You’re not alone if you can’t get comfortable enough to sleep through the night. Many sleep on too firm, soft, or hot-feeling beds because they don’t want to splurge on a new mattress.
But you should know you can start sleeping more comfortably simply by using a mattress topper. There are many mattress topper benefits, and you’ll probably see a significant change in the quality of your sleep as soon as you try one.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, most mattresses have a 7-10 years lifespan, so if your discomfort is a sagging mattress, you may want to make that splurge on a new one. But if your mattress is still within that 10-year range, you can take advantage of the many mattress topper benefits.
What is a mattress topper?
A mattress topper, sometimes mistakenly called a mattress pad or underpad, is designed to sit on top of a mattress. Mattress toppers can be made from memory foam, latex, feather/down, cotton, and wool.
Mattress toppers provide an additional comfort layer, mainly if your mattress is old, worn, or uncomfortable. If you’re still unsure what a topper is, think of it like a thin mattress atop your natural mattress.
Mattress toppers are usually between 2 and 4 inches thick. And there are a variety of sizes to fit all mattress types, including futons and floor beds.
Mattress topper benefits
The best thing about mattress toppers is that they can improve the bed you already have at the right price. Here are the top mattress topper benefits you can expect:
Mattresses can harbor a lot of germs. If you’ve been sick in bed or sometimes sweat in bed (which is common), the moisture and bacteria go right through your sheets and settle into your mattress.
A mattress topper that’s moisture-resistant, antibacterial, and hypoallergenic can protect your mattress and reduce allergy and asthma symptoms often caused by breathing in mold and other harmful microorganisms in bed.
While protecting your mattress is a primary concern – should you consider investing in a mattress protector?
Read - Do I need a mattress protector?
Cooler night’s sleep
While your memory foam mattress may have felt comfortable at first, you’ve probably realized by now that it retains body heat. This is why the best mattress toppers are made of breathable material that wicks moisture away from the body and is topped with a cooling gel that keeps you from getting too hot.
One of the main benefits of a mattress topper is that it can turn a bed that’s too firm into plush, comforting bliss. You can feel like sleeping on a brand-new bed without spending thousands of dollars.
If you’re wondering if a mattress topper is good for back pain, the answer is absolutely.
However, it does pay to research and find the best mattress topper for back pain.
Sleeping on a mattress that’s too firm puts too much pressure on the back, causing pain. Since your spine has a natural curvature, the best way to relieve pressure is to allow the spine to fall into neutral alignment.
A mattress topper can also help back pain by providing pressure-relieving cushioning in the hip and shoulder areas while supplying enough support so the body doesn’t sag, even if your mattress does.
Do you need a mattress topper?
Need isn’t precisely the right word to use because plenty of people worldwide sleep plenty of hours without their use. The better question: Will a mattress topper improve my sleep?
We spend one-third of our lives sleeping and are just beginning to understand how instrumental proper sleep is for good health. Dozens of stats show how much Americans are failing in this regard, as sleep disorders like insomnia are rising. Not to mention how busy modern lifestyles shave time off the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night.
The next step is finding a type of mattress topper that works best for your unique circumstances.
Types of mattress toppers
There are many different types of mattress toppers, as they come in various styles and are made from several different materials. We all have different needs as we sleep, whether it’s increased comfort or more cooling, and some people may be allergic to a material a topper is made of.
Egg crate mattress toppers
Egg crate foam is used primarily in mattress toppers and other supportive materials such as dog beds. It gets its name from its unique shape, which resembles (you guessed it) an egg crate. Mattress toppers are usually made from polyurethane foam.
What’s great about an egg crate mattress topper is its breathability. However, its support and comfort depend primarily on the materials’ quality.
Memory foam mattress toppers
Memory foam toppers are typically flat and consist mainly of polyurethane with additional chemicals that increase viscosity and density. While they’re also made from polyurethane-like egg crate foam, they tend to be denser.
Many different types of memory foam offer a wide range of support options. Higher-density memory foam softens in reaction to body heat, allowing it to mold to a warm body in a few minutes. However, denser varieties can lead to poor airflow, making you warmer while sleeping.
Egg crate toppers vs. memory foam toppers is an age-old debate. Doing research and taking a few out for a test drive is best.
Wool mattress toppers
Wool toppers are not as standard as other mattress toppers, but users will tell you they are loved for their softness and breathability.
One advantage of wool toppers is their suitability in cold and warm climates, as wool fiber is an excellent insulator and temperature regulator. This means you’ll be supported at the same temperature no matter the weather outside.
Hybrid mattress toppers
A hybrid is considered a premium mattress topper as it combines several components, including natural materials like New Zealand wool and gen-infused poly foam bamboo quilting.
From Premium to Basic, many types of mattress toppers are available to you.
Feather/down mattress toppers
Feather/down toppers are incredibly soft, but the support you get while sleeping will vary based on your chosen design. Some designs try to balance softness and loft; loft refers to the number of cubic inches that one ounce of down will fill.
Like wool, feather/down mattress toppers are valued for their seasonal versatility and ability to regulate temperature.
Latex mattress toppers
Latex toppers are perfect for people who want a contouring topper without too much give.
If you’re interested in increasing your mattress’s firmness, you may want to consider a Dunlop latex topper, as this type is usually denser and more supportive. On the other hand, Talalay latex is typically more breathable. If you sleep hot, you’ll want to consider this type of latex topper.
Difference between a mattress topper and a mattress pad
A mattress topper is designed to increase the comfortability of your existing mattress and, to a lesser degree, protect your mattress from accidents, allergens, and other contaminants.
On the other hand, a mattress pad is used to change your mattress’s feel noticeably and provide extra pressure relief. Toppers are also used to extend the longevity of a new mattress or help an older mattress hold out a bit longer.
One big difference is that mattress pads are not designed to protect your mattress. If protection is your aim, your best choices are a mattress protector (created solely for this purpose) and a mattress topper, which has more of a dual purpose.
(this next part will look better in a side-by-side comparison table, so I didn’t format much)
|Use||A pad changes the feeling of your mattress, adds more pressure relief, and extends your mattress’s longevity.||A topper increases the comfort of your mattress and offers a little protection for life’s mishaps and accidents in bed.|
|Feel||With a pad, the firmness of your mattress won’t be affected, but it can make your mattress feel more plush.||With a topper, you’ll notice a more significant difference in how your mattress feels, be it softer or firmer, depending on your chosen type.|
|Cost||Pads are usually cheaper than toppers, but the cost depends on the materials used. Expect to pay from $20 to a few hundred.||Toppers are usually more expensive than pads. Expect to pay between $100 and $400 for a queen size.|
|Cleaning||Most mattress pads are machine washable, but check your manufacturer’s care instructions.||If your topper has a removable cover, it can often be machine washed. The inside material should not be, though. You’ll have to spot-clean it or have it dry-cleaned.|
Both mattress pads and toppers have a lifespan of between 3 and 5 years, but the materials used and the quality of construction will also impact durability.
How to use a mattress topper
Once you decide on a type and size of mattress topper, using one is pretty simple, though maybe not entirely intuitive.
As the name suggests, toppers go on top of your mattress, but they go under your sheets. Some will have elastic bands that fit around the corners of your mattress, while others will not. We suggest using a fitted sheet over your topper to keep it from moving around.
Another reason you don’t want to lie directly on a topper is comfort. Your sheets are soft to the touch and made primarily for that purpose; your topper is not.
Make sure to center your topper before putting the fitted sheet over it. And iron out any lumpy areas with your hand. If you also use a mattress protector, put that on over the topper and under your fitted sheets.
Pro Tip: For the best results, use a deep-pocket fitted sheet. This way, it can stretch to the opposite corner without tugging one side upward and moving the topper around. And don’t forget to tuck in the sides of your fitted sheet once all four corners are in place.
Are you still confused? Read How To Properly Use a Mattress Topper.
How to clean a mattress topper
We mentioned above that your two options for cleaning a mattress topper (besides the removable cover) are to spot-clean it yourself or dry-cleaned. Here are simple spot-clean, DIY instructions if going that route:
- Strip your bedding off and wash it.
- If there is any liquid on your topper, soak it up using a paper towel. And just blot gently, don’t rub.
- Remove the topper from the mattress and place it out of the way.
- Check your mattress for moisture; blot it as if you find some.
- Mix equal parts white vinegar and cool water in a spray bottle.
- Spray the soiled or dirty areas of the mattress topper.
- Gently use a paper towel or cloth to blot out excess moisture. Repeat steps 6 and 7 until stains are removed.
- Once clean, sprinkle a layer of baking soda over the topper, and let it rest for 4 to 8 hours, though overnight would be best.
- After letting it sit to dry, vacuum up the baking soda.
The topper must be dried thoroughly before putting it back onto your mattress. Open a few windows or turn on a fan to speed up that time.
Where to purchase a mattress topper
Mattress toppers come in various sizes, so it’s easy to find one that fits your bed perfectly. At Beloit Mattress, we carry a premium mattress topper made from silky antibacterial bamboo, breathable and hypo-allergenic New Zealand wool, and gel-infused cooling foam so that you can sleep soundly through the night.
Shop a Premium Mattress Topper!
Need a custom mattress topper?
Do you need a custom shape or size mattress topper for an RV, Boat, Antique Bed, or other? We offer made-to-order custom mattress toppers. The Beloit Mattress Company can support almost any unique shape or odd size you have.
Quote on a Custom Mattress Topper!
Do mattress toppers work?
Yes, but it depends on what you want your mattress topper to do. If you’re looking to protect your mattress from accidents, allergens, and elements, and you want to make your mattress more comfortable, a topper is an excellent choice.
What are the benefits of a mattress topper?
There are three main benefits of using a topper on your mattress:
- More comfort for you.
- Additional protection for your mattress.
- Create a cooler sleeping environment.
A cooler night’s sleep is better for most people, and a mattress topper is an easy way to make that happen.
Do mattress toppers make the bed more comfortable?
Mattress toppers make your bed more comfortable, as this is their primary use, and add some protection to your mattress. But your comfort will depend a little on the type of topper you purchase and the materials used in its construction.
Is it better to sleep without a mattress topper?
Most people prefer sleeping with a mattress topper for comfort, but this will be a personal decision based on your sleeping habits and needs. Try a few different types of mattress toppers out for yourself. And remember, protecting your mattress is also a nice benefit of using a topper.
Is it necessary to buy a mattress topper?
Using a mattress topper isn’t necessary, but it makes sense for those who want more comfort, more protection for their mattress, or a cooler sleeping environment. Considering how many people these days use a mattress topper, it’s beginning to feel like a necessity.
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Check out our newest Mattress Buying Guide and How to Experience The Best Sleep Guide. Both are free!