A "topper" is a comfort layer designed to be spread over the top of another mattress, like an ultra-padded mattress cover. Latex toppers bring the feel of a luxury bed to any mattress. Available in a range of soft to firm ILD ratings, latex toppers can give you the luxury of latex on a budget. Here are the most popular options:
- Natural Dunlop Toppers are made with the traditional Dunlop manufacturing method, using 100% botanical latex. These toppers tend to be more affordable than natural Talalay toppers and are available in everything from soft layers that appeal to side sleepers to the firmer options that please back and stomach sleepers.
- Natural Talalay Toppers are manufactured using the space-age Talalay technique with high air content. Talalay latex tends to cost more than Dunlop latex, even though there's less latex and more air in the finished product. Talalay production is time-consuming and can add expense in terms of chemical supplies, transport, and production time. Still, thick Talalay toppers can transform even notably uncomfortable mattresses into cozy beds.
- Blended Talalay toppers are usually made of blended liquid latex that's about 30% natural latex and 70% synthetic latex. Synthetic and blended Dunlop latex foam is usually of a poor enough quality that it's inappropriate for a topper, where it would serve as the only latex layer. Blended Talalay, though, is usually a comfortable mix of premium comfort and a budget-friendly price.
If you choose to buy a topper instead of a latex mattress, here are a few factors to consider:
- If your topper is too thin, it will "bottom out" to the point that your shoulders and hips are resting on the mattress underneath, rather than on the soft support of the latex topper. Latex can only help you find the comfortable sleep you need when it's not constricted by the bedding below.
- When a latex mattress is constructed of multiple layers, the layers tend to grip one another due to the natural texture of the latex so that the layers don't slip. However, when a latex layer is laid over a finished mattress, you're likely to wind up with a topper that will shift slightly with regular use. Expect to readjust your topper every few weeks; use a tight-fitting sheet and mattress cover to minimize movement.
- It's true that you don't want your topper to "bottom out," but the answer is not necessarily the firmest topper. Like your mattress, if your topper is too firm it won't allow your hips and shoulders to sink in lightly, contouring around them to support your lower and middle back.
Check out the links above to explore the pros and cons of each type of latex topper. With a little educated decision-making, you can turn most any mattress into a luxury latex sleep surface.