The 3 Best Mattress Toppers of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

Our favorite was the Saatva Graphite Topper

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.

best mattress toppers
Photo: People/Tara Donne

The average person spends more than 30 years of their life in bed, which means a lumpy, uncomfortable, poorly supported sleeping experience is not something you should take, er, lying down. Enter mattress toppers, a simple and relatively affordable way to elevate your night's rest.

There are many kinds of toppers to choose from — down, memory foam, graphite-infused — which makes it difficult to determine which options bring on the ZZZs most effectively. We spent 16 hours testing ten mattress toppers in our lab, evaluating ease of setup, comfort level and breathability — even going as far as to hide objects between the mattress and the topper to determine if the tester felt them. After testing, the standout was the Saatva Graphite Mattress Topper.

Here, our results from the PEOPLE Tested best mattress toppers.

Best Overall: Saatva Graphite Mattress Topper

mattress topper

Pros: The cooling memory foam provided support and cushioning that we felt could work for all types of sleepers.

Cons: The most expensive of our picks had an off-gassing smell at first.

After a day of testing, the Saatva Graphite emerged as the best fit for most sleepers. It rated high in all three of our major categories: ease of setup (4 out of 5), cushioning (4), and airflow (5). Our tester found it very comfortable, offering the perfect balance of give and firmness. "Any type of sleeper can feel good sleeping on this topper," the tester noted.

Simple to set up and equipped with elastic anchor bands to keep it from shifting, the topper fit our tester bed well and had a good, medium weight. The organic cotton cover and graphite-infused 3-inch memory foam (described by the brand as "the most advanced cooling technology available") seemed to function as advertised, with our tester noting it's not as hot as other all-foam toppers.

The Saatva Graphite Mattress Topper isn't all sweet dreams, however. PEOPLE Tested noted a slight off-gassing smell during setup and that the mattress topper unrolled a bit lumpy at first but eventually straightened out.

The addition of this item may make your bed more comfortable, but, at its hefty price, it won't fit everyone's budget. While its one-year warranty is significantly shorter than most other products of this type, it does have a 180-night sleep trial, during which you can return it for a full refund.

Type Graphite-infused memory foam
Height 3 inches
Sizes Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, split king
Return Policy 180 plus 1-year warranty
best mattress toppers
People/Tara Donne

Best for Back Pain: Tuft & Needle Queen 2 Inch Adaptive Foam Mattress Topper

mattress topper

Pros: A lot of support from a thin mattress topper which could work with most beds.

Cons: No straps to hold in place could make for movement over time.

This topper's supportive nature is much more subtle than the others. You won't immediately sink into it, and that's a good thing, according to our tester. But if you're looking to disappear into a squishy cloud of memory foam, this may not be the topper for you.

Despite the firm support, the Tuft & Needle model still received a 4 out of 5 score for cushioning. And although PEOPLE Tested also found it to be thinner than other toppers — featuring two inches of adaptive foam — it's also dense, so it's easy to put on your mattress. Added bonus: the knit cover material feels very nice to the touch, even if you won't really get to enjoy it once the sheets are on.

The downside of this topper is what lies underneath it. Instead of straps, it has a sticky, no-skid bottom that might not prevent shifts as you move. As our tester still lamented, "I wish it had straps to hold it in place."

Type Memory foam mattress topper
Height 2 inches
Sizes Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king
Return Policy 3-year limited warranty and 30-day return policy
best mattress toppers
People/Tara Donne

Best Budget: Lucid 3-Inch Ventilated Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Pros: A good value that provides enough support for all types of sleepers.

Cons: The lack of breathability could be a deal-breaker for hot sleepers.

For those who want to up their comfort game but not break the bank, the Lucid 3-inch mattress topper is a great option. PEOPLE Tested found it to be a good balance between firm and plush, making it a fine choice for back sleepers, side sleepers, or people with back pain.

Don't be deceived by its thick construction (it's three inches, but also available in a two-inch if you prefer). The Lucid is not overly cushiony, which may or may not be what you want in a topper. Despite its girth, our testers deducted a point because some hidden objects could be felt when placed underneath.

This topper is also surprisingly light and easy to place on a bed, making setup a breeze. It fit our testing bed really well, too. Even with its ventilation holes, however, our testers noted it got quite hot, likely due to the foam construction.

It also had a noticeable odor after unboxing (something noted by the manufacturer), but allowing it the recommended 48-hour off-gassing period — which we did before testing — eliminated any issue.

Type Memory foam mattress topper
Height 3 or 2 inches
Size Twin, twin XL, full, full XL, queen, king, California king
Return Policy Dependent on retailer plus 3-year warranty
best mattress toppers
People/Tara Donne

Things to Consider Before Buying a Mattress Topper


The thickness of mattress toppers will vary, as will pricing, but bear in mind that thicker doesn't always mean more cushioning (see the Lucid mattress topper above). The various materials used in toppers—memory foam, viscose, etc.—will be responsible for doing that, so it's important to find out which materials give you the desired feel. Certain mattress toppers also regulate body heat better than others. Cooling technology like ventilation holes or cooling fabric covers will help with that.


Some mattress covers come with removable and machine washable covers, making them easier to clean. Foam toppers can't be laundered, so spot cleaning will be your best option.

When to Buy

Depending on whom you ask, mattresses should be replaced every six to ten years, so if you're looking to extend the lifespan and revive a level of comfort and support, a topper can earn you some extra time. As for potential sales, pay attention to the tried-and-true deal-friendly long weekends of Presidents Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day.

How We Tested Mattress Toppers

We PEOPLE Tested 10 mattress toppers on set up, comfort, and airflow. When unboxing the mattress, we timed how long it took and evaluated the process according to the instructions. To rate comfort, testers placed items between the mattress and the topper while another tester (who didn't know where the items were placed) judged how easy it was to feel them underneath. For airflow, testers laid on one side of the mattress topper for five minutes, then used a surface temperature tester to evaluate breathability and heat retention, measuring both the laid-on area and the unoccupied side of the topper.


How does a mattress topper work?

Mattress toppers sit on top of your mattress and add a layer of extra support. While altering the feel of the sleeping surface, these products also extend the life of your mattress by relieving some of the pressure and wear it experiences.

How long do mattress toppers last?

While there is a range in the longevity of mattress toppers depending on the quality and materials, a good topper should last anywhere from 3 to 5 years.

Do mattress toppers make a bed firmer or softer?

Actually, both. Many people think of mattress toppers as adding a layer of softness, but they can also be used to increase firmness.

What thickness of mattress topper is best for back pain?

A mattress topper on the thicker side, 2 to 3 inches, is generally better for relieving back pain. It's worth noting that the right topper provides a balance between cushioning and support. While thickness is an important factor, consider the firmness that will suit you best as well.

What is the correct way to put on a mattress topper?

After unpacking the topper and letting it expand, place it into position over the mattress and secure it with its straps or other anchoring systems to prevent sliding.

What Is PEOPLE Tested?

We created the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval to help you find the very best products for your life. We use our unique methodology to test products in three labs across the country and with our network of home testers to determine their effectiveness, durability, ease of use, and so much more. Based on the results, we rate and recommend products so you can find the right one for your needs.

But we don't stop there: We also regularly re-review the categories in which we've awarded the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval — because the best product of today might not be the best of tomorrow. And by the way, companies can never buy our recommendation: Their products must earn it, fair and square.

In short, PEOPLE Tested provides recommendations you can trust — every day, every purchase.

Want more product recommendations? Check out all of our People Tested content.

Related Articles