It’s no secret we all sleep differently. Some people love a firm, structured feel to their bed, others prefer the plushy cloud-like feeling. And with all the choices out there, it can make shopping for a natural mattress difficult - especially if you’re juggling differing needs when two people are sleeping on it!
Even if you find the perfect mattress for your needs, life happens and things change - and in a year or two, you might prefer something firmer, or your new partner wants more support. So we’re revealing the top hacks that can impact your mattress feel and things you could try before splurging on a brand new one.
When you are needing a firmer more supportive feel from your mattress…
When buying a new mattress isn’t on the table, there’s still ways you can improve firmness for your ultimate sleep. Sure, they won't give you the sturdy feel of a brand new mattress, but they’ll certainly help extend the life of your current mattress and hopefully increase that supportive feeling you crave when hopping into bed.
Whether you’re sleeping on an older, softer mattress or you’re sharing a bed with someone who prefers the Cloud 9 mattress style, give these tips a try…
Check your foundations
The feel of your mattress will respond to the surface you sit it on, whether it’s a second mattress, a box spring base, or bed frame with slats. So provided your mattress is still in great shape, then your bed frame is a handy adjustment you can make.
Firm, slatted bed frames like these assist in making your mattress feel a lot more supportive, firmer, and aids in adding consistent support to your mattress to hold its shape. If your current base is softer - like the box spring style, flexi or posture slats - then it might be time to look at something a little sturdier, made with natural hardwood materials. It is also important to keep an eye on the age of your flexi/posture slats as they will need to be replaced every 3-5 years, this is how long you can expect them to maintain their support, depending on the quality of the slats. If you are finding dipping or sagging with a ridge in the middle of your mattress, it is highly likely it is time to change over your slats or even upgrade your bed frame all together.
Another trick you can try, particularly if only one of your bed’s occupants is seeking the firm feel, is to support the softer parts of your mattress. To do this, slide a wooden board under the whole mattress or specific side, or even just a small piece if there’s one problem area on your mattress. While not the most long term solution, it’s an effective in-between solution. Just use a piece of plywood cut to size so it fits the bed frame seamlessly.
Rotate or flip your mattress
If you’ve been sleeping on your mattress for several years, there’s a natural softening that can occur as your mattress conforms to your body. At The Natural Bedding Company, most of our mattresses include a layer of untreated Australian Downs wool between the latex and cover. This means that as you sleep in the same spot every night, the wool can pack down, as many mattresses tend to do with time.
If you want to ensure this happens evenly throughout your mattress, not just in that one spot you always lay, we recommend rotating your mattress 180 degrees every three to six months, so that the side that was at the head is now at the foot of the bed. If your mattress is double sided, like the ones we make, then flipping the mattress over (as you should already be doing) is another great way to ensure you are utilising every part of your mattress when you hit the hay.
Do a headcount
How many people are actually sleeping in your bed each night? Two people? Kids? Your 30kg Golden Retriever? Because this can influence not just how firm your mattress feels, but how well you sleep too.
When you have a greater surface area of the bed taken up by bodies, the body weight dispersion across the top layer of the bed will be impacted. Typically the more people in the bed the less comfortable and supported you will feel.
The more people in the bed, the more wear and tear that occurs too. This will ultimately lead to more imprints and a change in feel of your mattress. Additionally, if your mattress isn’t the type to withstand lots of movement or partner disturbance, then you’ll notice the extra bodies a lot more, it may be time to look at whether or not getting a larger bed may be better suited to your circumstances. The larger the bed the greater the surface area and space there is for your body to be supported by the mattress.
While every family is different, it might be a matter of getting the family to sleep a little more independently. And if that’s not your style, then try flipping & rotating your mattress more frequently to even out the wear, or look at some firmer mattress overlays.
Swap out your softer bedding accessories
Take a look at the bedding on your current mattress - do you have silky sheets or loose, old linen? Are there cushioned pillows and blankets surrounding you while you sleep? Then consider shaking things up and aiming for firmer options.
For a more supported night’s sleep, having a firm mattress overlay or protector can help add that extra structure. Likewise, if your sheets are tight and fitted, you’ll ramp up the firm factor a notch as well.
And if your decor involves fluffy pillows or throws, then swap them out for a body pillow to bolster you while you sleep. While it may not sound like much, with a solid slat base and rotated mattress, the firm fitted sheet approach will only aid in providing that supportive feel you are yearning for.
For when you want to create a softer mattress feel…
Do you long for soft, dreamy mattresses that feel like you’re sleeping in a hotel? You’ve come to the right place, because there’s plenty of ways you can nudge your mattress closer to comfort.
Soften your base support
If wooden slats give your mattress a firmer more supportive feel, it makes sense that sprung splats do the opposite. With the added give of sprung slats, often made using flexible beech wood or coiled springs, these slats have a gentle, upward-facing arch and provide a plusher and more cushioned feel.
If your current bed frame comes with a solid wooden base or is on another hard surface like the floor, have a look at other more flexible mattress bases. It is important to keep in mind that these flexible bases and slat styles tend to lose their support within a 3-5 year period, depending on the quality of the base as mentioned above. So keep an eye on your mattress and if you get any dipping or sagging that becomes uncomfortable it might be time to for a refresh.
Make yourself at home
Speaking of supports, your bed frame isn’t the only thing affecting your mattress feel. Consider using more supple sheets like natural French linen, which gets softer with every wash, to add a layer of luxury to your bed. Throw in fluffy blankets and supple pillows that mould to your shape while you’re at it - the ultimate soft feel sleep!
And what would a soft bed be without a beautifully cosy cover, like our organic wool quilt. Wool is our favourite natural bedding material to use, because it feels thick and luxurious, but its natural breathability makes it suitable for all temperatures and seasons.
Made with 100% Organic Wool grown in Victoria, our wool quilts are lightly needled for stability, before being sewn into a natural, unbleached 100% GOTS certified organic cotton casings. With winter coming up, we’re especially thrilled that our quilt is a little thicker than others on the market - perfect for those chasing softer sleeps!
It’s all about layers
Another way to add extra comfort to your bed is with a soft mattress overlay, particularly ones that use materials like wool to enhance pressure point relief and contouring. Mattress overlays or toppers - not to be confused with the thinner mattress protectors - are thick enough that you’ll feel like you’re sleeping on a new mattress, without necessarily springing for something new.
Our natural solution - a wool/latex combo - is the thickest overlay in our range, perfect for those who look for more of a sinking, gentle feel. It’s hand-stitched into an organic cotton and hemp cover, and at 6cm thick, the wool provides a softer feel, making it less spongy than our latex only overlay.
Break your bed in
While our natural bedding makeup means they hold their shape without any ‘breaking in’ required, not every mattress works this way. So if you’re sleeping on a brand new mattress that needs a little help loosening up, this trick is for you.
Try walking across your mattress for a few minutes each day, until you notice the bed softening into your preferred feel, or consider stacking heavy items - think bags, weights, heavy boxes - on top of your bed once you’re up for the day.
And of course, our favourite way to break in a mattress - use it! Your best excuse for a sleep-in yet…
Find your ideal mattress - or work with what you’ve got
Choosing your perfect mattress is not an easy task - which is why we always recommend spending as much time as you need testing potential products in our showrooms. With a number of natural mattress options that suit different sleep styles, you’re bound to find the perfect match.
But we know not every mattress will feel ‘right’ for its entire life, which is how these hacks came about. And as a sustainable bedding business, we love a good trick to extending the life of your products.
Now go forth, find your best suited hacks, and enjoy a seriously good night’s sleep.