Cheap Way to Revitalize an Old Mattress? Top It With a Mattress Pillow

Wood bed frame with mattress
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-300

An old mattress can get new life with an extra layer of padding. A good night’s sleep is invaluable for a productive day, but a surprising number of people aren’t getting the required zzzz’s they need. Although there are many factors to consider, one reason for the restless night might be a worn down mattress, or a mattress that is too firm. Before you get sticker shock over the price of replacing it, consider getting a mattress topper instead. There are many styles to choose from when making this decision.

1. Evaluate Your Mattress

The most important point to understand is that a mattress pillow cannot fix a hammock or crater-type mattress. The mattress that sinks in the center cannot be transformed into a firm mattress, with a simple topper application. So if you’re rolling into the middle of the mattress or you can see a dip in the mattress from across the room, replacement is your best option. Equally notable, if your mattress is a bit too firm for your liking a topper can help with that issue too.

2. Consider Medical Issues

uncomfortable couple in bed

Before you blame the mattress, make sure your sleep isn’t being disrupted by a medical condition such as restless leg syndrome or sleep apnea, etc. However, if you wake up stiff and sore each morning, your mattress may be failing to support you in your sleep. In this case, consider a mattress pillow, mattress topper, or pillow top mattress pad.

3. Types of Mattress Toppers

Although called by many names, mattress pillows actually vary more by types.

Memory Foam

hand over impression in memory foam mattress

Memory Foam Mattress Topper—created by medical professionals was originally designed to alleviate bed sores in patients who were required to spend most of their day in bed—provides comfort by readjusting its form to fit the contours of the body without added pressure.

Memory foam is a very popular polyurethane option and is also used in pillows, bath mats, and many other support products. It comes in a variety of thicknesses and densities to meet most people’s needs and memory foam reduces bed movement from sleeping partners tossing in their sleep or getting in and out of bed. Memory foam can be heavy and awkward to move. Plus, it also can be hot, especially when you sink into a comfortable spot. The sinking sensation adds to memory foam’s appeal because it contours to your body. However, it can also make it difficult to roll over or get up.


foam pad mattress

Latex is made from a derivative of the rubber tree. If you’re sustainably minded, look for an “all natural” label. Latex mattress toppers are antimicrobial and non-allergenic, except for those with latex allergies. They are considered to be more firm than memory foam so if you like a super soft bed, this might not be for you. It’s also durable and offers strong support. However, latex is more expensive than other options and it can be hot with limited cooling capabilities.


The polyester blend, or fiberfill, is ideal for people who cannot enjoy feather filled toppers due to allergies. This is a down alternative that is inexpensive and soft. However, it doesn’t offer a lot of support, they tend to compress, and can become lumpy over time.


down comforter rolled up

Another option is a featherbed, which is like a comforter stuffed with feathers. Although they are cozy and soft, they lack the support of latex and memory foam. However, they are a lower cost alternative to those choices. You may experience some sharp barbs when feathers stick through the fabric and the feathers tend to shift and clump inside the featherbed. Also, feathers are an allergen for many people and animal activists report bad treatment of the birds from which the feathers source.

The Final Decision

After weighing the pros and cons of each type of mattress pillow, a clear winner will emerge. Consider the type of support you’re looking for, if you or your partner have any allergies to be mindful of, the thickness options, and of course budget.

Also calculate how thick your current mattress is. Adding a topper can create a deepness that is difficult to find suitable sheets for. For example, a 14 inch mattress with a four-inch topper will require an 18-inch fitted sheet, which is not a standard size.