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How to Break in a Mattress: 6 Easy Steps

Author imageThe Mattress Warehouse

After a long day’s work, a good night’s sleep is essential to prepare you for the next day. Many factors influence quality sleep, but the most important must surely be the mattress you sleep on. The first step is to get the right mattress and then break that mattress in. At The Mattress Warehouse, you can find many comfortable mattresses ranging from single to extra length. That is why we are going to break down exactly how to break in a mattress in this article. 

First, we will discuss whether you need to break in your mattress. Secondly, we will describe how long it takes to break in each type of mattress. Then we will discuss tips for breaking in your mattress to make it more comfortable. When you’re finished reading, you’ll know exactly how to break in your mattress or where to look for a new one if yours is just too uncomfortable.

Do you need to break in a mattress?

The first night on your new mattress may not feel as comfortable as you imagined. It could feel like sleeping on a wooden bench. You may miss the perfect dent your body has made on your previous mattress, where you lay comfortably every night. After a few nights, you might think; why did I ever get a new mattress? There is no reason to doubt the purchase of your new mattress. It may take a while for you to break in your mattress to regain that feeling of your old comfortable mattress.

How long does it take to break in a mattress?

The break-in period for a mattress takes between 30 and 90 days. This time also depends on the type of mattress you have and how it differs from the one you had previously. Because of this break-in period, most companies (like us) won’t do any exchanges or returns before the first 30 days are over. That is why it is important to know how long it takes to break in each type of mattress.

Tip: Check out our 100-Day Comfort Trial here to learn more about exchanging your mattress if you are not satisfied with its performance after the break-in period.

Memory foam

Memory foam mattresses usually take the longest to break in. High-density memory foam mattresses contain more material and take longer to break in than low-density memory foam mattresses. You should give your memory foam mattress at least 60 days before you decide whether or not to keep it. The rule of thumb here is; the higher the density of the memory foam, the longer the break-in period.


Spring mattresses are usually comfortable from the beginning, especially if they have a pillow top. It takes 30 days to break in spring mattresses. It should, however, be noticed that springs degrade more quickly than memory foam so it is important to rotate these mattresses every three to six months to insure that they break in evenly.


Latex is used in luxury mattresses and has the shortest breaking-in period. It only takes two to 14 days to soften this mattress. The timing can vary based on whether the latex is synthetic or real. It also depends on whether the mattress is 100% latex or some type of hybrid.


Just like memory foam mattresses, hybrid mattresses can take a long time to break in. You have to give your hybrid mattress at least 60 to 90 days before you decide to return it.

Get a comfortable mattress with these tips:

Woman jumping on a white bed in a white room with large windows.

Getting restorative sleep is good for your overall health, and you get the best sleep if you are comfortable in your own bed.

1.     Replace or swap the bed foundation

It is important to always check the foundation (or base) you have for your bed before you put your new mattress on it. The base may be worn out, broken or just incompatible with the new mattress. The foundation of your mattress can make a big difference in how your mattress feels. Spring mattresses generally require a box spring base (outdated), whereas hybrid- and memory foam mattresses work better on platform bases.

2.     Just let it breathe

Giving your mattress time to breathe is crucial, especially if you buy a compressed bed-in-a-box that is rolled up and wrapped in plastic. It can take a compressed mattress anything from four to 24 hours to expand. We recommend you wait at least 24 hours before climbing into your new bed after unpacking your mattress. Some experts suggest you wait up to 72 hours for your mattress to expand. If you do not wait the appropriate amount of time, it can cause permanent damage by preventing your mattress from properly expanding. Thus leaving you tossing and turning all night long.

3.     Roll or walk on it

The weight of your body puts pressure on your mattress, which helps to break it in. So if you want to speed up the way to a comfortable mattress, roll back and forth on it or walk around on it. Spending more time on your new mattress, like watching TV in bed or reading in bed, can also help to break in your mattress.

4.     Sleep in different positions/locations on the bed

It is important to stay consistent when sleeping on a new mattress. You have to try and resist the urge to go back to your old mattress. Sleeping on the new mattress every night will help your body to get comfortable with the mattress and the mattress to get comfortable with your body. When sleeping in different positions and locations on the mattress, you will break in the entire mattress, not just one part.

5.     Allow nature to take its course

When your mattress arrives at your home, it may take some time to regain its shape. After delivery, you should be able to have a peaceful night of sleep by just waiting a few hours before you tuck in. Or even better, sleep in your old bed for a night or two after the new mattress arrives, just to give it time to settle in.

Allowing the mattress to air out is also very important, especially for people sensitive to smell.

6.     Warm it up/increase the temperature

Memory foam mattresses are temperature sensitive. They get softer when it’s hot and firmer when it is cold. Turning up the heat in your bedroom can help the material on your memory foam or hybrid mattress to soften.

How to soften a mattress that is too firm

The first and least expensive option is to try a padded mattress protector, also known as a mattress topper. Using a mattress topper can change the way your bed feels without needing to replace anything. 

Using the right foundation for your mattress can also help your mattress to feel more comfortable. That is why it is important to know which foundation is most compatible with which mattress. Another thing you can do is just to give the mattress time to break in or expand.

Should your mattress still not feel comfortable enough, The Mattress Warehouse has a 100-day comfort trial period. After this time, you can exchange your new mattress if you adhere to the terms and conditions. Terms such as using the new mattress for at least 30 days can be found on The Mattress Warehouse website along with other information needed to buy your new mattress.

Check a mattress price & buy online or in-store

Buying a mattress might not be cheap, but it is an investment. If you have been sleeping on a lumpy old mattress for years, why not take action and change how you sleep today? Invest in your comfort by taking a look at the mattress prices we offer at The Mattress Warehouse. Together with these tips on how to break in a mattress, you are sure to be having peaceful nights once again.

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