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Mattresses are a tough purchase — even if you get to try them out (thanks to 100-night return policies from many companies) or read reviews (like our very thorough tests). When you find yourself with one that’s just a little too firm or too soft, or that makes you sweat through your sheets, a mattress topper can close the gap between the almost there and the just right.

According to Bill Fish, a sleep-science coach and co-founder of the sleep-products site Tuck, buying a mattress topper is “a rather inexpensive method to fix an uncomfortable mattress without going through the process of purchasing a new mattress entirely.” Joe Auer, founder of the review site Mattress Clarity, agrees: “Some purchase one to revitalize an old bed that has lost its cushioning over time, or sometimes couples will disagree on the proper firmness of a bed and buy a mattress topper to place on one half of the bed.” Whatever your reasons for buying a mattress topper, you’ll want one that offers the exact feel you’re seeking — whether that’s firm and supportive or soft and plush. We asked 13 sleep-product pros to guide us through the various options on the market and point out the best of each type. Use the links below to jump to the type of topper you’re looking for, or read on to learn more about what to look for when you’re shopping for one.

What to look for

Material
While there is some variety in firmness within mattress toppers made of the same material, the material is generally what determines a topper’s feel. Firmness “can affect not only one’s comfort but also back health,” explains Alex Savy, a sleep-science coach and founder of the sleep-product-review site SleepingOcean. In general, according to Savy, side sleepers should go with softer toppers, back sleepers with medium ones, and stomach sleepers with firm toppers. Since side sleeping is the most common sleeping position, it’s not surprising that “most people purchase a mattress topper to make their bed softer,” says Auer.

Memory Foam
one of the most popular materials for mattress toppers, usually feels soft but can also sometimes run hot (see more about temperature regulation below). Down-feather mattress toppers are soft and plush but can be more expensive and possibly trigger allergies, while down-alternative toppers offer the same softness in a hypoallergenic package. Fiber-filled mattress toppers (usually made from synthetic or polyester materials) are soft and often cheaper than down. Latex has a firmer feel and may be a good choice if your current mattress is too soft.

Temperature Regulation
Retaining heat is one of the most common complaints about mattress toppers — especially memory-foam ones. If a topper locks in your body heat, it can be very uncomfortable to sleep on and can cause you to wake up sweaty. Manufacturers have numerous ways of addressing temperature regulation with features like gel infusions for dispersing heat and high-tech fabrics designed to react to your body temperature. One of the mattress toppers on our list even has a hydro-powered cooling system for the sweatiest of sleepers.

Cleaning
A mattress topper doesn’t need to be washed as frequently as your sheets and pillow cases, but it’s still a good idea to clean it every couple of months. Some mattress toppers are entirely machine washable, though whether you can do that at home or have to drag it to the laundromat depends on the size of your machine (if you have one at all). Others have removable covers that are more manageable for cleaning.

Trial period and warranty
It might take a few nights to decide if you picked the right mattress topper. Sometimes what feels great on the first night can feel saggy or too firm after a week, so lots of companies offer extended trial periods (usually up to 100 nights) to give you some time to determine whether the topper is right for you. Some brands offer warranties that cover your topper from defects for additional months or years. Just be sure to read the fine print: Companies that offer 100-night trials on mattresses don’t always offer the same terms on toppers, and return policies may vary depending on whether you buy the topper directly from the brand or from a third-party retailer like Amazon.

Sleep & Beyond MyMerino Topper

Wool | Natural material for cooling | Spot-clean | Nonreturnable if opened, five-year warranty

This merino-wool topper with an organic cotton shell is another all-natural option that offers temperature regulation. Wool is softer than latex, though, so this one will feel more plush than the latex-blend topper above. As Robinson explains, “Wool toppers keep cool and dry in the summer and pretty warm in the winter when you want them to.” Savvy especially likes this wool topper from Sleep & Beyond. At two inches thick, it isn’t bulky but still adds plenty of padding and support to your bed. (Note that this is another spot-clean-only topper, which may be a drawback if you have pets or kids.)

Article Original Source : The Strategist

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