Panda mattress topper review

We love the squishiness of memory foam but does bamboo boost its performance? Our tame mattress tester put the Panda through its paces

Panda mattress topper
(Image credit: Panda)

Real Homes Verdict

This bamboo-covered beauty is bang on if you are looking to breathe fresh life into your old mattress, or want to switch to memory foam but can’t afford the full Monty.

Reasons to buy

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    A deep wedge of foam for the money

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    Oeko-Tex approved for allergy sufferers

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Reasons to avoid

  • -

    The straps ping off if your mattress is v thick

Considering buying a Panda mattress topper? This is the review for you. I've been sleeping on a wide range of mattresses and mattress toppers and trying them out to bring you a true picture of how comfortable each one is and how much support it provides – and this is one of the best I've tried. I've also persuaded my husband Nick to take part to create a balanced view of what each mattress is like for women (so often the purchasers) and men, talked friends and family into trying them out, and have conducted some semi-scientific testing so that you can buy your mattress online with confidence. 

If you're looking to find the best mattress topper for your needs, you'll find plenty of choice in our guide to the top picks – but don't miss our deep reviews first. 

Specifications:

Type: Memory foam topper
Sizes: Single, small double, UK double, king, super king, EU single, EU double, EU king, EU emperor
Cost: £99.95–£189.95

Who will the Panda topper suit?

Anyone with a hard mattress that needs a bit of extra squish in their lives; anyone looking for memory foam support without having to replace the whole caboodle; all sweaty sleepers and allergy sufferers/people grossed out by dust mites. It will also please those working on lowering their carbon footprint (but not completely Plastic Free homes) and the 10-year guarantee is reassuring on the durability front.

Panda mattress topper

(Image credit: Panda)

What's the Panda topper like to sleep on?

I was expecting to be able to feel our existing mattress beneath the Panda but not so; it was like a completely different bed. Pretty handy given our pocket spring mattress was feeling a bit too firm after all the memory foams I’ve been testing of late. Intrigued about exactly how good it was, I popped it on the floor after the two-week sleep trial and, honestly, I could have happily slept there (if it wasn’t 10am). 

So what’s so good about it? The thing I really noticed was the feeling of depth – side sleepers will really appreciate how pressure points (hips and shoulders) sink into the topper and stay supported. At 5cm-thick, it’s not the chunkiest topper out there but it somehow feels far thicker. Most likely, it’s the type of foam – third generation gel – that provides such superior support. This newest type of memory foam has an open-cell structure that reacts to body heat and weight to mould to your body and the effects are really noticeable on the Panda. 

But is it hot? Moulding into the mattress sounds pretty sweat-inducing right? And yes, I have definitely met some memory foam mattresses that leave me flailing around in a sticky mess at 3am. Yuk. Luckily, that’s where the gel comes to the rescue and provides a cooling effect (via some scientific molecule-changing wizardry nobody needs to worry about). In short, you’ll get the comfortable hug of decent memory foam but without any unwanted insulation. 

As for the bamboo thing…well it feels slightly like a marketing gimmick - the Panda logo is certainly cutesy, although the bamboo Panda uses is not the type that actual pandas eat. Thankfully. Memory foam is getting a bit of a bad rap on the eco-front lately with some companies criticized for ‘greenwashing’ – i.e. shouting about their eco cred while keeping schtum about any less wholesome ingredients. However, Panda seems to be doing its very best on the eco front. The bamboo is in the cover, and is organically grown without using pesticides or fertilizers. It’s a fast growing material and absorbs more CO2 and produces 35% more oxygen than the same area of trees. 

And the foam? While the foam isn’t made from bamboo, Panda says all its products are free from any harmful chemicals and certified by Oeko-Tex, which means they comply with health standards and are even safe for babies. The company is also working hard to make sure its packaging is recycled (the box and instruction booklet are made from naturally biodegradable kraft paper). The only fail came with the plastic bag the topper is shrink-wrapped in, which, on our super king version, was huge. 

What do you get for your money?

Besides the reassuring knowledge that no pandas will starve so that you can get a good night’s sleep, the topper also comes with a 10-year guarantee and 30-night sleep trial. If you’re not happy, return it free of charge (if bought direct from Panda) and get a full refund. 

Is the Panda topper worth the money?

Yes, the price is very reasonable for the quality on offer. Added benefits include the machine washable cover (at 30 degrees) and silky soft feel of bamboo. Not that you sleep directly on it but bamboo doesn’t sound very soft so it’s worth mentioning! The only negative point I experienced was that the topper slid down to the end of the bed after week one. Despite the elastic straps on the corner and silicone base of the cover that’s supposed to stop movement. Saying that, we did have it strapped to a VERY deep mattress (30cm), which meant the straps pinged off. If your mattress is the more standard 25cm or below it should stay in place. 

Panda mattress topper fillings

Made up of three 3rd generation foam layers, including a layer of gel-based hydro-foam, this 5cm thick topper has a density of 5lb per sq ft. Densities range from 1.5-8lb, putting this one towards the denser end of the scale, which means it should prove more supportive and longer lasting.

Ordering and delivery

Delivery to the UK is free when you spend £35 or more and will take two to five days to arrive (via DPD or UPS). You may need to pay postage on returns if you buy from a Panda retail outlet rather than the official website. 

About our mattress topper review – and our reviewer

Linda Clayton has been writing about homes and interiors for nearly 20 years, working for publications such as Homes & Gardens, Country Homes & Interiors, Real Homes, Ideal Home, Livingetc and House Beautiful. Linda and her husband spend between five and 10 nights sleeping on each mattress. Find her on Twitter at @lindaclayton and  @lindaclaytonwrites on Insta.

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