The term “mattress topper” refers to a layer of cushioning material that is placed on top of a mattress. Toppers are primarily designed to adjust the feel of a mattress by making it softer or firmer, but they can also protect the bed’s surface from wear and tear.
Most toppers measure between 1 and 3 inches thick, so using one can dramatically change the feel of your mattress. Common topper materials include memory foam, convoluted polyfoam, latex, down and feathers, and wool. Prices vary, but you can find a wide range of high-quality toppers available for $500 or less – making them less expensive than most new mattresses.
Below, you can check out our best mattress topper picks among models sold today. These selections are based on verified owner experiences, as well as our own brand and product research. Further down, we’ll take a closer look at how toppers are made, discuss important considerations for first-time topper buyers, and answer a few common questions about these products.
Our list of best mattress topper picks begins with the Viscosoft Select High Density Topper, which 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.
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.
Our next pick, 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.
Best Pressure Relief
The TEMPUR-Topper Supreme from Tempur-Pedic is another one of our best memory foam mattress topper picks. Tempur-Pedic products like this topper are crafted from dense, long-lasting memory foam that won’t wear out too quickly. Measuring 3 inches thick, the TEMPUR-Topper Supreme offers a medium feel and contours closely to provide excellent support and pressure relief for your entire body. We highly recommend this topper to any side, back, or stomach sleeper who weighs up to 230 pounds, along with anyone else who appreciates the deep contour of medium-feel foam.
The standard topper comes with a removable cover that can be washed and dried in any household machine. This ensures the topper remains clean and hygienic over time. Tempur-Pedic offers an optional cooling cover that resists body heat buildup and helps the foam maintain a comfortable temperature. This accessory can be very beneficial for people who normally feel too warm on memory foam.
The TEMPUR-Topper Supreme is also ideal for couples thanks to its superior motion-isolating abilities. By absorbing movement to eliminate transfer, this topper can significantly cut down on sleep disruptions for you and your sleep partner. The topper does not make any noise, either.
One downside to the topper is its price-point, which starts at $399 in a queen size and is fairly high for a memory foam model. Adding the cooling cover will increase the sticker price by $100. However, the topper’s durable construction and strong performance across different categories make it a high-value investment – particularly if you experience frequent pressure points.
A common complaint about foam toppers is that they trap too much body heat and feel excessively warm. Our next pick, the Molecule AirTEC Topper, is a notable exception. This all-foam topper is constructed with two layers of breathable, open-cell memory foam and a cover that draws away heat from the surface. This allows you to sleep cool and comfortable, even if you’ve had uncomfortable experiences with other memory foam toppers.
The Molecule AirTEC Topper also contains a base layer of high-density polyfoam for added reinforcement and stability. The surface has a medium feel and the memory foam layers conform somewhat closely, resulting in generous cushioning and improved spinal alignment for most side sleepers. Back and stomach sleepers who weigh up to 230 pounds should also find the topper comfortable thanks to a good balance of contouring and support.
Like other memory foam toppers, this model excels at motion isolation. You’ll barely feel any motion transfer when your co-sleeper moves around in bed, ensuring a restful night’s sleep. This topper may also be ideal if you find memory foam toppers too smelly due to off-gassing odor. The Molecule AirTEC Topper emits a low amount of initial odor, and these smells should dissipate in a matter of days. This can be attributed to the topper’s open-cell foam layers that release odor quickly, rather than retaining it over time.
The Molecule AirTEC Topper has a reasonable price-point given its high-quality materials and sophisticated design. You can test out the topper for up to 30 nights before deciding whether to keep or return it, and you’ll also receive a five-year warranty for added peace of mind.
Our final pick, Avocado Green Organic Latex Mattress Topper, is another eco-friendly option for topper buyers. This model features layers of ventilated Dunlop latex that have been certified as organic by the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS), along with an additional layer of organic wool batting. These materials are not only sustainable but also exceptionally durable, ensuring a long lifespan for the topper. They are also highly breathable, as is the organic cotton cover. We recommend this topper to anyone who normally sleeps hot on foam and other bedding materials.
You’ll be able to choose between two firmness levels for your topper. The soft/medium soft option, which falls at a 4 on the 1-10 firmness scale, offers a deep body contour to cushion the shoulders and hips, align the spine, and alleviate pressure. This firmness level is best suited to side sleepers, as well as back and stomach sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds.
The firm feel, a 7 on the 1-10 scale, provides stronger support for back and stomach sleepers who weigh at least 130 pounds. Be sure to take your body type and usual sleep position into account before choosing a firmness level for the topper.
Although the topper is a bit expensive, Avocado offers a 365-night sleep trial to help you decide whether or not to keep it. The company also provides full refunds and free shipping for all returns, along with a 10-year warranty for the topper. Additionally, Avocado offers a vegan-friendly version of this topper that substitutes organic cotton for the wool layer.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
How do I clean a mattress topper? Cleaning and care procedures for a topper depend largely on its material components. Some toppers can be washed and dried in household machines. For others, the cover is removable and machine washable, but the interior should only be dry-cleaned or spot-cleaned. Always check the care instructions tag before attempting to clean a topper.
Where can I buy a mattress topper? Toppers are available from a wide range of sellers. These include companies that also manufacture mattresses and other bedding accessories, as well as third-party retailers that are authorized to sell products from manufacturers. Some brands also sell their toppers on online marketplaces such as Amazon.com. Depending on the specific topper model you want, you may be able to purchase it online or in a brick-and-mortar store.
We do not recommend buying a used topper. The item may be damaged, soiled, or otherwise compromised from previous use. You also won’t qualify for a sleep trial or warranty, both of which are exclusively available to those who purchase their topper from the manufacturer or an authorized retailer.
How long do mattress toppers last? The average topper will perform for about two to three years before you’ll need to replace it. However, a topper’s lifespan depends on a few factors. One is material composition. Some topper materials, such as latex and high-density memory foam, will not wear out as quickly as others. Thickness is another consideration, as thicker toppers with softer feels tend to deteriorate faster than those made with firmer layers.
What is the best type of mattress topper for back pain? If you experience aches and pains in your lower back, you should consider a mattress topper that cradles your body and supports the spine. The best mattress toppers for back pain are often made from either memory foam or latex because both of these materials contour evenly to the body. If you weigh less than 130 pounds, you should consider a topper with a softer feel that will conform closely. For those who weigh more than 230 pounds, a firmer topper feel with added support will probably alleviate more aches and pains instead.
Before purchasing, make sure to check mattress topper reviews for different models. These reviews can provide valuable insights from customers and owners with back pain issues.
Can you use an electric blanket with a mattress topper? Some toppers are compatible with heating pads and electric blankets. For others, the brand will void the warranty if you use one of these heating items with your topper and damage occurs as a result. Be sure to check your topper’s warranty before doing so.
How much does a mattress topper cost? The average mattress topper costs between $150 and $450. Average price breakdowns for different topper types are listed below: