold and shivery. Fortunately, the bedding and mattress industry has plenty of sleep products to make you as comfortable as possible. Some mattresses and sheets are specifically designed to be cooling and breathable and not trap body heat. There are even heated mattress pads and bed climate-controlling devices available. 


What can I put on my mattress to make it more comfy?

If you want to physically put something on top of your mattress, we recommend using a mattress topper or mattress pad that matches your firmness preferences.

Can a mattress topper fix a bad mattress?

It depends on what you mean by “fix.” A mattress topper can absolutely help make a comfortable bed, but it won’t help if your mattress is otherwise damaged.

Do mattress toppers make a difference?

They certainly can! There are plenty of different mattress toppers on the market and each has its own unique feel. They can definitely add an extra layer of comfort, which may be the difference you seek.

How do I make my bed feel like a cloud?

The key to making your bed feel “cloud-like” is to make it soft, fluffy, and cozy. A plush mattress topper or mattress pad can help you achieve the cloud feel, such as a down mattress topper. A puffy duvet or comforter and soft pillows can also help enhance the cloud feel. Making sure you have a soft mattress or one with a pillow top is also helpful.

What is a cheap mattress?

A mattress is typically considered to be on the cheap side if it is less than $1,000 for a queen size. Check out our guide on cheap vs expensive mattresses for more details.

What is a luxury mattress?

A mattress is typically considered “luxury” if it is made with very high-quality materials. These are often more expensive and usually cost more than $2,000 for a queen size. Check out our best luxury mattresses of 2024 for more information on luxury mattresses.

Do mattress toppers make a difference?

They certainly can! There are plenty of different mattress toppers on the market and each has its own unique feel. They can definitely add an extra layer of comfort, which may be the difference you seek.


If your mattress simply isn’t cutting it but is still in good shape, don’t automatically start searching for a new mattress. There are plenty of simple steps you can take to improve your relationship with your mattress without completely replacing it. You can get a better night’s sleep without breaking the bank to get a new one.

Riley Otis

Riley Otis

Riley is an editorial intern at Sleepopolis. She's a firm believer that there’s nothing better than a good night’s sleep. Riley is a student at Elon University and currently working towards a degree in journalism and creative writing. In her free time, she loves to paint, cook, and spend time with family (especially her pets).