Includes two layers: down alternative and memory foam. Cooling gel combats overheating.
Dual layers increase chance of slippage during sleep.
Exceptional quality memory foam. User friendly and responsive to temperature. Meets or exceeds PURGreen certification standards.
Great for back sleepers; not always as ideal for side sleepers. Occasional complaints of heat retention.
Open-cell design leads to greater ventilation. Gel-infused foam comforts pressure points. Naturally resists mites and allergens.
Extremely flexible; because of this, it cannot completely "undo" all sags and dips.
A budget-friendly mattress topper with flexible support that gets praise for "hugging" your body. Excellent for users who don't like firm mattresses.
Not quite as durable as some competitors – prone to tears. Too "squishy" for some users, but others find this quality a plus.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Sleep experts recommend 8 hours of sleep each night. However, if you're not getting quality sleep, you can wake up feeling even worse than when you went to bed. But it might not be a new bed that you need, just a mattress topper. The right mattress topper can change your entire outlook on life by allowing you to enjoy the restful sleep you deserve.
Mattress toppers are manufactured using a number of different materials. You will be happiest with the one that adequately absorbs your partner's movements, is sufficiently firm, and doesn't retain too much heat for your comfort level. You also want a material that doesn't trigger allergic reactions and has a washable cover.
This article will provide an in-depth understanding of the differences between various mattress toppers so you can purchase the one that is best for your sleep needs.
Lauren Corona has written about and researched bed and bath products for over five years. She loves to find all the best bed and bath products to give buyers those creature comforts that they deserve in their own homes.
If you’re ready to purchase your own mattress topper, check out our recommended models. Or, read on for our full guide to mattress toppers and how to find the perfect one to fit your requirements.
You may need to buy deeper sheets for your bed to accommodate the size of your new mattress topper.
First, you'll need to decide which type (or types) of mattress topper would suit you best. Mattress toppers are usually sorted into categories defined by material. These are the most common varieties available.
Mattress toppers made from egg crate foam are extremely light and roll up small, great for taking on trips. Not as dense as other foams, so less durable and supportive.
While other memory foam mattress toppers tend to use a one-piece design, the Sleep Innovations Dual Layer mattress topper employs two separate layers for improved comfort and ventilation. One layer, filled with a down alternative, is closer to a traditional "pillow top" mattress pad. The other layer is a two-inch thick memory foam pad. When sandwiched together, the down alternative layer provides ventilation and comfort, and the memory foam layer provides therapeutic support.
After spending nearly 38 hours researching 67 mattress toppers we purchased our top pick and tested it in the BestReviews lab for comfort and durability.
Contours to your body, so it's very comfortable, and many people find it reduces back pain. It's not ideal for those who often feel too warm at night, as it "sleeps hot."
Gel mattress toppers are made from gel-infused foam. They should be as comfortable as memory foam, but much cooler to sleep on. The main drawback is that they can be quite costly.
Another cooler alternative to memory foam, latex provides good comfort and support. May be made from natural or synthetic rubber.
Many people find memory foam extremely comfortable, but it can "sleep hot." If you tend to overheat at night, gel or latex is a better option.
These materials have a similar feeling to down, but are more allergy-friendly. You might find polyester or cotton alone, or a blend of the two.
Feels soft, but not very supportive; more like sleeping on a thick comforter than a regular mattress. Not suitable for allergy sufferers or many asthmatics, as they have breathing trouble due to the feathers.
Natural fibers tend to be cooler and more breathable than synthetics, so you may feel less warm at night with a natural fiber mattress topper. But if you suffer from allergies, it's best to avoid natural fibers in your mattress topper, such as feathers, down, or wool.
Different mattress toppers have different firmness ratings, ranging from soft through firm. It's an age-old debate as to whether softer or firmer mattresses are superior, but, ultimately, it comes down to personal preference.
Check a mattress topper's product specifications to find out its firmness.
As a rule, back-sleepers benefit from a firmer sleeping surface, while side-sleepers are more comfortable on something softer.
Some materials retain more heat and offer poorer air circulation compared to others, making sleepers feel hotter during the night. This may be a boon during chilly winter months, but you could find yourself overheating in the summer.
Memory foam is often criticized for making users feel too warm at night, so if you like the feeling of it but can't stand the heat, gel or latex mattress toppers are cooler alternatives. It's also worth noting that natural fibers — such as cotton — are better at regulating heat than synthetics.
However, if you're not an especially hot sleeper, this shouldn't influence your choice too much.
If you sleep with a partner who tosses and turns all night long, you'll benefit from a mattress topper with low transmission of movement.
This means that when the person on the other side of the bed moves, it causes very little — if any — movement on your side.
The best materials for low transmission of movement are memory foam, gel, and latex.
If your partner disturbs you by moving around frequently in the night, memory foam, latex, or gel mattress toppers will help isolate the motion, so it doesn't transfer to your side of the bed, giving you a more peaceful sleep.
Mattress toppers come in a range of thicknesses, between roughly 2 inches and 6 inches, with 3- and 4-inch options being the most popular.
Ideally, you want a mattress topper that's thick enough to provide adequate support and comfort, but not so thick you can't find sheets deep enough to fit over your mattress and topper.
If you are just looking for a thin barrier between you and your mattress, a mattress pad may be the way to go. If you need extra comfort in a serious way, it’s time to invest in a topper.
Here are a few other factors you may want to consider.
How heavy is your chosen mattress topper? Will it be easy for you to place, secure, and flip when necessary?
Select a mattress topper that you'll easily be able to handle.
Excessive heat retention is a common complaint among memory foam users. The LUCID memory foam mattress topper addresses this issue through natural, open-cell ventilation and a heat-sensitive gel infusion. The topper's three-inch depth helps level out sags and dips in the mattress below it, but because of its innate flexibility, it will also follow the contours of the mattress. This means that an older mattress with a pronounced sag or central dip will not be completely restored to its original state.
Comfort is extremely subjective with mattresses and mattress toppers. What feels like sleeping on a cloud to one person might feel uncomfortable to another.
If you already know what kind of sleeping surface you like best, it'll be easier to find the most comfortable mattress topper for you.
A long warranty is often a good sign that a mattress topper is durable, comfortable, and well made — and if you find any issues you can return it for a refund.
Some mattress toppers come with removable, washable covers.
While you'll likely have a sheet covering your mattress topper, some people prefer to have an extra washable cover, in case of spill or stains.
Ease of Use
The Cloud9 Memory Foam Mattress Topper comes with an incredible, 20-year limited warranty. Indeed, the manufacturer strongly believes in this product's durability. The lifespan of most mattress toppers is three or four years, but the Cloud9 has what it takes to last much longer. This mattress topper is about half the weight of most of our other shortlist contenders, making it ideal for students and the elderly.
Mattress toppers can vary greatly in price, depending on a range of factors including material, size, and thickness.
Memory foam mattress toppers range in price between roughly $40 and $300.
Gel mattress toppers start as low as $45, but can cost as much as $800.
Latex mattress toppers cost around $60 to $400.
Down mattress toppers are priced between $50 and $350.
Polyester and cotton mattress toppers range from around $20 to $200.
Egg crate foam mattress toppers cost roughly $15 to $150.
As a rule, the higher you go in the above price ranges, the larger, thicker, and more durable the mattress topper.
Q. Do I really need a mattress topper?
A. Not everyone needs a mattress topper, but many people find a topper make their mattress more comfortable. If you wake up with back or joint pain, it could be due to an uncomfortable or unsupportive mattress, and a mattress topper could help to remedy. Even if you find your mattress reasonably comfortable, it should be even moreso with a quality topper.
Q. Will a mattress topper improve a mattress that's sunk in the middle?
A. Unfortunately, a mattress topper won't do much good if your mattress has sunk in the middle, as the topper will simply mold itself into the depression. In this case, you really need to replace your whole mattress. However, if you can't afford to do so at present, a basic mattress topper could be used to make your mattress more comfortable in the interim.
Q. Are mattress toppers easy to clean?
A. Most mattress toppers are similar to mattresses, in as much as you don't clean them directly. Rather, you put a sheet over the topper, and the sheet is washed as needed. That said, some mattress toppers do come with washable covers you can remove and launder. If you want an extra layer under your sheet that you can throw in the washer, consider buying a mattress protector, as well.
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