A mattress is a big investment, so you want it to last a long time and the best way to extend its life is with a topper. One of the most popular kinds is the memory foam mattress topper. These toppers are more than just a simple an add-on: they help protect the mattress, make you more comfortable and improve your sleep all at the same time. In fact, Mattress toppers extend the life of an older mattress or one of lesser quality much more comfortable and supportive. They also protect the mattress from all the nasties that affect it over time: sweat, soil and dust mites.
What makes memory foam so special? Originally invented in the 1970s for NASA, it was developed as a better cushion for seats and as crash protection for airline pilots and passengers. Since then, it has made its way into all kinds of products, from bathroom rugs to shoe liners. Memory foam is a kind of polyurethane where the foam bubbles or “cells” are open. Air moves through these cells, and when pressure on the foam is released, it slowly returns to its original shape. In addition, body heat softens the high-density foam, allowing it to mold to a warm body, which is a key feature for a mattress topper.
Sleep Like a Baby with One of These Memory Foam Mattress Toppers
Why Buy a Mattress Topper?
More than just a glorified mattress pad, a mattress topper is more like an extension of the mattress and is generally 4 to 8 inches thick. While it does protect the mattress from all the elements that can degrade it over time, its main purpose is to increase comfort and support for the body. It is said that a topper can further enhance a good mattress or make a poor mattress a little more bearable.
Memory foam toppers are very popular because they are both comfortable and supportive and because they evenly distribute body weight. This is very beneficial for people who have back pain. Some types of memory foam toppers also have a cooling mechanism, which is really helpful for people who often feel too warm while sleeping. These types are typically infused with a gel that helps keep sleepers cooler.
While toppers are more affordable than buying a new mattress, it’s important to evaluate why you need or want one and what the topper can and cannot do for you. Do you sleep on your stomach, your back, or side? What is the type and condition of the main mattress?
Moreover, toppers are made from different materials. All of which have their benefits and drawbacks. Toppers can be made from wool, feathers, or latex as well as memory foam, but the latter is generally the most popular. Wool toppers might be the most natural but they are pricey and hard to find. Feathers might be soft and cool, but they are not for people who have allergies. And, the same can be said for Latex, to which many people have an allergy.
Pros of a Memory Foam Mattress Topper
- Eases back pain — According to the National Institutes of Health, low back pain (LBP) is the second most common cause of disability in United States. Back pain also prevents people from getting a good night’s sleep, but a mattress topper can help. It can also help people who have arthritis or other similar painful conditions have more restful sleep because it molds to the body and supports each part, reducing pain that comes from pressure points.
- Comfortably firm — Memory foam might be soft but it’s also firm, which is how it provides comfort and support at the same time.
- Density choices — Memory foam mattress toppers often come in different densities, which you should choose based on your sleep style and preferences.
- Less disturbance from sleeping partner — Hands down, memory foam mattress toppers are the best at minimizing the disturbance from movement by your sleeping partner. If your sleep is disturbed by a partner who is always tossing thrashing around, memory foam is a fabulous choice.
- Protects the mattress — Like other toppers, one made from memory foam will help protect the mattress from all the aforementioned nasties like sweat, bodily fluids and allergens.
- Removable covers —Memory foam mattress toppers typically have removable covers that are easily removed and washed.
- Durability — Under normal conditions, these toppers will last for several years.
Cons of a Memory Foam Mattress Topper
- Retains heat — Despite all of its benefits, memory foam may not be a good choice for those who “sleep hot” unless there is a cooling mechanism that is built in.
- Temporary chemical smell — In some cases, a memory foam mattress topper can sometimes have an initial chemical smell. This generally clears after it has a chance to air out.
- Expensive — Prices can range from around $100 to thousands of dollars depending on your particular choice.
- Those with gel need a cover — Some gel memory foam mattress covers are sold with a cover and some are not, but all need one. Buyers often note that the topper can shed some tiny gel beads that are a pain to clean up, but a cover can help contain any that come out.
The Best Memory Foam Mattress Toppers
The Layla® Memory Foam Topper provides all the benefits of this material along with the unique features that this company’s mattresses offer: support, softness and cooling thanks to copper-gel infused memory foam. This topper is two inches thick and can be added to any type of mattress. This particular topper also has several grades of firmness to choose from, putting other pillow toppers to shame.
Unlike other memory foams, this one is made with copper gel beads in the foam that draw in and absorb body heat away from the sleeper. This helps counteract memory foam’s natural tendency to retain heat and keep you cool and comfortable throughout the night. The plush topper is described as being “like sleeping on a cloud” but still easy on pressure points and supportive for the back. Layla’s copper-infused gel has the added benefit of being naturally antimicrobial and will keep bacteria from taking up permanent residence inside your mattress.
- With mainly all four- and five-star reviews, buyers praised this topper’s supreme comfort.
- While this mattress topper had no bad reviews, some buyers reported that they did not experience the cooling effect and were still too warm.
For a soft, cool and luxurious night’s sleep, the Oceano Memory Foam Mattress Topper is one of the top picks. The plush topper is made with CertiPUR-US® certified cooling gel memory foam and has an eco-friendly Tencel™ cover that is actually a stretch knit. The company’s topper is made with the same materials and technology as its namesake mattress, giving more customers the option of a better night’s sleep. The modern gel memory foam not only relieves the pressure points that most often cause discomfort but also sleeps cooler, a feature that is enhanced by the Tencel cover, which is a plant-based material. The combination is ideal for people who are often too warm when they sleep.
A 3 inches thick, the topper combines a 2-inch thick layer of gel memory foam with a layer of quilted, untreated New Zealand wool that helps pull moisture away from the body and improves air flow and temperature regulation.
This memory foam topper is also a healthful choice because it is GREENGUARD Gold Certified by UL Environment for Low Emissions. To have this designation, the product has to pass scientific tests in environmental chambers “to meet the most rigorous emissions standards for chemical exposure and pollutants, such as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde and phthalates.”
- Reviewers love the medium plush feel and the comfort from the multiple features for regulating the temperature, all at an affordable price. there’s also a one-year, no-questions-asked return policy and free shipping.
- Reviewers really didn’t really find any major faults with this product.
As with the previous memory foam mattress toppers, the Saatva Mattress Topper has a variety of features to help you sleep better and stay cool in the process. Saatva’s technology includes a graphite-infused memory foam that is cooling and said to be particularly good for side or back sleepers. The three-inch topper also features a transition layer made of foam that is a little firmer than its the top layer. All of this is encased in a soft, breathable organic cotton cover. This topper has a “medium-soft” feel and four anchor straps to help keep it securely attached to the mattress.
Larger people, especially those who sleep on their stomachs, often find that memory foam models are not firm enough, which can be the case with the Saatva model as well. These people might find the company’s Latex design more comfortable if that material is an option for them.
- Side and back sleepers love this topper for its support and pressure relief. They also report that the graphite foam really does improve temperature control as does the cotton cover and note the great price.
- Those who don’t like the feeling of sinking into regular memory foams won’t like this any better. Sleepers who like to change positions frequently might find it a little more difficult on this type of mattress topper. Also, while shipping is free, Saatva offers only a 120-night sleep trial for its mattress toppers, which does not include a mandatory break-in period.
This gel memory foam mattress topper from Sleep Innovations combines the features of the gel foam, with a pillow top that offers supreme comfort. The company notes that this is ideal for anyone — side, back or stomach sleepers. The cooling qualities of the two-inch gel foam layer are topped with another two inches of quilted fiber fill, which altogether makes it feel like a puffy cloud…but a supportive one.
The topper ships compressed like most others and expands to shape quite readily. Those new to memory foam mattress toppers note that this feels firmer when first getting into bed but quickly warms with body heat and becomes very cozy.
- Seventy percent of Amazon’s reviewers have this mattress topper a five-star review for its comfort and excellent sleep quality, and lack of stiffness and soreness in the morning.
- Some reviewers had issues not with the topper but with the durability of the cover. Also, others noted that the support did not hold up over time.
The name Tempur-Pedic carries a long-standing reputation, so it’s no wonder that the company’s memory foam mattress topper is so highly rated. At three inches thick, this topper conforms to the sleeper’s body for countless nights of more restful sleep. The TEMPUR material responds to the body’s weight, temperature and shape, relieving pressure and upping comfort. And, as with all TEMPUR products, it is designed to last and is backed by with a 10-year limited warranty.
In addition, this topper comes with a washable cover, which will help prevent a buildup of dust, dirt and allergens. Buyers choose this memory foam mattress topper to upgrade lower quality mattresses or to revive those that are starting to exhibit wear. Several buyers did note that the topper — any memory foam topper really – will not improve a very saggy mattress.
- With 70 percent of buyers giving it 5-star ratings, the comfort and better sleep were something they raved about. They also noted that this memory foam had no odor whatsoever.
- Some reviewers found it too soft while others had issues with its condition on delivery.
For those who really want to be cradled, this super plush LUCID 4-Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper will do the job. As the company’s thickest topper, this model offers supreme comfort with its ultra-thick, gel-infused memory foam. In addition to the cooling properties of a gel memory foam, this also has a ventilated design made it improve the airflow and breathability of the topper.
LUCID’s mattress topper can extend the life and enhance the comfort of an existing mattress thanks to all the properties that make memory foam models so desirable. Made from 100% memory foam that comes in a single piece, it will conform to the shape of your body and relieve pressure, ensuring a better night’s sleep. The foam is infused with a gel material that captures and redistributes heat, ideal for those who “sleep hot.” The foam is high density but that does not mean that it is super firm.
Most all memory foam mattress toppers have an initial new foam scent and this one is not an exception, however, it will dissipate over the first 27 hours after you open it. The website notes that the topper comes with a three-year warranty, but some reviewers disputed this and noted they had difficulties using the warranty.
- Reviewers who rated this topper highly on Amazon praised the comfort and pain-free sleep they were able to get.
- Some reviewers felt that it was too soft to be supportive while other noted problems with tearing or cracking over time. This topper does not come with a cover and it must be purchased separately.
With 94 percent of Amazon reviewers giving the Gel Memory Foam Mattress Toppers from Milemont 4- and 5-star reviews, it’s easy to see why this is a winner. Like other gel memory mattress toppers, the foam is infused with gel beads that trap and then redistribute heat that builds up while you sleep. The topper’s 2 inches of memory foam are a plush cradle for bodily curves, giving them the gentle support for wonderful sleep. The company backs up its product with a 10-Year U.S. warranty that provides free replacement at any time during the warranty period.
Buyers say that they are sleeping like a baby and that the topper is very comfortable.View Deal
- Reviewers say the mattress topper is truly cool at night and love the lightweight, comfortable product. This foam topper comes with a washable cover.
- The small percentage of poor reviews mainly took issue with the fact that did not sleep as cool as was expected or as durable.
As the number one bestseller on Amazon in mattresses toppers, the LINENSPA 3-inch gel-infused memory foam mattress topper has more than 5,700 reviews. It has three-inches of very plush memory foam that makes sleeping a whole new experience. Whether being added to a new mattress or being used to revitalize an older one, this topper adds an instant layer of cooling comfort with its gel bead-infused foam, which is CertiPUR US certified for quality. This topper is also available in a 2-inch thickness for those who don’t desire as much foam, such as stomach sleepers.
Online reviewers have noted that there are no straps or zipper to keep the mattress in place, but it is really unnecessary as long as you have a fitted sheet that it’s deep enough to cover the mattress and the topper. This 3-inch version will definitely make the mattress feel softer, which is great for side and back sleepers.
Buyers also like this topper for adding a soft touch to a mattress that you find too firm.View Deal
- Amazon reviewers clearly love the comfort and pain-free sleep they get from this mattress topper, which, by the way, has a 3-year warranty.
- Some buyers did not think the quality was up to par for this topper. This model does not come with a cover, which needs to be purchased separately.
For a different twist on LUCID 3-Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper, this version with bamboo charcoal brings added benefits. Bamboo charcoal memory foam does not have an effect on the comfort level, which is already highly rated for the LUCID toppers. Instead, it adds a natural material that helps keep the topper cleaner. Bamboo charcoal has a host of benefits because it eliminates odors, absorbs moisture, regulates temperature, and is hypoallergenic.
The bamboo for this product is burned at a high temperature before being ground into a fine that is then infused in the memory foam. Charcoal has become a very popular ingredient in skincare products and is equally safe for this use in bedding.
When it's combined with the cooling nature of gel memory foam, the topper takes on added appeal with its cleaner sleep environment.View Deal
- Amazon reviewers love the comfort and improved sleep that comes with using this topper.
- No reviewers took any issue with the charcoal-derived benefits, some found the supportiveness of the topper severely lacking.
This 3-inch gel memory foam topper creates a comfortable sleeping experience while keeping you cooler through the night. The company says that this type of material provides superior relief for pressure points when compared to traditional memory foam. It is also designed to reduce tossing and turning by being more comfortable and promoting deeper sleep. Novaform infuses their foam with gel beads that help provide the extra cushioning sleepers are looking for.
The Noa Form Topper is a very popular one and part of that may be because it has a 10-year warranty. The foam is all made in the USA however the included cover is made in China. Online reviewers have said that its three-inch thickness is a good option for heavier people because it is enough to prevent sinking down to the mattress. Testers have also noted that the topper sticks to the mattress quite well.
- Amazon reviewers who rated this topper highly raved about its comfort and how much better they sleep.
- A number of reviewers had issues with durability and reported that the topper shed blue gel beads everywhere. Others felt it was too soft to provide the proper support and was not comfortable, while a few noted it did not stay put as well as expected.
Choosing a mattress topper is a personal decision based on your specific physical needs and sleeping preferences. The thickness and the extra features you purchase will help you achieve better sleep which improves general health and mood. No single option is best for everyone but this list includes the most popular and highly-rated memory gel mattress toppers, so you can pick the one that works fior your sleeping situation.