How to Purchase a Memory Foam Mattress Topper

When learning how to purchase a memory foam mattress topper you may find yourself confused at the many options available.

These popular consumer items are offered in various sizes and depths and densities. What does it all mean?


When you purchase a memory foam mattress topper, of course you buy a size that is designed for the mattress on your bed. With cheap toppers, the size may not quite reach the edges of your mattress. This may not cause much concern but will yield an uneven look to the mattress edges when fitted sheets are added.

Standard sizes are twin, twin XL, full (also referred to as double), queen, king and California King. You can purchase memory foam mattress for any sized bed. There are specialty mattresses sold to fit bunk beds and memory foam toppers for those as well.

If you have antique furniture you may have what is called a three-quarters bed that was common many years ago. For this you will need to purchase a full sized memory foam mattress pad and cut it to fit the bed.


You can purchase a memory foam mattress in thicknesses from 1.5 inches to 4 inches. When the foam exceeds four inches it is usually referred to as a memory foam mattress rather than a topper.

With a think topper you will not have the comfort advantages associated with memory foam. A 1.5 inch to 2 inch topper will add a layer of softness to your bed but will not add the body support we expect from memory foam products.

The three inch depth is the most common option for consumers. This will give you the comfort of foam in a topper that will be easily covered with fitted sheets designed for deep mattresses.

Thickness is where you may become confused about how to purchase a memory foam mattress topper. The comfort offered by the inches of foam depends not only on the inches of foam but the density of the memory foam used in the topper.


Memory foam is produced by creating foam that is composed of tiny air bubbles. The density is dependent on how many little pockets of air are in the foam product and is measured in terms of pounds.

The lower the density, the softer the memory foam. However, lower densities also are product with lower life spans. A low density memory foam mattress may be a density of 2 or 2.5 pounds. This will be a soft mattress with larger air bubbles. It will be very comfortable but will not provide the best support qualities that memory foam is known for.

A topper with a density of 3-4 pounds is a good choice if you want a comfortable topper that will also gently support your body as you sleep. Some of the top rated, expensive mattresses that feature memory foam use a density of 4.5.

The use of "pounds" to measure density is also a measure of weight. Memory foam toppers are not light weight products. High density foam mattresses and toppers are quite heavy to move.


When you purchase a memory foam mattress topper you are unlikely to think of temperature when choosing the depth and density of your mattress pad. Memory foam has a reputation for holding body head. In cold climates, this can be a bonus but if you live in a tropical or subtropical locale, you don't want a mattress topper that is hot to sleep on.

Manufacturers have responded to complaints about temperature by adding covers for the toppers. Some claim to have developed processes that are better as dispersing the body heat rather than holding it in the mattress pad.

As a rule, the high density toppers become more pliable as they absorb the heat from your body. If temperature may be a problem in your area, look for a mattress topper that advertises a solution to heat retention.

Why Purchase a Memory Foam Mattress Topper?

Memory foam was developed by NASA for use by astronauts. It was added initially to luxury mattresses as a top layer in the padding. It was so popular that mattress toppers were quickly offered to the public by smart manufacturers.

For a time, memory foam toppers were a fad. They were usually low density pads of 1-2 inches in depth and though the provided softness they did not do much more than that.

Today, when you purchase a memory foam mattress topper you can buy a product that will greatly improve the comfort of your standard mattress at a cost far below buying new bedding. The benefits of memory foam are based on the resilience of the product.

This is not foam that is only soft - it is a foam product designed to provide support. The foam conforms to the shape of your body. This is especially good if you are someone who sleeps on your side. Instead of trying to find a comfortable position on a standard mattress surface, with a memory foam topper your body is cushioned no matter what position you choose for sleep.


When you know how to purchase a memory foam mattress topper you will consider price but should also pay carefully attention to the depth of the topper and the density of the foam used.

Choose a 3-4 pound density for the best sleeping comfort. Higher densities provide more body support for those who prefer a firm surface. However, higher density foam can also retain more body heat and be uncomfortable during summer months.

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