Last Updated: March 2017
We don’t really think much about the mattresses we sleep on every night. How old is it? Does it still provide the right kind of support for our head, neck, back and other extremities? A collapsed or overly worn mattress sags, often in the center, which forces the back into a bowed shape while sleeping putting it out of alignment when waking up. The result is often a painful back discovered when climbing out of the bed in the morning and trying to move around until the painful symptoms subside. If you are looking for the best mattress topper in 2017 then continue reading our report below.
It is not always convenient or possible to replace a mattress with a new one. The cost is usually hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars for a good replacement. A mattress topper is a suitable answer to provide greater stability, a solution to old coil springs poking through the mattress making it uncomfortable, and solves these problems for a couple of years while saving up for a new mattress.
What you need to know
- Revive an old mattress
Mattresses aren’t designed to be used forever. As they age, much of the plush cushioning collapses and the coil springs start to either poke through the mattress lining or no longer support the weight that they used to.
A mattress topper improves the cushioning effect and relieves pressure points. Quite often, the addition of a topper promotes better sleep for a lower price than a new mattress would cost.
- Better Firmness & Comfort
Sometimes a mattress wasn’t as comfortable or as firm as desired. The addition of a top rated mattress topper lets the user adjust the firmness and comfort level by adding a different top layer without needing to replace the new mattress or suffer from it.
- Increased Support
- Alter Firmness on Each Side of the Bed
Using two toppers helps couples adjust a mattress to allow for their personal preferences about firmness and comfort. Each user can buy a topper to suit themselves and their requirements. Someone has a bad back and needs more stability whereas the other person requires a softer bed? No problem. Our mattress topper reviews will help confirm the best product for each person.
- Not A Fix-All Remedy
A topper helps improve a sleeping surface by adding a different one that may be more to your liking. However, there are limits to its capabilities. An old mattress with sink holes or with a significant sagging point that drags the body down is not going to be fixed with the addition of a topper. Popping springs often do get resolved with a thick topper because the springs can no longer felt, but the thinner toppers don’t have the same benefit. Whether the best mattress topper will be helpful largely depends on what problem you’re trying to resolve and how extreme the problem is.
- No Support at the Edges
Toppers made of either latex or memory foam usually don’t measure the same width and length as the bed they will be used on. They are typically about an inch smaller on all sides to help fitted sheets still fit the mattress. This means that there is no additional support at the edges and corners of the mattress topper. Something to be aware of.
- Odor After Unboxing
Fewer than 5% of buyers find that their foam-based topper has an odor once they get it out of the box. The off-gassing is due to the chemical used in the foam and is a temporary thing with it dissipating over a period of a few days. Opening a bedroom window is useful to air out the room for a few days.
- Is It Hot in Here?
With the addition of a mattress topper, it is possible that heat gets trapped in the extra layer which can lead to the user feeling hotter. Air ventilation is often incorporated into the design of toppers to control the heat level better, but there is only so much that can be done.
- Compact Sheets May Be Too Small Now
With fitted sheets that were already snug, the additional of a topper is likely to stretch them to the max. The result could be sheets that just no longer fit or even ones that fit initially and tear from excessive stretching later. The pocket depth of the sheet makes a difference particularly with thicker mattress toppers because once the topper gets added, the mattress may not be covered entirely by the sheet. In which case, a replacement sheet is needed.
- Slides Around or Bunches Up
Mattresses get created in layers which are integrated together. A mattress topper is added to the top of the existing mattress but isn’t connected to it. As such, it is possible that it could slide around during use and need to be re-adjusted the next morning. A mattress pad that goes over the top of the topper can help with this problem, but again, it adds to the height of the mattress which makes getting fitted sheets in the correct size more difficult.
Mattress Topper Features & Benefits
Mattress toppers are designed to fit right on your existing mattress. They provide additional comfort and spinal support.
Toppers are usually between 1-inch and 5-inches of layered support normally in the form of either latex foam or memory foam (sometimes both). Additional fills like fluffy fiber are sometimes also added to either create greater comfort or improved odor management.
Cotton, organic or microfiber covers are sometimes provided to keep the topper clean. These covers tend to be washer and dryer compatible too and sometimes sport an attractive design of their own.
Best Mattress Toppers in 2016 & 2017
*5 Star Rating: this is based on the percentage of consumers who rate the mattress toppers 10/10.
Sleep Innovations 4-Inch Dual Layer Mattress Topper
The Sleep Innovations 4-Inch Dual Layer Mattress Topper is our top pick. The best way to describe it is that it resembles a series of fluffy pillows sewn together and made into a top layer for a mattress.
The mattress topper is available in Twin, Full, Queen, King, and California King sizes.
The Sleep Innovations topper is a generous 4-inch top layer comprised of both fiber fill and gel memory foam for a blended effect that works well. The topper has a 2-inch gel memory foam layer, with a 3-pound density, enhancing its cooling properties with a gel that can adjust to body heat. It has a softness rating of 4 out of 10 (1=soft and 10=firm).
There is a close-fitting cover supplied that protects the surface of the topper from abrasions or small spills or accidents. A 2-inch layer of fiber fill is included in the cover to make it feel lighter and fluffier. The cover is easy to remove and can be used in the washer dryer without any problem. The effect is to sleep in the clouds every night and risk missing the morning alarm!
The product does occasionally have a minor foam odor to it when it is first unpacked. The smell is usually gone within a day or two at the most.
The foam is made entirely in the USA and designed to retain its shape through years of use. The mattress comes with a 10-year limited warranty.
LUCID 3 Inch Ventilated Memory Foam Mattress Topper
LUCID Mattress Topper with CertiPUR-US certified foam places second in this category.
The mattress topper is available in Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, and California King sizes.
The premium foam used is ventilated to allow air to flow more efficiently and avoid heat buildup. The 3-inch foam with its 3-pound density naturally resists dust mites and different allergens. The foam is pliable and quickly conforms to the shape of the body, hugging the outline to provide a more comfortable feeling. However, just as quickly the foam returns to its original shape when the user rolls across the topper to another part of it.
The open-cell design of the CertiPUR-US foam promotes durability and improved air flow rather than trapping it which aids heat reduction during use. The Certi-PUR-US certification confirms that the topper is safe to use in the home and with emissions that stay within safe levels.
Pressure point reduction is a key attribute of this product because of the way that memory form responds to a movement which eliminates pressure sores. Lying on this luxury foam, one feels lighter.
There is the slightest of chemical smells when first unpacking this topper. Once allowed to expand out to its full size, the odor is usually gone within a few hours or a day.
The Lucid Topper doesn’t come with a protective cover.
The product comes with a 3-year warranty.
Sleep Master Memory Foam Mattress Topper
The Sleep Master Topper is a 4-inch, three-layered topper design for luxurious comfort.
The mattress topper is available in Full, Queen and King sizes only.
This Sleep Master product includes three layers to provide additional comfort on top of your mattress. The 1.5-inch quilted fiber filled cover provides the top layer of initial support for the user. A 2-inch layer of memory foam forms the mid-layer which conforms to the shape of the body and creates an adaptable center. The 1.5-inch bottom comfort foam adds pressure relief to the mix to ensure no sore points develop through the night.
Each layer of foam is certified by CertiPUR-US for emissions, safe materials used, and durability. The foam layer is bio foam, rather than a more traditional foam type. The main difference is that this foam uses natural plant oil in its development rather than standard petroleum. The natural plant oil also includes both active charcoal and green tea extract, both naturally derived, which help suck up moisture, remove odors, and keep the topper just like new.
There is minimal off-gassing from the two layers of foam used in this mattress topper. Opening the windows to the bedroom is the best way to air the room if any chemical smell is detected the following setup.
The amount of motion transfer with this product is somewhat noticeable. It’s also not as cool as one might prefer either.
The patented packaging has the topper in a rolled up and compressed state. The foam topper needs to be removed, rolled out and then left for a while before use.
A generous 5-year limited warranty is also included for peace of mind.
Table of contents
- What is a Mattress Topper?
- What makes Mattress Toppers different?
- Are Mattress Toppers necessary?
- Things to consider
- Best Mattress Topper brands
- Mattress Topper reviews
What is a Mattress Topper?
A mattress topper is a relatively thin additional layer that is placed over the top of an existing mattress. There are various types of materials used in the creation of a topper (memory foam, latex, etc.), sometimes used in combination for a layered topper, to deliver a more supportive, comfortable sleeping experience.
Typically, the topper is created as a single layer even if it incorporates one or more material fillers. Sometimes the product comes uncovered so it is better able to avoid trapping air inside it. Toppers usually are 1-inch to 5-inch in thickness, sometimes with strategically placed holes at set intervals across the topper for ventilation.
What makes Mattress Toppers different?
A mattress topper is not designed to be a single layered sleeping solution. The topper is used to provide additional comfort, firmness or padding to go on top of an existing mattress.
This type of product is often used to resolve issues with an existing mattress before finally replacing the mattress for another one. For older mattresses that lack sufficient support or a spring mattress where the spring frame or some coils can be felt when lying on it, a topper is often able to remove these uncomfortable feelings and do away with the immediate choice of putting up with the discomfort or paying for a whole new mattress which gets expensive.
Toppers are usually made with breathability designed into them to avoid trapping heat and making a night of rest an uncomfortable one.
Is a Mattress Topper Necessary?
A topper extends the mattress by providing an extra sleeping layer.
With many consumers, they will fall into two categories with a topper. Should a mattress become so uncomfortable that they believe a topper will provide insufficient relief, they will opt to buy a replacement mattress when the discomfort becomes unbearable and the finances allow. For people who feel that a topper will improve their comfort and quite possibly resolve any issues arising from an existing mattress that’s seen its best days, then a topper will be an interesting option to consider at a far lower cost than replacing a mattress.
Asking a few intelligent questions is a good idea to know how to proceed. Is your current mattress either overly firm or lacking in support? Is the mattress sagging, worn out or uncomfortable? Do you normally not suffer from back pain but find that the mattress is causing back pain when waking up next morning? Is money difficult to come by?
When answering in the affirmative to these questions, then a mattress topper makes more sense than a new mattress purchase. Our “Things to Consider” section goes through some important points and our reviews are where you can find the best mattress topper 2016 for your needs.
Things to consider
Here we run through a few things to be aware of before choosing a mattress topper to suit your needs.
Choice of Material
Mattress toppers are a flexible product when shopping because they are made from a variety of materials like memory foam and latex.
A latex topper is often the pricier variety but has a longer life. Anyone searching for a natural latex to get that hypoallergenic and dust mite resistance will be pleased with the results. The latex models offer a greater bounce to them when compared to memory foam with their lightness on the pressure points providing relief for sensitive people. Open-cell latex foam construction also helps avoid heat built up.
Memory foam and gel memory foam is also available with many toppers from top brands. Pre-ventilated and standard visco toppers provide a reasonably cool additional layer to sleep on. The ventilated models are better for keeping heat down. Gel memory the foal toppers are the latest generation of toppers that manage heat better than standard visco memory foam does. Firmness levels tend to be higher delivering effective spinal support while keeping motion transfer to a minimum.
Mattress toppers don’t all come in the same thickness level. These products can be as thin as 1-inch and as thick as 5-inches or even greater. The thicker toppers tend to offer greater comfort, more stability, and additional features like ventilation.
With memory foam toppers where a sink into it effect can happen, a thicker topper is perhaps a good idea.
Covers Included with Mattresses
Some toppers come as a bare product – a single slab of memory foam or latex foam – while other products include a protective cover to provide a softer, more comfortable surface.
A cover isn’t strictly speaking necessary, but it does provide a durable, washable protective enveloping surface. The fabric used is often made from bamboo fabric or 100% cotton which makes it breathable. The covers also may have an attractive design to them, rather than staring at the bare foam.
Best Mattress Topper Brands
Below are 8 brands that offer quality products in the mattress topper category:
Sleep Innovations – The company has been making bedding products for more than 2 decades. They produce mattresses and toppers using different types of memory foam and include fiber in their fillings too. For anyone with a pillow problem, the Sleep Innovations Contour Memory Foam Pillow may help to reduce neck pain.
Lucid – The company makes ventilated memory foam toppers, and gel memory foam and latex mattresses too. Their foam is firm enough for back support while still delivering comfort. The added ventilation points help to keep the heat levels down.
Zinus – The company uses the Sleep Master brand for its toppers and mattresses. On the luxury size, their toppers often include multiple foam layers including memory and comfort foam, plus a quilted cover rather than just the bare foam. The innovation continues in their spring, hybrid and memory foam mattress products.
Nature’s Sleep – The founder of the company is Marc Werner with a long heritage from the Werner Ladder company. His inability to find a comfortable pillow and bed to lie on following three neck surgeries led him to create the Nature’s Sleep brand to provide sleeping products that really help promote a good night’s sleep. Their product range now includes toppers, pillows, mattresses, and box foundations for mattresses to sit on.
Serta – The company makes mattresses, toppers, pillows and other bedding products. Serta has a trading history dating back over 80 years. Their product range includes toppers, adjustable mattresses, memory foam mattresses, and much more.
Restoration – The company makes memory foam toppers that lay on top of mattresses to improve their comfort. Within their product range is also some inflatable travel neck pillows which are hypoallergenic to resist dust mites. The main focus of their products is to restore comfort while at rest.
Best Price Mattress – The company is designed to be an efficient, low-cost provider of bedding products. Their range includes iCoil spring mattresses, gel memory foam mattresses, mattress toppers, and wooden bed frame sets.
Dreamfoam Bedding – The company is primarily a mattress and mattress topper producer. Their main mattress topper uses a gel swirl pattern that is unlike other products in the marketplace. Their mattresses are made to the firmness specification of their customers. All products are made in the USA.
Mattress Topper Reviews
Nature’s Sleep Cool IQ 2.5 Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper
The Nature’s Sleep Topper is a product designed for excellence. The company was originally created to offer more supportive products than existed in the marketplace at the time. This is still evident in their ongoing attention to the little details.
The mattress topper is available in Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, and California King sizes.
The product starts off with a microfiber fitted cover that avoids any problem with bare topper slippage by completely covering the bed and including an 18-inch skirt around the bed to cover the sides of the mattress too. The addition of the skirt is not something you see with many similar products of this type.
The topper itself has a 3.5-pound density of visco elastic memory foam that rebounds more than typical foam is known to do. The layer is 2.5-inches thick which makes it not the thickness nor the thinnest of the toppers available.
Temperature control is a major part of this product. The layer of visco elastic foam is lighter than other varieties with open memory foam cells which changes with body shape and heat to increase air flow during use. The result is a lower overall temperature when sleeping on this topper. The microfiber cover is a good material to use to limit potential germs, allergens, and other nasties in the bedroom.
The foam comes CertiPUR-US certified which confirms that it is made from approved materials and safe to use in the home. The memory foam is hypoallergenic, anti-bacterial and anti-microbial which helps allergy and asthma suffers to use this product safely and comfortably. The lightness of the memory foam supports proper spinal positioning to assist the head, neck, shoulders and back feel fully supported. The benefits are often a pain-free experience when waking up in the morning which for frequent back pain sufferers will be a pleasant surprise.
Serta Ultimate 4-inch Visco Memory Foam Mattress Topper
The Serta Topper is a single slab of foam that matches the size of the bed without any expected gaps.
The topper is available in Queen size.
The foam used is a viscoelastic high-density variety to provide greater support and reduce pressure points during its use. The foam is naturally hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial to avoid creating new allergy problems for people sensitive to what materials are near them while they sleep. It is also resistant to dust mites and is antimicrobial to keep germs away.
The feeling while sleeping on the Serta Topper is one of floating in the air. Being memory foam, the body does sink into the topper as it is cradled to some degree, but with its 4-inch thickness and higher density, it meets the user halfway when it comes to support vs comfort. The foam is initially quite hard, but it does get less firm both with use and when a warm body is lying on top of it.
There is minimal noticeable off-gassing from this product. On the off chance that some odors are noticed, merely opening a bedroom window to let the smell escape will be enough to let the foam breathe. It will take from a day to a week for the off-gassing to subside and originates from the manufacturing process used.
No cover is provided with this product, unlike some other mattress toppers available.
There is a 3-year limited warranty with this product.
Restoration 2-Inch Memory Foam Mattress Bed Topper Pad
The Restoration Topper Pad uses a premium foam for additional sleep support.
The mattress topper is available in Twin, Full, Queen, King and California King sizes.
The Restoration topper product has a 2-inch ventilated memory foam that is designed to be breathable with its measured, spaced out holes to promote air flow. The topper itself has at least a 1-inch gap around the edge between the foam and the side of the mattress. It is possible that it will move around and need to be repositioned in the morning, but this is a minor issue.
The thickness of 2 inches is less than other products that often provide 4 inches of padded support. However, the high-density memory foam used is open-cell which keeps it cooler. The foam also responds faster to body movements and its support for different areas of the body creates a more satisfactory sleeping experience.
There is some off-gassing with this topper. Even after a few days, there is still a faint smell, so apparently, it needs about a week or longer to be entirely rid of the faint chemical odor.
No cover is provided with this product, unlike some other mattress toppers available.
There is a 30-day money back guarantee and a 3-year limited warranty with this product.
Sleep Master Gel Memory Foam 2 Inch Topper
The Sleep Master Topper is a CertiPUR-US certified product to improve support while keeping you cool at the same time.
The topper is available in Twin, Full, Queen and King sizes only.
The Gel Memory Foam topper from Zinus uses a cooling foam that is designed to provide better temperature management than earlier foams. It is actually a bio foam that derives partly from natural plant oil, rather than petroleum oil. The foam is also infused both with natural active charcoal and green tea extract, designed to both remove odors and absorb moisture.
The CertiPUR-US certification confirms that the form used is free from fire retardants, metals and other substances that could harm humans. The amount of chemical released is also within a safe range.
No cover is included with the topper. It is designed to be used along with a fitted sheet that has a deep pocket around it.
The product is delivered in a neat box rolled up and reach to install. Just open the box, unroll the topper, let it air out and fully expand over the next 48 hours. There will be some degree of off-gassing being a memory foam product, but airing out the bedroom will take care of that.
There is a 5-year limited warranty provided with this product which is longer than most in this category.
Sleep Innovations 2-Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper
The Sleep Innovations Topper is sturdy premium memory foam sleep air to get a better night’s sleep.
The mattress topper is available in Twin size.
The product is ideal for sleepers whether they prefer stomach, side or back positions because it provides consistent support through the use of memory foam. For a worn out mattress that lacks support in key areas, this Sleep Innovations topper is a useful addition to the bedroom.
The memory foam is sturdy and will hold its shape over time. It also rebounds with movement rather than holding the indented body shape for any period of time.
Unlike some other foams, it is ventilated with strategically placed holes throughout the design. At two inches thick, it will not provide as much plush support as some 4-inch toppers on the market. However, for students going off to college or active servicemen and servicewomen already on deployment, this topper offers top quality foam and enough support to improve upon the supplied mattress in most cases.
The foam used is made in the USA. There is a 10-year limited warranty on this product.
Best Price Mattress 3″ Premium Ventilated Memory Foam Mattress Topper
The Best Price Topper is an exciting product because it comes with a choice of foam depth.
The mattress topper is available in Twin, Full, Queen, and King sizes.
The premium foam is ventilated with strategic holes placed evenly throughout the foam. This undoubtedly helps to keep the heat down and avoid trapping it between the topper layer and the mattress top layer. The foam has a fair amount of giving in it and, it is possible to sink into it a fair amount, while still feeling adequately supported. Motion transfer is also limited to the use of this topper and it can be flipped to even out the wear over time.
The Best Price Topper is different because it offers a choice of either 2.5-inch memory foam or 3-inch memory foam. It is important to note that there is a significant leap up in price to the 3-inch version. Both foam products are CertPUR-US certified to confirm that they match or exceed standards for materials used and chemical emission levels in the home.
The product is a useful one for people who wish to give sleeping on memory foam a try without having to buy an expensive memory foam mattress first. Buying this type of topper is fairly inexpensive and avoids paying hundreds or thousands of dollars on a mattress and making a mistake.
One of the benefits of this topper is that it doesn’t seem to move around during use as other topper products sometimes can do.
There is no cover supplied with this product. The lack of cover could help with the ventilation by not covering the venting holes in the foam.
The product comes with a 3-year warranty.
DreamFoam 2″ Gel Swirl Memory Foam Topper
The DreamFoam Topper is an attractive blue topper with a neat design.
The mattress topper is available in Twin, Twin XL, Full, Full XL, Short Queen, Queen, King, and California King sizes. This is by far the most extensive choice of sizes for a mattress topper in our suggested top 10.
The 2 inches of soft gel swirl memory foam is made from viscoelastic foam that responds well to body heat and positioning. The foam is not ventilated and so doesn’t come with positioned holes to vent air. Despite this, due to the foam used, it doesn’t retain much heat.
The foam is certified as CertiPUR-US which means it is free of PBDEs and other flame retardants, lead, mercury, other metals, phthalates, formaldehyde, and doesn’t emit a harmful level of chemical off-gassing.
It is possible to trim the product down to suit a small bed or massage table. Therefore, the product also suits an RV Queen sized bed or Twin sized for use on a massage table to make it more comfortable for clients.
There is no cover or carry bag included with the product.
The DreamFoam topper is made in the USA. There is a 3-year limited warranty provided with the product.
Q: Is it necessary to own a mattress and a mattress topper?
A: A mattress topper is a useful addition if it provides benefits beyond what your current mattress already provides you.
Q: Which is best? A latex foam or memory foam topper?
A: For a cooler temperature and fluffier feeling, a latex foam topper is ideal. However, a latex topper is quite expensive. For a firmer, less springy feel, a memory foam topper is a good, affordable choice. Gel memory foam toppers are also available as a cooler option than standard memory foam toppers.
Q: What is the best thickness for a topper?
A: For additional padded support or to cover over springs poking through, the thicker, the better. When only needing a little bit of soft cushioning for a new mattress that turned out to be a bit too firm for your liking, then a 2-inch thick topper is likely to be sufficient.
Q: Should I look for a topper with a supplied cover?
A: A removable, washable topper cover is a nice little extra, but as fitted sheets will most likely be used, it is not strictly speaking necessary.
Q: Will a topper fix a bowing, sloped mattress?
A: The sloping mattress effect will still exist because the added layer will match the undulation of the existing mattress. While a topper can cover over problem areas, structural problems with an older mattress usually require buying a replacement.
Q: Should I buy a topper with a new mattress purchase?
A: Typically, try the mattress first after it has been delivered, setup and allowed time for it to settle. Then see if it meets your comfort needs or whether a topper would still be a good idea.
Q: Is there an off-gassing problem with memory foam or latex foam mattresses toppers?
A: Like with virtually any other foam mattresses, there is a slight detectable chemical smell initially. The smell reduces over time once the product is unpacked, expanded and left to air out. It is a good idea to open a bedroom window to let the odor escape. It’s possible that it may take 3-7 days for the foam to complete its off-gassing.
Q: Should I care about the CertiPUR-US certification?
A: The certification confirms that the foam used in the topper has been independently tested and approved by accredited laboratories. The foam is checked for PBDEs, TCEP and TDCPP (all flame retardants), lead, mercury and heavy metals, phthalates and formaldehyde, and certified as having low emissions safe for home use.
Related Consumer Guides
If you are interested in reading more about shopping for a mattress, please be sure to check out our other consumer guides which I have highlighted below.
- Our guide to the best Air Mattresses available
- Suffer from back pain? Read our guide to the best mattresses for back pain
- Do you have a baby? Make sure they sleep in comfort with our best crib mattress guide
- Find out how Latex mattresses compare to others
- Find out how Memory Foam Mattress compare to others
- Find out how Pillow Top Mattress compare to others
- Be sure to protect your new mattress with the best mattress protectors
- Are you a side sleeper? Read our guide to the best mattresses for side sleepers
- Find out how Spring Mattresses compare to others
- Get some extra comfort out of your mattress with our guide to the best mattress toppers
- Find out which mattress is the best with our mattress reviews