Topper for Temperpedic?

I have a Temperpedic Rhapsody that I can’t sleep on; too hot and too firm. I am a side sleeper. My husband sleeps fine on it and sleeps on both his stomach and back.

Bed shopping I found I love Simmons Beautyrest Arrowood at Mattress Firm. It is a rediculous amount of money and I’m afraid the comfort layers will break down too quickly. I’m toying with getting a more basic spring mattress and then finding a good quality topper that will add the comfort layer. I like the simmons pocket coil (at least in theory) because I am afraid that I will notice my husband coming and going, especially after years in the temperpedic.

I’m wondering if someone might suggest a topper for my Rhapsody that might work. I have been using a cheap 2" memory foam topper that makes the bed softer initially, but I don’t think really makes any difference overall. My shoulders/neck are sore all the time. I wake up 8-10 times a night and switch pillows and positions trying to find something that works. Funny thing is that I have narcolepsy, which means I fall asleep all the time and can sleep anywhere-- except on my Rhapsody.

If there is a topper on the temperpedic, will any heat get to the actual mattress to soften it up so that there is any amount of comfort to account for? Or would I need to get all the comfort from the topper? I was confused by the information about layering different thicknesses and densitys and I’m not sure if I would want a solid latex or a topper with a couple different materials or combined densities of latex or something else. Any thoughts?

Hi Jal,

You’re wise IMO to avoid the Simmons because the only good quality material in the comfort layers (upper layers) of this mattress is thin layer of latex. The rest of the material both above and below it is lower density polyfoam and as you mentioned will soften and break down far too quickly to justify the cost of the mattress. The comfort layers of a mattress are the ones that are most subject to mechanical wear and tear, softening, and breakdown and the loss of comfort and support that is the usual result is not covered by warranty (warranties only only cover impressions beyond a certain depth or exclusion that remain when you are not on the mattress … not the ones you feel when you are lying on it).

While this can be an effective approach … the biggest difficulty with this approach is that the base mattress will usually also have several inches of polyfoam on top of it and if you add a topper to several inches of soft or low qulity foam foam it can put you too far away from the support layers of the mattress for their support qualities to be effective. If you do go in this direction … the best choices would be a base mattress that has the least possible amount of polyfoam of the best possible quality/density (or preferable higher quality types of foam) and a good support system (extra firm) and then add the comfort layer on top using a higher quality material. The topper will extend the life of the foam below it. This way you don’t end up turning a comfort layer in the base mattress into a support layer because it would be too soft for this.

Pocket coils are the most motion isolating of the innersprings but other types of support systems such as polyfoam or latex with the right layers on top can also be very motion isolating so you are not limited to an innerspring (although some people may still prefer its bouncier nature).

There are a couple of possibilities here. One is that your pillow (or pillows) is not the best for you and that a different pillow may help solve the issue (one that is more suitable for side sleeping and filling in the gap between your head and the mattress on your side). The second is that the comfort layers of the Rhapsody (which has some very high density memory foam on top) are too firm for you and aren’t allowing your shoulders to sink in far enough. It could be a combination of both. If you add a topper that is too low density and soft … you may still be going through it too much and feeling the firmness of the high density memory foam underneath it (which would also be a little more removed from your body heat so would take longer to soften even if the memory foam topper was soft).

Yes … the topper will allow less heat to reach the top layers of memory foam but that is already happening in your mattress anyway. The upper part of the memory foam layers in the Rhapsody (the 1.2" of 7 lb density memory foam) have more contact with heat and will soften while the deeper layers of the memory foam (the 2.8" of 5.3 lb memory foam) would be more shielded from the heat and would remain firmer or at least soften more slowly.

If you add a memory foam layer that is soft and thick enough … then you would have enough of a thick soft comfort layer to allow your shoulders to sink in enough if that is the underlying cause of your issues. A topper that was in the range of 4 lbs and in the range of 2" that was less temperature sensitive would give you a thicker and softer comfort layer than you currently have and may help with the problem. If you needed even more thickness/softness then even 3" may be OK but thiker softer toppers are more risky with support/alignment issues.

A latex topper would be completely different from a memory foam topper and the choice between them would be based on your preference and on your body weight and body type. Latex is a fast response material that comes in some very soft versions but performs and feels very different from memory foam. Your height/weight and your husbands needs would also have to be taken into account in your choice of both thickness and softness. Softer toppers are more suitable for lighter people while firmer toppers are generally more suitable for heavier people and the thinnest layer that “does the job” is generally best for alignment.

So the first step is to decide if you want the more “in the mattress” feeling and slow response of memory foam or the more “on the mattress” and faster response of latex. Once you’ve decided between the two materials (and you can test both locally to see which you prefer and the general type of layering you like) … then you would have a better context to choose the topper that is best for you.

I think your Rhapsody could be a good base for a suitable topper because it doesn’t have any “weak links” and it’s just a matter of finding the best layering combination of mattress/topper combination.

One final suggestion is that the mattress protector and sheets you use can also have a effect on the sleeping temperature and firmness of the mattress so these may also be playing a role in both the firmness and temperature of your mattress.