As more people search for the solution to better sleep, Viscofoam, better known as “memory foam,” has become a popular mattress accessory. Viscofoam can contour to your body, offering more natural and comfortable support for your lumbar and muscles. Because memory foam itself isn't supportive, a 2- to to 3-inche topper over a firmer mattress is ideal. Memory foam toppers can be expensive, and vary widely in quality and type; so, it's important to know what you are looking for before you purchase a mattress topper.
The density rating of memory foam refers to how much it weighs per square foot, and is expressed on the package as “2.5 LB” or “5LB density.” Quality Memory Foam mattress toppers will be more dense than their cheaper counterparts, so the higher the number, the better the topper. Don't be fooled by the instant soft, sinking feel of the cheaper toppers. While it may feel good at first, the less dense topper is likely to wear out much faster than the more expensive one.
While Tempur-Pedic is consistently the best-rated memory foam mattress, Serta offers a 4LB, 3-inch mattress at a reasonable price, and the company reputation and return policy makes it a good bet for quality. Serta is consistently rated in the top three for comfort and value.
Don't be fooled by the “ILD,” or Indent Load Deflection, number. Some companies use this instead of a density rating, but the ILD is not a regulated or quantifiable number when used for memory foam. Density rating is far more reliable, and because it's the industry standard it means you can compare mattress toppers accurately.
Viscofoam responds to and retains heat. Higher quality mattresses will respond more readily to body heat, while lower quality ones may not respond to body heat at all. One of the biggest complaints about memory foam toppers is that they retain body heat. The quality toppers use this heat to conform to your body for comfort, but memory foam of any quality may be warm to sleep on. Look for a mattress topper with a pillow top that wicks heat and moisture away. Serta and Tempur-Pedic both offer options for pillow tops that will allow you to enjoy your mattress without being overheated.
Memory Foam toppers are available from many sources and at many price points. When choosing a Viscofoam mattress topper, keep in mind that while the initial outlay for an off-brand may be less, you may not be getting a good value if the quality is poor, and it's difficult to return. The consistently top-rated memory foam mattress topper is made by Tempur-Pedic, with Serta's less-expensive topper next in line. For allergy sufferers, Sealy makes a version that is hypoallergenic.
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