How to Choose a Mattress Topper: A Buying Guide

October 22, 2021 | Casper Editorial Team

When you finally lay down to sleep after a long day, your body wants to feel completely at ease. You want to melt into your mattress and drift off into dreams. But lumps and bumps in an old mattress or an overly firm mattress may lead to less melting and more tossing and turning.  

So how do you ensure that you’re getting quality, comfortable sleep? One solution is to buy a topper that fits your needs by understanding how the filler material, construction, firmness, and more make a difference in your sleep. 

Wondering how to pick a mattress topper? In this article, we’ll teach you how to choose a mattress topper that fits your needs.

Made with premium latex foams and a plush top layer, our Foam Mattress Topper will provide you with cozy comfort for a great night’s sleep. This topper is sure to enhance your sleeping environment.

Why Do You Want a Mattress Topper?

Mattress toppers are often used to make up for the shortcomings of your sleep surface. If you feel like something isn’t right with your current mattress, a high-quality topper can help make up for some of the inefficiencies, for example:

  • If your mattress is too warm – If you naturally run hot, certain mattress toppers can help keep you cool all night long for the most serene sleep ever. The Casper Foam Mattress Topper has tiny perforations strategically placed throughout that allow for maximum breathability. A cooling mattress topper helps the heat from your body escape so you can sleep more comfortably. 
  • If your mattress is too cool – A mattress topper made from wool can add an extra layer of cozy warmth on an icy winter night. A wool mattress topper also provides you with some cushioned comfort to make snuggling into bed on a January night even more appealing.
  • If your mattress is too soft – Older mattresses start to sag and lose their form over time. One way to rebuild structure and prevent a sagging mattress is to add a thick topper. The Casper Foam Mattress Topper adds three inches of depth to your mattress to prolong its life while keeping your back and neck supported comfortably.
  • If you have a firmer mattress – Finally, if you find that your mattress is a little too firm for your liking, a foam or feather mattress topper can give you soft, cushioned comfort while still providing enough support for your body.

A topper isn’t a fix-all for a bad mattress, but it can be an affordable way to extend the life of your existing mattress.

What Kind of Mattress Topper Should I Buy?

Now that you know the issues a topper can address, let’s look at some of the most common materials used to make certain types of mattress toppers. Essentially, you’ll want to purchase a mattress topper that is made of the substance that’ll solve your problem. 

Memory Foam

Comfort and support are the hallmarks of memory foam. Mattresses and toppers made from memory foam mold around your body and help evenly distribute your body weight.1 When you get up, the memory foam topper returns to its original state. When choosing a memory foam mattress topper, there are some things you’ll need to be aware of, including:

  • The chance of a slight scent – Because it’s usually made from a polyurethane foam, memory foam can sometimes have a distinct scent.
  • Perfect for restless sleepers – A memory foam topper is ideal for individuals who toss and turn at night (or for people who sleep next to someone who does).
  • It may run a bit warm – Some memory foam can get too hot at night for ideal comfort.
  • A healthy dose of softness – Memory foam toppers add significant cushioning to hard mattresses.

It’s important to note that all these features relate to traditional memory foam. Technological innovation has crafted other styles that help prevent some of the issues people have with polyurethane foam. One of these alternatives is latex foam. 


Like its polyurethane cousin, latex memory foam also molds to fit your body and adds comfort to your mattress. However, a latex topper is less likely to cause you sweaty, sleepless nights since there are microscopic perforations throughout the latex mattress topper that allow heat to escape. This gives you the same level of support as a memory foam mattress but without the uncomfortable heat.

The Casper Foam Mattress Topper is made from three layers of foam with a poly-blend cover. This adds three inches of height, comfort, and support to your mattress at a fraction of the price of a brand new mattress.


Mattress toppers with a feather fill are incredibly soft. However, they provide little support and aren’t ideal for those in need of firm nighttime cushioning. 

There are a few other cons to feather mattress toppers, including:2

  • They need nightly “fluffing” to decompress the feathers 
  • Generally, they must be dry cleaned
  • The feathers can poke out through the fabric
  • Feathers can contain allergens

For cooling and support, feather toppers aren’t your best choice.


Often the least expensive, toppers made of a poly-blend fiberfill are also the least comfortable and supportive. These have clusters of fiber inside to provide minimal cushioning on top of your mattress. 

Unfortunately, poly-fiber toppers don’t last for a very long time. The filling becomes compressed rather quickly. They also don’t offer much help with cooling down a hot mattress as hot air becomes trapped instead of escaping through the mattress pad.

Evaluating Mattress Topper Construction

You should also consider a mattress topper’s dimensions, density, and size to understand what’s the right fit for your sleep. 


Before you purchase a mattress topper, break out your measuring tape and do a little math to ensure you’re getting the best of comfort and practicality.

  • Thickness – Generally, mattress toppers are between two and four inches thick. The thicker the topper, the more support it offers. Therefore, if you just want a little bit of softness added to your mattress, a two-inch thick topper will do the trick. In contrast, a four-inch topper will add significant support but might feel too firm for some people.
  • Height – The other aspect you’ll need to think about here is height. For example, a four-inch mattress topper is going to add four inches of height to your bed. Is this too high for you to climb on comfortably?


If you think back to your physics class in high school, you probably remember the density of an object is the weight, or mass, of something divided by its volume.3 An object with a higher density will be stronger than one with a low density.

Memory foam mattress toppers are rated by their level of density. A topper with a greater density rating is more supportive than one with a lower rating. The rating system of topper density ranges from:4

  • Low – The lowest memory foam rating indicates that the foam weighs less than three pounds per square foot. This provides the least support and has a short lifespan.
  • Medium – A foam that weighs between four and five pounds per square foot is considered to be medium density. This provides support without being too firm for most people.
  • High – The highest density weighs more than six pounds per square foot. This foam is very firm and lasts for an extremely long time.

Many consider medium density ideal because it gives you the support you need while remaining soft enough for a comfortable night’s sleep.


Mattress toppers rest on top of your existing mattress. Thus, you need to make sure you purchase the correct size to prevent the topper from slipping while you sleep. Mattress toppers are generally available in:

  • Twin
  • Twin XL
  • Full
  • Queen
  • King
  • California King

You’ll need to measure to ensure you’re getting the right size for a snug, slide-free match.

Other Considerations for Mattress Toppers

Finally, there are a few other things to consider before investing in a mattress topper. These include:

  • Price – Toppers are considerably less expensive than a new mattress, however, they can vary in price. Ask yourself how much you’re willing to pay and look at the manufacturer’s product warranty. For example, the Casper Foam Mattress Topper comes with a limited 10-year warranty for your peace of mind.
  • Maintenance – Think about the maintenance required for your mattress topper as well. Can it be wiped clean easily or does it require dry cleaning? Make sure you know how to clean the mattress topper you plan on getting.
  • Allergies – Some mattress toppers contain known allergens. If you or your family has an allergy to feathers, latex, or another material, make sure you aren’t purchasing a topper that will aggravate your senses.
  • Mattress condition – Are you trying to fix a big problem with a too small solution? If your mattress is in desperate need of a refresh, a topper might not be the right choice. Instead, you may want to consider purchasing a new mattress. Not sure if it’s time for a full replacement? Check out these common signs you need a new mattress.

A mattress topper can drastically improve the quality of your sleep when you select the right one for your needs. 

Effortless Comfort with Casper

Crafting your ideal sleep environment starts with your bed. A mattress topper can cover up mattress deficiencies and keep you cool while you sleep. The best mattress topper for you depends on your slumber needs. If you want both support and comfort, a three-inch topper like the Casper Foam Mattress Topper is an excellent choice.

In some cases, your mattress might be too old to salvage. Don’t fret—we can help you with that too. Casper has mattresses for every budget and sleep style. Fix your sleeping environment today to sleep better tomorrow.


  1. Science Direct. Structure and Physical-Mechanical Properties Related to Comfort of Flexible Polyurethane Foams for Mattress and Effects of Artificial Weathering.
  2. HGTV. Achieve Luxury Hotel Comfort at Home with a Top-Rated Featherbed Mattress Topper.
  3. Britannica. Density.
  4. Sleep Advisor. Our Guide for Memory Foam Density in 2021.
  5. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Sleep Deprivation and Deficiency.,pressure%2C%20diabetes%2C%20and%20stroke.
  6. Science Advances. Nighttime Temperature and Human Sleep Loss In a Changing Climate.