Best Mattress Toppers for Back Pain
Learn how to find the best mattress topper to alleviate your back pain
Mar 7th, 2023 •
A mattress topper doesn’t receive nearly enough of the credit it deserves. Typically, toppers appeal to shoppers who prefer a softer mattress, but a mattress topper can be a great addition for any type of sleeper, especially those with back pain.
If you think it might be time to introduce a topper to your mattress but you don’t know where to begin, don’t fret. We’ll go over some of our top-rated picks for the best mattress toppers for back pain and explain how you can know what key factors to look for when shopping.
The Best Mattress Toppers to Relieve Back Pain
- Best Overall – Layla Memory Foam Topper
- Best Mattress Topper for Back Sleepers – Saatva Mattress Topper
- Best Luxury Mattress Topper for Back Pain – Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Adapt Mattress Topper
- Best Value Mattress Topper for Back Pain – ViscoSoft High Density Mattress Topper
- Best Firm Mattress Topper for Back Pain – Mattress Topper 3-Inch TitanFlex Topper
- Best Hypoallergenic Mattress Topper for Back Pain – Puffy Mattress Topper
- Best Mattress Topper for Pressure Relief – Nest Cooling Topper
Layla Memory Foam Topper
Best Overall Topper for Back Pain
Add Layla’s topper to your mattress, and you can deduct about one level of firmness—the two-inch block of memory foam gives your mattress just a touch of added softness that makes a big difference when it comes to pressure relief. Back and side sleepers in particular should find that the topper provides just the right amount of body-contouring comfort through the hips and lumbar region without aggressively changing the overall feel or support level of the mattress. If you’re waking up sore from a too-firm mattress, adding this topper is an easy fix. It also cuts down on motion transfer, so you’re less likely to feel your partner tossing and turning all night.
The topper comes with a removable cover that’s lightweight and breathable; inside, you’ll find a two-inch layer of memory foam infused with copper-gel beads for cooling. It attaches to your mattress with four secure corner straps. You can remove and wash the cover, but it’s recommended you dry-clean it to achieve maximum softness.
Saatva Mattress Topper
Best Mattress Topper for Back Sleepers
Saatva is known for its luxury mattresses, so it should come as no surprise that its mattress toppers have a similarly luxe, high-quality feel—at an elevated price. However, that price makes a lot of sense when you consider how much this 3” memory foam topper can change the feel of your mattress so you don’t have to shell out for a completely new one. The topper has an overall medium-soft feel that adds a lot of pressure relief to your bed, and is an excellent choice for side sleepers and back sleepers in search of more body-cradling comfort.
Two layers of foam come together to bolster the Saatva topper’s plush support: a 1” layer of graphite-infused memory foam designed for superior cooling and breathability, and a two-inch base layer of high-density polyfoam for added support and durability. A zip-off organic cotton cover makes it easy to get the topper clean.
Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Adapt Mattress Topper
Best Luxury Mattress Topper for Back Pain
This topper is made of 3” of super-soft Tempur material that slowly molds around your body to relieve pressure where you need it most. Side sleepers in particular should enjoy the body-cradling comfort and pressure relief they get from Tempur-Pedic’s memory foam—though it’s designed to work well for back sleepers and combination sleepers, as well. (Just note that stomach sleepers and heavier sleepers might find it too soft.) Sleepers suffering from back pain can expect to not only get a good night of sleep on this topper but a nice morning wake-up, too—the topper’s slow-moving foam cradles pressure points and relieves tension along the spine, so rising out of bed invites fewer twinges and aches.
The Tempur-Adapt topper has a stretchy knit cover that’s designed to feel lightweight and cool. It attaches easily to your mattress using four corner straps, and it’s also a cinch to care for—you can just remove it and wash it in the machine on cold. Overall, it’s a high-quality topper made from high-quality parts—and an excellent investment in your overnight and next-day comfort.
ViscoSoft High Density Mattress Topper
Best Value Mattress Topper for Back Pain
ViscoSoft sells its High Density Mattress Topper in a 3” and 4” version, so you can choose just how much softness and pressure relief you want to add to your mattress. With a medium-firm feel and high responsiveness, the topper is designed to not only relieve the aching muscles in your lumbar region but also built to help align your spine, so you wake up with less discomfort and back pain. Memory foam isn’t generally known for its cooling, but this one is made with a gel infusion that adds breathability and prevents it from storing too much heat.
The topper has adjustable straps, so it’s easy to tether to the corners of your mattress to prevent it from migrating to one side. Maintenance is also a breeze—you simply remove and machine-wash its cover. Another huge perk is that the topper comes in smaller sizes like twin and twin XL, so you can add one to your child’s bedroom or dorm room to level-up a sub-par mattress.
Mattress Topper 3-Inch TitanFlex Topper
Best Firm Mattress Topper for Back Pain
Not everyone wants to add a topper to make their mattress feel softer—some would prefer to firm up one that’s lost some of its support and edge. This added layer is designed to do just that, while providing excellent pressure relief and responsiveness from its proprietary “hyper-elastic foam.” But if lowering softness isn’t what you’re looking for, don’t worry—the TitanFlex topper comes in three firmness levels: soft, medium, and firm, so you can choose your own level of comfort and resistance.
The TitanFlex is built from a 3” thick layer of open-cell, CertiPUR-US Certified foam for breathability and cooling, zippered inside one of two fabric options: an organic cotton cover or a premium knit cover. Both are designed to protect the foam inside from dust mites and resist allergens. It feels firm, but slightly forgiving, so you get just body-cradling support. And it comes in seven size options—for an excellent price, given the topper’s quality.
Puffy Mattress Topper
Best Hypoallergenic Mattress Topper for Back Pain
Puffy is cushioned by a blend of 40% bamboo and 60% polyester that’s not only breathable but completely machine-washable, so you don’t have to worry about spills or stains building up on it. If you’re looking for a classic memory foam feel, this isn’t the topper for you. If you’re looking for a topper in a medium firmness, this also isn’t the topper for you. But if you want something that feels supportive and pressure-relieving at the two extremes—soft and firm—the Puffy’s got you. It comes in both versions, which covers all sleep positions. The soft version of this topper provides a lot of pressure relief for side sleeping, while the firm supplies excellent support and alignment for resting on your back or stomach.
Hot sleepers in particular should appreciate that the Puffy is excellent for cooling due to its bamboo/polyester construction. The cover is super-stretchy and includes a skirt you can fit over mattresses up to 15” thick, which should cover nearly all. Check it out in one of six bed sizes.
Nest Cooling Topper
Best Mattress Topper for Pressure Relief
Much like Nest’s mattresses, the Nest Cooling Topper is constructed from a gel-infused foam designed to be breathable and temperature-neutral, so you sleep cooler at night. Nest’s topper is also built to bring some of the responsiveness of a latex-blend topper to one made solely of CertiPUR-US Certified and USA-made memory foam. The topper is 2” thick, which is just enough to cushion your back, neck, and shoulders without dramatically changing the feel and firmness of your mattress. It’s an excellent option for side and back sleepers who tend to wake up with joint aches and just need a little more contouring cushion for those pain points.
The topper comes in six mattress sizes, all of which attach easily to your mattress using four corner straps. Just note you can’t machine-wash it; Nest recommends you spot-clean only.
Why buy a mattress topper for back pain?
If you’re becoming unsatisfied with your mattress but it’s still in the early years of its lifespan, adding a mattress topper could be the solution you need. While you could go to the lengths of shopping around for a new mattress that’s proven to be effective for sleepers with back pain, you may not be ready to make that large of an investment if your mattress is still relatively new. Luckily, when your mattress starts to lose its edge, you can revamp it with a quality mattress topper for a fraction of the price!
Benefits of a mattress topper
Mattress toppers tout a wide array of beneficial qualities. They offer comfort, help relieve back pain, and support the longevity of your mattress’s lifespan. A topper can restore the comfort of your mattress that inevitably becomes lost over years of use, and they are even capable of decreasing your chances of severe back pain before it even begins.
What happens if you’re already experiencing back pain? Investing in a mattress topper will be one of the best decisions you can make for yourself and for your bed. With a proven track record of improving back pain, why not give it a shot?
How a mattress topper can relieve back pain
A mattress topper isn’t the end-all-be-all to alleviating back pain but it definitely helps improve the situation. The main reason your mattress could be causing you back pain or exacerbating already present pain has to do with your spinal alignment.
When a mattress is too soft, your body will sink and your spine will fall out of its natural alignment. When a mattress is too stiff, the opposite problem exists where your body can’t sink in enough where it needs to. Both of these issues are especially true for side sleepers (check out our Best Mattress Topper for Side Sleepers guide). A mattress pad can make up the difference and offer the extra support you need to keep your spinal alignment in check all night long.
Related: Mattress pad vs. topper
How to Find the Best Mattress Topper for Back Pain
Before you purchase a mattress topper, you’ll need to know what key considerations to make. There are many different features and types of toppers in the market, so you should know what to look for when shopping to be sure you make the best choice. The most important features to keep an eye out for when choosing a mattress topper to help with back pain include the materials, thickness, and density.
Mattress Topper Materials
The most common materials for mattress toppers are memory foam and latex. These also happen to be the best choices for back pain relief. Memory foam and latex both will conform to your body to offer you the comfort you need while still remaining durable and offering long-lasting support. The last thing you want is your topper to start doing exactly what happened with your mattress.
Memory foam and latex materials also perform well at evenly distributing your body weight. This helps to avoid pain in the pressure points of your hips and shoulders and properly supports your body to keep your spine aligned. With either of these materials, your body will stay properly aligned throughout the entire night and your mattress will continue to offer both support and comfort allowing you to sleep peacefully and pain-free.
Thickness or Height
Another key element to review is the thickness of the mattress topper. Most toppers range from 2-4 inches thick. The best thickness for your mattress topper will depend on your personal preferences and sleeping habits. Thick toppers are known to be best suited for individuals who sleep on their backs and those who are heavier and will need more support. If you just need a little extra comfort and cushion, a thin topper may be suited for you. If you’re unsure, the medium level of thickness should work for you.
Mattress Topper Density
One of the last key attributes to pay attention to when picking out a mattress topper is the density. Density determines the quality and durability of your topper and how it will feel on your mattress.
Just as body weight factors into choosing the best thickness, it also applies to density. The heavier you are, the more dense you will need. You should also consider your sleep temperature. A less dense mattress topper will allow for more air flow, which is critical to sleepers with back pain. The more oxygen your body can receive, the better for healing your body and preventing pain.
We’ll quickly review our top picks for the best mattress toppers for back pain below in our comparison chart:
|Mattress Topper||Materials||Best for||Customer Rating|
|Layla Memory Foam Topper||Gel-infused memory foam||Best overall||4.5/5|
|Saatva Mattress Topper||Graphite-infused memory foam||Best for back sleepers||4.8/5|
|Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Adapt Topper||Memory foam||Best luxury||4.3/5|
|ViscoSoft High Density Topper||Gel-infused memory foam||Best value||4.5/5|
|Mattress Topper 3-Inch TitanFlex Topper||“Hyper-elastic” memory foam||Best firm||4/5|
|Puffy Mattress Topper||Bamboo and polyester||Best hypoallergenic||5/5|
|Nest Cooling Topper||Gel-infused memory foam||Best for pressure relief||4.7/5|
Many people fail to realize the importance of proper sleep etiquette. Your sleeping experience matters. Pay attention to your body type, weight and struggles when deciding which top will work for your mattress.
If your current mattress topper doesn’t seem to conform to your body shape like it used to, it may be time to upgrade. Comfortable sleep starts with the basics and ends with you! Get the products you need to rest with comfort and support each and every day.
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