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Rest test: 3 mattress toppers are put to the (sleep) test

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How often do you buy a mattress? Like dining room tables and bedroom furniture, people don’t purchase new mattresses that frequently. This is probably due to price and inconvenience–it is a major purchase and you need to buy the best mattress for comfort and a good night’s sleep.

After a while, though, a mattress can wear out and lose its comfort level (and flipping the mattress over can be a pain).

Mattress toppers provide a less expensive way to get a good night’s sleep and also help extend the life of your mattress.

Three mattress toppers were put to the ultimate rest test: the Therapedic All-Season Reversible Mattress Pad, BIOS Memory Foam Ache/Pain Relief Mattress Topper and the Sensor Gel 3” Quilted Foam Queen Mattress Topper.

The mattress toppers in this review were provided by the manufacturers for testing.

Therapedic Sherpa Mattress Pad
Therapedic Sherpa Mattress Pad Photo: Bed, Bath & Beyond

Therapedic Sherpa Mattress Pad

The Therapedic Mattress Pad is reversible making it good for the changing seasons.  The mattress pad features a soft 200-thread count and 100% cotton face which the company claims makes it more breathable for sleeping drier, cooler and more comfortable during the summer.  Flip it over and the Sherpa polyester plush face provides comfort and warmth for cooler temperatures. 

It has a poly-knit elasticized skirt, which keeps the pad in place and fits up to 18” thick mattresses.  It is stuffed with polyester high loft fiberfill, making the mattress more comfortable.  The pad is also stain resistant and machine washable.

The Therapedic Mattress Pad is a less expensive alternative to mattress toppers.  It provides a little more cushion than a simple mattress cover without padding, but not as much as a foam mattress topper.  If you can afford to purchase both, it is probably better to use this item to provide even more padding to a mattress topper, as well as to protect mattress toppers and mattresses.   

The best feature is the plush face which resembles the wool lining in Sherpa outdoor wear and is as soft and comfortable.  I couldn’t tell whether the mattress pad will actually make one feel cooler in the summer, since the weather was either cool or not humid enough during testing.

The suggested retail price:  Twin ($69.99), Full ($79.99), Queen ($89.99) and King ($99.99) at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

BIOS Memory Foam Ache/Pain Relief Mattress Topper
BIOS Memory Foam Ache/Pain Relief Mattress Topper Photo: Bed, Bath & Beyond

BIOS Memory Foam Ache/Pain Relief Mattress Topper

The BIOS Memory Foam Ache/Pain Relief Mattress Topper (Green) is a hypoallergenic memory foam topper that the company says is “scientifically engineered for comfort and tension-relief.”  It has sculpting gel technology that offers enhanced pressure relief to alleviate aches and pains and also temperature regulation through breathable fabric.   The open-cell memory foam is encased in a removable and washable, anti-microbial-treated cover that wicks away moisture.  The skirt fits up to a 18” mattress and has a no-slip feature.  It can be machine-washed and dried.

I slept well the first night without any problems.  However the second night I had minor back pain and the way the foam pad was conforming to my body seemed to make it worse.  Once I removed my pillow and lay flat, the pain and discomfort eased up, making me think that this occurred because I have a curvature of the spine.  I then had a tester try out the mattress topper.  His comments:

“The topper forms to my body and adds to the cushion of the sofa bed. Before using the topper my back would hurt sometimes after a night of sleeping wrong. [With the topper] I've slept longer and woken up earlier and refreshed. One negative: the out-of-the-box smell is strong and took a while to fade.”

The BIOS Memory Foam Ache/Pain Relief Mattress Topper has a five-year manufacturer's warranty.  The suggested retail price: Twin ($299.99), Full ($349.99) Queen ($399.99) and King ($499.99) at Bed, Bath & Beyond.


SensorGel 3" Quilted Foam Mattress Topper
SensorGel 3" Quilted Foam Mattress Topper Photo:

SensorGel 3" Quilted Foam Mattress Topper

The SensorGel 3” Quilted Foam Mattress Topper features Sensor Air infused ventilated memory foam quilted to the cover for comfort, support and breathability.  The fabric is woven with engineered fibers that dissipate heat, for a more refreshing night’s sleep.  This is definitely the best item out of the three.

I usually toss and turn before finally falling asleep or lie awake for at least 20 minutes.  The first night that I used this mattress topper on the bed, I almost instantly fell asleep.  One minor problem that I had with the topper (which the manufacturer warns about in the care instructions) was the smell that apparently comes from the way the mattress topper is compressed and packed for shipping.  Ideally, you’re supposed to air it out before using, but if you live in a small apartment and/or have a pet and therefore don't have the space to air it out properly, you might not be able to do this.   The smell did make me nauseous at first.  It took nearly a week to finally dissipate.  (You can use a fabric freshener, but sometimes that can make matters worse.)  The smell didn’t keep me from sleeping, though.  It did make getting out of the bed in the more even more difficult.

The SensorGel 3” Quilted Foam Mattress Topper has a 15 year manufacturer’s warranty.  The suggested retail price:  Twin ($440) Twin XL ($480), Full ($560), Queen ($700), King ($800) and California King ($800), at