Sometimes buying a new mattress just isn’t an option. Ideally, we would all replace our beds frequently, but budgetary restraints are a real thing. That’s where mattress toppers come into the picture.

A mattress topper can add both comfort and support to your bed at an affordable price. They can in some senses, revive your mattress and increase its lifespan, by merely adding an extra layer on top.

Mattress toppers sold today are available in a wide range of materials too, from memory foam, latex, and polyfoam to wool and down. A cooling gel mattress topper can even help those who overheat during the night.

Our guide has broken down the categories for mattress toppers based on their material and the desired effect. It will include information about the various toppers you can buy, what to consider when purchasing one and our top picks.

Our Top Picks: Summary

Best Overall: Birch
Birch

An eco-friendly mattress topper with a lot to offer sleepers.

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Why we Picked It

The Birch Plush Pillow Top is an eco-friendly mattress topper with a lot to offer sleepers. The topper is 3 inches thick and is made from Talalay latex and highly durable “Birch Wool.”

These materials allow the mattress topper to provide a cool sleep that is both bouncy and plush at the same time. The great thing about the Birch mattress topper is that it’s suitable for multiple types of people, including those that sleep hot, light sleepers and those looking for a sustainably-sourced topper.

The Birch topper is also GREENGUARD Gold Certified, features an organic cotton cover, and is a medium feel. Essentially, the medium feel allows it to make firmer mattresses feel softer.

It comes with a 100-night sleep trial, free shipping, and a 10-year warranty.

Keep in Mind

The Birch is an excellent mattress topper, but it comes with a steep price. There are more affordable toppers out there if you’re on a tight budget.

In a Nutshell

  • Medium feel
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • Talalay latex and Birch Wool
Best Budget: Lucid
Lucid

The Lucid topper provides five zones targeted to ensure a comfortable sleep.

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Why we Picked It

The Lucid memory foam mattress topper provides five zones targeted to ensure a comfortable sleep during the night. The memory foam inside the topper is infused with a cooling gel and is textured to improve overall breathability.

While it may be only 2 inches thick, the memory foam provides a soft, comfortable sleep that contours and relieves pressure points. This makes it an excellent option for side sleepers.

It’s also ideal when you need to add something to a temporary sleeping surface, such as a guest or sofa bed. We particularly like how thin and light the Lucid is, along with its affordability.

Keep in Mind

If you’re on a budget, there are few choices better than the Lucid memory foam mattress topper. That said, some customers have mentioned that it isn’t as durable as they had hoped.

In a Nutshell

  • Comes with a 3-year warranty
  • Targeted five-zone support
  • Memory foam infused with cooling gel
Best Memory Foam: Tempur
Tempur

The Tempur features a thick memory foam that contours to your body and efficiently relieves pressure points.

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Why we Picked It

The Tempur-Topper Supreme is our favorite memory foam mattress topper. It features a thick memory foam that contours to your body and efficiently relieves pressure points. It feels both sumptuous and luxurious — there’s no doubt it’s a premium pick.

The Tempur is also 3 inches thick, and it comes with a cover that is dust-mite and allergen resistant. The cover is easy to remove and wash, which is always welcome in our book.

We rewarded it bonus points because it’s a topper that works brilliantly even in scenarios where a mattress isn’t available at all. For example, on the road in an RV, or while you’re out camping in the wilderness.

The Tempur topper comes with a 25-year limited warranty, and this includes full coverage of the casing for the first two years. What’s not to like?

Keep in Mind

The quality memory foam means the Tempur weighs between 25-50 pounds, depending on its size.

In a Nutshell

  • Excellent pressure point relief
  • Washable cover
  • Dust-mite and allergen resistant
Best Cooling: Saatva
Saatva

A 1.5-inch mattress topper that offers an excellent level of all-round comfort.

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Why we Picked It

The Saatva is a 1.5-inch mattress topper that offers an excellent level of all-round comfort. It features high-density memory foam encased in a cooling cotton shell. This is an especially important perk for those that overheat during the night, and luckily, it’s an area in which the Saatva excels.

The Saatva also features a breathable cotton layer that helps to regulate your body temperature and four anchor bands that ensure it fits over your mattress with ease.

The memory foam inside the topper provides notable contouring and pressure point relief that is great for side sleepers. It does this by evenly distributing body weight which, in other words, offers immediate pressure relief.

The Saatva comes with a 120-night sleep trial and free shipping.

Keep in Mind

We love the Saatva topper, but it’s worth noting that it isn’t the most responsive choice available. Changing positions in the night could be easier.

In a Nutshell

  • High-density memory foam
  • Superb cooling
  • 120-night sleep trial
Best for Side Sleepers: ViscoSoft
ViscoSoft

Both responsive and supportive, the ViscoSoft topper is an excellent option for side sleepers.

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Why we Picked It

The ViscoSoft high-density topper is an excellent option for side sleepers who desire a mattress topper that is both responsive and supportive. It’s made with 3 inches of gel-infused memory foam, allowing it to cushion and relieve the most problematic of pressure points.

Side sleepers, for example, have particular difficulty sleeping in that position because it puts a good deal of pressure on the hips, neck, and shoulders. The ViscoSoft is the ultimate remedy for this with its superior body contouring.

The topper also offers great motion isolation properties, making it an ideal choice for couples and light sleepers. On top of that, we have a removable, washable cover, adjustable elastic straps, and a slip-resistant mesh.

It comes with a 60-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.

Keep in Mind

There’s much to like when it comes to the ViscoSoft topper, but you should expect a fair amount of off-gassing when you first open it.

In a Nutshell

  • Gel-infused memory foam
  • Excellent pressure point relief
  • 60-night sleep trial
Best for Back Pain: PlushBeds
PlushBeds

The PlushBeds topper is highly customizable with two thickness profiles and four firmness options.

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Why we Picked It

The Natural Latex Topper from PlushBeds is our top pick for people who have back pain during the night.

The topper boasts excellent temperature neutrality which is wonderful for those that sleep hot. In addition to that, the Talalay latex used inside results in a light, plush, and bouncy feel that efficiently cushions pressure points.

The PlushBeds topper is also highly customizable with two thickness profiles (2 inches and 3 inches) and four firmness options (soft, medium, medium-firm, and extra firm). For back sleepers, a medium firmness would be an ideal setting here.

PlushBeds focuses on sustainable production and is GreenGuard Gold Certified — the latex is free from synthetic fillers.

The topper comes with free shipping, and there’s the optional organic cotton cover, which adds softness and breathability, to consider too.

Keep in Mind

For back pain, there are few better choices. With that said, keep in mind that you have to pay separately for the cover.

In a Nutshell

  • Multiple firmness options
  • Provides a cool sleep
  • Excellent pressure point relief

How We Chose the Best Mattress Toppers

It can often be challenging to know where to even begin with mattress toppers. With so many choices out there, which one is right for you? How do you know which company to trust with all those bold marketing claims?

Fret not, as that’s why we’re here—to cut through the noise so you can make sense of it all.

How exactly do we decide which mattress toppers are the best of the best? Well, to ensure consistency in our selections, we always consider the following whenever we review one:

Comfort

When we think about an excellent mattress topper, we think about one that will significantly increase the comfort of your sleep in a simple yet effective manner. We look for mattress toppers that are highly responsive and improve the overall support of the bed.

The materials used should be high-quality, able to stand the test of time, and they tend to be good for the planet too.

The topper also shouldn’t feel lumpy or bumpy and should be thick enough to create excellent padding. The best mattress toppers tend to be 2 to 3 inches thick.

Fit and Compatibility

The size of a mattress topper can be smaller than the mattress itself, and this can create an issue when it comes to the overall fit and compatibility of it. We look for mattress toppers that stay in place during the night, fit under regular sheets with little fuss and don’t shift on the bed after being used.

Unique Features

When it comes to what the mattress topper offers, we always look for unique features that stand out from the rest. Whether the topper is extra thick, features a cooling gel, or provides antibacterial properties, the best toppers should offer that little something more for the consumer.

Customer Satisfaction

We look at the highest-rated mattress toppers that have received countless positive customer reviews. We specifically look at what customers have been saying, how it positively affected their life, and the level of service they received as a whole.

Types of Mattress Toppers

There are multiple types of mattress toppers available to buy, and while consumers are sure to love having so much choice, things can quickly get confusing.

That’s why we’ve listed the main types of mattress topper below, along with their pros and cons.

Memory Foam

Memory foam (or viscoelastic foam) is both soft and supportive. In essence, the memory foam directly responds to pressure and weight placed on it. This allows it to contour to the body, relieving pressure points, particularly on your shoulders and hips. Memory foam is excellent at isolating motion, and it’s a good choice for those with hip and back problems.

The downside to memory foam is that it can make you sink too deeply into the bed. It is also somewhat infamous for causing sleepers to overheat, although modern memory foam usually counters this with cooling technology. Lastly, a memory foam topper might not offer enough bounce for sex.

Feather

Feather toppers are made from duck and goose feathers and provide superior softness. These toppers are known to sleep cool and are often responsive enough for sex. They are also an excellent choice for people whose mattress is too firm and for people who have difficulty lifting heavy objects.

A downside of feather toppers is that they lose their shape quickly, becoming lumpy after limited use. Their motion isolation capabilities are relatively weak, and they can be expensive to clean too.

Cooling Gel

A cooling gel mattress topper is very similar to the memory foam variants. The main material is, in fact, still memory foam, but beads filled with gel are mixed into the foam instead. They are an excellent choice for people who sleep hot and are often the preferred option for these types of sleepers.

Latex

Latex is a resilient material made out of latex rubber. These mattress toppers are similar to memory foam toppers as they equally compress under pressure according to the amount applied; they offer comparable contouring properties. However, unlike memory foam, when the weight is removed, the latex springs back more quickly.

In other words, you might not feel as stuck in them. What’s more, overheating and lack of bounce don’t tend to be a problem with these toppers.

With that said, latex does tend to be pricey, and it can be quite heavy too — these points are always worth considering.

How to Choose a Mattress Topper

There are several vital areas to consider when choosing a mattress topper. From the position you sleep in, to the material sensitivity and durability, there’s more than you might think. The last thing you want to do is end up with a topper that causes an allergic reaction!

Don’t worry, below we’ve listed the critical points to help you in your search for the ultimate mattress topper:

Sleep Position

If you’re a side sleeper, then you’ll most likely need a mattress topper with thicker memory foam. This is because sleeping on your side puts a good deal of pressure on your hips, neck, and shoulders. Thicker memory foam will contour to your body and will help to relieve these pressure points.

If you sleep on your back, then a high-density mattress topper should be used to maintain a healthy level of support. Stomach sleepers should look for a firmer topper as sinkage around the hips and pelvis can misalign the spine.

Temperature

A cooling gel memory topper helps to provide a cool sleep for those that overheat during the night. It’s a better choice to opt for than a regular memory foam topper. With that said, latex toppers often provide a cool sleep too.

If you sleep hot, you should try and avoid down toppers though (also known as featherbeds) as they usually sleep hotter than a cooling gel memory topper.

Material Sensitivity

It always helps to check what materials a topper is made from as you may have an allergy or could be sensitive to it. Toppers with hypoallergenic (decreased tendency to cause allergies) covers are a great choice.

Mattress toppers made from latex or feathers may cause allergies for some people; wool and fibers are hypoallergenic alternatives.

Foam Type

When we talk about foam type, we’re talking about whether you want more support or cooling properties in your topper. Memory foam is both soft and supportive at the same time, but it might sleep too hot for you.

On the other hand, a cooling gel topper will be the best choice for those that overheat in the night.

Durability

As with most products, some materials last much longer than others. In the case of mattress toppers, the memory foam and latex variants tend to last longer than those made of wool, feathers, and fibers.

Of course, it’s worth mentioning that using a mattress topper often lengthens the lifespan of the mattress itself.

When to Get a Mattress Topper vs. a New Mattress

There are certain situations when it’s advisable to get a mattress topper instead of a new mattress, and vice versa. The main benefit of this, of course, is the fact you can save quite a bit of money.

Below we’ve listed some key scenarios and the possible options:

Sagging Bed

Over time mattresses begin to sag (usually within the first five years). The problem is that a sagging mattress can cause anything from neck pain to joint discomfort. While we’d love to recommend buying a mattress topper and hoping for the best, we think it’s probably time to buy a new mattress.

The mattress topper in this scenario isn’t likely to be of much help and will most likely sink into the bed, solving nothing!

Feeling the Springs on an Innerspring Mattress

While it’s not the most promising sign to feel the springs on an innerspring mattress, a mattress topper may be able to help.

For example, a latex mattress topper placed on top of the innerspring bed will add comfort, bounce, and support and should help to minimize any distress from rogue springs.

Waking up with Pain on Pressure Points

If you’re waking up with pain on pressure points, particularly if you’re a side sleeper, then a memory foam mattress topper might be a good option.

A memory foam mattress topper will contour to your body and should help to relieve any pressure points. That said, if you’re a hot sleeper, we recommend you opt for a cooling gel topper instead.

Related Resources

For additional mattress resources, you can check out our comprehensive and independent guides below:

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Jamie Giggs