Have you ever gazed at two products and be like “what is the difference?” ‘Are they not the same?” This is exactly the feeling experienced by users when they see a mattress pad and a mattress topper. These accessories are entirely different. However, what is the big deal about them? Keep reading the next bit will answer your questions.
What is mattress pad and mattress topper?
Many people use these terms interchangeably. It can get more confusing because some companies try to use a mattress pad as a catch-all term both for mattress pads and for mattress toppers. The truth is they entirely mean different things.
A mattress pad refers to a thin, quilted piece of fabric that fits over the surface of a mattress to offer a little protection against light moisture issues. Conversely, a mattress topper is a thick layer of cushion that sits on top of a mattress to give you extra support along with a great plush feeling for maximum comfort.
A quick comparison chart between mattress pads and mattress toppers
|Mattress Pad||Mattress Topper|
|Main function||Protection against moisture and stains||Improving the comfort and support|
|Stability||More stable||Less stable|
|Cover||No cover||Maybe included or without|
|Protection||More protection||Less protection|
|Softness||Add little softness||Adds more softness|
|Support||Add little support||Provide more support|
|Price range||Cheap ($10 - $100)||More expensive ($50 - $400)|
As defined above a mattress pad is always thin and quilted, unlike a mattress topper that is a little thick.
- Soft fiber filled pockets for extra plush
- Covered by a washable fabric
- May have elastic straps to hold it in place
- Adds a thin layer of softness which changes the feel of the mattress
- Provides a little protection for the mattress against moisture, stains and general wear and tear
- Fits snugly over a mattress for anchored positioning
- Can be removed and laundered
- Cannot restore supportive firmness
Types of mattress pads
Mattress pads come in different types, the most popular options are:
Heated pads: these pads are fitted with heating features to keep you warm while under the covers.
Cooling pads: these are the opposite of heated pads and can be costly. Some use a fan to blow cold air through the bed while others use a liquid system.
Fitted mattress pads: these pads are designed to fit your bed and stay in place.
Anchor mattress pads: they feature four anchors that attach to the underneath corners of the bed for a more permanent fit to the bed.
Guaranteed to fit pads: these pads are the ultimate in fitting to your mattress. They expand perfectly to fit any size bed.
As seen above, a mattress topper is usually thicker than a mattress pad and purposely designed to enhance the comfort of your mattress more comfortable. Toppers are available in different thickness and materials to suit the diverse and unique sleeper’s needs.
- Thicker than pads
- May feature elastic straps
- Maybe ventilated
- Customized comfort without purchasing a new mattress
- Can restore supportive firmness
- Extends the mattress life
- Offer less protection
- Less stable and slide as you move
- Pricey and can creep to hundreds of dollars
- Don’t offer heating and cooling options like pads
The common types of mattress toppers available
It is important to know what types of mattress pads and toppers are available in the market before making the final decision. However, the most popular mattress toppers are made from either memory foam or latex. The common types are latex and memory foam.
Latex toppers: Latex toppers are very versatile and are considered the most eco-friendly option. Latex toppers add great firmness to the feel of the mattress. Again, they are made using the finest quality of materials. The downside with latex toppers is the high price along with the slow bounce.
Memory foam toppers: Memory foam toppers are very durable and conforming and therefore provides excellent body support. The downside with memory foam topper is that it retains excess body heat so you will feel hotter in bed. Again, the memory foam has an initial unpacking chemical smell that can trigger allergies to sleepers sensitive to smell.
Wool topers: These topers stands out as the best insulators for scorching summers. They are very soft and gives a luxurious feel. Furthermore, they are hypoallergenic as opposed to down and cotton. The downside with this topper is the price, which is quite high, and the little support they offer.
Feather toppers: These toppers are made from goose feathers and are very plush so they will do a great job softening a firm mattress. In terms of support, they do not offer much but it is variable. The downside is they are not good for allergic sleepers.
Fiber toppers: These toppers mimic the feel of feather but they use hypoallergenic materials. They are quite supportive and inexpensive.
Wool toppers: Wool toppers are extremely durable and balance your sleeping temperature both in summer and in winter. The downside with these toppers is that it is hard to get it into place on top of the bed.
When to use mattress pad or mattress topper?
For effectiveness, each product must be used rightfully as explained below;
Mattress pads are usable when:
- When you want to waterproof your bed and you do not want a mattress protector
- When you want to muffle the excessive noise of your mattress protector
- When your mattress is too firm and you need to adjust the firmness
Mattress toppers are usable when:
- You need additional support or comfort
- Your current mattress is old and no longer comfortable but you are not ready to replace it
- You want to limit motion from your partner
When it comes to choosing between a mattress pad and a mattress topper, it boils down to your personal preference alongside the change you want to make on your bed. If you are trying to change the entire feel of your bed, a mattress topper is preferable to a pad.
In conclusion, both a mattress pad and a mattress topper are essential for having a supportive and well-performing mattress. Therefore, to find a definite sleeping surface you need to have both a pad and a topper because both are independent to accomplish the task. As a result, you will enjoy a superior flavor of comfort grabbing both a pad and a topper at the same time. All things said you can’t deny those rules if you want a more relaxed night sleep.