How to Make a Pillow Top Mattress Firmer

I’ll be honest; it can be hard to make a pillow top mattress firm, but we do have some ways to make it happen. It’s much easier to make a firm mattress soft then it is to make a soft mattress firm.

I know mattress comfort can be a tricky thing when it comes to mattresses for couples, but it is better to buy a firm mattress and then make one side softer with mattress pads.

Let’s go through some of the tips and tricks to make a Pillow Top Mattress Firmer.

First Thing

Just to cover all bases, if the mattress is brand new and still within its return policy then return it. No need to hassle with the mattress if it’s not going to work for you.

Before you call anyone up to return the mattress, I would recommend going ahead and getting a new mattress in before all that. I would recommend avoiding the mattress stores as they have high markup and can be quite annoying to deal with in most cases. You can buy mattresses online from places like Amazon. I recommend checking out the Zinus Memory Foam 12 Inch Green Tea Mattress*.

If the mattress is new, you could always sell it and avoid the mess with taking it back to the store. Many people are looking for almost new mattresses on Craigslist. If you want to be done completely with the mattress, there are many organizations that will take mattress donations.

Firm Topper

If you can’t return the pillow top mattress, then you will need to make it firmer. You can either jump around or roll around forever on it to break in the foam so that it flattens out.

Or you could just buy a Firm Mattress Topper for your pillow top bed. A Mattress Topper like this one *will work just fine for your pillow top mattress.

Using a mattress topper will get you in the right direction for support and firmness if you can’t return the mattress.


The foundation you put your pillow top mattress on also affects how soft it is. If you’re sleeping on a worn out box spring then that could be adding to the discomfort.

If you can, I would add a plywood board under the mattress to give it more support. This can do wonders.

If you don’t want to deal with plywood or you want to make one side firmer, then you can get a Mattress Helper*. Mattress Helper is usually for sagging mattresses, but it’s a solid support that can go under one side of the mattress to give you a more solid feel to it.

The ultimate goal could be to get a whole new platform bed frame. If your bed frame is old (over 7 years), then it might be time for a new one. I would recommend getting a Metal Platform Bed Frame like this one* since it will give you the support and rigid feel you need.

To test out if the plywood, Mattress Helper, or even a new bed frame will help to make your pillow top mattress firmer you could put it on the floor for a night or two. Placing it on the hard floor will make the mattress feel firmer compared to being on a boxspring. This doesn’t cost you anything and can be nice as you wait for your other items to get in.

Don’t Do This

You don’t want to flip a pillow top mattress over; this will not help. If you have a mattress made within the last 10 years, then there will be no support on the other side and will feel like sleeping on concrete. If you’re in a real pickle and don’t know what to do, you could flip it and add a mattress topper to it, but I would avoid this at all cost.

It would be best to avoid cutting the Pillow top mattress open and removing the pillow top part to make it firmer or adding materials. This can be messy and if done wrong you can be worse off than you started.

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