Shopping for a firm mattress topper?
You've come to the right place.
A firm mattress topper can improve mattress support, spinal alignment, and overall comfort. It can also help reduce back pain.
What's In This Buying Guide?
Table of Contents
- What's In This Buying Guide?
- How a Firm Mattress Topper Helps You Sleep Better
- Best Firm and Extra Firm Mattresses Toppers for 2021
- 1. Best Pressure Relief: ViscoSoft 3 Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper
- 2. Best Temperature Regulation: Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR ProForm 3″ Supreme
- 3. Best Organic: Avocado Vegan Mattress Topper
- 4. Best Zoned Support: LUCID 2 Inch 5 Zone Lavender Memory Foam Mattress Topper
- 5. Best Latex Extra Firm Mattress Topper: PlushBeds Natural Latex (Extra Firm)
- 6. Best Extra Firm Mattress Topper for Soft Mattresses: Pure Green 100% Natural Latex Mattress Topper
- 7. Best Pressure Relief Extra Firm Mattress Topper: Ultimate Dreams 3″ Talalay Latex Firm Mattress Topper
- Buying Guide: What to Look For in a Quality Firm Mattress Topper
- Final Verdict
In this buying guide, we review the best firm mattress toppers for 2021. Our top picks include a variety of options, including memory foam, latex, and organic toppers to help you find the perfect mattress topper for your needs.
How a Firm Mattress Topper Helps You Sleep Better
An overly soft mattress is bad for your back and joints. Your midsection, which exerts the most pressure on the mattress, sinks lower than the rest of the body. This bends your spine and puts pressure on your hip and shoulder joints.
Over time, back pain is inevitable and can be accompanied by pain in the shoulders and hips.
A firm mattress topper reduces your mattress's sinkage. Instead of your midsection sinking into the mattress, your spine and body stay naturally aligned.
This reduces or eliminates back, shoulder, and hip pain.
A firm sleeping surface is especially important for stomach sleepers, some back sleepers and people who weigh more than average.
If your mattress feels uncomfortably soft, getting a firm mattress topper is cheaper than buying a brand new mattress.
Note, however, that a mattress topper is not a miracle worker. If your mattress is in a terrible condition or has a deep sag in the middle, a topper isn't going to help much. You'll still wake up with back pain or sore shoulders.
Mattress toppers work best for mattresses that are in relatively good condition but need some comfort improvement.
Best Firm and Extra Firm Mattresses Toppers for 2021
To help you better pick a comfortable mattress topper, we've grouped our top picks into two categories: firm and extra firm.
Best Firm Mattress Toppers
- Pressure Relief: ViscoSoft 3 Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper
- Temperature Regulation: Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR ProForm 3″ Supreme
- Organic: Avocado Vegan Mattress Topper
- Zoned Support: LUCID 2 Inch 5 Zone Lavender Memory Foam Mattress Topper
Best Extra Firm Mattresses Toppers
- Latex Extra Firm Mattress Topper: PlushBeds Natural Latex
- Extra Firm Mattress Topper for Soft Mattresses: Pure Green 100% Natural Latex Mattress Topper
- Pressure Relief Extra Firm Mattress Topper: Ultimate Dreams Full 3″ Talalay Latex Medium Mattress Topper
|ViscoSoft||Best pressure relief||3"||Ventilated gel memory foam||Yes||3 years|
|Tempur-Pedic Supreme ||Best temperature regulation||3"||TEMPUR memory foam||Yes||10 years|
|Avocado Vegan||Best organic||2.75"||Organic Dunlop latex||Yes (but not washable)||10 years|
|LUCID||Best zoned support||2"||Lavender memory foam||No||3 years|
|PlushBeds Natural Latex||Best latex extra firm||2"/3"||Natural Talalay latex||Sold separately||5 years|
|Pure Green||Best for soft mattresses||1"/2"/3"||Natural latex||No||5 years|
|Ultimate Dreams||Best pressure relief extra firm||3"||Blended Talalay latex||Yes||3 years|
1. Best Pressure Relief: ViscoSoft 3 Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper
When it comes to pressure relief, there's no question that memory foam is king. Our top pick for sleepers looking for a firm but pressure-relieving is the ViscoSoft 3″ memory foam topper.
- Relieves pressure points.
- Excellent support.
- High-density durable memory foam.
- Ventilated design and cooling gel keep the topper cool.
- Removable cover with elastic straps.
The 3″ ViscoSoft mattress topper has a markedly different feel from other memory foam toppers. While most memory foam toppers have a plush squishy feel (which is great for side sleepers and too-firm mattresses), ViscoSoft feels denser.
It does hug your body to relieve pressure points, but it doesn't sink too much that it reduces support.
If you want the soft feel of memory foam without sinking into your mattress, ViscoSoft is a great choice.
The ViscoSoft topper is made with high-density memory foam that is designed to last for years. Unlike cheaper memory foam toppers, ViscoSoft will not compress or sag after just a few months.
You'll easily feel the quality of the foam when you receive the topper. It's heavy. The queen size weighs about 32 pounds.
While this is good for durability, it does make the topper tedious to set up and move.
A major concern when it comes to memory foam is heating. The ViscoSoft topper takes care of this using perforations in the foam. These holes carry heat away from the topper. Also, the memory foam contains a gel that absorbs body heat.
Combined with its reduced body hug (firm foam doesn't hug your body as closely), the perforated design and cooling gel make ViscoSoft a good choice for hot sleepers.
The ViscoSoft topper comes with a removable cover that you can machine wash. Four corner straps make it easy to secure the topper on your mattress.
The ViscoSoft Topper is Good For:
- Folks with back, shoulder, and hip pain. The ViscoSoft topper provides adequate support while cushioning your back and joints from too much pressure.
- Hot sleepers who want a memory foam topper.
- Heavier side sleepers who find their mattress too firm.
2. Best Temperature Regulation: Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR ProForm 3″ Supreme
If you are a hot sleeper but still want the pressure relief of memory foam, get the Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR ProForm Supreme topper.
The TEMPUR material used in the topper does not contain any gel, but it sleeps cooler than most gel memory foam toppers.
- Sleeps cool (for most sleepers).
- Excellent support and pressure-point relief.
- Comes with a removable and washable cover.
- Durable memory foam.
If you've bought a Tempur-Pedic product, you know they come at a premium price. It's usually worth it.
The Tempur ProForm Supreme will cost you about twice the price of most 3″ memory foam toppers. But it's more comfortable and lasts longer than other brands.
The Supreme topper uses an exclusive type of memory foam called TEMPUR. It easily adapts to your body and sleeping position and has a better response than ordinary memory foam.
The Supreme topper has a medium-firm feel. It's not just great for firming up a too-soft mattress; you can also use it to slightly soften an extra-firm mattress.
The topper provides great body contouring, which keeps your spine in alignment and relieves pressure from your shoulders, back, and hips.
Another area where the TEMPUR memory foam performs better than ordinary memory foam is temperature regulation.
The Supreme topper sleeps much cooler than most memory foam toppers, making it a good choice for naturally hot sleepers.
The breathable cover also helps you stay cool at night.
Tempur-Pedic sells another memory foam topper specifically designed for cooling, but it has a medium comfort feel. Unless you are looking for a plush topper, stick with the Supreme topper.
A removable and washable cover makes it easy to keep the topper clean and allergen-free.
Unfortunately, the topper doesn't come with straps or an elastic pocket to secure it to the mattress. So it tends to shift, especially when you are getting off the bed.
The Tempur-Pedic Supreme Topper is Good for:
- Folks looking for a luxury memory foam mattress topper.
- Hot sleepers and those who live in a warm climate.
- Sleepers looking for a medium-firm foam topper with a good balance of support and pressure relief.
3. Best Organic: Avocado Vegan Mattress Topper
If you prefer an eco-friendlier mattress topper, we recommend the Avocado Vegan topper. It's not only organic; it's also vegan-friendly.
- Organic and vegan.
- Firm support.
- Cotton padding provides pressure relief.
- Sleeps cool.
- The cover is not washable.
Latex toppers are great for making a mattress more supportive. Latex has a more rigid feel and can hold your weight without sinking too much.
The Avocado Vegan topper is made with organic Dunlop latex. It is wrapped in an organic cotton cover quilted with organic cotton. It's all-natural and all-organic. It's also vegan.
The topper is available in two firmness levels: firm and plush. We recommend the firm one if you want better mattress support.
As you would expect from a natural latex topper, Avocado Vegan has no heating issues. Latex does not trap heat, and the breathable organic cotton cover ensures heat quickly dissipates away from the topper.
Avocado Vegan is not exactly a budget mattress topper. It even costs more than the premium Tempur-Pedic Supreme topper.
If you are looking for a sub $200 mattress topper, this is not it.
Another issue we have with the Avocado Vegan topper is the lack of an elastic pocket or straps, meaning there's no way to secure it to the mattress. You'll have to occasionally push it back into place.
The topper comes with a cover that you can remove. Unfortunately, you cannot machine wash it.
The Avocado Vegan Mattress is good for
- Sleepers looking for an organic latex mattress.
- Folks with a bigger budget.
4. Best Zoned Support: LUCID 2 Inch 5 Zone Lavender Memory Foam Mattress Topper
The Lucid 2″ memory foam topper uses five zones of varying firmness to deliver targeted pressure-point relief and support to different areas of your body. The zoned design improves body contouring and spinal alignment.
- Zoned support enhances support and pressure-point relief.
- Relaxing lavender scent.
- Balanced medium-firm feel.
- Helps with back, hip, and shoulder pain.
- Not ideal for hot sleepers.
- The lavender smell doesn't last long.
Zoned support mattresses are all the rage right now with popular brands like Casper and Leesa incorporating the design into their mattresses. It has also started appearing in mattress toppers like this Lucid 2″ lavender memory foam topper.
The Lucid topper has five zones with varying firmness. The zoned design makes the topper more effective at eliminating pressure points and keeping your spine properly aligned.
Combined with the memory foam construction of the topper, the zoned design can help with back, hip, or shoulder pain by cushioning any aching areas and reducing pressure on joints.
The Lucid topper has a medium-firm feel. It conforms to your body without sinking in too far. It's great for most types of sleepers, and you can use it to firm up a soft mattress or add pressure relief to an extra-firm mattress.
The memory foam is infused with a relaxing lavender scent that's meant to help you feel calmer in bed and fall asleep quicker. The scent is pleasant and not overpowering. Unfortunately, it doesn't last more than a few days.
Another issue with the Lucid topper is the heating. A majority of sleepers find the topper cool enough. The foam has an airy design that dissipates heat away from the mattress.
For hot sleepers, however, the Lucid topper can get a bit too warm.
The Lucid topper is available in all standard sizes and comes with a 3-year warranty.
The Lucid Lavender Memory Foam Topper is Good For:
- People suffering from back, hip, or shoulder pain.
- Sleepers looking for a supportive and pressure-eliminating memory foam topper.
- Sleepers who find their mattresses too firm or too soft.
Our first four picks range between medium-firm and firm. They provide firm support with a significant level of plushness. If you want more support with minimal sinkage, we recommend one of the next three extra-firm toppers.
Latex is the best material for extra-firm toppers. It's very supportive and doesn't sink as much as memory foam. A latex topper is great if you want that ‘floating on the mattress' feel.
Our top extra-firm toppers are all made with latex.
5. Best Latex Extra Firm Mattress Topper: PlushBeds Natural Latex (Extra Firm)
Our top extra-firm mattress topper is the PlushBeds natural latex topper. It's made with Talalay latex, which gives it a luxurious yet supportive feel.
The topper is 100% natural latex with no fillers or synthetic foams.
- 100% natural – healthy and eco-friendly.
- Excellent support.
- Talalay latex eliminates pressure points.
- Sleeps cool.
- Cotton cover costs extra.
The PlushBeds natural latex topper is available in three firmness options. We recommend the extra-firm if you want an extra-supportive topper with as little sinkage as possible.
Despite the extra-firm label, the extra-firm topper doesn't feel like sleep on a rock. It's made from Talalay latex, which has a naturally plush and luxurious feel. While it won't sink as much as memory foam, the latex topper hugs your body just enough to eliminate pressure points.
Similar to other natural latex toppers, the PlushBeds topper is expensive. The price goes up even higher if you want your topper to come with a cover.
Adding an organic cotton cover costs $75 for a Queen size. To reduce the cost, you can choose a 2″ topper instead of the 3″ one. The thinner topper will feel slightly firmer and heavier sleepers may not find it to be as pressure relieving.
One thing we like about latex toppers is how cool they sleep. If you are a hot sleeper or live in a warm climate, the PlushBeds natural latex topper doesn't get hot at all.
The PlushBeds topper is available in all standard sizes and comes with a 5-year warranty. Your topper will likely last much longer than five years. Natural latex is very durable and doesn't sag like foam.
The PlushBeds Natural Latex Topper is Good For:
- Sleepers who want an extra-firm mattress topper.
- Shoppers looking for an eco-friendly organic or natural mattress topper.
- Hot sleepers.
6. Best Extra Firm Mattress Topper for Soft Mattresses: Pure Green 100% Natural Latex Mattress Topper
If your mattress feels too soft, we recommend the Pure Green natural latex topper. It has an extra-firm comfort feel that counters the softness of the mattress and improves support.
- 100% natural latex.
- Increases support on a soft mattress.
- Sleeps cool.
- Multiple thickness options.
- Topper doesn't come with a cover.
The extra-firm feel of the Pure Green mattress makes it a good choice for overly soft mattresses. As long as your mattress is not too worn out or sagging, the Pure Green topper will help you sleep more comfortably.
It also helps reduce or eliminate back problems caused by sleeping on a too-soft mattress. The topper keeps your spine naturally aligned and reduces pressure on your back.
The sinkage is minimal but enough to relieve pressure on your shoulder, hips, and other pressure points.
However, we don't recommend the Pure Green topper for side sleepers. It's not soft enough to hug your shoulders and hips.
The Pure Green topper is made with 100% natural latex. It doesn't contain any synthetic foam, latex, or fillers.
As such, there are no chemicals smells, which are common with foam toppers. It also sleeps much cooler than foam toppers.
Natural latex does not trap heat, making Pure Green a good choice for hot sleepers.
The Pure Green topper is available in three thickness options: 1″, 2″ and 3″. The 2″ topper works best for most soft mattresses.
If you are concerned, the topper will make your bed too high, get the 1″ topper. The 1-inch also ideal if you want to adjust mattress firmness only slightly.
If your mattress has a mild sag or craters in the middle when you lie on it, the 3″ topper is the best choice. It gives your mattress a much more drastic makeover, making it more supportive. The 3″ topper is also the best choice for heavier folks.
Note that the price goes up when you choose a thicker topper.
The Pure Green topper does not come with a cover. But you don't need one. Just cover the mattress with a comfortable bedsheet, and you are good to sleep. The topper does shift a bit when you are getting out of bed, but it's nothing major; just push the topper back into place.
The Pure Green Topper is Good For:
- Anyone who feels their mattress is too soft.
- People with back problems caused or worsened by a soft unsupportive mattress.
- Anyone looking for a supportive natural latex topper.
7. Best Pressure Relief Extra Firm Mattress Topper: Ultimate Dreams 3″ Talalay Latex Firm Mattress Topper
If you want an extra-firm topper that also eliminates pressure-points, a Talalay latex topper is the best choice. Unlike the cheaper Dunlop latex, Talalay latex has a more contouring feel.
The Ultimate Dreams 3″ mattress topper delivers the support you need while also cushioning pressure points.
- Supportive and pressure-relieving.
- Comes with a natural bamboo cover.
- It is made with blended synthetic and natural latex, not 100% natural latex.
Note that the Ultimate Dreams Talalay latex topper is not 100% latex. If you are looking for an all-natural topper, consider either the Pure Green or PlushBed toppers we have reviewed above.
The material used to make the Ultimate Dreams topper is a blend of natural and synthetic latex. It's not as eco-friendly as 100% natural latex and may have a slight chemical smell when new, but it feels just as comfortable as natural latex.
You can choose three firmness levels between soft and firm. We recommend the firm option if you want an extra-supportive topper.
It adds a firm layer on top of your mattress, which keeps you from sinking in too deep and maintains a natural spinal alignment.
Even with the extra firmness, the Talalay latex still manages to feel soft around your shoulders, hips, and other pressure points. This pressure relief ensures you don't wake up with sore shoulders or hips.
If you want even more pressure relief, choose the medium option. Just know that it'll sink more than the firm topper. The soft option has excellent pressure-point relief but can compromise support for most sleepers. We recommend it only for side sleepers.
The Ultimate Dreams topper comes with a natural bamboo cover. It feels soft and has excellent breathability. Latex is already good at staying cool; the bamboo fabric further improves cooling performance and wicks away sweat.
For a blended latex topper, we think Ultimate Dreams is a bit too pricey. It costs about the same as 100% natural latex toppers. You are not in luck if you are looking for a budget latex topper.
The Ultimate Dreams Talalay Latex Topper is Good For:
- Sleepers looking for a supportive latex topper that also eliminates pressure points.
- Hot sleepers.
- Anyone who feels their mattress is too soft.
Buying Guide: What to Look For in a Quality Firm Mattress Topper
Memory foam, foam, or latex – those are the options you have when shopping for a firm mattress topper.
The best choice depends on your budget, the kind of ‘feel' you are going for, and personal preferences.
Memory foam is known for its ability to conform to the body. A memory foam topper is good for pressure relief and is especially good for back and joint pain. Such toppers are also affordable, and good quality ones last at least 5 years.
On the downside, memory foam toppers can be uncomfortable for hot sleepers. Memory foam traps heat.
Memory foam toppers are also not ideal for sleepers looking for an extra-supportive feel with minimal sinkage. Even firm memory foam toppers will still have significant sinkage, which makes some sleepers feel like they are trapped in a hole.
Foam toppers are the cheapest ones you'll find. They do provide good pressure-relief, but not as much as memory foam. But they offer excellent support.
A foam topper is a good choice if you like the contouring feel of foam, but you want something more supportive than memory foam.
Another advantage of foam toppers is that they don't get as hot as memory foam toppers.
On the downside, foam toppers are not very eco-friendly and can have a strong smell when new. They also don't last as long as memory foam or latex toppers.
If you hate the sinky feel of memory foam, a latex topper is the best option. Latex has a firmer, more rigid feel to it.
Sleeping on a firm latex topper feels like floating on the mattress with just the right amount of softness to relieve pressure points.
Latex toppers are great for sleepers who want extra support. They are also ideal for hot sleepers (latex is naturally cool), stomach sleepers, and heavier folks.
The problem with latex toppers is the price. They are expensive, especially if you want a natural or organic latex topper.
You can save money on a synthetic or blended latex topper, but if you want a chemical-free and eco-friendly topper, you'll need to spend more.
Even among firm mattress toppers, there are variations in firmness. Options range from medium-firm to extra-firm.
Medium-firm: Ideal for those who want a balance between firm support and soft contouring. If you are buying a memory foam mattress topper, it is likely medium-firm.
Firm: Ideal for those who want more support with just a little bit of plushness. Firm toppers are great for stomach and back sleepers.
Extra-firm: Ideal for stomach sleepers and heavier folks who want extra support. An extra firm topper can help improve support on an overly plush mattress. The best extra-firm mattress toppers are made with latex.
Most mattress toppers are 2″ or 3″ thick. A two-inch topper is usually enough to adjust the firmness of your mattress.
Get a three-incher if you need extra sinkage (for added pressure relief), you weigh more than average, or your mattress is in bad shape and needs a total makeover.
You'll also come across 1″ mattress toppers. A thin one-inch topper is ideal if your mattress requires only slight adjustment in firmness, e.g. if it's medium-firm and you want to adjust it to the firm.
A one-incher is also ideal if you are on a budget.
Some mattress toppers come with a removable cover while others don't. Having a cover can improve the topper's comfort and breathability. But if you have comfortable bedsheets, it doesn't matter that much.
The biggest advantage of having a covered topper is hygiene. Since you can't wash the topper, being able to remove and wash the cover keeps the topper clean, allergen-free, and smelling fresh.
Note: Don't just check if the topper has a removable cover; also, check if the cover is machine washable. Some topper covers can only be spot cleaned.
If you sleep hot or have night sweats, get a breathable mattress topper that sleeps cool. We recommend a natural latex topper.
If you want a memory foam topper, look for one with cooling gel or a perforated design. A breathable cotton or bamboo cover can also help keep you cool and sweat-free.
A good way to tell how long a mattress topper is likely to last is to check the warranty. A 3-year warranty is not very promising when it comes to the longevity of the topper.
If you are buying a foam topper, look for one that's made with durable high-density foam. A good foam topper, such as those made by Tempur-Pedic, can easily last as long as a foam mattress (8-10 years).
Cheaper and mid-range foam toppers last 3-5 years.
Natural latex toppers are very durable and can last up to 10 years. Synthetic and blended latex toppers are cheaper but have a shorter lifespan of 3-5 years.
Buying a new mattress that offers more support is expensive. It's also not environmentally-friendly if your current mattress is still in good condition. A firm mattress topper is a cheaper and less wasteful alternative that works just as well.
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