My husband and I both have back issues. Our mattress is only 3 years old but was incredibly uncomfortable. The topper unwrapped easily, we aired it out for 2 days then I put it on our bed. The topper is exposed foam so I put a mattress cover on it. We did not notice an odor, and for the first time in over a year I slept like a baby! The next morning I was still so comfortable I didn't want to get out of bed! The pillows are made out of chunks of memory foam melted together. It feels lumpy and within an hour or so the pillow was flattened and not giving the neck support which I need. My husband likes the pillows, but when he sleeps on his side with his arm under the pillow, he said they don't give him the support he needs also. I am using mine as a decorative pillow. For "free" pillows, I can't complain too much.