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A mattress topper is a layer of cushioning material that rests on top of your mattress. Toppers are intended to make a mattress feel softer or firmer, and can also protect the mattress surface from wear and tear. Most toppers measure 1 to 3 inches thick. Common topper materials include memory foam, latex, down and feathers, down alternative fibers, and wool. While a topper can temporarily make your sleep surface feel comfortable, it should be considered a temporary fix – not a permanent solution – for an old, sagging mattress.
Each topper type has different advantages and drawbacks. To create the list below, we tested a wide range of toppers with varying firmness levels, materials, and profiles. We evaluated performance areas such as overall quality and durability, pressure relief, motion isolation, and temperature neutrality. Our sleep expert team consists of people with different body types and primary sleep positions to ensure our picks represent the experiences of most sleepers.
To learn more about our best mattress topper selections, you’ll find detailed product profiles below. We awarded a unique accolade to each topper that reflects why it stands out from the competition. First-time topper buyers can also find additional information further down the page, where we cover common topper materials and designs, pros and cons of different topper types, how using a topper will change your mattress, and how much you can expect to pay for a new one.
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The Saatva Mattress Topper is available in three distinct designs, each one crafted with high-quality materials and embellished with thoughtful features to enhance your sleep experience.
Compositions are different for all three models. The “Foam” topper is composed of high-density polyfoam, a material that conforms to the body and alleviates pressure without the “body-hug” of memory foam that some people find unpleasant. The profile is 1.5 inches, so this topper won’t drastically alter the feel of your mattress but it will provide extra cushioning to make your sleep surface more comfortable. This is the firmest of Saatva’s three toppers, rating as medium or a 5 on the 1-10 scale, and it is also the most affordable.
The “Graphite” topper has a profile of 3 inches, making it the thickest option. The top layer is made of adaptive memory foam while denser base foam reinforces the sleep surface. While the feel of this topper is considered medium soft (4), it shouldn’t sink too much for people who weigh 230 pounds or less. The top layer is also infused with graphite to offset some of the foam’s heat-absorbing properties.
The final model is the “Latex” topper, which has a 1.5-inch profile and a medium soft (4) feel. This model is best suited to sleepers who want some contouring but find foams uncomfortably warm. The latex is perforated to promote airflow throughout the interior, allowing it to sleep quite cool. Its price-point is the highest of the three.
All of Saatva’s toppers are encased in covers made of breathable, sustainably sourced organic cotton certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard. Each one also includes elastic corner straps to keep the topper in place and minimize shifting that often occurs with toppers – especially for people who move around a lot while they sleep. Shipping is free for all contiguous U.S. orders, and every purchase is backed by a 45-night sleep trial and 1-year warranty.
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The Viscosoft Select High Density Topper is constructed from memory foam. This material conforms closely to equally distribute your weight, support the spine, and alleviate pressure points throughout the body. Due to its medium feel, this topper is best suited to people who weigh 230 pounds or less and prefer to sink somewhat deeply into their mattress.
The topper can be particularly optimal for side sleepers because it offers ample padding for the shoulders and hips. By cushioning these areas while supporting the rest of the body, this can improve poor spinal alignment – a common issue for side sleepers. Back sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds should also feel comfortable on this topper. The foam supports the torso and midsection without sagging, and it cradles the head, neck, and legs.
The Viscosoft Select High Density Topper is a good option for couples, as well. The foam absorbs movement to eliminate most motion transfer, and the topper itself is completely silent. This can minimize sleep disruptions for people who tend to wake up when their sleep partner changes positions or gets in and out of bed. The topper also sleeps fairly cool compared to other memory foam models. This is due in part to a breathable cover made of rayon from bamboo, as well as cooling gel infused into the foam to help regulate surface temperatures.
In addition to the standard model, ViscoSoft offers two other versions of the topper with special components. One of these toppers is infused with lavender for a calming scent that helps you relax before falling asleep. The other is infused with active charcoal, a cooling material that also offers antimicrobial protection.
Lastly, the Select High Density Topper is a bargain for shoppers. This model costs much less than the average memory foam topper, but it conforms and alleviates pressure as well as – if not better than – many more expensive options.
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PlushBed’s Latex Mattress Topper is available in two different profiles and five different firmness levels to suit most sleepers. Customers across weight groups, sleeping positions, and comfort preferences should all find an option best for their needs.
The topper is made of ventilated Talalay latex that stays breathable. The material does not contour as closely as memory foam, trapping far less heat. Talalay’s more responsive feel also provides pressure relief without excessive sinkage and restricts less movement across the surface, making the topper an excellent choice for sex and bed-sharing.
Sleepers up to 230 pounds may prefer a soft (3) to medium firm (6) feel. Meanwhile, the firm (7) and extra firm (8) options may suit those over 230 pounds. The thicker, 3-inch option may be better for side sleepers to provide better pressure relief. Those with older, indented mattresses may also want extra cushioning between their body and the mattress. The 2-inch option may be better for back and stomach sleepers.
There’s an optional organic cotton cover you can add to your Latex Topper order for an additional fee. PlushBeds ships free to the contiguous U.S. The company does not allow returns for the topper, but all purchases come with a 5-year warranty.
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The innovative GhostBed Memory Foam Topper includes a few special features that set it apart from competing models. The topper is made of memory foam that’s divided into five different zones, each with a distinct firmness level. This design ensures extra reinforcement around the midsection, where people tend to carry more weight, and softer, gentler contouring for the head, shoulders, and legs. Measuring 3 inches thick, the topper’s zoned construction is ideal for anyone whose mattress surface has become saggy or uneven over time.
The foam is infused with cooling gel and channeled to circulate air across the surface. As a result, the topper shouldn’t absorb too much body heat – a common issue with memory foam. Another temperature-regulating component is the cover, which is made of proprietary Ghost Ice fabric that feels cold to the touch. The fabric is also waterproof, allowing the cover to protect against spills and liquid damage. Very few competing toppers offer waterproof protection.
Those who toss and turn or frequently change sleep positions won’t need to worry about excessive shifting with this topper. The cover has a thick band along the border that holds the topper in place throughout the night. The elastic skirt’s pocket depth measures up to 18 inches, so the topper will be compatible with the vast majority of mattresses sold today – including many luxury pillow-tops and other high-profile models. The cover is fully machine-washable.
The Memory Foam Topper’s high-end sticker price reflects its thoughtful design and premium materials. To offset your upfront costs, GhostBed offers free ground delivery anywhere in the contiguous U.S. All sales are final, so the topper may not be returned, but each order is backed by a 5-year warranty.
Best for Side Sleepers
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The Turmerry Organic Latex Mattress Topper is a latex model made with eco-friendly materials. This topper carries a reasonable price-point compared to other latex toppers, especially considering it is made with high-quality organic materials with the certifications to back them up.
Shoppers can purchase a 2-inch or 3-inch topper in soft, medium, or firm options, which correspond respectively to 3, 5, and 6 on our 10-point firmness scale. The topper is encased in an organic zippered cotton cover that can easily be removed for cleaning. The latex topper has both OEKO-TEX Standard 100 and Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) certifications, ensuring the materials are sustainably produced and free of harmful substances.
Multiple design options make this topper a good fit for a variety of sleep preferences and body types. Side sleepers will likely prefer the soft or medium toppers, which provide more contouring to ease pressure off the shoulders and hips during sleep. Back sleepers may benefit from the medium topper, since they typically require a balance of contouring and support to promote spinal alignment. Stomach sleepers require firm surfaces and will likely need the firm topper.
People who tend to overheat during sleep should also find relief with this topper. Latex is a naturally breathable material, especially compared to foam, and the cotton cover further enhances the topper’s breathability.
Turmerry offers free shipping within the contiguous U.S. Toppers come with a 5-year warranty and may be returned for a full refund within a 60-day trial period.
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Memory foam mattress toppers tend to alleviate more pressure compared to toppers made from other materials. This can be attributed to the material’s ability to contour evenly around the body and cradle sensitive areas along the spine that are prone to sharp pressure points. The PandaZzz Double Quilted Topper reduces pressure quite well, but a handful of helpful features elevate it over competing memory foam models.
The topper’s two-layer design results in close conforming without sacrificing even support for your midsection. The profile measures 3 inches thick, so this topper will be particularly useful for people with older, sagging mattresses that need a significant comfort adjustment. Its feel is considered medium firm (6), making it best suited to side sleepers who weigh at least 130 pounds. Back sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds should also find the topper comfortable and sufficiently supportive.
Thanks to a base layer ventilated with small holes, the topper promotes decent air circulation and shouldn’t trap as much heat as other memory foam models. The top cover features a quilted jacquard fabric that makes the surface feel plush when you get into bed. On the topper’s bottom, small grooves provide traction to prevent the topper from shifting or slipping during the night. This feature will be helpful for combination sleepers who change positions throughout the night, as well as those who tend to toss and turn.
PandaZzz’s sleep trial allows you to test out the topper for up to 100 nights before arriving at a decision. Returns are free, and buyers who keep the topper also receive a 5-year warranty. All customers qualify for complimentary ground shipping.
Best Pressure Relief
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If your mattress is causing uncomfortable pressure buildup but you’re not yet ready to invest in a new model, the Organic Cotton Talalay Topper from Brooklyn Bedding may be a perfect temporary solution. The topper offers an excellent balance of cradling and firmness, allowing it to provide pressure relief without sacrificing support.
The topper measures 3 inches thick and is composed of 100% Talalay latex, which has a slightly bouncy quality. Shoppers can pick from three different firmness levels. The soft (3) model is best suited for side sleepers, especially those who weigh over 130 pounds. This sleep position exerts a lot of pressure on the shoulders and hips, and a topper with deep contouring can relieve some of that pressure. The medium (5) model is ideal for side and back sleepers who weigh at least 130 pounds, while the firm (7) option is best suited for back sleepers as well as some stomach sleepers who weigh more than 230 pounds.
One of the benefits of a latex topper is its natural breathability. Foam toppers provide excellent pressure relief but typically retain more heat, but this topper’s latex construction provides excellent temperature regulation for sleepers who tend to run hot. The cover is also made of organic cotton, which is a naturally breathable fabric.
Brooklyn Bedding provides free shipping and returns within the contiguous U.S. Shoppers may return their topper within 30 days for a full refund. The topper is also backed by a 3-year warranty.
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The Birch Mattress Topper is made from Talalay latex from sustainable rubber tree farms. The topper also contains a cover made of organic cotton and a top layer of natural wool, which regulates surface temperatures and also acts as a fire barrier. These materials make the Birch Mattress Topper very eco-friendly, giving you extra peace of mind as a consumer.
The Talalay latex conforms to the body, but the topper has a medium feel and its surface is somewhat responsive. This may be the right topper for you if you experience pressure points in sensitive areas like the shoulders, lower back, and hips, but don’t enjoy the deep sink of memory foam. Side sleepers who weigh at least 130 pounds should feel fairly comfortable on this topper, and the same is true for back and stomach sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds.
The Birch Mattress Topper is a great option for hot sleepers, too. The latex does not trap much body heat compared to memory foam or polyfoam, and the breathable wool layer wicks moisture away from your body. Durability is another asset of this topper. Thanks to the natural resiliency of latex, the topper should maintain a responsive and supportive shape for years to come.
The topper is a bit pricey, as is typical of models with natural latex layers. Birch offers a 100-night sleep trial, giving you plenty of time to test out the topper and decide whether or not it’s right for you. The topper also comes with a 10-year warranty.
Our team has years of experience testing different sleep products. We’ve personally evaluated hundreds of mattress toppers to bring you the top picks listed in this guide. These models cover a wide spectrum in terms of material composition, firmness, and thickness, but each one is tested using the same comprehensive methodology to ensure our findings are accurate, useful, and free of bias. Our testing team is also quite versatile, and includes side, back, stomach, and combination sleepers with differing body types. This diversity helps us make mattress topper recommendations that are relevant for all sleepers.
Testing toppers is much like testing mattresses. Our testers take turns sitting and lying down on each topper to evaluate qualities like motion isolation and ease of movement. We also use thermal imaging to measure heat retention and body-mapping sensors to monitor the buildup of pressure points. The best mattress toppers above stood out for various reasons, each one earning a spot on our top picks list. That said, we’ll continue to evaluate mattress toppers in order to maintain an up-to-date list.
For more personalized mattress topper guides, check out the following pages:
Mattress toppers serve two essential functions: adjusting the feel of your mattress to make it softer or firmer, and protecting the surface from long-term wear and tear. In today’s mattress topper market, you can choose from a wide selection of models that vary by material, thickness, firmness, price-point, and overall performance. The best topper for you will depend entirely on your personal needs and preferences.
Below, we’ll take an in-depth look at the pros and cons of different mattress materials, explore the various benefits of using a topper, and answer a few frequently asked questions about these products.
Think of a new topper as an additional comfort layer for your mattress. You should judge different topper materials and models the same way you might evaluate a new mattress. Important factors include temperature control, conforming ability, durability, and motion isolation for couples. Pricing is another key variable, as well.
Keep in mind that some manufacturers use misleading marketing jargon to discuss how well their toppers perform. Watch out for descriptions such as “universal comfort” and “endless support,” as well as labels like “green” or “natural” for materials that are mostly composed of synthetic components. When shopping for a new topper, here are the most important points to consider:
After reviewing the topper attributes listed above to determine which qualities are most important, you’ll be ready to choose a mattress topper based on its material composition. Every topper material carries different pros and cons related to pressure relief, durability, temperature neutrality, and other performance areas.
Memory Foam: Memory foam toppers are ideal if you like to sink into the surface of your bed. The material conforms closely to evenly distribute your weight and keep your shoulders, spine, and hips aligned. For this reason, many side sleepers prefer memory foam toppers. Memory foam also isolates motion transfer very well and does not produce any noise, making it a great option for couples and co-sleepers. Although memory foam can trap heat, toppers can be infused with gel, graphite, copper, and other cooling materials to help the surface maintain a comfortable temperature.
Polyfoam: Polyfoam conforms to the body, but not quite as closely as memory foam. This material also feels a bit more responsive. You may find a polyfoam topper comfortable if you want a balance of contouring and surface-level bounciness. Many polyfoam toppers are convoluted with a ridged surface; these models are also known as “egg-crate toppers.”
Latex: Like polyfoam, latex conforms to the body while maintaining a responsive feel. You’ll probably feel less pressure, but your body won’t sink too deeply. Back and stomach sleepers who need more support may find a latex topper more comfortable than a memory foam model. When ventilated with small holes to promote airflow, latex also sleeps very cool compared to foam.
Other Materials: Memory foam, polyfoam, and latex toppers are most common, but these are not your only options. A topper made from down and feathers, for example, might be your best choice if you prefer an ultra-plush surface that is also highly breathable. Wool toppers can be advantageous because they provide insulation during colder times of the year, but also provide cooling and moisture-wicking when the temperatures rise. Lastly, many toppers padded with polyester fibers offer adequate cushioning at a very affordable price-point.
It’s also important to distinguish between toppers and Euro-top or pillow-top covers. A pillow-top is a layer of padding sewn into the sleep surface of a mattress, leaving a small gap separating it from the bed’s comfort layer. A Euro-top is also sewn into the mattress surface, but its edges are flush with the comfort layer to create a more uniform appearance.
Pillow-tops and Euro-tops offer the same cushioning and comfort adjustment as a standard mattress topper, but these layers are typically offered as customization options for a new mattress, rather than an additional layer sold separately; otherwise you’d be responsible for sewing the pillow-top or Euro-top onto your mattress.
Advantages of using a mattress topper include the following:
A topper can significantly change the surface feel of your mattress. Most toppers offer a softer feel and are designed to be used with a firm mattress, but some models are intended to make a soft mattress feel firmer. If you’re dissatisfied with how soft or firm your mattress feels but don’t want to pay for a new bed, a topper can be a cost-effective solution.
Toppers are different from mattress protectors, which are very thin and solely designed to safeguard your mattress against spills, stains, dust, and other contaminants. However, toppers can help preserve your bed’s surface and prevent the comfort layer material from wearing out. This can extend the overall lifespan of your mattress.
Over time, the comfort layer of your mattress will deteriorate. This can cause a loss of support that makes the surface feel uneven, and added aches and pains often follow. A sturdy topper adds an extra layer to keep your body on an even plane and prevent it from sagging in areas where you carry a lot of weight.
If the surface of your mattress tends to trap heat and sleep warm, then a breathable topper can provide better temperature regulation to help you sleep more comfortably. The best cooling mattress topper materials include ventilated latex, natural wool, and open-cell foam.
Does the surface of your mattress respond quickly to movement when you or your sleep partner move around? If so, both of you may experience sleep disruptions related to poor motion isolation; this issue is particularly common with hybrid and innerspring mattresses. A topper made from memory foam, polyfoam, or latex will absorb more movement and prevent most of this motion from transferring across the surface.
While prices vary, most mattress toppers cost much less than a new mattress in the same size. Toppers should be seen as a short-term solution because they are not as durable as mattresses, but using a topper instead of buying a new bed can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.
A mattress topper is a layer of cushioning material that rests on the top surface of your mattress, usually tucked beneath a fitted sheet. Unlike pillow-tops or Euro-tops, toppers are not attached to the mattress and can be removed at any time.
The purpose of a topper is to improve how your mattress feels. As cushioning materials deteriorate and soften over time, the surface of a mattress will become uneven from body impressions and indentations. This can decrease support and lead to aches and pains. Most toppers have soft to medium feels, and are intended to add cushioning to a firm mattress. However, some toppers are on the firmer side and meant for mattresses that feel overly soft.
Common fill materials for toppers include memory foam, polyfoam, latex, down and feathers, down alternative fibers, and wool. Most toppers measure 1.5 to 4 inches thick.
The terms “mattress pad” and “mattress topper” are often used interchangeably, but this is technically incorrect. Pads are thinner than toppers and designed to provide minor comfort adjustments. Some pads are also waterproof and can protect the mattress from liquid damage. Toppers provide a significant comfort adjustment, and are almost never waterproof.
Many foam and latex toppers come with removable, machine-washable covers. Be sure to follow specific instructions listed on the cover’s care tag. The foam or latex core should only be spot-cleaned when necessary, as machine-washing can permanently damage these materials.
If the cover is not removable, dry cleaning will probably be the safest method of caring for your topper. Some toppers with down alternative or wool fill are technically machine-washable, but significant shrinkage and material deterioration can occur over time. Toppers with larger sizes may also be too big for household washing machines.
A mattress topper’s cost depends on many factors. These include the fill and cover material, size, thickness, and brand. In general, expect to pay between $150 and $400 for a queen size topper. Memory foam, wool, and latex models tend to cost the most, while convoluted polyfoam – or “egg crate” – toppers are often the most affordable options.
Average price breakdowns for different topper types are listed below:
Unfortunately, sliding is an issue for many topper owners. Some toppers are equipped with elastic loops to fit around the corners of your mattress, or “anti-slip” bottoms that provide traction and prevent excessive shifting. If a topper does not include these features, it may slide across your mattress during the night – especially if it’s on the lighter side.
Tucking the topper beneath a fitted sheet can mitigate this issue, as can covering the topper with a flat sheet and tucking its edges beneath your mattress. Also make sure the topper and mattress share the same size.
If you’ve owned your mattress for a few years and already notice unevenness in the surface, a topper can help you squeeze a few more years out of the mattress before you purchase a new one. However, this should be considered a temporary fix. The topper – like your mattress – will develop impressions and indentations with continuous use.
Toppers can also be great additions for guest rooms, especially if your overnight visitors sleep on foldout couches, futons, and other surfaces that people tend to find uncomfortable. The same is true if you have guests who sleep on the floor. Guest room toppers typically last longer because they are used less frequently.
Our product experts have extensive experience testing just about every sleep product on the market. Send an email to [email protected] with your questions and we’ll help you find exactly what you’re looking for.
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