What Is a Mattress Pad and Why Would I Want One?
A mattress pad is a thin covering – usually made of cotton or polyester – for your mattress, which protects its surface. The truth is, a mattress is a major purchase and protecting it from damage will help it last longer. Mattress pads can help. That’s why you may also here mattress pads called mattress “protectors.”
Some mattress pads/protectors provide a bit of extra cushioning while others are thinner and strictly serve to protect the surface of your mattress from things like dust, other allergens, stains, and liquids if they are waterproof. In many cases, they are also hypoallergenic, so they won’t aggravate allergies a sleeper might have.
Mattress pads are sometimes confused with mattress toppers, but mattress pads are usually less than an inch thick. They don’t offer very much added comfort or contouring the way a mattress topper is designed to do.
Mattress Pad Pros
- Can provide some added comfort to the top layer of your bed
- Help prevent your fitted sheets from bunching
- Help guard the surface of your bed from allergens
- Waterproof pads can protect your mattress from urine, sweat and any liquids that may damage your mattress
- Usually safe to clean in your washer and dryer
Mattress Pad Cons
- As an added layer, mattress pads that are not as breathable cause the surface of your bed to retain more of your body heat
- Not likely to last a very long time due to wear, washing, and exposure to the very things they’re designed to keep off your mattress
Things to Consider When Buying a Mattress Pad
Size and Pocket Depth. Most mattress pads come in all standard mattress sizes and you’ll, of course, want to get one that corresponds to the mattress size you have at home. But you’ll also want to consider how thick your mattress is so you get a mattress pad with sufficient pocket depth. If you get a fitted mattress pad, you want to make sure it has enough depth to hook around the bottom of your mattress.
Waterproofing. Not all mattress pads are waterproof. Usually, those billed as mattress protectors are waterproof. If you’re looking to shield your mattress from liquids, you’ll certainly want to find a mattress pad that is capable of doing so.
Added Comfort. Some mattress pads have come cushioning in addition to their protection features. You should ask yourself whether you want the added padding or just want to keep your mattress from damage. If you’re looking for a way to alter the firmness or comfort level of your mattress, you won’t get it from a mattress pad – you may want to try a mattress topper.