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Updated: 23 May 2022

Best mattress toppers

Find the best mattress topper for your body and budget. From memory foam to microfibre, we explain the pros and cons of different types, and reveal the best topper brands.
Lisa Galliers

A good mattress topper can help you get a more comfortable night's sleep, and help prolong your mattress's life by protecting it from wear and tear.

A mattress topper can offer a cheap – albeit temporary – solution to the problem of a less-than-comfortable mattress. 

In our latest survey of 972 Which? members who owned a mattress topper, 85% told us that a mattress topper made their mattress more comfortable. 

You can buy a basic mattress topper for less than £20, although many cost more. Our survey results can guide you towards one that's worth your money. 

If you're looking to buy a mattress topper because you really need a new mattress, but don't think you have the budget for one, we might be able to help. Head over to our hand-picked round-up of the best mattress deals for the month where we've picked big brand mattress on offer. Or check out our Top five cheap mattresses for 2022 where you can find a decent mattress at a lower than average price. 

Which? members can log in now to unlock the full results. If you're not already a member, you can get instant access to all of our independent reviews by joining Which? today. 

Best mattress topper brands

BrandWhich? customer scoreComfortHow well the mattress topper matched its descriptionValue for money
John Lewis
Marks & Spencer
Soak & Sleep

Sample sizes: Dorma (36), Dunelm (106), IKEA (81), John Lewis (234), Marks & Spencer (74), Silentnight (74), Soak & Sleep (34)

Is it worth getting a mattress topper?

If you can't afford a new mattress, or don't want to replace the one you have at the moment, a mattress topper can help make what you have more comfortable for the time being. 

More than half of Which? members who took part in our 2021 survey bought a topper to make their mattress more comfortable (and 85% said it did indeed make their bed more comfortable). A third bought one to help protect their mattress from wear and tear. 

Our lab testers have found that a mattress topper won't offer any extra body support, but can improve pressure distribution in some instances such as on a firm or thin mattress, giving you a more comfortable experience. 

However, if your mattress is already sagging, or has softened a lot over time, a mattress topper may not make that much difference: it's time to buy a new mattress. 

If your mattress really is on its last legs, check out our roundup of the best mattresses to make sure you get a good one. 

What's the difference between a mattress topper and a mattress protector?

The words mattress topper and mattress protector are sometimes used interchangeably, but their functions are quite different.

A mattress topper, as the name suggests, sits on top of your mattress, offering a few extra centimetres of material to make the whole experience more comfortable. Toppers can be made of memory foam, feather/down, microfibre, polyester or a different soft material entirely, or more natural materials such as wool or cotton. A topper is generally thicker than a mattress protector.

As an extra layer, a mattress topper will give some degree of protection from stains and wear or tear, but will probably not be waterproof, unlike a protector. Think of a mattress topper as exactly that: the top layer of your mattress. Some are washable, but not all, so check before you buy.

A protector, on the other hand, shields your mattress (and topper) from stains and can help prevent damage. A protector offers a removable and washable protective layer to your mattress, helping to keep it fresher for longer. It won't be as thick as a topper. It will often be little more than a sheet, and can be added like you would a fitted sheet on top of the mattress (and topper), or held on by straps which go over the corners.

A mattress protector will help protect your mattress from bodily fluids, spills and stains. As a mattress protector won't be as thick as a mattress topper, it won't protect your mattress much from wear and tear, or prevent it sagging. 

Mattress protectors are usually washable, but some high-end, natural toppers are spot clean only: check the instructions before bundling it into the washing machine. 

If you need to clean your mattress – for example if you've bled onto your mattress or need to clear up a bed-wetting accident – head to our how to clean a mattress guide for advice.

Types of mattress toppers

There are four main types of mattress topper: memory foam, feather and down, microfibre and latex. But you'll also find other toppers made from more natural materials, such as wool or cotton. 

Each type of mattress topper feels different to lie on. Down toppers feel soft, plush and cosy, while memory foam is firm and spongey and can feel warmer.

Memory foam mattress toppers

  • Pros: helps absorb the motion of a bed partner who tosses and turns throughout the night; designed to reduce pressure on arthritic or sore joints; can make a firm mattress feel considerably softer
  • Cons: some find memory foam toppers hot to lie on; can make it difficult to turn over in bed; usually more expensive than microfibre and down; can have a synthetic smell when new

Made of a temperature-sensitive material, memory foam will react to your body heat and contour to your shape – which manufacturers claim helps relieve painful joints. 

A memory foam mattress topper should spring back to the same height each time you use it, too, unlike one made of down or microfibre, which will need to be fluffed up.

However, some people don't like the feel of memory foam and find that it makes them feel too warm. It's worth trying a memory foam mattress topper in-store before buying, if you can. 

Some memory foam toppers will smell quite synthetic when new, but this should fade within a week. To remove the smell more quickly, hang the topper up outside or in an airy room to let it breathe before putting it on your bed.

Feather and down mattress toppers

  • Pros: won’t retain as much heat as memory foam; won't hinder your movement in bed, feels soft and cosy - sometimes described as laying on a cloud, some feather or down mattress toppers can be cheaper than some memory foam or latex;
  • Cons: may well compress over time, requiring periodic shaking to fluff it back up; not hypoallergenic; feather quills can poke through the fabric; can smell at first; not always ethically farmed

Feather and down mattress toppers have a more traditional feel and you can find cheap down mattress toppers for around £50. 

Premium feather and down toppers can be expensive. Some, such as Hungarian goose down, can be very expensive.

These natural options can flatten down quickly and will need regular fluffing to retain their shape. You might find they have a musky smell at first, too.

Feathers and down aren't always taken from birds in a humane way. To ensure you're buying a topper with down that has been responsibly farmed, we recommend checking with manufacturers and retailers to find out what their policies are before you buy. 

Microfibre and hollowfibre mattress toppers

  • Pros: cheapest option; no odour; provides a bit of softness; available in anti-allergy options, not as warm as other options
  • Cons: not as breathable as other mattress topper types; can become lumpy over time; will flatten over time; shortest lifespan of all the topper types

Microfibre is a synthetic material, often used in pillows and duvets, and is the most affordable of all mattress topper types. It's a great basic option if you need a mattress topper on a budget - you can pick them up for as little as £20 in some places. 

It's not as breathable as down, and will flatten quicker, but this can be fixed by regularly shaking to fluff it back up.

Its synthetic fibres make it hypoallergenic, too. Some are sold as ‘anti-allergy’: these ones are treated with a chemical to help stop common allergens such as dust mites and pollen.

Latex mattress toppers

  • Pros: designed to be very durable; a latex mattress topper will absorb movement if your partner moves in the night; antimicrobial and non-allergenic (unless you have a latex allergy)
  • Cons: expensive; can have a distinctive odour when new; too firm for some; feels different to traditional feather and down

Made of either rubber tree sap or synthetic rubber, latex mattress toppers tend to be cooler and more breathable than memory foam. Latex contours to your body shape like foam, but its elasticity means it will bounce back quickly.

It is usually quite expensive, but manufacturers claim that latex is more durable than any other bedding material, so it should stay comfortable for longer.

Latex has an unusual feel, which is different to either memory foam or down. Some people like it and some don't, so it's worth trying a latex topper or mattress in-store before you buy.

How much do you need to spend on a mattress topper?

If you're after a basic double mattress topper, you can pick up a relatively cheap own-brand supermarket polyester topper for £14. 

Entry-level memory foam mattress toppers start at around £20. Some premium mattress toppers can cost more than £200 for a double-size.

Premium down and latex toppers cost more than memory foam and microfibre. And we've spotted super-expensive Vispring models in John Lewis costing an eye-watering £880 for a double-size topper made from British fleece wool.

Where to buy a mattress topper

John Lewis, Dunelm, Next and Dormeo are among the most searched-for mattress topper retailers at the time of writing. We’ve included links to these retailers below, chosen because of their stock availability, best-value price and/or warranty options. 

Mattress toppers and protectors can bring comfort and add years of life to your bedding, so buying from a trusted brand is a must. Check the retailer's returns policy and pay attention to customer feedback and reviews. For more details on shopping online safely and arranging refunds for faulty products, see our advice on shopping online

  • John Lewis - offers a range of mattress toppers, from single to super king size and made with natural and synthetic materials. The cheapest products come in at £40 for a double-sized synthetic topper. Click & Collect is free on orders over £30, and standard delivery starts at £3.95 (but is free on orders over £50)
  • Dunelm - sells many types of mattress toppers, from memory foam to duck feather down, from as little as £22 for a single-size. Retails own-brand toppers as well as products from Fogarty, Dorma and Eve. Standard delivery is £3.95 and free for orders over £49 – all returns are free. You can also click & collect for free.
  • Next - advertises mattress topper and protector products in a range of sizes, including children's beds, cots and bassinets. The cheapest protector comes for just £10 for a single, and prices go up to between £200-400 for more premium brands, depending on mattress size. You can get in-store collection for free but you'll need to pay for home delivery. 
  • Dormeo - offers several types of toppers and protectors in a range of materials. 60-night sleep trials are available with several models and free delivery applies on orders over £79.

Last updated May 2022