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Are you looking for a mattress topper to reduce your back pain?
You’ve come to the right place.
In this in-depth buying guide, we review the best mattress toppers for back pain relief.
These toppers conform to your body to reduce pressure on your back while providing excellent overall support to ensure proper spine alignment all night long.
While a comfortable but supportive topper will not eliminate back pain, it can reduce it and prevent it from getting worse.
If your mattress feels truly uncomfortable and is causing you back pain, it may be better to get a new mattress altogether. Read our guide to the best mattresses for back pain relief for top recommendations, if this describes you.
Otherwise, let's dive in to learn about the best mattress toppers sold online for back pain relief.
What’s In This Buying Guide
Table of Contents
- What’s In This Buying Guide
- Best Mattress Toppers for Back Pain (Comparison)
- Best Mattress Toppers for Back Pain (Reviews)
- When Should You Buy a Mattress Topper for Back Pain?
- How Can a Mattress Topper Reduce Back Pain?
- Mattress Topper for Back Pain: Buying Guide & Tips
- Types of Mattress Toppers for Back Pain
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Where to Get the Best Deal
- Learn More
Best Mattress Toppers for Back Pain (Comparison)
|Mattress Topper||Best For||Material||Thickness||Firmness||Warranty||Price|
|LUCID Ventilated memory foam topper||Best overall||Open cell memory foam||3” (2” and 4” options available)||Medium||3 years||$119.99 on Amazon|
|Sleep Innovations memory foam topper||Best memory foam topper||Fiber pillow top + gel-infused memory foam||4” (two layers)||Medium||10 years||$129.99 on Amazon|
|Ultimate Dreams Talalay topper ||Best latex foam topper||Ventilated blended Talalay latex||3”||Soft, medium and firm||3 years||$329.99 on Amazon|
|Exceptional Sheets bamboo mattress pad||Best down alternative (fiber) topper||Revoloft fiber with a bamboo rayon cover||1”||Soft||1 year||$109.99 on Amazon|
|WEEKENDER memory foam topper||Best budget topper||Open cell memory foam||2”||Medium||3 years||$59.99 on Amazon|
|Best Price Mattress memory foam topper||Best for couples||Green tea infused memory foam + high density poly foam||4” (two layers)||Medium||5 years||$100.29 on Amazon|
|Milliard memory foam topper||Best topper with removable cover||Gel-infused memory foam with removable bamboo cover||2”||Medium||None||$105.99 on Amazon|
|ViscoSoft memory foam topper||Best topper with pillow top||Down alternative pillow top + gel-infused memory foam||4” (two layers)||Medium||3 years||$169.99 on Amazon|
|TEMPUR-Adapt + Cooling mattress topper||Best luxury mattress topper||TEMPUR-material||3”||Soft||10 years||$458.24 on Amazon|
|POLAR SLEEP Mattress Topper||Best memory foam mattress topper for hot sleepers||Swirl gel ventilated memory foam||2”/3”||Medium-firm||10 years||$64.99 on Amazon|
|KARRISM Extra Thick Mattress Topper||Best topper for firm mattresses||Down alternative||Variable||Soft||Not specified||$79.90 on Amazon|
|ViscoSoft Pillow Top Latex Mattress Topper||Best topper for soft mattresses||Gel latex and a pillow top cover||3”||Firm||10 years||$239.99 on Amazon|
|Pure Green 100% Natural Latex Mattress Topper||Best natural mattress topper||100% natural latex||1”-3”||Medium-firm||5 years||$119.00 on Amazon|
|LUCID 2” 5-Zone Lavender Memory Foam Mattress Topper||Pressure-reliving memory foam with relaxing lavender scent||Lavender-infused memory foam||2”||Medium||3 years||$33.87 on Amazon|
|Best Price Mattress 4" Full Trifold Mattress Topper||Best portable mattress topper||Memory foam + high-density poly foam||4”||Medium-firm||5 years||$110.32 on Amazon|
Best Mattress Toppers for Back Pain (Reviews)
Our Top Overall Pick: LUCID 3 Inch Ventilated Memory Foam Mattress Topper
The Lucid 3” memory foam mattress topper provides a great sleeping experience at an affordable price.
It’s made from premium memory foam that conforms to your body, keeping your spine properly aligned and eliminating pressure points.
In terms of firmness, it falls somewhere in the middle. It’s soft enough to contour to your body but also firm enough to provide good support.
The medium-firm comfort level is the best one for people with back pain.
If your mattress feels too firm or is starting to show its age, this Lucid topper can help. Just place it on top of your mattress and cover it with a sheet to keep it in place.
The topper doesn’t get very hot at night. That’s because the foam is ventilated to improve airflow.
This keeps the mattress comfortably cool.
As for longevity, many users say the topper is still in good shape a year after purchase. The high-quality memory foam doesn’t sag or deteriorate quickly.
The topper comes with a 3-year warranty, which is about how long you should expect it to last.
The Lucid topper is available in 8 sizes: twin, twin XL, full, full XL, queen, king, California king, and short Queen size for RVs.
The 3” topper is quite affordable. But if you need something cheaper, Lucid has a 2” option. Note, however, that it may not provide the same kind of support, especially if you have a bigger body.
There’s also a 4” version for those who prefer something plushier.
- Relieves pressure on your back
- Keeps your spine well-aligned
- The medium firm feels – perfect for back pain sufferers
- Stays cool
- Resistant to dust mites and allergens
- A bit of a smell when new. Let it air for a couple of days, and the smell will go away
- Despite being ventilated, the topper may still feel warm for certain heat-sensitive sleepers and people with night sweats or hot flashes
Best Memory Foam Topper for Back Pain: Sleep Innovations Gel Memory Foam 4-inch Mattress Topper
Standard memory foam toppers are great for back pain. The Sleep Innovations memory foam topper provides an even better sleeping experience by using a dual-layer design and adding cooling gel.
Let’s start with the dual-layer design.
Most toppers consist of a single slab of foam. The Sleep Innovations topper borrows from mattress design and incorporates two layers.
2” quilted fiberfill: It’s like a topper for the topper. The soft fiber makes it feel like you are sleeping on a fluffy cloud. It does an excellent job relieving pressure on your back and joints, making it a great choice for those with injuries or are recovering from surgery.
2” gel memory foam: The memory foam enhances the pressure relief from the top layer and provides adequate support to align your back and ensure you don’t sink too deep. Gel-infused into the foam helps keep things cool at night.
Note that the quilted top layer is machine washable. But users had trouble fitting it in their washing machines. You might have to get it cleaned at a laundromat.
Overall, the Sleep Innovations topper feels great. It is one of the most comfortable memory foam toppers.
If you want something plush and extra gentle on your back, it is a great choice.
It is available in five sizes: twin, full, queen, king, and California king.
It also comes with a snug fit cover that holds both the quilted layer and memory foam pad together. This helps keep the topper in place at night.
- Conforms to the body and relieves pressure on the back
- Good support from the memory foam layer
- The cooling gel prevents the memory foam from getting too warm
- Includes a washable cover
- Long warranty – 10 years. Guarantees durability
- The quilted fiber topper traps some heat
Best Latex Foam Topper for Back Pain: Ultimate Dreams Full 3″ Talalay Latex Mattress Topper
If your mattress feels too soft, we recommend this latex foam topper from Ultimate Dreams.
Unlike memory foam, which can feel a bit too plush, especially for heavier sleepers, latex foam provides pressure relief while also supporting your body.
The Ultimate Dreams topper uses Talalay latex, which has better support, contouring, and responsiveness than the more common (and cheaper) Dunlop latex.
The topper comes in three comfort options: soft, medium, and firm. Make sure you select the best one for your needs.
If your main problem is that the mattress feels too firm and you’d love something that hugs your body, go for the soft option.
It’s plush while still feeling bouncy and supportive.
If your mattress is too soft, go for the medium or firm. For overweight and big-bodied sleepers, we recommend the firm topper.
For couples with slightly different comfort preferences, we recommend medium topper.
Here are the ILD firmness ratings for those who want specifics:
Soft: 19 ILD
Medium: 28 ILD
Firm: 36 ILD
Being latex foam, it stays naturally cool even on the warmest nights. The bamboo cover also helps keep the topper cool.
The only major downside is that this is not natural latex. They call it blended latex, which means it consists of both natural Talalay latex and additional synthetic compounds.
If you prefer organic or natural products, the Ultimate Dreams latex topper is not for you.
The topper is a bit pricey, but that’s in line with the cost of other latex toppers. Even latex mattresses tend to be more expensive than memory foam mattresses.
In terms of sizes, there are seven options: twin, twin XL, full, short queen, queen, king, and California king.
- Excellent support and pressure relief
- Three firmness options to suit different sleeping needs
- Stays cool
- Resistant to dust mites and allergens
- Responsive – great for those who want to make their mattress a bit bouncy
- Twice as expensive as standard foam toppers
- Not 100% natural
Best Down Alternative (Fiber) Topper for Back Pain: Exceptional Sheets Bamboo Mattress Pad
If you find neither memory foam nor latex foam toppers comfortable, perhaps a softer and plusher material will be more to your liking.
Down alternative toppers are much softer than either memory foam or latex. They are great for people with back injuries, those who are recovering from back or hip surgery, and side sleepers how need better contouring.
If this sounds like the kind of topper you are looking for, we recommend the ExceptionalSheets mattress pad.
It is filled with high-quality fiber, specifically Revoloft.
It has the feel of real goose down. It’s soft, and it hugs your body. Essentially, it feels like sleeping on a luxury hotel mattress.
If you have serious back or hip pain, this topper makes a big difference in how you sleep. You’ll sleep quicker and deeper and wake up more rested.
While not as cool as latex foam, the fiberfill doesn’t get too warm. What helps with cooling is the bamboo rayon cover.
It’s highly breathable and sleeps cooler than either cotton or polyester fabrics.
Being a fiberfill topper, you can wash it in the washing machine. But you probably shouldn’t.
The backing material at the bottom of the mattress seems delicate. Many customers have had theirs tear after putting it in the washing machine.
To be safe, just spot clean it. A mattress protector that covers the pad will also help keep it clean.
- Extra soft and plush – great for serious back pain and those recovering from surgery
- Great for side sleepers with back pain
- Includes a fitted skirt that secures the topper to the mattress
- Stays cool
- Outer material tears easily
- Not ideal for those looking for a topper with extra support
Best Budget Topper for Back Pain: WEEKENDER 2 Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper
If you are looking for a cheap mattress topper that is durable and provides good back support, we recommend the highly-rated WEEKENDER memory foam topper.
The 2” topper is one of the most popular on Amazon, and not just because of its bargain price, but for its sleeping experience as well.
The material is nothing special; it’s standard memory foam.
But they’ve designed it in such a way that it balances perfectly between providing good support and having enough given to relieve pressure on the back.
It’s also ventilated with tiny holes that maintain cooling airflow.
It’s just two inches thick, but it radically changes how your old mattress feels. Users say they woke up with less back pain, went to sleep faster, and slept deeper.
To guarantee durability, the manufacturer covers the topper with a three-year warranty. Many users say they have used it for more than a year without any noticeable deterioration.
Even couples haven’t noticed any sagging.
Like most toppers, the WEEKENDER topper is shipped rolled up in a compact box. It’s super easy to set up on your own.
As many customer reviews note, there is no strong smell. You can sleep on it right away.
- Great value – one of the cheapest mattress toppers with no compromise on quality or sleeping experience
- Sleeps cool for most people
- Excellent support and pressure relief
- Easy to set up
- Heat-sensitive sleepers and those with hot flushes might find the memory foam a bit warm
- Keeps sliding on the bed, requiring frequent adjustments
Best Mattress Topper for Couples with Back Pain: Best Price Mattress 4-Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper
If one or both of you have back pain, you’ll need a mattress topper that provides plenty of support, a medium-firm feels that you’ll both find comfortable and pressure relief.
We recommend the Best Price Mattress memory foam mattress.
At 4”, it’s one of the thicker mattress toppers available online. The extra height provides more support and ensures the topper lasts long without sagging.
The topper is not one complete pad. It’s a 2-layer topper with a softer 1.5” soft memory foam top layer and a firm 2.5” high-density foam bottom layer.
The top layer focuses on pressure relief. It hugs your body, adapting to your sleeping position and relieving pressure from your back, hips, and shoulders.
The bottom layer provides solid support, ensuring you don’t sink in too far.
The high-density foam also helps reduce motion transfer. If your partner turns or wakes up at night, they won’t disturb your sleep.
These two layers are wrapped in a polyester mesh cover. The mesh design improves breathability, ensuring the foam doesn’t retain too much heat.
The mattress topper is available in all standard sizes, from twin to California king. There’s also a short queen option.
- Extra support for couples
- Top layer relieves pressure
- No motion transfer
- The medium firm that feels comfortable even for couples with varying comfort needs
- Despite the mesh cover, the topper still gets a bit warm, especially during summer
Best Mattress Topper with Removable Cover: Milliard Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper
Most mattress toppers don’t come with a cover, and if they do, you cannot remove and wash it. This makes it difficult to keep the topper clean.
This is a problem for people who sweat a lot at night and pet owners who sleep with their pets.
We recommend the Milliard gel memory foam mattress topper for those who’d love a topper that’s easy to keep clean.
It comes with a soft bamboo fiber cover that you can remove right off the topper and clean in a washing machine.
Just make sure you follow the cleaning instructions on the label.
The topper itself is made from gel memory foam.
It’s great for your back. It relieves pressure, provides good support, and keeps your spine well aligned in all sleeping positions.
The gel-infused into the foam helps with cooling.
The bamboo cover also helps keep the topper cool no matter the season. As a result, this is one of the coolest memory foam toppers you can buy.
It’s not quite at the level of latex foam, but it sleeps cool enough for most people.
A bonus feature I’m sure you’ll appreciate is the non-slip design on the bottom part of the cover. Little nubs ensure the topper stays in place.
Customers say it still moves a bit but very little compared to most toppers. You’ll only need to adjust it every few days, not every night.
The Milliard topper is available in four sizes: twin, full, queen, and king.
- Easy to maintain thanks to the removable and washable cover
- Memory foam relieves pressure on the back, hips, and shoulders
- Stays cool
- Good support
- Doesn’t slip at night
- May still feel a bit warm for heat-sensitive sleepers
- A bit of a chemical smell when you unbox it. It goes away in a day.
Best Pillow Top Mattress Topper: ViscoSoft 4 Inch Pillow Top Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper
If you are looking for a luxurious mattress topper that will hug your back in a soft cloud, this one by ViscoSoft is a great choice.
It is a 2-layer mattress topper. The top layer is a down alternative pillow top, and the bottom layer is gel memory foam.
Combined, these two materials provide a hotel-like sleeping experience with excellent support and soft pressure relief.
The top 1.5” fiberfill layer is covered in a soft 300-thread count cotton cover. It adds to the luxurious feel of the pillow top and helps with cooling.
You can wash the cover in a washing machine.
The 1.5” memory foam layer provides great support and pressure relief. It is infused with gel to reduce heat retention.
Something we love about this topper is how they’ve designed to stay in place no matter how much you toss and turn at night.
For one, the top cover has elastic straps that secure the pillow tip to the memory foam layer.
Secondly, the topper comes with a skirt that has a strong elastic band that secures the entire topper to the mattress. The skirt can fit any mattress up to 18” thick.
So you don’t just get to enjoy the fluffy but supportive feel of the topper; you also get the luxury of never having to adjust it constantly.
- Luxurious sleeping experience
- Washable cover
- Great pressure relief and support
- Sleeps cool
- Secures tightly to the mattress – no slipping
- More expensive than other foam toppers
- Some smell when new. Let it air for a day, and the smell will dissipate.
Best Luxury Mattress Topper: TEMPUR-Adapt + Cooling 3-Inch Mattress Topper
Want a 5-star hotel sleeping experience without spending thousands on a luxury mattress? The right topper can turn your ordinary mattress into a luxurious one.
The TEMPUR-Adapt + Cooling 3” topper does this better than any of the other toppers we’ve picked.
It is more expensive than other toppers, but most customers agree that it is worth it.
The topper is made by Tempur-Pedic, a brand well-known for its luxury mattresses. You can expect the same level of luxury and quality in their topper.
The TEMPUR topper is designed with two things in mind: body contouring and cooling. Hence the name, TEMPUR-Adapt + Cooling.
It’s made with TEMPUR-material, which provides a plush sleeping experience. It hugs your body, relieving pressure from your hips, shoulders, and lower back.
If you have lower back pain, hip pain, or any joint ache, the TEMPUR topper will help.
The TEMPUR-material is also designed to stay cool, making it a great choice for hot sleepers.
Note that the TEMPUR-Adapt topper is soft, not medium-firm or firm. As such, it is ideal for sleepers who want to soften their too-firm mattresses.
It is also ideal for side sleepers and people with back or hip pain.
The TEMPUR topper is available in all standard sizes ranging from twin to California King.
It comes with a knit cooling cover that’s removable and washable.
- Plush and luxurious
- Ideal for side sleepers
- Helps with back and hip pain
- Sleeps cool
- Washable cover
- Not ideal for soft mattresses
Best Memory Foam Topper for Hot Sleepers: POLAR Sleep Mattress Topper
Memory foam toppers are generally very comfortable. They provide good support and body contouring. Unfortunately, memory foam traps heat, which causes the bed to overheat at night.
This is a big problem for hot sleepers.
Fortunately, you don’t have to give up on memory foam even if you sleep hot. The POLAR SLEEP mattress topper is made from memory foam, but it sleeps almost as cool as a latex topper.
The secret is how they’ve designed the memory foam. Two things help keep it cool.
The first is the swirl gel infused into it. It draws heat away from your body, helping you sleep cooler.
The second is the topper’s ventilated design that improves airflow in and out of the mattress. This keeps heat from building up inside the foam.
The POLAR SLEEP topper is plush without being overly soft. In other words, it is medium-firm. It’s a great choice for mattresses that feel too firm.
The memory foam conforms to your body, reducing pressure on sensitive areas and ensuring your spine is well aligned to avoid back pain.
The POLAR SLEEP topper feels comfortable in all sleeping positions but is especially ideal for side and back sleepers.
The topper is available in two thicknesses: 2” and 3”. Because the price difference is not that much, we recommend the 3” topper. It provides better compression support and deep body contouring.
Both thicknesses are available in four sizes: twin, full, queen, and king.
- Sleeps cool.
- Excellent support and pressure relief.
- Ideal for too-firm mattresses.
- CertiPUR-US certified foam.
- Not ideal for overly soft mattresses – get a firm latex topper instead.
- Slight ‘new foam’ smell when new.
Best Topper for Firm Mattresses: KARRISM Extra Thick Mattress Topper
If your mattress is too firm to the point where you wake up with aches and pains, the KARRISM mattress topper is the best choice.
It turns even the most rock hard mattress into a plush, luxurious bed.
The KARRISM topper is a bit different from other toppers. Instead of foam or a combination of foam and microfiber, the topper consists of a down-alternative fill. There’s no foam, which is why the topper is so soft.
The filling is contained within baffle boxes that keep it from shifting or flattening. This allows the topper to maintain its comfy puffy feel even after years of sleeping on it.
The KARRISM topper puffs up to a much thicker profile than ordinary toppers. Individual baffle boxes can be as thick as 21 inches; though, of course, they compress when you lie down on the topper.
The topper cover is made with 400 thread count cotton. It’s very breathable, which helps keep the topper feeling cool.
Another feature you’ll appreciate is the deep elastic pocket that secures the topper in place on top of your mattress. It can fit any mattress thickness.
The topper is safe to clean in a washing machine. Use cold water, then tumble dry on low.
- Great for overly firm mattresses.
- Plush and luxurious.
- Sleeps cool.
- Machine washable.
- Not ideal for soft mattresses.
- Heavier sleepers may not enjoy the topper’s plush feel. We recommend a memory foam topper instead.
Best Topper for Soft Mattresses: ViscoSoft Pillow Top Latex Mattress Topper
If your problem is an overly soft mattress, you’ll need a firm topper to boost support and improve spinal alignment.
A latex topper is a great choice. Latex foam will keep you from sinking into the mattress while providing just the right amount of hug.
Our top recommendation is the ViscoSoft Pillow Top Latex Mattress Topper.
The ViscoSoft topper combines a 3” firm latex pad with a plush pillow top cover. This ensures that even as you firm up your mattress, you still enjoy pressure relief on your shoulders, hips, and back.
The pillow-top cover is filled with a down alternative. You can safely clean it in a washing machine.
The pad beneath the cover consists of gel latex foam. It is firmer than memory foam, which helps if your mattress is too soft.
The latex pad makes your bed more responsive, making it easier to toss and turn and get in and out of bed. It can also make your bed more conducive to sex.
Latex foam sleeps much cooler than memory foam. The addition of cooling gel makes it even cooler. If you are a hot sleeper, the ViscoSoft latex mattress topper will help you sleep more comfortably.
The ViscoSoft topper is available in 5 sizes: twin, twin XL, full, queen, and Cal King.
- Improves support on too-soft mattresses.
- Improves mattress responsiveness.
- Sleeps cool.
- The plush pillow-top cover provides pressure relief.
- More expensive than memory foam toppers.
Best Natural Mattress Topper: Pure Green 100% Natural Latex Mattress Topper
If you prefer natural or organic bedding, we recommend the Pure Green natural latex mattress topper.
The Pure Green topper is made from 100% natural latex. This makes it more expensive than memory foam or synthetic latex mattress topper.
Like other latex foam toppers, the Pure Green topper has a firmer, more solid feel than memory foam. It’s rated as medium-firm.
It’s best for mattresses that feel too soft. It’ll improve compression support, make your mattress more responsive, and improve spinal alignment.
The Pure Green Topper is available in all the standard sizes ranging from twin to Cal King. Each size is available in several thicknesses.
You can choose a slim 1” pad, a thicker 2” pad, or a more substantial 3” topper. The thicker the topper, the more supportive and responsive it’ll be.
Because this is natural latex, it is a bit delicate. Handle it with care to avoid tearing the topper.
We highly recommend buying a topper cover (it doesn’t come with a cover) to protect the latex from stains, moisture, and dirt.
- 100% natural.
- Ideal for too-soft mattresses.
- Sleeps cool.
- Excellent support and responsiveness.
- More expensive than memory foam toppers.
- It doesn’t come with a cover.
LUCID 2 Inch 5 Zone Lavender Memory Foam Mattress Topper
The Lucid 2” mattress topper is similar to any other memory foam topper except for two things.
The first is zoned design. The Lucid topper has five body zones with varying firmness levels. These zones provide targeted pressure relief and support to different parts of your body.
The second unusual feature is the lavender infusion. Lavender essential oil is infused into the foam. This masks the usual ‘new foam smell’ and helps you relax when in bed.
Fair warning, the lavender smell is pretty strong when you first unbox the topper. It’ll spread throughout the house and can be a tad overpowering.
But it’ll dissipate to a more comfortable level in a few hours. Open the windows to air the mattress.
Don’t expect the Lavender smell to stick around forever. You’ll only smell it for a few days.
The memory foam itself is plush and airy. It has a medium feel, making the Lucid topper ideal for too-firm mattresses.
You can also use it on an innerspring mattress to enhance body contouring and reduce bounciness and motion transfer.
Don’t worry about the memory foam topper making you hot and sweaty. Lucid uses an airy type of memory foam that traps less heat. Also, the topper has ridges on top that allow air to carry excess body heat away from the bed.
The topper is also thin enough that it can’t trap a lot of heat.
Note that the mattress doesn’t come with a cover. We highly recommend buying one to avoid damaging the memory foam. A cover will also prevent allergens and dirt from settling into the foam.
- Relaxing lavender scent.
- Excellent pressure relief.
- Airy and ridged memory foam keeps the topper cool at night.
- Ideal for those on a budget.
- Not ideal for those who hate strong smells – good or bad.
- Not ideal for too-soft mattresses.
- It doesn’t come with a cover.
Best Portable Mattress Topper: Best Price Mattress 4″ Full Trifold Mattress Topper
Looking for a mattress topper, you can use it in your car when camping and during sleepovers?
We recommend the Best Price Mattress Trifold topper. With a thickness of 4”, you can use it as a mattress topper or a mattress in your car or when camping. Overnight guests can also sleep on it.
The topper has two layers: a 1.5” comfort layer consisting of memory foam and a 2.5” base layer made with high-density foam.
The combination of memory foam and support foam provides a great balance of soft pressure relief and firm support.
The most interesting feature is the Trifold design. The mattress folds at two points, allowing you to fold three sections of the mattress on top of each other.
This makes the topper much easier to carry in your car or RV. It also makes it easier to store away in a closet or under the bed after the guests are gone.
The Trifold topper comes with a washable poly-Jacquard cover. The cover has an anti-slip bottom to keep it in place, whether you place it on top of a mattress or the floor.
- Portable – perfect for camping, road trips, boats, and RVs.
- Ideal for overnight guests.
- Mattress-like construction provides good body contouring and support.
- Removable and washable cover.
- No carrying case.
When Should You Buy a Mattress Topper for Back Pain?
If any of the following situations describes you, then you may want to consider purchasing a mattress topper:
Your mattress is too soft: An overly soft mattress doesn’t provide adequate back support. It also messes up spinal alignment – your back will sink lower than the rest of the body. This can cause or worsen back pain.
Your mattress is too firm: A rock hard mattress is not good either for most people. Because it does not conform, it exerts pressure on the back and other areas of the body. This can cause or worsen back pain.
Your mattress is worn out: A depression in the middle of the mattress, no matter how small, can affect spinal alignment again, causing or worsening back pain. A topper can temporarily make the mattress more comfortable, but ultimately, you are better off buying a new mattress.
You need extra contouring or support: Your mattress may be fine, but you might need extra support or contouring for your back problem. This is especially the case for people with injuries or health conditions that cause serious back pain. In this case, an orthopedic can help reduce back pain.
How Can a Mattress Topper Reduce Back Pain?
Here are some of the ways the right mattress topper can reduce back pain, whether its caused by an injury or an unsupportive mattress.
Pressure relief: Too much pressure on your back can cause or aggravate back pain. This is common with overly firm mattresses. A good mattress topper conforms to your body and reduces pressure on your back and other pressure points such as the hips and shoulders.
Improved back support: If your mattress sinks too low when you lie on it, your back is not going to get the kind of support it needs. Instead of being held up in alignment with the rest of the body, it sinks into the mattress, causing back pain. A medium-firm or firm mattress topper provides improved back support.
Spinal alignment: As the topper contours to your body and provides good support, it ensures your spine maintains its natural curvature and alignment. It’s essential that you also use the right pillow to ensure good alignment from head to toe.
Extend mattress life: If your old mattress is causing back pain, but you are not ready to spring for a new one, a mattress topper is a good and affordable temporary solution. A good quality topper can extend the life of your mattress by 2-3 years.
Mattress Topper for Back Pain: Buying Guide & Tips
Here are the things to look for when buying a mattress topper to reduce or prevent back pain:
Memory foam is hands down the best material for back pain. It easily conforms around the body, relieving pressure while also providing great support and weight distribution.
Memory foam toppers are especially good for those with serious back pain caused by an injury or an illness.
Latex foam toppers are also good but for those who want extra support. Get a latex foam topper if your mattress feels too soft, or your weight is above average.
It improves spinal alignment and provides better back support.
These are essentially the only two materials that are used in mattress toppers.
Some mattresses come with a pillow top (more on that shortly) made from fiber. But the main part of the topper is still latex or memory foam.
As for the cover, not all toppers have one. For those with a cover, cotton, polyester (usually blended with other materials like spandex), and bamboo are common materials.
Bamboo is the best if you sleep hot.
Mattress toppers range between 2” and 4” in thickness.
2” toppers: Usually the most affordable toppers. They are great for those on a budget. They are also good sleepers who weigh less than average since they don’t need deep contouring. A 2” topper will also do if your mattress is in relatively good shape, and you need to soften it or firm it up just a little.
3” toppers: This is the sweet spot for most people, both in terms of price and comfort. 3” toppers provide good support and excellent pressure relief even for heavier persons. If you are not sure which topper size to buy, go with a 3 inches.
4” toppers: These toppers are on the luxury end of the scale. They feel plusher and provide deeper contouring. They are great for side sleepers and overweight sleepers who need more pressure relief. Some 4” toppers are two layers, the first usually being a pillow top.
Like mattresses, mattress toppers come in three firmness levels–soft, medium, and firm.
Most toppers fall in the medium range, which is the best one for most people. It provides a good balance between firm support and soft pressure relief.
But if you have a bigger body or your mattress is too soft, a firm topper may be better.
If you are a side sleeper, have severe back pain, or your mattress is too firm, a soft topper will be more comfortable.
A cool topper is not crucial for reducing back pain, but it is important for your overall sleeping comfort.
A hot topper makes it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep. You’ll wake up hot and sweaty.
If you want a topper that is guaranteed to stay cool all year round, a latex foam topper is your best option. Latex is naturally cool.
If you opt for a memory foam topper, look for one that contains cooling gel, ventilated foam, or a bamboo cover.
5. Pillow Top
A pillow top on a mattress topper usually consists of a fiber-filled pad that is designed to be as soft and plush as down.
It provides extra pressure relief, making pillow top toppers great for those with serious back pain. They are also ideal for those recovering from back or hip surgery.
But beware; the pillow top can trap heat, making the topper a bit warm.
Types of Mattress Toppers for Back Pain
We’ve already mentioned most of these toppers, but here’s a quick recap.
Memory foam toppers: Usually made from gel-infused foam to reduce heat retention. They are the best for back pain.
Latex foam toppers: Can be made from blended (synthetic + natural) or 100% natural latex. These are good for those who need firmer support, a bouncy topper, and excellent cooling.
Pillow top toppers: Toppers with a plush pillow top typically filled with down-like fiber. Great for those who need extra pressure relief or anyone who wants to recreate a luxury hotel experience without buying an expensive mattress.
Egg crate toppers: These are foam toppers with an egg crate design on the surface. This design improves airflow to keep the topper cool. Great for those who sleep hot or live in a hot climate.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will a mattress topper help with back pain?
Yes, if you buy the right topper.
A memory foam topper is the best for back pain. If the pain is particularly severe, look for a pillow top memory foam topper.
Latex toppers are also great for those who need more support or find memory foam to be too warm.
Can mattress toppers cause back pain?
Yes, if you buy the wrong one.
A topper that is too firm or too soft can cause back pain for some people.
Buy a topper that is ideal for your comfort needs. If you are overweight, get a firm topper. If you are a side sleeper, get a soft or medium topper.
What thickness of mattress topper should I get?
Three inches is perfect for most people. A 3” topper provides plenty of support and pressure relief.
If your mattress has a pillow top or is in relatively good shape, a 2” topper will do. For beat up mattresses that have sagged quite a bit, a 4” topper will make a bigger difference.
Thicker 4” toppers are also great for those who want a plush and luxurious sleeping experience.
Are there firm mattress toppers?
Most mattress toppers are medium firm. But you can also find soft or firm mattress toppers.
Where to Get the Best Deal
Online retailers and manufacturer websites have the best deals on mattress toppers. You’ll find a wider variety, lower prices, and deeper discounts.
It’s also much easier to order a mattress topper online and have it shipped right to your door.
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