The Best Mattress Toppers, Tested by HGTV Editors

If your mattress isn't cutting it but you're not ready to upgrade, consider a comfortable mattress topper. From memory foam to feather, these toppers will make you feel like you're sleeping in a 5-star hotel.

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February 17, 2022

Our Top Mattress Topper Picks

We all know we spend about a third of our lives sleeping, so anything that can make our beds more comfortable and make sleep come easier is a worthwhile investment in our book. A high-quality mattress is one of the most important investments you can make, of course, but sometimes upgrading a mattress isn't always feasible or necessary. Maybe you inherited a hand-me-down mattress from family or simply bought the first one you saw at a big-box store a few years ago and now regret it, but you can't stomach spending another $700+ on a new mattress yet. If your bed is too firm and you’re looking to add more cushion to soften it up, a mattress topper is a perfect alternative to buying a new mattress. If you want to extend the life of your mattress, a mattress topper is also a great way to keep it from sagging over time. Plus, mattress toppers can also help relieve pain from pressure points. If your mattress is drooping or is very old, though, a mattress topper isn’t a long-term solution — you probably need a new mattress.

What's the Difference Between Mattress Toppers, Pads and Protectors?

Mattress toppers primarily address comfort and are usually at least a few inches tall. Toppers simply rest on top of the mattress, and while some may have corner straps for extra security, most toppers are held in place by your fitted sheet. Mattress toppers are also the most expensive of the three products. Mattress pads usually only provide a very thin layer of extra padding and are less expensive than toppers. While mattress pads serve as a barrier from spills reaching your mattress, they're not necessarily waterproof and don't offer complete protection against bedbugs. Pads usually fit on your mattress like a fitted sheet. Mattress protectors don't provide any added comfort either and are also less expensive than toppers. As the name suggests though, the primary purpose of a mattress protector is to protect your mattress from larger accidents, spills, dust and bedbugs. Toppers and pads can extend the life of your mattress to some degree since they still provide a physical barrier, but a protector is the best option, either on its own or in combination with a topper, to use if you're specifically looking to keep your mattress safe from potential spills or damage.

How to Choose a Mattress Topper

Like mattresses, mattress toppers come in a variety of firmnesses, thicknesses and materials. The most popular types of toppers include memory foam, latex, pillow-top (made from either feather fill or down alternative fill) and hybrid toppers made of multiple materials. Memory foam is the most popular type of topper because you can find one at a range of price points and the material provides support, comfort and pressure relief to any type of mattress. Latex is a natural foam made from rubber trees that provides a similar feel to memory foam, which is made from petroleum, and it is durable, but often more expensive. Pillow-top mattress toppers offer a softer, cloud-like comfort and usually feature baffle-box stitching filled with either luxurious down feathers or a down-alternative fiberfill. Hybrid toppers often combine memory foam or latex with a thinner pillow-top layer if you're looking for features of both.

Before purchasing a topper, make sure any fitted mattress pads, protectors and sheets you plan to use will fit over your mattress and the mattress topper you're considering. You'll need to consider the extra inches a mattress topper adds anytime you purchase new sheets, so if your mattress is on the taller side, you may want to opt for a 2-3-inch topper instead of a 4-inch one. We tried some of the top-rated options on the market, and these are our top picks for mattress toppers.

Editor's note: All topper prices listed are for queen-size toppers.

Memory foam is the most popular type of topper because it’s soft and comfortable and can reduce motion transfer, which is great if your partner moves around a lot at night and you're a light sleeper, for example. Memory foam also helps reduce pain in the pressure points. If you're after that moldable, soft-but-firm feel of memory foam, this topper from Tempur-pedic is a solid choice. Allow for a few days after unboxing to air out the topper and let it expand fully before placing on the bed. A minor new-product smell that our tester noticed after opening dissipated after a day or so and the topper fully expanded in less than 48 hours. At three inches, the height of this topper is ideal and not too high to make getting a fitted sheet over it a concern. The memory foam provides just the right amount of softness but also doesn't make you feel like you're sinking. Note that this product can't be returned, but it does come with a 10-year limited warranty.

Our Editor Says: "I have mattress regret after buying one of the first options I saw at a big-box store several years back, but I'm not ready to splurge on a new king-size mattress I hope to upgrade to one day. I LOVE how this memory foam topper added a cloud-like softness to my traditional innerspring mattress and made it so much more comfortable."

$399 | Tempur-pedic $399.99 | Amazon
$130

If you're on a tighter budget but still want the luxurious comfort of memory foam, this pick from Best Price is a great deal. Constructed of a layer of high-density foam and a layer of memory foam infused with green tea, this topper comes in both three- and four-inch heights. Our tester noted that this topper had a subtle smell for the first few days and did take a little longer to expand to its full size than our best overall pick. We also love that this topper comes in seven bed sizes, ranging from twin to California king.

Our Editor Says: "This mattress topper completely molded to my body and softened up my firmer innerspring mattress, and, at just over $100, it's a great deal for anyone who wants to upgrade their bed without replacing their entire mattress."

Buy It
$499

For hot sleepers and people with older mattresses that can sometimes retain more heat than newer mattresses, a cooling topper can ensure you don't wake up sweating throughout the night. Like the TEMPUR-Topper Supreme, this TEMPUR-Adapt + Cooling Topper is the ideal height of three inches and comes with a cool-to-the-touch, allergen-resistant, removable cover that's machine washable. Our tester did find the cover a little tricky to get on but enjoyed sleeping on a softer surface compared to her firm memory foam mattress. However, this topper is probably not the best choice for sleepers who prefer firm mattresses. Note that this product can't be returned, but it does come with a 10-year limited warranty.

Our Editor Says: "I like that this topper isn’t too thick! It gave a little height to the bed without making it too tall. I also didn’t feel my husband move at all, which might be a plus for some people."

$499 | Amazon $499 | Bloomingdale's

If you want your bed to feel like a luxury hotel bed, a feather-filled topper is probably what you're looking for. Designed with baffle-box stitching to limit shifting and available in three sizes, this 3-inch Pottery Barn featherbed is made of 100-percent, 230-thread-count cotton and filled with hypoallergenic small, white feathers. With some luxury featherbeds pushing up into the $400 plus range, this Pottery Barn topper is plenty cozy and luxurious for a reasonable price.

Our Editor Says: "The topper was the most comfortable and plush featherbed mattress topper of the three I tried, and it stayed plush and fluffy even without regular fluffing."

Buy It

Achieve Luxury Hotel Comfort at Home With a Top-Rated Featherbed Mattress Topper

Want the cozy bedtime experience of sleeping on a cloud? Feel like you are staying at a fancy hotel and upgrade the comfort level of your mattress with a plush, downy featherbed mattress cover. Read on for our top picks.

$179 - $279

A great option for anyone who wants that featherbed-like softness but is allergic to down or prefers vegan products, this down-alternative, cloud-like mattress topper earned a glowing review from our tester. Parachute's topper is made of 100-percent hypoallergenic microfill and features a 100-percent sateen cotton shell and a baffle-box construction to prevent shifting. With a gusset height measuring about three inches, this topper is an ideal height, and our tester said that even though it doesn't come with straps like some toppers, her fitted sheet held this one in place nicely. It actually made her king sheets fit better on her 11-inch memory foam mattress. Available in six sizes, this topper also comes with a three-year warranty.

Our Editor Says: "I love how this topper has completely transformed my bed. I thought my bed was comfortable before, but adding this topper gives it next-level luxury. I used to love sinking into my sofa and relaxing after dinner, but I’m all about heading to the bedroom to watch TV or read. It’s definitely my favorite spot in the house now."

Buy It

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