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10 Supportive Mattress Topper for Back Pain Reviews — Sleep Comfortably in 2018

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Body ache after waking? Don’t splurge on a whole new mattress. Get the mattress topper for back pain. Explore different thicknesses, material, and styles to find best mattress topper for back pain–your ticket to a good night’s sleep again.

Last updateAugust 23, 2018
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Helen Mao
Today’s expert
Helen Mao
10 Supportive Mattress Topper for Back Pain Reviews — Sleep Comfortably in 2018

Our leaders

Pros

Soft yet firm

Conforms to body shape

Cools sleeper

Non-slip bottom prevents slippage

Cons

Warm for some

Durability about one year

King size seems small

Learn more
Pros

Very comfortable

Supportive and soft

Little odor when new

Convenient mattress straps

Cons

Sinks too much for some

Cooling effect only okay

Learn more
Pros

Good value

Soft and comfortable

Firm enough for many

Cons

Cooling feature is very effective

Sinks too much (too soft) for some

Learn more
Pros

Soft, breathable cover

Thick, supportive foam

Durable for some

Cons

Too firm and not durable enough for others

Cover’s underside pills easily

Cooling feature is okay to ineffective

Learn more
Runners up

Also good products

4 / 5

Soft and supportive with little odor, but earned mixed reviews for cooling and durability

3.8 / 5

Soft and comfy, but when foam “peaks” flatten out, layer becomes thin.

3.5 / 5

Cradles and molds around sleeper, but springs back too quickly for memory foam.

3.5 / 5

Good price and infused with “clean” bamboo charcoal, but sinks too deeply for some.

3.2 / 5

CertiPUR-US-certified with natural ingredients and recycled packaging, but not effective in cooling.

3 / 5

Warm and cozy with heat that soothes the back, but pricey and only 1” thick.

How We Decided

35Products
Tested
64Hours
Spent
05Experts
Interviewed
14Consumers
Consulted
Helen Mao
Today’s expert
Helen Mao

My oldest child getting ready for college asked me if she should purchase a mattress topper. At first I thought like most people–why bother? After researching the topic for this article, I realized the benefits of mattress toppers. She doesn’t have back pain and of course we ran out of time to purchase a mattress topper, but now I feel ready to choose one if needed.

General shopping guide

Essential to mental and physical health, a good night’s sleep can be elusive. Unlike babies dozing in cribs or kids snoozing in bunk beds, many adults lose sleep over aching backs. Slumber peacefully through the night on the best mattress topper for back pain.

Sounds good…

People spend about one-third of their lives in bed. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the optimal amount is seven to nine hours, with some folks needing eight consecutive hours, and others thriving on just six.

If your back hurts–whether or not the mattress is the cause–you need to find a solution that prolongs and improves your sleep. Don’t spring for a new mattress; try a mattress topper designed for reducing or alleviating back pain.

best mattress topper for back pain

Have a chuckle

Before reading about mattress toppers, enjoy this video from the comic duo Key & Peele. Don’t worry–you won’t have to test out the models like this.

Research You Can Trust

Instead of hopping onto a mattress topper to “test drive” it, rely on us. After researching over 30 of the most popular mattress toppers for back pain, we narrowed the list down to these top ten picks. We consulted industry leaders and customers to choose the ten best mattress toppers for back pain.

And...

Sifting through feedback of these models’ owners–new and old, thirtysomething through senior, healthy and injured–we learned the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Because each user’s experience is personal, we found similar and conflicting opinions about how helpful these mattress toppers are.

Fair enough?

We also double-checked each model’s specifications to confirm accurate information. You need exact details about each topper in order to choose what best fits your needs.

Rest assured

We don’t receive any products or kickbacks from manufacturers. Use these objective reviews to educate yourself and slide into sweet slumber.

Considerations

The 30-Second Review

Know what we think?

We think you deserve a good night’s rest and a healthy back.

Don’t you agree?

If your back already hurts from an injury or chronic condition, you’ll need a mattress topper that helps you sleep comfortably for a long time…

And wake up without pain.

Or at least as little as possible.

But how?

In order to prevent back pain, sleep with yourears, shoulders, and hips aligned”. In order to find a mattress topper that’s not too soft yet not too hard for your body, be sure to examine its thickness, density, firmness, and type of support material (usually memory foam or latex) used.

What else?

You won’t want to feel hot while sleeping (or wake up soaked in sweat), so see if the model has any cooling properties.

Also, the topper will need to fit your mattress, so check both pieces’ measurements carefully.

Any caveats?

Finally, you may need a week or so to try out the mattress topper and see if it actually helps your back–so carefully read the model’s return policy and warranty information.

Buyer’s Guide to Mattress Toppers for Back Pain

What is a mattress topper for back pain?

Just to be clear…

A mattress topper for back pain is NOT just a regular mattress pad, protector, or encasement. It’s also not a body pillow for hugging, although they’re also great sleep aids for alleviating aches and pains.

So, what is it?

A mattress topper for back pain is a thick pad you sleep on top of that supports and cushions your body. It does so by keeping it aligned in order to prevent strain on your back.

You should be able to sleep in your preferred position–back, side, or stomach–without causing pain in your back (or anywhere else in your body).

What else can it do?

Depending on the model, a mattress topper for back pain can improve the support of a mattress that’s too soft or adds softness to a mattress that’s too firm. The end goal is a comfortable night of sleep and pain-free start to your morning.

Why should I use one?

Good question!

Is a mattress topper for back pain really necessary?

Or is it just another extra accessory that won’t help?

Why not just purchase an entirely new mattress?

Even if you feel the beginning twinges of back pain–from sleeping, a non-sleeping injury, or just life in general–you may want to nip it in the bud. One way is by investing in a mattress topper to ease back pain–at least during sleeping hours (which also, of course, affect how you feel during waking hours).

Reason 1: To prevent, ease, and hopefully alleviate back pain.

A good mattress distributes a body’s weight evenly across the mattress’ surface.

A well-designed mattress often possesses the ability to minimize high-pressure points [e.g., back, shoulders, and hips] applied onto the body.” If your mattress doesn’t do this, look into a mattress topper that conforms to, cushions, and supports your body to relieve these pressure points.

Reason 2: To protect the mattress.

As we mentioned, a mattress topper for back pain isn’t a mattress cover. Nonetheless, it does provide a layer of shielding against external elements (e.g., dust, dirt, etc.).

Reason 3: To refresh an old mattress.

If your aging mattress is salvageable and not so worn out to be harmful, the mattress topper can help it last longer or prolong its lifespan. A topper can add firmness to a mattress that’s become too soft.

Reason 4: To keep the sleeper cool.

Some mattress toppers are designed to reduce heat generated by sleeping bodies. While some contain cooling gel, others are composed of layers with holes to allow ventilation and air circulation.

Ideally, these features absorb and disperse body heat for comfortable, sweat-free, and ultimately quality sleep.

What To Look For In A Mattress Topper For Back Pain

Several factors to scrutinize when examining different models include:

  • Thickness: Most mattress toppers designed for mitigating back pain are between two and four inches thick.Be careful: don’t automatically assume thicker is better. While a thicker mattress topper may provide more support when you lie on it, it can also either sink/flatten easily or be too solid to conform to your body’s shape.Likewise, thin toppers aren’t necessarily worse. You just also need to pay attention to the next factor, the topper’s density…
  • Density: Mattress toppers densities range from two to five or more pounds per cubic foot.Toppers on the low end of density (e.g., two to three pounds per cubic foot) feel plush and comfy but may not provide enough back support for your back, which can exacerbate any pain.Higher density (five pounds or more per cubic foot) mattress toppers can feel rigid and may prevent your body’s aforementioned high-pressure points (and protruding parts like the buttocks) from sinking to allow proper spine alignment.

    Aim for medium density toppers, which distribute body weight and relieve pressure points.

Expert tip:

Check the model’s advertised maximum user weight as well as its reviews. People weighing more than 250 pounds may opt thicker (four+ inches) and denser (five+ pounds per cubic foot) mattress toppers. Thinner and less dense models can compress further more easily, sometimes to the point where the body sinks out of alignment and even comes in contact with the mattress.

  • Size: Be sure to carefully measure and record your mattress’s exact dimensions so you know what size topper to order. Then make sure the topper’s dimensions are compatible with your mattress. Some users found the standard sizes (e.g., queen, king, California king) of toppers didn’t exactly match mattresses labeled with the same sizes.

Expert tip: Sleeping single in a double bed

Remember this catchy country song from the 70’s? Whether or not you do, we have an idea what to do if you aren’t sleeping alone in a double bed…but only you or your bedmate needs a mattress topper. Maybe try ordering a topper that’s going to fit only on the side of whoever will sleep on the topper.

  • Type of support material: Memory foam and latex are the most commonly used materials that provide support in mattress toppers for back pain.They both have “give” that allows body parts (e.g., buttocks) that need to sink a little, to actually do so while still sufficiently supporting the spine. Memory foam conforms to and “remembers” your body’s shape, which helps spine and neck alignment and promotes comfortable sleep.Two downsides are that:
    a) memory foam can be too firm for some and
    b) it traps heat, which makes sleeping uncomfortableOn the other hand, natural latex is breathable, cooler, and hypoallergenic. It conforms to your body’s shape but bounces back instead of “remembering” the shape.
  • Return and warranty policies: Although some people can feel right away whether or not a mattress top will ease back pain, you may need a few days or weeks to know for certain.If necessary, “sleep on it” for a trial period. In order to ensure you have the time you need, check the product’s return and warranty policies.Warning: because mattress toppers expand after being removed from packaging in preparation for use, they may be difficult to fold up and put back into the box for return. Read instructions as well as any advice and feedback from reviewers.

Now, let’s dive in!

Reviews of Mattress Toppers

01

Milliard Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Milliard Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper

The Milliard Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper is “like heaven to sleep on.” Soft yet firm, it’s very comfortable for people with back pain. Several owners state that when this topper allows them to sleep for hours–and get more rest and wake up without aches for the first time in years.

Many users would purchase this topper again for other beds.

Moreover...

Conforming to the shape of a sleeper’s body, the topper provides enough support to prevent the person from sinking into or flattening it out.

One user describes the Milliard Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper with its two-inch thickness as maintaining “a semblance of a bed, not a huge pillow pile.”

Were all the reviews good?

Well, some find the topper a bit too soft and need a firmer topper for more back and neck support. One consumer described it as “good for kids and lighter people.”

But...

The Milliard Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper is soft and thick enough for the two stomach sleepers and twelve side sleepers we encountered in our research.

How cool is that?

The topper has an open-cell structure and gel-infused beads for keeping sleepers cool.

Many users find the topper cool for sleeping (especially older people and sweaty kids) or at least “not hot.”

On the other hand, some owners feel the topper becomes warm and even hot as they sleep.

One person observes that as the topper warms up, it loses all resistance to body weight and, therefore, support. The gel also makes the topper a bit heavy to move.

The Milliard Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper’s durability seems to be about one year. We read feedback of permanent indentations developing after about five months of use. Owners report that while this topper really helps relieve pressure points during the first few weeks or months of use, it becomes softer, flatter, and less comfortable as time goes on.

It’s the little things…

People like the included washable bamboo cover with little nubs or stay-put dots on the bottom side to prevent the topper from moving around on the bed.

Does that actually work?

This non-slip underside worked for the majority of users and all our experts. Although a few consumers state the topper still moves a little, requiring readjustments.

The Milliard Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper is available in twin, full, queen, and king sizes. We encountered numerous complaints of the king size being slightly narrow and short for a standard king bed.

One person speculates perhaps the topper is cut a bit small compared to the mattress in order to give the foam a little room to expand when a person lies on it. In any case, the small size wasn’t a deal breaker for many people who enjoy the topper’s benefits.

What do you think?

Speaking of expanding, this topper requires three to four days to expand fully as well as to air its new-mattress smell. Some people detected no odor while others needed up to a week for the smell to off-gas.

And so...

Advertised as hypoallergenic, the Milliard Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper pleases many, but a few were bothered by the odor and developed a migraine or mild allergic reactions to it.

In order to guard your investment, cover the Milliard Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper with a SafeRest Premium Hypoallergenic Waterproof Mattress Protector.

Features

  • Dimensions and weight: (twin) 73” x 37”, 23 pounds; (full) 73" x 52", 29 pounds; (queen) 78” x 58”, 23 pounds; (king) 78” x 74”, 29 pounds
  • 2” thick gel-infused memory foam
  • Bamboo cover
  • Return policy: All unused items may be returned within 30 days after purchase

Pros

Soft yet firm

Conforms to body shape

Cools sleeper

Non-slip bottom prevents slippage

Cons

Warm for some

Durability about one year

King size seems small


02

ViscoSoft 3.5 lb. Density 3-Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper

ViscoSoft 3.5 lb. Density 3-Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper

The ViscoSoft 3.5 lb. Density 3-Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper is a high- quality topper that’s a great value for your money. One user eked out even more value extending the life of an eight-year-old mattress with the topper.

But how?

Supportive and soft, this model is medium firm, dense and thick. Users say that it’s good for relieving back pain because the topper is “very comfortable” and provides a “soft cradle of support” for the entire body. We found positive reports from stomach sleepers and side sleepers who snooze on it without any problem. Some find it too soft for back support while others feel it is too firm.

The ViscoSoft 3.5 lb. Density 3-Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper has a “luxurious kind of slow sink” without making users feel like they’re sinking in so much that they feel like that trying “to climb out of a deep hole” or have trouble rolling over.

However...

We also encountered opposing views–that the topper feels like quicksand and holds a person in place, making changing positions challenging.

Feel the heat?

Advertised as infused with cooling gel, the ViscoSoft 3.5 lb. Density 3-Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper works to some extent. Many people report that it’s not truly “cooling,” but creates a cool-to-okay “climate.”

One plus is the topper’s breathability with numerous porous ventilation holes. Many find sleeping on the foam warm but not hot. A few users do find it hot.

Here’s the good stuff

What most people positively agree on are:

1) The lack of new-mattress odor (and those who smelled it) say it dissipates within 48 hours or a few days.

2) The removable, machine-washable cover is REALLY convenient.

3) And, the adjustable mattress straps that keep the topper in place work great--for most. A few find the straps too short and ineffective. In our testing, this wasn’t the case.

Hmm…

We saw reports of the ViscoSoft 3.5 lb. Density 3-Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper lasting a few weeks (not good!) to several months (better). A few users also commented the topper expanded to only 2 ½” instead of 3”.

Finally, weighing about 40 pounds, this topper is a bit heavy for moving.

The ViscoSoft 3.5 lb. Density 3-Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper is available in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king sizes. A few people say the king and California king sizes are too small, yet others say they are too long.

Note:

In any case, because the topper extends to the end of the mattress, fitted sheets with all-around elastic (not just on the two ends) are recommended.

For care and set-up instructions as well as warranty information, click here.

Features

  • Dimensions: 39” x 75” (twin), 39” x 80” (twin XL), 54” x 75” (full), 60” x 80” (queen), 76” x 80” (king), 72” x 84” (California king)
  • 3”-thick gel-infused memory foam
  • Includes soft cover
  • 60-day return policy
  • Three-year limited warranty

Pros

Very comfortable

Supportive and soft

Little odor when new

Convenient mattress straps

Cons

Sinks too much for some

Cooling effect only okay


03

Advanced Sleep Solutions Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Advanced Sleep Solutions Memory Foam Mattress Topper

The Advanced Sleep Solutions Memory Foam Mattress Topper allows many back pain sufferers to sleep soundly, stay asleep for hours, and wake up with no (or much fewer) aches, spasms, and cramps. People love the soft, comfortable, and “un-mushy” high-density foam.

Side sleeper?

You’ll like this one.

Three side sleepers from our focus group recommend this CertiPUR-US-certified model.

What about the foam?

The foam holds pressure very well yet also allows sinkage. As memory foam, it depresses and conforms to the shape of the sleeper but springs back up once the person gets up. For a few users, though, the foam sinks too much under their “average adult weight.”

As with most models, the Advanced Sleep Solutions Memory Foam Mattress Topper is too soft some and too firm for others.

On reviewer concedes that while topper is very comfortable, “I am not sure it has helped my back. I still wake up with some back pain.” A few users feel the foam is thin, uneven in thickness, and bunches up to be “lumpy.”

The truth is...

The Advanced Sleep Solutions Memory Foam Mattress Topper is advertised on manufacturer’s website as using polymer technology to “maximize air flow, all while dissipating heat.” In our research, though, we found only reports of its coolness. The majority of reviewers say that the topper isn’t cooling, but warm, hot, or good for keeping warm if a person has poor blood circulation.

Also...

Durability seems to vary among users. While some report the topper still going strong at nine months, others notice it going flat and losing support at around the same time.

Two people say that in their experience, after one week of use, the topper didn’t “spring back” as quickly and even developed indentations. A few owners note that their foam toppers turned yellow within a few week or months. One even states that the foam turned her white bedsheets yellow where she slept!

The new-mattress odor was unnoticeable to some yet took a couple days to dissipate for others. Although the topper expanded easily for most new owners, a few report that the topper didn’t expand to a full 2” in thickness.

This makes sense

The Advanced Sleep Solutions Memory Foam Mattress Topper is available in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California King sizes. Several people complained that the topper was small for their mattresses, but the manufacturer sizes the toppers 1" shorter than standard mattress sizes in order to accommodate placement of fitted sheets.

Features

  • Dimensions and weight: (twin) 74” x 38”, 9 pounds; (twin XL) 79” x 38”, 10 pounds; (full) 74” x 53”, 12 pounds; (queen) 79” x 59”, 14 pounds; (king) 79” x 75”,18 pounds; (California king) 83” x 71”, 17 pounds
  • 2”-thick memory foam
  • 60-day return policy
  • Three-year warranty
  • Made in the USA

Pros

Good value

Soft and comfortable

Firm enough for many

Cons

Cooling feature is very effective

Sinks too much (too soft) for some


04

Sleep Innovations Gel Memory Foam 4-inch Dual Layer Mattress Topper

Sleep Innovations Gel Memory Foam 4-inch Dual Layer Mattress Topper

The Sleep Innovations Gel Memory Foam 4-inch Dual Layer Mattress Topper is composed of two layers: one 2”-thick quilted fiberfill cover that fits over one 2”-thick blue memory foam piece. This comfortable combo has “saved” users’ backs and joints.

Much feedback shows this topper really helps sleepers with back pain to the point where that many wake up noticing an absence of aches for the first time in a long time. It conforms to sleepers’ body shapes to provide comfortable support.

But wait, there’s more good news

The dual-piece topper improves the quality of sleep greatly, although its thickness may take getting accustomed to. One user describes the first week as “tough”, but afterward like “sleeping on a cloud.” Five stomach sleepers like the Sleep Innovations Gel Memory Foam 4-inch Dual Layer Mattress Topper; one doesn’t because his mid-section sinks down considerably more than his upper body. Twenty-five side sleepers find the topper comfortable but six don’t and find it too firm.

Then again...

More people feel the topper is too firm than too soft. The fiberfill cover compresses and “goes flat” while the blue foam can grow hard over months. In terms of lifespan, we read mixed reviews. Some owners report that the topper still supports well after 10 months or even two years. Other users, however, notice the topper “breaks down” with one or both pieces flattening within a few to several months.

Is it cool?

In addition to support, the dual-layer design is supposed to keep the sleep cool. Many users find the combination of the breathable cover and the cooling gel-infused foam to be effective in keeping them comfortable and not sweating. Some don’t notice much cooling. Others, on the other hand, feel hot and believe the cover traps and retains heat and the foam’s cooling gel is ineffective.

Listen to this

For the most part, the Sleep Innovations Gel Memory Foam 4-inch Dual Layer Mattress Topper doesn’t move or shift during the night when users slide out of in the morning. The cover can separate from the foam and slide an inch or so, but this doesn’t seem to happen frequently.

What people dislike about the cover is that its underside pills a bit, which transfer to the foam. Also, despite being advertised as machine washable and dryer safe, the cover can shrink even in cold water. A few owners suggest (and aren’t too thrilled about) dry cleaning the cover.

Another idea

One consumer suggests purchasing fitted sheets with deeper pockets in order to accommodate the mattress and this thick topper. This mattress pad cover has deep pockets.

When the topper was new and unboxed, the majority of users noticed little to no odor; those that did smell a mild odor report that it dispersed after 24 hours of airing. A few found the odor strong and lingering.

The Sleep Innovations Gel Memory Foam 4-inch Dual Layer Mattress Topper is available in twin, full, queen, king, and California king sizes.

Features

  • 2”-thick fiber-filled cover and 2”-thick cooling gel memory foam
  • Ten-year limited warranty
  • Foam made in the USA

Pros

Soft, breathable cover

Thick, supportive foam

Durable for some

Cons

Too firm and not durable enough for others

Cover’s underside pills easily

Cooling feature is okay to ineffective


05

Advanced Sleep Solutions Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Advanced Sleep Solutions Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper

The CertiPUR-US-certified Advanced Sleep Solutions Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper provides welcome relief to back pain sufferers–it’s soft yet supportive. Although only two inches thick, it’s comfortable, doesn’t create a “sinking and stuck-in-the-mud” feeling, and helps users sleep well, especially those who haven’t in years.

Here’s the skinny

Three stomach sleepers find it too firm, as do two side sleepers. On the other hand, twelve side sleepers like it. In general, the Advanced Sleep Solutions Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper is a little too soft and unsupportive for some but too firm for others. A few users feel little to no improvement in back pain when sleeping on this topper.

So, does it work?

According to its manufacturer, this topper features gel technology with an open cell structure design that minimizes improves airflow and dissipates heat.

Mixed reviews show this topper cools some users and not others. We read about sleepers with low fevers from autoimmune issues as well as hot flashes that like this topper–and no longer wake up sweating.

The places where the foam is blue (with gel) seem cooler than the white places. One user suggests moving an inch or so when the foam warms up in order to “get that cool feeling again.”

Like this, like that...

For some, however, the Advanced Sleep Solutions Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper doesn’t cool or stay cool for more than a few minutes.

Two reviewers present more neutral observations:

  • The topper neither maintains a lot of body heat nor cools, so she and her husband feel as if they’re “sleeping like puppies”.
  • And, the topper feels cool to the touch, but when the "gel" reaches the sleepers’ body temperature, it retains heat. Toward the opposite extreme, many owners outright declare that this topper is hot, like a “heater” or “hot marshmallow”.

We encountered mixed reviews about the toppers durability, reading comments it still works well at 9 months. On the other hand, owners report the topper being flat but 10 and 18 months. A few people also note that the foam turns yellow after a few months.

On a positive note...

Luckily, new owners report at most a slight odor and excellent customer service.

The Advanced Sleep Solutions Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper is available in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king sizes.
To see the unboxing, setup, and review of this model, click here.

Features

  • Dimensions and weight: (twin) 74” x 38”, 9 pounds; (twin XL) 79” x 38”, 10 pounds; (full) 74” x 53”, 12 pounds; (queen) 79” x 59”, 14 pounds; (king) 79” x 75”, 18 pounds; (California king) 83” x 71”, 17 pounds
  • 2”-thick gel-infused memory foam
  • 60-day return policy
  • Three-year warranty
  • Made in the USA

Pros

Soft and supportive

Little odor

Excellent customer service

Cons
Mixed reviews on cooling feature and durability

06

Beautyrest 3-inch Sculpted Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Beautyrest 3-inch Sculpted Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Soft and comfy, the Beautyrest 3-inch Sculpted Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper is refreshing for anyone with sores and aches. It’s firm and supportive for many users with back pain. The topper conforms to a sleeper’s body shape and relieves pressure points. One stomach sleeper, one side sleeper, and one pregnant woman recommend this.

Egg-cellent or not?

Shaped in an egg-crate pattern, the foam is advertised as being three inches thick. One reviewer points out that in the “valleys,” the foam is an inch and a half thick, with foam peaks projecting out another inch and a half.

Therefore, when a person lies on the topper and flattens the peaks, the foam becomes much thinner. The Beautyrest 3-inch Sculpted Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper feels too soft for some people, and we could see the softness plus weight compression resulting in a not-so-thick layer.

Feel the breeze?

Designed by the manufacturer to allow airflow to pass through the foam and maintain a comfortable temperature, this topper is designed to keep users cool.

But, the majority of feedback indicates the foam seems to retain heat and becomes warm or even hot.

We didn’t find much commentary of the Beautyrest 3-inch Sculpted Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper’s durability. One reviewer states that his back still feels great after a few months of sleeping on the topper while another says that it is soft after only six months.

This is mostly good:

What people did agree on was the new-mattress odor–many didn’t smell anything and those that did were able to air it out within a day or so. One poor soul claims he aired it out for five days and still woke up with a headache from the strong smell.

The Beautyrest 3-inch Sculpted Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper is available in twin and king sizes. There’s no queen size at this link but hopefully, another model reviewed will catch your fancy.

Features

  • Dimensions: (twin) 38” x 74”; (king) 75” x 79”
  • 3”-thick gel-infused memory foam
  • Two-pound foam density
  • Egg-crate design
  • Support and firmness: medium
  • Includes sleep mask and earplugs
  • Made in the USA

Pros

Good price

Soft and comfy

Firm enough for some

Cons

Too soft for some

When foam “peaks” flatten out, layer becomes thin

Not for very cool


07

LUCID 4-Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper

LUCID 4-Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper

We read a lot of positive feedback from back pain sufferers who praise the CertiPUR-US-certified LUCID 4-Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper. Many users report sleeping longer and more deeply on this topper and waking up without aches and sores.

Five stomach sleepers like it and five don’t. Overwhelmingly, side sleepers vote for this model while a few vote against it.

Why is this so?

Very comfortable and supportive, it “cradles” the sleeper. Reviewers describe the topper as not “like a feather bed” in that they sink in without feeling like they’re sinking in. Put another way, when they first climb onto the topper, it feels firm but then slowly molds around them.

The LUCID 4-Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper successfully keeps some sleepers cool. With open cell technology, the foam is designed with ventilation holes to release heat, which some users find effective while others think they’re useless. The topper still retains some heat and is reportedly warm or even hot to some.

This is interesting...

In terms of memory, this foam didn’t perform well for some. At least a couple people say when they test the foam by pressing down, it springs back very quickly, in less than a second. Some feel the topper is too firm and stiff for memory foam, while others find it too soft and “squishy,” which can more back pain.

Good while it lasts...

For the most part, the heavy LUCID 4-Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper stays in place. People also like its durability. We found reports that the topper “hasn’t compressed or changed shape” in up to 18 months.

At around the two-year mark, though, some users state it starts to conform to their bodies and provide less support. Unfortunately, we also read a few testimonies of the topper starting to break down within the first three to six months.

After three months, one reviewer felt like he was sleeping in a canoe. Several toppers turned yellow over time.

Note:

Be sure to purchase a fitted sheet with deep pockets to accommodate this thick topper. A few new owners state that when they gave the topper time to expand, it grew to only 3 ¾” and not 4” in thickness.

When new, the LUCID 4-Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper has an odor that lessens after 24 to 48 hours (or more in a few cases). Several people found rips, tears, and cracks in the product upon arrival or shortly thereafter.

The LUCID 4-Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper is available in twin, twin XL, full, full XL, queen, RV/short queen, king, and California king sizes.

Features

  • Dimensions: (twin) 38” x 75”; (twin XL) 38” x 80”; (full) 53” x 75”; (full XL) 53” x 80”; (queen) 60” x 80”; (king) 76” x 80”; (California king) 72” x 84”
  • 4”-thick memory foam
  • Three-year warranty

 


Pros

Cradles and molds around the sleeper’s body

Durable for most

Cons

Springs back quickly/poor memory

Ventilation holes not always effective in dissipating heat


08

LUCID 3-Inch Bamboo Charcoal Memory Foam Mattress Topper

LUCID 3-Inch Bamboo Charcoal Memory Foam Mattress Topper

The CertiPUR-US-certified LUCID 3-Inch Bamboo Charcoal Memory Foam Mattress Topper seems to be a real game-changer for many people whose lives were hampered by back pain.

This topper helps users fall asleep, extends their sleep time by hours, “overhauls” tight backs and tender joints, and allows them to resume activities, like yoga and rowing. The only downside is that the topper makes people oversleep and be late for work because it’s so comfortable.

Moreover...

Sleeping in odd positions seems painless for many. Perfect for back sleepers, this topper also is suitable for side sleepers because of a lack of “pressure point” issues. Sixteen side sleepers like it while four don’t. The LUCID 3-Inch Bamboo Charcoal Memory Foam Mattress Topper may be too soft for stomach sleepers; four voted against it and only one voted for it.

Here’s where things get complicated:

This model is squishy but supportive for some. One reviewer writes that it surrounds the sleeper like “a deep, warm hug.” On the other hand, many others feel like they’re sucked into a “sinkhole” or “ditch” in which they have much difficulty moving or rolling around without sitting up. We saw an extreme comment where the user compares himself to a turtle on its back when he tries to climb out of bed. People who feel this topper is too soft and lacks sufficient support complain of returning back or neck pain.

So what’s it all mean?

Basically, if you seek a firm topper, the LUCID 3-Inch Bamboo Charcoal Memory Foam Mattress Topper may not be a good choice. On the other hand, if you want a very cozy feel and don’t move too much while you sleep, this may be the ticket. In any case, reviewers recommend this soft topper as a remedy for a too-hard mattress.

We didn’t find many comments on this model’s durability, except that flattened for a few people within six months to a year. Several users report the foam either arrived with tears or rips easily within a few months.

A green option?

The LUCID 3-Inch Bamboo Charcoal Memory Foam Mattress Topper is infused with bamboo charcoal and not gel. According to the manufacturer, the bamboo charcoal regulates moisture, odor, and temperature naturally. Three people report that the topper does help wick away or control. Others chose this model for the organically “clean,” odor-resistant, and anti-germ qualities of bamboo charcoal.

But...

In terms of temperature control, however, reviews were mixed. Admittedly, the topper isn’t advertised as a cooling topper but it does have holes for ventilation. Some users believe the holes “do their job to ventilate” and prevent overheating. Others don’t agree. While some owners feel the bamboo charcoal helps keep the topper stays cool, many others say it still retains heat, grows hot, and makes them sweat.

This is nice:

The majority of new owners smelled little to no odor. Those that smelled a slight odor say the smell disappeared after airing out the topper for 24- to 48 hours. A few people were bothered by a strong odor.

The LUCID 3-Inch Bamboo Charcoal Memory Foam Mattress Topper has fine customer service and is available in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king sizes.

Protect the LUCID 3-Inch Bamboo Charcoal Memory Foam Mattress Topper with this deep mattress pad.

To see a new owner’s unboxing, set-up, and first impressions of the video of unboxing, set-up, first impressions of this model, watch this video.

Features

  • Dimensions: (twin) 37.5” x 74”; (twin XL) 37.5” x 79”; (full) 52.5” x 74”; (queen) 59” x 79”; (king) 75” x 79”; (California king) 71” x 83”
  • 3”-thick memory foam
  • Three-year warranty


Pros

Great price

Effective in alleviating back pain

“Clean” bamboo charcoal

Cons

Sinks too deeply for some

Rips easily


09

Zinus Night Therapy Memory Foam 4-Inch Pressure Relief Mattress Topper

Zinus Night Therapy Memory Foam 4-Inch Pressure Relief Mattress Topper

The greatest selling point of the Zinus Night Therapy Memory Foam 4-Inch Pressure Relief Mattress Topper is its “greenness.” A massage therapist purchased this CertiPUR-US-certified topper for her massage table so clients don’t have to lie on anything toxic.

How is it green?

The topper is composed of three layers: a ½”-thick soft bamboo rayon jacquard cover, 2”-thick memory foam, and 1½”-thick comfort foam. People like that the cover is removable, washable, and zippable.

BioFoam replaces some of the petroleum traditionally used in foam with natural plant oil, natural green tea extract, and all-natural active charcoal. Containing sustainable ingredients, the Zinus Night Therapy Memory Foam 4-Inch Pressure Relief Mattress Topper is packaged in a box with made with 45% recycled materials.

But how does it feel?

This model is “luxurious” and “excellent” for keeping users’ backs aligned and relieved of pain. Thick and soft, it helps people fall asleep quickly and stay asleep. One stomach sleeper and four side sleepers recommend it.

Golf, anyone?

Like all other models reviewed, the  Zinus Night Therapy Memory Foam 4-Inch Pressure Relief Mattress Topper is too soft for some yet too firm for others. Unlike other models, however, we didn’t find such interesting criticism as a comparison to sleeping on “a bucket of golf balls.”

The Zinus Night Therapy Memory Foam 4-Inch Pressure Relief Mattress Topper seems quite durable–after three years it’s still comfortable. Two reviewers note that for them (who aren’t “overweight [and] sleep only six to seven hours a night”), the topper lasted only two months before permanent indentations in the shapes of their bodies formed.

Here’s a tip:

One owner suggests rotating the topper to prolong its life. This idea probably applies to other models.

Be aware

The topper has no cooling feature and can get hot.

Also, it moves and shifts on top of the mattress. In fact, it slipped off the bed for two elderly people! A few people suggest purchasing extra deep fitted sheets to accommodate the thick and heavy topper; otherwise, it’ll curl up slightly around the edges.

Set-up is easy but several owners note that despite airing out the topper for 48 hours, it reached only between 3 ¼” to 3 ¾” inches thickness, not the advertised 4”. Some people didn’t notice any odor while other said the smell took a week or so to dissipate.

The Zinus Night Therapy Memory Foam 4-Inch Pressure Relief Mattress Topper is available in full and queen sizes at this link. For toppers in other sizes, please try other reviewed models.

Features

  • Dimensions: (twin) 39” x 75” x 4”; (full) 54” x 75” x 4”; (short queen) 60” x 74” x 4”; (queen) 60” x 80” x 4”; (king) 76” x 80” x 4”
  • Top layer of ½”-thick quilted super soft fiber padding
  • Second layer of 2”-thick memory foam with green tea, charcoal, and natural castor oil
  • Third layer of 1½”-thick pressure relief foam
  • 5-year limited warranty

Pros

CertiPUR-US-certified with natural ingredients and recycled packaging

Luxurious

Durable

Cons

No cooling effect

Moves/slides easily


10

Steamboy HSMT-700Q Water Heated Mattress Topper

Steamboy HSMT-700Q Water Heated Mattress Topper

Even though the Steamboy HSMT-700Q Water Heated Mattress Topper earned high ratings, we placed it in tenth place because 1) it received much less feedback (i.e., evidence, data) than all other toppers reviewed and 2) it’s functionally different because it heats, not cools, sleepers.

The Steamboy HSMT-700Q Water Heated Mattress Topper is comfortable and relaxing. This popular Korean brand safely circulates heated water to warm up the sleeper’s body.

What do users love best?

It’s “excellent” quality and cozy feel for a good night’s rest.

The heat helps owners relax–not to mention they don’t have to worry about sleeping under electromagnetic waves. Added health benefits of the circulating warm water include relief for back pain, muscle aches, arthritis, and poor circulation.

One reviewer loves how the Steamboy HSMT-700Q Water Heated Mattress Topper helps her sleep deeply during the winter. A smart hybrid water heater cycles on and off according to the user’s desired temperature. Warming up the mattress top is certainly more efficient and cheaper than heating the house!

Another person likes the separate heating of right and left sides for customizing temperatures for bedmates.

The Steamboy HSMT-700Q Water Heated Mattress Topper is pricey but “worth the investment.”

We found this model only in Queen size at this link.

Features

  • Dimensions: 78.7” x 59.1” x 1”
  • Weight: 7.7 pounds
  • One-year warranty

Pros

Warm and cozy

Heat soothes back and other aches and pains

Relaxing

Cons

Pricey but worth the investment

Only one inch thick, but that might not matter to some


Tips for Reducing Back Pain While Sleeping

Even after finding the best mattress topper for your back, maintaining a proper sleep position that keeps your ears, shoulders, spine, and hips aligned is important. Try these tips from the University of Rochester Medical Center to maintain good posture in bed when sleeping:

  • On your back: Place a small pillow behind or under your knees to reduce stress on your spine and support the natural curve in your lower back.
  • On your stomach: Put a flat pillow under your stomach and pelvis area to keep the spine in alignment. Also, use a flat pillow for your head or sleep without a pillow.
  • On your side: Place a firm pillow between your knees. This prevents the upper leg from pulling the spine out of alignment as well as reduces stress on the hips and lower back. Pull your knees up slightly toward your chest. You could put a rolled towel or small pillow under your waist to help support your spine.
  • In all cases: Always make sure the pillow under your head is at the right height/thickness to keeps your head, neck and spine aligned.

To see a slideshow of the three sleeping positions, visit this page by the Mayo Clinic.

via GIPHY

Other suggestions include:

  • Filling gaps between your body and the mattress with a pillow
  • Moving the entire body as one unit (i.e., keeping ears, shoulders, and hips aligned; not twisting or bending at the waist) when turning in bed
  • Pulling in your belly, tightening your core, and pulling your knees toward the chest when you roll

Time to get up!

For getting out of bed, the National Sleep Foundation advises, “Avoid sudden, jerky movements and also try not to bend forward from the waist when getting out of bed, as this can hurt your back. Instead, roll over onto your side and push yourself up using your hands while swinging your legs over the side of the bed.”

Up and at’ em!

Also, regular exercise helps to strengthen and stretch your back. Make your core stronger and more flexible to reduce the chance of back pain that disturbs your slumber. Work those abs!

Grab a trampoline or get real spicy and try out a Zumba class.

Feelin’ fancy? Two words:

Rowing machine.

Repurposing Old Mattress Toppers

Once your mattress topper has outlived its usefulness, don’t just throw it out. Disposing of the foam topper in the garbage can be detrimental to the environment.

First:

Check to see your local recycling center accepts memory foam products or…

Second:

Look for mattress disposal site by Bye Bye Mattress, a program of the Mattress Recycling Council.

Or …

Third:

See if your manufacturer takes back used foam bedding through buy-back or disposal agreements.

If you wish to repurpose your old mattress topper, here are some clever and practical creations to try:

  • Pet beds
  • Seat cushions for patio furniture, lawn chairs, old sofas, loveseats, etc.
  • Gardening knee cushion
  • Padding for wheelchairs (inquire with local nursing homes and rehab centers)
  • Ottoman or footrest topping
  • Neck pillow (cut and rolled up)
  • Lumbar support pillow for cars and desk chairs
  • Bed or body pillow
  • Poolside cushions or a bath pillow (covered with waterproof fabric, like an old vinyl tablecloth)
  • Padding under sleeping bags, especially outdoors
  • Beanbag chair or toy stuffing
  • Stuffing under costumes
  • Bath or dishwashing sponges
  • Packaging material

Finally,

If your topper is still in good condition (you just no longer need it or upgraded to another model), donate it to a homeless shelter or charity.

Grab a Great Night’s Sleep!

Sleep isn’t a small matter–you need to slumber comfortably and wake up refreshed and pain-free, ready to start your day! Selecting the best mattress topper for back pain will help prevent and alleviate aches and strains. Just be sure to investigate the model’s specifications as well as user feedback to find the right one for you.

via GIPHY

Leaders comparison
The winners

Best products from range

Best of the best

Milliard Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper

This winner topper is soft and comfortable yet firm, giving back pain sufferers the longest and best sleep in years. It conforms to the shape of a sleeper’s body while still providing enough support to prevent from sinking. Also, this model cools and stays put, to boot!

Best for the money

Advanced Sleep Solutions Memory Foam Mattress Topper

This topper improved the lives of users by helping them fall asleep, extending their sleep time, soothing backs and joints, and allowing them to resume athletic activities. It’s soft yet supportive and can make a too-hard mattress more comfortable.

Have you wrestled with back pain and used a mattress topper? If so, please let us know what you think. Have you tried any of the models reviewed? Do you have suggestions? We’d love to hear any comments and feedback from your experiences.

Runner-up

FAQ
Faq

Frequently asked questions

Q:

Do I really need a mattress topper for back pain?

If you don’t have back pain, not really. However, even if you are starting to feel back pain from sleeping and you don’t want it to get worse, look at your mattress. If your mattress is unsupportive, look into a mattress topper.

Q:

Will a mattress topper improve an old mattress?

It can, but your mattress still has to be in decent shape. A mattress with a gaping canyon in the middle can’t be improved by a topper; the topper would just sink into the hole!


The team
The team

We made this review

Helen Mao
Writer Helen Mao
Tiffany Mueller
Editorial Director Tiffany Mueller
Valeria Garcia
Graphic Editor Valeria Garcia
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