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unbiased Mattress Topper Reviews, Ratings and Comparisons

Based on 64,991 Consumer Experiences

April 6, 2016


Topper Type Comparison
Toppers vs Pads
Topper Pros and Cons
Quick Summary of Mattress Toppers
About Our Research

Mattress Topper Comparison

Select a topper below for more detailed information, including brand reviews / ratings.

Sample 48,608 10,681 4,103 1,078 521
Price c A- B d- D
Conforms to body A- D+ D+ B+ C-
supportive B+ c- c- A- c-
lifespan B- d+ c+ b+ b+
thickness options A d c B c
Motion Isolation A- d d c d
Easy to move on D A- B C B+
No Sleeping Hot D+ c b+ c- b-
No Initial Odor d A- c B- c
Sex Friendly c A- b- b b+
Lightweight c- C b D A-
Not lumpy A C- D+ A- B
Appearance on Bed a- c c a- b-
Easy to maintain a D+ d a d+
Washable D C- B- D B
Availability a b+ c- d c-


Mattress Toppers vs Mattress Pads

The terms "mattress topper" and "mattress pad" are sometimes used interchangeably. Generally, however, these are two different types of products with their own purposes.

Pads are used to protect a mattress and or provide a limited softening; they are also often placed over a topper to secure it to the mattress. Toppers, by contrast, are used almost exclusively to improve mattress comfort.

Comfort Improving Potential good fair to poor
Price medium to high low
Thickness medium to high low to medium
Protects Mattress fair to good good to excellent
Relation To Mattress lays on top or tucks in tucks in

See Mattress Pad Reviews for the top-rated waterproof and non-waterproof pads.

Mattress Topper Advantages

Based on consumer experiences, below are the top four advantages of mattress toppers.

mattress topper advantages

1. Revitalizes Aging Mattress

As a mattress ages, especially an innerspring mattress, it tends to become compacted and loses much of its cushion. A topper improves mattress cushioning, resulting in better comfort and reduced pressure points. At least 20% of owners report that their topper has provided them with at least somewhat better sleep due to improved comfort. In other words, a mattress topper is capable of providing the benefits of a new mattress for a fraction of the cost.

2. Changes Firmness / Improves Comfort of Newer Mattress

Toppers are not only for older mattresses. If you have a newer mattress that does not suit your personal preference for firmness, a topper can alter the comfort to better suit you.

3. Improves Support

Some toppers, namely memory foam and latex, can improve not only mattress comfort but also support to a limited extent. This can help to reduce pain, including back pain.

4. Improves couple friendliness

If two people sleep on the same bed and have different firmness preferences, a topper can be added to one side of the bed to, in effect, provide different firmness levels for each side. Learn more on how to have a topper on one side of a bed. Also, a memory foam topper can to some degree improve the motion isolation of a mattress, resulting in less disturbed sleep.

Mattress Topper Disadvantages

Based on consumer experiences, below are the top four disadvantages of mattress toppers.

mattress topper disadvantages

1. Not Always Effective

While a topper can improve an aging / uncomfortable mattress, it is not a miracle worker. If your mattress is uncomfortable due to sink holes, sagging (uneven sleep surface) and popping springs, the topper will be of only limited help.

2. Problem Edges

Many memory foam and latex toppers are about one inch smaller than the mattress on all sides to help ensure the bed sheets fit over both the topper and mattress. This can cause sitting or sleeping near the edge of the mattress to be uncomfortable / unsupportive, and it may give a somewhat awkward appearance to the bed.

3. Initial Odor

About 4% of owners – especially owners of memory foam toppers – report that their topper has a significant odor when new. This odor (or off gassing) tends to diminish within a few days in most cases.

4. Sleeps Hot

A topper that softens a mattress will often to some extent envelop the sleeper. This can decrease air circulation and cooling around the sleeper's body. As a result, about 4% of topper owners report significant and bothersome heat retention. Memory foam and latex toppers are somewhat more likely to trap heat than are the other topper types.

5. Sheets May Now Be Too Small

A topper is placed on top of a mattress under the fitted sheet. For thicker toppers especially, this means that the sheet will need to cover a greater height. Depending on the pocket depth of your existing sheet, it may now be too small to securely cover the mattress.

6. Slides Around / Rolls Up / Bunches

Since a topper is not a fully integrated part of the mattress, it can move around independent of the bed somewhat. About 5% of owners report this problem. (A mattress pad can be placed over a topper to secure it to the mattress.)

Quick Summary of Mattress Toppers

Memory Foam Mattress Toppers

Pros: Most popular topper • often most effective at improving comfort • available in many varieties to suit individual preference.

Cons: Initial off gassing odor • some heat trap potential • "squishy" feel possible in higher temperature • thicker, higher-density varieties may be difficult to move on • relatively heavy.

Read detailed Memory Foam Topper Reviews / Ratings based on 46,600+ owner experiences.

Feather(bed) Mattress Toppers

Pros: Generally effective at softening a firm mattress • relatively light weight • few reports of bothersome heat retention.

Cons: Can lack adequate thickness • fluffing / shaking often needed to maintain loft • feathers poking through cover is possible which can be painful • may be somewhat noisy • dry cleaning often required.

Read detailed Featherbed Reviews / Ratings based on 4,100+ owner experiences.

Latex Mattress Toppers

Pros: Can make mattress softer or firmer • above-average pain relief • comes in many varieties including all natural • somewhat less likely than memory foam to have odor or heat retention.

Cons: Expensive • limited availability • returns potentially costly and inconvenient • some initial odor possible.

Read detailed Latex Topper Reviews / Ratings based on 1,050+ owner experiences.

Fiber(bed) / Down Alternative Mattress Toppers

Pros: Generally effective at softening a firm mattress • low price • little or no odor or allergy-causing potential.

Cons: May be too thin and lumpy for some • shaking / fluffing may be needed to maintain loft and comfort • may be damaged by machine washing / drying.

Read detailed Fiberbed Topper Reviews / Ratings based on 10,600+ owner experiences.

Wool Mattress Pad-Toppers

Pros: Generally effective at softening a firm mattress • fairly cool / dry in summer and warm in winter • often durable and long lasting.

Cons: Pricey • may not provide adequate cushion for some • initial "barnyard" odor possible • regular shaking / fluffing may be required to maintain loft.

Read detailed Wool Topper-Pad Reviews / Ratings based on 500+ owner experiences.

At Amazon: Top-Rated Mattress Toppers


About Our Mattress Topper Research

Ratings are based on over 64,900 mattress topper owner / consumer reviews gathered from diverse, credible sources including product review sections on retailer websites (Amazon, JCPenney, Overstock, Wal-Mart, Sam's and others) as well as online message boards.

Sleep Like The Dead receives NO compensation of any kind from any company, organization or individual to affect in any way or degree the content of our mattress topper-pad research.

Research Highlights

– Mattress toppers generally are effective. As a group, they have 85% owner satisfaction.

– Memory foam toppers are by far the most popular topper type due mainly to their general effectiveness at improving comfort and wide availability.

– The average price paid for a topper is about $128. Generally, paying more for a topper does not ensure higher owner satisfaction, better comfort or better durability / longevity.

– The various topper types (memory foam, feather, fiber, latex, wool) each have their own distinct advantages and disadvantages, pros and cons.

– A high percentage of mattress toppers are bought online.

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