To get the best night’s sleep you need a good mattress. But even the best mattresses age, and as they do, they may not offer the comfort and support they once did. If you are not ready to replace your mattress just yet a firm mattress topper can offer an easy to implement, affordable way to give your mattress a new lease on life.
Is a Mattress Topper Good for a Bad Back?
While everyone needs a supportive, comfortable mattress to sleep on it is especially important for those who suffer from chronic back pain. Usually, a medium firm to firm mattress is the best choice in this situation, but some beds do not offer that much support, or an older mattress may no longer do so due to sagging, something that may be almost inevitable over time.
A firmer mattress topper can indeed help, restoring the support back pain sufferers benefit from to an older, less supportive mattress and supplying the pain prevention, and pain relief, they need.
Best Firm Mattress Topper Reviews
If you are ready to give your old mattress a comfort makeover by buying a firm mattress topper you will quickly find that there are a lot of options available. To help you get your topper shopping off to the best possible start here is a closer look at some of the best firm mattress topper choices available, all of which have seriously impressed us.
1. Best Extra-Firm Latex Mattress Topper: PlushBeds
Enjoy the superior pressure relieving benefits of extra-firm PlushBeds 100% Natural Latex Topper which perfectly confirms the body as you sleep.
PlushBeds are known for offering some of the best firm mattresses on the market today, so you would be right to expect that their mattress topper, which is crafted from all-natural latex, to offer the same high quality. Choosing this topper may also be an excellent way to try out the latex sleeping experience and add a firm topper to a soft mattress without making a larger investment in a new bed just yet.
- Offers a firm support that is often great for bad backs
- Latex is springy, so the mattress topper does not feel too hard
- 100% natural Talaly Latex is exceptionally durable and eco-friendly
- An affordable way to try out a latex mattress sleeping experience, which can differ significantly from memory foam
- Latex has natural cooling properties, so for hot sleepers this is a chance to add a cooling layer to their bed.
- Not suitable for anyone with a latex allergy
- Is one of the more expensive options on our list
2. Best Firm Foam Mattress Topper: UTTU
If you’re looking for a firm yet breathable memory foam topper that offers the best balance between support and softness, try the Red Respira Ventilated Mattress Topper.
This comfortable mattress topper offers two layers of specialist memory foam that help support proper spinal alignment and provide a firm supportive layer to almost any bed. We also love the soft touch, removable and washable topper cover.
- Two layers of memory foam offer excellent support for your back
- Breathable cells in the memory foam help you sleep cooler
- Offers excellent pressure point relief
- Some reviewers did not feel that the mattress top was firm enough to meet their needs
3. Best Firm Topper for Back Pain: Tempur-Pedic
The TEMPUR-Topper Supreme is a conforming firm topper which helps reduce moderate to severe back pain.
Tempur-Pedic were the first company to offer memory foam mattresses, and their TEMPUR memory foam is based on the NASA technology that started it all. Their 3-inch mattress topper offers all the benefits of their mattresses – great support, reduced motion transfer, durability and excellent pressure point relief – and is an excellent choice for those with chronic joint as well as back pain.
- Great mattress topper offered by an industry pioneer
- Excellent pressure point relief helps keep all kinds of aches and pains at bay
- Backed by excellent customer service
- Is one of the more expensive mattress toppers on the market today.
4. Best Medium-Firm Topper: Saatva
If you’re looking for a medium-firm topper with the latest in high-tech cooling, the Saatva Mattress Topper offers the contouring support of memory foam, plus the advanced heat-dispersing properties of graphite.
Saatva have made a name for themselves by offering mattresses that are especially designed to help relieve back pain. This 3-inch mattress topper offers a thick layer of memory foam that provides great support and is infused with graphite to help ensure that it sleeps cool too!
- Great support and pressure point relief in the back and neck
- Features cooling elements to help prevent overnight ‘overheating’
- Offered by a manufacturer know to design products with back health in mind.
- Many reviewers mention being annoyed by an excessive off-gassing smell
5. Best Firm Cooling Topper: Lucid
The 4-inch Lucid Bamboo Charcoal Memory Foam Mattress Topper offers temperature regulation, moisture wicking, odor reducing properties, and is is an excellent choice for people with allergies.
Bamboo is being added to bedding with increasing frequency these days because it is an all-natural, eco-friendly fiber that has excellent natural cooling properties. This firm queen mattress topper (or firm king mattress topper if you prefer) makes wonderful use of bamboo to boost its cooling power while also providing good support for your back.
- Bamboo and charcoal help keep you cool as you sleep
- 3 year-warranty
- Adaptable memory foam offers good support
- Charcoal infusion helps to wick away moisture, great for naturally hot sleepers
- Bamboo is naturally antifungal and antibacterial, as well as exceptionally durable
- Some people complain that the off-gassing smell is strong and takes a while to dissipate.
How to Choose the Perfect Firm Bed Topper?
Whatever mattress topper you eventually choose – whether it is one from our list or another choice – there are some basics you should keep top of mind as you search for the best firm mattress topper for back pain for you:
Mattress toppers may make use of one – or more – materials, and there are significant differences between them. Latex is springier than memory foam, and may feel harder to the touch, while gel memory foam may be cooler than standard foams but not quite as cooling as latex.
While a firmer mattress topper is usually the best choice for back pain the firmness level you experience the best sleep on is more of a personal choice. For some only an extra firm mattress topper for back pain will offer the level of support they really need while for others that will just be too hard, and they need something a little softer.
Most mattress toppers are around 3 inches thick. If you are looking for that ‘sleeping on a cloud’ feeling you may be better off with a slightly thicker choice. This can also be true if you will be making use of a mattress topper on an older bed that has started to sag. Keep in mind, that a mattress topper can add a significant few inches to your mattress, so may need to invest in deep-pocket sheets to accommodate it.
Care and Maintenance
Can the cover of the mattress topper be washed at home or does it need to be dry-cleaned? This is something you should check before you buy a mattress topper as it may make a difference to how clean you can keep it. In general though, most toppers have a removable and washable cover. Some toppers can be dry cleaned, but spot cleaning is the best method to care for your mattress topper. (Here are some cleaning tips for memory foam toppers.)
Bed toppers range from less than $100 to around $400, depending on the material and size. Down alternatives are the least expensive, while latex and memory foam mattress toppers are at the higher end of the price range.
No one wants to wake up all sweaty and hot, so it is important to choose a mattress topper that will sleep cool to avoid that! All mattress toppers listed here offer cooling properties. For best results pair your new topper with breathable sheets and comforters and always have a cooler temperature in your bedroom. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal bedroom temperature is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
As is the case for a mattress it is hard to tell if a mattress topper is really perfect for you until you have slept on it for at least a few weeks. All the mattress toppers on our list come with a sleep trial of 100 days or longer, and ideally you should look for something similar from any mattress topper you consider.
Check out our other great sleep guides
This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.