The best mattress toppers 2023: 11 affordable ways to upgrade your bed

best mattress toppers: Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Adapt Mattress Topper
(Image credit: Tempur-Pedic)

Finding one of the best mattress toppers can be a really cost-effective way to upgrade your bed and improve your sleep, without having to go the trouble and expense of buying one of the best mattresses.

If your current mattress isn't really doing it for you any more, a good mattress topper might be all you need to make it feel more comfortable and supportive, giving it a few more years' life before you have to replace it. You can also use a mattress topper to adjust the feel of your bed more subtly; you might want to make it a little softer or firmer, or add some memory foam hug to a traditional innerspring bed.

Don't confuse mattress toppers with mattress protectors, which are much thinner and all about protecting your bed from stains and spills, or mattress pads; our mattress pad vs mattress topper guide can explain the differences on that front.

Below, we've gathered together a selection of the best mattress toppers available now, for a range of different budgets and needs. Read on to discover the best options available now.

The best mattress toppers 2023: as chosen by experts

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Why buy a mattress topper?

They may not look like much at first glance, but a good mattress topper can make an instant difference to your sleep comfort. They are often much, much cheaper than buying a new mattress, plus they couldn’t be easier to use. In most cases, you simply need to unseal them from their vacuum packed plastic covering, then pop them on top of your mattress to let them fully inflate. Some do so within minutes while others take hours – always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Other benefits of a mattress topper include:

  • Increased comfort or softness for firmer beds
  • Increased firmness and support for softer beds
  • They help extend the lifespan of a middle-age mattress
  • They help you break in a new mattress
  • They quickly boost the comfort of a guest bed
  • Most toppers can also be used on sleeper sofas

There are plenty of reasons to buy a mattress topper, especially if the comfort and support of your existing bed isn’t quite right for your body or sleeping position. Tell-tale signs include pressure point pain (hips, shoulders, back), or if you’re waking up feeling stiff, sore and bent out of shape. Let’s discuss this further in our next Q&A…

Are mattress toppers worth it?

The answer to this question depends on the age and state of your current mattress. If it’s more than six years old, then a good mattress topper could boost its comfort or support in the final year or two of its life until you have the budget to buy a new bed. But if it’s older, and providing you don’t have a luxury natural mattress with a longer lifespan, then it’s unlikely to be giving you the spinal support and pressure relief you need. Therefore, a mattress topper won’t cut it – you need a new mattress. 

Not even the best mattress topper can save a sagging bed either. However, there are definitely instances where mattress toppers are worth it and then some. For example, if you have a new mattress that’s still too firm for your body and sleep style, then the right mattress topper can add lashings of extra comfort while you break in your new bed. 

If you enjoy the feeling of being hugged during sleep, a memory foam topper is your best bet. These contour the body and dish out maximum pressure relief, easing sore joints that are otherwise aggravated when you lie down. Tempur-Pedic has its own NASA-developed material called Tempur, and this is widely recognized as one of the best for easing sore joints and reducing pressure on impact points (hips, back, etc).

Mattress toppers are also worth it if you want to make a soft mattress firmer. You’ll need a thicker bed topper for this job, and ideally one made from latex or an equally firmer material. But remember, if your bed is sagging, a topper won’t save it. 

A good mattress topper can also make a world of difference to the comfort of your sleeper sofa, especially if yours is flimsy. Just check the weight  capacity of your sleeper sofa and the dimensions of the mattress area before you buy a new topper for it.