I need some advice

We just came back from an extended road trip and during that time we spent time witha relative and slept on their daughters bed and loved it. The bed is probably 30 years old but was hands down a lot more comfortable than ours.
So I have been tasked with making ours better, but I am probably not permitted to throw away the old mattress. In all truth, it is also 30+ years old and has stood up well. No cave-ins, no holes or sags, it’s just too darn hard.

So, ever onward.
I have been looking all over for toppers, etc and am hopelessly confused. We can put up to about a 5" heighth mattress/pad/topper onto our existing box spring/mattress combo and the heighth would be fine.
Or I could just try a 4-5" latex topper.
We live in Houston and I was pleased to see the Houston Mattress Store is a member. We are going there tomorrow to get a “feel” for their products.

I was wondering if I forego the idea of a topper and bought a 5" mattress if they make such a critter, and put it on top of the existing mattress.
Would that work ?

And thanks

Hi hextejas,

Just to clarify … I’m not familiar with a store called the “Houston Mattress Store” although Texas Mattress Makers is a member of the site and are included in the Houston list here.

The only way to know for sure would be to try the combination in person but stacking a mattress that is meant to be used on its own and has separate comfort and support layers on top of another mattress isn’t likely to be nearly as effective and would also be more costly than adding a topper that is meant to add additional softness and pressure relief to an existing mattress. I would also doubt that you will need an additional 5" on top of your mattress.

If your mattress is too firm but is still in good condition and doesn’t have any soft spots (virtual impressions) or visible impressions and you just need some extra softness and pressure relief (and the foundation under the mattress is also in good condition without any soft spots or sagging as well) then a topper can certainly be an effective solution. If the mattress does have soft spots or impressions and you are hoping to use a topper to “fix” it then your results may be disappointing and at best may only provide temporary or partial results and at worst can make some issues worse. With a mattress that is 30 years old I would certainly check the condition of the mattress and the foundation carefully.

If you do decide to go in this direction then post #2 here and the topper guidelines it links to can help you use your sleeping experience as a reference point and guideline for choosing the type, thickness, and firmness for a topper that has the least possible risk and the best chance for success and also includes a link to a list of some of the better sources for toppers I’m aware of as well.


I was mistaken in the name of the Houston company, it is Texas Mattress Makers as you pointed out.

I will certainly take a look at the list of topper providers. My reservations for them is that I would not like to deal with the returning of it ifI can avoid it. I was thinking that we could climb on a few of the Texas Mattress Makers products before committing.

If we decide that the topper is not adequate then we will definitely talk to TMM.

I just finished browsing the topper merchants and that seems like the way to go.
Though it was very surprising to see such a wide variety of prices. Wow !

In another of your posts Phoenix, you mentioned that you could provide more specific directions if you were given a zip code. At least I think that I read that correctly.
In that case, I live in zip 77064.

And thank you again for the terrific help that you provide.


Hi Hextejas,

That would apply more to people that are looking for a mattress than a topper although some of the retailers or manufacturers on the forum lists may also sell toppers as well. In any case the Houston list that I linked in my last reply includes the better options and possibilities I’m aware of in your area.

Yes there are a range of different types and blends of latex and different thicknesses and return/exchange policies that can all make a difference in the price and of course different retailers and manufacturers can also have different prices for similar products. There is more about the different types and blends of latex in post #6 here but once you have decided on the type and blend of latex you think you would prefer (and some local testing can help with this) then it’s just a matter of choosing the firmness and thickness that has the best chance of success along with the return/exchange policy that you are comfortable with just in case the topper you choose doesn’t turn out as well as you hoped for.


We just came back from a trip to Texas Mattress Makers and major kudos to them and especially Lax in their display room. He was very courteous and helpful.
After trying a few he convinced us to go the topper route and if we decide that we would prefer a new mattress he would be happy to help.
He also recommended that we get no more than a 3" gel/foam topper and see how it works. In that way I will have a chance to try it over a longer period of time without such a large outlay.
He was especially insistent that, even though the softer mattress felt so good, given my lower back issues, that I would eventually tire of it and want something firmer. He even recommended Costco.
It was a very helpful and informative visit.
They now have a 10% Mothers Day discount. When I asked him if I could add that to the 5% discount from here, he chuckled.

Hi Hexejas,

[quote]He also recommended that we get no more than a 3" gel/foam topper and see how it works. In that way I will have a chance to try it over a longer period of time without such a large outlay.
He was especially insistent that, even though the softer mattress felt so good, given my lower back issues, that I would eventually tire of it and want something firmer. He even recommended Costco.[/quote]

I would have said the same thing since how a mattress “feels” can be very different from how well it supports you and keeps you in alignment in all your sleeping positions over the course of the night which is the most important factor in a suitable sleeping system.

The discounts or bonuses only apply to a mattress purchase and not to other peripherals and they normally can’t be combined or “stacked” with other occasional discounts … but it never hurts to ask :slight_smile:

I’m looking forward to finding out how your new topper works out for you.


Well we pulled the plug on a Novaform 3" all seasons topper from Costco. A major consideration was that if we don’t like it we can return it locally without, hopefully, trying to stuff it into the delivery box.
Though, so far, we will not be returning it.
The feel, when on our sides is the best, and it’s not so soft in that we sink into it forever.
It’s a Cal King and had no lingering odor other than a faint one when first opened. It has disappeared after one day.
As an aside, how the heck they got that stuffed in that box is a mystery but seeing is believing.
So far so good.

Hi Hextejas,

It’s good to hear that your Novaform 3" all seasons topper is working well for you :).

While it’s a lower quality/density topper (in the 3 lb density range) which won’t be as durable as higher density memory foams … with a topper durability isn’t generally as important because it can be easily replaced when it softens or breaks down and loses the comfort and performance that was the reason you purchased it.


Thank you for all your and the forums help Phoenix.
I looked long and hard at the other, I guess higher quality toppers, before deciding on this one.
As you stated, when this wears out I won’t be so reluctant to order one online.
Now as to questions. You mentioned the Novaform being in the 3 lb range so when it comes time to replace it with a better quality topper, will a higher density also mean firmer ?
Does the level of density equate to firmness and life span ?
Without having them next to each other, it will be difficult for me to order a higher quality topper with the same or similar feel.

Hi Hextejas,

The density of memory foam is the single biggest factor that affects durability and while “as a group” higher density memory foams tend to feel firmer (and can also have a slower response and be more temperature sensitive and contouring) … density isn’t a reliable indication of how soft or firm a memory foam topper will feel because softness and firmness and many other properties of memory foam can be chemically formulated into the memory foam regardless of it’s density and some lower density toppers are firmer than some higher density toppers. There is more about the many different properties of memory foam including density that can affect how soft or firm it feels in post #9 here and in post #8 here

When the time comes to replace your topper then if you were happy with the topper you have then it may be worthwhile just buying it again but if you aren’t happy with how long it lasted and you decide that it would be “worth it” to purchase a higher density topper that would last longer then there are so many options available that the most reliable way to choose a memory foam topper that you haven’t tested in person is to have a more detailed conversation with a knowledgeable retailer or manufacturer who can provide you with more information about how the memory foam toppers they have available compare to some of the other types of memory foam on the market.