Looking to get the perfect night’s sleep? This is our pick of the best mattress toppers you can buy
If you don’t want to fork out for a totally new mattress, a topper could be just the ticket. The best mattress toppers can help you give your old mattress a new lease of life, or add a little extra comfort to one that’s just a bit too firm. As a topper sits on top of your existing mattress under your sheets, it provides an extra layer of padding that can make the difference between insomnia and getting a great night’s sleep.
The problem is that, in a saturated market, choosing which mattress topper you need can be so overwhelming that many people don’t have a clue where to start. How do you work out which type is best for your needs? How much money do you need to spend? How long can you expect your topper to last?
Here you’ll find our pick of the best mattress toppers, as well as a step-by-step buyer’s guide to help you pick the right topper for your needs and budget.
Best mattress toppers: At a glance
- Best-value mattress topper: Panda Memory Foam Bamboo Topper | From £100
- Best budget mattress topper: Silentnight Airmax | From £39
- A brilliant washable topper: John Lewis Soft Touch Topper | From £85
- Best versatile foam topper: Emma Flip Topper | From £179
- An innovative and breathable foam topper: Dormeo Octasmart Deluxe | From £460
How to choose the best mattress topper for you
Do I need a mattress topper?
A mattress topper can be an affordable sleep solution in a number of instances. If your mattress is getting a bit old and worn, or it just feels too firm, a topper can provide a comfort layer to extend its life. It’s also a good way of protecting a new mattress from wear and tear, though we also recommend buying a mattress protector.
It’s important to bear in mind that a topper isn’t a fix-all solution. If a mattress is on its last legs and is starting to sag, a topper won’t do you any favours. Similarly if your mattress feels too soft, plonking a mattress topper down on it will likely only make it softer.
What different fillings should I look out for?
Filling is the next most important thing to think about, and there are quite a few options out there to choose from:
Memory foam: An increasingly popular topper material, and an affordable alternative to a foam mattress, memory foam toppers mould to the body and provide pressure relief, making them great for those who sleep on their side as well as those who suffer from joint pain. They also help to reduce motion transfer, which is ideal if you’re usually kept awake at night by your partner’s tossing and turning.
That said, foam retains heat, so if you are susceptible to feeling too warm at night, a foam topper is perhaps not the best option. They can also sometimes carry an unpleasant chemical smell when they are first unpackaged, though this usually dissipates after a short while.
Wool: Wool is renowned for being hypoallergenic and antibacterial. Its insulating properties make it warm in the winter, while it’s breathable enough that you won’t overheat in the summer. Wool toppers aren’t the cheapest option, though, and they can be tricky to clean.
Down: Down feather fillings, often from duck or goose, are a luxuriously soft and plush option. However, like wool, down can be expensive and is not vegan-friendly.
Silk: Another luxury option, silk is super smooth, soft and hypoallergenic. It’s a delicate material though, so it’ll require care when it comes to washing.
Synthetic: For the most part, synthetic is a popular budget option: microfibre and hollowfibre toppers can be a comfortable, affordable and vegan-friendly alternative to wool and down. They’re also relatively easy to wash and dry.
What else should I consider?
A mattress topper should match the size of your bed, so make sure you buy the right size. You also have to take the depth of the topper into consideration: this can vary between around 2cm and 7cm. Thicker toppers, as well as being more expensive, offer more padding so will often feel more plush.
Some toppers, including the Panda topper and John Lewis Soft Touch options featured below, come with corner straps that help hold them in place on the mattress. If you’re concerned about your topper slipping about (which can be a common problem), look out for one with these straps.
Whether you’re using a mattress protector or not, you may need to clean your topper from time to time. Most of the toppers in our roundup below come with machine washable covers, while some of the thinner, non-foam toppers can be put straight in the washing machine. In any case, check the manufacturer’s specifications for washing instructions.
Finally, some mattress toppers (usually the ones from bed-in-a-box brands such as Emma) come with trial periods that will allow you to try out the topper in the comfort of your own home, with the option of returning it for a refund if you’re not happy.
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The best mattress toppers to buy in 2023
1. Panda Memory Foam Bamboo Mattress Topper: The best-value memory foam topper
Price when reviewed: From £100 | Check price at Panda Panda’s memory-foam topper is one of the best memory-foam toppers we’ve tested, which is mightily impressive when you consider it costs just £160 in king-size. It’s made from what Panda calls “temperature-regulating hydro foam”, which we definitely found cooler – and a touch firmer – than cheaper rivals such as the Silentnight Impress.
Indeed, at 50mm thick, the Panda topper contains enough memory foam to add a healthy dose of comfort without compromising on support in any meaningful way. It comes with a washable hypoallergenic bamboo cover and has handy elastic straps and an anti-slip layer to ensure the topper stays securely in place.
It’s worth noting that, like most foam toppers, the Panda topper can soften up as it gets warmer, so don’t expect it to cure a dip in your mattress. If you buy from Panda (including via Amazon) the topper comes with a 30-night money-back guarantee and the company will come and collect it for free if you don’t like it.
Key features – Filling: Memory foam with polyester cover; Machine washable? Cover only; Thickness: 5cm; Sizes: Single through to super king; Warranty: Ten-year guarantee
Also consider: Silentnight Impress 5cm topper
Since we first featured it as our best budget option, the Silentnight Impress has risen in price. While it used to cost just £100 in a king size, it now starts at £98 (single) and rises to £163 for a king. Considering it’s now less than £10 cheaper than the Panda in king sizes, we would ultimately recommend opting for the latter. That said, it does a decent job of providing a layer of comfort on top of a tired mattress. And if your priority is finding the cheapest prices, the Impress is still the most affordable memory foam topper we’ve come across.
2. John Lewis Soft Touch Mattress Topper: An excellent washable mattress topper
Price when reviewed: From £85 | Check price at John Lewis Here’s another thick topper that offers the kind of comfort you get in five-star hotels, yet won’t break the bank and isn’t prone to sagging. Other plus points include the fact that you bung it in the washing machine at 60˚C (and even the tumble drier on low heat) as much as you like, and it comes out as good as new.
Although it’s made from 100% polyester, it’s actually made up of two layers – the top one being extra soft, while the core provides the firmness. So there’s no need to worry about the kind of sponginess that can leave you feeling suffocated and we found it’s particularly good if you’re prone to aches and pains. The elastic straps keep it secure on the bed and it’s nice and warm (a good job as you can’t use an electric blanket with it), although that can be a downside if you get clammy at night.
Key features – Filling: 100% polyester; Thickness: 6cm; Machine washable? Yes; Sizes: Single, double; Warranty: 2 years
3. Silentnight Airmax Mattress Topper: Best budget mattress topper
Price when reviewed: From £39 | Check price at Amazon
If you want to soften a hard mattress and make your bed more comfortable without breaking the bank, the Silentnight AirMax Mattress Topper is just the ticket. Its dual-layer design sees a healthy helping of polyester filling sandwiched between two individual microfibre toppers, with an overall thickness measuring 5cm.
This generous depth provides ample cushioning but doesn’t ever make you feel like you’re sinking too far into the bed. What’s more, mesh walls around the sides of the topper help to improve airflow and ensure you remain cool, even if you happen to share your bed with a human radiator.
As well as being a delight to sleep on, the AirMax is machine washable at 40˚C, easy to fit thanks to the elasticated straps on its four corners and can be used with an electric blanket without adversely affecting your comfort. With a super king available for under £60, the AirMax offers unbeatable value for money.
Key features – Filling: Polyester; Thickness: 5cm; Machine washable? Yes; Sizes: Single through to super king; Warranty: 2 years
4. The Wool Room Deluxe Wool Topper: Best wool mattress topper
Price when reviewed: From £169 | Check price at The Wool Room A great one for sufferers of allergies, asthma or eczema, this 3cm-deep all-natural topper is resistant to house dust mites and fungus and even carries the Allergy UK’s Seal of Approval – no mean feat. It’s also noticeably cool and is effective at regulating your temperature at night, making it a godsend for women of a certain age or anyone who’s prone to getting hot and sweaty when they enter the land of nod. As for comfort levels, the 100% top-notch British wool means it feels sumptuous without being overly soft and the wide elastic straps fit snugly onto the mattress. It washes in the machine like a dream and travels well too, fitting in a small bag, which means you can take it on holiday if you wish. They do a great selection of pillows and duvets too.
Key features – Thickness: 3-4cm; Filling: 100% platinum-certified, washable British wool; Machine washable?: Yes; Sizes: Available in single through to super king (plus bespoke sizes upon request); Warranty: 1 year
5. Dormeo Octasmart Essentials: An affordable topper with a 60-night money-back guarantee
Price when reviewed: From £129 l Check price at Dormeo Deciding on a mattress topper and then being dissatisfied when you first sleep on it isn’t ideal, especially if there isn’t a returns process. The good news is that Dormeo’s Octasmart Essentials topper is backed by a 60-night money-back guarantee, which helps eliminate any worry when buying. Not only that, but it comes with free delivery and a choice of firmness.
Whether you opt for the memory foam (plush) or Aerocell (firm) filling, the hypoallergenic Dormeo Octasmart Essentials is a comfortable, breathable topper that doesn’t cost the earth. It’s worth noting, however, that it lacks corner straps, so it might slide about during the night if you’re a particularly fidgety sleeper, and it isn’t machine washable, either.
Regardless, if you’re looking for an affordable topper with a lengthy trial period and an eight-year guarantee, then the Dormeo Octasmart Essentials is a smart choice.
Key features – Filling: Memory foam (Plush) or Aerocell foam (Firm); Machine washable? No; Thickness: 5cm; Sizes: Single through to super king; Warranty: Eight-year guarantee, 60-night trial
6. Soak & Sleep Soft as Down Silk Topper: Best cooling mattress topper
Price when reviewed: From £150 | Check price at Soak & Sleep
Though we’ve called this a “cooling mattress topper”, no topper will work to actively cool you down throughout the night. But as silk can help to regulate body temperature, it’s a better option than memory foam for those who get too hot during the night. We like the fact that this topper also has an added bottom chamber that’s filled with a generous layer of gently supportive microfibre – the upshot of which is that it’s much comfier than many of the thinner pure silk toppers available. The elastic straps keep it firmly in place, too. And as you are much less likely to perspire when sleeping on silk, the silk filling remains free from dust mites – great for allergy sufferers, who will also be pleased to learn that silk is naturally hypoallergenic.
Key features – Filling: Microfibre and silk with cotton casing; Thickness: 7cm thick; Sizes: Single through to super king; Machine washable? No, professional clean only; Warranty: 365-day return period
7. Dormeo Octasmart Deluxe Topper: An innovative and breathable foam topper
Price when reviewed: From £460 | Check price at Dormeo
The Dormeo Octasmart Deluxe stands out in our roundup because of its unique design: at the core of the 7cm topper is a layer of memory foam “springs”, which provide pressure relief across your body, while also making the Deluxe eight times more breathable than traditional foam toppers, according to the brand.
Making up the rest of the topper is a base foundation of Ecocell foam and an upper layer of open-cell memory foam for comfort. And although it starts at £460 for a single (the most expensive mattress topper in our roundup), you get a 60-night trial to test it out at the end of which, if you don’t like it, you can return it for a refund. It also comes with a free Dormeo Octasmart Pillow.
Key features – Thickness: 7cm; Filling: Memory foam; Sizes: Single – super king; Warranty: 8-year warranty
8. Emma Flip Topper: A versatile foam topper
Price when reviewed: From £179 | Check price at Emma
The selling point of this memory foam mattress topper from Emma is that it’s double-sided, offering a firmer side and a softer side. In truth, while this does allow for some versatility, there isn’t a great deal of difference between the two – and it’s particularly important to bear in mind that, as we said in our buying guide, putting any topper on your mattress is only going to make it feel softer.
This aside, the Emma Flip Topper did add a good degree of comfort to a rather rigid and slightly bumpy mattress, so we have to give it credit for that. The only issue we had was that the topper we tested (a size double) didn’t quite cover the full surface area of our mattress. This doesn’t impact its comfort greatly, but it does slightly undermine the topper’s edge support.
A few other familiar benefits that come with the topper are a machine washable cover and a 100-night trial period that gives you plenty of time to try the topper out before you decide whether or not you want to commit to it. What’s more, thanks to Emma’s regular promotional sales, you will rarely have to pay full price for it.
Key features – Filling: Memory foam with polyester cover; Machine washable? Cover only; Thickness: 5cm; Sizes: Single through to super king; Warranty: Ten-year guarantee, plus 100-night trial