How to Choose the Best Mattress Topper

The best mattress topper is not merely an added luxury. It can improve your health and your sleep. But that’s not all… a high-quality topper can save you money by allowing you to purchase a less-luxurious mattress.

Mattresses are priced according to how many layers they place on top of the inner core. These layers add cushioning and softness. This is why an “ultra plush” is usually more expensive than a “medium firm” — it has more padding layers to cushioning you against the hard feel of the innerspring structure.

These plush layers feel lovely when you’re testing the mattress in the store. But many people find that once they sleep on the bed for a number of years, sometimes even six months, these layers tend to compact and sink in. This causes physical discomfort, sometimes even pain from pressure points and misalignment.

It can also cause mental anguish, because you paid good money for these plush layers, sometimes as much as $500 or more — and it can be quite frustrating and disappointing to have them cave in unexpectedly. In fact, the number one complaint in all the hundreds of mattress reviews is about the sinking and collapse of the top layers.

This is why a topper is something you want to seriously consider before you go testing mattresses to buy. Rather than paying big bucks for the ultra-plush level, you can go one or two steps firmer and add your own luxurious padding. The money you save will more than pay for the separate topper.

But the best mattress topper is not just about saving money.

You have more choices of materials, so you can choose what you personally find most comfortable rather than rely on the mattress company to decide for you.

You can replace the topper when it wears out, not the whole mattress.

You don’t have to deal with mattress warranty issues, which can be very annoying. Most warranties do NOT cover compressions of the topmost layers, despite the discomfort it causes.

You can change the type of topper you buy if your needs change (rather than the whole mattress).

The best mattress topper is one made from high-quality materials. It retains its shape for years, providing cushioning and comfort according to your needs and requirements.

Here is a list of materials you might consider:

  • Latex — some of the best mattress toppers are made from latex, and natural latex offers some special benefits. Learn more about natural latex mattress toppers here…
  • Cotton — cotton may be present in the padding and the fabric. Cotton padding is cool, breathable and soft. Cotton fabric is smooth and pleasant to sleep on and a cotton cover is an important ingredient of the best mattress toppers.
  • Wool — wool batting makes a very nice topper if you are a cold sleeper. While it is often advertised as being “cool” in summer, this seems questionable. But it is an eco-friendly, sustainable product compatible with organic mattresses as long as you are not vegan or opposed to using animal products, even those that don’t harm the animal. Wool offers the added advantage of being naturally fire retardant, so can be safely used on children’s beds without worry of toxic chemicals.
  • Memory foam — while the best memory foam topper (by Tempurpedic) costs hundreds of dollars, you can save thousands if you use one as a substitute for the whole mattress (which costs thousands). Read more about memory foam mattress toppers here… and here
  • Poly foam — polyurethane foam is probably the most common material used in mattress toppers, but are they the best? Well, no, but many people find them quite adequate. It will serve the purpose until you can afford the best. Poly foam will give you the padding you need to feel comfortable and sleep well on a firm mattress. It is hotter and less breathable than latex. It also may have a chemical odor when new, in which case you can air it outside for a while. Chemically sensitive people may want to avoid polyurethane if possible.

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