This guide answers all your questions about memory foam mattress toppers, from care and storage to finding the perfect topper for you. So let’s dive in and explore everything there is to know about mattress toppers.
What are Mattress Toppers?
A mattress topper is a thick pad that goes on top of your mattress to change how it feels. You can make your bed cooler, warmer, firmer, or softer with different types of memory foam mattress toppers. While memory foam mattress toppers are most common, there are toppers made from other materials too. You can get latex, down, down alternatives, and even wool options.
What is the Difference Between a Mattress Pad and Mattress Topper?
Mattress pads and mattress toppers serve two different purposes. Mattress toppers are typically 2-4 inches thick and designed to change the feel of your mattress.
Mattress pads, on the other hand, are much thinner—usually only 1-2 inches thick at most—and meant to protect your mattress.
What is the Best Mattress Topper?
The best mattress topper is different for every sleeper. If you want a firm feel, you’ll likely prefer a denser, more supportive memory foam mattress topper. But if you like to be cradled in a cloud at night, a softer mattress topper is a better option. There are also medium-density memory foam mattress toppers that fall somewhere in the middle.
You should also consider temperature when you sleep. If you wake up sweating at night, you’ll love a cooling memory foam mattress. They include a cooling gel layer that helps disperse body heat. People who bundle up at night should consider a standard memory foam mattress topper since they tend to hold body heat.
Don’t forget to take your mattress type into account, too. While you can mix and match your mattress and mattress topper materials, you may end up completely changing the feel of your mattress. In addition, some mattress toppers, like latex models, might be too heavy for your mattress and bed frame, reducing the lifespan of your mattress.
Finally, while mattress toppers can help you stay comfortable on an old mattress before you have to replace it, they won’t make your mattress brand new. So if you’re waking up with aches and back pains from a sagging, unsupportive mattress, it’s likely time to replace your mattress altogether.
Do I Need Different Bed Sheets with a Mattress Topper?
Since memory foam mattress toppers are a few inches thick, standard sheets may not fit your bed after you add a topper. Look for deep pocket sheets that can accommodate the added height, like our Leesa Bamboo Sheet Set. Otherwise, you may find your fitted sheet slipping off at the corners.
How Long to Air Out Memory Foam Mattress Toppers
When you first get your memory foam mattress topper, it will likely be rolled up and compressed, so you’ll need to give it some time to air out and expand to its full size. Roll it out onto a flat surface and let it sit for about 24 hours to fully inflate, just like you would when setting up a memory foam mattress.
If you get a quality, CertiPUR-US® certified memory foam mattress topper, you shouldn’t notice any significant, lingering smells from off-gassing. However, lower-quality memory foam mattress toppers are often made from high-VOC materials and emit strong chemical smells that can take weeks to fully dissipate.
How to Clean Memory Foam Mattress Toppers
You can’t just toss your mattress topper in the washing machine when it gets dirty or needs a refresh, but some memory foam mattress toppers have removable covers that are washable. If yours doesn’t, or you need to clean the topper itself, you can clean it the same way you would clean a memory foam mattress.
For odors, start by sprinkling the topper with a generous amount of baking soda or a store-bought odor-removal powder. Let it sit for a few hours, then vacuum it up with your vacuum’s hose attachment. You can also use an upholstery brush attachment to loosen up the dirt and get a deeper clean.
Next, you can use a mixture of one tablespoon of dish soap and two cups of regular hydrogen peroxide—or whatever cleaning solution or stain remover that you prefer—to clean stubborn dirt and stains. Blot any excess cleaner off with a towel and let your memory foam mattress topper air-dry completely.
How to Store a Memory Foam Mattress Topper
Some people like to switch out their toppers throughout the year, using a cooling memory foam mattress topper in the summer and a regular one in the winter. When you store your memory foam mattress topper, make sure you roll it up rather than fold it. Folding can damage your topper and reduce its lifespan.
For best results, store it in a mattress topper bag that vacuum seals shut to keep out bugs and moisture—plus, it will be compressed and much easier to store that way. Be sure to keep it in a cool environment with low humidity to prevent any mold or mildew from growing.
How to Cut Memory Foam Mattress Topper to Your Mattress Size
It’s best to buy a memory foam mattress topper that fits your mattress size, but it is fairly easy to trim if needed. Just keep in mind that cutting it will void any manufacturer warranties. Here’s how to do it:
Before you cut your memory foam mattress topper, measure your mattress to determine the exact size you need. If your topper has a cover, you’ll need to remove it first as well.
Next, place your topper on a flat, stable surface, preferably the floor, so you don’t accidentally cut anything else, and use a ruler to draw straight lines where you need to cut. Remember, you can always cut more, but you can’t undo what you’ve already cut!
Use a knife or box cutter to carefully cut along your lines. If you have a thicker topper, you’ll likely need to make two or more cuts to get through it.
How Long Does a Memory Foam Mattress Topper Last
A memory foam mattress topper will usually last around 3-5 years, depending on its quality, how often you use it, and how well it’s cared for.
You will know it is time to replace your memory foam topper if you notice:
A decrease in support or comfort
Any rips or tears in your topper
A stubborn smell that you can’t get out
How to Keep a Memory Foam Mattress Topper From Sliding
If you find that your memory foam mattress topper shifts or slides and won’t stay in place, try using a more fitted sheet to hold it snuggly against your mattress. There are also non-slip mats that you can place between your mattress and your topper to keep it from moving around.
Stick-on velcro strips and double-sided carpet tape are also options for keeping your memory foam mattress topper stable, but they may void your mattress and topper warranties.
Does Leesa Offer Mattress Toppers?
Ready to change up the feel of your bed with a memory foam mattress topper? Check out our Leesa Mattress Topper. It’s made with high-quality foam that’s perfect for all body types and sleep positions. It even includes a washable, easy-to-remove cover to help keep your topper fresh, clean, and comfortable for years to come.