Skip to Content

3 Inch Vs 4 Inch Mattress Toppers: Which To Choose?

It's essential to have a comfortable and supportive mattress for a good night's sleep. But were you curious about adding a mattress topper? When choosing between a 3-inch or 4-inch topper, which one is best? Not to worry, as we asked experts for their advice.

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Typically, thicker is better when buying a mattress topper. However, the filling, overall construction, and dimensions will influence the price and level of comfort. Choose a topper based on specific properties, such as cooling or pressure point relief, and consider the added height to your mattress.

Adding a mattress topper in the proper thickness might prove beneficial when resting or reclining on a mattress. So, if you want to know which topper to choose and other helpful information, continue reading.

A collage of Women's hands are pulling a waterproof mattress topper with an elastic band on the mattress, 3 Inch Vs 4 Inch Mattress Toppers: Which To Choose?

How To Choose A Mattress Topper Based On Thickness?

Mattress egg topper

If you want a more comfortable bed, you are probably interested in purchasing a mattress topper. However, how thick should a topper be if you are going to settle on one? Are 3 inches or 4 inches sufficient? Let's explore this topic.

What Should I Look For When Purchasing A Mattress Topper?

First off, think about the thickness and firmness of your mattress. A mattress topper should add height to your bed and make it more plush and luxurious. Next, think about the mattress topper material. You will probably select from the following types:

  • Memory foam
  • Down
  • Down-alternative
  • Latex
  • Latex/Memory foam combination

Consider the thickness after settling on a type of mattress topper based on the filling for comfort. You might discover toppers as thin as 1 to 2 inches or as thick as 8 inches. However, a nice middle-of-the-road choice is a 3-inch or 4-inch mattress topper. Depending on the material and thickness, the price for a mattress topper will vary.

A mattress topper that is 3 inches should be enough for most sleepers. However, if you can splurge and want a more plush bed, opt for a thicker 4-inch topper. The filling inside the mattress topper will add to the quality and support, depending if it is memory foam, latex, or down.

How Do I Know What Mattress Topper I Need?

Do an assessment. Are you someone who sleeps on their side, back, or stomach? Do you have problems with your bed being too firm or too soft? Also, do you have issues with arthritis or pressure on your joints? These are all valid concerns when choosing a mattress topper.

Typically, a thick mattress topper will provide more support. So, the thicker the topper, the better. However, if you choose a very thick mattress topper and combine it with a firm or soft, extra-high mattress, your bed might be too much to handle.

Before deciding on the perfect mattress topper, consider how firm or soft you need your bed to be. Look for supportive features, cooling properties, and longevity, and examine product reviews.

Can A Mattress Topper Make A Bed Firmer?

Bed with a high mattress. The woman puts on a protective water-repellent mattress cover.

Yes, every little bit helps. If you add a mattress topper to your bed, it should make it a little more firm. Consider how thick or thin it is. Instead of purchasing a second mattress, a topper can also work as a wonderful alternative and add height and a layer of supportive comfort.

However, when choosing between a 3 or 4-inch topper, for some, it might be better to select a thinner profile. A 3-inch topper might be ideal for a sleeper that prefers a firmer bed or has back problems, as a 4-inch topper could be too much.

Is Memory Foam Or Down Better For Mattress Topper?

Memory foam is suitable for sleepers who have issues with pressure on their joint or want their bed to conform to their body. However, sleepers who like to sink into their bed and feel like they are on a cloud would do better with a down mattress topper.

There may also be concerns about how well a down or memory foam topper will circulate air. This is a concern for hot sleepers who are prone to sweating and overheating.

A memory foam topper blended with a cooling gel or latex might be more suitable for cooling and better ventilated. Down and down-alternative toppers might encourage and trap heat while sleeping for a toasty experience. 

Check out this plush 3-inch memory foam mattress topper on Amazon.

How Thick Should A Mattress Topper Be For A Side Sleeper?

Mattress topper with modern bedroom background

For side sleepers searching for a mattress topper, it's better to choose a 4-inch thick topper than 3 inches. It might not seem like much, but that extra inch will make a noticeable difference. A thicker topper that is gel, memory foam, or latex will be a welcome addition to a bed, alleviating pressure on joints when sleeping on one's side.

Is A 4-Inch Mattress Topper Too Much?

For many sleepers, a 4-inch topper is right on target, especially if they are looking for extra support. Anyone who has problems with pressure on their joints, or wants a decent temporary mattress alternative, should feel satisfied with a 4-inch thick topper.

Now, if a bed is already a lofty 8 to 10 inches high, adding a 4-inch topper might be too much. It might be more difficult comfortably getting into and out of bed when it sits up nearly 15 inches on top of raised slats or a mattress foundation. Overall, the choice to stick with a 4-inch topper is a matter of preference and comfort.

Is A 3-Inch Topper Enough?

Anyone with a very firm, hard bed might fare well with a 3-inch topper rather than a skimpy 1 or 2-inch one. However, a 3-inch topper might not be enough for some sleepers. Consider the material used for the topper to compensate for the lack of thickness, such as a cooling gel, memory foam, latex, or a blend of two fillers.

Also, if you're not confident about how thick a topper you need, 3 inches is a good place to start. It is more luxurious than 1 or 2 inches but not as plush or opulent as a topper that is 4 to 8 inches thick.

What Is The Best Mattress Topper To Relieve Pressure Points?

Memory Foam Mattress Or Topper. Choosing Bed In Store

Because memory foam conforms to the body, a mattress topper that uses this material is usually the best to relieve pressure for sleepers. For all other types of toppers that don't include memory foam, it may be better to choose a topper that is thicker than 3 inches for gentle support.

Check out this down alternative mattress topper on Amazon.

Do You Put A Fitted Sheet Over A Mattress Topper?

You can certainly put a fitted sheet over a mattress topper, as this is not unusual. If you were to forego putting a fitted sheet over the topper and sleep directly atop the addition, it would shorten its lifespan.

Because people sweat, shed skin, and stains on bedding happen, a fitted sheet will help protect the mattress topper. There is no reason to sleep on an unprotected mattress topper or to place the topper over a fitted sheet.

Are Thicker Mattress Toppers Better?

mattress bed topper in a modern bed room

For many sleepers, the thicker a mattress topper, the better. However, this is not always true. When toppers are 4-inches or more, they might be too soft and allow a sleeper's body to sink in. Instead of enjoying a supportive, firm bed, the topper might encourage an uncomfortable night's sleep.

The thickness of a mattress topper is a matter of preference and matches a sleeper's need for support. A thinner topper profile might be best for sleepers who want a firm, supportive bed. When figuring out what topper works best, start with a topper 3 to 4 inches thick, and work down or up to find the right comfort level.

Check out this luxurious down mattress topper on Amazon.

Can I Sleep Just On A Mattress Topper?

Mattress Topper Being Laid On Top Of The Bed

It is okay to sleep on a mattress topper alone, without a mattress underneath. However, if you choose to do this, you'll likely want to use a thicker topper. So, if possible, opt for a 4-inch mattress topper or up to an 8-inch topper if you wish.

But be careful; when toppers are thicker than 3 to 4 inches, you might end up sinking into them rather than feeling adequately supported. A 4-inch topper should be enough for most sleepers. For anyone who likes a firm bed, a 3-inch topper would be more fitting.

Final Thoughts

Adding the right mattress topper might be the key to a more comfortable and restful night of sleep. Improve your experience when lounging or reclining on your mattress with a topper that is thick and cooling or thin and firm.

Did you like what you read? Don't miss out on reading the following related posts too!

7 Types of Mattress Toppers [and How To Choose The Best One]

Sure2Sleep Gel Swirl Memory Foam Mattress Topper Review