The best mattress toppers can be almost as transformational to your sleep as buying one of the best mattresses. That sounds like a bold claim, but a good bed topper can quickly boost the comfort of your existing mattress and make it either firmer or softer as needed, depending on the type of topper you buy. If you sleep hot, you could also choose a cooling topper to better regulate in-bed temperature.
On the whole, mattress toppers are far cheaper than buying a new mattress, and while they don’t last as long, they can help to extend the life of your mattress by at least a couple of years, depending on the state of your bed. Here we’ve rounded-up the best mattress toppers for different sleep needs and budgets, and we’ll also run you through the main types and how they can add more comfort to your bed.
How come? Because a good mattress topper is almost like a mini mattress – it’s a thick layer made from a variety of fillings (such as memory foam, cooling gel, wool or fleece). They are designed to sit on top of your mattress (but underneath the sheets) to add cushioning. Mattress toppers are also thicker than mattress protectors (these safeguard against spills and stains) and mattress pads.
So whether you’re looking for pressure relief, added comfort or back support, our best mattress toppers guide will have something to address your sleep needs. Let’s take a look at our top recommendations now…
The best mattress toppers: as chosen by experts
The Tempur-Pedic Tempur Topper Supreme is probably the most luxurious mattress topper on the market, so naturally it has a price tag to match. However, if you’ve always lusted after the unique ‘hug’ that Tempur mattresses provide but can’t afford to shell out the thousands of dollars they command, the wildly popular Tempur Topper Supreme is a great option.
With a generous depth of three inches of Tempur proprietary responsive foam, this mattress topper is great at relieving pressure and reducing any aches and pains you feel when lying down. Customers say that it’s helped relieve their pain whilst sleeping and softened an overly hard mattress.
The Tempur Topper Supreme has a hygienic cover that’s removable and washable, as well as being mold, allergen and dust mite dander resistant. Plus, it comes with a 10-year warranty, meaning it should easily last as long as your mattress.
Tempur’s foam material is well-known for its motion transfer reduction, meaning this is the best mattress topper for those disturbed by a restless partner. Overall, you’ll be hard pressed to find fault with this one. The only issue right now is stock – it keeps selling out. So if you want it and you find it in stock at a reasonable price, grab it and run.
Saatva is well-known for its luxury handcrafted mattresses, and the brand’s sumptuous mattress toppers are a great way to get a bit of that hotel-level luxury and comfort at a much smaller price. The high-density foam option is the most affordable version of the Saatva Mattress Topper (it comes in Graphite and Latex too), and it contours extremely well to the body to provide superb support.
The real selling point though is how well the high-density foam reduces motion transfer. The Saatva Mattress Topper might be a thinner option at 1.5 inches, but it’s a really worthwhile addition to the bedroom for those who share their bed with a restless partner.
The Saatva Mattress Topper has a year’s warranty and you get a trial period of 180 nights to try it out. This means you should easily be able to tell if it’s the right choice for you and your sleep. If not, return it for a refund. We rarely see this one pop up among the best Saatva mattress sales, so if you do see it on offer, it’s one to get.
If you’re on a budget, the LinenSpa Gel-Infused Mattress Topper is the obvious choice, starting at just under $40. And you needn’t worry that you’re settling for something thin and unsupportive – the topper is 2” thick and easily provides extra support for older or mattresses.
As well as being great for those watching the price tag, the LinenSpa Gel-Infused Mattress Topper is also really good at keeping sleepers cool, thanks to its gel infused memory foam. The gel beads help prevent the memory foam from overheating sleepers and keep temperatures regulated through the night.
This is a softer foam than some other offerings on the market and, whilst it’s very supportive of those with a lighter build we wouldn’t recommend it for heavy builds as they’re likely to just sink too far into it.
The LinenSpa Gel-Infused Mattress Topper is ideally suited for lighter builds and those who sleep on their sides as it will relieve pressure around the joints. With an incredible price tag and a generous 3-year warranty, it’s definitely a great choice for budget shoppers.
Lucid’s mattress topper is a mid-range priced offering that’s a whopping 4” thick, making it a fantastic option for those looking for cushioning comfort and softness. The Lucid Down Alternative and Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper is a classic memory foam topper with a down alternative layer.
This gives the well-known memory foam ‘hug’ that helps to make sleepers feel enveloped and supported by the topper. The memory foam is also infused with gel beads, which helps keep sleepers cool at night and prevents overheating.
The Lucid Down Alternative and Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper is an ideal choice for those looking to make a firm mattress feel a little softer and helps give a more comfortable, soft overall feel to a bed. We wouldn’t recommend it for those who like a firmer feel to their bed but for those looking to add a little luxurious plushness to a bed, the Lucid mattress topper is a great choice that’s not ridiculously expensive.
A good mattress topper makes an instant difference to how comfortable you feel during sleep, and on that score alone the Avocado Organic Latex Mattress Topper is one of the best around. It’s also loaded with certified-organic materials, including latex, wool and cotton, so don’t expect this to come cheap. In fact, the biggest sizes cost more than a mid-range bed-in-a-box. But if you want the best mattress topper with non-toxic, all-organic ingredients, here it is.
Beyond size, your main choice here will be the feel: either Plush or Firm latex. The Plush is recommended if you want a softer sleeping experience or are looking to soften up a hard bed, while the Firm topper is good for older, softer beds that could do with a bit more support and pressure relief. Both are made using two inches of 100% GOLS organic certified latex, with a layer of 100% organic wool and cotton placed on top.
The presence of wool means the Avocado Organic Latex Mattress Topper is an excellent choice for hot sleepers looking to make their bed as cooling and non-toxic as possible, as wool wicks away moisture and encourages better airflow. It’s naturally temperature-regulating too, so it’ll feel nice and warm during the depths of winter.
The only downside to this top-rated organic mattress topper is the price when you hit the largest sizes. But if you have the budget it’s an excellent choice – and you’ll get 365 nights to put it to the test, plus there’s a 10-year warranty on it.
Therapedic’s aptly named Polar Nights 3 Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper uses innovative technology that pulls in body heat to keep sleepers at a comfortable temperature throughout the night.
The topper is pressure activated, with Therapedic saying that you can expect to feel a cooling effect only eight seconds after getting into bed. The fill is a mixture of gel-infused memory foam cubes mixed with polyester fiberfill, which helps with airflow and gives a soft, cloud-like feeling to the topper.
The Therapedic Polar Nights 3 Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper has a cover made from soft, quilted foam complete with an antimicrobial treatment to prevent odors building up. Some user reviews have reported that the cover doesn’t expand as much as some toppers, which could create a slightly uneven feel. But if you’re a hot sleeper who struggles to stay cool at night, this mattress topper could be the answer to your prayers.
Turmerry’s Organic Latex Mattress Topper is the most customizable option on our list, with three firmness levels – soft, medium and firm – along with two thickness options of two or three inches. The soft topper is aimed at side sleepers but is also a great option if you want to soften a hard mattress.
The medium topper provides good support and pressure relief for back sleepers, whereas the firm topper is stable enough for stomach sleepers and will also help to firm up a soft bed.
Latex toppers are great at providing pressure relief and support where it’s needed so the Turmerry Organic Latex Mattress Topper is an excellent choice for anyone suffering with aches and pains.
The organic Dunlop latex is ventilated with lots of small holes to help the air circulate, meaning these toppers are also a great choice for hot sleepers. And they’re a great eco-friendly choice too – the latex is 100% organic and natural and Turmerry plants a tree with every sale.
Viscosoft do a range of mattress toppers, with this high-density memory foam topper being the firmest. The Viscosoft 3 Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper is particularly suited for back sleepers, reducing pressure points and keeping the spine in a neutral alignment. It’s particularly supportive around the lumbar region, thus helping to reduce aches and pains.
The gel-infused memory foam is designed to optimize airflow to prevent overheating through the night. There’s also a removable and washable bamboo-rayon cover, complete with adjustable elastic straps and slip resistant mesh to keep the topper secured to your mattress.
The closely conforming material also helps to absorb motion, meaning the Viscosoft 3 Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper is a good choice for those sleeping with a restless partner. The mattress topper has a surprisingly plush feel considering its firmness, but we wouldn’t recommend it to side sleepers due to its firmer feel.
The Tuft & Needle Mattress Topper is made from one solid block of responsive open cell foam, which provides good pressure relief and contouring for lighter and average weight sleepers. Unlike a memory foam mattress, open cell foam has no ‘hug’ and is quick to respond to pressure.
This bed topper adds a layer of softness that works well with medium firm and firm mattresses. Back sleepers who suffer with back pain will find that this topper adds a little contouring at their lower back, which can help alleviate pain. It’s also a good choice for side sleepers looking to soften their mattress a little whilst still keeping them supported.
At only two inches thick, the Tuft & Needle Mattress Topper isn’t going to drastically alter the feel of a mattress but it will add softness and cushioning to a firmer mattress. The open cell foam also does a good job of keeping the airflow moving although we’d recommend that hot sleepers look for a gel-infused topper over this one.
Why buy a mattress topper?
They may not look like much at first glance, but a good mattress topper can make an instant difference to your sleep comfort. They are often much, much cheaper than buying a new mattress, plus they couldn’t be easier to use. In most cases, you simply need to unseal them from their vacuum packed plastic covering, then pop them on top of your mattress to let them fully inflate. Some do so within minutes while others take hours – always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Other benefits of a mattress topper include:
- Increased comfort or softness for firmer beds
- Increased firmness and support for softer beds
- They help extend the lifespan of a middle-age mattress
- They help you break in a new mattress
- They quickly boost the comfort of a guest bed
- Most toppers can also be used on sleeper sofas
There are plenty of reasons to buy a mattress topper, especially if the comfort and support of your existing bed isn’t quite right for your body or sleeping position. Tell-tale signs include pressure point pain (hips, shoulders, back), or if you’re waking up feeling stiff, sore and bent out of shape. Let’s discuss this further in our next Q&A…
Are mattress toppers worth it?
The answer to this question depends on the age and state of your current mattress. If it’s more than six years old, then a good mattress topper could boost its comfort or support in the final year or two of its life until you have the budget to buy a new bed. But if it’s older, and providing you don’t have a luxury natural mattress with a longer lifespan, then it’s unlikely to be giving you the spinal support and pressure relief you need. Therefore, a mattress topper won’t cut it – you need a new mattress.
Not even the best mattress topper can save a sagging bed either. However, there are definitely instances where mattress toppers are worth it and then some. For example, if you have a new mattress that’s still too firm for your body and sleep style, then the right mattress topper can add lashings of extra comfort while you break in your new bed.
If you enjoy the feeling of being hugged during sleep, a memory foam topper is your best bet. These contour the body and dish out maximum pressure relief, easing sore joints that are otherwise aggravated when you lie down. Tempur-Pedic has its own NASA-developed material called Tempur, and this is widely recognized as one of the best for easing sore joints and reducing pressure on impact points (hips, back, etc).
Mattress toppers are also worth it if you want to make a soft mattress firmer. You’ll need a thicker bed topper for this job, and ideally one made from latex or an equally firmer material. But remember, if your bed is sagging, a topper won’t save it.
A good mattress topper can also make a world of difference to the comfort of your sleeper sofa, especially if yours is flimsy. Just check the weight capacity of your sleeper sofa and the dimensions of the mattress area before you buy a new topper for it.
What is the best type of mattress topper?
Bed toppers are a surprisingly diverse product, with different materials and feels coming into play depending on the type of topper you buy. To help you figure out the best solution for your sleep, here we look at the four main types of mattress toppers and the benefits and drawbacks of each.
The four main different types of mattress topper are:
- Memory foam mattress toppers
- Feather and down mattress toppers
- Microfibre mattress toppers
- Latex mattress toppers
Each type of bed topper feels different when you lie down on it. Down toppers, for example, feel luxuriously plush and cosy; we’re talking proper hotel levels of comfort and luxury here. Memory foam mattress toppers, on the other hand, contour to your body for deep pressure relief. Here’s what you need to know about each type…
Memory foam mattress toppers
Memory foam is designed to react to your body heat, then contour to your unique curves. Many sleepers find that this helps relieve sore joints, and that has certainly been our experience.
Memory foam toppers absorb the motion of you and your partner moving about in bed, so you won’t disturb each other so much if either one of you is restless.
The downsides of all-foam mattress toppers is that they can trap heat and some people, especially hot sleepers, find them too warm to sleep on. However you can buy mattress toppers with cooling gels infused into them to help dissipate heat so that it doesn’t build up.
Feather and down mattress toppers
Depending on the fill power and quality, natural mattress toppers can be more expensive than memory foam pads. These are a much more traditional design of mattress topper so they were very popular several years ago, but there are some big drawbacks to these…
Firstly, they need regular fluffing to retain their original shape as they tend to flatten out over time. It’s the same situation with down or feather-filled pillows. Also, not all down toppers state where the down or feathers have come from, so we strongly suggest that you only consider those made with ethically sourced materials.
It isn’t all bad news though – feather and down mattress toppers don’t retain as much heat as other types of topper, making them a good choice for hot sleepers. They also won’t create a sinking-in feeling like memory foam, so you’ll be able to get in and out of bed more easily.
Microfibre mattress toppers
These are by far the cheapest type of mattress topper you’ll come across. They are usually odor-less and are mostly hypoallergenic, making them suitable for people with common allergies. Anti-allergy toppers are treated with chemicals to ward off allergens like dust mites and pollen.
Microfibre is a synthetic material widely used in budget pillows and duvets, so a microfibre mattress topper should be on your list if you have a very small budget.
The downside is that they can develop lumps over time, regardless of how often you shake them out. This is especially true if you machine wash and dry them. Microfibre mattress toppers have a very short shelf life too, so they aren’t good for the planet. But if you’re just looking to boost the comfort of a guest bedroom that gets occasional use, you should be fine with one of these.
Latex mattress toppers
Latex is a natural material used in organic mattresses and other natural sleep products, so latex mattress toppers are very popular among people who want to create a non-toxic sleeping environment.
Latex is also naturally antimicrobial and non-allergenic to most people except those with a latex allergy. They can be a little smelly at first though, much like memory foam bed toppers.
And also like foam, latex has a body contouring property but it can be much firmer, meaning it’s the best choice for making a soft mattress firmer.
Mattress topper vs new mattress: which do you need?
How do you decide if a mattress topper will be enough to help you or if you need to bite the bullet and buy a new mattress? Here we cover some common scenarios to help you decide…
My mattress is too firm: If you’re finding your mattress too firm and unyielding, a mattress topper could be a great choice with just enough cushioning to help you sink into your bed a little better.
My mattress is too hot: A mattress topper infused with gel or other cooling materials should be enough to cool all those except the hottest sleepers down.
My mattress is sagging: In this situation there really is no option but to go out and replace your mattress. Even the thickest mattress topper will still sink into the saggy parts of your mattress and you’ll be no better off sleep-wise.
My mattress is over eight years old and uncomfortable: Again, no mattress topper can revitalize an old mattress that’s lost its spring and shape. If this is your situation, it’s time for a new mattress.
Toppers aren’t to be confused with thinner pads or protectors either. For more guidance, see our mattress protector vs mattress pad comparison. A mattress pad is essentially much thinner and sits somewhere between a topper and a protector, and offers a little extra comfort (but not as much as a bed topper) and a degree of protection (though not as much as a proper mattress protector).
How to choose the best mattress topper
Like choosing a new mattress, finding the best mattress topper for your needs can be daunting. Let’s break things down to help you choose. Firstly, think about the material the topper is made from.
Memory foam mattress toppers are an ideal choice for those looking to reduce pressure on joints or motion transfer, but it can run very hot and make it difficult to shift in bed. Feather and down toppers don’t retain heat and promote movement but compress over time and aren’t hypoallergenic.
Microfiber and hollowfiber mattress toppers are the cheapest options, providing good softness but can become lumpy and flattened over time. Lastly Latex mattress toppers are incredibly durable and bouncy but can be too firm for some sleepers.
As well as the materials used, you should consider the depth of the bed topper and whether it will provide enough support for your needs. Check how easy it is to clean – if it’s going to be directly under your sheets it will get dirty, so consider covering it with one of the best mattress protectors too.
Finally, look for a mattress topper that attaches securely to your mattress so that you don’t slide about during the night – either with straps and a slip resistant mesh, or as a fitted sheet style topper.