THE GOOD: Most popular mattress topper • often highly effective at improving mattress comfort • available in several varieties to suit personal preference.
THE BAD: Potential for initial odor and heat retention • can lack conforming ability for people under 120 pounds • somewhat difficult to move on / get up off • squishy feel possible • fairly heavy.
THE COMPETITION: See how other topper types compare to memory foam in the topper comparison.
Ratings show how the various memory foam topper varieties compare to the average mattress topper. Ratings show what tends to be true; ratings for a particular model or individual topper may vary.
|MEMORY FOAM TOPPER THICKNESS||MEMORY FOAM TOPPER DENSITY|
|1"||2"||3"||4"||2.5 to 3 lb||3.5 to 4 lb||4.5 to 5+ lb|
|Easy to move on||C+||D+||D||D||C||D+||D|
|Back sleep friendly||B||A-||B+||B||B||B+||A-|
|Side sleep friendly||B-||B+||A-||B||B||B+||B|
|Front sleep friendly||B||B-||C+||C-||B+||B||C+|
|No off gassing||C-||D+||D||D-||D+||D||D|
|No sleeping hot||C||C-||D+||D||C||D+||D|
|Avg-sized person friendly||B-||A-||B+||B-||B-||B||B-|
|Heavy person friendly||C||B+||B||C+||C+||B||B+|
|Light person friendly||C+||C||C||C-||B||C||D|
|Easy to handle and lift||B+||C+||D+||D-||B-||C||D|
|Firmness||med||med to soft||soft||soft to extra soft||--||--||--|
|Comment||limited impact on comfort||top selling thick- ness||2nd top selling thick- ness||person may roll toward heavier partner||limited support||mix of comfort/ support||limited avail- ability|
The table below compares toppers with 90% or better owner satisfaction based on 1,000+ consumer experiences.
|Red Nomad||Milliard||Touch of Comfort|
|Owner Satisfaction (sample)|
|2", 3", 4"||2"||2", 3", 4"|
|2.5 lb||3 lb||3.5 lb (3" model) , 4 lb|
|Distinctive Advantage Or Trait|
|top rated memory foam topper overall||top rated gel-infused memory foam topper||big seller|
* Memory foam density shows how
much foam weighs. For instance, foam with 3 lb (or lbs/ft) density means that a cubic foot of this foam weighs three pounds. See the above table and memory foam density: low vs high to learn more about differences in density.
** Gel-infused memory foam tends to sleep about 25% cooler longer than regular memory foam – all other things being equal.
*** CertiPUR-US certified foam meets certain standards for content, emissions, performance, and durability.
Memory foam is made from polyurethane with additional chemicals to increase density. The foam is made up of millions of spherical shaped, open cells. What makes memory foam unique is its temperature and weight sensitivity. More.
Memory foam mattress toppers should generally be expected to last about three to four years with regular use – a rate somewhat better than that of the average topper. Memory foam toppers with higher density foam (4 lbs/ft or greater) may last longer than those with lower density foam (3 lbs/ft or less).
As the toppers age and wear, they tend to lose their resiliency and support. They may also discolor and tear.
Memory foam toppers tend to have warranties of 2 to 5 years. Owner experience data suggests that the likelihood of successfully filing a warranty claim is low. Shoppers, as a result, should place little if any emphasis on warranty coverage.
When unpackaged, memory foam may initially give off a gas / odor lasting from hours to weeks. This is the main complaint by memory foam topper owners as approximately 17% report the problem. Off gassing can be a small annoyance to some and unbearable to others. Learn more about memory foam off gassing.
There often is randomness in regard to whether and how much a memory foam mattress topper will off gas. However, owner experience data suggests that off gassing somewhat correlates with topper thickness.
* Off gassing lasting more than 24 hours.
Roughly 8% of memory foam topper owners – vs about 4% for the average mattress topper – report that their topper sleeps hot or, in other words, fails to disperse body heat resulting in an unnaturally warm sleep surface.
Thicker memory foam toppers often have more complaints than thinner varieties. (See below chart.) This appears to be caused by the fact that a person often sinks further into thicker toppers where there is less air circulation. High density foam toppers may also increase the potential for excessive heat retention.
* Heat retention enough to undermine sleep quality at least some of the time.
Gel-infused memory foam tends to sleep about 25% cooler longer than regular memory foam – all other things being equal.
To meet the needs of people with different firmness / comfort preferences sleeping on the same mattress, memory foam toppers can often be added to just one side of a mattress. This can make a mattress more suitable for couples. (Learn more on how to have a topper on one half of a mattress.)
Higher-density and thicker memory foam toppers can significantly impact romantic activity. While they offer some advantages such as improved comfort, they also may reduce bounce and make movement more difficult and awkward. Learn more about the pros and cons of memory foam on this issue.
Ratings are based on 30,600+ consumer reviews collected from diverse, credible sources including product review sections on retailer websites and online message boards.