How to Fix a Lumpy Mattress Topper – Step by Step
Investing in a mattress topper to enhance the comfort and support of your mattress will also help you to prolong the lifespan of the mattress. But because the mattress topper will be bearing most of the weight and you won’t be moving your body contours every night, it may start to develop lumps and bulges which will affect it’s comfort. These uneven mounds are probably not a defect in the topper but are usually the result of you sleeping in the same position every night over extended periods. It is easy to fix a lumpy mattress topper and even it out if you immediately apply the tips we’ll discuss in this article.
To fix a lumpy mattress topper, try placing pillows underneath sagging areas. If the bed foundation is sagging, place plywood boards underneath sagging areas instead of pillows. Also, try to rotate the mattress topper regularly so that it wears out evenly in all areas.
A mattress topper should be cared for and maintained in the same way you would take care of a mattress, to prevent it from becoming lumpy or starting to sag. In this article by TheHealthSite, a lumpy mattress is listed as one of the six main reasons for sleep disruption. You might also be interested in reading our article, can you buy a pillow top for your mattress as well.
Why Does Your Mattress Topper Have Lumps?
Over time, a mattress topper mimics the shape of the mattress underneath it—especially if it isn’t regularly rotated—resulting in a lumpy and uncomfortable sleeping surface. The average lifespan of high-quality mattress toppers is 3 to 5 years. The older the mattress topper, the more likely it is to become lumpy.
There are various reasons why your mattress topper has lumps, these include over-usage, uneven pressure distribution, and cold weather.
The indentations usually develop on the side of the bed where a lot of pressure is being applied. Mattress toppers made of memory foam conform to the shape of your body and cold weather makes it difficult for the foam to release the dips and dents created by your sleeping shape—this will exacerbate your back pains as a sagging mattress does not support correct spine alignment. Read our article on how to use a mattress topper to relieve back pain to find out how to select the correct mattress topper type and thickness to properly support your back.
Reason 1. Over-usage
A mattress topper can last up to 5 years on average. The older it gets, the more likely is for its materials to soften and deteriorate. This gradual softening of material—especially foam—causes indents, lumps, sags, or bumps in the mattress topper. This also happens due to excessive pressure on the topper night after night. Read our mattress topper density guide to learn about how the topper density affects its durability.
Reason 2. Uneven Pressure Distribution
Another reason for a lumpy mattress topper is a lot of pressure. When you sleep on one side of the bed all the time, this is where the sagging develops. Besides, if you are overweight, the mattress topper will find it difficult to sustain your weight, which will result in a lumpy and uncomfortable sleeping surface. Read our article on how to choose a mattress topper for a heavy person to learn how a person’s weight determines the choice of mattress topper.
Reason 3. Cold Weather
Mattress toppers made of foam are temperature-sensitive, meaning that their material softens with your body heat and conforms to the shape of your body. The material’s physical structure is also affected by the temperature of the room and by the weather. Cold weather makes it difficult for the foam to release the indentations left behind by a sleeper —because it is less malleable in cooler temperatures—which results in a lumpy and uncomfortable surface. If your climate is cold then consider buying a woolen mattress topper like this one from Amazon, because it makes the bed warmer by retaining body heat and only needs occasional refluffing to keep the inner plush.
How to Avoid Mattress Topper Lumps by Buying a Different Material
The material a mattress topper is made out of plays a vital role in prolonging the life of a mattress because mattress toppers add an extra layer between the body and the mattress. Memory foam mattress toppers are known for cradling the body, and providing soft support that conforms to the individual sleeper. However, the biggest drawback of using a memory foam mattress topper is that it will tend to hold onto heat and sag more quickly than other materials.
A mattress topper made of latex foam is less likely to sag because it is firmer and denser than a memory foam mattress topper. Latex mattress toppers are durable and also have the ability to self-ventilate because of latex’s natural porosity.
A good quality latex foam is springy, supportive, durable, and will stand up to substantial use. Read our article about Latex vs. Memory Foam Mattress Toppers where we discuss the pros and cons of each material.
Tips to Fix a Lumpy Mattress Topper
Fixing a lumpy mattress is easy to do, provided the topper hasn't been damaged by incorrect handling or folding—which can cause deep creases in the materials if left for long periods of time. Read our article on how to roll up a mattress topper to learn more about the correct way to package and store a mattress topper.
To fix a lumpy mattress topper, smooth it out, rotate it or flip it over, and use pillows or plywood boards underneath sagging areas to provide additional support.
Step 1. Smooth the Mattress Topper Out
If your mattress topper is made of memory foam, remove it from your bed and lay it flat on the floor. Massage the lumpy area with your hands to warm up the material, smoothing it out. The more distorted the surface, the longer it needs to release the lumps and indentations. Adjust the temperature in the room and allow sunlight to naturally warm up the space to make it easier on the foam to return to its normal, flat form.
Step 2. Rotate the Mattress Topper or Flip it Over
Rotate a single-sided mattress topper 180 degrees, moving the current head area to the foot board. This will cause a counter-pressure which will eventually even out your sagging mattress topper. Repeat this process every 4 to 6 months. This aloe-infused mattress topper from Amazon is an example of a mattress topper that has one side that is used as the top.
For double-sided mattress toppers, you can flip them over to change the position of the sagging area. This moves the lumpy side of the topper to the bottom and the flat surface to the top. Once you have flipped the mattress, the pressure is going to be applied on different spots, and will eventually even out the surface. This memory foam mattress topper from Amazon can be flipped over if it starts to get lumpy.
Also, try to sleep in different places on the bed from time to time to prevent the topper from becoming too accustomed to pressure in just one spot.
Step 3. Use Pillows Under Lumpy Areas to Even Out The Mattress Topper
Use extra pillows under the lumpy areas to even out the surface. This changes the pressure levels, making your mattress topper return to its flat form. The more support you can add to your mattress topper, the better. Keep in mind though that this is a temporary solution to fix a lumpy mattress topper. You can also purchase inflatable air bladders like these and put them under the indentations to release them.
Step 4. Use Plywood For Areas That Need More Support Than a Pillow
Place a piece of plywood or a combination of plywood planks between your mattress topper and your mattress. The topper will rest on the plywood and may return to its original form over time. The plywood acts as a firm barrier, increasing support. Another alternative is to try a bunkie board as a firm surface under the topper. Read our article on bunkie boards to find out more.
How to Fix a Mattress Topper That Has a Bulge on One Side?
Exerting too much pressure night after night on one spot can make your mattress topper develop bulges on one side. Fortunately, you can fix the mattress topper and make it comfortable again by repositioning the bulging area.
To fix a mattress topper that has a bulge on one side, try tightening the mattress topper onto the bed frame. Another simple solution is to rotate the mattress topper and allow it to wear differently. In the worst case, place a mattress pad over the mattress topper to provide additional support across the entire mattress topper.
Step 1. Tighten the Mattress Topper onto the Bed Frame
It’s possible that the lump on your mattress topper is caused by uneven spreading of the mattress topper over your mattress. If this is the case, and your mattress topper has a bulge on one side, then it won’t fit properly on the bed. Place folded pieces of cardboard on the sides of the topper to keep it even with the bed frame and stop it from spreading out. Read our article about how to hold down a mattress topper to find out more about tips to securing a mattress topper that keeps sliding off. Placing a piece of plywood under the topper could also add extra support and prevent the mattress topper from sagging.
Step 2. Flip the Mattress Topper
If, instead of uneven spreading, the lump is caused by uneven wear of the mattress topper, flip a double-sided mattress topper over to change the position of the bulging area. If your mattress topper is one-sided, then rotate it every 2 to 6 months. This allows your body to rest on other flat areas, which will eventually even out the surface. If you sleep with a partner, then switch sides every now and then to distribute your weight more evenly across the mattress topper. Also, try to sleep in different places on the bed from time to time to prevent the topper from becoming too accustomed to pressure in just one spot. This ergonomically designed mattress topper from Amazon is great for a two person bed.
Step 3. In the Worst Cases, Place a Mattress Pad over the Mattress Topper
If your mattress topper is still lumpy, you might need a new layer on top of it. By placing a mattress pad over the mattress topper, you’re effectively replacing your mattress topper with another layer. Read our article about mattress pads that details how they can be used on memory foam mattresses. Memory foam pads are great options because they mold to the shape of your body, while filling in the bulging areas on the mattress topper.
How to Choose a Durable Mattress Topper?
The lifespan of a mattress topper depends on the materials that are used. Some mattress toppers last longer than others.
To choose a durable mattress topper that will not get lumpy for a long time, you should look for one that is made of dense and firm materials such as latex and wool.
High quality latex foam toppers can last up to a decade and can be maintained by rotating every few months. Innerspring mattress toppers are made of thin coils, which can weaken over time and cause sagging. Hybrid mattress toppers contain an innerspring coil system along with layers of other materials such as foam, wool, cotton, or latex. These also tend to wear out sooner than latex toppers.
Read this article called, “The Study of Resilience of Mattress Foam and Body Pressure Distribution Characteristics of Mattress,” that states the superior ability of latex to provide comfort. The contouring and cushioning that memory foam or latex toppers provide ensures ultimate comfort and support, and can last up to fifteen years when maintained correctly.
Examples of Durable Mattress Toppers on Amazon
|Product Name + Link from Amazon||Mattress Features||Why is this Mattress Topper More Durable||Price of this product|
|Pure Green 100% Natural Latex Mattress Topper - Medium Firmness||This mattress topper adjusts to your body instantly and provides perfect comfort and support.||This mattress topper is made of natural latex, which is firm, dense, breathable, and durable.||~$100|
|Sleep & Beyond myPad Washable Wool Mattress Pad||This mattress topper provides comfort and pressure points relief.||This mattress topper is made of washable wool, which wicks away moisture and lasts for many years.||~$180|
|Pure Brands Mattress Topper Cover Extra Thick Luxury Down Alternative Pillow Top||This mattress topper provides enough support, regulates body temperature, and alleviates your pressure points.||This mattress topper is extra thick, breathable, and easily washed and maintained, all of which make it durable. Also, the down poly-fill is a synthetic material which doesn’t deform or break down easily.||~$40|
You might also find some relatable information in our 10 tips to make a hotel bed firmer and more comfortable so be sure to check it out too.
In a Nutshell
Restoring a lumpy mattress topper to its original shape and comfort can be easily achieved if it has been severely damaged. But the best way to prevent the mattress topper from becoming lumpy and starting to sag is to take care of it by installing it correctly and keeping it clean and fresh. Read our article on how to clean and use a mattress topper to learn some helpful tips to keep your mattress topper in great condition and prolong its lifespan.