When bedtime rolls around, aches and pains are the last things you want on your mind. Luckily, the right mattress topper can help to alleviate these and other ailments while you doze, creating a softer, more inviting bed in the process.
A poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that a comfortable bedroom — more specifically, a comfortable mattress, pillow, sheets, and room temperature — can greatly improve sleep quality. That’s good news, since failing to catch regular zzzs can negatively impact everything from your productivity and your memory to your judgment and your waistline.
A study by the University of California, Berkeley, for instance, showed that sleep deprivation is connected with brain degeneration and memory loss in older adults.
A separate study from the University of Colorado Boulder study explained that running on five hours of sleep a night caused study participants to consume an average of 6 percent more calories than their study counterparts, who slept for nine hours per night. “Just getting less sleep, by itself, is not going to lead to weight gain,” study leader and director of CU-Boulder’s Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory, Kenneth Wright, said. “But when people get insufficient sleep, it leads them to eat more than they actually need.”
When combined with the fact that a lack of sleep can also age your skin, dampen your mood, and even increase your risk of death through cardiovascular diseases, it becomes pretty clear that creating a good sleeping environment is essential to our wellbeing.
A mattress topper is the perfect place to start when creating a better sleeping environment, as it can breathe new life into older bedding with plenty of added comfort and support.
Mattress Pads vs. Mattress Toppers
While mattress covers work to protect your bed from allergens, microbes, dust mites, and pet dander, mattress toppers provide extra cushioning to a mattress — even more so than mattress pads, which are usually thinner and designed to attach to your bed like a fitted sheet.
Toppers are typically several inches thick and sit on top of your mattress. They’re made of a variety of materials, including cotton, memory foam, and latex, and range in size from twin to California king. You can also get them for cribs and children’s beds.
Choosing a Mattress Topper
In addition to your specific sleep needs (are you a stomach sleeper or a back sleeper?), you may want to take cleaning instructions into account when selecting the perfect topper. While some can be placed directly into a washing machine, others will need to be hand-cleaned with a mild detergent that’s suitable for delicate clothing. Typically, one part detergent to two parts warm water mixed in a spray bottle will provide the perfect solution to get your topper clean. Spray lightly with the mixture and gently hand wash it with a clean, dry cloth. Allow it to dry completely in a fully-ventilated area, as using the topper while damp can damage it.
Whether you suffer from chronic back pain or you are a side sleeper who needs to maintain a proper bedtime posture, there’s a mattress topper out there that will have you falling into a deep slumber in no time. Keep scrolling for FIRST for Women’s picks for the best mattress toppers you can purchase online.
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Best Mattress Topper for a Bad Back
PlushBeds Talalay Latex Topper
Where to buy: From $279 (Originally $379), PlushBeds
Those with back pain can finally experience luxurious slumber with the PlushBeds 100 percent natural Talalay latex topper. It's softer and more elastic than an average topper, optimizing it to relieve pressure points and absorb your body's shock movements as you sleep. Better yet, this mattress topper is handcrafted using specialized molds that you can feel good about sleeping on — it's free of chemical dyes, pesticides, bleach, carcinogenic adhesives, and chemical flame retardants. It's also an investment piece, with natural materials that make it resistant to deterioration.
Best Mattress Topper for Side Sleepers
LUCID Gel Memory Foam
Where to buy: $69.99, Amazon
This airy topper has a ventilated design for breathability and airflow and a gel-infused base that aids in temperature control as it captures heat. One happy side sleeper raved about her purchase, writing, "I have a [bulging] disc and ... my hip was throbbing daily. ... Now, I do not wake up with hip pain. ... This saved me hundreds of dollars and I'm sleeping better overall."
Best Firm Mattress Topper
Where to buy: From $191.99 (Originally $299), Tempur-Pedic
This 3-inch thick mattress topper is made from 100 percent TEMPUR-material, offering up a firm base for those who sleep best with sturdy support. It also comes with a removable, washable, dust mite and allergen-resistant cover that extends the life of your mattress.
One reviewer explained that the topper was the perfect solution for a family member's severe back problems, which were bad enough to cause leg numbness and pain. "Since we purchased this topper and placed it on the bed, the back pain has been reduced, the leg pain happens less frequently, and the sleep is better."
Best Mattress Topper for Hip Pain
PlushBeds Cool Bliss
Where to buy: From $189 (Originally $289), PlushBeds
PlushBeds' Cool Bliss gel memory foam option is the best mattress topper for hip pain — and other aching joints — because the gel memory foam is compressed, offering pressure-relief properties that provide greater support for your hips, shoulders, back, and knees.
As one happy shopper noted, its cooling properties also make it a great option for those who tend to run hot. "I bought this topper to help relieve shoulder and hip pain, as well as night sweats, caused [by] my menopause," she wrote. "I absolutely love it! It stays cool all night and has helped with the intensity of the hot flashes. I wake up without shoulder or hip pain. It's the perfect density and provides nice back support while feeling like you are sleeping in a cool cloud!"
Best Budget Mattress Topper
Linenspa Convoluted Gel Swirl Memory Foam
Where to buy: From $59.99, Amazon
Believe it or not, it is possible to get the luxe feel of a memory foam bed without breaking the bank. With prices starting at less than $60 for a twin 2-inch version, this convoluted topper is a total steal. The egg crate design of this mattress topper helps to create plenty of airflow and evenly distributes your body weight while you sleep.
Despite its affordable price tag, this best-selling Amazon boasts plenty of happy customers. "Worth every penny and then some," one reviewer wrote. "Only downside is that it is so comfortable you will have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning. Highly recommend! Great price too!"
Added another: "Nothing better than sleeping on a gel foam topper. Like sleeping on a cloud."
Best Mattress Topper With Straps
Where to buy: From $52.79 (Originally $65.99), Amazon
Made with a 100 percent down-alternative fill, SUFUEE's plush bedding will add a cloud-like appeal to any mattress and easily attaches to your bed with its included straps, which fit mattresses up to 18 inches deep and has moisture-wicking fabric, so you won't sweat while you sleep.
Best Thick Mattress Topper
Serta Dual Layer
Where to buy: From $789.99, Amazon
Get the best of both worlds when you sleep on this Serta dual layer mattress topper. It's got a 2-inch memory foam layer that provides comfort and support, plus a 2-inch pillow-top layer that makes your bed much plusher. It also includes a high-quality Egyptian cotton cover that is both removable and machine washable.
Best Memory Foam Mattress Topper
Where to buy: From $199 (Originally $299), PlushBeds
Available in a number of different sizes and densities, this memory foam topper fully adjusts to all of your curves and body movements as you slumber for maximum comfort Additionally, this cushy bed supplement is environmentally friendly, containing no fillers or toxic additives.
Best Organic Mattress Topper
Where to buy: From $649, Amazon
Made of organic cotton fabric and filling, this bedding is hypoallergenic and free of dangerous chemicals, the Naturepedic topper brings new meaning to the term "rest easy. It's got PLA (a plant-derived fiber made primarily from corn) batting, which offers absorption and easy washing, plus a deluxe coil system, which means pressure point relief and full-body contouring. It's a win-win!
Best Year Round Mattress Topper
PlushBeds Natural Luxury
Where to buy: From $499 (Originally $599), PlushBeds
When you want optimal comfort and relaxation every day of the year, this handmade eco-wool fill topper from PlushBeds is the way to go. Since wool fibers are natural temperature regulators, you'll stay warm during colder seasons and cool during those warmer months. Sweaty sleepers will also appreciate the fact that it wicks away moisture, while those with sensitive skin will appreciate material that's free of chemicals, dyes, and other harsh agents.
Best Gel Mattress Topper
ViscoSoft Ventilated Memory Foam
Where to buy: From $119.99 (Originally $199.99), Amazon
This thick, 3-inch topper is far heavier and denser than others in its category, making it an ideal choice for those with body aches. It has a ventilated design, which improves airflow, and comes with removable cover with adjustable straps as an added bonus. ViscoSoft also wants customers to be completely satisfied, so it includes a three-year limited warranty plus a 60-day full-refund money back guarantee should you be unhappy with your purchase.