Mattress toppers: 8 best to soften and protect your mattress for a better night's sleep

Finding the best mattress topper is the perfect way to improve your night’s sleep without buying a brand new mattress. From gel infused to latex mattress toppers... say goodbye to restless nights and achy joints

The best mattress topper

The best mattress topper for your bed can really come into its own when you don't want to buy a brand new mattress or are on a budget, but do want to soften your unforgiving mattress and banish those fidgety nights and mornings when you wake up with joint pain. 

Good mattress toppers will not only add an extra layer of cushioning to help you sleep easy at night without the spend needed for a new mattress, they'll protect your mattress, too. We've reviewed the best mattress toppers to save you the legwork – find our top picks below. And if you need more guidance, jump to the end of this feature for tips on how to buy the best mattress topper; we also discuss the materials they're made from to give you further buying know-how.

Got your eye on another mattress purchase? Head to our guide of the best mattresses. And don't miss our pick of the best cheap mattress deals right now to grab a bargain. 

What is the best mattress topper?

Panda The Topper is our top pick of mattress toppers. It's a gel-infused memory foam mattress with an added layer of gel designed to improve comfort, and to ensure you keep cool throughout the night. Read on for more about this mattress topper and to see the rest of our top picks.

If you're looking for more mattress topper choice, don't miss our pick of the best waterproof mattress toppers and best memory foam mattress toppers, too.

THE BEST MATTRESS TOPPERS

The best mattress topper for side sleepers

1. Panda The Topper

The best mattress topper for back pain: medium support with a gel layer for a cooling effect

Specifications
Best for: Support
Sizes: Single-super king
Thickness: 5cm
Type: Gel infused memory foam
Reasons to buy
+ Cooling gel layer+ Straps and anti-slip+ Washable
Reasons to avoid
- Pricey

Topping our list, and for great reasons, is Panda The Topper.

What's so good about it?

This is a gel-infused memory foam mattress of 5cm thickness – and it's the gel that does the magic. This added layer is designed to improve comfort, making it ideal for those who suffer from back and neck pain, because it moulds to your body's shape, just like a memory foam mattress would, relieving joint pressure, especially when you sleep on your side. However, this gel is also designed to ensure you keep cool throughout the night. Not more hot nights for sweaty sleepers.

Better still? It's an eco-friendly buy. Another bonus is that it's also anti-slip, with straps that attach to your mattress to ensure it doesn't move around. If you've ever had a mattress topper without this anti-slip feature, you'll know that it's a useful addition. Sleepless nights? Never again.

Motion transfer from a fidgety partner?

With these materials, it's absolutely minimal.

Ease of cleaning

The Panda features a machine washable bamboo cover, which is hypoallergenic and antibacterial, so it will stay cleaner and fresher for longer. 

See all our best memory foam mattress toppers in our buyer's guide.

Best hybrid mattress topper for side sleepers: Simba mattress topper

2. Simba mattress topper

Best hybrid mattress topper: Simba fans, step forward

Specifications
Best for: All-round support
Sizes: Single-super king
Thickness: 5cm
Type: Hybrid
Reasons to buy
+Good support+Breathability+No-slip straps
Reasons to avoid
-Mattress topper cover fixed-No handles for easy transportation

We're big fans of the Simba mattress (read our review of it in full), so were intrigued to try the Simba mattress topper. Good news is, we like it. 

What's so good about it?

The 5cm deep combination of latex, foam and springs gives you tons of support (it's designed to 'hug' your body) and more bounce than you get from a memory foam mattress topper. That said, motion transfer from a fidgety partner is minimal, just as you'd expect from a memory foam mattress. 

Does its breathability live up to the hype? Yes and no. Two of us tested this topper: one of us (the sweaty sleeper) found we were just as hot as usual; the other (the non-sweaty sleeper) enjoyed its breathability. Just goes to show that sometimes even a breathable mattress can't help those who get hot at night (in which case, mattress cooling pads are an option). 

What else? The anti-slip base and wriggle-free straps mean the topper doesn't move when you sleep. And as we've said, this is a bonus. 

Ease of cleaning

Again, the cover won't come off, so get a mattress protector to prolong its life – check our list of the best.

Silentnight Impress 5 cm Memory Foam Mattress Topper

3. Silentnight Impress 5cm memory foam mattress topper

Best budget mattress topper: recommended by medical professionals, this topper is great for those aching joints

Specifications
Best for: Aches and pains
Sizes: Double-super king
Thickness: 5cm
Type: Memory foam
Reasons to buy
+ Moulds to the contours of your body+ Good value
Reasons to avoid
-Not available in a single-No straps

If you suffer from an injury or chronic pain in your back, neck or shoulders, then this Silentnight Impress memory foam mattress topper could provide the relief you need. 

What's so good about it?

Another 5cm thick memory foam mattress topper, this one has been recommended by doctors and chiropractors for reducing pressure on points in the spine to help prevent and reduce existing aches and pains. That said, we can't see that it's any better than our top three picks. 

That said, it's a memory foam mattress topper with all the upsides you'd expect: reactive, body-moulding contouring, allergy-friendliness, lack of motion transfer from your partner's nightly shifting. 

The other upside? It's the cheapest on our list, so if you're on a budget – or perhaps just want to add an extra layer of comfort to a firm spare bed, it's a good bet. The downside? There are no straps to attach it to your mattress, so if you're a fidget, expect to have to move it back into position come morning. 

Ease of cleaning

It has a removable cover which is easy to machine wash to keep this topper fresh.

Read our review of the Silentnight Mirapocket Eco Comfort Breathe 2000 (firm), too.

Yanis Latex Plus

4. Yanis Latex Plus

Best latex mattress topper: it’s hypoallergenic and breathable, too

Specifications
Best for: Thickness
Sizes: Single-Super king
Thickness: 8cm
Type: Latex
Reasons to buy
+Washable cover+Allergy friendly
Reasons to avoid
-  No straps to hold in place

If you suffer from allergies and joint pain, this Yanis Latex Plus mattress topper is a good choice. 

What's so good about it?

Latex is one of the most popular types of mattress materials because it provides a similar comfort and support levels to memory foam but it is fully breathable and hypoallergenic. For the uninitiated, the natural properties of latex mean that dust mites and bacteria are much less likely to take hold. And for this reason, it's a popular pick for allergy sufferers – and us. 

At 5cm thick, it's in line with the majority of the best mattress toppers for side sleepers.  

Ease of cleaning

The super soft Tencel-Purotex cover zips off for easy washing.

Check out the best latex mattresses for allergy sufferers.

Slumberdown Airstream Memory Fibre Mattress Topper

5. Slumberdown Airstream Memory Fibre Mattress Topper

Best mattress topper from Argos: increased airflow so you can breathe easy at night

Specifications
Best for: Increased airflow
Sizes: Single-king
Thickness: 4.5cm
Type: Memory Fibre
Reasons to buy
+ Good value+ Comes with case to transport + Straps to attach to mattress
Reasons to avoid
-Thinner than most

Get the best of both worlds with this Slumberdown Airstream Memory Fibre Mattress Topper increased airflow mattress topper.

What's so good about it?

Older memory foam mattress toppers tended, like their mattress bedfellows, to be hot to sleep on. Modern memory foam has breathability built in – this is always something worth double-checking when you're shopping. 

This one, as you'd hope, has all the comfort of memory foam – its springy surface allows for optimum comfort, especially for those who toss and turn in the night – but is specially designed to keep you cool at night. Great if you're a sweaty sleeper. 

Its other upsides? It's cheaper than most of our other picks by some way and has straps to stop it moving on the mattress in the night. And, although thinner (by just 0.5cm), it does come with a case, so can be taken with you on trips away if you struggle to sleep in any bed but your own (room allowing in the car).

Ease of cleaning

The cover is machine washable at 40ºC.

Eve White premium memory foam mattress topper for side sleepers

6. Eve mattress topper

Best memory foam mattress topper: a pure memory foam topper for luxury softness

Specifications
Best for: Luxury
Sizes: Single-super king
Thickness: 5cm
Type: Memory foam
Reasons to buy
+ Hypoallergenic+ Handles, so easy to transport/store+ Straps to attach to mattress
Reasons to avoid
-Mattress topper cover fixed 

If your daydreams are filled with the thought of sinking into a cosy bed at night, then the Eve memory foam topper is the one for you. 

What's so good about it?

Like our top pick the Eve memory foam mattress topper is 5cm thick. And, like our top pick, its memory foam make up means it can transform a firm, unwelcoming mattress into a luxurious, sink-in-able sleep surface. 

Those who are often restless, perhaps because they suffer from hip, shoulder or neck pain on a firmer mattress, will find that this memory foam mattress topper will mould to their body shape and sleeping position, resulting in a sounder night's sleep. That said, don't be fooled into thinking a memory foam mattress topper is soft – as we said above, it will mould to your shape to give you a supportive sleep; in other words, it's not soft, but forgiving.

What else to like? Like other memory foam mattresses and toppers, this one is hypo-allergenic. And, although entirely made from memory foam, which is often associated with a sweaty night's sleep, this topper has an open cell structure to make it breathable, so you won’t get too hot at night. 

Ease of cleaning

The topper's knitted cover is made from a soft, two-way stretch polyester. Get a mattress protector as the cover is not removable. 

For more info, read our Eve mattress review, too. Or, see all our favourite reviewed memory foam mattress toppers.

Best mattress topper for side sleepers for medium firm mattresses: Dormeo Renew Memory Mattress Topper

7. Dormeo Renew memory mattress topper

Best mattress topper for side sleepers for medium firm mattresses: this antibacterial mattress topper will keep your sleeping space fresh

Specifications
Best for: Hygiene
Sizes: Single-super king
Thickness: 5cm
Type: Memory foam
Reasons to buy
+ Moulds to your body shape + Hygienic
Reasons to avoid
-Not as deep as other mattress toppers-No straps to hold onto the mattress

This Dormeo Renew memory foam mattress topper is the thinnest on our list but don't dismiss it out of hand. 

What's so good about it?

This might be the thinnest mattress topper for side sleepers on our list at just 3.5cm deep, but its medium to soft memory foam make up will still noticeably soften and improve a mattress that's getting older or one that is medium to firm, but still too hard for your preferences. That said, for softening a very firm mattress, we'd look at a deeper topper. 

What else? Like other memory foam mattresses, it's antibacterial and has anti-odour properties, so it will stay fresh for longer. Plus, it's a good buy for allergy sufferers, since the memory foam filling discourages dust mites.   

Ease of cleaning

The cover is made of a soft plush material and is removable and washable. 

Read our Dormeo S Plus mattress review, too.

Feather and down mattress topper by John Lewis

(Image credit: John Lewis)

8. John Lewis & Partners Natural Goose Down Mattress Topper

Best feather and down mattress topper: love a natural filling – this one's for you

Specifications
Best for: Feather and down lovers
Sizes: Single-double
Thickness: 5cm
Type: Feather and goose down
Reasons to buy
+Empty List
Reasons to avoid
-Empty List

This John Lewis & Partners Natural Goose Down Mattress Topper is a sumptuous dual-layer mattress topper that has a 70 per cent soft goose down and 30 per cent feather top for comfort, and a firm, 100 per cent fine feather base for support.

What's so good about it?

Not everyone loves memory foam and the like, so if you're after the best mattress topper that's made from feathers and down, this is the one. What's the difference? Down and feather mattress toppers tend to feel cloud like when you lie on them but will flatten during the night, meaning they'll need fluffing up in the morning. So, while they won't necessarily suit back pain sufferers, they will make very firm mattresses feel just that bit more welcoming.

This mattress topper comes with some adjustability: you can tighten or loosen it with its adjustable buttons – so it can be firmer or softer, depending on your preference. 

Let's talk allergies, which can put some off these mattress topper types. This one's fillings are washed and dried at high temperatures, then sealed in a tightly woven fabric cover to act as a barrier against dust mites. 

As for animal welfare worries, the down and feather is sourced only as a by-product to ensure high standards of animal welfare.

What else to note? This mattress topper isn't recommended for use with an electric blanket. 

Ease of cleaning

Meanwhile, the top layer of this mattress topper can be separated from the base layer for easy washing at up to 60°C. It can also be tumble dried on low heat setting but not dry cleaned.

How to buy the best mattress topper

Ikea mattress toppers: why buy?

There's a range of Ikea mattress toppers to choose from – from basic foam pads at 3.5cm deep to thicker foam (5cm deep) and more luxurious latex (6cm), memory foam (8cm) and latex and wool (7cm deep). You might think they'd be cheaper than our other picks but they're competitively priced and some are more expensive than our list of the best mattress toppers. However, if you have an Ikea mattress already, you can be sure that they'll fit your mattress size perfectly. So, either shop around above, checking sizes carefully (an Ikea mattress doesn't always match up to standard sizes), or shop at Ikea knowing that you might get a better price elsewhere.

Thickness

The first thing to look out for in a mattress topper is thickness, particularly if you sleep on your side: the deeper the topper, the better, as it will cope amply with pressure points, such as hips and shoulders, and relieve any tension you may feel during the night. 

Around 5cm is the average, but The Yanis Latex Plus mattress topper is one of the thickest on our list, coming in at 8cm if you want total luxury. 

The mattress topper material

Mattress toppers come in a wide range of materials, but those made from memory foam or latex, or hybrid mattress toppers are best for combatting back pain and offering relief from the pressure firmer mattresses place on joints. See more on materials, below.

Will your partner like it?

What if you share a bed with someone who doesn't share your need for a softer mattress? These best mattress toppers don't let you sink too deeply; instead, they're supportive, contouring to your body's shape. So they should suit your partner perfectly, too, whether they sleep on their back or sides. Front sleepers should get along with them, but might need to swap out their current pillows for flatter ones. See all our best pillow picks – there's something there for everyone, whatever their sleep position.

How it sits on the mattress

Another thing to consider is how well it will sit on your bed, as you don't want it sliding off while you sleep. Consider one which is anti-slip or has a band fitting. 

Easy to clean?

You'll also want to ensure it's washable, for those times you spill a drink, or even just for when you're spring cleaning the house. You can find out more about cleaning a mattress (or topper) in our guide.

What materials are the best mattress toppers made from?

Mattress toppers are available with a range of different materials inside, so you can make your bed as firm or as soft as you want, while spending as much or as little as you'd like. As we said below, the best mattress toppers for side sleepers or anyone suffering from joint pain are made from memory foam or latex – although hybrid mattress toppers are now available, too (think Simba). 

These mattress toppers suit side and back sleepers best, or anyone with joint pain or who prefers a medium to soft sleep surface:

  • Memory foam: probably the most commonly known mattress topper material, memory foam does the job spot on, as it moulds to the shape of your body. However, it's known to be hotter than other materials, as it's not breathable, meaning that in the long run, it won't stay as clean and fresh as other materials. That said, newer designs have breathability built in, so check when you buy. See all the best memory foam mattress toppers in our buyer's guide.
  • Latex: great if you tend to get hot in the night as they increase airflow more than memory foam; they're also firmer. Offering good support for those who suffer with joint or muscle pain, and a good option for those who move around in the night. Be sure to double check you're buying eco-friendly natural latex. 
  • Hybrid: like hybrid mattresses, hybrid mattress toppers are typically a combination of latex, foam and pocket springs. Designed to bring both support and comfort to a bed, they're also breathable and allergy-friendly.

Other mattress topper materials that you will come across, which will offer a medium firm to firm sleep surface, include:

  • Down/feather: you won't find many down feather toppers on the cheap, as they usually comprise of duck or goose feathers. Not recommended for those with allergies, and sometimes the feathers can poke through the mattress cover. However, a soft night's sleep is usually guaranteed, and they also regulate body temperature extremely well.
  • Polyester blends: perfect for those who love the feel of down feather, but either don't like to use animal products, are allergic, or just simply don't want to pay the larger sum. They're easily breathable so should be odour-free, however these toppers are usually not as soft as others, and can become lumpy over time.
  • Wool: not the easiest to find, natural wool fleece toppers are made from all-natural materials. Soft, durable and perfect for allergy sufferers, they all come with a larger price tag.
  • Egg crate: Inexpensive, soft(ish) and thin, therefore easy to transport, they're perfect for those with a low budget. These toppers aren't known for being durable. 

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