What is a Mattress Topper & Do You Need One?
Your mattress gives you support and comfort while you sleep, and your bedding is the star of the bedroom. But mattresses are a tough purchase, and over the years, your mattress may start sagging or your body might change, or you end up with a mattress so firm, you start dreaming of a soft bedding.
Don’t worry, there is good news. If you wish that you had a little bit softer comfort or something to help alleviate pressure points and ease up your back pain, you don’t have to go out and buy a new mattress. Instead, you can invest a relatively smaller amount of money in a mattress topper.
Not only a mattress topper gives your mattress a new lease of life, but it allows you to customise your mattress to your specific preference like softer, firmer or supportive.
Mattress toppers are just an extra layer of padding that you can add or tie on top of your existing mattress, sort of like a face-lift for your old, sagging mattress. This padding comes in various materials like, memory foam, wool, latex, etc.
Know the Difference
A mattress topper can be a perfect choice while customising a bed to be perfectly suited to you and your needs. However, there are many mattress accessories out there and the language can be confusing and many times, used interchangeably.
Mattress toppers, protectors and pads are all DIFFERENT feathers of the same bird. Here’s a guide if you have any doubts.
Mattress Toppers Vs. Mattress Protectors
A mattress topper and mattress protectors are both useful additions to your bed and their names are self-explanatory. A mattress protector is used to protect your precious, expensive mattress from water, dust, etc. On the other hand, a mattress topper is used on top of your mattress to give it more life and cushioning.
Mattress Toppers Vs. Mattress Pads
Yes, they have similar functions, they’re both used on top of the existing mattress, mostly to revive the mattress and extra comfort. However, a mattress pad is thinner and often slides around as you move in your sleep. A pad is a short term solution to a temporary bed.
Mattress Topper Advantages
1) Age reversal
A mattress topper can make your bed feel like a brand new mattress altogether. The improved cushioning can help with pressure points and you are likely to wake up refreshed and satisfied.
2) Customise existing mattress
Unfortunately, not all of us are Goldilock, and don’t find a mattress that is ‘just right’, a mattress topper can be your saviour. The bumps and cushioning of a mattress topper can help make your new purchase worthwhile without having to shell out big bucks.
3. It buys you time
Want to buy a new support system in your bedroom, but can’t afford to splurge right now. A topper is just what you are looking for. A topper for your mattress can act as a buffer between your big purchase and the saggy old one. It gives you time to make an informed decision. It’s also a good purchase if you are planning to relocate and are stuck with a bad mattress.
5. The Price and the Quality
Replacing an old, sagging mattress is an expensive affair. A topper, however, will cost you a fraction of the cost of a new mattress and won’t be pinching your pockets. Additionally, given its size when compared to a mattress, the shipping is cheap and affordable.
How to choose a mattress topper?
The market is huge. Apart from comfort, mattress toppers can also be luxurious and add other elements missing from your mattresses, such as firmness or cooling properties.
A memory foam mattress topper is supportive, pressure-relieving and is known to help with back pain, whereas a light, feather-filled mattress topper will make the mattress plusher and breathable.
Latex mattress toppers are usually firmer than memory foam and do not trap heat like memory foam. On the other hand, wool is an excellent thermo-regulating material that allows you to sleep cooler in summer and warmer in winter. However, wool mattress toppers can be quite expensive usually in the range of A$300 to A$500.
Gel-infused mattress toppers help in body heat dissipation, promote airflow and generally sleep cooler.
A polyester filling is the best option if you have allergies. It’s a synthetic material and can help you get some shut-eye, without blocking your nose.
Your decision also depends upon how much you are willing to spend. Memory foam and latex are right at the top of the chart when it comes to cost. This is usually followed by cotton and feathers, which fall in the mid-price range. Polyester and some types of cotton are the most inexpensive mattress topper materials available.
How to clean your mattress topper?
Maintenance is a big factor while making any purchase. And the bedding is generally hard to clean. But unlike a mattress or bed sheets, mattress toppers are easier to maintain.
As a rule of thumb, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and you are good to go.
Here are some pointers to keep in mind. If you have an odour issue, air drying, preferably for a day, is a good idea. A new mattress topper may have a manufacturing smell that you can quickly get rid of. The same goes for spills; if you happen to drop any liquids on the topper, you must dry it immediately (use a hairdryer if you have to) before the seepage damages the structure.
Stains and discolouration can be taken care of with spot cleaning. However, in case of large patches of discolouration or mildew, it’s best to discard and upgrade. Remember, regular maintenance is key to maximise the life of the mattress topper.
So, do you need a mattress topper?
If you are struggling to get a good night’s sleep, whether your mattress is old or brand new, a mattress topper could be a lifesaver and an easy solution. Mattress toppers can enhance your comfort in bed and also give you extra support. Overall, it’s an excellent product at a great price.
That said, a mattress topper would only work when the underlying mattress is structurally intact to provide flat support to the topper. If your mattress has lost its foundation, you’re better off buying a new mattress and a topper may not be helpful in such situations.
To make your search a little easier, we have reviewed Australia’s best mattress toppers (link) to help you choose from.