Best Mattress Topper of 2021
The Molecule AirTEC Topper is the best investment of all models we tested, with an excellent balance of support and squishy comfort. Unlike most memory foam toppers, you stay on top without sinking in. It's also one of the coolest memory foam toppers we tested. It comes with a washable slip that's easy to throw straight into the washing machine for simple cleaning. Featuring three-levels of foam density, we think this is one of the most balanced toppers tested, earning it top marks and our highest accolades.
We scoured our brains for caveats, but it's hard to find in this high-quality option, aside from the upfront cost. Our testers overwhelmingly agreed that if you're searching for a long-term solution to make a mattress more comfortable and restful, this model is the right choice.
The LUCID 5 Zone Lavender is not just low-priced; it's also one of our favorites to sleep on. It features an ergonomic grid and a balanced foam density that doesn't feel too hard or soft. Our testers found themselves in comfort looking forward to a night's sleep after slipping it over a 10-year old, hard, test mattress. It provides an excellent level of support that contours the body but doesn't swallow you. You can easily turn and move, a beneficial point for those that tend to toss and turn. Many of our testers love the lavender scent that isn't overbearing and adds a nice scent to the room. The smell isn't overbearing either.
The few downsides of this mattress are its warmth and the fact that it can't be washed (no cover). It felt noticeably warmer than the cooler mattresses we tested, though we never overheated. We also note that not everyone will appreciate the lavender scent, though it didn't put off any of our testing team, male or female. This model is our clear favorite among the more affordable toppers in the test bunch.
If you're seeking a very supportive memory foam topper, the Tempur-Pedic Tempur Supreme is at the top of our list. When you first lay down on it, it feels extremely firm and almost stiff. After just a couple of seconds, the high-density foam gives in to support your body's curvature, while feeling softer and more comfortable. We appreciate that for its thickness, it feels cooler than other memory foam toppers and that it just feels nice. We tested it for two weeks with two people in the bed, and our testers claimed that they couldn't feel it when the other turned over at night. When performing specific tests like placing a glass of water on the bed, this model proved to reduce movement transference more than other products. It also comes with a washable cover.
While this topper might be a good choice for those that like a firmer feel, we found it difficult to turn or move after sinking into its high-density foam. One of our testers reports that she actually woke up trying to turn at night, on numerous occasions. We would only recommend this product to those that typically don't move much at night, and need a topper with a firmer feel and unwavering support that you sink into. For such sleepers, this model truly reigns supreme.
This high-quality wool topper stands out when it comes to thermoregulation. Adding the SnugFleece SnugSoft Elite Wool to a mattress provides a thin, cozy layer of cushioning with a lower level of support. On cold nights, it provides a little extra warmth, without being too hot when the temperature rises and the seasons change. We love the anchor straps and the in-between size that'll fit both a double and queen-sized mattress. What's more? You can simply throw it into the washing machine to wash the whole thing if it gets dirty.
Since this topper is only 1.5-inches thick, it's not going to mold to your body like memory foam. Don't expect a high level of support and excessive cushion. Additionally, for those allergic to true wool, this isn't the model for you. This is best for the shopper who wants a thin layer of wool cushioning with excellent thermoregulation throughout the seasons.
The The Duck and Goose Co. Overfilled Extra Thick is a topper filled with 14,000g/m2 of gel fiber, a synthetic alternative that isn't down fibers. It's said to be hypoallergenic. It offers a low to medium level of cushioning (2.5-inches). This ultra-plush option simulates a cloud-like sleep without too much support, making rolling or moving around easy. Additionally, the materials offer good regulation of temperature, adding warmth in cold weather without being too hot in the summer.
Like most other options built with the same materials, this product isn't as plush or supportive as high-quality memory foam. You can still feel a little of your mattress underneath, even with its higher level of cushioning. If you seek a down-alternative topper, this is the best one we've tested for its loft, easy anchor system, and value.
If you seek a higher-value memory foam mattress with a firm feel and soft, contouring support, you should consider the ViscoSoft Memory Foam. Similar to the high-performing TempurPedic, it feels firm when you first lay down, then transitions into soft and molded support. The price is right if you're looking for a topper that won't break the bank and will enhance the comfort of the mattress you already own.
While the value is hard to beat, the construction isn't very cooling and feels much warmer than a regular mattress. The moldable foam is a great choice for those that don't move around too much at night, but for tossers and turns, you might find it difficult to roll over as the foam almost literally sucks you in. For those that prefer a firmer level of support with extra cushion and the 'sinking in' feeling of memory foam, this one comes at a better price than the top-tiered options with almost the same performance.
The Linenspa Gel Infused Memory Foam is a super low-priced topper best for those that appreciate the soft and squishy feeling of 3-inches of lower density foam. While this wasn't our tester's favorite, we can appreciate the extra cushion and thought it was relatively comfortable. For our testing friends that prefer super soft bed surface, this is a definite favorite.
For those that prefer a little more support and a little less "squish" this probably isn't the best option simply because of its super soft design. We found this topper to be warmer than most tested as well, despite the claims that it helps to keep your sleep system cool. We also wish it came with a washable cover. For those that simply want a good deal and prefer a softer topper to those that are firm, take a gander.
The Zinus Swirl Gel stands out for its low price and fairly supportive design. It features an egg crate-shaped memory foam that feels quite firm and supportive with just the tiniest bit of give. We spent two weeks on it and only our testers that really preferred a firmer topper liked it a lot. Overall, it has some comfort features at a good price, specific to a given taste.
Out of the package, it smelled bad (a strong chemical smell). The scent eventually dissipated after three days of resting in a well-ventilated room. It also felt very warm to sleep on, with a hard eggshell design that poked into our tester's backs. This is far from the most comfortable for most, but those that appreciate a harder egg-crate-shaped topper will be very happy with the price.
If you're looking for just the smallest layer of extra cushioning, you should consider the Niagara Sleep Solutions Down Alternative Topper. This pillow-like fabric topper is great for those that might have allergies to true down and only want the slightest bit of cushioning added to their mattress. It's filled with polyester fill. It can easily be thrown into the washer and drawer and anchored to the bed with the use of thick straps, which is true to fit.
Unfortunately, this topper is a lot thinner than we thought it would be. When we put it onto our bed and laid down, we could hardly tell it was there. This is really only best for those that are seeking just the smallest amount of cushioning, or a topper that cleans up easily, with performance akin to a mattress protector.
If you're in the market for a latex topper, the Sleep on Latex Pure Green Natural Latex is a very soft and thick option to consider, at a good price for latex construction. It features a 3-inch construction that'll add lots of extra padding to any bed. The latex isn't super high density and squishes down easily, making it very soft. This will be loved by those that love squishy cushioning.
Unfortunately, this is our least favorite topper. First, the smell. Out of the packaging, it smells rubbery and synthetic which is very unappealing. Second, it's not very supportive. For the level of cushioning, the super low-density latex just squishes down, making it tough to turn at night. Third, it's noticeably hotter than any other topper we tested, even with all the holes for ventilation. In the world of toppers, this latex option comes with more caveats than others.
Why You Should Trust Us
This review is brought to you by expert tester and senior reviewer Amber King. She's been using mattress toppers for over 20 years on her own bed. Amber also asked friends to test toppers, to get more points of view on the subject. The mattress that we tested on is over ten years old, very hard, and was in serious need of an additional topper, making it a great test piece to see how each model improved our sleep and comfort each night.
Our selection for testing involved researching mattress toppers for over four hours, then selecting the best quality options on the market. We also looked to see which products offer the best value. After choosing ten options to test over a three-month period, we slept on each for at least two weeks, while collecting data on sleep quality, temperature, level of support, and overall comfort. We objectively measured topper thickness, compared material density, and performed movement transference tests. We even put a full glass of water on each and jumped on the bed to see if the water glass would tip over. After objectively testing and comparing all options, we offer our insights to help you find the one the best suits your needs.
Analysis and Test Results
We selected the best mattress toppers to test side-by-side. Our testing teams spend at least two weeks on each topper to truly experience all of its pros and cons. Each is rated across four important metrics including; comfort, support, movement transference, and cooling. Below we outline our key points so you have a good understanding of how each product compares to one another.
Comfort is king when it comes to sleep. Most likely you are buying a mattress topper that'll add additional comfort that your mattress alone isn't offering. We realize that people have different preferences when it comes to this arena, so we simply rated this based on the feedback we received from several testers after sleeping on it for weeks. The toppers that score the highest in this metric offer us the best nights of sleep, ideally not being too soft or too hard. In this section, we'll break down which toppers are more firm, soft, or a nice combination of both to help you figure out which will be the most comfortable for you.
If you're seeking a great middle-of-the-road option with extra cushioning that isn't too hard or too soft, the best options are the Molecule AirTEC Topper and LUCID 5 Zone Lavender. Both feature 2-inches of memory foam with a construction that isn't too hard or too soft. When laying down on either one, we notice that our bodies are well supported without sinking in too deep. The LUCID 5 Zone has several different patterned zones that offer ergonomic support, and feels a little softer, while the Molecule AirTEC has a flat surface that you lay atop of, that feels just the slightest bit firmer. We consider both to be the best balanced and middle-of-the-road options that will most likely appeal to most consumers out there.
If firm support is what you're after, the Tempur-Pedic Tempur Supreme and ViscoSoft Memory Foam are two to take a look at. When you first lay on either of these, the topper feels extremely firm, as both use a high-density foam. The Tempur-Pedic is more firm than the ViscoSoft. After about five seconds, you begin to sink into the foam, with it contouring exactly to your body. While some of our testers loved this feeling, others didn't like the feeling of being 'sucked inside' of the topper. As that happens, it is more difficult to roll around or turn, making both firm toppers better options for sound sleepers that don't move around much at night. It's notable to mention that the ViscoSoft and Tempur-Pedic Tempur Supreme have very similar performance, with the ViscoSoft being less expensive and the slightest bit softer.
If you're seeking thinner comfort, the The Duck and Goose Co. Overfilled Extra Thick and SnugFleece SnugSoft Elite Wool are two others to consider. The Duck and Goose is an down alternative option that offers just a little extra comfort to the mattress. Since neither are made from memory foam, you don't get that sinking in feeling, and instead only plush comfort under the body.
The support of a topper is defined as how well the topper can hold your body while contouring and supporting its dips and curves. A supportive topper that doesn't collapse under the weight of a sleeper does better in this metric than those that are softer and just simply compress. We found that the most supportive toppers are those with high-density memory foam with a little additional softness that contours and supports the body at the hips, legs, and back.
If you seek support, the best options are the ViscoSoft Memory Foam and Tempur-Pedic Tempur Supreme. Both offer a similar level of firm support while you sleep. Both do feel like they swallow you up once you settle onto the foam, but the foam density is a lot higher than most, with the Tempur-Pedic being the most supportive overall. The ViscoSoft is a little softer with lower-quality materials. Another to consider is the Zinus Swirl Gel that doesn't soften up when you lay on it, but maintains its rigidity. It is supportive, but not as comfortable as the other options, only conforming to some curves of the body.
The Molecule AirTEC Topper and LUCID 5 Zone Lavender are two others to consider. Instead of your body sinking way into the foam to find support, our bodies typically stayed higher on the topper without the sinking feeling. Both also have just enough squish to conform to your curves, making it feel supportive and comfortable. The material holds up and offers the same level of support from the time you lay down to the time you settle in. The Tempur-Pedic and ViscoSoft, on the other hand, will feel hard at first, then soften up as you sink into its full support.
If you have a partner that moves around at night, it's a nice convenience to have a mattress topper that helps to dampen that movement. Memory foam toppers that are thick with a higher density foam material help to dampen this effect, whereas down alternative toppers or super-soft latex construction don't offer any noticeable dampening.
To test this, we slept with two people on a topper and noted if rolling or movement disturbed the other person. We also performed a water glass test. In this test, we put a filled glass of water on the topper then pushed the mattress up and down, eventually getting closer to the glass. In some cases, we even jumped on the topper to see if the glass would tip or move. To ensure that it wasn't our mattress doing the work, we performed the same test on the mattress and compared our results. Those that kept the water from spilling were the top performers here.
The toppers that do the best through our tests are those made from a higher density foam. The Tempur-Pedic Tempur Supreme and ViscoSoft Memory Foam offer the best protection from movement. Both have a higher-density foam that feels relatively firm and holds its shape specifically in the area that it's being pushed down. The Tempur-Pedic supersedes the ViscoSoft as it has a harder density material and better quality construction. In our water tests, we actually jumped on the toppers. The Tempur-Pedic seemed to dampen this jump better than the ViscoSoft. Even after violently jumping on the bed, only a few drops spill from the jar.
Other supportive toppers like the LUCID 5 Zone Lavender and Molecule AirTEC Topper also do well in this metric. The Molecule AirTEC Topper seems to offer better performance, both in our water and bed partner tests. However, neither did as well as the Tempur-Pedic or ViscoSoft. The rest of the mattresses tested offered little to no movement transference with the thinner options doing the worst in this category.
Many mattress topper companies claim a topper will have a cooling effect. One thing to note is that none of the toppers we tested made the mattress cooler than it was without the topper added. The difference is only in how much additional warmth is brought to the system by adding the topper in. For this metric, we evaluate company claims, the architecture of the topper, and its actual performance during our sleep tests. It was amazing to see how some toppers truly were cooler than others, with the thinnest options winning out in this category.
The SnugFleece SnugSoft Elite Wool takes the cake in performance in this area, offering the best in thermoregulation. Never did our testers feel too hot or too cold, even on hot and cold days. We find that the wool insulates well and also releases heat when needed, giving it an excellent cooling factor. This is mostly attributed to the nature of wool as an excellent thermoregulator and its thinner nature.
The down-alternative options are next best in this pool of toppers. They are thinner, more breathable, and offer more warmth than just a traditional mattress, but aren't nearly as warm as other toppers. The Niagara Sleep Solutions Anchor Down Alternative Topper is the thinnest (0.5-inches) that isn't as warm as the thicker The Duck and Goose Co. Overfilled Extra Thick (2 inches). If sleeping cool is your priority and you want just a little extra cushion (but not too much), we'd recommend either of these options with the Duck and Goose being more comfortable.
Memory foam and latex, unsurprisingly, have the least ability to cool. There are contenders, however, that do better than others. For example; the Molecule AirTEC Topper and Tempur-Pedic Tempur Supreme are the most breathable with the Molecule AirTEC being the best. Both are made of dense foam with air channels for cooling.
Mattress topper hunting can be difficult, especially when you're doing it over the internet. You're in luck because we've done all the leg work, actually researching, ordering, and testing each option hands-on, just so we can save you both time and money by taking the guesswork out of buying online. After months of sleeping on all options for at least two weeks, we hope this review has helped point you in the right direction for your next mattress topper purchase.
— Amber King