A Guide to the Best Mattress Toppers

Bring a new level of comfort to your sleep with a mattress topper

Plush mattress topper

Restless nights on your mattress may leave you certain it’s time to replace it, but have you considered a mattress topper? There’s no denying that some mattresses are far from comfortable – some wear down over time, while others don’t match your needs from the start. But that doesn’t always mean it’s time to dish out the funds for a new mattress. In some cases, buying a mattress topper may be a far simpler and cheaper way to feel more comfortable on your bed.

Why try a mattress topper?

Mattress toppers bring a whole new level of comfort and coziness by adding an extra layer of cushion or support above your mattress. A mattress topper isn’t magic – it won’t make a huge difference on a mattress that’s already old and deteriorated, but it can be a great solution to many common mattress complaints.

If your mattress is too firm, a mattress topper can provide much-needed softness. Or vice versa— it can bring firmness in situations where your mattress feels too soft. Many mattress toppers are also supportive and help to minimize pain and joint pressure.

Sharing the bed with a tossing and turning partner who keeps you up at night? Mattress toppers are helpful here too, as they can minimize the impact of movement throughout the night. And by adding an extra protective layer between you and the mattress, a mattress topper can help your mattress last a bit longer, too.

There’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach to mattress toppers, so finding one that works for you will depend largely on personal preference. That said, focusing on a few key factors will definitely help you hone in on a topper that fits your needs. Keep reading as we guide you through some key considerations in the buying process.

Mattress topper or mattress cover?

When shopping it’s crucial to keep in mind that a mattress topper is not the same thing as a mattress cover. Covers are designed to protect your mattress, while toppers are designed with comfort in mind.

Density & Thickness

Mattress toppers are available in an array of densities and thicknesses. You can expect to see thickness range from one to three or four inches. Toppers on the thicker end of the spectrum usually retain more heat and provide more cushion than the thinner models.

In terms of density, the more dense mattress toppers are usually more supportive, durable, firm, and retain more heat. You’ll want to find a topper dense enough to prevent your body from sinking in deeply. Weight plays a role here, and for this reason, heavier people may want to look for a denser topper than someone who is lighter. Denser toppers tend to be more expensive.

Material

Mattress topper material will have a big impact on your overall sleep experience. Your decision will depend on personal preference, sleep position, temperature, price, and a few other factors. Here are some of the most common materials you’ll come across while shopping.

Memory Foam

Similar to a memory foam mattress or pillow, a memory foam mattress topper will mold and contour to the shape of your body. This is the most popular type of mattress topper material out there and typically does a pretty good job of boosting comfort. Available in a wide variety of density and thickness, memory foam can minimize discomfort for people with back and neck pain. It’s also beneficial for allergy sufferers, as many memory foam toppers are hypoallergenic.

These toppers heat up easily, so you may want to consider a different material if you run warm or experience evening spikes in body temperature. Some complain that memory foam toppers emit a gas-like odor, but this usually subsides within a few days.

Fiber

If cost is your main priority, strongly consider a fiber-filled mattress topper. Fiber is probably the cheapest mattress topper material out there while still providing comfort, and is generally fine for people with allergies. But keep in mind that fiber isn’t as durable as other materials.

Feather

One of the best reasons to consider a feather mattress topper is if you’re looking for a light and soft feel. They’re affordable and lightweight, but don’t offer a lot of support. If you decide on a feather mattress topper, you’ll need to fluff it regularly to maintain shape.

Latex

Latex mattress toppers are a fairly popular choice, available in both soft and firm options and varying levels of thickness. However, most latex covers lean toward the firm side. Latex is generally a good choice for people who suffer from allergies because they’re breathable and resist mold, fungus, and dust mites. They don’t heat up much, and for this reason may be a good choice for the warmer sleepers out there. One reported downside is weight because latex mattress toppers tending to be heavy.

Wool

Like many wool products, wool mattress toppers are generally long-lasting and can be expensive. They are known to stay cool in summer and warm in winter, and many are machine washable. Some wool mattress toppers emit an odor in the beginning as well.

Is there any reason to avoid a mattress topper?

In some cases, a mattress topper may not actually be a good idea. For example, if your mattress features a top layer of special gel or copper-infused memory foam, you are likely to negate the benefits if you add a mattress topper into the mix.

The Five Best Mattress Toppers Available

Here are some of the top-rated mattress toppers available:

1. DreamFoam Bedding Gel Swirl Memory Foam Topper

Affordable as far as memory foam toppers go, this is a great topper that provides comfort and support without breaking the bank. At just 2” thick, this topper has been highly rated by a variety of sleepers, including warm sleepers who say it doesn’t heat up as much as some other memory foam varieties.

DreamFoam Gel Swirl Memory Foam Topper
DreamFoam Gel Swirl Memory Foam Topper
  • Warranty: Three-year warranty
  • Customer Ratings: 4.4/5 on Amazon.com
  • Word on the Street:
    • “I have one word to say about this one. Flipping miracle. (Ok, that’s two words). I’ve had it on my bed for four days. The first night, I laid down and felt muscles relaxing because, for the first time, they felt gently cradled. This morning I woke up and had no pain at all, felt rested, rejuvenated, cheerful. I noticed my posture is better and I feel taller.”
    • “I’ve owned a lot of memory foam over the years. Some are too hot, some are actually too cold, but this is foam Goldilocks would choose. Does a surprisingly good job at only 2″ thick. I suffer from a permanent back injury and fibromyalgia. This has really helped me to sleep better. Smell was minimal compared to others which is a bonus.”
  • Price: $45.99-$79.99, depending on size

2. Sleep Innovations 4-Inch Dual Layer Topper

This soft and supportive mattress topper is made of both fiber and gel memory foam layers. It is designed to retain its shape and said to be a great option for those with back pain. Reviews note that this topper heats up easily and is a better option for sleepers who get cold in the night.

Sleep Innovation 4" Dual Layer Mattress Topper
Sleep Innovation 4″ Dual Layer Mattress Topper
  • Warranty: 10-year limited warranty
  • Customer Ratings: 4.4/5 on Amazon.com
  • Word on the Street:
    • “It literally feels like sleeping on a cloud as others have said.”
    • “This topper is perfect in every way — luxurious and soft but still feels supportive.”
  • Price: $116.92-$188.12, depending on size

3. Lucid 3-inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Soft and airy, this topper is breathable due to temperature-controlling gel and could be good for people sleep warm but still want a memory foam topper. Users also report that it’s good for relieving joint pressure and pain.

LUCID 3" Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper
LUCID 3″ Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper
  • Warranty: Three-year warranty
  • Customer Ratings: 4.3/5 on Amazon.com
  • Word on the Street:
    • “I have felt a lot of memory foam and this beautiful thing is the softest memory foam I’ve ever felt! It doesn’t sleep hot either which is so nice. It seems like the consistency of the foam is airier than other memory foams I’ve seen.”
    • “The mattress topper is made out of high-quality Gel Memory Foam. The Memory foam is soft and molds perfectly around your body which removes uncomfortable pressure that you can feel while laying on a regular mattress without a topper.”
  • Price: $74.99-$143.99, depending on size

4. Pure Green 100% Natural Latex Mattress Topper

Adding support and comfort, this natural latex option is a good pick for people who are looking for an environmentally-friendly mattress topper at a medium firmness.

Pure Green Natural Latex Mattress Topper
Pure Green Natural Latex Mattress Topper

It’s available in many sizes and thicknesses, so it can suit most needs. Though the price is high compared to some other toppers, this one is said to be highly durable. Some say an odor is present upon opening the packaging, but this usually dissipates within a few days.

  • Warranty: Varies based on seller
  • Customer Ratings: 4.5/5 on Amazon.com
  • Word on the Street:
    • “The latex is springy and immediately reforms its shape when you move. It was firmer than the memory foam so the first few nights I was afraid I would not like it. However, I noticed an immediate reduction in hip and back pain.”
    • “From the first night I have slept better than I have in years with absolutely no pain.”
  • Price: $99-$389, depending on size.

5. Pinzon Hypoallergenic Overfilled Microplush Mattress Topper

Pinzon Hypoallergenic Overfilled Microplush Mattress Topper
Pinzon Hypoallergenic Overfilled Microplush Mattress Topper

Designed to provide support, softness, and warmth, this topper is great for people who find their mattress far too firm. It is not recommended for people who get hot in the night, as it will probably make you even hotter. The top and filling are hypoallergenic, and it can be machine washed, though dry cleaning is recommended due to the item’s size.

  • Customer Ratings: 4.2/5 on Amazon.com
  • Word on the Street:
    • “The way it’s made creates a thick surface that offers just the right amount of structured support with enough cushion to avoid tossing and turning.”
    • “I gave it five stars because it is exactly what I was looking for. I don’t really like the memory foam, as you become “part of the mattress” in a quasi-literal sense. Memory foams tend to reflect body heat which I do not want. This product keeps cool.”

Price: $33.62-$58.68, depending on size


If you still have questions about mattress toppers or have one that you love, share it with us in the comments below.


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