How Thick Should a Mattress Topper Be?

The information in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. [Read our full health disclaimer]

Updated on February 16, 2023

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. If you’re wondering, how many inches of a mattress topper is best?

The best mattress toppers should add a layer of comfort, extra support, and various other benefits to your current mattress. That said, the thickness of the topper you purchase depends on your personal preference and what you need. Thickness plays a significant role in the firmness level you want for your bed. 

Don’t go away because further on we’ll talk about how thick are mattress toppers and some tips to help you choose the best thickness for you.

What Thickness Mattress Topper Should I Get?

black laptop computer on white bed

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 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.

2 Inch Toppers

A 2-inch mattress 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.

3 Inch 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 making a firm mattress plusher.

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

4 Inches and Above Mattress Topper Thickness

4-inch mattress toppers 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.

Things To Consider On How Deep Should A Mattress Topper Be

Photo of Printed Bed Linen

When looking for a thick bed topper, there are several factors to consider. First and foremost is the type of mattress you have. Different types of mattresses require different types of toppers, so it’s important to make sure you get the right one for your mattress.

Additionally, you should consider the material that the topper is made from. Memory foam and latex are two popular materials that provide comfort and support while also helping with temperature regulation. It’s also important to think about how much support you need from your bed topper.

If you suffer from back pain, joint pain, or other aches, then a thicker mattress topper may be beneficial in providing extra cushioning and support.

Another factor to consider when looking for a thick bed topper is the size of your bed. You want a mattress topper that fits snugly on top of your existing mattress without any gaps or bunching up around the edges.

If you plan on using the topper on both sides of the mattress, then you’ll need one that’s large enough to cover both sides evenly. This will ensure that it provides maximum comfort and support throughout the night.

Finally, it’s important to think about how often you plan on using your new mattress topper. If you plan on using it every night, then investing in a higher-quality product may be worth it in order for

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 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 to a flat surface. This contouring effect adds excellent cushion and support.

white bed mattress

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 if you’re a hot sleeper, as you may sweat while sleeping. Also, it’s challenging to move around at night since the foam shapes 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

Natural Latex Mattress Topper

Natural latex topper is either made from a synthetic material or from a sap of rubber trees. 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.

white textile in close up photography

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
  • Made from sustainable material
  • 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 bit of cushioning, 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

white bed linen on bed

Polyester, or fiberfill, is the best mattress topper material if you’re on a budget. It’s 100% synthetic and an ideal choice for allergy sufferers of 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.

black laptop computer on white bed

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 show signs of wear like sagging and developing 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

Woman in White Dress Shirt Sitting on 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 comfort level.

Memory foam and latex toppers are the thickest materials and can firm up a mattress, depending on their foam 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 pain or have health conditions that require constant support, a high-quality mattress topper can help. The thickest mattress toppers, particularly those made from memory foam or latex, provide pressure point relief and may 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

woman lying on bed white holding board

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.

FAQs

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 firmer 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 comfortable nights 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.

Article Sources

  1. Chiba, S., Yagi, T., Ozone, M.,et al., (2018, June 27). High rebound mattress toppers facilitate core body temperature drop and enhance deep sleep in the initial phase of nocturnal sleep. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0197521
  2. Yu-Chi, L., Chih-Yun, L., & Mao-Jiun, W. (2020). Better combination of thickness and hardness of mattress topper for supine sleeping posture: A physiological measurements evaluation. International journal of industrial ergonomics, 78:102979. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0169814119305426
  3. Marković, L., Celinšćak, A., Vlaović, Z., et al., (2019, December). Importance of Natural Materials for Good and Quality Sleep. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/338937460_Importance_of_Natural_Materials_for_Good_and_Quality_Sleep
  4. Verhaert, V., Haex, B., Wilde, T. D.,et al., (2011, February 02). Ergonomics in bed design: the effect of spinal alignment on sleep parameters. Ergonomics, 54(2):169-178. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00140139.2010.538725
  5. Zaki, S. A., Rosli, M. F., Rijal, H. B., et al., (2021, August 13). Effectiveness of a Cool Bed Linen for Thermal Comfort and Sleep Quality in Air-Conditioned Bedroom under Hot-Humid Climate. Sustainability, 13(16):9099. https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/13/16/9099
Bree Taylor - Lead Editor

Lead Editor

Bree is an interior designer with a passion for helping people improve their sleep quality.

She specializes in creating comfortable and functional bedroom spaces that promote a good night’s rest.

When she’s not testing mattresses or helping people get the best rest possible, Bree loves to travel and explore new cultures.

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