One of the many things you’ll have to do when you get a new mattress is to properly break it in.

Mattresses do indeed need a little time to adjust to your body, but there are some things you can do to speed up the process:

  • Let it breathe
  • Sleep on it nightly
  • Think about a pillow-top mattress topper
  • Be patient while your body (and the bed) adjusts from the old mattress
  • Return the mattress/exchange for a new bed with different firmness

We’ll go into each of these in a little more detail, but first, let’s talk about how long it takes to actually break in your new mattress.

How Long Does It Take to Break in a Mattress?

In general, a period of at least 20 days but ideally 30+ days is best for breaking in your mattress.

Breaking in a mattress can take some time because your body must adjust to the new sleeping surface. At the same time, a new mattress out of the box (or off the truck) might be a bit stiff at first – like a new pair of shoes. Various factors, such as your body weight and the mattress materials can all affect the break-in process.

A latex mattress, for example, may take a bit of body heat and pressure to begin feeling broken in. A memory foam mattress will similarly be firmer at first and get cozier over time. An innerspring mattress can also be bouncier at first and settle down in a few weeks.

5 Tips for Breaking in Your New Mattress

Here are five keys to breaking in a bed as soon as possible.

1. Let It Breathe

Many mattress types arrive folded in a box, and getting them out of the box is the first step toward comfortable sleep. Some mattress in a box beds take a few hours to expand fully, and you may need to open a window to let any packaging odors escape. The amount of time most beds need to expand and air out ranges from a few hours to a few days. SleepFoundation has a great guide for choosing a mattress in a box if you’re interested in this type of product.

Of course, if your mattress does not arrive in a box, it still needs time to air out. The manufacturing process may involve materials that have a strong odor or even packaging materials that affect the scent of your bed. Opening your bed, laying it out flat, then opening a window will help the mattress settle down and smell fresh.

2. Sleep On It Nightly

You’re probably looking forward to your first night of sleep on the new mattress. But it could take more than a few nights to notice a difference in your sleep quality. Because your old mattress was likely sagging and no longer contoured to your body shape, sleeping on a new and supportive mattress might feel different at first.

Depending on your sleeping position, your new mattress might feel uncomfortable for the first few nights. But sleeping on it regularly ensures that the bed molds to your pressure points, breaking it in so you can enjoy better sleep for years to come.

3. Get a Pillow-Top Mattress Topper

If you sleep on your new bed for a few nights—ideally a month or more—and it’s still uncomfortable, there’s an easy fix. A mattress topper can help make a new bed feel softer and plushier—without affecting the support and contouring under your body.

A plush mattress topper makes even the firmest type of mattress softer to the touch. And, it’s an inexpensive fix for an otherwise perfect bed. Toppers can also add an extra layer of protection for your mattress, whether it’s against spills or dust mites.

4. Be Patient

A month or more might seem like a long time to sleep on a mattress you’re not feeling comfortable with. But it can take that long to settle in and start seeing the benefits of your new bed. After all, there’s a reason companies like Helix offer a 100-night sleep trial. It can take as many as 100 nights for you to adjust to the new bed—and it to you.

5. Exchange for a New Mattress

If you’ve spent most of your Helix sleep trial tossing and turning, you may have the wrong mattress firmness. After trying all the steps above, you may decide to exchange your bed for another mattress that better suits your needs.

With the Helix return policy, you can send your mattress back any time during the 100-night trial period. You can then select a different mattress with the proper support—perhaps a lower firmness—and give that a try. Have questions about which mattress is right for you? Take the Helix sleep quiz to find out what is best.

Find a Quality Mattress That Fits You Perfectly

Figuring out how to break in a new mattress can be stressful—especially when you depend on good rest to prepare you for your day. But in a month or two, you will begin to wonder why you stuck with your old mattress for so long. Need more guidance on choosing the perfect mattress? Take the sleep quiz and explore more Helix content for help.

Adam Tishman
Adam is a co-founder and CEO of Helix Sleep

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