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The best of the best

Compare the best mattresses of 2020 all in one place to find your perfect bed.

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Best Mattress Topper: Buyer’s Guide

Malena Piper

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Back pain contributes to over 264 million missed work days in just one year alone. Back pain is the number one reason for missed workdays, and unfortunately, back pain is often exacerbated by a lack of quality sleep.

In addition to sleeping on the best mattress for your particular needs, adding a mattress topper to your bedset can improve your quality of sleep and prevent aches and pains. The best memory foam mattress topper can transform a mattress from too firm to just right.

Best Mattress Toppers

Mattress TopperHighlightsPrice
EDITOR'S CHOICEAmerisleep Lift Mattress TopperAvailable as soft or firm and features zoned support technologies.
BEST EVEN FEEL TOPPERZoma Balance PadSpringy Reactiv™ foam provides a blend of comfort and support.
My Green Mattress Plush Latex Topper
My Green
Mattress
Plush Latex
Topper
Features GOLS certified organic latex and GOTS certified organic cotton.
$300
Red Nomad Thick Ultra Premium Topper
Red NomadThick Ultra
Premium Topper
Features Coolflow Technology to regulate your temperature.
$171.99
Nest Bedding Alexander Signature Cooling Topper
Nest BeddingAlexander
Signature
Cooling Topper
Gel memory foam is cool and cushioning for comfortable sleep all night long.
$249
Airweave Firm Mattress Topper
AirweaveFirm Mattress
Topper
One of the best toppers to firm up a soft mattress.
$830
Avocado Green Latex Topper
AvocadoGreen Latex
Topper
Available in different firmness options for varying sleep styles.
$249

Editor's Choice: Lift by Amerisleep

lift amerisleep mattress topper EDITOR'S CHOICE
Lift by Amerisleep

The Lift by Amerisleep is our recommended mattress layer because it’s available as a soft or firm option and it features zoned support technology to facilitate healthy sleeping positions.

Best mattress topper features
  • Soft, breathable cover over open-cell foam core ensures a cool night's rest.
  • Topper offers targeted support and pressure relief thanks to numerous hexagonal cutouts.
  • These three inch topers can add months or years to a bed's lifespan.
Recommended for...
  • Side and combination sleepers seeking a soft sleep surface.
  • Back and stomach sleepers who need more support in their mattress.
  • Shoppers looking for an inexpensive way to stretch out their mattress's use.

We recommend Amerisleep’s Lift mattress topper because it’s available as soft or firm, allowing you to modify your bed as you need, and it features zoned support technology to facilitate healthy spinal alignment and prevent aches and pains.

Amerisleep offers a Comfort Lift and a Support Lift; the Comfort Lift is plush, so it’s best for people looking to make their bed a little softer, and the Support Lift is firm, so it’s better for those who need more support. Regardless of which Lift mattress topper you choose, it comes with a soft, breathable cover. It’s also worth mentioning that both layers are three inches thick, so they do give your bed a bit of height.

We are such fans of the Amerisleep Lift mattress topper because it features HIVE® technology to promote comfortable sleep. HIVE® maintains healthy spinal alignment by offering extra support under your torso, head, and feet, and more cushioning comfort below your shoulders and hips. Regardless of how you sleep, HIVE® can help you rest in a healthier position and wake up each morning pain-free.

Best Even Feel Topper: Balance Pad by Zoma

Zoma Balance Pad BEST EVEN FEEL TOPPER
Balance Pad by Zoma

Whether your mattress has softened or firmed with age, the Balance Pad can restore it to a comfortable medium feel with its adaptable foam.

Best mattress topper features
  • Reactiv™ foam is light and dissipates heat as you sleep, helped by a breathable cover.
  • Reponsive Reactiv™ foam lifts you, maintaining a healthy spine alignment.
  • Non-skid fabric on the bottom keeps the topper from sliding out from under you.
Recommended for...
  • Side, back, and combination sleepers seeking a mattress topper.
  • People who want to get more time out of an older mattress.

As the name implies, Zoma’s Balance Pad provides the perfect mix of comfort and support. The topper can add a plush feel to an overly firm mattress and keep you from sinking into an excessively soft bed.

The balance pad is 3 inches of light and springy Reactiv™ foam, a unique material from Zoma. This responsive material contours to your body for continuous support and pressure relief, while also reducing motion transfer.

A ventilated cover prevents heat from building up inside the balance core for a cool night’s rest. Non-skid fabric on the topper’s bottom keeps the Balance Pad in place even as you toss and turn.

The Balance Pad is our choice for best runner-up because of its stabilizing feel. It can improve a mattress that’s too soft or too firm for better rest and recovery.

My Green Mattress Plush Latex

my green mattress topper MY GREEN MATTRESS PLUSH LATEX
My Green Mattress Plush Latex

If you’re a green shopper who wants to soften up a firm mattress, My Green Mattress’s topper may be the perfect solution.

Best mattress topper features
  • Organic cotton wicks away heat while the latex core remains cool naturally.
  • Plush latex topper transforms almost any bed into a luxurious experience.
  • GOLS certified organic and OEKO-TEX certified Dunlop latex inside GOTS certified organic cotton.
Recommended for...
  • Environmentally conscious shoppers hunting for an organic topper.
  • People who are not allergic to latex.
  • Sleepers sensitive to smells.

My Green Mattress Plush Latex Mattress Topper adds 2 inches of organic soft-yet-supportive latex to your existing mattress. This topper is listed as plush, and the Indentation Force Deflection (IFD) rating of 14-18 confirms this is indeed a luxurious plush topper.

IFD ratings range from 10-120 (with 120 being the most rigid), so this latex mattress topper’s rating means this topper easily transforms a firm mattress into a luxurious plush sleeping surface.

The My Green Mattress Plush Latex Mattress Topper features the highest quality latex. Not only is each all-natural latex topper composed of 2 inches of GOLS certified organic latex, but the topper is also covered with GOTS certified organic cotton. Soft, breathable cotton means the sleeper remains comfortable without the discomfort of trapped body heat.

The Dunlop latex is both GOLS certified organic and OEKO-TEX certified which means this topper doesn’t produce high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOC) into the air. Low-VOC benefits you because it emits harmful off-gassing. Low-VOC also means your topper won’t emit unpleasant odors caused by the toxic fumes.

Note: Latex mattress toppers are not hypoallergenic, so if you’re concerned about a potential latex allergy, consider mattress toppers made from other materials.

Red Nomad Thick Ultra Premium

red nomad mattress topper RED NOMAD THICK ULTRA PREMIUM
Red Nomad Thick Ultra Premium

This 4-inch thick foam topper conforms to your body for pressure and pain relief.

Best mattress topper
  • All-foam topper has met CertiPUR-US®'s rigorous safety and environmental standards.
  • Memory foam molds to the body for pressure relief.
  • Air circulates through thanks to Coolflow Technology and a Cool Cycle Polymer build.
Recommended for...
  • Sleepers who want a thicker topper.
  • People waking up with aches and pains.

Red Nomad Thick Ultra Premium 4-inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper is an all-foam topper designed to alleviate discomfort on your pressure points. The generously thick foam provides contouring so you feel relief on your pressure points.

This viscoelastic memory foam topper is designed to keep you cool and comfortable. Featuring Coolflow Technology and a Cool Cycle Polymer breathable design, cool air flows freely. The queen-size topper is tapered by 2 inches, coming in at 58 inches by 78 inches to allow fitted sheets to fit snugly — no more struggling to slide the fitted sheets over the corner of the mattress. Not only is the design convenient (thanks to those tapered edges), the topper is also slip-resistant.

The Red Nomad Thick Ultra Premium Memory Foam Mattress Topper is available in three thickness levels, and each one is certified eco-friendly through the CertiPUR-US® program. The topper ships quickly on Amazon and is backed by a 5-year limited warranty and a 100% money-back guarantee.

Nest Bedding Alexander Signature Cooling

nest bedding mattress topper NEST BEDDING ALEXANDER SIGNATURE COOLING
Nest Bedding Alexander Signature Cooling

This gel swirl foam topper can help hot sleepers rest undisturbed. Corner straps ensure the topper stays in place.

Best mattress topper features
  • Swirls of gel foam maintain a neutral surface temperature, helped by the breathable cover fabric.
  • Four corner straps tie down the mattress, keeping it in place while you sleep.
  • Memory foam core supports a healthy sleep posture while easing pressure points.
Recommended for...
  • Hot sleepers seeking a cool mattress topper.
  • Sleepers seeking more pressure and pain relief in their mattress.

The Nest Bedding Alexander Signature Cooling Topper is a gel swirl memory foam topper designed to promote cool sleeping in two ways.

Two inches of SmartFlow Gel Memory Foam helps keep hot air out thanks to liquid gel’s ability to draw heat out of the foam and into the gel. The foam is then covered in a breathable fabric to protect the topper and promote good airflow. The gel swirls throughout the topper don’t sacrifice support. You’ll still benefit from the posture support and pressure distribution of a typical foam mattress topper.

Sliding mattress toppers are a common complaint among inferior toppers, but the Alexander Signature Cooling Topper tackles the problem of sliding with corner straps. Simply attach the four straps on each corner, and your topper will remain in one place all night long. No need to worry about your topper sliding if you roll over during the night.

Nest Bedding provides a 100-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty on Nest Bedding mattresses, but not other Nest Bedding products. They do, however, offer bedding exchanges (which covers the topper) within 30 days of receipt.

Airweave Mattress Topper

airweave mattress topper AIRWEAVE MATTRESS TOPPER
Airweave Mattress Topper

This firm topper is made from proprietary material that can make an old mattress feel supportive again

Best mattress topper features
  • Wash the cover in a washing machine and give the core a quick rinse to clean it up.
  • Added air pockets keep the topper's surface cool and improve its contouring.
  • Airfiber creates a firm feel that evenly distributes weight.
Recommended for...
  • Back and stomach sleepers who want to firm up a too-soft mattress.
  • People willing to invest in a topper with a generous sleep trial and warranty.

The Airweave Mattress Topper is a 2-inch polyethylene topper covered in a quilted cotton-polyester blend. What makes this topper unique is the way the inner cushion is constructed.

Airweave is a firm topper made from a proprietary fabric called Airfiber. Airfiber features material fibers woven together to create tiny air pockets within the topper. This design evenly distributes the weight of the sleeper while promoting good airflow to keep cool air moving through the topper.

The nature of the Airfiber shifts the Airweave Mattress Topper into the firm category, making this ideal for individuals who enjoy a more firm sleeping surface. Adding this topper to a too-soft mattress can increase the firmness level up to an 8.5. Unlike most mattress toppers, the Airweave Mattress Topper is listed as machine-washable.

The cover is 55% polyester and 45% cotton and is easily washed in a washing machine. The Airfiber core, an eco-friendly, recyclable core, just needs a quick rinse with water to remove dust mites, dust, and other allergens.

Airweave toppers can cost more than some mattresses, but Airweave backs up their toppers with a generous 100-night sleep trial and a 3-year limited warranty. As a bonus, shipping is free to all continental states.

Avocado Green Latex

avocado green mattress topper AVOCADO GREEN LATEX
Avocado Green Latex

The latex core has a non-skid cotton bottom and wool fabric to maintain a consistent surface temperature.

Best mattress topper features
  • GOLS organic certified latex, GOTS organic certified wool, organic cotton taping
  • Latex contours to a sleeper's body for pressure and pain relief.
  • Wool batting keeps the surface cool when it's warm and warm when it's cool.
Recommended for...
  • Eco-conscious shoppers interested in an organic mattress topper.
  • Back or stomach sleepers looking for a firm topper.
  • Side sleeper seeking a soft topper.

Avocado Green’s Mattress Latex Topper is an organic topper made with the same strict standards as the Avocado Green Mattress. The organic latex topper features both GOLS organic certified latex and GOTS organic certified wool. Even the cotton taping along the zipper is 100% organic.

Avocado offers the Green Mattress Latex Topper in two firmness levels: Firm Topper or Soft Topper. The versatility of Avocado means the latex topper works for individuals who want to make their current mattress more firm, but it also works for individuals who seek a more plush sleeping surface.

The inclusion of wool fabric keeps the sleeper cool in the summer and warm in the winter since wool naturally wicks away more moisture and allows air to circulate naturally. An organic cotton canvas bottom prevents the topper from sliding so you can rest assured this topper won’t need adjusting once you wake up in the morning.

In addition to providing free shipping and free returns, Avocado also offers a 10-year warranty.

Mattress Topper Types to Consider

Choosing the best mattress topper means carefully evaluating each type available to you. Toppers can vary in terms of the fabrics and materials used as well as the firmness level of each type of topper. Take a peek at the most common mattress topper types.

Memory Foam Mattress Toppers

Memory foam mattress toppers are toppers composed of viscoelastic polyurethane foam. Memory foam was originally developed by NASA, but it has quickly become a popular material for both mattresses and mattress toppers. Memory foam, originally called temper foam, earned the nickname “memory foam” because the soft foam left a “memory” imprint rather than bouncing back immediately after an individual moved or rolled over.

Pros of Memory Foam Mattress Toppers

  • Cooling design: Open cells or bubbles allow air to move freely, promoting cooler sleep.
  • Responsive: Memory foam toppers respond to the movements of the sleeper, preventing sleepers from feeling “stuck” in the foam.
  • Motion isolation: The density of the foam absorbs the sleeper’s movements (e.g. tossing or turning) to promote a more peaceful sleeping environment.

Cons of Memory Foam Mattress Toppers

Although fabric covers on memory foam toppers can be washed, foam toppers themselves are not machine-washable. You can, however, place a mattress protector on top of the topper to prevent damage from spills.

Latex Mattress Toppers

Latex mattress toppers are composed of either synthetic latex or natural latex. Natural latex foam is breathable due to the way it is manufactured. To make a natural latex mattress topper, sap from the rubber tree is prepared (i.e. whipped) into a frothy mixture with several bubbles and then baked. During the baking process, the bubbles create small holes, and it is this porous construction that makes natural latex toppers breathable.

Pros of Natural Latex Mattress Toppers

  • Manufactured without any VOCs: Only memory foam products — not natural latex — have the potential to produce VOCs.
  • Sustainably manufactured: Natural latex is created from the rubber tree, not synthetic materials.
  • Breathable: The porous design means air flows freely.

Cons of Latex Mattress Toppers

This topper is not suitable for those with latex allergies.

Cotton and Poly-Blend Mattress Toppers

Cotton is a natural fabric and is well-known for its breathability. It is also an easy-to-wash fabric. Many polyester blend toppers feature a firmer core (such as the Airweave topper) encased by a cotton or polyester quilted shell. This arrangement allows for firm support with the ability to easily wash a cotton cover.

Pros of Cotton and Poly-Blend Mattress Toppers

  • Easy to clean: Cotton is machine-washable and easy to dry.
  • Soft to the touch: These fabrics are soft and sheets will glide right over them, making it easy to make the bed.
  • Breathable: Cotton naturally has an open weave so air isn’t trapped.
  • Versatile: Cotton and poly-blend covers are compatible with both soft or firm cores.

Cons of Cotton or Polyester Blend Toppers

  • Expensive: The price tags for a supportive-yet-comfortable topper in this category are higher than toppers in other categories.
  • Less durable: Cheaper cotton toppers (without firm cores) tend to wear out faster and lose their shape.

Wool Mattress Toppers

Wool is another natural fabric and is commonly incorporated into organic and eco-friendly toppers. Wool toppers provide several benefits to the sleeper including:

  • Year-round comfort: Wool is well-known for its ability to regulate temperature which means cool sleep in the summer and warmer nights in the winter.
  • Breathable nights: Wool wicks away moisture while allowing air to circulate naturally.
  • No harmful off-gassing: Wool is a natural textile and does not emit harmful gasses or toxins.

Cons of a Wool Mattress Topper

Although wool is a natural and sustainable fabric, wool mattress toppers are not suitable for vegans.

Feather Mattress Toppers

Soft and plush, a feather mattress topper sounds fit for a queen. Feather toppers are composed of soft goose down (or a down alternative) and usually encased in a tightly woven cotton cover to prevent the feathers from slipping through tiny gaps in the fabric. Feather toppers provide excellent warmth in the colder months.

Pros of Feather Mattress Toppers

  • Good temperature regulation: Down feathers help retain body heat, keeping you cozy.
  • Soft and plush: A feather topper is ideal for those who prefer plush sleeping surfaces.

Cons of a Feather Mattress Topper

  • Loss of support over time: The idea of a down comforter or a feather pillow is luxurious, so it makes sense to include a feather mattress topper in the luxury category. However, not all feather toppers offer support like other topper materials.
  • Too soft if you prefer firm mattresses: A feather topper is not ideal for individuals who prefer firmer sleeping surfaces.
  • Feathers slipping through the fabric: Without proper ticking, feathers can poke through the topper, causing discomfort.

Mattress Topper Budget

In addition to exploring the types of mattress toppers, it’s also important to consider the price point of each topper. Queen-sized mattress toppers can range anywhere from $40 to more than $800, but not all toppers are created equally. A quality mattress topper can help regulate body temperature, provide comfort, and reduce discomfort on pressure points.

An economy topper may be inexpensive, but it may not provide the long-lasting support you need. Replacing a cheap topper could cost more money in the long run. A $40 egg crate topper may not help you sleep better.

Investing more money in a high-quality topper is even more important if you are using the topper as a way to extend the life of a worn mattress.

Besides looking at the price of the topper itself, look at the other perks included in the price. Some— but not all— companies offer sleep trials and warranties on their mattress toppers. This can be a great advantage if you’re contemplating investing in a more expensive or high-end topper.

Sleeping Position

Finding the best mattress topper is more than just the right mattress topper type or the right price tag. The right mattress topper for you depends on your preferred sleeping position.

Keep in mind your ideal sleeping position when shopping for a mattress topper.

Side Sleepers

A 2017 study published in “Nature and Science of Sleep” journal found sleepers tend to spend about 54% of the night sleeping on their sides. Sleeping on the side can also help reduce sleep apnea incidences. Because side sleeping is such a popular sleeping position, it’s important to find a topper to supports this position.

Side sleepers require enough cushioning which enables the hips and shoulders to sink into the mattress. This keeps the spine aligned and provides pressure point relief on the hips.

If this is your preferred sleeping position, avoid any topper that is too firm and prevents your hips from sinking into the topper.

Tip for those who prefer side sleeping: A 2003 study published in the “American College of Cardiology” journal found individuals who prefer sleeping on the right side noted less dyspnea, or cardiac congestion. If you’re new to sleeping on your right side, you can further your comfort by sleeping with a pillow between your knees for added support.

Back Sleepers

Most orthopedic doctors suggest sleeping on the back to promote proper spinal alignment. A 2015 study in the journal “Work” found individuals who sleep on their back experience less lower back discomfort than healthy individuals who opt for other sleeping positions.

If you’re a back sleeper, look for a topper designed to promote proper spinal alignment. A medium-firm mattress topper provides support and comfort for back sleepers.

Stomach Sleepers

Sleeping on the stomach can place additional stress on the spine and neck, and sleeping on a too-soft surface can exacerbate these risks. Stomach sleepers require a firmer topper to keep the spine and neck in alignment. If sleeping on your stomach is essential, add a small pillow under the pelvis to support the proper spinal alignment.

Avoid soft toppers. A feather or plush foam topper would not be ideal as these do not provide the pressure relief needed for the back and neck.

Tip: If you enjoy a plush sleeping surface, consider switching to a different sleeping position.

Sleeping Cool and Airflow

Mattress toppers work well to adjust the firmness level of your current mattress, but they also serve another purpose: to keep the sleeper cool. Overheating is a major concern among individuals who use memory foam mattresses, and a mattress topper can promote cool sleep, even on an old mattress.

Mattress toppers promote airflow and help you sleep cool in a few different ways:

  • Through their fabric choice, e.g. wool or a breathable cotton
  • Through their design, e.g. open cell structure on foam mattresses
  • Through their added elements, e.g. cooling gel injected throughout the foam

Toppers like the Airweave Mattress Topper combine the fabric cover (in this case, cotton) with the design (Airfiber’s open flow technology) to approach temperature regulation from multiple angles.

If your current mattress sleeps hot or if you’re a hot sleeper in general, you don’t necessarily need to replace it. Consider adding a cooling mattress topper to extend the life of your bed until you are ready for an upgrade.

Common Questions

Do mattress toppers work?

Yes, a good mattress topper can improve the feel of a bed that’s grown too soft or has started to lose support. However, there is a limit to how much a topper can change a mattress’s firmness level, even for the best toppers. If your bed has excessive sagging, deep indentations, or extensive damage, it might be better to spend your money on a new mattress, instead.

When should I get a new mattress versus a new mattress topper?

Mattress toppers can go a long way in creating a comfortable environment for sleeping, but it is important to consider which product you really need: a new mattress or a mattress topper.

Mattresses can last for years — decades even. However, if a mattress is starting to break down, you might see signs of wear-and-tear like sagging. A mattress topper can only do so much if the mattress is already worn too much.

Sometimes a mattress topper is a short-term solution to a bigger problem. In these cases, it’s more cost-effective in the long run to consider a new mattress. It may be time to purchase a new mattress if:

  • Your mattress sags more than 0.75 inches
  • There are already noticeable sleep postures (indentations) formed on the mattress
  • The coils are palpable through the mattress
  • The mattress is damaged
  • You wake up with severe back pain that dissipates shortly after waking and stretching

Potential cons of toppers:

  • Increased difficulty to find well-fitting sheets, especially with a 4-inch thick topper
  • Sliding toppers can become annoying

That being said, if your mattress is in good shape you can use a mattress topper to extend the life of a mattress that is showing mild signs of wear-and-tear. Additionally, if your mattress is in good shape and you would prefer to alter the firmness level, a mattress topper might be the solution for you.

Which material is best for a mattress topper?

The term “best” is subjective here because the best topper will vary from person to person. To recap, a sleeper must consider the following points before determining which mattress topper is right for their own unique needs:

  • Material type
  • Price
  • Sleeping position

For instance, a feather topper is generally more plush (but less supportive) than a memory foam or latex topper. Poly-blends, memory foam, and natural latex can offer firmer support.

What thickness mattress topper should I get?

How thick your topper should be depends on your budget and how much you want to change your mattress’s feel. Thicker toppers usually create a more drastic change, so if you want more cushion and support it might be best to opt for one that’s 3 or 4 inches thick. However, thicker toppers are also more expensive.

Your sleeping position is an important consideration, as well. Toppers that are 1 or 2 inches thick can still provide enough relief for back and stomach sleepers. A mattress topper for a side sleeper should be thicker (at least 3 inches) to offer enough pressure relief.

Which mattress topper is best for back pain?

If you wake up with lower back pain associated with your mattress, a mattress topper might help you continue to use your current mattress without the added expense of purchasing a new mattress.

Before selecting the right topper, evaluate why your mattress is contributing to back pain. If you are sleeping on a too-soft mattress, consider looking for a medium-firm or firm mattress topper. You may also find a firm mattress with a pillowtop provides the just-right combination of support and cushioning.

Of the above-listed mattress toppers, the following are firm or medium-firm.

  • Thick Ultra Premium 4-inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper
  • Nest Bedding Alexander Signature Cooling Topper
  • Avocado Green Mattress Latex Topper

Avoid any plush or too-soft topper. The My Green Mattress Plush Latex Mattress Topper listed above may be too plush for those with back issues. Other toppers to avoid for back pain include feather toppers or a thin mattress pad.

If you have already tried several mattress toppers but still wake up with discomfort, consider updating your mattress. It may be the case that your mattress is simply too worn out or sags too much for the topper to make a difference. A new medium-firm mattress may provide the support and comfort you need.

You can also try sliding a pillow under your knees. This simple trick helps to take the pressure off of your lower back.

Conclusion

The best mattress topper is breathable, comfortable, and supportive — with a good price tag. Finding the right mattress topper at the right price is just the next step in achieving a night of quality sleep with minimal back pain.

Remember, when you’re looking to maximize your money and get the best mattress in your budget, keep your eye out for these features:

  • A breathable fabric
  • Non-slip features so your topper stays secure
  • The right firmness level so you feel comfortable all night long

Still not sure? Check out the customer reviews on the mattress toppers listed above.

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