2 Vs 3 inch Mattress Topper - A Detailed Comparison

A good night’s sleep is an essential part of one’s routine. On particularly tiring days, even an afternoon nap could be what one needs to recharge their mind and body. Sleep contributes to our physical and emotional health, and having an uncomfortable mattress could really affect that, putting everything out of balance.

2 Vs 3 inch Mattress Topper - A Detailed Comparison

You could’ve bought a mattress that is either too firm or too soft and you missed the acceptable return period. Or is your mattress starting to age, but you don’t wish to invest in changing it at the moment? There are many instances in which a mattress topper could be needed to improve the comfort level of your existing mattress.

The thickness of mattress toppers ranges from 2-8 inches thick, but they are mostly available in 2, 3, or 4 inches. Choosing the right thickness requires you to really know your sleeping habits and what you want your bed to feel like. For a maximum level of comfort, good thickness and density combinations are very important. Doing adequate research ahead of time on availability, warranty, and prices is necessary.

A mattress topper increases the overall thickness, feel, and height of your mattress, depending on the many key factors that you have to consider while looking for the perfect one. These include the material, density, softness or firmness, and thickness, which is the factor we will be discussing in this article. Below, we will be talking about the differences between a 2-inch mattress topper and a 3-inch one. This piece will surely inform you of everything you need to know and which is a better choice for you.

2-inch Mattress Topper

2 Vs 3 inch Mattress Topper - A Detailed Comparison

A general rule when buying a mattress topper is to only choose a 2-inch one if the mattress you own is relatively new without any lumps and you are mostly satisfied with it. A 2-inch mattress topper only provides further comfort. It is not suitable for a person with joint pains in need of more support. It goes well with mattresses that already have decent padding, but it cannot complement a sagging bed.

A 2-inch mattress topper can only support people with lighter weight. If you weigh considerably more, you might just sink in. Similarly, people who sleep on their stomachs would prefer this thickness with a density of 4+ pounds per cubic foot. You also have to make sure it’s firm so that you don’t sink in too far and possibly bend your spine backward. Another factor to take into consideration is cleaning ease. A 2-inch topper is much easier to flip around, dust off, and clean, since it’s obviously lighter in weight. Additionally, it has a cooling feature due to its thinness. So it offers a good night’s sleep without any sweating and keeps your body temperature maintained perfectly.

A thinner mattress topper also costs less, so you can enjoy a little extra comfort without having to spend too much. It’s durable, but for a limited period of time. A 2-inch mattress topper offers an added luxury factor without stealing the essence of what’s underneath.

A 2-inch mattress topper is an economical way of improving your sleep experience or reinvigorating the style of your bed instead of changing your mattress which would cost way more. It can be used for therapeutic purposes or covering any indentations and depressions on your mattress.

3-inch Mattress Topper

2 Vs 3 inch Mattress Topper - A Detailed Comparison

If you came here wishing to know how to improve an older mattress’ comfort level, a 3-inch mattress topper is your pick. Unlike a 2-inch mattress topper, which slightly adds to only the comfort factor of your bed, a 3-inch one also provides extra cushioning for your body by elevating the softness of your mattress. It is much more supportive and bulky, assisting in relieving pressure while also providing a suitable cover for a slackened surface. Being of medium thickness, a 3-inch topper is a sensible choice when you’re unsure of what you want.

A 3-inch is a great choice for heavier people. A lower density of 3 pounds per cubic foot will give you a softer feel, while a density of more than 4 pounds per cubic foot will make your topper firmer. People who sleep on their back or side should definitely go for a 3-inch topper since it provides additional support for the spine, hips, and shoulders. Hence, a 3-inch topper is surely a better option if you recently suffered from an injury, underwent surgery, or are recovering from an illness.

It will be a little harder to clean this topper, however, due to its heavy weight. It’s also not as cool as the 2-inch mattress topper, but its special feature is having extra comfort zones that help in lessening pressure. Furthermore, you will experience much fewer interruptions, as it reduces tossing and turning during the night because of its extreme comfort level.

A thicker topper is good for prolonging the lifespan of your mattress since it serves as an enhanced protector for it. It’s a lot more durable than the 2-inch topper because of its additional padding, which also contributes to a more relaxing slumber. It does cost more though, but that is just a little downside to the numerous advantages it has. A 3-inch mattress topper, however, changes the feel of your bed significantly, and the mattress underneath might become unrecognizable.

The table below summarizes the comparisons between a 2- and 3-inch mattress topper to help you form a clear opinion about them both:

2 Vs 3 inch Mattress Topper - Comparison

Slight increase in comfort.
Substantial increase in comfort.
Not much additional support.
A lot more supportive.
Quality of existing mattress
Should be good quality.
Can be poor quality.
Weight of person
Better for lighter weight people.
Can support heavier people.
Suitable Sleeping Position
On front/stomach.
On back or side.
For Medical Conditions
Not Suitable.
Costs less.
Costs more.
Cooling feature
Limited durability.
Highly durable.
Cleaning Ease
Easier to clean and wash.
A little harder to wash but not enough to be a deal breaker.

What can I take away from this?

A 1-inch difference might not seem significant to the general public, but it can make a huge difference in how well you sleep. Here are some key points to remember before making a decision:

  • Always start by informing yourself of the availability of different kinds and sizes of a product before making a decision.
  • DON’T buy a 2-inch topper if you are looking to considerably increase the quality of your bed. Go for the 3-inch topper if your mattress is older and needs good coverage.
  • Be very mindful of what density you get, as it can greatly affect the softness or firmness of your topper. Higher density means a firmer feel.
  • Get a firm 2-inch topper if you like sleeping on your front.
  • A 3-inch topper has the flexibility to curve around your spine for maximum support.
  • If you are looking for pain and pressure relief, go for the 3-inch mattress topper. A thin topper won’t be any help in medically sensitive conditions.
  • The thicker a mattress topper is, the more cushioning it provides to your body.
  • Both toppers are easily cleaned, with the 2-inch one being just a little easier.
  • A 3-inch topper might have you sweating during the night, while a 2-inch one has a cooling effect.
  • Both 2- and 3-inch toppers are durable enough, depending on where you get them from, but a thicker topper ensures more security.


A mattress topper cannot completely transform what your mattress feels like. Yes, the 3-inch one comes close, but if your mattress is very old and in extremely poor condition, you might as well change it. If there are lumps or ridges in your mattress, they might also poke through the topper. If the mattress is sagging, the topper will follow its lead.

A mattress topper can make your bed the height that you desire it to be. It can add softness and make your sleeping environment a little cozier. It can also minimize the disturbances that you feel as a result of your partner tossing and turning way too much. But you cannot expect it to fix an outdated mattress.


What density should I opt for?

A: With a 2-inch mattress topper, you would want to opt for 4+ pounds per cubic foot because it provides firmness and makes sure you don’t sink in too deep.

For a 3-inch one, a density of 3 pounds per cubic foot would offer extra softness, while a density of more than 4 pounds is good if you like to sleep on firm surfaces or need more support.

What is the approximate weight limit which if exceeded, a 3-inch topper might be a better option?

A: A 3-inch mattress topper is better for men weighing more than 185 pounds and women weighing more than 165 pounds. If your weight exceeds 250 pounds, you might have to go for an even thicker mattress topper.

How do I make sure my mattress topper doesn’t slide off?

A: Use fitted sheets to keep your mattress topper in place.

Does the 3-inch topper have a longer-lasting effect than a 2-inch one?

A: Yes, a 3-inch topper does in fact have a longer-lasting change, which is very suitable for especially heavy sleepers.

If I have a latex mattress, which material and thickness combination should I opt for for a firmer and more luxurious feel?

A: Go for a 3-inch memory foam mattress topper as it will make your bed slightly firmer and more comfortable.

How does a mattress topper change as time passes?

A: A mattress topper does become less resilient over time, but gradually.

Which thickness should I choose if I have back pain but also don’t want to sweat?

A: There are numerous options for a mattress topper, so going for a 2-inch topper just for its cooling feature is unnecessary. A 3-inch topper can also have 2 inches of cooling gel that will prevent sweating while also providing support and pressure relief to your back and joints.

To Conclude

When looking for an ideal mattress topper, the first thing you need to be sure about is what your needs are, and whether or not they will be fulfilled by a mattress topper. There’s a huge range of material types and features, so in order to figure out what combination suits you and your sleeping habits the best, research and discussions with the company are advisable. It is also necessary to be properly informed about the return and exchange policies of said company, because there is no way for you to flawlessly predict how a mattress topper would feel on top of your already existing mattress.

To sum up, a 2-inch mattress topper enhances your sleeping experience but with a couple of limitations like requiring your mattress to be in good condition and having a certain weight limit. The 3-inch mattress topper can complement mattresses of any kind and has a greater weight limit. Aside from this, there are lots of other aspects to look in-to before making a decision. It all comes down to the reason you’re buying a mattress topper and which one you think will make the necessary improvements in your bed. The 3-inch topper, however, is a popular choice for people who can’t decide which one to pick even after tons of research and personal testing.


Bader, G.G. and Engdal, S., 2000. The influence of bed firmness on sleep quality. Applied ergonomics, 31(5), pp.487-497.

Jacobson, B.H., Boolani, A., Dunklee, G., Shepardson, A. and Acharya, H., 2010. Effect of prescribed sleep surfaces on back pain and sleep quality in patients diagnosed with low back and shoulder pain. Applied ergonomics, 42(1), pp.91-97.

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