Mattress toppers stuffed with feathers or synthetic fill, as well as those made of wool, tend to be lighter in weight than foam toppers. They provide less support and don't isolate motion as well, but they're easier to move on and less likely to sleep hot. These mattress pads also cost less and may be more durable, but they require regular fluffing to keep them in good shape.
One of the highest-rated featherbeds by both experts ad owners is the Natural Baffle-channel Featherbed (Est. $70 and up). Owners describe this featherbed as very comfortable, and most say the baffled (top-stitched) top does a very good job at keeping the feathers from clumping and helping the topper to maintain its fluffiness. We also saw no reports of sharp feathers poking through, or of the feathers making noise -- something that is often a complaint with other feather-filled mattress toppers.
Side sleepers are particularly pleased with the Natural Baffle-channel Featherbed, saying that it's soft and comfortable, but also provides more support than latex or memory foam mattress toppers. Like all featherbeds, the Natural Baffle-channel topper needs to be fluffed occasionally; most say about once a week or so is sufficient. This featherbed gets excellent reviews for being true to size and staying in place well on the mattress. National Sleep Products, which manufactures this featherbed, does not offer a warranty, but the retailer that sells this mattress topper, Overstock.com, gets excellent reviews for responsive customer service.
Another popular, slightly less expensive feather bed, the Beautyrest Cluster Top Baffle Box Feather Bed (Est. $65 and up) gets owner satisfaction ratings that are just a tick below our Best Reviewed pick. Owners say it can need daily fluffing to keep its shape, but otherwise it gets very good feedback. The Beautyrest isn't a true featherbed because it combines a bottom layer of goose down with a layer of synthetic "cluster puffs" on top, but users like that this feature keeps the pointy ends of the feathers away from their skin. Most find this featherbed very comfortable and consider it a great value for the price. Based upon our review evaluations, however, the Beautyrest might not be as durable as the pricier Natural Baffle-channel Featherbed. The Beautyrest featherbed comes in twin, full, queen and king. The Natural Baffle-channel Featherbed comes in those sizes as well as California king.
People who have allergies to feathers might want to consider the Pinzon Basics Overfilled Ultra Soft Microplush Mattress Pad (Est. $40 to $65), which is sold exclusively at Amazon.com. This synthetic fiberbed gets good ratings from both experts and owners, with users saying it's very comfortable and has transformed an old or too-hard mattress into a like-new bed. The Pinzon comes in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king and California king, and users say the mattress pad runs true to size in all cases.
The only real complaint we saw about the Pinzon was that the manufacturer recommends dry cleaning or professional cleaning only. Some say they've successfully washed it at home and it came out fine, others say it practically disintegrated. Those who took their mattress topper to the laundromat and used larger machines report better success. Most say they don't mind the cost of dry cleaning because this topper is such a good value and performs so well.
Wool mattress toppers attract fewer user reviews than most other types. The most recommended brand we saw is the SnugFleece SnugSoft Bed Mattress Cover (Est. $90 and up). Made of pure lamb's wool, SnugFleece toppers are fitted with elastic straps to hold them in place on the mattress, underneath a fitted sheet, and owners say it works very well. SnugFleece wool mattress pads are naturally resistant to dust mites and experts say they're great for regulating body temperature. SnugFleece makes two version of the SnugSoft mattress topper, the SnugSoft Imperial and the slightly thicker SnugSoft Elite (Est. $165 and up). Users agree that both toppers are very comfortable, and keep them warm in winter and cool in summer.