Best Mattress Toppers of 2023: Buyer’s Guide
- Best Mattress Topper Overall: Amerisleep Lift
- Best Mattress Topper for Active Sleepers: Zoma Balance Pad
- Best Durable Mattress Topper: Viscosoft High Density Mattress Topper
- Best Mattress Topper for Couples: Saatva Mattress Topper
- Best Memory Foam Mattress Topper: Nolah Mattress Topper
- Best Soft Mattress Topper: Layla Memory Foam Mattress Topper
- Best Budget Mattress Topper: Brooklyn Bedding Gel Swirl Mattress Topper
- Best Hypoallergenic Mattress Topper for Allergies: Bear Pro Mattress Topper
- Best Down Alternative Mattress Topper: Helix Plush Mattress Topper
- Best Latex Mattress Topper: Avocado Organic Latex Mattress Topper
- Best Firm Mattress Topper: Airweave Mattress Topper
- Best Down Mattress Topper: Parachute Down Mattress Topper
- Best Wool Mattress Topper: PlushBeds Natural Wool Topper
Discomfort from a lackluster mattress can severely impact your sleep quality, leaving you waking up sore and stiff. For example, back pain is the number one reason for missed workdays, and unfortunately, back pain is often exacerbated by a lack of quality sleep.
The obvious solution is to buy a new mattress, but that may not be possible for many shoppers. Those who need to improve their bed without overspending may want to look at one of the best mattress toppers.
In addition to sleeping on the best mattress for your particular needs, adding a mattress topper to your bedset can improve your quality of sleep and prevent aches and pains. The best mattress topper can transform a mattress from too firm to just right.
Amerisleep Lift Mattress Topper Overview
We recommend Amerisleep’s Lift mattress topper because it’s available as soft or firm, allowing you to modify your bed as you need, and it features zoned support technology to facilitate healthy spinal alignment and prevent aches and pains.
The Amerisleep Lift topper ships free and comes with the protection of a 5-year warranty.
- Can Fix Too-Soft or Too-Firm Beds
The Support Lift adds firm support, while the Comfort Lift adds plush cushion.
- Eco-Friendly Plush Cushion
Bio-Pur® is not wholly synthetic, unlike traditional memory foam.
- Minimal Heat Retention
Foam dissipates heat swiftly through the airy cover fabric.
Amerisleep offers a Comfort Lift and a Support Lift. The Comfort Lift is plush, so it’s best for people looking to make their bed a little softer. Meanwhile, the Support Lift is firm, so it’s better for those who need more support.
The foam inside each topper is different, with the softer Comfort Lift relying on plant-based Bio-Pur® foam for a pressure-relieving cushion. Meanwhile, the Support Lift contains Affinity foam.
Regardless of which Lift mattress topper you choose, it comes with a soft, breathable cover. It’s also worth mentioning that both layers are three inches thick, so they do give your bed a bit of height.
We are such fans of the Amerisleep Lift mattress topper because it features HIVE® technology to promote comfortable sleep. HIVE® maintains healthy spinal alignment by offering extra support under your torso, head, and feet, and more cushioning comfort below your shoulders and hips. Regardless of how you sleep, HIVE® can help you rest in a healthier position and wake up each morning pain-free.
SEE ALSO: Amerisleep Mattress Reviews
AMERISLEEP LIFT MATTRESS TOPPER
- Cooling design with airy topper cover fabric
- Bio-Pur® foam or Affinity foam with HIVE® technology
- Relives pressure points and can revive an older mattress
Zoma Balance Pad Overview
As the name implies, Zoma’s Balance Pad provides the perfect mix of comfort and support. The topper can add a plusher feel to an overly firm mattress and keep you from sinking into an excessively soft bed. This medium feel can suit different sleeping styles quite well, perfect for solo sleepers and couples.
The Zoma Balance Pad comes with free shipping and a 5-year warranty.
- Responsive Foam Comfort
Topper can increase a bed’s contouring and support.
- Airy Cover Fabric
Heat build-up is limited by the cover’s breathable weave.
- Stays in Place Design
Non-skid fabric base keeps the mattress topper in place.
The balance pad is 3 inches of light and springy Reactiv™ foam, a unique material from Zoma. This responsive material contours to your body for continuous support and pressure relief, while also reducing motion transfer.
A ventilated cover prevents heat from building up inside the balance core for a cool night’s rest. Non-skid fabric on the topper’s bottom keeps the Balance Pad in place even as you toss and turn.
The Balance Pad is our choice for best runner-up because of its stabilizing feel. It can improve a mattress that’s too soft or too firm for better rest and recovery.
SEE ALSO: Zoma Mattress Review
ZOMA BALANCE PAD
- Topper's balanced medium feel suits most sleepers
- Breathable fabric cover maximizes airflow
- Dynamic design resists sliding out of place
Viscosoft Select High Density Mattress Topper Overview
When shopping mattress toppers, sleepers often gravitate toward ones that are durable, sturdy support. After all, toppers are often purchased to give new life to an older mattress, so shoppers seek maximum bang for their buck. When it comes to dense foam that can withstand nightly wear and tear, Viscosoft Select High Density Mattress Topper is our top recommendation.
Viscosoft’s foam toppers ship free and come with a 90-day return policy and a 5-year warranty.
- Durable Foam Density
The foam’s structure packs a lot of material to maximize topper longevity.
- Supportive, Gentle Firmness
The medium-firm feel can keep many sleeping styles comfortably buoyed.
- Two Distinct Thicknesses
Shoppers can choose a 3-inch or 4-inch mattress topper.
The medium-firm feel of the topper comes from its dense foam, with a sturdy 3.5-pound foam density. The foam’s structure offers significant pushback yet can also contour lightly to the body as a sleeper stretches out.
The topper comes in 3-inch or 4-inch thicknesses. Most sleepers will be quite satisfied with a 3-inch topper, with the 4-inch topper providing comfort to curvier or larger-framed sleepers. Regardless of the thickness, the topper’s strengthened foam withstands nightly wear better than traditional foam options.
The topper’s cover fabric can be removed and tossed in a machine washer. The top and sides of the cover promote air flow, while the mesh bottom works to keep the mattress topper from sliding. Straps at the corners of the topper also secure it to the mattress.
VISCOSOFT SELECT HIGH DENSITY MATTRESS TOPPER
- Medium-firm feel strengthens a mattress's support
- Foam density enables the surface to endure wear and tear
- Topper cover can be slipped off and washed
Nolah Mattress Topper Overview
Memory foam is a popular material inside toppers, as the foam adapts swiftly to hug the body. It can also add a softer or firmer feel, depending on the memory foam’s structure. The Nolah Mattress Topper is one such memory foam topper available in both soft and firm feels, with specialty memory foam with increased pressure-relieving capabilities and a cooling structure encased inside cotton fabric.
The Nolah Mattress Topper ships free and includes a 30-day trial period and a 10-year warranty.
- Two Potential Firmnesses
The Nolah Mattress Topper is available in plush and luxury firm feels.
- Cooling Cotton Cover Fabric
The cotton encasing the topper is made with certified organic fibers.
- Elastic Straps Fit Most Mattresses
The corner straps can slide over mattresses as thin as 10 inches or as thick as 15 inches.
The primary draw of the mattress topper is the company’s specialty Nolah AirFoam™️. This 2-inch thick fill is engineered to offer more pressure relief and breathability than standard memory foam.
Nolah AirFoam™️ contours to the body and distributes weight evenly for reduced tension, whether you choose a plush or luxury firm feel. It’s also CertiPUR-US® certified, its production free of any harmful materials.
Encasing the AirFoam™️ fill is an organic cotton cover, a plush fabric that wicks heat and sweat away. This fabric further bolsters the cool, dry surface of the topper.
SEE ALSO: Amerisleep vs. Nolah Mattress Reviews
NOLAH MATTRESS TOPPER
- Nolah AirFoam™️ fill is CertiPUR-US® certified
- Organic cotton cover for natural cool, dry comfort
- Bands secure topper to a mattress up to 15 inches thick
Saatva Mattress Topper Overview
Couples sometimes struggle to agree on what’s most comfortable in a mattress, and by extension in a mattress topper. The Saatva Mattress Topper is one of our favorites for partners sharing a bed, as couples can choose from one of three materials.
Whatever material you choose, the Saatva Mattress Topper ships free and comes with a 180-night trial period and a 1-year warranty.
- Three Different Comfort Materials
Different couples have different preferences, so having a range of options helps them find the right one for both of them.
- Affordable Way to Upgrade Comfort
The memory foam and even the latex toppers are quite budget-friendly, excellent for those who need larger sizes.
- Cooling Cotton Fabric Cover
The organic cotton promotes coolness, particularly with the aerated latex or graphite memory foam.
There are three different materials that can make up a Saatva Mattress Topper, and shoppers can choose which they prefer before checking out. Regardless of the material one chooses, the topper is wrapped in a cover of organic cotton.
The high-density foam option is the most affordable topper, standing 1.5 inches thick with CertiPUR-US® certified foam. It’s designed to promote even body weight distribution, with a medium feel meant to suit most sleeping styles.
The latex foam mattress topper is also 1.5 inches thick, and the latex foam is perforated for extra breathability. While this topper is somewhat costly, latex foam is engineered to last years and years, providing high-value comfort.
The graphite memory foam mattress topper is 3 inches thick, meant to increase cushioning and coolness in a mattress.
SAATVA MATTRESS TOPPER
- Choice of latex, high-density foam, or cooling memory foam
- Designed to seamlessly blend in with your mattress
- Cover of organic cotton with secure elastic bands
Bear Pro Mattress Topper Overview
Allergy symptoms can keep you from getting a full night of restful sleep, so it’s important to do all that you can to minimize irritants inside and outside the bedroom. Toppers can be helpful, preventing allergens from penetrating your sleep surface. The Bear Pro Mattress Topper not only softens a bed, but its copper infusion promotes a cool, clean surface for healthier sleep.
The Bear Pro Mattress Topper comes with free shipping, a 30-night trial period, and a 3-year warranty.
- Antimicrobial Copper Infusion
The copper infusion conducts heat away and keeps out microbes that can smell up the bed or even cause sickness.
- Cozy, Plush Feel
The soft feel of the topper can increase the pressure relief of any mattress.
- Removable Mattress Cover Fabric
The zipper on the cover fabric makes it easy to slip off and throw in the wash.
The Bear Pro Mattress Topper is 3 inches of plush, conforming memory foam. Memory foam can be quite the hypoallergenic material due to the way it keeps allergens from settling inside the foam. The memory foam is infused with copper, which deters heat from building up and keeps microbes from settling in the material.
The foam is CertiPUR-US® certified, meaning its production is free of ozone depleters, mercury, lead, heavy metals, formaldehyde and certain chemical flame retardants.
The topper’s cover fabric has a breathable weave, with a zipper that makes it easy to slip the topper off. The circular knit has a silky, smooth feel.
SEE ALSO: The Complete Bear Mattress Review
BEAR PRO MATTRESS TOPPER
- Circular knit cover with a smooth feel
- Soft memory foam infused with copper particles
- CertiPUR-US® certified memory foam fill
Helix Plush Mattress Topper Overview
Down is often a prized material when it comes to comfort, but the price and harvesting method can put some shoppers off of genuine down. Fiberfill toppers like the Helix Plush Mattress Topper are an inexpensive substitute, and its down alternative fill feels quite gentle, airy, and soft as sleepers stretch out.
The Helix Mattress topper ships free and comes with a 100-nigh trial period and a 1-year warranty.
- Easy-to-Clean Design
While many mattress toppers are spot-clean only and traditional down toppers can be dry cleaned, this one can be machine washed.
- Slim and Soft Feel
Many softer mattress toppers are quite thick and costly, but this topper packs plenty of plush cushion in a thin design.
- Mimics Silk and Down
Cover fabric is woven with fibers meant to feel silkier and stronger than cotton, while the fiberfill clumps duplicate down’s feel.
The fill inside the topper is polyester fibers, known as Revoloft™ Cluster Fiberfill. These fibers have a long-lasting, clusterlike shape for a plush down feel like you find on a luxury pillow top mattress.
The topper has its fill inside internal pockets, a technique known as baffle box stitching that keeps the fill from shifting and creating spots with too much or too little downy comfort.
The top cover of the topper is 60 percent polyester and 40 percent bamboo viscose, while the back and skirt is wholly polyester. The fabric’s weave enables easy airflow, and the topper’s skirt can slip over a mattress up to 15 inches thick, like a fitted sheet would.
HELIX PLUSH MATTRESS TOPPER
- Plush fibers design for a silky, durable feel
- Can be tossed in the washer with mild detergent for cleaning
- Gentle against sensitive skin and stays cool at night
Brooklyn Bedding Gel Swirl Mattress Topper Overview
While many shoppers turn to mattress toppers as way to improve comfort without overspending, a new topper can still cost a significant amount. Many larger sizes cost a few hundred dollars, keeping those on a tighter budget from the restful sleep they need. For budget shoppers seeking greater comfort, we would have to recommend Brooklyn Bedding Gel Swirl Mattress Topper.
Brooklyn Bedding Gel Swirl Mattress Topper comes with free shipping, a 30-day sleep trial and a 3-year warranty.
- Extremely Low Prices
While many mattress toppers cost a few hundred dollars, this topper costs between $100 to 200 depending on your chosen size.
- Ultra-Plush Memory Foam
This memory foam feels quite soft and has cooling gel swirled throughout for heat dispersion.
- Choice of Two Thicknesses
Shoppers can choose the thinner 2-inch or treat themselves with a 3-inch topper.
The Brooklyn Bedding Gel Swirl Topper is 2 or 3 inches of gel memory foam. The memory foam delivers an ultra-plush feel, and it’s CertiPUR-US® certified.
The memory foam also has a 2.5-pound density, designed to withstand sagging and the development of soft spots. It conforms to the body, offering near-immersive pressure relief.
Brooklyn Bedding’s topper does not include a cover fabric, so owners will need to cover it with a mattress protector or fitted sheet.
SEE ALSO: Memory Foam Mattress Density Guide
BROOKLYN BEDDING GEL SWIRL MATTRESS TOPPER
- Soft feel with cooling gels for added comfort
- Minimal off-gassing from CertiPUR-US® certified foam
- Affordable upgrade to a too-firm or too-hot mattress
Layla Memory Foam Mattress Topper Overview
Many mattresses grow firmer as their cushioning materials lose support, growing flat from years of sleepers stretching out and lying down. So manufacturers often design their toppers to offer a softer feel, like the Layla Memory Foam Mattress Topper delivers. It’s feel is plush, but the design is affordable and durable.
The Layla Memory Foam Mattress Topper ships free and comes with a 120-night sleep trial and a 5-year warranty.
- Multipurpose Copper Infusion
The copper infusion not only maintains a cool feel, but keeps microbes from settling inside and condense under bodies for support.
- Ultra-Soft Feel
If you have a mattress that’s grown firm, the plush memory foam improves it’s feel without sacrificing needed support.
- Airy Cover Fabric
The fabric covering the topper is a blend of lycra, viscose, and polyester for breathable comfort.
The Layla Topper has 2 inches of memory foam infused with copper particles, a conductive material that pulls away absorbed heat. Copper is also naturally antimicrobial and the copper particles inside the Layla Topper accumulate together as a sleeper stretches out, creating a more supportive feel.
The memory foam offers a soft feel, designed to deepen the luxurious feel of an already-soft mattress or even out the feel of a too-firm bed.
The topper’s cover fabric is the same material that Layla uses for their mattress covers— a mixture of polyester, rayon, viscose, and lycra.
LAYLA MEMORY FOAM MATTRESS TOPPER
- Plush feel hugs the body with reactive supportive
- Copper infusion goes beyond cooling comfort, maintaining cleanliness
- Engineered to be more durable than traditional memory foam
Airweave Mattress Topper Overview
The Airweave Mattress Topper is a firm topper made from a proprietary fabric called Airfiber. Airfiber features material fibers woven together to create tiny air pockets within the topper. This design evenly distributes the weight of the sleeper while promoting good airflow to keep cool air moving through the topper.
Airweave toppers can cost more than some mattresses, but Airweave backs up their toppers with a generous 100-night sleep trial and a 3-year limited warranty. As a bonus, shipping is free to all continental states.
- Non-Foam Cushion and Support
Breathable, responsive Airfiber is an alternative to foam toppers and natural materials
- Airy Cotton/Polyester Cover
The cover fabric relies on breathable cotton and polyester fibers.
- Firm Support from Fibers
Topper can improve the comfort offered by a too-soft mattress.
The Airweave Mattress Topper is a 2-inch polyethylene topper covered in a quilted cotton-polyester blend. What makes this topper unique is the way the inner cushion is constructed.
The nature of the Airfiber shifts the Airweave Mattress Topper into the firm category, making this ideal for individuals who enjoy a more firm sleeping surface. Adding this topper to a too-soft mattress can increase the firmness level up to an 8.5. Unlike most mattress toppers, the Airweave Mattress Topper is listed as machine-washable.
The cover is 55% polyester and 45% cotton and is easily washed in a washing machine. The Airfiber core, an eco-friendly, recyclable core, just needs a quick rinse with water to remove dust mites, dust, and other allergens.
AIRWEAVE MATTRESS TOPPER
- Interwoven construction for even support and airflow
- Firm feel can alleviate symptoms of recurring pain issues
- Topper fabric is cooling polyester/cotton blend
Avocado Green Organic Latex Mattress Topper Overview
Latex mattress toppers are an eco-friendly alternative to the standard synthetic foam topper. Avocado Green’s Latex Mattress Topper is an organic topper made with the same strict standards as the Avocado Green Mattress.
In addition to providing free shipping and free returns within the first year, Avocado also offers a 10-year warranty.
- Natural Cooling Materials
Latex foam, cotton, and wool are all breathable materials that enable temperature neutrality.
- Soft or Firm Feels for Sleepers
Shoppers can choose a gentle plush feel or a medium-firm feel.
- Multiple Organic Certifications
The materials have been certified by the OEKO-TEK Standard 100, GOTS, and GOLS.
The organic latex topper features both GOLS organic-certified latex and GOTS organic-certified wool. Even the cotton taping along the zipper is 100% organic.
Avocado offers the Green Mattress Latex Topper in two firmness levels: Firm Topper or Soft Topper. The versatility of Avocado means the latex topper works for individuals who want to make their current mattress more firm, but it also works for individuals who seek a more plush sleeping surface.
The inclusion of wool fabric keeps the sleeper cool in the summer and warm in the winter since wool naturally wicks away more moisture and allows air to circulate naturally. An organic cotton canvas bottom prevents the topper from sliding so you can rest assured this topper won’t need adjusting once you wake up in the morning.
AVOCADO GREEN MATTRESS TOPPER
- GOLS-certified latex foam with plush or firm feels
- Reinforced seams and organic cotton ticking
- Wool-free mattress topper also available
Parachute Down Mattress Topper Overview
Down is a luxurious material, and many shoppers desire a genuine down topper for its luxurious cushion. However, the topper must be constructed carefully, as the fill can clump up and get lumpy with use. What works well is a topper like the Parachute Down Mattress Topper, which relies on a baffle-box construction for an even, plush fill.
The Parachute Down Mattress Topper ships free and includes a 3-year warranty and a 60-day return policy.
- Dry-Clean Design
Many toppers can only be spot cleaned, but this topper can be refreshed and cleaned through a trip to the dry cleaners.
- Balanced Fill of Genuine Down
Down won’t get lumpy due to the topper’s careful construction.
- Temperature-Neutral Cotton Shell
The cotton fibers pull heat and moisture away from the sleeper.
This down-filled topper is 3 inches thick and has a fill power of 550. The topper’s design on dual chambers to create two layers of down and feathers for boosted pillowy comfort.
The down inside the topper is genuine European white, a mix of 85 percent down to 15 percent feather fibers. The three-dimensional baffle box stitching keeps the down in place, preventing the shiftng and clumping that can create a lumpy fill.
The topper is finished with a purely cotton fabric cover, its sateen weave giving the topper a silky surface. This cotton wicks away heat and sweat, maintaining a cool, dry feel as you sleep.
The topper can’t be machine washed and is dry clean only.
SEE ALSO: Memory Foam vs. Down: Which is Best?
PARACUTE DOWN MATTRESS TOPPER
- Soft, sateen cotton shell for crisp, cool comfort
- High-quality, European white down fill
- Down won't shift or clump up with baffle-box design
Plushbeds Natural Wool Topper Overview
Wool is another eco-friendly material that can provide cushioning, cooling comfort as you sleep. The Plushbeds Natural Wool Topper is quite thick and plush, and every topper is assembled to order with careful precision.
The Plushbeds Wool Topper ships free and comes with a 1-year warranty.
- Non-Toxic and Cruelty-Free
Wool and cotton are free of chemical treatments.
- Silky Cotton Fabric Cover
Sateen weave has a 400-thread count for airy comfort.
- Latex-Free Natural Comfort
While many eco-friendly toppers have latex, this topper is solely natural wool and organic cotton.
The Plushbeds Wool Topper has 3 inches of ECOWOOL® wool fill, a material that’s never chemically treated. Aside from its cruelty-free, chemical-free natural, the wool is also a natural deterrent for dust mites, mold spores and even more allergens.
The cover of the wool topper is GOTS-certified organic cotton, a sateen weave fabric with a 400-thread count. Both the cotton fibers and wool fill work together to provide consistent cushion and coolness. It feels warm in winter and cool in the summer.
These toppers are made to order in California, hand-tufted and stitched before being shipped out.
PLUSBEDS NATURAL WOOL TOPPER
- GOTS-certified organic cotton feels gentle against skin
- Wool harvested by farmers devoted to humane, sustainable methods
- Stays cool in summer and feels warm in winter
Mattress Topper Types to Consider
Choosing the best mattress topper means carefully evaluating each type available to you, as you would consider mattress type before buying a new bed. Toppers can vary in terms of the fabrics and materials used as well as the firmness level of each type of topper. Take a peek at the most common mattress topper types.
Memory Foam Mattress Toppers
Memory foam mattress toppers are toppers composed of viscoelastic polyurethane foam. Memory foam was originally developed by NASA, but it has quickly become a popular material for both mattresses and mattress toppers.
Memory foam, originally called temper foam, earned the nickname “memory foam” because the soft foam left a “memory” imprint rather than bouncing back immediately after an individual moved or rolled over. However, most high-quality memory foam mattresses, as well as toppers with the material, are responsive to almost immediately snap back into shape.
Pros of a Memory Foam Mattress Topper
- Cooling Design: Open cells or bubbles allow air to move freely, promoting cooler sleep.
- Responsive: Memory foam toppers respond to the movements of the sleeper, preventing sleepers from feeling “stuck” in the foam.
- Motion Isolation: The density of the foam absorbs the sleeper’s movements (e.g. tossing or turning) to promote a more peaceful sleeping environment.
Cons of a Memory Foam Mattress Topper
- Harder to Clean: Although fabric covers on memory foam toppers can be washed, foam toppers themselves are not machine-washable. You can, however, place a memory foam mattress protector on top of the topper to prevent damage from spills.
- Synthetic Materials: It’s simply not possible to make a memory foam that isn’t partly produced with petrochemicals.
Latex Mattress Toppers
Latex mattress toppers are composed of either synthetic latex or natural latex. Natural latex foam is breathable due to the way it is manufactured, and there are eco-friendly toppers with Dunlop latex or Talalay latex foam.
To make a natural latex mattress topper, sap from the rubber tree is prepared (i.e. whipped) into a frothy mixture with several bubbles and then baked. During the baking process, the bubbles create small holes, and it is this porous construction that makes natural latex toppers breathable. Many manufacturers pair it with wool and cotton for a completely organic mattress topper.
Pros of Latex Mattress Toppers
- Free of VOCs: Only memory foam products — not natural latex — have the potential to produce VOCs.
- Sustainably Manufactured: Natural latex is created from the rubber tree, not synthetic materials. This sap is whipped into the foam that fills the topper, and is typically encased in cotton fabric.
- Breathable: The porous design of latex foam means air flows freely.
Cons of Latex Mattress Toppers
- Not Wholly Free of Allergens: While latex is often used for those who want a hypoallergenic topper, this material is not suitable for those with latex allergies.
- Not Easy to Care For: Like memory foam, latex foam isn’t machine-washable. Typically, though, the topper cover fabric can be thrown in the washer.
Polyester Blend Mattress Toppers
Polyester is a low-cost material, though it also cannot match the full-body support of a foam topper. You may see a polyester topper referred to as “down alternative” or “fiberfill” and typically these toppers are meant to provide a pillowy feel without the cost of down or feather topper.
You may also see polyester mixed with other fibers, such as cotton or bamboo. This can increase the breathability of the topper.
Pros of Polyester Blend Mattress Toppers
- Highly Affordable: Of the main types of mattress toppers, polyester tends to be the most budget-friendly.
- Plush Fibers: Polyester can mimic the feel of goose down, softening a mattress’s surface.
Cons of Polyester Blend Mattress Toppers
- Prone to Overheating: Polyester is not necessarily the most airy material and can retain body heat as you sleep. However, polyester blended with naturally breathable fibers can disperse heat better.
- Not Durable: Cheap polyester blend toppers may grow flat, become lumpy, or otherwise lose support relatively quickly.
Wool Mattress Toppers
Wool is another natural fabric and is commonly incorporated into organic and eco-friendly toppers. Because of its ability to wick away heat and moisture, wool is a common material in latex mattresses, and you’ll also see wool blankets and wool pillows.
Pros of a Wool Mattress Topper
- Year-Round Comfort: Wool is well-known for its ability to regulate temperature which means cool sleep in the summer and warmer nights in the winter.
- Breathable Nights: Wool wicks away moisture while allowing air to circulate naturally.
- No Harmful Off-Gassing: Wool is a natural textile and does not emit harmful gasses or toxins.
Cons of a Wool Mattress Topper
- Animal Product: Although wool is a natural and sustainable fabric, wool mattress toppers are not suitable for vegans.
- Potential Smell: While wool toppers do not off-gas the way that synthetic materials would, it’s not uncommon for wool products to absorb the smell of the sheep it was sheared from.
- Not the Most Firm: While it’s excellent if you need a softer bed or a cooling mattress, wool is not the most supportive topper.
Down and Feather Mattress Toppers
Soft and plush, a down or feather mattress topper sounds fit for a queen. Feather toppers are composed of soft goose down (or a down alternative) and usually encased in a tightly woven cotton cover to prevent the feathers from slipping through tiny gaps in the fabric. Feather toppers provide excellent warmth in the colder months, much the way that a duvet or comforter filled with down would.
Now, technically speaking, down and feather aren’t strictly interchangeable terms, and the term for a topper used tends to depend on whether the fill contains more downy clumps that act as a bird’s under-feathers, or the tougher feathers proper. Different ratios of each create distinct feels and weights.
Pros of a Feather Mattress Topper
- Good Temperature Regulation: Down feathers help retain body heat, keeping you cozy without overheating.
- Soft and Plush: A feather topper is ideal for those who prefer plush sleeping surfaces or want to soften a too-firm mattress. It’s especially excellent for anyone who wants to replicate the feel of a pillow top mattress.
Cons of a Feather Mattress Topper
- Loss of Support Over Time: The idea of a down comforter or a feather pillow is luxurious, so it makes sense to include a feather mattress topper in the luxury category. However, not all feather toppers offer support like other topper materials.
- Too Soft for Firm Mattress Lovers: A feather topper is not ideal for individuals who prefer firmer sleeping surfaces.
- Feathers Slipping Through the Fabric: Without proper ticking, feathers can poke through the topper, causing discomfort.
Mattress Topper Budget
In addition to exploring the types of mattress toppers, it’s also important to consider the price point of each topper. Queen-sized mattress toppers can range anywhere from $40 to more than $800, and you can expect to pay more for a king size mattress topper.
However, not all toppers are created equally. A quality mattress topper can help regulate body temperature, provide comfort, and reduce discomfort on pressure points.
An economy topper may be inexpensive, but it may not provide the long-lasting support you need. Replacing a cheap topper could cost more money in the long run. A $40 egg crate mattress topper may not help you sleep better.
You can get away with an inexpensive topper if you’re looking for a futon mattress topper to bring out for guests. However, you want to choose a high-quality option if you’re looking for a topper to sleep on nightly.
Investing more money in a high-quality topper is even more important if you are using the topper as a way to extend the life of a worn mattress.
Besides looking at the price of the topper itself, look at the other perks included in the price. Some—but not all—companies offer sleep trials and warranties on their mattress toppers. This can be a great advantage if you’re contemplating investing in a more expensive or high-end topper.
You can typically save on a mattress topper by taking advantage of the year’s big mattress sales:
- Best Presidents Day Mattress Sales
- Best Memorial Day Mattress Sales
- Best 4th of July Mattress Sales
- Best Labor Day Mattress Sales
- Best Black Friday Mattress Sales
- Best Cyber Monday Mattress Sales
Toppers often go on sale during these mattress sales, along with other bedding items and sleep accessories like an adjustable bed.
Finding the best mattress topper is more than just the right mattress topper type or the right price tag. The right mattress topper for you depends on your preferred sleeping position.
Keep in mind your ideal sleeping position when shopping for a mattress topper.
A 2017 study published in “Nature and Science of Sleep” journal found sleepers tend to spend about 54% of the night sleeping on their sides. Sleeping on the side can also help reduce sleep apnea incidences. Because side sleeping is such a popular sleeping position, it’s important to find a topper to supports this position.
Side sleepers require enough cushioning which enables the hips and shoulders to sink into the mattress. This keeps the spine aligned and provides pressure point relief on the hips.
If this is your preferred sleeping position, avoid any topper that is too firm and prevents your hips from sinking into the topper. Mattress toppers for side sleeping should offer soft to medium feels.
Tip for those who prefer side sleeping: A 2003 studypublished in the “American College of Cardiology” journal found individuals who prefer sleeping on the right side noted less dyspnea, or cardiac congestion.
If you’re new to sleeping on your right side, you can further your comfort by sleeping with a knee pillow between your legs for added support. Alternatively, you can try hugging a body pillow and wrapping your legs around one end.
For more reading and recommendations, see:
- Best Mattresses For Side Sleepers
- Best Hybrid Mattresses for Side Sleepers
- Best Pillows for Side Sleepers
- Best Memory Foam Pillows for Side Sleepers
Most orthopedic doctors suggest sleeping on the back to promote proper spinal alignment. A 2015 studyin the journal “Work” found individuals who sleep on their back experience less lower back discomfort than healthy individuals who opt for other sleeping positions.
If you’re a back sleeper, look for a topper designed to promote proper spinal alignment. A medium-firm mattress topper provides support and comfort for back sleepers, much the way a medium-firm mattress would.
Sleeping on the stomach can place additional stress on the spine and neck, and sleeping on a too-soft surface can exacerbate these risks. Stomach sleepers require a firmer topper to keep the spine and neck in alignment. If sleeping on your stomach is essential, add a small pillow under the pelvis to support the proper spinal alignment.
Avoid soft toppers. A feather or plush foam topper would not be ideal as these do not provide the pressure relief needed for the back and neck. If you enjoy a plush sleeping surface, consider switching to a different sleeping position.
Other considerations include:
Sleeping Cool and Airflow
Mattress toppers work well to adjust the firmness level of your current mattress, but they also serve another purpose: to keep the sleeper cool. Overheating is a major concern among individuals who use and buy memory foam mattresses, and a mattress topper can promote cool sleep, even on an old mattress.
Mattress toppers promote airflow and help you sleep cool in a few different ways:
- Through their fabric choice, e.g. wool or a breathable cotton
- Through their design, e.g. open cell structure on foam mattresses
- Through their added elements, e.g. cooling gel injected throughout the foam
Some mattress toppers combine the fabric cover, like cotton or phase-change yarn, with the fill to approach temperature regulation from multiple angles.
If your current mattress sleeps hot or if you’re a hot sleeper in general, you don’t necessarily need to replace it. Consider adding a cooling mattress topper to extend the life of your bed until you are ready for an upgrade.
Should I Just Get a New Mattress?
Mattress toppers can go a long way in creating a comfortable environment for sleeping, but it is important to consider which product you really need. Whether it’s better to choose a new mattress instead of a mattress topper.
Mattresses can last for years — decades even. However, if a mattress is starting to break down, you might see signs of wear and tear like sagging. A mattress topper can only do so much if the mattress is already worn too much.
Sometimes a mattress topper is a short-term solution to a bigger problem. In these cases, it’s more cost-effective in the long run to consider a new bed than fixing a sagging mattress. It may be time to purchase a new mattress if:
- Your mattress sags more than an inch
- There are already noticeable sleep postures (indentations) formed on the mattress
- The coils are poking through the mattress
- The mattress is damaged
- You wake up with severe back pain that dissipates shortly after waking and stretching
That being said, if your mattress is in good shape you can use a mattress topper to extend the life of a mattress that is showing mild signs of wear-and-tear. This can give you space to research and save up money for when it’s time to replace your mattress.
Additionally, if your mattress is in good shape and you would prefer to alter the firmness level, a mattress topper might be the solution for you. Similarly, a topper can improve the feel of a mattress in good shape by increasing how cool the surface feels.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do mattress toppers work?
Yes, a good mattress topper can improve the feel of a bed that’s grown too soft or has started to lose support. However, there is a limit to how much a topper can change a mattress’s firmness level, even for the best toppers. Sometimes, it’s important to know when it’s time to replace a mattress.
If your bed has excessive sagging, deep indentations, or extensive damage, it might be better to spend your money on a new mattress, instead.
Which material is best for a mattress topper?
The term “best” is subjective here because the best topper will vary from person to person. To recap, a sleeper must consider the following points before determining which mattress topper is right for their own unique needs:
- Material type
- Sleeping position
For instance, a feather topper is generally more plush (but less supportive) than a memory foam or latex topper. Poly-blends, memory foam, and natural latex can offer firmer support.
What thickness mattress topper should I get?
How thick your topper should be depends on your budget and how much you want to change your mattress’s feel. Thicker toppers usually create a more drastic change, so if you want more cushion and support it might be best to opt for one that’s 3 or 4 inches thick. However, thicker toppers are also more expensive.
Your sleeping position is an important consideration, as well. Toppers that are 1 or 2 inches thick can still provide enough relief for back and stomach sleepers. A mattress topper for a side sleeper should be thicker (at least 3 inches) to offer enough pressure relief.
Which mattress topper is best for back pain?
If you wake up with lower back pain associated with your mattress, a mattress topper for back pain might help you continue to use your current mattress without the added expense of purchasing a new mattress.
Before selecting the right topper, evaluate why your mattress is contributing to back pain. If you are sleeping on a too-soft mattress, consider looking for a medium-firm or firm mattress topper. You may also find a firm mattress with a pillowtop provides the just-right combination of support and cushioning.
Avoid any plush or too-soft topper, which may cause sinkage that can worsen back issues. Other toppers to avoid for back pain include feather toppers or a thin mattress pad, though some high-density toppers are quite thin yet still supportive.
If you have already tried several mattress toppers but still wake up with discomfort, consider updating your mattress. It may be the case that your mattress is simply too worn out or sags too much for the topper to make a difference. A new medium-firm mattress may provide the support and comfort you need.
You can also try sliding a pillow under your knees, such as a wedge pillow. This simple trick helps to take the pressure off of your lower back.
Do I need bigger sheets If I have a mattress topper?
Since a mattress topper tends to raise your overall mattress thickness by 2, 3, or 4 inches, you may need to look at a set of deep pocket sheets. These types of sheets can slide over mattresses 15 to 18 inches thick, and some can even slip over 20-inch or thicker mattresses. However, if you have a thin mattress and a standard set of sheets, you may not need to buy new sheets.
The best mattress topper is breathable, comfortable, and supportive — with a good price tag. Finding the right mattress topper at the right price is just the next step in achieving a night of quality sleep with minimal back pain.
Remember, when you’re looking to maximize your money and get the best mattress in your budget, keep your eye out for these features:
- A breathable fabric
- Non-slip features so your topper stays secure
- The right firmness level so you feel comfortable all night long
Still not sure? Check out the customer reviews on the mattress toppers listed above.