Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for both mental and physical health. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), daytime sleepiness can cause irritability, mood problems and even symptoms that are similar to intoxication — including trouble operating a motor vehicle. A healthy adult needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to achieve restorative benefits. A good night sleep will help you think more clearly, improve your reflexes and focus. It is a fact that well rested people operate at a higher level than those who do not sleep well. Sleeping on a quality, comfortable mattress is one of the best ways to ensure you are getting a good night’s rest.
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What is a memory foam mattress topper?
A mattress topper is a pad that you place on top of your mattress for additional cushioning. Memory foam, a main component of many mattress overlays, was originally designed by NASA in the 1960s. The space-age technology molds to the unique shape of your body. The benefit of using a memory foam mattress topper is that it distributes your body weight evenly and prevents stresses on pressure points. Experts agree that using this type of mattress topper provides support along the natural curves of the body. The NSF concurs that back pain patients who sleep on memory foam cushions or use memory foam pillows tend to sleep better.
image credit: ThrasherDave
Why use a mattress topper?
Some people think purchasing an overlay is an unnecessary expense. The fact is that all mattresses eventually wear out. Over the course of just 10 years, a person who sleeps 8 hours per night logs about 30,000 hours of mattress time. During those years, even the best mattress loses support and firmness. A mattress topper not only buys a well-worn mattress a few extra months of life, but it can also help keep your newer mattress firmer and more comfortable longer.
How to know when its time to use a mattress topper?
Purchasing a memory foam mattress overlay gives you time to save or shop around for a new mattress that suits your needs and budget. It’s time to buy a new mattress or new mattress topper when:
- You frequently wake up feeling achy or tired
- You sleep better when you’re not sleeping in your own bed
- Your mattress is saggy or lumpy
- You turn 40. Adults over the age of 40 tend to need a new mattress after five to seven years since the body is more sensitive to pressure later in life.
- Your partner tells you’ve become more restless at night
- You experience neck and back spasms or pain more often
- You have more headaches
- You have trouble concentration during waking hours
Memory foam mattress topper buying guide
While you can walk into most big box stores and purchase a mattress topper off the shelf, you may not be getting your money’s worth since cheap memory foam imitations have flooded the market. While your first few weeks on a knock-off may provide you with hours of uninterrupted, blissful sleep, the overlay will soon lose its resiliency. Memory foam comes in different densities, which determines how well it will adjust to the contour of your body. The denser your mattress topper, the more support it provides. And though you will spend slightly more for better quality memory foam overlays and pillows, the good news is that they are also more durable and last longer. The average memory foam topper is two to four inches thick. Those less than two inches often won’t provide adequate back and neck support.
Check out these bestselling memory foam pads
Lucid by Linenspa
The Lucid memory foam mattress topper has a thickness of 2-inches. It is ventilated to allow airflow, which is crucial since memory foam works by absorbing body heat. Lucid pads are designed to be one inch shorter in diameter than most mattresses, allowing your sheets to continue fitting snugly. Please note that it has a smell right after opening the package and you need to let it air out for a least two days before using. The smell goes away completely within about a week.
Here’s what buyers said about this pad in customer reviews on Amazon.
My husband hates mattress pads because they make him sleep hot, but I haven’t heard any complaining about this one and I slept really well. This pad made my old saggy bed feel new again
It is very comfortable. Exactly what I was looking for.
My wife and I knew we wanted a topper to go with our new guest bed , but we weren’t sure which size to with. My wife suggested the 2″ and I’m glad she did as it is very comfortable and at a good price
Visco Elastic Memory Foam Mattress
The 4-pound density Visco memory foam pad is 3-inches in width. PURGreen-certified, the Visco memory foam topper meets all Environmental Protection Agency and Consumer Product Safety Commission standards. This antimicrobial and hypoallergenic overlay provides pressure fatigue relief by up to 80%. As pretty much all foam mattresses it initially has a smell and needs to air out. Make sure you don’t use it for the first two days after opening the package.
Let’s see what people whou bought it on Amazon think about it.
I was still a bit nervous on my choice as $150 is a big amount for a student but my first night on it removed all doubts.
It’s been close to a year since we got this topper. We are still very happy with it. You’d have to point a gun to my head to give it up.
I am thrilled with this memory foam topper and so is my daughter. She loves the gel like feel and how her body sinks into the foam. It helps to relieve pressure off her back which in turn improves her sleep.
The 3-inch Soft Sleeper provides the same level of comfort as a $5,000 mattress. The pressure-sensitive foam stays cool on hot evenings and warm when temperatures dip. The Soft Sleeper is available in most mattress sizes, from twin to king and extra long twin XL. While early versions of memory foam products tended to trap body heat, making them uncomfortably warm, the newer generation of overlays and pillows dissipate heat faster.
Here’s what you can find in customer reviews on Amazon about this pad.
Really good pad, nice, thick, soft. The air holes keep you from getting that uncomfortable hot feeling, just the nice snuggly warmth!
I’ve had this topper for 4 years on my guest bed. We bought an inexpensive mattress and put this on top. We have guests sleeping on it for up to a week 6 to 8 times a year. Everyone tells me it is an extremely comfortable bed.
Son picked this out for college as the beds are far from comfortable. He had it shipped directly to college and loved it.
Overall, most consumers love their memory foam. Retail reports indicate that sales for the toppers and pillows increase year after year. The only complaint that buyers report on is the new mattress odor that comes with all memory foam products. You should know that the smell tends to dissipate once the mattress is out of the bag – especially after its exposed to fresh air. So make sure you give the topper 2 days to air out. Also note that our noses are fully equipped to deal with what we perceive are noxious or overwhelming odors. After just a few minutes – yes, minutes — olfactory adaptation kicks in. Meaning that once we are exposed to an odor, whether good or bad, it doesn’t take long for the part of the brain that processes odor to get bored and begin looking for new roses to smell. If after a week the smell isn’t gone, try Febreeze (or a similar product). One of the Amazon users pointed out it’s a good way to get rid of the odor. Mist the topper evenly and don’t be afraid to make the surface wet. Then put it in the sun to dry or point a fan at it. Then repeat on the other side.