What is an Extra Firm Mattress Topper?
A mattress topper is a layer of padding that sits on top of your mattress to significantly change
its feel. Toppers come in a range of materials and thicknesses.
An extra-firm mattress topper has a very high-density foam or latex interior that doesn't compress easily under
body weight. This creates a solid, supportive surface. Extra-firm toppers are ideal for sleepers who need extra
back support or prefer sleeping "on" vs. "in" their mattress.
Adding an extra-firm topper is an affordable way to adjust a too-soft mattress without having to invest in a
whole new bed. Toppers can also extend the life of an aging mattress by compensating for slight sagging and
Who Should Consider an Extra Firm Mattress Topper?
Here are some of the key benefits of extra-firm mattress toppers and the types of sleepers who would benefit
Those with Back Pain
Extra-firm mattress toppers prevent excess sinking, keeping the spine properly aligned. This can prevent back
pain from worsening and alleviate stiffness, especially for heavyweight back and stomach sleepers. The added
support also helps with conditions like arthritis.
Sleeping face-down can strain the neck and spine without proper support. An extra-firm topper keeps the
midsection lifted to maintain alignment, allowing you to stomach sleep comfortably.
Extra-firm toppers made of memory foam or latex can still conform to your body's contours for pressure relief
where needed. The firmness provides ample support for keeping the spine aligned while side sleeping. Extra-firm
topper is best recommended for heavier individuals above 230 lbs., as the dense latex can cushion their pressure
points at the shoulders and hips while maintaining an even torso plane for optimal comfort.
For people who sleep on their backs, an extra-firm latex mattress topper offers strong support for the natural
curve of the spine. The dense foam supports the arch of the lower back, keeping it properly aligned, and also
cushions the neck and head, which helps reduce strain and tension while sleeping on the back. The bouncy surface
makes it easy to move and change positions.
People over 230 pounds compress softer materials more. A dense, extra-firm topper provides robust reinforcement
for their body type.
Those with Slightly Sagging Mattresses
As a mattress ages, materials compress and lose density. A rigid topper acts as reinforcement against slightly
sagging mattresses and sinkage issues.
How Much Do Extra Firm Mattress Toppers Cost?
Extra-firm mattress toppers can cost anywhere from $100 to $400+ in today’s market. The cost is usually higher
than other topper firmness levels, as the foam has to be denser. At Turmerry, we offer extra-firm mattress
toppers starting at only $229. Our luxury latex toppers provide a cool, comfortable sleep surface with the
support you need.
A high-density mattress topper made of memory foam or organic latex can give you long-lasting performance and
relief from pressure points. Turmerry toppers are some of the best firm mattress toppers you can find on the
market. We use quality materials like GOLS-certified organic latex, even on our more affordable mattress topper
options. With Turmerry's comfortable, cooling mattress topper, you can reinvent the feel of your mattress
without breaking the bank.
Pros and Cons of Extra Firm Mattress Toppers
Here are some of the key advantages and disadvantages of extra-firm mattress toppers:
Makes a too-soft mattress feel
Less expensive than buying a new mattress.
Extends the usable life of an aging mattress.
Alleviates pressure points for heavyweight back and stomach sleepers.
Helps maintain proper spinal alignment.
May feel excessively hard for people who prefer a softer sleep surface.
Not as closely contouring as softer materials.
Can accelerate sagging if used to compensate for severe mattress breakdown.
Adds height to the mattress, which can also impact fitted
What to Look for in an Extra Firm Mattress Topper
Keep an eye out for these features when choosing an extra-firm mattress topper -
Extra-firm mattress toppers range from 2 to 4 inches thick. Thinner 2-inch toppers offer subtle adjustments,
while 3 to 4-inch options completely transform the feel of a mattress. Side sleepers often prefer a 3-inch or
thicker topper to adequately cradle shoulders and hips.
High-density latex mattress toppers resist compression better under body weight. High-density foam toppers are
better for heavier sleepers, while low-density foam toppers are better for lightweight sleepers.
Extra-firm toppers typically rate around 9 to 10 on the 1-10 firmness scale. However, comfort is subjective.
Focus on whether the topper provides the firmness and support you need.
The most common extra-firm topper materials are:
Memory foam - Offers close contouring and pressure relief. Retains body heat.
Natural Latex foam - Resilient support with moderate contouring. Sleeps cool and responsive.
Polyurethane foam - Very affordable but less durable. Can sleep hot.
Look for a removable and breathable organic cotton cover or bamboo cover. This protects the inner foam and allows
for easy cleaning.
What Are the Different Types of Extra Firm Mattress Toppers?
Based on intensive research and testing, we've selected the top extra-firm mattress toppers for improving the
support of a too-soft mattress.
1. Latex Mattress Topper
Latex is a natural material derived from rubber trees that is known for its durability, bounce, and contouring
comfort. When choosing a latex topper, be sure to select one made from natural or organic latex, as synthetic
blends can contain harmful chemicals.
toppers sleep cool. The natural pinhole design promotes airflow. Natural latex provides
cushioning to relieve pressure points while preventing excessive sinking. It's available in multiple firmness
options to suit your needs. Natural latex toppers also maintain their shape very well over time compared to
2. Memory Foam Mattress Topper
A memory foam mattress topper conforms closely to the body's curves to relieve tension and align the spine. A key
benefit is pain and pressure relief, as it cushions joints and sore spots. However, some have concerns about
heat retention and off-gassing. Opt for plant-based or open-cell memory foam for more breathability. Memory foam
provides excellent motion isolation, making it ideal for couples.
3. Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper
Combining cooling gel with memory foam creates a gel memory foam topper, which helps regulate temperature so you
don't sleep hot. The gel beads dissipate body heat, while the memory foam mattress topper cradles joints to
relieve aches. A gel memory foam mattress topper can provide excellent contouring, and gel beads provide cooling
for comfortable sleep. Gel infusions also make memory foam more responsive.
4. Hybrid Mattress Topper
Hybrid toppers combine materials like memory foam and down or wool to optimize benefits. This allows you to enjoy
supportive memory foam along with the breathability of down or the moisture-wicking abilities of wool.
Firm vs. Extra Firm Mattress Toppers
So, what's the difference between firm and extra-firm mattress toppers? Well, firm toppers
provide reinforcement and support while still allowing some contouring of the shoulders and hips for side
sleepers. They rate around 7/10 on the firmness scale. On the other hand, Extra-firm toppers have
an exceptionally dense interior foam that compresses minimally under body weight. They provide reinforced back
support with minimal contouring and have a rigid feel around 8/10 to 10/10 on the firmness scale.
Extra-firm is best for stomach sleepers or those who want a solid "sleeping on" feel vs. a "sleeping in" feel.
Firm is preferable for side sleepers who still want some cushioning of pressure points.
When to Choose a Firm vs. Extra Firm Topper
Extra-firm toppers don't compress much under body weight for maximum support. Firm options still allow some
contouring around the shoulders and hips.
Choose firm over extra-firm if you:
Sleep mainly on your side and need pressure relief.
Prefer some mattress contouring and sink.
Weigh under 230 lbs. and don't require maximum support.
Want subtle adjustments in mattress feel.
How Thick Should an Extra Firm Mattress Topper Be?
Extra-firm mattress toppers are commonly 2, 3, or 4 inches thick. In general:
We recommend a 3-inch topper for most sleepers to balance comfort with support. Side sleepers often prefer 3
inches or more. Back and stomach sleepers can use a 2-inch topper if they don't need much cushioning.
Do Extra Firm Mattress Toppers Help With Hip Pain?
Yes, extra-firm mattress toppers can help improve hip pain, especially for heavyweight sleepers. Firm support
keeps the hips elevated to maintain proper spinal alignment and reduce sinking pressure on the hips and
Look for a high-density memory foam or latex topper that is at least 2 to 3 inches thick. This provides enough
cushioning to immerse the hips without sagging. The most effective topper for hip pain also has zoning, with
firmer support under the torso and softer foam at the shoulders.
Can You Put an Extra Firm Mattress Topper on Any Mattress?
In general, an extra-firm mattress topper can be used on any mattress type - innerspring, all-foam, latex, or
hybrid. However, the benefits do depend on your existing mattress condition.
A topper is a great way to reinforce a slightly sagging mattress that's 5+ years old. It will help provide a more
supportive, consistent sleep surface. But if your mattress already has severe impressions or unevenness, a
topper may sink and compress into those spots. A new mattress may be better in that case.
No matter what, make sure your mattress is an appropriate size for the topper. It should fit snugly with no gaps
Are Extra Firm Mattress Toppers Good for Side Sleepers?
Extra-firm mattress toppers can work well for side sleepers who need added support, as long as there is still
enough cushioning. Look for a 3-inch or thicker topper made of high-density memory foam or latex to provide
pressure relief at the shoulders and hips.
Side sleepers generally need some contouring to cushion the curves of their bodies, relieve pressure, and
better. An ultra-firm 1 or 2 inch topper may feel too hard without any "give" at
the shoulders. The ideal balance is a thicker topper around 8/10 firmness that keeps the spine aligned while
cushioning side sleepers' pressure points.
Note: An extra-firm mattress topper may not be the best firm mattress topper for many
average-weight side sleepers. A medium-firm mattress topper is recommended for a better night's sleep.
How Do You Make a Soft Mattress Firmer?
Here are some top tips for making a too-soft mattress feel firmer and more supportive -
Place plywood between the mattress and the box spring or bed frame. This provides a solid base.
Use an extra-firm mattress topper at least 2 inches thick to add surface-level firmness. Memory foam and
latex provide the most reinforcement.
For adjustable beds, raise the head slightly and keep the mattress flat. Don't elevate the feet so you
Rotate your mattress regularly to maximize its useful life.
Should You Replace Your Mattress Instead of Using a Topper?
While a topper can temporarily improve a slightly sagging mattress, there comes a point when it's better to
invest in a new bed. Here are some signs it's time to replace your old mattress completely:
Surface indentations of 1.5 inches or more. A topper will sink into the divots.
You regularly wake up with numbness or tingling. This indicates poor support.
You notice sagging along the edges or in the middle. This can strain the back.
You see visible cracks in the foam or coils poking through.
You've had the mattress for over 8 years. Most need replacing after this long.
Odors, stains, or signs of damage that can't be remedied.
Mattress Topper vs. Mattress Pad vs. Comforter
What sets a mattress topper apart from other bedding layers? Here's how they compare:
Mattress Topper - A separate padded layer over your mattress to alter its feel. Usually
2-4 inches thick. Can be made of memory foam, latex, feathers, wool, etc.
Pad - A thin, quilted layer that fits over the mattress like a sheet to
protect it. Breathable and easily removable. Doesn't heavily modify feel.
Comforter - A
decorative, thick blanket to place over your top sheet for added warmth. Provides insulation with very slight
A mattress topper distinctly changes the firmness and support of your sleep surface, while pads and comforters
mainly serve other functions like protection and warmth.
The Bottom Line
Adding an extra-firm mattress topper is an affordable and effective way to make your mattress more supportive.
The right topper can help remedy back pain, keep your spine better aligned, and prolong the life of an aging
We recommend looking for a high-quality latex topper that is at least 2 to 3 inches thick. And be sure to choose
a firmness suited to your sleep position and preferences; extra-firm options provide more support with minimal
sinking. With the perfect topper, you can customize the feel of your current mattress for a more restful night's
How long does a mattress topper last?
High-quality memory foam and latex toppers last around 3 to 5 years with normal use before losing resilience.
Rotate and spot clean regularly to maximize lifespan.
When should you use a mattress topper?
Use a mattress topper if your current mattress feels too soft or is slightly sagging. Toppers can make a bed feel
firmer and more supportive. They are also good for adding cushioning to very firm mattresses.
Do you put the mattress topper under or over the fitted sheet?
Mattress toppers go directly on top of your mattress (underneath your fitted sheet). Make sure to get a topper
sized for your mattress to prevent shifting.
Can mattress toppers be washed?
Mattress topper covers with zippers can be removed and machine washed. Do not submerge the mattress topper foam
interior in water. Spot clean stains when possible.
Should a mattress topper be firmer or softer than the mattress?
Choose a mattress topper with your desired firmness and support, even if it’s firmer or softer than your current
mattress. You want the topper to modify the feel of your mattress.