Everyone deserves a good night's sleep. And perhaps there is nothing that contributes to that as much as a good mattress. And what's even better than a good mattress? A good mattress, with a mattress topper, of course!

The right mattress topper can elevate a good mattress into a great one. And if you're not fortunate enough to own a good mattress, a mattress topper can make your existing mattress infinitely more comfortable at a fraction of the cost of buying a new one.

Whether you're looking to improve your own sleeping conditions or make your guest room more comfortable for friends and relatives who come to visit, a mattress topper may hold the key.

Want to learn more? This article will answer all of your questions about mattress toppers and introduce you to a few of our favorites. In case you decide you're in the market for one yourself.

What Is A Mattress Topper?

A woman sleeps comfortably in her bed.

Many people are confused about the exact definition of a mattress topper.

The mattress topper sits on top of your mattress, underneath the rest of your bedding. It has one noble purpose. To make you more comfortable when you sleep. This is in contrast to the mattress pad, which exists to protect your mattress from stains and soil. Mattress pads tend to be thin and provide very little in terms of extra comfort. That's where the mattress topper comes in.

Mattress toppers are essentially deluxe pads. The extra padding compensates for the failings of a hard, lumpy mattress or makes a superior mattress even more comfortable. One of the best features of a mattress topper is that the padding comes in different styles and materials so you can customize the feel of your mattress according to your body's needs and preferences.

Do you prefer sleeping on a firm platform? There's a mattress topper for that! Do you prefer to sink your body into a pillowy softness? There's a mattress topper for that, too.

What's more, a good mattress topper serves to protect and elongate the life of your mattress, potentially saving you from having to prematurely spend your hard earned money on a new mattress until your good and ready to do so.

All mattress toppers were not created equally. The material they're made of greatly impacts their comfort and function. Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of different styles of mattress toppers. along with our picks for the very best options for each.

Note: We've used Queen sized mattress toppers for all of our examples, but various sizes are priced differently.

1. Memory Foam Mattress Toppers

A memory foam mattress topper

Pros

  • Memory foam mattress toppers conform to the shape of your body, while still remaining supportive. This combination of softness and support is extremely appealing to many individuals.
  • A good memory foam mattress topper also has the ability to extend the life of your mattress by keeping it protected and absorbing some of the stress and pressure that cause mattresses to wear out prematurely.
  • Memory foam mattress toppers absorb sound for a quieter sleeping experience.

Cons

  • Memory foam off-gasses with a plastic, chemical smell. It's much stronger when it's new, and then it dissipates to the point that most people no longer smell it. This is definitely something you'll want to be aware of. If you're sensitive to smells a memory foam mattress might not be for you. At the very least it should be aired out for at least 24 hours prior to putting it into use.
  • Memory foam mattress toppers can also absorb heat, which may make finding sleep difficult for those who prefer to keep it cool at night. If this describes you, look for a version that has been specially engineered to remain cool when the weather heats up.

Our pick for the best memory foam mattress topper

ViscoSoft 4-inch Queen Luxury Dual Layer Gel-Infused Memory Foam Mattress Topper $174.99

This mattress topper offers four inches of high-density memory foam with a soft, quilted cover. It's specially engineered to help keep you cool on hot nights and there are elastic straps to ensure it won't slide around while you're sleeping.

2. Down Mattress Toppers

A down mattress topper.

Pros

  • Down is synonymous with luxury. High-end manufacturers use down to make comforters, jackets, and yes, mattress toppers. Down mattress toppers are soft and cozy.
  • Down helps regulate temperature which means these mattress toppers are ideal for both warm and cool weather for year-round sleeping.
  • Down mattress toppers are also lightweight, which is advantageous if portability is a concern. This means they can be shifted from room to room or taken to the dry cleaner if necessary.

Cons

  • Down mattress toppers are made from real geese. Many people consider the plucking process inhumane and avoid down products for this reason.
  • Feathers can also potentially poke through a mattress topper, just like they occasionally do with jackets or comforters. This can be messy, and the quills can be pointy and uncomfortable.
  • Down mattress toppers are not a good fit for anyone allergic to feathers.
  • Down mattress toppers do not offer any sound absorption.
  • This option offers little to no back support or extra firmness.

Our pick for the best down mattress topper

Mattress-Pad Down Mattress Topper $349.99

This down mattress topper has a cotton cover and has been designed to eliminate down shift - which means you don't have to worry about re-fluffing or shuffling to redistribute the down interior.

3. Latex Mattress Toppers

A latex mattress topper.

Pros

  • Latex mattress toppers are very comfortable. They're similar to memory foam in that they conform to the unique lines of your body for maximum comfort and support.
  • They are superior to memory foam when it comes to regulating temperature and helps insulate sound.
  • Latex mattress toppers can extend the life of your mattress.
  • Like memory foam, these mattress toppers absorb sound for a more peaceful night's sleep.
  • No off-gassing of chemical smell.

Cons

  • Latex mattress toppers are heavier than other options and not particularly flexible should you want to move it them from one bed to another.
  • Latex mattress toppers do not tend to be as readily available as the other options and are sometimes difficult to find.

Our pick for the best latex mattress topper

Ultimate Dreams Talalay Mattress Topper $354.99

This premium mattress topper has holes for ventilation and orthopedic support. It is comfortable, long lasting, and durable.

4. Wool Mattress Toppers

Wool mattress topper.

Pros

  • Wool mattress toppers are durable and natural.
  • Wool stays warmer in winter and cooler in summer. It's a comfortable mattress topper for any time of year.
  • Wool mattress toppers are soft and cozy.
  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Wool mattress toppers can be dry cleaned.
  • Wool is renewable and harvested without harming the sheep.

Cons

  • Little to no back support.
  • No sound insulation.

Our pick for the best wool mattress topper

Sleep and Beyond Organic Merino Wool Mattress Topper

This mattress topper is luxurious merino wool, comfortably ensconced in soft, natural 100 percent cotton. It is comfortable, beautiful, portable, and it can be dry cleaned.

5. Foam Mattress Topper

A foam mattress topper.

Pros

  • A standard foam mattress topper is generally the least expensive mattress topper option.
  • Foam mattresses toppers increase the softness and comfort of your mattress.
  • Foam mattresses help protect your mattress from dirt and soil.
  • Foam mattress toppers are lightweight and portable.

Cons

  • Off gasses like memory foam does. A chemical smell may be pervasive at first, then dissipate.
  • Not as durable as other options. Can rip, tear, or chip.

Our pick for the best foam mattress topper

Beautyrest Foam Mattress Topper $45.86

This 3-inch foam mattress topper has a classic eggshell design for comfort and support. It's reasonable in price, allowing you to upgrade to a better night's sleep at a fraction of the cost of purchasing a new mattress.

There is no right mattress topper for everybody. Much depends on your lifestyle, budget, and sleeping preferences. Once you find the right one, it can make your sleep more restful and your nights more comfortable.

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