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Mattress Toppers: The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

Mattress toppers are all about taking that old, stiff mattress and turning it into a comfortable dream that you don’t want to wake from in the morning.

Picking out a mattress topper isn’t as easy as falling asleep on one. 

There’s a lot to consider when choosing your perfect mattress topper. In this guide to mattress toppers, we’ll break down the process for you.

What is a Mattress Topper?

close up of a mattress topper

A mattress topper is a thick layer of material that you add on top of your mattress. It’s there to make your mattress softer and more comfortable.

Toppers are often confused with mattress pads.

A mattress pad is a thin, lightly cushioned cover designed to keep mattresses clean and free of allergens.

A mattress topper is a thicker layer that offers a substantial improvement to the overall comfort of your mattress.

Mattress toppers come in many styles, and can be made from wool, cotton, foam, latex, and other materials.

Can a Topper Fix My Old, Rundown Mattress?

young women sleeping in a purple shirt

Mattress toppers are like the icing on a cake. Icing makes cake more delicious, more beautiful, and more decadent.

But if you added a cup salt instead of sugar to your cake, well, there isn’t enough icing in the world to fix that! 

Same goes for a mattress topper. 

It will make your bed more comfortable, more cloud-like, giving it that luxurious feeling. But if your original mattress is lumpy, squeaky and saggy, the topper can’t fix that.

How to Choose the Right Type of Mattress Topper

close up of a egg crate mattress topper on top of a mattress

Egg crate

Egg crate toppers are one of the most affordable options available. They are made of light-weight foam that has been sculpted into a pattern of peaks and ridges.

While egg crate toppers are lightweight, comfortable and affordable, they’re not a long-lasting optionThe foam tends to permanently compress over a relatively short period of time.

close up of cotton plant seeds

Cotton

Cotton toppers can vary in price and composition. Many of the cotton toppers you will find are a combination of cotton and other materials.

There are many kinds of cotton toppers, and some are better than others. This is often, but not always, reflected in the price.

A cotton mattress topper can be very appealing if you’re searching for a topper made from organic materials. Also, they are the easiest kinds of toppers to clean.

Because of their soft, airy texture, they tend to compress faster than other materials, like memory foam or latex.

close up of a microfiber mattress topper

Microfiber

Microfiber mattress toppers are a popular choice because they are affordable and they work. But they add very little in the way of additional comfort. 

Microfiber mattress toppers, often made of polyester, are stain and fade resistant, water repellent, highly breathable, wrinkle-free, and hypoallergenic.

If you’re not happy with the current comfort level of your mattress, and you’re looking for a lightweight, durable, and affordable way to protect your bed, go with microfiber.

close up of a women's hand on a memory foam mattress topper

Memory foam

Memory foam mattress toppers are one of the most popular kinds of toppers and for good reason. They aren’t as expensive as latex toppers, yet they offer extra layers of added comfort that work to cushion and support your body.  

They tend to be a good choice if you have aches and pains, as the foam conforms to your body.

Memory foam toppers can be purchased in a number of different thicknesses and densities, so it is possible to pick the right firmness option for a variety of different body types.

These toppers tend to last a long time, so while they may cost a bit more, you’ll save in the long run.

Because your body sinks into the memory foam, these toppers tend to trap body heat. Fortunately, some memory foam toppers also have cooling gel to help regulate your body’s temperature. If you are a warm sleeper, you might want to search for something with cooling technology.

close up of a latex mattress topper

Latex

Latex is one of the heaviest mattress toppers. If you choose a thicker 4-inch topper, you might want to consider the weight factor—it might be tougher to move. 

They’re also more expensive than other toppers. However, they do offer an excellent combination of support and cushion, which is great if you suffer from back pain.

Latex also comes in different thicknesses and densities, making it easy for you to pick the type of topper that best fits with your body type and sleep style.

There are two different kinds of latex: natural latex and synthetic latex. Natural latex is derived from the sap of the rubber tree while synthetic latex is manmade.

How Thick Should My Mattress Topper Be?

graphic of a thought cloud

Most toppers are between 1 and 4 inches thick.

But thicker isn’t always better—it’s just softer. Keep that in mind when choosing the thickness. A premium 2-inch memory foam topper is usually more than enough to make a good mattress fantastic. 

That said, if you’re trying to convert an extra-firm mattress into a super-soft mattress, you may need to go for a 3- to 4-inch topper. 

How to Clean a Mattress Topper

close up of hands putting a mattress protector on a mattress

Of course, the easiest way to keep a mattress topper clean is to avoid getting it dirty in the first place.

Mattress protectors (also called mattress covers) look like a fitted sheet, but are made of material to protect your mattress and topper from any of the inevitable spills and stains.

Mattress encasements completely enclose your bed on all sides. They are more like a zippered couch cushion cover. You can remove it to clean it, but all of your bedding stays protected underneath the encasement.

Encasements are particularly good for those who suffer from dust allergies because they prevent the mattress from collecting dust deep inside. They can also be a good defense against bed bugs! 

If your mattress topper does get dirty, many of them, including the PerfectSense microfiber or memory foam mattress toppers, are machine washable or come with machine washable covers.

If yours isn’t machine washable, follow the cleaning instructions on the label. 

How to Choose a Mattress Topper

close up of a young woman sitting up in bed wearing a purple shirt next to a man sleeping

Motion transfer

If you sleep with a partner whose frequent tossing and turning wakes you, choose a topper that doesn’t transfer motion. Memory foam or latex would be a good option here.

close up of young women fanning herself in bed

Body heat

For those who sleep hot, traditional memory foam and latex aren’t a great choice, as they often trap heat. Some mattress toppers pair a layer of latex or memory foam with a cooling layer of gel to help counteract this problem.

close up of a wool fabric swatch

Natural materials

If you are searching for a mattress topper made of all natural materials, you’ll want to consider natural latex, wool, or cotton.

Where to Buy a Memory Foam Topper

close up of a women's hand browsing PerfectSenses website

Buying a memory foam topper is easier and more affordable than ever thanks to online mattress and bedding companies like PerfectSense. You can purchase your topper online, and it will be shipped directly to your door within days—FREE!

Not sure if a mattress topper will fix you current mattress? Replacing the entire mattress is less expensive than you might think!

For the perfect night’s sleep, check out the Perfect Mattress.

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