Upgrade Your Mattress With Eco-Friendly and Organic Mattress Toppers
Whether you’re sleeping on a new mattress or one that dates back a few years, sometimes your bed just doesn’t feel perfect. You may feel that your mattress is a bit too soft or firm. You may find that you’re frequently wakened by your partner’s movement. You may simply find that you’re sleeping hot on your current bed, and wish you could regulate your temperature a bit better. You don’t have to invest in a new mattress. Mattress toppers are the next best thing to a new bed, upgrading your existing sleep environment to one that’s just perfect for you. Unsure of how to shop for a new mattress topper? Here’s what you need to know.
Why shop for a mattress topper instead of buying a new mattress?
A mattress is a large investment. You’ll spend a third of your life – or more – in bed, and you want to ensure that your mattress is supportive, comfortable and healthy for you. Whether your mattress is new or several years old, you have access to a solution for the perfect night’s sleep: mattress toppers. It’s important to understand that mattress toppers aren’t a viable substitute for a new mattress. However, there are many reasons you should consider buying a mattress topper instead of purchasing a whole new sleep solution.
Your mattress is too soft or too firm
With few exceptions, mattresses are “one size sleeps all.” You can choose between levels of firmness, ranging from plush to extra firm. Some mattress manufacturers even allow you to split your bed into two firmness levels. For instance, plush for you and medium firm for your partner.
That said, the particular level of firmness your mattress offers may not be ideal for you. You can change that. By adding a mattress topper to your bed, you can add a plush feel or even create additional support. It’s economical and it’s eco-friendly, and adding a mattress topper will create a bed that has a firmness that’s just right for your needs.
Your partner tosses and turns
There’s little more frustrating than being awoken several times each night by a partner who can’t find a comfortable position. He or she tosses and turns (or maybe you do) and causes the whole bed to bounce and shake. You can eliminate this frustration by adding a mattress topper. Latex and foam mattresses are especially good at motion isolation, allowing you and your partner both to rest more easily. Even if you have an innerspring mattress, a quality mattress topper can greatly reduce the amount of movement you’ll feel from your partner throughout the night.
You sleep hot
There are many types of beds on the market: innerspring, hybrid, memory foam and latex are a few. Regardless of which you currently sleep on, it’s possible that you find yourself sleeping hot. It’s a common complaint among children and adults, especially those who are sleeping on certain types of memory foam and latex mattresses.
Today, manufacturers of foams and latex products have innovated ways to circulate air through the material. This air allows you to sleep cooler and regulate your body heat. Some are even infused with cooling gels that serve the same purpose. These materials are available in mattress toppers and can significantly change the way you sleep, allowing you to feel cooler and to rest more soundly. There are other options aside from memory foam and latex. Choosing a mattress topper that’s filled with wool, feather or down will help you sleep cooler on warm nights, and they’ll also help keep you warm on cooler nights. You’ll find mattress toppers that include materials like organic cotton, responsible down and cruelty-free wool online and in retail mattress stores.
You have allergies
There are materials you’ll find in mattress toppers that are resistant to many allergens and other irritants. Wool is naturally moisture-wicking and antimicrobial. That means a lesser chance of mold, mildew and bacteria in your sleep space. Memory foam and latex foams are not hospitable to mites, bed bugs and other critters that may take up residence in your bed. Additionally, there are mattress toppers for your bed that are infused with “ingredients” like activated charcoal, which further reduce the instance of unwanted allergens and irritants.
You have a baby or toddler
Babies and toddlers need a specific level of firmness in a mattress. For infants, the risk of SIDS is decreased when a firmer mattress is used. For toddlers, their growing bones and bodies need extra support, making a firm mattress ideal. Many of the crib mattresses on the market today are designed to be firm, but can be quite uncomfortable. Aside from that, they’re often covered in a plastic material that can, first of all, emit toxic fumes, and secondly, be noisy when your child moves. Using a mattress topper on your child’s crib mattress can help protect your baby from irritants, lessen the noise caused by the plastic of a crib mattress, increase your child’s comfort while she sleeps and create a more healthy sleep environment for your little one. Additionally, most crib mattress toppers are washable, which is a great feature for your child’s bed!
You have medical needs
Whether you have joint pain, asthma, allergies, spinal misalignment, sleep apnea or any other medical concern, a mattress topper can mean all the difference to your health. In stores and online, you’ll find mattress toppers that are hypoallergenic, firm to provide additional support, contouring to your body and resistant to mold, mildew, bacteria and allergens. If you have any question about which mattress topper is right for your medical concerns, speak with your doctor. Together, you can decide whether a wool, down, memory foam or latex mattress topper is right for your unique needs.
To get a “feel” for memory foam
If you’ve been sleeping on an innerspring mattress for years, you may want to give a memory foam or latex mattress a trial. While many manufacturers offer an in-home sleep trial, buying a new mattress is still a commitment you may not be ready to make.
You can give memory foam and latex a trial run by adding a mattress topper to your bed. The effect won’t be exactly the same, but your latex or foam topper will give you a very good indication of whether you’ll love sleeping on a memory foam bed.
You need time to shop for a new mattress
There’s no substitute for a new mattress. Ideally, you should be replacing your mattress every ten years or so, or when your bed begins to show significant signs of wear and tear. As mentioned, however, a new mattress is a big investment you may not be ready to make. Buy yourself a little time by adding a mattress topper to your bed. A new mattress topper can give you extra support where your current bed is beginning to lack, and can reduce the feeling of springs on an innerspring mattress. Again, it’s not a substitute for a new, supportive and eco-friendly bed, but a mattress topper will certainly improve your sleep while you take your time to shop the available options.
What thickness options are available for mattress toppers?
As you begin to shop for your new mattress topper, you’ll discover that there are a variety of thickness options available. There may be variations, but generally you’ll find your favorite choices are available in 2 inch, 3 inch and 4 inch thicknesses. We’ve discussed the reasons you might need or want to add a mattress topper to your bed, but which should you choose? To decide which thickness is right for you, take a look at the most commonly sold thicknesses of mattress toppers.
2 inch mattress toppers
A 2 inch mattress topper is ideal if you just want a little bit of extra cushioning – or firmness – while you sleep. If you have a new mattress and want a bit more plushness, choose a mattress topper that’s two inches thick. You’ll find these toppers available in latex, memory foam, down alternative, down and wool, and you’ll have a wide variety of firmness to choose from. While firmness options are available, do note that a two inch mattress topper is not going to rejuvenate your bed! If your mattress is indented or sagging, or if you’re beginning to feel the springs through your bed then a two inch mattress topper isn’t going to be thick enough for you.
However, if you’ve got a new innerspring, memory foam, hybrid or latex mattress then a two inch mattress topper will help you customize your bed to exactly the level of comfort you want for a sound night’s sleep. A two inch mattress topper should only be used on a bed that’s supportive, as it will not be thick enough to provide additional support to your body and joints.
3 inch mattress toppers
An eco-friendly, non-toxic 3 inch mattress topper is the baseline from which you should begin to shop for a mattress topper if you’re seeking additional support. There are many different types of 3 inch toppers, giving you a wide array of options as you begin your search. First, you can choose between a firmer or a softer mattress topper. As the topper is three inches thick, you’ll feel a marked difference in the firmness level of your bed, depending upon which you choose. For a more plush sleep solution, you can choose between any of the mattress topper types: latex, memory foam, down or wool. For a firmer feel, choose a latex or memory foam mattress topper with a firmer rating.
Secondly, a 3 inch topper will give you a more customized experience. You’ll find 3 inch toppers that are gel infused for a cooling effect. You can also find three inch mattress toppers that incorporate air pockets, improving circulation as you sleep. There are mattress toppers that are infused with aloe, with charcoal and even lavender! Whether you sleep hot, want an aromatherapeutic sleep solution or just want an antimicrobial bed, you’ll find a custom option in a three inch mattress topper. Finally, if your existing mattress is beginning to wear out a bit, a three inch mattress topper will provide adequate support for your body until you can commit to a new bed. Note, however, that a three inch mattress topper may or may not be thick enough to “hide” a sagging mattress, depending upon the condition of your bed.
You can find 3 inch mattress toppers in all mattress sizes, from crib mattresses to California king. Use caution when purchasing a three inch mattress topper for your baby, as infants need a firmer mattress.
4 inch mattress toppers
When you shop for a 4 inch mattress topper, you’re shopping to transform your existing bed. In fact, it’s the thickest topper you can buy without your “topper” being classified as a mattress, itself! A four inch mattress topper will change the feel of your bed entirely, adding a level of firmness or plushness your previous bed did not offer. When you begin your search for a four inch mattress topper, be sure to pay attention to the measurements of the topper. It should cover your entire bed, whether you have a twin or a king. You’ll likely need to invest in some deep pocket sheets, as well, as your mattress will obviously be thicker than it previously was!
As with a three inch mattress topper, there are some distinct benefits to purchasing a 4 inch topper. First, four inches is ideal if your current bed is sagging or indented, if you’re feeling springs or if the mattress is just worn out. Four inch toppers will buy you plenty of time while you make the final decision on your new bed, and you may find you love it so much you top your new bed with it. Next, a four inch mattress topper will be the most effective at motion isolation. If you or your partner toss and turn at night, a latex or memory foam topper that’s four inches thick will make it almost imperceptible, meaning a more sound sleep for both of you.
Four inch mattress toppers have quite a few options available. As with the three inch toppers, you’ll find them infused with gels and other materials, and many will come encased in organic cottons and even hemp or hemp blends. There are quite a few sustainable, earth friendly mattress toppers on the market. These thick mattress toppers are ideal for all sleep positions. Whether you’re a side sleeper, a back sleeper or you sleep on your tummy, there’s a mattress topper on the market that will suit you just fine. Shop around for the right firmness level for you and your sleep preferences. Finally, a four inch topper is thick enough to provide the support you need if you have medical concerns, back or joint pain, or need relief to pressure points while you sleep. Explore your many options, then decide on the firmness and support that suits your individual needs best.
Mattress Topper Types
We’ve touched on it a bit in previous sections of this article, so you now know that there are four common types of mattress toppers: memory foam, latex, wool and down or down alternative. There are distinct differences and advantages to each of these products, so read on to determine which best suits your needs.
Memory Foam Mattress Toppers
Memory foam mattress toppers are very popular in the United States and elsewhere around the world. These mattress toppers are available in a huge range of brands, firmness ratings, options and sizes. They tend to be slightly pricier than other types of mattress toppers, but that’s not always the case; there are plenty of affordable and eco-friendly brands on the market today. A concern many people have when shopping for a memory foam mattress topper is off-gassing. This is the release of chemicals into your home as your mattress airs out, and it can cause a significant decline in your home’s air quality. However, more and more manufacturers are stepping up to create mattresses that are eco-friendly, non-toxic and perfectly safe, even for tiny sleepers.
To find an eco-friendly, safe memory foam mattress topper, check to ensure the mattress is certified. Foams will be certified by third party organizations such as CertiPUR-US, Greenguard and OEKO-TEX to be free from toxins, safe for your family and produce minimal off-gassing. When you shop for a memory foam mattress topper, shop the manufacturer, too. Look for a brand that’s committed to eco-friendly manufacturing processes as well as reducing the environmental footprint of the bed. For instance, we prefer manufacturers that minimize the carbon footprint by condensing the bed and shipping it in the smallest possible packaging. Memory foam mattress toppers are available in all sizes and all thicknesses. Choose a thick, plush topper for your queen sized bed or a two inch, firm mattress topper for your child’s twin and you’ll immediately feel the difference!
Latex Mattress Toppers
Like memory foam, latex mattress toppers are available in a huge selection of options. They do have the advantage over memory foam of being natural – in some cases they’re 100% natural. Latex comes from the sap of the rubber tree which is a sustainable, earth friendly resource. You’ll find that some latex mattress toppers are certified organic, too, meaning they’re free from herbicides, pesticides and other chemicals. Latex mattress toppers are superior at motion isolation. Selecting a thick latex topper ensures you and your partner will not feel each other move at night. The material conforms to your body, offering premium support for sleepers of all ages. When you shop for your latex mattress topper, look for similar certifications to those you’d find on a memory foam bed. CertiPUR-US, OEKO-TEX and Greenguard evaluate latex mattress toppers for safety and a sustainable manufacturing process. In addition, you can check for GOLS and other organic certifications to further ensure your mattress topper is safe for the whole family.
There are two types of latex mattress toppers: Dunlop and Talalay. There’s little difference between the two except how they’re manufactured. Talalay will have a uniform consistency throughout the topper which is ideal for a plush bed. Dunlop toppers may be slightly more dense at the underside due to settling during the manufacture process. Which ever you choose is up to you, but we do recommend a certified non-toxic, certified organic mattress toppers.
Wool Mattress Toppers
Wool is an incredible thing. When you buy a wool mattress topper, you’ll find that your bed is light and breezy during the summer months, keeping you cool all night. Yet in the winter your wool mattress topper will help keep you insulated and warm. Obviously, wool is not a vegan product. That said, it is a very sustainable, cruelty free and eco-friendly option. Wool is biodegradable and sourced from living animals, and it leaves an amazingly small eco-footprint. There are other benefits to a wool mattress topper, too. The material is hypoallergenic, making it the best choice for allergy sufferers, asthmatics and others with breathing concerns. It’s antimicrobial, which means a cleaner sleep for children and adults alike. The material is naturally moisture-wicking and flame retardant, negating the need to spray your mattress topper with harmful chemicals. Finally, even mites and bed bugs can be repelled by natural wool.
You’d be hard pressed to find a four inch wool mattress topper that contains 100% wool. However, there are memory foam and latex options that include a top layer of wool that might work just fine for you and your family. If you’re not looking for a hybrid, expect to purchase a two inch topper. These toppers are safe for children and pets, so feel free to add a topper to your pre-teen’s full sized mattress. As with any mattress topper, shop the manufacturer of your wool bedding. Ensure the wool is responsibly sourced via cruelty-free methods. We prefer wool mattress toppers that are made in the USA.
Down and Down Alternative Mattress Toppers
Down is another mattress topper option that’s not vegan. However, as with wool you can ensure your down is responsibly sourced; look for the RDS (Responsible Down Standard) label when you shop for your bedding. This label means that the birds your feathers came from were not unnecessarily harmed. Most down is collected as a byproduct of the poultry farming industry. In some cases, though, you’ll find bedding materials that are filled with feathers collected from the nests of living birds! As with any product, research the supply chain to determine whether your down mattress topper was responsibly sourced.
If you prefer to steer clear of down altogether, you can opt for a down alternative. These mattress toppers are usually filled with a synthetic material like polyester or rayon, but cotton, wool and silk down alternatives can be found as well. Not all down alternatives are as easily biodegradable as down, so weigh the benefits and shop your conscience. What are the benefits of down? First of all, down is one of the plushest, softest most comfortable materials you’ll ever sink into. We promise: if you like a plush bed, you’ll love your down mattress topper. Secondly, like wool down is naturally insulating yet provides ample air flow in the warmer months. Temperature control is very simple with a down mattress topper. Down is also very durable, lasting for years. Finally, if you’ve settled on a down alternative, it may be machine washable.
Be sure to check with the care instructions before you toss your mattress topper in the wash!
Transform Your Bed With A Quality Made Eco-Friendly Organic Mattress Topper
Quality organic mattress toppers can absolutely transform your bed. Whether you want a mattress with a plusher feel, firmer support or just want to sleep cooler at night, there’s a mattress topper on the market that you can snuggle into. Remember: a mattress topper isn’t a substitute for a new bed. Eventual replacement of your old, worn bed will be necessary. However, by choosing a well-made and eco-friendly mattress topper you can extend the life of your mattress for years.
Lisa Czachowski is a professional social blogger and has worked on several online publications including Citrus Sleep. Lisa is an experienced content writer and copyeditor. You will find many of her works throughout CitrusSleep.com that cover a wide array of subjects including sustainability, natural, sleep products, health, fashion and many more. She is passionate about what providing as much information as possible on products you bring in your home and what we wear.
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