GREENSBORO, N.C. — If you’re tossing, turning, or having other trouble getting comfy in bed, you might be considering a mattress topper. Could that be the answer to sleepless nights once and for all? The experts at Consumer Reports share tips on how to choose a topper and when it might be time to save your money and spring for a new mattress instead.
"A mattress topper can help relieve pressure points for back and side sleepers and make a good mattress feel more comfortable," said Tanya Christian, Consumer Reports Home Editor.
There are many different types of toppers to choose from. Memory foam toppers are a popular choice. They offer that “sinking in” feeling. Expect to pay anywhere from $50 to about $300 depending on the thickness and materials. But memory foam traps heat, so you might want to consider another kind if you sleep hot.
There’s also latex––made from the sap of rubber trees–– that offers a “springier” feel and can be naturally cooling.
If you’re craving a comfier, fluffier feel, try wool, cotton, feather, or other fiber fills. But before you spend the money on a topper, CR says take a hard look at your mattress, because a topper can only do so much.
"Adding a mattress topper to caving, sagging, or otherwise nonsupportive mattress isn’t going make it more supportive or better to sleep on. At that point, it may be best to invest in a new mattress," said Christian.
Iif you’re a smart shopper, you can get a new mattress that performs very well in CR’s rigorous tests for a little more than some of those pricey mattress toppers. Take the Tuft and Needle Original mattress. Tests show it’s ideal for both back and side sleepers.
CR says if you do decide to go with a mattress topper, look for one with straps to help it stay put, as well as a removable, washable cover. And know that it can add anywhere from 1 to 4 inches to the height of your mattress. That’s important to keep in mind when you’re shopping for sheets.