Your sleep comfort is extremely important for your health and level of activity during the day. After all, we all know how cranky and tired we are during the day, after just one bad night. Just imagine how your life would be if you couldn’t get any proper rest!
Now, over 60% of your comfort during the night is dependent on the surface you sleep on, aka the mattress. If the mattress is not just right for your needs and doesn’t offer the right type of back support, you can wake up with back pain and strain muscles. Even more, prolonged sleep on such a mattress can lead to a series of health problems.
So, if your mattress is too hard or too soft, if you feel it start to sag, or simply it doesn’t accommodate your position, it’s time to think about a new one. But what do you do when you don’t have the money to invest in a new product? Or maybe you just bought a new mattress only to discover that there’s nothing you can do to return it. If you’re stuck with a mattress that needs improvement, the best solution is a topper.
The topper is bedding that goes on top of your mattress and supplements the comfort you need by completely transforming your sleeping surface. Still, you must make sure you understand that a topper is thicker than a pad, which is more like a mattress protector, and its main purpose is to help you sleep better.
A good memory foam topper can make a soft mattress feel firmer or an innerspring mattress feel more like a memory foam surface than a boat. Even more, modern products are advanced and come with lots of cool features, which make them a fantastic choice until you gather the money for a new mattress.
Still, just like with mattresses, you’ll find a wide range of toppers on the market. The main thing that differs is the material which is usually a type of foam. You may also find some goose downs or latex toppers, but the one that comes highly recommended by both users and specialists is the memory foam topper. This is because the memory foam is durable and accommodates various sleep positions while relieving pressure.
Now, you’ll also find lots of designs and producers for toppers and this is why I put together a shopping guide on the memory foam mattress topper reviews. The information below will help in choosing the best product for your needs.
What to Look for in a Leading Topper or Pad
There are lots of features to consider when you’re buying the best memory foam topper, but some of the most important ones make reference to its durability and level of comfort. These are usually decided by the thickness, density, and type of memory foam used and I’ll discuss each of these features in more detail below.
However, before we start the features talk, let’s see the main benefits you’ll have from a memory foam topper. This will help you decide if it’s worth it to invest the money in a bedding element or you should save more and get a new mattress.
First, the topper has the main benefit that it costs a lot less than a high-quality mattress. So, if you don’t have the money and you can’t save enough in the near future, it’s best to go with the topper. It won’t last as long as a mattress, but it will significantly improve your sleeping comfort.
I like to recommend to buy memory foam topper because it accommodates a lot of sleeping positions. Since the foam is flexible, it will take the shape of your body and it will move with you during the night. This reduces the pressure that builds up in various points on the body (shoulders, neck, hips, and so on) and alleviates any back pain you might have because of your mattress.
Even better, you can choose the level of firmness you want and transform the sleeping experience in no time. Still, keep in mind that memory foam is sensitive to heat and pressure so choose accordingly.
Now that you know a bit about the benefits, let’s see the features to follow when you first start the shopping process.
#1: The Price
The price varies according to size, thickness, density, and back support offered. Still, it is pretty far from the price you would have to pay for a new mattress so you see why the idea is appealing.
The price for a topper ranges from $30 to several thousand dollars, but you shouldn’t shoot for the most expensive products. After all, the most expensive product may not provide the features you need. This is why, before you decide on the type of topper you want, you should consider your real needs and your budget.
I also have to specify that a topper is not a magic product (regardless of how expensive it is) – it won’t turn a sagging mattress into a straight one, and it won’t make your old mattress feel like new. It is important to understand that a topper can turn an old mattress that is still holding strong into a better sleeping surface. It can also be used to soften up a mattress that feels too firm or one that has memory foam with a big response time. Either way, if you’re hoping this will be the last acquisition you’ll have to make when it comes to your bed, you’re mistaken. Nothing can replace the support offered by a good mattress!
Now, when we talk about the price, a memory foam topper of good quality can be a bit pricey, which is why it is very important to set your budget limit and compare the benefits you’ll get from a topper with the benefits you’ll get from a new mattress.
For instance, if your mattress is older than eight years old, you should start thinking about a new one as no topper is going to replace the needed back support. Otherwise, the topper can be a great addition to an already good sleeping surface.
#2: The Thickness
The topper sits on top of the mattress you already have, so there’s no room for flexibility when it comes to size. If you have a queen size mattress, you’ll need a queen size topper. The same goes if you have a full-size or a king size. However, when it comes to thickness, there is plenty of room for decisions.
Most memory foam mattresses support three levels of thickness: the 2 inches, the 3 inches, and the 4 inches. Of course, there are thicker toppers, but these are usually made with other materials and can’t be included in a most-popular category (they’re mostly designed for people with special needs).
Now, the level of thickness should be chosen according to your needs. For instance, if you need to make a firm mattress softer, you don’t need the topper to be too thick – a thin layer of memory foam should do the trick. On the other hand, if you bought a mattress that doesn’t accommodate your side sleeping behavior, you should consider a medium to thick version. Finally, to revamp an older sleeping surface, a thicker topper is the best choice.
To give you a hand in deciding which thickness is best for your needs (and your budget), below I listed some information about each level.
The 2-inch memory foam topper
Now let’s go over my memory foam topper review of the 2-inch size. It is the perfect choice for a child or someone who is light in weight and has a small build. Since this is the thinnest memory foam topper you’ll find on the market, it is not a good fit for an old mattress as it doesn’t have enough foam to compensate for the problems in such a surface. However, it goes great with a new mattress that you want to soften up.
As you can expect, this is the least expensive option, but with high-quality products, it can still look pretty steep. But, if you want an increased level of comfort, I recommend going with the high-quality build – it will most definitely compensate for the thickness.
The 3-inch memory foam topper
This is the medium thickness you’ll find with most toppers of this kind and it is also one of the most popular options on the market. It goes great on top of firm mattresses and it is designed for the average weight person.
It can even help revamp an old mattress and provides good pressure relief on the neck, shoulders, and hip. This makes it great for side sleepers, but you shouldn’t dismiss it if you prefer a different position either. Make sure to give it a try before you buy it – it’s the only way to tell if this is the best choice for your needs.
The 4-inch memory foam topper
Well, now we’re talking extra comfort and support! This topper is thick enough to be used as a mattress when camping so you can only imagine how great it will feel to have it on top of your mattress.
While it is the most expensive in the bunch, this is the topper you want when you have an old mattress that is slowly losing its features. It is also the one that will accommodate heavy people (over 250 pounds) and it provides extra back support for people who suffer from pain and muscle strain.
So, if the budget allows it, the 4 inch is a great thickness for almost anyone. Still, make sure that the foam is the best quality and implements a fast response time. Otherwise, just to shave a few bucks off, you might end up with a topper that makes you feel stuck in quicksand (the main complaint with low-quality memory foam mattresses).
If you feel you can’t afford a high-quality 4-inch topper, it’s best to stick with a 3-inch one, then get a cheap product!
#3: The Density
This is an important feature for a memory foam topper as it describes the durability and general feeling of the topper. Also, a topper with dense memory foam and a 4-inch thickness offers great support for someone with lower back problems.
For most toppers and mattresses with memory foam, there are three settings for density:
- Low (2 pounds to 3 pounds)
- Medium (3 to 4 pounds)
- High (4 to 5.3 pounds)
Toppers with memory foam of low density will be a lot more affordable, but I don’t recommend buying unless you don’t have any other choice. Low-density memory foam is airy which means it’s not durable and it won’t offer any back support what so ever. It looks good and it may feel good at first, but as the foam gets warm, the surface of the topper will become softer and softer. Even more, a low-density foam is not responsive and gives the stuck in quicksand sensation that so many people hate.
The medium density is just right for people who want some back support and a topper that will keep its features for at least a few years. The price is at a medium level, but in my opinion, it is worth it.
Finally, a high-density topper (5+ pounds) is the best option in terms of comfort and back support. The high-density foam will be more durable as it will lose shape slower and it offers a firm sleeping surface that responds fast to your movements during sleep. This means that the foam reacts in a few seconds from the moment you change your position and it will re-adjust its shape to make sleeping a lot more comfortable.
The density feature also plays an important role in the type of warranty you’ll get for the topper. Even though this is just a bedding element, you should make sure you get the maximum of benefits out of this purchase. So, for a high-density topper, you should make sure you get at least a few years of warranty. After all, a producer who has faith in his product will know to back it up with great customer service and a good warranty.
Now, if you have the budget, I recommend a 4-inch thick topper with high-density foam and good back support. Still, if we consider the price, a 3-inch topper with 4 pounds density may be a better choice. While it is a bit of a difference in durability and comfort, the medium-level topper is quite a fantastic deal for someone who is on a budget. It’s also a great way to keep sleeping well while you’re saving for a new mattress.
#4: The Noise Transmissions
Do you know that moment when you lay in bed, almost ready to fall asleep and all of the sudden, the entire mattress starts to move like you’re in the middle of the ocean and a storm just hit? If you do, then you’re probably sharing on a mattress with high noise transmission, with a partner that moves a lot.
The sleeping pattern is different for everyone so you can’t blame your partner for moving in his/her sleep. Still, you could avoid getting a mattress that allows for motion transfer (or noise transmission). These are usually the ones with an innerspring or coil support system and they tend to send even the smallest movements through the entire surface.
Now, if you have such a mattress and it’s still too good to be replaced, it’s time to think about a memory foam topper. Memory foam is well-known for its great energy absorbent feature and this is one of the reasons why it is among the most popular bedding materials in the world.
Memory foam is a viscous- flexible material and in its flexible state, it will absorb the movements made by one of the partners without transmitting them to the other partner. So, if your partner moves a lot while sleeping, you won’t feel anything!
Still, if you’re using a thin topper on a bouncy mattress, the noise transmission may not be completely eliminated. However, thicker and denser toppers are pretty good at transforming a bouncing castle into an oasis of calmness. So, if you like your mattress but would like to keep the movement just on one side of the bed, a topper should do the trick.
Of course, density is also important when we talk about motion transfer. Toppers with denser foam are better at keeping the movement at bat while the ones with low density will transmit some of the movement. However, in both cases, the noise transmission will be better managed than when you’re sleeping directly on an innerspring.
Overall, finding the best memory foam mattress topper is a great choice when you’re looking to improve the current mattress. Regardless of the fact that you’re looking to bring some of its features back or you simply want to soften up the surface, a topper will do a great job. However, you have to consider your needs and budgets in order to choose the perfect product.