THE purpose of a mattress topper is two-fold: to add an extra layer of comfort to your bed and extend the life of your mattress.
In that way, it’s the icing on top of a snuggly cake.
If your mattress has become a little uncomfortable but you've not had it for very long, give one a go before you shell out loads of money replacing it.
A topper is also a lot easier to clean than a mattress, and having that extra layer between your body and the mattress will keep the mattress much cleaner and more hygienic for longer.
However, if your mattress is uneven or has a dip in it, a mattress topper will not solve this problem – it’ll simply sink into the dips and you’ll still have an uneven, uncomfortable mattress.
If this sounds like your bed, you need to start again with a new mattress.
It goes without saying that you need to buy the same size mattress topper as your mattress – they are specific sizes with elasticated corners or strips that keep them snugly in place and can’t be scaled up like duvets.
You need to decide what your topper is filled with, so we’ve put together a list of the best matter topper types available and the benefits and downfalls of each.
1. Best goose mattress topper: The White Company's platinum goose down mattress topper
- Platinum Goose Down Mattress Topper, £190 for a double from The White Company – buy here
If comfort is what you crave and you can think of nothing better than sinking into a cloud-like bed, do yourself a favour and buy a feather and down mattress topper.
This luxurious topper has a 100% goose feather base layer and a 80/20 per cent goose down/feather top layer for ultimate softness.
Then, to really ramp up the comfort factor, the whole thing is wrapped up in a 230 thread count cotton casing.
2. Best wool mattress topper: Heal's wool room deluxe mattress topper
- The Wool Room Deluxe Wool Mattress Topper, £140 for a super king from Heal’s – buy here
Are you one of those people who is sometimes hot in bed and sometimes cold? A wool mattress topper is what you need.
Naturally able to regulate body temperature better than most natural fibres in this world, go for a wool design if you’re a changeable sort.
Wool also has natural anti-allergy properties so is perfect for keeping itching and sniffles at bay.
3. Best synthetic mattress topper: John Lewis
- Synthetic Dual Layer 6cm Mattress Topper, £60-£85 at John Lewis – buy here
John Lewis' own brand synthetic mattress topper is available in a range of sizes, from single to super king, and features a removable top that's machine washable at 30C.
Reviewers praise the softness this topper provides although warn that you'll need some deep fitted sheets to deal with the extra bulk this topper provides.
4. Best supersoft mattress topper: M&S's supersoft mattress topper
- Supersoft Mattress Topper, £89 to £125 from M&S – buy here
A good all-rounder, a cotton mattress topper provides a good mix of comfort, breathability and luxury at a very reasonable price.
This one is light, warm and will prolong the life of your mattress while adding an extra layer of comfort.
5. Best gel fusion mattress topper: Dunelm's gel fusion memory foam mattress topper
- Gel Fusion Memory Foam Mattress Topper, £99 to £175 for a double from Dunelm –buy here
Designed to cradle your body to relieve pain, this memory foam mattress topper is infused with gel particles to help absorb and disperse body heat so you don’t feel stifled in bed.
Ventilation holes allow for increased airflow and the quilter polyester cover can be removed and washed.
6. Best deep sleep mattress topper: Silentnight's deep sleep mattress topper
- Silentnight Deep Sleep Mattress Topper, from £23 for a double from Argos – buy here
We get it, building your perfect bed soon adds up – once you've factored in bed linen, pillows and duvets, not to mention the mattress and the bed itself, you’ve spent a lot of money. A decent mattress topper needn’t cost the earth, so go for a synthetic one, like this hollow fibre design that has spiral fibres for depth, support and gentle comfort.
7. Best memory foam mattress topper: Dunelm's Dorma blend memory foam mattress topper
- Dorma Tencel Blend Memory Foam Mattress Topper, from £135 to £209 from Dunelm – buy here
Crafted with a luxurious Tencel blend cover for ultimate softness and moisture management, this quality Dorma mattress topper is filled with a premium supportive memory foam.
Moulding specifically to your body, you'll fall straight asleep.
It's available in a choice of sizes with a 10 year guarantee.
Mattress Topper Types
Feather & Down
This is a great choice if you’re after a good mix of softness and support.
Feathers add bulk and support as they are bigger and denser than down (found on the breast of the goose or duck), while it’s the down that provide the softness. Therefore, the more feathers, the firmer the topper.
To prevent the spiky ends of the feathers from poking through the topper, down and feather examples often made in two sections: the bottom chamber is filled with chunky feathers and the top with fluffy down. Some have a removable top layer for easy cleaning.
If you’re an allergy sufferer, feather and down toppers are probably not for you.
Wool & Silk
Although not as thick and fluffy as feather and down toppers, wool and silk are a better option if you prefer a firmer base to lay on.
Wool is naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites, making it perfect for allergy sufferers. It’s also breathable and adapts to keep you cool in summer and warm in winter.
Silk toppers have a super-smooth surface and give a high comfort level and luxurious feel.
These toppers are available in a wide range of firmness and support levels, depending on the thickness of the fibres inside.
Hollowfibre toppers contain less material but are sturdier than microfibre ones, so give the best support of the two; microfibre mattress toppers pack in more fibres and are better if softness and comfort are top of your list.
Good-quality microfibre toppers feel sumptuous, are hypoallergenic, breathable and aren’t as expensive as feather, down or wool toppers.
If you don’t currently have a memory foam mattress but are thinking about investing in one next time around, try a foam mattress topper out for size to gauge if it will suit you.
Memory foam toppers soften and mould to your body shape to provide excellent support – great news if you suffer with a bad back or joint pain.
The act like a cocoon so you’re more likely to stay in one place throughout the night and benefit from better, less disturbed sleep.
However, a memory foam mattress will keep you quite warm, so if you tend to get hot in bed, consider lowering the tog value of your duvet to balance your temperature.
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