Best Firm Mattress Toppers in 2023

This research is supported by you, our readers, through our independently chosen links, which earn us a commission with no extra cost to you. Learn More

Written by: Alex Savy
Read 20 minLast updated on February 12, 2023

​Hip and back pain is a common issue for those who sleep on a soft mattress. But instead of replacing your soft or aging mattress, why not increase the firmness with a firm topper? 

Choosing the best firm mattress topper will stop you from sinking when sleeping on your back and help you manage your back and hip pain

Today's guide will compare and describe the best firm mattress toppers and give you the essential information for choosing the right firm mattress topper.

A Quick Preview

Nolah Mattress Topper
Editor’s Choice

Nolah Mattress Topper
Read more about this mattress topper
Puffy Mattress Topper
Best Firm Mattress Topper for Shoulder Pain

Puffy Mattress Topper
Read more about this mattress topper
Ghostbed Mattress Topper
Best Firm Mattress Topper for Hip Pain

Ghostbed Mattress Topper
Read more about this mattress topper

Review of the 3 Best Firm Mattress Toppers

Editor’s Choice — Nolah Mattress Topper 

Nolah Mattress Topper


  • Has a Luxury Firm option for those who want a hard and comfortable surface that eases pressure points.
  • Advanced Pressure Relief offers 4x pressure relief than that of memory foam .
  • Made of AirFoam, a trademarked technology that wicks away heat 20% faster than memory foam.

The Nolah mattress to  pper is our Editor’s Choice due to its unique material that is able to conform to the contours of the body for better pressure relief. This conforming ability makes this topper useful for people at risk of "pressure ulcers" as there's a lower risk of having issues caused by body pressure. 

The mattress is made of AirFoam™, a material that has 4 times more pressure relief than memory foam toppers such as the Mellow memory foam topper. The Mellow topper is 4 inches thick, but the 2-inch thickness and Advanced Pressure Relief system of the Nolah Mattress Topper is enough for weight distribution.

The Nolah Luxury Firm option is a very firm mattress topper and can be used to give a new life to an old or sagging mattress. This mattress is also among the best mattress toppers for lower back pain

Best Overall - Best Firm Mattress Topper for Shoulder Pain — Puffy Mattress Topper 

Puffy Mattress Topper



  • The hard version is dense enough to adjust the firmness level of a mattress.
  • Mainly made of polyester and bamboo, which provide a blend of durability and coolness for hot sleepers.
  • It's a firm topper that retains shape quickly thanks to the fluffy fiber ball polyester filling.

The Puffy Mattress Topper is our best firm mattress topper for shoulder pain due to its Hard version, which is able to support and contour the minute curves of the shoulder and neck. It’s perfect for those who want to firm up a mattress that is too soft. Additionally, the mattress topper’s bamboo fiber composition does a great job of helping to transfer heat away from the body. 

Polyester is used here because of its strength and extra firmness, but it doesn't help with heat regulation. So this explains why bamboo - a naturally breathable material that keeps you cool - occupies 40% of the material. This means you'll stay cool and comfortable on a firm material all night. Finally, the Puffy topper is known for its pain therapy benefits as the fiber filling contours around pressure points on the body, which is why it's one of the best mattress toppers for shoulder pain sufferers.

I was able to review the Puffy topper, and found it was able to firm up my mattress by a whole 0.16 inches. This is useful if you’re looking for a thick memory foam topper that’s cradling as well as supportive, as Puffy was 8 times more firming than my tests with the Ghostbed topper.

Read our full Puffy mattress topper review for more information.

Puffy Mattress Topper Thickness
Puffy Mattress Topper Unboxing

Best Firm Mattress Topper for Hip Pain — Ghostbed Mattress Topper

GhostBed Mattress-topper-review


  • It has a ribbed, targeted comfort zone design for hip management.
  • Made from memory foam that offers a balance between soft and firm.
  • 3-inch contouring gel memory foam helps absorb heat.

Those with hip and shoulder pain can heave a sigh of relief. Whether you're sleeping on your side, back, or stomach, the GhostBed does wonders on your hips, thanks to its ribbed design. The Ghostbed mattress topper immediately catches your eye with this whimsical design, featuring patterns that look like they were drawn on the walls of a cave. It's not just for show, though: the peaks and valleys are designed to help cradle your body, provide support, and also airflow to help keep you cool at night.

The mattress has a superior firmness, making it perfect for back and side sleeping. Sitting on top of the ribbed memory foam layer is a form-fitting, waterproof sleeve featuring patent-pending "Ghost Ice Fabric" technology that's cool to the touch.

I reviewed the Ghostbed, and found its sinkage was 0.02 inches more firming than sleeping on the mattress alone, which means you can use the Ghostbed topper and not worry about it making your mattress softer. It may not be as firming as Puffy (Puffy is 8 times more firming), but it will still get the job done.

Read our full Ghostbed mattress topper review for more information.

GhostBed Mattress Topper on a Mattress
GhostBed Mattress Topper Layers

Our Methodology - Why I Picked These Mattress Toppers

The best firm mattress toppers typically use a sturdy material, such as latex or high-density memory foam, to keep you cushioned while offering some of the best support.

In reviewing mattress toppers, I examined its material first and tested it by hand and in several common sleeping positions to better understand how supportive it felt. The better the topper supported my shoulders, hips, and spine, the better I knew it would function as a great firm topper. I used a medium-firm mattress under the topper, which is the most common type of mattress firmness, helping me understand how the topper would feel in most homes. And as a crucial last step, I did vigorous movement and jump tests and measured if the topper moved, gauging how well the topper would stay in place while in use. My knowledge in the sleep products industry, plus first-hand reviews, helped me choose high-quality firm mattress toppers, and I will share more details in the article so you can choose the right one for your bed.

Buying Guide for Firm Mattress Toppers

As a firm topper is a specific class of mattress topper, those who need to buy one must be guided in this purchase so they don't end up with the opposite of what they're aiming to get. Therefore, this buying guide will analyze the situations that necessitate a firm mattress topper and what a buyer should watch out for when selecting.

Why do you need a Firm Mattress Topper?

To make up for a mattress that is too soft, there is nothing like opting for a firm mattress topper. Placed directly between the mattress and the fitted sheet, this bedding accessory has several advantages. 

It provides better stability and more comfort for those who sleep on their back and stomach. Sleepers who are prone to back pain need a firm mattress topper. It's especially required to correct the bad effects of a sagging mattress and prevent back pain. 

Another advantage is that it has a high-density filling. According to the Sleep Foundation, the higher the density of a mattress topper is, the higher its firmness. It is considered that a mattress topper is sufficiently firm when it has a density of between 600 g/m³ and 700 g/m³. It also helps protect the mattress from wear and tear for long-lasting bedding. 

In summary, here are several situations and sleepers who may need a firm mattress topper:

  • Those who have an old, saggy, and too soft mattress
  •  Sleepers who have back pain, muscle pain, hip pain, and areas of tension
  • Insufficient bedding stability
  • Limited budget to acquire a new mattress but need a backup solution
  • Low mattress thickness that needs more height
  • Those who have a mattress that requires protection to gain durability

How to Choose a Firm Mattress Topper

Several essential criteria must be considered to find the best ultra-firm mattress pad or topper. Granted, each buyer may have their preferences, but most will consider at least some of these factors:

  • Sleeping Position

Generally, firm mattress toppers are ideal for back and stomach sleepers. This is because these users need a sleeping surface that wouldn't cause the spine to sink into the bed or topper as a soft memory foam bed will make one feel.

A firm mattress will keep the spine aligned and the hips unstressed. So, those who sleep on their stomach or back should choose a firm mattress. Meanwhile, people who sleep on their sides and need something softer should check out this list of the best mattress toppers for side sleepers

  • Material

Materials have a direct impact on the performance and durability of your mattress topper. The better the material, the more durable and reliable the mattress topper will be. The three common types of materials used for making firm mattress toppers are:

  1. Memory foam. Those considering buying a firm memory foam mattress topper should pay particular attention to the thickness and density of the memory foam filling.  Consider a density between 36 kg/m³ and 50 kg/m³ and a minimum thickness of 3 inches for a firm or very firm mattress.  Denser mattress toppers are heavier and firmer and offer better support for the whole body. A firm memory foam mattress topper may be the best choice for sleepers who need balanced support without feeling like they're sleeping on a cinder block.
  2. Bamboo. First and foremost, those considering a bamboo mattress topper shouldn't think it's always a natural choice. Indeed, many brands sell bedding accessories for their organic side. Still, the truth is that processing bamboo fibers or viscose into bedding products is subjected to serious chemical treatments.   That being said, bamboo still offers many benefits. This material generally provides excellent support, has naturally breathable properties, and helps wick away moisture, giving a healthy and fresh sleeping space all year round with the bonus of hypoallergenic and anti-allergic action against mites. However, bamboo is a soft material. To achieve the desired result, it must be combined with a firmer material like polyester, or it should be used for the topper cover.
  3. Latex. The best material for firm toppers has been kept for the last. Latex mattress toppers are one of the best solutions for those looking to firm up the comfort of their mattress. They are generally firmer than memory foam models. Their properties include effectively distributing body weight and pressure to promote proper spinal alignment and thus prevent and relieve pain. Latex is also naturally hypoallergenic and has anti-mite properties like a 100% organic mattress.
  • Pressure Relief

Most current mattress toppers offer a good level of pressure relief. Firm latex or memory foam mattress toppers evenly redistribute the sleeper's weight and relieve pressure-sensitive areas, such as the hips and shoulders. Meanwhile, for those who want a mattress topper specifically built to offer better pressure relief, then the Nolah Mattress Topper is the best option. 

  • Firmness Level

Sleepers who feel their current mattress is too soft often choose firm mattress toppers to modify their sleeping surface. A firm mattress topper can protect the bed from wear and extend its life. But remember that firmness is subjective for each sleeper, and other factors can impact the firmness of a mattress topper, particularly the thickness, density, weight, and nature of the material. Most topper models are usually offered in 3 to 5 firmness levels. 

These can be Soft, Medium Soft, Medium Firm, Firm, and Extra Firm. So the sleeper must select based on how firm he wants the topper to be. Extra-firm toppers would be great for people weighing above 250 lbs, and the ordinary firm would be suitable for people who sleep on their stomach or back

  • Thickness

Firm mattress toppers are not usually that thick. But when a mattress topper has greater depth, it generally means that it has multiple layers and can perfectly conform to the body. The thickness of the toppers varies between 2 and 14 inches. But the most common is 2 to 4 inches. Besides, the thickness should be chosen based on the type of material and density. 3 to 4 inches is needed for a high-density memory foam topper, while 2 inches is enough for latex products

  • Price

The price of a mattress topper depends essentially on its quality of manufacture and its composition. Inexpensive mattress toppers usually cost less than $200, while mattress toppers made from natural latex or other models with innovative technologies and natural materials can be more expensive, sometimes exceeding $300. But mattress toppers are not usually half as expensive as a mattress, so they're generally affordable


Do mattress toppers make the bed firmer?

While they will add more height to your bed, not all mattress toppers will make your bed firmer. But by choosing a firm or extra-firm mattress, a topper can make your bed feel firmer.

How do I know if I need a firm mattress topper?

You need a firm mattress topper if you weigh more than 230 pounds and sleep on your stomach and back. On the other hand, if your mattress is still in good condition but is not firm enough, a good mattress topper can significantly improve its support, pressure relief, and comfort.

What's a firm mattress topper made of? 

Firm mattress toppers, in particular, are made of different materials, namely high-density memory foam, latex, or a mixture of these. Unlike fluffy materials like feathers or down, these materials provide firm, pressure-free support, making them durable and comfortable.

How do I know if a mattress topper is firm or soft before ordering it?

Firm mattress toppers are models that generally have a high-density filling and a greater than average thickness to provide better support. Most firm mattress toppers are slightly heavier due to their density and thickness. Meanwhile, memory foam mattress toppers are soft and are indicated for side sleepers.


Firm mattress toppers are ideal for those who sleep on their back and stomach, heavy sleepers, and those who want pressure relief for better management of back, shoulder, and hip pains. 

To get the right firmness, these mattress toppers can be made of different materials such as latex, memory foam, or a combination of bamboo and polyester. Latex is the firmest material for mattresses and toppers. However, it's also essential that the topper is dense and has the right thickness. 

In my opinion, the best firm mattress topper is the Nolah Mattress Topper due to its AirFoam™ material which has better pressure-relieving capabilities than most competitors and is able to support and conform to the body to help ease tension.

We hope you have found a mattress topper that will be most suitable for your needs, as a back/stomach or heavy sleeper. And for you, has a firm mattress topper ever helped you manage your back and hip pain?  Also, if our review helps you get a firmer topper that suits all the individual needs mentioned in the article, kindly let us know in the comment section. 



  1. Daniel Noyed (May 10, 2022). Best Firm Mattress Toppers? Retrieved from 

Our research


Mattress Toppers Considered


Hours of Research


Sleep Experts Consulted

Subscribe to get updates and new deals!

Zero spam. Unsubscribe at any time

Leave a comment