I've been sleeping on a 4-star memory foam mattress topper for a week — 3 ways it’s changing my sleep

A woman places a Dormeo Octasmart Deluxe Mattress Topper on a white mattress
(Image credit: Dormeo)

Mattress toppers are a great way to reboot your sleep without splurging on a brand new bed. They can add comfort, support, or some temperature control to your mattress, giving it a makeover and expanding its lifespan. 

Even the very best mattresses built to last eight years of more will need a refresh at some point in their lifespan, so that's why I decided to try out the award-winning memory foam Octasmart Deluxe Mattress Topper. While the mattress I've been sleeping on is both comfortable and supportive, I wanted to add some extra plushness to my sleep surface  — and this memory foam mattress topper promised plenty of that. 

A week ahead of Sleep Awareness Week 2024, I started sleeping on this high-quality bed topper. While I won't be able to get the full picture of what it's like to sleep on a memory foam topper until another two weeks, here are my initial thoughts.

Recent updates

This is an initial hands-on review of the Octasmart Deluxe Mattress Topper, but you can now read our full Octasmart Deluxe Mattress Topper review 2024.

What is a memory foam mattress topper? 

The majority of the best mattress toppers use memory foam. Memory foam mattress toppers are great at adding softness and body-cradling comfort to a mattress topper that's too firm. They tend to suit side sleepers the most, as these kinds of sleepers need extra cushioning along their pressure points, such as the shoulders, hips, and knees.

There are memory foam toppers that can add support or firmness for back and stomach sleepers. Some bed toppers even come with a customisable feel and have a selection of firmness levels to choose from. However, most memory foam toppers are only suitable for side and lightweight sleepers. 

A hand print indented into the top of a luxurious memory foam mattress

(Image credit: Getty Images)

While memory foam has a reputation for trapping heat, a lot of memory foam toppers today have temperature control to keep you cool, such as copper, graphite, or gel-infused memory foam. 

Memory foam toppers are available at plenty of big-name brands and retailers in both the UK and US, including Emma, Simba, Casper, Dormeo, and Saatva. Usually, toppers cost anywhere from £50 to £300 or $39 to $250, though this varies depending on brand, quality, and size. 

The memory foam topper I’ve been sleeping on

The mattress I currently sleep on is both comfortable and supportive, but I wouldn't call it plush or sink-in soft. Its filling also includes white fibre, natural cotton, and lambs wool, while the cover is made from natural viscose and cotton and wool tufts. However, it's a traditional bedstead mattress with nested pocket springs and reflex foam, which are both commonly used to add support and firmness to beds.

As I sleep predominantly on my side, I decided to choose a memory foam topper that could add some plushness and cushioning to my mattress. The mattress topper I immediately gravitated to was the Octasmart Deluxe Mattress Topper.

This luxury medium-soft bed topper not only promises cradling, body-moulding comfort with its memory foam Octasprings, but also an eight times more cooler sleep thanks to its patented honeycomb design. (It even promises to drop your bed's temperature by 3°C.). At 7cm  (2.75 inches) thick, it also falls within the recommended height bracket of a topper. 

Octasmart Deluxe Mattress Topper:  £289 at Dormeo

Octasmart Deluxe Mattress Topper: from £289 at Dormeo
The Octasmart Deluxe Mattress Topper is medium soft bed topper made from luxurious memory foam Octasprings and a breathable patented design to keep sleepers cool. There s currently no deal on this topper, but extras include a 60-night sleep trial, 8-year warranty, and free delivery. 

How a memory foam mattress topper is changing my sleep

1. I’m sleeping cooler 

While I can't prove whether this topper does indeed decrease my bed's temperature by exactly 3°C, I can confidently say this topper sleeps cool. From the moment I unboxed this topper, I immediately noticed it was cool-to-the-touch, even in a warm, stuffy room with not a lot of ventilation. 

The patented design definitely delivers breathability and at no point did I feel warm. The topper is covered by both a mattress protector and a fitted sheet, but I can still feel the cool-to-the-touch surface of the topper. Granted, I'm not a hot sleeper, but I would still recommend it to anyone who is. I also advise anyone in search of memory topper to find one that has a breathable design and promises to cool you down.

2. I’m more comfortable when side sleeping...

I wanted plushness, and I got it. Dormeo describes this topper as medium-soft, and I definitely would agree. I place this as a 4 on the firmness scale, which is close to marshmallow-soft. 

Dormeo Octasmart Deluxe Mattress Topper

(Image credit: Dormeo)

It does feel like my joints are being cradled when sleeping on my side. It's plush and has a luxe feel, and my shoulders and hips have felt comfortable on this topper since the very first night as the memory foam moulds around my pressure points. 

This is, without a doubt, topper for side sleepers, and those who sleep on their side will never feel as thought their bed is too firm if they reboot it with this topper.

3. …but I’m not as supported when back sleeping 

One of the things I love about my mattress is, while not sink-in cloudlike soft, it provides an excellent balance between support and comfort. This is especially important for those who sleep on their back or stomach, along with combination sleepers. These sleepers need extra support, firmness, and responsiveness, and too much softness can cause their hips to sink and throw their spine out of its proper spine alignment - which leads to back pain.

I often feel like my hips and back are sinking into the topper, and that's when I miss the springy support and firmness of my mattress

While I've always considered myself a side sleeper, sleeping on this memory foam topper has lead to believe that I'm actually more of a back-and-side combination sleeper. In fact, I'd never noticed how much I alternate between back sleeping and side sleeping before. When I lay down to go to sleep, I always curl up into the foetal position. The same thing happens when I hit snooze and try to get an extra 5 minutes. 

But I now notice that I often roll from side, back, to other side, and I often wake up laying on my back. While side sleeping on this topper feels wonderful, back sleeping is another story. I often feel like my hips and back are sinking into the topper, and that's when I miss the springy support and firmness of my mattress. I've even noticed some aches and pains in my lower back, which I've never experienced before and tells me my spine may be misaligned at night. 

Pros and cons of a memory foam mattress topper

As stated above, memory foam toppers are amazing for some sleepers, and not quite right for others. The main benefit of a memory foam topper is its comfort. Memory foam moulds to your body's shape and cradles joints exceptionally well, making them deal for side sleepers whose shoulder and hips need extra pressure relief. Mmeory foam is also accessible and much cheaper than toppers made from latex, which tend to be denser and firmer. 

On the other hand, memory foam can trap heat, so hot sleepers need a topper with cooling properties. There's also the firmness level. While you can find lots of foam toppers that are designed to add softness to a hard bed, there aren't many designed to make a plush bed firm in comparison. This lack of firmness can mean stomach and back sleepers feel unsupported.

Should you buy a memory foam topper?

The Octasmart Deluxe Mattress Topper in bright bedroom by window

(Image credit: Octasmart)

A common question that's often asked: Do mattress toppers actually work? While memory foam does have its drawbacks, that doesn't mean there isn't a memory foam topper out there for you and your bed. 

First of all, you need to know your sleep preferences. Do you sleep on your side, back or stomach? Do you sleep hot? If you're a back or stomach sleeper, look for a topper with the right firmness rating (or look for a topper with different firmness options.

If you're wondering how firm a mattress should be, then look for topper with a medium-firm rating (which tends to suit most sleep styles). Also, look for a topper with a free sleep trial, which gives you a chance to check out whether it's right for you or not.

Also, if you're a hot sleeper, look for a memory foam topper with a breathable design or cooling features, such as gel, copper, or graphite. Some even come with advanced cool-to-the-touch covers that cool you down and wick away moisture.

Frances Daniels
Sleep Staff Writer

Frances Daniels is a Sleep Staff Writer at Tom's Guide and her role includes covering all mattress and sleep news, in addition to mattress reviews and buyer's guides, plus sleep accessories such as pillows and mattress toppers. Frances is a PPA-accredited journalist and is hugely interested in the relationship between good sleep and overall health. When not writing about mattresses and sleep for Tom's Guide, Frances enjoys writing about women's issues, health and wellbeing, the environment, and her native Wales.