If your mattress isn't up to par and you'd rather not replace it just yet, a mattress topper can make a world of difference.
"A mattress topper can help adjust the firmness of your mattress," says Logan Foley, Managing Editor at SleepFoundation.org. "So if you're wanting a firmer or softer mattress, it is a great way to adjust that without spending the money for a new one."
We researched dozens of mattress toppers and selected eight of the best to test in The Lab, evaluating them on ease of setup, comfort, and value. Our top choice is the Saatva Mattress Topper, which stands out for its exceptional support, overall comfort, and breathability.
Here, the best mattress toppers for every sleep style and budget.
Saatva Mattress Topper
Material: Graphite-infused memory foam, organic cotton cover | Height: 3 inches | Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King | Certifications: Not listed
If you're open to spending a little extra on a good night's sleep, Saatva's Graphite Mattress Topper is worth the splurge. This is an exceptionally supportive option with an ideal firmness level that eliminates the feel of a lumpy mattress underneath.
This 3-inch pad is made of memory foam with a graphite layer and a breathable organic cotton cover. According to the maker, the graphite helps draw heat away from your body while you doze, and this topper is indeed a great choice for those who sleep hot. It's expensive, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a better option that checks all the boxes.
LUCID 3-Inch Ventilated Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper
Material: Gel-infused memory foam | Height: 2 or 3 inches | Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Full XL, Queen, King, California King | Certifications: CertiPUR-US
The Lucid Gel Memory Foam Topper isn't just affordable, but it also boasts open-cell ventilation that allows for ample airflow and breathability. And since it's on the firmer side, it's an excellent choice for side sleepers and those looking for a little more support.
As far as fit goes, it has a tacky texture to it that allows it to adhere to the bed easily, and it's sized perfectly to not drape over the ends of the bed. Like most foam mattresses, this topper has a mild odor out of the box, but it goes away pretty quickly once the foam expands to full size (about 48 hours).
Best Dual Layer
Sleep Innovations Dual Layer Memory Foam Mattress Topper
Material: Gel-infused memory foam and polyester fill | Height: 4 inches | Sizes: Twin, Full, Queen, King, Cal King | Certifications: CertiPUR-US
This mattress topper features two inches of cooling gel-infused memory foam, plus a two-inch pillow-top cover that's filled with ultra-plush fiber and quilted to prevent shifting. This dual layer construction makes this an impressively soft topper that's also supportive and easy to clean, thanks to the machine-washable cover. Plus, the cover stretches around the sides like a fitted sheet, making it easy to secure in place.
The only downside to this topper is that the cooling benefits of the gel-infused foam are counteracted by the heat-trapping polyester in the cover. Therefore, it's not the best option for hot sleepers—when we tested this product in the Lab, it did increase in temperature quickly. Overall, though, this is one of the best toppers out there for comfort, support, and price.
Nest Bedding Cooling Topper
Material: Energex foam | Height: 2 inches | Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King | Certifications: CertiPUR-US
The Nest Bedding Cooling Topper is the best option for hot sleepers and folks who get night sweats. While it's on the pricier side, the soft feel of the brand's proprietary Energex foam is worth the splurge if you're dealing with a particularly firm mattress.
According to Nest, the temperature-responsive material will keep your body at a comfortable temperature throughout the night. At just two inches high, it's also not the plushest option, but that's not a bad thing if you're someone who needs support more than a squishy feel. Plus, it comes with corner straps to keep it securely in place.
Avocado Organic Latex Mattress Topper
Material: Organic latex and wool, organic cotton cover | Height: 2.75 inches | Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King | Certifications: GOTS, GOLS, GREENGUARD Gold, Made Safe, OEKO-TEX
If you want the support of foam but not the environmental impact, consider a latex mattress topper instead. Avocado's mattress topper is made of latex, cotton, and wool, all of which are certified organic and meet OEKO-TEX standards. There's even a wool-free option for those who prefer vegan products.
The unique blend of natural materials draws moisture away from your skin while helping to regulate your body temperature. It comes in two firmness levels for extra customization, and is backed by a 10-year warranty for peace of mind.
Parachute Down Mattress Topper
Material: European white down, cotton sateen shell | Height: 3 inches | Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King | Certifications: RDS
Looking for a featherbed? Parachute has you covered. Designed to offer cloud-like loft while you catch your Zs, the brand's Down Mattress Topper flaunts a 550 fill power and a three-inch gusset. Thanks to the baffle-box stitching, the dual-layered European white down is evenly distributed and won't shift around. What's more, the 100 percent cotton sateen shell is durable, breathable, and oh-so-smooth.
Just take note that a featherbed won't offer any support compared to a foam topper. If you have a truly lumpy or sagging mattress, this product isn't for you; on the other hand, if you just want to make your current mattress feel extra luxurious and lofty, a down featherbed is the way to go.
ViscoSoft 3-Inch Select High Density Mattress Topper
Material: Gel-Infused memory foam | Height: 3 or 4 inches | Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Short Queen, Queen, King, California King | Certifications: Not listed
This mattress topper is made from gel-infused memory foam, so it's designed to ensure ventilation while minimizing the amount of heat trapped within the material. After trying it at home, our tester confirmed it does a great job of regulating body temperature.
Our Lab testers tried it out too. They liked the thick, cushy feel of this mattress topper and that it doesn't transfer motion, and also appreciated that it has a breathable, machine-washable cover with corner straps to keep it in place.
PlushBeds Natural Latex Topper
Material: Talalay latex | Height: 2 or 3 inches | Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King | Certifications: OEKO-TEX, GREENGUARD Gold, GOTS
If you're looking for something on the firmer side, go with the PlushBeds Natural Latex Topper. This mattress topper is made of 100 percent natural latex with an open-cell design for maximum airflow. You can choose from five support levels, including extra-firm and medium-firm with 36 and 44 ILD (indentation load deflection) ratings, respectively.
Though the latex isn't organic, this topper is OEKO-TEX and GREENGUARD Gold certified. You can also add a machine-washable organic cotton cover.
Overall, we recommend the Saatva Mattress Topper (view at Saatva), which offers support, plush comfort, and exceptional cooling properties. If you're looking for something a little more affordable, go with the Lucid Ventilated Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper (view at Amazon), which offers three inches of breathable support and comfy cushioning.
What to Look for in a Mattress Topper
Mattress toppers can be made with various natural and synthetic substances, including memory foam, gel, latex, down, wool, and polyester. Natural materials like latex, down, and cotton tend to be more breathable and moisture-wicking than foam, but modern gel-infused foam with open-cell ventilation can be just as effective at regulating your temperature.
Bed toppers range from roughly one to four inches thick. Thicker options will offer the most cushioning, which can be helpful if you have a lumpy mattress underneath, and many of the thickest toppers also have dual construction (i.e., foam and down or two different types of foam).
If you're looking to add support, a firmer topper is best. On the other hand, those wanting a fluffy, cloud-like feel may want to get a down-filled option (aka featherbed). You can also find lots of medium options if your preferences fall somewhere between firm and plush.
If you're buying a memory foam topper, keep an eye out for the CertiPUR-US label, which ensures the foam is made without ozone depleters, formaldehyde, flame retardants, heavy metals, and VOCs. Other certifications to look out for include OEKO-TEX Standard 100, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS), Responsible Down Standard (RDS), and GREENGUARD Gold.
When purchasing an extra-firm mattress topper, check if it has an ILD (indentation load deflection rating). A higher rating generally indicates a firmer foam that can support more weight.
What's the difference between a mattress topper and a mattress pad?
"The terms 'mattress pad' and 'mattress topper' are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are separate products," Foley tells The Spruce. Mattress toppers change the feel of your mattress, offering firmness and comfort, whereas pads are designed to protect the mattress from dust mites, liquid, and more.
How do you clean a mattress topper?
The proper way to clean a mattress topper depends on the material and whether it has a fabric cover. If yours has a removable casing, you can typically wash the casing in a washing machine and dry it in a dryer. However, some down-filled covers might not be washer-friendly, in which case you should follow the brand's care instructions.
If your mattress topper is made of foam or latex and doesn't have a cover, you can spot clean it as needed with mild soap and water. To deodorize the material, sprinkle baking soda on top, let it sit for a couple of hours, then vacuum up the powder.
Who should use a mattress topper?
According to Foley, mattress toppers are a great solution when you want to adjust the feel of your mattress. "They are an ideal option for those who aren't ready to purchase a new mattress or want to try a new mattress material, like memory foam or latex."
Foley says that while a topper can't truly replace a new mattress, it's a good short-term solution. "However," she notes, "if you are waking up with back pain most mornings or your mattress is sagging considerably, that could be a sign it's time for a new mattress."
Why Trust MyDomaine?
MyDomaine contributor Theresa Holland is a freelance copywriter specializing in bedding and sleep solutions. For this roundup, she interviewed a sleep expert and a spokesperson for the CertiPUR-US program, who offered insight into the benefits and buying considerations for mattress toppers. Theresa has substantial experience researching, testing, reviewing, and writing about textiles and fill materials. She has tried bedding, inserts, and toppers from many of the above brands, including Lucid, Saatva, Avocado, Nest, Coop Home Goods, Parachute, and ViscoSoft. You can find more of her bylines on The Spruce.
Shin, Mirim et al. The effects of fabric for sleepwear and bedding on sleep at ambient temperatures of 17°C and 22°C. Nature and science of sleep vol. 8 121-31. 22 Apr. 2016, doi:10.2147/NSS.S100271