Avoid Common Memory Foam Topper mistakes with 5 simple questions
Before you buy a memory foam topper or pad you’ll hate or just don’t need ask yourself the following questions:
- Should you choose a pad or a bed?
- What do they cost?
- Who makes the bestmemory foam mattress pads?
- How to choose a good pad?
- How long does a good bed topper last?
(Buying from links on this website sometimes adds a bit of cash to my lumpy mattress fund. It doesn’t cost you more. And helps me spread sweet dreams everywhere.)
A memory foam topper can give you many of the benefits of a memory foam mattress at a much lower cost. A quality memory foam mattress top can almost eliminate painful pressure points that cause you to toss and turn all night. They will help you get to sleep more quickly, sleep more deeply and wake with fewer aches in joints and muscles. Sometimes doctors actually prescribe memory foam mattresses and pads for people with certain health and sleep problems.
Q1: Can you get by with just a pad, or do you need a new mattress? Don’t drive yourself crazy with frustration or confusion over how long you’ve had the bed or how much you spent. It’s simple. Buying just a pad instead of a whole new mattress will work if your mattress is basically in good shape. If your mattress is too soft, has compressed areas, or a hammock feel, get a new one.
If your mattress just needs to be a bit more comfortable, maybe it’s a bit too firm, then buy the mattress pad.
Q2: How do you choose a good memory foam topper?
A good memory foam pad has many of the same properties as the top layers of a visco elastic foam mattress:
ThicknessA good pad should be between 2" and 4" thick. Personal preference. Some people are happy with 2 inch pads. I don’t like them, they’re too skinny for me. I have a 4" topper. It has enough depth to cushion the wide shoulders of a 5’11" overweight side sleeper. If you’re a smaller person you’d probably be happiest with a 3 inch thick pad.
DensityBetween 3lb and 5lb. Most people seem to prefer 4lb pads. If you weigh over 200lbs you might want to go with a 5lb or higher density pad for more support.
ILDIndentation load deflection (ILD) is a measure of the foam’s comfort, or how easily it deflects. Between 8 and 20 is an acceptable range. But many people prefer ILD measurements between 12 and 15 for that melt-into-the-bed feeling
Temperature sensitivityMemory foam should soften at body temperature. That’s how it provides the conforming support. The foam cells closest to your body soften and the ones further away stay firm. If you live in colder climates, a memory foam mattress top might feel a bit hard just as you get into bed. But it warms up quickly to contour itself to your body.
Q3: How long do they last?
4 to 8 years with 4lb density foam. However, I’ve seen warranties up to 10 years.
Q4: Who makes the best memory foam mattress top?
Most of the major mattress manufacturers now carry a line of pads and toppers. Sealy mattresses, Serta, Simmons and even TempurPedic mattresses have them. In 2006, Sensus came out on top in an informal test conducted by a Wall Street Journal writer. But there’s many more pads out now, so choosing the best rated mattress pads is a bit more challenging.
So make your choice easy. Follow the criteria outlined in the "How do you choose a good topper?" section, choose a reputable manufacturer and wait for a good sale.
Q5: What’s a Good Price?
Here’s average low prices for Queen size pads:
You will pay more for higher pound density memory foam. There’s just more stuff in it, so it is going to cost more pound for pound.
Make sure that your memory foam topper has at least a 30 day no questions asked return policy. Even after answering these 5 questions on memory foam toppers, you won’t really know if a mattress pad will work for you until you try it in your own bedroom.
How Long Does a Memory Foam Mattress Topper Last?
A mattress topper is a bedding item designed to be used on the top of your mattress to provide extra comfort and support, improve cleanliness, and prolong the lifespan of a mattress.
Toppers can be made from various materials such asmemory foam,latex, down, etc. and there are many different designs and structures that can suit different needs and sleep preferences.
Your topper should improve the support for your entire body and complement any sleeping position. It should also act like an extra cushion for your entire body, especiallymemory foam mattress topperand allow you to sink into it to prevent the appearance of pressure points and provide you with the peaceful and restful sleep every night.
However, if it causes you to wake up in pain or felling more tired than ever, then it may be that your mattress topper is getting old and that you should get the new one.
Read our article and learn more about memory foam mattress toppers as well as when and why you should replace them.
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How Long Does a Memory Foam Mattress Topper Last?
You would think thatmemory foam mattress topperscan last as long as the beds made of the same material, but this is not the case.
The average lifespan of mattress toppers, including those made entirely of memory foam, is 3 to 5 years.This is only the case with high-quality mattress toppers, whereas those made of cheap materials will only last a year or two.
The longevity of a memory foam mattress topper will depend on other factors as wellsuch as the weight being put on it, frequency of use, the thickness of the topper, the condition of your mattress, and how well the topper is maintained.
Heavier people may speed up the process by adding extra pressure to the memory foam topper.Memory foam mattressesusually contain a highly resilient core and high density base that make the top memory foam layers more durable, but the topper doesn’t have this.
Extra weight can also cause the open cells to crumble quicker than they would do under an average person.
The thicker the topper, the longer it will last.Thinner toppers usually wear out quicker, while the thick memory foam will last longer as it takes longer to break down over time, and it will also provide greater comfort.
The Condition of Your Mattress
As toppers are generally laid over an existing mattress, if the mattress underneath is old and in a poor condition; if it is already worn out and sagging in places, your memory foam topper will simply follow that contour and make the sage even more pronounced due to its soft and contouring nature.This will eventually ruin your mattress topper.
If your mattress looks like new, but you still experiencepainwhile sleeping, even with the new memory foam mattress topper placed on top, then you still may need to replace the mattress.
If your mattress is over 7 years old then it’s time for a new one, even if it doesn’t show any signs of a long use such as cracks, sagging, protruding wires, etc. because, like we have already mentioned, an old and uncomfortable mattress will decrease the comfort of your memory foam mattress topper and shorten its lifespan.
Frequency of Use
Memory foam mattress toppers in guest bedrooms will last significantly longer than those used every night.
The reason why toppers don’t last so long in bedrooms is because they are used a lot more than toppers in guest bedrooms. Spending 6 to 8 hours a night on them each night puts a lot of pressure on them which is why they wear out faster than those mattress toppers used on beds in guest rooms.
Maintaining Your Mattress Topper
Memory foam may be difficult to clean and maintain, butthere are ways how you can clean them and prolong their lifespan.
You should clean them at least once or twice a year by vacuuming them, spraying them with water and detergent solution, washing them, spot cleaning or using topper covers and washing these regularly.
Well maintainedmemory foam mattress topperswill last longer and serve your better than those that are not maintained at all.
If you avoid cleaning your topper, stains from food or drinks, pet urine, dust and accumulated debris and odor will eventually ruin your topper and render it useless.
The Ins and Outs of Memory Foam: Is It Worth the Hype?
April 10, 2017
Filed under: Shopping Tips
Memory foam mattresses have soared in popularity over the last decade. Memory foam pillows are a more recent addition to the product line. But what’s so great about memory foam? A lot, it turns out.
What is memory foam?
Memory foam material dates back to 1966 when it was developed by NASA to absorb shock in airplane seats. Since then, “slow spring back foam” (as it was initially referred to) has been used in NFL helmets, hospital beds, shoes, and prosthetics.
Memory foam has evolved in recent years, and technologically advanced foams are common materials in mattress construction. For example, Serta’s gel foam mattresses are made up of a combination of tiny cushioning chambers, each infused with millions of Titanium gel beads uniquely designed to relieve pressure points, provide added support and aid in temperature regulation.
Why do some sleepers prefer memory foam?
Memory foam is a great mattress material for many reasons. It evenly distributes weight and pressure over an area, giving many sleepers pressure point relief. The foam contours to each individual’s body shape, allowing for a high level of mattress personalization. Memory foam is also resistant to movement. If your bed partner gets up frequently or tosses and turns at night, the activity doesn’t ripple throughout the entire mattress.
Now, advanced memory foam technology helps keep you cool while you sleep. Serta’s iComfort mattress collection, for example, features EverFeel® Triple Effects™ Gel Memory Foam which provides a cool and comfortable night’s sleep.
How long does memory foam last?
Memory foam mattresses can last anywhere from eight to ten years, depending on how well they’re cared for. Typically, a memory foam mattress will last as long as any other type of mattress, whether it’s an innerspring or hybrid.
A liquid resistant mattress protector is a good way to keep your memory foam mattress clean and free from stains, which can impact the warranty. Our iComfort TempActiv mattress protector is a great choice for your memory foam mattress due to its cool-to-the-touch feel and water proof barrier.
What if I’m still not sure?
That’s okay! A new mattress is a big decision. If you prefer the traditional feel of an innerspring mattress, Serta offers the best of both worlds. Our hybrid mattresses mattress models combine gel memory foam with the most advanced individually wrapped steel coil innerspring systems. No matter your comfort preference, we’ve got you covered.
Why Memory Foam Mattress Toppers Wear Out Quickly
How Long Before You’re Forced To Replace Your Topper
You would think that toppers made of memory foam last as long as the beds made of the same material. But this is not the case. Not even Tempur-Pedic toppers last as long as their mattress counterparts. All other things being equal, amemory mattress topper has a shorter lifespan because:
Thickness- Memory foam toppers are generally thinner than the foam layers used in mattresses. Toppers that are too thin (only 1-2 inches thick) wear out quicker because when the cells at the top crumble, there is a less memory foam underneath to take their place and provide support.
Overlay- Memory toppers are generally laid over an existing mattress or bed. If the mattress underneath is already worn out and shows sagging, the topper will simply follow that contour and make the sag even more pronounced because of its soft nature. That may take some time to become permanent.
Overweight- Heavy and obese people may speed up the process by adding extra pressure to the visco foam topper. While a memory mattress is held up by a highly resillient core, the topper is held up by air, springs or whatever else the bed is made of. Extra weight also makes the open cells crumble quicker than they would under the average person.
You can expect a viscoelastic foam topper to wear out in 18-36 months.
If Only All Memory Toppers Were Made Of Tempur-Pedic Quality Foam.
Most viscoelastic toppers, however, are not usually made of the same quality grade material as beds and mattresses are. This means they don’t last as long. Viscoelastic material is very expensive to make and usually used to make only beds and mattresses.
Toppers, however, are generally much cheaper and using Tempur-style foam of the highest quality would make it economically unrealistic for manufacturers. Tempur Pedic brand mattress overlays, however,are made of the same NASA-evolved foam technology as Tempur mattresses. There is little information to indicate whether or not other mattress companies use the same grade foam in their toppers.
Bottom line, a visco memory foam bed topper will continue to provide support and comfort without sagging for 1.5-3 years, as long as it’s:
- Made of high density Tempur-style memory foam
- Used over a solid foundation
- Reasonably thick.
Copyright © 2006-2009. All rights reserved.
A Critical Eye On The Latest Mattress Technologies
How Long Does It Last?
What affects the expected lifetime of memory mattress pads and does a Tempurpedic overlay last longer? The answer is years and years as long as it’s made of better quality, higher-density foam.
Real NASA Link
Many manufacturers claim Swedish foam was first used by the NASA Space Program to boost sales for their visco foam beds.
NASA never did use that basic material in the 1960s. NASA bedding or space bedding technology simply does not exist as such.
The truth is the Swedish Tempur-Pedic company did eventually come up with a reliable formula now used in the best-selling Tempur mattress.
While Tempurpedic beds are commonly known to use Swedish foam bed technology, not all such products made in Sweden are made of the so-called NASA bed foam.
How can you check if your purchase as good as a authentic Tempur bed? You can try the wine glass test, the egg test, or the fridge test.
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.
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, вЂI 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."
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."
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."