Everything about your bed is just okay. The mattress isn’t sagging in the middle or full of lumps, but it’s still not the most comfortable thing in the world. You wouldn’t mind a little more cushion, but you don’t necessarily feel like the mattress has reached the point where you need to replace it. What to do? You could keep sleeping with it the way it is, or you could add an extra layer with a memory foam topper.
Any memory foam mattress topper review has to start with the fact that it’s a byproduct of the Space Age. The foam was created in the 1960s for NASA as a means to add comfort to aircraft seats with a substance that could withstand the harsh conditions of space flight. From there, the medical industry adapted it for use in prosthetics and other devices because the cushioned support helped prevent pressure ulcers.
Once companies like Tempur-Pedic started hearing how much people valued the comfort, they branched out and began producing memory foam mattresses and pillows, and of course, mattress toppers.
How It Works
Memory foam earned its name because it automatically rebounds back to its original shape. So, lie down on it, and you slowly sink into the foam, which conforms around your body. Get up, and it springs back as if you were never on it.
The comfort, though, comes from the fact that the cells within the foam distribute the weight to neighboring cells. And the greater the number of cells involved, the less pressure concentrated in a small area between you and your mattress. So when there’s a foam topper on top of a mattress, you still have the firm support from the traditional mattress, but the surface does not feel quite so hard.
Physicians from the Minnesota Sleep Institute (MSI) suggest that this added layer is especially helpful for older people who are more sensitive to the discomfort created at pressure points when lying down.
Additionally, because the foam cells absorb the pressure instead of buckling under it like coils, the MSI doctors say it might lessen movement between partners. For example, if your spouse is a roller in her sleep, then you might not sense her movements as much, and therefore, will be less likely to be awakened when she rolls over. Fewer interruptions mean a better night’s sleep and an even better morning.
Memory foam not only responds to your body, but also to body heat. In fact, it retains body heat, which can be a bonus during cold nights. However, this characteristic might be a deterrent for hot sleepers or for people who don’t need the added heat because they live in warm climates.
Unlike memory foam mattresses that come with a slew of different features, memory foam mattress toppers are pretty straightforward. The main differences between product offerings boil down to thickness and density. One industry leader suggests a 2- to 3-inch topper will give you the desired comfort, but not so thick that your sheets don’t fit over both topper and mattress.
Also, a 4-pound density is preferred. Density is basically the weight of one cubic foot of foam, and a heavier density means heavier foam, but doesn’t automatically translate to more comfort.
Finally, look for a product that is Certipur-US certified, which means it’s void of various chemicals, including:
- Ozone depleters
- PBDE flame retardants
Featured ProductDreamDNA Gel Infused Full / Double Size 2 Inch Thick, Visco Elastic Memory Foam Mattress Bed Topper Made in the USA
This two-inch thick memory foam topper is a must for anyone looking for a comfortable night’s sleep. The Gel-infused foam is designed to react regardless of temperature—winter, spring, summer or fall—so you’ll get the same positive result night after night. The PURGreen certification meets EPA and Consumer Product Safety Commission standards.
Featured Product3.3 Cloud9 Twin 4 Inch 100% Visco Elastic Memory Foam Mattress Topper
This memory foam topper is called Cloud9 for a reason—the 4 inches of quality visco elastic memory foam will feel so soft under your body that you’ll be drifting off to cloud nine in no time. The manufacturer issues a limited 20-year warranty.