The 9 Best Mattress Toppers
This wiki has been updated 34 times since it was first published in March of 2015. A good night's sleep is essential for everyone in order to stave off exhaustion and stress, but if you've been experiencing back and neck pains that make it impossible to get a decent rest, try one of these mattress toppers. They can make even older beds feel luxurious and supportive again and relieve common pressure points. They're stuffed with memory foam or real or simulated down. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
April 15, 2021:
We removed a few recommendations from manufacturers like Red Nomad and SleepJoy due to availability issues, but there are quite a few great choices that replaced them. Those new additions are the Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR, almost certainly the most well-known, which comes in soft and medium-firm varieties. The Tuft & Needle TP-002 is on a lot of people's radar because of the top quality of the relatively upstart T&N mattress company. Alternatively, some people experience back or hip pain with memory foam, so those people should consider the Great Earth PillowTop, a relatively environmentally friendly option that simulates down using bamboo and recycled plastic.
April 03, 2020:
There are 3 main types of mattress toppers. The most popular these days is probably the memory foam variety, and the Isolus Ventilated is one of the tried-and-true best of those. Despite being only 2 inches thick, it's surprisingly luxurious and built to last for quite a while. The Langria Memory Foam doesn't have quite the same gel-like effectiveness as the Isolus, which some users will actually prefer, and it's constructed to similar long-lasting quality standards. The Red Nomad is another highly lauded foam option, and the majority of users love it, although a small minority reports some odor problems that are hard to deal with. To be clear, many memory foam products will exhibit a bit of a smell while off-gassing, but after a few days it should dissipate almost entirely if you're dealing with a high-quality product.
Another highly comfortable material that's similarly springy to memory foam is latex. There aren't a ton of latex mattress toppers available, but the Pure Green Soft is one of the best. No matter what size your mattress is and what thickness of topper you're looking for, it probably comes in the size you want.
If you aren't keen on those two ultra-squishy materials, consider a simulated down option. They're significantly less springy, and many people find them to be a much better feel, although they don't quite offer the same pressure point relief. The Karrism Extra Thick is an excellent choice in this category, as is the ExceptionalSheets Extra Plush, though we'd also direct your attention to the Parachute Home model mentioned in the Special Honors section.
CertiPUR-US They don't manufacture mattresses or toppers, but they do specialize in the material that many are made of. If you're selecting a memory foam article of any type, it's a good idea to be on the lookout for CertiPur certification, as their stamp of approval means an item is made without harmful chemicals like heavy metals, flame retardants, formaldehyde, or ozone depleters. certipur.us
Parachute Down Alternative The microfiber material inside this plush option isn't technically down, but it mimics it well, delivering a comfortable sleeping surface that can greatly enhance the feel of a firm mattress. It's a bit pricey, but if you're not a fan of memory foam, it's definitely a good investment. parachutehome.com
Why You Need A Mattress Topper
If your current mattress is in great condition, that doesn't mean you don't need a topper.
If you've struggled with insomnia for a long time, perhaps you've put off doing something about it because it seems typical. Everyone you know needs caffeine throughout the day and complains of being constantly tired. Just because a condition commonly occurs, though, that doesn't make it okay. Insomnia has been linked to an increased risk of other conditions, like diabetes, stroke, depression, and heart disease. Turning your bedroom into a relaxing oasis should be a priority over remodeling that kitchen or improving your entertainment center. If an uncomfortable bed is one of the causes of your sleep troubles, a mattress topper can help.
While sleeping next to your significant other can have a soothing effect at first, it can also mean you wake up each time he or she tosses or turns. Most mattress toppers are made from materials designed to contain motion at the source, meaning just because your partner gets up, doesn't mean you'll feel movement on your side. If you have any muscle pain, pinched nerves or injuries that make it painful to lie in certain positions, a mattress topper may be able to relieve your discomfort. Whether you choose a gel or memory foam model, the topper will relieve pressure on your body, giving you more options for sleep positions.
Mattress toppers can also add support and padding to mattresses that have thinned out over the years. On that note, getting a topper is a much more affordable alternative to buying a whole new mattress. Quality mattresses tend to cost quite a bit, while a mattress topper costs a fraction of the price. If your current mattress is in great condition, that doesn't mean you don't need a topper. A mattress topper can help keep your mattress in excellent shape, protecting it from stains, dust mites, punctures, and other damage. In that way, a mattress topper protects your pricey investment.
What To Look For In Your Mattress Topper
First, consider why you need a mattress topper. If you suffer from conditions like sciatica pain or sore muscles, a mattress topper made from latex or memory foam is ideal. These materials mold to your body, putting barely any pressure on your sensitive areas. They essentially make you feel like you're sleeping on a cloud. If you simply wish you had a thicker mattress, but like the general firm/bouncy feeling of a regular mattress, a topper made from cotton or down will work best for you. These will mimic your mattress, while giving you more padding. Cotton, in particular, is a good choice for those who live in a hot climate because it breathes well. Those who live in colder climates might want a wool or down topper since these will keep you warm.
These retain their shape well over the years, even under heavier users.
Next, let's consider the thickness of your topper. If you're a side sleeper (which, by the way, is one of the best sleep positions for your health), weigh more than the average person, or are trying to save an old mattress, look for a thick topper. There are models available as much as eight inches thick. If you already have a particularly high bed and do not want to add height to it, there are also toppers available as thin as two inches.
If you sleep with another person every night, there is a good chance sharing a bed is disturbing your sleep. In fact, some studies have found that many couples are starting to sleep apart for this reason. But rather than move into the guest room, try getting a memory foam or gel-infused mattress topper. These eliminate the transmission of motion in the bed when your partner moves.
While your mattress topper is meant to protect your mattress, it is prone to damage itself. To reduce the effects of wear and tear on your topper, look for one with open cell technology. These retain their shape well over the years, even under heavier users. If you plan on moving your mattress topper often, say between your regular home and your summer home, look for one that is lightweight and rolls up easily. Furthermore, should you plan on using your topper on different beds at different times, make sure it has spandex sides that can stretch over most mattresses.
Mattress Toppers Versus Pads And Protectors
There are so many mattress accessories that ensuring you purchase the right one for your needs can be overwhelming. Let's look at three of the main items you may add to your mattress: a pad, a protector, and a topper. The sole purpose of a mattress protector is to preserve the life of your mattress and protect it from stains, sweat, bacteria, and other harmful elements. A mattress protector isn't designed to improve the sleeper's comfort. Some of the most common reasons people purchase mattress protectors are bed bug infestations and messy children. Mattress protectors can ensure that if your home is attacked by bed bugs, they won't seep deep into your mattress. They can also make sure that curious children who like to crawl on your bed with juice boxes won't stain your mattress.
At the same time, they work to protect the mattress from many of the same things protectors do.
Mattress toppers are made specifically to enhance your sleep comfort. They address issues like overheating, muscle pain, motion transfer, and stiff mattresses. They do not, however, protect your mattress from things like bed bugs and they can stain or rip, just like a mattress. If you want a more comfortable bed and protection from the elements, you could combine a mattress topper and a protector. But one of these, alone, would not cover all of your needs.
Finally, a mattress pad combines some of the features of both a topper and a protector. Mattress pads do contain extra cushioning, designed to give the sleeper more support, but they are much thinner than a topper and go on the bed much like a fitted sheet would. Mattress pads can also have other features that improve user comfort. Some are heated, gel-infused and even hypoallergenic. At the same time, they work to protect the mattress from many of the same things protectors do. Pads are often waterproof and puncture-resistant, prolonging the life of your mattress.