How Do I Fix My Bed if it Is Too Hard?

A hard mattress can cause you to wake up achy. If this is your bed's problem, a soft mattress topper can help you sleep more comfortably. This option works best when a new mattress just isn't in the budget. For the best results, choose a mattress topper that fits both your budget, bed and back.

Man waking up
credit: KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock/Getty Images
When you're not getting the sleep you need, a hard mattress could be one of the causes.

Memory Foam Topper

To improve your sleep comfort, add a memory foam mattress topper to your bed. As mattresses age, they compact and lose the ability to spring back. A memory foam mattress topper installed atop the bed but under the sheets can reduce the strain on the body's pressure points caused by a sagging mattress. It does this by conforming to those parts of the body. Some toppers have egg-carton style texture for added comfort. Memory foam mattress toppers typically range from 2 inches to 6 inches in thickness. Verify that your sheets can still match the depth of your bed with a mattress topper on top.

Grandma's Feather Bed

A feather-filled topper is used in the same way as a memory-foam topper--it's placed atop the mattress pad but beneath the sheets. Feather toppers are sewn bags filled with feathers, often quilted into panels to keep the feathers from shifting. Before buying any mattress topper, measure the dimensions of the bed's surface to compare them with the topper's measurements. This will ensure a correct fit.

Fiber-Fill Topper

When feathers or memory foam won't work for you because of allergies or sensitivities, fiber mattress toppers can offer another way to alleviate pressure against the body from a hard mattress. A fiber mattress topper is made from polyester fiber fill (or some other down alternative) placed inside a cotton cover. Some people complain that fiber mattress toppers develop lumps and an uneven surface, especially after washing at home. To avoid these problems, have an eco-friendly dry cleaner provide the needed cleaning.

Wool and Latex Toppers

Wool toppers are often used in hospitals to help alleviate bedsores in patients who are bedridden. They also work well as personal mattress toppers. Another natural option is a latex mattress topper, which provides the same effects as a memory foam mattress topper but without all the nasty chemical off-gassing. However, latex and wool toppers are often more expensive when compared with memory foam toppers.

When To Buy a Mattress

Well-made mattresses rotated or turned regularly can last up to 10 years, which equates to about 30,000 hours of use. Consumer Reports provides a list of tips that let you know when it's time to buy a new mattress. When you're over age 40, your body doesn't tolerate hard surfaces like it used to, which may require you to buy a new mattress every five to seven years. When you wake up still feeling tired, it's a good indication that your mattress may require replacement.