How To Customize Your Mattress When You and Your Partner Sleep Differently

Customize Mattress for Partners

Dear Bedrooms & More —

I like a softer mattress but my partner likes a firmer one. Short of sleeping in different beds, is there any way we can both get comfortable?

Signed,

Mismatched for Sleep

Hi, Mismatched —

There are many couples who find themselves mismatched when it comes to sleep comfort preferences. One likes a firmer bed; the other likes a plusher bed. And neither one wants to move into the spare bedroom! Fortunately, there are a couple ways to customize one mattress to meet different partners’ sleep preferences.

When it comes to a mattress itself, your most dramatically customizable option would be a Split Queen or Split King mattress. You like an Extra Firm surface feel while your partner prefers Extra Plush? No problem. A split mattress is just what it sounds like — a custom-built mattress that is one-half what you want and one-half what your partner wants, but in the typical size you’d like (Queen, King, or California King).

Beyond firmness levels, each partner can use mattress pads and toppers to fine-tune the feel of their side through the years. This creates a sleep surface truly unique to you, without giving up on sleeping next to your sweetie. A split mattress uses a standard box size (unless you’re using a platform bed frame, for which no box is needed). If you’re familiar with adjustable electric beds where each side can adjust independently, a split mattress is the type you’d need for one of those.

Another mattress option:

Zip cover mattress. This type of mattress allows partners to customize the components on each side of the bed to their liking. If you have a mattress with a zip cover, like our Wallingford, Woodland Park, Thackeray, or Meridian, all you have to do is remove the cover to swap new layers in or out, depending on the feel you want. Each partner can perfect the feel they like.

A mattress topper is another brilliant way to customize the feel of a bed to suit two partners’ different sleep preferences. Desire a softer, plusher surface feel? Add a mattress topper on one side for enhanced cushioning, while your partner retains the firm feel they enjoy.

On the other hand, one partner can firm up a mattress that’s a bit too soft. Try a firming pad over your mattress (but beneath the topper, if you’re using one) for added support.

Mismatched, we hope this helps you and your partner create a place where you can both get comfortable.

Yours in Great Sleep,

Bedrooms & More

30 thoughts on “How To Customize Your Mattress When You and Your Partner Sleep Differently

  1. Michelle says:

    I can’t find a brand that carries a mattress topper that is half soft and half hard. We have a Queen size bed and have a topper on it but the topper is too soft for my husband. but I love it and two twin toppers equal a King not a Queen. Can you give a brand name of a topper that would work for us?

    • anthony says:

      Hello,
      So, short anwser is yes it would be something we could do for you. Only thing is it would almost all be custom work because split queen toppers are not something we regularly carry.The other thing is that topper are meant to be soft so for the hard half it would almost be entirely custom. Also, for a king it’s actually going to be two TwinXL that make up a king.

  2. Olivia Pearson says:

    I like how you mentioned that different people have different sleep and mattress preferences. I think this could make it difficult to find and decide on one mattress to have for your bed, because you want to find one that is specifically just right for you. My husband and I are looking for a mattress, but we want to make sure it’s one that fits both our very specific comfort needs. We’ll have to look for a custom mattress business that can help us personalize our bed, and get the most out of our night’s sleep- comfortably and agreeably.

    • Micah says:

      I am glad you enjoyed the article! You may be happy to find that we are a custom mattress company that offer quality mattresses of different styles to match the needs of our customers. You should come into our new store in Seattle on 45th Street. We just opened our new location and we would love to show you our selection!

  3. Karl says:

    Hi
    You mentioned that one way for on partner to firm a mattress that’s too soft is to use a “firming pad over your mattress (but beneath the topper, if you’re using one)”

    What is a firming pad?

    • Anthony says:

      Hi,
      A firming pad is essentially compressed cotton with a cotton cover. They work with our zippered mattresses. They’re excellent for firming up half of the bed. As well as, adding additional lumbar support if you lay it across the middle third of your mattress.

        • Anthony says:

          Thank you for bringing this to our attention. The firming pad is not currently posted on our website. We will have it post by the end of the day. You may also place your order for a firming pad by calling 206-633-4494.

      • Nicole Gibson says:

        I noticed you stated that you do have toppers to make one side more firm here but to another response you said toppers are not for making the bed firmer u should put something under the bed. Can you tell me which one? We just bought a mattress from Lull. My husband loves it and I hate it. My back is killing me

        • Blake says:

          We can make one side of a bed firmer than the other in some cases. Many of our beds have zippers and the layers are not glued together. The issue with all the layers being glued is that a bed then becomes only as durable as its least durable component.
          In this case, so long as you are within the return period, I’d suggest you arrange for it to go back. The firming pads are meant to insert between layers on a mattress. Putting something under the mattress to crown the surface can work to simulate the support of a firmer, or in this case, a better bed; but would only advise it should you have no alternative.

  4. Shelly says:

    Serta sells a rather expensive 2 sided topper, so one side can be firm and the other soft. I just sent one to fit on my side of the bed that is soft and plush! Would a twin xl be too wide on half on a king bed? Wondering if 2 twin xl are actually wider than a king, then the topper would take up too much space on half of the bed.

  5. D.R. says:

    We are newly married and finding out he needs firm for his hips, but I sleep best on plush. How does a couple achieve half of a queen, short of a split queen?

    • Blake says:

      Many of our beds have zip covers, and can be made totally different on each side. We also have firming pads that can be used underneath toppers on beds without zippers.

  6. Shaylee Packer says:

    I didn’t realize that you could get a custom mattress with two different levels of firmness on each side. I like more plush and my husband prefers more firm. We will have to keep this in mind as we hunt for a new mattress.

  7. Roger says:

    Does anyone make a 1/2 of a queen mattress pad. My hip hurts sleeping on our current mattress but she doesn’t want a pad on her side.

    • Blake says:

      The short answer is probably yes. However, since there is no place to attach the topper, shifting is a bit of a concern; as is the ledge created between the sides of the mattress. A thin topper, doubled over, is a common solution for this problem, and does not create an extreme difference in height from side to side. This is held in place well by a good fitted mattress pad and sheet.

    • Blake says:

      The short answer is probably yes. However, since there is no place to attach the topper, shifting is a bit of a concern; as is the ledge created between the sides of the mattress. A thin queen sized topper doubled over, is a common solution for this problem, and does not create an extreme difference in height from side to side. This is held in place well by a good fitted mattress pad and sheet.

      • Avy says:

        Silly question.
        But what happens if u want to cuddle in the middle. It there a notable ridge between the soft and firm sides of the mattress?

        • Blake says:

          When the firmness difference is coming from the support system and not on the surface, it will not adversely affect your cuddling experience. You deserve quality cuddles.

  8. sleepless in Atlanta says:

    what size would you recommend for a topper that is 50% of a Cal King and any recommendations on the type of material as I’m ooking to firm up my side of a memory foam bed.

    • Blake says:

      Toppers are not an effective means of firming a mattress up. If you are looking to make a bed feel firmer, add something underneath the middle third of the mattress to create a crowning effect. A beach towel folded in half will elevate the hip area about 3/8″ and solve many comfort issues. Save the money.
      1/2 of a Cal King is 36″ x 84″

  9. Cathy Shubotham says:

    I am looking for a topper to soften one side of an Emperor Bed (200cm x 220cm). Is it possible to get such a thing that will stay in place and not move about???

    • Damien says:

      Getting a topper that covers half the bed is not an issue at all. The challenge is in preventing the topper from shifting. Elastic straps can work wonders for preventing the topper from sliding to the middle; however the toppers tend to slide off the side unless they have a really well fitting mattress pad on top.

  10. Laura says:

    I have a topper I like for my queen sized bed, it provides good cushioning for me but my husband wants a firmer feel. How can I order a firming pad for his side of the queen sized bed? I think I can just slip it under the top cover of the topper or alternatively between the topper and the mattress.

  11. Ratna says:

    Had a question. my husband wants a memory foam mattress and i have hot flashes in memory foam mattress and prefer a spring mattress instead, is it possible to customize a spilt california king mattress to suite both requirements in one mattress?

    • Blake says:

      We do have beds that can be half coil and half foam. We use latex and not memory foam for durability and off-gassing reasons. Regardless of which mattress you choose, I’d recommend the washable wool mattress pad to maximize temperature regulation.

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