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The term ‘mattress topper’ refers to an extra layer – typically 1″ to 3″ thick – that is placed on top of a mattress to make the sleep surface feel softer and, in some cases, cooler. Toppers can be very beneficial to single sleepers who are dissatisfied with the way their mattress feels; additionally, some toppers are available in larger sizes and suitable for couples.
Toppers sold today are constructed from a wide range of materials, including memory foam and polyfoam, latex, feathers, and wool. The price-points vary significantly, depending on the product’s material composition, but virtually all options are much cheaper than buying a new mattress.
This guide will look at different considerations for topper buyers, as well as our picks for the best mattress toppers sold today. Our choices are based on verified customer and owner experiences, as well as intensive product research and analysis.
Best Mattress Toppers
Editor’s Pick – PlushBeds Natural Latex Topper
Best Value Topper – Milliard Gel Memory Foam Matress Topper
Best Luxury Topper – Avocado Green Natural Latex Topper
Best Memory Foam Topper – Nest Bedding Alexander Signature Cooling Topper
Best Latex Topper – Sleep on Latex Pure Green Natural Latex Topper
Best Wool Topper – Sleep & Beyond myMerino Topper
Best Feather Topper – Canadian Down & Feather Company Down Perfect Feather Bed
Best Convoluted Polyfoam Topper – Beautyrest 5-Zone Convoluted Foam Topper
Best Fiber Topper – The Lucid Plush Fiber Bed Topper
As its name implies, the Natural Latex Topper from PlushBeds is constructed from 100% aerated natural latex. This material is exceptionally durable, giving the topper a longer expected lifespan compared to models made from other materials. The Natural Latex Topper is also available in 2″ and 3″ profiles, as well as four firmness settings – ‘Soft,’ ‘Medium,’ ‘Medium Firm,’ and ‘Extra Firm.’ This ensures most shoppers will find a model that works for them regardless of their height, weight, sleep position, or comfort preferences.
The topper is a good choice for sleepers with back, neck, and shoulder pain, as well. The latex hugs the body and aligns the spine without sinking excessively. Additionally, the Natural Latex Topper sleeps exceptionally cool due to good airflow in the interior and a breathable organic cotton cover. It also isolated motion transfer very effectively and produces virtually no noise when bearing weight. The topper qualifies for free shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S.
Milliard’s Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper is our Best Value pick because it has a relatively low price-point – less than $120 in Twin, Full, Queen, and King mattress sizes – yet the foam withstands deterioration as well as high-end materials and the topper has a long expected lifespan. The Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper also sleeps exceptionally cool due to both the gel-infused foam and a cover made of rayon from bamboo.
The topper is 2″ thick and ‘Medium Soft,’ making it most suitable for back and side sleepers in the light (less than 130 pounds) and the average (130 to 230 pounds) weight groups. It conforms closely to the sleeper’s body to help align the spine and alleviate pain and pressure in the body’s most sensitive areas. The topper also isolates motion transfer very well and produces no noise when bearing weight. Milliard sells the Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper through Amazon.com and other third-party retailers; customers should defer to the seller’s return policy and warranty options.
In addition to the gel-infused memory foam, this topper comes with a cover made of breathable rayon from bamboo that absorbs minimal body heat and sleeps quite cool. The topper is ‘Medium Soft’ and built onto a 2″ profile, making it a good pick for anyone who weighs 230 pounds or less. Milliard sells the Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper through a wide range of retailers, including Amazon.com; sleep trial and warranty offers will vary by distributor.
The Avocado Green Natural Latex Topper has a higher-than-average price-point, making it a good pick for shoppers with bigger budgets, but it delivers a comfortable, pressure-relieving experience. The topper is constructed from eco-friendly materials, including an aerated, natural Dunlop latex core, a top layer of New Zealand wool, and an organic cotton cover. These breathable materials regulate temperature well and sleep very cool; the wool also wicks moisture away from sleepers, keeping them cool and dry during hotter periods.
The Avocado Green Natural Latex Topper hugs the sleeper’s body without sagging or compromising support; this helps reduce aches and pains in the neck, shoulders, lower back, and other areas that are prone to discomfort. The topper is sold in Twin, Twin XL, and Full sizes; as a result, it is mostly suitable for single sleepers. It is available in ‘Soft’ and ‘Firm’ settings, as well. Avocado offers free shipping and returns and a 10-year warranty for the topper.
Sleeping hot is a common complaint among those who purchase memory foam toppers. The Alexander Signature Cooling Topper from Nest Bedding remedies this issue with a gel-infused memory foam core, which absorbs minimal heat and sleeps exceptionally cool compared to other foam models. The topper also offers close conforming for targeted pain and pressure relief. The Alexander Signature Cooling Topper is “Medium’ in terms of firmness and 2” thick, making it most suitable for sleepers in the light and average weight groups.
Another issue with topper owners is stability; many toppers have elasticated edges that slip off the mattress during the night. The Alexander Signature Cooling Topper is equipped with straps at all four corners to help keep it in place, even for restless sleepers. The topper is available in all six standard mattress sizes, as well. Nest Bedding offers a two-year warranty for this topper, as well as comfort exchanges upon request.
The Pure Green Natural Latex Topper from Sleep on Latex is an eco-friendly standout for several reasons. One reason is selection. The topper is available in 1″, 2″, and 3″ profiles, as well as ‘Soft,’ ‘Medium,’ and ‘Firm’ settings, to accommodate sleepers with different heights, weights, and comfort preferences. The topper is also highly durable, as is usually the case with latex toppers, and the expected lifespan is longer than average – yet the price-point for the Pure Green is much lower than that of the average latex topper.
Temperature neutrality is another key strength. Air circulates well through the aerated, natural latex interior, and a breathable organic cotton cover is also available with the topper for an additional charge. The topper is available in all six standard mattress sizes – Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, and California King – as well as a Full XL option. Sleep on Latex offers a five-year warranty for the Pure Green, which is much longer than the average topper warranty, as well as free shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S.
Wool is a popular topper material because it sleeps cool and wicks away moisture during hotter times of the year, but absorbs body heat and sleeps fairly warm when the temperatures drop. The myMerino Topper from Sleep & Beyond is made from organic merino wool, a material that regulates temperature well even compared to other wool types due to its fine texture. With its certified organic, 300TC cotton sateen cover, this topper is a good eco-friendly pick, as well.
The myMerino Topper has a relatively low 1.5″ profile, which makes it suitable for all sleep positions; it is also available in Twin, Full, Queen, King, and California King sizes to accommodate sleepers with different bed dimensions. The topper has an above-average price-point and may be a good pick for shoppers with bigger budgets. Sleep & Beyond offers a five-year warranty with the myMerino Topper.
Feather toppers, also known as feather beds, are suitable for sleepers who prefer exceptionally soft layers. They typically contain a combination of down, the soft inner plumage of ducks or geese, as well as heavier, coarser outer feathers that provide good sleeper support. The Down Perfect Feather Bed from Canadian Down & Feather Company is our pick for Best Feather Topper because it is 3″ thick, making it suitable for sleepers in the heavy weight group (more than 230 pounds), but also soft enough for those who feel uncomfortable on firm toppers.
The Down Perfect Feather Bed is padded with white goose down and feathers, and encased in a quilted, 225TC cotton cover. The topper breathes very well and sleeps cool as a result. It is also less susceptible to clumping than other feather beds and will maintain a consistent, uniform shape (largely thanks to the quilting pockets). Canadian Down & Feather Company offers a 30-night sleep trial and a five-year warranty for the Down Perfect Feather Bed.
Convoluted polyfoam, or egg-crate polyfoam, is designed with soft ridges that support the sleeper’s body and help distribute weight. The material is a popular option for low-cost toppers, though the lifespan is generally shorter than average. The 5-Zone Convoluted Foam Topper from Beautyrest is a notable exception. This topper is built onto a 3″ profile and constructed from dense, long-lasting foam that won’t sag or deteriorate as quickly as the foam used in other toppers.
The convoluted shape of the topper also provides targeted pain and pressure relief to the neck, shoulders, lower back, and hips. The result is a surface that hugs the body closely, but the topper is thick enough to withstand sagging even when used by heavier individuals. The Beautyrest 5-Zone Convoluted Foam Topper is available in Twin, Full, Queen, King, and California sizes; all are widely available through third-party retailers for less than $65.
Fiber toppers, also known as down alternative toppers, are padded with polyester puffballs that mimic the softness and temperature regulation of authentic down, but are normally much less expensive. The 3″ Lucid Plush Fiber Bed Topper is available in seven sizes – the six standard mattress sizes, plus Full XL – all of which are widely sold for less than $90. However, the mattress offers great temperature neutrality and sleeps exceptionally cool, due to both the down alternative fill and a breathable cotton percale cover.
The Lucid Plush Fiber Bed Topper will not clump very easily and maintains a uniform shape without much fluffing; the cover is quilted to keep the down alternative fill from shifting excessively. And unlike authentic down, down alternative is hypoallergenic – making this topper a good option for sleepers with down/feather allergies. Lucid backs the Plush Fiber Bed Topper with a three-year warranty.
A topper can provide additional comfort to sleepers who are unsatisfied with the comfort layer of the current mattress. Toppers are removable by design, though some simply lay on top of the mattress while others can be tucked beneath fitted sheets. Different types of toppers sold today include memory foam, wool, latex, and feather models (also known as featherbeds), although price and availability vary by type.
This page will look at what toppers do, pros and cons of using them, and some distinctive characteristics of each topper type, as well as some user’s guides for adding and maintaining optimal comfort levels.
A mattress topper is simply defined as any separate layer of cushioning that can be added or removed from the top surface of a mattress. Toppers are primarily used to provide extra comfort as well as adjusting the firmness of the sleep surface. They may also serve other purposes, such as alleviating pain and pressure or cooling the bed. In addition to primary beds, mattress toppers can be used in RVs, hotels, college dorms, guest beds, or sofas.
The terms ‘mattress topper’ and ‘mattress pad’ are often used interchangeably, but these are in fact distinct products with different characteristics and uses. The table below breaks down the main differences between toppers and pads.
|Product||Mattress Topper||Mattress Pad|
|Primary Purpose||Toppers are designed to add an extra comfort to the mattress.||Pads are designed to protect mattresses from stains and contaminants.|
|Material Composition||Toppers may be made from an assortment of different materials, including memory foam, latex, wool, feathers, or fibers.||Most pads are made from fibers like cotton or polyester.|
|Thickness||Some topper types, such as memory foam and latex, come in varying thicknesses to accommodate different sleepers. Other types may be limited in terms of thickness options.||Thickness options are fairly limited for pads, and most are fairly thin.|
|Application||Toppers may rest freely on top of the mattress surface, or they may be tucked beneath fitted sheets.||Most mattress pads are designed to be tucked beneath sheets, and do not rest freely on top of the mattress.|
|Cushioning Potential||High. Toppers are made to create extra cushioning, and most are thick enough to alter the feel of an existing sleep surface.||Low. Most mattress pads are relatively thin, and do not change the comfort level of a mattress to a significant extent.|
|Mattress Protection||Moderate. Toppers may protect mattress surfaces from contamination to some extent, even though this is not their primary purpose.||High. Mattress pads generally provide adequate protection for mattress surfaces.|
|Durability||The durability of a mattress topper varies by its material composition. Memory foam and latex toppers tend to have longer lifespans than toppers made of fibers, wool, or feathers.||Mattress pads are usually machine washable, but most have below-average durability and may wear out over time due to machine cleaning.|
|Average Price Range||The price range varies, as some topper types are more expensive than others. However, most have medium to high price-points||Mattress pads are typically low-priced. Most models cost $50 or less.|
Pros of using a mattress topper on an existing mattress include the following:
Despite the benefits of using a mattress topper listed above, there are also some drawbacks associated with these products:
A mattress topper is typically most suitable in the following situations:
Next, let’s look at some of the key factors to keep in mind when shopping for a mattress topper and browsing different types, brands, and models:
Next, let’s look at some key similarities and differences between the six most common mattress topper types.
|Type||Convoluted Polyfoam||Feather||Fiber||Latex||Memory Foam||Wool|
|Composition||Egg-crate polyurethane foam||Feathers from ducks or geese||Rayon, polyester, and/or down alternative||Talalay and/or Dunlop latex||Viscoelastic polyfoam||Sheep or lamb wool|
|Average Weight||10 to 15 lbs||10 to 20 lbs||5 to 10 lbs||25 to 40 lbs||20 to 30 lbs||5 to 10 lbs|
|Thickness Selection||Limited||Somewhat Limited||Limited||Somewhat Wide||Wide||Somewhat Limited|
|Durability||Poor to Fair||Fair to Good||Poor to Fair||Very Good to Excellent||Good to Very Good||Very Good to Excellent|
|Support||Poor to Fair||Fair to Good||Fair to Good||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good||Fair to Good|
|Conforming||Poor to Fair||Poor to Fair||Poor to Fair||Very Good to Excellent||Very Good to Excellent||Fair to Good|
|Pain/Pressure Relief||Poor to Fair||Fair to Good||Fair to Good||Very Good to Excellent||Very Good to Excellent||Fair to Good|
|Motion Isolation||Good to Very Good||Poor to Fair||Poor to Fair||Fair to Good||Very Good to Excellent||Poor to Fair|
|Noise||Very Good to Excellent||Poor to Fair||Good to Very Good||Very Good to Excellent||Very Good to Excellent||Very Good to Excellent|
|Temperature Neutrality||Poor to Fair||Very Good to Excellent||Fair to Good||Fair to Good||Poor to Fair||Very Good to Excellent|
|Odor||Poor to Fair||Fair to Good||Very Good to Excellent||Very Good to Excellent||Poor to Fair||Fair to Good|
|Sex||Fair to Good||Very Good to Excellent||Very Good to Excellent||Very Good to Excellent||Fair to Good||Very Good to Excellent|
|Ease of Moving||Very Good to Excellent||Fair to Good||Very Good to Excellent||Poor to Fair||Poor to Fair||Very Good to Excellent|
|Cleaning||Spot Clean or Dry Clean||Dry Clean||Machine Wash or Dry Clean||Spot Clean or Dry Clean||Spot Clean or Dry Clean||Machine Wash or Spot Clean|
|Maintenance||Very Good to Excellent||Poor to Fair||Poor to Fair||Very Good to Excellent||Very Good to Excellent||Poor to Fair|
|Average Price||$10 to $30||$100 to $150||$60 to $100||$100 to $400||$100 to $250||$150 to $300|
The right mattress topper for a given sleeper often comes down to two factors: sleep position and body weight.
The table below looks at the ideal firmness, thickness, and density settings for different sleepers based on position and body weight.
|Position||Weight Group||Ideal Topper Firmness||Ideal Topper Thickness||Ideal Topper Density|
|Side||Less than 130 lbs||Soft to Medium Soft||1″ to 2″||2.5 PCF and lower|
|130 to 230 lbs||Medium Soft to Medium||2″ to 2 1/2″||3 to 4 PCF|
|More than 230 lbs||Medium Firm to Firm||2″ to 3″||4 PCF and higher|
|Back||Less than 130 lbs||Medium Soft to Medium Firm||1 1/2″ to 2 1/2″||2.5 to 3 PCF|
|130 to 230 lbs||Medium to Firm||2″ to 3″||3.5 to 5 PCF|
|More than 230 lbs||Medium Firm to Firm||2″ to 3″||4.5 PCF and higher|
|Stomach||Less than 130 lbs||Medium Soft to Medium Firm||1″ to 1 1/2″||3 PCF and lower|
|130 to 230 lbs||Medium Firm to Firm||1″ to 2″||2.5 to 4 PCF|
|More than 230 lbs||Firm to Extra Firm||2″ to 3″||3.5 to 4.5 PCF|
Toppers are fairly easy to set up and maintain, but here are three factors to keep in mind: