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We’re all unique, but more and more people seem to share one quality with every year that passes; backache. What was once reserved for the retired seems to have spread to people of all ages. Whether working in an office, in a garage or living as a student, backache is a real possibility. It seems we’re all at risk, and one thing that compounds the issue is a poor-quality mattress.
Before even thinking about possible treatments and extravagant products to fix your backache, we first recommend sorting the basics (i.e., your bed). In particular, we want to focus on firm and extra firm mattress toppers in this guide. If your mattress is lacking in support and feels too soft, the firm mattress topper will bring the mattress back to life. Especially for stomach and back sleepers, most of the products out there feature firm foams, like high-density memory foam or latex.
Will a firm mattress topper suit you? Well, this is something we’re going to discover. While some are reading this guide because they want a firmer sleep surface, others are looking for help with their joint, neck, back, or leg pain. Over the years, more and more people are finding relief and comfort with a firm mattress topper.
Rather than investing in a new mattress, this is a more affordable option. However, you still don’t want to waste money, so today we are going to discuss: types and benefits of extra firm mattress toppers, as well as potential drawbacks and buying considerations. By the end, you should find the best firm mattress topper for your needs (as well as having examples to start your research!).
The Best Firm Mattress Topper
- LUCID: The Best Memory Foam Firm Mattress Topper
- Ultimate Dreams: The Best Latex Firm Mattress Topper
- Memory Foam Solutions: The Best Firm Mattress Topper For Support
- Sleep Innovations: The Best Dual Layer Firm Mattress Topper
- Advanced Sleep Solutions: The Best Gel-Infused Firm Mattress Topper
- ViscoSoft: The Most Durable Firm Mattress Topper
- AmericanMade: The Best For The Money Firm Mattress Topper
Table of Contents
The Best Firm Mattress Toppers Comparison Table
- Air circulation thanks to ventilation holes
- Three firmness options for maximum comfort and support
- Surpasses PURGreen certification standards
- Great airflow with advanced foam technology
- Perfect support for the back
- Durable and built to last
- Meets PURGreen certification standards
The Best Firm Mattress Toppers Reviews
LUCID: The Best Memory Foam Firm Mattress Topper
If you love memory foam, we think you’ll really like the LUCID firm mattress topper. With a three-inch medium thickness, the manufacturers have designed it to provide extra support during sleep. For those with back pain, for example, they should see a dramatic improvement in comfort levels. As the mattress topper molds to the body, pressure points are relieved, and you can sleep with a smile again.
The ventilated memory foam offers breathability and strong airflow, due to the use of an open-cell technology; hundreds of evenly spaced ventilation holes should reduce sweating and heat retention through the night. What’s more, even weight distribution means that the mattress’s surface shouldn’t have specific body impressions. All in all, your topper should last longer.
Unlike other mattress toppers, LUCID uses 100% memory foam. There will be a slight scent when the topper first arrives, but this chemical odor normally disappears within 48 hours. From then, you’ll have a dust mite and allergen-resistant, hypoallergenic, and 3-year warranty-protected mattress topper for some time to come.
Ultimate Dreams: The Best Natural Latex Option
Next, we have one of the best firm mattress toppers made of latex. With three inches in total, it uses high-quality material that will last through good times and bad. Naturally resilient, you’ll also get plenty of comfort and support from the Ultimate Dreams topper. These days, latex is considered the most durable material in the bedding industry.
Not only should the bamboo-encased mattress topper not sink, but the bodyweight is absorbed evenly thanks to clever holes across the topper. This, coupled with the Talalay latex mattress structure, means that your body is kept in the best posture and the topper conforms to your body contours. Ultimately, we’re balanced; there’s no one part of the body under more stress than another (and this is great news!).
Fortunately, the manufacturers have also developed three different firmness options;
Soft (19 ILD) - As the softest option, this is designed to improve comfort more than anything else.
Medium (28 ILD) - Next, we’re introducing more relief in the pressure points while also improving comfort and adding some softness to a mattress.
Hard - With the hardest option, there’s little attention to softness, but instead the topper is designed to provide support for the pressure points.
According to the manufacturer, the special structure of the topper allows it to be FOUR TIMES more breathable compared to memory foam, polyurethane, and Dunlop process latex. Even if you plan on using the topper every day, the combination of a clever structure and high-quality material will mean that the topper keeps its long-lasting shape. As a bonus, the topper is resistant to mold, dust mites, and mildew; it’s also antibacterial and hypoallergenic.
Memory Foam Solutions: The Best Firm Mattress Topper For Support
If all you need is support, Memory Foam Solutions has stepped up with this four-pound density firm mattress topper. Even with an old mattress, you can bring it back to life and relieve those pressure points as you sleep. Covering the whole bed, it deals with the support issue while also increasing comfort too.
Since it uses three inches of memory foam, it will mold to your body each night and offer a gel-like consistency for a comfortable sleep. What about the topper itself? It’s manufactured in the USA, has PURGreen certification (this means it meets CSPS and EPA standards for safety), and is environmentally friendly. When it comes to durability, the three-year warranty is perfect for this product, considering it covers an average lifespan for a mattress topper.
When you first unpack the topper, you might notice a slight smell, but it isn’t harmful in any way, so there’s no need to worry. While some notice that the smell goes after a couple of weeks, others say it takes a couple of months.
Why choose this firm mattress topper over every other we’ve mentioned in this list? The density and medium thickness mean that it actually balances comfort and support really well. As it sits on the mattress, it provides extra cushion to all those areas that were struggling for life. As you sleep, the shoulders, neck, and back are relieved of all pressure and have the support to wake up feeling refreshed.
Sleep Innovations: The Best Dual Layer Firm Option
If you like innovation and want to choose a company utilizing clever technology, you won’t go far wrong with Sleep Innovations. Just as their name suggests, they’ve cleverly combined the comfort of a pillow top and the therapeutic support of memory foam all in one topper.
On one side, we have the plush quilted fiber and no less than two inches of the material. Once placed onto your mattress, you should instantly note a cloud-like comfort. On the other side, we have another two inches, but this time of SureTemp premium memory foam. In order to keep the body cool and improve air circulation, this mattress topper uses a special memory foam formulation that’s unique to the brand and even has a patent.
With a medium-to-soft feel, the idea for this layer is to prevent sagging while still easing tension and providing the support you need for optimum alignment as you sleep. With a thicker density, it conforms to the body shape from head to toe, and this means a good night’s sleep; hopefully, in turn, you wake up feeling refreshed in the morning too.
What about the other features of this extra firm mattress topper? Well, the cover is machine washable, and it keeps the two layers in place nicely as you sleep. Just in case you’re worried, the cover isn’t difficult to take off or install during the washing process. Furthermore, we love this topper for couples because it isolates the movements, which is very important if you sleep with a partner who turns and tosses a lot.
Finally, the mattress topper is CertiPUR-US certified, it comes with a limited warranty of ten years, and those with allergies will also be pleased to hear that it’s hypoallergenic. If you want a combination of support and comfort, this is a great way to make it happen, and this is why we love to recommend Sleep Innovations.
Advanced Sleep Solutions: The Best Gel-Infused Firm Mattress Topper
As our next offering, we’ve gone for a hard mattress topper that is infused with gel in order to keep you cool as you sleep. Over the years, we’ve seen many people avoid traditional mattress toppers because they think all products will retain heat and keep them hot. This isn’t the case, and Advanced Sleep Solutions has done a brilliant job with their innovative gel technology and open cell structure. Not only is airflow improved with the design itself, the addition of gel further dissipates heat and prevents overheating.
With the topper, it conforms to the body with three inches of memory foam. Of course, the pressure points have relief, and there’s a nice balance between support and softness. With around 3.3 pounds of density, all movements are absorbed, which makes the topper ideal for couples. If you’re used to your partner tossing and turning all night, their movements are now isolated thanks to the anti-sinking design.
Produced in accordance with CertiPUR-US, the manufacturers are based in the USA, and you don’t have to worry about any toxic chemicals. In terms of size, the topper is slightly smaller than the mattress in order to accommodate the snug placement of your fitted sheet. As the perfect finishing touch, you’ll have the protection of a three-year manufacturer’s warranty as well as a 60-day money-back guarantee.
ViscoSoft: The Most Durable Choice
If improved airflow and reduced body heat is important to you, we recommend the ViscoSoft mattress topper. Whether you’ve tried memory foam or not, you probably know that it has a tendency to sleep hot. Thankfully, the ventilated design of the ViscoSoft ensures that all body heat is distributed evenly.
With high-quality memory foam, the topper conforms to the body in whatever position we choose. Also, the choice of compression rating and material offers a wealth of benefits. This includes;
Improved surface comfort
Reduced tossing and turning
With the last point, in particular, this is aided by heat wicking materials such as bamboo-based rayon and cell opening. Once you also consider the durability, it’s not surprising we chose to include ViscoSoft in this list.
As we know, memory foam will cradle our curves, and this should keep the spine aligned while eliminating neck and back pain by providing just enough sink. In terms of the investment, there’s no need to worry about how far your money will stretch because this extra firm mattress topper can last years longer than a standard topper. With three inches, the king-sized model weighs around 40 pounds compared to others that weigh less than half. It creates the perfect firmness that provides enough support without being too hard for a comfortable sleep.
Luckily, you also don’t have to worry about cleanliness and smell because this topper has a hypoallergenic, machine washable cover; it’s made from bamboo-based rayon and offers adjustable elastic straps for easy installation and a slip-resistant mesh so that you aren’t repositioning the topper every single evening.
High-density, high-quality, and highly recommended. When it comes to durability, ViscoSoft is our winner. Even if you disagree or happen to have a bad experience, the manufacturers offer a 60-day full-refund returns policy. If there’s a manufacturer-related defect, the three-year warranty will protect you. Finally, you might also enjoy the fact that the mattress is made right here in the USA.
AmericanMade: The Best For The Money Firm Mattress Topper
In our guides, we always like to provide something for everyone, and our final option is for those on a budget. As a brilliant extra firm mattress topper, you’ll have three inches of polyurethane foam which is designed to boost the comfort of latex, spring, and memory foam mattresses. If you feel dents or weak areas in your mattress, this topper should also provide extra support.
Even when you think a new mattress is almost a necessity, you may be surprised by how effective this topper is. With open-cell urethane foam, you get a firm sleep surface while it also supports the body’s contours. As you may have noticed, this one isn’t memory foam. However, there’s still plenty of benefits of polyurethane foam including;
Support without sinking
Less retained heat
Fortunately, the manufacturers have also considered the environment with their manufacturing processes, and the topper can be considered ‘green’ and eco-friendly. Since the topper is free from harmful toxins and chemicals, it has the PURGreen certification. In case you haven’t seen this certification previously, it is only awarded once independent labs have tested the product. A successful test means the product is free from PBDE fire retardants, ozone-depleting CFCs, mercury, lead, and other potentially harmful materials. Additionally, PURGreen also considers the physical performance of foam, which means you can be confident of durability and comfort with this topper.
As we’ve seen before, a new foam smell is possible after removing it from the packaging. However, the product meets CSPC and EPA standards, so there’s no concern about dangerous chemicals.
What is a Firm Mattress Topper?
Now we’ve seen some examples of the best firm mattress toppers in the market; it’s time to look into some of the other basic questions. First things first, what constitutes a firm mattress topper?
Compared to traditional toppers, firm models are both thicker and denser. Therefore, the manufacturers concentrate on support rather than softness (this isn’t to say you won’t get softness from firm mattress toppers). As a result of their design, they’re slightly heavier as well.
The more density in a topper, the firmer it will feel under our body. As we’re going to discover, the market contains all sorts of materials and sizes. You need to think about your existing mattress, what you want to gain from the topper, your budget, and more.
Do You Need a Mattress Topper?
Next, would you benefit from a hard mattress topper? To answer this, perhaps we should think about the drawbacks of a soft topper. Unfortunately, they may lack support for the back, and often fail with spinal alignment. Of course, your bed will feel like heaven. On the other hand, there’s a danger you’ll wake up with lower back pain and enter a negative spiral of pain and discomfort both during the day and night.
Typically, a medium-firm mattress topper is the middle ground between proper spinal alignment and comfort. This being said, the reason your existing mattress is so important is that you need a topper that will match it perfectly. If your mattress is already firm, adding a hard mattress topper will feel like sleeping on a slab of rock. On the other hand, if you have a soft mattress, a firmer topper is perfect because it provides the support that’s been missing (while remaining comfortable!).
Elsewhere, you need to consider your sleeping position before purchasing a mattress topper. With soft mattress toppers, they’re designed for side sleepers. Alternatively, back and stomach sleepers tend to benefit from extra firm mattress toppers.
If you have back problems, we recommend steering clear of the two extremes and instead choosing something in the middle. Toppers with medium firmness will provide the support for your back while remaining comfortable as you sleep.
Types of Firm Mattress Toppers
These days, two types of firm mattress toppers dominate the market;
First, we have latex which is known as a firmer alternative to the most popular option (which we’ll see in a moment!). With this, it provides strong support while also isolating movement and encouraging a good posture for all sleepers. Although it doesn’t make or break the experience, we also love the fact that latex mattress toppers are hypoallergenic and free from odors.
Earlier, you may have seen us mention IDL, and this stands for indentation load deflection. Effectively, this regards the density of a material, and this is how latex toppers are measured. When a topper has a low IDL, this is less firm than one with a higher IDL. For back support, experts will recommend sticking between 40 and 50 IDL.
To nobody’s surprise, the most popular option for firm mattress toppers is memory foam. Generally speaking, it’s best to choose a product with a density of between 4 and 5 pounds per cubic feet. However, extra consideration is height. Though there are some exceptions, options above three inches and below five inches will be the firmest.
Benefits of Using a Firm Mattress Topper
If you’re currently considering a hard mattress topper but aren’t quite sure whether it would be the right choice, allow us to explain some of the main benefits.
Durable and Reliable
While we’re comparing with soft mattress toppers, a firmer product will have a longer life. With softer designs, they can lose features quite quickly, and this is a problem. Your investment goes further with a hard mattress topper.
Extra Comfort for Your Old Mattress
If you have an old mattress that is now sagging and almost looks lifeless, you might not need a new one just yet. For a more affordable fee, a topper will bring some life back into your bed. Not only will comfort improve, but you also extend the life of your old mattress while you save for a new one. All the weak points are covered, and you don’t have to wake up with more aches and pains.
Back Pain Relief
If you suffer from back pain problems, we understand that this can be frustrating…but you no longer need to suffer in silence. Your bed should be the one place you feel comfortable, and this is allowed with a firm mattress topper. As the back is kept straight and your posture improves, your back gets the relief it needs. With a soft mattress topper, the lack of support causes more problems, and good alignment isn’t encouraged.
Potential Drawbacks of a Firm Mattress Topper
Not Ideal for Joint Problems
While firm toppers help the back, they aren’t so good with joint issues. For example, the firm sleep surface may exacerbate arthritis pain. Instead, you should prioritize comfort with a soft mattress topper; this will allow the body to relax through the night.
Not Suited to Side Sleepers
When sleeping on our side on a firm topper, the soft body parts are put under extra pressure, and this increases the risk of aches and pains.
In this final section, we want to look at a few buying considerations to make before you spend any money!
We all want a comfortable sleep, right? When prioritizing comfort, firmness is the most important component. As we’ve seen in this guide, however, a good mattress topper should combine firmness with some softness. What’s more, with the perfect topper, it can be used on a daily basis and still retain its shape.
Firstly, we’ve spoken extensively about firmness and density, but we mustn’t forget the importance of the material. The wrong material will certainly cause uncomfortable nights, so it’s not exactly something we can ignore. As we saw earlier, there are two main types of materials used in the industry; latex and memory foam.
Despite the differences, there is one thing the two materials have in common - they are able to conform to your body contours for proper alignment. As it’s the more common option, you probably know about memory foam and its ability to remember your shape for a luxurious sleep. Meanwhile, latex toppers are made with pin core holes which are designed to absorb body weight and then distribute it evenly across the topper. While conforming to the body, you have a wonderful blend of support and comfort.
Often, we’re asked how mattress toppers work, and it all starts as you lie down. From the very first second, both latex and memory foam will ensure that tension and pressure are relieved in key areas such as the back. While other materials are somewhat fixed in their approach, these two will provide support in some areas that need it while allowing others to sink further down. With this in mind, it’s tailored to your sleeping position. The spine has support, pressure points are relieved, and you can relax.
Often, people use the terms ‘thickness’ and ‘density’ interchangeably, but we’re just about to see that this is a mistake.
Firstly, density is normally measured in cubic feet. If a topper is measured at two pounds per cubic foot, this is the lowest you’re likely to find. If you’re looking at products between two and three pounds per cubic foot, this would be a low-density topper. It will feel lovely and comfortable, but it won’t have the support you’re looking for with the back. Instead, you could wake up with worse discomfort than the night before.
Once you start to move above three pounds per cubic foot, we’re in the medium-level density, and this goes up to around five pounds per cubic foot. For back pain, this is absolutely perfect because it provides support and still has some comfort too. Additionally, the spinal column is aligned, and the topper should be durable enough to be a reliable partner. While the back is aligned, other areas of the body are allowed to sink, and this includes the shoulders and buttocks.
With medium densities, body weight is distributed evenly, and this means relief for pressure points. As soon as you move past five pounds per cubic foot, this is considered a hard mattress topper. The support will be strong, but it takes much longer to conform to the body, and this is a problem for some.
How does thickness differ? Thickness is more about the measurement from top to bottom as opposed to what’s contained within. A topper could technically have a low thickness and high density, high thickness and low density, and more. In recent years, people have come to the conclusion that a luxurious experience comes with thick toppers…but this isn’t necessarily true.
According to medical reports released recently, it’s possible to avoid back pain even without a thick topper. In today’s market, thicker toppers are firmer, and this means a lack of response to our body shape. With thinner toppers, they feel great but don’t quite have the support we need considering that one of the biggest causes of back pain is non-ergonomic spinal alignment.
With this in mind, we recommend a medium thickness to go with the medium density. Not too thick and firm, not too thin and soft; this combination provides a balance between conformability and support. For those with back pain, you should feel the results in no time.
When searching the market, you’re likely to find thicknesses between two and four inches, and this is considered ‘medium.’ With alignment and support in the spinal column, it’s the most effective way of battling back pain. If you choose a topper under two inches in thickness, there won’t be enough support (they will eventually bottom out). On the flip side, something above four inches will feel too firm (unless you’re carrying more weight than the average individual).
With our penultimate consideration, we have mattress size. Although it sounds obvious, many people have forgotten this tiny detail only to get then frustrated when the topper arrives and doesn’t fit on the mattress. Fortunately, most manufacturers will consider the different bed sizes available before then producing models that fit. However, the difficulty comes when ordering online.
Sometimes, whether ordering from a website like Amazon or the manufacturer directly, the information shown on the product page causes confusion. Before spending any money, look through the reviews and comments sections of products. Often, this will tell you more than the description itself. If most people are saying that the topper is too big and slips and slides around every night, you can make a judgment call whether or not to trust the manufacturer.
While on this note, your weight will play a role in your decision and this is important to remember. While we’re huge advocates of taking advice and listening to friends and colleagues, you also need to appreciate that we all have different needs; what works for them might not work for you.
If you weigh over 250 pounds, we don’t think medium density and thickness will be sufficient. In the past, we’ve seen plenty of people frustrated with bottoming out with these types of toppers. In order for you to benefit from everything we’ve discussed in this guide, the topper needs to handle any extra compression your body generates. For this reason, we recommend looking for a firm mattress topper with a density above five pounds per cubic foot and thickness above four inches. If you choose something the manufacturer has designed for ‘average’ sleepers, you will sink deeper, and this messes with the spinal alignment aspect.
Finally, with the best firm mattress topper, it will require little effort to keep it clean and fresh. If you want easy maintenance, look for a topper that comes with a removable cover. This way, you can throw it in the machine whenever you want to freshen it up.
While on the note of maintenance, the topper should prevent stains from reaching the mattress. If you have small children who like to join you in bed every morning, this could be an important factor; we all know how easy it is for a child to spill a drink. With the right waterproofing features, the mattress stays clean and lives a longer life.
This is your guide to the best firm mattress toppers; we hope you’ve found some value in our information. Sleep is essential to overall health and wellbeing, so make sure you’re doing it right. With just one night of poor sleep, this can affect our energy levels for days. With a brilliant medium or hard mattress topper, you have support and comfort in bed every single night.
As long as you pay attention to the buying considerations and choose a topper that’s perfect for your needs, you can improve spinal alignment, relieve the pressure points, and enjoy better sleep for the months and years ahead!