Best mattress toppers – add cushioning, support, and breathability to your bed

The best mattress toppers for improving your sleep set-up – from the best memory foam mattress toppers to the best mattress toppers for side sleepers, we've tried and tested multiple options to bring you our top recommendations

One of the best mattress toppers from Otty listing image with blue background
(Image credit: Future)

The best mattress toppers will add a layer of cushioning and support to your sleep set-up, and can also improve breathability for a cooler night's sleep. 

Unlike a mattress protector, which is a thin fabric covering that simply adds an extra layer of stain protection to your mattress, a mattress topper is a much more robust affair. Usually measuring at least 5cm deep, a mattress topper is placed over the top of your existing mattress to provide an additional layer of cushioning that can cover up uncomfortable mattress springs and bring comfort to a too-hard sofa bed.

If you're looking for a better night's sleep, then although even the best mattress toppers on the market can't beat investing in the best mattress your budget allows, they can prove a good interim solution whilst you save for the mattress of your dreams.

Our team of bedding experts has slept on and rated the best mattress toppers to invest in below. We've tested bestselling toppers from Simba, Emma, Panda, and many more, to find the best memory foam mattress toppers, the best mattress toppers for side sleepers, and the best overall.

The quick list

Short on time? This quick list is an overview of the best mattress toppers. You'll find more information on each mattress topper and why our testers recommend it if you keep on scrolling.

Best mattress toppers

Why you can trust Ideal Home Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Best mattress topper overall

Simba mattress topper on a bed with a person laid on it reading a newspaperproduct badge

(Image credit: Simba)

1. Simba Hybrid Topper

Best mattress topper overall

Specifications

Type: Hybrid memory foam and springs
Sizes available : Single / Small Double / Double / King / Super King
Depth : 6.5cm
Care instructions : Machine-washable removable cover

Reasons to buy

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Good levels of support and comfort thanks to a mix of springs and memory foam
+
Anti-slip base
+
Can be rolled up when not in use
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200-night manufacturer sleep trial

Reasons to avoid

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An investment

We're big fans of the Simba Hybrid Mattress so it's perhaps no surprise that we like the brand's hybrid mattress topper, too. 

It may be the most expensive topper on this list, but this mattress topper differs from most others on the market in that it combines springs as well as a memory foam upper layer. Simba has essentially created a thinner four-layer version of its bestselling mattress, which results in one of the most robust and supportive toppers we've tested and makes this topper the most capable of overhauling your sleep set-up without a full mattress replacement.

It's a great choice for those looking to upgrade a mattress that has started to sag or lose structure, or for adding proper support and cushioning to a sofa bed. The memory foam upper will also help to add cushioning to a firmer mattress and reduce motion transfer between sleeping partners. Plus, our testers found its breathability meant they didn't overheat at night.

The combination of straps and an antislip base also meant it stayed firmly in place on the bed. Plus, the straps are cleverly designed to allow you to roll this topper up when it's not in use. Ideal if you're using the topper on a sofa bed and need to store it away when guests go home. A generous 200-night manufacturer sleep trial is also a big bonus.

All in all, our only gripe is its price. That said, Simba regularly runs disounting events, and Simba discount codes may mean you can snap it up for less.

Best memory foam mattress topper

Panda mattress topper rolled up with box besideproduct badge

(Image credit: Panda)

2. Panda The Topper

Best memory foam mattress topper

Specifications

Type: Memory foam
Sizes Available : Single / Small Double / Double / King / Super King / EU Single / EU Double / EU King / EU Emperor
Depth : 5cm
Care instructions : Machine-washable removable cover

Reasons to buy

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Mid-range price point
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Wide range of size options very useful for sofa beds
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30-night sleep trial

Reasons to avoid

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The straps might ping off if your mattress is very thick

If you're wondering if a memory foam mattress is the right option for you, then a memory foam topper is a more affordable way to get a feel for whether you enjoy this type of sleep surface. 

Thanks to its mid-range price point and efforts towards increased breathability, we think this is one of the best memory foam mattress toppers available. Plus, although its not the lengthiest compared to Emma or Simba's sleep trials, Panda offers a 30 night trial period to test out whether this topper is for you.

At 5cm thick, it’s not the chunkiest topper out there, but its dense memory foam construction does a great job of masking any lumps, bumps, or firmness beneath it. Side sleepers in particular will appreciate how pressure points, like hips and shoulders, sink into the topper for cushioned support.

Panda claims the mattress topper's 'gel-infused technology' reacts to your body temperature and keeps you cool, and whilst we can't comment on the science wizardry, our seasoned sleep testers definitely found it slept cooler than many memory foam mattresses – there was no flailing around in a sticky mess at 3am here. 

Because of the wide range of sizes available – from a UK single all the way through to an EU Emperor – this is also one of the best mattress toppers for a sofa bed. Sofa beds rarely have the same sized sleeping areas as a standard mattress, so the Panda Topper's wealth of size options makes it much easier to find a good fit.

Best budget buy

Silentnight airmax topper on corner of the bed on mattress with logoBudget buy badge

(Image credit: Silentnight)

3. Silentnight Airmax Mattress Topper

Best budget mattress topper

Specifications

Type: Hollowfibre
Sizes available : Single / Double / King / Super King
Depth : 5cm
Care instructions : Washable top cover

Reasons to buy

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Affordable

Reasons to avoid

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Not the most cushioning
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Doesn't offer much support
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No manufacturer sleep trial

Just like mattresses, mattress toppers can be expensive, with some of the premium options in our round-up coming in well over £200.

If you're after a more affordable mattress topper, then the Silentnight Airmax Mattress Topper is one of our most budget-friendly recommendations. 

Its lower price tag does mean it's thinner, with this topper measuring only 5cm deep. In practice, its a little like sleeping on top of a duvet, offering comfort rather than support. However, we found that's still enough cushioning to make a difference to a hard sleep surface, and both our own and third-party reviewers at Amazon, Argos, and Very rate this mattress highly in terms of value for money.

Our only concerns are that this topper's hollowfibre construction is potentially more likely to become compacted over time, and opinions on whether it does the trick and increases airflow are mixed. 

If you have an older or cheaper memory foam mattress that lacks breathability, then its likely adding this topper to the bed will improve air circulation between yourself and the mattress. However, some of our reviewers found its synthetic fill still reflected heat back towards them overnight.

Best cooling mattress topper

Woolroom Deluxe Wool Mattress Topper strapped onto a mattressproduct badge

(Image credit: Woolroom)

4. Woolroom Deluxe Wool Mattress Topper

Most breathable mattress topper

Specifications

Type: Wool-filled
Sizes available : Single / Small Double / Double / King / Super King
Depth : 4-5cm
Care instructions: Dry clean only

Reasons to buy

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Temperature regulating wool delivers a cooler sleep 
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Chemical-free
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Wool is a more eco-friendly option and is biodegradable
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30-night sleep trial

Reasons to avoid

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Doesn't offer much support
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Dry clean only

If you're looking for a mattress topper that can deliver a cooler night's sleep, then this wool-filled mattress topper scores highly on breathability.

Wool is naturally temperature regulating, and, unlike synthetic materials such as memory foam and polyester, it helps to wick humidity away from our bodies as we sleep rather than reflecting body heat back towards the sleeper. That's great news if you're menopausal or simply a hot sleeper, as it reduces the likelihood of overheating causing you a disturbed sleep.

In fact, Woolroom claims its wool-filled toppers 'deliver 25% better sleep than polyester, down and feather through superior moisture management and heat regulation', and our testers agreed, with our hottest sleepers quickly convinced to swap out their polyester bedding for this wool-filled option that instantly reduced night sweats. 

And it's not just good for those looking for a cooling mattress topper. This is also one of the most eco-friendly options we've come across. OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certified, this mattress topper is made from 100% natural materials and is chemical-free thanks to wool's natural fire retardant properties. Plus, wool is naturally hypoallergenic which means this topper has the Allergy UK Seal of Approval.

Best mattress topper for side sleepers

Emma cooling mattress topperproduct badge

(Image credit: Emma)

5. Emma Premium Topper

Best mattress topper for side sleepers

Specifications

Type: Foam
Sizes available : Single / Small Double / Double / King / Super King
Depth : 9cm
Care instructions : Washable top cover

Reasons to buy

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9cm depth means plenty of cushioning for side sleepers
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Temperature regulating
+
Easy to add to bed
+
Anti-slip base
+
100-night manufacturer sleep trial

Reasons to avoid

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An investment

As a side sleeper, it's important to have a sleep surface that allows shoulders and hips to sink a little into the mattress surface. This means that when you're laid on your side, your neck and spine will be well-aligned and relatively straight. If your mattress is too firm that can leave your waist unsupported whilst you're laid on your side, which can lead to back pain. 

The Emma Premium Topper solves this problem by delivering a super cushioning top layer that can be placed over your existing mattress. At 9cm deep, it's one of the most cushioning toppers we've tested, which we think makes it one of the best mattress toppers for side sleepers.

Its also easy to add to the bed, with no fiddly straps to attach to the mattress. Instead, the mattress topper has an anti-slip base fabric that stops it moving around at night. We weren't sure how well this would work in practice, but our tester found it did the trick, staying in place on the bed despite plenty of night-time fidgeting to put it to the test.

Our hot sleeping reviewers have also been impressed by the Emma Premium Topper's temperature regulation. Considering it's made of pure foam we were concerned about overheating, but instead, our testers unanimously stated this topper did a great job at keeping them cool overnight, presumably down to Emma's 'graphite coating that ensures an extended deep sleep phase through optimal temperature regulation'. 

The only downside to its squishiness is a lack of edge support. If that's a concern then the Simba Hybrid Topper with its pocket-spring reinforcement could be a good alternative.

Best feather and down mattress topper

Corner of dusk mattress topper with logo and pink pipingproduct badge

(Image credit: DUSK)

6. DUSK Supreme Goose Down Mattress Topper

Best feather and down mattress topper

Specifications

Type: Feather and down
Sizes available : Single / Double / King /Super King
Depth : 5cm
Care instructions : Dry clean only

Reasons to buy

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A layer of luxury softness

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn't offer much support
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No manufacturer sleep trial

Feather and down is a fill that adds a touch of luxury to any bedding, and the DUSK Supreme Goose Down Mattress Topper is no exception. 

This topper feels as light as a cloud when you add it to the bed, and although it isn't as supportive as the Simba, Panda, or Emma toppers in our round-up, it adds a layer of comfort that certainly makes a firm mattress far more appealing to curl up on. 

The design features two layers – an upper layer filled with 70% goose down for a plumptious feel, and a slightly denser feather-filled bottom layer. These two layers are then fastened with poppers, which didn't cause any problems when we tested, although some third-party reviewers have mentioned they can spring apart overnight.

Our reviewer found this topper a little warm in hot summer temperatures, but we think it makes a great addition to the bed when temperatures drop and cosy comfort is the name of the game. The only other downside is that this topper is dry clean only.

Best warming mattress topper

Silentnight self-heating mattress topperproduct badge

(Image credit: Silentnight)

7. Silentnight Heat Genie Self-Heating Mattress Topper

A self-heating mattress topper that's great for cold nights

Specifications

Type: Microfibre with heat reflecting foil
Sizes Available : Single / Double / King
Depth : 3cm
Care instructions : Machine washable

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable
+
Self-heating

Reasons to avoid

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Hot sleepers might find it a bit too warm
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Not much cushioning
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Doesn't offer much support
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No manufacturer sleep trial

If you're looking for an affordable way to make your bed a little warmer on cold nights, then Silentnight's Heat Genie Self-Heating mattress topper could well fit the bill. 

Self-heating though... how does that work?! Well, this mattress topper is designed to reflect the sleeper's own body heat back towards them, with a 3-layer construction that includes heat-reflecting foil, a thermal lining, and a quilted top.

We have to admit, our first thoughts were that this sounded like it was going to end in one big sweaty mess come bedtime, but our brave reviewer put the Heat Genie to the test (admittedly in a very cold bedroom) and had only positive things to say about its performance, noticing a definite difference in overnight warmth. Thankfully there was also far less rustling than that heat-reflecting foil led us to envisage. 

Based on wider customer reviews, we'd say it's likely that this topper's success or failure is largely determined by how much body heat each individual emits – with self-proclaimed 'cold people' finding it less successful than those who assigned themselves as 'average' body warmth. And, at 3cm deep, there isn't a lot of cushioning to this microfibre mattress topper, but then that isn't its main selling point. 

Overall, if you want to add some extra warmth to the bed without the additional energy use and complication of cables that even the best electric blankets can't completely eliminate, then we think this mattress topper is well worth a try, especially considering its affordable price tag.

How to choose the best mattress topper

Mattress toppers can perform a number of functions. They’re great if you’re renting a furnished flat, for instance, and the mattress provided isn't the most comfortable. Adding a soft layer can quickly, and relatively cheaply, turn a rock-hard mattress into an altogether softer one. And, if you have a sofa bed that leaves a lot to be desired comfort-wise, then a mattress topper can improve your guest's sleeping experience.

Alternatively, it might be that your once-comfortable mattress doesn’t quite suit your needs any more, you just can’t afford a new mattress right now, or you are deferring the pleasure until you move. Whatever the reason you're considering investing, a mattress topper could help you to sleep more comfortably.

However, when choosing the best mattress topper for your bed it's important to give some thought to exactly what you're hoping it will achieve, as this will influence which type you opt for. We've broken down the basics below.

A memory foam mattress topper on a mattress on a grey upholstered bed

(Image credit: Dunelm)

Materials

If you're looking to add comfort to a not-so-comfortable mattress or sofa bed then memory foam can be a great option. This is a dense layer of cushioning foam that becomes malleable when warmed by a sleeper's body heat enabling it to mould slightly around the body. That also means memory foam is great for cushioning hips and shoulders if you're a side sleeper.

However, not everyone enjoys that distinctive memory foam 'hug', and memory foam can lead to overheating. If your mattress gets too warm at night and you're looking for a cooling mattress topper, then you're far better off opting for a mattress topper made of natural, breathable materials such as wool.

As Chris Tattersall, Sleep Expert and MD of wool bedding specialists Woolroom, says, 'if you are naturally a hot sleeper, toppers made with feather and down or memory foam will trap in heat, likely causing you to wake up in the night. Wool has natural temperature-regulating properties, helping you to stay cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s cold. Wool also has better moisture management capabilities, transporting moisture away from the body as opposed to feather/down and synthetic alternatives'.

However, wool-filled mattress toppers tend to be dry clean only. If you need a mattress topper that can easily be washed then a synthetic mattress topper filled with hollow fibre or microfibre foam can be the easiest to care for.

Depth

The average mattress topper tends to be around five centimetres deep, although they can range from between two to ten centimetres.

The best depth for you will depend on your preferences, your sleep style, and how uncomfortable the surface underneath the topper is!

As Chris Tattersall of Woolroom, explains, 'thinner mattress toppers are usually around 2-4cm and offer a subtle support. Medium-thickness toppers range between 4-7cm and offer both comfort and support, making them a versatile option for various sleeping positions. Thicker toppers, which are around 9cm and more offer a more substantial change to your mattress, enhancing the comfort of an older mattress.'

We think five centimetres makes for a good depth, although if you're a side sleeper you may want to opt for a slightly deeper mattress topper so that there's plenty of cushioning for hips and shoulders to sink into.

Woolroom Deluxe Wool Mattress Topper strapped onto a mattress

(Image credit: Woolroom)

FAQs

Do I need a mattress topper or a new mattress?

If you're wondering how often you should change your mattress then experts suggest it should be every seven years or so. Beyond this, the support offered by even the best materials will start to decline. A mattress topper can help to prolong your mattress's lifespan by adding a top layer that can cushion joints and hold your body in a more comfortable position.

If your mattress is just a little past its best, or you're planning on getting a replacement in the next couple of years, then a mattress topper is an affordable way to improve your sleep without the full commitment and expense of a new mattress. But, if the mattress below is long overdue for a replacement, there's only so much a topper can do.

Do I need a mattress topper or a protector?

If you're not sure on the differences between a topper and a protector then our guide to what is a mattress topper can help. However, the main difference between a mattress topper and a mattress protector is its thickness. Some of the best mattress protectors may have a bit of padding, but at most, they're usually only one or two centimetres deep and are not intended to add the levels of comfort you can get from a topper.

If you want to shield your mattress from spills and keep it fresh, a protector is for you. If it is the added comfort you need, choose a topper. Need both? Get a mattress protector that is deep enough to cover your mattress with a topper on top. 

How thick should a mattress topper be?

The average mattress topper tends to be around five centimetres deep, although they can range from between two to ten centimetres. The best thickness for you will depend on your preference and the condition of the sleep surface you'll be placing the topper on.

However, in general, we think five centimetres makes for a good depth. Danielle Mason, Head of Product Development at bedding manufacturer The Fine Bedding Company, agrees saying, 'Ideally, a mattress topper should be at least 5cm deep, two-sided and fully turnable'.

Silentnight Heat Genie self-heating mattress topper on bed

(Image credit: Silentnight)

How we test

You'll find full details of the Ideal Home review process on our How We Test page.

Our review team has tested out some of the bestselling mattress toppers on the market to find out if they live up to their claims. We've put Simba, Panda, Emma, Woolroom, Silentnight and a whole host more brands through their paces to find our top recommendations.

If there are any products that we haven't managed to test in person, or the product didn't achieve over 4 out of 5 stars, then they won't have an Ideal Home Approved badge. However, you can rest assured that we've done thorough research on the product's technical specifications and read multiple happy – and not-so-happy – customer reviews to narrow down our suggestions to only the best-in-class.

Amy Lockwood
Ecommerce Editor

After studying Print Design at Winchester School of Art, Amy spent multiple years working in the interior industry, including styling and visual merchandising for many well-known brands. She’s now Ecommerce Editor at Ideal Home, offering expert advice on the best products for decorating your home and ensuring it functions smoothly. That includes sourcing stylish yet affordable furniture – from the best sofa beds for combining style, comfort, and function, to the best artificial Christmas trees for a stress-free festive season – helping our readers to find the best mattress for their sleep style, and testing top-rated dehumidifiers and air purifiers to narrow down the best-in-class.

With contributions from