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Remake Your Bed with the Right Mattress Topper

BY: Editors | Jun 26, 2018

Down Mattress Topper

Lots of people have difficulty sleeping through the night because of physical discomfort—their bed might be too lumpy, or too hot, or too firm where it should be plush. Mattress toppers and pads can help solve comfort issues at a fraction of the cost of a new mattress. They also protect your mattress, adding years to its functional life. So if you’re looking to take the plunge into a cozy night's sleep, here's what you need to know.

If you want to feel like a thousand swan wings are lifting up your tired body...

Feather Bed

Down Feather Bed

Feather beds (AKA feather toppers or down-filled mattress toppers) are the crème de la crème of mattress toppers if cloud-like comfort matters most to you. A feather bed cushions your body with several inches of soft down that you can feel yourself sinking into as you drift off to dreamland.

If dust allergies require you to wash your bedding more frequently, feather beds can also be stuffed with a down-alternative fill that’s easier to clean.


  • Feel: Luxurious, like you’re sleeping in a high-end hotel bed
  • Temperature: Sleeps warm, ideal for chilly climates and cool sleepers
  • Maintenance: Requires regular fluffing to get it back to a proper shape; a baffle-box construction—which means the topper is stitched with squares—can help prevent the feathers from shifting
  • Cleaning: Most require spot cleaning. Down-alternative fill is typically easier to clean.

Our Pick: Club Le Med Down-Topped Featherbed (from $79.99)

Shop all feather beds.

If you want your bed to cuddle you like a lover ...

Memory Foam

Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Memory foam mattress toppers conform to the body, even when two people are sleeping side-by-side. So if you and your partner can’t come to an agreement on a new mattress, a memory foam topper may broker a peace.

It relieves pressure points and supports spinal alignment individually, so you or your partner both get support where you need it most. It also absorbs nighttime movements from your partner, making this a good choice if you’re a light sleeper.


  • Feel: Like your bed is hugging you
  • Temperature: Sleeps a bit warm; however, gel memory foam can adjust to your body temperature and channel away excess heat
  • Maintenance: rotate occasionally to help prolong its life
  • Cleaning: Spot cleaning. Once a year, give it a thorough cleaning using a vacuum brush attachment and a spray bottle filled with a gentle detergent mixed with water.

Our Pick: ComforPedic Loft from Beautyrest Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper (from $59.99)

Shop all memory foam mattress toppers.

If you want to stop feeling hot, hot, hot...

Natural-Fiber Mattress Pad

Cotton Mattress Pad

Look for a mattress pad made of cotton—the thin, breathable natural fibers help improve airflow, so you aren’t drenched in sweat by sunrise. Along with being a breeze to wash, natural fabrics also extend the life of your mattress by protecting against common allergens such as dust mites. What’s more, thin padding adds a tiny boost of comfort, but nothing that should interfere with the firmness of your bed.


  • Feel: Like your mattress with a bit more padding; some natural-fiber toppers have a thick polyester fill that adds more loft
  • Temperature: Sleeps cool
  • Maintenance: rotate occasionally to help prolong its life
  • Cleaning: Typically machine-washable; use gentle detergent and cold water, and clean every 3 months or so

Our Pick: Elle 1200 Thread Count Luxury Mattress Pad (from $39.99)

Shop all cotton mattress toppers.

If you want to stop worrying about bedbugs

Zippered Mattress Protector

Zip-Up Mattress Protector

A mattress protector that zips around the entire mattress will keep your bed safe from bedbugs, who love to hide among the mattress springs. Many zippered protectors are also waterproof, which adds an extra layer of protection.


  • Feel: Like your mattress; most simply cover the mattress and don’t offer any padding
  • Temperature: Sleeps warm
  • Cleaning: Typically machine-washable

Our Pick: Merit Linens Premium Zippered Bed Bug and Spill-Proof Mattress Protector (from $34.99)

Shop all zippered mattress protectors.

If you want to be able to eat an elaborate paella in bed...

Waterproof Mattress Pad

Waterproof Mattress Pad

If you’re fond of snacking in bed (or drinking wine in bed), a waterproof mattress pad makes sure you leave no forensic evidence behind, keeping your mattress clean and odor-free.

If you’re a parent of young children, consider this a must for your bed and your children’s beds. Pet parents can also benefit from a waterproof pad.


  • Feel: Like your mattress; most simply cover the mattress and don’t offer any padding
  • Temperature: Sleeps warm, especially if it’s made out of vinyl
  • Cleaning: Typically machine-washable

Our Pick: Merit Linens Bedbug Protector listed above OR Linenspa 5-Sided Waterproof Mattress Protector (from $16.99)

Shop all waterproof mattress protectors.

Don’t Forget to Measure Mattress Depth

Mattress Corner

When shopping for a mattress topper, make sure your sheets are deep enough to cover the mattress and the topper together. For mattress pads and protectors, measure the depth of your mattress to ensure a good fit that doesn’t strain the zipper or straps.


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