Memory Foam Topper Pads - The Good & Bad

Mattress toppers are 2-5 inch slabs of memory foam (visco elastic memory foam) placed on top of a mattress for added comfort.  Toppers have the potential to prolong the lifespan of a mattress by alleviating pressure on the springs, thereby postponing sagging and overall wear.

In addition, toppers offer the advantage of being more convenient to clean compared to a full-size mattress. Many of them come with removable covers, serving as an effective shield against stains and everyday wear and tear. Additionally, mattress toppers can be easily moved from one bed to another or rolled up for travel purposes.

Memory Foam Mattress Topper for an Old Bed?

Many of us may think that investing in a memory foam topper would be a great idea instead of opting to buy a new mattress. It's natural to think that way if your bed is curved in the middle, giving you the hammock effect. Foam toppers cannot solve the hammock issue as the problem lies underneath, your springs or support foams are no longer supportive.  

You may observe some areas of sagging on the mattress even when it's not being used for sleeping. The foam in the mattress doesn't rebound rapidly despite the fact that contemporary foams are engineered to be highly responsive and to resist early sagging. 

If you're experiencing issues such as broken springs or if you're waking up with discomfort in your back, shoulders, or neck, even adding a five-inch memory foam topper won't remedy those problems. Check your sell-by date, if you’re expired your money is better spent on a new mattress instead. 

20% of People are not helped by Memory Foam Toppers

Did you know that memory foam toppers don't work for nearly 20% of people? It is of no use to people suffering from acute back pain.

Since toppers suit only hard mattresses, they become unsuitable for normal soft beds. In fact using a memory foam topper will make your bed softer and you may finally end up counting sheep till daybreak!

When choosing a topper, keep in mind different materials come with different benefits and issues. Polyester blends are cheaper but become lumpy and compress quickly, while feathers and wool can be noisy and aggravating for those with allergies. Memory foam can sleep hot and make it hard for sleepers to turn over quickly in bed. While latex toppers can be firm and bouncy for some sleepers. 

Be Careful - Toppers May be Damaged Before They Arrive

A major shortfall to foam toppers is that retailers like to store huge quantities for long periods of time.

This affects the foam mattress toppers in two ways:

  • The packing system can damage the mattress due to compression and folding.
  • When stored for long periods of time, memory foam toppers develop compression areas.

Note: Some higher quality memory foam toppers actually become flat after a bare minimum use because of low density manufacturing techniques. With so many retailers flooding this business, be wary and do your research. 

If you're open replacing the mattress that's failing you, check out our top-rated mattresses

Is a Mattress Topper Worth It? 

In most instances, mattress toppers prove to be a worthwhile investment, offering enhanced comfort and extended protection for your mattress. If you're already content with your mattress, a topper may be seen as more of a luxury than a necessity, however there are specific situations where a topper can provide definite advantages such as less weight for transporting and smaller footprint for storage space.

Certain mattress toppers incorporate memory foam infused with gel or copper to disperse heat, while others feature ventilation holes or cooling fabric covers. Additionally, materials such as open-cell foam or latex tend to retain less heat, providing enhanced comfort for individuals who experience warmth during sleep.

When it comes down to it, the choice of material depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you require additional support and cushioning, memory foam could be the best choice. However, if you seek a softer sleeping surface without the need for extra support, materials like down or down alternative fill can provide the desired cushioning. If you’re looking for durability, support and healthiest, organic latex is the only option. Be sure to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each material before making your decision.

What to Look For When Shopping for a Mattress Topper


The thickness of a mattress topper plays a significant role in determining its increased comfort and support. Generally, a thicker mattress topper offers more cushioning. The thickest options typically measure between 3 to 4 inches in height, effectively raising the overall height of your mattress and providing a plush, soft sleeping surface composed of materials such as foam, down fill, or down alternative fill.

However, if you don't require a substantial increase in thickness but simply want a touch of extra softness, a thinner mattress topper may be sufficient. Thin options are usually around 1 to 2 inches thick and can serve the purpose of adding a bit of additional comfort to your bed.


Memory Foam:

  • Pros: Provides additional support/cushioning and conforms to your body.
  • Cons: Strong off gassing odor, no breathability and usually a petro chemical based foam.
Down Toppers:
  • Pros: Offers a soft and luxurious feel. Lightweight and airy.
  • Cons: May loose feathers over time, itchy, allergy sensitive.
Down Alternative Fill:
  • Pros: Mimics the softness of down without using animal products. Lightweight. Maintains its loft over time.
  • Cons: May not have the same plushness as real down. Because it is fill, there is a chance that dust mites may be able to burrow and live in the topper.

Latex Foam:

  • Pros: Durable, breathable, cool sleep, eco friendly and supportive.
  • Cons: Heavy - not easy to move and more expensive to produce.  

The lifespan of your mattress topper will depend largely on the material it’s made from. Low-quality foam will often break down after a year or two, but better quality memory foam will usually last three to five years. Latex mattress toppers are especially durable and often last five years or more. 

For the ultimate topper, check out Essentia’s collection, Made of Dunlop latex and cotton both are certified GOLS/GOTS organic. Designed for superior pressure relief at shoulders and hips and anyone your prefers a responsive surface.