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Mattress toppers are the go-to solutions for changing how the surface of a mattress feels. Sleepers alter their firm beds using softer mattress toppers and vice versa. However, many shoppers may be oblivious to the topper's thickness, and how it affects its performance. Read on to find out how to choose the perfect thickness of a latex topper from the varieties available in the market.

What is a Mattress Topper?

A mattress topper is a removable layer of foam placed on top of a mattress to alter its firmness level to suit the sleeper's preferences. Most toppers fall anywhere between 2 and 4 inches thick, and are wide enough to fit on top of different standard-sized mattresses. A topper is used with a new or existing mattress as long as the latter is still in a good usable condition.

Some sleepers confuse mattress toppers for mattress pads because of their similarities. However, mattress pads add a comfort layer to the mattress without notably altering its firmness level. Some mattress pads also protect the mattress from spillage, dirt, and everyday wear and tear, among other uses.

Generally, the difference between these two products is their thickness and foam density. Mattress toppers are thicker and denser than pads, and resemble a mattress rather than a puffed duvet or comforter. Considering that the market offers varying models of these products, you may need help differentiating toppers from pads while shopping.

What is a Latex Mattress Topper?

A latex topper is made from natural latex foam, and comes in plenty of high-quality variations.

Natural latex is a liquid extracted from the Hevea Brasiliensis species of rubber trees. This liquid is processed using two distinct methods to produce its solid form used to make latex mattress toppers and other products. After harvesting, the liquid latex may be processed using either of these two methods described below:

Dunlop Process

This process produces a firmer and denser type of latex foam. The liquid latex gets whipped to lather, and is poured into a mold. Next, this mixture is steam-baked until it's ready, and later left to cool. The resulting latex foam is more responsive and durable.

Talalay Process

The Talalay process is more detailed than the Dunlop one.The process of making talalay latex toppers begins by whipping the liquid sap to lather before pouring it into a mold and sealed. Next, the mold gets vacuumed to get rid of air, and then frozen before baking. The final product is lighter compared to a Dunlop latex foam.

You'll most likely notice either of these processing methods indicated on the information tags of latex mattress toppers. Because of the labor-intensive processing method, a natural Talalay latex topper may be more expensive than a Dunlop topper. Talalay latex topper also feels softer, and has more air pockets that allows for ample air flow.

On the other hand, unlike talalay latex toppers, Dunlop latex toppers are more durable, springy, and responsive.

Mattress Topper Types

It's easy to identify the type of mattress topper by the material used to manufacture it. The most common toppers include:

Latex Toppers

Latex toppers are popular because of the unique advantages that set them apart from other toppers. These advantages include:

Durability

Latex mattresses are durable thanks to the high quality of latex foams. With proper care, these toppers can last longer than the average 3 to 5-year lifespan of most toppers, making them worth the investment.

Temperature Regulation

The open-air pockets of latex foam let air circulate freely around a sleeper's body, allowing hot air to escape, maintaining a breezy bed all night long.

Motion Isolation

The natural fibers of latex foams and their responsiveness enables the toppers to absorb a good amount of motion, to reduce transferring from one side of the bed to the other. As a result, sleepers don't have to worry about being rudely awakened while sleeping, therefore, improving the quality of their sleep.

Free from Allergens

Natural latex doesn't emit harmful VOC chemicals that cause allergic reactions to sleepers, such as itchiness and breathing difficulties. In addition, since it's a natural antimicrobial bed, molds and mildew can't grow on them. Therefore, latex mattress toppers are safe to use for children and allergy-prone sleepers.

Eco-Friendliness

Latex mattress toppers are biodegradable - they can't cause any harm to the environment when disposed of. You'll be glad to know that you contributed positively to the global fight for environmental sustainability by purchasing one of these toppers.

Memory Foam Mattress Topper      

A memory foam mattress topper is made from chemically-processed polyurethane to create different foam densities. These toppers are well-known for their conformity and pressure relief, and are generally softer compared to other types of toppers. Memory toppers also come in varying thickness levels, and offer excellent cushioning and support. As a result, they are a good choice for sleepers suffering from arthritis and joint pains.

However, a memory foam mattress has a closed-cell structure that traps the sleeper's body heat, resulting in sleeping hot. A Memory foam topper also emits undesirable odors when new because of the various chemical components used in manufacturing.

Feather Down Mattress Toppers

These are down or feather-stuffed fabric encasements that resemble duvets filled with down. They are lightweight and plush, and are generally softer and less supportive. These toppers add more luxury to a bed than firmness and support.

Feather downs are great at heat regulation because they are light weight, and their softness improves pressure relief and increases comfort. However, these toppers aren't durable because the feathers compress and lose their fluffiness over time.

Wool Mattress Toppers

Despite being unpopular, wool is yet another material used to make mattress toppers. Wool toppers lean more towards providing comfort and luxury than altering the firmness of a mattress, or offering support to a sleeper.

They are also pricier because of the cost of sourcing for wool, and may not be as durable as memory or latex foam toppers. However, a wool mattress topper is perfect if you're looking for a lightweight topper that feels breezy during hot seasons, and warm during winters. Wool is also biodegradable and hypoallergenic, allowing you to have a cleaner and breathable sleep experience.

Reasons to Buy a Latex Mattress Topper Instead of a New Mattress

A new mattress requires more shopping time, and a bigger budget that may be unnecessary if your existing mattress is still in usable condition. Generally, mattresses wear out after about seven years, but may not feel as good as new ones after at least three years of use. However, it may be too early to get rid of such a mattress if it can be revamped using a good topper.

Here are some reasons for buying a mattress topper instead of a new mattress:

Changes How Your Sleep Surface Feels

The purpose of a topper is to make your sleep surface firmer or softer. It's normal for your mattress to wear and tear after years of use, causing it to feel less supportive or less plush. A firmer topper restores support, while a softer one adds conformity to the mattress.

Protects the Mattress from General Wear and Tear

Sleeping on a mattress topper reduces the direct pressure exerted on the mattress, prolonging its lifespan and eliminating the unanticipated budget for a new one.

Easy to Maintain

A topper covering the mattress surface and its sides protects it from dust, body oils, and dead cells. Because a latex mattress topper is hypoallergenic and easier to clean, maintaining the hygiene of the bed becomes less time-consuming.

Toppers are Budget-Friendly

You may need three times the price of a good latex topper to buy a new mattress of average quality. Instead, using a topper gives you more time to budget for a new mattress, without sacrificing comfort or straining your finances.

Reduces Motion Transfer and Noise

A mattress topper can also serve as a motion absorption layer for sleepers who share a bed. Both noise and movement cause sleep disruption that can annoy you or your partner, or make intimacy uncomfortable. Choosing a good topper that can absorb movement and eliminate noise helps maintain quiet, undisturbed, and discrete nights for a more sound sleep.

What to Look for When Buying a New Mattress Topper

There are many attractive designs of mattress toppers sold in stores and online. However, not all toppers suit every sleeper's needs based on their preferences and needs. Therefore, it's important to consider the following factors while buying a new mattress topper:

Sleep Positions

Similar to selecting a mattress, your sleeping position also determines the type of topper that suits you. For example, side sleepers are generally comfortable on a softer mattress topper than back or stomach sleepers. Combination sleepers prefer a firmer mattress topper to a softer or firmer one in order to balance pressure relief, support, and comfort.

The Firmness of Your Mattress

If you add a softer mattress topper to a softer mattress, you're likely to lose the support of your mattress because of too much cushioning. On the other hand, a firmer mattress won't go well with an equally firm mattress topper. Instead, you need to find a topper that will help you balance the comfort and support of your mattress for it to be comfortable.

The Size of Your Mattress

Find a mattress topper that fits perfectly onto your mattress to function properly. You should check the tag of your mattress to find the measurements of its surface, and use that to determine the right mattress topper size. A wider mattress topper will only cause you to fall off the bed, while a small topper will restrict the usable space on the entire bed.

Pressure Relief

Your sleeping position creates different pressure points on the body, such as the hips, shoulders, neck, and back. These body parts may be more painful if your mattress doesn't offer adequate cushioning or support. Consider buying a softer topper to reduce pressure on these areas while you sleep. You may also be keener on the topper materials and firmness level.

For example, if you're a back sleeper, you need a medium-firm to firm mattress topper to keep your spine in proper alignment to prevent backaches and stiffness. On the contrary, a side sleeper needs a softer mattress to cushion the hips and shoulders, without throwing the spine off its natural curve.

Your Body Weight

Your weight determines how deep you'll sink into a mattress topper, which generally affects the performance of the topper. For example, you'll need a denser topper if you are heavier, to avoid dipping too much and misaligning the spine because of the resulting poor support.

The Quality of the Topper

The quality of a topper determines its value, and how well it will solve your mattress problems. A good quality mattress topper, such as one made from latex foam, has more than one use, making it worth the investment.

The Topper's Warranty

The topper's warranty will give you an idea of how long you should expect the topper to last. If it has a shorter lifespan, it may mean that it's of poor quality, and may not help you as much as you need. So, consider a topper with at least 4 years warranty while shopping for one.

How Thick Should a Latex Topper Be?

Mattress toppers generally range between 2 and 4 inches in thickness, despite their varying models in the market today. Before deciding on the topper to take home, you need to know what thickness level suits you.

Here's a breakdown of how toppers of varying thickness levels perform, regardless of their models.

2-Inch Mattress Topper

A 2-inch mattress topper is more inclined towards comfort rather than firmness and support, and is ideal for adding extra cushioning and plushness to a bed. However, it won't give your bed a dramatic makeover if your mattress is too old and sagging.

The 2- inch toppers are effective on any mattress, including a memory foam mattress, innerspring mattress, and latex mattress.

3-Inch Mattress Topper

A 3-inch topper is in the middle range, and can do more than alter the firmness of a mattress. First, this topper offers a perfect balance between support and comfort. If you choose a softer topper of this thickness level, your mattress will have a thicker layer of plushness and conformity. On the other hand, a firmer option will make your bed more even, with just the right amount of cushioning you desire.

4-Inch Mattress Topper

A 4-inch mattress topper is the highest level of mattress topper thickness, and the ultimate bed transformer. This topper is great for older mattresses with less support, cushioning, and comfort. Because it's almost half the size of an average mattress, a 4-inch toppers feels like a new mattress. When selecting from a variety of 4-inch toppers, choose one that closely matches your ideal mattress, or maybe a little firmer or softer.

4-inch mattress toppers also have enough room for additional comfort layers, such as a cooling gel layer, or a layer of cotton for softness. Such premium quality toppers fetch high prices, and last longer than the thinner variations.

These toppers can also carry more weight than the thinner ones, making them ideal for heavier sleepers. In general, a thinner topper makes minimal changes to a bed, and therefore, it may not solve most of your mattress issues as a thicker topper would.

Who Benefits from Using a Mattress Topper?

Mattress toppers are more useful to some sleepers because of their specific sleep needs. Here are a few examples:

Pregnant Women

Pregnancy comes with general discomforts caused by body changes, specifically during the advanced months of the term. For example, pregnant women commonly complain of backaches, sleeping hot, and difficulties finding a comfortable sleeping position. A good topper and other bed accessories, such as pillows, can improve the comfort of such sleepers without indulging in the costs of buying a new mattress.

Allergy-Prone Sleepers

If you are allergic to dust mites, molds, and mildews, you need to find a hypoallergenic mattress topper made of natural materials such as latex to avoid health complications. The topper will prevent you from coming in contact with the mattress while sleeping to reduce the chances of allergic reactions.

Sleepers with Joint Pain and Arthritis

Sleeping while in pain can become very difficult if your mattress adds more pressure to the painful parts of the body. However, with a good mattress topper, it's possible to relieve pressure points of such a sleeper to help them rest and recuperate even better.

FAQs about Latex Mattress Toppers

Here are some more questions and answers to help you learn more about the right latex mattress topper thickness.

How can I Clean a Latex Topper?

Most latex mattress toppers manufacturers provide a care and maintenance instruction manual you can follow while cleaning your topper. Some toppers come with removable and machine washable covers you can wash separately. You may want to avoid using harsh cleaning abrasives to remove tough stains, as that may damage the topper and reduce its longevity.

How can a Latex Topper Be Stored?

It's best practice to store a mattress topper while clean. You can roll and fit the mattress topper in a water-resistant bag for storage. Ensure that you put it in a temperature-controlled room away from moisture and sharp objects that may cut through the topper. Also, avoid placing heavy materials on top of the topper to avoid squashing during storage.

How Much does a Latex Mattress Topper Cost?

A latex mattress topper can cost a few dollars more than the average price of a mattress topper because of its exceptional quality, durability, and performance. However, you may shop online for a good latex topper, and take advantage of discounts and slash sales, such as one offered for Latex For Less topper.

Can a Latex Mattress Topper Replace an Existing Mattress?

Although a latex topper can significantly change how a mattress feels, there's no way to fix an old, sagging, worn-out mattress other than replace it. A topper only corrects a few problems, but can't fix structural deformations, such as lost edge support, or torn and broken inner-core system.

Where can I Buy a Latex Mattress Topper?

Buying a mattress topper online allows you to choose from a wider range of toppers, and access better offers. It's also more convenient and less time-consuming because it can be done from anywhere at your own convenient time.

Why Buy a Latex For Less Mattress Topper?

The Latex For Less natural latex toppers offer more than what you're looking for in an ideal topper. Here is why you'll love these five-star-rated toppers.

  • Allergens and chemicals won't be a problem because this topper is made from 100% natural latex from a single source. Their breathable organic cotton cover is GOTS certified to ensure you sleep on a fresh and eco-friendly bed.
  • The toppers come in three different comfort levels and are available in 2-inch and 3-inch variations. They are also available in all sizes, including a king size mattress topper to fit on larger beds. That's a lot of options to choose from.
  • Customers described these toppers as comfortable and soft because of the relaxing and energizing sleep experience the toppers provide.
  • You'll enjoy superior pressure relief thanks to the support and even distribution of body weight on the topper to cushion all pressure points of the body.
  • The toppers come with a 5-year warranty, surpassing the average lifespan of regular mattress toppers.
  • Shop conveniently from the comfort of your home, and enjoy free shipping within the continental US.

Get your Latex For Less mattress topper today, and enjoy free shipping. You can also take advantage of our sales throughout the year to purchase a premium quality latex topper at incredibly low prices!  And be sure to add the Latex For Less Organic Cotton Topper, too.

Elizabeth Magill

Elizabeth Magill is a professional freelance writer and editor who holds an MBA. Liz specializes in writing about health news, medical conditions, healthy living, small business, career and work, personal finance, and green-living, including news and trending topics in these specialties. Her clients include Healthline, The Motley Fool, GoBanking Rates, LIVESTRONG.com, Big Interview, HealthNews, Intuit Small Business Blog, Intuit Health, American News Report, Travels.com, IFX Medical, and many others. She’s also a published eBook author and ghost writer for various clients in the health, medical, career, small business, and personal finance niches.