How Thick Should a Mattress Topper Be?

Is your new mattress firmer than you expected? Is your old mattress hitting all the painful pressure points? The mattress you sleep on can make or break your nighttime slumber, so it’s vital to have a comfy bed. 

Whether you’re stuck with an uncomfortable sleeping situation or want an extra layer of comfort, adding a mattress topper can significantly increase your snoozing.

The best mattress toppers should add a layer of comfort, extra support, and various other benefits to your current mattress. The type of topper you purchase depends on your needs, and thickness plays a significant role in that decision. 

How Thick Should a Mattress Topper Be? 

You can purchase mattress toppers as thin as two inches and as thick as six inches, each with varying density levels. The thickness of a mattress topper you are buying mainly depends on your sleep needs. 

Thinner mattress toppers are better for new mattresses that only need a little bit of softness. Most people use thicker toppers to avoid sleeping on lumpy old mattresses that can cause back pain and interfere with sleep. 

Two-Inch Thick Toppers

The two-inch topper is the thinnest mattress topper, but it provides numerous benefits to all sorts of sleepers. These toppers are perfect for adding a little layer of comfort to a new mattress. They make your bed feel a bit softer, especially if yours is very firm. 

They don’t work for older mattresses, as they won’t support you as well as a thick mattress topper can. 

Three-Inch Mattress Toppers

Toppers with three inches of thickness can provide just the right amount of extra cushioning or firmness. A three-inch mattress topper can help with back pain from old mattresses make a firm mattress plusher. 

Three-inch thick toppers are available in various densities and materials, depending on what you’re looking for in a mattress topper. 

Four-Inch and Above Mattress Topper Thickness

Mattress toppers with a four-inch thickness or offer a high density and will eliminate the bumps and lumps you can feel on your old mattress. While most toppers above four inches are typically considered mattresses themselves, there are five- and six-inch toppers available if you want ultimate comfort on top of your lumpy old mattress. 

The Best Mattress Topper Materials

Take a look at our favourite mattress toppers, and you’ll notice these clouds of comfort come in a variety of different materials. Compare these top mattress topper materials to decide which one will suit you: 

Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Memory foam consists of a high-density polyurethane. When you lay down on a memory foam mattress topper, it will conform to your body. Your body heat softens the memory foam, allowing it to move and shape to you. When you sit up, the topper will reset into a flat surface. This contouring effect adds excellent cushion and support. 

Memory foam mattress toppers are denser and fantastic for eliminating issues caused by old mattresses. The contouring effect also reduces the amount of movement you feel if your partner tosses and turns throughout the night. 

While memory foam is excellent, there are a few downsides. The body heat it absorbs heats the foam. A hot mattress topper won’t be comfortable, as you may sweat while sleeping. Also, it’s challenging to move around at night since the foam shapes to your body. Restless sleepers won’t enjoy this mattress topper. 

Memory Foam Pros

  • Uses body heat to shape to your body
  • Adds support to old mattresses
  • Relieves pain from lumpy mattresses and medical conditions like arthritis
  • Reduces movement

Memory Foam Cons

  • It traps body heat and makes sleeping hot
  • Strong odour eludes from new toppers
  • Hard to move around

Hypoallergenic Latex Mattress Topper

Natural latex is either made synthetically or from a rubber tree’s liquid. The antimicrobial and hypoallergenic (unless you have a latex allergy) material is firm, bouncy, and durable. It’s supportive and excellent if you want a firmer mattress. If you like softness while sleeping, another material will be better for you. 

To ensure there are no allergens in your mattress topper, make sure the product is labelled “natural.” Otherwise, you may be purchasing synthetic latex. When you first use your latex topper, you may notice a rubbery smell, but it goes away with time. 

Natural Latex Pros

  • Hypoallergenic for most people and antimicrobial
  • Firm and bouncy
  • Supports you and relieves pain
  • Organic and durable

Natural Latex Cons

  • Rubber smell exudes from new toppers
  • It can be too firm for some people
  • Can be hot

Pillow Top Mattress Topper

Pillow top mattress toppers are some of the softest and most comfortable toppers available. They add an extra layer of cushion, so you feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud. Many pillow top pads available are hypoallergenic and machine-washable. They are also excellent additions to new mattresses. 

The biggest downside with pillow top mattress toppers is that they typically run thinner, so they won’t do much for your old mattress. 

Pillow Top Pros

  • Soft, comfortable, and airy
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Machine-washable
  • Adds a perfect layer of comfort to new mattresses

Pillow Top Cons

  • Run very thin
  • Doesn’t add any support for old mattresses

Polyester/Fiberfill Mattress Toppers

Polyester, or fiberfill, is the best mattress topper material if you’re on a budget. It’s 100% synthetic and ideal for people with allergies to topper materials, like latex or feathers. They do provide some support, but wear down quickly. 

Polyester Pros

  • One of the cheapest options
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Softens firm mattresses
  • It doesn’t have an odour

Polyester Cons

  • Support wears down quickly
  • Can become hot

Feather Toppers

Feather mattress toppers typically come in the form of duvets stuffed with light and delicate feathers. They’re less expensive than memory foam and latex, but they still add cushion and softness beneath you. There’s a lot of airflow too, which reduces heat and keeps your body at a comfortable temperature.

While feathers feel luxurious and soft, the quills can poke through the duvet material and cause more discomfort. They also squish down over time, so you’ll need to shake out the topper regularly. The most significant downside to feather toppers is that many people are allergic to them. 

Feather Pros

  • Keeps a controlled temperature, so you’re not too hot or cold
  • Cheaper than memory foam and latex
  • Move around easily 
  • Soft and cushiony 

Feather Cons

  • Quills poke out of the duvet 
  • Feathers squish down over time

Wool Mattress Toppers

Wool is one of the best mattress topper materials to add extra cushion to your bed. While wool fleece seems like it would be too hot for sleeping, it doesn’t hold in body heat and keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. They last long and are hypoallergenic for most, but they’re expensive and hard to find in many places. 

Wool Pros

  • It keeps you warm and hot in winter and summer, respectively
  • It lasts a long time
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Move around in the bed with ease

Wool Cons

  • Expensive
  • Exudes a sheep odour

Reasons to Purchase a Mattress Topper

Still not sold on spending money on a mattress topper? Here are a few reasons you should buy one: 

Your Mattress Lasts Longer

As mattresses age, they will sag and develop uncomfortable lumps. These areas can cause issues no matter your sleeping position, disrupting slumber and affecting pressure points. Adding a mattress topper will not only increase your mattress’ lifespan, but it will make sleeping more comfortable.

Change the Feel of Your Bed

Did you buy a new mattress and hate the level of firmness or softness? Are you stuck with said mattress and can’t return it? Fortunately, you can add a mattress topper to firm up or soften your mattress to your desired level of comfort. 

Memory foam and latex toppers are the thickest materials and can firm up a mattress, depending on its density. 

Increase Mattress Thickness

If your mattress feels too low for your body, you can fix that by adding a three- or four-inch thick mattress topper. It’s cheaper than buying a brand-new mattress, primarily if yours still works fine. 

Treat Medical Conditions and Ease Back Pain

If you’re suffering from chronic back pain or have medical conditions that require constant support, a high-quality mattress topper can help. The thickest mattress toppers, particularly those made from memory foam or latex, can relieve painful pressure points and treat chronic issues that disturb your sleep. 

What’s the Difference Between a Mattress Topper and a Mattress Pad? 

While it seems like the terms mattress topper and mattress pad could be interchangeable, each one has slight differences. Mattress pads are thinner, while mattress toppers are thicker and made to change the feel of your bed. 

Mattress Toppers

Mattress toppers are thick, comfortable, and durable. They can increase your bed’s lifespan and treat medical conditions. They’re usually at least two inches thick and can be as thick as four inches (though some toppers come five or even six inches). 

While they significantly protect your mattress from daily wear and tear, they are tough to clean. Also, they don’t always protect your mattress from spills and accidents. 

Mattress Pads

Mattress pads are thinner than toppers, but they add a layer of padding covered by the quilted fabric. They typically come attached to a fitted sheet so that your sleep position doesn’t move them around. Mattress pads are available in the same materials as mattress toppers. 

The most significant benefit of a mattress pad is its ability to protect your mattress from spills and other accidents. They keep external irritants, like dust mites, out of your bed. They’re also machine-washable and easy to clean.

Should I Buy a Mattress Pad or Topper? 

Choosing between a mattress pad and a topper ultimately depends on what you want. If you need a little bit more comfort or something to keep your mattress clean, go with a mattress pad. 

If you want something that will change how your bed feels and increase your mattress’ lifespan, a mattress topper is the choice for you. 

Choose the Right Thickness for Your Body

A mattress topper can do wonders for your sleep, and the right thickness will help in numerous ways. The right thickness for your body depends on what you need and prefer; whether you’re a side sleeper that likes a lot of cushion or you want a topper with a higher density. 

​Two-inch thick mattress toppers add comfort to new mattresses, while thicker toppers can treat medical issues and renew old mattresses. Whatever thickness you desire, a mattress topper will get you on the way to better sleep and happier mornings.

While you can find various types of mattress toppers on sites like Amazon, you can find some of Australia’s best mattress toppers on our website.