Pros & cons of a memory foam mattress topper

Written by kimberly turtenwald
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Pros & cons of a memory foam mattress topper
A mattress topper can make your bed feel more comfortable. (Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Over time, with normal wear and use, a mattress becomes increasingly uncomfortable, especially older, traditional spring-style mattresses. However, a new mattress can be quite expensive and may be out of your budget. Instead of purchasing a new mattress set, you may decide to buy a memory foam mattress topper instead. A mattress topper has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

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The cost of purchasing a new mattress may be outside of your budget. If that is the case, a memory foam mattress topper is a less-expensive alternative. The topper fits on top of your current mattress and gives you all of the advantages of having a memory foam mattress without the additional cost.


One of the main reasons that you may be considering going with memory foam is the comfort factor. When you begin to lose sleep because you cannot get comfortable or you begin waking up with a sore back or neck, you know that it is time to get a new mattress.A memory foam mattress topper can offer the same comforts of a new mattress. Mattress toppers are available in different thicknesses so you can choose the right thickness for your comfort.


Memory foam is known for contouring to your body and offering support to the areas of your body that need it the most to get a good night's sleep. A memory foam mattress topper will conform to your body while keeping the support system of your current mattress. This gives extra support to the pressure points on your body that can become sore from the springs in your mattress. The memory foam mattress topper helps cushion and support your body properly.

Limited Help

While the mattress topper can offer the same comforts as a memory foam mattress without the cost, the amount of help it offers is limited. If you have a mattress that is in such poor shape that it is no longer firm, has springs poking through or is sagging, a mattress topper will not help this problem. If you think it may be able to help your mattress, give it a try, but realise that it may not help more severe mattress issues.


Memory foam mattress toppers do not have the same durability as an entirely new mattress. Over time, the memory foam begins to lose its elasticity and may discolour and begin to smell. You can reduce the discolouration and smell by placing a mattress pad over the mattress topper. Therefore, even though the mattress topper is much cheaper than a new mattress, you will need to replace the mattress topper more frequently than a mattress. However, if you only need a temporary fix while you save for a new mattress, this is a good option.


Because the memory foam mattress topper is not a part of the mattress itself, the fit is not exact. When you buy your mattress topper, it will look significantly smaller than your bed. According to the instructions, you will need to gently pull the topper until it fits on your bed. This can be difficult and if you are not careful, you can rip the topper. However, no matter how much you pull, the topper will never exactly fit your mattress, leaving gaps at the edges of the bed. The mattress topper also slides easily and will likely need to be repositioned often.

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