How Long Does It Take to Get Used to A New Mattress?


Your new mattress is finally here. You’ve either received it by delivery or maybe picked it up yourself. Either way, you are eager to sleep on your new comfy mattress. You might be surprised then to wake up the next day and be disappointed. Maybe it was too hard or more lumpy than it felt in the store.

You might even think you made a bad choice, especially if you bought it online, as more people are doing nowadays. The first few nights may pass with no improvement. Once the feeling doesn’t seem to be improving, you may start asking yourself, “Is this normal?”. 

Well, thankfully, it’s perfectly normal and to be expected. This is part of the reason there’s usually a minimum sleep trial time of 30 days for new mattresses. It takes up to a month to determine the real feeling of a mattress and give it time to conform to your body shape.

The material does impact how long this process can take as certain materials do mold to your body easier than others. High-density material will need longer to form a comfortable shape for your support. Many companies now offer a sleep trial of 365 days, so you should have plenty of time to get used to your new mattress. 


How Do I Break In A New Mattress?


Basically, you have to just sleep on it every night and give it time. The process usually takes up to 30 days before it starts to feel as comfortable and supportive as it should. To speed it along and “soften up” the mattress, there are some things you can do:

Crawl on it: I know, it may feel weird to do this, but it works. Just a few minutes a day proves effective. Make sure you crawl all over the surface to get even coverage.

Walk on it: It’s not what you would naturally do on a mattress, but it works because you are putting extra pressure and weight on the fibers to stretch them and soften them. 

Roll around on it: Putting even pressure and extra weight on all parts of the mattress will break it in quicker. You only need to roll around for a couple of minutes a day. Imagine you’re a rolling pin and have fun. 

Think of it as a brand new shoe. It feels rough around the edges, a bit tight and tough at first, but then after enough wear and use, it softens up. Your mattress is no different. Just be consistent with sleeping on it through the first little rough patch. 


How Long Does It Take To Get Used To A New Memory Foam Mattress?


The average time it takes to get used to any new mattress is 30 days. This is enough time to soften the new materials allowing them to mold to your body and to find your ideal shape. The memory foam may need time to expand as well unlike other materials.

The memory foam needs to be left unwrapped to fully extend to its intended size. So, don’t put sheets or bedding on it for the first few hours or 48 hours if you can wait. They typically take the longest to break in because of their density.

The higher the density, the longer it takes to break it in. It’s also important to remember to have the proper frame for your new mattress to lay on.

The best bed base for a memory foam mattress is usually a solid style. No slats or springs. Occasionally there is an exception to this rule where a small slatted style foundation is suitable and ideal for your mattress, but usually a solid bed frame is the way to go. 

how long to get accustommed to a new mattress


What Is The Break In Period For A New Latex Mattress?


Many sources claim it only takes 2-14 days to break in your new latex mattress. However, that is not enough time to break in a natural latex mattress. If the latex mattress is made of synthetic materials, it can typically contain a lot of air between the fibers and it’s quicker to break in.

But if you have bought a natural or organic latex mattress, you need to wait at the usual 30 days and up to 60 days to truly know if your new mattress is suitable for you. The fibers need time to stretch and find your ideal support shape.

The material will eventually mold to your form and be more supportive. The hard part is being patient. It will start to feel softer and be more supportive if you wait a sufficient amount of time. 


Why Do You Need to Break Into Your New Mattress?


You have to break it in because if you don’t you will not get sufficient support and comfort from the mattress. The mattress is going to be hard or misshapen (depending on how you bought it and had it delivered) when you first bring it into your home.

The “breaking in” period is necessary because the fibers and material need to be stretched and softened before they can be judged properly. Only after breaking in your mattress will you truly know if your new mattress was a good buy. 

how long to break in a new mattress


When Should I Consider A Return?


If you have waited the appropriate amount of time, the recommended 30 days, you can start to consider a return. Most mattress companies won’t even consider a return before the 30 days since your purchase.

This is because they know it takes at least that amount of time to get used to your new mattress. The return process should be clearly stated by your mattress company and they usually have a long enough sleep trial period for you to return it without penalty.

Before you go through the whole process though, how do you know whether or not you should consider a return after 30 days of sleeping on it daily?

  • If your back is still not getting proper support. You’ll feel a backache and possibly also a neck ache every morning if your new mattress isn’t supporting your spine like it needs.
  • If you tend to sleep in a certain sleeping position, the mattress needs to be suitable for your sleep style. If you find that the new bed is too hard for you or too soft based on your sleep position, then do consider a return and look into a mattress with the correct firmness for your sleep style.
  • If you want to know how to pick the right mattress for you, you can read more about it here.

Do Firm Mattresses Get Softer?


This does depend on the material your new mattress is made of. A firm memory foam or latex mattress will soften with use because the fibers will be stretched with weight. A spring mattress will also feel softer after an appropriate break in period. 

If your new mattress feels too firm, you may need to check the foundation. For instance, if you have a memory foam mattress, be sure to get a solid bed base and ditch the box spring. However, with most other materials, you will find that a box spring does soften even a firm mattress. 

You can also try using a mattress topper to soften up your mattress. It will add a layer of plush or support to your mattress. Check out our recommendations for some organic mattress toppers here.

breaking in new bed


Why Does My New Mattress Hurt My Back?


There are two kinds of problems if your mattress is uncomfortable and causes back pain. It’s because it’s too soft or too hard. 

Signs your new mattress is too hard:

  • You have upper back or neck pain when you wake up: The problem with a hard mattress is that it doesn’t give enough to support your natural contours. Your mattress will cause upper back pain because it isn’t allowing your spine to bend to a natural shape while you lay down. This will also cause neck pain because your spine is out of line. 
  • You have discomfort in your arms and shoulders: Much like your upper back pain, you can experience pain in your arms and shoulders too when your spine is not properly supported. Your shoulders need to be supported in a natural relaxed position so if your mattress is too hard, your shoulders and arms will be forced to stay in an uncomfortable position all night long.
  • The mattress doesn’t contour to your body: Your new bed needs to give a little on the pressure points of your body to allow proper support. If your mattress doesn’t conform somewhat to your body shape, it will not be able to give gentle support to your pressure points, which are often the cause of pain when you wake up. 

Signs your mattress is too soft:

  • There’s a deep dent in your mattress when you get out of bed in the morning: A dent in a memory foam or latex mattress is completely normal and desirable because it means that your material is starting to soften and form to your body. The deep dent however is a sign that it is not supportive enough to align your spine while you sleep. Your mattress needs to be firm enough to keep your spine in the same position as when you are standing upright. This means a dent is fine to a certain extent, but not so deep that your spine is bent too much.
  • You toss and turn: This is a sign that you’re experiencing lower back pain from insufficient back support and spinal alignment. You keep waking up and turning because your body is trying to compensate for the lack of support by moving around to adjust the painful position your back is held in by the mattress that is too soft. 
  • You feel like you’re sinking into your mattress: You might feel like you are sinking to the bottom of your mattress when you lie down or sit on it. This is a classic sign that your mattress is too soft. The mattress should not swallow you! Your mattress will hurt your back if it doesn’t give enough support and allows you to sink into an unnatural position.

Can You Sleep On A New Mattress Straight Away?


Yes! In fact, you should. The mattress needs to soften and contour to your specific body shape. While you can speed up the process, these methods are supposed to be in addition to sleeping on your new mattress daily. You need to sleep on your mattress right away or else it will not soften or stretch the fibers.

One exception to this rule is a memory foam mattress that needs to be left to expand for a day or two. The ideal time to allow it to expand to its full size is 48 hours after opening (assuming it was transported in a way that deformed the shape). 

Most foam mattresses will need to off gas, releasing some potentially toxic chemicals into the air, depending on the mattress material. In order to speed up the mattress off gassing process, let the mattress breathe for at least 24 hours in a room with plenty of fresh air circulating through the open windows.

The best mattresses are made from natural materials such as organic latex and organic cotton. These organic mattresses don't off gas and they're a much healthier option, especially if you suffer from allergies or chemical sensitivities.


What Should I Do If I Hate My New Mattress?

  • Be patient. Your brand new bed does need some time to be broken in. 
  • Try a mattress topper. If you think you may have picked the wrong mattress firmness, it might help to soften it up in that period of trying to break it in.
  • Consider returning the mattress if you have been waiting for the 30-60 day period and still hate it. You might need to try a different style that will suit your sleeping needs. The new mattress might not be the kind that you need to give your proper support.

Conclusion


We hope that this article has helped you understand the mattress break-in process better. If you are looking for a new mattress, take the time to break it in properly. Remember to rotate it every few weeks, flip it if possible or lift one side periodically to ensure even wear on the memory foam layer.

If you want to make sure your new mattress doesn't off gas toxic chemicals, consider buying an organic model.

If you´re struggling to break in your mattress, follow the simple tips above and you should be good to go. Just be patient, it can take up to a few weeks for the mattress to reach its full potential. And don´t forget that a new mattress usually requires some time to get used to.

About the Author Kamila Flieger

My name is Kamila, and I'm passionate about researching non-toxic, organic products for the home. I believe it's so important to create a safe and healthy environment for our families, and I enjoy helping others do the same.

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