Shop for Better Sleep: 5 Qualities to Look for in Mattress Toppers
Did you know that over 50 million people in the US suffer from one or more of the 80 different types of sleep disorders? On top of that, 20 to 30 million others also experience intermittent sleep problems!
Granted, some people can still "function" despite their lack of sleep. However, chronic sleep deprivation can raise one's risks for other health problems. Obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and even memory issues are just to name a few.
That said, mattress quality — such as if it's too firm, too soft, or too lumpy — can also give rise to poor sleeping habits.
In this case, mattress toppers can be a great addition to such mattresses. Rather than buying a new mattress, you can simply add a topper for extra comfort and support.
Ready to enjoy better sleep? Then be sure to look for these qualities when selecting your mattress topper!
1. Level of Cushioning, Comfort, and Support
If your current mattress is extra firm, you can make it softer by adding a mattress topper on top of it. This is especially important if you suffer from back pain. Studies show that medium-firm mattresses are better for low back pain.
That said, the mattress topper shouldn't sag or completely collapse when you lie on it. You shouldn't feel yourself sinking too much that you already feel the mattress below. The topper should be soft enough to make you feel comfy while still cushioning your body.
When figuring out how soft the topper should be, let your personal preference guide you. However, you should avoid products that feel too light or flimsy. They may be soft, but they may also sag or become lumpy within only a few months of use.
2. Thickness and Density
Speaking of softness, the thickness of a topper usually affects how soft it will be. For instance, the thicker a mattress topper made of memory foam is, the softer it can be. Whereas latex toppers are often firmer than those made of memory foam.
Aside from softness, thickness and density also impact a topper's support and cushioning. That said, most toppers you'll find in the market range from two to eight inches thick. Most toppers that have thicker options are usually made of latex or memory foam.
If you need more comfort and support from a too-firm mattress, a medium-thick topper may be a good choice. Thicker toppers are also better for side-sleepers.
When it comes to density, the denser the foam is, the firmer it tends to be. Moreover, high-density mattress toppers don't conform that close to a user's body.
As such, a medium-density topper can be a good option if you want reduced firmness. This is also a good choice if you're looking for a better body-conforming topper.
3. Airflow and Breathability
If you tend to get too hot while sleeping, make sure you choose a topper with airflow technology. Especially if you're gearing towards a latex or memory foam mattress topper. These two often trap the most body heat of all your extra bedding options.
Also, the thicker and denser a topper is, the more heat it can retain.
To counter this issue, manufacturers have created toppers with better air channels. The improved airflow can help prevent heat from getting trapped in the foam. An extra cooling gel may also aid in getting rid of excess body heat.
Toppers made of wool are your best bet for staying cool in summer though. Wool itself is breathable, so it can help regulate the heat your body gives off. It also boasts moisture-wicking properties for added protection against night sweats.
Best of all, wool has natural insulating properties. Meaning, a wool mattress topper can keep you warm and toasty during the winter season too! That makes wool toppers a great option so you can enjoy better sleep in a comfy bed all year round.
Given all these great benefits of wool, you can expect wool toppers to be more expensive. They're a long-lasting investment though, as wool is quite durable.
4. Hypoallergenic Features
In any given year, some 50 million Americans experience some type of allergy. Although not as common as pollen allergy, latex allergy still affects between 1 and 6% of people in the US. Moreover, some people also suffer from fabric or textile allergy, especially to polyester.
As such, make sure that you factor in these conditions before buying mattress toppers. Also, even if no one in your household has allergies, it's still best to get a hypoallergenic topper.
Hypoallergenic bedding can add a layer of protection against dust mites. Studies have shown that allergen-proof mattresses and covers can help reduce dust mites. Quality toppers also have antimicrobial features, helping keep bacteria at bay.
Aside from wool, organic bamboo mattress toppers are also hypoallergenic. Bamboo itself boasts a high resistance against pest and fungi. Turned into fabrics, bamboo bedding products are soft, luxurious, and comfortable.
5. Motion Transfer
Motion transfer refers to how movement spreads to other parts of a mattress or a mattress topper. The higher the motion transfer rate, the greater the movement or "shaking" you'll feel.
That said, you'd want a mattress topper with a lower motion transfer rate if you tend to toss and turn a lot. This is even more important if you have a sleeping partner. All that moving around can become bothersome and a huge disturbance to your partner.
Your best options are memory foam and latex toppers, both of which transfer less motion. Memory foam, however, can restrict movement, so you may find it a bit difficult to move on. If this is an issue, then consider a latex topper instead, so long as you're not allergic to it.
Sleep Better and Wake Up Healthier with High-Quality Mattress Toppers
Keep in mind that the average human spends one-third of their life in bed. While a mattress topper may not last that long, you'd still want all the years you'll spend on it to be as comfy as possible. So, be sure to look for these key qualities when shopping for mattress toppers.
Written by Tiffany Pratt for The Healthy Moms Magazine and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.