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Feathers, fibers and wool offer comfort and soft support

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 National Sleep Products Natural 100-percent Cotton Baffle-channel Featherbed (Est. $85 to $120). Owners describe this featherbed as comfortable, and most say the baffled (top-stitched) top does a very good job at keeping the feathers from clumping and helping it 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 feather-filled mattress toppers.

Side sleepers are particularly pleased with the National Sleep Products featherbed, saying that it's soft and comfortable, but also provides more support than latex or memory foam mattress toppers. Like all featherbeds, the National Sleep Products 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 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. $60 to $100) is reported to be slightly less durable than our Best Reviewed National Sleep Products featherbed. Owners say it can need daily fluffing to keep its shape, but otherwise it gets very good reviews from owners. 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.

The Beautyrest featherbed comes in twin, full, queen and king. The National Sleep Products featherbed comes in those sizes as well as California king.

People who have allergies to feathers might want to consider our Best Reviewed 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, kind ad 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, although Amazon.com says it's designed to go in the washer and dryer. 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 to $290). 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 great for regulating body temperature. SnugFleece makes two version of the SnugSoft mattress topper, the SnugSoft Imperial and the slightly thicker SnugSoft Elite. Users agree that both toppers are very comfortable, and keep them warm in winter and cool in summer.

A waterproof mattress pad will protect your mattress investment

A good mattress is expensive, and many owners want to protect that investment from spills, stains and other accidents. The top choice among waterproof mattress pads is the SafeRest Premium Hypoallergenic Waterproof Mattress Protector (Est. $25 to $35). It gets raves for its inconspicuous presence -- unlike many waterproof mattress pads, it doesn't have that hard plastic feel or make crinkly noises when you roll over. Although the SafeRest is not a true mattress topper, plenty of owners say it has added some comfort to their mattress because it's nice and thick for a mattress pad. Parents, in particular, are thrilled to comfortably protect their children's mattress when the child first transitions to a "big-kid bed," but might not have big-kid bladder control. This waterproof mattress pad comes in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king and California king.

Elsewhere in this report:

Best Mattress Toppers | Best Memory Foam and Latex Mattress Toppers | Buying Guide | Our Sources

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Natural 100-percent Cotton Baffle-channel Featherbed and Cover Set - Queen
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $114.80
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Pinzon Basics Overfilled Ultra Soft Microplush Queen Mattress Pad
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $55.99   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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SnugSoft Imperial Bed Mattress Cover Size: 80" H x 78" W
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $365.85 $271.00   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Queen Size SafeRest Premium Hypoallergenic Waterproof Mattress Protector - Vinyl Free
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $95.98 $29.95   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  

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