What is Memory Foam Mattress Topper?
A memory foam mattress topper is a piece of removable bedding that placed on top of a mattress. It serves many purposes, one of which is to breathe new life into an old mattress or protect it from regular wear and tear. A topper is also placed on top of a firm mattress surface to add more fluff and softness.
It is essentially similar to conventional mattress toppers available in the market. The main difference between them is the material from which it is made from. Instead of down, wool or latex, it is made from memory foam.
Memory Foam Mattress Topper: New Developments
Heat retention is one of the most common complaints that people have had against memory foam mattress toppers for a very long time. Fortunately, manufacturers took action and developed new generation versions, which incorporate open cell structures for better breathability.
Newer developments include gel visco, which fuses gel particles to the topper to limit the trapping of body heat. Other companies continued to make innovations by adding other materials to the mix. Many of them have experimented by adding aloevera, activated charcoal or even green tea extract to reduce the odd odors caused by off-gassing.
A Quick History of Memory Foam and Mattress Toppers
Memory foam, the special material that makes up the memory foam mattress topper, is basically made from polyurethane. Other chemicals are added during the manufacturing process to increase its density and velocity.
This special material was initially designed for NASA use back in 1966 for the purpose of improving aircraft cushion safety. NASA eventually released the technology to public domain during the early 1980s, and was introduced into the market by the mattress and cushion manufacturer, Tempur-World.
Memory foam started out as a very expensive product, but eventually became cheaper until it became something that even homeowners could afford. Over the years, companies started manufacturing other products aside from mattresses, and these included memory foam mattress toppers.
Should You Buy A Memory Foam Topper or A Mattress Instead?
If you are considering memory foam but have not decided yet between a mattress and a topper, here are some things that you may want to keep in mind when choosing between both.
Assess your existing mattress. Is it still in good condition? If so, then it is indeed a better idea to simply add a memory foam topper instead of buying a full mattress. If your existing mattress is relatively firm, you can choose a thicker and denser topper to use with it. However, if your mattress is on the thinner or softer side, then a thinner topper should be good enough. Do not buy a topper if your existing mattress is old, saggy and worn out.
Buying a memory foam mattress topper can be tricky, considering the fact that there are so many options to choose from. Here are some things to keep in mind when you go shopping:
Density: The density of a mattress topper determines its overall feel and quality. It is measured in number, which corresponds to the weight of one cubic foot of that material. For example a topper with a 3-pound density means that one cubic foot of that particular memory foam weighs four pounds. A topper with a higher density easily conforms to the contours of the body and may take more time to go back to its original shape.
Toppers with higher density are also firmer and provide more support to the body, and survive years of regular use. Those products with lower density are usually softer and do not hold up as well over time. Most experts recommend that you choose a topper with a density of 4 lbs or higher.
Thickness: The thickness of the memory foam mattress topper is also a very important aspect that you should keep in mind, as it plays a big role in body support and comfort level. Take note that the thickness and density of a memory foam mattress topper (or even a mattress at that) is correlated. Thus, as a general rule of thumb: high density, thinner topper; lesser density, thicker topper.
You can choose from pads as thin as 1 inch to those as thick as 5 inches and even more. A 2 inch thick topper is the best place to start since it provides most benefits of a memory foam topper without being too expensive. A topper more than 3 inches definitely feels more luxurious than thinner ones, but may also require a little more in terms of cost. Five inch toppers (or those thicker than that) – you might as well get a whole new mattress instead.
Your weight: Memory foam mattress toppers are not for everybody. They are not recommended for users who weigh over 250 lbs, since foam can only carry up to a certain weight, or else it will break down with continuous use. There are other types of foam in the market that are designed especially for heavier weights, and these include dense latex and polyurethane foams.
Warranty: Like mattresses, toppers have an average lifespan of 5 to 10 years, but denser and heavier foams may last 10 years or more. A product’s warranty should be able to cover this. The material should not be washed in any way, and any exposure with water may nullify your warranty with the manufacturer. That said it is good to take precautionary measures and purchase a mattress pad cover to protect the product from exposure to moisture or liquids.
Well Known Brands of Memory Foam Mattress Toppers
While density, thickness and warranties are the most important factors to consider when deciding on a memory mattress topper, it also helps that you buy one made from a reputable brand. Tempur-Pedic is a leading name when it comes to memory foam technologies, but there are also other brands such as Sealy, Serta and Amerisleep that are catching up and developing a strong following of their own.