Can you help me buy a memory foam mattress topper
August 7, 2006 11:50 AM   Subscribe

Memory Foam Mattress Toppers - assuming the density, thickness and size are all the same is there any difference from brand to brand? Also, I've heard they can trap heat. Do they get uncomfortably warm, or are there other things I should think about before purchasing?

I'm trying to research the purchase of one of these toppers. I know that often they aren't full size. I know that 4 or 5 pounds of density will be better than lower density stuff that will start to get dents over time. Beyond that, if I found a mattress that was full size, 2 inches thick and 4 pounds in density, is there any other difference in terms of brand or should I go with whatever is cheapest from store to store?

Finally, does anybody have any experience with Healthy Foundations or Foam Are there any other good, inexpensive sites I should be looking at? I know overstock has them, and probably for less, but they looked inferior.
posted by willnot to Home & Garden (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I think you should get one thicker than 2 inches. I have one that is 4 inches and it is much more comfortable than my roommate's 2 inch one.

I don't find mine to be hot while I am lying on it, but when I put my laptop on it, the laptop definitely gets hotter than on a table.

I personally don't think the brand matters as much as the thickness and the density.

Good luck shopping, you will love the topper!
posted by rmless at 12:15 PM on August 7, 2006

There is a wealth of info at fatwallet regarding a "cheaper-pedic" mattress...

It's a lot to read through, but there are a lot of good places that you can buy a topper, with reccomnedations, etc...

I have a 4" one on my bed, and it has been a lifesaver, I can't sleep on anything else. I am definatly one of those people that can't sleep when it's hot, or I feel hot, and had the same concern... Heat-wise, I found that the bed is fine for me, but the pillows are too hot under my head.
posted by niteHawk at 12:45 PM on August 7, 2006

I had some memory foam in a conventional mattress once and I hated it. It created pits exactly where I wanted support and I had backaches every morning. I don't know if it was just that particular mattress, though. I've since become a big fan of latex mattresses, which are just as customizable, are super-comfy and supportive, and are even (relatively) easily transportable! I had a great experience with, which had by far the best prices when I bought my latex some months ago. They also have a good return policy, which is incredibly important -- trust me, a few minutes in the store is NOT the same as a few nights at home. Obviously, they also sell a lot of memory foam, so they're worth checking out. Good luck!
posted by walla at 12:58 PM on August 7, 2006

I have a love/hate relationship with my mattress topper.

Mine's about 4 months old, purchased from Costco (Novaform Elite, 2.5", 4# density). I initially got it because my mattress was nearing the end of its life and it was killing my back—I had hoped a memory foam topper might squeeze a few more years out of the mattress.

The topper did make a huge improvement to my old mattress but not enough of one to save it, I ended up buying a new bed set last month.

I've tried the new mattress with and without the topper. Overall, I've found my new mattress to be much more comfortable without the topper because I prefer a harder bed surface and the topper is just too squishy for my tastes. My SO likes the topper and it does an amazing job of dampening his movements (he tends to go to bed much later than me; his jiggling of the bed wakes me up and I can't go back to sleep).

I find I move around a lot less while sleeping on the memory foam; while my SO appreciates not sleeping next to The Flail, I often wake with deadened limbs and a stiff neck. Even when awake, I find it more difficult to adjust my position on the bed or to even roll over. My 8 year old son will lie upon it and beat it with his fists while shouting, "Let go of me, squishy cushion!"

I no longer use a pillow with the topper because elevating my head sinks my hips into the bed surface and makes my back uncomfortable. Now, I sleep with a rolled up hand towel under the small of my back; I just don't feel like I've got enough back support without it. (Not a problem w/o the topper, btw). I prefer to sleep on my back but have discovered that sleeping on my stomach or side are much more comfortable with the topper.

The area immediately under you will retain its heat. I find it rather comforting (and suspect I'll really like it this winter) but didn't like it at all during our recent heat wave.

If I had it to do over, I would have skipped the topper. Even now I'm tempted to get it off my bed but it's so heavy and unwieldy that I don't know how I'd store it.

Final thoughts:

Will your old fitted sheets fit over your mattress + topper? I discovered only half of my sheet sets will fit (the ones cut deep enough were flannel sheets from land's end and costco's generic 600thread count brand). The others (all designer brands) simply weren't cut deep enough to fit over, let alone stay in place.

When I was researching my purchase, I noticed many people complained (on Amazon and epinions) of toppers which were a few inches short of fully covering their mattress. The one I got definitely covers my Cal King and is actually slightly wider by a half inch).

Whichever one you get, select one that comes with a cover. Without a cover, they are a giant PITA to wrestle around because the foam sorta drags/sticks on just about anything it touches.
posted by jamaro at 1:00 PM on August 7, 2006

Consumer Reports did an article on mattresses a few months ago, and their general assesment was that price and brand didn't much matter. They also found that you either love or hate memory foam. You should be able to get the issue at a local library.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:17 PM on August 7, 2006

I don't have any direct experience but I have heard they suck to have sex on due to the effort needed to roll over/move around. That conviced me not to buy one when I was in the market.
posted by greta simone at 1:41 PM on August 7, 2006

we have one... 3" model from costco. i think its a tad too thick - not enough support and i was getting backaches, etc. then we put a matress pad over it and that firmed it up enough that its actually pretty awesome now.

so pay attention to the thickness, i think this is the attribute that can make it suck/rock the most.
posted by joeblough at 3:29 PM on August 7, 2006

We have a 2" topper on our bed... The girlfriend can't sleep without it on, but it does retain a LOT of heat... I prefer a firm bed, and this is much nicer than regular foam, and retains the same amount of heat...

We got one from Fred Meyer that doesn't cover the entire bed (it's a queen, our bed is a queen, it's about 5" too small (length and width)
posted by hatsix at 3:29 PM on August 7, 2006

My boyfriend and I both got these mattress pads. I got the cheapest one I could get at bed bath and beyond, which I think is 1-1.5 inches thick. He ordered something thicker off Amazon.
Mine is a lifesaver-- I have a pretty hard mattress and it adds just the right amount of softness. His, on the other hand, was a nightmare and we ended up tossing it. It was too thick. It got extremely hot and you would sink into these divots that would be hard to get out of, causing you to sleep in really uncomfortable positions. It also accentuated some of the preexisting problems of his bed.
The moral of that story is: thicker is not always better.
posted by ch1x0r at 5:37 PM on August 7, 2006

My mattress has a memory foam topper built in. I love it, and I should add that I recently had back surgery, and that I don't have air conditioning. I think that it does get a bit squishier when it's really hot out, but otheriwise I don't notice a difference.
posted by bingo at 8:23 PM on August 7, 2006

I really like my memory foam. I bought it over 2 years ago. It does have some heat/cold trapping properties. If my room is cold for a while the bed is cold when I get in, which I like, but after a while my body heat warms it up. I can't remember what type I bought, but I think it was 3" 4(?)lb density. I got it for around $150 at the time.

I think I may have to buy a replacement soon because it seems to have 'worn out' where I tend to sleep the most. I'm not overweight, but I am a big guy (6'3" 200lb) but the foam seems to be less responsive.

I don't really want to spend $200/2years to replace it, but I will because I like it that much. No problems with hooking up on it either. In fact, it probably helps because its so comfortable that I get to sleep in the next day.
posted by kookywon at 3:56 PM on August 8, 2006

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