The 4 Best Mattress Toppers, According to Our Tests
If you find yourself tossing and turning all night due to a lumpy, hard, or too-soft mattress, it may be time to invest in a mattress topper. While a mattress topper isn't a long-term solution, a good one can instantly change the way your bed feels for a fraction of the price of a brand new mattress.
We thoroughly researched dozens of popular mattress toppers, considering factors like thickness, materials, and return policies. We even tested some of these toppers for two days in our Lab, where we evaluated them for comfort, airflow, and ease of setup. We also received expert advice from Keith Cushner, product expert at SleepFoundation.org, and Byron Golub, director of product and merchandising at Saatva, on what to look for in a mattress topper.
Our top pick is the Saatva Graphite Mattress Topper, which stands out for being extremely comfortable, cooling, and easy to set up. We also appreciated that it comes in a variety of sizes and has a generous return policy.
Here are the best mattress toppers to make your bed feel more comfortable.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall Mattress Topper: Saatva Graphite Mattress Topper
- Best Budget Mattress Topper: Lucid Ventilated Gel-Infused Memory Foam Mattress Topper
- Best Dual-Layer Mattress Topper: Sleep Innovations Dual-Layer Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper
- Best Supportive Mattress Topper: Tuft & Needle Foam Mattress Topper
Best Overall Mattress Topper: Saatva Graphite Mattress Topper
Best Budget Mattress Topper: Lucid Ventilated Gel-Infused Memory Foam Mattress Topper
Best Dual-Layer Mattress Topper: Sleep Innovations Dual-Layer Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper
Best Supportive Mattress Topper: Tuft & Needle Foam Mattress Topper
The Saatva Graphite Mattress Topper is our top pick for its comfort, breathability, durability, and ease of setup. If you're looking for something more affordable, we recommend the Lucid Gel-Infused Memory Foam Mattress Topper, which, despite its lower price, is impressively supportive and lightweight.
Our Testing Process
We tested most of the mattress toppers on this list in our Lab, evaluating them on comfort, airflow, and ease of setup to determine which ones were actually worth buying. We also placed objects of various sizes underneath the toppers and judged how much we could feel them.
How to Shop for Mattress Toppers
Mattress toppers are available in a variety of materials, but foam and gel-infused memory foam are two of the most common. "Memory foam is particularly good at isolating motion," Cushner says. "If you sleep on a hybrid mattress that features springs, a memory foam mattress topper can help isolate some of the motion that may be waking you up at night." Some are even infused with cooling materials, like graphite or copper, which are great for hot sleepers because they help regulate temperature.
If you're shopping for a memory foam topper, be sure the foam is CertiPUR-US certified. This certification guarantees that the foam is made without ozone depleters, heavy metals, formaldehyde, and other harmful materials, and contains low VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions.
Mattress toppers are usually between one and four inches thick. If you want to make a substantial change to the way your bed feels, then you might want to choose a thicker mattress topper—but there's one thing to keep in mind: "Because a mattress topper can add a significant few inches to a mattress, some toppers may require extra-deep pocketed sheets," says Golub.
Many mattress topper brands offer free trial periods, which give you plenty of time to test them out and return them for a full refund. Some retailers offer traditional return policies (typically 30 days), while others don't allow returns on their mattress toppers at all. Another thing worth checking is if the mattress topper comes with a warranty, which could come in handy if any defects surface down the line.
More Mattress Toppers to Consider
Parachute Down Mattress Topper: During our lab tests, we found that this down mattress topper felt more like a comforter than a mattress topper. It lacked airflow and didn't provide much support, so it's only worth buying if you already have a supportive mattress that you want to be fluffier.
ViscoSoft Active Cooling Memory Foam Mattress Topper: This mattress topper provides impressive cushioning—but it might be almost too cushioned for side sleepers. It also comes with a cover that you have to put on yourself, which is a bit difficult.
Questions You Might Ask
What's the difference between mattress toppers and mattress pads?
Mattress toppers are typically much thicker than mattress pads, which are a thin layer "designed to protect a mattress from stains, sweat, and general wear and tear," according to Golub. "Unlike a mattress pad, a topper can completely change the feel of your mattress and is designed for a specific purpose, such as adding a layer of softness or pressure point relief."
Why should you get a mattress topper?
Not sure if you should invest in a mattress topper yet? Cushner says there are three main issues that mattress toppers can solve: "firmness, temperature, and motion isolation." So if your mattress feels too soft, hard, or hot, you can easily adjust the firmness and temperature by getting a topper.
How do you clean a mattress topper?
Most mattress toppers can't be put in the washing machine, so you'll have to clean them using other methods. The most important thing is to make sure that you check your topper's label for any specific instructions. "Many memory foam mattress toppers come with a removable cover that can be put into your washing machine," Cushner says. "You can also spot clean them as necessary."
Take Our Word for It
This story was written by Amina Lake Abdelrahman, a commerce editor for Real Simple who's been writing about home products for nearly four years. To come up with these recommendations, she thoroughly researched mattress toppers on the market and received expert advice from Keith Cushner, product expert at SleepFoundation.org, and Byron Golub, director of product and merchandising at Saatva. Amina also analyzed results from lab tests, where our testers evaluated some of these items for comfort, airflow, and ease of setup.