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Do I Need A Topper?

Nov 07, 2012

You are waking up sore and achy, tossing and turning all night. Your mattress just isn't cutting it anymore. There is a valley where you sleep and your back is killing you. Or perhaps you have a mattress you inherited that is a tad too firm. You might be able to squeeze some life out of your old mattress with a new topper.Toppers are a great way to extend the life of your existing mattress, but sometimes they can be a complete waste of money as well. Here are some examples of when and when not to purchase a topper, and some different topper materials.

Your mattress is just too firm. 

A mattress that is too firm can kill a great night's sleep. It can be a memory foam mattress or an organic natural mattress, and regardless of the type, if it's too hard, it will cut off blood flow, create pressure points and just keep you uncomfortable and unable to get deep rest. A topper added to this surface maintains the support your back needs while allowing some cushioning and comfort.

Your mattress is making you sweat at night.

A mattress should allow for air flow around your body to keep you cool and dry. However, many mattresses are filled with polyurethane foam and covered with polyester fabrics. These materials trap heat and do nothing to pull moisture away from the body. A topper made of natural materials, such as wool or cotton, can help you sleep cooler and drier, leading to a more comfortable sleep.

Your mattress is old and/or developing a body impression.

This situation can go either way when considering a new topper and its ability to solve your issue. If the mattress is old and worn out, a new topper can restore the pressure relieving ability of the mattress and restore your rest. However, if the mattress has developed noticeable body impressions, divots or holes, then a topper ultimately will only make those defects softer and will do nothing to keep your back in proper alignment. When your mattress has developed these issues, you are only prolonging the inevitable: You need a new mattress!

Your New Topper

A Memory Foam Topper
Memory Foam is the best for pressure relieving and cost, but not the best for indoor air quality. There are, however, a few companies out there (like Nest Bedding) who carry foams made with non-toxic materials. Memory foam toppers can be subjected to fire retardant chemicals, so make sure you find one that is made with non-toxic fire barriers. We carry a memory foam that is certified both non-toxic off-gassing and has a certified safe fire barrier.

A Wool Topper

So, now that you have established if you need a new topper or a new mattress, what kind of topper would be best? There are as many topper materials as there are mattresses. Keep in mind, a topper is nothing more than a thin mattress. And as such, consider these topper options:

A Latex Topper

Toppers made from latex rubber, organic latex or blended latex are good for durability. Latex is rubber and thus tends to deflect or bounce energy much like a spring. While not the softest material, latex is a more natural material than polyurethane foam and would be a good alternative to those sensitive to chemical off-gassing usually associated with memory foam.

A Wool Topper

Wool is a great material for a topper, as it provides both maximum air flow and temperature regulation and provides some softness. Wool from a merino sheep is a finer, softer wool and tends to be a bit more resistant to matting and thus is great for a topper. Most wool toppers are covered with cotton, which also is good for moisture control, making this topper the best for all situations.

If your mattress is sleeping too hot or is too hard or uncomfortable, a topper is a great way to extend its life and save yourself some money. If your mattress has developed body impressions, a topper will only make it softer while your back support will still suffer. All of these types of toppers are available here at Nest Bedding in the Berkeley Albany California area or online at

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