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When it comes to a great night's sleep, feeling comfortable and supported is going to give you the best results. If you can't afford a new mattress or are just looking to adjust the comfort level of your current mattress, then adding a mattress topper is the way to go. Mattress toppers are padded covers to go over your mattress that can provide added support, softness, and even temperature regulation. Whatever you are in search of there are a variety of materials to choose from to fit all of your needs!
When choosing a mattress topper, these are 7 types of toppers and materials you can choose from:
- Memory foam
- Gel memory foam
- Egg crate
Mattress toppers can promote better sleep, leading to more enjoyable and productive days. But with so many options, how will you know which is best for you? We've put together a guide to help you pick the perfect mattress topper. So please, keep reading.
7 Types Of Mattress Toppers
Let's delve into the details of each of these mattress toppers.
1. Memory foam
Memory foam is made of viscoelastic foam, which is a material that is very thick but also elastic. This is why memory foam is dense enough to support your body but malleable enough to form to your body shape and then return to its original form.
Memory foam mattress toppers use your body heat to warm up the foam and allow it to mold to your body. This provides lumbar support and aids in the alignment of your spine while you sleep.
Viscoelastic foam is able to be made in a variety of thicknesses and densities. Each body is in need of differing support and personal preferences are vast. Memory foam provides customization to fit exactly what you need.
Although memory foam used to be the most popular choice of mattress and mattress topper, it has declined in popularity due to its tendency to retain body heat. If you live in warmer climates or tend to get hot in your sleep, then this topper would be one to avoid.
2. Gel memory foam
Gel memory foam is an upgraded version of memory foam. It's made in much the same way except for the obvious addition, gel. The gel can be incorporated in the form of beads in the foam layer, or have a layer made entirely of gel.
The gel helps memory foam in two important ways that make it an upgrade from the original memory foam. First, the gel works to cool the body by drawing heat away from you while you sleep. Secondly, the gel in the foam acts as an extra layer that keeps you from sinking too far into the foam and feeling stuck or uncomfortable.
Gel mattress toppers have two downfalls. Firstly, the gel inside the mattress can lose its ability to cool over time. Secondly, because of the gel infused into the foam, it can be more costly than its counterpart.
Latex mattress toppers are made from synthetic or natural latex foam made in one of two ways.
The first way, and more popular method, is Talalay latex. In this method, liquid latex is poured into a mold, but only partially. When the mold is vacuum-sealed, the latex expands to fill the rest of the mold. This mold is then frozen and baked to set. What results is bouncier and lighter latex.
The second method produces Dunlop latex. In this method, liquid latex is used to fill the foam mold completely. Then the mold is baked, washed, and baked again. This latex is denser than Talalay latex.
If you purchase a latex mattress, chances are it contains both of these types of latex, with the Dunlop providing support in the core of the mattress and the Talalay latex providing the upper comfort layer.
Latex toppers are made from natural materials and are non-allergenic unless, of course, you are allergic to latex. These toppers are also firmer but still provide a bounciness that helps to prevent the transfer of movement.
These toppers do have the ability to get hot. So, much like the memory foam topper, if you sleep hot or are in a warmer climate, this may be a topper to avoid. These toppers are also more expensive than other toppers due to it being a natural material.
Fiberfill mattress toppers, or fiberbeds, are toppers filled with down alternative puffball or polyester fiber. These toppers are ideal if you are wanting a softer surface to sleep on instead of firmer, but aren't wanting to purchase authentic down.
The price point is going to be the biggest positive when purchasing a fiberfill mattress topper. Due to its use of synthetic materials and alternative cotton options, they are fairly inexpensive.
Fiberfill mattress toppers will reduce the pain that sleeping on a firmer mattress may create. They are also considered durable for their price point. So they may not last as long as a more expensive material topper but you get what you would expect from a more affordable product.
Although these toppers are considered durable for their price point, they will eventually clump and flatten. They do require the occasional fluffing in order to reduce lumps, as well.
Unlike the latex and memory foam toppers that eliminate movement, fiberfill toppers don't reduce motion in the same way. They can improve some of the bounce caused by movement, but they won't do much more than that.
Wool mattress toppers are filled with fleece from sheep, goat, or even alpaca. What is produced after the shorn coats are turned into cloth and stuffed into the mattress topper is fluffy and soft padding for your bed.
There are many positive aspects of purchasing a wool mattress topper, a majority having to deal with their organic material. These toppers are eco-friendly, chemical-free, and hypoallergenic. These toppers are also cruelty-free as no animals are harmed in the shearing of their coats.
Wool mattress toppers are very soft and reduce the transfer of movement for shared sleeping. They are also temperature regulating, keeping you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
These toppers may seem perfect but they do come with a potentially big downfall. They are incredibly expensive. These toppers can be found online from companies specializing in these materials, however, they will cost you several hundred dollars.
Down and feather mattress toppers come from ducks and geese. The feathers are the outer covering of a bird that contains quills, while down is a soft and fluffy covering that lays beneath the feathers and does not contain quills.
Down and feathers are taken from birds and are a product of the food industry. It's important to note that although there are standards in place to protect these birds from harm while they are alive, these products may not be suitable for those following a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle.
Like wool, down and feathers provide a soft topper and one that won't retain heat, providing you with a cool night's sleep. They are cheaper than most other mattress topper materials, like memory foam or latex.
When choosing a product with feathers, quills will be attached and therefore can result in some poking through the topper. They can also flatten and clump over time so some fluffing will be necessary.
This is also a topper to consider skipping if you or someone in your home has any allergies related to feathers or birds since they can cause a reaction.
7. Egg crate
Egg crate foam is any type of foam that is shaped into an egg crate on one side. This is the exact same pattern you would find inside an egg carton from the store, with deep dips to hold eggs. Because these can be made with any type of foam, including memory foam, a lot of factors will depend on the quality of the foam the topper is made with.
The shape of this foam topper is what sets it apart from other flat foams. The egg crate shape allows for a more even distribution of weight and helps to regulate body temperature much better than a thicker, single layer of foam.
Since these toppers use a variety of foams, they will take on the disadvantages of those foams. For example, memory foam tends to retain heat, so an egg crate topper will be warmer, despite its ability to help with the airflow.
What thickness mattress topper should you get?
The thickness you choose in a mattress topper will be dependent on your current mattress and your personal needs.
If you have a mattress that is firm but you want a bit of comfort or already have thick padding but you desire something softer, then a topper that is 1-2 inches thick will be a good choice for you.
Mattress toppers that are 3 inches are perfect if you aren't sure which thickness to get. They will provide extra padding and support without being too firm.
If your mattress is worn down or has little to no padding, or if you prefer a great deal of extra cushion, then you can choose to get a mattress topper that is 4-5 inches.
A thicker topper will provide more cushion and support but density is what will determine the firmness. So decide if you prefer sleeping on a softer or firmer surface before picking a topper.
How often should mattress toppers be replaced?
High-quality mattress toppers have a lifespan of about 3-5 years before they should be replaced. However, lower-quality materials will most likely need to be replaced more frequently.
Getting a wonderful night's sleep is dependent on being able to get comfortable, relaxed, and feeling rejuvenated in the morning. If you feel like your sleep is suffering due to a lack of support and comfort in your mattress, then choosing a mattress pad to fit your needs is the perfect start to better sleep.
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