Yes, we'd all love to purchase a new mattress to float away on at the drop of a hat, but they're so dang expensive it's not always possible. The good news is, if you have a semi-decent mattress and box spring, you can make some small investments and tweaks to boost your bed's level of fluffy comfort.
Even if you have a pillow-top, don't just throw a single foam pad on over the mattress and expect your bed to dish up the best sleeping experience ever. For a luxurious and super-comfortable bed, you need to layer on the extras and add a few other goodies to create the perfect combination for you.
Check out a memory foam mattress pad, for instance. They come in various sizes, but we suggest going for one that's 1-1/2 to 2 inches thick. You get the benefit of amazing cushioning, but the pad isn't so big that you don't have room for other types of padding.
Memory foam is a great start, but next you need to double down with an eggcrate mattress pad. Yeah, they look a little crazy, but they're also amazingly comfortable. Get one big enough to cover the entire top surface of your bed and position it near the top layers of extras (on top of your memory foam, for instance), just beneath a thinner topper that's directly under your fitted sheet.
If you aren't allergic to feather products, down bedding can be a gorgeously fluffy addition to your bed. Look for down pillows, mattress toppers and comforters. But quality matters here, folks — if you buy a cheap down comforter or pillow, you're going to be constantly needled to death with the prickly ends of the feathers poking through the cloth barrier.
Whether you are allergic, don't like to buy animal products or just don't feel like dishing out the dough for down, there are synthetic substitutes/down alternatives for feather bedding.
If you're looking for a good bang for your buck, the Chezmoi Collection goose down alternative comforter is a steal at $55 at Sears, and you can't beat the Natural Comfort super-warm and cozy down alternative comforter at $42 on Amazon.
Speaking of comforters, it's important to pay attention to seasons and the climate you live in while shopping for one. The Natural Comfort down alternative mentioned above is great for winter, but for summer you'll want to seek out something a little lighter. There's also a whole category of all-season comforters to keep on hand to get your body temperature just right.
Comforters also come in a variety of weights — so if you are claustrophobic or are soothed by a substantial heavy covering while sleeping, weight is definitely something you'll want to take into consideration.
Originally published August 2009. Updated January 2017.
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