What is a Mattress Topper and What Is It Used For?
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Mattress toppers have been around for a long time, but we still tend to get a lot of questions surrounding them.
People often wonder if they need a mattress topper and what they actually do. Are they a replacement for a bad mattress? Or simply something that should be added to a good mattress to make it better?
In this article, we're going to dive deep into mattress toppers and tell you exactly what they are, what types exist, and whether or not you need one for your bed.
Let's get started!
First, let's clear up a common misconception. Mattress PADS and mattress TOPPERS are not the same things. Generally speaking, a mattress topper is a comfort layer that gets added on top of your mattress. It may or may not be waterproof or anti-bacterial.
A mattress topper's main job is comfort.
On the other hand, a mattress pad is generally used for waterproofing and their anti-bacterial properties. With this being said, a mattress pad can also add comfort, but it's not the first priority.
Now that we have the technicalities out of the way let's talk about the different types of mattress toppers you'll find.
Types of Mattress Toppers
By far, the most cost-effective and widespread material for a mattress topper is memory foam. Memory foam toppers come in a range of thicknesses from 1 inch, all the way up to 5-6 inches. Memory foam is known to add a soft support layer and reduce motion transfer.
If you're looking for an option cheaper than a 1-inch memory foam topper, consider a cotton one. They are cheap and easy to produce and attempt to mimic the feeling of a feather topper. However, you should know that cotton toppers tend to flatten quickly, and the stuffing also tends to bunch up.
Similar to cotton, but higher quality, feather mattress toppers are known for being super soft. If you want to feel like you're sleeping on a cloud, invest in a top-quality feather mattress topper. Similar to cotton, though, the feathers do tend to bunch up in certain areas and will need to be fluffed.
One of the more expensive options for a mattress topper is latex. Generally hypo-allergenic (unless you have a latex allergy), a latex mattress topper is a great way to add unmatched soft support, and some options are even waterproof and anti-bacterial.
Can a Mattress Topper Replace a New Mattress?
If you're wondering if you can get a few extra years out of your worn out, sagging mattress by adding a mattress topper, think again.
Mattress toppers aren't a miracle pill. In fact, the purpose of a mattress topper isn't to fix an old mattress, but rather, make a firm mattress softer.
If your mattress is old and sagging, buying a mattress topper is a waste of money. You're still going to have an old, saggy mattress. Instead, Take the money you have set aside for a mattress topper and invest in a new mattress. Nowadays, beds can be bought online, and you can get a decent quality one for well under $1000.
If you have a mattress that's just a little bit too firm, but otherwise in great shape, a mattress topper is a great investment in your sleep health and will go a long way in helping you get restful sleep.
How To Choose a Mattress Topper
If you've decided a mattress topper is for you, it's time to consider what to look for when you're shopping for one.
First, decide on a budget, and let that help you choose the materials. If you have a low budget but aren't scraping for pennies, you can get a decent quality memory foam mattress topper for less than you might expect.
If you have more to invest, a feather top or latex mattress topper should be on your radar.
Either way, a mattress topper can be a great investment, especially for couples. Let us know what you think about adding a mattress topper in the comments section below!
Courtney is the reason The Sleep Shop exists. She’s a Seattle native with a passion for healthy sleep. She graduated from Seattle Pacific University with a major in marketing. She started The Sleep Shop to help friends and family choose a good mattress, and helped grow the site to what it is today. She does most of the product testing and reviews.