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Best Memory Foam Mattress Toppers

By: Kelly Burgess on July 28, 2017

Memory foam toppers are the most popular kind

Memory foam mattress toppers are the most popular choice among users, and the gel-infused DreamFoam 2-inch Gel Swirl (Est. $40 and up) easily takes the top spot this year in the memory foam category.

Editors at SleepLiketheDead.com note that about 1/3 of "hot" sleepers find relief sleeping on memory foam/gel combinations, and testers sleeping on this mattress topper for TheSweethome.com found that the DreamFoam did not retain heat as much as many other mattress pads do -- that's one of the factors that lead them to make this mattress topper their top pick. It was also the most comfortable overall, uniformly supportive without the "sinking" feeling people often experience with memory foam. Motion isolation was good, too, which means your partner's movements won't disturb your sleep.

Owners largely agree with those conclusions, saying that the DreamFoam 2" Gel Swirl mattress topper has transformed their sleep. Of course, there are those who disagree; some say it's too thin and doesn't offer enough padding, others say it traps heat badly, but the vast majority of users are more than pleased.

Evaluating user feedback, quite a few owners say that they bought the DreamFoam to put on a new, expensive, but much-too-hard mattress that they couldn't return, and say it fixed the problem. Others say they bought it to extend the life of an older mattress and that it performs that function equally well. We spotted a number of comments from people who bought it to thicken up their RV mattress and say it was a great choice for that as well. While mattress toppers probably don't have any specific durability issues, we did spot some complaints that the DreamFoam arrived with tears or with missing chunks. The maker offers a three-year warranty.

As for odor, again, reviews are mixed. Most say the initial odor was completely gone by the time the mattress fully expanded -- a process that can take up to 48 hours. Fewer say that the mattress topper's smell was unbearable for days. Odor is always in the nose of the beholder, we find, so you need to evaluate your tolerance for chemical smells before buying any memory foam product. The good news is that the smell is not specifically harmful. The DreamFoam Gel Swirl is made from viscoelastic memory foam that is CertiPUR-US certified. That guarantees that it doesn't contain formaldehyde, heavy metals, certain flame retardants, or phthalates that are regulated by the Consumer Products Safety Commission. This designation also guarantees that the topper releases less than 0.5 parts per million of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Another gel-infused mattress topper that gets reviews from both experts and owners that are as high or higher than the DreamFoam 2" Gel Swirl is the Red Nomad 2-Inch Thick Gel Infused Visco Elastic (Est. $70 and up). These two mattress toppers are virtually identical, including CertiPUR-US certifications, but the Red Nomad is slightly more expensive (about $20 to $30 more, depending upon the size).

In TheSweethome.com's tests, the Red Nomad fared better in the durability tests (scraping the toppers with a fork for 60 seconds -- something we don't personally recommend), but reviewers there note that the dimensions of the topper were slightly smaller than the DreamFoam's, which left a bit of a ledge around the edge of the bed. The only reason they did not make it their top pick was price, all else being equal, and we make it our runner up for that same reason.

Owner reviews of the Red Nomad, as noted above, are just a tiny tick higher than those of the DreamFoam, however, there are far fewer of them, too. Feedback is almost identical regarding comfort; most say it has transformed their sleep, others say it's too thin or that they sink in so much they feel as if they're suffocating (that latter complaint is one we see about all memory foam products, though). And, while some say they sleep cooler on this mattress pad, others beg to disagree.

The Memory Foam Solutions 3 Inch Thick, Gel Swirl Visco Elastic (Est. $80 and up) sold exclusively at Amazon.com, is another popular gel-infused mattress topper. At SleepLiketheDead.com, it's the third-highest rated memory foam topper, with an owner satisfaction rating of 92 percent after 1,635 reviews.

It's ratings at Amazon.com are very high too, and owners give the Memory Foam Solutions Gel Swirl high praise for comfort -- some say it's too comfortable and they don't want to get out of bed. A few wish they'd ordered the Memory Foam Solutions 2-inch Gel Swirl Topper (Est. $50 and up), saying they feel as if they sink too much into the 3-inch. There is also a Memory Foam Solutions 4-inch Gel Swirl Topper (Est. $100 and up) if you really want a cushy pad. This mattress topper also comes in a full range of sizes; twin, twin XL, full, queen, king and California king.

The Memory Foam Solutions pad gets more durability complaints than the Serta or the Red Nomad, with some saying the foam disintegrates within a few months. However, the Memory Foam Solutions mattress topper also has a three-year warranty and Amazon.com gets good reviews for dealing with complaints.

If you don't care about gel-infused technology, Red Nomad is the highest-rated memory foam mattress topper at SleepLiketheDead.com, with a 95 percent owner satisfaction rating in 3,217 reviews. There are three thicknesses, the Red Nomad 2-inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper (Est. $75 and up), the Red Nomad 3-inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper (Est. $95 and up) and the Red Nomad 4-inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper (Est. $130 and up). These toppers are also made from CertiPUR-US certified materials.

Owners posting at retail review sites also love the Red Nomad mattress topper. They say it adds a lot of comfort to a too-hard bed and that it fits extremely true to size. Most say they noticed absolutely no odor upon unpacking the mattress topper; others say it had a slight odor, but that it aired out very nicely.

Our former Best Reviewed mattress topper, the Serta Ultimate 4-inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper (Est. $130 and up), is still a good choice if you want a very thick, plush topper. It gets a lot more feedback at SleepLiketheDead.com than any of the other toppers, but has dropped a bit overall in customer satisfaction ratings compared to other memory foam toppers, and testers at TheSweethome.com found the 3-inch size to be unsupportive.

Still, this Serta mattress topper has a lot of fans, with owners saying it's very comfortable and supportive, and many report that it provides relief from pain and stiffness. It's reported to be on the soft side, so it gets better ratings from back sleepers than from side sleepers. That's not unusual for softer mattresses and mattress pads as side sleepers tend to sink deeper into those. However, for those who love a soft bed, the Serta Ultimate is the "ultimate" in comfort, users say, with many likening it to sleeping on a cloud. For some, though, that cloud feels more like a giant sponge, and some say that this memory foam topper traps heat too much and also makes it difficult to move around.

The Serta Ultimate mattress topper is a good choice for allergy sufferers as it's is hypoallergenic and antibacterial, although it's not Certi-PUR-US certified. Long-term reviews indicate that this mattress topper is quite durable, although some experts say that you can only expect a memory foam mattress topper to last about three to five years. Since the Serta comes with a long, three-year warranty, it seems that this one may be at the longer range of that scale.

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