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We all know that sleep comfort is vital. When you are lying down and falling asleep, you want to be cozy and comfortable. Pillow top mattress and memory foam mattresses offer you some cushion and luxury, but they may be doing you a bit of harm, too. For those with back issues, a firmer mattress may be warranted.

However, if you have already bought your mattress and can’t justify spending another $500 or more on a new one, you can instead invest in a mattress topper. The best firm mattress topper will offer you comfort and support to alleviate your back pain and help you sleep more soundly. We will examine mattress toppers and show you the top four options in this review.

What is a Mattress Topper?

A mattress topper is exactly what it sounds like. It is a padded foam support that sits atop your mattress. A firm mattress topper should be able to support between three and four pounds per square foot.

The mattress toppers will go directly on top of the mattress and generally below the mattress pad and bottom, fitted sheet. This helps keep them in place. Most toppers are an egg-crate design for softer toppers and memory foam for a more solid core, firm toppers.

You will need to ensure you buy the correct size for your bed, matching the full, queen, king, twin labels of your mattress. This is especially important if you have an off-standard size mattress, such as a Full XL, or a California King, for example.

If you are unsure, you can measure your mattress. You will need to measure both width and length. Matching the measurements up is just as easy as all mattress toppers will list the mattress size and dimensions they are designed for.

Why is Firm A Better Option?

There are several schools of thought when it comes to body size, health, and mattress firmness. When mattresses were still primarily coiled innerspring varieties, it was thought that the stiffer and more firm the mattress was, the more it would sleep better and relieve chronic back pain.

Mattress design has come a long way in that time and so have the studies that back their claims. What we now understand is that the firm isn’t always better. However, firmer may be a great option.

Soft beds tend to give us a sense of comfort because we can sink into them. We get surrounded and cushioned by the mattress, and it can help us fall asleep faster. However, for those of us that have some weight to our frames, this may not always be the case.

Tall people and people with a higher body mass index will sink too far, causing the body to fold or bend in bad angles. This can make back and neck pain worse. The option then is to get more firm so that you don’t sink into the bed as much.

However, if you have a smaller or lighter partner, the firm mattress may not sink enough on their end, which can end up feeling too hard. The result here is that the larger framed body s more comfortable while, the smaller framed person is now having pain issues.

To combat this, the idea is to find a mattress that is medium to medium-firm in support and add a mattress topper to add more firmness as needed.

The memory foam will give enough on the smaller frame to allow them to sink in a bit yet strengthen up under the weight of the larger frames to keep them from sinking too far. It’s as near a win-win as you will get.

If you want more information on mattress firmness and which options to select, check out this Best Firm Mattress Review.

How We Selected The Best Mattress Toppers

There are a lot of mattress toppers to choose from. Each one has its pros and cons. So how do you choose? There are several factors you should be aware of when making your final selection.

Budget

First, you need to evaluate your budget and try to stick within it. Most toppers will come in under $200 for a queen size, but this can vary greatly. With the adage of “you get what you pay for,” coming into play, you want to ensure you are going too cheap.

However, there is a limit to what you should expect to pay. Knowing your available budget will help you make a more informed purchasing decision and feel better about the purchase after the fact.

Materials

Build, and construction materials are important. Not only do they require you to understand them, but you should know what to expect. For example, the most common topper material is memory foam. It is supportive, comfortable and inexpensive.

However, solid core foam holds heat. So, if you are a hot sleeper or need to regulate the temperature of your bedding, it may not be a viable option for you. On the other hand, if you tend to sleep colder, it may be the perfect option to help you regulate your body temperature while sleeping.

Some toppers are made of air pockets to allow air flow to combat this heat-holding feature of the foam. The more air pockets built in, the more air can flow through and carry away the heat. However, the more air pockets there are, the less support it will offer.

A third option is a gel infused memory foam topper. The gel will add support that ventilated toppers may lack. It will also absorb heat and transfer it away from your body where other solid core foams won’t. If you need the support of a solid core topper and don’t want to sleep hot, gel infused options could be your answer.

If you are looking to firm up your mattress, a more solid foundation will be needed.

Off-Gassing

All memory foam lets off harmful gasses. When out in the open this off-gassing is so dissipated it causes virtually zero effects. When you first receive your topper, it will be sealed, usually in plastic inside a box. While it has been wrapped up, the gasses have also built up.

You will need to allow for an off-gassing period of up to 48 hours. You can usually sleep on it within 24 hours unless you have sinus problems or suffer allergies. In this case, you will need to fully open the topper and let it air out in a well-ventilated area for a few days before using it.

Our Selections

We take all these factors into consideration and test out as many mattress toppers as we can. Not only looking for the best deal but the most support, price and value combination available.

We have selected the top four mattress toppers for you here.

Best Firm Mattress Toppers

Here is our list of the best mattress toppers for a firmer mattress. Perhaps your next topper is on this very list.

#1 LUCID 3 Inch Bamboo Charcoal Memory Foam Mattress Topper

The LUCID 3-inch mattress topper is a medium firm topper that works well for all body sizes and weights when placed on a medium or medium-firm mattress. It compresses to about three pounds per square foot offering support without compromise for extra large frames and weights up to about 300 pounds.

The bamboo charcoal is a moisture absorbing and wicking material that not only pulls heat and moisture away from your body, but it also absorbs and helps eliminate odors. Your mattress will last longer and smell fresher for years to come.

The memory foam, like all memory foam, is naturally hypoallergenic. It resists molds, mildews and bacteria and helps fight off dust mites and dander. Allergy sufferers can breathe easier knowing the air they breathe at night is cleaner.

Pros

  • Hypoallergenic memory foam with moisture wicking and odor control charcoal.
  • Medium firmness works well for most body sizes and weights.
  • Available in six sizes for the perfect fit to your bed.

Cons

  • If the mattress is too firm underneath it can become too hard for lighter bodies.
  • Off-gassing can take up to 48 hours or more.
  • Not available in all mattress sizes.

#2 Ultimate Dreams Full 3″ Talalay Latex Medium Mattress Topper

Ultimate Dreams offers a firm mattress topper that is made from Talalay latex, which offers more support than memory foam alone. The topper is ventilated for increased airflow providing you with a cooler night’s sleep.

The topper is available in three firmness levels, soft, medium, and firm. Depending on the type of mattress you have, you can select the firm level that will best suit your needs. The hypoallergenic foam is resistant to pollens, molds, dust mites and pet dander for those that may have allergy concerns.

Pros

  • Three firmness levels to choose from.
  • Comes in seven mattress sizes for a more controlled fit.
  • Talalay latex memory foam is more supportive than standard foam alone.

Cons

  • Choosing the right firmness level can be hit or miss, causing returns and delays to get the right topper.
  • Off-gassing can take up to 36 hours.

#3 Sure2Sleep 3 Pound High-Density Plush Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper

The solid core memory foam of the Sure2Sleep mattress topper is gel infused. The gel acts as a heat absorption to allow the core foam to sleep cooler. It also provides three pounds per square foot of support for the largest framed bodies.

Hypoallergenic foam meets Certi-PUR requirements and comes with a full three-year warranty. Not only will it firm up your mattress, but it is thick and sturdy enough to remove the sag and warp of older mattresses.

Pros

  • Solid core foam that sleeps cool.
  • Gel infusion for added support and heat absorption.
  • Covers imperfections of older mattresses.

Cons

  • Heavy off-gassing that needs at least 48 hours to breathe.
  • Can be difficult to get sheets to fit due to the thickness of the topper.

#4 Memory Foam Solutions 5-Pound Density Visco Elastic Memory Foam Topper

The Memory Foam Solutions topper is three inches thick with a firmness of five pounds per square foot. High-density Visco elastic provides extra support to old mattresses that sag or have warped areas. If the mattress is medium-firm or higher, you can expect only the heaviest frames to sink.

Memory foam is hypoallergenic, PURGreen certified and able to ward off pollens, dust mites, pet dander, molds, and mildews.

Pros

  • Super thick, extra firm density for added firmness.
  • PURGreen certified hypoallergenic.
  • Works for heavier frames and larger bodies.

Cons

  • Might be too firm for some frames and sizes.
  • Designed to work better on older, sagging mattresses.

In Conclusion

Firming up your mattress doesn’t mean you have to get rid of your old one or attempt to stick plywood sheets between the mattress and box spring. Now you can purchase a firm mattress topper like the ones listed here and be supported and comfortable all night long.

You should look for a topper that fits well within your budget and meets your other criteria as well. If you are a hot sleeper, a ventilated topper or gel-infused option will help pull heat from your body, so you sleep cooler without any irritation.

If allergies are a concern, you should stick to hypoallergenic memory foam and make sure you look for the PURGreen or Certi-Pur certifications. These will ensure the topper you select is naturally resistant to in-home allergens like mold, mildew, dust mites, and pet dander.

Your firm mattress topper could be on this list. Whether you need more support for a sore back or want to help repair a sagging mattress, the options listed here will match your needs.

Tim

Remember how your parents told you that you were going to sleep your life away? Well that would be perfectly fine with Tim. He's been in search of the most comfortable nights sleep for years and shares his findings with any willing ear.

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