The Definitive Guide to Buying a Mattress
Shopping for a mattress has never been easier if you’re armed with this info.
Replacing your mattress can be exhausting. Navigating the stores and websites, debating between foam and springs, and determining how much to spend can leave you feeling like you need a good nap.
Instead, skip the stress and follow these tips from Lexie Sachs, Senior Textiles Analyst at the Good Housekeeping Institute, that will help you navigate the world of mattresses.
Where to Shop for a Mattress
Laying down in the store isn’t the only way to go anymore. New mattress-in-a-box companies have won over thousands of customers with convenient shipping and free trial periods. Online mattress buying has seen a serious boom, but it’s not right for everyone. Here’s what you need to know.
Shop in the store if.
Go the traditional route ifyouwant a greater variety and to feel them before buying.In a mattress store, you should never pay full price. Always shop the sales, and don’t be afraid to negotiate with the salesperson. Most stores will also offer removal of your existing mattress. The downside is it can feel overwhelming and it’s harder to compare prices to know if you’re getting a good deal. A big mistake is rushing the decision by quickly lying down on many different mattresses to find the one that feels best. If you’re going to invest in a mattress,take the time to recline for a while (at least 10 minutes)and make sure you don’t feel any pressure or pain.
Shop online if.
This newer route offers agreat alternative if you have trouble making decisions, since there are fewer options. Plus, you can shop from home!These mattresses generally arrive in a box at your doorstep within a few days and include free shipping and a money-back guarantee (even if you simply don’t like the mattress!) so there’s minimal risk. Online, the price is usually final, but it doesn’t include markups for being sold at a physical store. The downsides are that you typically have to set it up yourself and deal with getting rid of your old mattress.
Either way, always ask about the return policy.Not happy with your pick? You may get a partial refund if you bought it in a store, but online companies often arrange to pick it up for a local charity and will give back 100% of your money. Make sure you can test out a new mattress for a month risk-free; that way, you can get used to it before making a decision.
The Best Mattresses You Can Buy Online
The name Casper is synonymous with "mattress-in-a-box." Itsfour foam layers range from soft to firmto offer comfort and support, which our testers loved (especially the under-40 crowd). There’s both a less expensive version (with less layers) and a pricier one (with more).
Tuft & Needle was priced lowest among its competitors, but still stands out as atop mattress on Amazon. This simple model has two layers of foam: a firm, support layer on the bottom and a cushy, cooling layer on top. Our panel particularly liked the friendly customer service.
Unsure if you need a soft or firm option? This foam style gives you both: Justflip the mattress to change the support level. It has copper built-in to help keep you cool and avoid the overheating that is typically associated with memory foam.
Fill out a survey about your sleep habits, andHelix builds a "custom" mattress for youwith layers of foam, latex, and microcoils. They can even personalize each side, so you and your sleeping partner don’t have to fight about which mattress to get.
How to Choose Your Perfect Mattress
There are three common types of mattresses:innerspring, foam, and adjustable. There’s no one "right" material to choose, but in general, side sleepers need a softer mattress, stomach sleepers need a firm one, and back sleepers fall somewhere in between. Beyond the types of mattresses and firmness, you’ll need to think about a few other factors. From sleep style to negotiating with a bedfellow, here’s what to look for based on your needs:
If you like a bed with bounce
Traditional innerspring styleshave that familiar bouncy feel and may be firmer. Interconnected coils are extra-durable, but individual "pocketed" coils, each covered with fabric, reduce the ripple effect that happens when someone on one side of the bed moves.
If you prefer a firmer base
Memory foam optionshave less spring and offer more pressure relief. To determine quality, look at the density and thickness of the foam, which will determine how deep you’ll sink. The newer, online mattresses generally use several different layers of foam, with heavier ones on the bottom for support and lighter, cooler kinds on the top for comfort.
If you want a plush top
Innerspring mattressestypically have either a fiberfill or foam outer layer, covered in quilted ticking. But even if you want an uber-plush feel, don’t be swayed by a thick-looking pillowtop as it can compress over time. It’s often best to choose a firmer, well-quilted mattress, and then cover it with a replaceable mattress topper.
If you like to change it up
Consider anair-filled mattress, like Sleep Number, which has a remote that controls how much air is inside. Two side-by-side chambers allow you and your partner to customize the mattress firmness separately. There are also foam mattresses (like the ones from Layla) with soft and firm sides, so you can just flip it over as needed, and modular designs that let you move around the springs on the inside.
If you sleep on your side
You’ll want a surface that will support your body weight, and conform to your shape.Innerspringsmay have more pressure relief than some foam or latex mattresses, but asoft foam mattressor one with built-in pressure relief points around the shoulders and hips can work for side sleepers, too
If you sleep on your stomach
The last thing a stomach-sleeper probably wants is an enveloping memory foam — it would feel smothering! Instead, a firmer bed will provide the best support. Consider afirm foam, dense innerspring, or air-filled mattress.
If you sleep on your back
You’ll wantsomething in the middle— a surface that supports, but has some give so your spine is kept in a healthy alignment. You’ll find happiness with any of the mattress types, but you should do your best princess-and-the-pea impression to see what feels best to you.
If your partner tosses and turns all night
Consider aninnerspring mattress with pocketed coils, or memory foam, latex, or a dual-chamber air-filled mattress. Medium-firm picks will all have good "motion isolation." But remember, these models could actually be less comfortable on the body of a restless sleeper, as there’s little forgiveness against one’s movements.
If you and your partner’s preferences don’t match
Theair-filled mattresses with dual chamberscan help, or check out the online mattress company Helix. Each person can fill out a questionnaire and have a side customized based on the responses.
If you sleep hot
Manufacturers can get carried away with claims about cooling properties, especially when you consider all the layers (protectors, toppers, sheets, and so on) that go on top of the mattress. That said,foam or latexcan hold in body heat, especially if they’re very soft and a lot of your body sinks in. Newer technology helps alleviate this issue and you can always accessorize your bed with toppers and sheets that offer cooling benefits.
If you have allergies
Foam and latexare both inherently antimicrobial and resistant to dust mites and mold. If you opt for innerspring or air topped with fiberfill, be sure to encase it in an allergen-resistant cover to keep irritants at bay.
If you have back pain
Memory foam and/or latexis best for those with back pain since it molds to your body for support.
If you’re concerned about chemicals
Look forfoams certified by CertiPUR-USas well as certifications for other materials like GOLS for latex or Oeko-Tex for other fabrics to feel more confident about your purchase.
If you can’t decide what matters most
Some savvy manufacturers make ahybrid-style mattressthat combines the buoyancy of an innerspring core with the motion isolation of memory foam. It’s a best-of-both-worlds option that can satisfy many partner disputes and sleeping styles.
How to Pick Your Perfect Mattress
Ready for a new mattress? Here’s how to find the one that suits you best.
Getting a good night’s sleep depends on a lot of different factors — comfort, stress level, room temperature вЂ“ but to get it right, you’ve got to start with the basics and your mattress is the first building block to a restful slumber.
If you’re in the market for a new mattress and have recently taken a stroll down the aisle of a bedding store, you know that there is a dizzying array from which to choose. How do you know which mattress is best for you?
To start, says Arya Nick Shamie, MD, associate professor of orthopedic surgery and neurosurgery at Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center, the mattress needs to support your body in a neutral position, one in which your spine has a nice curvature and your buttocks, heels, shoulders, and head are supported in proper alignment
"If the mattress is too firm, it will push on those main pressure points and take you out of alignment," Shamie tells WebMD. "If it’s too soft, those pressure points won’t be properly supported, so your whole body flops back." Both of these scenarios can lead to an achy morning.
Generally speaking, one type or brand of bed isn’t better than another, says Michael Breus, PhD, a WebMD sleep expert and author ofBeauty Sleep: Look Younger, Lose Weight, and Feel Great Through Better Sleep.But he does find that a firmer bed seems to be better for people with lower back pain.
In fact, researchers in Spain studied people with long-term back pain and found that on a 10-point hard-to-soft scale people who slept on a medium-to-firm mattress (5.6 on the scale) had less back pain than those who slept on a softer mattress.
Is It Time for a New Mattress?
How do you know if the bed you’re sleeping on is the right one?
"If you wake up in the morning and have some low back pain and can stretch and get rid of it in 15 or 30 minutes, that means you’re on an inappropriate mattress for you," Breus says.
The right mattress, on the other hand, is one on which you feel no pressure, almost like you’re floating in air, Breus says.
If you’re looking for a new mattress, experts suggest testing it in the store and laying down on each mattress in the position in which you normally sleep. Breus suggests spending at least 10 to 15 minutes on the bed. And, bring your own pillow! The more you can replicate the way you’ll be sleeping on the mattress once you get it home, the better your chances of picking the right one.
Innerspring mattresses are still by far the most widely used. They support you with coil springs, and in most built today, each coil is individually enclosed. This helps the bed weather years of use and prevents the coils from popping out of the mattress. On top of the coils are a wide variety of materials added for comfort, from pillow to latex to memory foam. It’s all a matter of preference.
Salespeople may try to sell you on the idea that more coils mean more comfort, but that’s not necessarily true, Breus and Shamie say.
"You don’t really need a coil count above 390," Breus says. Beyond that, the difference in feel is so small it would be difficult to notice.
Pros:There are plenty of innerspring mattresses on the market from which to choose. They range in firmness, the fluffiness of the pillow top, and in price to fit nearly every preference and pocket book.
Cons:There’s no direct relationship in most cases between price and comfort, but Shamie suggests steering clear of the cheapest innerspring mattress. If there aren’t enough springs and cushion to offer you proper support, he says, you’ll likely wake up with an aching back.
Conditions:For someone who is very overweight, spring mattresses may offer a firmer support, making them easier to get in and out of, Breus says. Firmer versions are good for people with back pain. But spring-based mattresses can be comfortable for almost anyone.
Memory Foam Mattresses
Memory foam mattresses are growing in popularity. They are made of layers of different densities of foam that respond to weight and temperature, and are known for comfort because they contour to the specific shape of your body. Memory foam toppers are also available.
Pros:By molding to the shape of your body as your weight shifts through the night, memory foam reduces pressure points, and relieves pain. Memory foam also absorbs movement, so if you sleep with a partner, you’re not likely to be disturbed by his tossing and turning.
Cons:One of the biggest complaints with memory foam mattresses is that because these mattresses are temperature sensitive, softening and molding with your body heat, they can make you feel extremely hot during the night. Breus also says memory foam mattresses have been known to emit an unpleasant chemical smell.
Conditions:"If you have a hard time getting comfortable, if you have chronic fatigue, or some type of muscle pain, then a memory foam mattress would work well for you, assuming you don’t have temperature issues," Breus says.
Latex mattresses are made from either natural or synthetic rubber, and are known for providing a very firm, bouncy support that is uniform throughout the bed.
Pros:"Quite frankly, I think one of the best materials is latex," Breus says. He likes it for being very firm and supportive, but also for providing comfort similar to memory foam. Unlike the memory foam mattresses, however, Breus says latex pushes back, ultimately providing more support.
Cons:If you don’t like the feel of a firm mattress, latex is probably not the right choice for you.
Conditions: Either a latex mattress or latex mattress topper is great for relieving back pain because they offer the best combination of comfort and support, Breus says.
We’re not talking about the blow-up mattresses you put your holiday guests on for a few days. Higher-end air beds look like a standard innerspring mattress, but use air-filled chambers instead of coils, and are covered by a foam layer on top.
Shamie notes that air beds have long been used for patients with spinal cord injuries who are lying in bed for a long time. They can be adjusted so they don’t continue to press on the same areas of the body, which helps to avoid skin breakdown in patients who can’t move.
Pros:"Couples who have dramatic differences in their individual preference for comfort and firmness levels might do very well with an air mattress," Breus says. The reason is that the firmness of each side of the bed can be altered. If you like it firmer than your partner, these beds can be adjusted for that.
Like latex and memory foam, you can also find air toppers for your mattress.
Cons:Shamie says people sometimes fail to make their air bed firm enough and wake up with back aches. Less sophisticated air mattresses also pop up on one side when you sit on the opposite end. For that reason Breus says, you want multiple chambers so that doesn’t occur.
Conditions:These beds are particularly useful when sleeping partners have different needs. If one of you has a bad back, one side can be made firmer than the other to provide greater support.
These beds are able to bend and elevate at varying angles. As a result, the mattress has to be flexible. Different types of mattresses can be used on an adjustable bed вЂ“ memory foam, latex, or air, for example. Spring mattresses are more difficult to use, however, because the springs don’t handle the bending well.
Pros:For people who have difficulty getting in and out of bed or who like to watch television in bed, Shamie says, adjustables can make life easier by moving you closer to where you need to be.
Conditions:If you suffer from sleep apnea, sleeping flat can make the condition worse by cutting off airways and causing the tongue to fall into the back of the throat, Shamie says. People who experience acid reflux can also benefit by sleeping in a bed that elevates their upper body.
Shamie also suggests adjustable beds for people with hip or back pain who have a hard time moving from a lying position to sitting up or standing.
When you have guests staying for a night or two, sofa beds come in handy. The mattresses in these beds tend to be very thin so they are flexible enough to fold and collapse into the couch. It’s a great convenience to have a sofa bed, but you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who raves about their comfort.
Pros:Sofa beds are convenient, especially if you have limited space. But from a health perspective, Shamie and Breus don’t see any advantages.
Cons:A night or two on a sofa bed is OK. But "this is probably the worst kind of bed you can sleep on long-term," Shamie says. The mattresses used in most sofa beds are very thin and the springs quite weak. "It really leads to an uncomfortable situation," Shamie says.
If you’re really tight for space and need a bed that folds up, Shamie says that futons, while not the most supportive, are better for your back than the typical sofa bed.
Conditions:There are no conditions for which a sofa bed will be helpful, according to the experts. But if you have a bad back or hips, these beds will be especially uncomfortable.
When to Part With Your Old Mattress
Today’s mattresses are made to last a lifetime. But you probably shouldn’t plan on keeping yours for that long. Our bodies change over time, Breus says, so the mattress that was once a joy to sleep on may no longer feel comfortable a few years down the road.
In addition, mattresses collect dust mites, fungus, and other germs that can exacerbate allergies and impact your sleep patterns. After 10 to 15 years, it’s time to think about buying a new bed.
Ultimately, the experts say that the best bed for you is the one that feels most comfortable. And remember, Shamie says, "There’s no mattress that’s going to save your body when you get only five hours of sleep." In order to feel your best, you need to get enough restвЂ¦ no matter what type of mattress you’re sleeping on.
Arya Nick Shamie, MD, associate professor of orthopedic surgery and neurosurgery, Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center.
Breus, Michael, PhD, WebMD sleep expert and author ofBeauty Sleep: Look Younger, Lose Weight, and Feel Great Through Better Sleep
Kovacs, FM.The Lancet, November 2003; vol 362: pp 1599-1604.
4 Top Rated Soft Bed Toppers for 2020 – Our Ratings and Reviews
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Can a mattress topper make that big of a difference?
A new topper is a great way to improve your current mattress, it can also make a new mattress even more comfortable than it already is. With so many options online it is not easy to choose the right sleeping pad for your bed. This guide is here to help youfind the highest rated soft mattress topperfor you and your bed.
Here are a few of the top topper options that could very well be the cherry on top of your bed.
4 Top-Rated Soft Mattress Topper Reviews
|Duo-v-home||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|Leisure town||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|Perfect Cloud||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|Duck & Goose Co|
Duo-v-home – Great Quality
Improving your sleep quality has never been easier. This mattress pad was made to offer a satisfying result for less than a hundred dollars. This plush, down alternative, is a stellar option for folks wanting to improve their sleep surface.
What is the big deal?This product is covered in a microfiber shell and filled with a hypoallergenic material that provides relief to not only your pressure points but to allergies as well. This material is 2 inches thick and helps to comfortably cradle sleepers as they drift off to sleep. With four corner straps to anchor it down, this pad can fit mattresses from 6 to 18 inches thick.
This product arrives at the customer’s home sealed in a box, facilitating the unboxing and setup of the product. Customers should allow the product to fully inflate after opening it, after this, it is ready to use. As a bonus, this product is fully machine washable.
Leisure town – Great Comfort
This brand takes supreme comfort seriously. Their pad has what they are calling a cloud-like surface with HNN Cooling technology. This model is made of 100% cotton, giving sleepers that cool comfortable sleep that is oh so familiar.
What makes this option so great?This has been filled with a snow-like down alternative. Materials like this are often more healthy than tradition goose feathers that many sleepers are used to. This material helps to foster pressure relieving sleep that will hopefully last for many nights to come.
This product is a deep pocket option that can fit a mattress from 8 inches to 21 inches deep. The Leisure town mattress pad is machine washable and it is also water semipermeable to water, as long as it is wiped up quickly. This affordable product may be just what your mattress needs to give you the best night’s rest.
Perfect Cloud – Temperature Control
Memory foam lovers, this may be the topper you have been waiting to find on this list. This is a highly conforming material that contours to the sleeper’s body and leaves them in a deep memory foam hug.
Why this one?This product features a memory material that has been infused with gel to promote cooling for the sleeper. The brand calls this Gelcare Technology and it has been topped with a luxuriously designed cover. This is a premium stretch knit material that should feel similar to a cozy sweater or blanket.
The memory foam used to make this topper was designed to distribute the sleeper’s weight evenly over the surface of the bed, helping to relieve pressure points and provide the comfort your bed might be lacking. This material is 2-inches tall, a good height to add to give your bed a little extra something.
Duck & Goose Co – Hypoallergenic Down
This bed pad provides a convenient solution for folks who feel they are sleeping on too firm of a mattress. This overfilled down alternative is 2 inches thick and advertises itself as a comfortable and more healthy down alternative. In each corner is a strap to help secure to top to your bed.
How is this hypoallergenic?This has a healthy microfiber filling that is a great alternative to feathers, which can be troublesome to people who have allergies. Duck & Goose have stuffed this with this luxury material to give their customers luxurious comfort designed to be comfortable and help relieve strain from pressure areas.
This down alternative has a pillowtop feel made to leave sleepers wanting more. Duck & Goose products have been backed by thousands of positive reviews. Are you their next customer? Order now and add your thoughts to theirs after you try out this quality product.
What Is A Soft Mattress Topper?
A soft pad is a great option for sleepers who feel like their bed is to firm. These materials are plush and thick enough to provide some additional cushioning. This can help sleepers who need additional pressure relief than what they are currently experiencing from their bed.
These materials are less dense and can adjust to the lumps and sags in your mattress, renewing the feel of your sleeping surface by making level and comfortable once again.
These product come in a variety of thicknesses and designs. Materials that are typically used are down feathers, a down alternative, latex, polyfoam, or memory foam. Each of these has its own unique feel. Thickness can range from anywhere between 1 and 8 inches.
Choosing between thickness and material type is going to based on the customer’s own preferences, body type, and sleeping position.
Things To Know About Soft Mattress Pads
A softer pad may be better suited for people who sleep on their sides. Plusher materials can help to wash away pressure in the hips and shoulders.
Soft pads are also a good option for lighter individuals who want to be able to sink just a bit into their mattress. Heavier folks can enjoy a soft top if they want to relive some strain that their firmer bed is causing.
Back sleepers who experience back pain should benefit from a soft option as they are designed to help distribute the sleeper’s weight and ease their weight into the firmer layers of their bed.
Soft toppers are often used for people recovering from injury and people who are often sore from working out, playing sports, or living an otherwise healthy and active lifestyle.
Why You Should Have One?
The answer to this question is going to vary depending on who you are and much of what was discussed in the last two sections could be applicable to you and your situation, but here are just a few more points to consider.
If you share a bed and like a softer sleeping surface placing a thin soft top on your side of the bed could benefit you. Best to use a 1 or 2-inch topper, as a thicker one could be bothersome to your partner if they were to roll over part way on top of it.
People with joint problems and other pain related issues could benefit from a topper because they aid in reducing stress on both the joints and muscles that firmer surfaces often cause.
A soft pad is a less expensive option than having to go out and purchase a new bed. If a new top can do the trick, best to buy one instead.
Comfort And Softness
These two factors are interrelated. How comfortable you are is going to depend on how soft your mattress pad is. This is based on preference and will vary from sleeper to sleeper. An exceptionally soft top is going to have quite a bit of sink while a firmer topper will allow the sleeper to rest more on top.
Pain Relief and Firmness
Memory foam may be joint pains best friend. This material as well as latex are supportive and mold to the sleepers curves, keeping them extra supported and helping reduce strain and stress that can build up at night. Again this can vary from sleeper to sleeper, but these two options are a good place to start.
Thickness And Density
Foam options often have the widest ranges of thickness, ranging from anywhere between 1 to 8 inches. Down and down alternatives are normally around 2 inches thick. Side sleepers and heavier folks may want to consider an option between 2 to inches.
Density can determine how supportive your topper is. The higher the density the more support sleepers can expect.
Noise Reduction While Moving
Foam materials help to absorb not only movement but sound as well. This is great for people who sleep with a partner and do not want to worry about their movements keeping them up. The cover of your topper can make noise, so customers want to make sure it is something that makes minimal noise when rubbed.
Body Heat Retention
Some materials can trap heat against the body, causing the sleeper to overheat. Problem materials are polyfoams and memory foam. Latex is a good natural option to fight the heat, as well as memory foams and polyfoams with infused gels or other temperature fighting materials.
People with moderate to severe allergies need to pay close attention to what is in their mattress topper. Down and feather pads can affect someone prone to these conditions as can some foams. There are down alternatives that can cater to people wanting a down feather feeling, without the harmful allergies.
Price for a good mattress topper or pad is going to vary by brand and type. Memory foam toppers, latex, and down pads may be most expensive, while polyfoams and down alternatives may be a bit cheaper. Sleepers should set a budget that works for them and stick to that plan before hitting the “place order” button.
Ease Of Cleaning
Some toppers are going to be easier to clean than others. Certain models might allow sleepers to machine wash the entire topper while others have removable covers.
Foam toppers can be a bit more tricky to clean. Most likely these will need to be spot cleaned with a light cleaning solution if it were to get dirty.
These will vary between brands. Some might be for more or less than a year while others are guaranteed for the lifetime of the customer. Most of these warranties cover issues that may arise due to manufacturing errors or exceptional wear and tear under normal use of the product.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best soft topper for back pain?
Sleeping with aches and pains is no fun, especially if your bed is making them worse. A topper should help relieve those pains but certain types may do this better than others.
Topper picks for back pain are going to offer top-notch pressure relief and work to distribute the sleeper’s weight evenly over the surface of the bed. These types of mattresses will most likely be memory foam or latex options that are on the softer side. A thicker option may be a better pick for more severe cases.
What are the benefits of using a soft pad?
Mattress toppers do a lot of good for their users. Aside from providing pressure relief and additional support they are a great way to save shoppers some additional money. People can simply alter their sleeping surface for just a few hundred bucks as opposed to spending hundreds to thousands on a new mattress.
Mattress pads provide a way for sleepers to easily adjust their bed. Preferences change and although your mattress may be just fine, if your body adapts to like a softer surface, a topper can easily provide that comfort you desire.
What’s the best soft mattress pad for firm mattresses?
The best type of top for a firmer bed is going to be one that eases the sleeper’s weight into the firm mattress. If the sleeper sinks too quickly into the firm support, the pressure relief may not be as ideal as it could be, so a topper for a firm bed should be soft but not too soft.
Having a little bit of extra thickness could help transitions the sleeper’s weight as well. So a combination between the right density and thickness for the sleeper’s body type could help shoppers arrive at the best selection.
A soft topper may be exactly what you need to fix your pain in the back bed. But maybe you like your mattress? That does not mean a sleeping pad is not for you. A quality soft topper can help improve the best of beds, as well as the worst.
These products come in a series of thicknesses and material types, so be sure to do your research before making your selection. Hopefully, this guide has helped and you are now to finding your best night’s sleep. Good luck!
How to Pick a Mattress Topper (Hints and things to look for)
Our recent article on mattress toppers prompted us to write up this article on how to correctly pick a mattress topper that will fit your needs. Here are some great tips to help you decide.
Author: Douglas Belleville
Doug Belleville and his father Dave own and run STLBeds – a specialty sleep store located in Arnold, MO. The staff at STLBeds is highly educated about sleep, comfort and their special sleep products. STLBeds only carries high quality mattresses and bed-related products. You won’t find the brand names here – click here to find out why!
Mattress toppers can enhance the overall comfort and feel of an existing mattress. Toppers also help extend the life of old beds by improving back and side support during sleep and contributing to a better night’s rest.
Toppers vs. Mattress Pads
While the terms mattress pads and toppers are often used interchangeably, there is a distinction between the two. Mattress pads are thin and typically constructed of quilted cotton. They are designed to protect your mattress and keep it clean.
Conversely, toppers are thicker and serve to change the feel and/or support of an existing mattress. Certain types may also deter or prevent dust mites and mold.
A topper can make a bed feel more luxurious and change the sleeping surface to make it softer or firmer. However, a topper cannot compensate for a mattress that is in poor condition with significant sagging or coil-spring issues.
Types of Mattress Toppers
Toppers typically range from two to five inches in thickness and are designed to fit all bed sizes from twin to king. Buyers occasionally have fitting problems with toppers because they may be either too small or too large to properly fit on a designated sized mattress. If this is the case, return the topper to the place of purchase.
Toppers are manufactured with a wide range of natural and man-made materials, including natural latex, memory foam, feather and down, and wool. Following is a summary of each type.
There is no movement transfer and the latex helps regulate body temperature during sleep. Natural latex toppers may be expensive and are hard to clean. Of course, those with latex allergies should avoid them.
Memory foam retains body heat, which makes some users complain of being hot during the night. The material is also difficult to clean. Memory foam toppers have an odor when they are first removed from their packaging. Yet, the smell dissipates in a day or two.
Feather and Down Toppersare soft and comfortable, though, do not provide support. Easily wash or dry cleaned, they are prone to clumping and flattening, which can be resolved by shaking them out regularly.
Wool Topperscan be made from lamb or alpaca wool, as well as wool blends, and provide a soft, comfortable sleeping surface. They do not provide support, yet, wool toppers naturally keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Wool is also dust mite and mold resistant. The toppers do flatten easily but can be dry cleaned or steam cleaned to resume their shape.
In addition to the above, there are a wide range mattress toppers made with synthetic foam and fillers. They tend to be less expensive but may lose their support and comfort qualities more quickly.
Most existing bed sheets can be used with a mattress topper and easily accommodate the extra inches the topper adds to the mattress depth.
When you are ready to purchase a topper, familiarize yourself with the types that are available (along with pricing) and determine the attributes you want that will enable you to enjoy a more restful night’s sleep. In the end, the type of topper you choose is what feels best to you and enables you to improve your quality of sleep.