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Should You Choose a Memory Foam Mattress Pad?

Memory foam is not for everyone.  That brings us to the question of is a memory foam pad right for you?  Does it meet your comfort needs?

This topper can be used for adults or children, whoever needs a better night of sleep.

This topper can be used for adults or children, whoever needs a better night of sleep.

The first thing that must be stated is that for those who have just purchased a new mattress, the memory foam pad is probably not for you.  If you have a memory foam mattress, this pad is not for you.  For those who have the pillow top mattresses, this is probably not your best choice.

So, who should consider this type of pad?  Ideally, the memory foam toppers are designed for those who have a mattress that has lost its comfort.  In other words, if you are not ready to purchase a new mattress but find that your mattress does not provide as comfortable a night of sleep as it once did, it may be time to consider the memory foam mattress topper.

What Is Memory Foam?  What Is Its Purpose?

Unlike most mattress pads, the memory foam is designed to reshape the contour of your present mattress.  If you feel a little unrested when you wake up in the mornings, it very well could be that your present mattress has begun to “give” in some spots where your pressure points rest.  You can tell if your mattress has begun to sink in some spots by removing the sheets and taking a look at the surface of the mattress.  If you notice that there are places that dip down you can tell that your pressure points have caused the mattress to give.  You may be a good candidate for the memory foam topper.

The Memory Foam Mattress Topper looks much like any other foam pad on first glance.  It is only when you give it a try that you can see the real difference.

The Memory Foam Mattress Topper looks much like any other foam pad on first glance. It is only when you give it a try that you can see the real difference.

When looking for this type of mattress topper, be aware that it comes in various thicknesses.  Unlike a typical mattress pad that is designed solely to protect the mattress, memory foam is designed to “resurface” your present mattress.  The memory foam is specifically designed to fit the contours of the body and reduce the pressure on the buttocks or hip, the elbows and knees.  By supporting the body as it does, pressure is removed from the joints, often offering a better, more comfortable sleep experience.  In other words, it is as if you have put a new, smaller mattress on top of your present mattress.

Generally speaking, the memory foam topper comes in two inch, three inch, and four inch thicknesses.  The selection is usually based on a person’s weight and desire for firmness in a mattress.  As will the purchase of a mattress, these pads should be given a try before purchasing.  Do not be fooled into believing that one thickness will be as good as another for you, nor should you believe that thicker is always better.  Try the pad before you purchase it.

The hand print remains once the hand is removed.  This is the benefit of the memory foam mattress pad.  As indicated, the topper contours to the shape of the body.

The hand print remains once the hand is removed. This is the benefit of the memory foam mattress pad. As indicated, the topper contours to the shape of the body.

Memory foam is a rather unique product.  The foam cells allow air to pass through.  Most foam cells do not allow this.  In other words, most foam pads will spring back to their original shape after the load is removed.  The memory foam cells do not spring back.  Once compressed the cells in memory foam retain the shape once the load is removed.  They have memory.  The memory foam cells actually deform when under pressure, taking on the shape of the weight load.

Additionally memory foam is sensitive to body temperature.  Again, this helps shape the topper and delivers comfort.  When the memory foam is cool, it is tighter or harder.  But, as the person rests on it, the body heat causes the foam to give and shape to the contours of the body.

If you purchased a mattress that is a little too firm for your personal comfort, rather than investing in another new mattress, a memory foam mattress pad may be the answer.  It will offer a bit more comfort as the foam adjusts to the contour of your body.

When purchasing the memory foam topper, it is not necessary to spend additional money on a particular cover.  Most work just fine with a quilted mattress cover.  If you already have a cover for your mattress, try the memory foam pad under it before investing in a special cover.  Most have found this to be an acceptable alternative to spending additional dollars on a cover that is often priced a little higher and advertised as something extra special.  Your normal mattress cover should work just fine.

Use common sense when purchasing the memory foam mattress pad.  Remember:

  • Thicker is not necessarily better.  2″ seems to work for most
  • Investing in the extras, like a special cover is not necessary.  You can use the cover you have in most cases.

The cost of this mattress topper depends on the manufacturer.  As with most bedding items, there are well known name brands that sell their brand as much as the product itself.  You may find other toppers from lesser known brands that work just as well and cost less.  We have seen it work both ways.  For that reason, it is important to check for the guarantee.  Many of these toppers are guaranteed for a year or more.  Our suggestion is:  Do not purchase a memory foam mattress pad that does not come with a guarantee.

The mattress topper under a quilted mattress pad makes for a good night of sleep.

The mattress topper under a quilted mattress pad makes for a good night of sleep.

The costs of memory foam toppers vary by size and by name brand.  In some cases, it may serve the buyer just as well to purchase a new mattress.  For those who feel they can benefit from a mattress topper, expect to pay between $100 and $500.  Of course, the lower price of $100 would be for a twin size topper that is one or two inches thick.  The higher prices would be for king size toppers of greater thickness.

Again, this is not a product to purchase without having given it a try.  Test several toppers to determine which brand and thickness best suits your needs.  Then, shop and compare prices.  Often you can test the product in a store and find the same item for much less at a discount house or online.

Note:  The materials in these toppers are treated with a fire retardant.  As such, allergic reactions may occur in some.  Be sure to check the packaging to confirm that a fire retardant has been used in the manufacturing process.  If allergic reactions are known by the potential consumer, do not purchase this product. 

For most consumers the addition of a fire retardant will have no health effects.