Mattress toppers come in various sizes and thicknesses. Each of them suits some people more than others, and of course, multiple factors including your weight and density come into play.

Choosing topper with the right thickness can be tedious, but it’s essential for ultimate comfort. 

In this guide, we will explain what kind of thickness you should be looking for and why checking topper’s density is also important.

Let’s get right into it!Latex topper thickness

Mattress Topper Thickness Guide

Mattress toppers come in handy if you want to transform your bed into plush and soft, which bodes well for a good night’s sleep. 

However, to make sure that the toppers work as they’re intended to, it is necessary to choose the best mattress topper thickness for you. 

The three standard thickness options available for toppers are:

  • 2 inches
  • 3 inches
  • 4 inches

Every topper with different thickness has its positives and negatives and thus can be chosen accordingly.

  2” 3” 4”
Comfort Basic Medium Extra Comfort
Support* Low Fair Good
Firmness* Medium/Soft Soft Ultra Soft
Price $ $$ $$$
Suitability Most Popular Popular Luxury,
Heavy People

*Keep in mind support and firmness also depend on the density of the mattress topper. Higher density means firmer mattress topper with better support depending on your weight.

2-inch thickness

The most popular mattress topper thickness available and it could be just enough to revitalize your mattress.

If you’re an average-sized person with no joint pain, then 2” thickness might do the job for you.

However, if you are looking for extra support, these toppers may not be the best choice as they are quite thin.

3-inch thickness

Also a popular choice, 3-inch toppers are usually the middle range. If you’re unsure of thickness, then a 3-inch topper is a good starting point.

These toppers are neither too thick to make it difficult for you to move around, neither are they too thin not to provide any kind of support.

It can also adequately cover the bed, hiding any loosened end of the mattress beneath it.

4-inch thickness

If you’re looking for that luxurious feel, then a 4-inch pad will give you extra comfort and softness.

If you’re trying to fix your trustworthy old saggy mattress that may have a human size hole in the middle of it, then 4- inch thickness could be an option.

However, read our guide on how to fix saggy mattress topper first before buying an expensive topper that may not work as well as you’d like. 

Don’t Forget Density

Mattress foam density is an important but often overlooked feature.

Density means how many pounds of material there is in one cubic foot.

For example, one of the most common densities is 3 pounds. This means every foot of the topper contains 3 pounds of foam.

Low density means that the topper is very soft but doesn’t support the body as well.

High density is firmer and provides better support but also takes a little bit more of weight to compress the foam and contour to the body.

Most common mattress topper densities are:

  • 2 pounds per cubic feet          (soft)
  • 3 pounds per cubic feet      (medium)
  • 4 pounds per cubic feet         (firm)
  • 5 pounds per cubic feet    (ultra-firm)

  2 Pounds 3-4 Pounds 5 Pounds
Softness Very Soft Medium Firm Very Firm
Body Support Low Fair Hard
Quality Low Good Decent
Price $ $$ $$$
Suitability Cheap and Light Safe Bet Heavy People

As you can see, 3 or 4 pounds per cubic feet density is the usually best density for an average-sized person. It is just about the right firmness, provides good support to your body, and is of high quality.

Anything less than that is relatively soft and often doesn’t last as long. 5+ pounds per cubic feet is very firm and could be too hard to sleep on. It is also heavy and can be fairly costly.

Again, it’s down to personal preference and weight. In this case though, high density often means higher quality.

What’s ILD Rating?

If you’ve been doing some mattress topper research, then you’ve probably come across ILD firmness rating in some mattress descriptions.

ILD stands for Indentation Load Deflection.

Cool, but what does it mean in English?

Basically, it represents a value that is needed to compress natural latex and other types of foam. Higher the value, firmer the mattress is because more force is required to compress it.

Let’s take Sleep On Latex natural latex mattress topper as a quick example here.

They offer three firmness levels:

  • Soft (ILD 20)
  • Medium (ILD 30)
  • Firm (ILD 44)

As you can see higher ILD means firmer topper.

Very simple!

Mattress Topper Firmness Rating

If you ever shopped for a regular mattress then you’ve probably seen mattress firmness rating in the product description. It is rated from 1-10 with one being softest and 10 firmest.

You don’t really see that 1-10 firmness rating with mattress topper as much and it’s mostly down to thickness and density. With some foam toppers you might be able to find ILD rating as well.

Here’s a complete firmness rating comparison table that you can use as a quick cheat-sheet.

mattress topper firmness rating table


How to Choose the Right Mattress Pad Thickness

Now that you’re familiar with standard mattress topper thickness and density, let’s discuss a few extra points to get the most suitable mattress topper for you.

If you’re looking to get a mattress topper for just an extra comfort, then the easiest way is to choose it by your body type.

Here’s a quick guide:


What Kind of Thickness and Density Is Best For Me?

Average Person: If you’re average weight, then feel free to choose the most popular thickness and density.

Ideal Mattress Pad: 3”-4” thick mattress topper with 3-4 pounds per cubic feet density is a good starting point and then go from there.

Light Person: Ideally, you’re looking for a thinner mattress pad, and you don’t have to look for too high density as these may be too hard to sleep on.

Ideal Mattress Pad: Look for popular 2-inch toppers or even 1-inch thickness if that’s going to satisfy you. Try to avoid too low density as they may not last as long. Three pounds per cubic feet could do the job for you.

Heavy Person: If you’re carrying a few extra pounds, then look for thick toppers with a high density.

Ideal Mattress Pad: 4-inch mattress topper with 4 pounds per cubic feet density, maybe more depending on your exact weight.

Look for a higher ILD rating if you’re going with natural latex foam or any other foam topper.

Other Factors to Keep in Mind When Choosing a Mattress Topper

Health Issues

health benefits

If you’re looking for pain relief, then try to choose a topper with good body support. Look for slightly higher density as it provides better support. Memory foam and latex material usually provide the best support.

If you’re a bit overweight, then you should look for toppers that don’t sink quickly. For example thick toppers that are high in density. 

Also, if you have back and joint problems, then buying a medium thickness topper is essential to provide support and comfort.

Mattress Age

extend lifespan

Keep in mind your current mattress condition, is it brand new, or is it starting to wear down? 

For a fresh out of the box mattress, you can choose a 2-inch topper, and for an old and saggy mattress, it advisable to get a thicker 4-inch topper.

Temperature Regulation

temperature control

Every person has a different body temperature. If you sleep hot, then sleeping on a sinking mattress topper can be disadvantageous as it increases your body temperature even more. 

Instead, choose a firm and a thinner topper, which will keep you cool while sleeping.

Sleeping Position

sleeping position

If you like to sleep in one particular position, then you can find suitable mattress topper for your favorite sleeping position. 

Back sleepers can choose 2 or 3-inch mattress toppers, and the side sleepers can go with thicker options to get more support.


There are several types of mattress toppers available in the market, and each of them can differ in the material they’re made of. 

Every one of them has its pros and cons, and you should invest according to what is needed. Common types of mattress toppers are:


natural latex mattress topper material

Latex is an excellent choice if you’re looking to buy a supportive and curve contouring mattress topper.

Also, if you are allergic, then choosing a latex topper could be a great idea as the material is anti-allergic, which is good for skin and health. 

Memory Foam

memory foam mattress topper material

Memory foam is one of the most popular materials out there right now, and there are also lots of options to choose from. 

It does have some downsides like an off-gassing, volatile compound release in the air, lack of temperature regulation, etc.


wool material

A bit on the expensive side, wool toppers are best if you want a luxurious and plush bed to sleep on. 

For those who are allergic and have sleep apnea, a wool topper is a reliable option. 

It keeps the temperature-controlled every season and is also eco-friendly.


down material

Look for responsible down standard to find cruelty free down topper. 

Down is comfortable and soft. It can also make you feel cozy during summer and wintertime as it has decent temperature control. 

Choosing the right mattress topper made of proper material and suitable thickness is vital. It aids your body to be well supported and well-rested throughout the night. 

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the thickest softest mattress topper?

4-inch mattress toppers are the thickest toppers that are widely available. 5-inch toppers are also available but anything higher than that is getting close to mattress territory.

If you’re just looking for a fluffy and luxurious pad then consider Duck and Goose Extra Thick mattress pad. It’s only 2” but it’s very soft and fluffy.

How thick of a mattress topper do I need for a college?

It depends on your personal preference and weight. A safe bet is 2-3 inch topper with 3-pound per cubic feet density. Scroll up for more information.

Mattress topper thickness for side sleepers?

2 or 3 inch toppers with medium density are side sleeper friendly.

Hopefully, this guide helped you make an informed decision.

Let us know how thick mattress topper did you get!