If you’ve been struggling to get a good night’s sleep lately, or have been plagued by morning aches and pains, it may be time to take a second look at your mattress. But if you’re not in the market to spend a fortune on a new bed—don’t worry. Michael Breus, Ph.D, board-certified sleep specialist known as The Sleep Doctor partnered with the experts at Mattress Advisor to find the eight best mattress toppers.
Mattress toppers are an inexpensive way to customize your mattress to your liking. A good mattress topper can augment the firmness level of your existing bed and help rehabilitate a mattress that’s lost some of its supportiveness. Or if you simply find your current mattress to be too soft or too hard, you can add either a plush or firm topper to meet somewhere in the middle, and closer to your preferred feel.
As with mattresses, though, not all toppers are created equal. The Sleep Doctor collaborated with the expert review team at Mattress Advisor to create a list of the top products on the market today, based on in-depth research and customer feedback.
Here are eight of the best mattress toppers, plus some additional considerations to help guide you in picking the topper best-suited to your sleep position, budget, and comfort preferences.
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
- Best for Back Pain: Puffy
- Best for Side Sleepers: Saatva
- Best for Combination Sleepers: Casper
- Best Soft Mattress Topper: Helix
- Best Organic Mattress Topper: Birch by Helix
- Best Latex Mattress Topper: Avocado
- Best Flippable Mattress Topper: Layla
- Best Affordable: Tuft & Needle
What is a Mattress Topper?
A mattress topper is not the same thing as a mattress pad or mattress protector. The latter two are products intended to keep your mattress safe from spills (or, to keep a child’s mattress resistant to bedwetting). However, a mattress topper is a 1-3” thick layer designed specifically to enhance the firmness and supportiveness of your existing mattress.
A mattress topper is also typically much thicker than a mattress pad or protector. Just like thread count is indicative of the quality of bed sheets, thickness is indicative of the level of support a mattress topper provides. A mattress pad sits atop your bed like a fitted sheet, and a mattress protector is also rather thin and mainly serves as a barrier to protect your mattress from accidents. For hot sleepers, there are also cooling mattress pads that simply add a cool sensation to your mattress, but the best cooling mattress toppers add cooling and reinforced support. As a result, you get a customized and an even more comfortable sleep experience without putting a hole in your wallet.
Benefits of the Best Mattress Topper
Because a mattress topper is so customizable, it can assist in helping with any joint or back pain you might be experiencing with your mattress. Say your current mattress is too firm—pop a softer topper on that provides extra cushioning, and you’re in good shape. Studies found that medium-firm mattresses reduced back pain significantly more than firmer beds.
What does The Sleep Doctor Think?
“Mattress toppers represent a great idea for couples with different comfort needs. It’s truly a way to customize your side of the bed to create the perfect night’s sleep. In addition, toppers are great for people who may not love the “feel” of the bed they may have recently purchased,” says Dr. Breus.
What to Consider When Shopping for the Best Mattress Topper for You
When selecting a mattress topper, one of the main things to consider is whether you’re aiming for a plusher sleep experience or a firmer one. For those who suffer from back or joint pain, it’s typically best to seek something that’s cushioning if you’re already resting on a firmer mattress.
Another factor to take into account is your sleep position. This is much the same as when shopping for a new bed: You’ll want to think about whether you’re a back sleeper, stomach sleeper, or side sleeper, and select your mattress topper in kind based on your sleep needs.
Generally, back and stomach sleepers can opt for either a plush or more firm topper—the most important thing for these types of sleepers is whether their mattress is supportive enough to keep their spine aligned. This is because stomach sleepers have the greatest risk of experiencing spine misalignment, which can cause back and neck pain. If you’re a back or stomach sleeper and your mattress isn’t quite as supportive as you need it to be, opt for a firmer topper. But if your mattress does a great job providing support and maintaining a neutral spine posture, you could opt for something softer that adds extra cushioning.
Side sleepers, on the other hand, sleep better with a bed that allows them to sink into the mattress just enough to cushion the hips and shoulders and relieve pressure. If you’re a side sleeper resting on a too-firm mattress, you risk placing too much of your weight on your hips and shoulders if they’re not properly cradled. Because of this, side sleepers would do best with a plush mattress topper that provides deep pressure relief.
Combination, or multi-positional sleepers can swing either way—it really comes down to their personal comfort preferences. If your mattress is lacking in responsiveness, a key factor combination sleepers need in order to switch positions easily, you could look into a latex mattress topper. Latex is inherently springy and highly responsive, and adapts to your movements with ease.
Types of the Best Mattress Toppers
A memory foam topper is best suited for those who enjoy a cushy surface. Just like memory foam mattresses, a memory foam topper gently contours to your body, relieving tension at pressure points like your hips and shoulders. Memory foam toppers are a great way to soften up the surface of your mattress if it’s firmer than you prefer, but keep in mind that memory foam is a hot material and tends to trap heat. And if you sleep with a partner, memory foam excels at motion transfer, as the foam absorbs movement so you can sleep uninterrupted. If you frequently suffer from night sweats or hot flashes, it’s best to steer clear of memory foam.
Latex is a naturally pressure-relieving material, and closely contours to the body like memory foam, but possesses more springiness. This makes a latex topper a great choice for combination sleepers, but also for back and stomach sleepers, as the latex provides enough push back to keep your spine in alignment. Not to mention how durable latex is as a material, which ensures your topper will last just as long as your mattress. Latex also helps regulate body heat, and is a smart pick for hot sleepers.
Other common mattress topper materials include down, wool, and polyfoam. A down mattress topper is a good choice for hot sleepers, or for those who prefer a softer mattress surface. For those who like a little extra warmth in the winter, a wool topper provides more insulation to keep you cozy and snug. Polyfoam, a blend of multiple kinds of memory foam, strikes a nice balance between memory foam and latex; it hugs your body like memory foam, but also bounces back against your movements like latex. A polyfoam mattress topper offers a nice springy, yet contouring balance.
1. Best Mattress Topper for Back Pain: Puffy
Puffy makes one of the top memory foam mattresses on the market today, so it makes sense that they’d also boast a top-notch mattress topper. The main reason to look at the Puffy, though, is that it’s well-suited for back pain relief. It comes in two firmness options, meaning you can easily tweak your mattress’s feel to make it as soft or as firm as needed to help mediate discomfort. The soft option works well if your current mattress is too firm, which can sometimes exacerbate lingering back pain. By adding a softer foam topper, you can gain some of the extra cushioning and contouring you need around areas of pressure.
Sleepers report that the firm option also works well if your current mattress is too soft; with a soft mattress, you run the risk of sinking too far into the bed, which can knock your spine out of alignment and cause further joint pain. By adding a firmer topper, you can get the support you need to maintain spine alignment and limit the pressure placed on your back.
Inside the topper lies a combination of bamboo and polyester that’s OEKO-TEX certified, which means it’s free of harmful chemicals. The bamboo adds a nice cushy feel to the topper, while the polyester helps it maintain its stretchiness. Plus, Puffy’s topper is hypoallergenic and machine washable, and comes with a lifetime warranty.
2. Best for Side Sleepers: Saatva Graphite Mattress Topper
Saatva’s mattress products are made with luxury in mind, and its line of toppers is no exception. But Saatva’s graphite all-foam mattress topper is truly a cut above the rest when it comes to pressure relief. The graphite is designed to draw heat away from the body for a cool night’s sleep, but side sleepers will especially appreciate the Saatva’s two-layer all-foam topper design that closely contours to your pressure points. The dense foam layer helps to evenly distribute your weight, and reinforces the top layer in order to keep you from sinking too far into the mattress. For side sleepers who need extra cushioning, this is a standout choice for its full-body-hug feel.
Plus, buyers love how Sattva’s graphite topper is designed to fit seamlessly with your existing mattress and comforter and is easy to anchor to your bed thanks to the straps that you can tuck underneath your mattress or a snug and secure feel. And a silky soft organic quilted cotton cover completes the topper, adding a sophisticated touch.
3. Best Mattress Topper for Combination Sleepers: Casper
If you’re a combination sleeper struggling to move around on your current mattress, you may need a responsive topper to remedy your sleep. Casper’s topper is made with three distinct layers of open-cell latex foam designed for comfort, responsiveness, and pressure relief. Open-cell essentially means the foam has tiny pores designed for air circulation. The layers work in tandem to add more buoyancy to your mattress, and at three inches thick, this topper also adds plush comfort.
Buyers also noted that the Casper topper is that it’s incredibly easy to use; it rolls onto your bed seamlessly, providing a secure and snug fit from day one. Finally, it comes with a limited 10-year warranty, which should provide some peace of mind as you shop for a new mattress topper.
4. Best Soft Mattress Topper: Helix Plush Mattress Topper
Many sleepers look for a mattress topper that will enhance the firmness of their current bed—but what about those who are looking for something a little more plush?
Consider the Helix Plush mattress topper, which is designed for softness and cushioning. Sleepers love its luxury plush feel, which is thanks to the bamboo fibers the Helix topper uses to create a soft-to-the-touch sensation. Plus, bamboo fibers are softer and more resilient than cotton, so you can sleep in cozy comfort for years to come. This is a great pick for sleepers looking to soften up a too-firm mattress, or for sleepers who enjoy added plushness without the sinking feeling of memory foam.
5. Best Organic Mattress Topper: Birch by Helix
For those seeking a topper that’s as friendly to the environment as it is to their sleep, take a look at the Birch by Helix. Eco-friendly buyers love how it’s made with natural materials like an organic wool and cotton, plus a natural Talalay latex pillow top. That means it’s as plush as any down alternative topper, but also designed to be clean, toxin-free, and environmentally sound, backed by a Greenguard Gold certification. Sleepers note that this is another topper that can help you prevent overheating; latex naturally promotes temperature regulation, allowing this accessory to also function as a cooling mattress topper. Plus, the latex also contours to your body and relieves pressure along sensitive spots.
This organic topper is handmade in the USA, and backed with a 10-year warranty, as well as a 100 night sleep trial.
6. Best Latex Mattress Topper: Avocado Green
If you’re interested in trying a latex mattress, but not ready to commit just yet, try a latex mattress topper. It is a great way to test drive the material, not to mention the many benefits latex provides sleepers like pressure relief, responsiveness, and cooling properties to name a few. The Avocado Green latex mattress topper is handmade in the United States and designed to rest snugly on your current mattress. Buyers with kids love the waterproof mattress cover Avocado offers with the topper, that ensures your topper lasts through any messy spills or wear and tear.
Avocado’s Green topper uses GOLS organic certified latex to bounce back against your movements, keeping your spine in alignment. And thanks to the latex, this topper does well with regulating body temperature. Shoppers can choose between either a plush or firm option at checkout, making this topper a good choice for all sleep positions. Side sleepers would benefit from the pressure relief and soft comfort of the plush option, while back and stomach sleepers would fare well with either, depending on the firmness of their current mattress.
7. Best Flippable Mattress Topper: Layla
You may be familiar with Layla’s flippable mattresses, but have you heard of its flippable mattress topper? With a soft and firm side, all sleep positions can benefit from this topper––all you have to do is flip it over until you find your perfect feel! The Layla topper is composed of memory foam that evenly distributes body weight to help take the strain off hips and other pressure points. This is a great pick if you currently have a firm mattress and are looking to soften your bed up to a medium-firm feel, which works well for many different sleep styles.
Buyers also love how it’s antimicrobial, meaning it kills bacteria, prevents allergens like dust mites, and provides you with a clean and healthy sleeping surface.
8. Best Affordable Mattress Topper: Tuft & Needle
There are a number of factors to consider when selecting a topper, from firmness to the type of material used––but don’t overlook price point. For shoppers on a budget, the Tuft & Needle is a popular option known for its simple approach to comfort and affordable cost.
Made with two inches of foam, the Tuft & Needle is no slouch when it comes to quality; it will increase the supportiveness of your current mattress, and it’s also made to soften up your current mattress. This high-density foam topper will help your mattress outlast its life expectancy, and its low price point just sweetens the deal.
Final Thoughts on How to Choose the Best Mattress Topper for You
As you seek a new mattress topper, whether that’s a high-quality, natural latex or gel memory foam mattress topper, there are plenty of factors to keep in mind. More than anything else, though, ensure you’re selecting something that will provide you with the pain relief and lumbar support you need for a restful night’s sleep, and an ache-free morning.
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Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. 2017. “Effects of Mattress Material on Body Pressure Profiles in Different Sleeping Postures.” Journal of Chiropractic Medicine (Vol. 16, 1), October, 21, 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5310954/
KTT Enterprises. 2017. “Eco-friendly Talalay Latex.” https://kttenterprises.com/eco-friendly.html
USDA. 2020. “Latex.” https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/ethnobotany/latex.shtml