Best online mattress toppers

All You Need to Know About Mattress Toppers (and If You Really Need One)

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Even the best online mattress may not be perfect. Mattress toppers or pads are designed to fill the gap where the mattress falls short. Depending on the type of topper it can make the mattress softer, firmer, cooler or warmer.

Instead of spending a lot of money on another mattress, just get a topper.

Mattress toppers almost always consist of foam without any springs or coils. They measure 2-4 inches in thickness.

Benefits of Mattress Toppers

1. Comfort

A lot of people buy mattresses that are too firm or too soft. Both extremes are bad for back and sleep quality. A medium firm mattress is best.

A mattress topper can give you the comfort you are looking for without having to buy a new mattress. Want to make your mattress softer or firmer? Just get a softening or firming topper.

2. Cooling

A cooling mattress topper
A cooling mattress topper
Another mistake buyers make when choosing a new mattress is getting one that is too hot. It makes sleep really uncomfortable especially in warm climates.

A cooling mattress topper is often enough to ward off the heat. Most cooling toppers use aerated foam or cooling gel to keep you cool at night.

Tip: Use our mattress buying guide to help you choose a comfortable good quality mattress.

3. Heating

While cranking down the thermostat during bedtime will help you sleep better, some people are naturally warm sleepers. They prefer a warmer than usual bed to sleep well.

Elderly or ill individuals may also need a warm bed. Their bodies may not be able to naturally keep them warm enough at night.

A heated mattress pad can help.

4. Back pain

If your current mattress is causing back pain, it’s not providing adequate lumbar support.

If it’s an old mattress that is sagging, getting a new one is the best option. If it’s still in good shape or cannot buy a new one at the moment, an orthopedic mattress topper can help.

It will provide alignment, contouring and pressure relief for your back and other pressure points such as your shoulders and hips.

5. Hypoallergenic

A hypoallergenic mattress topper provides an allergens-free sleeping surface for those with allergies, sensitivities or respiratory problems.

Types of Mattress Toppers

Cooling pads. These are useful when your mattress is ‘hot’. Memory foam mattresses tend to trap heat and can get too warm for comfort. A cooling pad provides a cooler sleeping surface. Cooling pads are usually made from bamboo, latex foam, which is naturally cool, or gel memory foam.

Heating pads. These are electric pads that produce heat. They are helpful for the elderly, during the cold seasons and for anyone who prefers a warmer sleeping environment. A heating pad is similar to an electric blanket with the main difference being that you sleep on it instead of covering yourself with it.

A heated mattress pad
A heated mattress pad

Softening or firming toppers. These are toppers that make the mattress either firmer or softer. Softening toppers are usually made from low or medium density memory foam while firming toppers use latex foam or high-density memory foam.

Orthopedic toppers. These toppers are designed specifically for improved back support and pressure relief.

There are many other types of mattress toppers you’ll come across including organic or natural toppers, hypoallergenic toppers, and extra-plush pillow top toppers.

How to Buy the Best Mattress Topper

It's easy to buy a mattress topper online. You can also check a local bedding store. But first, make sure that you actually need one and decide which one is best for your needs.

If your mattress is too firm, too soft, too warm or too cold, a mattress topper will help. It's also a good buy if your current mattress makes your allergies flare up.

But don’t buy a mattress topper to make up for an old and worn out mattress. If it is sagging, has holes in it or just feels awful to sleep on, a mattress topper will not make things any better. Just get a new mattress.

If you decide you need a mattress topper, determine which type will meet your needs. For a bad back, get an orthopedic topper. If you hate sleeping hot, get a cooling topper and if you want a warmer bed, get a heated pad.

Note: If you own a memory foam mattress, a heated pad will make it softer and can actually damage the foam if it is too hot. Check the manufacturer recommendations before using a heated pad with your memory foam mattress.

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