Marcus is an orthopedic spine surgeon who knows for sure how to ease ache in your back, neck, and shoulders, and prevent meeting him in person.
Last updated: July 19, 2021
Talk About Sleep is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
A mattress topper is an accessory for a mattress. The term is quite broad. There can be different variants of a protective or comfort cover. However, a firm mattress topper is a good complement for a too-soft or extra firm mattress.
But which mattress topper do you need for your bed? From firm mattress toppers made of memory foam to Talalay and Dunlop latex, we took a close look at the best firm mattress toppers, reviewed them, and used them to create purchase advice. Read everything you need to know in this post to find the perfect mattress topper for your bed. We will provide you with answers to your questions on the subject and receive compact instructions on how to buy this type of topper.
The PlushBed is a firm, elastic, comfortable, and handcrafted topper made from 100% natural latex. You have an option between two different types of topper thickness. You can choose between a two- or three-inches thick topper. It has different firmness options, so you can choose the medium firm and extra firm option, depending on your needs.
Because it is resistant to dust mite, mildew, and microbes, it is recommended for people who are allergy sufferers. It has great pressure relief and is very forgiving on your shoulders, knees, back, and hips. We think this is the best firm mattress topper for back pain.
Why did it make our list?
We liked the design of the topper. It has an open-cell design that looks perforated. This ensures breathability and helps you sleep cool. It's, therefore, a good addition to a memory foam mattress or any other mattress that is notorious for warming up at the wrong time of the season, for example, summer. We also liked that the foam, even in the open variant, is odor-free resistant to dust mites, hypoallergenic and antimicrobial.
What is not ideal about it?
The downside is that this topper can only be spot-cleaned. So, if you're looking for something which you can remove and wash the topper cover, this is not it.
Certified by GOTS and GOLS, the Sleepez Wool Latex mattress topper contains a cover made from wool-quilted cotton cover and a filling made of Talalay or natural Dunlop. The mattress topper is available in two sizes: three or four inches. So, this is thick than most firm toppers, most of which are 2 to 3 inches.
A few users claim if you choose from the medium and upper firmness, this would be ideal for stomach and side sleepers. You have a choice between the two types of material, at the same price. The natural Dunlop is certified by the GOLS. The wool and cotton blend cover ensures good airflow and wicks moisture away as a bamboo cover does. The material of the cover is also naturally fire retardant in a property.
What makes it stand out?
Just by adding this 4-inch latex foam, it almost looks like you are getting a new bed. If your bed is not sagging more than two inches in the middle, you can rejuvenate your bed with this latex topper. But if your bed is sagging more than that, then it's time to replace your mattress.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
It's not ideal for a side sleeper, or you may feel some neck pain or hip pain when you wake up.
The Amore Beds topper is made from 100% organic latex material. This makes it a naturally cooling and breathable latex topper for allergy sufferers. The filling is available in two firmness levels; you can choose either a plush topper or a firm one. The plush model has a softer medium firmness, while the firm variant one has a firmer medium firmness.
If you are looking for a hypoallergenic item, this model may become your material of choice. Indeed, it has been designed and specially treated to resist bacteria and mites, which may seriously harm your well-being. So, as already mentioned, it will be perfect for people with allergies.
What are its best features?
However, it contains comfort benefits that help the topper to conform to your morphology and by overcoming the defects of your mattress. Antibacterial and antiallergic in nature, the latex topper is a material suitable for everyone, even newborns. You don't need to wash it often to remove dust and mites. The product is made of 100% organic latex that removes imperfections from your mattress by perfectly conforming to your curve.
What could be improved?
We think the topper can be thicker. It is only 2 inches high and will not provide the needed support for an old, low-height mattress.
The Sleepez topper is a naked, firm, natural latex topper with no cover. However, there is a version that includes a cotton cover for those who want a cotton-covered topper. It’s available in three types of material. You have a choice to choose natural Dunlop, Talalay, or a GOLS-certified natural Dunlop latex. The product is also available in two and three inches of size.
This natural latex topper is a good solution if you’re thinking about choosing a gel foam, memory foam, or straight polyurethane foam mattress.
What are its best features?
This is great for side sleepers. If you're finding your mattress a little hard, you need some pressure relief, or you need to even rejuvenate your mattress, extend its life, this can overhaul your mattress. It also has an immediate rebound. It regains its shape in no time in response to pressure.
What could be improved?
One precaution to take with the natural latex topper is that it is a bit more fragile than the polyurethane foam or gel foam topper, and you have to be careful when you're handling it from the sides. For example, when you're trying to move it, the topper can easily rip.
This is filled with memory foam and processed to have a medium-firm feel. It also comes with a topper which they do not tell what type of cover is. However, given that the cover is washable in a cold cycle in the washing machine, and it is resistant to dirt, dust, dust mites, and other allergens while being breathable, we are suspecting this is cotton.
Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ve probably heard of Tempur-Pedic. They were one of the pioneers of the memory foam mattress. Although known for their mattresses, now, they’ve come up with their own firm memory foam topper, which you can use with any of their memory foam mattresses that is soft in firmness or too hot in structure. If you are thinking of getting this mattress topper, then that would only be because the mattress you currently have is too firm, too flat, and its level. It’s ideal for when you want to add a little bit of plushness to a hybrid mattress.
Why did it make our list?
The topper has a high-end super-dense memory foam feel. We also liked that it's a little bit more durable. It cocoons and conforms to your body with a little bit better pressure relief.
What is not ideal about it?
Maybe some people might like not like the fact that it can retain a little bit more heat, especially if you are a warm sleeper or you already have a memory foam mattress which is naturally known for being warm. There's nothing TempurPedic can do concerning this downside – it already has a breathable and cool fabric. So, you should only consider this if you sleep cool and/or you have a latex or bamboo mattress.
The filling of this topper from Puffy is not specified. But Puffy tells us it’s OEKO-Tex Standard 100 certified. This has a bamboo and polyester cover. Bamboo is really good for being cool, breathable, and heat resistant. This is going to be great for those who sleep a little bit warmer. In addition, it has deep stretching pockets. This topper comes with a 101-night trial. Besides, all the Puffy products have warranties that last a lifetime.
The OEKO-Tex certification is proof that there are no harsh chemicals used in the production and that it is safe for you. So, if you’re health-conscious in those ways – perhaps, you and allergens like odor, dust mite, and other chemical content don’t go.
What are its best features?
The cover is awesome for a few reasons; it has a nice grippy bottom, there are some grippy dots, and it has a zipper. So, you can remove this whole cover and clean it. It's a topper mattress protector because you're protecting your mattress with it two. Another great thing which we like about the topper is that there are two different firmness levels. They have the soft and the firm.
What could be improved?
We think the price can be better. It comes at the price of many new mattresses on the market. But you will definitely get the value for money paid.
The Pure Green Topper is made of natural latex and measures two inches in height. This natural latex topper is certified by GOLS, but it doesn’t feature any cover, like the Sleep EZ topper. So, it’s a naked latex material. When set on an 8 inch or 10-inch mattress, it gives you a total of 10 or 12 inches.
It can be the perfect topper for a Talalay latex mattress, for example. If your mattress is too firm or too soft, you can add this topper to fine-tune the firmness. It’s a good solution for mattresses with no pressure relief.
Why did it make our list?
The Pure Green Topper is 100% natural latex, so it doesn't have any synthetic fillers. The great thing about the natural latex material it is made of is that it has natural ventilating properties. Because of this cell structure – the way the liquid latex cures when it's baked at the factory – it leaves a lot of open cells for air to circulate and also helps keep your body's moisture level at a comfortable level.
What is not ideal about it?
The topper doesn't come with a cover so, and you're likely to sweat into the material directly. However, the advantage is that latex toppers are naturally moisture-wicking and make you sleep cool.
Things to Consider
The firm mattress topper complements your bedding set. Placed directly on the mattress, it does not require any particular installation process. It will allow you to add firmness to your box spring or to extend the life of the mattress if you have just bought it. But you still have to find the right material. Many consumers are easily lost in comparison. To remedy this, always have a few selection parameters in mind. If you don’t know where to start, we invite you to continue with this guide.
Advantages of firm mattress toppers
A mattress that is too soft can only make you sink in, and if it’s made of memory foam and you’re not a cool sleeper, you’re going to be used to sleeping hot and getting sweaty. A mattress that is too plush, soft, and sinking can also be a choking hazard. The most common cause of sudden infant death syndrome Trusted SourceFirm Mattresses May Reduce SIDSSoft bedding and sleeping with siblings may increase the chance for SIDS, according to a new study. www.webmd.com (SIDS) is stomach sleeping on a soft bed. However, a firm topper can complete a soft bed. It can provide a balance, especially if you have a soft mattress.
A mattress that is as firm as a plank can also use a firm topper in case you are a stomach sleeper who doesn’t want to just sink into the mattress like a soft topper or mattress offers.
Also, a mattress is exposed to very great strains during its service life. It has to absorb moisture, balance the strain on the body, and also withstand contamination. A mattress topper protects the mattress and can extend its life.
A firm mattress is also beneficial for people who are overweight. An overweight sleeper can choke in a mattress that is too soft as it causes you to sink in. If you are a stomach sleeper, this would not be very ideal. With increased body weight, your body is particularly prone to pressure points, e.g., on the hips or shoulders. In this case, a firm topper has two of its great advantages. As already mentioned, natural latex is ideal for evenly distributing the pressure generated. On the other hand, the material is very breathable so that a balanced sleeping environment is created.
Due to its high density and good resilience, natural latex is one of the most durable materials in the field of toppers. The volume weight expresses the amount of material used per cubic meter and is a good indicator of high quality.
A firm topper made of natural latex like the Sleepez Natural Mattress Topper is very suitable for side sleepers, as heavy body regions can easily sink in and are thus get relieved. Your body is well supported and can therefore recharge your batteries overnight.
Firm toppers also meet the special requirements of those who sleep on the stomach. The feeling of lying down is similar to that of cold foam – medium firm. The firmer sleeping surface avoids a hollow back caused by sinking too deeply.
Since this type of sleeping accessory greatly contributes to your comfort while you sleep, its acquisition should not be taken lightly. When purchasing, keep the following criteria in mind to make a reasonable purchase.
The most common or the best type of filling for a firm mattress topper is latex. Then, depending on your type of sleeper and the type of mattress, memory foam and bamboo are alternative filling materials. But how does each material differ from the other?
Memory foam mattress toppers
A firm memory foam mattress topper may be the best choice if you need firm, balanced support but without feeling like you’re sleeping on a cinder block. A good memory foam topper is the Tempur Pedic Supreme Topper.
If you are considering purchasing a firm memory foam mattress topper, consider especially the thickness and density of the memory foam filling. For a very firm or even very firm mattress, consider a density between 36 kg / m3 and 50 kg/m3 and a minimum thickness of 3 inches. The denser toppers are heavier, stronger, and offer better support in the entire body.
Bamboo mattress toppers
First of all, if you are considering a bamboo mattress topper Trusted SourceProspect of bamboo as a renewable textile fiber, historical overview, labeling, controversies and regulation | Fashion and Textiles | Full TextInnovation in textile has brought alternative plant based fibers such as bamboo into the spotlight and as a replacement to petrochemical based synthetic fibers. Bamboo as a raw material is a remarkably sustainable and versatile resource but the manufacturing process is where the debate really gets heated and the sustainability and green image of bamboo is tarnished. Products made from bamboo are often labeled as ‘eco-friendly’, ‘bio-degradable’ and ‘anti-microbial’ irrespective of their method of manufacturing. The claims may not always portray the products authenticity and true environmental impact. By far, viscose process is predominantly used to create fibers from bamboo but the properties of natural bamboo fibers in such bamboo viscose products have been lost. However, bamboo textiles are not yet achieved their full potential and cleaner production processes are appearing. fashionandtextiles.springeropen.com , don’t think that this is always a natural choice. Indeed, many brands advertise bedding accessories for their organic side, but the truth is that the process of incorporating bamboo fibers or viscose into bedding products is subjected to serious chemical treatments.
That being said, bamboo does offer many benefits nonetheless. This material generally offers very good support and has naturally breathable properties. It also ensures natural moisture-wicking, giving you a healthy and cool sleeping space all year round with the bonus of its hypoallergenic properties.
Latex mattress toppers
We’ve kept the best for the last. Latex mattress toppers, especially Talalay and natural Dunlop ones, are one of the best solutions for those looking to firm up the comfort of their mattress. They are generally a bit firmer than viscoelastic memory foam models.
In addition, if you opt for a model made of natural latex, you will also have the benefit of taking advantage of naturally hypoallergenic and anti-dust mite properties, just as for a 100% organic mattress, for example.
A topper made from 100% natural latex, also called natural rubber, as you can find in the Plushbeds Natural Topper, is an all-around sustainable product. Natural latex is obtained from the milky sap of the rubber tree – it is, therefore, a renewable raw material.
Synthetic latex is obtained from petroleum and is therefore not a renewable or sustainable product. The proportion of natural latex is therefore also reflected in the price and, as a rule, in the quality of the product.
Latex toppers, both natural and synthetic, respond to the pressure created by your body. You can, therefore, quickly adapt to a changed lying position and relieve your spine as best as possible. The lying comfort can be described as cuddly and cozy and is similar to that of a Visco topper. Your body sinks comparatively little into a latex topper.
Compared to a Visco or gel topper, natural latex is more breathable – it creates a pleasant, not too warm sleeping environment. A medium-firm lying feeling is created on latex, similar to the well-known cold foam topper.
Without beating around the bush, a cotton cover is the most suitable, not just for firm toppers but for all sleeping products, be it pillows, toppers, mattresses, or bed sheets. One hundred percent cotton, especially when organic, is naturally hypoallergenic, breathable, helps you sleep cool, and easy to wash in the machine. Other toppers can come with polyester and bamboo cover materials, which are also of great quality.
However, you should note that not all toppers come with covers. The Pure Green Topper comes with no cover. This means you will, of course, need to cover it with bed linen, or if you want, you can get a topper cover for it.
The size is the element to prioritize before ordering your item. Whether in King, Queen, Full, Twin, Twin XL, or Standard size, it must be the same dimensions as your mattress so that it can effectively cover each area of it. So, always check this out before buying, or you may end up with a small or oversized topper that will look unfitting, or worse, unusable.
One important quality feature of a firm topper is the height of the topper’s core – without a cover. The stronger the core, the better it can adapt to your body and relieve your back. You may be tricked by a thick cover and find out that the total height of the topper, including the cover, is given. If you do not find this information about the core, you should actively inquire or look for a more transparent provider.
From a core height of 2 to 5 inches, you will get an optimal product. A core of approx. Three inches combined with a mattress depth of 8 to 10 inches is ideal. Such a topper is sure to bring you excellent sleep for 7 to 8 years.
Ease of maintenance is also a plus in your choice. A model that is easy to clean will not waste your time. With a removable cotton cover, you will be able to wash the fabric in the washing machine. Therefore, opt for a topper with a removable cover that will go through the washing machine without worry. However, toppers with covers like the Sleepez Natural Latex Topper can only be spot-cleaned by hand. The Tempur Pedic Supreme Topper is, however, machine washable.
Mattress toppers almost have the same production process, construction quality, function, and close price as a full mattress. So, something must be watched out for to protect your invested money. These toppers often have a sleep trial period or a long-term warranty of around 5 to 20 years. The Puffy Mattress Topper, however, comes with a lifetime warranty and a 101-night trial which instills a lot of confidence in every buyer. Within the first 101 nights of using the topper, you have an option of returning the product and requesting a refund if the quality doesn’t satisfy you. And if you choose to keep using it, a lifetime warranty is a good thing to fall back on at any point in time.
Latex is the best material for a firm topper. Latex toppers are generally a bit firmer than memory foam models. Also, their properties include an ability to effectively distribute body weight and pressure to ensure proper spinal alignment and thus prevent and relieve pain. Our overall best mattress topper for a firm bed, The Plushbeds Natural Latex Topper, is made of latex.
While toppers packed with materials like polyester fibers or microfiber, cotton, wool, and others can be dry cleaned according to the instructions of the manufacturer, not all toppers can be maintained this way. Most of the toppers that the manufacturers recommend for dry-cleaning can also be air-dried.
Firm mattress toppers are considered the best models when used for back pain issues. Most people with back pain need firm support to keep their back straight and to ensure proper spinal alignment. Soft mattresses and toppers are therefore not for pain sufferers as they do not provide sufficient support to ensure optimal support and effective pain relief.
Our Editor’s Choice is the PlushBeds Natural Latex Topper. Rated 9.9, it is a firm, elastic, comfortable, and handcrafted topper made from 100% natural latex. It’s also our overall best firm mattress topper choice.
The Sleepez Wool Latex Topper, also rated 9.8 by our experts and certified by GOTS and GOLS, contains a cover made from wool-quilted cotton cover. With a filling choice made of Talalay or natural Dunlop, this is our Best Value pick.
Our Premium Pick is the Amore Beds Natural Organic Latex Topper. Rated 9.7, it is made from 100% organic latex material. This makes it a naturally cooling and breathable latex topper for allergy sufferers.
Firm Mattresses May Reduce SIDS
Soft bedding and sleeping with siblings may increase the chance for SIDS, according to a new study.
Prospect of bamboo as a renewable textile fiber, historical overview, labeling, controversies and regulation | Fashion and Textiles | Full Text
Innovation in textile has brought alternative plant based fibers such as bamboo into the spotlight and as a replacement to petrochemical based synthetic fibers. Bamboo as a raw material is a remarkably sustainable and versatile resource but the manufacturing process is where the debate really gets heated and the sustainability and green image of bamboo is tarnished. Products made from bamboo are often labeled as ‘eco-friendly’, ‘bio-degradable’ and ‘anti-microbial’ irrespective of their method of manufacturing. The claims may not always portray the products authenticity and true environmental impact. By far, viscose process is predominantly used to create fibers from bamboo but the properties of natural bamboo fibers in such bamboo viscose products have been lost. However, bamboo textiles are not yet achieved their full potential and cleaner production processes are appearing.