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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.
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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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.
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A common complaint about memory foam toppers it that the material wears out somewhat quickly, leaving your sleep surface feeling lumpy and uncomfortable. Early deterioration shouldn’t be an issue for the Brooklyn Bedding Memory Foam Topper though. The foam has a density of 5 pounds per cubic food, which is considered a high-density composition. This means the material shouldn’t lose shape or develop indentations too quickly. Dense foam also conforms more evenly throughout the body, and this can be beneficial for people who experience pressure points along their spines.
Customers can choose between a 2-inch or 3-inch profile for their topper. The thinner layer will be suitable for people who prefer moderate contouring, while the thicker topper provides more of a comfort adjustment for mattresses with significant impressions along the surface. A 3-inch model may also be the best option for couples who want to improve their bed’s motion-isolating abilities. The topper does not come with a cover, so a protector is recommended to keep the foam clean and free of stains.
Given the dense construction and expected longevity of this topper, its price-point is very approachable. Shipping is also free for every customer within the contiguous U.S. Each purchase includes a 30-night sleep trial and a 3-year warranty.
Best Firmness Choices
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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.
Best Pressure Relief
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The Lift by Amerisleep is another memory foam topper that stands out due to its dense material composition. The topmost layer consists of Bio-Pur, a proprietary foam that retains its shape and resists deep impressions over time. This layer is zoned to provide enhanced support where people often carry disproportionate amounts of weight, such as the torso and hips, while cradling lighter areas of the body. A base layer of high-density polyfoam offers additional reinforcement to keep your body on an even plane.
You can choose between two firmness levels for your Lift. The “Comfort” topper is considered medium soft, and will conform rather closely to the body. This makes it best suited to side sleepers, those who weigh less than 130 pounds, and others who need more cushioning from their sleep surface. The “Support” topper is medium firm, so this model will be more comfortable for those who weigh at least 130 pounds – especially back and stomach sleepers. Both versions of the topper deliver great motion isolation for co-sleepers, as well.
Amerisleep provides free ground shipping for all topper orders within the contiguous U.S. Your purchase also includes a warranty that covers structural defects for up to 5 years.
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The Avocado Vegan Firm Mattress Topper consists of 2 inches of GOLS certified organic latex encased in a GOTS certified organic cotton cover with organic cotton batting.
The Avocado Vegan Firm Mattress Topper comes in both Plush and Firm options. The Firm option is suitable for most sleepers who weigh over 130 pounds, but it may be too firm for those who weigh less than 130 pounds.
Dunlop latex makes up the main body of the topper. This type of latex is denser than Talalay, giving it an especially sturdy feel and added durability. While it redistributes the sleeper’s weight to relieve pressure, it provides more of a floating sensation than a full-body hug. The cotton cover and batting add some cushioning while also wicking away moisture and increasing airflow. If the owner needs to access the latex, they can unzip the cover.
Overall, temperature regulation, durability, and ease of movement are some of the Avocado Vegan Firm Mattress Topper’s biggest strengths. Since latex has a slight bounce, though, its motion isolation may not be as notable as that of a memory foam or polyfoam topper.
The Avocado Vegan Firm Mattress Topper holds GreenGuard Gold and MADE SAFE certifications. It comes with a 1-year sleep trial and 10-year limited warranty.
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With multiple temperature-regulating features, the Nest Bedding Alexander Signature Cooling Topper fights heat buildup and helps keep sleepers cool.
The medium firmness of the Nest Bedding Alexander Signature Cooling Topper is both supportive and cushioning. While it may soften the surface of a firmer mattress, this topper offers notable pressure relief and spinal support for many sleepers. The foam construction helps isolate motion, though it has more bounce than traditional memory foam.
The Nest Bedding Alexander Signature Cooling Topper uses 2 inches of Energex foam, a proprietary blend that balances the pressure relief of memory foam with the responsiveness and breathability of latex. A cooling cover of organic cotton with phase change material further regulates the temperature of the sleep surface by dispersing heat away from the sleeper’s body. This is the same material used in the brand’s Alexander Signature Hybrid Mattress. Four corner straps anchor the topper in place.
A 2-year limited warranty protects the Nest Bedding Alexander Signature Cooling Topper, and it’s eligible for a 30-day trial period.
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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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