How to Put Memory Foam Mattress Topper On Bed?

by Max Stevens

white mattress in a wood accent bedroom
Photo by Max Vakhtbovych on Pexels.

If you’re a first-time memory foam mattress topper user, you may be wondering, “how to put memory foam mattress topper on the bed?”.

If you don’t know how to correctly put it on, you may position it awkwardly leading to problems such as:

  • Decreasing mattress lifespan
  • Back, shoulder, and hip aches and pain
  • Financial hardship from breaking guarantees / missing refunds

Not only that, an incorrectly positioned mattress topper can cause sliding. And we all know that the whole point of buying a mattress topper was for a good night’s sleep.

Not to get up to fix your bed multiple times into the night, right? And yes, back problems are real since an uneven and awkwardly placed mattress topper strains your back while you lie down. Not great!

But don’t worry yet, because we’re about to teach you down below how you can properly position your new memory foam mattress topper on your bed.

How To Put Memory Foam Mattress Topper On Bed?

Step 1: Place The Topper In Your Desired Place

mattress topper vs. mattress pad

Before you do anything, first find a place where you desire to use the memory foam mattress topper. This room also has to have ample space for the mattress topper to lay flat undisturbed for many hours.

We’d recommend your bedroom because it’s pretty easy to then transfer it to your mattress. But, if there’s not enough space, then perhaps your living room?

We’ll cover why you need a flat surface for your mattress topper below.

Step 2: Unbox The Mattress Topper

Unbox your mattress topper by using scissors. This is important since using a knife to cut through the packaging can penetrate the box deep enough to cut the mattress topper itself.

Make sure to proceed with caution when cutting the plastic packaging. If you don’t you risk ruining and possibly voiding your warranty.

Step 3: Place The Mattress Topper On A Flat Surface

After unboxing your mattress topper, lie down the memory foam mattress topper on a flat surface. Ensure that the flat surface is clean and out of the way of pets and young children who can cause accidental damage.

If you’re wondering why you need to place it on a flat surface, this is to ensure the mattress topper can optimally expand (foam-based mattresses and mattress toppers are compressed while packaging and need to expand to reach their actual shape) and air out.

Step 4: Place In A Well-Ventilated Area To Air Out

New memory foam mattress toppers have that “new smell” that comes directly from their production. This new smell is also called “off-gassing” and has the same chemical composition as new car interiors.

And yes, they’re harmful to your health when you breathe the chemicals in repeatedly even though they smell pleasant at times.

To deal with this, leave your mattress topper on the flat surface in step 2 and wait for 24 hours. This will help to reduce or possibly remove that chemical new smell. If you want to completely remove the smell, leave your mattress topper for 48 hours to 72 hours the most.

Step 5: Place The Topper On Your Mattress

After your memory foam mattress topper has aired out, you can now proceed to remove bedding accessories, these include: pillows, bed sheets, mattress pads, mattress protectors

Step 6: Finishing Touches

After successfully laying down your mattress topper on your bed evenly, you can proceed with the finishing touches. What are they, you ask?

Well, it’s basically just making your bed again. Attach your bed sheet, pillows, mattress pads, mattress protectors, and everything you need to sleep peacefully and restfully.

If you have a mattress protector, lay it on top of the mattress topper to protect both your mattress and your memory foam mattress topper.

Do You Have To Let A Memory Foam Mattress Topper Air Out?

Yes. New memory foam mattress toppers need to air out to remove VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which are bad for your respiratory health.

This is the “new smell” we’re talking about in step 4. New synthetic materials emit VOCs, including your memory foam mattress topper.

According to the American Lung Association, breathing in VOCs can irritate your nose, throat, and eyes. It can cause nausea and difficulty breathing and damage the central nervous system.

The excellent news is that VOCs are not permanent. They go away as time passes as these organic compounds gradually decompose to thin air. The only thing you need to do for a new memory foam mattress topper is air it out.

And what does airing out actually mean? Put your mattress topper in a well-ventilated area to help remove the off-gassing smell:

  • Outdoors (if you have a clean environment)
  • Indoors (well-ventilated room with windows open)

Does A Mattress Topper Go Under A Mattress Protector?

Yes, your memory foam mattress topper should go under the mattress protector to protect the topper and mattress from getting wet and stained.

If you don’t know what a mattress protector is, it is a light fabric with water-repellent or waterproof features. This product protects your bed from staining from moisture-related causes such as sweat, urine, food & drinks, and vomit.

With this in mind, putting your mattress protector on top of your mattress topper would protect your mattress and your mattress protector from liquid staining.

How Do I Keep My Memory Foam Mattress Topper From Sliding?

Mattress toppers do slide off your bed, and that’s a well-known fact. Memory foam mattress toppers are no exception to this fact, so here are some tips to keep your mattress topper from sliding off your bed:

  • Use Tight-Fitted Sheets – tightly fitted bed sheets that hug your mattress and mattress topper together so they don’t slip away from each other.
  • Use Sheet Suspenders – these are elastic bands that you clip at the edges of your mattress topper and connect with the mattress so your mattress topper won’t slip. And then you tuck it underneath, so it’s secured.
  • Use Safety Pins – we’re guessing you already know what a safety pin is. Hence, all you need to do is buy large pins at about 5.5 centimetres in size and secure your mattress topper by pinning it on your mattress.

Which Side Should I Use In An Egg Crate Memory Foam Topper?

Your egg crate memory foam topper should be used with the egg crates pointing up. If you have this type of memory foam mattress topper, make sure to keep the points of the egg crate pointed upwards where you’ll be lying down.

The egg crate side relieves pain and pressure on your back.

It also promotes better air ventilation, which is great since memory foam has heat retention properties. Suitable for people who sweat excessively during the night.

Can You Put A Memory Foam Mattress Topper On An Adjustable Bed?

No, you cannot put a memory foam mattress topper on an adjustable bed. Doing so will damage your memory foam mattress topper.

Why? Significant, sudden, or sustained movements in an adjustable bed may create creases and folds in your topper. This degrades the structural integrity of your mattress topper.

Yes, you can put a memory foam mattress topper, but ONLY if you remove the mattress topper before adjusting your bed.

Remember, memory foam mattress toppers can be damaged with repeated folding through bed adjustments.

Should You Flip A Memory Foam Mattress Topper?

No, flipping your memory foam mattress topper is counterproductive. Most memory foam mattress toppers only have 1 comfort layer, where you lie down and sleep.

Flipping it to the opposite side is just wasting away your money as you won’t reap the benefits of your memory foam mattress topper.

But do note that there are dual-layered memory foam mattress toppers where both sides can be used as comfort layers.

So if you have a dual-layer memory foam mattress topper, you can definitely flip it over to your preference. But if you only have a one-layered memory foam topper, you will just damage it and waste away your money.

Should You Use A Mattress Pad With A Memory Foam Mattress Topper?

Ideally speaking, no, you shouldn’t use a mattress pad with a memory foam mattress topper and any other mattress topper. If you’re wondering why, let’s have a quick rundown of a mattress pad’s purpose and a mattress topper’s purpose.

A mattress pad is a soft fabric that you place on top of your mattress to alter the firmness of your bed. However, it’s nowhere near as comfy compared to a mattress topper.

Mattress pads are often thin and soft, giving your bed more softness, much to your preference. On the other hand, a mattress topper is like a mini-mattress you place on top of your bed, helping change its firmness.

Think of the mattress topper as the game-changer. So when you use both a mattress topper and mattress pad, it’s actually an overkill and can even be counterproductive since both have different firmness and features.

You choose a mattress pad or a mattress topper, but if you decide to use both, you should place the mattress pad on top of your mattress topper.

Photo of author


Max Stevens

Chief Editor here at The Sleep Checklist. Suffered from a seemingly infinite knot in my thoracic area (between the spine and shoulder blade) due to my lifelong side sleeping habits. With my girlfriend, we look to provide the most relevant and best mattress advice.