The increased need for better sleep has led people to resort to all sorts of solutions. A mattress can be quite the investment, so if the one you have isn’t working great for you, there might be another option besides replacement. A mattress topper is basically an extension for a mattress, and they are a much affordable option then getting a whole new mattress. There are a wide variety of mattress toppers available, some turning an existing mattress into a mattress with a ‘pillow top’ feel, while others are thinner and are mainly used to extend the life of a mattress. Check out our list of the best mattress toppers on the market, and our buyers guide to lead to better sleep.
General Thoughts on Mattress Pads
A mattress topper is a thick pad (2-8 inches) which is placed on top of the primary mattress to provide additional comfort. The term “mattress pad” is used interchangeably with mattress topper even though the two have a slight difference. A mattress pad is cheaper, slightly thinner and attaches to the primary mattress like a fitted sheet. A pad is primarily for protection while a topper is used for comfort. Some of the more expensive toppers feature memory foam, and can transform your sleep for less than $300.
Mattress toppers come in different styles such as cooling, memory foam, “egg crate” foam, pillow top, latex, feather, fiber, wool and organic. Memory foam toppers are the most popular and offer the most effective method of improving comfort since memory foam is highly conforming to the body’s contour and is also very durable.
A mattress topper can be used to offer extra softness to a rather firm mattress or to add extra support to a worn out mattress. The topper also protects the mattress from stains or accidental spills since most toppers have waterproof outer shells. A mattress topper provides an inexpensive way of giving a new lease of life to older mattresses.
It also prolongs the life of the mattress and provides instant pressure relief and comfort, ensuring improved quality of sleep. Most mattress toppers mold to the body’s contour to provide luxurious comfort while supporting the back, neck and other pressure points which helps alleviate aches and pains.
Toppers also help in limiting motion transfer thus less disturbance of the sleeping partner. Others have hypoallergenic features ideal for people who suffer from allergies or asthma. Toppers with a high density rating can offer the required firmness and thickness ideal for people with back problems while those with lower density ratings helps in conforming of the body. They come in different types, prices and features guaranteed to meet everyone’s needs.
A good quality mattress topper is made with durable material and is guaranteed to greatly improve the sleep quality as well as prolong the life span of the existing mattress.
Main Advantages of a Mattress Topper
Mattress toppers improve the overall look of any old mattress while still improving the quality of sleep. They provide luxurious softness on rather firm mattresses and further improve their comfort while others are placed to offer extra support and comfort if the existing mattress is worn out. Mattress toppers also offer a cheap alternative to rejuvenate the performance of the primary mattress, and in extension prolong their lifespan.
Many have minimal motion transfer properties thus sleeping partners are not disturbed by their partners movement on/off the bed or when turning and turning. Notably, memory foam toppers can help improve the motion isolation ability of a mattress which will result to a less disturbed sleep. Mattress toppers also provide warmth or keep the body cool when necessary.
In the hospitality industry; hotels, guest houses and B&Bs, toppers are used to provide support and comfort the guest and most importantly because they are very easy to clean. A simple vacuum cleaning exercise or machine wash ensures a prolonged life for the topper and in extension the mattress underneath. They can also be placed on sofa beds to provide the same for guests.
Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a Mattress Topper
Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for one of the best mattress toppers for you.
- It is important to note that muscle and joint pain is best alleviated by firm surfaces, while soft toppers may be of benefit to people with worn out mattresses or those having trouble sleeping. The price and type of the mattress topper varies a lot based on material. Plain egg-crate foam, cotton and polyester mattress toppers usually tend to be cheapest while feather & down and high quality cotton toppers tend to be in the middle-of-the-run.
- Latex, memory foam, and wool mattress toppers can be a bit expensive. The ideal mattress topper is mainly dependent on material used, preference and conditions like allergies. People with asthma or allergy symptoms should be cautious when purchasing toppers, padding and even mattresses since some of the materials may exacerbate their conditions. Hypoallergenic covers are out there, so don’t give up hope!
- Side sleepers tend to need more support than back sleepers because they may sleep at strange angles, so a memory foam topper or a latex topper will be most ideal for them. For people with back pain or a slipped disc, a thick and dense topper is most suitable. On the other hand for people with well-aligned bodies a softer option, such as fiber or wool, will be more than ideal.
- Easy portability & mobility and maintenance may also be considered. Feather & down toppers are generally difficult to clean but together with cotton ones they are easier to transport than latex and memory foam ones. Egg crate foam mattress toppers are the easiest to transport. Lastly, the shopper must double check to ensure the item is dryer/washer safe. Reviews and recommendations from friends and family can help in determining the best mattress toppers. Friendly return policies with minimal or no fees can also help in picking the right mattress topper.
Types of Mattress Toppers
Memory foam is a common option used today. Major issues surrounding memory foam toppers are; the initial unpleasant odor released when unpacking and also the material’s weak heat dispersion properties.
Cooling toppers have a gel-type material that helps in cooling the body all through the night making them a good option for those who sweat too much at night. Some cooling mattress toppers even use water and tubes in their cooling system, however this type is not common and also some of this cooling features re most common in mattress pads.
A pillow top is usually less firm and thick as compared to the rest. It is also a relatively cheap and favorable entry-level option for those considering using mattress toppers.
Latex toppers are versatile, eco-friendly and offer a firmer option for additional support. However, they may release an unpleasant odor when unpacking.
Feather mattress toppers are made from goose or duck feathers/down and are the best option for adding extra softness to the mattress. However, the feathers may not be ideal for people with allergies or those with muscle or joint pains.
Fiber toppers are offer the required support and are hypoallergenic; they are the best and cheapest alternative to feather toppers.
Wool toppers are very durable and ensure warmth in cold seasons and keep the body cool in hot or warmer periods. Wool is generally hard to fit squarely on top of the bed and require regular fluffing to maintain loft. Also, wool mattress toppers to give an initial barnyard odor when unpacking .
Lastly, egg-crate foam mattress toppers contain open or closed cell foam made into an egg-carton-like shape that has evenly distributed bumps and dips on the surface. Egg-crate foam toppers have been around for a very long time and offer good support, breathability and shock resistance due to their bumps and dips.
Softness assists in conforming the body’s shape and firmness provides the needed support for the back. Each of the properties is important in addressing back pain. When determining the ideal firmness the following elements may be considered body weight and size, age and preferred sleeping position. A good medical professional or chiropractor may be consulted if one has a serious health concern.
Thickness and Density Ratings
The varying thickness levels have a direct effect on the durability, comfort and price of the mattress topper thus should be keenly addressed. Generally, a thinner topper will be less durable, less comfy and less expensive while a thicker option will guarantee value for money and satisfaction. Latex and memory foam materials offer the best range of thickness.
The density ratings basically refer to the overall density of the topper and usually run from three-five. A high density rating means the topper will be firmer and thicker and is well suited to be used with people with back problems. A lower density rating will be much softer and usually less thick making it less durable. It is advisable to buy a topper with a minimum density of 4 for people with back problems or higher for those with higher body weights
Five of the Best Mattress Toppers
Here are the all around best mattress toppers on the market.
ExceptionalSheets makes some of the highest rated mattress toppers in the market, one of theirs is featured in Marriott hotels all across the world. This model features a soft-quilted bamboo blend cover, with a supportive synthetic cluster fiber and a polyester-cotton blend backing. The cluster fiber is well crafted to trap air and enable the padding to maintain its shape for a long period of time. This design also allows for better airflow.
The unique design and high quality materials ensure plush comfort while still maintaining proper lumbar support. It is machine washable in high capacity machines, but softeners should not be used. It is available in all the common sizes and is backed by a 100% money-back guarantee to ensure maximum satisfaction and worry-free experience.
This mattress topper from Lucid has a 2.5-inch gel-infused memory foam layer which provides enough thickness for proper lumbar support and comfort, while also maintaining a well-ventilated environment. The hypoallergenic gel-infused foam absorbs and evenly distributes body heat allowing airflow. In extension this helps to regulate the temperature of the sleeper.
Its open cell design creates a resilient and durable foam which does not leave long-lasting impressions on the body. The soft foam contours to the body and weight helping to relieve back, shoulder and neck pain. It comes with a removable, super-soft bamboo cover that is easy to clean. This gel-infused memory foam mattress topper is available in all sizes and it also comes with a 3-year warranty.
This mattress topper from Sleep Innovations has a 2-inch layer of fluffy fiber fill and another 2-inch layer of cooling gel foam to ensure maximum pressure-reliving support and plush comfort.
The soft quilted cover can also be easily removed and is also washer/dryer safe. It offers luxurious comfort while maintain a gentle support at a reasonable price. This gel memory foam provides the much needed thickness while is maintain exceptional softness. This mattress topper is available in all the common sizes, and comes with a 10-year limited warranty.
This 3-inch latex topper offers additional softness and better pressure point relief on old as well as new mattresses. The topper is covered in natural bamboo fabric well known for its hypoallergenic properties. Latex toppers are generally known to be very durable and also they provide superior comfort without the sinking-in feeling and support.
The Talalay latex material is generally more breathable than others like memory foam, Dunlop process latex and polyurethane. This Ultimate Dreams Talalay latex mattress topper from DreamFoam Bedding will guarantee a luxurious softness and support for peaceful night’s sleep. It is available in queen, king and California king as well as various firmness levels (firm, medium and soft).
This Heavenly microfiber topper from Hospitology is made with high quality brushed microfiber polyester, which combines hypoallergenic properties and durability of polyester with the softness of cotton. The outer shell is covered with a stain-resistant fabric that offers protection from minor spills. The 100% Polyester filling delivers great warmth, hypoallergenic properties and also has exceptional temperature regulating features.
The dual stretch panels of this topper easily wrap around the mattress and can accommodate mattresses as thick as 18 inches. This topper is machine washable, however it may be too big for home washing machines and also professional cleaning is advised when dealing with difficult stains.
It is available in common sizes such as Twin, Twin XL, Full and King, and is recommended for anyone that might need some extra warmth.