Best mattress topper 2021: Memory foam options for single and double beds

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If you want to spruce up your mattress, a topper could be just the solution. Mattress toppers can be useful for a host of other reasons – to warm up your bed or cool it down, to protect it from stains and bacteria, or perhaps you want one to make your sofa bed comfier for guests.

Whatever the reason, you’ll almost certainly be surprised what a difference a topper can make, not only to the comfort levels, but quality of sleep and in some cases the reduction of aches and pains.

When buying one, you’ll need to think about the thickness, type of filling and how much you’re prepared to fork out. Some provide a skinny layer of softness; others a 10cm wedge – almost a new mattress in itself.

If you’re after an additional layer of cosiness, a natural feather or synthetic fill should do the trick, while memory foam offers a whole new world of support.

We tested toppers for comfort, support, value for money and how easy they were to fit and maintain.

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The best mattress toppers for 2021 are:

  • Best overall – Simba hybrid topper, double: £226.80,
  • Best memory foam topper – Eve Sleep the mattress topper: £249,
  • Best firm mattress topper– Soak & Sleep memory foam mattress topper: £110,
  • Best for back pain – Dormeo octasmart plus mattress topper: £359.99,
  • Best king size mattress topper Sleepeezee seasonal mattress topper: £219.95,
  • Best for temperature regulating Silentnight air max mattress topper: £43.99,
  • Best on a budget – Sealy Select balance dual layer mattress topper: £27.99,
  • Best thick mattress topper The Woolroom deluxe wool mattress topper: £146.99,
  • Best for cooling – Duvalay freshtec mattress topper: £249.95,
  • Best single mattress topper Ikea talgje: £60,

Simba hybrid topper, double

Best: Overall

  • Filling: Hybrid (spring, foam, latex)
  • Depth: 7cm
  • Sizes available: Single, small double, double, king, super king

You won’t disturb your sleeping partner when you turn over on this foam and spring combo topper and the generous depth (made up of 2cm high-density foam, 2cm of conical pocket springs and 2.5cm of latex) is incredibly comfortable, springy and supportive especially around key pressure points. So much so, you’ll feel you’ve got a new bed even if you put it on a flagging mattress that’s bound for the scrap heap. It’s cooler than all-foam mattresses and the anti-slip base and corner straps work a treat for keeping it in place, yet it’s easy to roll up and store away if you only use it on, say, a sofa bed when you have guests.

Eve Sleep the mattress topper

Best: Memory foam topper

  • Filling: Memory foam
  • Depth: 5.5cm
  • Sizes available: Single, small double, double, king, super king

A great (and much cheaper) substitute for a decent memory foam mattress, this one will mould around your body with a sumptuousness that will send you smoothly off into the land of nod and wake up with no aches or pains. It’s quite heavy, but it arrives nice and compact in a box and once you remove it from its vacuum packaging, it quickly expands without any of the chemical smells that so often linger with memory foam. There’s an effective non-slip back as well as elastic corner straps. Comes with a free 30-day trial.

Soak & Sleep memory foam mattress topper, double

Best: Firm mattress topper

  • Filling: Memory foam  
  • Depth: 5cm
  • Sizes available: Single, small double, double, king, super king, emperor  

If you’re persuaded by the benefits of memory foam (supportive throughout; softens according to your individual weight; pressure-relieving), but the prices of the other ones reviewed here are a stretch too far, you could do worse than this instantly comfortable option from Soak & Sleep that suits all types of sleepers. We were impressed by the firm, but springy feel and the cover can go in the washing machine. It doesn’t have quite the same luxurious feel of its more expensive contemporaries and it’s probably not the best choice if you’re prone to overheating when sleeping.

Dormeo octasmart plus mattress topper

Best: For back pain

  • Filling: Memory foam and springs
  • Depth: 7cm
  • Sizes available: Single, double, king, super king

This luxury, multi-layer memory foam topper has patented technology behind it that transformed our old saggy, lumpy old mattress into the kind of sleeping base we’d expect in a top hotel – almost a mini mattress in itself. You feel properly cradled by the multiple memory foam comfort points and we also liked the three-body zones which focus on providing customised support for your shoulders, back and hips. It’s breathable, eco-friendly and machine washable, while the base is anti-slip. You get a free matching ocasmart pillow worth £50 and a 60-night trial in case you don’t like it.

Sleepeezee seasonal mattress topper

Best: King size mattress topper

  • Filling: Polyester  
  • Depth: 7cm  
  • Sizes available: Single, double, king, super king

You could argue that you get two for the price of one with this topper, thanks to the woollen knitted finish on one side and the cool-touch finish on the other – which ensures you’re covered, as the name suggests, for all seasons. We didn’t find the cooler side quite as impressive as the Duvalay topper, but it claims to keep skin 1.3C lower than standard fabric and still helps you to avoid waking up feeling clammy, and it is also noticeably different from the warm and snuggly side for chillier nights. It fixes on easily with elasticated straps and there are various layers of polyester to ensure comfort, support and insulation. It’s hypoallergenic too.

Silentnight air max mattress topper

Best: Temperature regulating

  • Filling: Hollowfibre 
  • Depth: 3cm 
  • Sizes available: Single, double, king, super king 

A far cry from its heavier and thicker memory foam rivals, this exceptionally lightweight topper feels no heavier than a duvet, but it gives a surprisingly welcome addition of softness from edge to edge. Meanwhile, the mesh side panel makes sure of temperature regulation to stop you overheating. No don’t need to worry about lumps and bumps despite the low-price tag, thanks to the waved panel stitch and it stays firmly in place thanks to elastic straps. The icing on the cake for an already decent mattress, but not substantial enough for a very old one or if you suffer from aching joints or a bad back.

Sealy Select balance dual layer mattress topper

Best: On a budget

  • Filling: Hollowfibre
  • Depth: 5cm
  • Sizes available: Single, double, king, super king  

You’ll have this fitted on the bed, using the elastic straps, in no time and you can bung it in both the washing machine and tumble dryer. It has two layers of silky soft fibres with a microfibre cover – lovely for those who want to add a soft cushioning to an otherwise hard or unyielding mattress, although not so good for people who want something thick and supportive. Allergy sufferers won’t have to miss out as it’s both hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant. But you might have to shake it out every once in a while, which will stop it flattening. It won’t last as long as some of the more expensive toppers reviewed here. It’s currently out of stock so be sure to check back regularly if you don’t want to miss out.

The Woolroom deluxe wool mattress topper

Best: Thick mattress topper

  • Filling: Wool
  • Depth: 4-5cm
  • Sizes available: Single, double, king

Wool has masses of advantages as a filler for duvets, pillows, mattresses and toppers – it’s completely natural, snuggly, long lasting, temperature regulating and moisture wicking. This one has the stamp of approval from Allergy UK for being hypoallergenic and naturally resistant to mould, dust mites and other nasties that can set off allergies. And it’s also more comfy than other wool ones we tried, largely thanks to the generous depth, the sheer volume of premium British Downs wool and the organic cotton cover. The wool is fully farm traceable.

Duvalay freshtec mattress topper

Best: For cooling

  • Filling: Memory foam  
  • Depth: 5cm
  • Sizes available: Single, small double, double, king, super king

This is our top recommendation for people who get too hot at night, including menopausal women. It’s by far the coolest topper we tried, which the manufacturer put down to a particular type of foam that is both moisture-wicking and allows for superb air circulation – and we found it stayed that way throughout the night. Comfort-wise, it feels soft and takes the stress off your joints and spine. You can also wash the cover (which comes off easily with a zip) at 40C in the washing machine. If you’re prone to night sweats, this is definitely worth the extra money.

Ikea talgje

Best: Single mattress topper

  • Filling: Polyurethane foam
  • Depth: 3.5cm
  • Sizes available: Single, double, king

Ikea does some terrific toppers, of which this is our favourite. A simple foam filling is surrounded by stretch fabric and an anti-slip base for – in true Ikea style – a bargain price-tag. Ok, the foam is thinner than most, but it packs in a lot of comfort and is good at turning a good mattress or sofa bed into a great one. Unusually, the cover can be washed at a very hot temperature (60C) to keep it ultra-fresh and hygienic. No good for ancient mattresses though – you’ll need a thicker, more substantial one to mask the lumps and bumps.

Mattress topper FAQs

How to buy a mattress topper?

Choosing the right mattress topper to sleep on depends on your body and budget. There are four main types of mattress toppers; memory foam, feather and down, microfibre and hollowfibre, with pros and cons to each.

Memory foam provides ample amounts of support so if you suffer from back pain, it can ease discomfort. They can absorb the motion of tossing and turning bed partners too that can typically wake up a light sleeper, but can also be expensive. They should spring back to the same height each time you use it, so you don’t need to fluff it up to keep it looking and feeling as comfortable as possible.

Feather and down toppers tend to be cheaper and don’t retain as much heat, so can help cool you down on warm nights. They will also compress over time so you will need to fluff it up to keep it soft and your bed looking plush.

Microfibre and hollowfibre are the most affordable type of mattress toppers, so if you’re shopping on a budget, these are your best bet. They add an additional layer of cosiness and can soften a firmer mattress, but they can become lumpy over time, therefore having a shorter lifespan.

What’s the difference between mattress pads, toppers and protectors?

Mattress pads provide a thin, extra layer to your bed, whereas mattress toppers are much thicker and plush, designed to maximise your comfort, with some made in fabrics that are cooling, so ideal if you find yourself often too hot to sleep.

Mattress protectors are thin sheet coverings that keep your mattress clean and protect from stains, dirt, moisture, irritants and allergens. Many are waterproof too and can often be easily cleansing in a washing machine.

Can you wash a mattress topper?

Before washing your mattress topper, be careful to read the label to see if it’s safe to put in the washing machine. If it’s not, you will need to hand wash it to remove any stains and leave it sparkling clean and smelling fresh.

Sprinkle baking soda onto the topper and leave for 30 minutes before vacuuming it to get rid of odours, dust and grime. Then, if there are more persistent stains, take a damp cloth and stain remover to gently lift the stain.

The verdict: Mattress toppers

The Simba hybrid topper ticked all our boxes including for comfort, support, longevity and ensuring that you don’t wake your partner up just because you turn over. If, on the other hand, all you want is a thinner layer to add softness, the Sealy Select balance dual layer mattress topper stood out for us.

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IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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