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How To Break in a New Mattress: A Complete Guide

Mattress Resources
Read Time: 7 minutes

  • Break-In Period Duration: The break-in period for a new mattress typically ranges from 30 to 90 days, with memory foam and hybrid mattresses requiring a longer adjustment period compared to innerspring and latex mattresses.
  • Tips to Expedite Break-In: Strategies to speed up the break-in process include allowing the mattress to breathe by removing plastic wrapping, applying pressure to different areas, warming up the mattress environment, and consistently sleeping on it.
  • Signs to Consider Returning a Mattress: If your new mattress exhibits issues such as lumps, sagging, stains, mold, or persistent discomfort leading to back or body pain, it may be time to consider returning it.
  • Importance of Sleep Trial: Many mattress manufacturers offer sleep trial periods, allowing customers to return or exchange the mattress if they are dissatisfied. Understanding the specific terms and conditions of the sleep trial is crucial before purchasing.

Are you ready to bid farewell to sleepless nights and welcome a new mattress? Congratulations! You’re on the path to enjoying the peaceful sleep you’ve been longing for. However, it needs time to break in before your new mattress can provide optimal comfort. This article will cover all the essential information about breaking in a new mattress, including the recommended break-in period, tips to speed up the process, and what steps to take if your mattress doesn’t feel quite right.

How Long Does It Take?

Breaking in a new mattress is similar to breaking in a new pair of shoes. It takes time for the materials to adjust and mold to your body’s contours. The duration of the break-in and adjustment period can depend on the mattress type you have and your sleep habits. A new mattress lasts approximately 30 to 90 days to break in fully.

Memory Foam and Hybrid Mattresses

Memory foam and hybrid mattresses tend to require the longest break-in period. The specific duration depends on the memory foam mattress’s type and density. These mattresses may initially feel firmer in cooler environments, but they become softer as they warm up. High-density memory foam mattresses generally take longer to break in compared to low-density ones.

Innerspring Mattresses

Innerspring mattresses typically have a shorter break-in period, especially if they feature a pillow top or Euro top. These mattresses are designed to provide immediate comfort and support. However, proper care is crucial to prevent sagging and ensure longevity. Rotate your innerspring mattress every 3 to 6 months to promote even wear.

Latex Mattresses

Latex mattresses offer immediate comfort and do not require an extensive break-in period. When you first sleep on a latex mattress, you will likely experience the desired level of comfort right away. Natural latex mattresses do not have off-gassing, so you won’t have to deal with any initial chemical smells.

Tips to Speed Up the Break-In Process

While waiting for your new mattress to break in naturally, there are several methods you can try to expedite the process. These tips and tricks can help your mattress become softer and more inviting in a shorter amount of time.

Allow Your Mattress to Breathe

When your new mattress arrives, it is often compressed and wrapped tightly in plastic. This compression can lead to a temporary odor known as off-gassing. To allow your mattress to fully expand and air out, remove any plastic wrapping and let it breathe for a few hours. This process usually takes around four to ten hours, but the exact time may vary depending on the model.

Apply Pressure to the Mattress

To make your mattress softer, you can apply pressure to various areas. Walking on the bed for memory foam and latex mattresses can help expedite the break-in process. If you prefer not to walk on your mattress, try placing books or other weighted objects on it. On the other hand, if you have an innerspring or hybrid mattress, crawling on a firm mattress on your hands and knees is more effective, as excessive body weight can strain the springs.

Be Patient

Patience is key when it comes to breaking in a new mattress. It is normal to feel a difference between your old mattress and the new one, especially if your previous mattress had become softer or developed body impressions. Give yourself time to adapt to the new support and allow your body to adjust. On average, a new mattress takes around thirty to sixty days to feel truly comfortable.

See Also: Mattress Sagging vs Body Impression

Warm Up Your Mattress

Some mattress materials, such as memory foam, become softer and more pliable in warmer environments. If you want to expedite the break-in process of your new bed, consider increasing the temperature in your bedroom slightly. This can help your mattress adjust and contour to your body more quickly. However, be mindful of excessively high temperatures, which can disrupt sleep. Find a balance that allows for comfort without compromising your sleep quality.

Consistently Sleep on It

One of the most effective ways to break in a new mattress is to sleep on it regularly. You help the materials adjust and conform to your body’s contours by consistently using your new mattress during the break-in period. Additionally, sleeping comfortably on your new mattress allows you to experience its true comfort and support. Stick with it for a few nights during the trial period, and you’ll likely notice a significant improvement in the mattress’s coziness.

Place It on the Right Foundation

Before placing your new mattress on an existing foundation, ensure that they are compatible. Inspect the state of your foundation to confirm it’s in good condition and offers sufficient support. If you have changed the mattress type or the bed you’re sleeping on, investing in a new foundation might be necessary. A proper foundation can significantly impact the feel and performance of your mattress.

Trust Your Instincts

If you still don’t feel comfortable and supported after giving your new mattress sufficient time, trust your instincts. Everyone’s preferences and needs are unique; what works for others may not work for you. Take benefit of the sleep trial offered by most mattress manufacturers. Use this period to evaluate whether the mattress is the right fit for you. You can return or exchange it if it still doesn’t feel right after a few weeks.

Give It Enough Time

Mattress companies often recommend sleeping on their product for several nights before making a final decision. This extended tryout period allows your body to adapt to the new sleep surface and the mattress to adjust to your weight, sleeping position, and body heat. While some mattresses may become comfortable sooner, those with higher density or tougher materials may require more time. If you’re concerned about the trial period length, you can explore companies offering more flexible return policies or directly discuss your concerns with the brand.

Consider a Mattress Topper

If you’re still not satisfied with the comfort level of your new mattress, consider using a mattress topper. A mattress topper is a padded layer placed atop the springs beneath your mattress, offering extra cushioning or support based on your preferences. It’s a cost-effective solution that can enhance the comfort of your mattress without the need for a full replacement.

When Should You Consider Returning Your New Mattress?

If you find yourself still restless after trying out your new mattress for 30, 60, or even 120 nights, it might be time to consider a return. Here are some key issues that you are consistently sleeping and could signal the need for a change.

Lumpy or Sagging Mattress

Sometimes, mattresses break down quicker than expected, leading to sagging or lumpiness. Cheaper mattresses tend to wear out faster. But if you notice most mattresses sagging early on, it might not be the right fit for your sleeping style or body weight.

Stains or Mold

Stains or mold suggest the mattress might not be new or was stored improperly. Mold can be a serious health risk, so if you suspect it, cover the mattress in plastic and wear a mask before returning it to avoid inhaling spores.

Pain in the Back, Neck, or Hips

Your body might need different support than what the mattress offers. Waking up sore could mean the mattress is either too firm or too soft. It’s a good idea to contact the manufacturer for advice on adjusting the firmness of the wrong mattress.

Overall Dissatisfaction

Sleep is a big part of life, and if a mattress feels that you’re consistently uncomfortable, it’s worth considering a return. Sometimes, it’s hard to pinpoint the exact issue, but a supportive and comfortable mattress is crucial. Understand the return policy and initiate the process before the deadline to ensure a smooth return experience.

FAQs about How To Break in a New Mattress

Can you return a mattress if you don’t like it?

Yes, many mattress manufacturers provide sleep trial periods, allowing you to return or exchange the mattress if you’re dissatisfied. However, it’s crucial to review the particular terms and conditions of each mattress company’s sleep trial before completing a purchase. Different manufacturers have varying policies, so read the fine print carefully to ensure you’re eligible for a return or exchange.

How can I speed up my mattress break-in?

To speed up the break-in process, you can turn up the heat in your bedroom, as warmer temperatures can help the mattress expand and adjust more quickly. Additionally, applying gentle pressure to different areas of your body, adjusting the mattress, and allowing it to breathe without sheets or body weight can help expedite the break-in process. However, remember that the natural break-in period may still take a few weeks to a couple of months, so patience remains essential.

Do mattresses get softer over time?

Yes, several mattresses may gradually become softer over time as the materials settle and conform to your body’s weight, responding to pressure and temperature. This softening is more noticeable in foam and memory foam mattresses compared to innerspring or hybrid ones. However, it’s important to note that mattresses also age and can lose firmness over time due to wear and tear. If your mattress has surpassed 7 or 8 years, it might be a good idea to think about replacing it to ensure optimal sleep support.

Do new mattresses need to be broken in?

Yes, newly purchased mattresses do require a breaking-in period. As you sleep on your new mattress, the materials gradually adjust to your body’s contours, providing optimal comfort and support. The break-in period allows the mattress to conform to your body shape and specific sleep needs and preferences. While it may take some time to achieve the desired level of comfort, be patient and give your new mattress the opportunity to adapt to your body.

Can a cheap mattress hurt your back?

A budget-friendly mattress may pose a risk to your back if it lacks proper support and is constructed with low-quality materials. Selecting a mattress with sufficient support is essential for maintaining proper spinal alignment while sleeping. However, not all affordable mattresses are detrimental to your back. Seek out reputable brands that find a balance between cost-effectiveness and quality to ensure you get a mattress that supports your spine and offers comfort.


Becoming adept at breaking in a new mattress is a valuable pursuit that results in improved comfort and sleep quality. By following the advice and methods provided in this guide, you can accelerate the break-in period and experience the complete advantages of your new mattress. Remember to be patient, give yourself time to adapt, and trust your instincts if the mattress doesn’t feel right. With proper care and attention, your well-broken-in mattress will provide optimal comfort and support for years to come.

Harrison Wall is Sleep Junkie’s business strategist and sleep analyst. He also authors posts on bedding and mattress accessories. Harrison regularly coordinates with new mattress companies and tests their products to determine what really helps you get better rest and have brighter mornings.

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