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If your mattress leaves something to be desired, a mattress topper is a great way to help fix the problem without buying a whole new bed. There are many types of mattress toppers available made from materials like memory foam, latex, and down or down alternatives. Depending on your needs, they can help make your bed feel firmer, plusher, more supportive, or less lumpy. In addition to material, other factors to look at when shopping for a mattress topper include its thickness and how well it regulates body heat.
To see whether today’s most popular mattress toppers are worth the hype, we purchased eight toppers from various brands and tested them over the course of two days in The Lab. We evaluated each product on its set-up process, overall comfort, and airflow. For additional insight, we tested to see whether we could feel hard objects placed underneath the surface (simulating a lumpy mattress), as well as how warm the material got when someone was laying on it.
Backed by our testing results, here are the best mattress toppers to add to your bed.
Best Overall: Sleep Innovations 4-inch Dual Layer Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper
Material: Gel memory foam | Height: 4 inches | Sizes: Twin, Full, Queen, King, Cal King | Certifications: CertiPUR-US | Return Policy: Dependent on retailer plus 10-year warranty
Extremely comfortable and cushioning
Stays in place on bed
Cooling abilities are lessened by top layer
After many hours of testing, we determined that the Sleep Innovations Dual Layer Mattress Topper is one of the best choices for most people. This unique topper is actually made up of two layers: it has a 2-inch gel memory foam layer, as well as a 2-inch pillow topper that has a built-in skirt similar to a mattress pad. Not only does this design ensure the topper stays in place on your bed, but our testers absolutely loved how the two layers felt. The topper provided the perfect amount of cushioning without being too fluffy, and the top layer makes it more comfortable than a standard memory foam topper.
This mattress topper is easy to set up, but the gel memory foam does have a sticky feel. Luckily, the top layer covers the foam so you don’t have to deal with the unpleasant texture. One downside that we noticed with this mattress topper is that the cooling effects of the gel memory foam are lessened due to the polyester-filled pillow topper. It wasn’t the warmest mattress topper we tested, but the surface temperature did increase several degrees when someone laid on it for five minutes.
In addition to being extremely comfortable, this mattress topper is made in the USA and is CertiPUR-US certified, meaning its foam meets standards for content, emissions, and durability. It’s also backed by an impressive 10-year warranty.
"As someone who has had back surgery, I thought that this topper was neither too firm nor too soft, which is often an issue I run into with bedding. This topper has mastered the balance between support and comfort, and it helped me get a good night’s sleep."—Cheyenne Elwell, Product Tester
Best Budget: LUCID 3-inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper
Material: Gel memory foam | Height: 3 inches | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, full XL, queen, king, California king | Certifications: CertiPUR-US | Return Policy: Dependent on retailer plus 3-year warranty
Comfortable and supportive
Ventilation holes provide airy feel
For a more budget-friendly option, the LUCID Memory Foam Mattress Topper provides a firm yet comfortable surface to sleep on. It’s made from an open cell gel memory foam that allows air to pass through, and our testers liked that it felt airy and breathable (though it did feel slightly tacky to the touch). The topper has a more firm texture than other options we tested, making it a good choice for side sleepers or anyone who needs a more supportive mattress surface.
This mattress topper did have an odor after unboxing, so we gave it the recommended 48-hour off-gassing period before testing it. It was the perfect size for our testing mattress. While we were able to see lumps when objects were placed underneath the topper, our testers didn’t feel any discomfort when lying down.
We tested the 3-inch version of this mattress topper, but it also comes in a 2-inch foam layer, as well. The material is CertiPUR-US certified, and the manufacturer offers a 3-year warranty.
Best Splurge: Saatva Mattress Topper
Material: Graphite-infused memory foam | Height: 3 inches | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, split king | Certifications: None | Return Policy: 180 days plus 1-year warranty
Lumps aren’t detectable through topper
Ideal firmness for multiple sleeping positions
Generous return period
Strong odor after unboxing
Only 1-year warranty
If you’re willing to spend a bit more to elevate your sleeping experience, the Saatva Graphite Mattress Topper is a worthwhile splurge. Not only does it offer an extremely comfortable and supportive feel that our testers really liked, but it’s also quite heavy and dense, indicating that it’s made from durable materials that will last a long time.
After unboxing, we found that this topper is slightly lumpy and has an unpleasant odor, but we were able to smooth it out. It’s not as squishy as other memory foam options, but it does provide superior support, making it ideal for virtually any sleeping position. Our testers weren’t able to detect small objects placed underneath the surface, and we think it would help to make a lumpy mattress more comfortable.
One of the perks of this high-end mattress is its 180-night sleep trial, during which returns are free, but it only has a 1-year warranty, which is significantly shorter than most other products.
Best Memory Foam: ViscoSoft Active Cooling Memory Foam Mattress Topper
Material: Copper-infused memory foam | Height: 4 inches | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king | Certifications: CertiPUR-US | Return Policy: 60 day guarantee and 5-year warranty (when purchased from ViscoSoft)
Thick and cushy feel
No motion transfer
Retains less heat than other options
Slight sinking sensation
Memory foam is a popular material for mattress toppers thanks to its comfortable yet supportive feel. Of all the memory foam products we tested, the ViscoSoft Mattress Topper was our favorite. It has a thick and cushy texture that’s comfortable and supportive, and our testers noted they weren’t able to feel any lumps when hard objects were placed underneath the topper. This makes it a top choice for anyone with a lumpy mattress.
Because it’s memory foam, this topper did require a 48-hour off-gassing period. Set up was also slightly more complex since you have to put a cover, which is made from cooling fabric, onto the memory foam by hand. Memory foam is notorious for retaining quite a bit of heat, but thanks to its breathable cover and copper-infused foam, this topper actually stayed cooler than many other options we tested. It also prevented any motion transfer, making it a top choice for anyone who’s bothered by their partner’s movements during the night. It was a little bit large for the bed.
This topper is available with either a black or white cover, and its materials are both American-made and CertiPUR-US certified. The brand offers a 5-year warranty on the product, and the cover can be machine-washed for easy maintenance.
Best Foam: Tuft & Needle Mattress Topper
Material: Open-cell foam | Height: 2 inches | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king | Certifications: CertiPUR-US, UL GREENGUARD Gold, Intertek Clean Air Certification | Return Policy: 100 days plus 3-year warranty
Good choice for lumpy mattresses
Silicone beading keeps topper in place
Set-up requires two people
Strong odor after unboxing
If you typically find memory foam to be too warm, the Tuft & Needle Mattress Topper is made from an open-cell foam that doesn’t retain as much heat. While it’s only 2 inches thick, our testers loved how it felt, noting that it wasn’t too thick or too thin. Further, we were barely able to detect hard objects placed under the topper, so it would be a good choice if you’re hoping to remedy a lumpy or uncomfortable mattress.
This mattress topper did have a strong odor after unboxing, so it will likely require an off-gassing period (even though the brand doesn’t recommend one). The cover has silicone beading on the bottom to help keep the topper in place on your bed, and we’d recommend enlisting a partner to help set it up.
One of the great things about this topper is that it offers several certifications, including CertiPUR-US and UL GREENGUARD Gold, which verifies the topper gives off low emissions to support healthy indoor environments. Tuft & Needle offers a 100-night sleep trial with hassle-free returns, and the product is backed by a 3-year warranty.
Best Mattress Pad: Nestwell Double Layer Fiberbed Mattress Topper
Material: Cotton and polyester | Height: 2 inches | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king | Certifications: STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX | Return Policy: 90 days
Lightweight and easy to install
Easy to clean
Provides pillow-top feel
Not good for lumpy or uncomfortable mattresses
Mattress pads and mattress toppers are quite similar, but toppers are typically thicker and more supportive. If you’re looking to, for example, add some cushioning to a firm mattress, the Nestwell Mattress Topper delivers a plush, pillow-top feel. Our testers noted that it’s very different from the other toppers we tested, and while it’s advertised as a mattress topper, it reminded us more of a mattress pad.
This unique product has a 2-inch gusseted support layer that’s filled with polyester fibers, as well as a quilted top layer that snaps to secure. There are anchor bands at each corner that hold the topper in place, and our testers found that you can easily feel and see anything placed underneath the surface. The top layer of this mattress topper can be removed and machine-washed for easy cleaning, and it’s easy to snap back into place when you’re done.
Honorable Mention: Nest Bedding Cooling Topper
Material: Energex™ Foam | Height: 2 inches | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king | Certifications: CertiPUR-US | Return Policy: 30 days
Soft and squishy
Ideal for firm mattresses
Made to order
Not the best value
While it didn’t beat the other foam toppers in testing, we’d still recommend the Nest Bedding Cooling Topper, which could help to provide more cushioning on a too-firm mattress. It’s made from the brand’s proprietary foam, and our testers liked its soft and squishy texture. It also has an attractive design and is made in the US using CertiPUR-US certified foam.
This topper had a very slight odor after unboxing, and it was a tad too short for the mattress. Because it’s only 2 inches thick, we were able to detect objects placed underneath the surface, and it also got quite warm during testing. Overall, it’s not a bad choice for those looking to make a firm mattress more comfortable, but it’s a bit pricey compared to other comparable options.
After extensive testing, we're confident that the Sleep Innovations Dual Layer Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper would be a great fit for most people. The topper’s dual-layer design delivers the perfect amount of cushioning and support, and the built-in skirt keeps it snuggly in place on your mattress. For something a little cheaper, the LUCID Ventilated Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper (view at Amazon) is cushy and supportive. We liked its airy feel, which is achieved thanks to dozens of ventilation holes in the foam.
How We Tested the Toppers
Over the course of two days, members of The Spruce’s editorial team tested 11 total toppers at The Lab. We evaluated each topper on its ease of set up, comfort, and airflow, rating it on a scale of 1 to 5. Eight of the 11 made it onto our final list.
To test the ease of setup and overall design, we timed how long it took to unbox and arrange each topper and took note of any smells or defects. To assess comfort, team members placed items between the mattress and the topper before having the tester lay in bed, judging how easy it was to feel any of the items through the topper. Our testers also assessed the breathability and heat retention of each topper, using a surface temperature tester to determine the difference between the area where the tester was laying down and the area that did not have a tester on it.
What to Look for in a Mattress Topper
The thicker a mattress topper is, the more added cushion it will provide. Some thin options are 1 to 2 inches thick, and will do just fine if you simply want a little bit of added comfort on your bed. On the other hand, some mattress pads can be up to 6 inches thick—ideal if your bed is incredibly uncomfortable.
Mattress toppers can be made with a variety of materials, including different types of foam, down feathers, and regular pillow material. There are pros and cons to the different options: For instance, memory foam often has an odor at first, while down toppers may lose feathers over time. Consider the positives and negatives of each material before making a decision.
Do you tend to get hot at night? Certain mattress toppers regulate body heat better than others, so consider this while shopping. Specifically, memory foam is known to retain heat, which can cause you to get too warm during the night, while down feathers are significantly better at maintaining a normal temperature.
How thick should a mattress topper be?
The majority of mattress topper are between 2 and 4-inches thick, and the ideal thickness depends on your needs. If you’re looking for a mattress topper to cover lumps on your existing mattress, you’ll likely want a thicker product made from a dense foam. On the other hand, those simply looking to add plushness to their mattress will be fine with a thinner topper.
Are mattress toppers hot to sleep on?
Many mattress toppers are made from memory foam, and this material does retain a lot of body heat, making them warm to sleep on. However, there are many mattress toppers that are designed to regulate temperature better. Some products use gel- or copper-infused memory foam to dissipate heat, while others have ventilation holes or cooling fabric covers. Further, materials like open-cell foam or latex typically don’t retain as much heat, making them more comfortable for those who sleep hot.
How long do mattress toppers last?
The lifespan of your mattress topper will depend largely on the material it’s made from. Low-quality foam will often break down after a year or two, but better quality memory foam will usually last three to five years. Latex mattress toppers are especially durable and often last five years or more.
Can mattress toppers be washed?
Some mattress toppers come with machine-washable covers that make them easier to clean, and certain down or down alternative options can be machine washed, as well. However, foam toppers can’t be put in the washing machine, but there are ways to spot clean the material using baking soda or laundry detergent.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Camryn Rabideau, a lifestyle writer and expert on all things homes who has firsthand experience testing all sorts of bedding, including mattress toppers. To compile this list, she used testing insights from The Lab, where each of the mattress toppers was evaluated on its ease of set up, comfort and support, thickness, and temperature regulation. Before testing, we searched through dozens of today’s top mattress toppers, considering factors like customer satisfaction, price, and features to determine which products to test firsthand.