Is my mattress too firm for me?

Do you feel that your mattress is too firm for you? In this article we explain how you can tell whether you’re sleeping on a mattress that is too firm, how long your body needs to get used to a new mattress and how to soften a mattress that feels too firm.

Getting used to your new mattress

Your body needs some time to get used to a new mattress. You may have slept on a different mattress for 10 years, so give your body some time to adjust. When you buy a new mattress from us, we always ask you to give yourself at least 14 days to adjust to your new mattress before exchanging it*.

* Most of our brands offer an exchange guarantee. Contact us to check whether the firmness level of your mattress qualifies for exchange.

How can you tell whether your mattress is too firm?

When is your mattress too firm? Below we’ve listed a few signs that may indicate that your mattress is too firm for you. Do you recognise yourself in the descriptions below? Then it’s a good idea to reassess the firmness level of your mattress.

  • You sleep on your stomach or lie down in a semi-twisted position
  • You suffer from neck pain
  • You toss and turn a lot during the night
  • You suffer from lower back pain
  • You put your hand under your pillow or fold your pillow in half
  • You want a thick pillow because your shoulders don’t sink in enough
  • You pull yourself up in bed all the time, fluffing up your pillow by pushing it against the headboard
  • Your arms sometimes go numb at night
  • When you lie on your back, you can easily put your hand under the hollow of your back
  • As a man, you feel a lot of pressure on your shoulders when lying on your side; as a woman, you feel a lot of pressure on your shoulders and hips, and you don’t get enough support at the waist
De Nachtwacht - experts in slaapadvies

Neck and back problems caused by sleeping on an excessively firm mattress

How can you make a firm mattress softer?

Sleeping on an excessively firm mattress can cause back problems and even neck problems. You will struggle to get a good night’s sleep and you will feel anything but well-rested in the morning. Is your current mattress too firm for you, and are you curious to find out how you can make it softer? A few tips:


  • Use a mattress topper

In many cases this is the best emergency solution. A mattress topper is a thin mattress that you put on top of a regular mattress. It is the perfect solution to make your mattress feel softer. Are you looking for a cosy and luxurious feeling? Then a mattress topper is just what you need: it feels soft as you lie down, but you don’t lose the support of your mattress underneath.

An additional advantage is that a mattress topper is a cheaper alternative to buying a new mattress. However, remember it is still important to have a good-quality mattress under your topper. A mattress topper feels more pleasant but it cannot counteract the effects of a poor-quality mattress.

Curious about the other advantages of mattress toppers? Click here to find out more.


  • Adjustable slatted base

Do you sleep on a slatted base? Check whether you can adjust the slats to make them feel a little softer. That way, your base can move along with your body more and your mattress will feel softer.


  • Time for a new mattress?

How old is your mattress? On average, a mattress lasts for 10 years. So, if your mattress is almost 10 years old, it may be more interesting to buy a completely new mattress straight away. It is better not to buy a mattress topper as an emergency solution when your current mattress is 8 years old for example. Wondering why it is recommended to replace your mattress after 10 years? Discover our advice here.

Important note: many people are afraid that a new mattress will be too soft. The alternative to an excessively firm mattress does not necessarily have to be an excessively soft one. What you need is a mattress that provides just the support you need where you need it.


  • Memory foam mattress

Do you sleep on a memory foam mattress? Then make sure that the room is not too cold. Memory foam is a material that is sensitive to temperature. In a cold bedroom, a memory foam mattress will feel firmer as it takes a few minutes before the mattress reacts to your body heat and adapts itself. The reverse is also true: your memory foam mattress will feel softer in a warm room.

Discover all the advantages and disadvantages of a memory foam mattress here.

Do you still have questions? Or maybe you’re still not quite sure whether your mattress is too firm for you? Contact us! One of our experts will be happy to help you!