How To Choose the Best Mattress Topper

mattress topper

Are you having a harder time falling asleep lately? You might be struggling with winter insomnia.

Winter seems like perfect for bundling up with a fluffy blanket and getting some much needed rest. However, while the steadily colder season is the time of hibernation and sleep for many animals, it can actually have the opposite effect for us humans.

A mattress topper might not fix an old, sagging mattress, but it may help fix your winter sleep problems. All you need to do is get the right one for you.

Read on for more helpful tips to help you find the best mattress topper to give you a deeper, more restful sleep — not only this winter but for all the seasons to come.

What Are Mattress Toppers?

Like its name suggests, a mattress topper is an additional layer placed on top of your mattress. It can be made of a variety of materials.

Toppers aren’t meant to replace your mattress. They have two main purposes: 

  1. To protect your mattress and prolong its lifespan
  2. To add extra padding and provide more comfort

Mattress toppers can do more than make your bed more comfortable, though. It can also offer better back support, pressure relief, and even temperature control. It all depends on the material and construction of the mattress topper.

Factors To Consider When Buying Mattress Toppers

The best mattress topper is a matter of individual preference and needs. This is a huge part of why finding the perfect mattress topper can be quite the challenge.

Still, there are a few ways to help make your search easier. Knowing what you want or need is just the first step. The next is understanding the pros and cons of various mattress toppers and their best qualities.

Below are some of the key factors and qualities to check for when searching for a mattress topper.

Topper Material

The first thing we need to consider is topper material. The topper’s composition or what it is made of directly affects its comfort, back support, pressure level, and price. 

Some of the most common topper materials are:

  • Memory foam
  • Egg-crate foam, polyfoam, and other foam
  • Latex
  • Fiber fills, such as wool and cotton
  • Down fill, like feathers

If you are looking for optimum back support and pain relief, we recommend going for memory foam toppers. This material is also great for winter insomnia and cold weather, since it has limited surface airflow and helps hold in body heat. 

If you are worrying about the summer heat, some memory foam manufacturers add graphite, cooling gel, and other materials to one side of the mattress topper to help address its heat trapping ability.

For budget-conscious buyers, other types of foam toppers are the best option. Although they’re not as dense and comfy as memory foam, the lack of heat trapping ability makes these toppers popular among those who live in warmer areas.

If your main concern is padding and comfort, but you have no need for added back support, you can choose between down or fiberfill. Down and feathers can be cheaper and trap in less heat. Meanwhile, wool and cotton offer a springy, breathable, semi-supportive layer but can come with a premium price tag.


Mattress toppers are usually available at around one to four inches thick. In general, a two-inch thick topper is the minimum for comfortable and restful sleep. 

Individuals looking for more back support generally opt for thicker yet soft toppers. A four-inch topper offers significant support. If you are worried about the mattress being too firm, go for conformable materials like memory foam or fiberfill.

The thicker the mattress topper, the more support it offers. However, the thicker it is, the harder it can be to find ready-made sheets for your bed.

However, if your main purpose for buying a topper is to protect your mattress against spills and stains, then thinner ones would suffice.

Take note that regular use will slowly flatten the topper. As such, buying a thicker mattress topper also adds to its lifespan and overall usability.

Denseness or Firmness Level

Thickness does not guarantee the firmness level or density of your mattress topper. A four-inch, low density topper can still provide less support compared to a two-inch, medium or high-density topper.

How dense or firm your mattress topper should be depends on three things: your preference, your body type, and your usual sleeping position.

If you weigh anywhere below 130 pounds or often sleep on your side, then it’s best to buy a softer mattress topper. Look for ones that have a density of around three to four pounds per cubic feet.

Avoid super soft toppers, though. The goal of getting a softer mattress topper is to ensure your body can sink enough that your spine, neck, and head remain properly aligned even while on your side.

If you often sleep on your back or weigh on the heavier side of the scale (over 230 pounds), it’s best to get an extra firm or dense mattress topper. High density toppers usually measure around six pounds per cubic feet. These would give you stronger overall support, especially for your upper and lower back.

A high-density yet contouring memory foam topper is one of the best options to get. The material offers extra support while also allowing following the curve of your spine.

Extra Features To Fit Your Needs

These are all a matter of personal preference, health, and sleeping style. What do you need to ensure an uninterrupted night’s sleep? What things irritate you when you lie in bed or make it harder for you to get some shuteye?

Some extra features you may want to look into include:

  • Cooling features: This is especially important if you’re getting a memory foam topper or live in warmer climates. Consider choosing a gel memory foam mattress topper or one that has a cooling gel side.
  • Breathable cover: It’s not just the foam material that’s important — make sure to check the mattress topper cover, too. More breathable materials like cotton also helps regulate body temperature at night.
  • Stay-put features: Even if you’ve found the best mattress topper, having it slip and slide all through the night can bring down your overall sleep experience. If you tend to move around in your sleep, make sure your topper has extra features like elastic bands or deep pockets to keep it in place.
  • Hypoallergenic material: If you have allergies, make sure to check that all the materials used to make the mattress topper are hypoallergenic. It’s also best to ensure they are naturally resistant — or at least safely treated to be resistant — to mildew and dust mites.

Sleep Better With a Mattress Topper

Investing in a high-quality mattress topper might not be the first thing you think of when you’re addressing sleep issues, but it can be your ticket to relaxing slumber. It can drastically improve both your overall sleep experience and back health — not only during wintertime but for all other seasons as well.

Start your search for the perfect mattress topper with these tips today and get the deep, restful sleep you deserve.