The Pros and Cons of a Full XL Mattress Topper

Posted by Steven Van Alen on

If you’re moving into a dorm this fall, you’ll be joining more than 50,000 students across the country who live on campus. Campus life can be a ton of fun, but one of the less exciting parts is the quality of your actual dorm room. Colleges don’t always have a large budget to spend on dorm furniture, so you may wind up on a mattress that feels like it’s been there since 1983.

While you may not be able to replace your dorm mattress, you can make it better by getting a mattress topper. Read on to discover the pros and cons of a Full XL mattress topper and learn how to choose the right material for you. 

What Is a Mattress Topper?

Before we dive into all the pros and cons of mattress toppers, let’s talk some about what they are. A mattress topper is a thick layer of added padding that sits on top of your mattress. These can be a great way to make an uncomfortable mattress more comfortable, as well as to make it feel warmer or cooler.

It’s important to note that mattress toppers are different from mattress pads. A mattress pad is generally thinner and less supportive than mattress toppers and may not provide as much comfort. However, they are also a little more affordable and may be easier to clean and move than a full mattress topper.

Types Mattress Toppers

Mattress toppers can be made of a variety of different materials, each of which has its own set of pros and cons. Perhaps the most popular mattress topper material, however, is memory foam thanks to its support and comfort.

Memory foam mattress toppers can be impregnated with gel, which helps to keep you cool at night. You can also find copper-lined mattress toppers, which are a great option for people with allergies.

More Comfort

One of the biggest benefits of a mattress topper is that it can make your bed more comfortable. Dorm beds aren’t the best quality, and when you’re in college, it’s important to get quality sleep. You may have trouble doing that if you’re sleeping on a hard mattress with creaky springs and no support for your joints. 

A mattress topper can make your bed much softer and more supportive. Instead of tossing and turning every night before getting to sleep way too late, you’ll be able to relax in a soft, cushiony mattress topper. Paired with a great pillow and a cozy duvet, you’ll be well-rested and ready to tackle your next all-nighter.

Not a Total Solution

While mattress toppers can be a huge improvement to your bed, it’s important to note that they aren’t a total solution. These toppers add a layer of padding on top of your mattress, but they’re not a replacement for a full supportive bed. Your mattress topper will make your bed comfier, but don’t expect it to work miracles.

If you’re in a dorm, having a less-than-perfect bed is manageable, since it’s just for a few years. If you're in a place of your own, a mattress topper can still help to protect your mattress and keep it comfortable for longer. 

Better Support

One of the biggest problems with low-quality mattresses is that they just don’t provide enough support. Poor-quality mattresses may swap out a proper support system for a few springs and a thin layer of exterior padding. As you sleep, your back and neck may get misaligned, and you can wake up aching.

Mattress toppers may not replace the spring structure of your mattress, but they can improve the amount of support you have. This is particularly true of memory foam mattress toppers, which mold to your body as you sleep. They give way under pressure points, such as your hips and shoulders, but stand up enough to support your neck and back.

May Be Too Firm

In order for a mattress pad to give you enough support to make up for a bad mattress, it has to be pretty tough. It needs to provide the same support (or close to) in just a few inches that a mattress does in a foot or more. This means that oftentimes, mattress toppers may wind up being firmer than you really want. 

You may find when you’re shopping for mattress toppers that they’re a little one extreme or the other. You may get a fabulously soft topper that doesn’t provide any support or a supportive topper that feels like sleeping on a board. It can be hard to find a topper that strikes a balance between the two and stands up to wear and tear.

Cooling Properties

If you’re a hot sleeper, you may dread summer nights, when you have to choose between the comfort of blankets and feeling like you’re being broiled. A mattress that holds heat can only make the problem worse, since it traps your body heat and gets warmer the longer the night goes on. A mattress topper can be a great way to sleep cooler without buying a whole new mattress.

Some memory foam mattress toppers come infused with a cooling gel designed to draw heat away from you. It will disperse heat down into the mattress, leaving you feeling like you’re sleeping on the best pool float at a tropical resort. If you want this effect, however, keep in mind that you need to get the right mattress topper material.

Can Trigger Allergies 

If you have allergies, you’re also going to want to be careful about which sort of mattress topper you choose. Unfortunately, some mattress toppers can trigger allergies, even if they’re made with natural materials. For example, feather mattress toppers aren’t a good choice for people with allergies or asthma. 

Latex and wool mattress toppers can also be a trigger for people who are allergic to those substances. Memory foam and polyester blends are usually hypoallergenic, although they can still collect allergens. And best of all, copper-lined mattress toppers actively kill bacteria and other microbes, which can improve your allergies.

Longer Mattress Life 

Did you know that, in addition to giving you more comfortable sleep, a mattress topper can also extend the life of your mattress? When you lay down in bed every night, you’re placing strain on the support structures inside your mattress. Over time, those structures will start to wear down and you’ll have to buy a new mattress. 

When you use a mattress topper, however, you transfer some of that load off of your mattress itself. This means it will take longer for those structures to break down and for your mattress to get uncomfortable. You may have to replace your mattress topper, but that’s much more affordable than a whole mattress.

Can Be Expensive

While mattress toppers are certainly cheaper than mattresses, they can still be somewhat expensive. Most of your price range will depend on what sort of material you choose and what size mattress topper you need. A XL full mattress topper will be more affordable than a king or queen, for instance.

Memory foam and natural latex mattress toppers are going to be on the more expensive end of the scale. Feather, wool, and manmade latex will be a little more in the middle of the price range. Fiberfill and egg crate foam are on the lowest end of the price range and reflect it in their quality.

Easier to Clean 

If you do have allergies, one of the things you may struggle with is cleaning your mattress. Even if your mattress has a removable cover, allergens can worm their way deep into your bed over time. It’s not impossible to deep clean a mattress, but it can be difficult and time-consuming, especially if you’re trying to maneuver the mattress on your own.

Depending on the type of mattress topper you get, however, you’ll have a much easier time cleaning that. For one thing, mattress toppers are smaller and lighter and so are much easier to maneuver for cleaning. What’s involved in cleaning your particular mattress topper will depend on what material you choose.

Can Smell Strange

If you’re sensitive to smells, there are certain kinds of mattress toppers you may want to stay away from. Some materials can have a certain odor, especially when you first take them out of the packaging. You may want to give these toppers a few days to air out before you put them under sheets and duvets.

It may come as no surprise that wool mattress toppers can smell a bit like sheep, especially if they get wet. Latex mattress toppers, likewise, will have the kind of rubber smell you might associate with rubber gloves or tires. Over time, this should fade, but it can be a problem for people who are particularly sensitive to smell. 

Can Reduce Motion Transfer

If you share your bed with a partner, you might have problems with one or both of you rolling over during the night. Trying to sleep when your partner is jostling the bed is torturous, and those problems can be magnified in a full XL bed. When you already don’t have tons of space to spread out, any little movement can be enough to keep you awake. 

Because mattress toppers add an extra layer of padding, they can help to reduce some of the motion transfer when you or your partner rolls over. You may still feel them moving next to you, but it shouldn’t feel like a Little League team is jumping on the bed. This is particularly true of memory foam, which doesn’t jiggle at all when jostled.

Picking the Right Material for You

So with all of these factors in mind, how do you choose the mattress topper material that’s going to work best for you? One of the best places to start is with a look at your budget, keeping in mind that you get what you pay for. While you don’t want to get the absolute cheapest mattress topper on the market, even a mid-range topper can make a big difference for you.

From there, you may want to turn your attention to things like allergens and sensitivity to odors. If you wake up in pain a lot (and we don’t mean because you have finals coming up), you may want to consider memory foam or something more supportive. If you want your bed to be cooler, look for a mattress topper with gel, and if you want it to be warmer, consider a wool mattress topper. 

Find the Right Full XL Mattress Topper for You 

Getting a xl full mattress topper can be a great way to make your dorm room bed more comfortable. These toppers come in a variety of materials, and while none is perfect, you can still find the right option for you. Consider issues like allergies and sleeping temperature, as well as your budget and sensitivity to odors. 

If you’d like to find the right full XL mattress topper for you, check out the rest of our site at Sleepyhead. We deliver comfort through our premium mattress toppers that are tailored to fit college students’ needs. Shop our gel mattress toppers today and start getting sleep vibes only.

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