How to Tell if Mattress is Too Firm

Are you finding that your mattress is too firm for your liking, but you’re unsure? It can be difficult to tell if a mattress is just right or needs some adjustments. Whether you already own the mattress or are looking into buying one, it’s important to know how to tell if mattress is too firm before committing financially and getting stuck with an uncomfortable surface for the night.

How to Tell if Mattress is Too Firm

Mattress firmness is important because it can greatly affect the quality of your sleep, impacting your overall health and well-being. If a bed is too hard, you may feel sore and stiff in the morning.

Read on to learn about common signs of a mattress that’s too hard, as well as some tips on what One should look out for when shopping around for mattresses!

What Will You Need?

To test whether your mattress is too firm, you’ll need a few items to help you better understand the surface’s comfort level. These include:

  • Mattress topper (optional)
  • Two pillows
  • A friend (optional)

Once you have these items ready, let’s dive into how to tell if mattress is too firm.

9 Signs on How to Tell if Mattress is Too Firm

Step 1: Check Your Body’s Alignment

The first step in determining if your mattress is too firm is to check your body’s alignment while you’re on the bed. Lie on your back with one pillow under your head and observe if your spine maintains its natural curvature. If your back is arched or you feel a gap between your lower back and the bed, it could be a sign that the mattress is too firm.

This is because a mattress that is too firm won’t contour to your body’s shape, making it hard for your spine to maintain its natural alignment. It’s even better to ask a friend to assess your body’s alignment while lying down.

Step 2: Monitor Morning Pain

One of the most telling signs of a mattress being too firm is experiencing discomfort or pain when you wake up. If you wake with body aches, stiffness, or numbness – particularly in pressure points like your shoulders, hips, or knees – it’s a good indication that your mattress is too hard.

This is because a firm mattress doesn’t distribute your weight evenly and tends to exert more pressure on these areas. Monitor your body for a few mornings to see if there is a consistent pattern of morning pain.

If You Wake With Body Aches

Step 3: Notice Increased Tossing and Turning

Another sign that your mattress might be too firm is if you notice that you’re tossing and turning more than usual during the night. A too-firm mattress could make it more difficult for you to find a comfortable position, resulting in more movements as you try to get comfortable.

Remember, a good mattress should support your body in a neutral position, where your spine has a nice curvature, and your head, shoulders, buttocks, and heels are aligned. If you’re not getting that, it’s time to reconsider the firmness of your mattress.

Step 4: Conduct the First Test

The “fist test” is another effective way to check if your mattress might be too hard. To perform this test, make a fist and try to slide it under your lower back while you’re lying on the bed. If your hand slides in easily, this could suggest that the mattress is too firm, as a mattress with the right level of firmness should conform to your body shape and prevent such gaps. Conversely, the mattress might be too soft if you find it difficult to slide your hand under your lower back. This test is a simple yet effective way to check the firmness of your mattress.

Step 5: Trial with a Mattress Topper

A mattress topper could be a useful tool in your investigation. Mattress toppers are designed to add an extra layer of comfort and softness to your bed. If your mattress is too firm, laying a mattress topper on your bed can provide you with a softer surface.

Mattress Topper Could Be a Useful Tool

If you notice a significant improvement in your sleep comfort with the topper, this may indicate that your original mattress is indeed too firm. However, remember that while a mattress topper can improve the comfort of a firm mattress, it is often a temporary solution. If your mattress is too firm, consider a new mattress that better suits your comfort preferences.

Step 6: Assess for Indentations or Impressions

Take a moment to scrutinize your mattress. If it’s too firm, you’re unlikely to see any body impressions left on the mattress after a night’s sleep. A more forgiving and suitable mattress would contour slightly to the body, leaving minor indentations that quickly disappear.

However, a mattress that remains stubbornly flat and unyielding, showing no signs of your body’s positioning, might be too firm for your needs. Your body needs some give to sink into the mattress slightly, allowing for optimal pressure relief and spine alignment.

Step 7: Perform the ‘Pressure Point’ Test

The ‘pressure point’ test is another method that can help determine whether your mattress is too firm. To conduct this test, lie on the mattress in your usual sleep position and try to slide your hand under your lower back or hip area.

If you find it difficult to do so, this could suggest that the mattress is too firm. When a mattress is just right, it should allow your pressure points (like your shoulders and hips) to sink in comfortably while still supporting the rest of your body. If your mattress is providing a different level of support, it may be too firm for your needs.

Step 8: Evaluate Your Sleep Quality

A sign of a mattress being too firm could also lie in the overall quality of your sleep. If you frequently wake up during the night or do not feel well-rested and refreshed in the morning, your mattress could be part of the problem.

A firm mattress might not provide enough comfort and pressure relief, leading to restless nights. Keep a journal to track your sleep patterns and how rested you feel upon waking. This can give you insights into whether your mattress contributes to any sleep disruptions.

Do Not Feel Well Rested and Refreshed

Step 9: Pay Attention to Snoring

While snoring can be influenced by numerous factors such as body weight, nasal and throat conditions, alcohol consumption, and sleeping position, it can also indicate a mattress that is too firm.

A substantial mattress may not allow for the natural curvature of your spine, causing a restriction in your airways and leading to snoring. If you or your partner have noticed an increase in snoring since you started sleeping on your new mattress, this could be a sign that it’s too firm.

By following these steps and paying attention to your body and sleep quality, you should determine if your mattress is too firm for your needs. Remember, a good mattress should support your body in a neutral position, promote healthy spinal alignment, and provide comfortable pressure relief.

5 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Ignoring Discomfort: If you wake up feeling stiff or have aches in specific areas such as your back, shoulders, or hips, these could be signs that your mattress is too firm. Don’t ignore these signs of discomfort.
  2. Overlooking Sleep Quality: Having difficulty falling asleep or repeatedly waking up throughout the night can also indicate that your mattress may need to be firmer.
  3. Disregarding Partner’s Feedback: If you share your bed with a partner, their feedback about the firmness of the mattress can be invaluable. If they’re experiencing similar discomfort, the mattress is likely too firm.
  4. Neglecting Age of the Mattress: Over time, mattresses can become firmer. If your mattress is over 7-10 years old and you’re starting to notice discomfort, the firmness has increased over time.
  5. Skipping Professional Advice: If you need clarification on the firmness of your mattress, it’s always a good idea to seek professional advice. Experts can help determine if your mattress is too firm and suggest solutions.
A Good Idea to Seek Professional Advice

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure that your mattress is the perfect level of firmness for a comfortable and restful night’s sleep.


To conclude, a mattress that is too firm can be a real hindrance to quality sleep and can cause lasting physical discomfort. If you’re having trouble determining whether or not your mattress is too firm, take notes while sleeping.

This will help you determine your preference for softness and firmness so you can choose the ideal mattress. If you feel like your mattress may be too hard after evaluating your current situation, don’t despair! Many options are available to soften your mattress so that it’s comfortable for any sleeping position and lifestyle. Consider purchasing a mattress pad or adding a pillow top to have the perfect balance of support and comfort with each night’s sleep.

Hopefully, the article on how to tell if mattress is too firm has given you a better understanding of the signs to look out for and the steps you can take to ensure a comfortable and restful night’s sleep. Remember, listening to your body and seeking professional advice are key in finding the right mattress for your needs. Sweet dreams!

You Can Check It Out to Protect Mattress from Bed Wetting

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Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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