Mattress Accessories & Bedding

Best Mattress Toppers

A guide to the best mattress toppers, the pros and cons of mattress toppers, who they’re good for, and what to consider when shopping for them.

By Natalie Yerger

Purchasing a new mattress is a heavy investment in both time spent determining which of the thousands out there is right for you and, of course, money. If you’re not interested in buying a new mattress just yet but want to take your bed’s comfort up a notch or two, a mattress topper is an option. Toppers, which range from 1”-3” thick, come in a variety of sizes, firmness levels and materials today, and are almost always cheaper than buying a new mattress. In this guide, we’re sharing our picks for the best mattress toppers, considerations when shopping, the pros and cons of using a topper, and how to determine if you need a mattress topper for your bed.

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Best Mattress Toppers of 2022

allswell Cool

Allswell CoolTouch 4″ Topper

Editor’s Pick

Allswell offers a few topper options that are worth a look, but I’ll go ahead and call the 4″ CoolTouch Topper the winner in my eyes. This one comes with all their bells and whistles—premium foam with graphite and copper gel to help regulate temperatures. While this is their top-of-the-line, it still comes at a reasonable price compared to many other competitors. Their two lower models feel really nice too, but for not very much more, you can get their upgrade. Enjoy!

See our full Allswell Mattress Topper Review to learn more.

tempur topper

TEMPUR-Pedic TEMPUR-Topper Supreme

Best Mattress Topper for Side Sleepers

This 3” thick topper is constructed with TEMPUR-Pedic’s proprietary memory foam, known for cradling pressure points and providing superior comfort. It’s encased in a dust mite– and allergen-resistant cover that can be easily removed and is machine washable. The TEMPUR material won’t flatten out over time and is known for its breathability, meaning this topper will last for years while keeping you cool at night. While pricey, at $399 for a queen, it comes with a 10-year warranty.

Read our full Tempur-Pedic Mattress Topper Review to learn more.

Layla Mattress Topper

Layla Memory Foam Topper

Best Cooling Mattress Topper

The Layla topper is made from a combination of polyester, viscose, and a poly and lycra blend that’s infused with copper gel. The gel beads not only keep the topper cool by drawing heat away from your body but are antimicrobial, aiding in blocking bacteria from settling down in your mattress. It’s plush and soft, yet supportive enough to provide pressure relief for your hips and shoulders. The Layla Memory Foam topper is available in all sizes from Twin to California King.

Check out our full Layla Memory Foam Topper Review to learn more. 

eLuxury Pad and Topper Set e1567534899222

eLuxury Supply 2-Piece Mattress Pad and Topper

Best Pad and Topper Set

Combining a pad with a topper provides the added benefit of protection from stains and contaminants from the pad underneath with all the extra comfort of a topper. This set includes eLuxury’s best-selling pad and a 1.5” memory foam topper. The pad itself is filled with polyester that resists flattening and has baffle box stitching to trap the fill and prevent it from shifting. It can fit mattresses up to 18” thick and comes in all sizes from Twin to California King. One reviewer, who purchased the set for her aging parents, said, “It’s so comfortable that they are reluctant to get out of bed each day.”

Birch Plus Pillow Top

Birch Plush Pillow Top

Best Mattress Topper for Back Pain

Made from layers of natural wool and Talalay latex, this topper is 3” thick and has a medium feel that will help keep your spine aligned, making it our best pick for sleepers with back pain. The latex is highly breathable to maximize airflow, and Birch uses natural, chemical-free materials. The body-contouring latex helps your spine rest in its natural shape instead of getting thrown out of alignment, so people with back pain can rest a little bit easier at night. This pillow top is available in all mattress sizes, and Birch offers free shipping, a 100-night sleep trial and a one-year warranty.

parachute topper

Parachute Down Mattress Topper

Best Down Mattress Topper

This super-soft, marshmallow-like topper is filled with premium European white down and encased in a 100 percent sateen cotton shell. The down is sustainably and ethically repurposed from humanely treated ducks, and the product is Oeko-Tex certified, meaning it’s free of harmful chemicals and synthetics. Reviewers write that this product reminds them of sleeping in a luxury hotel and that it keeps them cool throughout the night. Keep in mind that the Parachute topper is dry clean only, so if you prefer quick washes this might not be the one for you.

Read our full Parachute Down Mattress Topper review to learn more!

What is a Mattress Topper?

A mattress topper has a simple definition. It’s a separate layer of cushioning that’s added or removed from the surface of a mattress and serves the purpose of improving a bed’s overall comfort. Often confused with mattress pads, mattress toppers home in on guaranteeing a comfortable night’s sleep whereas mattress pads are meant to protect the mattress from stains, spills, odors and oils. 

Who Should Consider Buying a Mattress Topper?

There’s not a hard set of criteria for whether someone is a good fit for a mattress topper, as the purchase is up to one’s preference. If you’re sleeping just fine on your current mattress, it’s likely you don’t need one. However, if you find that any of the following are true of your mattress or sleep quality, a topper could be a worthwhile investment:

  • If your comfort preferences vary from your partner, a topper can soften or firm up one side of the mattress. We recommend purchasing a Twin or Full size for one side of a King mattress.
  • If you host guests in your home frequently and don’t want to invest as much money into your guest bedroom mattresses as you did in your master bedroom mattress, for example, a topper can add comfort to a guest bed for just a few hundred dollars.
  • If you live in a short-term residence, like a dorm room, RV, hotel or a care or hospice facility, where you don’t have much choice in your mattress type or firmness, a topper can provide some control over the comfort level of your sleeping surface.

Benefits of a Mattress Topper

Mattress toppers create an improved, more comfortable sleeping surface on a mattress that’s currently not suitable, whether it’s too firm, too soft or simply old. They can also provide an additional layer of support and stability for those with back issues, or pain and pressure relief for those experiencing pain in their neck, shoulders and hips. 

A mattress topper will also increase the durability of the mattress beneath it, extending its lifespan by providing a buffer between the sleeper and the comfort layer. Many also feature a cooling effect through gel beads or other technology that improves the overall breathability of the bed. 

What to Consider When Shopping for a Topper

When shopping for a mattress topper, it’s important to consider your primary purpose for buying one. While most consumers desire improved comfort through a mattress topper, toppers can also indirectly adjust the firmness level of the mattress, alleviate pain and improve airflow. Once you’ve determined why you’re in the market for a topper, here’s what to keep in mind as you shop:

  • Material: Toppers made from different materials will vary in the sleep experience they can offer, their coolness, price, durability and many other factors. Each material has its own benefits and drawbacks. Memory foam and latex help with spinal alignment and pain relief by contouring to the body. Feather and wool-filled toppers won’t conform as closely, but they’re very cool and comfortable. 
  • Thickness & Density: Most mattress toppers measure from 1”-3” thick. Thin toppers are best when minor changes in the mattress’ surface are desired, and thicker toppers are capable of drastically adjusting the mattress’ comfort level. 
  • Firmness: If you’re sleeping on a bed that’s too soft for your liking, look for a firmer topper. If your current mattress is too firm for you, a soft topper will make the bed more comfortable. 
  • Durability: Lifespan will vary widely by brand, material, use, and fill. High-quality latex and memory foam toppers are among the most durable, followed closely by wool mattress toppers. Feather and fiber-filled toppers tend to have shorter lifespans. 
  • Sleeping Position: The right mattress for you is largely determined by your sleeping position, and mattress toppers aren’t much different in that regard. Side sleepers need contouring toppers that allow the shoulders and hips to sink. Back sleepers need slightly firmer mattress toppers that will prevent the back and hips from sinking. For stomach sleepers, a firmer topper will prevent sinking in the stomach area. 

Mattress Toppers vs. Mattress Pads

Think of mattress pads as less substantial versions of mattress toppers. Thinner, cheaper, and less cumbersome, these products have slight effects on the softness of a mattress, while mattress toppers can alter the feel of a mattress significantly.

If you’re looking for a little bit of added comfort, a mattress pad may be the way to go. If you’re dissatisfied with your current mattress but don’t want to invest the time or money into purchasing a new one, a topper can be a great in-between bedding option to improve the comfort and fit of your bed.