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Mattress toppers make a mattress feel softer or firmer, and can also protect the mattress surface from wear and tear. 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. If you’re looking to replace your bed, look at our best mattress list.

Common topper materials include memory foam, latex, down and feathers, down alternative fibers, and wool. Our team has 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.

Our Verdict – What’s the Best Mattress Topper of the Year?
We often recommend mattress toppers for those who want to alter the feel of their sleep surface, especially if their mattress has signs of heavy wear. The Saatva Mattress Topper’s thick profile and multiple firmness options should feel comfortable on most mattresses, including older models with indentations.

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.

Best Mattress Toppers Video

Watch the video below to learn more about our lab’s best mattress toppers of 2023.

Product Details

Saatva Mattress Topper

Best Overall

Saatva Mattress Topper

Brand Logo
Price: $445
Material: Graphite-infused memory foam, ventilated Talalay latex, or high-density polyfoam
Firmness: Medium Soft (4) or Medium (5)

Who it’s best for:

  • Sleepers whose ideal feel falls between medium soft and medium
  • Hot sleepers
  • Shoppers looking for a topper with different material options


  • Choose from three toppers with unique designs and feels
  • GOTS-certified organic cotton covers included with each model
  • 180-night sleep trial and 1-year warranty

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Saatva mattress toppers

Bottom Line

The Saatva Mattress Topper is available in three distinct designs, each one crafted with high-quality materials that cater to different sleep needs and preferences.

Each of the Saatva Mattress Topper’s three models has unique strengths. Our tests show that the high-density foam model offers excellent support, the graphite memory foam model conforms closely to alleviate pressure, and the latex model sleeps exceptionally cool.

How It Performed

The profile of the “Foam” topper is 1.5 inches, so this topper didn’t drastically alter the feel of the mattress when we put it to the test. However, it provided extra cushioning to make the sleep surface noticeably more comfortable. This is the firmest of Saatva’s three toppers, rating as medium or a 5 on the 10-point firmness scale. It is also the most affordable.

The “Graphite” topper was rated medium soft (4) by our testers, but it didn’t sink too much for sleepers who weigh up to 230 pounds. The top layer is infused with graphite to offset some of the foam’s heat-absorbing properties. The “Latex” topper has a medium soft (4) feel as well. We found it best suited to sleepers who want some contouring but find foams uncomfortably warm.

What It’s Made of

The Foam topper is composed of high-density polyfoam, a material that conforms to your body and alleviates pressure without the “body-hug” of memory foam that some people find unpleasant. 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. The Latex topper has a 1.5-inch profile. The latex is perforated to promote airflow throughout the interior, so we found this model slept 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 features elastic corner straps to keep the topper in place so you’ll get less shifting, which often occurs with toppers – especially if you move around a lot while you sleep. Shipping is free for all contiguous U.S. orders, and every purchase is backed by a 180-night sleep trial and 1-year warranty.

Read our Full Saatva Mattress Topper Review to learn more
Puffy Mattress Topper - Soft

Best Value

Puffy Mattress Topper

Brand Logo
Price: $229
Material: 2.5″ memory foam
Firmness: Soft (3), Firm (7)

Who it’s best for:

  • Side sleepers
  • People who experience painful pressure buildup
  • Those seeking more plushness on their bed surface


  • All-foam construction offers strong contouring
  • Two firmness options
  • Removable cover is machine-washable

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

SleepFoundation.org readers can get 15% off toppers at Puffy

Bottom Line

The Puffy Mattress Topper is composed of adaptive memory foam that contours evenly to your body. Two firmness options make the topper suitable for a wide range of body types and sleep positions.

The all-foam Puffy Mattress Topper provides even contouring for many body types. If you experience sharp pressure points at night, you will appreciate this topper’s deep cradling. We found the price to be competitive compared to similar foam toppers, so we recommend this topper for shoppers on a budget.

How It Performed

The topper is 2.5 inches thick and comes in two firmness options – soft (3) and firm (7). Since foam compresses under body weight, our testers found that both firmness levels offer pressure relief. Among our testers, side and back sleepers up to 230 pounds preferred the soft option. They noted that the soft surface cushioned the body, particularly areas that are susceptible to pressure buildup such as the shoulders, hips, and spine.

The firm option felt more comfortable for stomach sleepers, since this sleep position benefits from a flat, firm surface. The firm option also performed well with back and side sleepers over 230 pounds, since these sleepers sank deep enough to receive a fair amount of pressure relief.

What It’s Made of

The Puffy Mattress Topper is composed entirely of memory foam, while the cover is made with a polyester and bamboo-derived rayon blend. You can easily remove the cover and wash in a home machine. The cover’s elasticated skirt accommodates mattresses up to 15 inches thick, and the elastic ensures that the topper won’t shift too much at night. You can purchase the topper in six standard sizes.

Puffy offers a 101-night sleep trial for you to try out the topper, during which you can return the topper for a full refund. The topper is also backed by a lifetime warranty and ships free to addresses in all 50 states.

Product page image of the Silk & Snow Organic Mattress Topper

Most Comfortable

Silk & Snow Organic Mattress Topper

Brand Logo
Price: $270
Material: 100% GOLS-certified organic Dunlop latex
Firmness: Medium (5), Firm (7)

Who it’s best for:

  • Back and stomach sleepers
  • Hot sleepers
  • Eco-conscious customers


  • Two firmness options
  • Breathable cotton and Dunlop latex help regulate temperature
  • Components hold GOTS and GOLS certifications

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Silk & Snow products

Bottom Line

The Silk & Snow Organic Mattress Topper offers the right amount of cushioning without sacrificing support, and a breathable cotton cover helps enhance comfortable sleep.

The Silk & Snow Organic Mattress Topper is made entirely from certified organic materials. With two firmness levels to choose from, many sleepers on our testing team were able to find a model that felt comfortable and supportive.

How It Performed

If you wish to improve the feel of a mattress with minor wear, the Silk & Snow’s 2-inch profile is an excellent choice. You can choose between a medium (5) and firm (7) feel. Our testing team found the medium model best suited for side sleepers over 230 pounds and back sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds. These groups experienced relief for pressure points without sinking excessively. The firm model offered an even sleep surface comfortable for back sleepers over 230 pounds and most stomach sleepers.

What It’s Made of

Silk & Snow’s Organic Mattress Topper features a Dunlop latex core. This material offers moderate cushioning without sinking too deeply beneath your weight, resulting in a comfortable balance of pressure relief and support. The topper’s components are also backed by Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) certifications. If you tend to sleep hot and you prioritize organic bedding, this topper checks off a lot of boxes.

An organic cotton cover encases the topper. Cotton is naturally breathable and moisture-wicking, so it’s great if you live in a warm or humid climate. For easy care, you can remove and machine wash the cover. Note that the latex core should only be spot cleaned.

The topper is available in all six standard mattress sizes. Silk & Snow offers free shipping to customers in the contiguous U.S. and provincial Canada, as well as a 100-night sleep trial. Organic Mattress Topper purchases include a 3-year warranty for the latex core and a 1-year warranty for the cotton cover.

Best for Back Pain

Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Adapt Topper

Brand Logo
Price: $419
Material: TEMPUR Memory Foam
Firmness: Medium (5)

Who it’s best for:

  • Side and back sleepers
  • People who experience pain or pressure buildup in areas along the spine
  • Those who find their current mattress too firm


  • Thick profile and mid-range feel can significantly change how your sleep surface feels
  • Core material composed of durable TEMPUR memory foam
  • Cover is fully machine-washable

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

SleepFoundation.org readers can use promo code TOPPERS40 to get 40% off Tempur-Pedic Toppers

Bottom Line

The Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Adapt Topper performed very well during our pressure relief and motion isolation tests. Thanks to its thick profile, the topper should improve the feel of most mattresses – even those with heavy wear and tear.

If you live with chronic shoulder, back, or hip pain, you can benefit from a topper that softens your sleep surface and gently cushions your body. The Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Adapt Topper has the perfect amount of cushioning to ease pressure off your body while still offering enough support to maintain good sleep posture.

How It Performed

After testing the topper, we found it was best suited to people weighing up to 230 pounds. The foam provides ample padding for the shoulders and hips, which can improve alignment and alleviate pressure for side sleepers, but the foam is dense and supportive enough to prevent deep sinkage for back sleepers. If you awaken easily due to a sleep partner’s movements, you should be able to sleep soundly on the TEMPUR-Adapt Topper. The foam absorbs motion and practically eliminates transfer across the surface.

What It’s Made of

The topper measures 3 inches thick and consists of adaptive TEMPUR memory foam. The topper’s feel is medium (5), so you can expect the foam to closely contour to your body, but the material’s dense composition should also ensure long-lasting support and resistance to wear and tear. A breathable knit cover encases the foam. You may remove and machine wash the cover as needed, but only spot clean the foam if stains or blemishes occur. Six sizes are available, all of which correspond to standard mattress dimensions.

While the topper’s sticker price may seem steep at first glance, its expected durability and performance may justify the high cost. Tempur-Pedic also ships free of charge anywhere in the contiguous U.S. All sales are final, so the topper may not be returned for a refund after the purchase has been finalized, but you’ll receive a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty against structural and workmanship defects.

Read our Full Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Adapt Topper Review to learn more
Birch Plush Organic Mattress Topper

Best Luxury

Birch Organic Mattress Topper

Brand Logo
Price: $499
Material: Talalay Latex
Firmness: Medium (5)

Who it’s best for:

  • Sleepers who prefer the contouring yet responsive feel of latex
  • Hot sleepers
  • Eco-conscious shoppers


  • Natural, non-toxic materials
  • Breathable latex, organic cotton, and natural wool regulate temperature
  • Plush pillow-top provides a soft, luxurious feel

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Birch products

Bottom Line

The Birch Mattress Topper excelled in our temperature control tests. We attribute its favorable ratings in this category to the breathable cotton cover, moisture-wicking wool batting, and latex fill that retains very little heat.

Few toppers we’ve tested match the luxurious design of the Birch Mattress Topper. The premium latex and wool design earned high marks for its gentle pressure relief and overall comfort during tests. The topper also excelled at temperature control, thanks to the breathable cotton cover, moisture-wicking wool batting, and latex fill that retains very little heat.

How It Performed

The Talalay latex gently conforms to your body, but the topper has a medium (5) 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. During tests, we found that side sleepers who weigh at least 130 pounds felt fairly comfortable on this topper, and the same was 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.

What It’s Made of

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 acts as a fire barrier. These luxurious materials make the Birch Mattress Topper very eco-friendly, giving you extra peace of mind as a consumer.

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.

Product page photo of the Nolah Mattress Topper

Best Pressure Relief

Nolah Mattress Topper

Brand Logo
Price: $399
Material: 2″ AirFoam polyfoam
Firmness: Medium Soft (4), Medium Firm (6)

Who it’s best for:

  • Back and side sleepers
  • People who enjoy the contouring feel of foam
  • Those with painful pressure points


  • Available in two firmness options
  • Specialized foam excels at cushioning and pressure relief
  • Breathable cotton cover wicks moisture and promotes cooling

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Nolah products

Bottom Line

The Nolah Mattress Topper is an optimal choice if you need a foam layer to cushion an overly firm mattress. It comes in two different firmness levels, so you can pick the design that best suits your personal preferences.

The Nolah Mattress Topper is composed of a specialized foam that conforms closely to your body while retaining less heat than conventional memory foam. This cradling helps relieve pressure off sensitive joints and should appeal to anyone who enjoys the deep hug of foam.

How It Performed

The topper performed well with side and back sleepers, since these sleep positions exert pressure on the hips, shoulders, and spine and typically benefit from strong cushioning. You can choose between two firmness levels — plush or luxury firm. We found the plush model had a medium soft (4) feel that appealed to side and back sleepers under 130 pounds. The luxury firm model had a medium firm (6) feel that was most comfortable to back sleepers and some side sleepers, depending on firmness preference.

Foam is known for trapping heat, but the Nolah Mattress Topper is engineered to trap less heat than your typical foam topper. The cover is also made of cotton, which has naturally breathable properties. If you’re a hot sleeper who loves the feel of foam, this topper checks off a lot of boxes.

What It’s Made of

The topper measures 2 inches thick and is composed of Nolah’s specialized AirFoam. This foam has the signature contouring feel of memory foam but is designed to run cooler. The cover is made of organic cotton that wicks moisture and helps ventilate the topper. You can attach the topper to your mattress using elastic straps on each corner. The topper is available in six standard sizes.

Nolah ships the topper for free within the contiguous U.S. You’ll receive a 30-night sleep trial with your topper and a 10-year warranty.

PlushBeds Natural Latex Topper

Best for Side Sleepers

PlushBeds Natural Latex Topper

Brand Logo
Price: $429
Material: 2-3″ natural Talalay latex
Firmness: Soft (3), Medium Soft (4), Medium (5), Medium Firm (6), Extra Firm (8)

Who it’s best for:

  • Sleepers who tend to run hot
  • Those who don't like the deep contour of memory foam
  • People who prefer a responsive sleep surface


  • Multiple thickness and firmness options
  • Breathable Talalay latex keeps the surface cool
  • Organic cotton cover available for an additional fee

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on PlushBeds products

Bottom Line

The PlushBeds Natural Latex Topper epitomizes everything our team enjoys about latex sleep surfaces. Highlights during our tests include excellent airflow, good responsiveness to keep sleepers on an even plane, and easy movement when getting in and out of bed.

PlushBed’s Latex Mattress Topper is available in two different profiles and five different firmness levels to suit most sleepers. Most of our testers across different weight groups, sleeping positions, and comfort preferences found a comfortable option that met their needs, but our side sleepers particularly enjoyed the cradling for their sore joints.

How It Performed

We found that testers up to 230 pounds tended to prefer the soft (3), medium (5), and medium firm (6) models. The firm (7) and extra firm (8) toppers suited those over 230 pounds. The thicker profile, which measures 3 inches, felt moderately more comfortable for side sleepers since it provided better pressure relief. If you own an older, indented mattress, you may also want this extra cushioning between your body and the mattress. The 2-inch option was best suited to testers who sleep on their back or stomach.

What It’s Made of

The topper is made of ventilated Talalay latex. The material did not contour as closely as memory foam, so it trapped 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.

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.

Best Cooling

Brooklyn Bedding TitanFlex Topper

Brand Logo
Price: $224
Material: 3″ TitanFlex polyfoam
Firmness: Soft (3), Medium (5), Firm (7)

Who it’s best for:

  • Side and back sleepers
  • Anyone whose mattress has light to moderate wear and tear
  • Those who normally sleep hot on foam toppers


  • TitanFlex foam combines the contouring of memory foam with the responsiveness of latex
  • Thick profile ensures a significant comfort adjustment
  • Three firmness levels and two cooling cover options

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Brooklyn Bedding products

Bottom Line

The Brooklyn Bedding TitanFlex is a good option for people who want more support from their foam topper. Three firmness options and a thick profile ensure most people can improve the comfort level of their existing mattress regardless of how much they weigh.

The Brooklyn Bedding TitanFlex Topper caters to anyone who wakes up with soreness or stiffness along the spine, but dislikes the hug of memory foam. TitanFlex cushions the body and adapts to your unique contours, but the material is also fairly responsive and shouldn’t sink too deeply.

How It Performed

The topper is available in three firmness levels to accommodate different types of side sleepers. Those who want close conforming should opt for the soft (3) feel, which was most popular among our side sleepers weighing less than 130 pounds. The medium (5) feel is the most balanced option, contouring to a noticeable extent while maintaining even support. Our side sleepers weighing 130 to 230 pounds and back sleepers under 130 pounds gave this design favorable ratings. Lastly, the firm (7) feel cushions very gently to keep your body aloft. We found this topper was most comfortable for side sleepers over 230 pounds, and back sleepers of at least 130 pounds.

What It’s Made of

The topper is composed of TitanFlex polyfoam, a specialized polyfoam that combines the contouring feel of memory foam with the responsive feel of latex. The 3-inch profile should remedy the feel of any mattress with moderate to heavy wear and tear. You can choose from seven sizes, including a short queen that is compatible with many RV mattresses. Brooklyn Bedding offers two cover options for the topper, both of which excel at breathability and temperature control. The organic cotton cover feels soft and stretchy, while the circular-knit cover feels cool to the touch and dissipates body heat on contact.

The TitanFlex Topper is competitively priced and shipping is free for all customers in the contiguous U.S. Your order includes a sleep trial that runs for 30 nights. Should you decide to keep the topper, you’ll also receive a 3-year warranty against structural defects.

Turmerry Organic Latex Topper

Best for Couples

Turmerry Latex Mattress Topper

Brand Logo
Price: $249
Material: 2-4″ zoned Dunlop latex
Firmness: Soft (3), Medium (5), Medium Firm (6), Firm (7)

Who it’s best for:

  • Those who prefer bouncy sleep surfaces
  • Sleepers who run hot
  • Shoppers looking for an eco-friendly topper


  • Composed of sustainably sourced materials
  • Multiple thickness and firmness options
  • Reasonable price-point

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Turmerry products

Bottom Line

Thanks to the variety of firmness and profile options, the Turmerry Latex Mattress Topper should feel comfortable for a wide range of sleepers. It’s a perfect solution if you’re looking to customize the feel of your sleep surface.

The Turmerry Latex Mattress Topper is responsive, breathable, and made with eco-friendly materials. The wide firmness and profile selection also makes the mattress suitable for side, back, or stomach sleeping.

How It Performed

The multiple design options make this topper a good fit for a variety of sleep preferences and body types. Side sleepers on our team preferred the soft or medium toppers, which provide more contouring to ease pressure off the shoulders and hips during sleep. Back sleepers benefited from the medium feel, since this sleep position needs a balance of contouring and support to promote spinal alignment. Most stomach sleepers need supportive surfaces, so our testers who use this position preferred the firmer toppers.

What It’s Made of

You can purchase a 2-inch, 3-inch, or 4-inch topper. The thinnest models are available in soft (3), medium (5), medium firm (6), or firm (7) designs, while the 4-inch model is flippable with soft and medium sides. Each version of the topper is composed of solid, ventilated Dunlop latex. Customers choose between organic latex with a Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) certification, or — for a lower price — natural latex with an OEKO-TEX certification.

Latex is a naturally breathable material, especially compared to polyurethane foams, so you should find relief with this topper if you tend to overheat during sleep. The 4-inch topper comes with a cover made of cotton with a Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification to ensure organic sourcing. The breathable cotton cover further enhances the topper’s temperature neutrality. For the 2- and 3-inch models, the cover is sold separately.

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.

Parachute Down Mattress Topper


Parachute Down Mattress Topper

Brand Logo
Price: $359
Material: 3″ 85% white duck down, 15% feathers (550 fill power)
Firmness: Soft (3)

Who it’s best for:

  • People who enjoy soft sleep surfaces
  • Sleepers who experience painful pressure buildup at night
  • Hot sleepers


  • Down and feather fill offers plushness and pressure relief
  • Thick 3-inch profile helps improve feel of overly firm mattresses
  • Cotton shell enhances breathability

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Parachute products

Bottom Line

The Parachute Down Mattress Topper stands out from other toppers on this list by offering an exceptionally soft feel. We recommend this topper for people who love the plush feel of real down.

The Parachute Down Mattress Topper is an excellent option if you’re looking to create or enhance softness on your mattress. The down and feather design provides a billowy surface that cushions and hugs your body.

How It Performed

The down and feather fill should feel comfortable to side and back sleepers seeking extra cushioning for their hips, shoulders, or spine. The plush design may also benefit sleepers who experience painful pressure buildup from overly firm mattresses. While it is not a long-term solution for a mattress that needs replacement, the topper does create a soft surface on mattresses that have lost their cushioning over time.

What It’s Made of

The topper is 3 inches thick. The fill blend consists of 85% European white down and 15% down and feather fibers. A dual-layer design enhances the plush, cloud-like feel, while baffle-box stitching keeps the fill in place and helps prevent it from bunching up. The fill is encased in a breathable shell made of 100% cotton in a smooth sateen weave. You can choose between six standard sizes.

Parachute offers free shipping within the U.S. The topper comes with a 60-night sleep trial and 3-year warranty.


Why You Can Trust Us

Our team has personally evaluated dozens 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 includes side, back, stomach, and combination sleepers with differing body types. This diversity helps us make topper recommendations that are relevant for all sleepers.

How We Evaluated These Mattress Toppers

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.

In-Depth Mattress Topper Guides

For more personalized mattress topper guides, check out the following pages:

How to Choose a Mattress Topper

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.

What to Consider When Purchasing a Mattress Topper

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:

  • Cooling Properties: As is the case with mattresses, some mattress toppers bottle in body heat and sleep somewhat warm as a result. Memory foam, polyfoam, and non-ventilated latex tend to trap more heat than other topper materials, such as down and feathers or wool. Topper softness can also play a role in temperature regulation. If you sink too deeply into a topper, this can restrict surface airflow and make you feel too warm.
  • Price: A new topper may cost less than $100 or more than $500, but most high-quality models sold today are priced between $150 and $450. Factors that can drive up a topper's sticker price include its material composition, thickness, and whether or not the product has received certifications for organic or other materials. Additionally, some brands have steeper price-points than others.
  • Sleeping Position: Do you sleep on your side? If so, chances are you'll feel most comfortable on a topper that cushions the shoulders and hips to align the spine and reduce pressure points. Back sleepers generally need a firmer, more balanced feel. This ensures comfortable conforming and even support with minimal sagging around the torso and waist. For stomach sleepers, a topper should offer extra reinforcement between the shoulders and hips to prevent too much sinkage.
  • Quality Materials: Certain topper materials are associated with longer lifespans and stronger performance in different categories. These include high-density memory foam, ventilated latex, natural wool, and premium down. While these materials can drive up the sticker price by a significant margin, the topper will offer better long-term value compared to a model made from lesser components.
  • Firmness Level: Firmness level is strongly tied to sleep position and body type. People who weigh less than 130 pounds and/or sleep on their side will likely prefer a softer topper feel. Those who weigh between 130 and 230 pounds, regardless of sleep position, may be more satisfied with a mid-level firmness. People who weigh more than 230 pounds and sleep on their back and/or stomach should consider a firmer topper with stronger overall support.
  • Thickness: The average topper measures between 1 and 3 inches thick. Since toppers are placed directly on the mattress surface, you're essentially adding 1 to 3 inches to your bed's overall profile. If you sleep on a bed that is already thick, then a high-profile topper may make the mattress feel too tall. This can make getting in and out of bed more difficult. Thin toppers, on the other hand, may not adjust the firmness of your mattress as well as thicker models can.
  • Pressure Relief: The best mattress toppers for pressure relief will conform to the body and support the spine without sinking excessively. Side sleepers may need a softer feel. Otherwise, their spines will not be aligned and added pressure is likely to occur. Back and stomach positions promote spinal alignment, so these sleepers usually need more support and less conforming for optimal pressure relief.

How to Buy a Mattress Topper – Video

Watch the video below for some tips on how to shop for a mattress topper. We’ll explore some key questions and considerations that will help guide your search.

Which Type of Mattress Topper Should I Choose?

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.

What Are the Benefits of a Mattress Topper?

Advantages of using a mattress topper include the following:

Firmness Adjustment
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.

Mattress Protection
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.

Stronger Support
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.

Better Cooling
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.

Fewer Disruptions
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.

Cost-Effective Solution
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.

Mattress Topper FAQ

What is a mattress topper?

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.

What’s the best way to clean a mattress topper?

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.

How much does a mattress topper typically cost?

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:

Convoluted/Egg Crate Polyfoam: Less than $50

Fiber Fill: Less than $100

Down/Feather: $100 to $200

Memory Foam: $150 to $300

Wool: $150 to $300

Latex: $200 to $400

How can you keep a mattress topper from sliding?

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.

What are the benefits of using a mattress topper?

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.

Still have questions?

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