As far as we know, the Scandinavians don’t have a word for the joy of slipping into bed at night, but if they did we might suggest it was måttress töppa.
We’ve obviously completely made that up, but mattress toppers are wonderful things. They can transform your sleep into something blissful, provide extra support, breathe new life into tired mattresses and even help with night sweats.
Toppers come in every shape and size, and you are sure to find one with a filling to suit your needs. From supportive memory foam, to sumptuous duck down to naturally cooling lambs’ wool – there really is something for everyone.
How we tested
We spent the best part of three months testing out mattress toppers. That’s nearly 550 hours of sleeping and fidgeting to find the very best ones. We wanted to see which ones offered real support, which had us sinking into bed with a deep “ahhhh” of relief, and whether they took pressure off our aching back and hips.
We were keen to see which ones kept us cosy without making us overheat. So from our extensive research, here are the toppers that made it to our zzzzzz list (which is actually very exclusive).
The best mattress toppers for 2021 are:
- Best overall – Panda mattress topper: £159.95, Mypandalife.com
- Best premium topper – Naturalmat tremendous topper: £720, Naturalmat.co.uk
- Best duck-down topper – The White Company luxury white down topper: £240, Thewhitecompany.co.uk
- Best budget buy – Silentnight airmax mattress topper: £37.99, Sleepypeople.com
- Best for fidgety sleepers – Eve mattress topper: £279, Evesleep.co.uk
- Best for support – The Simba hybrid topper: £227.40, Simbasleep.co.uk
- Best synthetic topper – Soak and Sleep soft as down with silk mattress topper: £160, Soakandsleep.com
- Best thin topper – Woolroom deluxe wool mattress topper: £172.49, Thewoolroom.com
- Best two-tier topper – Dusk supreme goose down mattress topper: £156, Dusk.com
- Best natural-fibre topper – Devon Duvets wool mattress topper: £170, Devonduvets.com
- Best for temperature regulation – Duvalay freshtec cooling mattress topper: £269.95, Duvalay.co.uk
- Best budget natural-fibre topper – Loaf duck-feather topper: £95, Loaf.com
Panda mattress topper
Sizes available: 9 sizes from single to EU emperor
We loved this memory-foam mattress topper. It gave brilliant cushioning, and genuinely offered memory-foam style support. It’s made from hydro foam and is infused with gel to keep your body temperature just so. We didn’t have an issue getting too hot with this memory foam, unlike others we’ve tried in the past. The cover is made from eco-friendly, hypoallergenic bamboo, which is soft to touch and breathable. The thickness feels just right at 5cm – and transformed our mattress, giving us a luxurious and very comfy night’s sleep. This was the topper that made us feel the most excited to get in bed for a night’s sleep. It cocooned us in that sinking memory-foam feeling and we were blissfully unaware of how much our co-tester was wriggling on the other side of the bed.
Naturalmat Tremendous Topper
Best: Premium topper
Sizes available: 9 sizes from small single to emperor, plus made to measure
One of the brilliant things about all Naturalmat’s toppers is that they come in a huge variety of sizes – from cots all the way up to emperor and everything in between. Naturalmat’s toppers are made to order, and so much love and care clearly go into each one. This one is thick – a good 7cm proud. That’s thanks to layer upon layer of natural fibres. A natural latex, which is made from rubber tapped from trees, gives a springy yet supportive core to the topper. And then there are layers of bamboo-flecked cashmere for the ultimate in comfort and to help regulate temperatures, and organic lambswool for breathability. Certainly we felt this topper was one of the most substantial we tried, and it felt very supportive.,
The White Company luxury white down topper
Best: Duck-down topper
Sizes available: Single to emperor
This is a dual-layer topper. The idea being that there’s a top layer that is soft, squidgy and makes it feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud, while the base layer provides more sturdy support. In this case, the top layer is made of a blend of fluffy and plump goose down and the base layer is filled with white-goose feathers for gentle support. The result is a massive topper that makes us feel a bit like we’re in the princess and the pea. It’s squishy and has that five-star-hotel-bed feeling. While there is quilting that does hold the filling in place, we did find it needs plumping up every so often. Both layers are encased in 300-thread-count pure cotton. Overall this feels very extra and super luxurious – as long as you can deal with having to shake it out every now and then.
Silentnight airmax mattress topper
Best: Budget buy
Sizes: Single, double, king, super king
We really rated this affordable mattress topper. It’s designed to increase airflow and keep you cooler at night – a mesh sidewall helps air circulation. We tested this as temperatures started to dip, and found it was lovely and cosy, but not too sweaty. The hollowfibre filling perhaps isn’t as luxurious as some of the others we tried, but it did offer an extra level of comfort to our slumber. We also liked that it wasn’t hugely thick – it meant it was easy to put on and take off. As an added bonus you can stick it in the washing machine to keep dust mites at bay.
Eve mattress topper
Best: For fidgety sleepers
Sizes: Single, small double, UK double, UK king, super king
Eve has taken its wealth of knowledge of mattresses and translated it into mattress toppers. This topper is made from the same breathable memory foam as the brand’s original mattress, which is designed to prevent overheating and isolate movement – so no more being woken up by a fidgeting bed fellow. And we have to say we didn’t overheat once. The memory foam is decent – perhaps not the most sinky-comfort compared to some of the others, but it was still more than adequate. And we didn’t notice our co-tester waking us up either, which is always a bonus. There are also clever straps on this one, which hold the topper in place on the mattress, but also let you roll the topper up and keep it secured – super handy if you need to store it away, or are moving house.
The Simba hybrid topper
Best: For support
Sizes: Single, small double, UK double, UK king, super king
This mattress topper has had everything thrown at it – and is a very tough act to beat as a result. It has been built with layers upon layers to provide a decent night’s sleep. The top surface layer is soft and breathable, then there’s a cooling layer. Below this is a spring layer, and beneath that a support base. Phew! Each layer provides something different – hence the hybrid name – and the result is decent support and luxurious comfort. We didn’t overheat once, despite all the layers of foam and spring, and found it relatively easy to unfurl and put on. It’s not the softest topper we tried, but we found it did help alleviate aches and pains we sometimes get while sleeping.
Soak and Sleep soft as down with silk mattress topper
Best: Synthetic topper
Sizes: Single, double, king, super king
This is a great mattress topper if you’re after something a bit firmer. We found the hollowfibre filling was similar feeling to our mattress, but just a bit better. There is also a layer of silk inside, which helps wick away moisture and keep you cool. And yes, we enjoyed plenty of temperate nights on this topper. The Soak and Sleep topper is also machine washable at 30 degrees celsius – in fact the care instructions recommend you wash it every six months. You can tumble dry it on low, but you’d probably need a large-capacity machine.
Woolroom deluxe wool mattress topper
Best: Thin topper
Sizes: 10 sizes from single to large emperor
Made with all naturall-naturalal fibres, this is a great alternative to memory foam if you prefer to keep things a bit more pure. It’s made from traceable British wool and comes encased in an organic-cotton outer cover. We found the wool kept us nicely insulated – we never got too hot, but it provided a gently toasty night’s sleep. It is probably one of the thinner mattress toppers we tried at around 4cm in profile, which is great if you don’t want too much extra height. And on a decent mattress this doesn’t matter, providing just a bit of extra comfort and support. But if you’re looking for something to mask over a shoddy mattress, this probably wouldn’t cut the mustard.
Dusk supreme goose down mattress topper
Best: Two-tier topper
Sizes: Single, double, king, super king
This topper has two layers: the upper layer has 70 per cent fluffy goose down, while the bottom layer is filled with feathers to provide support. And we did find it perfectly supportive. We sunk into it without feeling totally enveloped, and it cocooned us in position all night, which helped with our sleeping posture. It felt warm and cosy thanks to those insulating down feathers, but we never overheated. The topper is quilted in neat squares, meaning the topper filling didn’t slip or bunch, but we do think it benefits from a shake-out every now and then. We found when morning came around that we were more reluctant than usual to get out of bed when we had this topper on.
Devon Duvets wool mattress topper
Best: Natural-fibre topper
Sizes: 9 sizes from junior to emperor, plus bespoke sizes on request
For a wool topper, this one has a really decent profile – at 5cm it’s much plumper than any others we came across. We found it to be the perfect combination of support – it had one of the best “spring backs” of any topper we tried across the whole spectrum – and comfort. The quilting on it is clearly designed to make large areas of squidge (a technical term) yet stop all the filling sliding around. And about the filling – it’s 100 per cent British wool, which is breathable and keeps dust mites at bay. To top off this dreamy number, all the toppers are handmade in Devon workshops without the use of any chemicals in the fibres or in the production process. We think this topper is fantastic value for the quality of the product, too.
Duvalay freshtec cooling mattress topper
Best: For temperature regulation
Sizes: Single, small double, double, king, super king
This topper, as the name might suggest, has been designed specifically to help combat night sweats, making it ideal for menopausal and postnatal people, as well as those who just tend to get a bit warmer when they’re asleep. We found it did the cooling job nicely – our co-tester is liable to the odd night sweat, but they found it kept even them nice and cool all night long. We also rated the support – which is memory foam but quite squishy. While it’s not super supportive, it would breathe new life into a tired mattress.
Loaf duck-feather topper
Best: Budget natural-fibre topper
Sizes: single, double, king, super king
Although not the thickest feather-filled topper we tried (look to The White Company’s one for that), this topper was really reasonably priced for natural filling. And it felt premium too – the outside is 100 per cent cotton, and the inside is 100 per cent duck feathers. These fibres are great for temperature regulation, and made us feel cosy and snug. We weren’t blown away by the level of structured support in this topper, but the square-pocket quilting did keep the filling in place.
Mattress topper FAQs
How to buy a mattress topper?
Choosing the right mattress topper to sleep on depends on your body and budget. There are four main types of mattress toppers; memory foam, feather and down, microfibre and hollowfibre, with pros and cons to each.
Memory foam provides ample amounts of support so if you suffer from back pain, it can ease discomfort. They can absorb the motion of tossing and turning bed partners too that can typically wake up a light sleeper, but can also be expensive. They should spring back to the same height each time you use it, so you don’t need to fluff it up to keep it looking and feeling as comfortable as possible.
Feather and down toppers tend to be cheaper and don’t retain as much heat, so can help cool you down on warm nights. They will also compress over time so you will need to fluff it up to keep it soft and your bed looking plush.
Microfibre and hollowfibre are the most affordable type of mattress toppers, so if you’re shopping on a budget, these are your best bet. They add an additional layer of cosiness and can soften a firmer mattress, but they can become lumpy over time, therefore having a shorter lifespan.
What’s the difference between mattress pads, toppers and protectors?
Mattress pads provide a thin, extra layer to your bed, whereas mattress toppers are much thicker and plusher, designed to maximise your comfort, with some made in fabrics that are cooling, so ideal if you find yourself often too hot to sleep.
Mattress protectors are thin sheet coverings that keep your mattress clean and protect from stains, dirt, moisture, irritants and allergens. Many are waterproof too and can often be easily cleansing in a washing machine.
Can you wash a mattress topper?
Before washing your mattress topper, be careful to read the label to see if it’s safe to put in the washing machine. If it’s not, you will need to hand wash it to remove any stains.
Sprinkle baking soda onto the topper and leave for 30 minutes before vacuuming it to get rid of odours, dust and grime. Then, if there are more persistent stains, take a damp cloth and stain remover to gently lift the stain.
The verdict: Mattress toppers
We loved the Panda memory foam mattress topper – it was thick, comfy and gave real support. But if you want something natural fibre and all singing, all dancing, Naturalmat’s topper is well, tremendous.
Now you’ve got your mattress sorted, up the cosy factor with our edit of the best linen bedding
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