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What is a Mattress Topper

If you’re looking to improve your sleeping experience, a mattress topper may be just what you need. But knowing what is a mattress topper and how it can benefit your sleep is important.

Choosing the right bed can be a challenging task, but with the right topper, you can transform an uncomfortable mattress into one that’s bearable, or take a great mattress to the next level of comfort. This guide will provide valuable insights into what a  mattress toppers is and their features.

What is a mattress topper

A mattress topper is a layer of material that can significantly change the firmness of a mattress, ranging from 1 to 6 inches thick and available in various materials. Unlike a mattress pad or protector, toppers are not intended for protecting mattresses from liquids or contaminants. They come in six standard mattress sizes and can be designed to rest on top of a mattress or have elastic straps to secure them in place.

Mattress Topper Benefits

Using a topper can significantly alter a mattress’s firmness level in either direction, such as adding cushioning to a firm bed or providing a firmer feel to a soft mattress.

While a topper cannot fully restore an old mattress, it can temporarily compensate for slight sagging or indentations and increase overall height or slow down wear and tear. Toppers are also useful when a person wants to change the feel of their bed without replacing their mattress.

Mattress Topper Types

There are various types of mattress toppers made from different materials and styles to optimise pressure relief, isolate motion, or keep sleepers cool. Knowing what a mattress topper type is and how the different types can affect your sleep can help ensure you get the best night’s rest possible.

For example, a memory foam mattress toppers provides deep pressure relief and isolates motion, while a latex topper offers contouring with enough bounce for movement. Wool mattress topper excel at temperature regulation and are suitable for all seasons, and feather toppers are fluffy and soft, with temperature-regulating properties.

Horsehair toppers, in particular, are an excellent option due to their durability and breathability. They offer natural ventilation, which helps regulate body temperature, making them ideal for hot sleepers. Additionally, horsehair is hypoallergenic and naturally repels dust mites, making it a great choice for those with allergies.

What is the best mattress topper?

There is a wide variety of mattress toppers available, including foam, natural fibre and latex toppers. A topper is designed to enhance the comfort layers of a new or existing mattress, so it can soften a mattress or make it firmer.

The perfect mattress topper should have the following features:

  • Depth of at least 10cm or more
  • Two-sided/fully turnable design
  • Tape-edged to increase perimeter support
  • Buttoned handles instead of low-quality Velcro straps
  • Chemical-free ticking (fabric)

Comparing Mattress Toppers

WINSTONS DREAMER MATTRESS TOPPERVISPRING HEAVEN MATTRESS TOPPER (ANDSOTOBED)
Price£1099.99 (King size)£1145 (King size)
Filling CompositionEnglish Lambswool, Hand Teased Shropshire Wool, Hand Teased Cotton, British Highland Wool, Hand Teased Cotton, Hand Teased Shropshire Wool & English LambswoolPlatinum Certified British Fleece Wool, Soft Needled British Fleece Wool & Platinum Certified British Fleece Wool
Filling Total GSM40001200
Layers73
Thickness12cm5cm
Natural Fibre100% Natural100% Natural
Handcrafting Heritage95 Years+100 Years+
Guarantee2 Years2 Years
WINSTONS HERITAGE MATTRESS TOPPERVISPRING HEAVEN LUXURY MATTRESS TOPPER (ANDSOTOBED)
Price£1349.99 (King size)£1495 (King size)
Filling CompositionEnglish Lambswool, Hand Teased Shropshire Wool, Hand Teased Alpaca Wool & British Highland Wool, Hand Teased Alpaca Wool, Hand Teased Shropshire Wool & English LambswoolPlatinum Certified British Fleece Wool, Blended Platinum Certified British fleece Wool & Cotton & Platinum Certified British Fleece Wool
Filling Total GSM40001800
Layers73
Thickness12cm7cm
Natural Fibre100% Natural100% Natural
Handcrafting Heritage95 Years+100 Years+
Guarantee2 Years2 Years
WINSTONS DUKE MATTRESS TOPPERVISPRING HEAVEN LUXURY SUPREME MATTRESS TOPPER
Price£1599.99 (King size)£1770 (King size)
Filling CompositionEnglish Lambswool, Soft Bamboo, Hand Teased Shropshire Wool, Hand Teased Alpaca Wool, British Highland Wool, Hand Teased Alpaca Wool, Hand Teased Shropshire Wool, Soft Bamboo & English LambswoolPlatinum Certified British Fleece Wool, Platinum Certified British Fleece Wool, Horse Tail, Platinum Certified British Fleece Wool & Platinum Certified British Fleece Wool
Filling Total GSM50002800
Layers95
Thickness14cm10cm
Natural Fibre100% Natural100% Natural
Handcrafting Heritage95 Years+100 Years+
Guarantee2 Years2 Years
WINSTONS NO2 MATTRESS TOPPERHÄSTENS BJX LUXURY MATTRESS TOPPER (THENATURALBEDDINGCOMPANY
Price£2399.99 (King size)£3190 (King size)
Filling CompositionEnglish Lambswool, Hand Teased Silk, Hand Teased Shropshire Wool, Hand Teased Alpaca Wool, Hand Teased Long Loose Curled Horsetail, British Highland Wool, Hand Teased Long Loose Curled Horsetail, Hand Teased Alpaca Wool, Hand Teased Shropshire Wool, Hand Teased Silk & English LambswoolHorsetail Hair, Cotton & Wool
Filling Total GSM7000Not Disclosed
Layers11Not Disclosed
Thickness15cm5cm
Natural Fibre100% Natural100% Natural
Handcrafting Heritage95 Years+100 Years+
Guarantee2 YearsAsk Retailer

The significance of a mattress topper

Choosing the right mattress topper is crucial, as it needs to complement your bed and be of the appropriate depth to provide any real benefits. At Winston’s Beds, we have carefully matched our mattress toppers to our range and also offer a selection of standalone toppers that can be purchased separately to fine-tune your existing mattress. We provide the world’s most luxurious and highest specification 100% natural mattress toppers.

A high quality mattress topper can transform a great mattress into a fantastic one, while it can also make a bad or unsuitable bed much more comfortable. Some of our customers have questioned why it’s necessary to add a topper if the mattress is already expensive and has sufficient comfort layers. The answer is simple: toppers enhance the comfort and extend the lifespan of your mattress.

What are the benefits of mattress toppers

A mattress topper offers two main benefits: enhancing comfort and extending the lifespan of your mattress. It’s a practical solution that provides flexibility and can help prolong the life of your bed. Let’s take a closer look at  what is a mattress topper benefit?

Enhanced Comfort Layers

Sleeping on a core mattress without a topper can cause the softer top layer to compress under your body weight, leading to discoloration from perspiration. A mattress topper adds an additional layer that compresses before the mattress, providing increased comfort and a layer that can be easily turned or rotated. One-sided mattresses can be problematic, but a topper helps to address this issue.

Prolonged Mattress Lifespan

Sleeping directly on your mattress exposes it to various substances, including body perspiration, dead skin, and bacteria, all of which can contribute to premature wear and tear.

A mattress topper can help prevent these substances from reaching the core mattress. This means that while the topper and covers may absorb perspiration, they are easier and more affordable to remove, wash, or replace than the entire mattress.

Using a topper also helps keep dead skin and bacteria away from your mattress, ensuring that the top layers take any sagging rather than the mattress itself. Over time, foams will compress somewhat, but a topper helps ensure that the top layers bear the brunt of the sagging, allowing you to replace the topper as needed. This ultimately allows you to replace the top layer or adjust the mattress’s feel later on.

In the long run, a mattress topper provides additional benefits, helping keep your mattress newer for longer and providing increased comfort. When the topper has fulfilled its purpose after nightly use, it’s a small expenditure to replace it as needed rather than having to replace the complete mattress.

What’s the best mattress topper material?

When searching for the best mattress topper material, it’s important to consider several factors such as price, lifespan, and comfort. There are various materials to choose from, and each comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

Polyester-based toppers are usually the most affordable option and are best suited for those who want to protect their mattress from spills and other accidents. However, these toppers are not very durable and tend to flatten out quickly, which can affect their ability to provide extra cushioning.

On the other hand, natural latex toppers are mid-priced and have a longer lifespan than synthetic options. These toppers provide a good balance of softness and support, making them a great choice for sleepers who want to add extra comfort to their mattress.

Wool and horsehair toppers are at the high-end of the market and offer the longest lifespan. These natural fibre toppers are highly breathable and have exceptional temperature regulation. They also compress and settle slower than synthetic options, making them a better choice for those who want to add softness and longevity to their mattress.

When choosing a mattress topper, it’s important to consider the overall quality of the product as well as your specific needs. While polyester-based toppers are the most affordable, they may not last as long or provide the level of comfort you desire. On the other hand, natural fibre toppers like wool and horsehair may be more expensive but offer superior comfort and durability in the long run. Ultimately, the best mattress topper material is the one that best meets your personal preferences and needs.

What are mattress pads?

A mattress pad is a layer placed on top of a mattress to alter its feel or protect it from liquids, accidents, and dirt. They are typically 1 to 2 inches thick and may make a bed feel more plush, but they don’t drastically change a bed’s firmness level. Mattress pads can be made from synthetic or natural materials or a combination of both, and their performance depends on the style and type of material used in their construction.

Mattress Pad Benefits

Mattress pads are commonly used to modify a mattress’s comfort level by adding a level of plushness to a very firm model or giving structure to a softer design. They can also help protect a mattress from spills, dust, mites, and other allergens, providing a quieter and more comfortable alternative to noisy waterproof mattress protectors.

Mattress Pad Types

There are different types of mattress pads designed with different goals in mind, from protecting a mattress from wear and tear to keeping sleepers cool. The performance of a mattress pad depends on the materials used to make it.

Feather mattress pads, made from duck or goose feathers, offer a plush feel, making them suitable for people looking to soften a very firm bed. They are also breathable, so heat buildup is unlikely to be an issue. However, the feathers may clump and result in an uneven surface unless the pad is regularly fluffed.

Wool mattress pads, sourced mainly from sheep, naturally wick away moisture and keep heat from building up. They are often used in mattresses and mattress pads because they act as a natural fire barrier. Wool mattress pads can make a stiff mattress feel cosier without retaining too much heat.

Fibre mattress pads, consisting of polyester fill, are often suitable for people sensitive to down feathers. They are lightweight, soft, and machine-washable, making them a good choice for sleepers looking to add some extra cushioning without inhibiting movement. Temperature neutrality can vary based on construction, but most fibre pads are fairly breathable and more economical than other types of mattress pads.

Mattress pads vs mattress toppers

When it comes to choosing between mattress pads and mattress toppers, the decision ultimately depends on whether you want to focus on protecting your mattress or significantly changing its feel.

Mattress pads are ideal for sleepers looking to add a bit of comfort to their bed while keeping their mattress clean and dry. They don’t significantly alter a mattress’s firmness level, but they can soften or reinforce a bed’s surface depending on the design. Mattress pads can also protect your bed from moisture and dirt, minimising unnecessary wear and tear.

Toppers are a better option for sleepers looking to substantially adjust the feel of their bed. Since mattress toppers are thicker than mattress pads, they are better equipped to make a mattress either firmer or softer. When made from breathable materials, toppers can also facilitate a cooler sleep.

Toppers can help prolong the lifespan of a mattress by minimizing premature sagging and impressions. They can also reduce aches and pains by cushioning key pressure points throughout the body.

In summary, mattress pads can fine-tune the feel of a bed and provide modest protection, while toppers offer a more notable transformation in comfort and support.

Which should you choose?

When it comes to choosing between a mattress topper and a mattress pad, the decision ultimately depends on your individual needs and preferences. While a topper can significantly alter a bed’s firmness level, a mattress pad only slightly adjusts its feel.

While some mattress pads feature a waterproof barrier to protect against spills and other accidents, most toppers are not designed for this purpose.

Both mattress pads and toppers have similar lifespans, with pricing varying based on materials and brand. Toppers generally tend to be more expensive than mattress pads. Mattress pads are often machine-washable and easy to clean, while toppers can be more challenging to clean due to their bulkier design.

Mattress pads add an extra layer of softness and provide protection against dirt and spills. They are an ideal solution for sleepers looking to add a little comfort to their bed without drastically altering its feel.

Mattress toppers can make a notable difference in the way a mattress feels, as they can make a bed softer or firmer depending on the materials used. Toppers can also improve the performance of an older mattress or protect a newer one from premature wear. Ultimately, the choice between a mattress topper and a mattress pad depends on your specific needs and goals for your sleep environment.

The bottom line

Knowing what a mattress topper is versus a mattress pad, and the benefits of both, can ensure you get a restful night’s sleep and protect your mattress better. Using a mattress protector is a basic step to protect your mattress from sweat and other fluids, but it may not be enough. Adding a mattress topper is an excellent way to increase the comfort of your bed and also protect your core mattress from wear and tear.

When choosing a mattress topper, it is best to match the materials of the topper with those in the core mattress, although this is not a strict requirement. To explore the different options available, check out our single and double mattress toppers. If you need further assistance, our expert team is always happy to help. You can call us on 0161 250 9200 or send us a message on our live chat.

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Published: 20th February 2023 (Updated: 4th November 2023) | Isaah

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