How to Make a Firm Mattress Softer
Enjoy a Night in the Clouds
I have never been an adherent to the school of the firm mattress. A bed should be about comfort; it should be a refuge from the harshness of the world, and a place to relish sweet dreams. There are many things you can do to make a firm mattress softer, let's start with the cheapest and work our way up.
Also, if you are looking to go green in the bedroom pop by my hub on Natural Mattress Toppers.
This is what my mother always called those foam pads that you can put on your mattress. In college my roommate had never seen one of these, until I threw one on her spartan bed to cushion her bony body. They are the cheapest way of softening up a bed' I recently bought one for aroung $20 at Wal-mart. Of course, they vary in thickness, so the more you pay, the thicker of a foam pad you'll get. Throw it down on the bed, top with sheets, and you're done!
The classic choice, a featherbed is made up of bird down mixed with larger feathers to make a fluffy, soft nest for your bed. There is a very wide price range when it comes to featherbeds. You can go down to your local Bed Bath and Beyond and pick one up for $70, or you can go to Macy's and buy a $400 Charter Club featherbed.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind when shopping for a featherbed however. The first is the percentage of down the featherbed has. You want a high percentage of down in a featherbed because more down means less larger feathers. These larger feathers can prove crunchy, and will poke out of the fabric, pricking you when you are just dozing off. Another thing to consider is the thickness, or fluffiness of a featherbed. Your weight will compact the bed a bit, though it can be fluffed back up. A cheaper bed will not wear well over time and will be flat as a pancake in a few months. A good featherbed will resume its shape after a good fluffing however, and will last many years.
The new kid on the block, memory foam is what the astronauts sit on during takeoff. Memory foam is made of polyurethane that's chemically altered to be very dense. It's also responsive to heat, making softer in warm spots, and harder in cool areas. Because memory foam is so dense it can be very heavy, but it is also very supportive.
Memory foam, unlike feather beds, does not have as large a range of quality. Yes, some memory foams may be softer than others (marginally), but there aren't factors like down percentage to encounter. The key quality to consider while searching for a memory foam topper is thickness. The thicker the memory foam the more support, and the further you are away from your hard mattress. Memory foam runs from about $110 for a 1/2" topper to $800 for a full on mattress. Many in between sizes exist, usually made in half-inch increments.
Memory foam can also be considered a good investment because it retains its shape and lasts a very long time. (I'm talking about it may come with you to your next mattress long time).
I personally enjoy the best of both worlds. On my bed I have a hybrid feather and memory foam topper. The memory foam provides a half inch base while feathers are on top. The feathers provide a pillow like feeling, while the memory foam provides curve hugging support. I bought this about a year ago, and the topper is still going strong. For about $110 I consider it a very smart investment in a good night's sleep. Keep your eye out on ebay and places like Overstock.