I reviewed this topper and the suggested down alternative cover together because, in my opinion, you should not use this product without a cover of some type. I have only used this topper with the suggested cover. Serta Topper Review My wife and I purchased this because the typical coil mattress is too firm for my back. I have two herniated discs in my lumbar (lower back) and scoliosis. Lying flat on my back aggravates the condition. I typically wake up in the morning with pain and stiffness, and I have difficulty standing straight sometimes. Here is my review of the 4¿ memory foam topper after more than a month of use. Packaging: The entire package felt a bit heavy, but not as bad as I had feared. It¿s certainly too heavy for the tape used. There is only one piece of tape on each end and it was already ripped. Better tape and more of it is strongly suggested. The item could have rolled out of either end. The only branding was the tape on the box and a sticker in the plastic wrapper, but then again I¿ve never seen branding on a piece of foam. The box was less than three feet long and would fit easily in the back seat of a car if you needed to transport it (of course, once you allow the bed to expand you'll never get it back to that size - a machine is used to package it). The topper was rolled up and felt like an unbaked loaf of bread - kind of doughy. Shipping: The topper was shipped via DHL within a day of my order. It only took two days to arrive. The shipper is listed as Advanced Urethane Tech in West Chicago, IL. Tracking information was available and so I knew when to expect the package. The cover for the topper was shipped via FedEx and was sent at the same time. It came from IA. They arrived the same day. In summary, I ordered on a Sunday and was sleeping on it by Wednesday night. Setup: The instructions were very simple. Remove plastic and allow up to twenty-four hours for the foam to return to its original shape. This really took less than 10 minutes. We started on one corner of the foot of the bed and it rolled out to the head. It's folded in half before it's rolled, so flip the top half over to make it full size. This mattress fits perfectly with the suggested cover (place bottom part of cover on bed before rolling out topper and then flip the top over and zip). Condition: There was almost no odor to this foam (and we bought some stinky memory foam pillows in the past that stunk up the entire room for days, so we knew what to be afraid of with this much material). If you stick your nose on it and sniff you will detect a slight chemical smell, but you cannot smell this through the suggested cover. The documentation mentions a "Patent Pending Carbon" manufacturing process that eliminates the odor. The foam felt very spongy. Imagine sitting on your sofa cushions when removed from their covers. It felt kind of an awkward and sticky uncovered. Quality/appearance: It looks much like the picture. It has a light yellowish tone and the color is consistent all over. It is very porous, almost like Swiss cheese. It looks very good in the cover (and very incomplete without one). Size: Perhaps there are variations on mattresses from different makers. The topper one was about an inch or so short of my mattress on the left and right and about an inch short at the head and foot. Standard sheets will likely not cover both the topper and the mattress on your bed. We¿re considering our options, which include getting oversized sheets or getting an extra matching sheet (with the elastic ¿ don¿t know what it¿s called) and covering the mattress and topper separately. Over the course of several nights, this topper will travel an inch or two, which is not a big deal because it's pretty easy to straighten back up. Comfort: My initial impression was very good. We immediately placed the optional/suggested padded cover on it. The best description is that the topper is very plush. Lying on my back, my tail sinks down a little farther and the rest of my body creates a slight lift to the legs and head. This is kind of similar to a normal bed with 2 pillows under the knees and head, but not so extreme. The topper allows for a slight bend to the lower back and hips which is exactly what was being sought for the relief of my back condition. I experience a very plush, soothing sensation on this thing. It is not for someone seeking a firm, flat position. If two adults are sharing the bed, and they end up close to one another, they will sink into one large hole together and might feel trapped as they attempt to roll apart. This might happen several times per night as they move about in their sleep, potentially causing one or both to periodically wake up. We eventually adapted to this. Requisite: Buy the suggested padded cover. This topper really is not meant to be used without one. Memory foam mattresses usually come with some type of covering. The material could be sensitive to sharp objects (your belt buckle could snag it). You wouldn't remove the sofa cushions from their covers and sit directly on them. It's the same thing with this foam mattress topper. Before purchasing this item, I noticed the reviews for the cover were almost all positive, though washing apparently ruins it from what I read. If you treat the topper and cover like a mattress, you will use sheets. You cannot wash a mattress, anyway. To sample: Visit mattress store. This is the top layer of a two or three layer memory foam mattress. It's the functional part and feels exactly like one of the softer memory foam beds. Testers' physical conditions: Male (review author), 37, with two herniated discs in lower back and scoliosis, 6'2", 215 pounds. Female, 27, good health, 5'4", 140 pounds. Testers' improvements after use: I experienced significant improvement to my lower back, which is where the worst pain is from. The rest of the back is unchanged. My wife is still getting used to it but likes how it makes her feel warmer in our cold bedroom. She says the topper removes a lot of the stress from her back and she recommends it. Response to other reviews: I read through many of the reviews. I worried about the negatives. At the time when I was looking to purchase, most of recent reviews were excellent and almost no reviews were bad so I figured the problems of the older reviews had been worked out and I made my purchase. The suggested cover does make a slight crinkling sound like the liner on a baby¿s bed, but I really only noticed it because some reviews mentioned it. This really doesn¿t bother me, especially considering the comfort I experience. Summary: If you want a bedding surface which is plush, where you really sink into it, buy this. If you like a firmer feel, then don¿t. As far as curing physical ailments, everybody is different so no promises. However, I can say it helped me and since many of the reviews agree with me your chances might be good. I do happen to like this very much and my wife is also pleased, so I¿m going to recommend it. Be sure to get the cover or else it will be incomplete.