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Which memory foam mattress topper is best?

Memory foam mattress toppers are an affordable way to improve the quality of your sleep. Buying or replacing an entire mattress is expensive and, in most cases, not necessary. Installing a memory foam mattress topper is as easy as changing your sheets, but it can make a world of difference for those experiencing back pain or a partner that tosses and turns all night.

LUCID Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper, gets top marks in comfort, support and ease of use.

What to know before you buy a memory foam mattress topper

Foam type

Traditional memory foam cradles your body to give you more support than just your mattress alone. This extra support relieves pressure from your back and other problem areas allowing you to sleep better longer. Traditional memory foam feels like a sponge and keeps heat. It’s a great choice if you tend to get cold during the night.

Gel memory foam is traditional sponge-like memory foam with special gel beads. These beads create an extra cushion and disperse more heat. If you tend to get hot during the night or want all the support you can get, gel memory foam is your best bet.

Thickness and covers

Memory foam mattress toppers range from 1 to 4 inches thick. If your mattress is too firm, a thick 4-inch topper can help. If your mattress just needs a little extra comfort, a thinner 1.5-inch topper will do. Keep in mind that the thicker the topper, the most likely it will be to retain heat.

Memory foam mattress toppers come in all four standard bed sizes of twin, full, queen and king. Some toppers come with a cover that slightly increases the thickness and protect your topper and mattress. A cover is a smart way to ensure the longevity of your topper.


Density is different than thickness. It has more to do with your body type and the way you usually sleep. Picking the proper density for your memory foam mattress topper is essential.

Low-density models, meaning 3 pounds and under per cubic foot, are best for lighter users who sleep on their sides or back. Medium-density models, 4 to 5 pounds per cubic foot, are best for most users in all sleep positions. High-density models, 5 pounds and above per cubic foot, are best for heavier users in all sleep positions.

What to look for in a quality memory foam mattress topper


Some memory foam mattress toppers have added features to retain less heat and promote airflow. On some models, these features last all night, while on other models, these features last long enough for you to fall asleep. You won’t know for sure if a topper is too hot for you until you get it home, but you can always check user reviews to see what others like you have experienced.

If you get hot at night, make sure your sheets are made of a breathable material such as linen, cotton, eucalyptus or bamboo.

Motion isolation

In addition to providing extra comfort and support, memory foam mattress toppers absorb motion. If you’re sharing your bed with a partner who tosses and turns or you get up often in the middle of the night, the right topper can create a better sleeping situation for both of you.

The thicker the topper, the more motion isolation it provides. If you buy a thick topper for two people, ensure it has good ventilation to mitigate the double body heat. You don’t want to solve one problem but create another.

Moisture absorption and odor control

If you’re buying a memory foam mattress topper for a child’s bed, or your pet loves to climb into bed with you, consider a model with moisture absorption and odor control. This provides an extra layer of protection for your mattress.

Most models use charcoal embedded in the foam to absorb moisture. Some models also contain green tea or lavender to help you fall asleep easier and stay asleep longer.

How much you can expect to spend on a memory foam mattress topper

Prices depend on foam quality and thickness as well as the size of your mattress. To use queen-size toppers as an example, a 1-inch or 2-inch model should be around $30-$70.  Three-inch models hover near the $70-$100 range, while 4-inch models can reach $100-$130.

Memory foam mattress topper FAQ

How do you clean your topper?

A. Remove your topper from your bed and place it on the floor. Use a handheld vacuum to remove dust, hair and other allergens. Sprinkle the entire topper with baking soda and leave to sit for at least 8 hours. Then, vacuum up the baking soda. If desired, you can flip the topper and repeat the same process on the other side.

Will the topper last for the length of your new mattress?

A. It depends on foam quality and proper care. The thicker and denser the topper, the greater its longevity. Medium-density toppers can last from three to eight years, while high-density toppers can easily last a decade. Examine the foam every once in a while to check for flatness or compression.

What’s the best memory foam mattress topper to buy?

Top memory foam mattress topper

LUCID 3” Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper

LUCID 3” Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper

What you need to know: This is a breathable 3-inch topper that adds softness and relieves pressure.

What you’ll love: It fits easily over your mattress and helps with back pain.

What you should consider: Some users report that it tears easily.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top memory foam mattress topper for the money

Zinus 1.5 Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Zinus 1.5” Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress Topper

What you need to know: This quality topper is nearly half the price of its competitors.

What you’ll love: This option is infused with green tea and charcoal to eliminate moisture and odors. It’s also available in 2-, 3- or 4-inch versions with or without covers.

What you should consider: The foam has a lot of give, and some users who prefer firm support might want to look elsewhere.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and The Home Depot

Worth checking out

Best Price Mattress 4 Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Best Price Mattress 4-Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper

What you need to know: Combines green tea memory foam with a high-density base foam to create a cozy sleep experience.

What you’ll love: It holds up well after months of use and has high marks from users on support and softness.

What you should consider: Some users report that it traps heat.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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

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