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Firm Mattress Topper – When & Why Do We Need It?

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Written By Anđela Rajković

Certified Sleep Consultant

Featured image of firm mattress toppers

8 April 2024 4 min read

Mattress toppers are a great way to rejuvenate an old mattress or make a new mattress perfectly comfortable. Just as mattresses differ in their characteristics, so do mattress toppers. While many toppers are soft, some toppers are used to add firmness.

Ever since a large number of people find out that a topper can really provide the necessary support, pressure relief, softness or on the other hand to add firmness, the sale of mattress toppers has skyrocketed. High-quality toppers will completely transform your mattress and you will feel as if you bought a new mattress, not a new topper, while mattress pads do not have such a big impact.

In many cases, customers opt for a topper when their mattress is too firm and uncomfortable. But there is also the opposite situation, when the mattress is too soft and unsupportive, so it causes back pain and other similar problems. Then a firm mattress topper is needed. We will give you answers to questions when and why you need a firm topper, and we have selected for you the top 5 firm mattress toppers in the UK to make your hunt for right mattress topper easier.

Before you buy a firm mattress topper

Before you buy a firm mattress topper, you need to know in which cases the firm topper is not suitable. The first situation is if you already have a firm mattress. In that case, adding a firm topper will make your sleep surface as hard as stone, and that may not be comfortable.

Also, if you are side sleeper, especially if you weigh less than 60 kg, then a firm topper will cause shoulder and hip pain. Generally, side sleepers prefer softer mattresses and toppers. If you have a health problem, especially related to the musculoskeletal system, and you want to buy an extra-firm, orthopaedic topper, consult your doctor first.

Top 5 firm mattress toppers

We had to research the market in detail to find the best firm mattress toppers that we would recommend, because there is a much larger selection of softer than firmer toppers. After many days and weeks of testing, these 5 have emerged as a best choice.

Panda Mattress Topper

Next generation foam gives you a whole new sleeping experience.
Sleep Advisors presenter sleeping on Panda mattress topper

This is a truly remarkable mattress topper, one of the best mattress toppers on the market. It will give you firmness and orthopaedic support, but without compromising comfort. On the contrary, it will further improve the comfort of your mattress.

5 cm of 3rd generation, gel-infused memory foam is certainly deserved for such performances, and night's sleep makes the bamboo cover even more pleasant. The bamboo cover is soft, breathable, and machine washable.  For more info, do check our review of Panda topper.

Advantages

An icon depicting a leaf indicating hypoallergenic properties
Hypoallergenic
Forget allergies and sleep well.
an icon depicting that the product is supportive
Supportive
You get the optimal amount of support & firmness
An icon depicting air passing through a fabric
Breathable
Great air circulation ensures you sweat-free sleep

Disadvantages

An icon depicting off gassing
Slight bamboo odour
There might be some slight bamboo odour

Simba Mattress Topper

The quality and performance are at the highest level!
Product image of the Simba hybrid topper

There are not that many hybrid toppers on the UK market, and the Simba Hybrid topper is one of the best. The closest to you is a very soft and highly breathable cover. Inside this topper are two layers of different foams, and between them is the Aerocoil spring layer with 2500 aerocoils.

The upper foam layer is made of open cell foam that is breathable, and below the Aerocoil spring layer is zoned foam support base, which provides stability, firmness and support. Topper is CertiPUR certified.

Read our Simba mattress topper review to find out more.

Advantages

An icon depicting a magnifier indicating high quality
High quality product
High quality topper that is durable
An icon depicting a leaf indicating hypoallergenic properties
Hypoallergenic
Safe for people with allergies
an icon depicting straps included
Anti-slip straps
The topper won't move once you secure it

Disadvantages

An icon depicting a money bag indicating an expensive product
A bit pricey
The price tag is a bit higher but 100% worthy.

Elemuse Double Memory Foam Mattress Topper

The double topper design takes your sleep to the next level!
Product image of Elemuse Double Memory Foam Mattress Topper.

At a similar price range to the Panda Topper, the Elemuse offers a unique design, and it is good value. Even better, this topper is cheaper than alternatives.

This is also a double mattress topper, with a cushioned cover and a memory foam layer. The double topper means you can have the best of worlds, depending on your needs. For the firmness, you can use just the memory foam, but if you need some added comfort you can have the pillowy cover.

Advantages

An icon depicting a man with pain in back
Pain relieving
Great for neck/back pain relieving
An icon depicting a washing machine, illustrating a product that is suitable for machine washing
Machine washable
Machine-washable cover with deep pocket to cocoon mattress
An icon depicting chain links indicating durability
Durable
Will last you long time

Disadvantages

An icon depicting off gassing
Slight off gassing
Slight off gassing possible

RECCI Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Very affordable, firm topper great for those with back pain.
a product image of RECCI Memory Foam Mattress Topper

We think that RECCI Memory Foam mattress topper is probably the firmest of all on our list, which is not common for memory foam mattress toppers, but RECCI has obviously decided to implement high density foam. We got a mattress topper that is around 7, maybe even 7.5 on a firmness scale from 1 to 10.

However, if you are side sleepers, you should know that body counting is good. It has advanced heat insulation technology and highly breathable bamboo cover, and we recommend it to all hot sleepers.

Do check our Recci memory foam topper review to learn more about it.

Advantages

an icon depicting a money bag, illustrating an affordable product
Affordable
Great ratio between price and quality
An icon depicting a leaf indicating hypoallergenic properties
Hypoallergenic
Safe for people suffering from allergies
An icon depicting a thermometer illustrating a good thermo regulating properties
Good temperature regulation
Thermo-regulation is at the high level.

Disadvantages

an icon depicting lack of straps
No straps
It's hard to prevent it from sliding

LinkDream Mattress Topper

This is one highly supportive orthopaedic topper.
A product image of LinkDream Mattress Topper

When you see that a mattress or topper is ” orthopaedic” it means that it is medium firm to firm, because extra support is needed. This is a gel memory foam mattress topper, so not as hot as many other mattress toppers, thanks to the gel.

The gel foam layer is 2cm thick, and the high-density base in charge of firmness is 6cm thick. It is divided into 3 pressure support areas. A 100-night trial and 10-year warranty are available. It is CertiPUR certified.

Advantages

an icon depicting that the product is supportive
3-zone support
Great support for the entire body
An icon depicting a medal indicating a warranty
Warranty
10-year warranty plan ensures you safe shopping
An icon presenting perpetual motion balls indicating low motion transfer
Great motion isolation
Your partner's movement won't wake you up

Disadvantages

An icon depicting off gassing
Slight off gassing
There might be some off gassing

What to consider when buying firm mattress topper?

Following are the most important things to consider when buying a best mattress topper and similar things you should consider for mattress pad too.

Pressure relief & firmness

A woman laying down on her mattress topper comfortably

When your mattress is too soft, then the logical choice is a firm topper. The firm topper is also even better at preventing wear and tear than soft topper. Which toppers belong to the firm topper category depends on many factors, and the main ones are your preferences and body weight. Certainly the firmness of one product is not the same for someone how has 60 kg and someone over 100 kg. But generally all toppers firmer than 7 on firmness scale from 1 to 10, are considered firm.

The firm topper should also be pressure relieving. This is influenced by the thickness, but also the characteristics of the topper itself, so when choosing, try to find a firm topper where a good balance is made between firmness and support on the one side and pressure relief on the other.

Your sleeping position

Your sleeping position plays the biggest role in choosing all sleep products, including the topper. Firm topper is a great choice especially for stomach sleepers. The firmness and support that such a topper provides will positively affect the position of the spine of the sleeper, as well as the position of every part of the body.

Many back sleepers will also benefit greatly from a firm mattress. Especially those with back pain. The number of side sleepers for which the firm topper is suitable is significantly smaller compared to the other two positions, as side sleepers need contouring.

Materials

Until a few years ago, there were not that many different types of toppers on the UK sleep market. Most of them were made of memory foam. But now the choice of toppers is almost as big as the choice of mattress. There are memory foam ones, hybrid, latex, feather and down, wool and many others.

Also, covers are made of different materials. Some are made of natural materials, such as cotton, and others of polyester. The most important thing for you is to choose high quality, durable materials, so that you know that the topper will be able to deliver the required performance for a long time.

Thickness

There are toppers that are only 2 or 3 cm thick, and those that are over 10 cm thick. Thickness certainly affects the firmness, but also how much the topper will change the feeling you have on the mattress. The thicker the topper, the bigger the difference you will feel. So when you have a very old mattress, a thick topper is recommended.

Thinner toppers are often thinner than thicker ones, although that's not the only thing that affects firmness. Foam density also has a big impact, for example, when you buy a memory foam topper.

Tips for buying and using firm mattress topper

a close up of Slumberdown Airstream mattress topper

One of the general tips we always repeat is not to skimp on sleep products, especially when buying a mattress, topper and pillow. You are not going to buy those products every year, and they are of utmost importance for you night's sleep. Since the quality of sleep has a far-reaching effect on your health, then sleep products are one of the most important investments for every person.

Another piece of advice we have to give you when buying a firm mattress topper is to choose high density foam. High density foam is very firm and durable, so the firmness will remain unchanged for years.

The advantages of owning a firm mattress topper

Owning a firm mattress topper can even solve certain health problems, such as back pain and sleep apnoea. Many soft mattresses that allow you to sink too much, especially if you are stomach sleepers, will almost certainly cause back pain. To solve this problem, you need to buy a new mattress, or go with a cheaper and equally effective option – to buy a firm topper that will give a plenty of support. Also, sleep apnoea that is very annoying and even a dangerous condition can also get worse if your sleep surface is not firm enough.

Of course, a high quality topper will improve the quality of your sleep and you will suddenly have a great night's sleep, and in the morning you will feel rested and ready to start the day.

Spread the word

FAQs about your firm mattress topper

Our FAQs section is best way to end this guide.

Is a firm mattress topper absolutely necessary?

We can’t say it is absolutely necessary as that depends on numerous things.

Will a firm mattress topper help me with my back pain?

Firm topper will surely help you with back pain, especially if you are back or stomach sleeper.

Should I use a firm mattress topper if I suffer from hip pain?

No, such toppers are not suitable for people with hip pain, they can even make hip pain worse.

Is a firm mattress topper suitable for sleepers with neck and shoulder pain?

Those with neck pain can benefit from firm topper, but if you suffer from shoulder pain, answer is same as for hip pain.

Will a firm mattress topper reduce my lower back pain?

We expect it to reduce lower back pain or even make pain go away.

How can I make my firm mattress topper less firm?

The only way is to buy a topper that is less firmer.

Can a firm mattress topper cause back pain?

In theory, yes, firm mattress can cause back pain, but only in case when it is too firm, like 9 or 10 on firmness scale.

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About the author

Anđela Rajković
As a CPD certified Sleep Consultant and well-practiced sleep enthusiast, I find a lot of joy in bringing my expertise to our readers – preferably those who love to sleep. With a background in the English language and literature and a love of research, I'm always seeking new ways to share the latest sleep science and bed-related findings. And, when I'm not connecting with my readers, you can find me exploring the great outdoors, or, well, curling up in bed.
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