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Memory Foam: Pros and Cons

Considering a memory foam mattress or similar product? Read what sleep experts say about it.

Few things feel as good as a good night’s sleep. That’s especially true if sleep seems to escape you, night after night after night.

If you’ve heard about memory foam, you may wonder if it could improve the quality ofyoursleep. Some people swear by it. Others are less enthusiastic.

What exactly is memory foam? And what are its pros and cons? Here’s information to help you decide whether memory foam is worth a try.

What Is Memory Foam?

First designed in the mid-1960s for NASA airplane seats, memory foam is made from a substance called viscoelastic. It is both highly energy absorbent and soft.

Memory foam molds to the body in response to heat and pressure, evenly distributing body weight. It then returns to its original shape once you remove the pressure.

In addition to protecting against impact, these properties make memory foam very comfortable. After its "virgin flight" for NASA, memory foam made a foray into other applications. For example, it was used as cushioning in helmets and shoes. Medicine found a use for it in prosthetics and products to prevent pressure ulcers such as seating pads for people who are severely disabled.

Then, memory foam really took off. It’s now well known for its use in pillows, mattress pads, and mattresses, which come in different densities and depths.

What Are the Benefits of Memory Foam?

Could the special properties of memory foam enhance your sleep? Sleep specialist Donna L. Arand, PhD, says that objective studies supporting the claimed benefits of memory foam — or the effects of any particular type of sleeping surface — are lacking.

This is true for a variety of reasons, she says. This type of sleep study can be expensive, if conducted independently. Or it is "chased" by a shadow of bias, if supported by industry.

Also, some sleep technology, such as memory foam, is relatively new, so it hasn’t been well studied. But perhaps one of the more difficult stumbling blocks to testing the health benefits of mattresses such as memory foam is the subjective nature of sleep. It is simply difficult to measure.

Continued

Sometimes the brain’s electrical activity, measured with an electroencephalogram (EEG), and other findings recorded during a sleep test don’t always match up perfectly with a person’s subjective experience, says Arand, who is the clinical director of the Kettering Sleep Disorders Center in Dayton, Ohio. "They might say, ‘I had a great night’s sleep,’ but the EEG parameters might not really indicate that."

Sleep is not only subjective, but preferences for sleep surfaces are individual, Arand says. "There’s quite a bit of variability between individuals in terms of what type of surface — whether it’s firm, hard, or soft — they prefer when they’re sleeping," she says. "As far as we know, there is no rhyme or reason for that."

Many of Arand’s patients who use memory foam have offered unsolicited glowing reports like these about memory foam: "I’m sleeping great." "Best sleep I’ve ever had." "I love going to bed at night." Arand says these anecdotal responses may be one-sided. That’s because she and other staff don’t ask all their patients about their sleep surfaces. "We may only be hearing the good stuff," Arand says.

Kathy R. Gromer, MD, sleep specialist with the Minnesota Sleep Institute in Minneapolis, agrees that memory foam may improve sleep. "It can, if it relieves painful pressure points," she says. But Gromer adds that memory foam doesn’t do anything for sleep apnea or other sleep-breathing disorders — and sleep disorders are the primary complaint of most her patients.

"When you lie on the memory foam, the heat from your body softens it in appropriate points," Arand says, "so this helps to support your body along the curves and natural lines of the body." Memory foam manufacturers claim this helps relieve pain and thereby promotes more restful sleep. And, though consumers often believe that very firm mattresses are best, more "giving" mattresses like these may lead to better sleep in people with back pain, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

Although there aren’t scientific data to support the hypothesis, Arand wonders whether memory foam sleep surfaces might be especially helpful for older people. For them, minimizing extra movement could reduce the number of times they awaken during the night. Being less aware of a bed partner’s movements might be an extra benefit, she adds. "Without the coiled springs, you feel your sleep partner’s movement less, and that might help, too."

Continued

What Are the Disadvantages of Memory Foam?

Gromer says that memory foam products may retain body heat, which could make them less comfortable in warm weather. However, Arand has not heard this complaint from her patients. "In our culture, most people can adjust their thermostats or blankets for the appropriate season," Arand says.

When new, memory foam can produce an odd chemical smell — a phenomenon called offgassing. To minimize this problem, the Sleep Products Safety Council, a sleep products trade group, recommends airing out the mattress or pad for at least 24 hours before putting sheets on it. "If you follow directions, the smell dissipates quickly," Arand says, "But I’ve never heard of anyone having reactions to it."

Are Memory Foam Products Safe for Young Children?

"I would strongly recommend avoiding this and similar very soft materials for use in infants’ beds," Gromer says. "That’s because soft bedding traps [carbon dioxide] and increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) deaths."

Sources

NASA Scientific and Technical Information: "Forty-Year-Old Foam Springs Back With Newer Benefits."

Donna L. Arand, PhD, clinical director, Kettering Medical Sleep Disorders Center, Dayton, Ohio; research associate professor, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine.

Kathy R. Gromer, MD, sleep specialist, Minnesota Sleep Institute; medical director, Respiratory Care Program, Saint Paul Technical College.

National Sleep Foundation: "Buying the Right Mattress for You."

Sleep Products Safety Council: "Mattress Odors" and "Sudden Infant Death Syndrome."

Best Cooling Mattress Pads and Toppers – Our Picks and Buyer’s Guide

Our Research

Toppers and Pads Considered
Hours of Research
Sleep Experts Consulted

Quick Overview

Many sleepers do not get enough cushioning from their mattress alone. To remedy this problem, some turn to mattress pads or toppers. Both are used as individual layers of cushioning to complement the bed’s sleep surface. Pads tend to be thinner and provide minimal cushioning, while toppers are thicker and provide more cushioning.

In addition to beds, pads and toppers can be used in guest rooms, RVs, and other sleeping areas where the bedding surfaces may lack proper support.

Best Cooling Mattress Pads
  • Editor’s Pick – Avocado Organic Cotton Mattress Protector
  • Best Value – ExceptionalSheets Bamboo Mattress Pad
  • Best Luxury – Helix Ultra-Cool Pad

Additionally, some pads and toppers offer good temperature neutrality that can cool down mattresses that tend to sleep hot. Pas/toppers that sleep cool without altering the temperature of the bed are known as passive cooling toppers. Most of these are made from materials like latex or gel-infused foam. Active cooling pads/toppers actually create colder sleep surfaces using built-in components, such as fans or water tanks.

Best Cooling Mattress Toppers
  • Editor’s Pick – Molecule AirTEC Topper
  • Best Value – Latex for Less Topper
  • Best Luxury – PlushBeds Handmade Wool Topper

This guide will explore important considerations for purchasing a cooling pad or topper, including our picks for the best cooling pads and toppers made today. Our choices are based on verified customer and owner experiences, as well as intensive product research and analysis.

Our Top 6 Picks

  • Made of 100% organic cotton
  • Sustainably made
  • No off-gassing odors
  • Durable construction

  • Cover made of plush rayon from bamboo
  • Fill made of hypoallergenic down alternative
  • Fits mattresses up to 18” deep
  • Virtually silent

  • 100% polyester
  • Absorbs and disperses excess heat
  • Antimicrobial
  • 100-night sleep trial and 1-year limited warranty

  • Tested for excellent temperature regulation
  • Three layers of foam for 3" profile
  • Close-conforming
  • 5-Year limited warranty

  • Made of 100% natural latex
  • No synthetics, fillers, or chemicals
  • Oeko-Tex and Eco-Institut certified
  • Great for pressure relief

  • 100% premium Eco-Wool® fill
  • Chemical and cruelty free
  • Wicks moisture and provides insulation
  • Ideal for both summer and winter

The Best Cooling Pads and Toppers – Reviewed

Editor’s Pick – Avocado Organic Cotton Mattress Protector

Highlights

  • Made of 100% organic cotton
  • Sustainably made
  • No off-gassing odors
  • Durable construction

Find the best price on an Avocado Organic Cotton Mattress Protector

Editor’s Pick Overview

The Avocado Organic Cotton Mattress Pad Protector combines luxury, protection and sustainability all in one product. Made of 100% GOTS organic cotton, this pad adds a layer of clean and cool breathability to your mattress. Durable, easy to care for and with no off-gassing odor, this is the no-hassle experience desired in a mattress pad.

The Avocado Organic Cotton Mattress Pad Protector is handmade in Los Angeles with sustainably sourced 400 thread count long-staple cotton ticking and 400 gram/yard cotton fiber fill. This detail of production results in not only its fair trade and vegan certifications, but also a soft, clean product that will last a long time.

This pad is handmade in the U.S. Avocado offers free shipping and full refunds on all returns.

Good for:
  • Hot sleepers
  • People who value sustainably-made products
  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination)

Best Value – ExceptionalSheets Bamboo Mattress Pad

Highlights

  • Cover made of plush rayon from bamboo
  • Fill made of hypoallergenic down alternative
  • Fits mattresses up to 18” deep
  • Virtually silent

Find the best price on ExceptionalSheets Bamboo Mattress Pad

Best Value Overview

You’ll enjoy this bamboo mattress pad for both its value and cruelty-free materials. The top-quilted fabric is soft and cool to the touch, and will help with thermoregulation while sleeping.

Inside, the RevoLoft Cluster Fiber Filling is a down alternative and allows more air flow to counteract any mattresses that cause you to overheat. Baffle box stitching keeps the fill from shifting too far to one side or another.

The silent protection keeps a noisy mattress pad from waking you up, and matches well with all kinds of mattresses, whether you already have latex, memory foam, or innerspring. This product also includes a 30-day return period if it’s not the right fit for you.

Good for:
  • Hot sleepers
  • Sleepers of all kinds (stomach, back, side)
  • People who want the feel of goose down without feathers

Best Luxury – Helix Ultra-Cool Pad

Highlights

  • 100% polyester
  • Absorbs and disperses excess heat
  • Antimicrobial
  • 100-night sleep trial and 1-year limited warranty

Find the best price on a Helix Ultra-Cool Pad

Best Luxury Overview

The Helix Ultra-Cool Pad is our Best Luxury pick because of its quality combination of feel as well as function. The mattress pad and its skirt are smooth, soft, and cool to the touch. The fabric itself is 100% polyester that is specially designed to provide functional benefits in two main ways.

First, it’s treated using Helix’s Phase Change technology to help it regulate heat. Essentially, the pad takes in excess heat from any point and disperses it throughout the mattress. This keeps things comfortably cool while also warming those spots that get too cold.

Second, the pad is designed to be antimicrobial to protect against potential allergens. The entire thing is also machine-washable, making it easy to keep clean and free of irritants.

Available in all standard mattress sizes, the Ultra-Cool Pad is covered by a 100-night sleep trial and a 1-year limited warranty.

Good for:
  • Hot sleepers
  • Those looking to regulate the temperature of their bed
  • People who are sensitive to allergens and microbes

Editor’s Pick – Molecule AirTEC Topper

Highlights

  • Tested for excellent temperature regulation
  • Three layers of foam for 3" profile
  • Close-conforming
  • 5-Year limited warranty

Find the best price on a Molecule AirTEC Topper

Editor’s Pick Overview

The Molecule AirTEC Mattress Toppers is easily among the coolest toppers on the market. With a versatile construction featuring cooling properties in almost every layer, this innovative topper achieves an excellent combination of conforming and temperature regulation.

The AirTEC consists of three different foam layers and a cover. The first layer, it’s ‘comfort layer’, is made of a proprietary foam that provides 7x the airflow of traditional memory foam. Below is a core layer made of a breathable open cell foam and a bottom layer of higher-density support foam. This is all wrapped in a cool, fiber cover. The AirTEC tested excellently in our cooling tests, achieving a rare 5-star rating. Additionally, it scored consistently well in almost every other category, specifically conforming and motion isolation.

While the AirTEC’s price point is just slightly above average, it’s innovative and high-quality construction makes it well worth it. Comes in the six standard mattress sizes and includes a 5-year limited warranty.

Good for:
  • Hot sleepers
  • People who toss and turn at night
  • Those with chronic neck and back pain
  • Sleepers with excessively hard mattresses

Best Value – Latex for Less Topper

Highlights

  • Made of 100% natural latex
  • No synthetics, fillers, or chemicals
  • Oeko-Tex and Eco-Institut certified
  • Great for pressure relief

Find the best price on Latex for Less Topper

Best Value Overview

If you’re concerned about harmful or synthetic materials, Latex for Less is a win on two different fronts: it’s both a monetary value and the company has gone the extra mile to assure safe materials. This mattress topper boasts multiple certifications for safety, including Oeko-Tex, Eco-Institut, and GOTS certified organic cotton. That translates into no fillers or synthetic additives, and no toxic chemical smell.

Customers have found this product to be comfortable and resilient, along with offering pressure relief that helps with support for hips, knees, back, and shoulders. The 100% natural latex material provides a balance between sink and buoyancy, along with plenty of distributed aeration to keep cool.

Good for:
  • Hot sleepers
  • People with pressure points in their back and other sensitive areas
  • Value seekers

Best Luxury – PlushBeds Handmade Wool Topper

Highlights

  • 100% premium Eco-Wool® fill
  • Chemical and cruelty free
  • Wicks moisture and provides insulation
  • Ideal for both summer and winter

Find the best price on a PlushBeds Handmade Wool Topper

Best Luxury Overview

This mattress topper may not be cheap, but many customers found the splurge to be worth it. PlushBeds prioritizes ethically sourced materials. Beyond their chemical-free cred, they also go the extra mile to ensure cruelty-free and sustainable materials. Their wool vendors are held to high standards, including humane growing and gathering processes without adding scouring agents, chemicals, or dyes.

The wool material is adaptable on the full spectrum of temperature, allowing for a cooling effect in the summer and a warming effect in the winter. The all-natural materials also inhibit pests like dust mites and mold spores. While this material is great to sink into, PlushBeds suggests the brand’s latex topper if you’re looking for targeted pressure or pain relief.

Good for:
  • Eco-friendly, ethical-minded customers
  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination)
  • People seeking a topper that regulates body temperature

Buying Guide – How to Shop for Cooling Mattress Pads and Toppers

Many different factors go into choosing a mattress pad or topper. In the following guide, we’ll walk you through several different factors, including:

  • Differences between mattress pads and toppers:Although the two sound similar, they actually have some key differences, from lifespan to effectiveness and additional performance ratings.
  • How cooling pads and toppers work:Learn more about active and passive cooling toppers, including the materials they use and how that changes their effect.
  • Pros and cons:We’ll go through item-by-item to compare criteria such as temperature regulation, durability, odor potential, and noise between active and passive cooling toppers.

Taking all these elements into consideration will help you pick a mattress pad or topper that fits your needs and helps you sleep better every night.

What’s the Difference Between a Mattress Pad & Topper?

A mattress pad, also known as a ‘mattress protector,’ is a relatively thin layer that tucks over the top surface of a mattress with elastic edges similar to those of a fitted sheet. The pad’s primary purpose is to protect the mattress.

The term ‘mattress topper’ refers to an individual layer of additional cushioning that can be placed on top of a mattress or other sleep surface in order to provide extra softness, comfort, and support.

Some toppers rest freely on the uppermost layer of the mattress (known as the comfort layer), while others are designed to fit beneath the top sheet. Pads and toppers come in sizes that correspond to standard mattress sizes. Toppers may also be used to create a ‘dual-firmness’ surface for couples using Queen- or King-size mattresses.

How do Cooling Pads & Toppers Work?

A ‘cooling’ pad or topper is designed to help sleepers maintain a moderate, well-regulated body temperature throughout the night. They can also reduce sweating. These pads and toppers can be beneficial for people who tend to sleep hot or warm, as well as those using mattresses that act as heat traps.

Generally speaking, two types of cooling pads and toppers are available. Below, we’ll go over the differences between active and passive cooling pads and toppers, including factors that will help you pick the right one for you.

Active Cooling Pads and Toppers

Active cooling pads and toppers go beyond padding materials to heat you up or cool you down. These products are outfitted with attachable fans or water pumps that help sleepers remain cool and comfortable.

Many are customizable, allowing owners to maintain their ideal sleep temperature. They may also be used to warm up sleep surfaces during colder times of the year.

Passive Cooling Pads and Toppers

Rather than using fans or other attachments, passive cooling toppers are constructed with specialty materials (such as gel-infused foams) that absorb and transfer body heat. The term ‘passive cooling topper’ also refers to toppers made with materials that are naturally cool, such as:

  • Natural latex, a material extracted and processed from the sap of rubber trees
  • Gel-infused memory foam, or viscoelastic polyfoam, a polyurethane-based material treated with chemicals to make it exceptionally soft and responsive to temperature, then infused with cooling gel beads or swirls.
  • Feathers from ducks or geese.
  • Wool from sheep or lambs.

Regardless of the cooling topper type, most models feature covers made of materials that help sleepers stay cool. These include cotton, rayon, and/or bamboo fabric.

Additionally, some models feature covers made from phase-changing material, or PCM. PCM absorbs body heat until the sleeper reaches a certain temperature and then stop retaining heat, allowing the sleep surface to maintain a steady, comfortable temperature throughout the night regardless of how hot the sleeper feels.

Please note:Some brands offer toppers that need to be placed in a refrigerator or freezer prior to being used. Most of these toppers keep sleepers cool for a reasonable length of time, but their coldness will wear off — and most need to be refrigerated or refrozen each night. These toppers are fairly rare compared to active and passive cooling toppers. As a result, we have exclusively evaluated active and passive cooling pads and toppers for the purposes of this article, and did include any refrigerated pad or topper models in our analyses.

Pros and Cons

Both active and passive cooling pads and toppers carry unique benefits and drawbacks for owners. The table below looks at some of the similarities and differences between the two product types in terms of lifespan, effectiveness, and other performance metrics.

Memory Foam Mattress Topper Pad Buying Guide

Simply The Most Comfortable Memory Topper Pads We’ve Ever Tested.And we back it upu with our unmatched365 Day Money Back Trial.

We get a lot of questions from people about buying a memory foam mattress toppers pad, and have amassed a lot of FAQs to try to answer them as best we can. But we thought it might be useful to have a buying guide specifically on the most common questions we hear along with what we think the key points to consider when buying a memory foam mattress topper pad.

Do Memory Foam Mattress Topper Pads Really Work?

I’ve looked and tried a lot of pads, from conventional eggcrate to latex, and in my experience memory foam mattress topper pads are the most comfortable pads of all and offer pressure relief that no other material can approach. My customer experience supports this; we only have about 4 – 5% returns, a very low rate for a product sold directly over the internet.

Why do people return it? I’d say the vast majority are from people who had specific pain issues that the pad didn’t help with. The most common type of pain person we see is back pain people, and I’d guess that topper works for 80% or so of these people. The causes for back pain are just so numerous that the pad will work for some and not others.

The memory foam mattress topper pads work more routinely for other chronic pain people in our experience – I’ve had a lot of luck with people with arthritis and fibromyalgia. And for the more ordinary person who just wakes up with aches and pains, the memory toppers work very well to make it more comfortable and relieve pressure points that cause these aches and pains.

What Sort of Mattress Does the Memory Foam Mattress Topper Pad Work Best With?

The memory foam mattress topper pads are great at making a too hard mattress more comfortable. They won’t fix a mattress that is overly soft or already has areas that are compressed (dips, etc). In these cases, you are really better off spending your money on a new mattress rather than getting a memory foam topper.

But if your mattress is still pretty good but just firmer than you like, the memory foam mattress topper pad will really help make it more comfortable and reduce pressure points.

We get asked a fair amount about using the pad on pillow top mattresses. And in the main we find they work well if the pillow top just is still a bit too firm. But if you find the pillow top too soft or not supportive enough, then the topper would only make it worse.

Quality of the Memory Foam Mattress Topper Pad

We get a lot of questions about what sort of quality of memory foam mattress topper pads people should look for. Especially comparison questions (how does your foam compare to Tempur-Pedic foam, etc). We do have a detailed page on this – our Tempur-Pedic comparison page. But the short answer is that I think that any memory foam from 4 lb and up in density is a very good quality memory foam. And while I do think the Tempur-Pedic Tempur foam (at 5.34 lb density) is a very good quality foam, I really believe that our 4 lb density memory foam mattress topper pad has a nicer initial feel. The 4 lb density is just softer and more yielding, and much less temperature sensitive than the Tempur foam (Tempur foam can be very firm starting at 70 degrees or so and takes your body temperature to soften up). The downside of the 4 lb foam is that it won’t last as long as the denser foams (probably a 3 – 5 year life before it softens to the point that you would want to replace it), but the 4 lb memory foam mattress topper pads do offer the best initial feel and comfort of any memory foam pad I’ve tried.

That said, there can be a big difference in quality between memory foam topper pads that have similar densities. I’ve looked at a variety of 4 lb foam from domestic and non-domestic suppliers, and the quality and feel of these "same" density foam varied dramatically. I’ve been very careful in sourcing the foam I use in my toppers – I want one that not only has a good feel but is consistent in quality and density. These days with all sorts of people selling memory foam, I know it can get confusing and it is very difficult to compare the toppers from retailer to retailer. All I can tell you is that in my experience you do get what you pay for, and less expensive memory foams tend to be lower density, not cut to the full dimensions of the bed, have shorter warranties or no money back guarantees, are imported from abroad (China is really ramping up production), or may be made in huge quantities and stored for long periods of time (which can cause compression areas in the pads over time). In contrast, all our memory foam mattress topper pads are made of 4 lb U.S. manufactured foam, cut full to the edge, and cut an shipped from pads that have been stored just a few days. And our pads come with a 10 year manufacturers warranty and 365 day money back guarantee.

How Thick Should the Mattress Topper Be?

Memory foam mattress topper pads come in a variety of thicknesses – from 1" pads all the way up to 4" and beyond. After trying out a number of pads and thickness, I really feel that the 2" thickness is the sweet spot. It really gives most people the benefits of a memory foam pad (better sleep, less aches and pains, etc) and at an affordable price. A 3" pad is somewhat more luxurious, but there is a trade-off in that you sink in deeper and lose some support for your back. And while the price for a 3" has come down a lot over the years, you still pay a bit of a premium for the 3". I would suggest a 3" for someone who is a bit heavier, or if you are really looking for a soft, luxurious feel. As for 4" or even thicker pads, I just think this is overkill. If you need this much cushioning, you may just really need a whole new bed.

Do I Need to Buy the Topper With a Cover?

We’ve found that most people find the memory foam mattress topper pad works just fine uncovered if they put it under their existing quilted mattress pad (there just needs to be enough stretch in the quilted mattress pad to allow it to fit over the topper pad). We got a lot of requests, though, for a cover from people looking to protect their bed from various spills or for allergy reasons. So we now also sell our topper pads with the Platinum Mattress Protector. After testing out a number of different mattress protectors, we went with the Platinum because its thin profile didn’t interfere with the memory feel of the pad and it just worked really well.

Our 2" and 3" Memory Foam Mattress Pads

We’ve spent a lot of time looking at different memory foams from all over the world to find what we feel is the finest 4 lb memory foam to use in our topper pads. This particular memory foam just gives us the most comfortable sleep. It does a terrific job of reducing pressure points and is also soft and conforming. The acid test, of course, is whether it works to help you sleep better – and that is why we offer our 365 day money back trial on all our topper pads. To find out more information on out pads, so our detailed page on our Memory Foam Topper Pads.

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  • Our Unmatched 365 Day Money Back Trial.Don’t get stuck paying $100’s or $1000’s for a mattress that doesn’t work for you.
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Our 5 Best Mattress Pads (Toppers) For Back Pain – 2020 Update

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Is your sleep regularly interrupted by a dull yet continuous pain in your lower back? Do you feel more tired when you wake up than the night before? As unfortunate as it may sound, back pain is no longer associated only with old age.

This is a standard issue concerning a vast range of different people throughout the entire world. Luckily, it’s something you could fight off, should you have the right tools. Adding theright mattress topper for back painis one of the best ways to go about it.

If you’re in a hurry check out theLUCID 3” Ventilated Memory Foam:This product is the best choice for those who search for a medium-firm pad which is perfect for various users.

The advantages of using a solution of the kind far exceed proper laying posture. The pad would also reflect heat, and it’s going to keep your body conveniently resting at a temperature which is quite optimum. This is undoubtedly another critical consideration and a requirement for a good night’s sleep.

However,choosing the most effective optionon the market is no walk in the park. With the abundance of different mattress toppers already available, the search could getquite overwhelming. This is why we’ve taken the liberty of presenting you with some of the highly regarded and popular picks which have proven to get the job done perfectly.

Want our overall top picks? Our “Best Mattress Topper (Pad) Guide” covers our favorite picks in detail.

  • Type: Memory Foam
  • Thickness: 3"
  • Warranty: 3 Years
CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
  • Type: Gel Infused Visco Elastic Memory Foam
  • Thickness: 2"
  • Warranty: 10 Year
CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
  • Type: Latex
  • Thickness: 3”
  • Warranty: N/A
CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
  • Type: Cooling gel memory foam and fluffy fiber-fill
  • Thickness: 2” + 2”
  • Warranty: 10 Year
CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
  • Type: Gel Memory Foam Topper (Advanced Sleep Solutions)
  • Thickness: 2”
  • Warranty: 3 Year

Top 5 Mattress Toppers For Back Pain Sufferers

With all of the above being said, it’s quite obvious why people get easily confused with all the options available. This is why we’ve taken the liberty of taking a quick look at a few of the best options on the market.

LUCID 3” Ventilated Memory Foam

Geared towards providing you with a pain-free sleeping sensation, this 3-inches ventilated mattress topper is made out of memory foam.

It is 3-inches thick, which puts it in the medium-firm thickness spectrum, hence allowing people of different weight categories to take advantage of it. Even if you don’t suffer from any type of back pain, this is a solution which is going to appeal to you, providing you with restful nights of sleep.

The memory foam that it’s made out of is soft and dough-like, allowing for the pad to mold to the shape of the body quickly to reduce the overall pressure.

Additionally, there are hundreds of ventilation holes, evenly spaced throughout the entire topper to enhance the overall heat retention and provide you with a flawless sleeping sensation.

OVERALL RATING: 9.3 out of 10

This open-cell construction also allows for even weight distribution, hence preventing any unwanted dips.

Even though it’s true that the topper doesn’t come with side locks to keep it snuggly on the bed, a proper wrap with your regular bed sheet will do the trick easily.

  • It offers serious pain relief and comfort
  • The special, open-cell constructions promotes proper air circulation and it prevents buildup of dirt
  • Comfortable heat distribution
  • The topper offers perfect back, shoulder and neck support
  • There is an unpleasant chemical smell when it’s brand new
  • There is no cover included in the package

Ultimate Dreams Full 3” Talalay Latex Medium

Latex mattress toppers are known for theconsistency and bring the necessary support for your back, neck, and shoulders. They have the property to quickly adjust according to the movements you make while you sleep to ensure that your spine is aligned correctly throughout the entire night.

With this in mind, the Talalay model of Ultimate Dreams is undoubtedly one of the top contenders on the market. It’s a 3-inches blended latex pad, specially manufactured to enhance the overall feel that your bed brings.

It’s made out of the most durable material in the industry, and it’s guaranteed to last for quite some time.

OVERALL RATING: 8.9 out of 10

The construction of the entire thing is also quite convenient, sprinkled with evenly spread holes which are intended to distribute your weight throughout topper as the whole. This guarantees that your body will remain in the most optimum posture.

Some people note that there is a cover which is not removable, but it’s easy to clean and maintain, so it’s not an issue.

  • It provides proper support compared to other products
  • The cover is made out of 100% pure bamboo
  • It comes in a range of different sizes
  • The fabric is incredibly breathable, allowing perfect sleeping temperature
  • It’s on the higher price range
  • Even though it says it’s 100% latex, it is actually blended

Sleep Innovations 4-Inch Dual Layer

Enumerating all the benefits brought by this mattress topper would require a lot of time and patience.

Right off the bat, the solution is designed in a manner which combinestherapeutic comfort and supportthanks to the memory foam and the pillow top. Commonly regarded as an unusual combination, it has proven to be one of the most valuable assets and serious advantages brought by this mattress pad.

Now, the product is 4-inches thick, with the first 2 of those being made of premium memory foam molded with the SureTemp technology, allowing splendid circulation of air and optimum sleeping temperature. The second layer is made out of plush microfiber, making you feel as if you were laying on a cloud.

Even though the product is a bit heavier, the combination that it brings on top of your mattress is undoubtedly worth it.

OVERALL RATING: 8.7 out of 10

  • The cover is removable, washable and dryer safe
  • The product enhances the overall durability of your mattress
  • It’s dust mite resistant
  • It relieves the pain off sensitive pressure points
  • It’s a bit heavier
  • It smells bad when it’s brand new but this goes away after a week of usage

Gel Memory Foam Topper

This is a thinner option, designated for beds which are a bit firmer. That’s because this is considered a firm memory foam mattress topper. If you want to add comfort to your medium or super-firm mattress, this topper is one of your most obvious choices.

The pad comes with a contemporary open cell structure design which prevents significant heat accumulation, and it also helps to distribute your entire weight evenly, hence reliving pressing back pain. The low-density rating also compliments this. With 3.3 pounds per cubic feet, there’s nothing for you to worry about.

The unit is made out of certified gel memory foam, which is a highly-regarded material, guaranteed to last for an extended period.

OVERALL RATING: 8.6 out of 10

  • Significant pressure relief
  • Proper heat dissipation
  • Perfectly comfortable
  • Made out of Certified Gel Memory Foam
  • Extensive money-back guarantee and warranty period
  • Lacks a cover in the package
  • It might feel a bit thinner for heavier people

What Should You Consider Before Buying?

Is a Firm Mattress Pad Right For You?

If you go for asofter solution, it mightnot be that good to your back. It’s likely that the alignment of your spine would be rather improper and this could increase theradiating painin your lower back area. While your bed will feel a lot more comfortable, chances are that you wouldn’t be able to resolve the issues with your lower back.

Amedium firmmattress topper is usually the preferred solution as it tends to combine comfort with convenience and it promotes proper spine alignment. However, keep in mind that the thickness, as well as the density of your pad, would also be predicated on the mattress itself. With this being said, if you have an extra-firm mattress, topping it with a thick and super-firm pad is likely to make it rock solid, hence somewhat uncomfortable, regardless of your preference.

On the other hand,if your mattress is extra-soft, you’d like topair it with a firmer padin order to promote serious spine alignment without sacrificing the comfort.

Your sleeping position is also of importance. A softer mattress pad is usually geared towards side sleepers while firmer options are more comfortable for people who tend to sleep on their back or front. However, when choosing a top rated mattress topper for back problems, you should avoid super soft and super-firm pads. Try to find the golden middle ground and get a medium-firm pad as it’s going to provide you with the proper spine alignment while not sacrificing comfort at the same time.

How Hip Pain Affects Your Decision

The joints in your body, including the sockets of your hips, are generally affected by the overall type of support that you receive when you are lying in bed. Traditionally, people used to believe that firm mattresses and pads are best for hip pain sufferers. Nevertheless, throughout the last few years, this has been proven to be wrong as there is no one size which fits all.

With this being said, when it comes to hip pain, shoppers have long had quite a few different options. Affordable, comfortable andconvenient alternatives to rock-solid bedsare readily available thanks to plush memory foam as well as to latex. These are softer materials which are going to conveniently contour your body in an attempt to provide the ultimate support for hip pain and reduce it considerably.

So, what if you have a firm mattress and you start feeling a radiating pain in your hip area? Should you go ahead and buy a new one? Absolutely not – there are far better alternatives. A topper designed for hip pain relief could easily help you out – it’s a lot cheaper and convenient than having to purchase a brand new mattress altogether.

Keep in mind, though, that places which bear the weight of our bodies, such as hip joints, are considered to be pressure points. These are the areas which are pressed significantly deeper into the mattress, and that’s what creates pains and aches.

Therefore, if your mattress is a soft one, you might even have to go for a hard bed topper to make up for it. The most convenient option would be the one which supports your back and provides you with proper spine alignment, while at the same time relieving the pressure on your hips.

The Back Pain Location

Back pain could manifestthroughout your entire back area, regardless of whether it’s lower, mid or upper. However, it’s also true that lower back pain is the most commonly encountered issue, mainly because it’s the most pressurized area, carrying the load of your entire upper body.

This is why the vast majority of people tend to experience this type of back pain. One of the most common causes for it is improper spine alignment during your sleeping hours. And, of course, this is always caused by an uncomfortable and inappropriate mattress. Choosing a nice mattress topper will quickly rectify this issue.

There are three primary materials that you ought to be looking into when choosing your pad. Memory foam, gel, and latex are all great options with the latter being the most multi-functional.

Those of you who experience lower back pain should consider sleeping on their back or front instead of on their side as this would provide proper spine alignment. And, when it comes to it, a medium firm mattress topper could easily do you most good. They also come with an array of added benefits, including a convenient heat distribution and retention, allowing for a more comfortable sleep throughout the night in general.

Consider Your Weight

Your weight will also have a critical role when choosing your topper. If you are a plus size, which usually means that you weigh more than 250 pounds, medium level density is unlikely to provide you with enough density to help your back pain issues. In other words, you need a bed pad which is capable of withstanding your overall weight without fearing of it bottoming out, given your weight and also – given your size.

The best topper has to be able to handle the additional compression generated by the higher weight of your body. Therefore, in this particular example, a mattress pad with a thickness of more than 4 inches and density larger than 5 pounds per cubic feet should be amongst the most optimal choices.

Looking for a mattress designed for heavy people? Check out our top picks!

On the other hand, if you are lighter in terms of weight, a medium-firm mattress topper might be the best call as it’s going to provide you with proper spine alignment while keeping your bed incredibly comfortable. You want to avoid using overly soft mattress toppers as they are unlikely to provide your back with the necessary support, regardless of your weight or the location of your back pain.

Thickness

The thickness of your topper is another important criterion, especially for back sleepers. This is a metric which determines the firmness of the pad as well as the overall level of support that it could offer. The general trend has always been that the more luxurious toppers are, the thicker ones. However, this is not still the case, and it’s not always as beneficial as the most recent medical reports have shown us how this doesn’t necessarily help you with back pain issues.

The non-ergonomic alignment of your spine is the most common cause of your back pain. Therefore, a thicker topper should, on paper, provide you with a proper response to your body shape. Nevertheless, thinner options are far more comfortable.

Given the above, a topper designed for back pain relief should have a medium thickness. It’s neither too soft nor too firm. Therefore, the major advantages of this characteristic are that it’s able to deliver a proper balance between conformability and balance – a combination, perfectly intended for relief of your back pain issues. Anythingmore than 4 inches or less than 2 inchesmight have a questionable effect, so aim for a pad ranging in this particular thickness.

Density

Just as the previous characteristic, the density is also going to determine the overall level of firmness that the topper would deliver. The density of different padsstarts as low as about 2 pounds per cubic foot. The most commonly stocked options on the market provide densities of between 2 and 3 lbs. per cubic foot.

However, just as it is with the thickness, you should aim for the golden middle-ground. Medium-level density toppers are the best when it comes to back pains, regardless of their location and intensity. Pads with densities ofbetween 3 and 5 pounds per cubic footare what you should be looking for.

They are neither too firm nor too tight, offering a proper mixture of spinal support, comfort, and durability. They allow protruding body parts such as back shoulders and the buttocks to sink just a tiny bit while aligning them with your back perfectly to prevent or relieve back pain.

What is more, this type of density willproperly distribute the entire weightof your body, hence relieving pressure points such as your hips.

When choosing the best topper for back pain, you should make sure that it fits your mattress perfectly. Therefore, making the necessary measurements in advance is quite essential. Keep in mind that pads come in a range of different sizes and it shouldn’t be too hard to find the one which would fit ideally.

If you are shopping online, though, you should be aware that sometimes the information displayed on the website of the vendor might be misleading. That’s why it’s a good idea to check out the comments section to find out whether other customers had any issues with the product whatsoever. This would quickly enable you to determine whether or not it’s the right call.

Read Other Customer Reviews

Reading other customer reviews is amongst the most effective and helpful things you could do in order to determine the weaknesses and the strengths of any pad that you’ve set your sights on. For one thing, it would enable you to understand the ins and outs of the product and it would provide you with insightful information right from the oven – something that the manufacturer might prefer to hide.

What is more, you would be able to determine whether or not the product that you’ve chosen actually works. After all, people who review mattress toppers experience the same turmoil and issues like you – they suffer from aching back, hips or shoulders and they search for a fix. You will be able to quickly identify your situation in some of the reviews, hence allowing you to make an actionable decision a lot quicker.

What Material Should You Choose

Of course, another critical consideration that you ought to account for is the material of the topper. Here are the most convenient options.

Memory Foam

This is a material which is specially designated to help with the cushioning of your mattress a bit more than the usual. When it comes to thickness, memory foam bed toppers come in three different sizes –2,3 and 4-inches. Memory foam has the convenient property of “remembering” your body’s texture and adjusting to it, allowing for a proper wrap and abeautiful snuggle fitwhich helps with back pain.

Plus sized people weighing over 250 pounds should consider the thickest options while others might find it more suitable and comfortable to apt for 2 or 3-inches pads. They provide a splendid combination of both back support and comfort, allowing for a great, relaxing sleep.

It’s worth noting that the so-called “gel” memory foam is also catching up to speed. This is a commonly used topper material which makes the solution particularly comfortable. The main difference is that “gel” pads also promoteproper temperature distribution, allowing for a more comfortable and relaxed sleep.

The Best Cooling Mattress Pads & Bed Fans For Hot Nights

It’s not easy to sleep when you can feel your sweat tickling your skin as it rolls off you in the fabric sauna your bedroom has morphed into.

Keeping your bedroom at a cooler temperature is often overlooked as a key ingredient for good sleep.

The good news is that whether you’re kept awake by hot flashes, warm weather or just sleep hot, there are effective ways to lower your temperature in bed.

In this review, I’ll be looking at the 2 main approaches: cooling mattress pads and bed fans. Depending on your budget and the level of cooling you require, they range from specialty mattress pads to complex bed cooling systems.

Hopefully, you’ll find something here which helps make your bedroom the cool sanctuary of rest it should be.

My top picks

Best bed cooling system:

Best cooling mattress pad:

1. BedJet 3 Climate Comfort

Best bed cooling system

The Bedjet 3 is my top pick of the bed cooling systems with its sleek design, great performance, and effectiveness across a range of temperatures.

At the moment, there isn’t another similar system on the market which can so reliably keep you cool throughout the entire night.

Made so that it can be fitted to any size bed and mattress, you can choose to have cold air blowing gently over your body, or inside a boxed top sheet. So it will cool both you and your bedding, helping wick away the heat which gets trapped under your covers.

In the winter, the BedJet can be used as a heating system and is just as effective. And if you and your partner prefer completely different temperatures, there’s the option of a dual zone version. With that setup, you can choose different cooling levels on each side of the bed, or even cooling on one side with heating on the other.

The motor runs smoothly and quietly, so it won’t disturb you in the night. It comes with a color screen remote control which you can use to change all the settings, such as the temperature, fan speed, auto-off timers. You can also program it to change temperatures automatically in the night.

The main downside is that it’s quite an expensive piece of kit, especially the version with dual zones. So if you just need a little extra cooling at night, cooler bedding might do the trick.

But if you need something which will reliably keep you cool and comfortable at night, you won’t find a more effective way to keep the heat at bay than the BedJet 3.

My partner and I have been using a BedJet for the last two and a half years, and have been very happy with how well it works.

2. SlumberCloud Nacreous Cooling Mattress Pad

Best cooling mattress pad

The nacreous cooling mattress pad by Slumber Cloud attempts to keep you comfortable during the night by absorbing the body heat that builds up between you and the bed.

It works thanks to some clever technology that was originally designed for NASA. It contains a special fabric called Outlast, which is made from thousands of tiny beads called ‘Thermocules’. The beads absorb your body heat, changing from a solid to gel as they do.

Outlast, the company that creates the cooling material, describe the effect like an ice cube in a drink. The ice melts as it absorbs the heat of the drink, keeping it cool for longer. Similarly, the thermocules turn to gel as they take in your heat, helping you stay cool for longer.

I found it works really well compared to other cooling pads I’ve tried. And it’s significantly better than a normal mattress, topper or pad. It helped me feel more comfortable during some unbearably warm summer nights.

That said, it’s important to remember that it can’t change the actual room temperature. What it will do, however, is stop you feeling like you’re lying on top of a radiator.

For me, it’s the best cooling solution in the form of bedding. The BedJet will keep a larger surface area of your body cool with its air stream. But the Slumber Cloud mattress pad is a good option if you want to reduce the unpleasant hot feeling that can build up underneath you during the night.

3. ChiliPad Cube

Mattress pad water cooling system

The ChiliPad Cube tackles the concept of bed cooling in a unique way. Along with the BedJet, it’s one of the few bed cooling products which can handle more serious heat problems.

The most important point is that it can keep you cool all night long. And that’s an advantage compared to most gel pads and fabric toppers, which tend to work for a couple of hours before your body heat overwhelms them.

It works by what’s essentially a water cooling system. It contains semiconductor technology, adjusting the temperature of the water as it flows through the base unit.

You place the mat on your bed, set the temperature you want, and cooled water will flow through the tubes buried inside the mat.

The mat and tubes are well designed so that you don’t feel them underneath you, and are durable enough to last the test of time.

The temperature range means you can use it for cooling or heating, with a range of 55° – 110° Fahrenheit (12.8-43.3 Celsius). And with the option of dual remote controlled units for larger bed sizes, you and a partner can have the exact temperature you need.

One potential issue that some people might face is that it’s quite complicated to set up initially. It’s also worth bearing in mind that you don’t just plug it in and forget about it, as some maintenance is required – though it’s not particularly difficult or time-consuming.

Overall, the ChiliPad is a good cooling device, and one to consider if you need a way to keep the rising heat at bay throughout the whole night.

4. Leisure Town Cooling Mattress Pad

A low-cost breathable mattress pad

The Leisure Town cooling mattress pad tackles the issue of overheating in bed from two angles, and does a pretty good job on the whole.

Firstly, the manufacturer claims it uses ‘new HNN cooling technology’. What that actually means is a bit of a mystery though, and I still haven’t found a formal definition that isn’t simply repeating the product description.

They say the HNN technology increases airflow in the mattress pad, which makes it more breathable and reduces heat build-up. And in my experience, the pad does sleep less hot than most others.

Perhaps it’s helped by the fact that the cover is a 300 thread count cotton, which is also a good fabric choice to place under you in hotter weather. The fill itself is described as ‘state of the art snow down alternative’. It’s basically fiber-fill, but still breathable while being comfortable to sleep on.

It’s worth bearing in mind that although it does have some fill to add comfortable padding, this is a pad and not a topper; the thickness isn’t as substantial as thicker toppers.

Overall, this is a pleasantly breathable mattress pad for those stifling summer nights, and at a low price. It’s also conveniently machine-washable, making it a good all-around choice.

5. Sleep Better Iso-Cool Mattress Topper

3 inch memory foam topper with cooling cover

The Sleep Better topper and cooling cover is one to consider if you need the extra body support of memory foam, but are concerned about memory foam’s reputation for heat build-up.

The reality, however, is that if you’re having a serious problem with overheating, adding a layer of memory foam to your mattress isn’t the ideal start. Memory foam is notorious for retaining body heat and doesn’t dissipate it so well.

That’s where the cover comes into play in this particular topper though. It’s made from a luxurious 300 thread count cotton, with a generous amount of fiber-fill. And it contains the famous Outlast technology.

The Outlast material helps dissipate your body heat by absorbing it into thousands of microbeads. And when you cool down later in the night, it releases the warmth back to you.

It does feel cooler when you first get into bed. And for the first couple of hours, it’s better than sleeping on a normal memory foam topper or mattress.

However, as the night progresses, it might become less effective because your body heat and memory foam below will slowly overwhelm the outlast cover. So if you tend to wake in the night in a pool of sweat, you might find it struggles to keep up.

But if you only need a little extra cooling, this 3 inch topper has that lovely ‘sleeping on a cloud’ feel to it. And the cover does help mitigate some of the usual heat.

Overall, it’s a comfortable mattress topper which adds soft padding to your mattress and helps regulate your temperature. But if you need more intensive cooling, memory foam probably isn’t the way to go about it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hi! I’m Ethan Green. As an insomniac myself, I understand how much better life is when you sleep well. I created this site to share my experience of coping with sleep problems, along with detailed reviews in my neverending hunt for the very best sleep products.

I hope you find something here that helps bring you some peace at night.

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