How Are They Different
Heres a list of the main differences between mattress pads and mattress toppers.
- Purpose: Toppers add comfort to a mattress, and pads protect a mattress from contaminants.
- Material Composition: Toppers can be made from a wide variety of materials, while pads are usually made from cotton or polyester.
- Thickness: Toppers come in many thickness options, but pads are usually 1 or thinner.
- Fit: A topper can lay on top of a mattress surface or be tucked underneath a fitted sheet, while pads are only designed to be tucked underneath a fitted sheet.
- Mattress Protection: Mattress pads provide adequate protection from stains and more toppers may provide some protection, but that isnt their primary purpose.
- Cushioning: Toppers can change the overall feel of a sleeping surface, while mattress pads have little to no impact on how the bed feels.
- Durability: Mattress toppers are available in durable materials, but most pads only last a few years.
- Cost: Toppers come in a wide variety of price points that range from $75 to $400, but most mattress pads typically cost less than $100.
Which Is Best For Dorm Room Mattresses
While both can help make your dorm bed even more comfortable, a mattress topper is without a doubt the better choice for dorms.
A mattress pad does add a touch of comfort, true. But its nothing compared to a mattress topper. Beyond that, its such a thin piece of padding that it often cant do much to provide any actual supportand thats a big deal when it comes to making sagging, old dorm mattresses more sleep-worthy.
How To Put A Mattress Protector Over A Mattress With A Mattress Topper
A mattress protector sitting on top of a mattress with elastic bands that help secure it onto the mattress it protects the mattress against wear and damage while providing additional cushioning. Image from .
A mattress topper gives extra height and cushioning to your mattress and can make an old mattress feel brand newwhile a mattress protector provides a greater degree of protection from spills and stains. A mattress protector also protects the mattress from body oils, dead skin cells, dust mites and hair. Mattress toppers and mattress protectors can be used together or separately and aim to elongate the lifespan of the mattress.
Put the mattress protector over a mattress with a mattress topper by installing them in layers. First the mattress topper lays on top of the mattress surface, then the mattress protector lays on top of the mattress topper, so that the mattress protector is the top layer.
The mattress topper adjusts the firmness of your mattress, our mattress topper hack about how to prolong mattress life and make the mattress firmer or softer goes into great detail about the different types of mattress toppers. However, if you are satisfied with the level of comfort of your bed, then just put the mattress protector, like this one from Amazon, directly on top of your mattress without a topper.
Recommended Reading: Black And White Lumbar Pillow
Cons Of Mattress Pads
If youre looking for protection from spills or dirt, check out our waterproof mattress protector to everything-proof your mattress.
Get The Strategist Newsletter
The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.
Every editorial product is independently selected. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.
Recommended Reading: How To Tell What Type Of Mattress You Need
Unpack The Mattress Topper
Unpacking a mattress topper should be done very carefully. First, open the topper box then slide out the rolled mattress topper with its cover. Place the mattress topper on the bed and carefully tear open the plastic cover. Unfold the mattress slowly and allow it to naturally unroll to a flat positiondont force it to flatten as this may damage the product. Remove the plastic cover, and install the air bnb mattress topper on top of the mattress in its desired position. We like this mattress topper from Amazon with its soothing lavender infusion. Our article on how to use and clean a mattress topper provides in-depth care instructions for mattress toppers.
Mattress Pads Vs Mattress Toppers
Mattress pads and mattress toppers do have some similar functions, but choosing between the two comes down to whether you want to focus more on protecting your mattress or on significantly changing its feel.
Mattress pads are ideal for people looking to add a little comfort to their bed while also keeping their mattress clean and dry. Mattress pads wont significantly change a mattress firmness level, but they can soften or reinforce a beds surface depending on the design. Mattress pads can also protect your bed from moisture and dirt, helping to minimize unnecessary wear.
Toppers are a better choice for sleepers looking to substantially adjust the feel of their bed. Because mattress toppers are thicker than mattress pads, they are better equipped to make a mattress either firmer or softer. When made from breathable materials, toppers can also facilitate a cooler sleep.
Toppers can help extend the lifespan of a mattress by minimizing premature sagging and impressions. Toppers can also reduce aches and pains by cushioning key pressure points throughout the body.
In short, mattress pads can fine-tune the feel of a bed and provide modest protection, while toppers offer a more notable transformation in comfort and support.
Don’t Miss: How Much Is A Double Mattress
What To Know About Mattress Protectors
People often get toppers and pads confused with mattress protectors. A mattress protector is similar to a mattress pad in that it goes on like a fitted sheet and helps safeguard your mattress from stains and spills.
However, while mattress protectors typically feature a thin quilted layer, they aren’t padded. Parachute carries ultra-breathable 100% cotton protectors to go over your mattress and under your fitted sheet.
Benefits Of Using Mattress Toppers
Mattress toppers can improve your sleep quality and save you money. Whether your mattress is too firm or too soft, a mattress topper can help. Toppers change the feel of your bed depending on your preference.
If youre a back sleeper or having back problems and need a firmer mattress, you can add a supportive mattress topper instead of having to purchase a brand new mattress for back pain.
It works the other way around as well. If your bed is too firm and you want something softer, cushioning mattress toppers can help. Using a mattress topper can help your mattress last longer by preventing sagging, saving you money in the long run.
See also our guides on how long two of the most popular types of mattresses last:
However, note that mattress toppers are not the same as mattress protectors, and you will need one of those as well to shield your bed from stains, water, and other damage.
Also Check: Who Has The Best Deals On Mattresses
Difference Between Mattress Topper And Mattress Protector
A mattress protector is typically made of durable materials such as rubber or plastic that help protect your body from transfer of bacteria and allergens while simultaneously keeping your bed sheetsclean. A good quality protector will also block the majority of dust mites and bed bugs that tend to live on fabrics found in sheets or mattresses.
Mattress toppers and mattress protectors are both made with the same objective: to provide a layer of comfort and protection. However, they accomplish this in different ways: A mattress topper is usually sold separately and laid on top of a mattress while a protector can be placed around the entire bed frame, over the sheets. Mattresses come with some sort of padding but nothing is better than making your own customized bedding with layers that add just what you need for ultimate comfort!
A mattress topper adds height, depth, and comfort to the mattress by acting as its extension. Theyre an excellent way to reinvigorate an old mattress, and they frequently make the bed feel brand new.
A mattress topper is the same as a mattress protector. The main difference between these two can be found within the following four statements:
-A topper is an item placed on top of a mattress, which improves its comfort.
-A protector prevents punctures and stains from occurring on the mattresss surface.
-Placing a protector onto your existing bedding could help prolong the products lifespan. .
Mattress Pads Vs Toppers: Prices And Key Brands
- Mattress pads are normally always cheaper than toppers
- The thicker the pad or topper, the higher the price
- Some toppers come on a trial basis, but most pads don’t
Mattress pads and toppers are available to suit all budgets, from affordable to luxury. Because pads use less material, they are generally cheaper. Plenty of big-name sleep brands make these accessories too, so you wont be short on choice.
You can buy them relatively cheaply online as well as in stores, and how much you spend depends on what you need the product to do. For example, if youre looking to make an older bed firmer and more supportive, then it pays to spend a little extra to get a thick topper . If youre only looking for a slight tweak on a newer mattress, a pad will do the trick and itll be cheaper for you.
Key brands to look out for include Lucid, Saatva, Tempur-Pedic and ViscoSoft. For the latest savings, read our guides to early Saatva mattress sales and deals offers and the biggest Tempur-Pedic mattress sales and deals.
Recommended Reading: Best Pillow For Side Sleepers Wirecutter
What’s A Mattress Pad’s Purpose
A pad could be a fantastic addition if you’re looking to infuse some extra comfort into your mattress or adjust the feel. Depending on the pad, you can significantly change the sensation of your sleep haven with a product that costs much less than a new bed.
While pads can add additional plush comfort, they don’t always increase the softness they can provide a firmer, more supportive feel as well.
Check Out Our Guide:Best Mattress Pad
What’s The Difference Between Mattress Toppers Pads And Protectors
- Mattress toppers are usually several inches thick and sit right on top of your mattress. The goal of a mattress topper is to make your bed more comfortable, whether adding firm support or pillow-top softness.
- Mattress padsaren’t as thick as toppers. They also typically have five sides and go onto your bed like a fitted sheet, rather than just sitting on top. You won’t get quite as much added comfort as you would with a mattress topper, but they’re typically less expensive and can often help protect your mattress from stains or spills.
- Mattress protectors are designed specifically to keep your mattress safe from things like accidents, dust and bedbugs. Toppers and pads can technically extend the life of your mattress by protecting it from wear and tear, but a protector is more suitable if you’re just looking to keep your mattress safe since it doesn’t usually have comfort enhancements. These can be five-sided or fully encased to keep the mattress protected on all sides.
Recommended Reading: Does Purple Mattress Have A Military Discount
How Often Should I Replace My Mattress Topper
The average lifespan of your mattress topper is around 3-5 years. As long as youre taking care of your mattress topper, you should be able to use it for as long as possible but if you notice any wear and tear, you should replace it. For example, if it loses its support, shape or comfort, its time to get a new mattress topper.
Benefits Of A Mattress Topper
Mattress toppers change a mattresss firmness considerably. You can use a thick model to add extra cushioning to a very firm bed, or you can use it to make a soft mattress feel firm. If you have an old mattress, it can help improve slight indentations and sagging. It can also help to increase your mattresss overall height.
Don’t Miss: Wamsutta Extra Firm Density Side Sleeper Pillow
Mattress Pads Vs Toppers: What Are They
- Pads and toppers increase in-bed comfort but to different levels
- Mattress pads are cheaper and easier to care for than toppers
- Toppers provide the highest amount of comfort and support
At first glance, its easy to confuse mattress pads and toppers as they have similar uses. Pads are cheaper than toppers and are a handy way to introduce a little more plushness to your bed, but not to the extent that the other would.
So mattress pads are designed to slightly alter the feel of your bed. They are usually around an inch thick and are available in different materials like feather, wool, latex and foam. For instance, if you need something soft and naturally breathable, wool is an excellent option.
Mattress toppers offer an excellent way to adapt your existing bed if you need a lot more pressure relief, cooling, softness or firmness. They are usually over one to four inches thick and are made with many of the same materials found in the top mattresses in a box, including foam and latex. Some will also have a layer of wool, feather or soft fiber for a pillowy surface.
If your bed is too hard or too soft and is affecting your posture or giving you aches and pains, a topper can make a huge difference. If you sleep hot, pick one with cooling gel layers to help regulate your body temperature. This type of foam is often found in memory foam mattresses.
Mattress Toppers Are Not The Same As Mattress Pads
Now, the terms mattress topper and mattress pad are often confused. Technically speaking, theyre not the same.
Mattress pads are usually thin layers of material made to protect the mattress from moisture, dust mites, and bacteria. While cushioning is not a mattress pads main purpose, it can give added comfort as well.
On the other hand, mattress toppers are a type of thick cushioning that provide both protection and comfort to sleepers two birds, as they say, but with one topper. A special type of topper the Ecosa Topper provides even more benefits such as decreased sleep disturbance, no slippage, easy cleaning, and eco-friendliness.
If you or your partner is a light sleeper, movement by the other can be reduced by 50% with the Ecosa Topper, keeping the light sleeper disturbance-free. This is because of the grippy back of the topper as well as the elastic straps on all corners. It will not slip about that easily.
In addition, the Ecosa Topper comes with a removable cover that you can throw in the washer. Lastly, the cover as well as the inside are made from certified OEKO-Tex Standard 100 cover fabrics. So, you can see that not all mattress toppers are made equal.
Don’t Miss: Can You Buy A Mattress With Hsa
Is A Mattress Pad Necessary
You dont need a mattress pad, but we recommend some kind of mattress protection because your mattress goes through a lot, and it can become worn-out and dirty without it. A waterproof mattress protector is the best way to keep your mattress safe from accidents. They can also prevent allergens from penetrating the mattress.
Here Are 7 Popular Differences Well Explained Below
Difference 1: Thickness
A mattress topper and mattress pad will be much thicker than a mattress protector. After all, the mattress protector is generally a thin sheet of vinyl or polyester while the pad and topper are intended to be thick, soft layers that supplement the mattress.
A mattress topper tends to be thick compared to pads and protectors. This is because the mattress topper can be compared to a small mattress.
Consider the mattress topper to be a thicker version of the mattress pad.
Difference 2: Fit
A mattress protector tends to be quite fitted because you dont want it to shift and expose the mattress should a child or adult have an accident in bed.
Only mattress protectors will entirely encase a mattress, such as when you want the mattress protector to prevent dust mites and allergens from getting into the bed.
Mattress pads tend to be fitted, too. They may take the form of a fitted sheet or have straps. Mattress toppers typically arent secured to the bed in any way. That isnt seen as necessary because theyre so thick.
Theyll generally be laid out on top of the bed and left there, held there by their own weight. However, you can remove it if you choose.
Difference 3: Intent
Mattress protectors are made to protect the mattress any mattress from messes. It is generally put on the mattress to prevent urine, vomit and other biological messes from seeping into the mattress.
Difference 4: Material
Difference 5: Degree of Difference
Difference 6: Price
You May Like: Sleep Number Comfortfit Ultimate Pillow
Mattress Pads Vs Toppers: Key Differences
- Toppers alter the feel of your mattress
- Pads are thinner so won’t have such a dramatic impact
- Mattress pads can usually be machine washed
It can be easy to confuse these two products, but there are some key differences. If you need something to radically alter the feel of your bed , then a topper will be a smarter option for you. If you are looking for just a little extra touch of luxury or a slightly cozier feel, then a mattress pad will work and it will save you money too.
Because pads are thinner, they are less effective at protecting against spills, and liquid is more likely to seep through. However, mattress pads still offer some level of protection against spills, as well as protect against dust and allergens too.
Also, a thin pad wont deliver high levels of cushioning, so if you need pressure relief, go for a topper or even a new mattress. Mattress pads are easier to maintain, however you can still place a protector over your topper to keep it fresher for longer. Some also come with removable, machine washable covers.