If you like your mattress but wish it was just a little softer, we have good news for you. You don't need to replace it altogether. Mattress toppers were created for exactly this situation. They add an additional layer of comfort with just a single, and relatively affordable, purchase. A mattress topper can also help protect your mattress from spills, dirt and tears, which is great if you're a bit of a late-night snacker or have some rambunctious pets.
Whatever your reason for wanting a new mattress topper, it can be hard to settle on just one since there's a seemingly endless array of options out there. That's why I've rounded up my top favorites from the dozens of mattress toppers I've tested over the years. As a professional sleep-product tester, I've essentially seen it all, so I feel pretty confident about my picks for the best mattress topper.
Below, I break down my picks for the best mattress toppers according to type, and what I think they'll help most with. Do you want the best memory foam mattress topper for pressure relief? Are you a strict side sleeper who needs a soft sleeping surface, or more of a stomach sleeper? Maybe you're on a tight budget and want an affordable topper. This mattress review list can help you narrow down your search to help you choose the best mattress topper for you.
Prices shown are for the queen size models. We update this list periodically.
Read more: Best Memory Foam Mattress of 2022
If you suffer from back pain, first of all, I feel for you, and it's important to find a supportive option that provides relief. Walmart decided to enter the online bedding game and came up with the Allswell brand, which has quality toppers at super affordable prices.
The Allswell copper gel-infused bed topper is 4 inches thick and adds a significant amount of support to your mattress. Especially if your bed is on the thinner side -- less than eight inches in height. Back pain sufferers benefit from thick, supportive surfaces, and this one is more hefty than many of the different toppers out there, including the ones on this list.
It has a medium-firm profile around 7 out of 10, with 10 being the firmest. It'll ensure your spine is supported and kept in a neutral position, whereas a soft surface will allow your back to sink and promote an unnatural, uncomfortable curvature.
The Allswell copper gel-infused topper is made with memory foam and in turn, has a slow-responding memory-foam feel. Still, it's not as obvious as DreamFoam (see below), thanks to the poly foam layer underneath. The topper is also infused with copper gel to help draw your body heat away from you. It doesn't feel cooling by any means, but it didn't retain heat like traditional memory foam can.
Hot sleepers (like me) who seek temperature relief during the night, but don't have the money to buy a new, breathable mattress might enjoy the cooling topper from Nest Bedding.
This cooling topper is two inches thick and made with its special Energex foam, which feels airy and responsive. I think it's similar to neutral-foam, as opposed to memory foam -- which can be dense and slow to respond. You can see little air bubbles in the foam, allowing more airflow to move through the bed. Wrapping the slab of foam is a textured gray cover with straps on all four corners to secure the topper to the mattress, which effectively keeps it from sliding around on the bed.
The cover is made with the same cooling material found in the Nest Alexander mattresses. It's not ice-cold, but it's not soft or heat-retaining like other toppers might be. When you run your hand across the cover, the fibers feel more smooth than fluffy and help contribute to a more temperature-neutral sleep.
Prices start at $219 for a twin size Nest Bedding cooling mattress topper, and go up to $329 for a California king size.
DreamFoam comes from the reliable Brooklyn Bedding brand, which manufactures all of its products in-house in the US. If you're a tried-and-true memory foam fan, boy, do I have a recommendation for you.
The second I lay down on this bed topper I literally uttered, "Whoa," because the memory foam feel was so intense. Its foam is so soft that your body immediately sinks in, and you become nestled in a you-shaped cocoon. This is one of the reasons why I named it the best memory foam mattress topper. Compare this to a TempurPedic topper, which is so dense it takes a few moments for the foam to activate and compress.
The DreamFoam Gel Swirl topper adds another two inches to your already existing mattress, and it's really pleasant if you're looking for that traditional memory foam feel. Not to mention it's affordable. I would rate the firmness between medium and medium-soft. Though, with that said, the softer the mattress that you put it on top of, the more plush it's going to feel. I think it's ideal for side sleepers, or real lightweight sleepers who prefer a soft topper sleeping surface.
Prices start at $79 for a twin size and go up to $119 for a king -- and there are two queen sizes. (DreamFoam is currently offering 25% off with the promo code JULY25)
If you're a side sleeper looking to soften up your bed, or you just want to add another layer of plushness to your already cozy mattress, I'd consider the Layla memory foam topper. It's not a dense memory foam feel, but a light and airy one, similar to the feel of the Layla mattress. It kind of reminds me of neutral-foam in that it's more fluffy than slow-responding.
This memory foam mattress topper is infused with copper gel beads, and on its website, Layla describes the feel as "cooler than cool." I don't want you to get your hopes up that this is a cooling topper that will provide an ultimate cooling sensation, but you should be relieved to know it doesn't sleep hot. I didn't feel overly warm while on this topper, and I'm a particularly hot sleeper. So, unless you live in a hot region or you refuse to run a fan on a hot summer night, I think it's going to be pretty comfortable for you.
Like many of the toppers on this list, the Layla topper will add two inches to the height of your existing bed. It's definitely on the soft side of the spectrum, so I repeat: Side sleepers, this memory foam mattress topper is definitely for you! It'll make your firm mattress feel soft and your soft mattress feel even softer.
I also really love how it comes with a cover, and appreciate the detail in the hexagonal, honeycomb-like pattern. Even though you'll probably cover it with your sheets, it's pretty enough to go without if you really wanted. It also matches perfectly with the Layla mattress if you happen to sleep on one!
A twin-size Layla topper retails for $269 and goes up to $449 for a California king, though you can save 20% at the ongoing summer sale.
There are plenty of benefits to a firm topper like the one from Birch, including the fact that it's made with nontoxic, sustainably sourced materials. The Birch Plush Organic cotton and latex topper is also hypoallergenic and antimicrobial, so mold, bacteria, mildew and other household allergens can't collect on the inside. Additionally, this latex mattress topper can be considered a cooling topper because it allows for more airflow than your typical memory foam or poly foam topper, thanks to the perforations down the foam.
The Birch topper is a whopping three inches thick, made with a slab of certified organic latex, soft organic wool and an organic cotton cover. That means it's nontoxic and free of harsh chemicals like VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and flame retardants. This latex mattress topper is also hand-made in California.
It feels super-bouncy, supportive and supple. The Birch topper immediately bounces back when you take away pressure, and you sit more on top of the layer rather than deep inside. I'd rate the Birch topper around a medium-firm to firm on the scale, or around a seven to eight: It's definitely firm and probably best for people who want to make their bed feel more solid. I'd even call it the best firm mattress topper on the market.
Natural latex and organic products aren't necessarily cheap, but keep in mind the extra care it took to reach the final product and you can see the value.
A twin size Birch topper retails for $300 and goes up to $550 for a California king.
If you want a mattress topper with Prime shipping, check out the two- or three-inch-thick Linenspa topper. Both toppers (which are identical except for the thickness) have over 50,000 reviews on Amazon and boast a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. For the price, I'd have to agree with the majority of sleepers.
Depending on the size you choose, you're either going to get a soft memory foam feel or a distinct one. The three-inch option is soft and will feel more plush, whereas the 2-inch model feels a slight bit firmer. When you press your whole hand into the gel memory foam, it takes a few seconds for it to spring back into its original form. It ultimately will come down to the money you want to spend, and how soft a mattress profile you want.
The Linenspa mattress topper is covered in tiny blue beads that promote heat distribution across the topper, instead of allowing your body heat to collect around your midsection and warm you up while you sleep. It doesn't sleep cool, but it is better than a traditional memory foam topper.
Now, let's get to one of the best parts about the Linenspa topper. Prices start at $40 for a twin model and go up to $80 for a California king size.
If you're into the clean, white, luxe-looking style, then you might appreciate the ViscoSoft Serene Hybrid topper. It's called a hybrid because there are two different parts to it; the 2.5-inch slab of memory foam, and 1.5 inches of a down-alternative pillow top. You get the best of both worlds: a supportive base and a plush, fluffy top layer.
I really like this topper because I don't love the feel of memory foam, and the fluffy down-alternative layer neutralizes the feel so it's not as slow responding or nestling as the traditional stuff. Plus, the pillow-top cover is made from satin and has a 300-thread count, so it feels super-smooth and soft to the touch.
The cover completely wraps the memory foam slab and goes all the way down to the bottom of the mattress, where you tuck it on the bottom like you would with a fitted sheet. That way, it stays put on your mattress and won't slide around if you tend to toss and turn in bed.
Another plus about the cover besides its coziness is that it's machine washable. Remove the straps, take the memory foam layer out from inside, and throw it in the washing machine. Just make sure you wash with cold water and tumble dry.
Prices start at $240 for a twin and go up to $375 for a California king. Plus, ViscoSoft is currently offering 25% off on all of its toppers.
Does a mattress topper really help?
Yes, a mattress topper can help solve a lot of issues you may be having with your current mattress. It can help make it firmer, soften it up, add a few layers of thickness for more support, and it can change up the feel of your mattress. For example, if you decide you dislike memory foam after purchasing a memory foam bed, a latex foam topper might be helpful to add more bounce and responsiveness.
Is a mattress topper better than memory foam?
That depends on how much you like or dislike memory foam. There are plenty of toppers that don't use memory foam, and they can help change the feel of your mattress if that's what you're looking for. However, memory foam is a material that can offer pressure relief and comfort if you like a hugging, contouring feel.
What is the purpose of a mattress topper?
The most common purpose for a mattress topper is to make a mattress feel more comfortable. They're much cheaper than buying a whole new mattress, and come in many different materials and firmness levels so you can adjust your mattress to your liking. A plush topper can help a firm mattress feel more pressure-relieving, while a firm topper can help give your bed more support. They can also make your bed thicker, or change the feel of your mattress.
What is the best mattress topper?
Some of the best mattress toppers include:
- Allswell 4-inch topper with copper gel
- Layla mattress topper
- DreamFoam Gel Swirl mattress topper
- Nest Bedding Cooling mattress topper
- Birch Plush Organic mattress topper
- Linenspa gel-infused mattress topper
- ViscoSoft Serene Hybrid topper
What's the difference between a mattress topper and mattress pad?
Mattress toppers are generally more thick and supportive than a mattress pad, and mattress pads often use cotton or more plush materials to soften up a bed. Toppers add a more noticeable change to your mattress, whether it be the firmness, thickness or feel, while a mattress pad typically makes your bed feel a little more cozy.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
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