What Are Memory Foam Mattress Toppers?

A memory foam mattress topper helps improve the comfort and quality of your mattress, giving you a more comfortable night's sleep.

What Is the Best Kind Of Memory Foam Mattress Topper?

Most people are pretty familiar with traditional mattresses that tend to sag after many years of use. These are built with steel coils and eventually lead to an uncomfortable sleeping experience because of the pressure points they create.

But there's a way to make even a lumpy or uncomfortable mattress more tolerable for sleeping, by investing in a memory foam mattress topper.

What is a memory foam mattress topper?

Memory foam is comprised of foam layers that molds to our bodies to create a cushion like support. A memory foam mattress topper is a layer of memory foam that sits on top of your mattress, and beneath your sheets. It helps improve the comfort and quality of your mattress, giving you a more comfortable night's sleep.

What are the different features of memory foam mattress toppers?

Memory foam mattress toppers vary in quality and density; a good rule is to look for at least 5-pound density for the best support. The density refers to the concentration of foam in a cubic foot: a 5-pound density means that 5 pounds of memory foam is concentrated into a cubic foot of volume in the mattress topper. Of course, if you prefer a softer mattress, you might prefer a lower density level. In terms of quality, avoid toppers that also incorporate filler, which dilutes the effectiveness of the memory foam.

Some memory foam toppers, like the memory foam mattresses themselves, contain a gel layer. This might be comprised of gel beads interspersed with the foam, or a sheet of gel. The gel helps with air circulation and keeps you cool as you sleep. But beware: the gel feature also often increases the price you'll pay.

Memory Foam Mattress Toppers: Choosing Thickness and Firmness

Memory foam mattress toppers range in thickness, up to 4 to 5 inches. Most people will find a 3-inch topper is adequate, although larger or heavier people, or those who prefer a very firm sleeping surface, might want to go for a thicker version. The way you typically sleep also should be considered when choosing a thickness. Those who sleep on their stomachs or their backs could use a thinner topper, even as thin as 2 inches, while those who sleep on their sides would be better suited for a thicker topper, since their weight is concentrated onto certain pressure points along their side.

Keep in mind that since those added inches raise the height of your mattress, you'll need to invest in some extra-deep sheets to cover the entire thing.

Mattress toppers also come in a variety of firmness levels. This is generally represented by a number, and the lower the number is, the softer the topper. If your mattress is too hard and you want to make it softer, you should opt for a lower-number topper. If you mattress is too soft, a higher-number firmness rating for your topper will help you make your mattress a bit more supportive.

Related: Best Memory Foam Mattress

If you want to learn more about memory foam mattress toppers, read on for a look at three of the best options on the market:

4-Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper

The primary reason why this particular mattress topper is so popular is that it offers the sleeper a one-of-a-kind sleeping experience with the body confirming foam feature. Secondly, it provides side sleepers and those suffering from lower back pain a comfortable, dream-like experience.


This mattress topper provides one with just the right amount of support and is tied to a 5-year warranty with every purchase. It features a polyester mesh cover and a dual-sided design that allows individuals to choose a firmer or softer sleeping experience. The former is good for back sleepers, while the softer is beneficial to side sleepers.

An added benefit is the fact that there is very little motion issue to ensure one partner does not cause a disruption during the night.

Lucid 2-Inch Gel-Infused Ventilated Topper

People who are looking for that bit of extra comfort will love this mattress topper.


It lets the user experience personalize support like no other as it is quite light and provides excellent airflow. In turn, there is very little, if any, heat retention issues, thanks to the premium knit technology.

Side sleeper will find tremendous value by opting for this 2-inch gel-infused ventilated topper. After all, it offers them added cushioning around their shoulders and necks.

ViscO2 Ventilated Topper

This topper is suitable to individuals who favor extra cushioning features. In this instance, it might not be as comfortable as a full-size mattress, but you will find you sleep better because of the added cushioning.


This particular mattress topper is environmentally friendly and recommended for anyone who wants that bit of added support. A unique feature of the ViscO2 is that the memory foam used originates from natural plant materials, which ensures excellent ventilation capabilities.

The manufacturers tout this topper as being odor-free right out of the box, whereas other toppers might need to be set out for a few days to allow the manufacturing odors to dissipate before use.

There is no need to be concerned about any heat retention issues as the airflow is exceptional. Regardless of your sleep position, you will not feel overheated in any way. The fact that the manufacturers back this product with a 5-year warranty is in itself a sure indication of its quality.

In closing, a memory foam mattress topper will last significantly longer than a traditional style of mattress topper, particularly those with a denser construction. While a mattress topper can't be a miracle worker for a bed that's significantly sagging or with broken springs, it can also help you extend the life of your mattress or just make it more comfortable.

Resources— The Sleep Judge, Overstock, Sleep Advisor