In connection with the triumphant advance of box spring beds, the range of toppers is also growing steadily. Similar to the range of conventional mattresses, the toppers are also produced in many different designs. Here, we deal intensively in this article with all topics related to the topper, deal with the differences in material and equipment and give you valuable tips on choosing a suitable model.
Since not everyone can imagine something under a topper, let’s start with a brief explanation:
What exactly is a topper?
According to lightinghowto, the term “topper” can be traced back to the English term “top”, which can be translated as surface or upper part, among other things. This means a thin mattress with a height between approx. Four and ten centimeters that is placed on top of the actual mattress as additional bedding. Because the topper corresponds to a mattress in terms of its structure and function, it is sometimes also referred to as a top mattress.
Where are toppers used?
First and foremost, toppers are one of three components that make up Scandinavian or European box spring beds. After the box and mattress, they form the top layer and the actual lying surface of the bed.
In addition, toppers are also being used more and more in bed systems with conventional features consisting of slatted frames and mattresses.
What are the benefits of the topper?
By using a topper, the feeling of lying down, which the user of the sleep system perceives, can be refined. With a topper that is well matched to the mattress of the bed, it also promotes its effect.
What a topper cannot do:
Due to its low thickness, a topper cannot compensate for the negative effects of an unsuitable mattress!
Accordingly, the topper is not an alternative to purchasing a mattress tailored to individual needs and requirements.
Since the topper lies on the actual mattress, it also fulfills a certain protective function for it and thus extends its service life.
Difference between topper and mattress pad:
In addition to the topper, there are also various products available to protect and protect the mattress, which are summarized under the term mattress toppers.
Cushions made of molton or Kalmuck, which are placed between the bed sheet and mattress, are among the classic representatives of mattress covers. They are used to improve bed hygiene because they absorb moisture and thus protect the mattress from soiling or soiling. In addition to Molton and Kalmuck, such mattress protectors are also available in terry quality. For a particularly high level of mattress protection, for example in a baby or children’s bed, we recommend the use of a waterproof cover.
Mattress-friendly covers are offered in various formats. Mattress pads designed as fitted sheets are particularly convenient to use.
In addition to mattress protection, additional covers are available in this category, which are referred to as encasings. Encasings cover the entire mattress including the actual cover. They are made of specially equipped materials and offer the user effective protection against mites, bacteria and fungi. The high-quality full protective mattress covers are particularly suitable for use in allergy-free beds.
In contrast to the topper, the mattress toppers have no influence on the feeling of lying down in the bed. They are significantly thinner and only act as additional protection for the actual bedding.
Most mattress toppers can also be used in connection with a topper in bed and in this case protect the topper from soiling and soiling.
While the covers of the toppers can usually only be washed at up to 60 ° C, mattress covers can usually also be washed (“boiled”) at 95 ° C.
In double beds with two mattresses each half the width, there is usually an interruption in the bed area in the middle of the bed (area between the single mattresses). Colloquially one speaks of the “visitor crack”. To remove the “visitor crack” in the double bed, which is often perceived as annoying, it is advisable to put on a full-size topper.
How are toppers constructed?
In principle, the structure of the topper corresponds to that of conventional mattresses: There is a core inside the topper, which is covered by a cover. Both topper components can be made from different materials to achieve different properties and functionalities.
Note on the total height of toppers:
The total height of toppers, which can be found in the product descriptions or in the dimensions, always refers to the center of the topper. The height of the topper is often lower towards the outer edges because there are no supporting edge materials and the core of the topper is “compressed” there by the cover.
What are the differences between the toppers?
First and foremost, toppers are differentiated based on the material used to manufacture the core. Various foams are primarily used for this purpose.
Core materials at toppers
In the following, we will introduce you to the most important materials that are used for the production of topper cores:
- PU foam / comfort foam
In the inexpensive models, the core consists of a relatively simple PU foam, which is also known as comfort foam. The effect of these toppers is elastic and they generally have good resilience – so they adapt directly to a change in the sleeping position.
- Cold foam
This material is one of the highest quality foams. Cold foam has a high surface elasticity and offers very good breathability, which results from its open-pored structure. Toppers with a cold foam core convey a dynamic, springy feeling to their users. Cold foam immediately returns to its original shape when it is relieved.
foam This point-elastic foam is also known as “memory foam”, which can be translated as “memory foam” and provides an indication of the special thermoelastic properties of the material: Viscous foam yields due to the body heat acting on it, so it adapts exactly to every contour and takes care of it for high pressure relief. The user sinks deeper into the surface of the topper and feels almost weightlessly embedded in the mattress. If the sleeping position is changed, viscose foam only returns to its original shape with a delay.
An extremely high elasticity and a slightly resilient effect characterize latex. The material adapts point-elastic to every body contour and is also very dimensionally stable, which is why it immediately returns to its original position after loading.
Here, visco-foam and latex are connected to one another in such a way that the advantages of the two materials are retained and the respective disadvantages are eliminated. The point-elastic visco latex offers an exact adaptation to the body, has a pressure-relieving effect and is breathable. It is also resilient and adjusts itself directly to a changed sleeping position. As with visco foam, the user is absorbed more deeply by the topper surface with visco latex.
Gel or gel foam is a relatively new material in mattress manufacture that has quickly gained popularity. Its properties include a point elastic effect, exact body adaptation, high pressure relief, pronounced resilience and very good breathability. In a nutshell, it can be said that gel combines the positive characteristics of visco foam and cold foam.
In the field of functional sportswear, where optimal moisture balance and reliable protection against overheating are required for the body, the synthetic fiber mesh has long been established. In the meantime, it is also gaining importance as a core material in the manufacture of mattresses. With the point-elastic mesh toppers, a specially designed knitted fabric made of a large number of synthetic fibers forms the core, which offers a particularly high level of functionality (permeability, breathability, body adaptation).
Decision-making aid for choosing a topper: a tabular comparison of the core materials
Background to the volume weight:
The quality and durability of the core materials used in topper production is largely defined by the volume weight: The volume weight (RG for short) indicates the weight of the foamed raw material in kilograms per cubic meter (kg / m³). Put more simply, the volume weight corresponds to the weight in kilograms that one cubic meter of foam weighs on before it is further processed.
The heavier a foam or the higher the density,
the lower the proportion of air and the higher the proportion of material.
More information about the topper cores
The surface of the topper core can be made smooth or provided with a profile. A strong profile can change the lying feeling conveyed by the topper, for example, so that it is perceived as very soft by the user.
In addition, an ergonomic zone division can be achieved by profiling or incisions in the core. The division into different lying areas is also common with conventional mattresses. It ensures that the topper core gives more in some areas and allows the body parts located there, e.g. shoulder or hip, to sink deeper. In other zones, on the other hand, the resistance is higher, which leads to an improved support effect for the areas of the body resting at this point. Optimal functionality is given if the mattress of the bed is also zoned.
In contrast to mattress cores, topper cores are not regularly classified according to degrees of hardness. Nevertheless, general statements about the strength of a topper can be made on the basis of the core material used and the design (see table above). In addition, there are topper manufacturers who offer individual models in different strengths, so that a selection is possible here based on personal preferences.
Cover from toppers
Topper covers are usually provided with zippers and can therefore be easily removed from the core. Most models can then also be washed for thorough cleaning and a fresh, hygienic bed feeling.
The materials and equipment mostly correspond to those of conventional mattress covers. Double cloth and ticking covers are particularly common among the toppers. Depending on the model and manufacturer, these can then be e.g. B. quilted with climate fibers, provided with a side climate border, antibacterial and mite-proof or refined with aloe vera.
Since many topper covers have elaborate quilting, they have a direct influence on the total height of the topper. In addition, toppers are also available in which the core is covered with a thick, fluffy fleece. In this way, a very special, cozy, soft feeling is created.
Toppers are only placed on the mattress of the bed, so that in principle there is a risk of slipping. For this reason many Toppermodelle are also equipped with implications, at the corners elastic straps are sewn. These rubbers are simply pulled over the mattress after placing the topper in place to fix it.
What is a split topper?
The split topper is a special solution that was designed for use in adjustable double beds.
Split toppers are characterized by one or two vertical incisions in the middle of the lying surface. In this way it is possible for the users of the double bed to adjust the position of the respective bed sides independently of one another. In this way, one user can comfortably put their feet up, while the other perhaps sits more upright in bed to read a book in a comfortable position.
The split topper thus replaces two single toppers in the adjustable (box spring) double bed and offers the advantage that the middle of the bed remains uninterrupted despite adjustment.
How long do toppers last?
As with the mattresses, the durability or recommended useful life of the toppers is limited. Analogous to the durability of the mattress, the expected “lifetime” of a topper also depends on its quality, the degree of use and the care it is given. In general, however, it can be said that the topper should in principle be replaced earlier than the mattress, as it acts as a direct lying surface, is exposed to such a high level of stress and also has a relatively low height.
How to increase the shelf life of the topper:
- (Fitted) bed sheets for protection
Toppers should only be used in combination with a (fitted) bed sheet to protect the cover from soiling. In our shop, we also have fitted sheets that are suitable for covering the topper and mattress together.
- Regular cleaning of the cover
Most topper covers are provided with zippers, so they can be removed and washed.
- Regular turning and turning
So that the topper is “worn down” as evenly as possible, it should be turned and turned at regular intervals (similar to mattress care).