Buying a latex topper at first seems attractive to people seeking the comfort of latex without the cost of a whole new mattress. But beware: the latex topper is only suitable in certain situations. In many other situations, you'll be wasting your money that could be better put toward the purchase of a new latex mattress.
What is a latex topper?
A latex mattress topper is a thin piece of latex which goes directly on top of an existing mattress. Toppers come in the same standard sizes as mattresses (Single, Queen and King). A topper is less expensive than a mattress, and as a result many shoppers feel that buying a latex topper is an attractive idea. A latex topper may offer the comfort of latex at a fraction of the cost of a new mattress.
But wait - does this sound too good to be true? In part, yes, it depends on why you're seeking to buy a topper versus a new mattress. Here you can find out the types of situations where a topper is, and is not, suitable for you.
Buyer beware: the disadvantages of a topper
Some shoppers who just buy a topper eventually regret that decision. The most common disadvantages of buying a topper are listed below.
Toppers may not be a 100% fit to size.
Even though they come in standard sizes, there is no guarantee that the topper will be a perfect fit when placed on top of your existing mattress. This is especially true at the corners. If that's the case, you may trim the topper yourself using a sharp tool. But who wants to spend extra time and effort fixing that? It could be a nasty surprise for you to have to deal with this after you've already spent money on a mattress topper.
A topper can move around on top of your mattress.
Most toppers do not have a way of securing themselves to the mattress. Some do, but many do not. So when placing a topper on top of your mattress without a way to secure it, you can expect it to move around. It may gradually shift towards one side, or it may bunch up. Regardless, this topper movement could hinder your sleep and will also require you to adjust the topper periodically before getting into bed.
You may require new sheets and/or a mattress pad.
A topper adds height to the mattress. Therefore, if your sheets are already a tight fit, you would need to purchase new ones that can accommodate a higher mattress. Some people purchase a mattress pad to be placed on top of the topper to help secure it better to the mattress. This increases the mattress height even further and may even require custom sheets. These unanticipated costs of new sheets and a mattress pad could add up to a hefty sum, especially after buying a new topper.
A latex topper on a non-latex mattress will simply not produce the full effect that a latex mattress will give you. Furthermore, if the underlying mattress is old, a latex topper will not help much. For example, a sagging innerspring mattress will still sag uncomfortably -regardless of whether you place a latex topper on it or not.
Latex topper versus a latex mattress
If you are deciding between a latex topper and a latex mattress, you first need to ask yourself why you are looking for new bedding.
If your mattress is old or uncomfortable, then a latex topper will not help much in extending its lifespan. Instead it would be better to purchase a new mattress, from both a comfort and a financial point of view. While a latex topper on an old mattress may indeed help eke out another year from the mattress, you will eventually need to replace your mattress anyway, incurring additional costs. Furthermore, a latex topper just doesn't give you as much added comfort and support as a latex mattress would, simply because the topper is so much thinner.
If you are seeking to update your bedding to alleviate a health condition such as, back pain or joint pain, you have to be more careful about the type of bedding you plan to purchase. An old or sagging mattress will simply not allow the topper perform to its best potential, robbing you of your comfort. It is therefore better for those suffering from back or joint pain to purchase a complete new latex mattress instead of merely putting a topper on an old one. You also cannot predict exactly how the topper will feel on your existing mattress, since this is not something you'll be able to try out before buying. In contrast, you are able to adequately test out a new latex mattress by lying on it in a showroom to ensure you understand exactly how it will contour against your body. This is absolutely critical for anyone seeking to alleviate pain.
Are you looking for the soft comfort and support of latex at a fraction of the price of a complete new mattress? Unfortunately, a latex topper on a new non-latex mattress will not equate to the feel of a full latex mattress. This is because the latex topper is quite thin compared to what a 100% latex mattress would be. Therefore you simply won't be able to fully achieve the soft yet supportive luxury of latex when you only have a thin section of it. There is a reason why there is a big demand for 100% latex mattresses, and this is because the feel cannot be duplicated by cheaper methods.
Yet there are some instances where buying a latex topper may be preferable to buying a new latex mattress. For example, a latex topper may be ideal if you have recently purchased a new memory foam mattress which makes you feel warm during your sleep. In that situation, the breathability of a latex topper may help. Another situation would be if you are seeking to change the firmness of your recently-purchased mattress. In that case, a soft latex topper may be appropriate to add comfort to your existing hard mattress. You can see from these predicaments that it would have been better and more cost effective to initially select new mattress carefully.
A latex topper should never be used with an old mattress. It may be used to add something to a new mattress, but it can never duplicate the wonderful feeling of a complete new latex mattress.
Ultimately, there are no shortcuts when it comes to comfort and restful sleep. If you are debating between purchasing a latex topper or a latex mattress, the latex mattress is certainly the best option for your comfort. A latex mattress is a better investment for your wallet and comfort in the long run albeit being more costly in the short run.