Buying a latex topper at first seems attractive to many 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 lengths and widths as mattresses (Single, Queen, King). A topper is inexpensive compared to a mattress, and as a result many shoppers feel that buying a latex topper is an attractive idea. A latex topper can 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 upon your existing mattress. This is especially true at the corners. If that's the case you can trim the topper yourself using a sharp tool. But who wants to spend extra time and effort fixing that? It's 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 don't have a way of securing themselves to the mattress. Some do, but many don't. So if you're placing a topper on top of your mattress without a way to secure it, then you can expect it to move around. It may gradually shift toward one side, or it may bunch up. Regardless, this topper movement will 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 increased height to the mattress. Therefore, if your sheets are already a tight fit you will need to purchase new ones that can handle a tall mattress. Some people purchase a mattress pad to go 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 really add up, 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 or not you place a latex topper on it.
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. This is because a latex topper on an old mattress may indeed help eke out another year from the mattress. But after that year is up you will need to replace your mattress anyway, meaning that you have purchased a mattress and a topper within the past 13 months: a significant outlay. Instead, if you had simply replaced the old mattress with a new latex mattress, you would have spent less total amount of money. 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 for example, back pain or joint pain. If that is the case, be very careful about what 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 far 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 can't predict exactly how the topper will feel on your existing mattress anyway, since this is not something you'll be able to try out before buying. In contrast, you can test out a new latex mattress by lying on it in a showroom to ensure you understand exactly how it will feel to 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 complete latex mattress. This is because the latex topper is quite thin in comparison 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. So unfortunately, putting a latex topper on an innerspring mattress is not a good idea. It will simply not give you the wonderful feeling of restful comfort you would get from a complete latex mattress.
Yet there are some instances where buying a latex topper may be preferable to buying a new latex mattress. One of these is if you have recently bought a new memory foam mattress which sleeps hot, and you're seeking to alleviate that. In that situation, the breathability of a latex topper may help. Another situation would be if you have recently purchased a new non non-latex mattress which needs a different level of firmness. In that case, a soft or a firm latex topper may be appropriate. You can see from these predicaments that it's much better and more affordable to take the time to select the choice of new mattress carefully. In this way a topper will not be needed, saving you money.
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.
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 also the cheaper option in the long run (although not in the short term). For example, you may be unpleasantly surprised to find out that a thin latex topper simply doesn't give you the level of comfort you had anticipated. In that situation your money would have been better spent toward a new latex mattress instead.
Ultimately, there are no shortcuts when it comes to comfort and restful sleep. This is because the there is nothing else which can duplicate the full luxury of a new latex mattress.