Mattress Toppers: What Are They & Are They Worth It?
Last Updated on July 18, 2021
Waking up with aches and pain? Having trouble falling asleep because you can’t get comfortable? The wrong mattress can really put a damper on your sleep environment.
But if you’re not ready to buy a new mattress right now, you’re not out of luck. Adding a quality mattress topper is a fantastic way to instantly upgrade your comfort and get back to sleeping soundly. Here, we’ll explore everything you need to know about toppers, including the different types you can choose from, how to select the right one for your needs, or how to determine if you need one or not.
Overview: What is a Mattress Topper?
A mattress topper is a layer you can add on top of your existing mattress, designed to provide extra support and/or softness. It can also extend the life of your mattress, as it offers an additional layer to protect against sagging and wear.
Depending on the type and materials used, a mattress topper can also:
- Regulate your temperature so you stay cool
- Make a too-soft mattress a little firmer
- Reduce motion transfer from your partner
- Provide a hypoallergenic barrier between you and your mattress
- Help reduce joint pain
I. What is a Mattress Topper?
II. Selecting Your Mattress Topper
III. How to Use a Mattress Topper
IV. Are Mattress Toppers Worth It?
V. Introducing the GhostBed Mattress Topper
I. What is a Mattress Topper?
First things first: what exactly is a mattress topper, and what’s the point of buying one? Simply put, it’s an extra layer you can put on top of your mattress to achieve a variety of goals, including:
- Making a too-firm mattress a little softer
- Making a too-soft mattress a little firmer
- Alleviating aches and pains by providing more support
- Extending the life of your mattress
- Providing a hypoallergenic barrier between you and your mattress
- Reducing motion transfer, if you sleep with a partner
- Making your mattress more comfortable for your sleeping style
While upgrading your mattress can definitely help you sleep better, a mattress topper is a good option if you’re not ready to do that—or if you want to try something out in the meantime while you shop around for a new one.
Do you need a mattress topper? Maybe yes, maybe no. It really depends on how you feel about your mattress.
And is a mattress topper worth it? Absolutely! The right topper can completely change the feel of your mattress. Keep in mind, though, that a topper isn’t a long-term fix if your mattress needs to be replaced. A mattress that is sagging heavily may even pull a lower-quality topper down with it!
Mattress Toppers vs. Mattress Pads
If you’re saying to yourself, “I’ve got a mattress pad, I’m all set!”... Think again. There are some big differences between toppers and mattress pads.
While a topper is usually thick and designed to offer support, a mattress pad is typically on the thinner side. While it does add some softness, it’s not going to add that next-level comfort. Its design is like a fitted sheet with a little bit of padding, and you may see it marketed as a “pillow-top” mattress pad.
Mattress Toppers vs. Mattress Protectors
Mattress pads and mattress protectors are sometimes used interchangeably, so it’s important to do your research. If you’re looking for something that will protect your mattress from things like fluids, oils, dust mites and other allergens, you need something that can pull its weight. A good quality mattress protector will be 100% waterproof, with protection on the sides too—not just the top. It’s also smart to look for one made with breathable materials. While the traditional plastic protectors tend to retain heat, you can find newer mattress protectors made with super-soft cotton.
Your best bet is to use both a mattress topper and a mattress protector. The topper will give you amazing support and comfort, while the protector provides a barrier and keeps your mattress dry and clean. The GhostBed Memory Foam Topper is a two-in-one, with our breathable-yet-waterproof cover included.
II. Selecting Your Mattress Topper
Next, how do you choose the right mattress topper, with so many options out there? If you’re imagining the old-school egg-crate toppers, we’ve come a long way. Nowadays, you can find a variety of toppers in different materials, styles and densities. We dive a little deeper into selecting a mattress topper here, but here’s an overview.
Finding the right size for your mattress topper is easy: just select the same exact size as your mattress. So if you have a queen size mattress, you’ll purchase a queen size mattress topper. We don’t recommend trying to piece together two smaller mattress toppers, unless you’re placing it on top of a split king mattress and prefer the individual sides.
Mattress toppers come in a variety of densities, so this is another factor to consider. This will usually come down to preferences, although heavier people will typically need a thick topper. A good middle-of-the-road option is 2- to 3-inches in depth.
Sleeping Style and Preferences
Your sleeping style will also play a part in selecting the right mattress topper for you. Side sleepers, for example, need extra support around their shoulders and hips, which are the heaviest parts of your body when you’re on your side. Back sleepers need support without any sagging, to keep the spine aligned. Stomach sleepers may want a topper with cooling features, as your face and neck are pressing up against your mattress.
Down feathers, faux down, memory foam and more—oh my! How do you choose? For the best support, memory foam is your best bet. While the other options may seem soft, they just don’t provide the same level of contouring and comfort that memory foam does. If you sleep hot, opt for gel-infused memory foam to keep you cool.
III. How to Use a Mattress Topper
Once you’ve narrowed down the type of topper you’d like, it’s time to understand how to use it properly. A memory foam topper, for example, will come in a condensed box, so it will require some time to expand. Some need about a day to fully expand and air out, with slight scents that go away with time. The initial smell is similar to a new pack of tennis balls or a new car, and is normal and harmless.
If your topper has “zones” or looks like the egg-crate style, make sure to place it with the textured side facing up. Those little peaks and valleys promote airflow, so you stay cool all night.
Another common complaint with mattress toppers is that they slide around throughout the night. To combat this, we recommend adding a cover, pad, or protector on top of your mattress topper. This helps it stay in place, even if you’re tossing and turning.
We’ve included deep pockets and our signature GhostGrip elastic band on our topper’s cover, so it not only stays cool, it stays put.
IV. Are Mattress Toppers Worth It?
We’ve explored what mattress toppers are, how to select a mattress topper, and how to put one on your mattress. So the question remains…are mattress toppers worth it?
If you ask us, 100% yes! If you’re struggling to get a good night or sleep but you’re not ready to upgrade your mattress yet, buying a mattress topper is a great compromise. When added to any mattress, you’ll get next-level comfort at a fraction of the cost of a new mattress.
V. Introducing the GhostBed Memory Foam Topper
Now that you know what a mattress topper is and why you might want one, it’s time to start shopping! We developed the GhostBed Memory Foam Topper with all the best features to keep you cool, comfortable and cozy. 3” of gel memory foam absorbs heat, while the cool-to-the-touch cover adds an extra layer of chill. Plus, 5 comfort “zones” target pressure points and keep your body weight distributed perfectly from head to toe.
But the coolest part? We’ve included a 100% waterproof cover, so it’s like getting a mattress topper and a mattress protector in one. Made from a super-soft cotton blend, it’s whisper-quiet and won’t crinkle or crunch as you move—unlike a traditional plastic mattress protector. You’ll stay comfortable, while your mattress stays dry, clean and dust-mite-free.
Plus, explore other GhostBed products to complete your bedroom:
After undergoing three neck surgeries, Marc knew what it was like to live and sleep in constant pain. In 2001, after searching fruitlessly for a comfortable pillow and mattress that supported his neck and back ... Learn More
Quality • Comfort • Cooling
From $845 $592Shop Mattresses
- How to Choose the Best Mattress for You
- GhostBed’s Mattress Size Guide
- Mattress Disposal & Donation Guide
- Do I Need a Box Spring with My Mattress?
- How You Can Finance a Mattress Easily: Two Finance Options
- When Should I Replace My Mattress: The Definitive Guide
- Three Step-Process to Buying a Mattress Online
- What is the Best Memory Foam Mattress To Purchase?
- Shipping a Mattress: Top Questions Answered
- Memory Foam Mattress in a Box
- How Long Does a Mattress Last?
- How to Choose a Mattress Type: Memory Foam, Latex, Innerspring, Hybrid
- Guide: Why Buy a Split King Mattress Bed
- How Much Does a Good Mattress Cost?
- Guide: Firm vs Soft Mattress - Pros & Cons
- Mattress Firmness Guide & Scale
- Learn How to Clean Your Memory Foam Mattress
- How To Remove Blood Stains From Your Memory Foam Mattress
- How to Get Urine Stains & Smells Out of Your Memory Foam Mattress
- How to Disinfect and Sanitize Your Memory Foam Mattress
- The Benefits and 4-Step Process to Rotating Your Mattress
- Top 10 Reasons for Eco Friendly Mattress Cleaning
- How to Save a Water Damaged Mattress During a Hurricane or Flood
- How To Move a Mattress: Step-by-Step Guide
- Which is Best: Memory Foam vs Spring Mattress
- Which is Best: Foundation vs Boxspring
- Which is Best: Latex vs Memory Foam Mattress
- GhostBed vs. Casper Mattress Review
- GhostBed vs. Purple Mattress Review
- GhostBed vs. Leesa Mattress Review
- GhostBed vs. Tuft & Needle Mattress Review
- GhostBed vs. Tempur-Pedic Mattress Review
- GhostBed vs. Lull Mattress Review
- GhostBed vs Loom & Leaf Mattress Review
- GhostBed vs. Saatva Mattress Review
- GhostBed vs Brooklyn Bedding Mattress Review
- GhostBed vs Helix Mattress Review
- GhostBed vs Novosbed Mattress Review
- GhostBed vs Yogabed Mattress Review
- GhostBed vs. Nectar Mattress Review
- GhostBed Luxe vs Purple 4, Casper Wave, Leesa Sapira & Tempur-Pedic
- 10 Health Benefits of an Adjustable Bed Base
- GhostBed Adjustable Base vs Amerisleep Adjustable Base Review
- GhostBed Adjustable Base vs Lucid Adjustable Base Review
- GhostBed Adjustable Base vs Tempur-Ergo Plus Review
- GhostBed Adjustable Base vs Leesa Adjustable Base
- GhostBed Adjustable Base vs Nectar Adjustable Base
- GhostBed Adjustable Base vs Leggett & Platt Simplicity 3.0 Adjustable Base
- GhostBed Adjustable Base vs Reverie 4M Adjustable Base
- 6 Benefits of Sleeping with Your Legs Elevated
- 9 Benefits of Sleeping Elevated
- 10 Quality of Life Benefits of an Adjustable Base Bed
- 6 Benefits of a Zero Gravity Adjustable Bed Base
- How to Sleep Better with Acid Reflux
- Sleeping Elevated Helps with Spinal Alignment & Spinal Health
- Timeline & History of Adjustable Base Bed
- Why GhostBed’s Adjustable Base is High Quality but Less Expensive Than the Competition?
- GhostPillow vs MyPillow® Comparison
- Cooling Pillow Technology and Benefits
- Guide: How to Wash Any Pillow
- Guide: Best Pillow for Side Sleepers
- Guide: Best Tips & Mattress for Hip Pain for 2021
- Best Sleeping Positions for Back Pain
- Guide: Best Tips & Mattress for Arthritis for 2020
- Guide: Best Firm Mattress for 2020
- Best Mattress for Side Sleepers
- Guide: Best Tips & Mattress for Stomach Sleepers
- Best Mattress for Back Pain
- Guide: Best Tips & Mattress for Kids
- Guide: Best Tips & Mattress for the Money
- Guide: Best Tips & Mattress for Heavy People
- Guide: Best Tips & Mattress for Athletes
- Guide: The Best Mattresses for All Types of Couples
- Guide: Best Tips & Mattress for Snoring
- Guide: The Best Mattress for Fibromyalgia (+ Tips for Great Sleep)
- Guide: Best Tips & Mattress for Sex
- What is the Best Side to Sleep on: Left or Right?
- Best Sleep Positions During Pregnancy
- Easy Guide to Determining How Much Sleep You Need
- 16 Tips on How to Fall Asleep Quickly
- 4 Tips to Do When You Can't Sleep
- 9 FAQs: Benefits of Sleeping Cool
- Cooling Tips for Better Sleep
- Guide: Best Cooling Mattress for Hot Sleepers
- Guide: Science and Benefits of Sleeping Cool
- Sleep Trimester Guide for Pregnancy: 1st, 2nd & 3rd Trimester
- Tips for Healthy Sleeping During Pregnancy
- 9 Sleep Tips When Feeling Sick & How to Recover Fast
- Guide: How to Sleep with Insomnia & Sleep Better
- Guide: Restless Legs Syndrome and Sleep
- Guide: Tips & Tricks to Get Kids to Sleep & Recommended Sleep Hours
- Narcolepsy Guide: Signs & Treatments to Relieve Narcolepsy
- Guide: How to sleep Better with a Chronic Illness
- Guide: The Importance of Sleep for Weight Loss
- Sleeping Tips: Complete Sleep Tips Guide for New Moms
- Size Comparison Guide: Twin vs Twin XL Mattress
- Size Comparison Guide: Full vs Queen Mattress
- Size Comparison Guide: King vs Queen Mattress
- Size Comparison Guide: California King vs King Mattress
- The Ultimate Guide to Pillowcases
- Guide: 3 Key Benefits of Silk Pillowcases
- Guide: How to Choose the Best Silk Pillowcase
- Silk Pillowcases: Your Newest Beauty Secret
- Guide: What is Mulberry Silk?
- How to Care for Your Silk Pillowcase
- How Often to Replace Bed Sheets
- How to Buy the Right Bed Sheets
- How to Wash Bed Sheets
- Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Supima Cotton
- Guide to Cotton Sheets: What to Know About Egyptian, Pima and Supima
- Guide: Why Thread Count Does Not Matter When Buying Sheets
- Guide: Why Buy Cooling Bed Sheets
- Guide: How To Choose the Best Bed Sheets