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The Best Mattress Toppers 2021 – Foam, Down, Latex


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I’ll be honest — before testing for this list, I’d never tried a mattress topper before. Buying a new mattress seemed to be the only effective solution to sleep issues, but that’s expensive and sometimes a pain. As it turns out, a mattress topper can mean the difference between your dreamiest night’s sleep and shelling out upwards of a grand for a new mattress.

For instance, do you love the firmness of your mattress but wish there was that cloud-like je ne sais quoi everyone talks about? Mattress topper. What if you’ve started sleeping on your side but your mattress is too firm to support you? Mattress topper. Are you getting a little too hot at night? Does your partner like sleeping in a cold room, leaving you shivering? Want to remain soundly asleep even when someone’s shuffling on the other side of the bed? Mattress. Topper.

Whether you don’t want to invest in a new mattress, need a temporary solution to tide you over for a shorter period of time, or just want a bit of height to your bed, a mattress topper is the key. But, as with bedding, there’s a plethora of options out there, making it difficult to narrow down your perfect topper, especially if you’re still not quite sure what you need to sleep better at night. Relax. We did the work and investigated over 30 mattress toppers to determine which are worth it across the most sought-after categories.

The Best Mattress Toppers

What to Consider Before Buying a Mattress Topper

There are a few things you need to consider before you add a topper to your cart: type of fill, thickness level, and sleeping style. Additionally, mattress toppers and mattress pads are different — mattress toppers sit on top of your mattress to provide extra cushioning, while mattress pads (or protectors) are thin coverings that protect your mattress from fluids, allergens, and dust mites. That said, some mattress pads add the support, cushion, or temperature regulation you may need without the height of a topper. For this reason, we’ve included a few high-performing mattress pads that achieve these functions in addition to mattress toppers.

It’s recommended that you replace your mattress topper every 3 to 5 years, simply because it’s a thinner version of the multi-layer thickness of a mattress, so it will wear faster with regular use.

Foam: By far the most popular fill for mattress toppers, foam is a great option if you’re looking for extra plushness and a bit of support. Soft and comfortable, foam toppers relieve pressure and come in a range of thicknesses. They can get hot, though, so if you’re a hot sleeper, you should look for gel-infused foam.

Down: Sometimes called featherbeds, down mattress toppers provide little in the way of support, but they’re luxuriously soft and comfortable (if you have a down comforter, you know the feel). They don’t retain heat, making them a good option for hot sleepers. On the downside, they can trigger allergies in some people and are typically expensive. You can, of course, solve both of those problems by shopping for a down alternative topper instead.

Latex: If you want a more sustainable version of foam, latex is the answer. Natural latex comes from the rubber tree and feels pretty similar to foam, providing a good deal of support and a cooler feel compared to foam. Most organic mattress toppers have a latex fill.

If you want to add extra height to your bed, consider foam and latex mattress toppers. Most toppers are about 2 inches thick, but you can find options that are 4 inches and higher. The main benefit of a thicker mattress topper is extra cushioning, which can mean both softness as well as support — if you have a seriously lumpy mattress, a 2-inch topper might not be enough to make you comfortable. Make sure your fitted sheet has sides that are long enough to fit over both your mattress and your topper if you go this route.

When shopping for memory foam, check if it’s CertiPUR-US certified, which ensures that the foam is free from harmful chemicals, flame retardants, heavy metals, and more. Other common certifications for foam include GREENGUARD certified, which means that the foam has low chemical emissions, and OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified, which means the textile has been tested for and proven free of harmful chemicals.

What We Look for in a Mattress Topper

We tested a wide range of mattress toppers for our list, judging them on the following criteria:

The Best Mattress Toppers

It’s no surprise that Coop Home Goods, which makes one of our favorite pillows, has such a fantastic mattress topper as well. Made from CertiPUR-US certified foam, this topper has a few features that make it stand out from the rest. First, it’s flippable, with both a plush and a firm side. If you tend to go through periods of different sleep positions (like me), the ability to change your bed completely with one quick flip is a huge relief — literally. What if you think you prefer plush but it turns out you actually need something firm? The firm side is great if you need extra support or want to improve alignment, while the plush side turns any old mattress into a cozy wonderland. The Flip already comes covered with a waterproof mattress protector, saving you money if you need both. Plus, having a protector will give you some peace of mind if you have pets or little kids jumping into bed with you (or if you enjoy drinking wine in bed).

Who It’s Best For: Those who want flexibility with their mattress feel; those who want something waterproof.

Good to Know: It’s a mattress topper and waterproof protector in one.

When it comes to luxury mattress toppers, we’re looking for the one that does the most with the best materials. Even a higher-end mattress can underperform if it’s not right for you, in which case a luxurious topper could be what you need. But if you’re working with an older or inexpensive model and not ready to fully update, our commerce director, Mark, says Saatva’s Luxury Latex Topper is perfect for people who don’t want to invest in a new mattress but want to breathe new life into their old one. “My Saatva mattress was already comfortable but it got even better with this topper, and I did sleep a little better,” he says. The Saatva topper is “firm but super comfortable and conforms to my body.” While Mark loved his Saatva mattress as is, he “always thought it could be a little bit firmer” for what he needs. “The mattress topper gives me the exact level of firmness that I love.”

Who It’s Best For: Those who want a natural topper; those who prefer firmer support as well as subtle body contouring.

Good to Know: The Saatva mattress topper is available in 2 additional types: graphite for cooling and foam for plushness.

Mattress toppers and pads, like mattresses, can be an investment, especially if you have specific features in mind. Our best budget-friendly pick has to perform as well as the rest of our winners, with the added bonus of being the least expensive of the lot. The Martha Stewart Collection Quilted Mattress Pad adds subtle softness, cools, and protects, making it the ideal all-around option for those who have a mattress they’re okay with but still wake up sore at times and sleep hot at night. AT brand partnerships director Camey says, “I’ve slept better! My mattress is on the firmer side, and this mattress topper makes the bed perfectly soft with the firmness I want. It also feels much cooler than my previous topper, which is a HUGE plus considering I’m a hot sleeper.” If you’re in the market for a thick mattress topper to totally change the overall feel of your current mattress, this one may not be for you. But, as a topper that benefits your current sleep situation, Martha has you covered.

Who It’s Best For: Those who want additional comfort on a budget; those who want to protect their mattress; those who sleep hot.

Good to Know: This wraparound mattress pad fits mattresses up to 22 inches deep.

Looking to treat yourself to something truly luxurious? Allow us to introduce you to Brooklinen’s down alternative mattress topper. Its microgel fill mimics the plushness of a true down top, creating a seriously soft and hypoallergenic topper that ensures you’ll never want to leave your bed. This topper’s main function is to provide extra cushion and protection without any added heat, so it should be used on beds that aren’t totally hopeless, just maybe a tad too firm. (If you’re looking to add a bit of warmth, Brooklinen also sells a down topper we recommend.) “I love that it’s not bulky and stays put so well (restless sleeper over here),” AT’s social media manager, Rachel, says of the down alternative version. “I splurged on a good mattress, so I didn’t realize I needed a mattress topper in my life until now. This down alternative one is SO SOFT and feels just like my favorite blanket. The way the box arrived also felt like such a luxe treat — I’m planning to gift it this season for that reason.”

Who It’s Best For: Those who want added softness; those who sleep hot; those who want the feel of down without the use of real down.

Good to Know: This wraparound mattress topper fits mattresses up to 18 inches deep.

As one of the top needs among sleepers searching for mattress toppers, effective cooling is something we always look for when it comes to bedding. The Slumber Cloud Core Mattress Pad offers additional softness but really shines with its NASA-approved cooling technology that’s used for spacesuits and redesigned for bedding. It goes without saying, but according to AT video producer Anita, “It definitely cools. My boyfriend notices the difference. We both have been sleeping very well. He runs warmer than I do, and I end up getting his residual heat, which sometimes can be too hot. I haven’t had that issue since using this topper. I am considering purchasing sheets or other items from their site.” Us, too, Anita.

Who It’s Best For: Those who like the feel of their mattress but sleep hot.

If you’re in love with your summer sheets but start to shiver come fall, or if you love cozying up in a warm bed in a chilly room, a mattress topper with insulation is your answer. That said, we don’t want anything that holds in too much heat and crosses over into uncomfortable or sweaty, as many foam toppers tend to do. That’s why we love the Plushbeds 100% Natural Latex Topper and its fluffy, breathable latex fill. It comes in multiple feels and can be perfect for firm-mattress lovers as well. “I’ve slept really great with the topper,” AT senior sales research manager Marisa says. “My mattress is a little too plush on its own, so the topper has made it a little more firm. I notice less back pain and it’s comfortable whether I sleep on my side or my back. I also really loved how you can choose the thickness and level of firmness you want when buying. I ordered the medium firm and would probably step it up to extra firm if I were to order it again.” Marisa also notes that “this will be really nice in the winter, but for the end of summer, it required a little bit more out of our AC,” which is worth keeping in mind if you prefer cooler sleeping environments or want something for seasonal use.

Who It’s Best For: Those who want something all natural; those who sleep cold or want a winter topper; those who want to customize their topper upon order.

Good to Know: Latex is more breathable than traditional foam, so warming in this case doesn’t mean stuffy — it means not needing to stay in the one area where your body heat has warmed the bed.

Honorable mention: The Sleep Number Comfortfit Mattress Layer has a blended fill of memory foam and down alternative fibers, giving you optimal insulation for cool nights — it’s perfect for bringing on camping trips or winter cabin vacations.

“Since using the Airweave, I have had a better, more solid sleep, and wake up less than I used to,” AT’s lifestyle editor, Ella, says of the Airweave Top Mattress. Airweave is a consistent winner for us when it comes to firm mattresses and accessories, as the brand’s own fill is specially developed to cater to body alignment and performance. “This topper definitely hits my need for a firm mattress, and I have really been enjoying it,” says Ella. Whether the mattress you currently have is too plush for your sleeping positions or you need additional firmness, Airweave’s proprietary airfiber technology creates a fill that is extremely breathable without the give that comes with other porous materials like foam or latex.

Who It’s Best For: Those who want all the support they can get; those who wake up with neck or back pain.

Good to Know: Airweave mattresses and pads are used and endorsed by elite athletes around the world for their ability to heighten performance and provide unparalleled support.

Honorable mention: The Boll & Branch Mattress Topper‘s wool, cotton, and poly design makes it dense, giving you the firm support you need while serving as a truly decadent addition to your sleep setup.

Sometimes, all we really need is a little added cushion — some extra comfort to settle into after a long day. And while plushness may not be right for some, side sleepers can especially benefit from the flexibility and body contouring that a plush topper can provide. The Nest Bedding Cooling Topper is our best plush option for its multitasking ability. It’s more than just a soft mattress topper — it’s cooling, supportive, and luxurious to boot. “It completely elevated my bedding situation,” says commerce managing editor Ivy. “A little something extra that made my sleeping situation even more comfortable. The cooling properties from the special foam were great, as I didn’t get hot, even in warm weather. It’s also very plush but still supportive. It’s a great item to buy if you want a luxurious, high-quality topper at a reasonable price point. I didn’t really wake up with a stiff back before, but after using this topper, how I felt after getting up was noticeably different. It’s the perfect mix of plush and supportive, and feels like you’re sinking into a cloud. This topper was amazing!”

Who It’s Best For: Those who prefer a soft surface layer; those who sleep hot.

Good to Know: Nest Bedding toppers are made to order, each taking 10 to 12 days to produce and 3 to 8 to ship.

Say your mattress does the job, but you’ve got an early-rising partner, kids as alarm clocks, or pets who love to cuddle. Motion isolation is a necessity in more than just these cases, and it can mean the difference between full REM cycles and exhaustion. The MOLECULE Triple Zone Foam Topper is not only cooling and cloud-like, but it also has multiple zones of fill that amplify memory foam’s already impressive motion isolation. According to commerce coordinator Emily, “Motion isolation for my bed has increased with this, so I highly recommend for couples!” But it doesn’t stop there. “I’ve actually slept really well with NO pillow and am able to take naps quickly versus needing time to wind down. The topper really does give a cloud-like feel, and the best part is that it is very cool to touch. Comparative to my already ‘cool’ mattress, it actually was even cooler, which is great for hot sleepers like me. It adds a lot of height to the bed, which makes jumping on it all the more fun.”

Who It’s Best For: Those who don’t sleep alone; those who wake due to movement on the bed.

Good to Know: MOLECULE tested this topper on an innerspring mattress using infrared images of pressure mapping technology to visually display the difference it makes in body pressure while sleeping.

The Lucid 5 Zone Lavender Mattress Topper surprised and impressed us with how effective its lavender scent is in improving our sleep. Beyond this, the design of its five zones of differing foam textures relieved pressure in all the right areas, making it ideal for tossers and turners. It’s a plush mattress topper, though, and mildly warming, so if you’re in need of a firmer or more cooling surface, it may not be for you. “One word: LAVENDER! The lavender smell of this mattress topper is by far my favorite part of the experience of sleeping on it,” says AT’s SVP of marketing & brand strategy, Lauren. “Not only is the fragrance wonderful, but it has a very calming effect. Of course, this is only the mattress topper for you if you enjoy the scent of lavender as much as I do — it’s not for everyone! I also like the contouring of the different zones.”

Who It’s Best For: Those who want a very soft surface; those who enjoy aromatherapy.

Good to Know: This mattress topper is also available in gel vs. memory foam and can either come with or without a lavender-infused cover.


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