The Best Mattress Toppers
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If your bed is in need of an upgrade but buying a mattress just isn’t in the cards, a mattress topper may be your best bet. At what is often a fraction of the cost of a full mattress, a mattress topper can go a long way in changing the amount of comfort and support that you get from your bed.
In this guide, we’ll present our top 4 picks for the best mattress toppers. We’ll touch on all the key things that you need to know as you shop for a topper including their benefits and drawbacks, shopping criteria, and different ways that you may put a topper to use.
Our Top Picks
This table provides a quick list and summary of our top picks for the best mattress toppers.
|Brand||Model||Topper Type||Thickness||Firmness||Price (Queen)|
|Plush Pillow Top||Latex + Wool||3"||Medium Soft (4-5)||$400|
|Latex Topper||Latex||1.5"||Medium Firm (5-6)||$375|
|Layla Topper||Memory Foam||2"||Medium Firm (5-6)||$299|
|Down Topper||Down||3"||Soft (3-4)||$359|
|Gel Memory Foam Topper||Memory Foam||2"||Medium Soft (4-5)||$61.85|
Birch Plush Pillow Top
Why we like it:
- Plush feel without excessive sink
- Latex adds contouring to relieve pressure
- Wool and organic cotton promote breathability and cooling
- Sustainable, eco-conscious materials
The Birch Plush Pillow Top offers all the best in a mattress topper. It is luxuriously plush but at the same time supportive of your body’s pressure points, and it is constructed using high-quality, eco-conscious components.
Unlike some plush mattress toppers, Birch topper does not have any “quicksand” feeling. Thanks to its use of Talalay latex, which is soft and bouncy, the topper can maintain a cloud-like feel without too much sag or sink. The responsiveness of latex helps cushion pressure points, and the bounce, also known as resilience, makes it easy to move on top of the bed and ensures that the topper won’t pose any barriers to intimate activities.
The Talalay latex is made according to Rainforest Alliance standards, and supplementing it is New Zealand wool produced to meet the criteria of the PGC Wrightson Wool Integrity Program. Wool delivers extra coziness and, along with the organic cotton cover, provides moisture-wicking and breathability to keep cool through the night.
The Birch Plush Pillow Top is 3” thick and has a Medium Soft feel that is around a 4-5 on the firmness scale. Shipping is free, and after delivery you have a 100-night sleep trial to try it out. The topper also comes with a 1-year warranty.
As an added philanthropic benefit, Birch donates 1% of all sales to the National Forest Foundation, a nationwide tree-planting program.
Why we like it:
- Bouncy and soft Talalay latex
- Aerated latex resists heat buildup
- Anchor bands at each corner hold the topper in place
- 120-night sleep trial
This latex topper is another impressive component of the Saatva product line that already includes highly recommended mattresses, sheets, and pillows. The topper is 1.5” thick, and the interior is made entirely with quality latex.
The latex is aerated with many tiny holes that permit ventilation so that the topper does not retain heat at night. The topper has a softer feel thanks to the use of Talalay latex which has a bouncier and lighter composition than latex produced using the Dunlop process. The latex can accommodate your body’s pressure points while staying resilient and making it easy to move on top of the bed.
Overall, the feel of this topper is Medium Firm, falling between a 5 and 6 on the firmness scale. An organic cotton cover adds even more softness and breathability. Each corner has a strap that goes under the mattress to keep the topper in the proper position even as you move on it.
Saatva provides free shipping and a 120-night sleep trial for you to test out the topper in your own home. For customers who are interested in other offerings from this trusted name in online mattresses, They also offer a graphite-infused memory foam topper and a soft polyfoam topper for customers who are interested in other offerings from this trusted name in online mattresses.
Why we like it:
- 2” memory foam layer relieves pressure to improve spinal alignment
- Copper-infused foam stays cool and is antibacterial
- ThermoGel cover promotes cooling
- 120-night trial and 5-year warranty
Layla’s mattresses utilize a specialty memory foam with copper-infused beads, and the company puts that same material to use in their mattress topper.
A 2” layer of this copper-infused memory foam has a Medium Firm feel that falls around a 5-6 on the firmness scale. The memory foam compresses in response to your body’s weight to match how it is distributed on the topper. This proportional responsiveness allows for extra cushioning at major pressure points, preventing painful impacts or misalignment of the spine.
The copper infusion serves multiple purposes. With small beads interspersed inside of it, the foam does not build up heat as much as if it were just one solid, homogenous chunk. Copper is antibacterial, promoting cleanliness of your bed and reducing odors. Some people find that they get more pain relief from copper as well.
A ThermoGel cover material provides an extra line of defense against heat buildup and is soft to the touch at the same time.
Free shipping is included in the price of the Layla topper, and the company lets you try it out for 120 nights with the option to return it for a full refund if you aren’t satisfied. A 5-year warranty covers it in case there are any defects in manufacturing or materials.
Parachute Down Topper
Why we like it:
- Extra soft and plush feel
- Fill produced according to Responsible Down Standard
- Dual-chamber design and baffle-box stitching reduce bunching
- Free shipping, 90-day trial, and 3-year warranty
Parachute’s down bedding products employ high-end down that is made according to rigorous standards for humane, sustainable production. In this topper, they utilize down and feathers to create a soft and inviting pillow top for your mattress.
The feather bed from Parachute is 3” thick and made with two layers. The top chamber is extra soft because it is filled with 85% down and 15% feathers. The lower chamber is 95% feathers and 5% down, giving it a firmer, sturdier feel. Baffle-box sewing holds the fill in compartments so that it doesn’t bunch up, but at the same time, it provides enough space for the down to keep its loft.
The down material used in this topper meets the requirements of the Responsible Down Standard, a certification that focuses on sustainable and ethical production. The fill power is 550, so it will hold in heat to keep you cozy and may not be the best fit for people who sleep hot. That said, it won’t retain heat like a heavy winter blanket. A 100% sateen cotton shell helps with breathability and comfort cooling.
The feel is quite soft, and the down compresses considerably with your weight upon it. The height is 3” when fully lofted, but it will be notably thinner when you are sleeping on it.
Parachute includes free shipping in the purchase price and has a 90-day return policy during which you can try out the topper in your own home. A 3-year warranty provides coverage for potential defects in materials or craftsmanship.
Lucid 2" Gel Memory Foam Topper
Why we like it:
- Pressure point relief from Medium Soft memory foam
- Minimal heat buildup because of gel-infused and ventilated foam
- Accessible price point
For shoppers looking for a fast and cost-effective way to change the feel of their bed, the Lucid memory foam topper is a top choice. It has a simple yet effective design that can add softness and supportiveness to your bed.
This Lucid topper is made with 2” of gel-infused memory foam. A 3” thick model is also available for people who want a taller profile or who prefer a thicker comfort layer.
The memory foam relieves pressure and contours to the body, offering a more supportive sleeping surface. Its hug and softness will make it a welcome change for people who are struggling with a mattress that is too firm.
The overall feel of the topper is Medium Soft or around a 4-5 on the firmness scale. Its conforming helps it isolate motion and reduce disruptions from movement on other parts of the bed. The foam has a ventilated design and is infused with gel in order to prevent it from accumulating too much heat during the night.
At its price point, the Lucid topper is one of the most affordable ways to upgrade your bed. It is sold through Amazon, which offers a 30-day return window so that you have an opportunity to try out the topper in your own bedroom. Lucid provides a 3-year warranty for longer-term purchase protection.
Best Mattress Topper Buying Guide
What is a Mattress Topper?
There are a lot of products out there with similar names, so it makes sense to start by clarifying exactly what a mattress topper is. A mattress topper is a layer of material that you put above your mattress. The purpose of a topper is to alter the feel and performance of your bed.
Other products that are sometimes confused with mattress toppers are mattress protectors and mattress pads.
A mattress protector goes around the entirety of the mattress, and its primary role is to defend the mattress against stains and spills. Most protectors are either waterproof or made with much thicker materials that offer a barrier around your mattress.
A mattress pad is usually thinner and generally only goes over the top part of the mattress. It may add some softness and is also used to provide a buffer against spills or messes.
For a quick overview of the typical characteristics of these three products, you can check out the table below.
|Mattress Topper||Mattress Protector||Mattress Pad|
|Placement||Top of mattress||Over entire mattress||Over top and sides|
|Thickness (typical)||.5" - 3"||.125" - 1"||.125" - 1"|
|Material (typical)||Foam, latex, fiber, down, wool||Fiber (rayon, polyester, cotton, and blends)||Fiber (cotton, polyester), down|
|Amount of Protection||Low||High||Medium|
|Main Reason for Use||Adjust mattress feel||Defend mattress against spills and other damage||Minor protection of mattress|
Benefits & Drawbacks of Using a Mattress Topper
Customers have different reasons for deciding to use a mattress topper, but some of the primary benefits of using one include:
- Enhanced comfort layer: a mattress topper is a great way to give the topmost layer of your mattress, often known as the comfort layer, a boost. A thicker top layer can make your mattress more aligned with your firmness preference since there are firm and plush toppers available. Some materials used for mattress toppers are also highly responsive and can improve the support offered by your bed in ways that promote spinal alignment.
- Affordability: many toppers can be purchased for a significantly lower cost than a brand new mattress. If you are on a tight budget, a topper can be a great option.
- Makes your mattress last longer: the comfort layer is often the first part of the mattress to break down, lowering the level of performance and comfort offered by your bed. A sagging comfort layer also means that more of your weight is borne by the supporting layers, accelerating the demise of your mattress. A topper that bolsters the comfort layer can thus enhance the useful life of your mattress.
- Mattress protection: though a topper isn’t designed to protect the mattress, it can be an extra line of defense against spills or allergens, reducing the likelihood of permanent damage to the actual mattress.
- Gives you more choice: when you select your topper, you can choose one with the types of features that most appeal to you. This includes things like firmness and support but can also include temperature control to help prevent sleeping hot and motion isolation to decrease disruption from a partner moving on the bed.
- Help with pain: if your mattress isn’t delivering the kind of support that you need, it can cause pain throughout the body, most commonly in the back and hips. Choosing a mattress topper that delivers more contouring and support can thus serve an important role in relieving pain.
Who Should Consider a Mattress Topper?
Because of the benefits and drawbacks of mattress toppers, they usually fit better in certain situations. Some of the best instances to consider using a mattress topper include:
When you need to make a firm mattress softer: one of the best ways to make a hard mattress more palatable to sleep on is by using a mattress topper with a softer feel.
When your bed is assigned to you: let’s say you’re renting a furnished room or are a student in a dorm room. In either case, your bed is likely provided for you, and if it’s not comfortable, a topper can be a great way to adjust its feel at a low cost.
When you need a better RV bed: the beds that come in RVs usually aren’t especially comfortable or supportive, and a topper can dramatically improve the situation.
When you want comfort for your guests: you may not want to shell out a ton of money for a guest bed that is only used every now and again, but a topper on an older mattress can provide plenty of comfort for your visitors.
When you need to beef up your pull-out sofa: pull-out couches are notorious for being uncomfortable. Putting a topper on the provided cushion can make these much more inviting.
When you need more motion isolation: if you sleep with a partner and find that their movement is disrupting your sleep (or the other way around), a topper with good motion isolation may help to resolve your problem.
Mattress Topper Types: Features, Pros, and Cons
When you first get started looking at mattress toppers, you’ll notice that many different materials may be used to make a topper. In this section, we’ll describe the most common materials used in toppers.
Memory foam is often used in bedding products because of its ability to be both soft and supportive at the same time. The nature of this foam, also called viscoelastic foam, is that it responds directly to the pressure that is put on it. This allows it to contour to the body and give proportional support, improving spinal positioning. It is also great at preventing motion on the bed from being felt on other parts of the bed.
There are three potential downsides to memory foam. First, some people find that they sink too deeply into it. The contouring effect for them may instead be a “swallowing” effect. Second, memory foam is usually not very breathable and the way it contours can cause overheating in the night. Third, because it is slow to bounce back to its original shape, some people find it hard to move on top of a memory foam mattress or topper, and this may impede intimacy.
What Should You Consider When Buying a Topper?
Making a good choice for a mattress topper requires evaluating a number of different factors and considerations. Some of the most important to review include:
The Type of Topper
After reviewing the section on materials used in toppers, we hope you have a general idea of the materials that will be the most likely to work for you. Depending on your needs for firmness, responsiveness, and bounce, certain types are likely to stand out as better fits than others.
As we mentioned earlier, some toppers can make a bed softer while others can make it firmer. Think about your current bed and what is most likely to work for you going forward. If you aren’t sure, a medium firm feel is the most widely accepted for mattresses and toppers.
Make sure to look at the thickness of your current mattress and consider what it will be like when it is several inches higher. You can also consider your sheets and whether they are likely to cover a taller bed. If you weigh over 200 pounds or have very sharp pressure points, you may also want to err toward a thicker topper that will offer more cushioning and durability.
Keep an eye out for any indications, such as from verified reviews, that a topper has a tendency to wear out quickly. If that happens, you won’t get the support or the comfort that you need.
If you’re looking at a foam topper, it can be helpful to know about the density of the foam. A foam with more density is typically more durable. But if you’re not planning to use the topper very often, this may be less relevant. A denser topper can also be inconvenient as it will weigh more, which can be a pain if you are going to have to remove and store the topper frequently (e.g., on a fold-out sofa).
If you’re having issues with sleep disruption from the motion of a partner on the bed, it makes sense to prioritize a topper that can help to alleviate this issue.
Again, think about your current sleeping experience. If you’re having issues with overheating at night or if you’ve had this issue in the past, keep that in mind when selecting a topper and look for one with cooling properties.
Check to make sure that a topper isn’t made from a material that you may have an allergy or sensitivity to, such as latex or down. If you have general allergy issues, you may also look into a topper with a hypoallergenic cover.
Sex and Intimacy
When it comes to facilitating sex, not all materials are created the same. If it’s important to have a bed that’s easy to move around on top of, look for a topper with more bounce and resilience.