Introduction to Down Alternative Mattress Toppers
A down alternative mattress topper is a removable bedding layer filled with hypoallergenic synthetic materials that mimic the comfort and warmth of natural downfall. Down alternative toppers provide plush cushioning to soften a mattress, without the high costs and allergy issues sometimes associated with real goose or duck down.
Benefits of Down Alternative Toppers vs Regular Mattress Pads
- Hypoallergenic – Unlike natural down fill which can trigger allergies, down alternative fill is 100% hypoallergenic. Synthetic microfibers don’t contain proteins found in feathers that cause allergic reactions.
- Affordable – High-quality down mattress toppers can be very expensive. Synthetic down alternative toppers provide the same luxurious comfort at a fraction of the cost.
- Machine Washable – Down alternative fill can safely be washed and dried at home without risk of damage. Natural down requires professional laundering.
- Breathable – Innovative synthetic fibers wick moisture and allow air to circulate so you don’t overheat.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Down Alternative Mattress Topper
When choosing a down alternative mattress topper, consider these key factors:
There are a few common types of synthetic fiberfill used:
- Polyester Fiberfill – The traditional budget filling option. Provides decent comfort and support.
- Microfiber Fill – Finer denier than polyester, for enhanced softness. Stays fluffy longer.
- Gel-Infused – Ultra-plush microfibers infused with gel microbeads. Promotes airflow so you sleep cooler.
Down alternative mattress toppers come in all standard mattress sizes, in a range of thicknesses:
- California King
- Low Profile – 2 inches high
- Medium – 3 inches
- Ultra Plush – 4+ inches
Choose based on your mattress firmness preference. A thicker topper softens a very firm bed.
Shoppers can find alternative mattress toppers across a wide spectrum of budget levels:
- Budget – Under $50 for a basic twin-sized polyester topper.
- Mid-Range – $50 to $150 for larger sizes with microfiber or gel-infused memory foam.
- Luxury – Over $200+ for ultra-thick hotel collection toppers.
Expect to invest more in larger mattress sizes, innovative fabrics, and extra height.
The Best Down Alternative Mattress Toppers
Best Overall: LINENSPA Gel Infused Mattress Topper
- 3 inches thick with plush gel memory foam
- Queen size under $100
- Soft, breathable knit cover
- Hypoallergenic and machine washable
- 5-year limited warranty
Best Value: ExceptionalSheets Plush Mattress Pad
- Amazing quality under $60
- Blend of polyester and hypoallergenic cotton
- Anchor bands secure the topper all night
- Tapered edges don’t slide off the bed
- Fits mattresses up to 18 inches thick
Best Luxury: Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Topper
- 775 thread count cover
- Ultra-plush 700 fill power
- Infused with cooling gel softness
- 2 inches thick Queen size
- Resists allergens and dust mites
- Won’t shift around overnight
Using and Caring For Your Down Alternative Mattress Topper
Proper Bed Placement
- Put the mattress topper on top of your mattress with the fitted skirt/anchors pulling around the underside.
- Optional – use a waterproof protector pad snug below your mattress topper to protect your mattress.
- Check clothing tags for recommended washing methods.
- Wash in cold water on a gentle, delicate cycle. Skip the dryer and air fluff instead to restore loft and prevent clumping.
Avoiding Mildew and Mold
- Don’t let moisture get trapped inside. Air out the fibers fully after washing.
- Sprinkle baking soda before vacuuming to keep odor-free. Spot clean as needed.
Use these pro tips to get the longest lifespan from your down alternative topper:
Using a Mattress Cover Encase your topped mattress in a waterproof/dustproof cover to minimize dirt and spills from reaching your topper.
Rotation Schedule Rotate and flip your mattress topper every 3 months to evenly distribute wear and recover loft.
Downsides of Down Alternative Mattress Toppers
While down alternative mattress toppers share many benefits with natural down toppers, there are some disadvantages to note:
- May Flatten Quicker Than Down-Filled Toppers
- Natural Down has incredible loft resiliency. Synthetic alternative fibers tend to compress permanently over time. Rotating and fluffing helps.
- Can Retain Heat
- Some sleepers find lower-grade polyester or poor airflow quality makes synthetic fill hotter than feather or down options. Choose moisture-wicking, gel-infused options.
Down Alternative vs Feather/Down Mattress Toppers
How do down alternative mattress toppers compare with real feather and down bed toppers? Here’s a quick comparison:
|Polyester or microfiber fill
|Goose or duck feathers/down
|Easy to Wash?
|Yes – machine wash/dry
|No – dry clean only
|2-4 years average
|Possible rustling sound
Both styles provide heavenly softness to refresh an old mattress. Down alternative toppers offer allergy-free convenience and easy care without the luxury price tag.
Down Alternative vs Other Mattress Topper Fills
Down alternative mattress toppers provide different properties than some other common topper materials:
- More contouring to the body’s shape
- Varying zones of firmness/softness
- Traps more heat but great support
- Ultra lightweight natural feathers
- Very breathable and airy
- Lower durability than down alternative
- All-natural, eco-friendly source
- Responsive buoyant support
- Naturally moisture-wicking properties
- Expensive but very durable
- Natural moisture-wicking wool
- Thermoregulating comfort year-round
- Heavy – quite firm, not hotel luxurious plush
- Resists dust mites and allergens
As you can see, alternative mattress toppers strike an impressive balance between support, affordability, and allergy-free convenience. They make an excellent choice for renewing an older mattress on a budget.