How to choose a mattress topper for every type of sleeper

Bedding

A quality mattress topper can make up for a mattress that’s too soft or too firm to meet your needs.

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Picking the right mattress topper for you

Mattress toppers can help you get better quality sleep when your mattress is worn, too firm or doesn’t offer enough support, but you don’t have the budget for a whole new mattress. The right mattress topper for you will vary depending on what type of sleeper you are.

While side sleepers need fairly soft mattresses to avoid pressure points, back sleepers need firmer mattresses to offer even support. Once you learn how to choose a mattress topper for your type of sleeping patterns, you can more easily pick the best option for you and sleep more soundly.

How to choose a mattress topper for side sleepers

People who primarily sleep on their sides at night put pressure on their shoulders and hips, and can wake up with a dead arm or joint pain. Choosing the right mattress topper will diffuse the pressure and results in a more comfortable night’s sleep. For more details, check out BestReviews’s full guide to mattress toppers

What to look for in mattress toppers for side sleepers

When buying a mattress topper for side sleepers, you want a fairly soft option that the sleeper will sink into to avoid too much pressure on the arm, shoulder and hip. Memory foam is a great choice as it’s designed to relieve pressure points, though some buyers like a soft down alternative if their mattress offers adequate support. On the firmness scale, look for soft or medium-soft options. 

Soft mattress toppers may not be supportive enough for some users. If the mattress below is supportive and still in good shape, however, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

Best mattress toppers for side sleepers

Lucid Dream Collection Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Lucid Dream Collection Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Measuring 4 inches thick, this topper provides plenty of padding for side sleepers to sink into. It’s made from memory foam to help relieve pressure points. 

Where to buy: Sold by Bed Bath and Beyond

Lucid Down Alternative and Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Lucid Down Alternative and Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper

This mattress topper combines a pressure-relieving memory foam base with a pillowy down alternative top for sleepers to sink deep into. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

How to choose a mattress topper for back sleepers

Individuals who sleep on their back need plenty of support for their back, neck and shoulders. Mattresses or mattress toppers that aren’t supportive enough can lead to pain on waking, especially in the lower back. Luckily, back sleepers’ weight is more spread out, so they don’t tend to experience pain from pressure points or numbness in the arms. 

What to look for in mattress toppers for back sleepers

Back sleepers need plenty of support in heaviest parts of the body — generally the midsection — so they need mattress toppers that are medium-firm to firm. Down alternative pillow top mattress toppers simply don’t offer enough support. Memory foam, latex foam or gel foam are all good options. Latex foam and gel foam are better than standard memory foam for anyone who tends to sleep hot. 

Best mattress toppers for back sleepers

Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR Supreme Medium Firm Mattress Topper

Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR Supreme Medium Firm Mattress Topper

Tempur-Pedic is one of the biggest names in memory foam mattresses, and this topper is of the quality you’d expect from the brand. Despite being medium-firm, it’s extremely soft and comfortable to sleep on. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Bed Bath and Beyond

Novilla 4 Inch Foam Mattress Topper

Novilla 4 Inch Foam Mattress Topper

The medium-firm density makes this an ideal choice for anyone who sleeps on their back, with twin to king options. You can choose between 2, 3 and 4 inch thicknesses, depending on how much extra padding you require. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

How to choose a mattress topper for front sleepers

Although you might think that front sleepers need a soft mattress that they can sink into, people who sleep on their stomachs actually need plenty of support. Without ample support, the pelvis and hips will sink into the mattress topper and cause the spine to curve while sleeping. This kind of improper spinal alignment can lead to back pain and more serious back problems over time. 

What to look for in mattress toppers for front sleepers

Front sleepers should opt for either firm mattress toppers or toppers on the denser end of medium-firm. Down alternative mattress toppers don’t offer anywhere near the amount of support front sleepers need, so look for any type of foam mattress. Stomach sleepers can feel too hot at night, because the whole front of the body is in contact with the mattress. Gel foam or latex foam mattress toppers may be a better choice, as these sleep cooler than standard memory foam. 

Best mattress toppers for front sleepers

BedStory Memory Foam Mattress Topper

BedStory Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Front sleepers will do well with the 4 inch version of this memory foam topper, which is medium-firm to firm, while the thinner alternatives are softer. It’s also gel infused for a cooler sleep.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Pure Green Firm Natural Latex Mattress Topper

Pure Green Firm Natural Latex Mattress Topper

Not only is this topper firm, offering optimal support, it’s also made from natural latex, which is cooler to sleep on than memory foam. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

How to choose a mattress topper for combination sleepers

Combination sleepers shift between various sleeping positions during the night. You might also want to choose a mattress topper for combination sleepers if you share a bed with a partner who has a different sleeping position from you. Unfortunately, there isn’t a single mattress topper that can perfectly meet the needs of a combination sleeper, so it’s a case of finding a happy medium.

What to look for in mattress toppers for combination sleepers

The ideal mattress topper for combination sleepers is one of medium firmness. It will provide a decent amount of support while sleepers are on their backs or front but has enough give to avoid pressure points while side sleeping. If you sleep on your front more often than side, try a medium-firm mattress. This offers more support for front sleeping, though it can feel overly firm for side sleeping. It’s best to sacrifice some softness for support in this case in order to avoid possible back problems from lack of support. 

Best mattress toppers for combination sleepers

Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Adapt + Cooling Mattress Topper

Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Adapt + Cooling Mattress Topper

This premium medium-firm mattress topper with a cooling cover to help anyone who tends to sleep hot is an extremely comfortable choice worth the investment. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Linenspa 2 Inch Gel Infused Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Linenspa 2 Inch Gel Infused Memory Foam Mattress Topper

This affordable medium mattress topper is great for buyers on a budget. A range of sizes are available in 2-inch and 3-inch options. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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