The aches and pains that come with pregnancy and postpartum are no joke, and they seem to come alive at night. I’m kicking myself, because I just had my third and final baby, and NOW I find out mattress toppers?!
If you’ve never laid down on a memory foam (or other) mattress topper, you are in for a treat. Here’s some more information about how a mattress topper can change your sleep during pregnancy and postpartum.
Does a Mattress Topper Help During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy brings a lot of sleep issues in its wake, including needing to pee all night long, heartburn, and leg cramps. I vividly remember all three of these (unrelated tip: try magnesium supplements for leg cramps!).
On top of those three things is a chronic inability to get comfortable while sleeping. Especially in the third trimester, you can’t sleep on your back or stomach. Sleep pillows are incredible for easing the pressure of the baby bump, but mattress toppers can also help your entire body relax and get comfortable.
If you struggle with overheating, a mattress topper can help there, too.
Of course, a brand-new mattress would be ideal, but if your budget can’t accommodate it, a mattress topper can extend the life of your existing mattress and make it a whole lot cozier.
Related: The 12 Best Gifts For Newly Pregnant Women (Not For Baby!)
Does a Mattress Topper Help During Postpartum?
A mattress topper not only helps ease aches and pains during pregnancy, but it transitions beautifully into postpartum.
After giving birth, you can expect musculoskeletal pain in your joints, bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Lower back and pelvis pain is also common, and your shoulders can develop aches and pains from feeding postures and carrying the baby.
A mattress topper can be a huge aid in relieving those tensions at night. And again, mattress toppers can help regulate your body temperature, keeping you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Quick Disclaimer About Mattress Toppers
If your mattress is a hand-me-down from your grandparents, a mattress topper is not going to make it good as new. In fact, a mattress topper can accentuate existing sagging, making it even more uncomfortable.
Think of a mattress topper as the cherry on top – not the entire sundae. I’d consider a mattress topper in these situations:
- Your existing mattress needs to be replaced soon, but a mattress topper could make it more comfortable and extend its life by a few years.
- Your existing mattress is too firm (or soft) for your liking, and you want to adjust that with a mattress topper.
- You like your existing mattress, but you want to “sink” into bed a bit more.
- You feel your partner’s every move during the night and need a mattress topper that doesn’t transfer movement.
Mattress Topper Types for Pregnancy & Postpartum
A mattress topper can make all the difference during pregnancy and postpartum. There are different types of mattress toppers, including memory foam, wool, latex, and more. Here’s what you need to know about each type.
Memory foam is perfect for pregnancy and postpartum. It relieves the strain in your body by cradling it as it adjusts to your ever-changing body shape.
While regular memory foam can trap heat, gel-infused memory foam provides ventilation. The gel infusion gives you all the benefits of memory foam without major overheating.
Here are a few more pros of memory foam mattress toppers:
- You won’t be able to feel when your partner tosses and turns: memory foam mattress toppers reduce motion transfer, so if your sleeping partner is constantly jolting you awake at every move, this can be a great solution.
- Hypoallergenic: memory foam is less likely to trap mold, dust mites, and common irritants. This is especially helpful if you have allergies!
- Lumbar support and spinal alignment: memory foam aligns your spine while sleeping, which prevents tossing and turning as well as body aches.
- Takes stress off pressure points: memory foam conforms to your shape, which reduces pressure on parts of your body that cause pain and wake you up. In other words, a memory foam mattress or mattress topper can help you get to sleep and stay asleep.
While memory foam is arguably the best and most popular mattress topper type, wool is another option.
Wool isn’t as popular and can be harder to find, but it’s a real luxury if you can afford it. It’s super soft and surprisingly doesn’t hold body heat. These durable toppers are naturally antimicrobial, hypoallergenic for most, and can give the extra padding you need.
Another bonus is wool mattress toppers are more likely to come in organic, eco-friendly options.
Latex mattress toppers adjust to your body instantly, much like memory foam, but this material stays cool. If gel-infused memory foam is still leaving you warm at night, you might try latex.
Like wool, you’re more likely to find organic mattress topper options. Latex harvested from organically grown rubber trees can make for a superior mattress topper that’s comfortable, durable, breathable, and made well.
Down or Down Alternative
Down or down alternatives are super fluffy and give you that “hotel” look and feel. These mattress toppers will not conform to the shape of your body, but you’ll feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud. And maybe that’s really all you want from a mattress topper!
Genuine down or feathers, such as goose down or duck feathers, can get pricey. However, down alternative is likely the most cost-effective mattress topper you’ll find online.
What to Look For In a Mattress Topper for Pregnancy & Postpartum
When shopping for a mattress topper that’s ideal for pregnancy and postpartum, here are a few things to look for:
- Gel-infused memory foam: if you opt for memory foam, make sure it’s gel-infused. Memory foam on its own can absorb and trap heat, leaving you a sweaty mess in the morning. Toppers that are gel-infused are breathable, will ventilate well, and keep you cool.
- High-density: heavier mattress toppers provide you with more support while sleeping, and they’ll last a lot longer. Most toppers on Amazon have a density of 2-2.5 pounds per cubic feet. These will feel cheap and may need replaced more often. Look for something with 3.5 pounds per cubic feet or higher. Something around 4-5 is going to be your most expensive (think Tempur-Pedic), so 3.5 is somewhat of a sweet spot between quality and price.
- Around 3-inch thickness: memory foam mattress toppers as shallow as 2 inches won’t give the support you need, and anything over 4 inches is considered a mattress. A mattress topper of about 3 inches provides all the support you need without making your existing mattress too bulky.
- Washable cover: a mattress topper that comes with a washable cover is ideal, as it’ll last you a lot longer. Plus, it’s just nice to know you’re sleeping in a totally clean environment.
- Elastic straps: don’t mess with a mattress topper that’ll move around on you. Get one with elastic straps that secure it to your existing mattress.
For many, finding the right mattress topper is a grind. You may have to try a few until you find one both you and your partner can get behind.
Best Mattress Toppers for Pregnancy & Postpartum
Viscosoft Lavender-Infused, Gel-Infused Memory Foam Mattress Topper
Viscosoft sent me this mattress topper to test. This article is not sponsored and all opinions are my own.
If you want to try memory foam, the brand Viscosoft makes a lavender-infused, gel-infused, memory foam mattress topper. Use code MAMA20 for 20% off!
It’s luxurious, has a high-density, 3-inch thickness, washable cover, and elastic straps. It also has this amazing added feature of being infused with lavender essential oils. It’s very subtle and is infused into the foam, giving you a relaxing and calming environment to sleep in.
I really enjoy this mattress topper, though my husband says it’s a little too firm for him (it’s medium firmness). So, you might have to try a mattress topper and ensure both you and your partner enjoy it before committing.
Viscosoft was kind enough to extend an exclusive promo code for 20% off this topper! Use code MAMA20 and click this link.
EASELAND Cotton Top Cooling Mattress Topper
If you know you don’t like memory foam – or your partner can’t behind it – a great down alternative option is from EASELAND. This mattress topper has a cotton top and down alternative fill. It won’t conform to the shape of your body, but it’s something you can totally sink into.
It’s a great option if you prefer a soft sleeping environment (instead of firm). It doesn’t have straps, but it’s in a fitted sheet style, so it will wrap around your existing mattress to stay in place.
Reviewers have referred to this topper as “fluffy,” and it’s breathable, meaning you won’t get hot sleeping on it. It has over 75,000 reviews on Amazon and 4.5 stars overall. It’s also very affordable at under $40 at the time of this writing.
Sleep & Beyond Organic Merico Wool Matress Topper
If you decide you want to try wool, I highly recommend Sleep & Beyond, which offers an organic Merino wool topper on Amazon. It is pricier at $369 for a King size topper, but it’s significantly cheaper than buying a brand-new mattress.
This topper keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and a huge bonus to me is it’s organic and climate pledge friendly. This brand raises its own Merino sheep in the mountains of the Kyrgyz Republic.
If you want an organic, entirely natural mattress topper that’s cozy and regulates your body temperature, this would be my top pick.
Pure Green Organic Latex Mattress Topper
The brand Pure Green has some fantastic latex mattress toppers available on Amazon. You have a lot of leeway in the size and firmness you want. I would personally recommend the soft, 3-inch version.
The firmness is a very personal decision, but especially for pregnancy and postpartum, a softer topper is going to relieve pressure points and allow you to really sink in and get cozy.
Two cons with this particular topper is it doesn’t come with a cover or straps, though the material naturally doesn’t want to shift on you. I would suggest purchasing a cover or adding a waterproof mattress protector on top of it.
If you can get over those cons, this brand has fantastic customer service, and it checks all the boxes for being organic, natural, climate pledge friendly, and fair trade certified.
Pregnancy and postpartum is like a misty haze for me as I was (and still am) sleep-deprived. During postpartum, I’d wake in the middle of the night with horrible muscle cramps, and as soon as I had my baby, it was every 2-3 hours for nursing.
When your head hits the pillow, a good mattress topper can help you sink into sleep and ease the aches of pains of your child-bearing years. It might be harder to get out of bed, but hey – that’s a problem for another day.
Related: 50 Best Self-Care Products & Ideas for Busy Moms [Ultimate List]