Whether you (and your wallet) like it or not, mattresses don’t last forever, and at one point or another, you’ll have to replace yours. With the years, they tend to sag, lose their shape, and become dirty. All this can lead to serious loss of sleep and problems with concentration and productivity.
However, you might find it daunting to invest your hard-earned money in a good mattress because of the long adjusting period. Well, worry not; here you’ll find out how long it actually takes to get used to a new mattress, as well as some tips on how to boost the “break-in” period and more; so read on.
How Long Does It Take to Adjust to a New Mattress?
It can take anywhere from one to three months to get your body fully used to your new mattress. Of course, that depends on the mattress itself, how much time you spend in bed, etc.
If you don’t want to wait that long, however, take a look at the following tips for boosting the process.
How to Boost the Adjusting Period
There are a number of ways you can boost the break-in period:
1. Let Your Mattress Breathe
I know how tempting it is to dress up your mattress in the fancy bedding you’ve bought for it the moment you unbox it. However, experience shows that letting it breathe for a few hours before putting anything on it allows some air to circulate through the fabric, which helps it soften up more quickly.
I’d even recommend leaving it bare for a whole day, if possible. That way, you’ll ensure it has absorbed enough air. Plus, sometimes new mattresses come with a distinct odor, which can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to go away. Letting them breathe usually speeds up the process.
2. Give It the Time It Needs to Loosen Up
When you first buy your new mattress, it may feel nothing like the product you tried in the store. Well, that’s because hundreds of people have lain on the sample prior to you. It has had enough time to loosen up and get softer.
Be persistent and don’t get discouraged if you wake up with a sore back after the first night. In fact, try to spend as much time in bed as possible — read a book, watch TV, play some video games, etc. The more time you spend on your mattress, the quicker it will conform to your body.
3. Use Some Pressure
If you’ve spent a good week adjusting to your mattress but still find it too firm for your liking, you can try applying some additional pressure to break it in a bit quicker. Get on your feet and gently walk around on the mattress to loosen the materials a bit faster. However, be extremely careful; you don’t want to break the springs.
If you’re not comfortable walking on your new mattress, you can place some heavy objects on it and move them around from time to time to enhance its flexibility.
Is Your New Mattress Causing You Back and Neck Pain?
Some people suffer from serious back pain and think that getting a new, more comfortable mattress will solve the problem. Well, that’s actually true (if the pain occurs because the old mattress is deformed and not supportive enough), but as you can probably guess, that will take time.
The best way to reduce the pain is to adjust your sleeping posture. You’ll be surprised at how many people have developed an awful resting posture that can lead to an array of back issues. Below you’ll find the most popular sleeping positions and what you can do to make the most of them.
Sleeping on the Back
Many consider sleeping on the back to be the best resting position. It reduces pressure points and distributes your weight efficiently. Furthermore, it helps your head, neck, and spine align properly, which is extremely important, especially when resting on a brand new mattress.
However, if you find that your mattress is too firm, you can place a small pillow beneath your knees and lower back for added support.
Remember, with time, your mattress will eventually conform to your body and become extremely comfortable. Don’t get discouraged if the first few nights on it end up being even more uncomfortable than usual.
On a side note, if you like the support you get from the added pillows, you can continue using them after the break-in period. In fact, all the tips you’ll find here are applicable both for the adjusting period and the time after that.
Sleeping on the Side
Side sleeping is another popular position. However, keep in mind that your body is adjusted to your previous mattress, which may or may not have been deformed. That’s why sleeping on the side for the first time on your new mattress can actually pull your spine out of position, which could cause discomfort.
Fortunately, there is an easy solution — just put a pillow between your knees. As simple as it is, this helps align your hips, pelvis, and spine by raising your upper leg. Depending on your preferences, you can use a softer or firmer pillow.
Sleeping in the Fetal Position
Many people with serious back pain prefer sleeping in the fetal position. That’s because adopting a curled-up resting position opens up the joints, consequently relieving any tension or pain.
With that in mind, you can sleep in the fetal position when breaking in your new mattress. You won’t feel as much discomfort during the night and will go through the adjusting period without any neck or back pain.
Sleeping on the Stomach
Experts consider sleeping on the front to be the worst possible sleeping position. While it could reduce snoring in some cases, it puts strain on your spine and neck, which may cause discomfort.
If you simply can’t sleep in another position, however, you can place a slim pillow underneath your stomach and hips, thus raising the midsection of your body. That will improve your spinal alignment significantly.
Sleeping on the Front With Your Face Down
In addition to placing a pillow underneath your abdomen and hips, you can also try sleeping face down.
People who sleep on their stomach usually turn their head to one side. That places even more stress on the back, shoulders, and neck, which can easily leave you with no sleep at all.
To avoid all that, simply try sleeping face down. How am I going to breathe?, you may wonder. Well, you can use a small pillow to prop up your forehead, allowing just enough room for breathing. If you don’t have a comfortable pillow, just roll up a soft towel; it should work just as well.
Choosing the Right Head Pillow
Pillows are just as important as the mattress itself. Unlike it, however, you should change them a lot more frequently — every 12–18 months. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how comfortable your mattress is if your pillow makes it impossible to get some rest at night.
That is why I recommend opting for a new pillow to help with the adjusting period to your new mattress. The following information should help you pick the right product depending on what type of sleeper you are.
If you’re a back sleeper, you should look for a thin pillow. That’s because raising the head too much could place pressure on your neck and back. Depending on your preferences, you can choose from a wide range of pillows on the market, but I’d recommend taking a look at the memory foam options. They mold to the unique shape of your head and neck, allowing maximum comfort.
Side sleepers, on the other hand, tend to prefer thicker pillows. They are a lot more comfortable than the thinner variants and add a greater amount of support to the neck. You can choose from a variety of options here.
If you are a stomach sleeper, I’d suggest buying a very thin pillow. You don’t want to place strain on your neck, as that could cause some serious issues later in time.
As I’ve already mentioned, you can also get a small, firm pillow (or roll up a soft towel) and only prop up your forehead. That allows some space to breathe if you sleep face down and straightens the neck, relieving any possible strain.
If you find it more comfortable, you can even sleep without a pillow. Just find what works best for you.
To Sum Up
Getting used to a new mattress can prove to be a challenge, especially if you’re impatient. However, using the information you found here should help boost the break-in process.
Just be persistent, sleep with a good posture to help your body fully relax, and don’t forget about the importance of pillows; they could make a world of difference. Sweet dreams!