Your mattress looks a little worse for wear – you can actually feel some coil springs poking your back when you lie down to sleep. You know it’s time to replace it with a new mattress but are on the fence about making a large purchase.
You’re thinking of extending your bed’s life span (and saving money in the process) by buying a mattress topper instead. But is this a good idea? Here’s what you need to know to help you decide whether to go for a topper or if a brand-new mattress is in order.
Mattress toppers vary in density and thickness
As with memory foam mattresses, mattress toppers also vary in terms of density. A higher-density foam offers more firmness. Stomach sleepers or those who want or need more firmness would do well to choose a topper with a density of 4 or more pounds. For back sleepers and those who prefer a medium-firm feel, 3-3.5 lbs of density is good. A density of 2-2.5 lbs is great for side sleepers and those who are looking for something softer – more plush means more room for shoulders and hips to sink in.
In terms of price, a higher-density memory foam topper costs more than those with lower-density foam because denser foam costs more to manufacture. Many high-end toppers have 5 lb density, but 4 lb will actually suffice.
Mattress toppers also come in various thicknesses. A 2-inch topper is usually sufficient to make a mattress more comfortable, but this would depend on the physical state of your mattress.
The comfort provided by a topper depends on the mattress
Take a critical eye to assess the state of your mattress. If it’s still supportive and firm, with no indentations or major sags, then it’s in decent condition. But if it’s not as comfortable or you just don’t feel that rested when you sleep and want something with a softer feel, then buying a mattress topper would be a good idea. If the sagging is shallow or if the surface is just a bit uneven, choosing a topper with a 3- to 4-inch thickness and 4-5lb density would do just the trick.
But if your mattress is too firm, has obvious sagging or compressed areas, is too soft, has coils digging into you, or if you simply can’t sleep on it anymore, then you are much better off investing in a new latex or memory foam mattress. Simply putting a mattress topper over your beat-up mattress won’t solve those problems.
For example, if there’s a nearly 2-inch deep sagging in your mattress, the 2-inch thick mattress topper will simply sink into that valley. Sure, it’s less noticeable at first glance, but you will still feel the sagging. You may just end up having to return the topper and exchange it for a mattress – which can be a hassle.
Mattress toppers have a shorter life span than mattresses
High-quality memory foam mattresses have a life span of up to 15 years, In contrast, a foam mattress topper can only last up to five years max, even less with regular use.
Mattress toppers are cheaper than mattresses initially, but given that a topper may cost up to half the price of a new mattress, you may end up paying more for mattress toppers in the long run. Of course, this depends on the type of topper and mattress – there are mattresses that cost thousands of dollars, after all. Weigh your options carefully, especially if price is a deciding factor in your purchase.
If your mattress looks and feels very much like a replacement is in order, we recommend making a one-time investment in a brand-new quality mattress that will serve you for many years rather than buying a mattress topper as a Band-Aid solution.
Providing you with the information you need to get a better night's sleep...