What Does a Mattress Topper Do?

A good mattress needs a good mattress topper. They both play a major role in ensuring you have a relaxing night. You should invest in a mattress that supports your weight, is comfortable, and is long-lasting. That way, you can always wake up refreshed every morning. To make sure your mattress serves you longer, you need a mattress topper. But what does a mattress topper do?

What is a Mattress Topper?

A mattress topper is a cushioned, removable layer designed to cover your mattress before you fit your sheets. It sits on top of your mattress to protect your mattress from general tear and wear, provides support, reduces pressure on the springs, and delays any visible sagging.

Toppers are easier to clean compared to a full-size mattress. It also acts as a barrier to stains and prolongs your mattress life service. Mattress toppers can also be placed in all types of mattresses, rolled up, or packed up when traveling.

Mattress toppers also offer an extra layer of comfort and back support to help you find the perfect balance when you lay down. You can also get it when your mattress is losing its firmness to extend your mattress life before you purchase a new one.

Note that mattress toppers are not the same as mattress pads or protectors. You may hear people discussing them alternatively but they are not similar. A mattress protector is a thin layer added to protect the mattress from collecting dirt.

It is also waterproof, preventing liquids, dust mites, allergens and oils from penetrating your mattress. Mattress pads have the same functions as mattress protectors but include comfort to the equation.

You can use both a mattress topper and mattress protector together. The mattress topper goes underneath the mattress protector to hold everything in place, preventing liquids and dust mites from reaching your mattress. Make sure you choose a bigger mattress protector to cover the height of your mattress and topper comfortably.

Find the best mattress topper in our buyers guide


Types of Mattress Toppers

Mattress toppers come with different features and you can be easily overwhelmed with all the options available. Here are a few top models you’ll come across.

Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Memory foam mattress toppers offer you pressure point relief and body contouring. It works similar to memory foam mattresses helping you alleviate pain in joints, back, hips, and shoulders. They also come in gel memory foam.

Wool Mattress Topper

Wool mattress toppers are perfect for regulating temperature, soft, and supportive. Wool toppers are breathable making them a great alternative for winter seasons to keep you warm and summer seasons to keep you cool.

Latex Mattress Topper

Latex toppers provide additional support and are responsive to motions. Natural latex toppers are also resistant to allergens, mold, mildew, bed bugs, and dust mites. It’s the perfect solution for people with allergies.

Featherbed Mattress Topper

This topper is fluffy and soft, making you feel like sleeping on clouds. Featherbed mattresses need fluffing or shaking frequently to avoid feeling matted after sleeping for a while.


Benefits of Using a Mattress Topper

Despite all the varying features, mattress toppers are designed to offer an extra layer of comfort, luxury, and support. They are easy to slip on and wash whenever necessary. Compared to buying a new mattress, this is a cheaper alternative. Let’s discuss more benefits you’ll enjoy with a mattress topper.

Brings Comfort

When you have a new mattress, the firmness sometimes might feel like sleeping on a hard concrete floor. This can lead to some serious back pain or joint aches that keep you up at night or spoil your next day. A mattress topper steps in, makes the mattress feel softer at least until it breaks in and gets comfortable.

Remedy for an Old Weary Mattress

If you have an old, worn-out mattress, don’t just throw it out yet. You can use a mattress topper first as you search for a better mattress. It will cover the sunken parts and provide a uniform layer of comfort. This will transform the saggy parts and help you rest better at night. It is a smart and cheaper way to extend your mattress life to a few more years.

Spine Support

Our spines have a natural curve and require staying balanced while asleep. Sometimes you might pick a bad habit of hunching over your keyboard or smartphone while straining your backbone. It’s no surprise that most people nowadays suffer from back pain. A mattress topper helps align your spine and alleviate back pain. Mattress toppers provide relief to pressure points and support to your shoulders and hips.

Protects your Mattress

A mattress topper acts as a barrier to keep the dust mites, allergens, and fluids from reaching your mattress. Your mattress can now last longer without any stains or trapped moisture. You can use a latex mattress topper if your kids wet the bed to prevent the urine from reaching the mattress.

Breathable Materials

If you’re a night sweater, you need a breathable wool mattress topper. A wool mattress topper allows the excess moisture to evaporate and the cooling gel on the top layer keeps you comfortable as you sleep.

Can you Wash Mattress Topper?

Yes, you can wash a mattress topper. Generally, mattress toppers need regular cleaning to get rid of the build-up dead skin, dust, and dust mites. You spend at least hours in bed and you need to lie in a clean bed. Note that not all mattress toppers allow you to wash with soap and water, so you’ll need to read the instructions before you start the cleaning process. Here are the right steps to washing your mattress topper.

Step 1: Inspect your mattress

You’ll need to place the mattress on the floor to check its status with ease. Make sure to place a plastic sheet underneath to avoid collecting more dirt. Look out for stains on both sides of the mattress. If you need to clean the mattress, you need to do so in a ventilated room or carry it outdoors under direct sunlight. After cleaning it, let the wet areas air dry completely to avoid mold growth.

Step 2: Spot cleaning your mattress toppers

Vacuum: If you have a memory foam mattress topper, you can’t wash it with water and soap or place it in washing water. Memory foam mattress toppers will absorb all the water that will damage its contouring nature. To protect its “memory” properties, use a vacuum with soft bristles to clean both sides of your topper.

Hand Wash: If you need to wash your topper, there are two methods you can hand wash it without damaging it.

By using Baking soda: Take a generous amount of baking soda and sprinkle it all over the memory foam mattress topper. Let it sit there for a while to soak up stains, then vacuum. Repeat the process on both sides until you achieve your desired results.

By using a detergent mixture: take two tablespoons of a mild detergent and mix it with a cup of water. Spray the solution directly to the stained areas and blot it with a clean cloth. Avoid rubbing the solution into the mattress. If the stains are stubborn, use a soft brush around the affected area and blot dry. Spray some clean water to rinse and blot it dry with a clean rug.

By using white vinegar: take two teaspoons of white vinegar and mix half a cup of cold water. Spray the solution directly on the stains and give it a few minutes then blot with a sponge. Repeat the process several times until you’re satisfied the stain is removed completely.

Dry the Mattress Topper: After cleaning, let your mattress topper air dry. Avoid using things like a hairdryer to force dry, it might damage your memory foam or the latex foam.

Step 3: Odor Removal

After prolonged use, at some point, your mattress topper will have a bad odor that needs cleaning. To get rid of the smell, sprinkle baking soda generously onto your mattress topper and leave it overnight. Then vacuum carefully and the odor will disappear. Repeat the process on the other side. You can use a few drops of essential oils to leave your mattress topper smelling amazing.

Can you put an electric blanket over or under a mattress topper?


You can use an electric blanket but you must read the instructions before you get one. Although modern electric blankets are safe to use with additional features to protect against fire outbreaks, some mattress toppers are not compatible with electric blankets.

Some blankets are designed to be placed over your body while others go below you while you sleep. When using an over the blanket, you cover yourself with it like a duvet and should never go under your sheets and vice versa.

So when you need to combine your electric blanket and a mattress topper, the best option should be under an electric blanket. Before you get excited, check your electric blanket instructions, and confirm clearly that the blanket is compatible with a topper.

If you’re sure your topper and electric blanket are compatible, then you can go ahead and use them together. You can start with a mattress topper, your electric under-blanket, and then your bottom sheet. Layering will play a major role in your comfort all night long.


A mattress topper is a worthy investment. Boost your sleep quality and comfort with a quality mattress topper. We hope this answers your questions on what a mattress topper really does and how it can benefit your sleep. 

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