Home > Home & Garden > Mattress Toppers > Best Memory Foam Mattress Toppers

Best Memory Foam Mattress Toppers

By: Kelly Burgess on June 20, 2018

Memory foam toppers are the most popular kind

Memory foam mattress toppers are the most popular choice among users, and the gel-infused DreamFoam 2" Gel Swirl (Est. $50 and up) easily takes the top spot this year in the memory foam category.

Editors at Sleep Like the Dead note that about 1/3 of "hot" sleepers find relief sleeping on memory foam/gel combinations, and testers sleeping on this mattress topper for Wirecutter found that the DreamFoam did not retain heat as much as many other mattress pads do -- that's one of the factors that lead them to make this mattress topper their top pick. It was also the most comfortable overall, uniformly supportive without the "sinking" feeling people often experience with memory foam. Motion isolation was good, too, which means your partner's movements won't disturb your sleep.

Owners largely agree with those conclusions, giving the DreamFoam 2" Gel Swirl mattress topper 4.4 stars at Amazon in more than 4,000 reviews; slightly higher ratings at Walmart, but after far fewer reviews. Many say it has transformed their sleep. Of course, there are those who disagree; some say it's too thin and doesn't offer enough padding, others say it traps heat badly, but the vast majority of users are more than pleased.

Evaluating user feedback, quite a few owners say that they bought the DreamFoam to put on a new, expensive, but much-too-hard mattress that they couldn't return, and say it fixed the problem. Others say they bought it to extend the life of an older mattress and that it performs that function equally well. We spotted a number of comments from people who bought it to thicken up their RV mattress and say it was a great choice for that as well. While mattress toppers probably don't have any specific durability issues, we did spot some complaints that the DreamFoam arrived with tears or with missing chunks. The manufacturer offers a three-year warranty.

As for odor, again, reviews are mixed. Most say the initial odor was completely gone by the time the mattress fully expanded -- a process that can take up to 48 hours. Fewer say that the mattress topper's smell was unbearable for days. Odor is always in the nose of the beholder, we find, so you need to evaluate your tolerance for chemical smells before buying any memory foam product. The good news is that the smell is not specifically harmful. The DreamFoam Gel Swirl is made from viscoelastic memory foam that is CertiPUR-US certified. That guarantees that it doesn't contain formaldehyde, heavy metals, certain flame retardants, or phthalates that are regulated by the Consumer Products Safety Commission. This designation also guarantees that the topper releases less than 0.5 parts per million of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

It's not been included in any expert tests, but the 2-inch thick Milliard Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper (Est. $60 and up) is one of the highest-rated mattress pads at Amazon (with 4.6 stars in more than 1,500 reviews) and is the second highest-rated topper at Sleep Like the Dead, with a 92 percent satisfaction rating after 1,429 owner comments. We do want to point out though, that that is a significantly smaller sample than the DreamFoam topper's, which has 3,902 comments and a satisfaction score of 89 percent. In general, in our experience, the more ratings a product has, the more likely it is that its scores will drop, not rise.

What we really like about the Milliard Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper is that this version includes a removable, washable bamboo cover. It's available without the cover for around $15 to $20 less (but not in the twin size). Owners like that feature too, especially those who tend to sweat a lot, or are simply a bit OCD about their bedding. Beyond that, we spotted many comments from people who say this mattress pad has made a saggy mattress much more comfortable or has helped significantly with back pain and pressure pain. Some do say that it makes them sleep too hot, but, as we've noted many times, we see that with virtually all mattress toppers -- and mattresses too.

Another gel-infused mattress topper that gets reviews from both experts and owners that are as high or higher than the DreamFoam 2" Gel Swirl is the Red Nomad 2-Inch Thick Gel Infused Visco Elastic (Est. $60 and up). These two mattress toppers are virtually identical, including CertiPUR-US certifications, but the Red Nomad is slightly more expensive (about $10 to $20 more, depending upon the size).

In Wirecutter's tests, the Red Nomad fared better in the durability tests (scraping the toppers with a fork for 60 seconds -- something we don't personally recommend), but reviewers there note that the dimensions of the topper were slightly smaller than the DreamFoam's, which left a bit of a ledge around the edge of the bed. The only reason they did not make it their top pick was price, all else being equal, and we make it our runner up for that same reason.

Owner reviews of the Red Nomad are just a tick higher 4.5-stars) than those of the DreamFoam, however, there are far fewer of them, too (around 660). Feedback is almost identical regarding comfort; most say it has transformed their sleep, others say it's too thin or that they sink in so much they feel as if they're suffocating (that latter complaint is one we see about all memory foam products, though). And, while some say they sleep cooler on this mattress pad, others beg to differ. The Red Nomad also comes in a 3-inch thickness.

If you don't care about gel-infused technology, Red Nomad is also the highest-rated memory non-gel foam mattress topper at Sleep Like the Dead, with a 94 percent owner satisfaction rating in 3,781 reviews. There are three thicknesses, the Red Nomad 2-inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper (Est. $65 and up), the Red Nomad 3-inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper (Est. $80 and up) and the Red Nomad 4-inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper (Est. $135 and up). Not all sizes are available in all thicknesses. These toppers are also made from CertiPUR-US certified materials.

Owners posting at retail review sites also love the Red Nomad mattress topper. They say it adds a lot of comfort to a too-hard bed and that it fits extremely true to size. Most say they noticed absolutely no odor upon unpacking the mattress topper; others say it had a slight odor, but that it aired out very nicely.

Recently Updated
Mattress Toppers buying guide

What every best Mattress Toppers has:

  • Combines cushioning with support.
  • Has a smooth surface.
  • Regulates body heat.

Read More »

Learn More »