The best mattress toppers in 2022: latex, memory foam and cooling toppers

Best mattress toppers 2022: a man and a woman unroll a Tempur-Adapt Mattress Topper onto their bed
(Image credit: Tempur-Pedic)

The best mattress toppers will instantly boost the comfort of your existing mattress at a fraction of the cost of buying a whole new bed outright. Also known as a bed topper, it's a thick layer designed to fit on top of your existing mattress, usually via elasticated straps or a stretchy skirt. They come in a range of thicknesses from two to four inches, which also makes them a suitable option for anyone who needs to add height to their bed for better mobility when waking up or lying down.

We’ve rounded up this year's best mattress toppers for different budgets and sleep needs. Whether you’re looking for a budget mattress topper to upgrade your guest room, or a luxury memory foam option to give your bed a cozy feel, we have plenty of options below. They're ranked according to our own in-depth mattress testing, in combination with an analysis of other user reviews. From our testing experience the best performing materials in terms of comfort, support and durability are memory foam and latex. 

Of course, if you want to push the boat out, there are also plenty of luxury options that use the kind of tech and materials you'll find in today's best mattress options and will still cost you might less than investing in one of those. Mattress toppers are often discounted during mattress sales, too. That includes the Black Friday and Cyber Monday mattress deals, which are in full swing and tend to feature the lowest prices of the year. 

One thing to remember is that a mattress topper is not the same thing as a mattress protector, which is a thin cover purely designed to safeguard your bed from stains, spills, allergens and bed bugs. You can cover your mattress (and adjacent topper) with any of the best mattress protectors for quality, hygienic sleep. Meanwhile, go for a mattress pad instead if you don't need to dramatically alter the feel of your bed. Now onto our picks for the best mattress toppers...

The best mattress toppers in 2022, as chosen by experts

Why you can trust Tom's Guide Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Adapt Topper tops our list of the best mattress toppers

(Image credit: Tempur-Pedic)
The best mattress topper overall, offering Tempur comfort for less

Specifications

Type: Foam mattress topper
Depth: 3 inches
Material: Tempur
Sizes: 6 (twin - Cal king)
Best for: side sleepers; people with joint pain
Warranty: 10 years
RRP: $319 - $469

Reasons to buy

+
Made with adaptive Tempur material
+
Great for side sleeping
+
Removable, washable cover
+
Stays in place well

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricey and can't be returned
-
Tends to sleep warm
-
Some may find it too soft

The Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Topper Supreme was our previous number one choice for the best mattress topper, but it's now discontinued. However, the Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Adapt Mattress Topper has handily taken its place. 

Tempur-Pedic mattresses are among the best money can buy, but they're also very expensive. Fortunately, the Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Adapt Mattress Topper is but a fraction of the cost of a full-fledged Tempur-Adapt Mattress, which retails from $1,949 in twin (unless you happen upon a good Tempur-Pedic mattress sale).

The Tempur-Adapt Mattress Topper contains three inches of NASA-developed Tempur material, just like the Tempur-Supreme before it. In our Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Adapt topper review, we recommend it for side sleepers of light or average weight who like being cushioned by their mattress. Back and stomach sleepers may not find it supportive enough and require something firmer – for instance, the Viscosoft at number 5 on this list.

It's designed to regulate temperature, but if you sleep hot, consider upgrading to the Tempur Adapt+ Cooling for $80 more – this features a phase-changing cover that's designed to stay cool to the touch. Without it, the Tempur-Adapt offers cooling sensations from time to time, but we could feel some heat build-up at points during our testing period. 

The user reviews for the Tempur-Adapt topper reveal plenty of enthusiastic customers. Multiple people comment that it has helped ease or even eliminate their back pain, as well as preventing achy shoulders and hips. There's also plenty of praise for the cooling version, with customers saying it worked impressively well to prevent night sweats. Of the regular complaints, a few people found it too soft and not supportive enough, and a handful found it slid around a bit on their bed. (However, we found it stayed in place quite well thanks to its corner straps.)

This topper seems to be a popular choice to add to a cheap or uncomfortable bed, or a dorm-room mattress, to transform the sleep feel. Customers appreciate that it's the same level of quality as a Tempur-Pedic mattress at a more accessible price. A 10-year warranty applies, same as a full-on Tempur mattress. However, there's no trial and unless it's damaged at delivery, the topper can't be returned. That's admittedly a bit of a risk to take if you're unfamiliar with the feel of the mattress but if you're a side sleeper who doesn't overheat often, it could certainly pay off.

Sleep Innovations 4-Inch Dual Layer Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper

(Image credit: Sleep Innovations)

2. Sleep Innovations Dual Layer Topper

The best mattress topper for joint pain (if you can’t get a Tempur)

Specifications

Type: Cooling mattress topper
Depth: 4 inches
Material: Gel memory foam
Sizes: 5 (twin - Cal king)
Best for: All sleepers; pressure relief
Warranty: 10 years
RRP: $109.99 - $159.99

Reasons to buy

+
Pressure relieving
+
Instantly comfortable
+
Cooling gel

Reasons to avoid

-
Too soft for heavier bodies

Second to the Tempur-Adapt, this budget friendly offering from Sleep Innovations is the best mattress topper for relieving pressure points when you’re sleeping on a harder mattress. That means it’s a great choice if you currently wake up at night because you can’t get comfy – or stay in a comfortable position for long. 

The Sleep Innovations 4 Inch Dual Layer Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper is also a good choice for anyone dealing with back, hip and knee pain, as it adds a higher level of soothing cushioning around those pressure points when you’re lying on your back, stomach or side.

Considering a queen size costs less than $150, we think this Sleep Innovations bed topper is excellently priced. It makes an instant difference to your sleep comfort too, and all you need to do is unpack it and – after a little airing to get rid of the smell from the packaging – throw it on top of your mattress. 

We’d recommend the Sleep Innovations 4 Inch Dual Layer Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper with a firm mattress they want softening up – it’s handy to have around if you have just bought a new bed and are breaking it in. Don’t take just our word for it, either. As of November 2022, this bed topper has over 28,000 user reviews on Amazon and 87% of those are rated 4 stars or higher. 

Molecule CopperWELL Mattress Topper

(Image credit: Molecule)
The best mattress topper with multi-zone comfort

Specifications

Type: Cooling mattress topper with ergonomic zones
Depth: 3 inches
Material: Copper gel-infused memory foam
Sizes: 6 (twin - Cal king)
Best for: side sleepers, hot sleepers
Warranty: 5 years
RRP: $179.99 - $279.99

Reasons to buy

+
7-zoned design for targeted support
+
Excellent temperature regulation
+
Will suit most side sleepers

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn't include a cover
-
May be too soft for some

Quality, restorative sleep will do wonders for your energy levels and cognitive functions. The Molecule CopperWELL Mattress Topper aims to offer that with a keen blend of support, relief, and cooling. 

Unlike most of the mattress toppers on this list, the Molecule features an ergonomic multi-zone design. There are three softer relief zones (for the shoulders, hips, and knees) plus four firmer areas (around the head, waist, legs, and feet). This targeted support will ensure your pressure points aren't triggered whilst promoting proper alignment. Its medium-firm should suit a wide array of sleepers – but in our Molecule CopperWELL Mattress Topper review, we found it'll be most comfortable for side sleeping. (Back and front sleepers might want something firmer.) 

The Molecule's open-cell, copper-infused memory foam kept us comfortably cool, regardless of how much bedding we used. As a bonus, copper has anti-microbial properties so it's also a great choice for sleepers with allergies. There's no cover included, but that's by design since Molecule wants sleepers to fully experience the zoned support and airflow benefits. However, we'd recommend finding a mattress protector that'll not only safeguard it from spills but also enhance those benefits.

Price-wise, the Molecule CopperWELL Mattress Topper sits at the higher end of the mid-range bracket. A queen retails for $249.99, but you can find it on sale from Molecule direct plus third-party retailers like Amazon and Target. Regardless of where you buy, your purchase will be backed by a 5-year warranty. Buy from Molecule and you'll have 30 nights to trial it at home. 

Saatva mattress topper

(Image credit: Saatva)
A luxury mattress topper dishing out Saatva magic for less

Specifications

Type: Graphite, latex, foam mattress topper
Depth: 1.5 - 3 inches
Material: Memory foam, latex
Sizes: 7 (twin - split king)
Best for: Sleepers with allergies; hot sleepers
Warranty: 1 year
RRP: $175 - $650

Reasons to buy

+
Advanced cooling technology
+
Anchor bands for extra stability
+
Washable cover

Reasons to avoid

-
Short warranty for the price

If you read our Saatva Classic mattress review and want all that Saatva luxury and comfort but don't have the budget or need for a new mattress just yet, a Saatva mattress topper is the next best thing. 

There are three different topper materials available - graphite, latex or foam. In our Saatva Mattress Topper review, we tested the graphite-infused memory foam version for its cooling properties and recommend it for anyone prone to sleeping warm. The graphite layer is designed to draw heat away from your body, while you also get the contouring, cushioning pressure relief of memory foam. And at three inches deep, it’s twice the thickness of Saatva’s other mattress topper products. 

If you'd prefer a thinner option, there are two to choose between. The most premium is Saatva's latex mattress topper. Made from all-natural, renewable materials, this 1.5-inch thick topper is Saatva’s most expensive but most durable product, and should easily exceed the expected lifespan of the average topper. Like the graphite, it sleeps fairly cool as well. 

Saatva's most affordable mattress topper, meanwhile, is made from 1.5 inches of high-density foam. It'll contour to your body to help relieve pressure, and because it's all-foam, it provides great motion isolation as well. We love the choice that Saatva offers with its toppers. If you can't justify buying a luxury Saatva mattress, the company's topper is the next best thing. For the latest savings, read our guide to the best Saatva mattress sale offers.

Torn between the Saatva and the Tempur-Pedic? We talk you through it in our Saatva vs Tempur-Pedic mattress topper comparison.

ViscoSoft Active Cooling Copper mattress topper

(Image credit: ViscoSoft)
The best cooling mattress topper for hot sleepers

Specifications

type: Cooling mattress topper
Depth: 4 inches
Material: Copper-infused memory foam
Sizes: 6 (twin - Cal king)
Best for: Hot sleepers; warmer weather; nightsweats
Warranty: 5 years
RRP: $334.95 - $534.95

Reasons to buy

+
Great for those who get hot
+
Removable cover
+
Relieves pressure points

Reasons to avoid

-
Could be too firm for some

If you're particularly prone to sleeping hot, you will want to make sure your bed provides plenty of cooling comfort, while still staying supportive and cozy. And it doesn’t get more luxurious than the ViscoSoft Active Cooling Copper Topper. It's 4 inches deep and comes with a layer of the brand’s antimicrobial copper-infused foam on top of support foam. 

ViscoSoft has designed it for all sleeping positions, but as we discovered in our ViscoSoft Active Cooling Topper review, lighter side sleepers might find it a touch too firm. To keep things extra hygienic, this mattress topper features a removable cover, which can also be washed – ideal for hot sleepers who always want to ensure they have a healthy surface to sleep on. 

The topper attaches to your mattress securely with easy-to-fit elastic straps, and also has a breathable, anti-slip mesh cover for an airy feel. As well as the breathable fabric, the topper uses CertiPUR-US premium American-made materials that guarantees no toxins, for a safe surface to sleep on. The top phase-changing cover wasn't cool-to-the-touch for us, but that didn't prevent our hot sleepers from remaining comfortable on even the warmest nights.

While the ViscoSoft Active Cooling Copper Topper is at the pricier end of our best mattress toppers list, there’s plenty of quality on offer here, and the reviewers agree too with this topper getting 4.6 out of 5 stars on the company website. The reviews also highlight the topper’s comfort and luxury. What's more, Black Friday discounts will drop the price into a more affordable bracket for most.

Lucid 4-inch Gel Memory Foam mattress topper

(Image credit: Amazon)
The best memory foam mattress topper to soften your bed

Specifications

Type: Gel mattress topper
Depth: 4 inches
Material: Gel-infused memory foam
Sizes: 6 (twin - Cal king)
Best for: Those wanting a softer bed; small budgets
Warranty: 3 years
RRP: $74.99 - $149.99

Reasons to buy

+
Great value
+
Generous thickness
+
Doesn't sleep too warm

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn't come with a cover
-
Some may find it sinks too much

The Lucid Gel Memory Foam mattress topper is a budget model that's well worth considering if you want a thick bed topper with plenty of cooling and a lower price. (A queen retails for $120.) At 4 inches deep, there’s lots of cushioning for maximum pressure relief, without compromising on comfort if you sleep hot. In our Lucid Gel Memory Foam mattress topper review, we were surprised at how well it regulated our body temperature – although there are cooler toppers out there, still.

It's a sure-fire way to soften up any mattress without breaking the bank, although it could be too squishy for some, especially if you need a more supportive feel due to back or shoulder pain. But if you are a big fan of the feel of memory foam mattresses, then the Lucid Gel Memory Foam mattress topper is perfect for you. There are shallower choices in the Lucid range, but, if you need the extra squish, look no further. 

The Lucid Gel Memory Foam mattress topper has a high star rating of 4.4 out of 5 on Amazon with over 27,000 reviews (November 2022). Many happy customers were singing the praises of this topper, commenting on how it transformed their sleep and improved their current firm mattress.

If you want similar levels of comfort, cooling, and affordability, but want something less thick, there’s some healthy competition from Linenspa. Check our Linenspa vs Lucid mattress topper comparison feature to see which one sounds like the best fit for you.

Linenspa Gel Memory Foam mattress topper

(Image credit: Linenspa)

7. Linenspa Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper

The best budget cooling mattress topper

Specifications

Type: Memory foam mattress topper
Depth: 2 inches
Material: Gel-infused memory foam
Sizes: 10 (twin – Cal king)
Best for: Instant cradling comfort; cooling support
Warranty: 3 years
RRP: $39.99 - $79.99

Reasons to buy

+
Incredible value
+
Good temperature regulation 
+
Wide range of sizes

Reasons to avoid

-
Cover not machine washable 

If you’re after an affordable topper to quickly transform a firm mattress, Linenspa’s Gel Infused Memory Foam mattress topper can't be beaten for value. Starting at just $39.99 for a 2-inch twin, Linenspa's offering is also the ideal way to upgrade a guest bed. It's simple yet effective, and 2 inches is more than enough to provide some extra comfort for a cheaper or older mattresses. You can also upgrade to three inches for a little more.

While there are no fancy features or elasticated straps to attach the topper to the mattress, this Linenspa topper does feature gel-infused foam – a welcome addition if you sleep hot. There’s also a lovely plush feel with 100% polyurethane memory foam infused with cooling gel beads, offering plenty of cushioning for pressure points as well as a fresh-feeling surface. If you need a touch more comfort, then the topper is also available at 3 inches deep.

On Amazon, the topper has over 98,000 user reviews, with an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 as of November 2022. Fans of the Linenspa topper like that it contours to their body without overheating. They also feel well supported along their hips and shoulders. There are some complaints about the potent off-gassing smell, but the good news is that it doesn't linger for long. (Rest assured this topper is made using CertiPUR-US standard foam that guarantees safe emissions, as well as durability.)

On top of the plushness and cooling, the Linenspa topper is backed with a three-year warranty, free delivery and free returns. It’s also available in 10 sizes – including twin to California king, as well as sizes suitable for cots or RV beds.

Turmerry Organic Latex mattress topper

(Image credit: Turmerry)

8. Turmerry Organic Latex Mattress Topper

An eco-friendly bed topper that's highly customizable

Specifications

Type: Organic mattress topper
Depth: 2-3 inches
Material: Organic latex foam
Sizes: 6 (twin - Cal king)
Best for: Those who want organic sleep products; healthy, non-toxic topper
Warranty: 5 years
RRP: $125 - $565

Reasons to buy

+
Lots of customization options
+
5-zoned design for targeted support
+
100% natural and organic latex

Reasons to avoid

-
It's expensive

If you frequently find yourself waking up with aches and pains, the Turmerry Organic Latex mattress topper is worth considering. Available in two and three-inch thickness versions, as well as three firmness levels - soft, medium and medium firm - Turmerry mattress toppers are specifically designed to provide pressure relief and support in all the right places.

They're also a top choice for hot sleepers. The organic Dunlop latex is ventilated with lots of small holes to help the air circulate, which helps keep you cool at night. All Turmerry toppers are hypoallergenic, so they're safe choice for anyone with allergies. And they should also appeal to eco-conscious consumers too: the company’s manufacturing facility is carbon neutral certified, and the latex used has 100% organic certification. Plus Turmerry plants a tree with every sale, so you're helping the environment in more ways than one. 

The Turmerry website features almost 1,400 reviews as of November 2022, the majority of which rate its products a full five stars – the general consensus being the toppers are good quality at a great price. And you can’t argue with value for money here, with Turmerry's Dunlop latex material outdoing the competition in terms of durability by a minimum of 10 years. 

The free trial period is shorter than most other companies listed. However, it's still a significant enough period of time to decide whether you’re happy with your purchase. If you suffer from aches and pain while you sleep, or you're looking for a sustainable option, the Turmerry Organic is one of the best mattress toppers around. 

For more natural sleep solutions, read our best organic mattress guide. For further guidance on the material, read our memory foam vs latex mattress comparison feature.

A woman pulls up the corner of a Layla Mattress Topper to show how thick it is

(Image credit: Layla Sleep)

9. Layla Mattress Topper

An excellent bed topper for making firm mattresses softer

Specifications

Type: Copper-infused mattress topper
Depth: 2 inches
Material: Memory foam
Sizes: 6 (twin - Cal king)
Best for: Back pain; pressure relief; hot sleepers
RRP: $249 - $449

Reasons to buy

+
Cooling topper
+
Naturally antibacterial 
+
Ample pressure relief

Reasons to avoid

-
Large sizes are heavy at 24lbs
-
Refund process is a little different 

If you have a mattress that’s too firm for you, but you can’t afford to replace it just yet, then soften it up with the plush Layla Memory Foam Topper. The foam is designed to condense under your hips, shoulders and back, reducing pressure points for comfier sleep in all positions.

Layla’s 2-inch mattress topper uses copper-infused memory foam to dissipate heat so that it doesn’t pool beneath you, so you’ll sleep more comfortably. Copper is also naturally antimicrobial (it kills bacteria), so this is an excellent choice for boosting the overall hygiene of your bed. 

Our only bugbear with the Layla Mattress Topper is the returns process: if you change your mind during the trial, you’ll need to donate your topper to charity, get a receipt proving your donation, and then Layla will refund you. Still, with high user reviews and a reasonable price for a topper that could extend the life of your mattress for another couple of years or longer, a lot of customers seem happy with Layla’s offering.

The Tuft & Needle Mattress Topper

(Image credit: Tuft & Needle)

10. Tuft & Needle Mattress Topper

The best mattress topper for side sleepers

Specifications

Type: Cooling mattress topper
Depth: 4 inches
Material: Gel memory foam
Sizes: 5 (twin - Cal king)
Best for: Side sleepers; relieving pressure points on hips and shoulders
Warranty: 10 years
RRP: $200 - $300

Reasons to buy

+
Contours to your curves
+
Relieves pressure on hips and shoulders
+
Works with a wide range of mattresses
+
Non-skid bottom

Reasons to avoid

-
Not washable
-
Tends to sleep warm

We’re huge fans of Tuft & Needle’s high-quality mattresses – we’ve even featured the brand in our best mattress guide – and its two-inch mattress topper is equally well-made and highly rated. There are over 1,700 user reviews on the brand’s website (as of November 2022), with a collective rating of 4.4 stars out of 5. On Amazon, it also has a score of 4.4 out of 5 stars from over 900 user reviews.

Essentially, what you’re getting here is a two-inch slab of responsive foam designed to relieve pressure on your hips and shoulders. That alone makes Tuft & Needle the best mattress topper for side sleepers seeking higher levels of comfort and cushioning from their existing bed. It's the same when you're looking for a side sleeper mattress - you need extra softness around your shoulders and hips

While the topper is made with open-cell foam to boost breathability, it does sleep a little warm. So if you run very hot, look further up this list for a proper cooling bed topper such as the Sleep Innovations 4 Inch Gel Mattress Topper. As you may have spotted, it comes in a Heather Grey color, so if you want an all-white mattress topper to match your pristine, all-white mattress, this isn’t the one for you. 

However the Tuft & Needle Mattress Topper is the best choice if you don’t want to mess around with any elasticated anchor straps. That’s because it uses silicone beading on the bottom to prevent it from sliding around while you’re lying on top of it. Tuft & Needle has also covered the topper with a polyester-blend fabric that prevents bed sheets from bunching up on top of it. 

The Birch Organic Mattress Topper in beige

(Image credit: Birch Living)

11. Birch Plush Organic Mattress Topper

The best eco-friendly mattress topper for non-toxic sleep

Specifications

Type: Organic mattress topper
Depth: 3 inches
Materials: Organic wool, organic cotton, natural latex
Sizes: 6 (twin - Cal king)
Best for: People with allergies; those seeking eco-friendly sleep products
Warranty: 10 Years
RRP: $325 - $599

Reasons to buy

+
Certified organic materials
+
Will suit most sleepers
+
100-night sleep trial

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive, a twin retails for $325

There’s plenty to love about Birch’s organic mattress topper, especially if you are an eco-conscious shopper or want to ensure your bed stays allergen free. While the organic materials and superior craftsmanship are reflected in the high price of this bed topper, it’s worth every cent if you are after something truly luxurious and long-lasting.

With three inches of premium materials, Birch’s topper is made using organic cotton, organic wool, and natural latex. The wool is hypoallergenic and is also a natural fire retardant, while also offering superior comfort and temperature regulation. Back sleepers and side sleepers in particular will benefit from sleeping on this topper, with the cushioning layers offering excellent pressure relief.

Soft to the touch, and airy, Birch’s topper is handmade in the US. The plush pillow top offers incredible comfort, and is also breathable thanks to the natural materials. This bed topper is free of toxins, and is GreenGuard Gold and GOTS certified.

The prices start at $325 for a twin, and reach $599 for a Cal King, but with a ten-year warranty, free shipping, plus the fact it can transform any mattress into something supremely luxurious, it could well justify the price. Take advantage of the 100-night sleep trial to find out for yourself why it has a 4.6 out of 5 star rating out of over 3,000 reviews (as of November 2022).

Pure Brands Down Alternative Mattress Topper and pad

(Image credit: Pure Brands)

12. Pure Brands Down Alternative Mattress Topper Pad

One of the most popular mattress toppers on Amazon

Specifications

Type: Down alternative mattress topper
Depth: 2 inches
Material: Breathable microfiber
Sizes: 5 (twin - Cal king)
Best for: Guest beds; people with allergies
RRP: $44.99 - $52.99

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent value
+
No animal products used
+
Machine washable

Reasons to avoid

-
Not as thick as others

Pure Brands’ topper not only offers an affordable and lightweight way to upgrade your mattress if it’s too firm, but if you suffer from allergies or are looking for a vegan non-feather option, then it’s a smart choice too. Made with 100% microfiber and a down-alternative polyfill, it’s cozy without compromise.

Despite being only 2 inches deep, there’s still lots of comfort on offer, and there’s plenty of positive reviews from happy customers too. Over on Amazon, there are nearly 13,000 reviews and a 4.4 out of 5 star rating as of November 2022, singing the praises of this simple yet extremely cozy mattress topper.  

What’s more, this topper is breathable, machine-washable, and fits over your mattress in the same way as a fitted sheet to ensure it stays put no matter what. Pure Brands’ topper starts at just $39.99 for a twin after discount and is available in all the major sizes from Twin to Cal king. It is designed to fit over mattresses up to 18 inches deep.

What is the best mattress topper in 2022?

The Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Adapt (opens in new tab) is our number one pick of the best mattress toppers. This three-inch thick luxury foam topper offers a lot of comfort and pressure relief at a fraction of the cost of a full-fledged Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Adapt Mattress. Prices start at $319 for a twin, but there are regular sales and promotions.

The Tempur topper gets an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars from over 5,400 user reviews, and with a 10-year warranty, you're covered for the long haul. We recommend most it for side sleepers who like an ultra-plush bed.

How to choose the best mattress topper for you

Choosing the best mattress topper for you is easier when you know what qualities you would like it to have. For example, if your existing mattress is the wrong firmness, look for a bed topper such as the Turmerry Organic Latex Mattress Topper that offers a choice of firmnesses so you can find one that’s more suitable. 

You might want a firmer topper that supports you if you sleep on your back or front, or you might prefer a softer memory foam or plush-top option to cushion joints.

If you need something vegan or hypoallergenic, then the best mattress topper for you is The Company Store Legends Hotel Down Alternative Baffled Featherbed. This one offers luxurious levels of comfort, while also taking the strain off your hips, shoulders and knees. 

There’s plenty of choice if you need a mattress topper with cooling properties. It’s best to find one with a removable cover, as well as antimicrobial properties to keep the topper hygienic. Saatva and Eight Sleep go the extra mile when it comes to keeping things cool at night, with innovative materials or tech that help keep the body at a comfortable temperature for sleeping.

Best mattress toppers: The Lucid 4-inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper on a wooden bed frame

(Image credit: Lucid)

When is the best time to buy a mattress topper?

Good value mattress topper deals (opens in new tab) come up regularly throughout the year. Usually at least one of the toppers in our guide will have a discount at any given time. That said, there are some key periods that tend to offer slightly bigger discounts. November is when we normally see some of the best Black Friday mattress topper deals from the biggest names in sleep, and these usually form part of the wider Black Friday mattress sales (opens in new tab).

In February, there are big discounts in the Presidents Day sales; and in May there's always a wide variety of toppers on sale during Memorial Day. We also tend to see decent deals during the summer sales, on Labor Day in September, and in early December with Cyber Monday.

Mattress toppers vs mattress pads vs protectors

This is a common question, but there’s an easy way to tell the difference between these three main mattress accessories:

Mattress toppers, also known as bed toppers, are the thickest of the three and are designed to sit right on top of your mattress. They are usually anchored in place by thick straps that go over and under your mattress. You can buy toppers that are up to seven inches deep, and their goal is to make your bed more comfortable for your body. That could be by adding firmer support or quilted top softness, or even dedicated cooling gels to dissipate body heat.

Mattress pads are thinner and therefore make less of an impact than toppers. Some people choose them if they aren’t sure whether they need a full bed topper, but keep in mind that mattress pads won’t add anywhere near as much comfort as a proper topper will. They are cheaper though and can add a layer of protection to help protect your bed from stains.

Mattress protectors are the thinnest of the three but they play a very important role: they are designed to keep spills, dust, urine, dust mites and pesky bed bugs away from your mattress. We always recommend placing a protector over your mattress topper for maximum hygiene, and to help all of your accessories last longer, giving you more value for money in the long-term.

What are the benefits of a mattress topper?

If your mattress is still in good condition, but isn’t quite right – maybe it’s too soft, too firm, or not cooling enough – then there will be a mattress topper to help. Bed toppers are a simple way to transform any mattress, instantly, cheaply and easily, with just a few inches of memory foam, latex, or feathers providing that little extra something you need. 

If you’re looking to bring the temperature down, try a bed topper with cooling qualities such as a gel-infused top or a sweat-wicking cover. Many come with covers that can be removed and washed too, making it easier to keep fresh.

Most mattress toppers are around 3 inches thick, but there are many that are deeper if you need extra support or stability beyond your existing mattress. If you need more relief for pressure points, then a memory foam topper is ideal. 

A mattress topper on top of a mattress

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Mattress topper materials guide: foam, gel, latex

There are countless number of mattress toppers available, so it can be difficult to know what to choose. Here’s a quick guide to the three main materials that you’ll find in bed toppers and the benefits of each.

Memory foam – a popular material used to make many of the best mattresses in a box, memory foam bed toppers are a cheap and easy way to change up your mattress, making it softer or firmer depending on what you need. If you get chilly, then memory foam is a cosier option as it tends to retain heat, although there are some cooling options too.

Gel – if you sleep hot then bed toppers made with cooling gel-infused foam are designed to keep your body temperature at a cooler level as you sleep. These are often cool to the touch, which is total bliss for hot sleepers. Look out for gel-infused toppers that also have washable and antimicrobial covers, which is essential for keeping your bed topper hygienic if you sweat. 

Latex – natural latex is extremely durable, nicely springy and breathable making it ideal if you’re looking for something long-lasting and hard-wearing on top of the comfort. Latex mattress toppers are often a good choice for RVs/campervans.

How thick should a mattress topper be?

Mattress toppers can range in thickness greatly, from just an inch or two to eight inches or more. However, a happy medium for most is around four inches, and those under two inches should probably be avoided.

A thin topper is unlikely to actually provide much extra support or cushioning, and in use you're likely to 'bottom out', meaning your pressure points won't really be feeling any difference compared to your mattress alone.

Those that are too thick, however (especially standard memory foam toppers), will have you sinking deeply into the topper. While some might enjoy this, it can prove problematic when it comes to moving around in bed. You might find yourself feeling a little trapped, and if it doesn't spring back into shape immediately you could also struggle to get comfy when you change position.

While it all depends on your preference and what material you've chosen, we think between two to four inches is the best for a mattress topper.

A woman sits on a mattress holding a hand to her lower back

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Are mattress toppers good for back and hip pain?

If you suffer from back ache and suspect it could be caused by your mattress, it could just take adding a mattress topper to help relieve the pain. Side sleepers, for instance, should be properly supported along the spine and at the pressure points, something a memory foam topper can help with.

If you’re sinking too much into your mattress, that can push your spine out of alignment, so a firmer topper will help even straighten things out. The same is true for a mattress that is too firm, which can quickly cause soreness. A mattress topper with a softer surface, such as a plush top, will soon transform your sleep and make it less painful at pressure points too.

If your pain is severe or persistent then check with a healthcare professional, who should be able to advise you further.

The best way to wash a mattress topper

When browsing for mattress toppers online, check to see what the care instructions are, because not all bed toppers can be washed, although you should still be able to spot clean them. Meanwhile, some mattress toppers are machine washable, while others offer a middle ground with a removable washable cover. 

Whatever the care instructions are for your bed topper, using the best mattress protector you can afford will help keep the topper fresh and protected against accidental spills, sweat and dust mites. It’s always a good idea to freshen up your topper by airing it regularly if you can.

Gel vs memory foam mattress toppers

Memory foam bed toppers dominate the market and provide affordable, effective ways of both firming up or softening your current mattress, depending on the thickness you choose. However, cheaper versions often suffer from heat retention, which can make some sleepers overheat at night.

Gel and gel-infused foams perform much in the same was as memory foam toppers but have technologies baked in to help dissipate heat. This is great if you tend to run hot, but many premium foams without gel have other ways of dissipating heat. We pit two of these types against one another in our Saatva vs Tempur-Pedic mattress toppers article.

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Claire Davies
Sleep Editor, Certified Sleep Science Coach

Claire Davies is a qualified journalist, Sleep Editor and Certified Sleep Science Coach who writes about all things related to sleep, from mattress reviews to the latest sleep techniques and research. Claire has interviewed a wealth of experts, from mattress designers and innovators to neuroscientists and doctors of sleep medicine. Before taking on the role of Sleep Editor, Claire worked as Health & Wellness Editor at Top Ten Reviews, and before that was a Senior Content Editor at T3. Claire is super-passionate about how consistent, good quality sleep can boost our physical and mental wellbeing, and would love to hear from PRs and brands regarding sleep products, services and research that can help our readers sleep better than ever. 

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