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How to make your firm mattress softer

New mattress too hard? Try these tips before you return it.

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If your bed is too firm it can cause aches, pains and disrupt your sleep.

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Did you set up a brand-new mattress, only to wake up the next day and find it too firm? One of the downsides of buying a mattress online (or even a store IRL) is that you don't really know what it's going feel like until you sleep on it. Even if you have the chance to test out your mattress in a store before you buy, sometimes that's not enough to know how comfortable it will be to sleep on. So if you prefer a softer mattress, but keep waking up after sleeping on your new bed with aches and pains from the firmness -- it's not too late.

Before you resort to going out to buy a new mattress -- consider these tips below to help make your new bed more comfortable. Is your mattress too soft instead? Try these tips to make a soft mattress more firm.

Read more: 9 signs it's time to replace your mattress

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Try a mattress topper

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A plush mattress topper or mattress pad can help your bed feel softer. 

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Don't underestimate the power of a soft mattress topper to totally change the way your bed feels. This is one of the least expensive options since you won't have to replace the mattress or bed frame to feel a difference. 

Some things to look for when you check out a mattress topper are "plush," or down-filled toppers. Memory foam can be a good option, but sometimes these toppers will feel more firm. If you currently have a memory foam mattress and it feels too firm, try a plush pillow top mattress topper. If you have a regular mattress but want to see if memory foam will feel softer, you can always get a soft, less dense topper to see if it helps you. 

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Consider the foundation 

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It's important to consider what type of foundation you have if you want your bed to feel softer.

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If you have a new memory foam mattress, chances are you may have ditched your box spring for a different support. This could be part of the problem since a box spring may feel softer compared to a more firm surface, like a platform or slat foundation.

If you have a regular mattress, using a box spring support may help the mattress feel softer. If you have a memory foam mattress, check with the manufacturer before placing it on a box spring since many say that a box spring is not a good support for a memory foam mattress.  

Give it some time

If you just purchased a new bed, it may simply take some time to "break in" the mattress. If you purchased a "bed in a box" or memory foam mattress that came compressed inside a box, it may take some time to fully expand and could feel less firm over time. Try waiting it out a few more days before deciding it's time to return it and try another mattress.

If you want to try giving the mattress some time to wear in, you can always add a softer mattress topper on it in the meantime while you wait. This will of course vary depending on the type of mattress you have, but it's worth trying if you're patient and aren't losing too much sleep.

Check the temperature in your room

Do you like to keep your bedroom really cool at night? If you have a memory foam mattress this could actually make the mattress feel more firm. This is because the memory foam mattress material is more sensitive to temperature. 

Your body heat could help it feel a bit softer, but to really feel the difference consider warming up your room at night to help the mattress feel more soft.