Bedding plays an extremely vital role in determining the quality of sleep and comfort one has in their life. A mattress inextricably is one of the key components of the bedroom. Buying a new mattress can be an economically hefty decision and therefore needs to be considered very carefully. Mattresses especially old ones tend to become either too soft or too hard with time and use. The purpose of this post is to answer the question of how to choose a hard mattress topper.
Related: Check out range of our selected Mattress Toppers:
- Argos Home 5cm Memory Foam Mattress Topper – Single (Argos.co.uk)
- Silentnight Airmax Mattress Topper – Single (Argos.co.uk)
The question that naturally pops up is: Is there a solution to fix a sagging mattress?
YES! A cost-effective way to renew your mattress and ensure a longer more supportive foundation for your bedding. After thorough research, firmer bedding equipment tends to be healthier over fluffy and softer mattresses. Keeping in mind that the perfect item to use in your bedding is a Hard Mattress Topper.
What is a hard Mattress Topper?
The name gives it away, a hard mattress topper is an additional firm layer put on top of a mattress. Mostly bought for increasing the comfort and life span of your bedding, a topper doesn’t come in some “one-size-fits-all”.
A hard mattress topper is different from the other ones available in the market. These toppers are specifically firm and provide more support comparatively to the other toppers which might provide relatively greater comfort. This type of mattress topper has a longer life to a softer mattress topper.
Nowadays, there’s a huge variety of mattress toppers to choose from each with varying prices and options. To choose the right fit for your mattress, you must differentiate between the two kinds of mattresses out there:
- One-sided mattress: These mattresses usually have a shorter lifespan and a topper could be very efficient in providing extra comfort without compromising the lifespan of the mattress
- Two-sided mattress: The lifespan already is quite longer in comparison to other mattresses; however, a topper could help soften the mattress marginally.
Furthermore, one must always remember that a hard mattress topper is not very effective if used to firm up an existing mattress which is too saggy now. Key characteristics of a hard mattress topper widely claimed to be the most appropriate are:
- 1 inch deep or more
- Double sided, therefore can be used for a longer period
- Should be made of a breathable fibre
- Having taped edges, to fit right onto the existing mattress
These features in a mattress topper ensure your comfort and the mattress’s protection. The best part about this is that it comes in all sizes ranging from child’s bed to a king-size double.
It is important to notice that a hard mattress topper is not as comfortable as a soft one. The trade-off however pays off with a longer lasting support which will also be more suited for prolonged use and heavier people. Hard toppers can also be used as a stand-alone bedding, therefore being multipurpose especially when you have extra guests over.
Different types of Hard Mattress Toppers
Just like your mattress, a mattress topper comes in a range of different materials from which we specifically are listing down hard mattress toppers below.
Memory Foam Toppers:
Made of polyurethane with chemically enhanced density, memory foam is soft and comfortable. Especially because of its feature that it conforms to your body’s shape and weight. Also, since it isolates your motion and absorbs any movement making it the perfect fit when used in bedding shared with a restless partner.
For an aging mattress getting stiffer with use, this is exactly what you should be looking to buy.
According to research, people suffering from arthritis, sore joints and muscular pain are recommended to use products that have memory foam in them. Furthermore, as it traps body heat, it provides the right comfort for people suffering from lower back pain as well.
Problems associated with Memory Foam toppers are that it is costlier compared to other types. Also, for use in places with a hot climate, this foam tends to absorb body heat making it hotter and unfeasible. However, there are more modern options available which incorporate gels beads and other technologies to provide a ‘cooling’ feature to combat the heat retention.
Natural latex is made by processing a liquid found in rubber trees. However, synthetic latex toppers are also manufactured at a very large scale. Making it a choice of how eco-friendly you are. Beware, people allergic to latex should not opt for this type of mattress topper.
Compared to a memory foam topper, latex toppers are relatively firmer making it less comfortable but long-lasting. Furthermore, the rigidity provides for a better resistance to microbes and dust mite build-up. This too, however, does not transit motion of a restless partner making it a very comfortable option.
Latex toppers have a bouncy feel to it, which if you prefer is perfect for you.
Low quality latex can retain heat making it an unfeasible option for places with a hotter climate. Another thing to consider is that natural latex can be costlier than synthetic latex.
As you’d be familiar with the shape of an egg crate, this type of topper has a shape very similar to that of an egg crate. In the case of an egg crate the price greatly varies depending the kind of material used in it. It ranges between basic foam, which is not as costly, compared to memory foam which is a lot more comfortable but comes at a greater price.
Due to the usage of foam as a filling inside, it’s not as comfortable but given the price makes suitable option if you’re looking for investing in a cheaper mattress topper.
The material used inside makes it relatively lighter and easier to transport, making it a suitable option to use in camping where one looks for portable bedding. Stacking two or more toppers together can provide a thicker base, substituent to that of any other material.
Foam can sag quicker and retain heat making it not very durable in the long run, and not feasible especially for places with a hotter climate.
Advantages of a Hard Mattress Topper
A hard mattress topper specifically increases the life and durability of your mattress. Alongside that it drastically improves the posture that your body maintains during sleep. However, when looked closely a mattress topper comes with great benefits which are listed as follows.
Additional Layers of Comfort:
Usually with time a mattress conforms to your body weight, loses its firmness, gets a weird odour due to body perspiration and other problems that arise with continuous use. As a mattress tends to lose the soft touch it has in the initial days, it can get uncomfortable thereon.
A hard mattress topper provides that safety layer on top of the mattress ensuring that the core comfort of your bedding is preserved to stay with you for a longer period. Furthermore, a mattress can be easily turned and rotated, however in comparison a mattress is very difficult to rotate and turn.
Protects Your Mattress:
A topper protects your mattress against body perspiration. According to a research, on average the body releases up to two pints of moisture each night. Main sources of this moisture include sweat, breath and other fluids. The natural flow of this moisture is through the body into the sheets and then into the mattress itself.
A mattress if gets effected by the regular exposure to moisture, is very hard to wash, change as it comes at a greater cost. Furthermore, regularly flipping the mattress is too unrealistic as they are very heavy and not so portable. Toppers protect against that and provide alternative solutions such as washing it. A topper is a lot easier to wash than a mattress. Furthermore, flipping a hard mattress topper is a lot easier than flipping a soft mattress topper.
Bacteria is another prevalent thing on a human body. Due to extensive contact of the human body with the mattress itself, the bacteria build-up on the mattress is very inevitable. Mattress toppers provide a middle ground here as they can be washed, taken out and dried with relative ease. They also protect these bacteria from building up on the mattress, protecting your core bedding.
Keeps core shape intact:
Mattresses of any material will sag with usage. Considering for heavier people, this can become troublesome, as buying a new mattress is costly and therefore, people tend to overuse an old mattress which isn’t as comfortable as it used to be.
The main reason behind it being the foam within the mattress conforming to body weight, making it extremely uncomfortable for longer use. The use of a firm/hard topper absorbs most of the bodyweight, minimizing its impact on the mattress.
This keeps the mattress firmer for longer and makes sure that your natural posture is maintained while you lay down or sit on your bedding.
What’s wrong with a soft mattress topper?
To better understand what a soft mattress topper lacks, you need to know what a soft mattress topper provides. There are three major types of soft mattress toppers:
- Polyester Blends: Also known as fiber fill, this is the least expensive option. Perfect for people who wish to get the feel of feathers but are allergic to them. Extremely fluffy initially this mattress topper has no odour.
- Feathers/Featherbed: Toppers filled with feathers are also called featherbeds. As the name tell, it’s more like a duvet filled with feathers. Extremely soft, the best part about featherbeds is that they do not retain heat. On top of that, it’s less costly than latex or a memory foam topper. In the case where it is used in bedding shared with a partner featherbeds don’t hinder much when turning over or moving in bed.
- Wool: Natural wool fleece toppers are one of the most expensive options and very hard to find in the market. They are soft to touch and extremely durable. No problems such as bacterial build-up occurs in this type of mattress topper and is hypoallergenic (less prone to allergic reactions relatively) for most people. The best part about these toppers are that they are thermally regulated i.e. they retain heat in winters and are cooler in summers.
However, with use these tend to squash the initial fluffiness away. As they need a lot of cushioning and support, if you want to renew your sagging mattress, this may not be the best option. Their tendency to retain heat is another demotivating factor when buying this.
Featherbeds get compressed with use and may require periodic shaking to regain its original fluff which can be rather inconvenient. Feather shafts can make it a little noisy and they sometimes poke through the fabric making it a little prickly.
People allergic to feathers must avoid buying a featherbed at all costs. As featherbeds use real feathers plucked from birds, vegetarian/vegans or people who are concerned about animal rights must consider that before opting for one.
Wool toppers are not much help if you aim to support joint pain and arthritis. On top of that, some wool toppers have a slight sheepish odour when they are brand new, but it fades with time.
Disadvantages of a Hard Mattress Topper
A firm mattress topper would not completely renew an already damaged mattress. If the mattress is too old or too damaged, a topper might not do it much good. Some hard mattress toppers are too firm initially, making them uncomfortable to use.
Nonstandard sized bedding may lead to difficulty in finding the right size of the mattress topper. Some materials can trigger allergies in people. Overall, this might be an expensive option in some cases, as after prolonged usage both the topper and the mattress may need to be replaced.
However, it’s all about choosing the right one and timely managing your bedding so that you don’t run into unforeseen problems.
How to Choose a Hard Mattress Topper?
Choosing the right mattress topper can be a tedious process as there are many factors to consider before picking the right one for your bedding.
People tend to think that expensive mattress toppers are better than the other ones. There is no such guarantee that the most expensive topper you can afford will be meet all your needs, therefore price should not be a determining factor in which mattress topper you pick.
According to WebMD, a wrongly chosen mattress topper can aggravate an already existing lower back pain. Therefore, one most consider heavily which one meets your requirements. For instance, if you suffer from arthritis, or joint pain you need to find the right mattress topper which would ensure the correct sleeping posture and your spine’s alignment.
Latex and Memory foam are relatively the preferred choices for people who are cautious about there joint pains.
Latex toppers bounce back when not used therefore retaining the firmness for longer plus they don’t conform to the body’s weight making it good for longer use. Furthermore, an advantage associated with latex is that it does not entrap body heat.
Memory foam is preferred for elderly people since it alleviates pressures from joints and provides a greater comfort level. It also distributes the body weight evenly therefore eliminating pressure from various body parts. It entraps body heat too, thus making it extremely relaxing for people with joint ache.
Generally, toppers that are not super-soft are preferred in such cases as they are more durable in maintaining the body’s natural posture while sleeping.
Thickness is by far the most important factor when deciding the kind of mattress topper, you should opt for yourself.
For mattresses that are worn out and you want to make them firmer again, the thickness that you should be looking for is between the range of 2-4 inches.
However, if you want to lengthen the life of your mattress and make sure it stays durable anything below 2 inches will work fine as it would allow you to retain the mattress’s existing firmness.
The kind of mattress toppers that come in a ranging thickness include memory foam and latex materials. It is recommended for side sleepers that they buy a topper which is thicker than three inches as it would help retain the body’s natural posture and retain the topper’s firmness too.
The density of a mattress topper is very important in determining the feel of it. It is measured in pounds per cubic feet, or kg/m3 in some countries. Generally, toppers fall within the range 2-6 pounds per cubic feet. There are toppers available in the range of 6+ pounds per cubic feet too, however, higher density usually means a greater cost but have their advantages.
- 3 pounds (or lesser) per cubic feet: They are lighter and easier to transport and move around within the house. However, it feels a lot softer and less supportive than higher densities making your body sink into it faster.
- 4 to 5 pounds per cubic feet: Your body relatively won’t sink in as fast as the lesser densities, plus it’s a cost-effective option balancing between being supportive and soft at the same time.
- 6+ pounds per cubic feet: Perfect for people who suffer from joint pain, arthritis or any other medical need in which their body requires a greater support while sleeping. Furthermore, this is much firmer than the lower densities and does not conform to the body’s weight for a very long time making it quite long lasting. However, this can be a lot costlier than the other densities.
For heavier people, it is recommended that they opt for a higher density as it would be more tailored for providing the support and ensure the longevity of the mattress’s durability.
The material used in the topper greatly determines the feel, the comfort, the durability and compatibility of its use in your bedding. As mentioned earlier, there are various types of mattress toppers and you may choose the right one by referring to that section.
A modern brand of mattress toppers now contains gel instead of polyurethane foam. They come at a substantial increase in its cost, but they are relatively modern and developed for a much more comfortable experience.
Gel infused toppers are airy and therefore do not retain body heat, giving a cool feel to your body especially in places with a hotter climate.
Companies like Ecosa, provide a range of gel infused toppers. One of their products for instance the G-7 Gel Memory Foam provides an extra layer of support and reduces movements transferred from different parts of the bed by around 50%. A substantial increase in comfort and support for your sleep, making it worth the extra price you pay for it.
How to maintain a Mattress Topper?
Since the topper is mostly in contact with the outer world, their exposure may lead it to getting dirty with use. Cleaning it routinely is necessary to maintain its freshness and using a washing machine for that purpose is NOT suitable.
Toppers are fragile comparative to other bedding equipment and therefore need to be treated accordingly. Proper care and regular maintenance are therefore essential.
What are the signs when you need to clean your Mattress Topper?
With regular use odours such as sweat, urine and food could highlight that the topper now requires a clean. Continuous use may lead to a mouldy smell can build up over the topper, which is very manageable if cleaned properly.
Food or liquid spills due to accident may seep into the topper and damage in a variety of ways if it is not dealt with timely in the proper manner. It may lead to a stain which in turn can lead to mould build-up which can very unhealthy. Therefore, in the case of a spill, the topper should be immediately removed and cleaned.
How to clean the Mattress Topper?
- Firstly, you remove the topper from the bed and place it separately in a well-ventilated area.
- Using a vacuum cleaner (never use a blower for this purpose) or hose attachment suck all present debris over the surface of the topper.
- The remaining debris can be carefully removed by scraping and brushing. Shake the topper gently so that it drops off the surface.
- Afterwards closely inspect the topper for any signs or wear and tear. If there are any stains, check for them and see if any unpleasant odour helps you identify what may have caused it.
- Pick a suitable cleaning solution and apply it on the stains. Using a towel, or paper towel dipped in water gently rub it off the surface. Repeat this process several times till you see that the stain has substantially diminished.
- Let the mattress air out regularly while cleaning it as it helps overcome natural odours.
- Another home-based remedy to treat odour caused by sweat or moisture is to use powdered baking soda
- Hang the topper in an airy sunny place to let it dry. Do not put it back immediately, drying the mattress before using again is extremely important.
Some mattress toppers have a waterproof encapsulation. These toppers are usually filled with wool and are machine washable. In such a case, you may wash the topper directly in the washing machine, but this should be done with extra care using the mentioned temperature in the user manual of the topper.
In short, a hard mattress topper not only provides you extra support for a longer period, but it also ensures that for some short-lived comfort you are not risking your well-being. A hard mattress topper will pay dividends back to you with usage and you will see the benefits of using it over a softer mattress topper.
Many companies provide a trial period or a return policy for people who are unsure of what kind of mattress topper is the perfect fit for them. The various thickness, density and the filling inside a mattress topper greatly determines the support and comfort you receive for it.
The core mattress plays an important role in the utility of the mattress topper as in some cases there might be no other feasible solution but to change the core mattress.
Once bought, a topper needs to be regularly maintained and cleaned for a better hygienic experience. Among other advantages a mattress topper may help sustain the body’s natural posture while sleeping which according to research is extremely helpful in avoiding various joint aches and muscle pains.
Modern technology now provides options where an airier mattress topper may help regulate body temperature and not retain body heat. Similarly, some retain body heat so according to your preference you may choose the right kind of topper to use.