Best Mattress Toppers of 2022 | Sleep Foundation (2023)

A mattress topper is a layer of cushioning material that rests on top of your mattress. Toppers are intended to make a mattress feel softer or firmer, and can also protect the mattress surface from wear and tear. Most toppers measure 1 to 3 inches thick. Common topper materials include memory foam, latex, down and feathers, down alternative fibers, and wool. While a topper can temporarily make your sleep surface feel comfortable, it should be considered a temporary fix – not a permanent solution – for an old, sagging mattress. If you’re looking to replace your bed, look at our best mattress list.

Each topper type has different advantages and drawbacks. To create the list below, we tested a wide range of toppers with varying firmness levels, materials, and profiles. We evaluated performance areas such as overall quality and durability, pressure relief, motion isolation, and temperature neutrality. Our sleep expert team consists of people with different body types and primary sleep positions to ensure our picks represent the experiences of most sleepers.

To learn more about our best mattress topper selections, you’ll find detailed product profiles below. We awarded a unique accolade to each topper that reflects why it stands out from the competition. First-time topper buyers can also find additional information further down the page, where we cover common topper materials and designs, pros and cons of different topper types, how using a topper will change your mattress, and how much you can expect to pay for a new one.

Product Details

Best Mattress Toppers of 2022 | Sleep Foundation (1)

Best Mattress Toppers of 2022 | Sleep Foundation (2)Best Overall

Saatva Mattress Topper

Best Mattress Toppers of 2022 | Sleep Foundation (3)


Firmness:Medium Soft (4) or Medium (5)

Who it's best for:
  • Sleepers whose ideal feel falls between medium soft and medium
  • Hot sleepers
  • Shoppers looking for a topper with different material options
  • Choose from three toppers with unique designs and feels
  • GOTS-certified organic cotton covers included with each model
  • 45-night sleep trial and 1-year warranty

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The Saatva Mattress Topper is available in three distinct designs, each one crafted with high-quality materials and embellished with thoughtful features to enhance your sleep experience.

Compositions are different for all three models. The “Foam” topper is composed of high-density polyfoam, a material that conforms to the body and alleviates pressure without the “body-hug” of memory foam that some people find unpleasant. The profile is 1.5 inches, so this topper won’t drastically alter the feel of your mattress but it will provide extra cushioning to make your sleep surface more comfortable. This is the firmest of Saatva’s three toppers, rating as medium or a 5 on the 1-10 scale. It is also the most affordable.

The “Graphite” topper has a profile of 3 inches, making it the thickest option. The top layer is made of adaptive memory foam while denser base foam reinforces the sleep surface. While the feel of this topper is considered medium soft (4), it shouldn’t sink too much for people who weigh up to 230 pounds. The top layer is also infused with graphite to offset some of the foam’s heat-absorbing properties.

The final model is the “Latex” topper, which has a 1.5-inch profile and a medium soft (4) feel. This model is best suited to sleepers who want some contouring but find foams uncomfortably warm. The latex is perforated to promote airflow throughout the interior, allowing it to sleep quite cool. Its price-point is the highest of the three.

All of Saatva’s toppers are encased in covers made of breathable, sustainably sourced organic cotton certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard. Each one also includes elastic corner straps to keep the topper in place and minimize shifting that often occurs with toppers – especially for people who move around a lot while they sleep. Shipping is free for all contiguous U.S. orders, and every purchase is backed by a 45-night sleep trial and 1-year warranty.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“Our testers found that each Saatva Mattress Topper has unique strengths. The high-density foam model offers excellent support, the graphite memory foam model conforms closely to alleviate pressure, and the latex model sleeps exceptionally cool.”

Read our Full Saatva Topper Review to learn more

Best Mattress Toppers of 2022 | Sleep Foundation (4)

Best Mattress Toppers of 2022 | Sleep Foundation (5)Best Value

Puffy Mattress Topper

Best Mattress Toppers of 2022 | Sleep Foundation (6)


Firmness:Soft (3), Firm (7)

Who it's best for:
  • Side sleepers
  • People who experience painful pressure buildup
  • Those seeking more plushness on their bed surface
  • All-foam construction offers strong contouring
  • Two firmness options
  • Removable cover is machine-washable

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The Puffy Mattress Topper is a foam model that provides strong contouring for many body types. Sleepers who experience sharp pressure points at night will appreciate this topper’s deep cradling.

The topper is 2.5 inches thick and comes in two firmness options – soft (3) and firm (7). Since foam compresses under body weight, both firmness levels offer pressure relief. The soft option is ideal if you need a topper that truly excels at relieving pressure, especially for side and back sleepers up to 230 pounds. The soft surface cushions the body, particularly areas that are susceptible to pressure buildup, such as the shoulders, hips, and spine. The firm option may feel too firm for some sleepers, but those over 230 pounds should sink deep enough to receive a fair amount of pressure relief.

The topper’s cover is composed of a polyester and bamboo-derived rayon blend. It can easily be removed and washed in a home machine. Elasticated pockets accommodate mattresses up to 15 inches thick, and the elastic ensures that the topper won’t shift too much at night.

Puffy offers a 101-night sleep trial for customers to try out the topper, during which you can return the topper for a full refund. The topper is also backed by a lifetime warranty and ships free to addresses in the contiguous U.S.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“The all-foam design of the Puffy Mattress Topper makes it a perfect solution for anyone looking to boost pressure relief on their bed surface.”

Best Mattress Toppers of 2022 | Sleep Foundation (7)

Best Mattress Toppers of 2022 | Sleep Foundation (8)Most Comfortable

Silk & Snow Organic Mattress Topper

Best Mattress Toppers of 2022 | Sleep Foundation (9)
(Video) Best Mattress Toppers 2022 (Which One Is Right For You?)


Firmness:Medium (5), Firm (7)

Who it's best for:
  • Back and stomach sleepers
  • Hot sleepers
  • Eco-conscious customers
  • Two firmness options
  • Breathable cotton and Dunlop latex help regulate temperature
  • Components hold GOTS and GOLS certifications

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Silk & Snow’s Organic Mattress Topper features a Dunlop latex core. This material offers moderate cushioning without sinking too deeply beneath a sleeper’s weight, resulting in a comfortable balance of pressure relief and support. The topper’s components are also backed by Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) certifications. Hot sleepers who prioritize organic bedding may want to consider this pick.

An organic cotton cover encases the topper. Cotton is naturally breathable and moisture-wicking, great for sleepers living in warm or humid climates. For easy care, you can remove and machine wash the cover. Please note that the latex core should only be spot cleaned.

A 2-inch profile makes the topper an excellent choice for sleepers wishing to improve the feel of a mattress with minor wear. Two firmnesses are available: medium (5) and firm (7). Our testing found the medium feel best suited for side sleepers over 230 pounds and back sleepers, who should find relief for pressure points without sinking excessively. The firm model offered an even sleep surface comfortable for back sleepers over 230 pounds and stomach sleepers.

The topper is available in all six standard mattress sizes. Silk & Snow offers free shipping to customers in the contiguous U.S. and provincial Canada, as well as a 100-night sleep trial. Organic Mattress Topper purchases include a 3-year warranty for the latex core and a 1-year warranty for the cotton cover.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“The Silk & Snow Organic Mattress Topper is made entirely from certified organic materials. Thanks to the two firmness options, many sleepers on our testing team found an option that was equally comfortable and supportive.”

Best Mattress Toppers of 2022 | Sleep Foundation (10)

Best Mattress Toppers of 2022 | Sleep Foundation (11)Best for Back Pain

Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Adapt Topper

Best Mattress Toppers of 2022 | Sleep Foundation (12)


Who it's best for:
  • Side and back sleepers
  • People who experience pain or pressure buildup in areas along the spine
  • Those who find their current mattress too firm
  • Thick profile and mid-range feel can significantly change how your sleep surface feels
  • Core material composed of durable TEMPUR memory foam
  • Cover is fully machine-washable

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People who live with chronic shoulder, back, or hip pain can benefit from a topper that softens their sleep surface and gently cushions their body. These sleepers are great candidates for the Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Adapt Topper, which measures 3 inches thick and contains adaptive TEMPUR memory foam. The topper’s feel is medium (5), so you can expect the foam to closely contour, but the material’s dense composition should also ensure long-lasting support and resistance to wear and tear.

A breathable knit cover encases the foam. You may remove and machine wash the cover as needed, but only spot clean the foam if stains or blemishes occur. Six sizes are available, all of which correspond to standard mattress dimensions.

After testing the topper, we found it was best suited to people weighing up to 230 pounds. The foam provides ample padding for the shoulders and hips, which can improve alignment and alleviate pressure for side sleepers, but the foam is dense and supportive enough to prevent deep sinkage for back sleepers. People who awaken easily due to their partner’s movements should also be able to sleep soundly on the TEMPUR-Adapt Topper, as the foam absorbs motion and practically eliminates transfer across the surface.

While the topper’s sticker price may seem steep at first glance, its expected durability and performance may justify the high cost for shoppers. Tempur-Pedic also ships free of charge anywhere in the contiguous U.S. All sales are final, so the topper may not be returned for a refund after the purchase has been finalized, but each buyer receives a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty against structural and workmanship defects.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“The Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Adapt Topper performed very well during our pressure relief and motion isolation tests. Thanks to its thick profile, the topper should also improve the feel of most sleep surfaces – even for mattresses with heavy wear and tear.”

Read our Full Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Adapt Topper Review to learn more

Best Mattress Toppers of 2022 | Sleep Foundation (13)

Best Mattress Toppers of 2022 | Sleep Foundation (14)Best Pressure Relief

ViscoSoft Select High Density Mattress Topper

Best Mattress Toppers of 2022 | Sleep Foundation (15)


Firmness:Medium (5)

Who it's best for:
  • Sleepers who enjoy the conforming feel of memory foam
  • Side and back sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds
  • Couples
  • Memory foam construction closely contours to relieve pressure
  • Removable, machine-washable cover
  • Optional infused versions with calming lavender or cooling activated charcoal

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The ViscoSoft Select High Density Topper is constructed from memory foam. This material conforms closely to equally distribute your weight, support the spine, and alleviate pressure points throughout the body. Due to its medium feel, this topper is best suited to people who weigh up to 230 pounds and prefer to sink somewhat deeply into their mattress.

The topper can be particularly optimal for side sleepers because it offers ample padding for the shoulders and hips. By cushioning these areas while supporting the rest of the body, this can improve poor spinal alignment – a common issue for side sleepers. Back sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds should also feel comfortable on this topper. The foam supports the torso and midsection without sagging, and it cradles the head, neck, and legs.

The ViscoSoft Select High Density Topper is a good option for couples, as well. The foam absorbs movement to eliminate most motion transfer, and the topper itself is completely silent. This can minimize sleep disruptions for people who tend to wake up when their sleep partner changes positions or gets in and out of bed. The topper also sleeps fairly cool compared to other memory foam models. This is due in part to a breathable cover made of rayon from bamboo, as well as cooling gel infused into the foam to help regulate surface temperatures.

In addition to the standard model, ViscoSoft offers two other versions of the topper with special components. One of these toppers is infused with lavender for a calming scent intended to help you relax before falling asleep. The other is infused with active charcoal for extra cooling.

The Select High Density Topper is a bargain for shoppers. This model costs much less than the average memory foam topper, but it conforms and alleviates pressure as well as – if not better than – many more expensive options.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“The ViscoSoft Select High Density Mattress Topper finds the right balance between close contouring and even support. It’s plush enough to make your mattress feel softer, but we don’t expect uncomfortable sinkage to be an issue for most people.”

Read our Full ViscoSoft Select High Density Topper Review to learn more

Best Mattress Toppers of 2022 | Sleep Foundation (16)

Best Mattress Toppers of 2022 | Sleep Foundation (17)Best for Side Sleepers

PlushBeds Natural Latex Topper

Best Mattress Toppers of 2022 | Sleep Foundation (18)


Firmness:Soft (3), Medium Soft (4), Medium (5), Medium Firm (6), Extra Firm (8)

Who it's best for:
  • Sleepers who tend to run hot
  • Those who don’t like the deep contour of memory foam
  • People who prefer a responsive sleep surface
  • Multiple thickness and firmness options
  • Breathable Talalay latex keeps the surface cool
  • Organic cotton cover available for an additional fee

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PlushBed’s Latex Mattress Topper is available in two different profiles and five different firmness levels to suit most sleepers. Customers across weight groups, sleeping positions, and comfort preferences should all find a comfortable option that meets their needs.

The topper is made of ventilated Talalay latex that stays breathable. The material does not contour as closely as memory foam, trapping far less heat. Talalay’s more responsive feel also provides pressure relief without excessive sinkage and restricts less movement across the surface, making the topper an excellent choice for sex and bed-sharing.

Sleepers up to 230 pounds may prefer a soft (3) to medium firm (6) feel. Meanwhile, the firm (7) and extra firm (8) options may suit those over 230 pounds. The thicker, 3-inch option may be better for side sleepers to provide better pressure relief. Those with older, indented mattresses may also want extra cushioning between their body and the mattress. The 2-inch option is best suited to back and stomach sleepers.

There’s an optional organic cotton cover you can add to your Latex Topper order for an additional fee. PlushBeds ships free to the contiguous U.S. The company does not allow returns for the topper, but all purchases come with a 5-year warranty.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“The PlushBeds Natural Latex Topper epitomizes everything our team enjoys about latex sleep surfaces. Highlights during our tests include excellent airflow, good responsiveness to keep sleepers on an even plane, and easy movement when getting in and out of bed.”

Best Mattress Toppers of 2022 | Sleep Foundation (19)

Best Mattress Toppers of 2022 | Sleep Foundation (20)Best Luxury

Birch Organic Mattress Topper

Best Mattress Toppers of 2022 | Sleep Foundation (21)


Firmness:Medium (5)

Who it's best for:
  • Sleepers who prefer the contouring yet responsive feel of latex
  • Hot sleepers
  • Eco-conscious shoppers
  • Natural, non-toxic materials
  • Breathable latex, organic cotton, and natural wool regulate temperature
  • Plush pillow-top provides a soft, luxurious feel

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The Birch Mattress Topper is made from Talalay latex from sustainable rubber tree farms. The topper also contains a cover made of organic cotton and a top layer of natural wool, which regulates surface temperatures and acts as a fire barrier. These luxurious materials make the Birch Mattress Topper very eco-friendly, giving you extra peace of mind as a consumer.

The Talalay latex conforms to the body, but the topper has a medium (5) feel and its surface is somewhat responsive. This may be the right topper for you if you experience pressure points in sensitive areas like the shoulders, lower back, and hips, but don’t enjoy the deep sink of memory foam. Side sleepers who weigh at least 130 pounds should feel fairly comfortable on this topper, and the same is true for back and stomach sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds.

The Birch Mattress Topper is a great option for hot sleepers, too. The latex does not trap much body heat compared to memory foam or polyfoam, and the breathable wool layer wicks moisture away from your body. Durability is another asset of this topper. Thanks to the natural resiliency of latex, the topper should maintain a responsive and supportive shape for years to come.

The topper is a bit pricey, as is typical of models with natural latex layers. Birch offers a 100-night sleep trial, giving you plenty of time to test out the topper and decide whether or not it’s right for you. The topper also comes with a 10-year warranty.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

(Video) Top 5 BEST Mattress Toppers of [2021]

“The Birch Mattress Topper excelled in our temperature control tests. We attribute its favorable ratings in this category to the breathable cotton cover, moisture-wicking wool batting, and latex fill that retains very little heat.”

Best Mattress Toppers of 2022 | Sleep Foundation (22)

Best Mattress Toppers of 2022 | Sleep Foundation (23)Best for Couples

Perfectly Snug Smart Topper

Best Mattress Toppers of 2022 | Sleep Foundation (24)


Firmness:Medium (5)

Who it's best for:
  • People who sleep too hot or too cold despite using bed coverings
  • Those who sweat in their sleep
  • High-end shoppers
  • Features customizable temperature control with active heating and cooling
  • Core contains plush memory foam that cushions and contours to the body
  • Cover is removable and machine-washable

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Many mattress toppers offer passive cooling, meaning they regulate temperature with breathable components like ventilated latex, wool, or cotton. The Perfectly Snug Topper is one of the only toppers on the market engineered for active cooling. This design consists of inner channels that run the entire length of the topper and connect to small fans at the foot of the bed. These fans pull in outside air, then either heat or cool the air, depending on the settings. Owners use a mobile app to program and adjust the temperature levels.

The topper also uses sensors to detect changes in your body temperature and recalibrate the settings to either warm you up or cool you down. You can also program the topper for independent foot heating. Larger sizes offer dual settings, so you and your partner can customize your respective sides of the bed without bothering the other person. The app allows you to preset overnight temperature changes if you’re anticipating hot or chilly weather while you sleep.

For padding, the topper uses plush memory foam that conforms closely to the body. The foam also covers the channels to maintain a flat, ridge-free surface. The polyester cover encasing the topper can be washed and dried in any household machine.

The Smart Topper’s expensive price-point reflects its innovative design, but this may be a solid investment for anyone who struggles to sleep properly due to temperature-related issues. Shipping is free for customers in the contiguous U.S., and each order is backed by a 30-night trial period.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“Active cooling and heat dissipation sets the Perfectly Snug Smart Topper apart from competing models. We recommend this topper to people who sleep exceptionally hot and need a topper that provides more than passive temperature control.”

Best Mattress Toppers of 2022 | Sleep Foundation (25)

Best Mattress Toppers of 2022 | Sleep Foundation (26)Best Cooling

Brooklyn Bedding TitanFlex Topper

Best Mattress Toppers of 2022 | Sleep Foundation (27)


Firmness:Soft (3), Medium (5), Firm (7)

Who it's best for:
  • Side and back sleepers
  • Anyone whose mattress has light to moderate wear and tear
  • Those who normally sleep hot on foam toppers
  • TitanFlex foam combines the contouring of memory foam with the responsiveness of latex
  • Thick profile ensures a significant comfort adjustment
  • Three firmness levels and two cooling cover options

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The most comfortable sleep surface for any given person largely depends on their primary sleep position. If you normally sleep on your side, you’ll probably prefer a surface that contours closely to alleviate pressure in the shoulders and hips without sinking too much beneath your weight. The Brooklyn Bedding TitanFlex Topper is a good compromise for anyone who wakes up with soreness or stiffness along the spine, but dislikes the hug of memory foam. TitanFlex cushions the body and adapts to your unique contours, but the material is also fairly responsive and shouldn’t sink too deeply.

The topper is available in three firmness levels to accommodate different types of side sleepers. Those who want close conforming should opt for the soft (3) feel, which was most popular among our side sleepers weighing less than 130 pounds. The medium (5) feel is the most balanced option, contouring to a noticeable extent while maintaining even support. Our side sleepers weighing 130 to 230 pounds and back sleepers under 130 pounds awarded this design favorable ratings. Lastly, the firm (7) feel cushions very gently to keep your body aloft. We found this topper was most comfortable for side sleepers over 230 pounds, and back sleepers of at least 130 pounds.

The topper’s 3-inch profile should remedy the feel of any mattress with light to moderate wear and tear, such as shallow impressions or indentations. You can choose from seven sizes, including a short queen that is compatible with many RV mattresses. Brooklyn Bedding offers two cover options for the topper, both of which excel at breathability and temperature control. The organic cotton cover feels soft and stretchy, while the circular-knit cover feels cool to the touch and dissipates body heat on contact.

The TitanFlex Topper is competitively priced and shipping is free for all customers in the contiguous U.S. Your order includes a sleep trial that runs for 30 nights. Should you decide to keep the topper, you’ll also receive a 3-year warranty against structural defects.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“The Brooklyn Bedding TitanFlex is a good option for people who want more support from their foam topper. Three firmness options and a thick profile ensure most people can improve the comfort level of their existing mattress regardless of how much they weigh.”

Best Mattress Toppers of 2022 | Sleep Foundation (28)

Best Mattress Toppers of 2022 | Sleep Foundation (29)Best Firmness Options

Turmerry Organic Latex Mattress Topper

Best Mattress Toppers of 2022 | Sleep Foundation (30)


Firmness:Soft (3), Medium (5), Medium firm (6)

(Video) SONU - Setup & Best Practices

Who it's best for:
  • Value seekers
  • Sleepers who run hot
  • Shoppers looking for an eco-friendly topper
  • Made with certified organic materials
  • Two thickness and three firmness options
  • Reasonable price-point

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The Turmerry Organic Latex Mattress Topper is a latex model made with eco-friendly materials. This topper carries a reasonable price-point compared to other latex toppers, especially considering it is made with high-quality organic materials with the certifications to back them up. The wide firmness selection also makes the mattress suitable for side, back, or stomach sleeping.

Shoppers can purchase a 2-inch or 3-inch topper in soft (3), medium (5), or medium firm (6) options. The topper is encased in an organic zippered cotton cover that can easily be removed for cleaning. The latex topper has both OEKO-TEX Standard 100 and Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) certifications, ensuring the materials are sustainably produced and free of harmful substances.

Multiple design options make this topper a good fit for a variety of sleep preferences and body types. Side sleepers will likely prefer the soft or medium toppers, which provide more contouring to ease pressure off the shoulders and hips during sleep. Back sleepers may benefit from the medium topper, since they typically require a balance of contouring and support to promote spinal alignment. Stomach sleepers require firm surfaces and will likely need the firm topper.

People who tend to overheat during sleep should also find relief with this topper. Latex is a naturally breathable material, especially compared to foam, and the cotton cover further enhances the topper’s breathability.

Turmerry offers free shipping within the contiguous U.S. Toppers come with a 5-year warranty and may be returned for a full refund within a 60-day trial period.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“We tested all three firmness levels for Turmerry’s Organic Latex Mattress Topper. The side sleepers on our team felt most comfortable on the soft and medium models, while back and stomach sleepers preferred the more supportive medium firm topper.”

Best Mattress Toppers of 2022 | Sleep Foundation (31)

Best Mattress Toppers of 2022 | Sleep Foundation (32)Softest

Quince Premium Featherbed

Best Mattress Toppers of 2022 | Sleep Foundation (33)


Firmness:Soft (3)

Who it's best for:
  • Sleepers who consider their current mattress too firm
  • Those with sensitive skin
  • Shoppers who need ample time testing their new mattress topper
  • Plush feathers encased in a cotton shell create a luxurious, cloud-like feel for your mattress
  • Baffle boxes are sewn through to keep the fill evenly distributed
  • All orders include a year-long sleep trial

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If you prefer exceptionally soft sleep surfaces, few bedding materials match the plushness of natural feathers. The Quince Premium Featherbed lives up to its name with luxurious feather fill and a smooth, lustrous cotton shell. Quilted construction with sewn-through baffle boxes allows the feathers to remain evenly distributed, so you won’t need to fluff the topper too often. A twill weave for the shell also elevates the cotton’s durability, making the fabric tough and resistant to tears and rips that can allow fill to escape.

Thanks to the 3-inch profile, the featherbed should improve the feel of any mattress with light to medium wear and tear. The ultra-soft fill also makes the featherbed suitable for anyone whose mattress feels too firm or stiff. You can choose between full, queen, and king/California king sizes. The topper is technically machine-washable, but certain machines — such as those with agitators — may not be spacious enough, and a commercial-size washer might be needed. Alternatively, you can have the topper dry cleaned.

Quince offers free standard shipping for all orders. The company’s 365-night sleep trial is among the longest in the online bedding industry. Returns are permitted at any point during the trial period, even if you’ve used or laundered your Premium Featherbed.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

The Quince Premium Featherbed is one of the plushest toppers we’ve tested. The soft fill and cotton shell made me feel like I was lying on a cloud.”

How to Choose a Mattress Topper

Related Reading

  • Best Queen Mattress Toppers
  • Best Soft Mattress Toppers
  • Best Twin XL Mattress Toppers

Mattress toppers serve two essential functions: adjusting the feel of your mattress to make it softer or firmer, and protecting the surface from long-term wear and tear. In today’s mattress topper market, you can choose from a wide selection of models that vary by material, thickness, firmness, price-point, and overall performance. The best topper for you will depend entirely on your personal needs and preferences.

Below, we’ll take an in-depth look at the pros and cons of different mattress materials, explore the various benefits of using a topper, and answer a few frequently asked questions about these products.

What to Consider When Purchasing a Mattress Topper

Think of a new topper as an additional comfort layer for your mattress. You should judge different topper materials and models the same way you might evaluate a new mattress. Important factors include temperature control, conforming ability, durability, and motion isolation for couples. Pricing is another key variable, as well.

Keep in mind that some manufacturers use misleading marketing jargon to discuss how well their toppers perform. Watch out for descriptions such as “universal comfort” and “endless support,” as well as labels like “green” or “natural” for materials that are mostly composed of synthetic components. When shopping for a new topper, here are the most important points to consider:

  • Cooling Properties: As is the case with mattresses, some mattress toppers bottle in body heat and sleep somewhat warm as a result. Memory foam, polyfoam, and non-ventilated latex tend to trap more heat than other topper materials, such as down and feathers or wool. Topper softness can also play a role in temperature regulation. If you sink too deeply into a topper, this can restrict surface airflow and make you feel too warm.
  • Price: A new topper may cost less than $100 or more than $500, but most high-quality models sold today are priced between $150 and $450. Factors that can drive up a topper’s sticker price include its material composition, thickness, and whether or not the product has received certifications for organic or other materials. Additionally, some brands have steeper price-points than others.
  • Sleeping Position: Do you sleep on your side? If so, chances are you’ll feel most comfortable on a topper that cushions the shoulders and hips to align the spine and reduce pressure points. Back sleepers generally need a firmer, more balanced feel. This ensures comfortable conforming and even support with minimal sagging around the torso and waist. For stomach sleepers, a topper should offer extra reinforcement between the shoulders and hips to prevent too much sinkage.
  • Quality Materials: Certain topper materials are associated with longer lifespans and stronger performance in different categories. These include high-density memory foam, ventilated latex, natural wool, and premium down. While these materials can drive up the sticker price by a significant margin, the topper will offer better long-term value compared to a model made from lesser components.
  • Firmness Level: Firmness level is strongly tied to sleep position and body type. People who weigh less than 130 pounds and/or sleep on their side will likely prefer a softer topper feel. Those who weigh between 130 and 230 pounds, regardless of sleep position, may be more satisfied with a mid-level firmness. People who weigh more than 230 pounds and sleep on their back and/or stomach should consider a firmer topper with stronger overall support.
  • Thickness: The average topper measures between 1 and 3 inches thick. Since toppers are placed directly on the mattress surface, you’re essentially adding 1 to 3 inches to your bed’s overall profile. If you sleep on a bed that is already thick, then a high-profile topper may make the mattress feel too tall. This can make getting in and out of bed more difficult. Thin toppers, on the other hand, may not adjust the firmness of your mattress as well as thicker models can.
  • Pressure Relief: The best mattress toppers for pressure relief will conform to the body and support the spine without sinking excessively. Side sleepers may need a softer feel. Otherwise, their spines will not be aligned and added pressure is likely to occur. Back and stomach positions promote spinal alignment, so these sleepers usually need more support and less conforming for optimal pressure relief.

Which Type of Mattress Topper Should I Choose?

After reviewing the topper attributes listed above to determine which qualities are most important, you’ll be ready to choose a mattress topper based on its material composition. Every topper material carries different pros and cons related to pressure relief, durability, temperature neutrality, and other performance areas.

Memory Foam: Memory foam toppers are ideal if you like to sink into the surface of your bed. The material conforms closely to evenly distribute your weight and keep your shoulders, spine, and hips aligned. For this reason, many side sleepers prefer memory foam toppers. Memory foam also isolates motion transfer very well and does not produce any noise, making it a great option for couples and co-sleepers. Although memory foam can trap heat, toppers can be infused with gel, graphite, copper, and other cooling materials to help the surface maintain a comfortable temperature.

Polyfoam: Polyfoam conforms to the body, but not quite as closely as memory foam. This material also feels a bit more responsive. You may find a polyfoam topper comfortable if you want a balance of contouring and surface-level bounciness. Many polyfoam toppers are convoluted with a ridged surface; these models are also known as “egg-crate toppers.”

Latex: Like polyfoam, latex conforms to the body while maintaining a responsive feel. You’ll probably feel less pressure, but your body won’t sink too deeply. Back and stomach sleepers who need more support may find a latex topper more comfortable than a memory foam model. When ventilated with small holes to promote airflow, latex also sleeps very cool compared to foam.

Other Materials: Memory foam, polyfoam, and latex toppers are most common, but these are not your only options. A topper made from down and feathers, for example, might be your best choice if you prefer an ultra-plush surface that is also highly breathable. Wool toppers can be advantageous because they provide insulation during colder times of the year, but also provide cooling and moisture-wicking when the temperatures rise. Lastly, many toppers padded with polyester fibers offer adequate cushioning at a very affordable price-point.

It’s also important to distinguish between toppers and Euro-top or pillow-top covers. A pillow-top is a layer of padding sewn into the sleep surface of a mattress, leaving a small gap separating it from the bed’s comfort layer. A Euro-top is also sewn into the mattress surface, but its edges are flush with the comfort layer to create a more uniform appearance.

Pillow-tops and Euro-tops offer the same cushioning and comfort adjustment as a standard mattress topper, but these layers are typically offered as customization options for a new mattress, rather than an additional layer sold separately; otherwise you’d be responsible for sewing the pillow-top or Euro-top onto your mattress.

What Are the Benefits of a Mattress Topper?

Advantages of using a mattress topper include the following:

Firmness Adjustment
A topper can significantly change the surface feel of your mattress. Most toppers offer a softer feel and are designed to be used with a firm mattress, but some models are intended to make a soft mattress feel firmer. If you’re dissatisfied with how soft or firm your mattress feels but don’t want to pay for a new bed, a topper can be a cost-effective solution.

Mattress Protection
Toppers are different from mattress protectors, which are very thin and solely designed to safeguard your mattress against spills, stains, dust, and other contaminants. However, toppers can help preserve your bed’s surface and prevent the comfort layer material from wearing out. This can extend the overall lifespan of your mattress.

Stronger Support
Over time, the comfort layer of your mattress will deteriorate. This can cause a loss of support that makes the surface feel uneven, and added aches and pains often follow. A sturdy topper adds an extra layer to keep your body on an even plane and prevent it from sagging in areas where you carry a lot of weight.

Better Cooling
If the surface of your mattress tends to trap heat and sleep warm, then a breathable topper can provide better temperature regulation to help you sleep more comfortably. The best cooling mattress topper materials include ventilated latex, natural wool, and open-cell foam.

Fewer Disruptions
Does the surface of your mattress respond quickly to movement when you or your sleep partner move around? If so, both of you may experience sleep disruptions related to poor motion isolation; this issue is particularly common with hybrid and innerspring mattresses. A topper made from memory foam, polyfoam, or latex will absorb more movement and prevent most of this motion from transferring across the surface.

Cost-Effective Solution
While prices vary, most mattress toppers cost much less than a new mattress in the same size. Toppers should be seen as a short-term solution because they are not as durable as mattresses, but using a topper instead of buying a new bed can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.

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What thickness of mattress topper is best for back pain? ›

Thickness. Most often, mattress toppers come in three thickness levels: 1″, 2″, and 3″. Heavier side and back sleepers will want to look for a 3″ topper, because this will create the most pressure relief. If you're a lightweight back or side sleeper, a 2″ topper could work well.

What filling is best for mattress topper? ›

Choose toppers with washable synthetic fills or naturally hypoallergenic fills. Memory foam and synthetic toppers are easy to keep clean, helping keep allergy-causing nasties at bay. Wool is also a great choice as it's naturally hypoallergenic and washable.

Is mattress topper good for sagging mattress? ›

A good mattress topper can help reduce the effects of a sagging mattress by providing a more even sleep surface. Toppers are a popular option for folks who are not yet ready to purchase a new mattress, but want to improve the comfort of their existing bed.


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