How to Make a Tempurpedic Pillow or Mattress Softer
Tempurpedic is the first mattress brand to use viscoelastic polyurethane foam (currently known as “memory foam”) in their products. This type of foam is a pressure-absorbing material that was initially created by the NASA space program, and it’s now found in pillows and mattresses. It works by responding to body pressure and body temperature, producing a “memory” in the foam for personalized comfort and support.
To make your tempurpedic pillow or mattress softer, follow these steps: Intensify the pressure, warm it up with household accessories, or expose it to the sun.
When body pressure is applied, the foam gradually molds to the shape of your body, and then slowly returns to its original shape after the weight is removed. Furthermore, the foam adjusts to body temperature; the warmer it gets, the less stiff it becomes. So at first, you will feel that your mattress or pillow is hard because it is cold. However, after frequent use and when your body heats, the product will eventually become softer. If it still feels stiff even after trying it for about two weeks, there are some methods, outlined below, that you can try.
You can compare different models of Tempurpedic pillows and mattresses on their official website.
- How to cut memory foam to fit
- Memory foam mattress shopping guide
- Using body pillows for neck and back support
Why Is my Tempurpedic Pillow or Mattress so Firm?
According to ecosa, a mattress manufacturer, a Tempurpedic pillow or mattress may feel a little bit uncomfortable at first, just like a brand new pair of shoes. They may feel too firm and require an adjustment period to settle. That’s because, at the beginning, they have to be stiff in order to support your neck or body properly.
They are made of memory foam, which has a tight cellular structure that is viscoelastic and temperature dependent. The tempur cells open gradually during the break-in period and naturally adapt to your weight and temperature. According to science writers and researchers, Tempurpedic products sink in when pressure is applied and tend to sink more as foam temperature heats up.
From the moment you buy the mattress or the pillow, tempur cells are compacted because the product is still cool. As the product warms up because of its ability to trap body temperature, its density and Indentation Load Deflection (known as ILD) drop down.
In order to understand the whole correlation between body pressure and body temperature, consider the ideal gas law equation of PV= nRT and that of the density d=m/V.
The decrease in temperature correlates with a decrease in Volume. Conversely, the decrease in Volume correlates with an increase in density, and therefore an increase in the firmness of the product, and vice versa. So, with consistent body pressure and warm body temperature, the pillow or mattress will become much softer. You may also enjoy our article on how long it takes memory foam mattresses to expand.
Do Tempurpedic Pillows and Mattresses Get Softer Over Time?
Tempurpedic pillows and mattresses, just like any other type of bed products, will compress and sag over time. This is due to daily use, which fatigues the cell structure. Memory foam in the pillows and mattresses have the tendency to repeatedly compress and decompress according to pressure and temperature. When you lie down on the product, your body pressure and temperature will cause tempur cells to fully break in, allowing the mattress or the pillow to expand. Therefore, the foam conforms to the shape of your body. However, as stated by The Polyurethane Foam Association, when you get out of bed, your body pressure is released from the foam, and the pillow or mattress will slowly revert to its original shape.
According to bedding experts and testers, constant pressure and heat will eventually expand your memory foam product and decrease its functionality. It is when the product is fully expanded and overused, that you will notice the foam’s defects.
- How long do tempurpedic pillows and mattresses last?
- How do you clean, wash, and maintain a tempurpedic pillow?
Do Tempurpedic Pillows and Mattresses Get Harder in Winter When it Is Cold?
As mentioned above, tempurpedic pillows and mattresses are sensitive to temperature. Room temperature, just like body temperature, will affect the stiffness of the foam. So, during the winter period, the temperature drops cause the foam to feel firmer, compared to summertime when it’s softer and more flexible.
How to Make a Tempurpedic Pillow or Mattress Softer
It usually takes between a few days to a few weeks for tempurpedic products to become softer and more comfortable to sleep on. This is known as the breaking-in period. However, if you feel that this adjustment period is taking too long, you can quicken the expansion process by following the steps below:
Step 1. Intensify Pressure on Your Product
Apply a heavy object onto your pillow or your mattress to help reduce its firmness before going to bed. Remove the object and then quickly lie down on your product, before it reverts back to its original shape. That way, when it expands, it will contour to your body shape and adjust to your posture.
Another way to apply pressure on your pillow or mattress is to place it on the floor and walk on it. This repeated motion will loosen up the fibers, allowing them to expand through the foam quickly.
Curious about selecting a mattress topper for back pain or a bad back?
Step 2. Warm up Your Product
Memory foam adjusts to body temperature. As mentioned earlier, tempurpedic products become softer at higher temperatures. Therefore, applying heat to your pillow or mattress will make it softer. To do so, you can use a heating pad such as an electric blanket, or a hot-water bottle. Place your heating source onto the foam for about fifteen minutes, and notice how the foam decompresses and becomes softer.
Step 3. Expose your Product to the Sun
Lay your pillow or mattress outside in the sun, in an area with good airflow. Flip the product often so that all sides catch the heat. The sun will help reduce the strain on the threads in the memory foam, thus making the mattress or the pillow softer.
Can I use a Memory Foam Mattress Topper to Make my Tempurpedic Pillow or Mattress Softer?
Memory foam mattress toppers usually make your sleeping surface firmer and more durable. As stated by SleepersSolutions, the topper actually slows down the break-in period of the foam by taking pressure and heat off of it. Therefore, your main mattress or pillow won’t respond to your weight and body temperature, and will remain firm.
However, the memory foam mattress topper itself (like this one) will react to body pressure and heat like any memory foam product. The topper is mainly used to extend the lifespan of your sleeping surface by protecting it from wear and sags. It also provides more support in areas where your mattress may be sinking.
How Do I Know if my Tempurpedic Pillow or Mattress is Too Old?
Under normal circumstances, Tempurpedic pillows or mattresses are silent, temperature sensitive, elastic, and durable. However, like all products, they will wear out over time and lose their functionality.
Here is a list of signs that will tell you that your mattress is old and needs to be replaced:
- Memory foam does not bounce back to its original shape: one of the characteristics of memory foam is that it is viscoelastic, which allows it to conform to the shape of your body and to revert to its original shape once pressure is released. If the foam does not go back to its original shape, it won’t be able to support your weight and offer comfort.
- Noise disturbs your sleep: Memory foam naturally absorbs soundwaves and reduces motion transfer. So you should barely hear the rustling sound when you or your partner toss and turn in bed.
- Tears and wear are visible: over time, your tempurpedic products may wear out and sag. So you may see lumpy, sagging, and uneven areas on your sleeping surface, or even holes and permanent stains.
- You wake up feeling sore: memory foam is supposed to support your body parts and to alleviate your pressure points regardless of your sleeping positions. So if you wake up with aches, the mattress or pillow is no longer doing its job.
- You develop allergies: Memory foam mattresses/pillows, just like all mattresses and pillows, build up allergens and dust if not cleaned regularly. This may cause respiratory allergies. They also absorb body sweat over time, which may cause skin irritations and rashes.
Related article: Our favorite memory foam pillows