The Best Mattress Toppers for Back Pain

If you suffer from back pain, then mattresses that are too firm, too soft, not conforming enough, and/or lack support can all be a huge problem. Not only can they be seriously uncomfortable, but the wrong mattress could also make your back pain, or the medical issues causing it, worse. But sometimes, switching mattresses is just out of the question.

That’s where mattress toppers come in. Although they’re only a few inches thick, they can transform the top layer of your mattress to be softer, firmer, more conforming, and/or more supportive in a way that offers back pain relief.

We’ve picked out the top four mattress toppers for back pain. Ranging from an eco-friendly wool-and-latex topper to one made out of three layers of high-tech cooling memory foam, these choices are all designed to offer the cushioning, conformity, and support necessary for back pain relief.

Our Top Picks

Manufacturer Model Features Price
Natural Latex Mattress Topper

-Organic wool and latex

-Options for "plush" or "firm"

-GOLS and OEKO-TEX certified

-One-year trial and 10-year warranty

$449
Triple Zone Topper

-HexFLO™ airflow technology

-Machine-washable cooling cover

-3 inches of eco-friendly foam

-5-year limited warranty and 30-night sleep trial

$249
3" Memory Foam Topper

-3 inches of open-cell memory foam

-Infused with cooling graphite

-Coolflow™ foam promotes airflow

-Free shipping and 30-night sleep trial

$109
Select High-Density Topper

-Gel-infused memory foam

-Cool to the touch bamboo rayon cover

-Removable and machine-washable cover

-60-night trial and 3-year warranty

$134.99

1. Avocado Natural Latex Topper

Why we like it:

  • The wool and latex are both GOLS organic and OEKO-TEX certified
  • 2 firmness options available
  • Eco-friendly
  • 10-year limited warranty and a year-long sleep trial

Avocado Mattress Topper

Avocado’s Natural Latex Mattress Topper is made out of two inches of GOLS organic certified Dunlop latex. It has all the high conformity of memory foam, as well as all of the breathability, bounce, and durability needed for a sleeper with back pain. This comes wrapped in a GOLS organic certified wool fire barrier and an organic cotton cover, which increases the plushness and cooling effects.

You can choose between two firmnesses, one in the medium-firm level suitable for back pain and one in plush, so it’s highly customizable to your needs. Additionally, the eco-friendly materials and Avocado’s partnership with local charities make it a good choice for those interested in buying ethically. Lastly, Avocado offers a 10-year limited warranty and a year-long sleep trial.

At $349 - $549, it’s one of the most expensive mattress toppers out there.

2. Molecule Triple Zone Topper

Why we like it:

  • HexFLO™ technology for open-cell memory foam with lots of airflow
  • MOLECULARFLO™ foam for airflow, temperature regulation, and durability
  • Cooling cover that’s removable and machine-washable
  • Eco-friendly, 3-inches of foam
  • 5-year limited warranty and 30-day sleep trial

Molecule’s Triple Zone Topper is an excellent choice for sleepers who need a mattress topper with enhanced cooling properties. While most mattress toppers use cooling gel infusions or breathable materials, Molecule takes it a step further by constructing their 3’’ topper out of 3 layers of “air-engineered” foam. The comfort layer is made out of MolecularFlo memory foam that is 7 times more breathable than traditional memory foam, while the core layer is made out of open-cell memory foam designed with HexFlo technology for a latex-like bounce and breathability. Finally, the support layer is made out of RecoveryFlo foam that promotes spine alignment.

Other perks include eco-friendly manufacturing, a cooling cover that can be removed and thrown in the washing machine, and a 5-year limited warranty and 30-day sleep trial.

At $249-349, it’s one of the more expensive mattress toppers on the market.

3. Allswell 3-Inch Memory Foam Topper

Why we like it:

  • Open-cell Coolflow memory foam for airflow and moisture-wicking
  • Infused with cooling graphite
  • Affordable pricepoint
  • 30-night sleep trial

Allswell 3” Memory Foam Mattress Topper Infused with Graphite

Allswell’s Memory Foam Topper is an excellent choice for those who want a mattress topper that checks all of the boxes for pain relief without breaking the bank. It’s made out of a single layer of 3’’ of highly supportive and cushioning memory foam. But whereas most memory foam is notorious for trapping heat, Allswell’s memory foam has open cells, which makes it highly breathable. It is infused with cooling graphite for further cooling. Additionally, the foam used is designed to wick away moisture, so you’ll be able to stay dry as well as cool.

Other perks: a 30-night trial, free ground shipping in the contiguous U.S., and a relatively affordable price-tag that ranges from $79-135.

It should be noted that Allswell’s topper doesn’t come in a cloth cover, so the foam is exposed, and can only be spot cleaned with mild detergent and warm water.

4. Viscosoft Select High-Density Topper

Why we like it:

  • Gel-infused memory foam
  • High density foam and motion isolation levels
  • Bamboo-rayon cover is removable and machine-washable
  • 60-day sleep trial and 3-year warranty

 

While the AirTEC is technically a topper, we've included it for those looking for more loft and support from a mattress pad. Molecule's topper incorporates proprietary technology in every layer to keep your body at a steady temperature all night long. An advanced cooling fiber cover helps to conduct heat away from the sleeper and a one-inch comfort layer of MOLECULARFLO™ promotes airflow at 7x the rate of traditional memory foam.

The HEXFLO™ core layer uses an open cell composition to further promote airflow and relieve pressure from the shoulders and hips. The support layer is comprised of a one-inch layer of REVOVERFLO™ foam, designed to add loft and durable support that promotes spinal alignment regardless of a sleeper's position. Together, these layers give this topper a three-inch profile and a uniquely high level of comfort and support for a mattress pad at this price point.

Molecule is also a great choice for the eco-conscious shopper — each foam is CertiPUR-US certified and manufactured in the U.S. using a specialized manufacturing process to trap carbon, resulting in 97% less emissions than traditional foam manufacturing. The Molecule mattress topper comes with free shipping plus a 30-night sleep trial, so you can try it out before you decide whether it’s right for you.

Mattress Topper for Back Pain Buyer’s Guide

Since mattress toppers come in a variety of materials and models, shopping for one can be quite time-consuming. This process only gets more complicated when you’re looking for one that will effectively relieve back pain. Some materials are better for pain relief than others, and the wrong topper could make the problems worse.

We’ll go over the differences between a mattress topper and a mattress pad, what makes a mattress topper good at relieving back pain, the pros and cons of a mattress topper, and answer the top five questions people have when it comes to buying a topper.

What's the Difference Between a Mattress Topper and Pad?

Both mattress toppers and mattress pads go on top of mattresses and are designed to alter the topmost comfort layer of a mattress, but there are a few key differences between the two. Generally speaking, mattress pads are thinner and function more similarly to an enhanced mattress protector, while mattress toppers are more like an additional mattress layer.

The main purpose of a mattress topper is to add extra cushioning, contouring, bounce, softness, and/or thickness to a bed without requiring you to completely swap out your mattress. This makes them a great money-saver, especially since the right choice can transform the feel of a bed.

What Type of Mattress Topper is Best for Back Pain?

To understand what type of mattress topper works best for back pain, we first have to look at the causes of back pain that can be alleviated with a mattress and/or mattress topper. You’ll want one that keeps your spine aligned, relieves your pressure points, cuts down on back strain (which can cause muscle spasms), alters the firmness or softness of your mattress to provide relief, and keeps you well-cushioned if you have a back injury or sore joints from arthritis.

This means you should be on the lookout for the following qualities:

  • Plenty of support: A mattress topper that can beef up your mattress’ support will prevent your hips and shoulders from sinking and throwing your spine out of alignment.
  • High conformity: A mattress topper that contours closely to your body will keep all your pressure points well-cushioned.
  • Medium-firmness: A mattress at a 5-7 firmness level is typically most suitable for people with back pain, so pick a mattress topper that will soften or firm up your mattress to this level.
  • High durability: A mattress topper that sags or flattens over time won’t do much to relieve your back pain, so make sure you find one that retains its thickness and support.
  • A medium thickness: A mattress topper that’s too thin won’t cushion your pressure points enough, but one that’s too thick won’t contour to your body. Therefore, you should aim for something in the middle--2-3 inches thick.

What Are the Pros and Cons of a Mattress Topper?

Pros
Cons
Lightweight and easy to move: Even the heaviest mattress toppers are lightweight enough that they can be moved by a single adult, which makes them way less cumbersome than swapping mattresses. Can be expensive: Mattress toppers range anywhere from $10-400. Most of the orthopedic mattress toppers, namely those made out of latex, are towards the higher end of the spectrum.
Cheaper than a new mattress: : Mattress toppers are way cheaper than mattresses, costing on average 1-40% of their price. Needs to be regularly replaced: The longevity of a mattress topper depends on its material, and some of the less durable materials, like those made out of cheap polyfoam, will need to be replaced after just a short while.
Pain relief The right mattress topper can alter the cushioning, softness, and support of the mattress to provide pain and pressure point relief. Needs constant upkeep: Feather mattress toppers don’t stay even, and will need to be fluffed at least once a week to keep the feathers inside evenly distributed.
Softens without losing support: Since mattress toppers go on top of the comfort layer, they can make mattresses a lot softer without losing any of the support provided by the mattress and foundation. Needs constant upkeep: Feather mattress toppers don’t stay even, and will need to be fluffed at least once a week to keep the feathers inside evenly distributed.
Make beds suitable for sex:Bouncier mattress toppers, like those made out of latex, can provide just the right amount of reactiveness and resilience to make a mattress more suitable for sex. Doesn’t isolate motion well: Due to the thinness of most mattress toppers, they don’t provide enough sink or cushioning to fix a motion isolation issue.

How Much Do Mattress Toppers Cost?

Mattress toppers can cost anywhere from $10 to $400. The price depends heavily on both quality and material, with heavier, luxury models made out of latex costing the most, and cheaper, polyfoam models intended for short-term use costing the least. Those that are designed with more specific needs in mind, like back pain relief or cooling effects, will cost more than those without any extra features.

As for whether a large price tag will guarantee you a high-quality mattress, this depends on what you’re looking for. Back pain is a medical issue as well as a comfort issue that can become very serious, and even dangerous, if left untreated. You don’t want to skimp on a mattress topper and end up with one that will exacerbate your pain. Generally speaking, it’s safer to be looking at mattress toppers on the pricier end of the spectrum.

Lastly, you should check out the reviews before you make your final purchase. You don’t want to drop large amounts of money on a mattress topper that doesn’t affect your back pain at all, or even makes it worse.

Average Latex Topper Price $100-400
Average Wool Topper Price $150-300
Average Memory Foam Topper Price $100-250
Average Feather Topper Price $100-150
Average Fiber Topper Price $60-100
Average Polyfoam Topper Price $10-30

Frequently Asked Questions About Mattress Toppers

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