This Topper Could be for You If:
- Your current mattress is too firm.
- You purchased the Birch mattress but want to make it slightly plusher.
- Your sleep partner likes it firm and you like it plush (or vice versa).
- You appreciate eco-friendly initiatives.
- You want to extend the life of your current sleep surface.
- You want a topper that will last several years.
If you’re looking for something that has that memory foam sinky feel, you’ve got the wrong article. You’ll be better off checking out some of the memory foam toppers we recommend.
However, if you want something to add a degree of plushness and a little extra bounce to get you in and out of bed, you’re right where you need to be, so let’s delve in.
Why Helix Matters in the Mattress Industry
The online mattress industry has been growing steadily for the past five years. Over this course of time, there have been hundreds of new companies enter the market offering all kinds of sleep products. So, what makes Helix, the company that brought us the Birch line, stand out from the crowd?
When it comes to a shopping experience you can count on, Helix has serviced more than 100,000 customers to date, and they are the leading mattress brand in customized sleep. They’ve used their years in the industry to apply what they’ve learned into the creation of the Birch product line. It uses all natural and organic materials. Not only is this great for the environment, but it goes a long way in providing the level of quality you need for a mattress that stands the test of time.
Birch Topper Feel & Performance
The Birch topper is designed to add bounce and plushness to your mattress. Many of us are accustomed to the memory foam feel that provides that famous sinky contour that became popular back in the 90’s.
While you will experience contour along the curves of your body, latex features an immediate and strong response that gives you a slight boost if you move. This can be a great feature for people with mobility issues, and I really love the naturally soft and luxurious feel of the woven cotton cover.
Latex is Difficult to Manipulate
Keep in mind, latex is not like standard foams when it comes to its overall composition. While foams are typically more rigid, latex responds more like dead weight when you try to pick it up and move it. In my case, the queen topper is 33 pounds of essentially dead weight. You may want to have someone on hand to help you get it all situated on your mattress. Once it’s on, though, that dead weight works to your advantage as it helps keep the topper in place.
Birch Topper: Just How Plush is It?
The firmness of your topper is very important to consider since many people purchase a topper for the primary purpose of altering their firmness. If this is the case for you, let’s examine what you can expect.
Unless you already have a medium plush to plush sleep surface, this topper should soften the feel of your mattress. Although you can’t feel it for yourself, there are some things I can show you to give you a good idea of what to expect.
Indentation Load Deflection
For starters, we can examine indentation load deflection. An ILD of 12 is considered very plush, and 50 is very firm. The Birch topper weighs in between 14-19, so this is pretty plush.
To give you another visual, I used our proprietary firmness and contour testing tool to see how the mattress on its own reacted to the application of various weights that represent the different areas of the body like hips, shoulders, and extremities. When the topper was added, I performed the same test, allowing us to compare the resulting graphs when all the numbers were plugged in.
Our contour results indicate you’ll experience the same kind of feel with an increase in contour in the heavier areas with or without the topper. This can be a great fit for:
- People who carry a lot of their weight in a particular area like:
- The upper body of a man with a muscular build
- A woman who carries a lot of weight in the hip area
As we can see in our firmness comparison chart, this feeling is just on a plusher scale when we add the topper. Of course, if you aren’t buying the Birch mattress, the feel of the topper paired with the mattress you plan to use will probably be different. Our firmness chart shows quite a few mattresses plusher than Birch, so you might find the topper to actually increase firmness depending on how low your ILDs are. If you can find out and the comfort layers of your mattress:
- ILDs lower than 19 will result in a firmer feel
- ILDs higher than 19 results in a plusher feel
Shipping & Unboxing
Helix ships to all 50 states. If you live outside the US, you won’t be able to order. Shipping is free, and you should expect delivery within 4-6 business days. Since Helix ships using FedEx Ground, there typically isn’t a need for a signature. This means you don’t have to be home to receive your order. However, in unique circumstances, your delivery driver reserves the right to require a signature. This would only occur if they had concerns with the safety of your delivery.
In my case, I wasn’t home when it was delivered. This makes life convenient, but just make sure you don’t order around a time you’ll be leaving your house for more than a day or two. If you plan on ordering more than one Birch product as I did, keep in mind they do ship separately. Therefore, don’t be concerned if you receive them on different days. You’ll be sent tracking numbers for each product when they ship.
Unboxing Tips & Info
- Since the Birch topper is made using latex, it can be hard to move around. Because of this, you may want to have someone around to help you unbox.
- There are no straps or retainers that hold this topper in place, so it will slide around a bit. You can minimize this by using a fitted sheet and/or mattress protector.
- While there is some off-gassing, it’s a natural smell, unlike the chemical smell that often follows the unboxing of a foam product.
Birch Topper Construction & Materials
The Birch topper adds three inches of premium natural materials to your current sleep surface. If you’re allergic to latex, keep in mind most latex allergies are triggered due to direct contact or inhalation. By all means, though, talk to your allergist before buying if you suspect it could cause issues. Just make sure you let them know that, with normal use, there will be no skin-to-latex contact.
The eco-friendly theme of the Birch product line is also present in the cover surrounding the latex. It’s made with organic, highly-breathable cotton that keeps you sleeping cool and dry. Natural wool fibers are used to prevent this product from catching fire, allowing it to meet fire standards without the use of chemicals and plastics. Best of all, Birch wool possesses unique natural elasticity that helps the topper as a whole retain shape and stand the test of time.
Birch wool is sustainably sourced in New Zealand with each farm remaining in compliance with the PGC Wrightson Wool Integrity Program. In a nutshell, this means best farming practices like pasture feeding the sheep are enforced.
Springy Latex & Motion Transfer
I’d like to take just a moment to look at motion transfer. Latex is a highly responsive material, and where this helps us in terms of making it easy to get in and out of bed and move around, it can work against sleep partners when it comes to the enjoyment of undisturbed sleep.
One of my favorite layer combinations is memory foam placed directly on top of latex. The memory foam works well at absorbing motion while the latex beneath adds some bounce. Of course, you can’t place your topper below any memory foam layers you may have, and latex on top of memory foam or plush polyfoams typically results in a highly responsive sleep surface with really nice contour.
It’s comfy, but you can see in the video above when I drop a 20 pound medicine ball next to a resting one of equal weight that the latex produces a visible disturbance. If you have a sleep partner who moves around a lot, works a different shift, or is otherwise already prone to waking you up at night, this may not be the best fit for you. However, it can be an excellent solution if
- You’re a deep sleeper
- You don’t have a sleep partner
- You value bounce and response over motion isolation
Good News in Heat Transfer with Birch Topper
If your mattress sleeps hot, the Birch topper has a number of things going for it:
- Cotton is highly breathable.
- Birch latex is aerated and able to conduct heat up to seven times more effectively than other types of latex.
- Wool features a multi-layer, cellular structure that produces a natural insulator.
It’s entirely possible the Birch mattress topper could be a solution for hot sleeping on your current mattress. This is especially true if you currently use a traditional memory foam mattress as they’re known to sleep hot.
Putting It to the Test
To see how it performed, I monitored the cooldown process after lying on the mattress with and without the topper for a half-hour using my thermal imaging camera. In my case, both the mattress and topper contain the same materials, so there wasn’t a big difference in the time it took. However, what’s notable is that it only took about seven minutes to cool back down in both cases.
In my experience performing thermal testing on more than seventy sleep products, around 10 minutes is the average, so odds are this topper would improve a hot sleep surface.
Birch Topper Durability Expectations
One of the best features the entire Birch line has going for it is its very impressive durability expectations. Every single component of this topper is known for its long-lasting properties:
- The wool features a curly construction that is naturally stretchy and versatile. It springs back to place when you remove your weight from the mattress, thus producing recoil rather than sagging. In fact, the wool fibers of the Birch mattress and topper can be bent more than 20,000 times before breaking.
- The bulk of the topper is composed of the latex layer, and it’s not susceptible to mold, dust mites, and other microbes.
- All Birch products are handcrafted and assembled in the United States.
Maintenance, Protection, Care & Warranty
Customer service is very open and willing to answer questions about the quality of their materials, and I think their 10-year limited warranty and 100-night sleep trial provides the final boost of confidence in knowing you’re making a purchase in a product that will offer you years of optimal performance.
The cover of the Birch plush pillow top is not removable. You can spot clean with mild detergent and water. Failure to follow this recommendation could void your warranty.
Sleep products made of natural materials tend to cost more than their synthetic counterparts. That’s the beauty of the online business model. Since you’re essentially cutting the middleman out of the equation, it saves money. Let’s take a quick look at what you can expect to pay:
If you’re in need of your Birch plush pillow top now but don’t have the money to pay for it, Helix does offer more than one financing option:
- Klarna– no interest if paid within 6-12 months on $499-$1,499 orders
- Zibby– financing option for people with bad or no credit ($45 initial payment required)
You might want to check: Birch Mattress Review
Birch Plush Pillow Top: Reviews & Feedback
Everyone is entitled to their opinions, and I’ve shared plenty of mine. I took a moment to see what other people have had to say about their experience with this product to give you a well-rounded idea of what to expect. Here are the main takeaways you should be aware of:
- Allows for more compatibility amongst sleep partners
- Excellent durability expectations
- Quick response from customer service
- Not a good fit if you’re looking for memory foam feel
- Kinda pricey, but high quality
- No retainers to keep the topper in place, although its heaviness does a pretty good job at keeping it grounded
You might be interested also in: Birch Pillow Review
Who We Recommend the Birch Topper For
Let’s cut to the chase. Is the Birch topper the right purchase for you? It could be the perfect sleep solution if:
- You have a sleep partner with different firmness preferences.
- You bought the Birch mattress and want to make it plusher.
- You like comforting contour but not the sinky kind.
- You enjoy all-natural products.
- You want something that’ll last.
- Your current mattress still offers adequate support but is compromised in the comfort layers.
- You have mobility issues and need a product with good bounce.
- You want to keep your carbon footprint low.
Birch Topper: Our Final Verdict
I can’t stress enough that if you’re in the market for deep, sinky contour and hug, the feel of the Birch topper is the complete 180 degrees opposite. It may also be a no-go for light sleepers who are highly sensitive to movement on their sleep surface.
On the flip side, anyone interested in keeping their carbon footprint low will appreciate Birch’s dedication to minimizing their impact on the environment. Furthermore, if you’re looking to get an awesome bang for your buck in terms of overall longevity-to-cost ratio, Birch is right up there with the best products out there. It can also be the perfect solution for anyone with mobility issues that make getting in and out of bed or switching positions at night a challenge.
As with all sleep products, the viability of the Birch topper is going to be highly dependent on your needs and preferences, but, for the person looking for quick response, cool sleep, and durability, this is an awesome deal with exceptional quality that can lengthen the life of your current mattress and transform your sleep surface.