The 4 Best Mattress Toppers, According to Our Tests

Including memory foam and cooling options that are comfortable and supportive.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Best Mattress Toppers
Photo: REAL SIMPLE / JAY WILDE

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

Saatva Graphite Mattress Topper
saatva.com

Who it's for: People who sleep hot and are looking for something that's both supportive and soft.
Who it isn't for: People who don't want to spend a lot on a topper.

The Saatva Graphite Mattress Topper earned the overall highest score based on our testing, so we think it's the best option on this list for most people. The three-inch topper was super comfortable to lay on, with one tester saying that it has the "perfect amount of squish and firmness." Because of the topper's cushioning, we couldn't feel any of the small objects placed between it and the mattress (larger objects were noticeable, though). Our testers gave this mattress topper a perfect score for airflow, thanks to the layer of graphite that provides "helps draw heat away from the body," according to Golub.

Setting up the Saatva mattress topper was a breeze—not only did it fit the mattress well, but the elastic straps helped keep it in place. Even though it seemed a bit lumpy when we first unboxed it, the topper evened itself out pretty quickly. But we were a bit disappointed that there was some slight off-gassing, even though the brand says that won't happen with its products. Like many of the other models on the market, this mattress topper is spot clean only. Overall, this topper will do a great job at making your mattress more comfortable—and the 180-day return policy is impressive too.

Product Details:

  • Material: Graphite-infused memory foam; organic cotton cover
  • Height: 3 inches
  • Available Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, and split king
  • Return Policy: 180 days

Best Budget Mattress Topper: Lucid Ventilated Gel-Infused Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Lucid Ventilated Gel-Infused Memory Foam Mattress Topper
amazon.com

Who it's for: People whose main criteria is a low price.
Who it isn't for: People who sleep hot.

If you're looking for a more budget-friendly option, we recommend this CertiPUR-US certified gel memory foam mattress topper from Lucid. It's significantly more affordable than our best overall pick, but it only scored lower in our airflow test. This mattress topper is lightweight and well-sized, so the entire process of placing it on the bed is pretty easy. Our testers found that it was on the firmer side and wished it was a bit more cushiony. Still, they said this topper was supportive (especially for side and back sleepers) and described it as "a good balance between firm and plush."

As with most of the other bed toppers we tested, we were able to see and feel the lumps from bigger objects placed underneath this one, even though it's pretty thick (it comes in 2- and 3-inch versions.) Despite the ventilation holes that should've helped with airflow, our testers were divided on this mattress topper's breathability. One tester said that it felt airy, while another still felt hot. Just take note that the Lucid mattress topper doesn't have straps or elastic to keep it in place on your bed, so you might notice it shifts every once in a while. It also doesn't come with a cover, which might bother some people.

Product Details:

  • Material: Gel memory foam
  • Height: 2 or 3 inches
  • Available Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king
  • Return Policy: 30 days

RELATED: The 4 Best Air Mattresses, According to Our Testing

Best Mattress Toppers
REAL SIMPLE / JAY WILDE

Best Dual-Layer Mattress Topper: Sleep Innovations Dual-Layer Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Sleep Innovations Dual-Layer Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper
amazon.com

Who it's for: People who want the support of foam with the comfort of a pillow top.
Who it isn't for: People who sleep hot.

This Sleep Innovations mattress topper consists of two separate pieces—a two-inch layer of CertiPUR-US certified gel memory foam and a two-inch pillow top cover—that seriously impressed our testers. Not only was it the thickest mattress topper we tested, but it was also the only one that earned a perfect score for comfort during our tests. Because the mattress topper has so much cushioning, we weren't able to feel any of the items placed underneath it. (And one of our testers found that the top layer helped minimize the off-gassing smell.) It's also one of the few mattress toppers that comes with a removable cover that you can throw in the washer and dryer.

There are a few downsides to the Sleep Innovations mattress topper, though. Some of the materials (like the foam layer) felt cheap, and the topper moved around a bit while our testers were tossing and turning. It's probably not the best choice for hot sleepers, either: The combination of foam and polyester could feel quite warm after a few hours of sleeping on it, according to our tests.

Product Details:

  • Material: Gel memory foam; fiber fill
  • Height: 4 inches
  • Available Sizes: Twin, full, queen, king, and California king
  • Return Policy: 30 days
  • Best Mattress Toppers
    REAL SIMPLE / JAY WILDE

Best Supportive Mattress Topper: Tuft & Needle Foam Mattress Topper

Tuft & Needle Foam Mattress Topper
tuftandneedle.com

Who it's for: People who want a firmer, more supportive topper for their bed.
Who it isn't for: People who want to sink into a plush mattress topper.

This foam mattress topper from Tuft & Needle is the most supportive option we tested. Even though this topper is on the thinner side (just 2 inches thick), our testers described it as "dense" and "very supportive." During our tests, it earned four out of five stars for its cushioning and comfort, so we think it's a good option for people who want a little bit of extra padding on their mattress. "You won't sink into it, but that's a good thing—it's way more supportive and will make any sleep position more comfortable," one tester says.

The Tuft & Needle foam mattress topper is made with CertiPUR-US certified foam and has a polyester cover, which is unfortunately not machine-washable. The brand recommends spot cleaning as needed. The bottom has silicone grips that are supposed to keep it in place, although our testers found that the non-skid bottom didn't really prevent the mattress topper from shifting. The brand offers a 100-night trial, which allows you to return it for a full refund if you aren't satisfied with it.

Product Details:

  • Material: Foam; poly-blend cover
  • Height: 2 inches
  • Available Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king
  • Return Policy: 100 days

RELATED: The Best-Ever Tools for Better Sleep, According to Real Simple Editors

Best Mattress Toppers
REAL SIMPLE / JAY WILDE

Final Verdict

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

Best Mattress Toppers
Phoebe Cheong

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

Material

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.

Thickness

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.

Return Policy

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."

Best Mattress Toppers
Phoebe Cheong

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.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles