The Best Mattress Toppers for Your Most Comfortable Bed Ever

·18 min read
Photo credit: tempurpedic
Photo credit: tempurpedic

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A comfortable mattress is key to a good night's sleep, but buying a new one can be pricey and inconvenient. The good news is that a mattress topper can be an easy (and cheaper) fix to make your bed much more comfortable to sleep on. It's also ideal for situations when you're not at home (like in a college dorm or a care facility) because it can upgrade your bed in a temporary living situation.

Before you pick your topper, it's important to consider what type of improvement your bed needs. The right mattress topper can give you pillow-top softness if your bed is too hard or add firmness if you need more support. There are even hybrids that combine materials for comfort and support, cooling options if your mattress gives you night sweats and versions with pressure-relieving memory foam for people with back pain.

The fiber scientists in the Textiles Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute evaluate bedding of all kinds — from online mattresses and sheets to pillows and comforters. To find the best mattress toppers, we first researched the features and benefits of a variety of popular options, then our product experts and at-home consumer testers tried them out first hand. The picks ahead offer something for every type of sleeper and include top-tested models as well as toppers from brands that have performed well in our mattress evaluations.

Our top picks

We most recently updated this article in June 2022 to add more details about each topper, as well as more insight into our testing process. You can find more information about how we test plus helpful tips for picking out your perfect mattress topper at the bottom of this article, but first, here's everything you need to know about the best mattress toppers for your bed, with prices listed for Queen sizes.

Best Overall Mattress Topper

Saatva Mattress Topper

  • Height: Ranges from 1.5" to 3"

  • Fill materials: High-density foam, graphite-infused foam or latex

  • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Split King, California King

Saatva is one of our favorite mattress brands because users tell us the high-quality materials feel comfortable and supportive for many years. When it comes to toppers, the brand offers three variations based on what you're looking for to improve the feel of your bed. There's a foam layer for pressure relief, a graphite-infused foam for an added cooling benefit and a latex version that's more light and plush. Each topper is encased in an organic cotton cover and has an elastic anchor band to prevent any shifting on your bed — a standout feature that's not always seen in toppers.

The 1.5-inch high-density foam layer is the least expensive and ideal for anyone looking for a quick fix. With a medium firmness, it's ideal for most sleep positions and contours to your body shape for enhanced support on your bed. For a luxurious upgrade, the 3-inch graphite-infused memory foam offers pressure relief with increased motion transfer, so you're less likely to feel a sleeping partner moving at night. The graphite also works to pull heat away to keep you at a more comfortable sleeping temperature.

Lastly, the 1.5-inch latex option is the priciest, but it's certainly worth the splurge because it's made from natural resources (unlike petroleum-based foam), offers a floating and pressure-relieving feel and is highly durable to last for years. This layer also has ventilation throughout to keep it breathable.

Regardless of which topper you choose, the brand offers free shipping and a free 180-day trial so you can get a full refund if you don't love it. Just note that while some mattress toppers are washable or have a removable cover, this one is spot clean only.

Best Value Mattress Topper

Linenspa Gel-Infused Memory Foam Mattress Topper

  • Height: Ranges from 2" to 3"

  • Fill materials: Gel-infused memory foam

  • Sizes: Small Single, Twin, Twin XL, Full, Full XL, Queen, Short Queen, RV Queen, King, California King

If you're looking for the best mattress topper under $100, this bestselling layer of memory foam boasts more than 86,000 reviews and a 4.5-star average rating on Amazon. The brand describes the foam as "ultra plush" to soften mattresses that are too hard, saying it'll conform to your curves and feel like a hug. Plus, there are gel beads in the foam to prevent overheating, which is a great bonus because memory foam is notorious for trapping in heat. Beyond that, our analysts appreciate its wide range of sizes that can help improve the feel of temporary beds.

Because it's a softer foam, it's most ideal for lightweight body types. It's also suitable for those that sleep on their side since it'll relieve pressure around the joints. Just note that it comes as a layer of foam by itself, but you can purchase it with a cover for added cost.

Best Mattress Topper to Make Beds Firmer

Tempur-Pedic Tempur Supreme Mattress Topper

  • Height: 3"

  • Fill materials: Tempur foam

  • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

This luxury foam topper has a medium-firm rating yet feels surprisingly firm, making it is ideal for beds that need more support, innerspring mattresses that have too much bounce or heavier body weights that benefit from a more stable surface. Because it's foam, it still offers pressure relief so it won't feel hard. In fact, it uses the same foam material as the Tempur-Pedic mattresses that cost thousands of dollars. So although it's pricey, you get the high-quality contouring foam at a fraction of the cost. Beyond that, our testers note that it has kept its shape perfectly after years of use.

Tempur-Pedic's foam is famous for its motion transfer reduction, meaning you're less likely to feel your partner tossing and turning throughout the night. The foam also adapts to your body shape instead of instantly sinking, so while it might feel too firm when you first lie down, it will slowly change shape to cradle your body. Plus, the topper comes in a removable and machine washable cover so it's easy keep clean.

Best Mattress Topper to Make Beds Softer

Parachute Down Mattress Topper

  • Height: 3"

  • Fill materials: 85% down, 15% down/feather blend

  • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Whether your mattress feels too hard or you just want to layer on a pillow top for added comfort, a down or down-alternative topper is the best way to soften up your bed. This indulgent featherbed has two layers of down and feathers in a baffle box construction that keeps the fill evenly distributed. It's gusseted so it won't fall flat, and the outer fabric is a cotton sateen, which means it's tightly woven to prevent feathers from poking through.

The down is incredibly lofty so you get the fluffy feel that testers compared to sleeping on a cloud. If you’re looking to save a bit or have allergies to down, the brand also sells a down-alternative version made with microfiber fill. Besides the fill, it has the same overall construction. Keep in mind that both options are dry clean only.

Best Mattress Topper for Hip and Back Pain

Nolah Mattress Topper

  • Height: 2"

  • Fill materials: Memory foam

  • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Users of Nolah mattresses have told us they help relieve back pain, hip pain and sciatica, and this topper uses the brand's same signature AirFoam for superior pressure relief. When we tested the topper itself, our reviewers said it transformed their mattresses and made them feel new again. The foam comes in two firmness levels: Luxury Firm (which is like a medium in the 5 to 7 out of 10 range) and Plush (which is a soft 3 out of 10).

There are also wide elastic bands at the corners that stretch to secure the topper onto your mattress. It uses an outer cover made from organic cotton, though it's not removable for easy cleaning. Nolah offers free shipping and a 30-day return period, but note that it typically ships within 5 to 7 business days, so it may take a couple of weeks to arrive.

Best Latex Mattress Topper

Avocado Organic Latex Mattress Topper

  • Height: 2"

  • Fill materials: Certified organic latex and wool

  • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Most mattress toppers are made of synthetic materials like memory foam or polyester fiberfill, but this one's certified organic by the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) and Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), so you know it follows strict standards throughout its production process. Plus, not only is it organic, it's also top quality so you don't need to sacrifice performance to go green. At-home testers have said its held up perfectly after years of use and still maintains its comfort and support.

Inside the topper is durable and resilient latex with temperature-regulating wool, and the outer cover is a soft and breathable cotton. The latex layer comes in two firmness options: Firm if you need support and resilience, and plush if you want to add cloud-like softness. The brand also sells a vegan version with cotton fill instead of wool.

Best Hybrid Mattress Topper

Viscosoft Serene Memory Foam Hybrid Mattress Topper

  • Height: Ranges from 3" to 4"

  • Fill materials: Gel-infused memory foam, synthetic down alternative

  • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, Queen Short, King, California King

Most mattress toppers are either foam or fiberfill, but this one combines the two popular materials so you get the benefits of both. There's a 2.5-inch layer of gel-infused memory foam on the bottom that provides pressure relief. On top of that, its machine-washable cover has a down alternative fill so you get the soft comfort of a pillow top. It's not too soft or too firm, making it ideal when your bed needs an instant upgrade yet you're not sure whether to choose a supportive foam or plush fill.

The cover has a strap to attach the foam and pillow top layers, plus it has fitted sides with an elastic band to tuck it in securely on your bed. In fact, it can securely fit a deep mattress up to 18 inches high. Testers found it a bit tricky to set up at first, but said it stayed in place without shifting during use. On top of that, our reviewers found it to significantly improve the feel of the bed, offering more support and leading to fewer aches and pains. As an added bonus, the brand offers a 60-day return period.

Best Mattress Topper on Amazon

Lucid Down Alternative & Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper

  • Height: 4"

  • Fill materials: Gel-infused memory foam, synthetic down alternative

  • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

This pick is another hybrid mattress topper that combines foam and fiberfill for support and pillow-top comfort, but it's available on Amazon for a lower cost and with the convenience of Prime shipping. The bottom layer is memory foam infused with gel, while the top layer includes pockets of down alternative for plush padding. It goes onto your bed like a fitted sheet to help everything stay in place, though it doesn't have the strap to keep the two layers extra secure together.

It's a luxurious four inches high with equal parts foam and pillow top, but it's actually two separate pieces that you can layer together or use separately. The down alternative top layer that holds everything together is machine washable and dryer safe. Just note that some reviewers noted it sleeps hot, despite the gel infusion in the foam.

Best Mattress Topper for Side Sleepers

Tuft & Needle Mattress Topper

  • Height: 2"

  • Fill materials: Memory foam

  • Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

A memory foam mattress topper is ideal if you sleep on your side because it takes pressure off the areas where you put the most weight, like your hips and shoulders. This one from Tuft & Needle has two inches of foam specifically designed to add cushioning, while still being more supportive than a soft featherbed. The brand says this is because its unique responsive foam is more resilient without sinking in, and testers agree that Tuft & Needle's foam feels supportive without sinking in. Plus, it's made with open cells to help it feel more breathable.

Though it doesn't have straps to tuck under your mattress, it has a unique non-skid bottom that prevents it from shifting on your bed. It also has a comfy knit cover that helps prevent your sheets from bunching up. The downside is that this one isn't washable, and the cover can't be removed for cleaning.

Best Heating & Cooling Mattress Topper

Sleep Number DualTemp Individual Layer

  • Height: 1"

  • Fill materials: Air chambers

  • Sizes: Half Queen, Half King, Half California King

This innovative cooling mattress topper is the perfect solution if you're more concerned with adjusting the temperature of your bed than changing the feel of your mattress. It's temperature-controlled through a remote so you can choose between various levels of warm and cool. A floor unit sends hot or cool air to the thin mattress topper through a tube, then spreads out through the layer. Even though it requires extra pieces, the tube fits under a fitted sheet and the floor unit can stay hidden under the bed.

Just note, this pad is pricey and fits only half the bed. You'll need to buy two if both members of a couple want to control their side, meaning it could cost more than a mattress. That being said, it's unique and our testers — including couples with different preferences— were able to get a personalized sleep temperature. And unlike other toppers where the cooling technologies are minimal and don't last all night, this one keeps the cool (or warm) air flowing continuously.

How we test mattress toppers

Our bedding experts use their extensive backgrounds in testing bedding to review materials and features for each topper. Next, we call in samples for at-home sleep testers to try out on their own beds. After sleeping on the toppers for several weeks, each tester fills out a survey to provide in-depth feedback. Our analysts follow up with testers annually to check how the mattress toppers are holding up with extended use. Here's how we analyze the mattress toppers:

  • Comfort: Users give the mattress topper a rating for how comfortable it feels to lie on underneath their sheets.

  • Mattress enhancement: We review in detail if — and how — the topper changes the feel of our tester's mattress.

  • Ease of use: Testers rate how easy (or difficult) it is to put the topper onto their beds.

  • Temperature: Each reviewer notes whether or not they maintained a comfortable body temperature while sleeping on the topper.

  • Stay-in-place capabilities: The toppers are given scores for whether or not they shift around on the beds during use.

  • Sound: To ensure the toppers will be quiet and undetectable, each one is rated for whether it made noise during use.

  • Overall satisfaction: Finally, testers tell us whether they liked sleeping on the mattress topper, whether they plan to continue using it and any other comments that could help provide more insight.

Photo credit: Today
Photo credit: Today

What's the difference between mattress toppers, pads and protectors?

  • Mattress toppers are usually several inches thick and sit right on top of your mattress. The goal of a mattress topper is to make your bed more comfortable, whether adding firm support or pillow-top softness.

  • Mattress pads aren't as thick as toppers. They also typically have five sides and go onto your bed like a fitted sheet, rather than just sitting on top. You won't get quite as much added comfort as you would with a mattress topper, but they're typically less expensive and can often help protect your mattress from stains or spills.

  • Mattress protectors are designed specifically to keep your mattress safe from things like accidents, dust and bedbugs. Toppers and pads can technically extend the life of your mattress by protecting it from wear and tear, but a protector is more suitable if you're just looking to keep your mattress safe since it doesn't usually have comfort enhancements. These can be five-sided (like a mattress pad) or fully encased to keep the mattress protected on all sides.

Does a mattress topper really help?

Yes, a mattress topper can really help you sleep better! As long as your mattress is not sinking or sagging (or even if it's brand-new), a topper can spruce it up and change its overall feel. You can layer on a mattress topper for an enhanced feel, whether you purchased an expensive model that needs an affordable upgrade or you find your bed is lacking in comfort or support. Mattress toppers also provide a boost to an older mattress if you're finding you no longer love the feel but aren't ready to buy an entirely new mattress.

How to use a mattress topper

As the name implies, a mattress topper sits right on top of your mattress. Some have straps that you can anchor onto your mattress, whereas others solely lie on top. If you use a mattress pad or protector to keep your mattress safe from spills or wear and tear, you can add them over your mattress topper as well.

Keep in mind, a mattress topper can add several inches to your bed's height. Make sure to buy sheets that will fit your mattress and its topper, especially if you have a tall mattress to begin with.

What type of mattress topper is best?

It depends on what you're looking for — i.e., whether you'd like your mattress topper to provide more firmness and support, or if you need to soften up your bed. Here are the main types of toppers you can choose from:

  • Memory foam mattress toppers: These are the most popular because they can add support, comfort and pressure-relief to any mattress. There's also a wide range of price points in this category, and it's your best bet if you're looking for an affordable pick under $100 to spruce up a temporary bed. You'll also find variations of memory foam, like ones infused with gel or graphite to help prevent overheating from the foam.

  • Latex mattress toppers: Unlike memory foam that's made from petroleum, latex is a natural foam that's made from rubber trees. It's typically more expensive, but it's durable, more resilient and has more bounce than traditional foam.

  • Pillow-top mattress toppers: If your bed feels too hard and you want to add cloud-like softness, a topper made of down or fiberfill is your best bet: 100% down or down featherbeds are the most luxurious and fluffiest, while fiberfill made of polyester is less expensive and animal free.

  • Hybrid mattress toppers: These typically include a layer of foam with a pillow-top cover so you get the pressure relief and support combined with plush softness. You can also find hybrids that use memory foam clusters and fiberfill in the blend — these feel more like a featherbed with extra support.

More Mattress Topper Shopping Tips

With mattress toppers, there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution, so here are factors to consider when shopping for your most comfortable mattress topper:

  • Thickness: A good topper should be at least two inches, but a thicker option will offer more support, especially when it comes to foam toppers. If you’re just looking for a small upgrade, opt for a thinner model.

  • Softness: If your mattress is too firm, adding a down or fiberfill topper can give you plush comfort so it won't feel as hard.

  • Support: If you're feeling pain when you wake up, adding a foam topper can increase firmness or give you pressure relief around your joints.

  • Temperature regulation: Some mattresses can cause night sweats because they trap heat around your body, so you can opt for a topper with cooling features.

  • Care: Many mattress toppers aren't washable, especially ones made of foam. If this matters to you, check for one that you can launder in a washing machine.

  • Certifications: To make sure there are no harmful levels of chemicals in foam materials, look for labels like CertiPUR-US. For down toppers, check for the Responsible Down Standard (RDS), which ensures the ducks and geese receive humane treatment.

Why trust Good Housekeeping?

Lexie Sachs is the Executive Director of the Textiles, Paper & Apparel Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Fiber Science from Cornell University and more than 15 years experience in the textiles industry, including merchandising and product development for home products. Lexie joined Good Housekeeping in 2013 and has extensively tested all types of bedding —including boxed mattresses, silk pillowcases, duvet covers, weighted blankets and more — using specialized lab equipment and with hundreds of consumer testers.

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