What is the Best Mattress Topper?

August 30, 2021

What is the Best Mattress Topper?

Mattress toppers come in handy when you're having trouble sleeping comfortably on your mattress. Sleeping on a too-firm mattress, or an old sagging mattress, can be uncomfortable — and, you'll most likely experience body aches and pains. Since they are designed to conform closely to the body to alter pressure points, or the shape of the mattress, you’ll enjoy a pain-free sleep, without needing to buy a whole new mattress.

These toppers can also work well on sofa and camping beds, too. Their extra thickness makes any sleeping surface of your choice more comfortable. Besides, mattress toppers are portable, and easy to pack.

However, mattress toppers aren't the same as mattress pads. For example, some mattress pads may have thicker padding to provide extra cushioning, without necessarily having the support features of a mattress topper. Additionally, most mattress pads are not as thick as the mattress toppers. Therefore, if your goal is to relieve discomfort, aches, and pains caused by your less comfortable mattress or sleep surface, you should consider getting the right mattress topper.

Although mattress toppers have gained popularity in recent years, many people still don't know what they are or what to look for while shopping for one. For this reason, this guide discusses everything you need to know before shopping for the right mattress topper.

What is a Mattress Topper?

A mattress topper is a removable thick layer of cushioning made from different materials that sit on top of your mattress to provide extra comfort and support. The mattress topper can make your mattress softer, more supportive, cooler, or more luxurious, depending on your needs.

Ultimately, a mattress topper helps you sleep comfortably by easing pressure points on your body, and conforming to your sleeping position and body weight, while properly aligning the spine.

Memory foams, latex, blends of polyester, feathers, and wool are the most common materials used to make mattress toppers. However, if you are looking for an eco-friendly option, you can opt for toppers made of pure latex, as these offered by ecoterrabeds.com.

These toppers come in different sizes, but most range between 2 and 4 inches thick. Although they serve the same purpose, it's advisable to consider several factors before purchasing a mattress topper.

For example, a 4-inch mattress topper may be ideal for a plus-size side sleeper but may not be so comfortable for a side sleeper with lesser weight.

What are the Benefits of a Mattress Topper?

A mattress topper can significantly improve how you sleep at night. Some of the benefits of a mattress topper include:

Adjust the Firmness of a Mattress

The purpose of a mattress topper is to either make your mattress feel softer if it is too firm, or vice versa. For example, a new mattress may take too long to adjust and feel comfortable, while your old mattress may be too saggy. Whatever the case, the appropriate choice of a mattress topper will fix that problem.

Absorbs Motion to Reduce Sleep Interruption

If your mattress makes you topple over when your partner gets off the bed or turns, a mattress topper is what you need if you’re not ready to purchase a new mattress with good edge support. It evens out the mattress, creating a smooth surface for sleeping.

The Cooling Effect

Some mattresses trap heat, causing too much sweating, especially at night. For this reason, some special mattress toppers are designed with thermoregulating materials to reduce too much heat that causes excessive sweating throughout the night.

Cost-Effective Solution

Mattress toppers revamp your old mattress to improve your sleep quality, and how your bed looks. The good thing is these mattress toppers are usually less costly than regular mattresses.

Mattress Toppers Are Machine Washable

Some mattress toppers are washable, while others are fitted with specific machine washable covers, making them easier to clean. They also prevent dust from getting to the mattress, saving you from allergies.

Mattress Toppers Can Increase the Lifespan of Your Mattress

Mattress toppers will take some pressure off your mattress, giving it a longer lifespan. This saves you money in return because you don't need to budget for a new mattress a few years down the line.

Convenient and Easy To Use

You can change your mattress topper to suit your warming and cooling needs at any time, instead of buying a whole new mattress. So, for example, if you want a warmer bed during winter, or a cooler bed in summer, all you have to do is to find the appropriate mattress toppers that conform to such needs.

The Drawbacks of Mattress Toppers

There's no doubt that mattress toppers can give you one of the best night's sleep, but they aren't perfect, like any other product in the market.

Here's why:

  • A mattress topper may not fix a severely sagging and shabby mattress. In most cases, the mattress itself will need to be replaced due to excessive wear and tear.
  • Sometimes it may be difficult to find a mattress topper that fits a mattress with an irregular shape or size.
  • Some mattress toppers emit strong odors, especially when still new.

What to Consider When Buying a Mattress Topper?

A mattress topper is not a one-size-fits-all kind of product. Therefore, you need to consider your needs before looking for the best mattress toppers among the available options.

Some factors to consider include:

Your Favorite Sleeping Position

Different types of mattress toppers are best suited for different sleeping positions. For example, softer mattress toppers may be a better choice for side sleepers because they reduce the pressure on your hips and shoulders. On the other hand, stomach sleepers would be more comfortable with well-ventilated firm mattress toppers with adequate softness.

The Firmness of Your Mattress

A soft mattress topper goes well with a firmer mattress, and vice versa. Depending on what makes you more comfortable while sleeping, you may choose how firm you want your mattress topper to be.

Remember that a firmer mattress topper may not work so great if your mattress is too saggy and worn out. Therefore, the condition of your mattress also matters.

The Thickness of The Mattress Topper

Most mattress toppers range between 2 and 4 inches thick. In that case, the thicker the topper, the better the support.

You may not necessarily need a thicker mattress topper if your mattress is of good quality. In most cases, a 2-inch topper has adequate padding to support a thick mattress. But if your mattress is thinner, and of poor quality, you may need a thicker mattress topper.

Your Weight

Although the thicker the topper, the better the support, a thicker topper isn't so great for petite users. But on the other hand, a thick topper may be ideal for a bigger user.

Most people buy a topper to alleviate the pain caused by their mattresses. However, if the individual is heavier, and experiences aches and pains caused by a mattress that's worn out or of poor quality, buying a thinner topper will probably not solve that problem.

If you weigh more than 250 pounds, a thicker mattress topper would be the best pick. However, if your weight is lower than 250 pounds, you can settle for a topper with a small or medium thickness.

The Material Used to Make The Topper

A mattress topper is made from different materials, such as latex, wool, feathers, polyester, and foam. These materials have different properties that determine how it feels to lay on a particular topper.

For example, a latex mattress topper is stretchier and bouncier, while wool is fluffier. You may also need to avoid materials that you're allergic to.

Your Health Problems

A poor-quality mattress can cause you health problems, such as neck pain and backaches. However, you can avoid such issues by investing in special pressure-relief toppers manufactured to cater to such needs.

In such cases, the best mattress topper choice would be a multilayered one that has different padding on the different sections of the topper. For example, the section where the neck rests may have softer padding than the feet section.

What are the Types of Mattress Toppers?

Mattress toppers vary by design and quality. However, these toppers are often identified by the materials they are made of. They include:

  • Memory foam mattress topper
  • Gel memory foam mattress topper
  • Latex mattress topper
  • Natural down and feathers mattress topper
  • Synthetic and hollow fiber mattress topper

Memory Foam Mattress Toppers

A memory foam topper is made with memory foam, also known as viscoelastic foam. This material is best known for its softness and flexibility, and adjusts to the body heat levels and shape.

The "memory effect" describes the foam's ability to "memorize" the shape of the sleeper's body, maintaining it as they sleep. Memory foam toppers are arguably the best mattress toppers for side sleepers, and are also the most common in the market.

Because of its properties, a memory foam topper is also great for pressure relief. It supports the body's pressure points, such as the neck and the back, and keeps the spine properly aligned throughout the night. However, a memory foam topper can trap too much heat, making it uncomfortable in warmer weather.

Some manufacturers use gel-infused memory foam to add a cooling effect to the foam mattress toppers. This is done by injecting some gel granules, beads, or pockets into the foam during the manufacturing process.

Gel Memory Foam Mattress Toppers

A gel memory foam mattress topper combines memory foam for the "memory effect", and gel for the cooling effect, to create a soft and cool mattress topper. This type of topper is not the same as a gel-infused memory foam. The gel memory foam mattress includes a whole layer of gel, and another layer of foam to replace gel particles and granules.

This combination is not only good for pressure relief and body contouring, but also dispatches heat from the body, giving you the most comfortable night's sleep.

Latex Mattress Toppers

Latex toppers are either made from organic latex extracted from the rubber plant, or synthetic latex. But some toppers are made from a blend of both types of latex.

Latex is known to be firmer than foam. However, Talalay latex is softer than Dunlop latex.

Latex toppers are also known to be stretchy, and self-ventilating. For this reason, they suit stomach sleepers well. They also ease pressure on the shoulders, back, and hips for side and back sleepers.

Organic latex mattress toppers are springier and more durable than synthetic latex. However, some people may have allergic reactions to organic latex.

Natural Down Feathers Mattress Toppers

These types of mattress toppers are made from bird feathers, and they feel just as light. The feathers provide the soft luxurious feel for comfort rather than support, but the thicker the topper, the better the support.

These toppers are great if you have a good quality mattress that feels slightly firmer than you would prefer. The feathers make the topper bulkier, but with a soft surface.

However, natural feathers toppers may not be great for people who are allergic to feathers.

Synthetic and Hollow Fiber Mattress Toppers

These types of mattress toppers are made from synthetic fiber, and can vary in thickness. Thicker fibers make denser toppers, while thinner microfibers make the softer comfortable sleeping surface. In addition, the hollow fiber mattress toppers provide better support than toppers made of plain synthetic fibers.

Many manufacturers combine different types of fibers to create a variety of mattress toppers. They come out softer or firmer, depending on the ratio of the different types of fibers used.

Therefore, if you want a softer fiber mattress topper, one with more synthetic microfibers would be a great choice. On the other hand, for a firmer and more supportive option, the one with more hollow fiber material would be a better choice.

What is the Difference Between a Mattress Topper, Mattress Pad, and Mattress Protector?

It's easy to confuse these three products because they all go atop the mattress. However, the three products have distinctive differences, and also serve different purposes. Here's how to differentiate a mattress topper from a mattress pad and a mattress protector.

Description and Functions of a Mattress Topper

As described above, a mattress topper's main purpose is to provide additional support and comfort to your mattress. They come in different sizes and thicknesses, but most range between 2 and 4 inches thick.

Mattress toppers can be made using organic and synthetic latex, memory foam, gel memory foam, wool, feathers, and synthetic fiber.

Most mattress toppers don't come with a cover fabric because they're meant to go under the bedsheets. However, those with covers are often removable and machine washable.


  • Provide extra support and comfort
  • Provide pressure relief on the body caused by poor quality mattress
  • Reduce general wear and tear of your mattress
  • Revamp a saggy, sunken mattress
  • Reduce motion and sleep destruction

Description and Functions of a Mattress Pad

A mattress pad is an extra layer of padding that adds extra cushioning to the mattress. It's usually thinner than a mattress topper, and in most cases, it comes fitted with straps or fitted sheets.

A mattress pad is also made with similar materials used to create a mattress topper. Although a mattress pad can provide extra cushioning and support, it may not be comparable to a topper when used on a saggy mattress.


  • Give extra cushioning to a mattress
  • Cover the mattress to protect it from dust, dirt, and moisture
  • Muffle a mattress for warmth, and reduces sleep destruction
  • Adjust the firmness of a mattress

Description and Functions of a Mattress Protector

A mattress protector is removable bedding that covers or encases a mattress to protect it from bacteria, bugs, dust, dirt, moisture, and stains from spillage.

This protector is made from various materials such as vinyl, cotton, polyester, down, latex, etc. You can easily identify a mattress protector by its moisture-wicking properties and lightweight properties.


  • Protect mattress from bacteria, allergens, dirt, and moisture
  • Protect mattress from damage
  • May provide additional comfort to your mattress

A mattress topper is the thickest of the three, while a mattress protector can be without padding.

How to Layer Your Mattress with Mattress Topper, Mattress Pad, and Mattress Protector

Surprisingly, you don't require all three items at once to improve your mattress, and the quality of your sleep. Some of these products serve more than their intended purpose, depending on the materials used to make them.

For instance, a mattress pad can have additional properties of a mattress protector, while also providing sufficient cushioning for the sleeper. Therefore, a good-quality mattress may only require a mattress protector, and nothing more. Additionally, you may not need a mattress pad if you already have the topper, given that a mattress topper has the properties of a mattress pad and more.

The mattress topper goes first on top of the mattress, followed by the mattress pad. The mattress protector will then go last at the top before you begin to make your bed with bedsheets and other covers.

How Do I Know I Need to Buy a Mattress Topper?

Here's how to tell when it's time to get yourself a mattress topper.

  1. When your new mattress is too firm — a topper is a great choice for adjusting the firmness to your preferred level of comfort.
  2. You'll also need a topper to add volume, comfort, and support to a worn-out, saggy mattress.
  3. If you aren't ready to invest in a new mattress, a mattress topper is a cheaper option for revamping your bed.
  4. A topper can help with pressure relief if your mattress causes you body aches and pains, especially in your back, neck, joints, and other parts of your body.
  5. You may fix the problem of allergies by getting a mattress topper, rather than replacing the whole mattress.

How To Install a Mattress Topper

Here are some useful steps to follow to install a mattress topper successfully.

  1. Carefully unpack the mattress topper from its packaging box.
  2. Cut loose the plastic wrap if it has one, and let the topper unroll itself into a flat position.
  3. Place the mattress topper directly on your mattress, and position it carefully to fit the mattress.
  4. Allow your mattress topper to expand completely before using it. It may take up to 24 hours, depending on how long the topper had been wrapped, and the material used to make it.
  5. Add your mattress protector, and lay your bed as you desire.

How to Buy a Mattress Topper Online

Choosing a good mattress topper from the numerous online brands can be confusing, not to mention how difficult it is to tell the difference between toppers and pads. However, if you're already familiar with the characteristics to look for in a mattress topper, as discussed earlier, your next assignment would be to find a good one online.

The best way to decide which vendor to buy from is to conduct further research on the seller. Additionally, check the reviews of the different brands of mattress toppers sold by the vendor.

Such reviews reveal what customers think about the product, their concerns, if any, and whether they would recommend it. Similarly, a background check on the vendor is a good way of establishing their reliability.

You may also want to check the warranty and return policy agreements before purchasing a mattress topper. The warranties may cover any physical flaws and damages that cause the product to split or crack during normal usage. Most warranties, however, won't cover some preferences, such as comfort. It's therefore essential to conduct your research comprehensively before settling for one topper.

Once you've chosen both the vendor and the type of mattress topper you want, the next step is to contact the seller, and place your order. The process is pretty straightforward, and involves the normal procedures of making an online purchase. Finally, your package will be delivered to your address per the vendor's terms of service.

Mattress Topper FAQs

Here are some common questions asked about mattress toppers and their answers.

What Is the Best Way to Clean a Mattress Topper?

Most foam mattress toppers come with a removable, machine washable cover fabric that can be cleaned as often as you'd prefer. Alternatively, you may use a mattress vacuum cleaner on toppers, but without cover fabrics.

Does a Mattress Topper Need to Air out Before Installation?

Some new mattress toppers may need a few hours to air out before installation to release the odor emitted by the compounds used to make the topper. But, you can avoid this process by choosing an organic latex mattress topper from Eco Terra, with no smell of chemicals.

Do Mattress Toppers Really Work?

Mattress toppers are worthy investments. Besides improving comfort and offering support, these toppers can improve sleepers' general health by easing pressure and pain caused by poor-quality mattresses.

What Is the Best Mattress Topper?

The best mattress topper is the one that best serves its purpose to the user. Given that a mattress topper isn't a one-size-fits-all kind of product, it's always advisable to shop from reputable vendors like Eco Terra.

Should I Put a Mattress Topper on an Old Mattress?

You can put a mattress topper on an old mattress, but only if the old mattress is still good enough to support your body as you sleep. A mattress topper won't be quite useful if the mattress isn't in great condition.

Key Features of Eco Terra Mattress Topper 

Eco Terra manufactures high-quality mattresses and mattress toppers using all-natural latex, pure organic cotton, and fabric-encased coils. Eco Terra provides affordable and luxurious products with all the benefits of natural resources to let you sleep comfortably.

Some key features of an Eco Terra 100% natural latex mattress topper include:

  • Consists of 100 percent organic latex without synthetic fillers and chemicals
  • Comes with organic cotton covers for a luxurious and comfortable feel
  • Made using single-sourced, Talalay latex without intermediaries
  • Available in 6 different sizes, including twin, king size, and queen-size
  • Offers different levels of firmness - soft, medium, and firm
  • Free shipping within the contiguous United States
  • Availability of a 5-year warranty

And many more at affordable prices!

Patrick Gunther

Patrick is an accomplished writer. He has been in the retail mattress space for the past 13 years, and more specifically in the natural mattress niche. He blogs on the subjects of natural mattresses, sleep, health, fitness, and green living.