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unbiased Mattress Topper Reviews, Ratings and Comparisons

Based on 59,000+ Consumer Experiences

November 2, 2014


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

Mattress Topper Comparison – By Topper Type

Select a topper below for more detailed information, including brand reviews / ratings based on actual consumer experiences.

Sample 49,076 2,623 6,097 756 473
Price c c A- d D+
comfort A- C b- b+ C+
support B c c- b+ c
lifespan c+ c c b- b
Motion Isolation b d- d c+ d
Easy to move on c b+ A c+ B+
No Sleeping Hot c- b c+ c b-
No Initial Odor d c A- c c
Sex Friendly c+ b- A- b- b
Lightweight c- b+ C+ D+ C
Appearance on Bed a- c c+ a- b-
Easy to maintain a d c- a d+
Cleaning Ease c d c+ c b-
Availability a c- b+ 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 effect; 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 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 actual 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 can provide 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 feel of the bed to better suit you.

3. Improves Supportiveness

Some toppers, namely memory foam and latex, can improve not only the comfort of a mattress but also its supportiveness to a limited degree. 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 actual consumer experiences, below are the top four disadvantages of mattress toppers.

mattress topper disadvantages

1. Limited Effectiveness

About 10% of owners report that their topper makes little difference in mattress comfort. 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. Improper Fit

A significant number of owners – about 7% – report that their topper (usually a memory foam or latex topper) is not sized properly to their mattress. For example, buying a queen size topper does not necessarily ensure that it will properly fit the dimensions of a particular queen size bed.

A topper that is too large can often be cut down in size with a sharp object to fit the mattress dimensions. A topper that is too small is more troublesome in that it may cause sleeping near the edge of the mattress to be uncomfortable as well as give an awkward appearance to the bed.

3. Initial Odor

About 7% of owners – especially owners of memory foam toppers – report that their topper has a significant odor when new, strong enough to undermine sleep quality. This odor (or off gassing) tends to mostly diminish within a few days in most cases.

4. Slides Around / Bunches Up

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 is often 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 thicknesses and densities 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 over 49,000 actual owner experiences.

Feather(bed) Mattress Toppers

Pros: Generally effective at softening a firm mattress • relatively light weight.

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 Topper Reviews / Ratings based on over 2,600 actual 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 compared to other topper types • limited availability • returns potentially costly and inconvenient • some initial odor possible.

Read detailed Latex Topper Reviews / Ratings based on over 750 actual 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 • can by damaged by machine washing / drying.

Read detailed Fiberbed Topper Reviews / Ratings based on over 6,000 actual owner experiences.

Wool Mattress Pad-Toppers

Pros: Generally effective at softening a firm mattress • fairly cool / dry in summer and warm in winter • mostly 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 over 470 actual owner experiences.

At Amazon: Top-Rated Mattress Toppers



About Our Mattress Topper Research

Ratings are based on over 59,000 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. Overall as a group, they have 85% owner satisfaction. (85 out of 100 based on 59025 reviews.)

– 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 $126. 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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