Are Mattress Toppers Worth It? The Surprising Benefits


While some people can’t imagine life without one, other people just aren’t convinced. Of course, the same is true for every model of mattress out there.

Mattress toppers are worth it. Choose to add one to a newer mattress that is just a little too firm to make it plusher. It is also worth it to protect an expensive new mattress and potentially improve its durability and extend its useful life. A topper can also be removed and taken on vacation to the cottage or travel trailer.

What’s a heavenly cloud for one person is a bed of solid concrete for the next.

Still, if you are wondering if there is a way to make your current bed just a little more comfortable, then you may be considering this upgrade.

What Are Mattress Toppers?

A mattress topper is an extra layer that goes, you guessed it, on top of your bed. The topper is designed to make the mattress more comfortable so that you get a better night’s sleep. At the same time, the topper protects your mattress from wear and tear, which may mean that it lasts longer.

They come in a variety of thicknesses and they may be made from a wide range of materials.

Naturally, the thickness and the material have a significant effect on how comfortable and useful it will be to you.

Why Do Some People Insist on Having One?

They provide sleepers with comfort and support. Moreover, they reduce the pressure on the springs or foam the which may slow down the process of the mattress breaking down. Some people also find it valuable that they can easily be moved from one bed to another such as taking it camping or to the cottage.

Many toppers are washable while, of course, mattresses are not. Toppers even may have replaceable covers, which protect them against stains.

TIP: Some people love their mattress topper so much that they roll it up and take it with them when they travel so that they can get a better night’s sleep no matter where they are.

Perhaps their bed is quite firm, which is good for back pain, but the sleeper is noticing problems with pressure points. Adding one may provide some necessary softness while not sacrificing firm support.

ImageTitlePricePrimeBuy
Product ImageLinenspa 3 Inch Gel Infused Memory Foam Queen Mattress TopperPrimeEligibleNo Results
Product Imagesubrtex 3 Inch Gel-Infused Memory Foam Bed Mattress Topper High Density Cooling Pad Removable Fitted Bamboo Cover Ventilated Design-10 Years Warranty (Queen)PrimeEligibleNo Results
Product ImageBest Price Mattress 3 Inch 5-Zone Memory Foam Topper, Mattress Pad with Soothing Lavender Infusion, CertiPUR-US Certified, QueenPrimeEligibleNo Results
Product ImageSure2Sleep Gel Swirl Memory Foam Mattress Topper Made in USA 2-Inch (Full)PrimeEligibleNo Results
Product ImageEASELAND Queen Size Mattress Pad Pillow Top Mattress Cover Quilted Fitted Mattress Protector Cotton Top 8-21" Deep Pocket Cooling Mattress Topper (60x80 Inches, White)PrimeEligibleNo Results
Product ImageLUCID 3-inch Ventilated Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper - Full XLPrimeEligibleNo Results
Product ImageKARRISM Extra Thick Mattress Topper(Full XL), Cooling Mattress Pad Cover Topper, 400TC Cotton Pillow Top (8-21Inch Deep Pocket)PrimeEligibleNo Results

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

A short video that is worth watching

The Different Types

While it’s possible to find a suitably wide variety of mattress toppers, these items generally can be broken down into three main categories.

Most are made of memory foam generally are made of the same memory foam that is used to construct full mattresses. However, a topper is a thinner layer of memory foam.

The advantage of this material is that it conforms to the shape of your body, which translates to improved support and comfort.

Another category may be referred to as egg crates. These also may be made out of memory foam, but instead of a flat surface, they are bumpy, slightly resembling an egg box.

Frequently encased in a padded cover, this type is flexible and is easy to fold or stack. Typically, they are less expensive than memory foam toppers.

Other people prefer the third category of topper, which contains the ones made of fleece or wool. These toppers are not itchy as you might imagine.

Instead, they tend to be really soft, and they may be a particularly good choice for people who suffer from allergies.

Of course, you have to be willing to pay for this level of sophistication. These tend to be among the most expensive.

This video may help you make a decision

Do They Work?

Whether or not a mattress topper works depends upon numerous factors. These factors may include the age of the mattress, the material out of which the topper is made, the quality of manufacturing that goes into the topper and your individual preferences as a sleeper.

As you can see, there really isn’t a cut-and-dry answer with regard to whether or not a topper works. In many cases, they are absolutely effective, delivering an extra layer of cushioning on a too-firm bed.

As we also have learned, using one may help to increase longevity and decrease the wear and tear on your possibly very expensive bed.

If this is your goal, then the answer is, yes, they definitely work.

Of course, it’s vital that you choose a sufficiently thick and well-made model so that you actually get the benefit of protecting your mattress.

Do They Make You Hot?

Buying a mattress topper that is made out of a cooling memory foam definitely won’t make you so hot at night. Traditional memory foam tends to heat up fast, so manufacturers have devised some helpful alternatives such as air cooling memory foam, gel memory foam and plant-based memory foam.

Of course, this will depend on numerous factors. If you select one that is made of memory foam, then it really may make you sleep hotter.

In fact, memory foam is well-known as a material that traps and holds heat. This characteristic is why you may have heard some people say with a vehemence that they will never sleep on a memory foam mattress.

Basically, if you’re concerned about sleeping too warm, carefully choose a model that has gel or other cooling properties built in.

Do They Help with Back Pain?

A mattress topper can provide essential contouring and cushioning to avoid aches and pains, especially in the back. Toppers provide extra contouring, cushioning, and spread out body weight over more surface area. This eliminates pressure on points like your hips and shoulders, which may contribute to back pain.

Certain brands are noted for their ability to soothe back pain. Consider some of these models (NOT affiliate links):

The ViscoSoft three-inch Select High Density
Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Topper Supreme
Birch by Helix Plush Organic

If you find yourself waking up with back pain, then it is definitely worthwhile to look into adding a mattress topper to your bed.

Do They Make Bed Softer?

A high-quality mattress topper may be the ideal solution when a mattress is just a little too firm by adding a thin one, or a thicker one for a bed that is much too firm. This makes a firmer mattress is a safer purchase because one that is too soft cannot be helped with a topper.

In fact, this happens quite a bit. Maybe you’ve been hearing about the wonders of sleeping on a firmer maodel.

You’re in the market for a new mattress so you focus your search on models that are much firmer than what you’re accustomed to.

You’ve heard that a firm bed may help to put an end to back pain or solve all sorts of other sleep problems.

The only trouble is that when you get it home and start sleeping on it, you realize that you may have made a mistake.

But firm just isn’t all that comfortable or luxurious.

This is where a thick and cushiony topper saves the day. When you add one, you don’t have to sacrifice the benefits that you’re getting from sleeping on a firmer model.

However, you get the best of both worlds with a super-soft topper.

Do Mattress Toppers Wear Out?

Nothing lasts forever, and this is certainly the case with these.

Remember the adage about getting what you pay for? That certainly holds true here.

I’m not suggesting that you have to go out and buy the most expensive mattress topper available in order to ensure longevity. There are plenty of middle of the road choices that are at that perfect intersection between price and value.

If you find the right model, it won’t break the bank, but you’ll still be buying sufficient quality that will ensure a relatively long lifespan.

Of course, there also are things that you can do that can help to ensure longevity. It is always advisable to pay attention to and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for care and cleaning.

How do you know that it’s time to clean it? Here are a few clues:

1. It smells

New ones sometimes give off a peculiar odor that dissipates after a day or so of airing out. However, over time, that topper may acquire new smells from things like sweat and urine. If you’re noticing that your topper smells, it may be time to clean it.

2. You’ve had a spill or an accident

Liquid spills and other wet accidents can be bad news for longevity. Try to clean the topper as soon as possible after such an incident occurs.

3. Discoloration and Stains

Obviously, a stain on your is a sign that it needs to be cleaned. Try to take care of this as soon as you notice it because this may ensure that you have a better chance of actually getting rid of the stain.

If you’re seeing major discoloration, then several different factors may be to blame. Sometimes, this is the result of exposure to the sun’s UV rays.

However, discoloration also may occur because of an accumulation of sweat, water or something else. Try to clean the topper to see if this alleviates the problem.

If you determine that your mattress topper needs to be cleaned, it’s a good idea to review the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure that you don’t make the situation worse.

Typically, cleaning instructions will direct you to place the topper in a well-ventilated area and vacuum the surface.

Stains may be treated with a gentle cleanser and blotting with a wet paper towel or cloth.

If you notice odors, sprinkle baking soda over it and let it air out for a day or two. In fact, if you had to treat a stain, it’s best to allow it to air dry for a couple of days.

Even if you aren’t experiencing any issues, it’s sensible to air it out whenever you change the sheets and to flip it over to the other side, if appropriate, with each change of the sheets.

A little care and cleaning can go a long way toward ensuring that your mattress topper lasts longer.

However, if you find that ordinary cleaning and airing aren’t getting rid of odors and stains or if you’ve noticed that your topper just isn’t as thick and luxurious as it used to be, then it’s probably time to seek a replacement.

Do They Make a Bed More Comfortable?

The right model can absolutely make a bed more comfortable. While it certainly cannot substitute for a new, top-quality mattress when your old one is on its last legs, it can give you an extra level of support and comfort.

When you have a great bed it makes your sleep extra luxurious, there is just nothing like it.

You’ve managed to pull together the best of both worlds in terms of support and comfort.

The result may be that you experience less back pain and fewer aches on critical pressure points like knees, hips, and shoulders. This may just give you the best sleep of your life.

Check out my two recommendations here and our list of mattress reviews here to see which ones we think are crap and which are good.

Scott Boyd

A semi-retired workaholic in Thailand is a challenge. It is too hot to keep building adobe and earthbag buildings so a new project was needed. I became interested in bed frames after purchasing a bamboo bed frame from a local supplier here and I learned there is little information about them on the Internet. So now I spend my days researching, testing, and reporting my findings to help others while having an occasional beer and istening to 60s and 70s B side rock, blues, and much more.

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