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Best Mattress Toppers

BEST MATTRESS TOPPERS

Nicky P.

Last updated: 24.10.2020 15 Min.

You have probably heard about mattress toppers before. But what exactly are they? And do you need one?

There are many reasons you may consider investing in a mattress topper.

But be aware that there are some things mattress toppers cannot achieve. You can easily waste money on a mattress topper by assuming it can do things that it can’t.

We will clear up any of these misunderstandings and provide some clarity on what mattress toppers can really do and why you might need one.

Mattress Toppers
  • Overview
  • What is a mattress topper?
  • Criteria
  • Our selection of the best mattress toppers
  • Usability
  • When will a mattress topper help?
  • When will a mattress topper not help?
  • Materials
  • Conclusion
  • Our selection of the best mattresses

What is a mattress topper?

In a nutshell, a mattress topper is a 4 - 10 cm thick removable layer of extra padding that you place on top of your mattress to change the overall feel of the mattress.

Some mattress toppers feature elastic bands that allow you to easily attach them to your mattress and prevent them from moving while sleeping. Others don't have this though, and manufacturers generally recommend just pulling a sheet over the topper and the mattress, which should keep the topper in place.

Toppers can be made of different materials that provide different feelings when you lie on them but, in general, they are meant to provide cushioning and support.

While we talk about the degree of firmness quite often with mattresses, this is not the case with mattress toppers. The firmness of a topper depends quite heavily on the mattress it is placed on top of.

In general, though, a mattress topper is meant to make a firm mattress softer.

We explore all the uses of mattress toppers in further detail below.

Mattress topper with cover

Mattress topper

Depth of a mattress topper

Key criteria for choosing your perfect mattress topper

Not all mattress toppers are created equal. There are some great ones on the market but there are also some substandard ones available.

If you're on the hunt for a mattress topper, then consider the following key points:

Density

The density indicates the amount of material used during production.

The higher the density, the higher the quality of your mattress topper and the more durable it will be. We recommend a density of at least 40 - 50 kg/m³.

Also pay attention to the thickness of your mattress topper. Most toppers are between 4 and 10 cm thick. Don't go for a topper that's less than 4 cm thick.

Firmness

While toppers don't necessarily have a degree of firmness in the way that mattresses do, the material does still affect how firm or soft the topper is.

We'll go into this in more detail below but, in general, memory foam toppers are the softest, while cold foam toppers are the firmest.

Choose according to your personal needs and preferences and pay attention to your body weight and size.

Size

The size of your topper depends on the size of your mattress. Your topper would have to fit your mattress perfectly, and you need to measure the width, length, and height.

If you're using a large mattress topper over two single mattresses, then make sure that the topper covers both mattresses perfectly.

Hygiene

Hygiene is very important.

That's why we recommend mattress toppers where the cover is removable and machine-washable at a high temperature. This will kill bacteria and help with allergies.

Most mattress toppers are too large to be machine-washable but you can remove stains with a little detergent, a damp cloth, and water. You may be interested in reading our article on cleaning foam mattresses, which gives you tons of insight of how to remove different types of stains.

Our selection of the best mattress toppers

There are dozens of mattress toppers on the market with different properties and available at different prices.

One popular mattress topper is the eazzzy mattress topper by Genius. This is a very affordable topper but our experience with it was average and we wouldn't necessarily recommend it. You can, however, feel free to read our eazzzy mattress topper review if you'd like.

We would, however, recommend the below mattress toppers instead.

Eve mattress topper

Designed and manufactured in the UK by Eve Sleep, this mattress topper is a British favourite.

The Eve mattress topper is 5cm thick. It is composed of 2 cm open-cell foam, which provides comfort and adaptability, and 3 cm ultra-resilient reflex base foam, which provides the necessary support.

The cover is machine-washable at 40° C to allow for superior hygiene standards, and the topper itself is hypoallergenic and does not contain harmful chemicals.

Eve Mattress Topper

BUY EVE MATTRESS TOPPER

Recci mattress topper

The Recci mattress topper is made from 100% pure high-quality memory foam.

This mattress topper comes in various depths and different sizes.

Its structure ensures great breathability and allows for a cooler sleeping climate. This creates an all-round more comfortable sleeping environment.

The Recci cover is made of 60% bamboo fabric. The topper is also CertiPUR-certified and meets OEKO-TEX standards.

The Recci mattress topper is available from £81 for a 135 x 190 cm double bed.

Recci mattress topper

BUY RECCI MATTRESS TOPPER ON AMAZON

Tempur mattress topper

The Tempur mattress topper is a very high-quality topper by the Tempur brand, made up of the Tempur-branded memory foam.

It adapts perfectly to the body and is great to relieve pressure, support your spine, and offer a warm, soft, and comfortable sleep.

The Tempur mattress topper is very expensive, though, so only consider this option if you have a high budget available.

Tempur mattress topper

BUY TEMPUR MATTRESS TOPPER ON AMAZON

Mello copper mattress topper

The Mello copper mattress topper is composed of a breathable and cooling fabric with a copper base.

The topper as a whole allows for better air circulation and the quilting improves blood circulation.

The copper helps fight bacteria and dust mites.

Mello copper mattress topper

BUY MELLO COPPER MATTRESS TOPPER ON AMAZON

BedStory mattress topper

The BedStory mattress topper is a plush hypoallergenic microfibre mattress topper of exceptional quality.

It has good ventilation to allow for a comfortable sleeping environment and prevents excessive sweating.

BedStory offers excellent value for money and comes with a standard 3-year warranty.

BedStory mattress topper

BUY BEDSTORY MATTRESS TOPPER ON AMAZON

Why buy a mattress topper?

There are many different reasons why you may consider investing in a mattress topper.

The table below will give you an overview of what a mattress topper can be used for. We explore these in more detail below.

A mattress topper can help with: A mattress topper cannot help with:
  • A softer feeling when lying down
  • Increasing the sleeping temperature (depending on the material)
  • Relaxing the muscles
  • Eliminating the annoying gap between two single mattresses in a double bed
  • It cannot revive a sagging mattress
  • It cannot make a too-soft mattress firmer
  • It cannot eliminate back pain (without changing the mattress)
  • It cannot reduce the sleeping temperature of the mattress

When will a mattress topper help?

A mattress topper cannot solve all of your mattress dilemmas and there are certainly some instances when a mattress topper will not help.

That said, there are many times when purchasing a mattress topper is the perfect solution to your problems. So if you're wishing for any of the below, then you may just need a mattress topper and don't have to necessarily invest in a new mattress.

For a softer feeling when lying down

Is your mattress too firm? Do you wish you had bought a softer one? If this is the case, then you don't need to buy a new mattress. A mattress topper will work just fine and is a great cheaper alternative to a new mattress.

Mattress toppers made of visco-elastic memory foam, gel foam, or latex foam will provide the most softness. Cold foam toppers are slightly firmer.

For a warmer sleeping climate

Do you easily feel cold while sleeping? A mattress topper can definitely help with this.

Toppers made of memory foam and latex foam will increase your sleeping temperature. Cold foam and gel foam toppers are more temperature-neutral.

Some mattress toppers have cooling properties to provide for a more neutral climate but they cannot reduce the overall sleeping climate of your mattress.

To create a seamless transition between two single mattresses

Have you joined two single mattresses to form a double bed? Then you'll be familiar with that annoying gap between the two mattresses.

A large mattress topper placed over both mattresses can make this gap disappear.

Keep in mind, though, that this works best if both partners have similar body types. If you chose two mattresses because you and your partner have different requirements, then you can try a bed bridge as an alternative to get rid of that annoying gap.

When will a mattress topper not help?

Many people believe that a mattress topper is a miracle cure-it-all that can solve all mattress-related problems. There is quite a bit of misinformation out there, often spread by manufacturers or sales assistants.

While a mattress topper can be quite useful, as we've seen above, sometimes you do have to invest in a new mattress.

If you suffer from back pain

A mattress topper cannot help with back pain. While it can certainly make your sleep more comfortable, toppers are rarely thick enough to actually affect the way your body is supported while you sleep.

If your spine is misaligned and this is causing your back pain, then you have to invest in a new mattress - and best to choose an orthopaedic mattress.

A slatted frame can also sometimes cause back pain. A broken or damaged slat can render even the best mattress useless.

You can read more about the causes of mattress-related back pain in our article here.

If your bed is too soft

Contrary to popular belief, a mattress topper cannot add firmness to your mattress.

Actually, the reverse is true. A mattress topper will make any mattress feel softer.

The exact degree of firmness will depend on the material. Memory foam toppers are the softest and cold foam toppers are the firmest.

But even a cold foam topper cannot make a soft mattress more firm.

If your mattress is too soft, then, unfortunately, you'll have to invest in a new mattress. Consider our recommended medium-firm mattresses or firm mattresses.

If your mattress is old, worn out, or sagging

A mattress topper is not a substitute for a new mattress. It can only enhance the features of your mattress.

If your mattress is old, worn out, or sagging, then you absolutely have to replace it.

A sagging mattress causes your body to be misalignment, which, in turn, puts excess pressure on your spine. This can lead to severe back pain.

Even the best mattress topper can't fix the spinal misalignment caused by a sagging mattress.

But don't worry, Sleep Hero is here to help. Read our mattress reviews to find the best mattress for you or head on over to your guide on choosing a new mattress to help you get started.

If your sleeping climate is too hot

A mattress topper cannot reduce sleeping climate. The opposite is actually true - a mattress topper will increase your sleeping climate.

Visco toppers and latex toppers are the warmest, while toppers made of cold foam, PUR foam, and gel foam are more temperature-neutral due to their open-cell pore structures.

What material should you choose?

Like with mattresses, there is no best mattress topper for all. The best mattress topper for you depends on your individual needs.

Each material has certain properties that will be better for different types of people.

The most common types of toppers are memory foam toppers, cold foam toppers, latex toppers, and gel foam toppers.

What I want Choose this type of mattress topper
Lie softer Memory foam topper; gel foam topper
Warmer sleep Memory foam topper; cold foam topper
Back muscles should feel relaxed Memory foam topper; cold foam topper; gel foam topper
More comfort Gel foam topper; memory foam topper
Comfort and temperature should remain the same Cold foam topper

Memory foam toppers

Mattress toppers made of visco-elastic memory foam are very popular.

They are best suited to create a soft and warm feeling as they adapt perfectly to the body, creating that body-hugging sensation. Memory foam also distributes pressure very well and can noticeably relieve surface muscular tension.

Memory foam does retain more heat than other materials, leading to an overall warmer sleeping climate. Memory foam toppers, then, can be great to prevent frostbite in winter.

Memory foam mattress topper

Memory foam mattress topper firmness

Cold foam toppers

Cold foam mattress toppers are firmer, more temperature-neutral, and hypoallergenic.

Cold foam has an open-cell pore structure, meaning that they are much more breathable than memory foam toppers. This makes them more temperature-neutral but they still can not reduce the overall sleeping temperature.

Mattress toppers made of cold foam are generally firmer than other toppers but they cannot make a soft mattress firmer. If you need a firmer mattress overall, then it's best to invest in a new one.

Both memory foam and cold foam toppers offer good body support but, in our experience, memory foam toppers offer better pressure distribution. Cold foam toppers are better to dissipate excess heat and moisture.

Cold foam mattress topper

Cold foam mattress topper firmness

Gel foam toppers

Gel foam toppers are also very popular. They are characterised by their pressure-relieving properties and temperature neutrality.

Gel foam quickly returns to its original shape, which is particularly advantageous for restless sleepers. Memory foam, in stark contrast, can often be quite cumbersome to move on as it hugs the body so comfortably.

But gel foam still offers great pressure-relieving properties. The material is quite point-elastic and adapts well to the contours of the body, taking some of the pressure off the body and spine.

The material is also open-mored, making gel foam toppers more temperature neutral, providing a good sleeping climate.

Gel foam mattress topper

Gel foam mattress topper firmness

Latex foam toppers

Latex foam toppers are soft and comfortable.

Similarly to memory foam toppers, they also store body heat and are perfect for those who easily feel cold.

Mattress toppers made of latex foam are characterised by their point-elasticity, stability, and durability. The first two suggest that the topper distributes pressure well and keeps your spine in a healthy alignment. Durability refers to the lifespan of the topper.

Latex toppers can be made from natural latex or synthetic latex.

Alternative mattress topper materials

In addition to the above more common mattress topper materials, you'll also find some mattress toppers made of the following:

  • Bamboo mattress toppers: These do not retain heat and have hypoallergenic properties.
  • Cotton mattress toppers: These are comfortable toppers that adapt well to temperature.
  • Water mattress toppers: These are recommended for back problems:
  • Air mattress toppers: These are also effective for back problems but less comfortable than water mattress toppers.
  • Heated mattress toppers: These allow you to control the temperature.

Conclusion

A mattress topper isn't necessary and you'll be just fine if you've invested in a high-quality mattress.

That said, a good mattress topper can greatly enhance the features of your mattress, creating a softer, warmer, and more comfortable sleeping environment. This is especially true if you're looking for more warmth and softness and don't want to invest in a new mattress.

But remember that a mattress topper is not a cheat for a new mattress. If your mattress is old, damaged, or sagging, then you will have to invest in a new mattress. We've given you our top mattress recommendations below.

Our selection of the best mattresses

A good mattress topper can't fix a bad mattress. Consider the following top recommendations if you're in need of a new mattress.

Additional information

  • What is a mattress topper?

    A mattress topper is a 4 - 10 cm thick removable layer of extra padding that you place on top of your mattress to change the overall feel of the mattress.

    Toppers can be made of different materials that provide different feelings when you lie on them but, in general, they are meant to provide cushioning and support.

    In general, a mattress topper is meant to make a firm mattress softer

  • Do I need a mattress topper?

    No, if you've purchases a high-quality mattress that you're comfortable with, you don't necessarily need a mattress topper.

    But, a mattress topper can enhance the overall features of your mattress, creating a softer, warmer, and more comfortable sleeping environment. 

    As a guideline, you can consider investing in a mattress topper if

    • You want to make your mattress feel softer
    • You want to increase the overall sleeping temperature
    • You want a greater relaxation of your muscles
    • You want to bridge the gap between two single mattresses on one double bed

     

  • Can a mattress topper make my soft or sagging mattress firmer?

    No, quite the opposite, actually. A mattress topper will always enhance the softness of your mattress, adding more comfort and cushioning.

    If your mattress is too soft or sagging, you will have to invest in a new one. Our guide to choosing a new mattress can help you get started.

  • Can a mattress topper help with back pain?

    As a standard, no, a mattress topper cannot help with back pain if your pain is caused by a bad mattress.

    It can, however, aid with pressure relief and help your muscles relax at night, which can help ease muscular aches and pains that are not caused by your mattress.

    If your mattress is causing your pain or creating spinal misalignment, then you will need to invest in a new mattress.

  • Is a mattress topper the same as a mattress protector?

    No, the two are quite different.

    A mattress topper is a 4- 10 cm thick additional layer of padding placed on top of your mattress to give you a more comfortable, warm, and soft sleeping environment.

    A mattress protector is a thin layer of waterproof material that covers your mattress and protects it from spills, stains, and bacteria.

    You can also get mattress pads, which are layers of extra padding to provide more cushioning but with less support than mattress toppers. 

Nicky P.

My mum calls me "bear" because I like to sleep so much. I never knew that, one day, that would be a very useful skill. Can you tell that I've found my calling? 

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