What Is a Mattress Topper: Your Ultimate Guide
Modified: July 5, 2022
Have you ever wondered what is a mattress topper all about? Read this article to discover how it can help enhance your sleeping experience!
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We spend roughly one-third of our lives sleeping. In other words, we spend a significant amount of time in bed, making it one of the most important and frequently used pieces of home furniture. Hence, our favorite mattress will inevitably become too saggy over time, making it uncomfortable to sleep on. If you’re having the same problem, don’t replace them just yet because a mattress topper can help! But what exactly is a mattress topper?
What Is a Mattress Topper?
A mattress topper is a helpful piece of furniture that can improve your sleep in a variety of ways. Here are a few examples:
It functions as a cushioning layer
What is a mattress topper’s purpose, you ask? Well, it is a removable layer that is added atop a standard mattress to provide additional support and, of course, comfort to its users. This is especially important if your mattress is either too firm or too plush and saggy, making it difficult to sleep on.
In terms of physical construction, a mattress topper is made as an enclosed, thick fabric sheet with fillings inside. These fillings come in a variety of materials, including synthetics like foam and polyester, naturals like cotton and tree sap, and animal-based materials like wool and feathers.
In turn, these materials, as well as the different densities that they have, determine the level of comfort that they can provide. We’ll go over these types of mattress toppers in greater detail in the sections below, so keep reading to find out which one is best for you!
It isolates motion
If you share a bed with someone who tosses and turns, disrupting your sleep with all the noise and movement, a mattress topper is an excellent choice for you!
Like some types of innerspring mattresses, many mattress toppers on the market today are specially designed to isolate motion. This is possible due to their high density and thick construction, which both provide a more stable and firmer surface to lay on. As a result, you’ll have a better chance of getting a good night’s sleep even if you’re sleeping next to a restless sleeper!
It regulates body heat
So, a mattress topper can help isolate motion. But what about one’s body heat? What is a mattress topper’s capacity in terms of cooling the body during hot nights and keeping the body warm during cold nights?
A mattress topper can be thermo-regulated by using breathable fabric and fillings. Toppers made of thick foam and latex, for example, tend to retain body heat, which is beneficial in the winter. They can, however, be a little too warm to use in the summer, so look for ones that have cooling gel beads or ventilation tubes.
Furthermore, mattress toppers filled with natural materials such as wool and feathers aid in the regulation of body temperature. Their natural properties help wick away sweat while sleeping during hot nights, preventing overheating. At the same time, these toppers absorb body heat, keeping you warm even in cold weather.
It is easy to clean and maintain
Another significant advantage of using a mattress topper is that it is simple to clean and maintain. They are lighter and easier to remove from the bed because they are thinner and less dense than standard mattresses. This makes them portable and easy to inspect for any stains and dirt.
Mattress toppers also have a breathable fabric casing or cover that makes it simple to clean up any spills or debris. They can be easily cleaned with a cleaning cloth and are also vacuum-safe.
What Is the Difference Between a Mattress Topper and a Mattress Pad?
If you’ve recently been searching the internet and online stores for the best mattress topper, you’ve probably also come across the term “mattress pad”. This word, along with “mattress topper,” may be easily thrown around by mattress manufacturers and advertisers, but they are different from one another.
While both serve as a protective layer for mattresses, a mattress topper, for example, is designed to provide additional cushioning. It is thicker than mattress pads and provides more body support.
A mattress pad, on the other hand, functions more like a mattress cover in that it protects the mattress from stains, spills, and dirt. Despite their thinner construction, they also add comfort with extra padding and a body heat-regulating design.
What Material Is Best for a Mattress Topper?
As previously stated, a mattress topper can be one of the most effective ways to disguise your lumpy and creaky mattress. With that, you must know the various types of materials that they are made of to determine which ones are worth buying for you and your loved ones.
One of the most popular types of mattress toppers is the memory foam mattress topper. That is understandable given the plethora of advantages that using one can provide to sleepers.
For starters, memory foam toppers are made of thick, dense foam that is encased in a fabric sheet. This means that their firm surface conforms to your body shape. Therefore, they provide more support to the body and significantly aid in the relief of joint and muscle pain.
In addition, memory foam toppers reduce motion transmission, making them ideal for sharing a bed with restless sleepers or pets. This type of mattress topper also retains body heat, so using it effectively aids in keeping warm at night, especially during the winter. Like a typical gel memory foam mattress, these toppers use a cooling system to regulate body temperature so that they are still comfortable to lay on during the summer.
Aside from that, egg crate memory foam toppers are also available. This is a type of memory foam with a bumpy surface similar to an egg crate. Toppers with this design are less dense, easier to roll, and are more portable than conventional memory foam alternatives.
Latex is another great option if you’re searching for the best firm mattress toppers for back pain. This type of mattress topper is firmer than memory foam, which means it provides a more stable and comfortable surface. For this reason, they help relieve body pain while also keeping the body aligned.
Latex mattress toppers are also usually made of natural materials such as tree sap. Thus, they are hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites and microbes. Compared to memory foam, latex toppers are more thermoregulating due to their natural properties too, making them ideal for any type of weather and season.
Microfibre and Cotton Blends
If firm mattress toppers are not your cup of tea, don’t worry because fiber blend toppers are the best for you!
These soft and fluffy mattress toppers are typically made of polyester blends and microfibre, which are sometimes mixed with cotton fibers. They look and feel more like a comfortable duvet and are also breathable.
However, this type of mattress topper has a thinner and less stable surface. Its fillings sag and shift from one side to the other over time, providing less support to the body. Nonetheless, they are excellent for adding height to your bed and if your current mattress causes you to overheat. Plus, microfibre is the most affordable mattress topper on the market today!
This type of mattress topper, as the name implies, is made of wool, or fiber derived from the hair of animals such as sheep, goats, and camels. This means that they are naturally soft and comfortable to lay on. Wool mattress toppers are also thermoregulating, making them excellent to use all year round.
Wool toppers are also less likely to be infested with bed bugs and mites because their fibers are looser than memory foam and latex. Hence, they are naturally hypoallergenic and suitable for people with sensitive skin. Though they tend to be expensive and rare, wool mattress toppers’ great qualities make them a worthwhile investment.
The featherbed mattress topper is another fluffy and comfy mattress topper that you can buy. Also known as a down topper, a featherbed is made of feathers usually derived from goose or duck. This makes it luxuriously soft and easy to use with its thermoregulating ability.
It is important to note, however, that these mattress toppers do not have a firm surface and provide less body support. As a result, they are less suitable for back sleepers and those who suffer from joint and muscle pains.
This topper, like wool toppers, is an animal by-product too, so it may not be the best choice if you are vegan. But don’t worry, you can always go with other mattress toppers, such as the ones we mentioned earlier.
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What Are the Factors to Consider When Choosing a Mattress Topper?
Aside from the materials used to make mattress toppers, there are several other factors to consider when buying one. This is necessary to determine whether it is the best fit for your needs and preferences.
Comfort should be your priority when it comes to buying a mattress topper. It should not be too firm or too saggy for you to use, but should instead provide a good balance of comfort and support. Choose toppers with adequate padding or filling to allow them to conform to your body shape. Pick ones that are hypoallergenic, long-lasting, and have thermoregulating and motion-isolation capabilities to ensure a restful night’s sleep as well.
Thickness and Density
Another good way to tell if a mattress topper is right for you is to look at its thickness and density. Keep in mind that the thicker and denser a topper is, the more body support it can provide. This also means that they can be used to cover up your lumpy and saggy mattress, or even be placed on top of your daybed to provide a more comfortable surface to lay on. Moreover, the thickness of mattress toppers can range from at least 2 inches to 4 inches, depending on what works best for you.
The density of a mattress topper, on the other hand, ranges from low, medium, and high. Low-density toppers typically weigh less than 3 pounds per square foot, while medium-density toppers weigh 4 to 5 pounds per square foot and high-density toppers weigh 6 pounds or more. High-density toppers have the firmest surface and provide the most body support, whereas low-density toppers are the least comfortable and have the shortest lifespan.
You must also check the size of a mattress topper to ensure that it will fit your existing mattress. Determine whether your mattress is a twin, full, queen, king, or California king first, and measure it to be more precise. After determining the size, select a topper that complements and fits snugly with it.
Aside from using a topper for your mattress, you can also use it as an additional layer for your other upholstery furniture and convertibles. What is a mattress topper’s best size for a sofa bed or futon, then? This is primarily determined by the size of the sofa bed, but because it is shorter than a regular mattress, a twin or full-sized topper should suffice.
Getting a suitable mattress topper for you means that it is safe to use and will not aggravate or cause allergies. If you or any of your family members are allergic to synthetic materials, latex, wool, or feathers, choose a different type of mattress topper. You could also try a hypoallergenic silver bedding set if you have sensitive skin or want to protect yourself further from bacteria that may have accumulated on your bed.
If you have chronic pain, arthritis, or muscle spasms, it is best to choose a mattress topper that can help provide relief or alleviate your condition. Go for a topper with the appropriate level of firmness and softness to provide your body with a comfortable surface to lay on. Memory foam may be the best choice for this because it relieves pressure and conforms to your body shape better than other types of mattress toppers.
Ease of Cleaning
Mattress toppers, as previously stated, are lighter than traditional mattresses due to their thinner yet comfortable surfaces. This makes them much easier to carry and transport. In turn, they are low maintenance and easy to clean.
If you have yet to try a mattress topper and are not sure how to clean them, don’t worry! We’ll go over the proper cleaning process in the last section of this article so make sure to keep reading!
What Are the Pros and Cons of Using a Mattress Topper?
Similar to how you usually do when choosing any type of furniture for your home, weighing the pros and cons of toppers will give you better insights about the product and help you decide if they are worth buying after all.
- Comes in a variety of materials, thickness, density, and size
- Serves as a protective layer for a mattress
- Provides comfort and helps alleviate body pains
- Isolates motion and is less creaky
- Has thermoregulating properties
- Easy to use and clean
- Generally durable
- Some mattress toppers are too soft and provide insufficient body support
- It functions only as a temporary solution for old and lumpy mattresses
- Generally not ideal for machine-washing
- Some types are rare and hard to find
- Can be expensive
How to Clean and Maintain a Mattress Topper?
Whether you are buying and using a mattress topper for the first time or have been doing so for some time, knowing how to maintain it is essential to ensuring that it lasts as long as possible. The good news is that this product is less difficult to maintain than you might think! Simply make sure to follow some effective tips and methods, such as the ones listed below.
How to Remove Stain From a Mattress Topper
Gentle spot cleaning is the best method for removing stains and spills from your mattress topper. The reason for this is that it prevents the stain from spreading to other areas of the topper. By focusing on the stained area, spot-treatment can also help reduce your time cleaning. Here are some of the things that you’ll need:
Before you begin cleaning, gather and prepare the necessary items, such as the products listed above. Then, carefully remove the mattress topper. Do not place it on a wet surface as moisture will easily seep in and cause damage to the material.
Once the mattress topper is properly situated and prepared for cleaning, the first thing that you need to do is to apply a small amount of stain solution to a microfiber cleaning cloth. Next, use the solution-soaked part of the cleaning cloth to blot the affected area. Do this by using a gentle, circular motion until the stain is removed. Finally, wipe and dry the area with absorbent paper towels.
How to Get Rid of Foul Odor From a Mattress Topper
A mattress topper, like any other type of upholstery furniture, can develop a foul and musky odor. Despite that, there is a simple and easy method to help eliminate any bad odor that your topper may have.
First, remove the topper and place it on a clean, dry surface. Then, clean the entire area of the topper using a handheld vacuum to get rid of dust and debris that has accumulated there over time. Next, sprinkle the topper with just the right amount of baking soda and let it soak for about eight to nine hours.
After that, vacuum the topper again to remove the baking soda from its surface. Do the same for the opposite side of the mattress topper. Transport the topper back into your bedroom and lean it against a wall in the meantime. Finally, place a small bowl of vinegar in your bedroom for several hours to neutralize odors, making your mattress smell fresh and pleasant.
All in all, a mattress topper is a must-have bedtime furniture accessory. It serves not only as a mattress protective layer but also as a comfortable, cushioning layer for sleepers. These versatile products can also be used for other upholstery furniture like a sofa bed, futon, and a murphy bed kit, ensuring that you’ll have a restful time whenever you decide to hit the hay.