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Can I make a pillowtop mattress firmer? 27 Oct 2013 06:44 #1

Hi, I can use some advice. First quick back story. Needed a new mattress bought a tempurpedic cloud supreme breeze. Hubby loved it, 5'6' 165 lbs, stomach sleeper, me on the other hand, 5'4 145 lbs (on a good day) side sleeper, loved the comfort aspect, but had migranes every day because of the out gassing and woke many times throughout the night because of the heat. Swore it was not the same cooling mattress that I laid on in the showroom for 1/2 hour. Returned it after 1 month, now we are limited as far as the exchange so we need something in the same price range 4000.00 We decide on a SB hybrid king. 7" of coils topped with layers of foam, latex, gel. Well I am fine or atleast ok with the softness, still feeling support, no aches and pains. Hubby on the other hand hates that he is sinking in so much, can't lay on stomach, although he dosen't complain of pain. This mattess is two months old. Also does not feel like the mattress in the showroom, and we can't exchange this one, and yes we spent half hour to 45 minutes laying on this one. So last night we flipped the darn thing over, put a regular type mattress pad on it and tried it out. My whole back hurts, hubby says he slept pretty good. Does anyone have a suggestion how to firm up his side of the bed. thanks

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Can I make a pillowtop mattress firmer? 27 Oct 2013 08:44 #2

I can comment on based on the general statements I've heard other, more knowledgable bedding experts say... Which is that it's easier to soften a mattress that's too firm then firm up a mattress that's too soft. They may give some more specific advice, but using that basic statement, it might be easier to leave the mattress flipped over with pillow top on bottom and soften your side, rather than try to firm up his side.

I suppose the other approach would be to rebuild it., and remove the materials bothering him and replace with firmer versions on his side. It is doable, there are several posts in the forum about doing 'mattress surgery', but with a brand new mattress that's a pretty serious choice.

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Can I make a pillowtop mattress firmer? 27 Oct 2013 14:40 #3

Hi Annmarie,

As dn mentioned there really isn't an effective way to make soft comfort layers any firmer outside of removing them and replacing them with either thinner layers (that are closer to the firmer support layers of the mattress) or with firmer foam. It's much easier to make a mattress that is too firm softer because this can be done by adding a topper. There is more about this in post #4 here .

A one sided mattress isn't designed to sleep on the bottom side of the mattress which would generally be much firmer and designed to to support the mattress on a foundation not to sleep on directly but if you add a suitable topper then it may be a better option than replacing the entire mattress. There is more about choosing a topper in post #8 here .

In general stomach sleepers need a much thinner and firmer comfort layer which is probably why your husband is "OK" with sleeping on the bottom but side sleepers need a thicker softer comfort layer to relieve pressure points on the mattress and for good spinal alignment that can "fill in the gaps" in your more "curvy" side sleeping body profile.

You would need to either compromise on a topper in terms of thickness and softness or you could also use two different twin XL toppers of the same thickness on each side of the mattress (two twin XL's are the same size as a king size) and use a different firmness level on each side to better accommodate your different needs and preferences. Much firmer latex may be a good choice for him (especially in a thickness that would be more suitable for you) because of his stomach sleeping while softer latex may be a better option for you to accommodate your side sleeping and pressure points. It's generally a good idea to use the same type of material on each side so there isn't as big a difference or "transition" in the "feel" and softness level from one side to the other in the middle of your mattress.

It's not a perfect solution but it may be better than replacing the mattress.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Can I make a pillowtop mattress firmer? 28 Oct 2013 17:05 #4

Thanks dn, we're gonna soften up my side of the flipped over mattress for now. The mattress is ours whether it's working or not, so doing surgery on it if we have to won't be a problem. Hubby might find some sort of revenge thing going on by chopping the top off. lol If we go that route, I'll submit a pic of the thing so maybe someone could tell us a good place to cut. Anyway, thank you....

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Can I make a pillowtop mattress firmer? 28 Oct 2013 17:11 #5

Thanks Phoenix for the advice. We'll see how the toppers work on the flipped over side of the mattress. If that dosen't work out I'll check back on some instructions for taking the pillow top off. Sure wish I found this site before we started looking for a new mattress. Oh well, thank you again...

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Can I make a pillowtop mattress firmer? 28 Oct 2013 18:15 #6

Hi Annmarie,

I hope you have the chance to let us know how things work out with a topper.

This thread is an example with some pictures of mattress surgery that is still in progress :)

Phoenix
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Can I make a pillowtop mattress firmer? 29 Oct 2013 15:38 #7

Thank you for the pics on the surgery in progress. I will refer back to it if that's the road we go, I'll let you know about how the toppers work out, after 1st night, so far so good. I do wonder if in a few days if sleeping on upside down springs will be a problem. I'm assuming they are shaped like a tube and one side or the other wouldn't matter. I'll let you know.

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Can I make a pillowtop mattress firmer? 30 Oct 2013 20:39 #8

Hi Annmarie,

I do wonder if in a few days if sleeping on upside down springs will be a problem. I'm assuming they are shaped like a tube and one side or the other wouldn't matter. I'll let you know.


In most cases they are symmetrical top to bottom although there are many variations and not all coils are a cylinder or the same both ways. I don't know which mattress you have so I don't know the specifics but it will likely be fine because you would have some cushioning under the coils from the comfort layers (similar to a two sided mattress). Although this isn't ideal and the foam under the coils is usually a thinner layer ... it sure beats having to replace the mattress if your upside down mattress with a topper matches your needs and preferences in terms of PPP :)

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Can I make a pillowtop mattress firmer? 01 Nov 2013 16:18 #9

Ok, bought two 1.5 memory foam toppers. One smooth one for hubby, just for a little cushion and one for me that is like an egg crate on one side. He continues to sleep just fine after four days, me I'm getting up every morning with a back ache, lower or upper or both. Last night did a little more reading on this site and decided to test out different combinations and really try to figure out where the issue is. Even took a 2 in. memory foam topper off sons bed and put it on top of mine, laid down to test things out and ended up falling asleep. Still woke with a back ache anyway. I was just wondering if I bought a 1 or 2 inch latex topper, firm and put it under my memory foam 1.5 inch, if that would be supportive enough. When the bed was the right way, I had no pain at all, so am I correct in thinking that the cushion part is probably ok, it's the support and alignment part that's not right.

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Can I make a pillowtop mattress firmer? 01 Nov 2013 21:43 #10

If you're waking up with aches, it probably means your alignment isn't right...

I'd be curious Phoenix's thoughts on this theory: one thought I've had is that the springs may be offering less support. Instead of a firm base under them, there's now a pillow top since the mattress is upside down. As a result, the springs might be pressing down into the pillow top, making the springs behave quite differently, and potentially less supportively. If that were true, it might be a rather unique reason for alignment issues, since most pillow top mattresses aren't upside down.

Also, as a reminder upper back pain could be related to your pillow height, which may need to be higher or lower to match the new sleeping surface.

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Last edit: by dn.
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