Want a resort-quality bed—without having to buy a whole new one? This little luxury is the trick.

By Betsy Goldberg
Updated May 24, 2017

Few things are as overwhelming as shopping for a mattress. Which brand? How firm? (How can you know from plopping down on one for a second, or browsing online?) It's tough to make the call because it's a pricey purchase you'll need to live with for years. That's why, even though I was long overdue for a new one (experts advise replacing your mattress every seven to 10 years), I kept putting it off.

Then, one day when I was reporting a “bedroom upgrades” feature, one of the design pros mentioned the idea of a cushiony mattress topper. I was intrigued. We weren't talking about those flimsy egg crate covers everyone has in college. She was suggesting one that was high-quality and substantially plush—which seemed to me the ideal add-on for someone in mattress-shopping limbo: an instant comfort booster for your bed. I decided to give it a shot, ordering Parachute’s Down Top Feather Bed (from $349, parachute.com). Worth noting: It's also available in a Down Alternative version (from $229, parachute.com).

What arrived was a big, mushy mattress topper meant to go under your fitted sheet. Once I laid it down and re-made the bed, the impact was immediate. It added three inches of pillowy softness, so that climbing into bed felt like a luxurious moment. Sleeping on it was no different. It felt like I had replaced my bed with one from a Ritz-Carlton resort. Over the next few weeks, it was just as ultra-comfortable, though the down did shift a little bit toward the middle and away from the side where I slept. It’s an easy fix though—you just need to push down on the middle to redistribute the down when you make the bed.

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I’m now so enamored with the Feather Bed that I don’t know how I ever got by without one. It feels good to invest in something that makes bedtime feel indulgent. And while it’s not an alternative to buying a new mattress, it does make it easy to comfortably get through the interim until I finally pull the trigger on that purchase. Of course, even when I do buy a new mattress, this lofty extra layer is going right back on top.