How To Make A Memory Foam Mattress Firmer

May 18, 2021 | Casper Editorial Team

There’s nothing more luxurious than relaxing into a high-quality memory foam mattress at the end of a long day. Yet, these cushiony wonders aren’t for everyone. Many people prefer a firmer mattress that they can comfortably rest on top of rather than sink into. Although each mattress type has its own attributes, it always boils down to an individual’s sleeping style and personal preferences.

To that end, if you or your partner own a memory foam mattress, but you’d prefer to sleep on something firmer, you’re probably wondering: can you make a memory foam mattress firmer? 

Yes, you can. And rest assured—you have options. 

Read on to learn a wide range of affordable tips and tricks for making your memory foam mattress firmer.

Tips for Making Your Memory Foam Mattress Firmer

One too many rough nights of sleep—and the back pain that follows—will have you searching Google to find out how to make a memory foam mattress firmer. If you’re not ready to invest in a completely new mattress, there are a wide range of tips you can try first to make your memory foam mattress firmer including:

  1. Flip your bed
  2. Invest in a mattress topper
  3. Replace the box spring or platform
  4. Add extra support
  5. Watch your thermostat
  6. Beware of moisture
  7. Move your mattress 

If you try all of these tricks, but you still can’t get a good night’s sleep, it might be time to shop for mattresses designed specifically for firm sleepers. However, before you spend money, make sure you review the below. 

#1 Flip Your Bed

It’s best practice to rotate and flip your mattress seasonally to prevent sagging and impressions. Add it to your spring cleaning routine, and you’ll notice the benefits immediately. 

Many wonder how long do memory foam mattresses last and while typically, memory foam mattresses have an average lifespan of 10 years, flipping your mattress can help you get maximum lifespan. 

Flipping your mattress can also help you make your bed feel a bit firmer. Once the mattress is flipped and rotated, the heaviest parts of your body will lay in different spots, reducing the indentations that might give you the unpleasant feeling of sinking into a sagging mattress.1 

The unused face of the mattress is usually sturdier, so try flipping your mattress before you buy anything unnecessarily. But keep in mind that not all mattresses are made equal on both sides. Some mattresses are made specifically for one sleeping surface only.

If you are still noticing sagging in your mattress, this may be a sign you need a new mattress.

#2 Invest in a Mattress Topper

Most people buy mattress toppers to make an uncomfortable mattress softer, but there are many mattress toppers that are designed to create a firmer surface for you to sleep on. These mattress toppers come in different materials, including but not limited to:

  • Memory foam
  • Latex2

Additionally, dense memory foam or latex mattress toppers are ideal for creating a firmer sleeping experience. Latex is a natural foam material made from rubber tree sap that is both firm and responsive. However, there are also less expensive synthetic latex options. 

Mattress toppers range from two to six inches thick so you can pick your ideal thickness. But why is this important? The thickness of your mattress and accompanying topper is a paramount in preventing you from sinking into the mattress and for providing even weight distribution.

With that being said, beware of thinner mattress pads that usually make mattresses softer. You should specifically look for mattress toppers, not mattress pads.1 

While Casper’s mattress toppers don’t make your mattress firmer per say, they do make your mattress more comfortable and supportive which may be what you really need.

#3 Replace the Box Spring or Platform

The box spring or platform is one of the most important factors for your mattress’s comfort and durability. If you are wondering “does a memory foam mattress need a box spring or sturdy bed frame?” the answer is yes. The box spring or platform your mattress sits on reinforces the mattress to reduce pressure, but over time they wear out, losing their strength and support. 

It’s standard to replace your box spring after prolonged use, and it’s usually more affordable than buying an entirely new mattress.

Better than a box spring, our Mattress Foundation serves as the perfect base for your bed.

#4 Add Extra Support

An excellent low-cost option is to add plywood between your existing mattress and box spring (or your mattress and bed frame). The plywood adds a supportive and even base layer that will help firm your mattress. 

However, while this plywood layer will add more support, it can also reduce airflow, which might cause mold to grow. Foam mattresses, in particular, need proper airflow to prevent mold from growing. Take this into account if you’re adding extra mattress support.

#5 Watch Your Thermostat

Believe it or not, the temperature of your room affects mattress firmness. If you’re sleeping on a memory foam mattress, try to keep your room as cool as possible.2 Heat will cause the material to expand, thus rendering it softer. 

Considering that temperature can affect firmness, you may be wondering “are memory foam mattresses hot or cool?” While traditional memory foam mattresses do tend to run hot, more modern memory foam mattresses are designed with cooling gel technology to prevent heat retention.

#6 Beware of Moisture

Your bed can soften by absorbing moisture from the air. This problem is more common in humid areas and or locations that are close to the beach. If you believe your bed has become softer due to excess moisture, lay it in the sun for the day and let it dry out. 

The sun will dry any moisture and help to mitigate: 

  • Bacteria
  • Mold 
  • Germs

If the problem persists and you don’t know how to clean a mattress properly, you can also have your mattress professionally cleaned.1

#6 Move Your Mattress

One of the cheapest options to make your mattress firmer is to place it on the floor. Doing so can create an even and solid support base for the mattress, resulting in a firmer structure.2

While this option is affordable, know that there are some drawbacks, including:

  • Dust
  • Reduced airflow
  • Mold

If your mattress is on the floor, dust will accumulate around the edges, which can trigger allergies. Placing a mattress on the floor also prevents adequate airflow which can lead to a sweaty sleeping experience and cause mold to grow inside your mattress.3 

If you choose to move your mattress to the floor, invest in a waterproof mattress protector that will guard against dirt, spills, and wear-and-tear.

The Benefits of a Firm Mattress

If you’re searching for how to make your memory foam mattress firmer, you’re probably no stranger to the specific comfort that a firm mattress offers.

A structured mattress holds your body in a neutral position, supporting the natural curve of your spine to promote spinal alignment and aligning your head, shoulders, buttocks, and heels. The ideal mattress should also provide pressure relief because of how it equally distributes your weight across its surface area.

The perfect mattress for your body can:

  • Relax your muscles
  • Help you sleep better
  • Improve your posture. 

On the other hand, if you sleep on the wrong type of mattress, it will interfere with your sleep, and you might even wake up with back pain. 

On a firmer surface, your bones absorb most of the pressure of your body weight, putting less stress on your muscles, veins, and arteries. A reduction in this strain improves your circulation and allows you to sleep deeply. For many individuals, this is the perfect option! 

Mattresses with a greater firmness level also prevent your lower back from collapsing, which can allow for more oxygen intake while sleeping and ensure the weight of your body is evenly distributed. Different sleepers usually prefer different types of mattresses. Because firm mattresses provide a more stable, even surface, they tend to be a better fit for:

  • Back sleepers
  • Stomach sleepers

It’s important to understand that—as it pertains to mattresses—firmness vs. softness exists on a spectrum. This range means that you can always find the perfect fit.4 

Sleep Soundly with Casper

If you’re still asking yourself how to make a memory foam mattress firmer after implementing the tips above, it might be time to invest in a new mattress. Over time, mattresses naturally begin to wear. A mattress that’s been around for a decade will be significantly softer than when you first purchased it. 

To that end, a quality mattress is about more than just a good night’s rest. 

The firmness of your bed protects your spinal health and prevents body aches, pain, and stiffness. Back and stomach sleepers especially need firmer mattresses to preserve their spinal alignment. Some studies have even shown firmer bedding reduces back pain, improves sleep quality, and reduces general stress.1

If you haven’t been able to make your mattress firmer, then you’re in the right place. Here at Casper, we’ve got a mattress that upholds the firmness level you’re looking for. Ready to give yourself the sleep support you deserve? Perfect. We are too. 


  1. Slumber Yard. How To Make A Mattress Firmer. 
  2. Sleep Advisor. How Can You Make a Mattress Firmer. 
  3. Sleep Advisor. Is Sleeping on A Mattress on The Floor Bad? Here Are 5 Pros and Cons.
  4. Sleepopolis. Firm vs. Soft Mattress – Pros and Cons.