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Select a topper below for more detailed information, including brand reviews / ratings.
|Conforms to body||A||D+||D+||B+||C-|
|Durability / longevity||B-||d+||c+||b+||b+|
|Easy to move on||D||A-||B||C||B+|
|No Sleeping Hot||D+||c||b+||c-||b-|
|No Initial Odor||d||A-||c||B-||c|
|Easy to lift, handle||D+||C||b||D||A-|
|Appearance on Bed||a-||c||c||a-||b-|
|Easy to maintain||a||D+||d||a||d+|
The terms "mattress topper" and "mattress pad" are sometimes used interchangeably. Generally, however, these are two different types of products with their own purposes.
Pads are used to protect a mattress and or provide a limited softening; they are also often placed over a topper to secure it to the mattress. Toppers, by contrast, are used almost exclusively to improve mattress comfort.
|Comfort Improving Potential||good||fair to poor|
|Price||medium to high||low|
|Thickness||medium to high||low to medium|
|Protects Mattress||fair to good||good to excellent|
|Relation To Mattress||lays on top or tucks in||tucks in|
See Mattress Pad Reviews for the top-rated waterproof and non-waterproof pads.
Based on consumer experiences, below are the top four advantages of mattress toppers.
As a mattress ages, especially an innerspring mattress, it tends to become compacted and loses much of its cushion. A topper improves mattress cushioning, resulting in better comfort and reduced pressure points. At least 20% of owners report that their topper has provided them with at least somewhat better sleep due to improved comfort. In other words, a mattress topper is capable of providing the benefits of a new mattress for a fraction of the cost.
Toppers are not only for older mattresses. If you have a newer mattress that does not suit your personal preference for firmness, a topper can alter the comfort to better suit you.
Some toppers, namely memory foam and latex, can improve not only mattress comfort but also support to a limited extent. This can help to reduce pain, including back pain.
If two people sleep on the same bed and have different firmness preferences, a topper can be added to one side of the bed to, in effect, provide different firmness levels for each side. Learn more on how to have a topper on one half of a bed. Also, a memory foam topper can to some degree improve the motion isolation of a mattress, resulting in less disturbed sleep.
Based on consumer experiences, below are the top four disadvantages of mattress toppers.
While a topper can improve an aging / uncomfortable mattress, it is not a miracle worker. If your mattress is uncomfortable due to sink holes, sagging (uneven sleep surface) and popping springs, the topper will be of only limited help.
Many memory foam and latex toppers are about one inch smaller than the mattress on all sides to help ensure the bed sheets fit over both the topper and mattress. This can cause sitting or sleeping near the edge of the mattress to be uncomfortable / unsupportive, and it may give a somewhat awkward appearance to the bed.
About 4% of owners – especially owners of memory foam toppers – report that their topper has a significant odor when new. This odor (or off gassing) tends to diminish within a few days in most cases.
A topper that softens a mattress will often to some extent envelop the sleeper. This can decrease air circulation and cooling around the sleeper's body. As a result, about 4% of topper owners report significant and bothersome heat retention. Memory foam and latex toppers are somewhat more likely to trap heat than are the other topper types.
A topper is placed on top of a mattress under the fitted sheet. For thicker toppers especially, this means that the sheet will need to cover a greater height. Depending on the pocket depth of your existing sheet, it may now be too small to securely cover the mattress.
Since a topper is not a fully integrated part of the mattress, it may move around independent of the bed somewhat. About 5% of owners – especially owners of lighter toppers such as fiber and feather – report this problem. (A mattress pad can be placed over a topper to secure it to the mattress.)
Pros: Most popular topper • often highly effective at improving comfort • available in many varieties to suit individual preference.
Cons: Initial off gassing odor • some heat trap potential • "squishy" feel possible in higher temperature • thicker, higher-density varieties may be difficult to move on • relatively heavy.
Pros: Generally effective at softening a firm mattress • relatively light weight and easy to handle • few reports of bothersome heat retention.
Cons: Can lack adequate thickness • fluffing / shaking often needed to maintain loft • feathers poking through cover is possible which can be painful • may produce some noise • dry cleaning often required.
detailed Featherbed Reviews / Ratings based on 4,300+ owner experiences.
Pros: Can make mattress softer or firmer • above-average pain relief • comes in many varieties including all natural • somewhat less likely than memory foam to have odor or heat retention.
Cons: Expensive • limited availability • returns potentially costly and inconvenient • some initial odor possible.
Read detailed Latex Topper Reviews / Ratings based on 1,200+ owner experiences.
Pros: Mostly effective at softening a firm mattress • low price • little or no odor or allergy-causing potential.
Cons: May be too thin and lumpy for some • shaking / fluffing may be needed to maintain loft and comfort • may be damaged by machine washing / drying.
Read detailed Fiberbed Topper Reviews / Ratings based on 12,200+ owner experiences.
Pros: Generally effective at softening a firm mattress • fairly cool / dry in summer and warm in winter • often durable and long lasting.
Cons: Pricey • may not provide adequate cushion for some • initial "barnyard" odor possible • regular shaking / fluffing may be required to maintain loft.
Read detailed Wool Topper-Pad Reviews / Ratings based on 650+ owner experiences.
If two people sleep on the same bed and have different firmness preferences, a topper can be added to half of the mattress to, in effect, provide different firmness for each half.
To accomplish this on a king-sized mattress, you will likely need to buy an x-long twin topper and place it on one half of the mattress under the linens. (An x-long twin topper in most cases will be one-half the size of a king-sized mattress.)
You will want a topper that merely lies on top of the mattress without needing to be secured to the sides. Foam, memory foam and latex toppers almost always meet this criteria.
With a queen-sized bed, things are more complicated. There is no topper size that will cover one half of a queen. Therefore, you will likely need to buy an x-long twin sized topper and trim it so that it will fit half of the mattress. It will need to be a foam, memory foam or latex topper because these can be trimmed without spilling their contents and they don't have skirts.
A final thought: The half of the mattress with the topper is going to be higher than the other half which will give the mattress an awkward appearance. To minimize this look (if it bothers you), don't buy a topper any thicker than what you need to be comfortable.
Ratings are based on over 67,200 mattress topper owner / consumer reviews gathered from diverse, credible sources including product review sections on retailer websites (Amazon, JCPenney, Overstock, Wal-Mart, and others) as well as online message boards.
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