Best mattress toppers for 2021 - tried and tested by Mumsnet users
05 May 2021
A mattress topper can make a real difference to your bed and the quality of your sleep. With hundreds on the market, we’ve researched what’s out there and put together a list of the best mattress toppers available now.
Not exactly the most exciting purchase, but a mattress topper can make a significant difference to the quality of your sleep. From traditional goose feather toppers to modern memory foam styles, there are hundreds of options on the market, and ones to suit every budget. To save you time and money, we scoured the Mumsnet forums to find the best mattress toppers for 2021.
How we chose our recommendations
Before we began looking at products we went straight to the experts and headed for Mumsnet’s forums to find out which mattress toppers Mumsnetters were buying, which they rated most highly and why, which gave them sweet dreams and which they would kick out of bed.
Armed with that information we thoroughly researched the market, looking at bestsellers and customer reviews over time and also studying other product review websites including Which?, to take a poll of which brands performed best in testing.
From there, and a list of around 40 great products, we pooled all the best and cross-referenced our findings on them to come up with this list of the ten best mattress toppers to buy now.
1. Best mattress topper: Eve
Sleep-lovers rave about this simple foam mattress topper from bedding company, Eve. We don’t like to be bombarded by choice and Eve offers one, simple mattress topper in six sizes, so no need to agonise over various weights of feather or thicknesses of foam.
The Eve topper is a 5cm-thick breathable foam mattress (3cm of supportive thicker base foam topped with 2cm of Eve’s open-cell Comfort Foam for softness). The hypoallergenic polyester cover is removable and washable.
Reviews suggest the Eve topper is best if you like a firm mattress but just want a nice bit of ‘squish’ to it rather than something very rigid and it will transform a slightly uncomfy bed into a supportive and soft cocoon.
It’s great for reducing movement from whoever you’re sharing a bed with and is also brilliant at keeping you cool. Eve says it’s 30% more breathable than traditional memory foam, which can feel a little ‘sticky’ if you’re a ‘hot sleeper’.
Elastic straps at both ends keep the Eve topper firmly in place and also work as straps to keep it rolled up if you’re storing it. If you hankered after a memory foam mattress but didn’t have the budget for it, the Eve is a much cheaper way to get a bit of that supportive, memory foam feel to your bed. And Eve offers a no-quibble 30-days return policy so you’ve nothing to lose by trying it out.
Mumsnet users say
“It's brilliant and our bed feels amazing. Best £175 I ever spent.”
Materials: Polyester and polypropylene
Sizes: Single, small double, double, king, superking
RRP: £135-£279 includes a three-year warranty and 30-day money-back guarantee (they’ll collect it from you and refund if you don’t like it)
2. Best for keeping cool: Snug 5cm Memory Foam
If you tend to get all hot and tangled up in bedsheets, a topper that helps regulate temperature might help. The Snug toppers from Amazon are available in sizes from single to king and mould to your body, helping to prevent motion carrying from the other side of the bed, giving you a more restful night. They also have a cover that features Coolmax technology, which wicks moisture away from your body keeping you cool and dry, and the cover removes easily to be flung in the washing machine. The topper is hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant if you find you’re often sniffly first thing in the morning.
What Mumsnet users say:
“It's like sleeping on a cloud now, lovely and soft. It grips the mattress so doesn't slide about.”
Primary material: Polyurethane
Sizes: Single to superking, in 5cm and 7cm thicknesses
RRP: £69-£124 includes a one year warranty
3. Best for combatting back pain: Synthetic Soft Touch Dual Layer Mattress Topper, John Lewis
An excellent combination of luxury and practicality, this 6cm topper from John Lewis gives you that hotel-bed-style feel as you flop down on it, but it's made from 100% polyester so the removable top layer can be washed at 40 degrees, tumble-dried on cool and be back on your bed in time for cocoa and Book at Bedtime. Lovely.
The Soft Touch topper is made from a firmer base layer that supports and a more airy upper layer that adds comfort, and it’s reported to be helpful for anyone that suffers from aches and pains in bed.
Its elastic straps keep it really steady on the bed and it’s really warm, too, which is useful as you can’t use an electric blanket with it, but worth knowing if you’re generally quite ‘hot’ in bed. For anyone with feet like blocks of ice, it’s a winner.
It’s worth adding that John Lewis toppers generally get great reviews and their duck and goose down products are also worth a look if you’re in the market for one of those.
What Mumsnet users say:
“I got ours from John Lewis – they have made a huge difference to the beds and the quality of sleep!”
Materials: 100% polyester
Sizes: Single, small double, double, king, superking
RRP: £75-£110 includes a two-year warranty
4. Best memory foam topper: Deep Contour Memory Foam, Marks & Spencer
Memory foam mattresses have a reputation for being a bit, well, sweaty, but this one from good old M&S has deep channels in it which circulate air, keeping you cool all night. It’s 6cm thick and the memory foam gently moulds to your body, offering some firm support and a slightly cocooning feel, then springs pleasingly back into shape when you hop out of bed in the morning. It’s also machine-washable and can be tumble-dried, we were pleased to hear.
Materials: Polyester and polyurethane
Sizes: Single, double, king, super king
5. Best for pregnancy: Silentnight Air Max
Silentnight is a renowned bedding brand and this synthetic topper is a great little buy that will add comfort, support and coolness to your sleep for a bargain price. It’s very lightweight and would store away easily if you only wanted to use it for a short time, for example during pregnancy. But, while it doesn’t feel as thick as many, it packs a strong comfort punch. The air mesh panels on the side allow air to circulate, keeping you cool and people who’ve bought it say the Air Max is great for temperature regulation, which can often help if you’re suffering disturbed sleep in pregnancy.
The sturdy straps keep the topper in place and stitching prevents the filling moving around and getting lumpy. It’s hypoallergenic so won’t irritate any sensitive pregnancy skin or snuffles and is also machine washable. Because it’s not so thick it dries really quickly, too.
Sizes: Single, double, king, superking, in standard or extra-deep thicknesses
RRP: £34.99-£68 includes a two-year warranty
6. Best for hard mattresses: Teddy Bear Cream Quilted, Dunelm
Sometimes you just want something soft to snuggle up to in bed and this ‘Teddy Bear’ mattress topper from Dunelm is like getting into bed for a big hug. It’s a big favourite of Mumsnetters who swear by its comforting texture and were impressed by the price, too.
The fleecy ‘teddy bear’ side (it’s faux teddy bear, don’t worry!) is to keep you toasty in winter and the microfibre underside is for cooling you on sticky summer nights. Its polyester filling means it’s easy to care for and it washes and dries with not a hint of fuss, while elasticated corner straps keep your teddy steady.
What Mumsnet users say
“I have the teddy bear one from Dunelm and it’s so lovely.”
“I bought Dunelm toppers for my kids when they left for uni so that they didn't need to endure uncomfortable student accommodation mattresses. It's my standard top-tip for things to buy uni students."
Sizes: Single, double, kingsize
7. Best natural mattress topper: Luxury New Zealand Wool, Soak & Sleep
If you like the idea of sleeping on natural and sustainable materials, wool might be a good option. It doesn’t have the associated allergy issues that feathers can bring and has the benefit of being naturally warm when it’s cold and cooling when it’s hot. Sheep know a thing or two, we tell you. The cover is made from unbleached cotton, which is filled with a 3cm layer of pure New Zealand Mitchell wool, which is sustainable and recyclable.
And if that’s not enough to help you sleep soundly in your bed, perhaps the fact that sleeping with wool improves REM sleep quality by 25% will help? Wool also tends to repel dust mites, so this is a good choice for sneezy, snuffly types, and the fact that it is temperature regulating means it’s a great option for anyone who’s a ‘cold’ person and has hitched their wagon to someone who’s always hot and throwing off the covers. A wool topper should help you both achieve a happy medium.
A flat finish means you can sleep comfortably in any position on this topper and the wool inside is carded, with a quilted finish on the outside to keep the wool spread evenly about, though rotating it occasionally and giving it a bit of a pat and a plump will help keep it at its best. Elastic straps keep it in place. It is washable at 30 degrees but it’s probably best to have it washed professionally. Soak and Sleep recommend you use a cover to protect it on the bed, too.
This is certainly at the top end of the market but considering the beautiful natural materials used we don’t think you’re being fleeced (sorry) with this wool topper.
What Mumsnet say
“I have one from Soak & Sleep. It was quite expensive but it's really comfy.”
Materials: Cotton and wool
Sizes: Single, small single, double, small double, king, superking and emperor. They also do Euro bed sizes and even a cot bed size
RRP: £90-£160 includes a five-year warranty
8. Best soft mattress topper: Memory Foam 5cm topper, Argos
This is a really good price for a memory foam mattress topper and Mumsnetters say it has transformed their sleep, bringing a soft, squishy feel to even the hardest of mattresses.
The 5cm-thick memory foam is heat responsive, so you shouldn't get too sweaty in it, and gently supports your body by moulding to your shape. The ‘egg box’ texture is reported to be super-comfy, too. The topper comes with a soft, washable microfibre cover and there are elastic corner straps to prevent the topper moving around under the sheet.
What Mumsnet users say
“I love it. Memory foam like an egg box pointy pattern. The best one ever. My bed feels amazing now.”
Sizes: Single, double, kingsize
Materials: Polyester and polyurethane
9. Best budget mattress topper: Sealy Select Response
We’re pretty impressed to see a top bedding brand like Sealy offering a topper with so many clever features at such a great price.
The Select Response is a synthetic topper with a microfibre cover and a filling of Dupont Serica silk-like fibres, which have all the non-allergenic properties of synthetic fibres but apparently feel uncannily like silk. These fibres are also designed to respond to body temperature, so you stay comfy all night, even if your temperature is fluctuating.
It’s definitely a practical buy, with good straps to keep it in place and it’s washable at 40 degrees, so you can stick it in the machine if you have a big enough drum. It tumble-dries too, a massive plus in the winter months. Super comfy and cooling, at £24 you can hardly go wrong.
Sizes: Single, double, king, superking
Materials: Microfibre and Dupont Serica fibres
RRP: £23-£32 includes a two-year warranty
10. Best luxury mattress topper: Platinum Goose Down, White Company
If you want a real Princess and the Pea feel to your bed, this fabulous goose down topper from The White Company will do it. Frankly, anything from The White Company makes us want to pull on expensive lounge pants and curl up with a book.
The thick, supportive base layer is filled with sturdier white goose feathers (who knew?) and the top layer with a mixture of fluffy goose down and feathers for super-indulgent comfort. Apparently, it’s like sleeping on a cloud.
There’s real craftsmanship in this topper: its 233-thread-count cotton cover is finished with a baffle wall construction to ensure completely even distribution of the down and ring-stitched over for extra ‘plumpness’ and support. It's definitely at the top end of the market but, as you’d expect from The White Company, it’s beautifully made from the best quality materials. If your budget doesn’t stretch quite this far, we’d recommend looking at The White Company’s Classic duck down and feather topper. It's considerably cheaper but almost as lovely as this one.
Materials: Goose down, goose feather and 233-thread-count pure cotton
Sizes: Single, double, king, superking, emperor
You might think mattress toppers basically all do a similar job but there’s a bewildering array of products out there. Do you want natural fibres or something man-made? Are you happy to spend a large amount of money to hopefully transform your sleep or do you need quick results, tonight, on a tight budget? There really is a mattress topper out there for everyone, so we’ve put together a short guide on how to pick the right one for you.
Why do I need a mattress topper?
All sorts of reasons, but basically it’s about getting a better night’s sleep, whether that’s fixing a current problem with your bed or simply giving you a bit of hotel-style ‘ah’ factor as you sink into something a little more soft and luxurious than you’re used to.
How will a it help me get a better night's sleep?
It might be that your new mattress is just a bit too firm and you want something to soften the feel of it – on the other hand, different models can also give the feeling of ‘firming up’ a softer mattress. Do beware of claims they can ‘revive’ an old mattress, however. If your mattress is shot, you just need a new one, but a topper can help an older mattress feel comfier.
Some people with back or hip pain find certain types can help. You might also be able to keep yourself feeling either warmer or cooler in bed with one, so many people invest in one during pregnancy or to help with hot, sweaty nights during the menopause.
What's the difference between mattress toppers, mattress pads and mattress protectors?
The difference between toppers and pads is basically thickness. Pads only really offer a thin layer to add comfort and perhaps help by wicking away moisture and regulating temperature a little, whereas a topper is much thicker and changes the ‘feel’ of the mattress more. A mattress protector is simply to protect the mattress from stains, spills and general wear.
What type is best?
It’s a case of horses for courses really and depends on what you want it to do. These are some of the main types:
This moulds to your body a bit, supporting you in your sleep. If you can’t spring for a memory foam mattress, a topper will give you a bit of that feel for less money. They’re generally good for people with bad backs or aching joints and they’re good for reducing ‘motion transfer’ (solving the issue of wriggly bedfellows). They can feel a bit hot as they mould around your body. If you’re a 'hot sleeper' you might like to look at gel foam mattress toppers, which will help keep you cooler.
Feather and down
Stuffed with feathers (usually goose or duck). These have a really soft, pillowy feel and is what a lot of hotels use if that’s the feel you’re after. They may not be suitable for people with allergies.
Like feather toppers, these are all-natural but are good for those with allergies as dust mites aren’t keen on wool. Wool is great at keeping you warm in winter and cool in summer. They tend to last for years, though usually need to be dry cleaned as many can’t go in the washing machine.
Another natural option (latex is made from a liquid found in the rubber tree) these give a firm feel (with a bit of bounce) and help prevent motion transfer in the same way that memory foam does.
Gives a luxury feel and, again, repels dust mites so a good option for allergy sufferers. Silk is also good for regulating body temperature.
Includes many types such as hollowfibre (for support) and microfibre (for comfort). These are mostly made from polyester and are usually cheaper than natural fibre toppers. They can feel much thicker when new but some will eventually lose their height and they can eventually become lumpy. On the plus side, you can usually shove them in the wash with no concerns.
What size mattress topper do I need?
You need to get one the same size as your bed – toppers aren’t like duvets where a bit of overspill is good. If it’s the wrong size it will slide out and be really uncomfortable.
How much should I spend on a mattress topper?
There’s something for every budget and it’s not always a case of spend more, get better quality. It’s more about what sort of feel you like. You can buy some really good synthetic toppers for as little as £20 but if you spend a bit more (around £50-£100) you should notice the difference. Some of the new very fancy memory foam mattresses can cost as much as £1000 and very plush Hungarian goose down versions will set you back a few hundred.
What to look for in a mattress topper
A washable or removable cover is really handy, particularly with natural fibre versions that don’t just go in the wash. Look for good, strong elastic corner straps to hold the topper firmly in place, too.
In general, most people get a mattress topper that matches the material of their mattress but that’s not a rule you have to live by. If you couldn’t afford a memory foam mattress, for example, you might add a topper to your sprung mattress for a foam feel.
How to wash a mattress topper
Check the label. Some need to be dry cleaned, others can be put straight in the machine or have a removable cover that you can wash to freshen it up. If it is tumble-dryer friendly add some tumble dryer balls to fluff it up in the machine, or air dry, turning regularly to ensure the filling is evenly distributed and nice and fluffy.
Memory foam toppers often can’t be machine washed but you can use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust and dirt and spot clean when you need to.
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