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If you know your mattress is to blame for your back or joint pain but can’t drag a new one into your bedroom just yet, a memory foam mattress topper may be the compromise you’re looking for.

A 2018 study compared memory foam mattresses with other types of mattresses and found that memory foam not only offered more comfort but less body pressure as well.

Memory foam mattress toppers may be able to deliver comparable benefits to memory foam mattresses.

A mattress topper is also a quick and useful way to spruce up your mattress and squeeze extra use out of it before replacing it. Plus, there are super comfy toppers available at a variety of price points.

Keep reading to shop our favorites and snag that restful night’s sleep you’ve been dreaming about.

While we were searching for the top toppers, here’s what we kept in mind:

  • User reviews. We checked out what reviewers had to say about comfort and quality.
  • Lifestyle needs. We looked for picks that meet different user needs, like portability, washability, and more.
  • Sleeping styles. Some toppers are best suited to a certain sleeping style. We included picks for side, back, and stomach sleepers.
  • Brand reputation. We only recommend brands that are known for creating high-quality products and engaging in ethical and transparent business practices.
  • Flammability requirements. Foam mattress toppers not enclosed in ticking (a cloth covering) are excluded from federal flammability requirements. Still, some manufacturers coat their foam in chemical fire retardants to make them less flammable. We made sure to only include toppers that have some form of fire protection, whether it’s ticking or chemical flame retardants.
  • Price. We considered a variety of price points to work within your budget.

Pricing guide

We based our pricing guide on queen-size memory foam mattress toppers. Prices for other sizes will vary.

  • $ = under $170
  • $$ = over $170

Best Tempur-Pedic memory foam mattress topper

Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Adapt + Cooling Topper

  • Price: $$
  • Height: 3 inches

This high-end mattress topper is from the renowned Tempur-Pedic brand, known for its memory foam design. It’s famous for being ideal for back pain and staying cool as a cucumber — quickly absorbing body heat.

It also comes with a removable, washable cover so you can easily refresh it anytime you want.

Some reviewers describe receiving counterfeit dupes by ordering through popular e-commerce sites. It may be best to buy directly from Tempur-Pedic.

Buy the Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Adapt + Cooling Topper online.

Best memory foam mattress topper for back pain

Saatva Graphite Mattress Topper

  • Price: $$
  • Height: 3 inches

This high-density mattress topper is built with pressure relief in mind, with a memory foam top layer that also lowers motion transfer. That means that if you share your bed with a partner, kids, or pets, you won’t be able to feel them moving around so much.

This topper is infused with graphite to help keep sleepers cool. If you prefer, it also comes in a latex version and a basic foam version without graphite.

The topper comes with sturdy straps to help keep it securely in place. It’s designed to work with a Saatva mattress, or any other brand.

This topper falls on the luxury side and lands toward the top of our price guide. It doesn’t have a removable cover, but can be spot cleaned if needed.

Buy the Saatva Graphite Mattress Topper online.

Best luxury plush memory foam mattress topper

Helix Plush Mattress Topper

  • Price: $
  • Height: 1.5 inches

This memory foam mattress topper is breathable, hypoallergenic, and provides a plush comfort feel. It’s made from bamboo fiber materials that give it a soft touch for a cozy night’s sleep.

Added bonus: This topper comes with a 1-year warranty and a 100-night sleep trial.

Buy the Helix Plush Mattress Topper online.

Best gel memory foam mattress topper

Polar Sleep 3-Inch Gel Swirl Memory Foam Mattress Topper

  • Price: $
  • Height: 3 inches

This topper boasts 3 inches of CertiPUR-US certified, ventilated memory foam. It’s also infused with gel beads designed to trap and zap away heat for a cool and cozy sleep for hot sleepers.

Pleased reviewers say they don’t want to get off this topper. However, some confess it lets off a chemical smell after opening. They do mention that it fades away after a couple of days, so if you leave some time to air it out, you should be good to go.

Buy the Polar Sleep 3-Inch Gel Swirl Memory Foam Mattress Topper online.

Best long lasting memory foam mattress topper

ViscoSoft 3-Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper

  • Price: $$
  • Height: 3 inches

This ventilated memory foam mattress topper is made from a heavier grade memory foam than most, which is why the company says it has a longer life span. The manufacturers also say that its surface is temperature-controlled, which might help with even heat distribution.

Happy reviewers rave that this topper is soft without making you sink in, offering a plush feel.

Added bonus: This topper comes with a machine-washable bamboo rayon cover as well as straps to help it stay in place.

Buy the ViscoSoft 3-Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper online.

Best flippable memory foam mattress topper

Lucid Duo-Foam Charcoal Mattress Topper

  • Price: $
  • Height: 2.5 inches

This topper is flippable, offering plush comfort along with contouring support. Its dual-layer foam structure is constructed to form to your body shape, regardless of your sleeping style. You can choose between having the egg crate side up or the flat side up, depending on your needs.

This topper is made from a bamboo-charcoal material that operates with moisture-wicking technology and is designed to reduce the buildup of odor that can happen over time.

Some less satisfied reviewers point out that their foam layers came apart and the charcoal tips of the egg carton foam fell off after only a few months.

Buy the Lucid Duo-Foam Charcoal Mattress Topper online.

Best pillow top memory foam mattress topper

ViscoSoft Serene Dual-Layer Mattress Topper

  • Price: $
  • Height: 4 inches

This high-density mattress topper offers the best of two worlds: gel memory foam and a fluffy down alternative pillow top.

Reviewers can’t say enough good things about this topper — one even refers to it as a “sponge cake.”

The cover is removable and washable, and the company says they’ve worked on reducing the chemical scent that comes with many memory foam mattresses and mattress toppers.

Added bonus: This topper has a 3-year warranty for manufacturing defects.

Buy the ViscoSoft Serene Dual-Layer Mattress Topper online.

Best 4-inch memory foam mattress topper

Sleep Innovations 4-Inch Dual-Layer Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper

  • Price: $$
  • Height: 4 inches

Taller than other options, this topper has two layers: a 2-inch base layer made of cooling memory foam with gel and a 2-inch top layer made of quilted fiberfill. The company says the topper is ideal for back, side, and stomach sleepers.

The majority of reviewers are impressed, while a few wish it was thicker than 4 inches and others weren’t happy with the chemical smell (again, a common complaint with most memory foam mattress toppers).

Buy the Sleep Innovations 4-Inch Dual-Layer Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper online.

If you’re considering refreshing your bed with a memory foam topper, you’ve got nothing but options. You’ll likely need to consider:

To narrow things down, focus on the features that matter the most to you and your sleeping style. Materials and certifications come into play for some, while comfort, height, and firmness play a bigger role for others.

It’s also important to think about how firm you want your memory foam.

In a 2015 study on 40 older adults with musculoskeletal pain, researchers found that those who slept on a medium-firm mattress saw a decrease in cervical, dorsal, and lumbar pain over a 4-week period, compared with those who grabbed their Zzz’s on a firm mattress.

Is a mattress topper necessary?

Strictly speaking, a mattress topper isn’t necessary. However, it’s an extra you might want to consider.

What are the benefits of a mattress topper?

A topper can make your bed more comfortable without having to buy a whole new mattress. For example, if your bed is too firm, a mattress topper can make it feel softer. Or if your mattress is old, a topper can breathe new life into it until you can replace it.

A topper also adds another layer of protection to your mattress, and it makes it a little bit taller. Toppers usually range in height from about 1 to 4 inches.

Finally, some mattress toppers have special properties, like cooling or pressure relief.

What’s the best type of mattress topper?

You can find a bunch of different types of mattress toppers, including memory foam, latex, wool, down, and down alternative.

Memory foam toppers are best for people who want their bed to feel softer, or people who want pressure point relief.

However, if you don’t like the feeling of “sinking into” your bed, opt for a different type of topper, like springy latex or soft wool, down, or down alternative.

How do you put a mattress topper on your bed?

The mattress topper should go directly on top of your mattress. Some toppers will come with straps or ties to secure them under each corner.

Once your topper is on, you can put on your mattress protector (if you want) and your sheets.

What’s the difference between a mattress topper and a mattress protector?

A mattress topper is typically thicker than a mattress protector.

While a topper’s main function is to adjust the feel of your mattress, a protector’s main function is to keep your mattress clean. Some protectors are also waterproof.

Memory foam mattress toppers are a quick and easy way to stretch the longevity of your mattress or achieve a memory foam mattress feel at a lower cost.

Some research suggests that memory foam is ideal for those with back pain.

Choosing the right topper for you largely comes down to factors like personal preference, sleeping style, and budget.


Breanna Mona is a writer based in Cleveland, Ohio. She holds a master’s degree in media and journalism and writes about health, lifestyle, and entertainment.