When your bed starts to get a little less comfortable, you probably should start thinking about replacing your mattress. That’s a pretty big chunk of money, though, so unless you’ve budgeted for that specifically, you may want to consider some alternatives.
One of those alternatives is getting a mattress topper.
Mattress toppers are designed to give added cushioning and extend the life of mattresses. They’re also priced at a fraction of the cost of a new mattress, so they’re a great way to save money as well.
What is a Mattress?
Mattresses are large, rectangle-shaped pads that are used for sleeping and resting on. These are often made for fitting on a frame. During construction, mattresses are quilted from heavy cloth. The insides of mattresses can contain a number of different substances including animal hair, cotton, metal springs, rubber, foam, straw, or any similar material.
The origins of the word mattress come from the Arabic word “matrah.” When translated, this word means “something thrown down” or “a place where something is thrown down.” Europeans first adopted the Arabic method of sleep during the Crusades. The Arabs would sleep with a cushion that was placed on the floor. Early mattresses were constructed out of a variety of natural materials such as horsehair, feathers, and straw. Since that time, we’ve adjusted and advanced our sleeping habits into sleeping on mattresses that are made of innerspring cores and fiberfill or cotton.
Mattress Toppers Versus Mattress Protectors
When you’re looking to improve the comfort of your current mattress, you have a lot of options. Two terms that get thrown around interchangeably are mattress toppers and mattress protectors. This is a false notion because these are two different products produced for two different uses altogether. As you may have guessed from their name, mattress toppers go on top of mattresses. These are designed to give you an extra layer of comfort on top of the mattress. Additionally, mattress toppers can help prevent staining of a mattress, and keep out allergens and fluids that could damage your mattress.
On the other hand, mattress protectors are thin and waterproof protective coverings that go over the mattress. These are not designed for adding any additional comfort. Instead, these are made to prevent both liquids and allergens from getting into the mattress itself. While protectors may offer a nominal amount of cushioning, they are not designed to help you sleep better, but only to protect your bed from damage. As you can see, while these two products may serve similar roles, they are quite different. The important thing to remember is that if you are looking for help at getting better sleep, then you should go with a mattress topper.
Why Use a Mattress Topper?
The first types of mattress toppers were either thin feather beds or thin toppers made from egg crate foam. Both types of mattress toppers would run for $ or less, so this became a cheap way to help extend the life of a bed that had grown uncomfortable.
Today mattress toppers are created from materials such as memory foam and visco elastic. These materials are much more comfortable then previously used materials. But for the consumer who misses their old feather mattress toppers, there exists hybrid styles that combine memory foam and goose down.
Different Types of Mattress Toppers
Mattress toppers come in a variety of materials and options, designed to meet the different needs of each kind of sleeper. Each topper type has positives and negatives. You will want to think through the pros and cons to decide for sure which materials would best suit you.
Natural Latex Mattress Toppers
- Latex Provides Amazing Pinpointed Support - Sleep Better Instantly
- 100% Natural Latex - No Synthetic Latex - No Fillers
- Soft but also supportive (Firmness rating is 20 ILD)
- 4.0 lbs/cubic ft
- Latex Foam Naturally Stays Cool
Natural latex is made from the liquid that comes from rubber trees that grow in in tropical environments like Thailand.
Memory Foam Mattress Toppers
- 3 inches of ventilated gel memory foam adds softness and pressure relieving comfort to your mattress
- Special memory foam formula is extremely soft, airy and responsive
- Ventilated design improves airflow for a more comfortable sleep climate
- Memory foam is infused with a plush gel material that captures heat to control temperature
- New foam scent is normal and will dissipate over the first 48 hours after opening; this product features a 3 year warranty
Memory foam is made from the liquid from rubber plants as well, but undergoes a very different manufacturing process than other latex processes. This particular type of mattress topper is very popular and comes in a wide variety of thicknesses and densities. It’s known for providing great cushioning and reducing pressure point pain.
Wool Fleece Mattress Toppers
- 100% Australian Merino Wool
- Made in Australia
- Two pads in one, 500 GSM 100-percent Australian Merino Wool fleece, reverses to 350 GSM 100 percent Australian Merino Wool fill; quilted with a 233 thread count 100-percent japara cotton cover that is extremely soft and durable; a fully elasticized skirt keeps the pad in place and eliminates shifting and bunching
- Made from all-natural materials and chemical free
- Woolmark licensed which guarantees that we follow extremely stringent guidelines of quality, purity and fiber content
Wool fleece mattress toppers are probably the most difficult variety to find, but they are great for people who overheat easily.
Polyester Blend Mattress Toppers
- REAL COMFORT | 40% MORE FILL THAN AVERAGE: Ready for that nap? At the end of your day, you want to feel nothing but comfort between you and your bed. Hanna Kay mattress pads come stuffed with 40% more filling than other pads on the market, crafted from luxury-quality hypoallergenic materials to keep even sensitive sinuses and heads clear.
- KEEP COOL WITH OUR UNIQUE POLY-COTTON BLEND: Get the mattress pad that's known for its breathability. Unlike fully polyester or plastic pads, Hanna Kay provides protection and breathability, to keep your sleep nice and cool.
- NO SPECIAL WASHING INSTRUCTIONS, NO BUNCHING: We designed our premium hypoallergenic mattress pad to fit your lifestyle-which means no special washing instructions needed. And our pad's diamond stitching provides comfort and durability while preventing material bunching in the wash.
- THE PERFECT FIT ... WITH STRETCH-TO-FIT TECHNOLOGY: Hanna Kay always brings comfort and ease to our products. The knitted polyester sides slip over mattresses up to 16 inches deep with zero fuss, giving you a perfect fit that stays put.
- 10-YEAR "SHIELD IT" GUARANTEE: We love our customers and we work hard for you to love us, too. If for any reason you stop loving your Hanna Kay mattress pad, though, get in touch: we'll return it for a 100% no-questions refund.
Polyester blend mattress toppers are the budget-friendly option. Unfortunately, they also tend to be cheaply made and aren’t as comfortable or supportive as other materials.
Feather Mattress Toppers
- Willow Highlands, 78" x 80" x 2" Standard King Size Down Pillow Top Mattress Pad.
- The 2" mattress pad sidewalls mean that when you place it on your existing mattress, you will experience the ultimate in comfort.
- This mattress is also great for rejuvinating an older bed's mattress, or increasing the comfort of a sofa bed.
- The mattress pad is filled with a full 15 pounds of 5% Down, 95% Small Feather fill. This fill combination is the optimum combination for comfort.
- Flexible elastic side skirt for a smooth and snug fit on a mattress up to 15" thick. The side skirt makes this mattress pad extremely easy to install.
Feather mattress toppers, or featherbeds, are similar to those cozy duvets that are stuffed to the brim with feathers. They’re luxuriously soft and cozy, but they don’t add much support.
Our Review: The Serta Mattress Topper
Today we’re homing in on a mattress topper from one of the most well-advertised mattress and mattress accessory manufacturers of recent years. The Serta Mattress Topper comes highly reviewed by a number of professionals, as well as average customers.
General Overview for the Serta Mattress Topper
- Exclusive Serta dual layer construction mattress topper
- 2-Inch memory foam layer provides comfort and support, helping to eliminate painful pressure points; 2-Inch pillow-top layer provides soft support
- Cool, breathable comfort for a cooler sleep surface
- Includes premium Egyptian cotton cover that is removable and machine washable; extends mattress life by years ; Memory foam made in the USA
- 10-year limited manufacturers warranty
The Serta Mattress Topper adds a plushy layer of memory foam cushioning to your mattress to relieve pressure points and give you a better night’s sleep. The manufacturers of the Serta Mattress Topper claim that this product helps with proper spinal alignment while you sleep, and the ability to extend the life of your mattress.
The Serta Mattress Topper overall received 4.6 out of 5 stars from users on Sam’s Club’s review page, 4.8 out of 5 stars for the three-inch topper from Kohl’s shoppers, and 5 out of 5 stars from all 10 customers on Amazon who reviewed this four-inch mattress topper.
Places to Purchase the Serta Mattress Topper
You can find Serta Mattress Toppers at a variety of retailers both online and in-store. Some of those places include:
- Sam’s Club
- JC Penney
- Bed Bath and Beyond
Price Range for the Serta Mattress Topper
We found a fairly wide price range for the Serta Mattress Topper. This range seems to be based on the size, thickness, and specific retailer, with varying target customers. The mattress topper is available for anywhere between $ to $$$, depending on the exact model.
Our Verdict: The Serta Mattress Topper Lives Up to Its Reputation
Our overall impression of the Serta Mattress Topper is that it lives up to the company’s reputation for offering quality manufacturing and deep comfort. The mattress topper received varying reviews, depending on the thickness of the model, which makes sense, as an extra inch can make a world of difference in spinal comfort.
Because of the varied reviews, we’d recommend the 4-inch model, rather than the 3-inch option. The 3-inch model receives fairly equal ratings overall, but the extra inch will make the price difference worth it for sure. Before you purchase any mattress topper, though, be sure to check out sales prices, deals, and any additional reviews from real life customers.