Buying a new mattress or a mattress topper? Consumer Reports explains what you should know

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — As summer winds down and we get back to work and school, sleep becomes an even bigger priority.

If you toss and turn, roll over, or have trouble getting comfortable in your bed, you may need a mattress topper or even a new mattress. Consumer Reports offers tips on how to choose.

“We always try to make the sleep as good as possible,” said Denise Friedly.

Friedly runs a vacation rental and wonders if adding mattress toppers to the beds is worth the money.

According to Consumer Reports, it’s important to know what a mattress topper can and can’t do.

“A mattress topper can help relieve pressure points for back and side sleepers, and it can help a good mattress feel more comfortable,” said Tanya Christian, editor-in-chief of Consumer Reports.

Memory foam toppers are a popular choice. They offer the feeling of “sinking in”. Expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $300 depending on thickness and material.

“The only thing about memory foam is that it traps heat, so you might want to consider a different type if you’re a hot sleeper.”

There’s also latex, made from the sap of rubber trees, which feels more “springy” and can cool naturally.

“If you’re craving a more comfortable, fluffy feel, try wool, cotton, feathers, and other fiberfills.”

But before you spend money on a topper, take a good look at your mattress, because a topper can’t do much.

“Adding a mattress topper to a sagging, sagging, or otherwise unsupportive mattress will not make it more supportive or better for sleeping. At that point, it might be best to just invest in a new mattress.”

You can get a new mattress that performs very well in CR’s rigorous tests for just a little more than some of those expensive mattress pads. The Tuft and Needle Original mattress in CR’s tests shows that it is ideal for both back and side sleepers.

When choosing a mattress pad, look for one that has straps to keep it in place and a removable, washable cover. And do you know that it can add 1 to 4 inches to the height of your mattress. This is important when buying sheets.

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