How to choose a mattress topper?
Your mattress is an essential part of your bedroom, since it gives you support and comfort during your sleep. But there is another part of well made beddings, which is generally overlooked and often ignored. That part is a mattress topper. Despite not being necessary, a mattress topper can help keep you cozy, regulate your body temperature and provide additional support during sleep.
Also, if you choose your mattress topper well, it can extend your mattress’ life for couple more years. In this article we’ll try to help you choose the right mattress topper.
Table of Contents
Mattress topper, pad, or protector
A mattress topper, like its name says, lies on top of your regular mattress to add extra layer of cushioning. A mattress protector is a thin, protective cover, often waterproof, which prevents fluids, allergens, oils and dust mites from getting through to the mattress. While mattress topper and mattress pads are often used interchangeably, they are a bit different products. Pads do offer a bit of cushioning, but they are generally thinner than the typical mattress topper. Many mattress pads combine functions of mattress topper and mattress protector.
The best plan is to use both a mattress topper and a mattress protector. Important thing, place the protector over the topper to hold it in place and to protect it from fluids and dust mites. Make sure to choose a mattress protector deep enough to cover the combined height of the mattress and the mattress topper.
Benefits of using a mattress topper
Mattresses lose their support with age. Although mattress topper won’t restore the best days of your mattress, it will increase the comfort and extend the useful life of your mattress for years. However, if your mattress has a saggy middle, a topper won’t help.
Also, if your mattress is a bit too firm, a soft mattress pad will act as a cushioning layer. Mattress toppers made from memory foam or latex can ease up the pressure on joints, relieving those with arthritis and other skeletal conditions.
Types of mattress toppers
Choosing the best topper for yourself can be confusing, since you’ll find entire aisle of mattress toppers in bedding shops. Toppers can be quite expensive and if you don’t choose well, you’ll end up ruining your sleep instead of enhancing it. Now, let’s see what the most common topper materials are.
Natural latex is made from a liquid found in the rubber tree. But there are also a lot of latex toppers in the market, so if you’re determined to sleep on eco friendly material, make sure your latex topper has a “natural” label.
Advantages of latex
- Antimicrobial and hypoallergenic
- Firm but bouncy (usually firmer than memory foam)
- Good support for arthritic or painful joints
- Natural latex is very durable
- Latex doesn’t transmit motion, meaning if your partner tosses and turns during the night, you won’t be disturbed
Disadvantages of latex
- Natural latex is expensive
- You might notice a rubber smell, at least initially
- Latex can be hot
- Some people find latex to be too firm
- Latex can have a “bouncy” feel that some people don’t like
- Some people have latex allergies.
If you would like to learn more, you can check our memory foam and latex comparison article to understand a latex material better.
Memory foam is polyurethane with enhanced density. These mattresses are very popular and they come in wide variety of thicknesses and densities.
Advantages of memory foam
- Soft and comfortable
- Reduces pressure on arthritic or sore joints
- Adds considerable comfort to an aging, hard, or unsupportive mattress
- Reduces motion from a tossing, turning bed partner
Disadvantages of memory foam
- Can be hot
- Can make it difficult to turn over or shift in bed
- Odor, especially when the topper is new
They are the least expensive and the least supportive materials. They are often called fiberfill and they serve as a substitute material for someone who likes the feel of feathers, but have allergies.
Advantages of polyester blends
- No odor
- Provides some softness
Disadvantages of polyester blends
- Not a lot of support or cushioning
- Can be hot
- Can become lumpy over time
- Tend to compress with use
These toppers are similar to duvets filled with feathers. They are really soft, but not so supportive. They’re also called featherbeds, for obvious reasons. If you are allergic to feathers, we’d rather recommend you a fiberfill topper, because it has the similar feel.
Advantages of feather filling
- Very soft
- Less expensive than memory foam or latex
- Doesn’t retain heat
- Doesn’t hinder turning over or moving in bed
Disadvantages of feather filling
- Feather shafts can poke through the fabric
- Can be noisy and crinkly
- Feathers tend to compress over time, requiring periodic shaking
- Some people are allergic to feathers
Mattress toppers made from natural wool fleece are not very easy to find, but they are a good solution of you want extra cushion effect that doesn’t retain body heat.
Advantages of wool
- Soft and comfortable
- Cool in summer, warm in winter
- Doesn’t hinder movement in bed
- Very durable
- Naturally antimicrobial and hypoallergenic for most people
Disadvantages of wool
- Can be hard to find
- Budget heavy
- Mild “sheep” odor when new
Having the good mattress is the most important requirement for comfortable sleeping, and with a good topper you can add even more support and prolong the lifespan of your mattress. It’s a small investment which will be more than useful in achieving the perfect night’s sleep.