The densification of water-saturated firn, which had formed just above the firn-ice transition in the wet-snow zone of temperate glaciers, was investigated by compression tests under pressures ranging from 0.036 to 0.173 MPa, with special reference to the relationship between densification rate, time and pressure. At each test, the logarithm of the densification rate was proportional to the logarithm of the time, and its proportionality constant increased exponentially with increasing pressure. The time necessary for ice formation in the firn aquifer was calculated using the empirical formula obtained from the tests. Consequently, the necessary time decreased exponentially as the pressure increased, which shows that the transformation from firn in ice can be completed within the period when the firn aquifer exists, if the overburden pressure acting on the water-saturated firn is above 0.12–0.14 MPa. This critical value of pressure was in good agreement with the overburden pressure obtained from depth–density curves of temperate glaciers. It was concluded that the depth of firn–ice transition was self-balanced by the overburden pressure to result in the concentration between 20 and 30 m.