Your sleep patterns depend highly on the kind of mattress you choose. You may find it immensely very difficult if you do not choose the right mattress that benefits your sleep cycle. However, although most people buy a new mattress for a better sleeping experience, not all mattresses will meet your expectations.
This is because everybody has different requirements. You may go through multiple reviews and do extensive research before buying a mattress, yet find it unsuitable for your sleeping needs. This is why mattress companies come with sleep trials so that you can get used to the mattress over time.
One of the ways in which a mattress may fall short of your expectations is when you find it too firm. While some will immediately notice the firmness, others may not do so right away. However, your body will give you signs that the mattress choice is not right for your sleep.
Knowing these signs will help you determine the right mattress for yourself and make a better choice next time should you replace it.
Signs that Your Mattress is Too Stiff or Firm?
Your body’s response to your mattress is the best sign that it is suitable for you. If not, it will tell you that your mattress is too firm for comfort. So here are some signs you should be looking out for.
1. Back And Neck Stiffness
The first sign that you will notice if your mattress is too firm is that you will wake up with a stiff neck and back. The stiffness could also extend to your shoulders. You will feel uncomfortable moving your neck around, and you may also feel a pull around the muscle.
You may suffer from upper back or lower back aches or both. This is because the firm mattress is not providing adequate support to your joints and muscles, and they will be stiff after eight hours of contact with a firm surface.
2. Feeling Too Hot or Cold
While the mattress itself has got nothing to do with the temperature, it is more of a psychological phenomenon. When you have trouble falling asleep due to or experience strange sensations, your body will go through various levels of discomfort.
You may sometimes feel too hot or too cold by sleeping on the wrong mattress. Moreover, if your mattress is indeed too firm, the dense fabric and foam can actually cause a rise in the body temperature.
If you sleep on a mattress that is too firm, you are bound to experience sleeplessness due to a lack of comfort. All night you will probably keep changing your sleeping position, tossing around here and there. Upon waking up, you will feel totally restless.
Even after seven to eight hours of sleep, you will still wake up feeling tired because your body was not getting the comfort it needed. This can cause immense disturbance in the REM phase, and if this continues for a long, you will even experience insomnia.
4. Numbness in Toes And Fingers
If your mattress is too firm, you will feel a tingling or burning in your extremities, like toes and fingers. Or they may go entirely numb. This is because your mattress is not adequately cradling the joints and other parts of the body and is even causing a problem in blood circulation.
When you sleep in the same position for a long time on a stiff mattress, your body will feel irritated, causing these issues.
5. You Sleep Better Elsewhere
If you sleep better in the guest bedroom or a hotel, then this is a telltale sign that your mattress is not suitable for you. You will notice a rapid difference in your sleep quality because you will wake up feeling refreshed.
You will feel that you had a deep sleep and will not feel like sleeping in your own bed. This is a significant sign that your own mattress is not right for you.
6. You Don’t Sink in
In all the mattress advertisements that you have seen, you see everyone getting cozy and comfortable in their plush mattress. Unfortunately, you do not get that feeling from your own mattress.
You always feel like you are lost and just out of place. This happens when you do not get that cradling sensation from your mattress, which often happens because it is too firm and you don’t sink in.
How to Soften Your Mattress?
Is it possible to soften a mattress? In some cases, yes. Although a lot depends on the quality of the materials used in the mattress, you can soften the mattress to some extent. Here are some ways to try out.
1. Promote Movement
One way to soften your mattress is to promote movement. Some mattresses remain stiff because the foam inside has been unable to expand fully after removing it from the packaging. This makes the mattress hard and lumpy in places, resulting in back and neck stiffness.
To remove this discomfort, you can induce some movement in the mattress. Walking or crawling over it a few times a day will stimulate the air pockets. Once they expand fully, they become considerably softer.
2. Break Into it
Most of the popular mattress companies offer a sleep trial for 100 days. That is how long it takes for the mattress to become what it should be and for your body to adjust to it comfortably. Breaking into it means utilizing this trial period efficiently.
However, it would be best to break into the mattress by sleeping on it. If that is too uncomfortable, you can put some heavy objects on the mattress and shift them around.
3. Increase The Room Temperature
Increasing the room temperature slightly can help soften your mattress. The foam is usually heat sensitive, so increasing the temperature can help soften the mattress quite a bit. However, do not do so at the cost of causing you discomfort.
It is wrong to assume that the hotter the room is, the softer your mattress will become. You will only end up sweating more. Just turn it a couple of degrees higher.
4. Buy a Mattress Topper
Buying a Mattress topper is highly beneficial if you want a soft and mushy mattress that provides relaxing sleep. A mattress topper can be around four inches thick, and it will give you the comfort that the mattress cannot.
While the underlying mattress will lend you the support you need, the mattress topper will give you the softness you crave.
5. Switch your Sleeping Position
Altering your sleeping position can help in softening your mattress in many ways. Constantly sleeping in the same position can make some areas of your mattress lumpy and stiff, so a change in position can smoothen things out.
What to Do if a Mattress is Too Soft?
While a firm and stiff mattress will cause discomfort, a very soft mattress is not the right option. If a mattress is too soft, it will bring its own set of problems. You will not get any support at all, and your mattress will sag from your body weight. This could lead to lower back pain and, over time, can also lead to spinal problems.
If you feel your mattress is too soft, then simply find a mattress topper that is firmer than the mattress, and both of them together will offer you the right balance and support. You will notice a rapid difference when the soreness disappears the following day.
It is impossible to ascertain whether a mattress is right for you or not unless you have slept on it for some time. It may become stiffer or softer with you, depending on the quality of the materials in the mattress. But if you do not feel your mattress softening or giving you the comfort you wanted even after breaking in, you should consider replacing it.
You can speak to your mattress brand representative and talk about returning or replacing the mattress according to the terms of the sleep trial. They will also be able to guide you better with the new one, and this time you will have more information based on what your body needs.