5 Best Mattress Toppers for Back Pain (2021): Buyer’s Guide and Unbiased Reviews

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Are you on a quest to find the best mattress toppers for back pain?

Then you’re in the right place. Because I have done the hard work for you and have reviewed dozens of models.

In addition, I will introduce the following related topics.

  • Product Details (Including advantages and disadvantages)
  • Mattress Topper Benefits
  • Mattress Topper Pitfalls
  • Mattress Topper Buyer’s Guide
  • Types of  Mattress Topper Material
  • Pads for Your Mattress

I will also answer some common questions.

  • What Is A Mattress Topper?
  • Do I Need a Mattress Topper?
  • What the Best Mattress Topper Does?
  • How to Determine the Right Thickness?

Without further ado, let’s begin!

Do you have trouble sleeping due to neck, shoulder and lower back pain? To a large extent, age related conditions, other health issues, illnesses, diseases and injuries that are likely to occur throughout our lifetime can all contribute to this type of pain. However, one other contributing factor is bad posture and since we spend around 1/3 of our lives sleeping, having the correct mattress may alleviate or even resolve back, shoulder and neck pain altogether. A bad mattress on the other hand can cause or exacerbate these problems.

By and large, people are simply unaware that they need to change their mattress after a specific period of time, depending on the type of mattress, manufacturer and the quality. They continue sleeping on a worn, saggy mattress with lumps and bumps that not only contribute to their inability to get a good night’s rest but can also cause pain and discomfort. However, before investing in a new mattress to help eliminate back pain, some mattress buying knowledge is essential.

What Is a Mattress Topper?

A topper for a mattress is essentially a pad that can be placed on top of the mattress to provide greater support and comfort. On average, these pads are about 2″ to 4″ in thickness and come in a range of different resilient materials such as latex, down or even memory foam. The flexibility and firmness also vary in strength depending on personal preference and support requirements. In other words, you can choose a hard topper for additional support or a soft one for extra comfort. They are however always lighter than a mattress and differ in size to meet the requirements of different bed sizes.

One of the greatest benefits of investing in a mattress topper is that it can convert an old, worn out mattress into providing maximum comfort and support for a better night’s rest at a fraction of the cost of investing in a new mattress or bed. It is also a great advantage if you are renting a home where you can simply take your preferred mattress and place it on top of any bed. Even if you do own a high quality mattress, it can protect the mattress ensuring it lasts longer while still providing all the other benefits. In fact, if you aren’t entirely happy with the comfort or support that your current bed provides, a mattress topper may be the best solution.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to affordability and the reality is that only a few of us can afford to invest in a new bed when the time comes. It is simply the most cost effective way to improve your sleep as well as alleviate pain related to bad posture while sleeping. Before you go out and buy a brand new bed, rather consider one of the top mattress toppers.

Mattress Topper Benefits

1. Renew An Old Mattress

Most mattresses start losing firmness and flexibility as the fibers and other elements become compacted as they age. This is especially the case with sprung mattresses (mattresses containing springs or coils). A mattress topper brings back the comfort, support and cushioning that is lost over time. Most people who have tried a mattress topper have reported that their sleep has improved and that their pain and discomfort while sleeping has been reduced.

2. Support Vs. Comfort

The level of support vs. comfort that a mattress provides is a matter of personal preference. If you have already invested in an expensive, quality mattress the does not provide for your personal needs, the addition of a mattress topper can modify firmness or cushioning.

3. The Support Factor

The right amount of support is essential to eliminating pain associated with a bad mattress. Some types of mattresses simply fall short in the support department. A firm mattress topper can ensure that you are getting the support that you need.

4. Sleeping Arrangements

It can be difficult for couples to find a mattress that meets both of their personal preferences. Separate mattress toppers are a great way to ensure that both are comfortable and happy without having to compromise. An added benefit is that a mattress topper can reduce motion providing greater isolation for a better night’s rest for partners.

Mattress Topper Pitfalls

1. Ineffective

Unfortunately, some people report that mattress toppers do not deliver on their promises. However, these people may have heightened expectations. There is a limit to how much a topper can transform an ageing bed or provide comfort or support to a mattress that provides neither.

2. Sizing

Mattress toppers are manufactured to be slightly smaller than the actual mattress that they are designed to fit, normally around 1 inch around the edges. This is to allow sheets and linen to fit over both the mattress and topper. This can result in a lack of support around the edges as well as a slightly uncomfortable sleep for those who like to sleep near the edge of the bed. It can also cause a bed to appear untidy.

3. Odor Control

New mattress toppers will have an odor that should dissipate after a few days or couple of weeks as it settles. This is especially problematic with memory foam mattresses where the odor may take a little longer to disappear.

4. The Hot Issue

Mattress toppers that are designed for greater comfort may result in increased temperature while sleeping. This is due to the fact that it wraps around the body preventing air circulation, increasing the heat. Foam (especially memory foam) and latex mattress toppers trap more heat and can add to the discomfort.

5. New Linen

It may be necessary to invest in new sheets or linen to fit over the mattress and topper, depending on the height of the topper that you have selected. Linen that is designed to take into account a mattress topper should be available at most retail outlets.

6. Movement Problems

As the topper is not part and parcel of the bed, it may slide around as you roll over or bunch up in places. A firmer, thicker topper will prevent this from happening. Alternatively, buy a mattress pad that will provide greater purchase for the topper or find one that will adhere to the mattress.

Do I Need a Mattress Topper?

Always keep in mind that a mattress topper is there to compliment or to improve the comfort and support if your existing bed by the addition of another layer. There are basically two types of mattress shoppers – those who prefer a mattress without the additional layer and those who would rather purchase a topper to improve the function of an existing mattress. Opting for this route will also save you significant time and effort shopping around for the ideal mattress, never mind the financial savings.

Ask your self the following questions to determine if you need a mattress topper:

  • Is your current mattress to firm or does it not provide the necessary support?
  • Are there lumps and bumps or springs poking you while you sleep?
  • Is the layer of cushioning compacted or worn and is the mattress sagging or indented where you lie?
  • Are you waking up with joint, back or other pain that dissipates shortly after getting out of bed?
  • Are you on budget or cannot afford the expense of a brand new quality bed or mattress?

A “yes” answer to one or more of these questions means that you should consider purchasing a mattress topper to resolve these problems. Look up the different mattress reviews and ratings as well as our buyer’s guide to assist you in making the best choice. Remember to compare mattress toppers that meet with your specific personal preferences to make your selection process faster and more efficient.

What the Best Mattress Topper Does?

  • Integrates comfort and support in order to meet with personal preferences.
  • Provides a smooth outer surface with no seams or ridges for a more comfortable sleep.
  • Regulates body temperature although some materials can trap heat.
  • The lightweight and compact design allows for easy handling and transport.
  • The topper is easy to maintain, care for and keep clean. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when it comes to care and maintenance.
  • A quality mattress should hold it’s shape for an extended period of time with becoming distorted.
  • It will protect your existing mattress from spills and stains.

Best Mattress Toppers for Back Pain Comparison Table

We have taken all of the effort out of researching the top mattress topper brands and evaluated them according to material, cost, support, comfort, durability, flexibility as well as special features. We also took into consideration consumer satisfaction and their reviews, ratings, complaints and compliments regarding specific mattress toppers after they have tested them out. The different types have been categorized into different groups that fulfill a variety of different needs and personal preferences such as comfort and support. We have also listed the advantages and disadvantages of each type of mattress topper according to all the factors that we evaluated.

As a result, we are able to provide you with the top 5 mattress toppers that we were able to identify using the above mentioned criteria to provide you with the most popular choices for you to select from that are currently available on the market.

Best Budget Mattress Topper
DreamFoam 2" Gel Swirl Memory Foam Topper, Made in USA, Queen#ad
Editors’ Choice & Best Seller
Sleep Innovations 4-inch Dual Layer Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper Enhanced Support, Queen#ad
Queen Size 3 Inch Thick, 4 Pound Density Gray Visco Elastic Memory Foam Mattress Pad Bed Topper. Made in the...#ad
LUCID 3-inch Ventilated Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper - Queen#ad
Best Price Mattress 4-Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper, Queen#ad
DreamFoam 2" Gel Swirl Memory Foam Topper, Made in USA, Queen#ad
Sleep Innovations 4-inch Dual Layer Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper Enhanced Support, Queen#ad
Queen Size 3 Inch Thick, 4 Pound Density Gray Visco Elastic Memory Foam Mattress Pad Bed Topper. Made in the...#ad
LUCID 3-inch Ventilated Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper - Queen#ad
Best Price Mattress 4-Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper, Queen#ad
Our Rating
Best Budget Mattress Topper
DreamFoam 2" Gel Swirl Memory Foam Topper, Made in USA, Queen#ad
DreamFoam 2" Gel Swirl Memory Foam Topper, Made in USA, Queen#ad
Our Rating
Editors’ Choice & Best Seller
Sleep Innovations 4-inch Dual Layer Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper Enhanced Support, Queen#ad
Sleep Innovations 4-inch Dual Layer Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper Enhanced Support, Queen#ad
Our Rating
Queen Size 3 Inch Thick, 4 Pound Density Gray Visco Elastic Memory Foam Mattress Pad Bed Topper. Made in the...#ad
Queen Size 3 Inch Thick, 4 Pound Density Gray Visco Elastic Memory Foam Mattress Pad Bed Topper. Made in the...#ad
Our Rating
LUCID 3-inch Ventilated Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper - Queen#ad
LUCID 3-inch Ventilated Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper - Queen#ad
Our Rating
Best Price Mattress 4-Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper, Queen#ad
Best Price Mattress 4-Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper, Queen#ad
Our Rating

Best Mattress Toppers for Back Pain

  • DreamFoam Bedding DF20GT2050 2″ Gel Swirl Memory Foam Topper
  • Sleep Innovations 4-Inch Dual Layer Mattress Topper
  • 4 Pound Density Visco Elastic Memory Foam Mattress Pad Bed Topper
  • LUCID 3-inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper
  • Best Price Mattress 4-Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper

1. DreamFoam Bedding DF20GT2050 2″ Gel Swirl Memory Foam Topper – Best Budget Mattress Topper

DreamFoam 2" Gel Swirl Memory Foam Topper, Made in USA, Queen#ad
  • The 2” gel swirl memory foam topper is designed to enhance the...
  • A unique gel swirl infusion draws heat out and away from the body to...
  • Slow response memory foam is designed to help decrease motion transfer...
  • Compressed and rolled into a 13" X 13" X 22" box and shipped by parcel...
  • 3-year warranty, proudly made in the USA, CertiPUR-US certified.

DreamFoam’s Gel Swirl Memory Foam Topper is the only mattress pad you need if you want reliable support for your back. Made from high-quality visco-elastic memory foam, this mattress topper is two inches thick. This makes it the perfect solution for people suffering from intense back pain, shoulder pain, hip problems and sciatica, as well as for all those who seek for a relaxing and comfortable sleep.

Thanks to the swirls of cooling gel included in its structure, the DreamFoam mattress pad secures a comfortable sleeping temperature. This topper is particularly good for those who enjoy sleeping on a softer surface. Among the other benefits of this high-quality topper there are the 3-year warranty and the low-chemical CertiPUR certification.

If you need an affordable yet effective memory foam topper, go for DreamFoam’s Gel Swirl Memory Foam Topper. It won’t let you down, that’s for sure.

  • Although thin, this topper can soften even extremely firm mattresses, enabling their users to enjoy a restful sleep.
  • Apparently, this product has a milder scent than many other mattress toppers.
  • Some users found the DreamFoam topper to be too soft for their needs or personal preferences.
  • A few customers complained about receiving torn toppers.

2. Sleep Innovations 4-Inch Dual Layer Mattress Topper – Editors’ Choice & Best Seller

Sleep Innovations 4-inch Dual Layer Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper Enhanced Support, Queen#ad
  • QUEEN MATTRESS TOPPER: This 4-inch mattress topper features a dual...
  • TWICE THE COMFORT: For the ultimate upgrade, get twice as comfortable....
  • COOLING GEL MEMORY FOAM: Our gel memory foam is specially designed to...
  • WASHABLE COVER: Comfort that’s convenient – our easily removable,...
  • MADE IN THE USA: This Sleep Innovations mattress topper is proudly...

Sleep Innovations’ Dual Layer Mattress Topper features two different layers. The bottom layer is made from gel memory foam. The gel neutralizes the heat-retaining properties of classic memory foam. The top layer is made from a smooth and plushy fiber material which provides this mattress pad its comfortable softness and its reliable spinal support.

The gel memory foam takes the contour of the spine without giving up on the firm back support it provides. The plush layer makes the mattress more comfortable, contributing to a better rest. People suffering from chronic back pain, fibromyalgia and spine-related problems have experienced the alleviation of their pains after switching from their regular mattress to the Sleep Innovations’ two-layer topper.

The best thing about this dual layer mattress topper is its one decade iron clad warranty. In addition, all materials in this product are hypoallergenic, therefore being an excellent option for all allergic individuals. The snug-fit cover can be easily removed and cleaned. It is dryer and washer safe, so it doesn’t require special care or maintenance. This mattress pad is available in five sizes: Twin, Full, Queen, King and California King.

Users suffering from severe lower back pain and hip pain are extremely pleased with the Sleep Innovations topper, as it offers the best of both worlds, comfort and reliable back support.

  • Effective and precise relief of pressure points that cause back pains
  • Anti-allergenic and resistant to dust mites
  • Advanced foam technology that improves airflow, thus regulating the temperature
  • Excellent durability
  • Removable, washable and dryer safe cover
  • Exclusive 10-year iron clad warranty
  • Manufactured in the USA
  • Comfortable
  • Heavier than other mattress toppers
  • The intense “memory foam” smell; however, it fades away within a few days
  • Although cooler than traditional memory foam mattresses, this pad might still be too hot for those who enjoy sleeping at lower temperatures
  • Some users find it too soft for their taste

3. 4 Pound Density Visco Elastic Memory Foam Mattress Pad Bed Topper – Excellent Product

Queen Size 3 Inch Thick, 4 Pound Density Gray Visco Elastic Memory Foam Mattress Pad Bed Topper. Made in the...#ad
  • Instantly makes any mattress more restful, comfortable and supportive...
  • 3-Inch of extra supportive 4-Pounds memory foam conforms to your body...
  • Made in the USA using enviromentally friendly processes. Exceeds...
  • Memory foam reduces pressure points that cause you to toss and turn,...
  • Topper features a four-pound density and the famous gel-like feel.

This 4-Pound Density Visco Elastic Mattress Topper is probably the best solution for all those who want to make their old bed more comfortable by adding an effective pressure point relief. The 4-pound density and the medium-firm thickness make this mattress pad effective and comfortable at the same time. One of the top reasons why so many people choose this mattress topper is that it provides effective relief of pressure points, enabling them to enjoy a good night’s rest and to wake up feeling refreshed and full of energy.

The other interesting fact about this topper is that it conforms to your body shape, securing a proper sleeping temperature regardless the season or the weather conditions. If you live in a four-season climate, this mattress pad would suit you best.

This mattress topper has obtained the PURGreen certification. This means it is EPA and CSPC compliant, and it makes it one of the safest mattress toppers on the market. The 3-year limited warranty should be more than enough to give you the peace of mind that you won’t need to replace it too soon.

  • It takes the shape of your body
  • It minimizes pressure points
  • The PURGreen certification makes it safe
  • The 3-year warranty
  • Strong odor; however, it dissipates rather quickly
  • Some users find the 3-year limited warranty not enough

4. LUCID 3-inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper – Excellent Product

LUCID 3-inch Ventilated Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper - Queen#ad
  • 3 inches of ventilated gel memory foam adds softness and...
  • Special memory foam formula is extremely soft, airy and responsive
  • Ventilated design improves airflow for a more comfortable sleep...
  • Memory foam is infused with a plush gel material that captures heat to...
  • New foam scent is normal and will dissipate over the first 48 hours...

The Lucid is one of the top mattress pads you can find on the market. Available in multiple sizes, this mattress topper features a 3″ well-ventilated memory foam which is both comfortable and effective in relieving pressure points that generate pains and discomfort. It is very good for your back, as well as for various muscular pain problems.

As this memory foam pad is soft and well ventilated, it contributes to creating a proper sleeping environment. The gel incorporated in the memory foam promotes temperature exchange, securing a constant sleeping temperature. If you can’t stand your body overheating during your sleep, this is one of the mattress toppers you should consider taking a closer look at.

  • Less expensive than other mattress toppers
  • Very comfortable and effective in alleviating back pain
  • Properly ventilated, and therefore less smelly
  • Hypoallergenic, suitable for allergy sufferers
  • Available in different sizes ranging from King Size to Twin XL
  • 25-year warranty
  • The ventilation holes may decrease the durability of this product.

5. Best Price Mattress 4-Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper – Excellent Product

Best Price Mattress 4-Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper, Queen#ad
  • Amazing comfort from body conforming memory foam
  • Responsive active suspension isolates motion so no disruption for your...
  • Comes with polyester Mesh cover zippered. Deeper Sleep
  • 2.5 inches High density foam and 1.5 inches memory foam. Spot clean,...
  • 3 years warranty

The Best Price Mattress 4-inch memory foam mattress topper is one of my top recommendations, my main reasons being that it offers great value, excellent support and comfort. This topper has two sides; one is made from regular dense foam, while the other one consists from memory foam. This enables you to choose the type of comfort and support you prefer. If you only suffer from mild back pain, you might want to use the memory foam side. If, on the contrary, you experience moderate to intense back pains, the denser foam side might be better for you.

When sleeping on this mattress topper, your body weight will be evenly distributed, so pressure points are going to be relieved. Back and hip pain sufferers should benefit a lot from this property, as they won’t have to wake up during the night for changing their position due to pain.

The other cool thing about this mattress pad is that it isolates motion. This makes it the perfect choice for couples sleeping in the same bed. The polyester mesh zip cover is yet another reason why the that Best price 4-Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper is one of the best options. The 5-year warranty should be enough to secure your peace of mind that you’ll enjoy a durable and high-quality product.

It’s worth mentioning here that this mattress topper features an excellent ventilation system and minimal heat retention, being therefore able to regulate your body temperature during sleep.

The Best Price Mattress topper is also fairly affordable. Besides, its high density foam base should prevent sagginess, while the memory foam top layer should secure your support and comfort throughout the whole night.

  • Excellent back support
  • Two sides
  • Relatively low price
  • Mix of high density foam and memory foam for comfort and firm support
  • Polyester mesh zip cover
  • Isolates motion, enabling you to move without disturbing your sleeping partner
  • It isn’t waterproof
  • Some users have found it too thick
  • No gel
  • Slight smell immediately after unpacking; the odor fades away after a few days
  • Only 5-year warranty

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Right Mattress Topper for Back Pain

Sleeping on a comfortable bed is the first step to sleeping like a baby and enjoying the many benefits that come with getting high-quality sleep. For starters, sleeping on a comfortable bed, and soundly creates an ample environment for brain cells to recuperate and regenerate, thus an alert and healthy mind. Investing in a good quality mattress topper is one way to improve your sleep patterns. Choosing the right/best mattress topper for improved sleeping comfort doesn’t necessarily lie with how much money you have, but rather knowing what to look for in a topper. Having a good mattress topper can help relieve back pain among other physical conditions.

When shopping for a mattress topper, consider one that works out your problem but not the most expensive one in the market. Outlined below are some of the key points and factors to consider when shopping for a good quality mattress topper.

1. The Topper Material

This is one of the most important, yet overlooked feature on mattress toppers. The type of material used for your topper can be the difference between a more comfortable bed and an irritating one. The most common topper material types include:

Memory Foam ToppersLatex Mattress ToppersGel Mattress ToppersWool Mattress ToppersCotton Mattress Toppers

Memory foam is the most common/popular material on the market today. This material offers pressure relief and adequate support particularly for an individuals with back problems and those suffering from lower back pains as well. One of the added advantages of going for the memory foam mattress topper is the fact that it comes with multiple inner layers that include visco and gel. You also get to choose between various densities for optimal support. Choosing the correct firmness helps the topper mold to the shape of your body contours, thus enabling a better night sleep.

Memory foam toppers are basically made of polyurethane, a material that takes reflex and compression functions very efficiently. Polyurethane is also capable of isolating individual motions on the bed, meaning your partner will hardly feel you as you toss and turn as you sleep. Memory foam toppers also absorb one’s weight comfortably, and springs back in position once you get up. This feature helps leave your spine in a neutral position, hence no pressure from your shoulders and hips.

Although a preferred choice for many (it’s highly affordable), memory foam loses its shape over time. Many are the times when you will see a depression on your regular sleeping position – this happens over time. This creates a sinking in effect which starts becoming uncomfortable. In addition to this, the foam material absorbs and gives off odor especially when new. Ensuring your room is well ventilated however takes care of this problem. Although many may take this as an advantage, memory foam retains heat as you sleep. This could be disadvantageous for an individual with higher than average body temperatures. A cotton or wool pad would be recommended for such individuals.

If you prefer sleeping on a firm surface and in need of a mattress topper that will last for more than 20 years, the latex mattress topper is your best option. Latex is a relatively rigid material mainly derived from rubber, hence capable of taking on heavier weights. If you prefer sleeping on your back, the latex material aligns itself comfortably to provide sufficient support for your back and spine. Latex mattress toppers neither absorb nor release odor, hence much better than memory foam toppers.

Latex is also mold, dust, and heat resistant. It doesn’t trap heat nor encourage dust mite growth – this makes it the perfect choice for persons with allergies. Since Latex is resilient and springy in nature, people weighing more will find it a more beneficial. Latex toppers are however more expensive that many other types of mattress toppers on the market.

This is considered the most luxurious type of mattress topper on the market. The topper contains white or gray duck feathers that make it feel fluffy and comfortable. The type of feathers used may however vary from one manufacturer to the other. Although the most luxuries, featherbed mattresses are much cheaper and odorless. They however need regular maintenance such as fluffing up to decompress the feathers. Feathers tend to compress over time under a person’s weight. Shaking the topper, however, takes care of this issue. Feather mattress toppers may however not be the ideal solution for persons with allergies. Wool and fiber bed toppers are recommended for such. The other downside of feather mattress toppers is that they aren’t the best for individual suffering from intense back pains and sciatica.

If shopping for a more hypoallergenic mattress topper, then the woolen topper will come in handy. The wool material may be organic, natural, or from certified organic designs. Wool pads have a higher durability than cotton and are mold and dust mite resistant. In addition to this, wool pads are absorbent, meaning they can help keep you cool during warmer months, and warm during cold nights as well. Aside from the improved comfort, wool pads aren’t recommended for persons suffering from chronic back pains. This is because wool has a shallow back support. If you however are looking for a temperature regulating and durable pad, this will fit the purpose pretty well.

Cotton made mattress toppers are ideal for the health conscious individuals. These pads are made of natural, organic, and certified cotton fillers with little to no synthetic materials inside. Unlike other pads, cotton pads are quilted and much thinner than the rest. They are machine washable too.

These are basically the main materials to choose from when shopping for a mattress topper. As you might have noticed, each material has its bright and dark area. One notable fact about these materials is that the firmer the material, the better back support it has, hence fewer back pains. The softest materials in the group only come in handy where durability and temperature regulation is required, but not for back support.

Although many of the materials outlined above are comfortable, this is a two horse race between latex and memory foam. These are the only two materials that provide excellent back support for back pain relief and improved comfort. The common denominator in these two is that they conform to your body contours thus easing pressure on the back for proper alignment. Many of the people suffering from chronic back pains attest to sleeping soundly without experiencing any pain while on foam or latex pads as compared to cotton, gel, wool, and feather mattress toppers.

Latex, (considered the best for this purpose) is specially designed to combine both support and comfort. It uses special pin core holes that help absorb body weight and embrace your body contours perfectly thus offering optimal support. Both latex and foam readjust according to one’s weight to absorb body weight and shapes automatically. This factor alone makes it possible for one to enjoy the best quality sleep.

Memory foam and latex toppers also allow hips and other parts to sink much deeper into the mattress while providing enough support for parts/areas that don’t need to sink at all. This spreads pressure adequately thus heaving the same from injured tissues and especially the spine. Due to these reasons, foam and latex mattress toppers have been voted the best for lumber support and back pain relief.

2. Topper Thickness

How thick the mattress topper is, is another crucial factor to consider when shopping for one. While a denser topper may seem more comfortable (regardless of the material), this is however not the case. You need an adequately sized topper to enjoy all the benefits. While you shouldn’t go for a thin topper, a thick one isn’t recommended either.

Thicker mattress toppers tend to be firmer hence less responsive to body shape. Thinner toppers, on the other hand, may be more comfortable, but lack sufficient support needed on pressure points. Medium thick toppers are therefore the best choice for back pain relief. Medium thickness provides support for various weights and also conforms to body contours well.

A thicker mattress topper is firmer and doesn’t respond to your body contours easily. Alternatively, thinner mattress toppers feel cozier but don’t offer sufficient support at the pressure points. Mattress toppers of between 2 and 4 inches are therefore considered best for they offer medium firmness and help align the spin column appropriately. Certain factors such as your body weight and size need to be considered before deciding on the best thickness for your topper.

Mattress toppers with less than 2 inches depth should, therefore, be avoided. Although toppers with more than 4 inches may be recommended, plus-sized individuals may have to pick something higher, say 4 inches. Plus-sized people need that extra inch to ensure the pad doesn’t bottom out and provides adequate support for body contours and pressure points.

How to Determine the Right Thickness?

2-inch mattress toppers3-inch mattress toppers4-inch mattress toppers

It provides medium pressure relieve on your back especially when sleeping on your back.
Expect average comfort levels for medium sized individuals, hence not recommended for plus-sized people. If the topper is of the highest quality, then this may be the best pick for those with a small build.
This is however the cheapest option you will have.

This is considered the best choice for many people.
Comfort levels are a lot higher than the 2-inch type as it provides adequate pressure relief on joints and the back.
It may however not be as comfortable as a new mattress.
3-inch toppers are a preferred option for they provide a balance between comfort and medium firmness.

This is the plus-sized foam topper you will find on the market. It is however recommended for individuals weighing over 250 pounds. It is also the most preferred and recommended option for campus who choose to sleep on the ground. The extra inch, however, means you have to dig deeper into your pockets. Nonetheless, even a 300-pound individual will find it more comfortable sleeping on this pad as compared to the other two.

3. Density

When it comes to firmness, the density plays as much a part as the thickness of the topper. The density for a topper can be as low as a couple of pounds per cubic foot. It’s common for the market, however, to stock a topper with a density of somewhere between two and three pounds per cubic foot. It’s not necessary to have a mattress topper that is soft or firm.

A topper that is less dense such as one that is 2 or 3 pounds per cubic foot may feel more comfortable but ultimately it doesn’t give as much support for your back as it should. This type of topper will not resolve your problem and could lead to back pain.

A mid-level density of 3 – 5 pounds per cubic foot would be much more ideal to reduce back pain. This level of density is not overly firm but also not too light and this means there’s a good mix of comfort and durability along with the necessary support needed for the spinal column. This kind of topper gives way just a little bit for things like the shoulders and buttocks but continues to offer enough support so that back pain is eliminated.

Additionally, the mid-level density greatly helps to relieve pressure points and more evenly distributes body weight. It should be known, however, that anything above 5 pounds per cubic foot will be substantially firm and many feel it is too firm for comfort. For those wanting maximum support, this may be a good choice but it will take a bit of time for your body to get used to the firmness.

4. Firm VS. soft

Going for a mattress or topper that’s very soft is not the best choice when back pain is a consideration. The softness just doesn’t give enough support to help the back and reduce pain. In fact, this can actually lead to increased pain and additional problems. If you like the softness you may feel that the bed is incredibly comfortable but the pain will mean that you can’t enjoy that comfort.

How thick a mattress should be, depends in part, on the actual mattress that you choose. If you have a bed that’s already very soft than getting a firm topper would be a good choice. If on the other hand, you have a bed that’s already pretty firm, then you may want to choose a memory foam topper especially if you often sleep on your side. This is why I suggest that you first consider what type of mattress you have and then use that information when shopping for a new topper.

5. Size Matters

To get the best result it’s necessary to get a topper that is equal in size to your mattress so it’s necessary to measure it to make sure you’re buying the right size topper. The topper will come in a choice of sizes and you’re almost certain to find one that will fit your bed totally. There are times where information that’s available on the website of a manufacturer might be in some ways misleading and so it is recommended that you take a look at the comments from other customers before ordering, just to make sure that it’s the right choice.

6. Heat Retention

You will need to be aware that memory foam holds body heat which means it can get warm and raise the surrounding temperature and this can be uncomfortable. This is mostly an issue with lower quality products but it can be a significant issue for some. Remember that you’re getting the topper so that you can sleep better, so you don’t want to trade one problem for another.

Memory foam gel is better able to spread out the body heat and allow for a cooler situation. The topper may be bit warm underneath but that is perfectly normal. Investing in a bit higher quality will help to resolve the issues surrounding body heat.

If it’s a considerable concern you can choose to get a cooling pad which can be placed on the topper. Especially during the summer months, a cooling pad can be very helpful. So getting a quality topper is the first step and for those that are particularly sensitive to increased heat then they can get a cooling pad.

7. Body Weight

The heavier you are the more likely it is that you will need to get something more than a moderately firm density to give enough support to help reduce back pain. The reason is simply that the heavier your body weight the more that a moderately firm topper will give way to that weight. The way to compensate for this is by simply choosing a firmer topper. As an example, someone of significant weight might choose to go with a thickness that is over 4 inches and a density that is above 5 pounds per cubic foot. If you don’t consider your body weight then you may end up getting a topper that simply gives way and fails to provide the necessary support.

8. Additional Features

For those who need or want a hypoallergenic mattress but don’t have one, it’s considerably less expensive to simply add a pad that is hypoallergenic. As well as those for allergies, there are also pads that are designed to eliminate odor. By placing it on top of the mattress it is proven to be an effective buffer between you and the mattress and greatly reduces odor problems.

9. Customer Reviews

When doing research, it’s very useful to read the reviews of customers who have already purchased what you’re looking at. You can easily learn the weaknesses and the strengths of any topper you’re considering. Very often customers will give you insights to things that the manufacturer never discusses. The most important fact is that these reviews very often help you to choose the perfect topper that helps resolve your problems.

10. Budget

Before you ever even begin looking for your topper it’s best to decide exactly how much you can afford to spend for it. There’s no sense in looking at toppers that are way beyond your budget. Even though toppers are considerably less expensive than a complete mattress, the toppers can still be somewhat costly. Generally, a good quality topper will run at least $100 or more. Certain types of topper materials are significantly more expensive, such as latex. Microfiber or foam cushions are somewhat less expensive. The more expensive ones can run a few hundred dollars although a diligent shopper can often find a discount and get them for less than $200.

Wrap up

Many people find that their toppers are lifesavers and greatly reduce the amount of suffering they have from back pain. But it’s important, however, that when shopping and purchasing your new topper that you remember that the density, thickness, and the type of material it is made of, as well as your body weight, are all things that need to be factored in when deciding on the amount of support you need and which topper is right for you. If these things are overlooked or not considered properly then the end result is that you get no improvement, or worse, your condition gets more difficult.

Cost is always a consideration and you should balance the price against the quality but to ensure the best results you will need to be willing to invest in a quality topper. It’s better to spend a few extra dollars and get better results, then to spend less and not get what you need.


Your new pad for your mattress will fasten to it with some type of skirting or elastic band. These are just thin pads that have corners similar to a fitted sheet and these go over the mattress to help protect it from stains and moisture. A deep-pocket pad can sometimes fit over a mattress and its topper. Pads help protect a mattress but they usually don’t give enough firm relieve for back issues as a mattress topper will.

Pads are however extremely affordable and there is not very much variation in their quality. You can protect your more expensive mattress with an inexpensive pad and it’s highly recommended that you do so.

Editors’ Choice & Best Seller

Hypoallergenic Quilted Stretch-to-Fit Mattress Pad by Hanna Kay, Clyne Collection (Queen)#ad
  • Knitted sides stretch for a perfect fit
  • Cushy, quilted platform with hypoallergenic fill
  • Breathable, Poly-Cotton
  • Machine wash & dry, safe for high temperatures
  • 10 year warranty


There is no doubt that back pain is a considerable problem that will not only be there when you’re trying to sleep but also when you wake and go to work. But you can eliminate that with what you’ve learned about toppers for your mattress and how they can reduce your back pain. The best place to start is with our recommendations which will allow you to more quickly come to an informed decision and get just the perfect mattress topper for your particular needs.

Just to recap, if you’re having back pain, particularly when you’re trying to sleep, then getting a mattress topper that has the right firmness and thickness along with the same level of density will best ensure that the pressure points are properly supported. Don’t forget to include or consider your body weight as well as the type of material the topper is made of. For the best level of support, you should consider memory foam or latex.

Take action

Anyone who suffers from back pain is likely to experience many nights of restless turning and tossing. Getting a topper that is of high quality is one of the best ways anyone can help to get a restful night’s sleep and reduce back pain during the night. A good mattress topper is also a relatively inexpensive way to soften or firm up an existing mattress. In addition to their other qualities, they also can help an older mattress feel like one that’s much newer. Anyone who is experiencing shoulder pain, pain in the hip, and back pain should absolutely consider getting one of the top rated mattress pads or toppers. It could be the key to getting a good night’s sleep.

Editors’ Choice & Best Seller

Sleep Innovations 4-inch Dual Layer Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper Enhanced Support, Queen#ad
  • QUEEN MATTRESS TOPPER: This 4-inch mattress topper features a dual...
  • TWICE THE COMFORT: For the ultimate upgrade, get twice as comfortable....
  • COOLING GEL MEMORY FOAM: Our gel memory foam is specially designed to...
  • WASHABLE COVER: Comfort that’s convenient – our easily removable,...
  • MADE IN THE USA: This Sleep Innovations mattress topper is proudly...

Best Budget

DreamFoam 2" Gel Swirl Memory Foam Topper, Made in USA, Queen#ad
  • The 2” gel swirl memory foam topper is designed to enhance the...
  • A unique gel swirl infusion draws heat out and away from the body to...
  • Slow response memory foam is designed to help decrease motion transfer...
  • Compressed and rolled into a 13" X 13" X 22" box and shipped by parcel...
  • 3-year warranty, proudly made in the USA, CertiPUR-US certified.

Last update on 2021-01-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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