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A mattress topper is a layer of cushioning material that can be placed on top of a mattress to make the surface feel softer. Most toppers measure 1 to 3 inches thick, so using one on a mattress is essentially the same as adding an extra comfort layer. You should consider a topper if you find your current mattress too firm, or if the bed’s comfort layers have begun to deteriorate due to age. A topper won’t “fix” an old mattress that needs to be replaced, but it can provide a temporary fix if your bed no longer feels comfortable.
Memory foam is one of the most popular materials for toppers. Also known as viscoelastic polyurethane foam, memory foam softens when exposed to body heat and creates a deep, pressure-relieving cradle as you slowly sink into the material. The close contouring of memory foam can alleviate pressure for any sleeper, and also improve spinal alignment for side sleepers who don’t receive enough padding for their shoulders and hips.
Our best memory foam mattress topper guide will take a closer look at these products in terms of pricing, construction, and performance in different areas. Below, we’ve listed our top picks among memory foam toppers sold today. Each selection is based on a combination of verified owner experiences and in-house evaluations from our internal testing and research.
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The Viscosoft Select High Density is a standout memory foam topper. Constructed from 3 inches of high-density foam, the topper is firmer and more supportive than a lot of competing models. This makes it better suited to people who weigh 130 pounds or more, especially back and stomach sleepers who tend to sink too much on memory foam surfaces. Comparatively, many memory foam toppers are softer and best suited to those weighing less than 130 pounds. Additionally, the memory foam provides excellent motion isolation and should reduce sleep disruptions for couples and co-sleepers.
The topper’s cover can be removed and laundered in any household machine, making it easy to clean; the foam never needs to be washed, but you can spot-clean the material if stains or spills occur. The bottom surface features a mesh material to provide traction and prevent the topper from slipping across the surface of your mattress. Elastic straps can also be fitted around all four corners of the mattress for added stability.
ViscoSoft offers two specialized versions of this topper in addition to the standard model. One is infused with lavender to provide a soothing scent and help you feel relaxed before falling asleep. The other model is infused with active charcoal, an antimicrobial material that keeps harmful bacteria out of your bed. Active charcoal can also draw heat away from your body to help you sleep cool.
The Viscosoft Select High Density is fairly affordable compared to other memory foam toppers, especially thicker models. All customers in the contiguous U.S. qualify for free ground shipping. The topper comes with a 60-night sleep trial for testing it out, as well as a three-year warranty in case the product has a defect.
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If you find your mattress too firm or stiff, then the Layla Memory Foam Mattress Topper is an excellent option. The topper, which measures 2 inches thick, is composed of memory foam with a soft (3) feel that contours closely to the body. The material is especially well suited to side sleepers, since it delivers ample cushioning for the shoulders and hips to ensure even alignment and less pressure along the spine.
A common complaint about memory foam is that it absorbs body heat and sleeps too warm. Layla remedies this problem by infusing its foam with cooling copper-gel intended to draw heat away from the body and keep you cool. Copper also has antimicrobial properties to prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria.
Soft memory foam can also reduce sleep disturbances for couples. The material absorbs movement whenever someone changes positions or gets in and out of bed, preventing this motion from transferring across the surface to their partner’s side of the mattress.
Compared to other well-constructed memory foam toppers, this model is reasonably priced and backed with a five-year warranty against splits, cracks, and other defects. Layla also offers free shipping within the contiguous U.S. and a 120-night sleep trial. You can bundle your topper with sheets, pillows, and blankets from Layla for added savings.
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Tempur-Pedic was one of the first companies to popularize memory foam as a bedding material. The TEMPUR-Topper Supreme is constructed from proprietary TEMPUR memory foam, a high-density foam that offers exceptional longevity. As a result, the topper won’t sag or develop body impressions as quickly as those made with lower quality foam.
Its dense composition and soft feel also ensure consistent conforming and even weight distribution for side, back, and stomach sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds, as well as adequate support for those in the range of 130 to 230 pounds. Side sleepers in particular should enjoy this topper because it provides ample cushioning for the shoulders and hips, which in turn can improve spinal alignment and reduce pressure points in sensitive areas.
The topper also provides excellent motion isolation and does not produce any noise. As a result, it’s highly suited for people who awaken easily due to their sleep partner’s movements. The topper’s cover is made from an antimicrobial fabric blend that resists dust mites, mildew, and other allergens. Owners can further help prevent allergen buildup by storing the topper in a cool, dry place where it won’t be exposed to humidity.
The TEMPUR-Topper Supreme may carry a relatively steep price-point but its durability and strong performance make it a high-value investment for sleepers. Tempur-Pedic also provides free ground shipping within the contiguous U.S. and backs the topper with a 10-year warranty.
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The innovative AirTEC topper from Molecule manages to sleep significantly cooler than the average memory foam model. This can be attributed to its construction. The top layer consists of solid memory foam that conforms closely and evenly distributes your weight. The bottom layer is composed of open-cell fiber padding, which absorbs a minimal amount of body heat compared to the base foams found in many competing toppers. This material promotes steady airflow to help you and the topper stay cool.
While the topper has earned positive ratings from sleepers across different weight and position groups, its medium feel and deep contouring are best suited to side sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds. The AirTEC also absorbs most motion to eliminate most – if not all – transfer across the surface. As a result, couples can sleep soundly on this topper without disruptions due movement or noise. The topper is a good choice for eco-friendly shoppers, as well. Using a proprietary technique known as Variable Pressure Foaming (VPF), Molecule limits emissions during the manufacturing process. The VPF process also minimizes initial off-gassing odor when you remove the topper from its box. To clean the cover, simply remove it from the topper and wash it in any household machine.
Although the AirTEC topper’s price-point is somewhat high, every order within the contiguous U.S. includes standard ground shipping at no extra charge. The topper is backed by a 30-night sleep trial and a five-year warranty.
Best for Pressure Relief
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A memory foam topper can be a great investment for people who frequently experience pressure in their shoulders, lower back, hips, and other sensitive areas. The Bear ProTopper is particularly effective because its 2-inch memory foam layer offers a balance of even contouring and sleeper support. Most people who weigh 230 pounds or less will be able to rest comfortably without sinking too deeply, but the foam conforms closely enough to support the spine and alleviate pressure points.
The Bear ProTopper’s memory foam is infused with copper, which has natural cooling properties to minimize body heat buildup on the surface. Copper is also antimicrobial and can stave off dust mites, mold, and other allergens that often accumulate in bedding materials. The topper has earned a CertiPUR-US certification, meaning the foam is manufactured without ozone depleters, formaldehyde, and other harmful components.
Additionally, the topper’s cover is made from Celliant fabric, an innovative material designed to promote tissue oxygenation and help your body recover during the night. Couples should also enjoy the topper thanks to its consistent motion isolation and very minimal noise potential.
While the Bear ProTopper’s price-point is on the higher side, the company provides free ground shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S. The topper is backed by a 100-night sleep trial with a required break-in period of 30 nights, along with a three-year warranty.
Best for Side Sleepers
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The Gel Swirl Memory Foam Topper from DreamFoam by Brooklyn Bedding carries a sticker price that is much lower than the average memory foam topper, but its high-quality construction puts it on par with more expensive competing models. The topper is crafted from 2 inches of gel-infused memory foam that is not particularly dense, meaning the material shouldn’t trap too much body heat. The cotton-blend cover is also fairly breathable.
The topper’s medium feel ensures comfortable cushioning and even alignment for side sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds, as well as adequate support for back sleepers in the same weight group. As with other memory foam toppers, this model also delivers very good motion isolation and does not make any noise. Couples and co-sleepers should expect fewer sleep disturbances, especially if their mattress is overly responsive and/or loud.
In addition to a low price-point, the topper includes free shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S. Customers can purchase this topper directly from DreamFoam or through Amazon.com. In either case, the mattress will come with a 30-night sleep trial and a three-year warranty.
At first glance, most memory foam toppers will appear to be quite similar. However, there are several factors to take into account when comparing different topper brands and models. These include topper thickness and firmness, the quality of construction and materials, available sizes, and prices. You should also decide before buying whether you plan to use the topper every night or on an occasional basis, as some models offer better durability than others.
Below, we’ll list all of the different variables to consider when choosing a memory foam topper. We’ll also answer a few frequently asked questions about these products. If after you read all of our recommendations, you decide a new mattress is the right move instead of a topper and like the feel of memory foam, please review our selection of great memory foam mattresses for consider.
When browsing different memory foam toppers, you should be wary of certain claims from manufacturers. For instance, “universal comfort” is a common exaggeration. Each topper is constructed for a specific firmness level that will make it more comfortable for certain people based on their body type and sleep position, and less so for others.
Rather than focusing on marketing jargon, you should use the following factors to guide your search for the best memory foam topper.
Type of Foam
Check for density when comparing memory foam toppers. Denser foams offer better durability, more consistent motion isolation, and deeper contouring without too much sink. Less dense foams, on the other hand, are usually more breathable and won’t emit as much off-gassing odor. If the topper is composed of certain types of memory foam, then it may also sleep noticeably cooler. Some of the best cooling memory foam mattress topper models are made from open-cell memory foam, which promotes steady airflow and feels more breathable as a result.
The average memory foam mattress topper costs between $150 and $300 in a queen size. Keep in mind that a high sticker price does not necessarily mean the topper is superior to its more affordable counterparts. In fact, some high-quality memory foam toppers cost less than $150 in a queen. Customer reviews on topper product pages can be helpful resources for determining whether a topper has a fair price or is too expensive.
Side sleepers generally prefer softer toppers that cushion the shoulders and hips, align the spine, and alleviate pressure throughout the body. Comparatively, most back and stomach sleepers need a firmer topper that will keep their bodies on an even plane without sinking too much. Most toppers are designed to be softer in order to adjust the feel of your mattress, so be sure to inquire about firmness levels before picking a model.
The quality of memory foam used in a topper can affect different performance factors, including durability, pressure relief, and temperature neutrality. Denser memory foam won’t deteriorate as quickly and delivers the most even conforming, whereas open-cell memory foam is more breathable for hot sleepers. The best gel memory foam mattress topper models also sleep cooler than average, though gel may not affect the topper’s breathability to a noticeable extent.
The majority of memory foam toppers are considered soft, medium soft, or medium. This is because most toppers are meant to make a firmer mattress feel softer. If you sleep on your side or back and/or weigh more than 230 pounds, you may want to consider a firmer topper instead. This ensures minimal sinkage and less added pressure.
Most toppers measure at least 1 inch thick, but those measuring 2 to 3 inches thick are more effective at adjusting the feel of your mattress. However, keep in mind that thicker toppers can also make your mattress taller, which can cause difficulty for some when they get in and out of bed.
The best memory foam mattress topper for back pain and pressure will conform evenly to your body without sinking too much between the shoulders and hips, where many people carry the majority of their weight. For this reason, a firmer topper will provide better pressure relief for people who weigh more than 230 pounds. Softer toppers will contour more closely to people who weigh less than 130 pounds, and this can also reduce pressure points.
We generally recommend choosing a mattress topper size based on the size of your current mattress. Many toppers are equipped with corner straps or ties that help to stabilize the layer and prevent it from shifting during the night. That said, you may want to consider a topper with a smaller size if you and your sleep partner have different firmness preferences; this allows both of you to feel equally comfortable.
Memory foam can be permanently damaged in a washer and dryer, so you should never attempt to launder these items in household machines. Spot clean with water and mild detergent if spills or stains occur on the foam. Thankfully, many memory foam toppers come with removable covers that are machine washable. In some cases, the covers are also made from antimicrobial materials that help prevent the spread of dust mites, mold, and other allergens that can make the topper less hygienic. If the cover is made of cotton or other natural fibers, then it may shrink a bit after the first laundry cycle; you may want to tumble dry on low heat or air dry to prevent excessive sinkage.
When not in use, we recommend storing your memory foam topper in a cool, dry place where it won’t be exposed to extreme temperatures or humidity. This helps to cut down on mold and mildew, as well as dust mite infestation. For added protection, you can invest in a zippered cover to fit around the topper when you aren’t using it. If you use the topper every night, then be sure to clean the cover on a regular basis.
If you’d like to get rid of your topper, consider donating it to a charitable organization in your city or town. Like mattresses and other bedding accessories, toppers are in high demand and will be accepted at most donation outlets. You can also recycle the topper rather than tossing it into a landfill. If your sleep trial for the topper has not expired, contact the manufacturer to see if an exchange or refund is available. You may also qualify for a free replacement topper if it has developed a defect and the warranty hasn’t expired.
While a memory foam topper is intended to reduce aches and pressure points, the wrong model can actually exacerbate your discomfort if you experience frequent back pain. If the topper is too soft, then you may sink too much and feel more pain in the shoulders, lower back, or hips – especially if you weigh more than 230 pounds. Alternately, toppers that feel too firm can cause more back pain for people who weigh less than 130 pounds. If you feel back pain while using a topper, then it may be time to replace it – and possibly your mattress, as well. You may also want to choose a topper with a different firmness level if excessive softness or firmness is to blame for the new back pain.
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