When you’re trying to choose between a mattress pad and a mattress topper, it’s good to know the difference. While these might seem like the same thing, they are quite different. Let’s look at what each of these are and what the differences are between a mattress pad and a mattress topper.
What is a Mattress Pad?
When you choose a mattress pad it will go on the top of the mattress. It will likely be one or two inches thick. Mattress pads don’t change the level of the bed’s firmness much. They also don’t offer much for pressure relief.
Instead, a mattress pad is used to make your bed feel a bit plusher. It can be made of natural materials or synthetic materials.
Main Benefits of a Mattress Pad
If you choose a mattress pad, it will provide a few main benefits including:
- Help to modify the comfort level of the mattress
- Adds plushness to a firm mattress
- Can provide structure for a softer mattress
- Helps to protect your bed from spills and other accidents
- May shield your mattress from allergens including dust and mites
- Offers a quieter alternative to a mattress protector
If you choose a mattress pad, you can gain many benefits, depending on the type you choose.
Common Types of Mattress Pads
There are three common types of mattress pads on the market today:
- Fiber – Made with a polyester fill, a fiber mattress pad is often used when you have a sensitivity to down feathers. They are lightweight and very soft.
- Feather – A feather mattress pad will be made with goose or duck feathers. It can add a plush feeling to the mattress and offer a great way to soften a very firm bed.
- Wool – Often made from sheep wool, this type of mattress pad will naturally wick away moisture. It can be used to offer a natural fire barrier and make a stiff mattress feel a bit cozier.
A fiber mattress pad tends to be the most economical of the three options.
What is a Mattress Topper?
A mattress topper is often a thicker option that will offer a noticeable change to the firmness of your mattress. It may be anywhere from one to four inches thick and can be made from many different materials. However, a mattress topper isn’t used to protect your mattress from spills or liquids.
Typically, a mattress topper will be made in one of the six standard mattress sizes. They will either be designed to rest on top of the mattress or to be secured using elastic straps.
Main Benefits of a Mattress Topper
When you choose a mattress toller, you will gain the ability to change the firmness of the mattress. You can make it either firmer or softer. Other benefits include:
- Help to restore comfort with an older mattress
- Temporary compensation for slight indentations or sagging
- Increase the height of the mattress
- Helps to slow down the wear and tear of a mattress
- Offers a helpful tool to change the comfort level of a mattress without replacing it
If you decide on a mattress topper, these are the benefits you can expect.
Common Types of Mattress Toppers
You will find four different types of mattress toppers on the market today including:
- Memory Foam – a very common option to make a bed feel softer and offer pressure relief, memory foam will cradle your body. This type of mattress topper can also help eliminate sleep disturbances with couples sleeping in the same bed.
- Wool – Not a very common option for a mattress topper, a wool topper offers a breathable and soft choice. It can also help keep the bed warmer in the cold season.
- Latex – A latex mattress topper offers extra contouring without adding too much sink to the bed. This type of topper can give you some pressure relief and also help to increase the firmness of the mattress.
- Feather – A feather mattress topper will be very fluffy and soft. It’s designed to help provide a versatile option you can use to regulate temperature year-round.
A memory foam mattress topper tends to be the most common option on the market today.
Mattress Pad vs Mattress Topper: The Differences
The main and most noticeable difference between a mattress pad and a mattress topper is the thickness. While both can be around an inch thick, typically, a mattress topper is thicker than a mattress pad.
Mattress toppers are also designed specifically to change the firmness level of the mattress. You won’t be able to do this with a mattress pad. However, a mattress pad can offer a bit more plushness to the bed.
Toppers also have the ability to help reduce aches and pains by offering more cushioning at key pressure points. A mattress pad won’t be able to do this for you.
Is a Mattress Pad or a Mattress Topper Right for You?
The choice between a mattress pad and a mattress topper depends on your goal. If you just want to add a touch of plushness and protect your mattress, a mattress pad will do the trick. However, if you’re trying to change the firmness of the mattress, you will need a mattress topper.
With some mattress pads, you can get a waterproof barrier, if your goal is to protect the mattress. Both offer a way to extend the lifespan of the mattress and the cost can vary quite a bit with both.
When you just need a simple extra layer for your mattress, a mattress pad is the right choice. Those seeking to create a noticeable difference in the feel of the mattress will need a topper. With a topper, you can make the bed firmer or softer.
Before you make your final decision, consider your needs and your budget. There are many different mattress pads and mattress toppers on the market today. Choosing the right one will help you gain the sleep environment you desire.