Mattresses are expensive and can be a significant investment. Luckily there are alternatives. Mattress toppers are tempting due to their lower price tag.

But are they really going to improve your bed?

Furthermore, can you just get by using mattress topper instead of a mattress?

Well, let’s find out.

Should I Get a Mattress Topper Instead of a Mattress?

You can expect to pay at least $500, often even more unless you settle for one of those cheap ones on Amazon.

But if you don’t feel like spending that kind of money right now, then the most viable and best option is to buy a mattress topper, which will set you back $100-200 or even less.

mattress topper or new mattress

Hmmm..Tough Choice

Toppers can be placed on top of the old mattress and are also made of similar types of materials like memory foam, latex, down, etc. and they’re also great for pressure relief.

A neat and cozy topper with the right amount of softness can make you feel comfortable as it can help relax the stressed muscles and help you get a decent night’s rest.

They’re also useful if you’re a hot sleeper as they regulate temperature better.  If you suffer from back, hip, or shoulder pain, then you might want to test these toppers out as they’re known to relieve pressure.

Here are 5 situations and circumstances that can influence your choice between the two:

#1. My Mattress Is Too Firm

If the bed feels like concrete under your back, then the chances are that you might have bought a too firm mattress. You’d want to upgrade it to something softer and more comfortable, especially if you are a side sleeper.

Enter: Mattress topper

Should I Get a Mattress Topper Instead of a Mattress

Do you feel like you’re sleeping on concrete?

This is where it can make a difference. Get a high-quality topper to soften your bed. Memory foam or latex will do just fine, up to your personal preference.

This quick-fix can cushion any pressure points that the firm bed creates against your body.

Additionally, springs digging into your side anytime you move a little can be very annoying and cause a bit of pain. If it’s not too extreme, you can also counter that issue with toppers.

Thick latex topper could soften those nasty bumps and eliminate this irritating discomfort.

#2. Sagging Mattress

Will a mattress topper help a sagging mattress?

You’re probably looking for a quick fix but I got bad news. In most cases, you will need to get a new mattress. Topper isn’t going to perform magic on your saggy mattress and can actually make things worse.

You might get further out of alignment, which is not great for your back, and you might experience back pain and further discomfort.

Here’s one creative way to fix this:

If sagging isn’t too bad, then you might be able to mitigate the issue with a high-quality topper. This will be a short term solution though, and eventually, you will need to get a new mattress anyway.

If you can’t afford it, you may try to put a pillow under the mattress to even it out.

#3. I Get Too Hot When I Sleep

If you’re a hot sleeper, then consider buying a mattress topper as it can help to keep the temperature under control.

There’s a tremendous amount of cooling mattress pads available. Again, memory foam but also firm toppers can work in this case.

However, if the mattress is too stuffy and gives you breathing problems, then it is advisable to change the mattress altogether. This will solve the underlying issue from the very root of the problem.

#4. Mattress Nearing The End Of Its Lifespan

If you’ve had your mattress for 6 to 7 years, then you should seriously think about investing in a new mattress.

If you let your old mattress to deteriorate even more,  then you might end up with back pain and sore joints, and even a topper will not be able to save your bed.

old mattress

Is your mattress showing signs of wear and tear?

Mattresses can last to up to 10 years. With excellent maintenance, maybe even more. If it’s only got a few years of life left in it and is already worn, then you might as well invest in a new one.

Toppers can work as a temporary solution, but it is not going to fix the issue for the long term in this case.

According to studies, sleeping on an old mattress can also increase your stress level. So if you feel stressed and have a mattress that older than 6 years, you might want to consider replacing it.

#5. Cost

Like we already covered, one of the most significant points to consider is the amount of money that you are willing to invest.

It is definitely not a good idea to invest in a cheap mattress if it’s going to last you few years at best and then turn all saggy again, and you’re back to square one.

Mattress Topper or New Mattress? 5 Key Things To Consider 1

Cheap mattress is still relatively expensive, to a point where you can get a premium mattress topper for that money.

Lets back it up with numbers:

Even a cheap mattress will still cost you at very least $200. You can get a premium mattress topper for about $100, so according to my quick maths, you will save a nice $100.

And hey, if you’re not in a hurry to buy a new mattress then check out our guide about best time of the year to buy a mattress topper.

Can you use mattress topper instead of a mattress? 

It is entirely possible to sleep on mattress topper only. If you feel comfortable, then you can do whatever you want. It’s a cheap alternative, and if you can get a quality mattress topper, then it can work.

In this case, you should look for thicker and firmer mattress pads. About 4” thickness and also look for higher density (3 pounds per cubic feet or more depending on your weight).

Benefits of Mattress Toppers

A great topper can help you relax better after a hard day’s work, not only by making you sleep better.

You can transform your not so bearable bed into the ideal bed you’ve always dreamed of.

Some of the notable benefits of mattress toppers are:


mattress comfort

Choosing a memory foam topper or a wool topper can make your bed much more comfortable. Memory foam and latex are probably two of the most popular options available, but it’s really a personal preference.

If you’re after hotel quality experience, then you might want to look into plush or pillow top toppers.

In case the mattress is lumpy and bumpy, then it can be quite distressing to sleep on it. But getting a quality topper of any choice can solve this problem and can make you sleep better.

Extend Mattress’ Lifespan

extend lifespan

Mattresses are expensive, and thus, you should do anything and everything to protect them from wear and tear.

Putting a mattress topper on top of the mattress can substantially enhance the life of the mattress.

Protect the Mattress
protect mattress

If you sleep on a mattress every day, then the chances are that there will be sweat, dead cells, and bacteria accumulation on your precious sleeping spot.

This can damage the mattress, and you might need to look for a new one quicker than you think. Also, it can cause various health problems, and it’s not that hygienic either.

To avoid this, you can put a topper on top, which can be rotated, cleaned, and maintained easily, unlike a large size mattress.

Health Benefits

health benefits

A bed that’s in poor condition can worsen your back pain and is not healthy for your posture, either.

Now, a topper isn’t going to cure the problem completely, but it can relieve pressure, and you might finally get some peaceful sleep. Plus, it will help you align the spine properly.

Keep an eye on certifications to ensure you get a quality product. For example, if a topper is Greenguard Gold certified, then most likely it’s worth your money.

Temperature Control

temperature control

If you are a hot sleeper and tend to get all sweaty while sleeping, then a sinking and uncomfortable mattress can worsen the situation.

You can, however, choose a firmer and more relaxing topper like latex or gel foam to minimize the sweating while sleeping.

A decent topper will regulate the temperature by maintaining a refreshing feel during the summer and a warm feeling during the winter.

Hiding Worn Mattress
old worn mattress

After years of usage, the chances of a mattress getting dirty and saggy are quite common.

However, it is not necessary to buy a new mattress immediately. You can mask the condition of the bed by adding a topper on top of the sagged mattress.

Bear in mind, this may not fix a saggy mattress, and is only a cosmetic change unless you decide to get a topper that is ultra-firm, but even this could just be a short term solution.

Mattress Too Firm? Get a mattress topper to soften it out to your liking. Memory foam or latex are both decent options.

Mattress Older Than 6 Years? Consider investing in a new mattress as their lifespan is about 10 years. Topper isn’t going to fix old saggy mattress magically.

Saggy Mattress? Get a new mattress as topper isn’t going to fix the issue and can only make matters worse.

Hot Sleeper? Consider getting a cooling mattress pad that regulates body temperature. Memory foam topper also works here.

Tight On Budget? Topper can be a temporary solution in some cases. But if you have money to invest you should go with a quality mattress as it lasts longer.



As you can see, mattress toppers are quite cost-effective when compared to the price of a mattress, and it’s a great way to make your bed even comfier.

Whether you need a mattress topper or new mattress is up to you and depends on your situation.

There are lots of factors to consider. Type of your mattress, state of your bed,  topper type you prefer, any back issues, soft or firm, your weight, your preferred sleeping position, and so on.