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Best Firm Mattress Toppers in 2022

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Written by: Alex Savy
Read 21 minLast updated on July 15, 2022

​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

Puffy Mattress Topper
Editor’s Choice

Puffy Mattress Topper
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Slice of Heaven by Plushbeds
Best Extra-Firm Mattress Topper

Plushbeds Natural Talalay Latex Mattress Topper
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Nolah Mattress Topper
Best Firm Mattress Topper for Pressure Relief

Nolah Mattress Topper
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Ghostbed Mattress Topper
Best Firm Mattress Topper for Hip Pain

Ghostbed Mattress Topper
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Brooklyn Bedding Mattress Topper
Best firm Mattress Topper for Side Sleepers

Brooklyn Bedding Mattress Topper
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Review of the 5 Best Mattress Toppers

Best Overall - Editor’s Choice — Puffy Topper

Puffy Mattress Topper

 

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Highlights:

  • 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.
 

Our overall best firm mattress topper is the Puffy mattress topper. The product has a Hard version that is 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.

Puffy Mattress Topper Thickness
Puffy Mattress Topper Unboxing

Best Extra-Firm Mattress Topper — Plushbeds Natural Talalay Latex Mattress Topper

Natural Latex Topper by Plushbeds

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Highlights:

  • Firm latex mattress topper made from natural Talalay for more sleeping comfort and mite protection.
  • Thanks to its naturally firm latex material, it's ideal for 250lbs+ heavy sleepers who want a hard surface.
  • The medium firm option is perfect for back and stomach sleepers as it's firmer than medium toppers.

If your goal is to have the best extra-firm mattress topper, then latex is the way to go. The Plushbed latex mattress topper would be your best latex mattress topper for the value it offers. Among the things we love the most about this mattress topper are the firmness and thickness you can choose from – five options, including the extra-firm model, which is the highlight of the product. 

When you compare this firm latex mattress topper to other models such as the Sleep on Latex Mattress Topper, you will find out that this Plushbeds model is firmer, although the former is about $50 more expensive.

Memory Foam Topper by Plushbeds

Best Firm Mattress Topper for Pressure Relief — Nolah Mattress Topper

Nolah Mattress Topper

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Highlights:

  • 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 topper is one of the best pressure-relieving mattress toppers on the market. This pressure relief mattress or topper contours to the sleeper's curves and is therefore recommended 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 Firm Mattress Topper for Hip Pain — Ghostbed Mattress Topper

GhostBed Mattress-topper-review

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Highlights:

  • 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.

GhostBed Mattress Topper on a Mattress
GhostBed Mattress Topper Layers

Best firm Mattress Topper for Side Sleepers — Brooklyn Bedding Mattress Topper

ORGANIC TALALAY LATEX TOPPER by Brooklyn Bedding

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Highlights:

  • Made from natural Talalay latex which is known for its firmness and hypoallergenic properties.
  •  The firm option is dense enough for use on aging or too soft mattresses.
  • It’s thicker (3 inches) than most natural latex toppers and therefore offers more height and support for the back.
 
 

The Brooklyn Bedding mattress topper makes the second entry of Talalay latex in this review and is a product to consider if you're looking to buy one of the best extra-firm toppers. Like the Plushbeds latex mattress topper, the Brooklyn Bedding is made from 100% natural Talalay latex of the highest quality and are both classed as safe toppers produced to meet the Oeko-Tex standard. This means it contains no clay fillers, chemicals, dyes, or other hazardous compounds. However, the difference is that the Plushbeds has an additional Greenguard Gold certification, indicating that it has been tested and proven to have low or no chemical emission. But the Brooklyn Bedding model is thicker – 3 inches – although it's about $75 costlier than the Plushbeds.  

You should, however, note that the Brooklyn Bedding model comes in three options: soft, medium, and firm, which means all types of sleepers (side, stomach, and back) can find their suitable model.  So don't forget to toggle on the Firmness menu on the Brooklyn Bedding website and select the firmest mattress topper in the lineup.

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

FAQ

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.

Conclusion

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. 

For us, the best firm mattress topper is the Puffy Mattress Topper. This topper is composed of materials (60% polyester and 40% bamboo) that give it a balance of firmness, durability, and ventilation. 

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. 

 

References

  1. Daniel Noyed (May 10, 2022). Best Firm Mattress Toppers? Retrieved from https://www.sleepfoundation.org/best-mattress-toppers/best-firm-mattress-topper 

Our research

55

Mattress Toppers Considered

270

Hours of Research

4

Sleep Experts Consulted

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