Best Affordable Mattress Toppers
An affordable, high-quality mattress topper can overhaul the comfort level of your bed. Here's how to find one that suits you and your sleep style.
Apr 18th, 2023 •
If your mattress isn’t providing the support or comfort you need, there’s no need to replace it—you can add a cheap mattress topper for a sliver of the cost. Not only can a mattress topper transform the entire feel and firmness of your bed, but it can also extend its life, saving you money in the long term.
To also save you time, we’ve rounded up our favorite toppers that strike a nice balance between high quality and low price. Read on for our picks, plus some advice on shopping for a cheap mattress topper below.
The Best Affordable Mattress Toppers
Best for Side Sleepers
Price: $399 for queen before sales deals
Fits: 10”- 15”-deep mattresses, in six bed sizes
Firmness options: plush and luxury firm
Warranty: 10-year warranty
The Nolah Mattress Topper is made of AirFoam, the brand’s polyfoam, which is designed to provide the pressure relief of standard memory foam without its tendency to overheat. While the Mattress Topper is composed of only two inches of said foam, that thin, body-contouring layer goes a long way in adding comfort to your mattress—particularly if you’re a side sleeper who needs a little more pressure relief. Nolah’s Topper attaches easily to the corners of your bed using elastic bands that stretch to fit mattresses from 10” to 15” deep. Once on your bed, the topper is built to breathe well and limit excess warmth, thanks to an organic cotton cover that wicks sweat and moisture. It’s available in two firmness levels: plush and luxury firm, so you can get whichever best meets your sleep needs.
Made in the USA
CertiPUR-US Certified, made without ozone-depleting materials
One of the pricier options here
Best Soft Topper
Price: $119 for queen before sales deals
Fits: 18”-deep mattresses, in four bed sizes
Firmness options: soft
Warranty: 365 days
If you want bedtime to feel more like falling into a soft, feathery nest, this down alternative mattress topper can help. Made of evenly distributed microgel in a cotton shell, the topper replicates the fluffy comfort of down without the allergy or animal rights concerns. But those aren’t the only advantages that down alternative has over real down—it also comes with cost savings and even easier care because you can machine-wash and -dry it. At the base of the topper, a waterproof barrier is designed to prevent liquids from reaching your mattress without affecting the soft cotton comfort of the top layer.
Easy to wash
Might be too warm for hot sleepers
Best for Back and Stomach Sleepers
Price: $135 for queen before sales deals
Fits: 15”-deep mattresses, in six sizes
Firmness options: soft
Warranty: 100-night sleep trial, 1-year limited warranty
If you like the general firmness or softness of your mattress but want to add a touch of plushness to it, Helix’s Plush Mattress Topper is for you. The topper won’t make any dramatic changes to the overall feel of your bed—and doesn’t provide additional support or pressure relief for side sleepers—but it does add a pillow-top coziness designed to give your mattress more of a luxury hotel bed vibe. Constructed from a breathable bamboo and polyester blend top layer with a polyester fill, the mattress topper should sleep fairly cool, so it’s less likely to turn you into a sweaty mess overnight. It’s machine-washable for easy cleaning, and attaches to your mattress like a fitted sheet.
No extra cushioning
Best Pressure Relief
Price: $250 for queen before sales deals
Fits: Any mattress in six bed sizes
Warranty: 100-night sleep trial, 3 years
This two-inch memory foam topper can go a long way in making a too-firm mattress feel softer and more forgiving, which is helpful for side sleepers looking to relieve more pressure at the shoulders and hips. Made with open-cell polyurethane foam, the topper is designed to be breathable and adapt to your body’s contours—while also hitting the Goldilocks sweet spot for those who like a little give to their mattress without feeling like they’re sinking. It works well for lightweight or medium sleepers, but might not provide the support that heavier sleepers need. The topper is made from CertiPUR-US Certified foam, so it’s free from toxins and won’t emit that off-gassing smell when you first break it out. It’s compatible with almost any mattress, but it doesn’t have any way of attaching to one—you simply layer it over your bed and hope the non-skid material and your bedding holds it in place.
Comfortable, adaptive foam
Works on almost any bed
Not made with toxic materials
Not machine-washable—must spot-clean
Doesn’t attach to your mattress, so it can shift
Best Foam and Pillow-Top Hybrid
Price: $265 – $330 for queen before sales deals
Fits: 18” mattresses, in seven sizes
Firmness: Medium to medium-firm
Warranty: 60-night sleep trial, 5-year warranty
If that two-inch topper doesn’t provide the comfort or relief you need, ViscoSoft’s four-inch gel-infused foam topper might be more to your liking. The topper has two layers: a memory foam core made for medium-firm support and pressure relief, with a pillow top for added coziness. It’s a good fit for those who want to add a hint of softness to a too-firm mattress—while it won’t dramatically change the firmness of your bed, it’s designed to allow you to sink in a little more. Back and side sleepers will likely find it to be most comfortable; stomach sleepers might consider the pillow top to be too soft. The Serene Hybrid Topper attaches to your bed using straps and a stretchy skirt; it has a machine-washable cover that you can remove to clean. (Note: This topper also comes in a three-inch version.)
Washable pillow-top cover
CertiPUR-US Certified memory foam
Made in the USA
Price: $199 for queen before sales deals
Fits: Any mattress in seven bed sizes
Warranty: 3 years
This memory foam mattress topper comes in two-inch and three-inch iterations, so you can choose how much plush softness you want to add to your mattress. The three-inch is particularly effective at relieving joint pressure—particularly if you sleep on your side. However, it can also leave you feeling like you’re trapped in foam when you try to change positions or move around. The two-inch version is better suited to combination sleepers, back sleepers, and those who don’t want to overshoot the softness of their bed. It also scores high marks for motion transfer, which means couples will have an easy time sleeping together on this topper without disturbing each other with their respective nighttime movements. The mattress topper has a gel infusion throughout the memory foam for airflow and added cooling, but we found that it slept more temperature-neutral than cool. Also note that it has to be spot cleaned—you can’t just throw it in the machine to wash.
Two thickness options
CertiPUR-US Certified foam
No straps or skirt to attach it to your mattress
Sleeps warmer than we’d like
Affordable Mattress Topper Buying Guide
What should I look for in an affordable mattress topper?
A good mattress topper doesn’t have to be expensive—but not just any old model will cut it. Here’s what to consider when looking for a high-quality mattress topper. Just note that personal preference will also play a big role.
Firmness: A mattress topper can change the overall firmness of your bed by making it feel more soft or more firm. If you add a medium or soft topper to a firm or medium-firm bed, you can lower that bed’s firmness and give it more pressure relief for sleeping on your side. Conversely, a firm topper on a medium to medium-firm mattress will make your bed feel firmer, which might help you feel more supported when sleeping on your back or stomach.
Material: Mattress toppers are made of several different materials, including memory foam, polyfoam, down alternative, and more. Below we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each, and how they relate to your budget. When it comes to foam, look for certifications that indicate a higher-quality, less chemical construction—such as CertiPUR-US Certification.
Thickness: Much like feel, there’s no prescribed level of optimal thickness—it’s all reliant on personal preference, sleep position, and even your body side. To give you some indication of where to start: If you’re a heavier person and/or you sleep on your side, you might want a 3” topper for more pressure relief. If you’re lighter and/or you sleep on your back or stomach, look for something that’s 1” or 2” thick.
Durability: If the topper is going on your primary bed, it’s worth spending a little more money for something that will last longer. We explain which materials will last the longest below. You’ll also want to check the length of each mattress topper’s warranty to ensure the company stands behind its predicted longevity.
What’s the best material for an affordable mattress topper?
Mattress toppers come in several different constructions, all of which play a part in your comfort level and the amount you can expect to spend. Here’s how to understand the differences between each type of fill.
Memory foam is great for pressure relief—particularly if you’re a side sleeper—because it contours and conforms to your body, giving it a cradled sensation. Memory foam mattress toppers are made of a denser foam than polyfoam, and tend to have a soft, plush feel that’s slow to respond when you change positions. The biggest downside of memory foam is that it can trap body heat, so those who tend to overheat at night might want to choose a topper made from gel foam or polyfoam.
Polyfoam, or polyurethane foam, is cheaper than other mattress topper materials because it tends to be less dense than memory foam and less durable. That said, polyfoam provides many of the benefits of memory foam—like comfort and some pressure relief—at a lower price.
Gel foam is like memory foam in that it molds to your position to create a cradled feel, but it generally feels a bit bouncier and less slow-moving. It’s also designed to solve memory foam’s temperature problem with an open-cell structure that releases heat, so it sleeps cooler and breezier than pure memory foam. It also tends to be more expensive than memory foam, though this can vary based on the quality and durability of both materials.
Down alternative is designed to mimic the super-soft luxury and lofted feel of duck and goose feathers without the allergens and use of animal products. It’s also a far cheaper material than real down, and easier to machine-wash. But like memory foam, it also tends to sleep warm, and it’s just not as breathable or durable as real down.
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