Mattress + topper

I’m wondering if there is any benefit or drawbacks to buying a regular foam mattress (e.g. Ikea) and supplementing it with a memory foam topper (e.g., Blueflex® Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper or Comfort Dreams ‘Mem-Cool’ Topper)? It seems like it could be a cheaper option that you could tailor to your needs.

or something like this:

Hi kstrygg,

My reply in post #6 here which I just posted may be well worth reading because it is about a very similar question (a topper on a firmer Ikea mattress) to yours.

In theory this is a good idea because a topper is much easier to replace than a whole mattress but in practice it depends on the layering of the mattress you choose and on the type and quality of the topper so that the combination of the two fits your needs and preferences. In effect …you would have a mattress where some or all of the comfort layers were outside of the mattress itself rather than inside it. The principles of what would be your best choice would still be similar in either case.

the goal in these cases is that the base mattress has only a little bit of softness on top so that there is still room to add some more with a topper without compromising your alignment.

Just like choosing a mattress which has various combinations of internal layers … the choice of topper would depend on what type of material you preferred in the comfort layers (slow or fast response), your body type and sleeping positions, your preferences of “feel”, and what was in the mattress you were adding it to.

In general I would tend towards the thinnest topper that you believed would do the job of providing the pressure relief you need, th alignment you need, and the “feel” and other preferences you want. This is generally the least “risky” choice. I would also choose the best quality topper that your budget allowed (just like choosing the best quality materials in the comfort layers that your budget allowed if you were choosing a mattress).

A topper will not last quite as long as a layer of similar material inside the mattress (it is subject to more wear and tear outside the mattress) but it has the advantage of being replaceable.

The quality/durability of a topper will depend on the type, density, and quality of the material you choose. The Bluflex gel memory foam is a lower density and quality choice and will not last as long (or perhaps perform as well) as other higher quality choices but the tradeoff is that they cost less. There are different types of gel memory foam (if you go in that direction) and the ones that have “particles” in them would tend to be less durable than the gel memory foams where the gel and memory foam is mixed together. There is more about the different types of gel memory foams in post #2 here.

The Mem-Cool appears to be 4 lb memory foam which would be a mid grade memory foam. This may be suitable as long as you are not too heavy (say over 200 lbs) and you want the particular properties of this type of memory foam.

The topper from Noble is higher density so would be more durable but that would depend on the accuracy of the description and on whether the density was a 'filled" density or a “real” or polymer density. I would make sure that any of your memory foam choices were CertiPur certified or at the very least was poured in the US.

I would also want to know that the merchant I was buying from had a good reputation and knowledge so that they can help you make a topper choice (in combination with your mattress) that would be suitable for your needs and preferences. Anyone can say anything online and because most consumers don’t know what to ask … they can supply inferior foams for a long time without anyone really knowing. If they have little knowledge about what may make a suitable topper choice for you … then the refund policy of the supplier you are looking at would become particularly important.

All of these things together including the suitabililty of your topper choice for you, type and quality of the topper, the price of the topper, the knowledge of the supplier and their ability to give you good guidance, and the refund policies are all part of your purchase and part of your own personal “value equation” which includes what is most important and represents the best value for you.

The “mattress plus topper” concept is a good one in theory. In practice it depends on the quality, suitability, and value of your choices.


Thanks Phoenix!

I was looking at a iComfort but balked at the price. The sales person got more pushy and I decided to look around. I did like the firm feel of that mattress.
I’m a stomach/side sleeper, < 180 lbs.

I found some things at the foam factory in MI (certipure and reasonable pricing):

For a base the have conventional foam:



I leaning towards the firmer as a base, 5-6 inches.


-2" (for stomach sleeper) 5LB ViscoMAX Memory Foam

will a 50lb vs 35lb base be too much firmness or do you think a 35ld would pair better with memory foam on top. They are comparable in price.


Hi kstrygg,

I don’t recommend doing business with Foam By Mail (or any of their other websites) unless you are OK with lower quality materials or where its not critical that what you receive is what you ordered. They are not a reliable supplier IMO.

You can see more of my thoughts about them in post #2 here as well as post #2 here (and many other posts around the forum that say basically the same thing).

As a general rule … 50 ILD is very firm (firmer than you will usually see as a base foam) but I don’t particularly trust their specs anyway.


Thanks for the help.

I saw FBM BBB and the had complaints far above average.

I believe I will stay away.