Mattress Topper as a Mattress: Is It a Good Idea or Not?

By now, it’s common knowledge that sleeping on a new mattress can significantly improve sleep by reducing back pain or other body aches. Another study shows that sleepers who use a medium-firm memory foam mattress fall asleep quickly and experience decreased discomfort. 

The examples that speak of the importance of using a high-quality mattress are innumerable, but can you enjoy the same benefits by replacing it with a topper? Or, more specifically, can you use a mattress topper as a mattress? Let’s find out.

Can I Use a Mattress Topper as a Mattress?

Yes, a mattress topper can sometimes be used as a mattress. Although, it should not become a permanent replacement for mattresses due to numerous factors, regardless of its cushioning qualities. 

Things to Consider When Using a Mattress Topper as a Mattress

Given how cushioning, comfy, and thick a mattress topper can be, it may be tempting for you to throw out the old mattress and switch it with a new mattress topper. Even though this sounds like a good option at first, a mattress topper should never replace a mattress for a long period of time. 

A Topper With The Right Thickness Can Be a Good Temporary Solution

The main purpose of a mattress topper is to sit on your mattress and provide extra cushioning and support. However, if it’s not thick enough, the topper can’t provide the necessary support for your body, and you may find the sleeping surface either too soft or firm. 

This has to do with the fact that your body has the power to compress thin toppers, which might ultimately give you a “bottoming-out” feel. In order to prevent this, you need to purchase a mattress topper that’s at least 10 cm thick when planning to use it either directly on the floor or on a box spring.

Avoid Problems With Allergies

Sleeping on the floor in hot or humid areas can cause dust mite problems, which can automatically lead to allergy flare-ups. This happens over a long period of time as dust mites accumulate on your bedding due to moisture, which means that when used as a short-term solution, a mattress topper can’t cause any issues.

Prolongs Mattress Lifespan 

Mattress toppers cost significantly less than buying a new mattress and prolong an old mattress’ lifespan for quite some time. This is because it can give a firmer touch to an overly soft mattress that has a compromised structure due to years of usage.

Avoid Back Pain Aches

A notable study found sleep surfaces accountable for most types of sleep discomfort, which suggests that sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress or mattress topper can bring the worse out of your back or lower backaches. 


Although this is mostly about excessively soft surfaces, sleeping on overly firm ones can cause some problems too. Dr. Kate O’Hare, a chiropractor based in Oakville, told Global News that although some people find floor sleeping helpful for back pain, she wouldn’t recommend it—at least not for a longer period of time. 

She explains that although a hard floor is firm and allows for the spine to maintain a neutral position during the night, sleepers still need some level of cushion to protect their joints.

Final Takeaway

Depending on your current situation, a mattress topper can replace a mattress for a short period of time. However, the best way to use them is on top of the mattress itself, whether excessively firm or soft.

FAQ

Can you put a mattress topper on memory foam mattresses?

To cut a long story short—yes. Even though most sleepers believe a topper can soften a memory foam mattress, this isn’t always the case. You are the one that chooses the firmness of your sleep surface, and by knowing what density and material fit your needs, you can make it perfect. So, keep in mind that cotton, down, and low-density foam are softer materials, while high-density memory foam is firmer.

Can you use a memory foam mattress topper as a mattress?

As with a regular mattress topper, a memory foam topper can be used as a mattress but for a short period of time. This is because the main function of a topper is to add a comfort layer to an existing mattress which suggests that they lack the supportive and cushioning base layers a classic mattress has. 

What is the best mattress topper to use as a mattress?

The best mattress toppers to use directly on the floor or bed base are those made of memory foam as they provide cushioning as well as unparalleled comfort and softness.

Can you use a mattress pad as a mattress?

Mattress pads offer thin layers of cushioning, which means that they can’t be used as a mattress.  However, you can use their counterparts—memory foam mattress toppers, but for a limited period of time as they can’t fully replace a mattress.

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