My ancient, uncomfortable mattress has been transformed into a bed I never want to leave.
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I value my sleep—I protect the hours between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. as if they were my child. While I pride myself on being able to take a snooze anywhere, I also appreciate a solid, comfortable place where I can rest my head each night. So you can only imagine my disappointment upon learning that the mattress I would be taking to move into New York City would be none other than the stiff hand-me-down that has been used in all three of my brothers’ rooms over the past 20 years. To say that it is uncomfortable would be an understatement, and with an on going hip problem, I often found myself waking up with dull aches and pains throughout my lower back and my leg. Plus, it’s just old—experts recommend you replace your mattress every eight to 10 years, and I am pushing double that.

So come November, it’s my birthday, and my boyfriend, knowing that my pancaked mattress needed an upgrade, surprised me with what was possibly his best gift to date: the Zinus Night Therapy Memory Foam 4-Inch Pressure Relief Mattress Topper ($100-$174;

But this isn’t just any mattress topper. This is a 4-inch memory foam pad that could probably count as a mattress on its own. Three different layers of foam and high density foam make up the bulk of it, and it is covered in a super-soft, quilted padding that I almost didn’t want to cover up with my fitted sheet.

Prior to this, I had three barriers between myself and the mattress—two foam toppers. While these did the job well enough, they were nothing compared to my new mattress pad.

My first night of sleep was incredible. I sunk into a deep sleep, and awoke some hours later feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. And it only got better from there. My morning hip pain has decreased significantly, and as a hot sleeper, I also haven’t woken up feeling too warm in the middle of the night like I used to. (Using cooling sheets and a cooling pillow has helped with that, too.)

According to my Fitbit, during the month of October, I averaged 7 hours and 32 minutes of sleep every night, and also averaged 9.7 times “restless” per night. By comparison, in January I averaged 8 hours and 18 minutes of sleep every night, and dropped my “restless” times to an average of 5.7. I was already a star sleeper, but I’d have to say that comfort of this mattress pad definitely added to my quality of shuteye.

The mattress pad came compact and compressed in a small-ish box that weighed 27 pounds. After receiving it, I let it sit out and regain its shape before placing it on my bed. The full-size pad fit my full-size bed perfectly, but I might consider buying sheets for a queen size bed. With the additional 4 inches added to the height of my mattress, my sheets just barely fit around both the mattress and the topper. Still, that's a small price to pay for the best sleep of my life.