Bedsores are extremely painful, hard to manage and can take a long time to heal. If you or your loved one are struggling to deal with pressure sores, the best remedy would be to cushion the affected areas with lots and lots of comfort. Since those suffering from bedsores tend to spend most of their time lying down, the first line of defense against pressure sores are pressure relief mattresses and mattress toppers. Let's face it - a complete mattress replacement system can be costly. So if you are looking for something more budget-friendly, consider a pressure relief mattress topper.
When it comes to pressure sore mattress toppers, there are two main types that are best-suited for pressure points - the gel-infused memory foam toppers and various air filled overlays.
While the memory foam toppers are, naturally, made of memory foam and are familiar to most users, an alternating pressure pad is somewhat foreign to the majority of people. So lets see what it is and how it works.
An alternating pressure pad is a special mattress topper made up of air cells positioned laterally or length-wise that are alternatively deflated and inflated by an air pump to help relieve pressure for patients at high risk of pressure sores.
As you can see in the video above, while some air cells are inflated, others are deflated - this design helps redistribute patient's weigh, improve blood circulation and alternate pressure points. The air-flow can be manually adjusted, otherwise it works automatically through a powerful pump system connected to the mattress and attached to the bed.
So now that we've covered the basics, here are some of the best pressure sore mattress toppers out there.
The Sure2Sleep Soft-Plush Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper is gel-infused to keep the topper cool and the user more comfortable at night. It's hypoallergenic, made in the US and is covered by a 3-year manufacturer warranty. Unlike most memory foams, Sure2Sleep does not have a strong odor and airs out completely within 24 hours. It adds a great deal of comfort and relief to the pressure points for a price range of under $100 (queen size).
On the downside, some people didn't find it firm enough and felt like they were "sinking" into it. And though the manufacturer did add the gel to make the foam cooler, some users still felt like it was uncomfortably hot sleeping on it. Last but not least, this pressure sore mattress topper does not have its own cover, so you will need to put it under your mattress' cover.
All in all, with its high density support, the Sure2Sleep Soft-Plush is a good option for the price point, and will help those at risk of developing bedsores. But if you have already developed wounds, keep on reading, we got more supportive options on the list.
Another cool thing is the cover, unlike many foams under $100 price range, the ViscoSoft does have one, and it's one of the reasons why it lasts longer too. Accidents happen, and with this topper you can just throw the cover into a washing machine and voilà! Like brand new. The manufacturer also goes the extra way to make sure the foam sits in place on your bed by using elastic straps and a rubbery mesh bottom. Seems like such a no-brainer thing to do, right? You would be surprised how many pressure relief mattress topper brands actually don't have this simple comfort feature.
What's with the downside? Smell. Now, most of the foam toppers do have an odor and do require airing for about 24 hours. But this particular one seems to have it worse with the smell lasting for a few days. So if you are particularly sensitive or have asthma - you are probably better off with an air topper instead. Another thing that some people have experienced is that, while the topper does a great job at relieving pressure, it tends to form dents over time, and the spine no longer feels as supported as it should.
On the bright side, the manufacturer does provide a 60 day return window, so if you get this topper and decide that it isn't the right fit, you have 2 months to return it and get your money back. Note: just keep in mind that it was initially compressed by a machine so chances are you wont be able to fit it back into its original box...you'll probably need to get a bigger one.
ViscoSoft does offer a great premium pressure relief mattress topper which has already provided pressure relief for hundreds of people, it's extremely comfortable to use thanks to additional bands, rubbery mesh and a washable cover, so do check it out and weight in the pros and cons.Personally, we prefer air toppers to foam ones, since they tend to be better for serious pressure sores, don't make you hot, don't stink or "sink". And one of the best mattress toppers to relieve pressure points on our list is . Drive Medical is a brand when it comes to pressure relief, and this particular air pad system is a .
Personally, we prefer air toppers to foam ones, since they tend to be better for serious pressure sores, don't make you hot, don't stink or "sink". And one of the best mattress toppers to relieve pressure points on our list is Drive Medical Med Aire Alternating Pressure Pump and Pad System. Drive Medical is a well-established brand when it comes to pressure relief, and this particular air pad system is a great deal for the buck.
What you get with this alternating pressure pad system:
The thing we love most about Aire Alternating Pressure Pad System is the fact that it provides a ton of comfort for under $50, which is, honestly, a great deal. Its powerful pump technology produces 4 liters of airflow per minute, yet sounds more like a filter pump in an aquarium. The system comes with the pad (which is replaceable for around $30), a pump and some glue to fix any ruptures.
The key disadvantage of an alternating pressure pad is the fact that the pump might start slacking off after round-the-clock use. If you are planning to use the topper 24/7, you'll need a very powerful pump, which probably only the alternate pressure mattress can offer. Also, be mindful of the topper dimensions, its 78"(L) x 36"(W) x 2.5"(H). While foam overlays come in a variety of sizes, it can be much trickier to find an alternating pressure pad of a larger size, so be mindful of the dimensions.Apart from that, this alternating pressure pad offers a fantastic value for all those in need of pressure relief: its durable, quiet and utilizes one of the most effective pressure relief systems available, suitable even for more serious pressure sores.
It's so hard to make a decision between our two best alternating pressure mattress overlay contenders here! Let us introduce you to Vive Alternating Pressure Mattress - the #1 Amazon bestseller.
Here is what Vive Alternating Pressure Mattress has to offer:
On the downside, the size of this pressure relief mattress topper is again 78"(L) x 36"(W), so watch out for that. And make sure you adjust the pressure because some people tend to find the default mode rather hard, especially for those with existing bedsores.
All in all, being the #1 bestseller on Amazon for itself, so definitely check this topper out!
We hope that you found the best pressure relief mattress topper for your needs today, and will be able to rest without the horrendous discomfort of bedsores. We do want to mention that for those who have severe bedsores and stage 4-5 wounds, alternating pressure mattresses would be more appropriate. And should you need extra support while sitting, check out our review of the best seat cushions for bed sores. Best of luck!
Dr. Svetlana Parshenkova received her M.D from Kuban State Medical University (KSMU) in 1998 and her Executive MBA from Antwerp Management School in 2012. She has served as a Medical Information Manager for a large pharmaceutical company Les Laboratories Servier for over 20 years. In her free time she enjoys blogging about health, wellness and orthopedics.