A mattress topper is one of the best-selling sleep-related products when it comes to upgrading the existing sleep surface. There are valid reasons why they are so popular, but like almost everything, you’ll ever buy there are pros and cons, or comparisons and differences to similar products. In this post, we discuss the benefits and drawbacks, and how they compare to a full-size mattress.
Cheaper than a full size – A thick traditional mattress can be very costly, especially if it’s something large like a Queen or Cali King. Replacing one of these can become an expensive burden especially considering that even a cheap mattress of this size can cost anything starting from $200 for anything half decent. On the other hand, you could replenish the dying mattress with a cheaper alternative, i.e., the topper. A relatively thin one (1-2 inches) can be found for as little as $75. Prices average at around $150, but thicker models from top mattress brands like Tempur-Pedic could sometimes cost in excess of $500.
Widely available – Due to extreme popularity, many brands and types exist, and are stocked and supplied by most retailers in the industry, whether direct from a retail outlet or online. Most people buy online as it’s cheaper and usually comes with free delivery.
Available in all sizes – Again due to popularity and consumer requirement you’ll almost always find the size you require if you’re in a retail outlet, and indeed if you check online. Toppers come in different sizes and thickness, but you’ll need to buy one which matches the dimensions of the current mattress which it will be placed on. Please check our mattress size chart for more information and guidance on standard dimensions.
Lightweight and easy to maneuver – Flipping and rotating your topper should continue as usual in the same way that you should flip and rotate the old mattress beneath it too. Therefore a real advantage is the lightweight construction which allows easy moving around.
Extremely mobile – If you’re temporarily sleeping in a different bed for whatever reason you can take your topper with you and slip it under the bedding provided the mattress size and topper size match.
One person install – When you buy and take it home, one person can easily unroll it from the packaging and lay it out flat over your existing surface. Let it settle and flatten itself out for a couple of hours, place your bedding on top and it’s ready to sleep on.
Easily disposable – After years of usage when the time arrives for disposal there is little worry because it doesn’t take two people to carry it to a van, pickup or SUV. Literally, roll it up and dispose of with your household waste.
Good variation or selection – Similar to full-size mattresses, toppers are also available in various types of foam (e.g. natural plant or gel-infused cooling toppers for hot sleepers. Also, wool and latex are popular options. Choose whichever suits your requirements and budget.
Better cleanliness – Some toppers are machine wash compatible. Simply place inside the washing machine and clean every so often for a more hygienic surface under your bedding. This has obvious health benefits over and existing traditional mattress which you’d generally have to wipe with a cloth instead.
Limited firmness level – The level of density or material type is fairly restricted, i.e., there isn’t much choice regarding pounds (lbs) when it comes to memory foam mattress toppers, or 100% natural, blended or synthetic when it comes to latex.
Shorter warranty – The length of warranties provided are usually shorter (averaging three years) in comparison to a traditional sized (averaging 10+ years). However, this is quite normal given the average life expectancy of most products around on the market.
Longevity – Due to the thinner natured design, you may find that a 1″ pad can last little more than 2-3 years. However, the thicker types such as 2″ and above can easily last 3-4 years.
Hopefully, this post has been helpful in guiding you through any decision-making process and sheds more light on the benefits and disadvantages of owning or buying a mattress topper, especially in comparison to a full-size traditional option. For further information or guidance on some of the best products around, please read our mattress topper reviews and buying guide.