Are Mattress Toppers Worth It? Do They Really Work?


If you’ve never heard of them before, you might imagine a mattress topper is like a cake topper – fancy, pretty, but what does it actually do? Nothing? Oh.

Mattress toppers are actually very useful, serving as basically removable mini-mattresses that sit atop of your actual mattress.

foam mattress topper

They add extra support and comfort, improving your quality of sleep.

That said, what exactly makes them worth the effort? It’s not like you’re reenacting the Princess and the Pea here, right?

Truthfully, a good mattress topper is worth its weight in gold.

Let’s find out more…

Mattress Topper Benefits

Better Sleep and Pain Relief

A more supportive and comfortable mattress means better sleep, and better sleep means greater mental clarity.

There are also no more pressure points between your joints and the mattress, since the topper delivers support, giving you pain relief.

Essentially, a high quality foam or gel mattress topper can transform a bad mattress.

>>> The Best Mattress Topper for Lower Back Pain

It Extends the Life of Your Mattress

An entirely new mattress can be a very costly investment, usually priced at several hundred dollars at a minimum.

However, mattress toppers are fairly cheap, with even the most expensive ones usually staying under the $100 mark.

If you’re super careful about eating in bed or showering before sleeping, stains and spills still happen – but so long as they happen to your mattress topper, not the bed itself, you can simply get a new topper and forget about dropping money on a new mattress.

More Options in Adjusting Mattress Firmness

If your mattress is too hard, a mattress topper can make your bed softer and more comfortable.

Feel like a little more firmness this week? Strip off the topper. Want some cushion? Put it back on. It’s an affordable way to customize.

They can work the other way too — a supportive memory foam mattress topper can add some much needed firmness to a plush mattress

Mattress Topper Drawbacks

While mattress toppers are great for many people, they’re not always necessary.

If your bed has a decent balance of firmness-to-softness or you’re very attentive in keeping your mattress an eating-free zone, then you might be able to pass it by.

If you’re not sure, then here’s a tip: if you wake up every morning refreshed with no pain or pressure, and spend the night in supportive comfort, then you don’t need a topper.

However, if you’re feeling in need of some extra comfort or support (or both), then investing in a mattress topper is an appropriate solution.

Mattress toppers also aren’t necessarily hypoallergenic, so that is something to watch out for if you have allergies.

Different Types of Mattress Toppers

Mattress toppers come in a variety of thicknesses, usually ranging from two inches to four inches thick.

If you’re prone to spills or often have the kiddos in bed, then the thicker option will preserve the life of your real mattress, while also giving you more cushion.

Most are made of memory foam or gels, though there are also latex, wool, down, cotton, and rayon varieties. So, like something softer? Cooler? Need it to retain heat? Decide on the material and enjoy an added level of customization to your bed.

>>> A Complete Guide to the Best Latex Mattress Toppers

If you’re wondering whether memory foam or latex is best for your needs, you might want to check out this video showing the difference between the two:

Memory Foam Mattress Topper vs Gel Mattress Topper

If you don’t have a real opinion on the material, then it’s always safe to choose between the two top favorites.

Foam mattress toppers provide more support for your body’s pressure points. This reduces soreness and pain when waking up in the morning. However, foam mattress toppers can also trap heat, which may cause you to be uncomfortably warm during the night.

Gel mattress toppers on the other hand, remain cool throughout the night, but are more expensive. A good one will offer a high level of support and comfort too.

Before You Buy a Mattress Topper…

Here are some of the things you should consider before forking out for mattress toppers.


Sure, deluxe is always nice, but going for the ritziest option isn’t the best idea when it comes to toppers.

Instead, it’s important to evaluate what you hope to achieve with it, then pick the most useful and cost effective one from that crop.

For example, if you want more cushion, then a plusher, thicker topper is wise, but you’ll need to consider how warm it will be – especially in the summer months.

Do you need to extend the life of your mattress, but intend on replacing it soon? Then investing in a thin topper which is made from a gentler material, such as cotton, will fulfill this purpose while also leaving your bank account well-intact for that pricey mattress investment later.


Now that you know what you’re seeking, it’s time for price tags.

While they’re generally very affordable across the board, you do have a significant price difference depending on how off-beat you’d like your topper to be.

For example, down toppers tend to be less expensive than memory foam mattress toppers, whereas latex toppers tend to crank up that price tag.

You can always count on thicker toppers costing more than thinner ones, but it may be worth the investment to protect your mattress and add a higher degree of comfort.

Quality and Longevity

Even if you only need the topper temporarily – if you plan on upgrading to another mattress in the future, for example – investing in a quality mattress topper now will ensure you can carry it across many beds.

It can also help you cut costs when it comes to buying a new mattress: why pay for the special cooling gel in the mattress itself, when you can buy it cheaper with a topper?

Why invest in more cushion when you can supplement it with a pad?

Several mattress brands will rank up the price for these luxuries, since they’re built in, but by customizing with a topper, you can get the same results for less.

What do you think — are mattress toppers worth it?

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