When shopping for memory foam toppers one of the first things you will notice is…
a wide range of pricing. The most well known topper is the one from Tempur-Pedic®. On their website they call it an overlay but they really are the same thing. While $532.00 -$949.00 in our opinion is a little pricy, Tempur-Pedic® is “the brand name” in the memory foam toppers and is built with 3 inches of the most desirable memory foam to be had. Many companies compare their products to touting words like or similar to Tempur-Pedic® and prices can actually be quite cheap. For example some of the entry level overlays like the Spa Sensations 4” Memory Foam Mattress-Topper will be less expensive and ranging from $75.00 – $119.00. These are 4 inches in total thickness and include 1 .5 inches of memory foam and 2.5 of plain old polyurethane. Answering the question is a memory foam topper worth the cost boils down to several things so determine first what size topper and what your maximum budget will be, and what it will be used for.
How will your memory foam topper be used?
Mattress overlays or toppers are best used for people who find new mattresses to be far too expensive and cannot budget it any other way. They are also ideal for RV’s, camping, and guest beds. Perhaps the best use of a memory foam topper is that it allows you to take your old firm mattress and adjust its firmness to a softer feel for a fraction of the cost of a whole new bed. Since many buy beds that are far to firm it is an inexpensive alternative. Soft pillow top mattresses are popular but they tend to fail quickly. People who opt for firmer beds that last longer and topper that can be replaced cheaply and easily find it is a better alternative to replacing the entire mattress.
Comparing memory foam toppers
Start by comparing apples to apples. As a rule of thumb cheaper toppers often use filler to make up the overall topper thickness using “high density” polyurethane foam. This kind of foam has a reputation for breaking down quickly and not being as durable, but is often far cheaper to buy and to sell. Memory foam toppers of good quality may have a ten (10 year) non prorated warranty.
When determining value, we encourage you to check out the thickness of the topper both overall and memory foam. Memory foam to be most affective needs to be a minimum of 2” some companies to save money opt for 1.5”, 1”, and yes some use even less.
Find out the density of the memory foam; is it a three pound, a five pound density and of course all the other densities? You will find in most cases the denser and thicker overlays will commonly be better quality and slightly more costly. ILD is also helpful to determine firmness. Many companies do not publish this, but if they do the lower the number the softer the foam, the higher the number the firmer the foam.
Sleeping hot, not so much the issue anymore the older generation as we like to call them or heat reactive Visco Memory Foam generally will sleep hotter for some people. This in turn causes the foam to soften. In cold temperatures the same foam actually can get stiff and quite firm. Some of the newer memory foam is not heat or temperature sensitive which can cause firmness to be more stable while others sleep cool by including or infusing gel into their make-up. Newer even more breathable foams have also been developed that will sleep much cooler with firmness not varying with mattress temperature
Summing it up in a paragraph
The bottom line, if the topper wears out, you only have to replace it, not the mattress. If you are just wanting a thicker plusher more luxurious mattress on the cheap they’re for you. Most importantly, a good memory foam topper will conform to your body giving you the full head to toe body support your old firm mattress could not give with less pressure, less tossing and turning making it worth their cost.