Mattress Topper vs. New Mattress

Let’s face it. A mattress investment can be a hefty one. If you want a quality product with good durability expectations, you have to spend a relative amount of cash, and budgets can be tight. Sometimes, a mattress topper can prove to be a viable crutch until you have the money to buy a quality mattress.

Here at The Sleep Judge, we recommend you prepare to spend at least $500 on your new mattress if you want it to last. That’s why we feel a quality mattress topper can prove to be worth buying in the meantime. However, don’t plan on this being a long-term solution if your mattress is more than five years old. The actual mattress can develop problems that will ultimately disrupt the quality of your sleep.

So, when it comes to choosing between mattress topper vs new mattress, what should you do? We’re here to offer you some points to ponder as you weigh your options. First, let’s consider a few possible circumstances you may be facing and what the best option would be to pursue.

My Mattress is Too Firm

Perhaps you purchased a firm mattress in hopes that it would help better accommodate your preference to sleep on your stomach. However, it turns out that this level of firmness just doesn’t work for you.

Our Recommendation

Foam topper is a great choice. In this scenario, it’s likely your mattress isn’t very old. As long as it doesn’t have any other issues that bother you, these toppers can offer you that added difference in cushion you need at a fraction of the cost of a new mattress.

I Want a Luxury Product at a Low Cost

We’d all love to sleep like kings, but not all of us have the budget to pay for luxury sleep products. Many people consider buying a low-cost mattress along with a quality topper.

Our Recommendation

Don’t skimp when it comes to your mattress. When you choose to supplement a budget mattress with a quality topper, you’ll still end up spending a couple hundred dollars on the topper. The mattress, however, will likely significantly decrease in durability, and then it’s back to mattress shopping! Instead, we’d recommend you check out products in the $500 range. This is about what you’d spend if you bought a cheaper mattress under $300 and a quality topper.

However, you can typically increase the lifespan of the mattress, and you’ll typically be able to enjoy more special features such as temperature regulation and motion isolation with products in this price range.

I’ve Had My Mattress 7+ Years and It’s Sagging

Over time, mattresses do develop indentations and sagging. When this occurs, you can wind up suffering with a number of physical problems including:

  • Chronic neck pain
  • Back aches
  • Joint discomfort
  • Difficulty falling and staying asleep

Our Recommendation

It sounds like it’s time for a new mattress. When indentations and sagging areas develop, your topper is just going to sink into the holes that exist beneath. Therefore, your problem will still exist. If you’re on a budget, I’d recommend you take a look at my Brentwood Home Bamboo Gel 13 review. I recently got my hands on this product, and it has a lot to offer at its current price of just $560.94.

My Mattress Sleeps Too Hot

Your body temperature needs to be able to cool just slightly in order for you to enjoy the more restorative stages of sleep. This can be difficult to accomplish if your mattress lacks in breathability.

Our Recommendation

Even if you purchase a highly breathable mattress topper, you’re still stuck with the inefficient product underneath. Innovations in heat transfer technology have come a long way. For instance, the Pangea Bed Copper mattress infuses their cover with copper, and this offers increased cooling capability as can be seen in our review. Innerspring products also often prove to be beneficial for hot sleepers. Take a look at our innerspring mattress buying guide if you think this might be a good option for you.

My RV Mattress Isn’t Quite Doing the Trick

You likely spend time in your RV from time to time. However, the quality of this time can be significantly diminished when you can’t get a good night’s rest.

Our Recommendation

In this situation, a mattress topper will usually do the trick. If you live in your RV, exploring a new mattress may be a viable solution. However, most RV’s are used only occasionally. Therefore, you won’t be applying nearly the regular load on the product to warrant a new mattress yet unless you have lumps and bumps in your RV mattress.

Fact or Fiction? A Few Common Mattress Topper Assumptions Cleared Up

Indentation Load Deflection is a Marketing Scheme

This is most certainly false. Indentation load deflection helps you understand the firmness of the product. This is especially helpful to know when shopping online as you aren’t able to lay on the product to see how it feels. Numbers range, but 12 would be very soft while 50 is very firm. If you prefer something in the mid-range, I’d look for an overall ILD of around 25-31.

Really Soft or Firm Products Can Be Fixed With a Mattress Topper

A particularly firm or soft product can be difficult to get comfortable on depending on your preferences. This is a situation in which a mattress topper can be a great solution. Let’s take a look at what will work best for you.

Firm Mattress

Memory foam topper- shoot for an ILD of 12-16 pounds for that plush feel you’re looking for.

Soft Mattress

Latex topper with an ILD of around 25 for a medium-firm experience

Memory Foam Toppers Feature Comparable Durability to Memory Foam Mattresses

Once again, this is a myth. When it comes to memory foam topper vs mattress, the mattress will win in durability. A high quality memory foam mattress can last as long as 15 years. Toppers, on the other hand, only last around five. If you’re looking for a long-term solution, a new mattress is your best bet.

You Save Money in the Long-Term With a Mattress Topper

In this situation, the generalization may or may not ring true. It all depends on the quality of the product you intend to use the topper on. For example, if you have an all-latex product that you want to make a little plusher, you could certainly save money by applying a topper for that added comfort. However, if your current mattress has seen better days and you’re buying a topper to use as a band-aid, you’ll likely find you end up having to shop for a new mattress soon anyway. It all depends on your situation.

Mattress Topper vs. New Mattress in a Nutshell

We’ve covered quite a bit of information here, and you’re probably trying to take it all in. To help aid in your quest for the right mattress or topper, let’s go ahead and sum up what we’ve learned:

  • Toppers aren’t your best bet when your mattress is sagging.
  • Mattresses in good condition can be revived with a mattress topper. This can prove to be an excellent way to customize your firmness.
  • Toppers usually feature a lower cost than a mattress. However, you can expect lower durability.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tool in helping you decide between a new mattress or topper. If you have any questions or comments, we’d love to hear them! Please leave your input below!