Updated at: 16-01-2023 - By: Jane

Mattress pads and toppers are both protective and comfortable. Mattress pads give a layer of comfort to your sleep surface. With a mattress topper, you may change the feel of your bed by adding more padding.

It’s important to note that both mattress pads and toppers can help extend the life of your mattress. When it comes to safeguarding your mattress, a mattress pad is an excellent choice. Softening a firm mattress or boosting the hardness of a soft mattress can be achieved with the use of a mattress topper.

There are many different types of mattress pads and mattress toppers available.

Mattress Pad vs. Topper Comparison Chart

A mattress pad or a mattress topper serves the same purpose as a mattress: to provide additional comfort. Mattress toppers, on the other hand, are often thicker and more customizable than mattress pads. There’s a breakdown of how mattress pads and mattress toppers stack up below.

Mattress PadMattress Topper
ThicknessUp to 2 inches2-4 inches thick
FeelAdds slight plushnessAdds significant cushion
SupportProvides light supportThicker layer offers more support
CoolingNo cooling propertiesSome breathable foams can keep you cool
ProtectionMinimal spill and wear protectionThicker layer provides extra protection from spills and wear
DurabilityTypically lasts 3-5 yearsTypically lasts 3-5 years
MaintenanceTypically machine washableNot machine washable
Average Cost$155-$289$199-$359

Although mattress pads and mattress toppers are both designed to provide additional comfort, the feel of your mattress can be drastically altered by mattress toppers. Mattress pads and mattress toppers are covered in more detail below.

What Is a Mattress Pad?

There are several reasons to use a mattress pad, including changing the feel of a mattress or protecting it from liquids or other accidents and dirt. Mattress pads are typically little more than 1 to 2 inches thick, therefore they have little effect on the hardness of a bed. They’re also not designed to provide much relieve from pressure, although they can make a bed feel a little more comfortable.

Synthetic or natural materials can be used to make a mattress pad, or a combination of the two. A mattress pad’s effect on a bed depends on the style and type of material used to make it.

Mattress Pad Benefits

Typically, a mattress pad is used to alter the mattress’s comfort. You can use mattress pads in two ways: to soften up a hard mattress or to give it stability.

Mattress pads are a common way for people to keep their mattresses stain- and spill-free. A mattress pad can also help protect a mattress from dust mites and other allergens, depending on the type. Despite the fact that mattress protectors are a separate product created especially for this reason, the waterproof material used to make them can make them rather noisy. In addition to being quieter, mattress pads might be more comfortable.


Types of Mattress Pads

Wool, feather, fiber, latex, and memory foam are just few of the materials used to make mattress pads.

Cotton Mattress Pads

For its softness and long-lasting qualities, cotton mattress pads are a popular choice. These mattress pads are long-lasting and cost-effective, however organic cotton costs more. Cotton mattress pads, on the other hand, may not be able to adequately protect the mattress from spills and stains because cotton is highly absorbent. Cotton mattress pads, unless backed by special treatment or combined with another material, may not provide much protection.

Wool Mattress Pads

Wool mattress pads are airy and silky, wicking away sweat and perspiration from the body. Sheep’s wool is an expensive natural resource. Due to the fact that most wool mattress pads can’t be machine washed, maintaining them may be a challenge. Additionally, wool mattress pads are ineffective in preventing liquids from soaking in.

Feather Mattress Pads

Feathers from ducks and geese are used to make feather mattress pads. Feathers from the underside of the bird’s plumage may also be used. It’s nice to sleep on a feather mattress pad, but they’re not very successful at preventing spillage.

Fiber Mattress Pads

These mattress pads are filled with polyester, rayon, and down substitutes known as fiberfill. Fiber mattress pads made of synthetic fibers may be stain-resistant, but they can also be loud. Because they can’t be washed with a machine, their upkeep may be a challenge as well.

Latex Mattress Pads

Latex mattress pads can be made from either natural or synthetic latex, or a combination of both. Latex mattress pads, depending on its thickness, conform to your body and provide bounce. The cost and difficulty of maintaining them may be high, but they provide some protection from spills and damage. Latex mattress pads work well with latex mattresses.

Memory Foam Mattress Pads

Mattress toppers made of memory foam are a rare find. Despite their plushness, they aren’t thick enough to provide pressure-relief. Because they can’t be easily washed and are inefficient at preventing stains, their upkeep may be challenging.

Benefits of Mattress Pads

  • Enhances your bed’s comfort.
  • Lightweight.
  • Some can be washed in the machine.
  • Some are designed to withstand wear and tear.

What Is a Mattress Topper?

Adding a mattress topper is a way to significantly alter the firmness level of a mattress. Many materials are used to make toppers, which can range from 1 to 4 inches thick. When it comes to protecting a mattress from liquids or other impurities, toppers aren’t typically used.

Mattress toppers are typically available in six standard sizes. Some mattress toppers just lie on top of the mattress, while others have elastic straps to guarantee a secure fit.


Mattress Topper Benefits

The firmness of a mattress can be significantly altered by the addition of a mattress topper. A really firm mattress can benefit from a thick and fluffy model. For a mattress that’s excessively squishy, the correct topper might make it feel more solid.

It is true that even the best mattress topper cannot restore an old mattress to its former glory, but it can temporarily compensate for minor drooping or indentations. If you want to raise the height of your mattress or slow down normal wear and tear, you can use a mattress topper. There are times when a person doesn’t want to buy a new mattress but wants to alter the feel of their current one.

Types of Mattress Toppers

If you’re concerned about spills or stains on your mattress, a mattress topper may not be the best option.

Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Memory foam mattress toppers are popular because of its ability to conform to the body and alleviate pressure points. The use of a memory foam mattress topper may alleviate some of your morning aches. Gel memory foam is also an option.

Latex Mattress Topper

Responsive and supportive, latex mattress toppers are a great complement to any mattress. As a hypoallergenic and mold and mildew-resistant material, natural latex is an excellent choice for those who suffer from allergies.

Wool Mattress Topper

Wool mattress toppers are soft and supportive, and they are good at regulating the temperature of the mattress. Wool wicks away moisture to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Featherbed Mattress Topper

Featherbed mattress toppers are ideal if you desire a pillowtop mattress with a cloud-like, fluffy sensation. When used for an extended period of time, featherbed mattress toppers will become matted if not shaken and fluffed regularly.

Benefits of Mattress Toppers

  • Thick enough to make your mattress feel different.
  • Your mattress will last longer if you use this.
  • Some may help alleviate back pain or other aches and pains in the lower body.

Mattress Pads vs. Mattress Toppers

There are some similarities between mattress pads and mattress toppers, but ultimately, the decision boils down to whether you want to protect your mattress or make a substantial change to the way it feels.

With a mattress pad, you can keep your mattress clean and dry at the same time by adding a layer of comfort to your bed. The firmness of a mattress won’t be dramatically altered by using a mattress pad, but the shape of the pad can soften or reinforce the bed’s surface. Protecting your mattress from moisture and grime is another benefit of using mattress pads.

In the case of sleepers who want to significantly alter the feel of their bed, optpers are the best option. In comparison to mattress pads, mattress toppers have a greater ability to firm up or soften up a mattress. Toppers can also help you sleep cooler if they’re made of permeable materials.

Preventing early sagging and imprints can be achieved by using mattress toppers. Cushioning pressure areas on the body is another way that topper can help with pain relief.

To summarize, mattress pads can improve the feel of a bed while also offering minor protection, whereas mattress toppers give a more significant improvement in terms of comfort and support..


CategoryMattress PadsMattress Toppers
UseA mattress pad is designed to increase a bed’s comfort and protect a mattress from accidents and contaminants.A mattress topper is used to noticeably change a mattress’ feel and provide extra pressure relief. Toppers can also revitalize an old mattress or lengthen the life of a new one.
FeelA mattress pad can make a bed feel slightly more plush, but it won’t alter a mattress’ firmness level.A topper creates a more marked change in the way a bed feels. Depending on the type, a topper can make a mattress softer or firmer.
DurabilityDurability largely depends on materials and craftsmanship, but most mattress toppers last between 3 and 5 years.The average mattress topper should perform optimally for 3 to 5 years.
CostMattress pads can range from $20 to a few hundred dollars. Cost depends on type and quality.Toppers are generally more expensive than mattress pads. The average queen size topper costs between $150 and $400.
Cleaning & CareCare guidelines vary based on model, but most mattress pads can be machine washed and dried.While not as low maintenance as mattress pads, most toppers have removable covers that are machine-washable. The interior components must generally be spot treated, though, and some designs should only be dry cleaned.

Which Should You Choose?

Personal preferences and demands will likely play a role in determining which type of mattress pad or topper is best for you. A mattress topper can change the firmness level of a bed, whereas a mattress pad can only minimally alter the feel of the mattress..

Most mattress toppers are not designed to protect a mattress from liquids and spills, although mattress pads may feature a waterproof layer.

Mattress pads and mattress toppers have the same lifespan. In general, toppers are more expensive than the rest of the mattress. Because of their larger size, mattress toppers can be more difficult to wash than mattress pads.

In addition to adding a layer of comfort, mattress pads protect your mattress from stains and odors. They’re a low-maintenance option for anyone who want to make their bed a little more comfortable without making major changes to the feel of the mattress.

Mattress toppers make a noticeable improvement in the comfort of a mattress. Depending on the design and materials, toppers can either soften or firmen a bed. The use of a mattress topper can extend the life of an older mattress or protect a newer model from early deterioration.


How is a mattress pad different from a mattress protector?

If you’re concerned about spills and stains, a mattress protector is the best option. In addition to fibers like rayon and polyester, waterproofing materials like vinyl and plastic may be utilized in mattress coverings to keep them dry.

How do I decide what I need?

A mattress topper is needed if your bed is excessively soft or firm and you wish to change its feel. Adding a thick covering to the top of your mattress also helps to preserve it from wear and tear.

A mattress pad placed on top of your existing mattress will provide an additional layer of comfort. Protecting your mattress from stains and spills is best done with a waterproof mattress protector.

Can You Use a Mattress Pad and Topper Together?

Choosing between a mattress pad and a mattress topper is a matter of personal preference, as both serve the same function of making your mattress more comfortable.

Can I Buy a Memory Foam Mattress Topper Instead of a Memory Foam Mattress?

With a memory foam mattress topper, you may obtain the benefits of memory foam at a lower cost. It’s true that a memory foam mattress topper doesn’t exactly replicate the sensation of a full-size memory foam mattress.

To ensure a restful night’s sleep, memory foam mattresses with ergonomic features like Casper’s Zoned SupportTM foam have three zones of support.

Memory foam mattresses might be pricey, but you can get the same level of comfort for a fraction of the cost. We’ve got the best deal on our coziest mattress, Casper Element.

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