Mattress toppers

We reveal the top mattress topper brands to help you find the best. Find out how mattress toppers from the likes of John Lewis and Marks & Spencer compare.

Choosing the best type of mattress topper Find the best mattress topper for your body and budget. From memory foam to microfibre, we reveal the pros and cons of different types.

There are four main types of mattress topper: memory foam, feather and down, microfibre and latex. We’ve broken down the pros and cons of each type to help you find the best. In an April 2018 survey of more than 1,700 Which? members, more than three in four agreed that a mattress topper made their mattress much more comfortable.

It’s a great, inexpensive way of improving your mattress if you don’t want to buy a whole new one.   Each type of mattress topper feels different to lie on. Down toppers feel plush and cosy, while memory foam is firm and spongy.

Memory foam mattress toppers

Pros: absorbs the motion of a bed partner who tosses and turns throughout the night; claimed to reduce pressure on arthritic or sore joints; can make a firm mattress feel considerably softer

Cons: some find it hot to lie on; can make it difficult to turn over or shift in bed; usually more expensive than microfibre and down; can have a synthetic smell when new

Made of a temperature-sensitive material, memory foam will react to your body heat and contour to your shape – something manufacturers claim helps relieve painful joints.  It should spring back to the same height each time you use it, too, unlike down or microfibre, which need to be fluffed up. However, some people don’t like the feel of memory foam and find that they overheat on it. It’s worth trying it out in-store before buying.

Some memory foam toppers will smell quite synthetic when new, but this will fade within a week. To whisk away the smell more quickly, hang the topper up outside or in an airy room to let it breathe before putting it on your bed.

Feather and down mattress toppers

Pros: often cheaper than memory foam or latex; won’t retain as much heat as memory foam; won’t hinder your movement in bed

Cons: tends to compress over time, requiring periodic shaking to fluff back up; not hypoallergenic; feather quills can poke through the fabric; can smell at first; not always ethically farmed

Feather and down mattress toppers have a more traditional feel and you can find cheap down mattress toppers for as little as £50. Premium feather and down, including Hungarian goose down, can be very expensive, though.

These natural options can flatten down quickly and will need regular fluffing to retain their shape. You might find that they have a musky smell at first, too. Feathers and down aren’t always taken from birds in a humane way. To ensure you’re buying a topper with down that has been responsibly farmed, you’ll need to check with manufacturers and retailers to find out what their policy is.

Microfibre and hollowfibre mattress toppers


Pros: cheapest option; no odour; provides some softness; available in anti-allergy options

Cons: not as breathable as others; can become lumpy over time; will become flattened over time; the shortest lifespan of all the topper types

Microfibre is a synthetic material, often used in pillows and duvets, and is the most affordable of all mattress topper types. It’s a great basic option if you need a mattress topper on a budget. It’s not as breathable as down, and will flatten quicker, but this can be fixed by regularly shaking it to fluff it back up.

Its synthetic fibres make it hypoallergenic, too. Some are sold as ‘anti-allergy’ – these ones are treated with a chemical to ward off common allergens such as dust mites and pollen.