It takes anywhere from 30 to 60 days to break in a new mattress so it feels like it's supposed to when you first lie on it in the store.
After sleeping on my lovely pillow-top queen size mattress for 15 years and being woken up by bed bites one day, I realized the mattress had to go ASAP!
It is recommended that we change a regularly used mattress every 8 – 10 years. Oops. I guess time flies when you're sleeping for 30% of your life.
After much research and trials, I decided on a Serta iComfort 200 Plush series mattress. It's the same mattress I bought four years ago for our downstairs king size bed. I loved the feel, so I figured why not go with what I know.
The cost was $1,299 before tax, and I got it down to $1,099 before tax by just asking. Mattresses companies are notorious for marking up their prices. So always bargain!
The next day, the fresh smelling mattress was delivered and my old one was hauled away. I was pumped to get a great nights sleep on it! Just one problem, it was much harder than in the store!
The increase hardness took time getting used to. Here are my recommendations on how to break in a new mattress.
How To Break In A New Mattress
Think of Your New Mattress Like a New Pair of Shoes Most mattresses take anywhere from 30 to 90 days to fully “break in.”
Your new mattress may be different from your old one, or it may seem stiff from its newness, and thus may seem uncomfortable for a little while.
Like a new pair of shoes, the mattress materials haven’t had time to soften and conform to your body. If you received your new mattress and aren’t as happy with it right away as you expected to be, don’t give up just yet! Your mattress might just need to break in some more.
There several things you can do after buying a mattress to help speed up breaking your new mattress in.
1. Let your mattress breathe. As soon as you get your new mattress, you’ll be tempted to dress it up in new bedding — but it’s actually best to let the mattress set breathe for a few hours before doing so. This allows the mattress materials to get some oxygen flow, allowing for a better night’s sleep. The oxygen helps expand the fibers and softens the fibers up.
2. Roll around the mattress like a rolling pin. To break in your mattress a little quicker, try rolling around the mattress like a rolling pin. You can also walk around on it gently, or using your hands and feet to put some pressure on it. This will help loosen up the mattress materials and make it easier for the new mattress to begin conforming to your body.
3. Give your mattress at least one week to adjust. It’s important to remember that your new mattress takes time to adjust to your body. Make sure to sleep on your new bed every night during the break in period to ensure that your new mattress has a chance to loosen and stretch. Unless your mattress is absolutely uncomfortable, give your mattress at least a week of time.
4. Turn up the heat. This is especially important if you purchased a memory foam mattress or a hybrid mattress like I got. Turn up the heat in your room to 72+ allow the memory foam mattress materials to soften up even more. Even just a few degrees can make a big difference.
Mattress companies usually have a free return policy within 3 – 4 months. There will likely be a delivery/restocking fee of $50 – $150, so please be aware.
5. Exchange it for a different version. Often times when mattress companies offer more than one model or varying levels of firmness, they’ll allow you to exchange your mattress for something more or less firm depending on your liking. If you’re waking up with pain or numbness in your pressure points, then you might need something a little softer. If you’re finding it hard to get out of bed or starting to develop lower back pain, you might want to opt for a firmer mattress. You can also read more about how to choose your mattress firmness here.
6. Return it for a new one. You may feel defeated if you ultimately decide to return your mattress after the break-in period, but it happens to lots of people. Think of it as a learning experience – now you know what you want (and don’t want) in a mattress and can make a more informed decision next time around. And if you ordered from a company with a risk-free return policy, you really have nothing to lose.
Don't Rush When Buying A New Mattress
You spend roughly 30% of your life sleeping on a mattress. You should get the most comfortable mattress that you can afford and change it every 10 years.
Do not let the salesman rush you into purchasing a mattress you aren't absolutely comfortable owning. Have your friend or spouse test it out as well.
A mattress is #1 in my top 10 things to spend on for a better life. Sleeping well is a super power. If you can consistently sleep between 7-9 hours a night, you will be much more productive.
Hope you guys enjoy some better sleep!
About the Author: Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 as a way to make sense of the financial crisis. He proceeded to spend the next 13 years after attending The College of William & Mary and UC Berkeley for b-school working at Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse. He owns properties in San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and Honolulu and has a total of $810,000 invested in real estate crowdfunding.
In 2012, Sam was able to retire at the age of 34 largely due to his investments that now generate roughly $220,000 a year in passive income. He spends time playing tennis, hanging out with family, consulting for leading fintech companies and writing online to help others achieve financial freedom.