Most people spend a third of their lives asleep, which is why good quality sleep is important for health and well-being. The process of buying a new mattress can be daunting. After all, you and your new mattress will be together for many years. One option is to buy a good-quality mattress topper instead. When deciding between a new mattress or quality topper, factors to consider are price differences, the condition of your existing mattress and comparative longevity.
If a new mattress is a long-term relationship, a mattress topper is more of a dalliance. It allows you test the waters before making a commitment. The lifespan of a mattress and good-quality topper will depend on materials and quality of workmanship but, generally, a mattress topper will not last as long as a new mattress. Many high-quality memory foam mattresses, for example, have a 10-year guarantee whereas a quality high-density memory foam topper will last around three years. Latex foam toppers are more durable and resilient. A good-quality latex topper can last up to 20 years.
If your existing mattress is sagging and worn out, many toppers will provide only a temporary solution. Memory foam, which is made of a visco-elastic material, will eventually mold itself to the shape of the underlying mattress. The topper will sink in everywhere the mattress sinks in. A feather bed, which is comprised of goose or duck down and feathers, and is placed over a mattress, will have a cushioning effect but will not offer the support of a new mattress.
Most people only want to change their mattress because their existing one is uncomfortable. A new mattress is a long-term investment and, with such a wide variety now available, a chance to ditch your old box spring and mattress for something completely different. Many mattresses come with a 30-day guarantee, so you can try before you buy. However, if your mattress is in good condition, but too soft or too firm, a mattress topper may be a convenient solution. A topper will add comfort or support, depending on the type you choose.
Allergy sufferers who don't want to incur the expense of a new mattress may benefit from investing in a topper. According to the consumer website Consumer Search, latex toppers are an option for severe allergy sufferers. Latex is a natural product, derived from the sap of the rubber tree. Naturally hypoallergenic and anti-microbial, it resists mold, bacteria and dust mites. Some memory foam toppers are also hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial.
If you suffer from back pain, memory foam or latex mattresses may help. However, these mattresses are expensive, so toppers offer a compromise. According to the Consumersearch website, latex and memory foam offer good support because they mold themselves to body contours, which may help with back pain, and latex foam also reduces strain on the back neck and other joints. According to The Sleep Council, however, there is no one type of mattress that addresses back pain. It advises people with back problems to look for a supportive rather than a hard bed, and to spend time trying out a mattress.
- Photo Credit bed image by Kirsten Alexander from Fotolia.com
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