If your old mattress is showing its age but you can't quite justify splashing out on a brand new one, a mattress topper is the ideal way to give your sleep setup a new lease of life for a reasonable price. It sits on top of your old mattress and gives you a whole new layer of comfort and support, while giving your mattress a reprieve on its trip to the recycling centre. What's not to love?
Panda's memory foam topper is one of the best mattress toppers around, and having already been impressed by the Panda Memory Foam Bamboo pillow and Panda Cloud Bamboo duvet, we simply had to try it out. Read on to discover more about its materials and design, and most importantly, what it's actually like to sleep on.
- See how it compares to our #1 pick in our Eve Topper vs Panda mattress topper faceoff
Panda mattress topper review: materials
Wondering if the Panda mattress topper features any bamboo? Of course you are, and yes, it does. It has a breathable cover that's 40% bamboo fibre and 60% polyester, and which is naturally antibacterial and hypoallergenic as well as being environmentally-friendly.
The topper itself is made from 5cm of third-generation gel-infused memory foam. It uses 'open cell' cooling technology to keep you from overheating at night: tiny heat-sensitive capsules that expand when they get warm, creating extra space between the cells to release heat.
The whole thing weighs in between 7 and 10kg, depending on the size of your topper.
Panda mattress topper review: design
The first thing you'll notice about your Panda topper when it's delivered is that it comes in a surprisingly small box. Like many memory foam mattresses, it arrives vacuum-packed and compressed, which means you'll need to let it expand for between 12 and 16 hours before you sleep on it. You'll also notice a distinctive memory foam aroma – a weird, sweet chemical smell that's not exactly unpleasant, but which may make you want to keep a window open for the first couple of days while it dissipates.
The topper's beautifully made, with a wonderfully soft cover adorned with a Panda logo, an anti-slip cover with dotted silicone to help keep it in place, and elastic straps at each corner to secure it to your mattress.
Panda mattress topper review: comfort
So, how much difference can 5cm of memory foam make to the comfort of your existing mattress? Quite a bit, as it turns out. We tested the Panda topper out on a firm mattress, and were surprised at just how much of an effect it had on its level of firmness. You really notice the memory foam; you sink gently into it, getting a real feeling of soft, enveloping support.
Depending on your sleep preferences, this may not entirely be a good thing. We found it just a little too soft, and despite the cooling technology within the topper, the memory foam got just a bit too warm for our liking at times. If you fancy something firmer, check out our Eve mattress topper review (although you'll need to stump up more for this option).
Panda mattress topper review: cleaning
One of the big plusses about the Panda topper is how easy it is to keep clean. The bamboo cover unzips and can be popped in the washing machine for a cool wash. Don't tumble dry it, though; it needs to be hung out on the washing line.
As for the topper itself, if you feel the need to freshen it up, Panda advises that it's wipe clean only.
Panda mattress topper review: the small print
As with its duvet and pillow, Panda provides a 30-night trial for its mattress topper. If you find you don't get on with it, you can simply return it for a full refund and Panda will cover the postage costs. It also provides free and fast delivery – our topper was originally scheduled for a Monday delivery but actually turned up two days early – as well as free returns in the UK.
Panda mattress topper review: verdict
There's a lot to like about the Panda mattress topper; it's really well made, easy to put on your bed and it'll stay in place nicely. The memory foam smell will be an issue for some more than others, but thankfully this fades after a few days. What's going to be the decisive factor for most people, we think, is how soft it is.
While it was definitely a bit too soft for our liking, that's a subjective judgment from someone who prefers a firmer mattress. If you like your sleep surface to have quite a bit of give to it (and you don't mind things getting a bit warm at night), we're pretty sure you'll find the Panda topper absolutely delightful. And if you don't, that 30-night trial period means that you can still give it a go.