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Should I Buy a Mattress Topper?

Is your mattress too firm for your liking, or is it sagging under your weight? If so, it might be time to get a mattress topper. Let's face it, replacing your old mattress can be expensive, and that's why buying the best cheap mattress toppers is an effective way of changing or revitalizing the feel of your sleep surface instead. While this can be a good call that can save you tons of money, it can also end up costing you more bucks in the long run.

So, when it comes to buying a new mattress vs. a mattress topper, what should you do? Are mattress toppers worth it? Let's take a look.

Reasons to Get a Mattress Topper

Mattress toppers can notably change your bed's firmness level in either direction. For instance, a thick and plush topper can provide extra cushioning to a very firm mattress, whereas the right mattress toppers offer a firmer feel to a very soft bed.

Although even the best mattress toppers can't fully restore old mattresses, they can temporarily compensate for indentations or slight sagging. Plus, you can use a mattress topper to slow down typical wear and tear or increase your bed's overall height. Toppers are also beneficial when you don't want to replace your older mattress but want to change its feel.

Here are 5 reasons you need to get a mattress topper:

Your Mattress Feels too Hot

Are night sweats preventing you from having a restful sleep? You'll be glad to know that certain types of toppers can keep you cool as you sleep, containing that dreaded pool of sweat. 

For instance, gel memory foam toppers boast cooling properties that resist heat buildup to maintain a comfortable surface temperature. Not to mention, mattress toppers protect your mattress from body sweats mitigating any unpleasant smells and damage to the material.

If You Want to Make Your New Mattress Softer

With the right research and guidance, you should be able to get a quality mattress that suits your body weight and sleep needs. However, adapting to a new bed can take time, especially if you've used a softer, more worn-out mattress. While waiting for your new mattress to soften up, you can use a topper to make your bed softer and avoid waking up feeling body pains.

If Your Bed Has a Few Years Left

A high-quality mattress is built to last for a decent period (anywhere between 10 to 25 years), depending on the materials it's made from. But the bitter truth is, all mattresses start to lose their quality, bit by bit, with time. 

Even with regular flipping and rotation, your mattress will be worn down, especially in the areas where you lie each night. Most mattress toppers provide an essential extra layer, smoothening your sleep surface and giving you a more supportive and comfortable sleep environment.

You Want to Protect Your Mattress

Mattress toppers are different from mattress pads and protectors, which are usually thin and solely made to safeguard your bed against stains, spills, and other contaminants. However, a mattress topper can help preserve your mattress and prevent the layers from wearing out. This can extend your bed's overall lifespan. 

Related Content: Mattress pad vs topper

You Want to Make Your Sofa Bed Comfy

Unlike mattresses and mattress toppers, most sofa beds don't provide sleepers with the comfort, support, and plushness they deserve. To perfectly fit a mattress in a sofa, manufacturers need to be extra careful and precise about the depth, and the result often needs to be thicker. 

That's where mattress toppers come in. Many toppers boast sizes that can fit on sofa beds, and they add enough plushness to make them comfortable enough for your guests. 

When Should You Replace a Mattress Topper?

On average, mattress toppers will last you between 3 to 5 years. However, this can vary based on the type of topper you're sleeping on, the quality of its internal layers, and how well you take care of it.

Mattress toppers come in various types of materials, including latex, wool, memory foam, and polyester blends. A high-quality wool, memory foam, or latex mattress topper may last longer than less expensive materials.

If you use your topper daily, you'll likely need to replace it sooner than if you only use it occasionally. And similarly, if you take good care of your topper, it should serve you better and much longer.

Generally, you'll have to replace your topper if you notice that it's too thin. You'll also want to buy a new topper if your current one has lost its supportiveness. Applying too much pressure on your mattress topper every day will cause its structures to deteriorate over time. It will start to sag and won't support your body evenly after a while. 

When to Not Get a Mattress Topper

Mattress toppers aren't always magical fixes for every sleep problem. With most measuring about 4 inches, they won't fix more severe issues with your mattress. 

Below, we'll talk about the different scenarios where mattress toppers won't help you make your existing mattress comfortable;

Your Mattress is Sagging and Worn-out

While mattress toppers can fix a few gentle depressions, they can't help make sagging and worn-out beds comfortable. So, if your mattress has passed its sell-by date, you'd rather spend your money on a new mattress. However, how can you tell whether your old sagging mattress needs replacing?

You might notice your bed sagging in certain areas even when you're not sleeping on it. And if you have broken springs or wake up with body aches, even a 4-inch high-quality mattress topper won't solve that. 

You'll Be Replacing Your Mattress Soon

Buying a mattress topper is unnecessary if you'll be replacing your mattress imminently. It's unlikely to improve your sleep quality, and it certainly won't prolong the lifespan of a mattress that's so utterly past being useful. Moreover, you don't always need a mattress topper with a brand-new mattress; most are infinitely comfy and supportive from the start.

How to Keep Your Topper Lasting for Longer

Proper maintenance is one of the most effective ways to extend the useful lifespan of your topper. Consider cleaning your current mattress topper at least once every 3 months. 

But before you toss your topper into your washing machine, you should keep in mind that some mattress toppers are machine washable while others are not. So, check with your manufacturer's instruction guide before you start the cleaning process. 

If your mattress topper is machine washable, use a toothbrush and gentle detergent to scrub any stains. You can then put it in your washer on a gentle cycle. Tossing a tennis ball in your dryer with the topper can keep it in good shape. To dry your mattress topper quickly and efficiently, consider putting it and tennis balls in your dryer on a low heat cycle. 

For toppers that are not machine washable, vacuuming and spot cleaning with gentle detergent can help remove any stains or odors. 

Choosing a Mattress Topper (for neck pain, back pain, etc.)

If you suffer from neck or back pain and suspect your mattress could be causing the pain, it could just take buying a mattress topper to help alleviate the aches and pains. For instance, side sleepers should be adequately supported at the pressure points, and along the spine, something memory foam toppers can help with.

If you're sinking deep into your bed, your spine can easily get out of alignment. Fortunately, firmer mattress toppers can help even the surface for an ideal spinal alignment. The same is true for mattresses that are too firm, which can easily cause soreness. A soft mattress topper will transform your sleep and relieve pressure points. 

Note: If the pain is persistent or severe, check with a medical provider for a complete diagnosis of your condition.

Types of Mattress Toppers

Like a mattress pad, mattress toppers come in various materials and styles. Some are designed to isolate motion, while others are constructed to optimize pressure relief and keep you cool. Knowing how you want to change your sleep experience can help you pick the right type. 

Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Memory foam mattress toppers are perfect for those who like to sink into their sleep surface. This material conforms closely to the body to distribute weight evenly and keep the spine, hips, and shoulders aligned. That's why many side sleepers opt for memory foam toppers. A memory foam topper is also good at isolating motion, and they don't produce any noise, making them a perfect option for co-sleepers and couples. While a memory foam mattress topper can trap body heat, your topper can be infused with graphite or gel to help the surface maintain a cool temperature.

Latex Toppers

Like polyfoam, latex toppers conform closely to the body and maintain a responsive feel. Sleepers will feel less pressure, but their bodies won't sink too deeply. Stomach and back sleepers who need more support should find latex toppers more comfortable and supportive than memory foam models. 


While not as popular as other types, wool toppers are known for their breathability and softness. Since wool excels at temperature regulation, wool mattress toppers are suitable for both cold and warm seasons. 

Feather Mattress Toppers

Although feather toppers are usually very soft and fluffy, they can vary significantly in terms of support. For instance, you might find some with layers that boast more than one type of feather to help strike a perfect balance between loft and plushness. Like a wool topper, a feather topper is seasonally versatile as it regulates temperature well.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Topper

Think of your mattress topper as an extra comfort layer for your sleep surface. It generally serves 2 vital functions: changing the feel of your existing bed to make it firmer or softer, and protecting it from long-term wear and tear. The market is full of topper models that vary by thickness, price point, material, and overall performance. Generally, the perfect mattress topper depends on your sleep preferences and personal needs.

In this section, we will look in-depth at the factors to consider when buying a topper.

Sleeping Position

The right mattress topper should provide additional reinforcement between the hips and shoulders for stomach sleepers to prevent too much sinkage. If you sleep on your side, you'll feel most comfortable on a mattress topper that cushions your hips and shoulders to minimize pressure points and align the spine. On the other hand, back sleepers need a firm mattress topper with a more balanced feel that guarantees even support and comfortable, conforming with minimal sagging around your lumbar region.

Pressure Relief

The best topper for pressure relief will conform perfectly to your body and support your spine without sinking deep into the sleep surface. Side sleepers need a soft mattress topper to prevent the spine from falling out of alignment. Stomach and back sleeping positions promote proper spinal alignment, so these individuals usually need less conforming and more support for optimal pressure relief.


The average mattress topper measures about 3 inches thick. Since toppers are typically placed directly on the surface, you're adding 3 inches to your mattress' overall profile. A high-profile topper may make your bed feel too tall if you're using a thick mattress. This can make changing positions and getting in and out of your mattress more difficult. On the other hand, a thin topper may not adjust the firmness level of your bed as well as a thicker model can.


A new mattress topper may cost less than $50, but most top-quality models are priced between $100 and $500. The amount to spend on a mattress topper depends on various factors, such as thickness and material composition. Plus, some brands have steeper price tags than others.

Closing Thoughts

If you want to rejuvenate your sleep surface and enjoy a comfortable night's sleep, then a mattress topper is all you need. It can protect your mattress, give you luxurious comfort, and help you extend your mattress' lifespan.

However, if your bed is worn out and looking lumpy, you'll be better off with a new mattress. This is because a mattress topper won't be able to provide the same comfort and support as a brand-new bed. 

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