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How to Stiffen a Mattress: Enhancing Firmness for Better Sleep

From the Puffy Editorial Team | 6 min read.
How to Stiffen a Mattress: Enhancing Firmness for Better Sleep

A good night’s sleep is often dictated by the comfort of our mattress. But what happens when your once-perfect mattress starts to feel too soft? This is a common issue, and the solution lies in learning how to stiffen a mattress. Whether it’s a traditional spring mattress, a memory foam, or a gel mattress, there are several ways to increase firmness and improve your sleep experience.

How to Stiffen Mattress

When your mattress starts losing its firmness, it can affect the quality of your sleep. Here are additional ways to stiffen up your mattress and restore its supportive nature:

Utilizing a Firm Mattress Topper

  • Material Matters: Opt for a topper made of high-density foam or latex for the best firming effect.
  • Thickness Counts: A thicker topper can provide more significant firmness adjustments.

Adjusting the Sleeping Environment

  • Room Temperature: For materials like memory foam, a cooler room can make the mattress firmer.
  • Humidity Control: High humidity can make mattresses feel softer, so maintaining a dry environment can help.

Bed Base Adjustments

  • Solid Platforms: A solid platform can offer uniform support, preventing the mattress from sagging.
  • Box Spring Replacement: If your box spring is old or worn out, replacing it can bring back the original firmness of the mattress.

Additional Supports

  • Plywood Boards: Placing plywood boards under the mattress can provide extra support and counteract softness.
  • Extra Padding: Sometimes adding additional layers between the mattress and box spring or platform can help.

Puffy Cloud Mattress is designed to maintain its firmness over time, offering a solution for those who frequently face the issue of a softening mattress.

How to Stiffen a Memory Foam Mattress

Memory foam mattresses are known for their comfort and support, but they can soften over time. Here’s how you can stiffen a memory foam mattress:

Temperature Adjustments

  • Cooler Room Temperatures: Since memory foam responds to temperature, lowering the room temperature can make the foam firmer.

Supportive Foundations

  • Appropriate Base: A flat, solid foundation is crucial for memory foam mattresses. Slatted bases should have slats close enough to prevent the mattress from sinking.

Using a Mattress Topper

  • Firm Toppers: A firm latex or high-density foam topper can be placed on top of the memory foam mattress to provide additional support.

Regular Care and Maintenance

  • Rotating the Mattress: Regularly rotating the mattress can prevent uneven wear and softening in certain areas.
  • Avoiding Excessive Weight: Keeping the weight on the mattress evenly distributed and avoiding excessive weight can help maintain its firmness.

How to Stiffen a Gel Mattress

Gel mattresses offer a unique combination of comfort and support, but like any mattress, they can lose firmness over time. Here’s how you can increase the firmness of your gel mattress:

Using a Firm Mattress Topper

  • Selecting the Right Material: Choose a topper made from high-density foam or latex, as these materials are effective at adding firmness to a softer mattress.
  • Thickness and Density: A thicker, denser topper will have a more significant impact on increasing the firmness of your gel mattress.

Ensuring Proper Foundation

  • Solid Base: A solid platform or a sturdy slatted base can provide the necessary support for a gel mattress, preventing it from sagging or losing firmness.
  • Box Spring Check: If you use a box spring, ensure it’s in good condition. A worn-out box spring can contribute to the softening of the mattress.

Adjusting the Sleeping Environment

  • Room Temperature: While gel mattresses are less sensitive to temperature changes than memory foam, maintaining a cooler room can still help in retaining the mattress’s firmness.
  • Humidity Levels: Keeping the room’s humidity in check can also play a role in maintaining the firmness of a gel mattress.

If you’re facing challenges with your gel mattress softening over time, a Puffy Cloud Mattress might be a suitable alternative. Its unique mattress design emphasizes lasting firmness and support, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a consistently firm sleep surface without the need for frequent adjustments.

Additional Tips for Increasing Mattress Firmness

Beyond specific mattress types, here are more general tips to stiffen your mattress:

  • Review the Box Spring: An old or worn-out box spring can cause even the firmest mattress to feel soft.
  • Add Plywood Supports: Placing plywood boards between the mattress and the base can provide additional firmness.
  • Regularly Rotate the Mattress: This prevents sagging and helps maintain even firmness across the mattress.

Interested in how Puffy stacks up against other brands? Check out our mattress comparisons: Puffy vs Purple, Puffy vs Nectar, Puffy vs Casper, Puffy vs Leesa, Puffy vs Saatva, Puffy vs DreamCloud, and Puffy vs Tuft and Needle.

When to Consider a New Mattress

Sometimes, despite all efforts, a mattress cannot be sufficiently firmed up. In these cases, purchasing a new mattress might be the best solution. Here are some signs that it’s time to replace your mattress:

  • Persistent Discomfort: If you’re constantly waking up with aches and pains, your mattress might be too soft for your needs.
  • Visible Sagging: When a mattress visibly sags or has lumps, it’s a clear indication that it’s losing its structural integrity.
  • Age Factor: Most mattresses have a lifespan of 7-10 years. If yours is older, it might be time for an upgrade.

Check out Puffy mattress reviews from real customers and see how we compare with other brands.

Preventative Measures to Maintain Mattress Firmness

To avoid the need to stiffen your mattress in the future, consider the following preventative measures:

  • Regular Rotation and Flipping: This can help prevent uneven wear and sagging.
  • Using a Mattress Protector: This can help shield the mattress from moisture and body oils that can break down the materials over time.
  • Choosing the Right Foundation: Ensure that your bed base is supportive and matches the type of mattress you have.

Use our store locator to find the closest furniture or mattress store near you and feel the cloudlike comfort of our Puffy Mattress in person.


Stiffening a mattress is a practical way to extend its life and improve your sleep quality. Whether you’re dealing with a memory foam, gel, or traditional mattress, there are multiple strategies to increase firmness. Remember, maintaining your mattress and using the right foundation are key to preserving its firmness. 

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