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If you’re currently in the market for a mattress topper, check out our expert reviews of the best toppers on the market from top brands.
Shopping for a mattress topper is similar to shopping for a new mattress. Toppers offer layers of extra cushion on top of your mattress and are available in many of the same materials and firmness that you’ll find with mattresses. The options are endless, so it helps to start by knowing your needs and preferences before you start shopping around.
Mattress toppers are extra layers of material placed on top of a mattress to adjust the feel and firmness of your mattress and protect the mattress from wear and tear. Most toppers range between 1 and 3 inches thick, and they are made from materials such as memory foam, polyfoam, latex, and feathers.
When shopping for a mattress topper, it is important to evaluate your needs and preferences for an ideal sleeping surface. Much as you would with a mattress, consider factors such as material, firmness, temperature control, conforming ability, pressure relief performance, and motion isolation. If your mattress falls short in any way, a topper might be able to help with needs that your mattress does not satisfy.
Mattress toppers are available in a wide variety of materials. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, depending on your needs and preferences.
Memory Foam: Memory foam toppers conform closely to the body, offering good pressure relief and motion isolation. While memory foam generally sleeps hotter than other materials, memory foam toppers are often infused with cooling materials that minimize the heat-trapping properties that foam is known for.
Polyfoam: Polyfoam toppers conform with the body but are more responsive than memory foam. They offer a nice balance of contouring and bouncy properties.
Latex: Latex toppers have more bounce than foam toppers and offer better cooling properties. They hug the body less than foam and offer stronger support for sleeping positions that require more firmness.
Feather: Feather toppers add a nice plush surface feel to your mattress, creating a similar feel to a pillow-top mattress you may find at a luxury hotel.
Other Materials: While memory foam, polyfoam, latex, and feathers are among the most commonly used materials for mattress toppers, you may also find toppers made with wool, polyester, and down.
Side Sleepers: Since side sleepers tend to put pressure on the shoulders and hips, they benefit most from toppers that are soft enough to relieve pressure but firm enough to maintain spinal alignment.
Back Sleepers: Mattress toppers with a firmer feel are well-suited for back sleepers, who require firmer surfaces to promote proper sleep posture.
Stomach Sleepers: Stomach sleepers require firm toppers to help prevent the abdomen from sinking too deep. Stomach sleepers who find that their mattress is too soft can adjust the sleeping surface with a firm topper.
Back Pain: Memory foam and latex mattress toppers are well-suited for people who experience chronic back pain. These toppers offer contouring support that can help alleviate pressure buildup in the back.
Hip Pain: Memory foam and latex toppers are ideal for people who suffer from hip pain. These materials provide sufficient contouring for pressure relief in the hip.