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A memory foam mattress topper is an additional layer of memory foam that a person can add on top of their mattress. This product can be a less expensive alternative to buying a memory foam mattress. Memory foam may help a person get better sleep.
In this article, we will discuss memory foam mattress toppers in more detail and provide a list of products for people to consider trying.
Originally, engineers from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) developed memory foam, or viscoelastic polyurethane foam, for astronauts in the 1960s. In the 1990s, manufacturers began to use memory foam in bedding.
According to the Polyurethane Foam Association (PFA), memory foam is a popular bedding option due to its conforming capabilities and its ability to be comfortable yet supportive.
The PFA also note that memory foam may provide benefits for certain people. For example, people with impaired mobility may benefit from the foam’s ability to redistribute weight and surface pressure, which may help prevent bedsores.
Instead of a memory foam mattress, people can choose to purchase a memory foam mattress topper. This item is a layer of memory foam that people can lay on top of their mattress. Some are also available for just one-half of the bed, which may suit couples with different bedding preferences.
Memory foam mattress toppers can make the mattress feel more comfortable and last longer. However, while memory foam mattress toppers can be a cheaper alternative to a memory foam mattress, even the best ones will not last as long as a full memory foam mattress or provide all the same benefits.
The potential health benefits associated with memory foam mattress toppers include:
- Motion isolation can allow a person to toss and turn without disturbing anyone else in the bed.
- The antimicrobial ability of memory foam can help repel dust mites, bacteria, and fungi.
- A 2018 study comparing memory foam mattresses with other types of mattress found that memory foam provided better sleep and less body pressure. A memory foam mattress topper may provide similar benefits.
- A memory foam mattress topper may benefit people with pressure ulcers. A 2017 study found that adding a memory foam layer to hospital mattresses reduced pressure injuries in inpatients with severe illness.
- A memory foam mattress topper may also suit people who feel the cold or sleep in cooler climates. Memory foam is able to retain heat well.
Memory foam can release strong-smelling gases. A 2019 study found that memory foam can release gases called volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can cause adverse health effects. However, the researchers did not investigate whether the levels of VOCs in memory foam were harmful to health.
Prospective purchasers can reduce their risk of exposure to toxic chemicals by opting for products made with eco-friendly materials. The CertiPUR-US program tests products to determine whether they meet standards for emissions and were made with or contain toxic chemicals.
It is also worth noting that memory foam is a flammable material and, therefore, a known potential fire risk. People should try to keep the mattress topper away from cigarettes, heaters, and any other potential ignition sources. Additional measures to take include making an escape plan in case of fire and installing smoke alarms.
There are many memory foam mattress toppers on the market. Below, we list five products that people may wish to try.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All the information is purely research-based.
ViscoSoft 3-Inch Select High Density Mattress Topper
This memory foam mattress topper consists of a heavier grade memory foam, which the manufacturers claim allows it to last longer. They also state that it has a temperature-controlled surface, which may promote the even distribution of heat.
It also comes with straps to keep it in place on the mattress and a bamboo rayon cover that is hypoallergenic and machine-washable.
Slumber Solutions 1-Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper
Made with 2-pound density memory foam, this mattress topper offers medium support. The manufacturers say that it can reduce joint discomfort by improving the body’s alignment.
A 2020 study suggests that a soft mattress topper that is 30 millimeters thick (roughly 1 inch) may provide the most benefit.
RECCI 3-Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper
This mattress topper consists of pure memory foam and uses a weaving method, which the manufacturers claim helps relieve pressure points and keep people cool while they sleep. It comes with a bamboo viscose cover, which provides a soft and machine-washable surface.
SleepInnovations 4-Inch Dual Layer Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper
This mattress topper comprises two layers: a 2-inch base of memory foam with gel and a 2-inch upper layer of quilted fiberfill. The manufacturers claim that this topper is suitable for side, back, or stomach sleepers. They also suggest that the gel memory foam may help keep people cool all night.
Zinus 2-inch Copper Cooling Wave Dynamics Memory Foam Mattress Topper
The “secret ingredient” in this mattress topper is copper, which the manufacturers say can promote sleep and repel bacteria, germs, and odors. The mattress topper also features curves, which allow it to be both cradling and cooling. A 1.5-inch variant is available for people who want a slightly thinner mattress topper.
Memory foam mattress toppers may help people extend the life span of a mattress or provide a cheaper alternative to a memory foam mattress. They may be useful for people with back pain or reduced mobility.
The thickness and firmness of the topper is a personal choice. A person should choose what they feel is most comfortable for them. While a memory foam mattress topper can provide many benefits, even the best ones cannot meet the standards of a memory foam mattress.