Mattress Toppers

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.

  • Natural Latex Toppers are durable and provide excellent support and cushioning during rest. Latex has natural hypoallergenic qualities to resist dust mites and mold. 

    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 Toppers provide exceptional comfort and full-body support. They are highly durable and limit movement transfer. They are a good choice for people who want a memory foam mattress but do not want to invest in the cost.

    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 Toppers are 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 Toppers can 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. 

Related Information - Mattress Toppers

Heated Mattress Pads
How to Choose the Best Mattress
Memory Foam Mattresses
Sleep Help and Resources

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