As one of today's most popular comfort products, foam mattress toppers are purchased everyday by people who wake up sore, exhausted, and unhappy. Offering the ability to extend a mattress' life and maximize its comfort, foam mattress toppers are practical, functional, and affordable products that improve quality of sleep for many people.
With these benefits, it would seem that buying a mattress topper is one of the smartest things you can do if you have even the slightest problem getting a restful night's sleep. While this is true, to get the most out of a topper, it needs to be correctly sized to the person using it, and there are a few points that need to be considered when deciding what topper thickness is right for you.
Given the different body types and comfort preferences that exist, there are many different thicknesses of mattress pads to accommodate them. Having customization options is a wonderful thing, but accidentally selecting the wrong thickness is often where the few problems people have with toppers originate. Due to the variety of foam types that are made into toppers, such as latex, conventional foam, or heat-sensitive memory foam, individual performance characteristics of a material can affect how a given thickness will impact a user. 4 inches of one material may not behave in the same way as 4 inches of another. Understanding how these three topper materials can be expected to behave at a given thickness helps customers purchase appropriately sized toppers, maximizing their substantial benefit.
With its ability to provide custom contouring, memory foam is the most popular material for people looking for relief from an uncomfortable, hard bed. Unfortunately, that heat-sensitive contouring is also what can cause problems for individuals who don't fully understand how it works. As a sleeper warms the memory foam, it softens and body weight pulls the individual into the material for a cushioning, cloud-like experience. But as a body sinks into the foam, it doesn't stop warming the material when it reaches the "right spot." That continual softening of deeper areas causes sleepers to sink into the topper, beyond their comfort zone.
While instinct may indicate that more material is firmer and less is softer, when you're atop 6 or 7 inches of memory foam, you will sink deeply into the material, losing the alignment and support of the mattress' base. Memory toppers that are 6 or 7 inches thick actually feel softer and offer less support than a 3 inch foam topper with a base closer to the sleeper. This behavior is why most retailers stick to selling memory toppers in 2, 3, and 4 inch thicknesses. It is also why memory foam mattresses almost exclusively contain a conventional layer for a base that doesn't react to heat, with the thinner layer of memory foam on top.
Conventional foam toppers offer a much more predictable comfort experience. Compression and sink is based solely off the foam's firmness and the weight of the user. At a certain point, the foam topper will compress to where the weight of the sleeper is fully supported. Because of this, excessively thick foam toppers don't add any extra comfort benefit. If a person has a 4 inch topper that compresses 2.5 inches, buying a 6 inch topper of the same material will produce the exact same feel. Latex mattress toppers function in the same way as conventional foams, with a little extra softness but more a responsive spring to the feel.
Knowing what to expect from a topper material will not only help you pick the type that's best for you, but assist in making sure the size you select is right for you too. Often when an individual is unhappy with a topper, their issues can be attributed to a thickness that isn't right for them. Keeping this from happening can help ensure your best sleep experience.