Sleep Tips

Have a New Mattress? Here’s How to Break It In

A woman lounging across a bed with her eyes closed.
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As frustrating as it is, sometimes the best things in life require a bit of patience, and this includes breaking in your new mattress. Just like how it takes a bit of time to unwind on an incredible vacation in paradise, settling into your new mattress can take a little time. Here’s everything you need to know about how to break in a mattress, how long it’ll take and what to expect along the way.

Why Does My Mattress Require a Break-In Period?

If you came into a Mattress Firm store, you likely tried out several mattresses before finding the perfect one to match your sleep preferences. Now that your new mattress has made it to your bedroom, it might feel different from your recollection. Don’t panic. It’s totally normal for your mattress to feel firmer than it did in the showroom. Those mattresses have had time to settle. With a bit of time and some rolling around, your mattress will settle into the same comfort level you were expecting.

How Long Will It Take to Break In a New Mattress?

Mattress Firm Sleep Expert® Jill Smith says it takes an average of 21 to 30 nights to break in a new mattress.

In general, our bodies need a bit of time to adjust to anything new, whether sleeping in a new setting, traveling to a new time zone or trying a new food. The same is true for a bed where you’ll likely spend one-third of your time for the next seven years (or possibly longer). It’s only natural for your body to sense differences, especially if your previous mattress had started to soften and sag.

“You might have been in kind of a little sinkhole if your old bed was sagging,” Smith says. “Say you’re now sleeping on a Tempur-Pedic, which is a completely different technology, so that’s going to be a completely different feel that can take some getting used to.”

Similar to breaking in a new pair of stiff shoes, there are a few tricks to help break in your mattress.

Expert Tips for Breaking In a New Mattress

If you’re anything like us and want your mattress to be perfect ASAP, Smith offered up some Sleep Expert® tips to help speed up the process.

Let Nature Do the Work

After delivery, your mattress might need some time to regain its original shape. However, Smith says that as long as your new mattress arrives a few hours before bedtime, you should be ready to tuck into it the same night it arrives. Let it air out by waiting to put a protector and sheets onto it until it’s been out for at least an hour. Smith does point out that people especially sensitive to smell might want to place a box of baking soda at the foot of the bed to help absorb any new mattress odor, which should dissipate in a few days.

Add the Pressure

Your mattress wants to be used. “Really try to break in those foams and get those coils used to having weight on them,” Smith advises. It may seem silly, but some simple ways to accomplish this include rolling around on it and lightly bouncing on it, or even walking on it in bare or socked feet. Have underbed storage containers? Set them on top of the mattress rather than underneath for a few hours. The goal here is to add weight and pressure to the mattress in any way that’s convenient for you, whether it’s placing items on top of the mattress or doing your nightly stretch routine on top of the bed.

How else does Smith recommend adding pressure to help break in your mattress? Get the family involved. “We joke about it, but older people can get the grandkids to come over and jump on it.”

Keep Your Bedroom Warm

Most mattresses these days, even innerspring and hybrids, have some memory foam for the upper comfort layer. Memory foam is sensitive to heat and softens when it gets warm. This is how it gives us that comforting body hug after we’ve been lying down for a few minutes. Smith says keeping your bedroom a bit warmer could help speed up the process of breaking in your mattress since it’s more likely the memory foam will soften from the extra heat.

Stay Consistent

That new pair of hiking boots won’t get broken in by sitting in the closet—you need to wear them. The same can be said for breaking in a new mattress; consistently sleeping on it each night is the most effective way to break in any extra stiffness. Once your body has become accustomed to the new mattress and the bed has become accustomed to the body weight, you’re well on your way to blissful sleep.

Now that you’ve broken in your mattress, be sure to give it the longest lifespan possible by using a mattress protector and a supportive base.

If you’ve tried all these tips to break in your new mattress and it’s still not feeling as comfortable as you’d like, check in with your local Mattress Firm for extra tips. Any mattress bought from Mattress Firm comes with a 120-night sleep trial, so you can make sure your mattress is the best fit possible from the comfort of home.

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