With the best mattress toppers you dramatically increase the lifespan of that bumpy old mattress that's keeping you up at night. A topper is a thick layer that sits on top of your existing mattress, and is usually kept in place with elastic straps. They come in a variety of materials, from memory foam and even springs through to feathers and synthetic stuffing. They're also not to be confused with the best mattress protectors, which are thinner layers that simply shield your mattress from spills and stains, and aren't designed to change the feel of the sleep surface.
If your old mattress simply isn't just right, choosing a suitable mattress protector can get it back into the Goldilocks zone. Whether you want to firm up an unpleasantly soft mattress or give the feel of the best memory foam mattresses to an old spring model, a mattress topper is the ideal solution, and can save you having to go out and spend a lot more on a whole new model – today's best mattresses can be pricey.
They're also a great option for those renting furnished houses, or students heading into halls, as a way of upgrading the provided mattress and avoiding having to lay on a mattress that however many others have spent the night on (head to our back to school guide for more student essentials).
There are plenty of mattress toppers on the market, and as their manufacturers really want your custom you'll find that there's almost always a deal to be had. To save you lots of looking around, we've reviewed the best mattress toppers in terms of both quality and value, in one handy post. The price widgets accompanying each entry will automatically pull in the cheapest options.
Finally, if you're on the fence about whether a new mattress entirely might be a better idea, head to our best cheap mattress deals – it might not cost as much as you'd thought.
The best mattress toppers 2021, ranked
The Eve mattress topper is designed to add a luxurious layer of comfort to your mattress. Beyond that, it also provides a generous helping of support. It’s made from 5cm of the same foam found in the company’s original mattress: there’s a 2cm open cell comfort layer, and a 3cm base foam layer for increased support. It also comes with a hypoallergenic, removable and machine-washable 100% polyester cover, which acts to increase its life.
This mattress topper comes with straps at both ends that hug your mattress, keeping it firmly in position as you sleep. The foam regulates your sleeping temperature, so you’ll stay cool throughout the night. It also serves to reduce motion transfer, which means you’ll notice less partner disturbance throughout the night. And its very breathable – in fact, Eve claims it’s around 30 times more breathable than traditional memory foam. This is an expensive option compared to other products on this list. But overall we think it's the best mattress topper you can buy – head to our Eve mattress topper review to find out more. Or check out our Eve vs Panda mattress topper comparison to see how it compares to a softer, cheaper memory foam option.
The Simba Hybrid mattress topper is almost like a mini-mattress in itself. This complex model includes four separate layers: a breathable top cover, a layer of synthetic latex, a layer of mini 20mm conical springs (in a polyester pocket), and a layer of zoned foam (called 'Simba-Pure'). There's also an anti-slip base to keep it securely in place on your bed. It's on the chunky side but not ridiculously thick at 7cm. It's (understandably) pricey, there's always a chance you might be able to snag a Simba discount code to knock a bit off. Also note that this topper uses a lot of the same materials you'll find in Simba's mattresses (see our five-star Simba Hybrid Pro review for more on that) – so this could be a way of getting all that expertise for a much lower price than a whole new mattress. Want all the details? Take a look at our Simba Hybrid topper review.
If you’re looking for a medium-firm mattress topper, here’s a design we’d highly recommend; especially if you tend to overheat at night. Soak and Sleep’s Ultimate Soft as Down with Silk Mattress Topper is filled with hollowfibre for a high level of comfort, while the top layer of breathable silk helps regulate your temperature as you sleep. Not to mention the generous 7cm thickness (ideal for masking lumps and bumps in an old mattress), a layer of mulberry silk inside to draw out moisture, and a 262 thread count-cotton casing. Head to our Soak&Sleep Soft as Down with Silk Mattress Topper review for more details.
If you want a mattress topper to keep you warm and snuggly when winter rolls around, then go for this Hungarian Goose Down Mattress Topper. It is extremely soft as well as supportive so it will help prolong the life of your mattress whilst bringing the added benefit of a bit of extra comfort. You can tighten or loosen this mattress topper with its adjustable buttons, meaning that you can have it nice and taught if you like a firmer mattress, or have it looser if you like a softer sleeping foundation. That's a great feature for anyone worried that adding a mattress topper to your bed might negate the benefits of your carefully selected mattress. As an added bonus, the top layer is easily removable and machine washable. When you first get this mattress, give it time to air out and plump it up, as the feathers can become compressed when packaged.
The Panda Topper is ideal for those who like a softer sleep surface. The memory foam that fills this 5cm-thick mattress topper moulds to your body, making it good if you suffer with pain in your back, neck or joints. This filling is contained within a removable, washable and naturally hypoallergenic cover that’s made from bamboo, so it's good for allergy sufferers too. The foam is also punctuated with tiny capsules of cooling gel that should help prevent you overheating throughout the night (in practice, it still traps heat a little). Finally, straps and an anti-slip layer keep you secure, even if you move around a lot in your sleep. All this, plus a generous 10-year guarantee, make this a very tempting buy indeed. Head to our Panda mattress topper review for more info, or see how it matches up against to our #1 pick in our Eve Topper vs Panda mattress topper comparison.
If you want to explore memory foam without shelling out a fortune, the Silentnight Impress could be the best mattress topper for you. Add it onto a spring mattress and this topper will mould to your shape to relieve any pressure on the muscles and deliver a soothing night’s sleep. It's available as a thinner 2.5cm or chunky 5cm version, and if you're worried about things getting too spongy, we'd recommend the former. This is cheaper than the other memory foam entries on our list, and some reviewers have had issues with it not lying quite flat. Also note that while it's listed as machine washable, this refers to the top cover that stretches over the foam layer.
If you tend to blow hot and cold in the night, a mattress topper made of wool is a great way to go... and here’s the best one we know of. The Wool Room’s Deluxe Wool Mattress Topper is hand-crafted from 1000gsm of ethically-sourced British wool, combined with an organic cotton outer cover, for a feeling of luxury and comfort. Sustainable, renewable and biodegradable, this natural fibre provides a safe and reliable way to regulate temperature, and has anti-allergy properties to boot. All in all, a quality product from a firm known for its excellent customer service.
How to find the best mattress topper
What do you need to consider when choosing a mattress topper? First look at what's inside it. As with pillows, mattress toppers come with a range of fillings. Memory foam toppers work well if you want something to mould to your body and provide custom support and pressure-relief. Synthetic fillings such as polyester, polyurethane and latex can be a great option if you suffer from allergies (although almost all of the best mattress toppers will offer a hypoallergenic certification).
It's also about the level of comfort you're looking for. How firm your mattress should be depends partly on how you like to sleep – if you're lying on your back sleeper, you might want something firmer to support you under your hips and shoulders, while if you lie on your side, you might want a softer surface to avoid achy shoulders – but it's also a matter of personal preference.
Finally, think about how thick you want your topper to be. To cover up rogue springs, the best mattress topper will be nice and thick – but go too deep and you might need to buy new sheets to fit. Now read on to discover the best mattress toppers to help you upgrade your sleep.