Memory Foam Mattress Toppers: Are they worth it? 

Sometimes we may think getting a mattress is enough for a good night's sleep. But, in reality, if you're looking for the best night's sleep, consider adding a mattress topper or a mattress pad. Before you make a decision, make sure you know what's the difference between a mattress topper and a mattress pad. That being said, A mattress topper tends to be a great item to get the right comfort level on your bed. But, at the same time, it can work wonders on older mattresses and help quickly bring life back to them. 


Yet the big question comes as to what type of mattress topper you want, as you've already invested in your regular mattress and bed frame. A great option is a memory foam mattress topper, which provides many benefits that help you get quite a comfortable sleep.


A memory foam mattress topper works to conform to your body shape, which helps provide support in the right areas, which, in turn, can help alleviate pressure points on some parts of the body. Let's take a closer review of some of the core benefits below.



The Benefits of Using a Memory Foam Mattress Topper


1. Enhanced Comfort and Support

This is what memory foam is known for. It has a way of being as supportive as any material, and when not in use, it will actually return to its original shape. Memory foam toppers also tend to work like memory foam mattresses, meaning if you share your bed with a partner, they won't feel your movements and vice versa, helping to eliminate those unwanted wake-up calls.


2. Pressure Relief

Pressure relief is a key support factor with memory foam. It will engulf the body and thus not have your body sleeping on top of itself at times or pushing down too hard into the mattress. That type of support helps you not have pressure points and will also help prevent pain and discomfort. That means no more waking up in the morning, possibly feeling fresh but also in pain because you slept on something .


3. Improved Spinal Alignment

Good posture is critical to maintaining a healthy body. Reducing future pain throughout your upper and lower back is also important. Having better spinal alignment due to sleeping on a firm mattress topper helps. In fact, the best mattress topper for back pain tends to be a foam mattress option. This happens the same way these memory foam toppers help to alleviate pressure points.


4. Durability

With the right type of care and maintenance, especially when it comes to cleaning it properly, the best foam mattress topper options can last several years in many cases. Of course, it's always important to confirm exactly how to clean any firm mattress topper because using the wrong cleaning products or cleaning methods can actually permanently damage foam mattress toppers.  


5. Temperature Regulation

This is also considered a drawback, depending on the type of memory foam topper you purchased. There are newer versions out there that actually come with better temperature regulations that will ensure you keep to a comfortable and cool temperature throughout the night, so you don't end up being woken up in the small hours of the night in a heavy sweat. Keep in mind to look for foam mattress toppers that specify this.



The Potential Drawbacks of Using a Memory Foam Mattress Topper


While you may find yourself with the best foam mattress topper on the market, there are still potential drawbacks to consider. After all, it's a synthetic material in many cases, and there are some core items to consider.


1. Initial Odor and Off-Gassing

This has been a continuous issue regarding foam mattress toppers. They have that day-one strong smell that many initially thought made foam mattress toppers a toxic element. It's all part of the material and will dissipate over time. However, there are also chances with some models that they will continue to release these odors or even chemicals throughout the life and usage of these foam mattresses.


2. Heat Retention

While this is getting better, plenty of foam mattress toppers continue to retain heat in their memory and can make them uncomfortably hot. This can sometimes happen with any type of sleeper, depending on whether you get excessively warm when you sleep in general.


3. Weight and Density

Even the best foam mattress topper is going to be quite heavy. It's the nature of the construction and materials that are used. They will be a big load to adjust as well, and it can take two people to properly move them around without exerting themselves too much.

In addition, some firm mattress toppers are actually made with such dense foam that they could be initially too solid for sleepers. However, due to the durability of materials, there's a good chance that it will stay that Memory foam mattress toppers can be heavy and difficult to move, and high-density foams may be too firm for some.




How to Choose the Right Memory Foam Mattress Topper?


Taking a good amount of time when selecting the right mattress topper is important. Otherwise, you may end up purchasing something that doesn't fit your needs or, worse, is uncomfortable. Here are some vital areas to consider when it comes to finding the right mattress topper for you:


The thickness of the mattress topper

Three inches is a good baseline to start with. This is certainly true in regards to trying to rejuvenate older mattresses. Even with new mattresses, it will help provide excellent cushioning. The thickness will also help protect the mattress and improve its longevity.


How firm the mattress itself is

You may have found yourself with a mattress that is either too soft or, through wear and tear, has started to sag. This leaves you tossing and turning in the night, trying to find the right type of support. A mattress topper can help firm it up. First, however, you want to also be aware of how firm the mattress topper itself is. You want it firm enough to provide the right comfort and support but not end up uncomfortable. Remember that a firm foam mattress topper will retain its shape and won't 'break in' and get softer or less firm.


What materials does the mattress topper have?

Now we're looking at the key features and materials used. Foam mattress toppers tend to get warm, so you'll want to consider those constructed with gel to help with heat dissipation. In addition, some are made with natural deodorizing materials that can help with being semi-eco-friendly and eliminate that initial odor some options come with.


Recommended Memory Foam Mattress Toppers

This is a great option for those on the fence regarding a foam mattress topper because of the heat issues. These come infused with a cooling gel to help reduce that overall problem. It's also CertiPUR-US certified, making it a perfect option for sensitive skin.



• Better cooling option for those who sleep hot.

• Two levels of firmness allowing you to choose your preference

• Great for sensitive skin



• Slight odor when using it initially

• One side of firmness is extremely firm


An excellent option for a guest bed as it will cater to many types of sleepers, from those with sensitive skin to those who sleep hot.

This is a softer option that still has pain relief functionality. It also helps to keep things cool and eliminate moisture with its bamboo charcoal fiber built into it, helping to keep you fresh and comfortable sleeping. This model is also easily machine washable making maintaining this a non-issue.



• Flexible usage with different bedframes

• Excellent moisture-wicking technology

• Machine washable

• Anti Slip for a comfortable sleep



• It can be considered too soft for those looking for the firmer option

• Still has an odor upon initial use.


Perfect for enhancing your current bedding situation without needing a new bedframe or changing the mattress. It's also very easy to maintain. 

Not only is this option CertiPUR-US certified but it's also made of all-natural materials. This helps to eliminate that initial odor from the get-go and has similar bamboo charcoal fibers that help remove moisture and sweat.  Comfort and firmness are not a problem with this mattress topper also being infused with gel helping to keep it cool.



• No Odor! An uncommon feature.

• Made with many organic materials and is semi sustainable

• Great for sensitive skin.

• Comes with non-slip elastic straps.



• Can be considered too firm

• It may be warmer than the gel-infused option (not by much)


This is an excellent option when you're gearing towards an eco-friendlier option and to eliminate that chemical smell upon initial contact. It's also quite supportive for heavier figures and has gel cooling, but it may not be the best option for those that tend to run hot in their sleep. 

sleeping cat



If you already tend to sleep too hot, then this may be a pass for you. Also, if you aren't able to move heavier items easily, it might not be the best option for you. If these two don't seem to be an issue for you, consider getting yourself a foam mattress topper. You'll definitely be able to give your body some much-needed pressure relief and always have a good night's sleep.


Remember that sleep is the best way for your body to rejuvenate and stay healthy, so any investment into a foam mattress topper is a worthy one at that.


Regarding the question of which the best mattress topper for back pain, a memory foam mattress is going to be your best bet. Do keep in mind those factors, such as the odors and too much firmness, as key areas for your decision-making.

Foam mattress toppers continue to be improved upon as well, so if you have any past assumptions about them, it may be time to throw those assumptions out and take a fresh look at a firm mattress topper.



Frequently Asked Questions

How does a mattress topper affect the firmness of a mattress?

A mattress topper can affect the firmness of matters to make it either softer or firmer. So it all depends on the firmness or softness of the mattress topper. For example, If you use a firm mattress topper, then the bed becomes firmer.



2. Can a mattress topper fix a sagging mattress?

This is not a long-term solution to a sagging mattress. A mattress topper can temporarily fix a sagging mattress at best. However, a sagging mattress is already a sign that you should consider getting it replaced. Do consider the rotation of a new mattress to help prevent sagging.



3. Can a mattress topper affect the bounce of a bed?

Absolutely! For example, if you go with a foam mattress topper, they tend to reduce the bounce of the bed. In addition, they are known to disperse the weight evenly, meaning that if two people shared the bed with the foam topper, they wouldn't usually feel the other person's movements.



4. How to care for your memory foam mattress topper?

Your foam mattress cover tends to be machine washable, so make sure to clean that often as a first line of defense. If there's dirt on the foam itself, you can do a spot cleaning with minimally abrasive cleaning chemicals. Always make sure to test out the cleaner first to see if it damages an area of the foam mattress topper.


There are also some foam mattress toppers that are machine washable as well. If you want to prevent future sagging, just like with a mattress, do consider rotating your foam memory mattress topper as well.



5. Can a memory foam mattress topper help alleviate back pain?

In many cases, yes. The way a memory foam mattress topper helps alleviate back pain is with the support that it provides on the spine. It's also providing relief throughout the body, which means a reduction in the pressure points themselves. Do keep in mind that this is not a medical treatment, and if you have severe back pain, always go to a medical professional first to get proper advice before assuming a foam mattress topper is a cure.