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What are the Benefits of a Mattress Topper?
Adding a Comfort Layer to Your Mattress

Last updated on June 22, 2022

A mattress topper is a separate, removable layer of padding designed to lie on top of your mattress, underneath your fitted sheet, to change the comfort of your bed.

Does a Mattress Topper Really Help?

As we grow older, our needs often change when it comes to our mattress; aging joints and muscles need more cushioning and softness to prevent discomfort. If is seems that your mattress somehow feels more firm year after year, adding a mattress topper might really help at a much lower cost that replacing your mattress prematurely.

In fact, some people buy a firmer mattress than they need, intentionally planning to use a mattress topper to make it softer, then replace the topper several times throughout the life of the mattress.

People sometimes buy a mattress topper to extend the life of an old, worn out mattress. But this is a temporary fix—it may add a new layer of pressure relief, but the topper will conform to the topography of the mattress beneath it. If your mattress has body impressions, a topper won't be able to fill them in (see: Solving Mattress Issues).

What is the Best Kind of Mattress Topper?

A mattress topper may be filled with foam, memory foam, gel memory foam, latex, down, wool, or synthetic materials -- just about any material you can find in the comfort layers of a mattress you can find in a mattress topper. The best kind for you depends on your needs and preferences.

If you are experiencing joint point and want to try a mattress topper for pressure relief, memory foam or latex may be the best kind for you. If you want to feel your bed to feel more pillow-y and soft, a deeply quilted mattress topper filled with goose down, feathers, wool, or cotton fibers is worth checking out.

We sorted through Amazon ratings to find the best-rated mattress toppers, a good place to start looking.

Mattress Pad vs Mattress Topper

The difference between a mattress pad and a mattress topper is thickness, and both go on top of your bed. Mattress pads are thinner, and generally used to smooth out the feel of bumps or ridges on top of a mattress. Here's a list of higher rated mattress pads you can purchase at A mattress topper is thicker, meant to materially change the comfort of a mattress.

Neither of these is the same as a mattress protector, which may or may not have a layer of padding and is meant to be a water-resistant protection against damage to your mattress. You will definitely want a mattress protector; whether or not you choose a mattress topper as well depends on the mattress you've chosen and your personal comfort preference.

Below: Mattress topper on top of an existing bed


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