Mattress vs mattress topper: Which should buy in Presidents’ Day sales?

A woman with long dark hair looks at a mattress vs a mattress topper when shopping for a new bed
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If your mattress isn’t as comfortable as it used to be and it has staining or sagging, then it could be time to replace it. But if you don’t have the funds for a new mattress or you suspect that it has a couple more years' life in it if properly supported, investing in a quality mattress topper could be the answer instead. In this article, we'll explore five different scenarios that can help you pick between a mattress vs mattress topper.

And now is a great time to buy the best mattress for your sleep needs and body as many of this year's top-rated beds are hugely discounted in the Presidents' Day mattress sales. But even though you can get some brilliant queen size mattresses for less than $700 right now, that's still a big chunk of cash to spend if all you need is a quality bed topper to add softness, firmness, cooling or pressure relief to your bed.

Here's how to decide whether you should buy a mattress vs mattress topper in the Presidents' Day sales. Plus, we round up our favorite deals on both to point you in the right direction when shopping.

Today's top mattress sales

Mattress vs mattress topper: How to choose in Presidents' Day sales

We've pulled together these five key scenarios to help you pick between a new mattress in a box and the best mattress topper for your sleep needs. 

The DreamCloud Mattress photographed on a wooden bedframe placed in a dark blue bedroom and with a couple laughing and sitting on the mattress

(Image credit: DreamCloud Sleep)

1. Your mattress is over 10 years old

When it comes to how long does a mattress last, it depends on a couple of factors such as what type of mattress you own and how it’s made. Usually, a mattress only has a life span of around five to seven years unless it’s a luxury latex mattress, which could last up to 15 years. So if your mattress is over 10 years old, then it's time to invest in a new bed. 

As mattresses age they soften and lose their original support, leading to issues like sagging and discomfort. An ageing mattress also plays a part in how tired you may be when you wake up in the morning, despite being in bed at a decent hour. So if you’re experiencing back pain, stiffness and poor quality sleep, your old mattress could be playing a big part in that. 

You need: A new mattress  
Investing in a new mattress will help reduce aches and pains, and once you’ll start waking up in the morning feeling well-rested. You may also find that your allergies ease up because you’ll be free of the dead skin, oils, and moisture that your previous mattress has stored up. If you love soft, contouring beds, pick the best memory foam mattress for you. If you love breathable, bouncier beds with strong edge support take a look at our guide to this year's best hybrid mattresses.

2. The feel of your mattress isn't quite right

Whether you buy your mattress online or in a store, you don’t really get a good feel for how firm the mattress is until it’s in your home and you’re sleeping on it. Whilst some mattresses claim to have a medium-firm rating they can feel a lot firmer than you’re used to. If you’ve recently changed from a spring or hybrid mattress to an all-foam mattress, you will find it feels firm and you need to give it some time to get used to how different it feels.

But if you’ve been sleeping on your mattress for quite some time and it’s still too firm then you need to make a change. Sleeping on a mattress that’s too firm can cause numbness or pins and needs due to restricted blood flow. This can then have a knock-on effect and often lead to disrupted sleep patterns. It can also be a main cause of muscle, back and neck pain due to increased strain on pressure points. 

A woman lifts the edge of her white mattress topper placed on top of a white mattress

(Image credit: Getty Images)

You need: A mattress topper
A mattress topper can totally transform a bed that is too firm. There are many different variants of mattress toppers including memory foam, plush, contouring and latex. If your mattress is too firm then a good memory foam mattress topper can do a good job at providing pressure-point relief and creating a softer surface for a better nights sleep.

3. Your mattress is lumpy and uncomfortable

Sags and lumps are expected on an older mattress but sometimes they can start to display these signs when they’re not that old.  When you lay down the mattress compresses under the body and over time, it doesn’t bounce back as quick as it may have when it was new, and overtime, it won’t bounce back at all, leaving permanent indentations. 

As mattresses age, the internal structure can also break down, which can cause lumps. And if you share a bed or you tend to sleep on just one side you may find that your mattress dips due to uneven weight distribution. Lumps and sagging can also be from not properly maintaining your mattress. You should rotate your mattress every 3-6 months as per manufacturer guidelines.

You need: A mattress
You cannot fix a lumpy or sagging mattress. Once that starts to happen, it only going to get worse. And whilst it may be tempting to try and fix the problem by purchasing a mattress topper, that will just start to display the same issues. To get the full benefits of a mattress topper you need to have a good base to start with. 

 4. Your mattress is comfy but you're too hot 

If your mattress is super snug and comfy but you’re sleeping hot, then you could need a little extra help to cool down. Sleeping hot can be one of the biggest sleep disruptors and if you get a poor nights sleep night after night, you’re not going to be feeling too good. 

There are plenty of reasons why you may sleep hot, including room temperature, humidity, hormones, or medication. Some mattresses also just have a tendency to sleep hot, especially memory foam which traps the heat and pushes it back out on to your body.

You need: A cooling mattress topper
Cooling mattress toppers can make all the difference to hot sleepers. They’re often made from natural materials such as latex, wool or down. When choosing the best cooling topper, go for something that promotes good airflow and circulation and avoid memory foam as that will keep the heat away from you and leave you feeling cool and comfortable. 

A woman with short blonde hair blows her nose in bed because she has allergies triggered by her old mattress

(Image credit: Getty)

5. Your allergies are worse than ever

If you find your allergy symptoms get worse at night or you’re waking up in the morning with symptoms then it could be that your mattress is to blame. Over time mattresses can suffer from a build-up of dust, dander, dust mites and even mold. This causes nasal congestion, sneezing, itchy skin and breathing issues. 

Sometimes you can solve the issue by making sure that you have a good cleaning routine, including making sure you regularly vacuum your mattress, but sometimes the problem is so bad that you need to make a drastic change. 

You need: Either
What you opt for depends on the state of your mattress. If your suffering with allergies that get worse at night and your mattress is coming towards the end of its life span, upgrade to a new mattress. This is a chance for a fresh start so make sure you invest in the best mattress protector and have a regular cleaning routine to keep your mattress dust free which will have a huge impact on your allergies. 

It’s also important to replace your mattress if you think there’s any mold or bacteria growing. Mold toxicity can have some serious side effects on your health and that should be dealt with as soon as possible. If your mattress isn’t that old, a topper is best. Choose one with hypoallergenic properties and natural materials such as wool and organic cotton. 

Top Presidents' Day mattress topper deals to consider

1. Viscosoft Active Cooling Copper Topper: $249 at Viscosoft

1. Viscosoft Active Cooling Copper Topper: from $334 $249 at Viscosoft
This luxurious mattress topper is four inches tall and offers exceptional comfort and pressure relief that can promote proper spinal alignment. This foam topper has been infused with copper, which has a host of benefits, including improving blood flow, regulating temperature and increasing skin elasticity. This topper is great for hot sleepers as the cover is made from a cooling fabric that will absorb the temperature of the room and deflect moisture away to keep sleepers cool and dry. This topper has a 90-day money-back guarantee, 5 year warranty, and free delivery. During the current Presidents’ Day sale, you can snap this queen size topper up for just $249, which is an $85 saving on the full price of $335.

2. Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Adapt Topper: $419$251 at Tempur Pedic

2. Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Adapt Topper: from $419 $251 at Tempur Pedic
Add an instant upgrade to your mattress with this 3-inch tall topper from Tempur Pedic. The Tempur-Adapt topper is made from the Tempur material that offers personalized support that is instantly responsive to any weight, shape, and temperature. It comes with signiture Staytight corner straps that will keep the mattress topper securing in place to stop it moving around at night. It’s also a great addition for hot sleepers who will find that the breathable knit cover will wick away any moisture resulting in a cool and dry nights sleep. The Tempur-Adapt doesn’t except returns but does have a 10 year limited warranty and free shipping. A queen size Tempur-Adapt is currently $251 which is 40% off the regular price of $419. 

3. Birch Living Plush Organic Mattress Topper: $623$467 at Birch by Helix

3. Birch Living Plush Organic Mattress Topper: from $623 $467 at Birch by Helix
Upgrade your sleeping space with this mattress topper that’s made with a combination of natural and organic materials, including cotton, wool, and latex. This plush topper also maximises airflow leaving sleepers feeling cool and rested. It is two inches deep and will leave your bed feeling like a fancy hotel. You can get this mattress topper for 25% off this Presidents’ Day sales with a queen size topper costing $467 making a saving of $156 from the MSRP of $623. 

Today's top Presidents' Day mattress deals

1. DreamCloud Hybrid: $839$419 at DreamCloud

1. DreamCloud Hybrid: from $839 $419 at DreamCloud 
The DreamCloud Hybrid is a luxury mattress at an affordable price point. This mattress has seven layers of foam and individually wrapped innersprings that work together to provide all types of sleeper with a balanced and responsive feel. This is also a great choice for couples, thanks to its superb motion isolation. This mattress has a 365-night trial, a forever warranty, and free shipping. During this year’s Presidents’ Day sale, a queen size DreamCloud Hybrid is reduced to $665, with a saving of $667 on the MSRP. 

2. Nectar Memory Foam Mattress:$349 at Nectar Sleep

2. Nectar Memory Foam Mattress: from $699 $349 at Nectar Sleep The Nectar memory foam is a medium firm mattress that is perfect for back and stomach sleepers who need extra support in the right places. This mattress is made up of three layers of memory foam and unlike other memory foam mattresses won’t get too hot thanks to the 2-inch layer of gel-infused memory foam.  With this mattress, you get a 365-night home trial, forever warranty and free shipping and returns. It currently has 40% off making a queen size mattress just $659 which is a huge saving of $440 off the MSRP of $1099. 

3. Helix Midnight Mattress: $936 $702 at Helix 

3. Helix Midnight Mattress: from $936 $702 at Helix 
The Helix Midnight is a mid-range hybrid mattress that offers great comfort and support especially for side sleepers. It’s has a medium-firm rating and is made up of five layers which includes memory foam, other foams, and coils.  This mattress comes with a 100-night sleep trial, 10 year warranty and free US shipping. You can get the Helix Midnight at a really good price during this current flash sale for Presidents’ Day. A queen size mattress costs $999 which is a big saving from the MSRP of $1332. But you don’t just get money off the mattress, Helix are also throwing in a free bedroom bundle worth $378 that includes pillows, a mattress protector, and sheet set. 

Rachael Penn

Rachael is a freelance journalist based in South Wales who writes about lifestyle, travel, home and technology. She also reviews a variety of products for various publications including Tom’s Guide, CreativeBloq, IdealHome and Woman&Home. When she’s not writing and reviewing products she can be found walking her Sealyham and West Highland terrier dogs or catching up on some cringe-worthy reality tv.