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A mattress topper is an extra layer that rests on the existing mattress to modify its feel. While many sleepers use mattress toppers to soften a bed that is too firm, the right topper can also add firmness to a mattress that’s too soft. A high-quality topper can significantly improve how your mattress feels and help you sleep more soundly.
Shoppers should know that if their mattress is sagging or has lasting indentations, a topper won’t resolve its issues. However, if the mattress is still in good condition but isn’t as firm as you’d like, a topper could make your sleep surface closer to your ideal feel.
Toppers usually measure between 1 and 4 inches thick, and they vary in firmness levels and materials. These criteria can affect how firm, supportive, and pressure-relieving a topper is, so shoppers should carefully assess how their needs and preferences stack up against any topper they’re considering.
We’ll detail our top picks for firm mattress toppers and highlight what makes them unique. We’ll also explain key factors to consider as you shop and share other tips on how to make your mattress feel firmer.
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With four firmness and two thickness options, most sleepers are likely to find a version of the PlushBeds Natural Latex Topper that’s right for them.
The firmness options include Soft (3), Medium (5), Medium-Firm (6), Extra-Firm (7). Since toppers typically feel firmer to lighter individuals, sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds may find that the Medium feels firm to them. Heavier people looking for a firm topper may prefer the Medium-Firm or the Extra-Firm models. Shoppers who want to modify their mattress slightly might like the 2-inch version, while those looking for a more significant change may favor the 3-inch option. An organic cotton cover is available for an additional charge.
Natural Talalay latex in the topper results in a buoyant, floating sensation for sleepers. Latex distributes weight over a wider area than memory foam or polyfoam, so it feels more like sleeping “on” the topper than “in” the topper. This material is derived from the sap of rubber trees and is naturally hypoallergenic, antimicrobial, and resistant to dust mites and mildew. The manufacturing process also makes Talalay latex springy and breathable.
The PlushBeds Natural Latex Topper is supportive, pressure-relieving, and bouncy enough for sex. However, it may not isolate motion to the same extent as a memory foam topper.
OEKO-TEX and GreenGuard Gold certifications ensure the PlushBeds Natural Latex Topper meets quality standards related to manufacturing. While this topper is not returnable, it is protected by a 5-year limited warranty.
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The ViscoSoft Select High Density Mattress Topper balances support and pressure relief.
This topper rates around a 5 on the 10-point firmness scale, giving it a medium feel. However, most sleepers who are looking for a firm mattress topper want support, which the ViscoSoft Select High Density Mattress Topper delivers.
This topper measures 3 inches. It is made up of memory foam that adjusts to the shape of the sleeper’s body to relieve pressure while supporting the spine. Memory foam often retains heat because of its close hug and unique composition, but the ViscoSoft Select High Density Mattress Topper is infused with gel to wick heat away rather than trapping it against the body.
A breathable hypoallergenic bamboo-rayon cover adds to the temperature regulation. A mesh bottom panel further optimizes airflow, while no-slip straps ensure a secure fit. The cover is also removable and washable.
Like other firmer mattress toppers, the ViscoSoft Select High Density Mattress Topper is best suited to sleepers who weigh at least 130 pounds since lighter individuals might not sink in enough for pressure relief.
The ViscoSoft Select High Density Mattress Topper excels in conforming, temperature regulation, and motion isolation, and it’s also whisper-quiet. Its close conforming and relatively slow response to changes in pressure may not be ideal for sex, though.
In addition to the standard model, you can select one of ViscoSoft’s two specialized versions of this topper. One is infused with active charcoal for antimicrobial protection against harmful bacteria and better temperature regulation. The other is infused with a calming lavender scent to help you relax before falling asleep.
The ViscoSoft Select High Density Mattress Topper comes with a 60-day guarantee and a 3-year limited warranty.
Best for Side Sleepers
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Every sleeper has certain needs based on their preferred position. For most back sleepers, the ideal surface will cushion and contour to the body for targeted pressure relief in sensitive areas, but extra support is also needed to prevent uncomfortable sinkage around the midsection.
The Turmerry Organic Latex Mattress Topper is available in 2-inch and 3-inch profiles, as well as three firmness levels: soft (3), medium (5), and medium firm (6). Back sleepers will likely prefer the medium or medium firm feel, but the topper’s wide thickness and firmness selection ensures most people can find a comfortable model regardless of their primary sleep position.
The topper is formed from organic Dunlop latex ventilated with small holes to promote air circulation. Latex is a naturally durable and responsive material, so back sleepers should be able to lie comfortably without sinking too much. The topper should also appeal to eco-conscious consumers, as the latex has received organic certification from both the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Global Organic Latex Standard. Additionally, Turmerry’s manufacturing facility has been Carbon Neutral certified.
The cost of this topper depends on which thickness and firmness you choose, but all options are in line with prices for other organic latex toppers. A free organic cotton cover is also available upon request. Shipping is free of charge anywhere in the contiguous U.S. Your purchase includes a 60-night trial period and a 5-year warranty.
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If you’re in the market for a topper that helps keep your bed cool at night, the Brooklyn Bedding Organic Cotton Talalay Latex Topper is designed with temperature neutrality in mind. All materials used in this model have natural cooling properties that should feel very comfortable for sleepers who run hot.
The topper has a 3-inch depth and comes in three firmness levels – soft (3), medium (5), and firm (7). The soft option provides the most contouring and comfort, while the medium model balances contouring with moderate firmness. The firm option offers the most support and less cushion than the other firmness options. While the softer models are ideal for side sleepers and those who need to cradle sharp pressure points, the firm model is better suited for back sleepers and certain stomach sleepers who need to keep their body on an even plane for healthy spinal alignment.
Regardless of the firmness level, this topper has a slightly bouncy quality thanks to the all-latex construction. Since latex naturally runs cool, the topper does not trap much heat and regulates surface temperature very well. The organic cotton cover enhances the topper’s cooling performance, due to the breathable quality of cotton.
Brooklyn Bedding offers free shipping throughout the contiguous U.S. Toppers come with a 3-year warranty as well as a 30-day return policy. Customers who return toppers within the return window may receive a full refund.
Best for Back Pain
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The Japanese-made airweave Top Mattress uses proprietary materials to provide exceptional support for sleepers who prefer a firm feel.
airfiber, airweave’s proprietary polyethylene cushion, adjusts to the shape of the body and helps promote healthy spinal alignment.
This material also has a bit of bounce that may be beneficial for sex, though it provides minimal traction. The construction of the airfiber allows ample airflow to help regulate the temperature of the surface, and it responds quickly to changes in pressure for ease of movement. Because of its sturdy support and somewhat springy feel, however, it may not perform as well as some alternatives in pressure relief and motion transfer.
A cotton-poly blend shell lined with polyester protects the airfiber core. The airfiber layer measures approximately 1.8 inches. With the cover, the topper totals 2 inches.
Mold, bed bugs, and dust mites are not attracted to airfiber, lending to a cleaner sleep surface. Additionally, the airweave Top Mattress can be washed by hand to remove dirt and stains.
Customers can enjoy a 100-night sleep trial, and a 3-year limited warranty protects the topper.
We’ll give an in-depth overview of the top things to look for when purchasing a mattress topper. Shoppers looking for a firm topper should keep in mind that factors like their body weight, sleep position, existing mattress, and the thickness of the topper can all affect how firm it will feel to them.
The price of a topper will depend largely on its construction. Budget-friendly models often cost less than $100, while high-end toppers with down or innovative materials can cost over $1,000. There are plenty of options available to fit different budgets, and many high-quality mattress toppers are available at affordable price-points.
Your sleep position plays a major role in how you experience your sleep surface. Side sleepers typically prefer more contouring and cushioning to accommodate their hips and shoulders, while back and stomach sleepers usually need more support to prevent their hips from sinking in too deeply. Because of this, side sleepers often prefer a thicker, softer topper, and back and stomach sleepers may favor a thinner, firmer option.
Materials directly affect the performance and durability of a topper. Quality materials may last longer, which may be especially important for people seeking a firm, even sleep surface that resists long-term body impressions. While toppers made of quality components generally cost more upfront, they may be a better value if this quality enhances their lifespans.
Toppers may use memory foam, polyfoam, latex, feathers, down, down alternative, and/or wool. However, firm toppers usually use either memory foam, polyfoam, or latex to balance contouring and support.
Sleepers who find their existing mattress too soft often select firm toppers to adjust the feel. A firm topper on a firm mattress may also help protect the bed from wear and tear to extend its lifespan.
Shoppers should remember that firmness is subjective, and many factors can influence how firm a topper feels. For instance, a medium topper may seem firm to a sleeper who weighs under 130 pounds, especially if it is relatively thin and the mattress beneath is firm. Similarly, a firm topper could seem soft to an individual who weighs over 230 pounds, particularly if it is thin and their bed is soft.
Toppers usually range between 1 and 4 inches thick. The thickness determines how significantly it will adjust the feel of the sleep surface. A thicker option may be better if you’re looking for a firm topper because your mattress is much too soft for you, but a thinner selection may do the trick if you want your bed a bit firmer than it is currently.
Most toppers provide some degree of pressure relief, but this varies based on their construction and thickness, and your body type. Toppers usually redistribute the sleeper’s body weight to take pressure off critical areas, like the hips and shoulders.
Firm toppers often don’t have the same level of pressure relief as softer models, but many still provide contouring and cushioning. Individuals who weigh more than 230 pounds will likely experience more pressure relief on a firm topper than their lightweight counterparts because they sink into the topper more.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to make a bed feel firmer is to use a mattress topper. Toppers tend to be much more affordable than purchasing a new mattress, and you can simply remove them or change them out if your preferences change over time. But while purchasing a topper is an excellent option, it is not the only option. Other methods can also make your existing mattress firmer.
Giving your mattress more support is one way. Using a foundation instead of a box spring can distribute the weight more evenly and limit sagging. Putting plywood between the mattress and the box spring or bed frame can also accomplish this, as can placing the mattress directly on the floor. Many warranty policies dictate what sort of support your mattress should have, so if you choose to change your setup, look over your warranty policy first to ensure you don’t inadvertently void it.
Memory foam mattresses soften when warm, so if you own a model with this material, simply turning down the temperature should make it firmer.
Two-sided mattresses may also feel firmer if you simply flip it and use the side with less wear. Similarly, most models should be rotated head to foot every few months for more even wear, which can limit soft spots.
If your efforts to make your bed more comfortable fail, purchasing a new mattress may be the ultimate solution to a better night’s sleep. Our best mattress guide can help you find a model that meets your needs and preferences.
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