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A mattress topper can provide extra comfort and support. It can be a budget-friendly alternative to investing in a new mattress.

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There are several benefits to buying and using a mattress topper. The following sections look at these in more detail.

More affordable than a new mattress

Purchasing a mattress topper can be easier and more affordable than investing in a new mattress for changing the feel of a mattress.

Added firmness or cushioning

A topper can be a good way to add extra firmness or cushioning to a mattress that feels too hard or too soft.

A mattress that feels too soft may not properly support the spine, causing muscle tension and back pain. On the other hand, a mattress that feels too firm may cause excess pressure on heavier parts of the body, such as the hips.

Good for two sleepers with different needs

People may want to use a mattress topper on only one half of the bed if individuals in a couple have different sleeping styles. For example, one person may like a firm mattress, while the other may prefer a medium-firm one.

Mattress toppers are also easy to transport, so they may be a good option for people sleeping away from home, traveling, or frequently moving.

Some factors to consider before purchasing a mattress topper include the following:

  • Price: The cost of a mattress topper will depend on the materials and any extra features a person wants. People may wish to purchase according to their budget.
  • Comfort: Mattress toppers can add extra comfort to a mattress, especially if the mattress is older and losing its shape.
  • Extra features: Some mattress toppers offer additional features, such as cooling abilities. These products may benefit those who overheat in their sleep, as they may help regulate body temperature.
  • Support and pressure relief: Some mattress toppers may offer extra spinal alignment support and pressure point relief. These features may reduce aches and pains and lead to more restful sleep.
  • Nontoxic materials: People may want to look for the CertiPUR-US certification in foam toppers. This certification ensures low volatile organic compound (VOC) levels and restricts the use of certain harmful flame retardants, ozone-depleting chemicals, and heavy metals.
  • Hypoallergenic mattress toppers: Toppers that are hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant and have a removable, washable cover may be best for longevity and people with allergies. If a person does not have an allergy to latex, natural latex can be a good option for a topper that is durable and resistant to mold and dust mites.


Mattress toppers are available in different firmness feels. Thinner mattress toppers usually feel firmer than thicker toppers.

Firm mattress toppers may suit back and stomach sleepers, as they will prevent the spine from sinking. Medium-firm mattress toppers may suit side and combination sleepers, as they support spinal alignment in various positions. Soft or plush mattress toppers may suit people seeking pressure relief.

Sleeping styles

Some mattress toppers may best suit different sleeping styles.

According to mattress websites, a softer surface may better suit side sleepers, while a firmer surface may better suit back and stomach sleepers.


Mattress toppers are available in a range of materials, such as latex, memory foam, polyester, polyurethane, and cotton.

A person should make sure that they choose a mattress topper made from safe materials. Some mattress toppers may contain toxic chemicals that can be harmful to health.

Polyurethane foam, such as memory foam, may emit VOCs. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), VOCs may have harmful effects on health, including:

  • irritation of the throat, eyes, and nose
  • headaches
  • damage to the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system
  • cancer

Some mattress toppers may also contain harmful flame retardants. These may cause cancer, damage the immune and reproductive systems, and disrupt endocrine and neurological function.

Medical News Today’s methodology

MNT chooses mattresses, sheets, pillows, and other bedding that meet the following criteria:

  • Certifications: MNT will choose products that have CertiPUR-US or other certifications. This means that the products are low in pollutants and free from heavy metals and volatile organic compounds.
  • Size: MNT chooses products that are available in various sizes.
  • Materials and fill: MNT selects products made from different materials and fills, such as memory foam and latex, to suit a range of sleep and lifestyles.
  • Budget: MNT features products that are available in a wide range of budgets.
  • Firmness: MNT selects mattresses that are available in a range of firmness options to suit most people’s sleeping styles.
  • Sleep trials: MNT chooses companies that offer a sleep trial.
  • Shipping: MNT will include shipping information, such as where the company delivers to and whether shipping is free.
  • Warranties and return policies: MNT will include products that carry warranties and clear returns policies.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Nest Bedding Alexander Signature Cooling Topper

Best mattress topper for comfort

The Nest Bedding Alexander Signature Cooling Topper is a cooling foam topper.

Features include:

  • 2-inches (in) high
  • cooling fabric, as found in the Alexander mattresses
  • allows airflow
  • adds comfort to the mattress
  • straps at each corner to secure the topper to the mattress
  • six sizes, from twin to California king

Avocado Green Organic Latex Mattress Topper

Best organic latex mattress topper

The Avocado Green Organic Latex Mattress Topper is made from organic latex. People can choose between a plush or firm topper to make a mattress feel softer or firmer, respectively.

Features include:

  • 2 in of Global Organic Latex Standard organic latex
  • Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified wool to regulate temperature
  • GOTS certified cotton
  • body contouring
  • nontoxic materials
  • GREENGUARD Gold certified
  • sizes from twin to California king

Therapedic Polar Nights 10x Cooling Ice Cube Mattress Topper

Best cooling mattress topper

For people looking for cooler sleep, the Therapedic Polar Nights 10x Cooling Ice Cube Mattress Topper may help.

Features include:

  • cooling technology to draw heat away from the body
  • cooling activated in 8 seconds by body pressure
  • memory foam with gel fiber
  • made from polyester, polyurethane, and cotton
  • sizes from twin to California king
  • 2-in deep
  • spot clean only

Molecule AirTEC Mattress Topper

Best mattress topper for pressure relief

The Molecule AirTEC Mattress Topper is a cooling, supportive foam topper that aims to provide better sleep and recovery.

Features include:

  • cooling fibers to regulate temperature
  • spinal alignment support
  • pressure point relief around the head, shoulders, and hips
  • better airflow than traditional memory foam
  • CertiPUR-US certified foam
  • six sizes, from twin to California king

Linenspa 2 Inch 5 Zone Gel Memory Foam Topper

Best mattress topper for spinal alignment

Multiple review websites rate the Linenspa 2 Inch 5 Zone Gel Memory Foam Topper as the best value mattress topper.

Features include:

  • gel-infused memory foam to regulate temperature
  • five comfort zones to relieve pressure in different areas of the body
  • body contouring and spinal alignment support
  • CertiPUR-US certified polyurethane foam
  • 2-in deep
  • sizes from twin to California king

Saatva Graphite Mattress Topper

Best mattress topper for back pain

According to review sites, the Saatva Graphite Mattress Topper may be best for people with back pain.

Features include:

  • graphite-infused memory foam, which draws heat away from the body
  • body contouring and pressure relief
  • 3-in deep
  • high density foam to reduce motion transfer
  • bands at each corner to secure the topper to the mattress
  • sizes from twin to California king

TEMPUR-Pedic TEMPUR-Topper Supreme

Best hypoallergenic mattress topper

The TEMPUR-Pedic TEMPUR-Topper Supreme is a 3-in foam topper that may provide extra support.

Features include:

  • responds to each individual’s body weight, shape, and temperature
  • resistant to allergens, dust mites, and mold
  • removable and washable cover
  • breathable, durable memory foam
  • sizes from twin to California king

SOPAT Extra Thick Mattress Topper

Best machine-washable mattress topper

The SOPAT Extra Thick Mattress Topper may be a good option for those looking for a topper that is machine washable.

Features include:

  • 100% cotton cover and microfiber filler
  • breathable and cooling
  • sides that stretch to fit a mattress up to 21-in thick
  • machine washable
  • available in six sizes from twin to California king

Airweave Top Mattress Topper

Best firm mattress topper

The Airweave Top Mattress Topper is a firm, washable mattress topper. It is a more expensive option and may suit people looking to invest in a topper.

Features include:

  • improves spinal alignment to reduce pain
  • provides a cooler sleep
  • available in six sizes
  • 100% washable
  • made from polyethylene, polyester, and cotton

Sleep Number DualTemp Individual Layer Mattress Topper

Best mattress topper couples

The Sleep Number DualTemp Individual Layer Mattress Topper covers half the bed, so it is suitable for couples who have different sleeping preferences.

Features include:

  • control settings to either increase or lower temperature by up to 35%
  • air technology for airflow
  • suitable for either side of the bed
  • timer allowing temperature changes to automatically cut off at a set time
  • available in three sizes: half-queen, half-king, and half-California king
  • spot clean only

A mattress pad may be a good alternative to a mattress topper. These are not as thick as mattress toppers and can be less expensive. They can also add extra protection to the mattress.

If purchasing a down mattress pad, people may want to check for the Responsible Down Standard, which ensures humane treatment of the animals providing the down.

If people are looking to simply protect their mattress, a mattress protector may be a cheaper, more effective option, though it will not usually change the feel of a mattress.

Some people may find that mattress toppers do not remedy severe sagging in their mattress. If a person is experiencing this, they may need to invest in a new mattress.

The following are some common questions about mattress toppers:

Does a mattress protector go on top of a mattress topper?

Mattress protectors are an item of bedding that sits on top of or fits over a mattress. These products can protect against allergens such as dust mites.

Mattress protectors usually go on top of a mattress topper. A mattress topper adds extra comfort or support but may not protect against allergens.

How thick should a mattress topper be?

Mattress toppers vary in thickness. Thinner mattress toppers may be more suitable for newer mattresses, whereas thicker toppers may offer extra support and comfort for people who sleep on mattresses that are losing their shape and support.

How should I fit a mattress topper?

Mattress toppers usually have either four elasticated loops on each corner or an elasticated skirt. People can attach the mattress topper to the bed by looping it onto the mattress or enclosing the mattress with the skirt.

If a person fits the mattress topper correctly, it should not bunch up or move during sleep.

Buying a mattress topper can be an easy and more affordable way of changing the feel of a mattress without investing in a new one.

A mattress topper can add more cushioning to a firm mattress or greater support to a softer mattress.

Many mattress toppers come with a sleep trial, so people can try a topper for a certain period of time before making a purchase.