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June 23, 2017 3 min read

Mattress Topper or a Mattress Pad? Understanding the Difference


Whether you need to extend the life of an old mattress or protect a brand new mattress, a mattress topper or mattress pad may be the best way to go. Each has their own separate uses, and it is important to understand the difference between them to help you find the perfect fit for your needs.   


Mattress pads  

A mattress pad is a thinner layer of padding, quilting, or foam that sits inside a sort of fitted sheet. This sheet is designed to fit snugly around the mattress, adding an extra layer of protection and slight cushioning to any mattress. Mattress pads have anchor straps that help them stay put, and they can often keep up with even the most active sleepers.   The extra cushioning of a mattress pad is nice, but they are generally used more to help keep the mattress clean.   As we sleep on a mattress, our dead skin cells, oils, and even sweat leave our bodies and work their way into the mattress itself. Over time, this can mean extra weight, germs, and stains. The trouble is that mattresses are difficult to clean. On the other hand, most mattress pads can be easily machine washed. This saves your mattress from general wear and tear, and may extend its life significantly. Some manufacturers also make waterproof mattress pads if sleepers are accident-prone and you don’t want to soil the mattress. Now days mattress pads are becoming more of a mattress protector and don't offer any additional comfort and are meant to act as a protection barrier that you never feel  


Mattress topper   

A mattress topper is more like a thin mattress. It is a thicker layer of cushioning that is stacked on top of the regular mattress to change how it feels. This may be useful for couples who have different needs or to change the stiffness in a mattress that has worn down over the years.   Mattress toppers are often made of thick foam, and may even be used on top of spring mattresses to give them a more uniform feel. Mattress toppers can be more varied than mattress pads as well. They may be made of things like memory foam, latex, or high density foam. The additional support mattress toppers provide is what sets them apart from other accessories.   


So, mattress pad or mattress topper?   

Choosing between a mattress pad or mattress topper is about identifying what your specific needs are. If you really need a significant change in the amount of support you get from your mattress or need to extend the life of your old mattress, a mattress topper is the way to go. They provide the added support your back and neck need, and give more structure and shape to an old mattress.   On the other hand, a mattress pad is the simplest way to protect a mattress. If you’ve just bought a new mattress that you like, you should definitely invest in a high-quality mattress pad. Having a cleanable barrier between your body and the bed can really do wonders for a mattress’ lifespan – and your future self will thank you.   


Why they matter   

Mattress accessories are vital, because sometimes, changing out an entire mattress is just not possible. This may be due to funds being low, living in a furnished home with a rented bed, or simply not wanting to part ways with the mattress you currently have. Whatever the reason, accessories like a mattress topper or mattress pad may help change the feel of a mattress and improve your sleep easily without exchanging the entire bed.      

Written by Ryan Farris Founder