Is your mattress already feeling a bit soft? Or maybe you purchased the wrong mattress and found yours to be a bit firmer than what you need? If this is the case, then you should replace it right away.
That is indeed the easiest way to solve that, but of course, it is not the most practical option. If you are short on budget, buying a new mattress topper may not be the best option for you. But before you succumb to sleepless nights, back and neck aches, there is one other solution that you can try—buy a mattress topper.
What is a mattress topper? How can you benefit from it? How to choose a mattress topper? We will answer all of those in this short yet comprehensive guide.
What is a Mattress Topper and What are its Benefits?
A mattress topper is a bedding accessory that looks like a sheet and is placed on top of a mattress to provide the following benefits:
Improved sleep surface
If your old mattress already has indentations or sagging, putting a mattress firm over it can solve that issue. Moreover, it can help the sleeper to customize the thickness, firmness, and softness of the mattress.
Memory foam is the most supportive mattress filling, but it can be a bit expensive. If you can’t afford memory foam mattresses, your next best option is to buy mattress toppers that are made of latex and memory foam filling which can boost the mattress’ support.
Relief from pain and pressure
Another benefit of memory foam is it is shape conforming and can alleviate unwanted pressure on the body. With a mattress topper, you have a more economical way of aligning the spine and relieving pressure from the neck, lower back, hips, and shoulders.
Placing a topper on top of your mattress can protect it from sagging and indentations.
If you are using a mattress that is made of featherbeds, you are aware that it can get a bit noisy. Using a mattress topper can address that problem.
More affordable method
If you plan on replacing your mattress, buying a mattress topper is a much more economical option.
To further understand the benefits of a mattress topper, please watch this video:
When to Buy a Mattress Topper
Is a mattress topper a good option for you? Before you decide to buy a mattress topper, it is vital that you understand when and who should buy a mattress topper. With that in mind, a mattress topper is useful for the following conditions:
When you find the mattress to be a bit too firm
As mentioned, a mattress topper can create a softer and more comfortable sleeping surface, making it a perfect option for people who want their beds to be less firm.
When you want to make your RV bed more comfortable
We all know how uncomfortable and unsupportive RV beds can be. A mattress topper can remedy that problem.
When the sleepers have different comfort preferences
If you and your partner have different comfort preferences and you find dual firmness mattress to be a bit expensive, a mattress topper can help one sleeper to modify his side of the bed (make it softer or more supportive). This is a more cost-effective solution to your sleeping disputes.
When you are staying on a different accommodation
Are you a picky sleeper? Do you find it difficult to fall asleep when the surface of the bed is different to your comfort preferences? If that’s the case, then a mattress topper would come handy for you.
You can bring a mattress topper to make the beds in hotels, your friend’s home, and even, a tent to become more suitable for your preferences.
Mattress Topper Vs. Mattress Pad
When buying a mattress topper, one thing that you should keep in mind is that a mattress topper is different than that of a mattress pad. In this section, we will not just discuss what mattress topper but also the information you need to differentiate it from a mattress pad.
To begin with, a mattress pad is a thin sheet that is designed to protect the mattress from water, and also offer either cooling or heating features. On the other hand, a mattress topper is a thicker sheet that is designed to boost the cushioning, softness, and support that the mattress can give.
Everything You Need on How to Choose a Mattress Topper
If you did not luck out on your process on how to choose a mattress, you could still save your investment by buying the best mattress topper. Here is all the information that you need to know to find the one!
Types of Mattress Toppers
One of the most important things that you should pay attention to when choosing a mattress topper is the material used. Mattress topper materials come in various styles, and we will cover the differences of those materials in this section.
Latex is made from the liquid extracted from rubber trees and can get a bit expensive, but it offers an amount of support and comfort that is comparable to that of memory foam.
- Firmer than memory foam
- Prevents motion transmission which is perfect for couples
- Offers comfort and pain relief
- Not suitable for people with latex allergy
- May feel a bit hot during the warmer months
This is the most common mattress topper material of all and is known for a lot of amazing features.
- Conforms to the shape of the user’s body
- Provide support especially for people with joint and muscular pain
- Reduce both movement and noise
- Available in wide array of densities
- Gives off strong chemical odor initially
This is the most expensive mattress topper material, and this is due to good reasons!
- Naturally soft and comfortable
- Resistant to bed bugs and mites
- Keeps the user feeling cool throughout the night
- Most expensive
- Does not have the same level of cushioning as memory foam
Cotton and Polyester
This is a popular choice due to its affordability.
- Available as synthetic or organic
- Easier to clean and maintain
- Highly affordable
- Not as durable as other materials
Things to Consider When Choosing a Mattress Topper
Now that you are familiar with the different materials used for manufacturing mattress toppers, we can now proceed with the other factors that you should take into account to find the best mattress topper for your needs.
One critical personal considerations would be your sleeping position. With these in mind, here are the things you need to know:
– Side Sleepers
When you sleep on your side, your spine creates an unnatural curvature which may place too much pressure on your shoulders, hips, and neck. With that in mind, you should go for a topper that will sink underneath these areas and can keep your spine in proper alignment.
– Back Sleepers
When you sleep on your back, your spine is in its natural alignment, and thus, unnecessary pressure can be avoided. Despite this, you would still need a high-density topper as it can provide you with more support. A medium-firm topper would be great for you as it can prevent your hips and back from sinking too deeply without creating a gap between the lower back and bed of the sleeper.
– Stomach Sleepers
People who sleep on their stomach do not just misalign their spine—it can also deeply sink the pelvis and hips which can put your body at risk of pressure and pain. You can prevent these issues by using a slightly, thin and low-density mattress topper.
The next most important factor would be your body weight. If you weigh less than 130 pounds, a comfortable option for you would be low-density soft toppers. If you weight more than 130 pounds, you should go for firmer toppers so they won’t sink under you.
Thickness and firmness
The thickness of mattress toppers range from 1 to 4 inches. When choosing the thickness of the topper, you need to consider your purpose for buying one. If you wish to make the mattress firmer and more supportive, you should go for a thicker topper. On the other hand, a thinner topper is recommended if you only need minor changes.
We know that mattress toppers are much more affordable than mattresses, but despite this, it is vital for you to ensure that you will be able to make the most out of your investment. When it comes to durability, the materials of choice are memory foam, wool, and latex. The least durable materials are feather and fibers.
Softness and comfort
We know that comfort is subjective so this factor is dependent on the user. But as a guide, you have two options to choose from—shape-conforming comfort of latex and memory foam or naturally soft surface of cotton and down.
High-density toppers have better edge support and shape conforming capabilities. On the other hand, lower density models do not have heat-retaining capabilities and gassy odor that are common with lower density toppers.
Generally, mattress toppers are cheap, but of course, their prices vary. Because of this, it is crucial for you to establish how much money you are willing to shell out for a mattress topper.
As mentioned, wool, memory foam, and latex are the expensive toppers while cotton and polyester are at the lower end of the spectrum when it comes to price.
If you usually wake up with aches and pains all over your body, you need a mattress topper that can conform to the shape of your body and keep the spine in proper alignment. This is one feature that memory foam mattress toppers are known for.
If you wish to prevent yourself from waking up all hot and sweaty at night, you need a mattress topper that promotes proper airflow.
Among all the materials used for mattress toppers, wool, feather and down materials deliver extra warmth during the colder seasons and reduce heat during warmer months.
On the other hand, latex and memory foam toppers trap body heat which can be a disadvantage for you. If you decide to go for these materials, you should make sure that the manufacturer has added gel cooling elements or ventilation tubes to the toppers.
Maintenance and Portability
Keep in mind that you have to remove the topper from the box and put it over the bed. You also have to remove it from the bed to clean it from time to time. That is why you need to make sure that the mattress topper is not heavy.
You should also take into consideration the method of cleaning of the mattress. Some toppers are machine washable while others need to be hand washed.
Extra Features That You Would Need
If you have a bit of money to spare, then you may want to look for a mattress topper that has these special features:
If you have a wide array of allergies, you must go for a mattress topper that is hypoallergenic. The materials that have the greatest risk at triggering allergies are latex and feathers.
You should also go for a mattress that is resistant to mildew, molds, bed bugs, and dust mites.
Some mattress toppers are great at absorbing motion or isolating it at certain parts of the mattress. Because of this, sleep disruptions can be minimized. When it comes to motion isolation, memory foam and latex are your best bets while fiber, feather, and wool offer the least motion isolation capabilities.
There is no doubt that mattress toppers can be useful for you in keeping your mattress more supportive, durable, comfortable and firmer. If you wish to enjoy all the benefits that a topper has to offer, you should be careful in choosing one. Make sure to keep in mind all the pointers on how to choose a mattress topper that we have provided in this article.