Pros: Still worth the extra Topper for a good night sleep! Cheaper then Featherbed!
Cons: Low density is softer but might not last as long.
Regarding the Costco Nova Foam mattresses from Sleep Innovations...
Worth reading before you buy!
I bought both a mattress and a topper. I had tried a topper before and I thought it was great! However with only a topper I bottomed out just a bit on my old hard mattress. So I bought a mattress and I thought that would do the trick. To tell the truth, at first I thought it was harder then the topper and in a way it was. The problem is only the top layer is memory foam and the rest of the 9 inches is just regular foam which we all know is kind of hard stuff. Also because the memory foam is glued to the bottom layer, this adds resistance since it doesn't freely float on top like a topper does when you throw it on top of another mattress. Add to that the mattress has two very heavy layers of fabric that retards the memory foam. First is a very heavy wooly cover that uses Velcro to attach itself. After that is yet another layer, another wooly liner that resembles a heavy blanket that covers the other wooly layer and this one has a full zipper all the way around.
All of this adds a lot of stiffness to the mattress. What's the answer? Well, with a free floating topper, it gives more allowing less resistence to conform to one person. But if there are two people in the bed, these floating properties are at war with each other. In that case the permanment glued layer of memory foam on the mattress is better, or you can use straps to firmly secure the topper to the mattress. If you like a plush and soft mattress like a featherbed, where you melt into the mattress then what I recommend is this. I took both layers off, stripping it all the way down to the foam. Then I took my extra foam topper I bought and added it to the top but I left the cover on it as it is not heavy and thick like the others. In my opinion this liner is just right and makes a nice smooth buffer between the two layers of foam without loosing heat. Since it molds by heat, the less layers the better and as I said too many layers also adds resistance to the foam, defeating its purpose. After this all I did was use a elastic sheet cover to cover the whole thing, so only the topper has a liner and then a deep pocket sheet to cover the whole thing all the way down wrapping around all the exposed foam at the bottom. The results are fantastic! I would say with the extra topper that is makes the whole mattress even softer and more plush, and its already is much better after I removed the wooly layers! The idea for me is to make it soft as a featherbed!
If you like firmer surface then by all means leave all the layers on, but if you want plush, remove the layers and add another topper to it. What this gives is about 5 inches total of memory foam on the top and 9 inches of regular foam on the bottom. If you take a foam topper and fold it in half, and then lay on it, you will get my drift! Just try that first compared to laying on only one 3 inch layer of topper. Its like melting into a featherbed. Featherbeds are used at five star hotels and mattresses made out of pure goose down cost many thousands of dollars! I saw a show one time of a girl laying on a featherbed in a five star hotel. I think it was Samantha Brown in her best hotels series. Nothing is more comfy then a featherbed. Its like floating on a cloud or perhaps sleeping at zero gravity. However, the cheapest next best thing would be a Nova Foam system. Tempurpedic came out at $2000 and then then Nova Foam clone came out at about half of that. Then Costco picked them up at about half of that, and in my town, Costco had queens on sale for $499!. Topper run about $100 bucks.
So for $600 you can get a great kit! Another tip, and this is something I actually thought about trying. I have liner for a queen from another older mattress. I thought about buying 4 or 5 toppers of memory foam and building my own mattress! Can you imagine how soft 4 or 5 toppers would be stacked on top of each other!! I folded over just one topper in half and laid on that to see how plush that would be and I just melted deep into it! Just fantastic! I was severely tempted to just buy toppers and make my own mattress which would of been just as cheap as buying the mattress since two thirds of it is just regular foam. The memory foam is where the magic is! Oh well, if I even take it back, next time I might buy a stack of memory foam and create my own featherbed clone!! Another thing is to use a flat solid surface to lay the mattress on. What I did was I bought a cheap steel frame from Costco for $30 bucks and then I used 5/8 plywood and 1 by 5 slats to support it. Also I had to use a few concrete blocks to finish the support but they are cheap. You must have a flat solid surface for the mattress. Regular bed frames don't work as they are made to hold box springs which have their own support. This support system much resembles waterbeds supports systems and a waterbed frame system might work fine or you can build your own. Another solution is to just lay it right on the floor, that would be the easy cheap way out temporary!
As a follow-up to this, I would like to add also that I have read many posts that the topper didn't last more then a few months by getting depressions that didn't expand back out. I haven't had that problem yet, but I probably did the right thing by getting a topper for the Novafoam mattress since if that wears out I can replace it, thus protecting the memory foam that is glued to the top of the mattress. If that glued layer wears out, you cannot replace it, unless you cut it off. That would be a waste of money I suppose if it doesn't last, but toppers are cheap and fully refundable for many years at Costco. I was told by the Sleep Innovations Rep that if I had a topper on top of the mattress, this would surely expand the life of the Novafoam mattress since the second layer of memory foam after the topper would be taking much less abuse. Great idea huh? I think so!
That's the trade off if you want softer mattress, then less density is better, but it doesn't last as long as high density, but high density foam is too hard, at least for me. Not a perfect world, that is why I would just prefer to keep swapping out the toppers as they wear out. As for those who complain that the toppers don't stay on the mattress, try using a special pad underneath that Futons use to keep their sofa pieces in place, or else use needle and thread to attack the topper liner to the edge of the mattress. That worked for me, actually I used string with a large needle. Another thing is to rotate the topper every few weeks so both ends can distribute wear equally, and doubleing the life of expansive properties.
Also if you take the liner off the foam, it won't move because of the friction, another option. The reason it is moving is because the mattress surface is smooth allowing the liner of the topper to slide around. Also if use a box shape frame like a water bed, that will trap the topper inside so it doesn't move. As one person sleeping on the topper I have less of a problem then two people fighting to get the best out of the topper. If you are two, man and wife, I would suggest having straps sewn onto all four corners of the topper that would wrap around the mattress. This should work and I have seen this on other toppers, great idea but Nova topper doesn't have straps. For couples you might be better to just lay the bare topper onto the bare mattress and cover over the whole thing with a deep pocket sheet. Foam to foam causes enough cling that the topper won't move. Also you can use Velcro kit to secure the topper liner to the liner of the mattress. Bottom line is I need comfort now, and Novafoam is the softest, which is better then high density for softness. I don't care if something lasts longer and if it is too stiff, what good is that? Even if the topper lasts only months then I will just keep exchanging it, but I don't just recommend just buying a mattress because as soon as the top layer becomes road kill, it doesn't come off. Since you don't plan to take the whole mattress back, really a pain, I would keep changing toppers as needed. What a good night sleep worth? $100 bucks a year extra, $200? Its worth it, and you won't find anything that good outside of a featherbed!
Update - I spoke with the Rep at Sleep Innovations and she said they had a very small percentage of returns and backed the 10 year warranty as if the topper or mattress would actually last that long. While they probably don't have anything that is ten years old to compare too, I would say that is quite a stretch to believe. On the other hand, maybe some folks got a bad topper, as losing the properties in two months also seems much too fast. I doubt they would sell products that wouldn't last more then two months. I will say finally that I have been through hell for years from surgeries, chronic back and shoulder pain, pressure points cutting off blood circulation and the like. I have been sleeping in a recliner chair for years, a few hours in the bed, and then the rest of the hours till morning in the recliner chair. I have tried waterbeds, air mattresses, other foam mattresses and egg crates over the years, but when I got the Nova Foam topper, this was the first night I actually not only spent the whole night in the bed, but I slept straight through, something I haven't done in years. It took all pressure off of circulation points, and it allows for sleeping comfortably on your side, which (very few) mattresses do.
You almost have to have a featherbed to sleep very comfy on your side but this Novafoam allows your hip and shoulders to sink in correctly without any pressure that hurts and causes you to toss and turn, and without feeling smothered either like you were swallowed up and trapped in there. You don't feel that way at all, its really remarkable and I feel this lower density is much more comfy then high Density Tempurpedic. Its actually called high density at 4 lbs. but still lower then 5lbs. but more comfy and Sleep Innovations say that it will last. They assured me that it is not a cheap low density product. They certainly hit the mark for the right density for comfort. Its just a matter of durability, but if its been years since you hit the hay and sleep like a baby, then this is highly recommended! Its the best I have slept in years and I will go the extra miles to maintain the system, whatever it takes. If you are dead serious about results, you need to be patience and think outside the box, not in dollars. Maintaining a good bed shouldn't be any different then maintaining a good car. Three things we always need are shoes, a good car and a good bed! Besides we all know few things are made to last like from the old days like Stanley power tools. We live in the generation of extended warranties and return cycles. Consumers want products that function better and for cheaper prices. Unfortunately nothing is made to last anymore, so for those on low budgets, you need to always do business with companies that have excellent return policies like Costco or buy extended warranties. Not a perfect world, so just deal with it!
Another Update, I have confirmed my opinions by reading at Absolute Comfort dot com. They say that their 4 pound density is softer and responds faster then Tempurpedic 5 pound density which takes longer to compress and also when you roll over it takes longer to spring back. I have tried 5 pound density Tempurpedic and I not only thought it was too hard but I didn't want to wait for the heat to molding effect to take place with the time delay of high density. They say that 4 pound density memory foam follows your body instantly as you turn and I have to agree. Their comments about lower density are spot on with what I have experienced with Nova Foam. This comfirms it and I just needed to read it somewhere else. I think Nova Foam is the perfect topper and mattress with their formula for lower 4 pound density, so all they have to do now it figure out how to make the stuff last. I am hoping for the best with mine. I will followup again within a year, if this post or forum is still here about if the Nova Foam is holding out ok as far as durability goes. With a 10 year warranty its hard to believe that some people say the topper lost its elasticity in only two months. However, since the clock is running, I can update this post yet again in 6 months to a year about my topper and mattress.