If you can't afford a new mattress - or you're not ready to replace your existing one, but are aware it needs a pick-me-up - then a topper could become your new best friend. Sitting on top of the mattress, under your sheets, it offers extra padding and comfort that could make all the difference to your quality of sleep.
Research the fillings as rigorously as you would with a new mattress. They all have different benefits for different kinds of sleepers and types of people - for instance, if you get hot at night or you suffer from allergies. Check how snugly the topper fits onto the bed - you don't want it to move about. And be sure that the filling is evenly distributed, just as you'd want it to be with a duvet.
1. John Lewis Soft Touch Washable Mattress Topper: from [pounds sterling] 75, John Lewis This 6cm polyester topper, with dual layers and woven fabric, offers cloud-like comfort. It lasts well too, staying squidgy and soft without going flat. Plus, you can wash it in the machine umpteen times without losing any of the quality. Great value for hotel-like luxury.
2. Breasley Flexcell Mattress Topper: from [pounds sterling] 129, time4sleep This thick, comfy topper is made from memory foam, which moulds to your body's shape and distributes your weight evenly. There's a smooth winter side, which gets really quite warm (great for those who feel chilly at night), and a bumpy summer side, which circulates air to keep you cooler.
3. Hstens Top Mattress BJ: from [pounds sterling] 670, Hstens This is the deepest topper in our roundup (7cm) and it feels like you've got a whole new deluxe mattress.
It's handmade from all-natural materials including wool, cotton and flexible horsetail hair, all of which keeps your body at the ideal temperature and means the mattress stays comfortable and durable. It is very heavy, though, and it can't be washed.
4. Vispring Heavenly Mattress Topper: from [pounds sterling] 550, John Lewis Vispring is the crme-de-la-crme of mattress brands, and its mattress toppers are equally fabulous. Each one is handmade to order in any size and generously filled with the best British wool, which all makes for a comfy, soft, breathable and hypoallergenic sleeping experience.
5. The White Company Supreme Luxury Down Topper: from [pounds sterling] 150, The White Company Anyone who's experienced good duck down and feather bedding will know that this filling can swiftly take you into the land of nod in the lap of luxury. The same can be said of this incredibly comfy topper. The top layer includes down for extra softness, while the bottom layer is 100 per cent feather for support. It's box stitched for even distribution, but it does need regularly plumping up.
6. Dorma Anti-Allergy Mattress Topper: from [pounds sterling] 44.99, Dunelm This is excellent value for a soft and plump mattress cover, made from spiral fibre which is encased in 100 per cent cotton sheeting. We found it every bit as good as some toppers we tested (that didn't make this list) at two or three times the price. It fits well on the bed and is machine washable.
7. The Woolroom Deluxe Wool Topper: from [pounds sterling] 111.99, The Woolroom This soft and cosy topper, made from top-notch British wool, carries the British Allergy Foundation's Seal of Approval, making it an ideal choice for anyone who suffers from asthma, allergies or eczema. It's 3cm thick, extremely well-made, keeps body temperature comfortable throughout the night and is machine washable.
8. Silksleep Topper: from [pounds sterling] 110, Silksleep This works like a fitted sheet, wrapping right round your mattress. At just 1cm thick, it's neither firm nor supportive, but the 300 thread-count cotton cover, filled with long-fibre silk, does a particularly good job of regulating body temperature - ideal for women of a certain age - and it feels luxurious. Dust mites hate silk, so it's also good for allergy sufferers.
9. Soak and Sleep Ultimate Microfibre with Silk Topper: from [pounds sterling] 82.50, Soak and Sleep This is a good one for anyone who wants the luxury, springy feel of down and feather, but either can't afford it or is allergic. The filling - top-quality, hypoallergenic microfibre and silk - is box stitched so the filing doesn't disappear down one end, no matter how much you toss and turn at night.
10. Marks & Spencer Supersoft Mattress Enhancer: From [pounds sterling] 89, Marks & Spencer This is soft but supportive, thanks to the cluster fibres that cushion your body. Particularly well suited to those who get chilly at night, it keeps the bed nice and warm - so probably not the best for those prone to sweating while they sleep.
11. Ikea Talgje: from [pounds sterling] 65, Ikea Ikea has a wide range of mattress covers, with this one - a blend of cotton and polyester foam filling - towards the bottom of the price range. It has a good, snug fit and although it's only 3.5cm thick, it offers an indulgent layer of comfort, particularly for the price. It's not for people who get hot at night and it has an initial chemical odour, although that does disappear over time. Washes well.
12. Gingerlily Silk Filled Mattress Topper: from [pounds sterling] 85, Gingerlily This 100 per cent long-strand, silk-filled topper is a great natural body regulator, making it a godsend for anyone who overheats at night, as well as suiting allergy sufferers. It fits on well with elastic straps and the cover is a luxurious 300 thread-count cotton sateen. Very durable too.
If you've got the dosh, the Vispring Heavenly Mattress Topper really does take you to sleep paradise, while a cheaper option that also stands out is the John Lewis Soft Touch Washable Mattress Topper.