i am some one who does a lot of research before buying an item. i read several reviews, sometimes more than a hundred before i decide on buying and item. i did the same for the 4 inch serta premium memory foam mattress topper.i will try to put my 5 month experiance ina concised manner.1) there is a bit of smell for a week. nothing great. if you use two bedsheets it is not even noticable.2) yes the pad looks pretty shady.it comes in a loosely wrapped plastic cover saying serta on it. tough to beleive i must say.3) the pad does a good job of relieving pressure points inititally. but over a period of 2-3 months the place where you sleep starts to form a permenant depression. that is not to say that it does not work .just that it is not as effective.i a weign around 175 pounds and my wife 110 pounds. there is a depression on both our sides so the weight does not really matter.i would recommend looking at some better memory foam topper if the budget allows it. of course they cost at least 150 bucks more. definately i would recommend at least a 4 pound density or more. 5 would be better. and yes the 4 inch is needed. it does not really get to the full 4 inches. about 3.25 inches fully expanded.so if you can afford. get a better one. but most of us looking for the pad are doing so since the entire bed is too expesive. if money is a problem then the serta is not a bad choice considering the above factors.