5 On Your Side

Trouble Sleeping? Mattress Pad May be Solution

Posted April 4, 2007 2:43 p.m. EDT
Updated April 4, 2007 6:10 p.m. EDT

Most people spend about one-third of their lives in bed, so shopping for a mattress is pretty important. Unfortunately, getting just the right mattress can be easier said than done. If you find your mattress is too firm, but too new to replace, a mattress topper might be the answer.

Consumer Reports recently tested seven mattress pads. Prices for the queen-size toppers ranged from $70 to $900. Five of the pads use memory foam while two pads were feather beds.

"We had six couples who felt that their mattress was firm. They took each topper home and they used them for about a week," said Tara Casaregola, of Consumer Reports.

A memory foam from Target, one of the least expensive tested, was also the least popular. Testers said it seemed too small for the mattress and, for most panelists, it did not make the bed any more comfortable.

Plus, many were not very impressed with the memory-foam pad from Tempur-Pedic. One panelist felt it was like sinking into quicksand. Plus, the price was daunting, too.

"When the panelists found out that it was close to $900, most felt that they would just buy a new mattress at that price," Casaregola said.

While no topper was a hit with everyone, the most popular was the $70 Spa Sensations Memory Foam Mattress Topper by Wal-Mart.

Since you obviously cannot try out a mattress topper at the store, make sure you check the return policy to be sure you can take it back if it is not right.

Also, Consumer Reports said if your matress is already old and worn-out, a topper won't help. You will just need to replace the mattress.