Mattress Pads vs. Mattress Toppers
A great night's sleep starts with a great mattress. If you're looking to improve a not-so-great mattress or extend the life of one you love, a mattress pad or mattress topper may be on your shopping list. But which should you buy? Though frequently mistaken for the same thing, pads and toppers are different items and each comes with its own advantages.
Both pads and toppers can be made from a variety of natural and/or synthetic materials. It's common to find cotton used on the cover of a pad and synthetics used in the filling. Thread count is an important factor in choosing a good-quality pad or topper. The higher the thread count, the denser and more durable the product will be. Both pads and toppers are available in standard bedding sizes.
Are you looking to improve the comfort level of your mattress, or do you simply want to protect your mattress without changing the way it feels? Choosing between a mattress topper and a mattress pad or choosing both is easy once you've clarified your own needs.
The function of a mattress pad can be two-fold. First and most important, they are made to protect the mattress from stains and wear. Mattress pads fit somewhat like a fitted sheet, covering not just the top, but all four sides of the mattress. Secondly, some mattress pads include a filled top layer to provide extra comfort. For example, the Beautyrest Waterproof Mattress Pad is a high-quality, protective covering with a thin layer of polyester fill for an added touch of support. But a luxury mattress pad like the Magic Loft includes 4 inches of quilted filling on the top. A thick pad like this is the perfect choice when you want both the support of a topper and the protection of a pad. Mattress pads offer a greater variety of choices than toppers. Everything from a memory foam mattress pad to a waterproof mattress pad, heated, basic or plush pad is available at LinenSource.
What to look for in a mattress pad:
- Stretch-to-fit side skirt
- Baffled or quilted top (if filled)
- Machine washable
The function of a mattress topper is to provide an extra layer of comfort as it sits on top of the mattress. Unlike mattress pads which can sometimes be thin, toppers are typically thick, many up to 3 inches or more. Reasons to select a topper include because you want to add a layer of softness to a mattress that's too firm, or you need a firm layer on a mattress that isn't supportive enough. Some mattress toppers have no securing devices at all, and simply lay on the mattress somewhat like a large pillow. Products such as the Sensor Loft 3' Fiber Mattress Topper include anchor bands that secure the topper to the mattress and prevent shifting.
What to look for in a mattress topper:
- Anchor straps
- Gusseted sides
- Stain resistance
- Machine washable
- Baffle box construction to keep filling evenly dispersed