Trouble sleeping soundly? Haven’t achieved that cloud-like feeling that allows you to drift comfortably off into your dreams? You may need a mattress topper. Yes, it’s true—your ideal sleeping sitch might not be achieved with your existing mattress alone. Many people benefit from a mattress topper, the silent star of the bedroom that provides extra cush and comfort, helps to regulate body temperature, and better supports you while snoozing.
But diving into the world of mattress toppers requires just a touch of know-how. After all, they’re made from all kinds of materials—like latex, memory foam, and polyester blends. So if you’re interested in exploring the different types of mattress toppers available to you, we want to help make that journey just a little bit easier.
That’s why we’re covering a few of the best kinds of mattress toppers out there and their different benefits. Read on for your ultimate guide to mattress toppers!
What Is a Mattress Topper?
If you’re new to the world of bedding, you might not know what a mattress topper is. The key here is to learn how to tell it apart from other products that look a little bit like it. So, before you learn how to choose a mattress topper, let’s get to know the different options first. In general, there are three types of “mattress extras” on offer:
- Mattress pads
- Mattress protectors
- Mattress toppers
Let’s quickly look at the differences between the three.
Generally speaking, a mattress pad is a thick, cushioned layer made from cotton, latex foam, or other super soft materials. Not only does it provide a little extra padding for increased comfort, but it also protects the mattress from sweat, spills, dog hair, and anything you don’t want to infiltrate your mattress.1
Mattress pads are sized according to your mattress and attach in a similar way that a fitted sheet does. This makes them easy to throw in the wash as well, which is one reason why you can expect your mattress pad to last for more than a couple of years. There are hypoallergenic versions available, too!
The main function of a mattress protector, on the other hand, isn’t necessarily about providing extra cushion. Essentially, a mattress protector is a removable piece of durable fabric whose main task is to protect against spills. You may remember using a mattress pad during those young years as you transitioned out of diapers—many parents use these supple shields to ensure that accidents don’t ruin an expensive mattress.2
Mattress protectors stop all kinds of contaminants from ever penetrating your mattress, such as:
- Bodily fluids
- Juice or consumable liquids
Using one will help ensure that your mattress has the longest life you can get from it.
While mattress pads can help protect your mattress, ultimately, mattress protectors are designed specifically for this function. So if spills are common in your household, it’s a good idea to grab one of these right away. Once it’s below your sheets, you won’t even know it’s there.
Extra thick and oh-so-comfy, mattress toppers are there to provide comfort first and foremost by increasing the amount of cushioning available beneath your body. If you accidentally stuck yourself with a firm mattress, or if your mattress is older and losing its ability to provide comfort, a soft mattress topper is an inexpensive way to get back some of that needed softness and support.
Because of that increased thickness (often a couple of inches or more), mattress toppers aren’t as easy to clean. So, other than mastering the steps of how to clean a mattress topper, it can also be a good idea to get a mattress protector or pad to place on top of your foam topper, in order to protect it from spills, dirt, and bacteria.
Next, let’s focus on mattress toppers specifically and get into the nitty-gritty of the different types and what they’re good for. After, we’ll briefly look at the benefits of mattress toppers and why they may be the sleep secret you need.
3 Types of Mattress Toppers
Today, we’re going to cover three different kinds of mattress topper materials:
- Memory foam
- Polyester blends
Without further ado, let’s get to the materials.
Synthetic and on the firmer side, latex mattress toppers are made from the same material found on the bottom of your favorite pair of running shoes: a liquid produced from the famed rubber tree. Its only real downside is its cost—latex foam tends to be on the pricier side, especially the natural varieties. It can have a warmer feel as well, making it a potentially bad choice for those in year-round hot climates.
The latex mattress topper is a great option for those who can’t do goose feathers in their bedding. Antimicrobial and non-allergenic, the only people who should definitely avoid this material are those who suffer from latex allergies.
While latex mattress toppers are less soft than the other foam mattress topper types we’ll discuss, it’s got a bounce that some characterize as extremely supportive. This makes it a wonderful choice for those struggling with pain in their joints or bones.
Our favorite thing about latex mattress toppers? They don’t transmit motion. This means that if the person you share your bed with tosses and turns, you won’t feel it as easily, which translates to better sleep for you.
Just saying the words “memory foam” makes us feel more relaxed. Dense and comfortable, this option also reduces pain from pressure on the joints or bones, making it a super choice for those who struggle with those challenges.
Though memory foam mattress toppers come in all kinds of thicknesses and densities, most sleepers familiar with these products know it to have a “sink-in” cushion that makes it difficult to spring out of bed. In fact, you may have trouble rolling over if you’re laying on memory foam because the weight of your body pulls you into the memory foam topper.
Memory foam toppers can also be pricey, and thanks to its polyurethane makeup, it can come out of the box with a slightly funky chemical smell. But, thankfully, that odor usually subsides with use. Or, you can layer a memory foam mattress pad on top to ensure that no strange smells interrupt your sleep.
This option is one of our favorites because it’s so affordable. Soft and pliant, polyester blends mimic the feeling of feathers, providing a cushy sense as you drift off to sleep.
The problem with polyester blends? They’re far less durable than memory foam or latex foam and can develop lumps over time as their materials compress beneath the body. They can also run a little hot, especially as they age.
We recommend polyester blend mattress toppers for those who want to experience the comfort of a mattress topper but aren’t ready to shell out for a pricier material.
The Benefits of Mattress Toppers
The pluses of adding a mattress topper to your bed are manifold—if you’re looking for added comfort, you really can’t go wrong here. Let’s briefly get into some of their benefits.
They Help Regulate Body Temperature
According to science, the ideal temperature for sleeping is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit.3 Unfortunately, due to the climate and depending on your access to well-working air conditioning, this level of coolness may be a luxury, especially during the summer months.
Many mattress toppers can help regulate body temperature by providing a breathable layer that allows air to circulate beneath your body, aiding your ability to cool off. Some mattress toppers are even formulated to draw heat away from you while you sleep, leading to fewer midnight wake-ups and increased comfort.
They Protect Your Joints and Back
Everyone knows that your biomechanics can be impacted by your current mattress.
By providing firm support and added cushioning, mattress toppers can be a salve for those who suffer from joint pain or struggle with back issues. Finding the right mattress topper can mean the difference between waking up with soreness and opening your eyes feeling well-rested.
They Can Help A Bad Mattress Become Better
We wouldn’t try to claim that a good mattress topper can fix the problems associated with a bad mattress. In fact, there are some issues that probably can’t be alleviated with a mattress topper, no matter how thick it is. These include:
- Sagging middle or sides
- The buildup of allergens
- Poor support
- Stuffiness or extreme heat
A bad mattress can affect your sleep, so you should take this issue seriously. Poor sleep quality can negatively affect your health, including poor memory, a weakened immune system, and even cardiovascular disease.4
Luckily, a good mattress topper can mitigate some of these common mattress problems if they aren’t too severe.
An All New Bed Is Just An Oomph™ Away
Our Retreat Mattress Topper provides all the extra comfort and support you’re looking for—at a totally affordable cost. Made from memory foam and CertiPUR-US® Certified, its Baffle Box construction provides maximum comfort and cooling.
What is Baffle Box construction? We’re so glad you asked. This refers to a method of construction where the body of the material is sewn in stitched squares that are each stuffed with a uniform amount of padding for consistently even, fluffy, airy goodness.
Grab our mattress topper, and your old mattress will become your new mattress. Visit our site today to explore, or head to our blog to learn more about our unique construction methods, materials, and the science behind how we can help you achieve your best sleep.
- TheSpruce. What’s the Difference Between a Mattress Pad and a Mattress Topper? https://www.thespruce.com/mattress-pad-vs-mattress-topper-5218815
- TheSpruce. What Is a Mattress Protector? https://www.thespruce.com/what-is-a-mattress-protector-5220387
- Sleep Foundation. Best Cooling Mattress Toppers. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/best-mattress-toppers/best-cooling-mattress-topper
- Sleep Foundation. Signs and Effects of a Bad Mattress. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/mattress-construction/signs-of-a-bad-bed