Mattress Pad vs. Topper: Which One Should I Get?

Mattress Pad

Tired of tossing and turning all night in your bed because of sore muscles, thanks to your creaky, old mattress? But hey, what about getting a new one? Sounds nice, right? But not in the mood to sacrifice a fresh limb for a new bed just yet?

Don’t freak out, hear us out instead. How about getting a mattress pad or a topper?

Yup, you heard that right. Mattress pads and toppers are the next best choices to upgrading an old, zero-bounce mattress. But then the question arises, Mattress Pad vs Mattress Topper, which is better?

Lucky for you, this is what we’re here for. By the end of this article, we’ll make sure you have a solid choice over which product to get for a goodnight’s sleep.

Unless you are an avid bedding and linen enthusiast, you may not know the exact difference between the two.

The function of both mattress topper and pad is more or less the same. They are used for enhancing your mattress’s comfort significantly and are also known to increase the lifespan of the product. And although you may think both may alleviate your restless sleep similarly, they both pack a distinct ‘oomph.’

To start with the product comparison, we’ll introduce you to Team Mattress Pad first.

It’s basically a thin and soft top layer attached to the top of a mattress. They give you an extra layer of support over the surface. Usually manufactured with straps or attachable fitting, they allow you to easily attach, detach and prevent it from moving about as you toss and turn.

Such products are mainly made of cotton batting, so they are designed to enhance your existing mattress’s comfort.

Unless you get a waterproof pad, they offer minimal protection to your mattress, unlike mattress protectors, which they are often confused with. A mattress pad is soft and quilted to give a more comfortable quality to your mattress without changing its texture.

  • What Are Mattress Toppers?

On the other hand, mattress toppers are a plusher and luxurious sibling of the mattress pad.

Thicker than the previous product, a topper mainly aims to re-add texture to your existing mattress and claim to give a new life to it – saving you the extra cash which you probably would’ve spent over getting a whole new mattress.

The topper is the next best thing to replacing your old mattress, as it is mostly constructed with foam, cotton, or cozy down material. They are also filled inside to allow a thick layer to be placed on your mattress and allow you a completely different experience when sleeping.

Also, this product is less likely to move around than mattress pads. Another great advantage of this is that it can provide a great deal of protection to your mattress, in case you happen to spill some bright red Kool-Aid on it for some reason. We mean, anything is possible, right?

Why Not a Mattress Protector?

Mattress protectors do an excellent job of safeguarding your mattress from any fluid spills, stains, and dust mites. Easily attachable, they are made of waterproof materials such as plastic or latex to give ample protection.

But we advise against getting one of those as they make a lot of noise if you’re someone who moves around while sleeping. This isn’t ideal if you are the type of person who’ll blow the head off someone who wakes you up.

However, if you are a deep sleeper who can even sleep through the apocalypse, then it can be your baby!

Reasons to Get a Mattress Pad

Not convinced with either product yet? We’ll give a breakdown here, starting with reasons why you should get a mattress pad.

  1. Your existing mattress is a bit too firm for you to feel comfortable, so getting a mattress pad will help soften its texture it.
  2. Getting a mattress protector is going to disturb your sleep, so a mattress pad is the next best option for waterproofing and protecting your mattress, whether it be old or new.
  3. A medical condition requires you to place additional support on top of your mattress, so a mattress pad is a perfect solution. Data shows that about 50-70 million US adults suffer from sleep disorders, says CDC, so getting support for your mattress will help you in the long run.

Apart from these reasons, mattress pads are recommended for those who would want to easily take it off and throw it into a washing machine. Cleaning a mattress pad is fairly easy as you can wash it at home conveniently, as compared to a mattress topper.

Getting a latex or rubber mattress pad is also a great way to prevent bed bugs and dust mites if your mattress is prone to them.

Reasons To Get a Mattress Topper

Mattress toppers basically act as your mattress without actually replacing it…does that make sense?

If your mattress is old and lumpy on some parts and completely replacing it isn’t on your budget, we would recommend a topper. Being thick and filled within, they give you a completely new experience with the same mattress.

And with new technological advances, a mattress topper is no short of a sleep revolution. Mattress toppers resembling waterbeds were introduced a long time ago, and now, even more, materials are being used to make them.

Cooling Gel technology has also been introduced, which brings down the body temperature by 2-3 degrees, which is optimal for sleep, as stated by Sleep Foundation.

There is also the memory foam variety of mattress toppers that optimize your body, giving you the best sleep possible.

Memory foam mattresses are not very budget-friendly, so a memory foam mattress topper is a better investment instead. Medical studies conducted have shown that it relieves painful pressure points if you’re someone who is often stressed, says WebMD.

However, keep in mind that mattress toppers are prone to get as dirty as your mattress and are not machine-washable like mattress pads.

How to Get What You Want?- Tips

We’re pretty sure you’ve decided on one of the options we have laid out for you, along with the good and the bad. So next, we’re going to tell you an insider view of buying the item.

  • Look for Availability

Many stores around you may not stock an extensive bedding collection to get your pick. So, keep in mind to browse online stores as well for purchasing the product that you need.

However, make sure to purchase from a reputable store with reliable products, as you don’t want to be stuck with a pad or topper infested with bed bugs. Big yikes!

  • Quality over Everything

Before deciding on getting a mattress topper or pad, a quality check will be very helpful for you in the long run. Look for a good feel of the product, making sure it’s not too firm or rough.

Selecting something only if you like the price tag will cause a compromise on the actual function of your mattress pad or topper. This inevitably leads to early sagging and matting of the product, and it won’t take long to wear out.

We suggest you conduct a quick survey of all your options and choose the one that has the best texture and feel to it.

In fact, our best way of checking out the comfort of each is by taking a short nap on each one…but only if the store manager lets you. Wink-wink.

  • Material of the Product

A lot can be said about a product by its material. It determines whether your mattress topper or pad will last long enough or if you will have to buy another one in a few months again.

For example, soft stuffing can dampen over time, therefore requiring replacement every six months. Cotton, on the other hand, is the most widely available and optimal choice for most people as it has a smooth feel to it as well.

A latex or rubber product is suggested if mattress protection is also required. And these are durable for a long duration of time.

In the case of someone with allergies, organic wool is often suggested as wool is more natural and has a warming effect in the cooler months.

Mattress toppers have a greater variety of materials, such as memory foam and Cooling Gel foam. It’s up to you to get the perfect fit here.

  • Type of Support You and Your Mattress Needs

When you’re out to buy a mattress topper or a mattress pad, the first thing you should evaluate is what your mattress needs. If you’re in a lumpy situation, a topper is a better route to go, as like we said, it re-textures and improves the mattress quality by multifold than a mattress pad.

If you’re on the search due to a medical condition, get medicated or memory foam toppers which will help alleviate the issue. The key is to analyze your needs and get the most out of your purchase. A purchase that doesn’t rectify your mattress woes is a useless purchase, only succeeding in worrying you.

  • Go through Reviews

This is the era of social media, and people are reviewing everything from pancakes to graphics cards. This means that the internet is your oyster.

There are plenty of good sites which may be helpful to you if you’ve decided on investing in either product. So, read away for the best products you could buy and what to stay away from.

When to Replace Your Mattress?

All good things must come to an end, and your mattress is no exception. Mattress toppers and mattress pads are to remedy mattress issues, but they aren’t the solution for when your mattress is way over its lifespan.

Here is when you need to replace your mattress:

  1. Warranty

Product warranty gives you a chance to get your mattress fixed if it has been damaged or broken in places. If parts cannot be replaced, it’s high time to get another one.

  1. No Comfort

If you aren’t getting comfort even after placing a mattress topper or pad on it, then it is best for you to get a new mattress entirely. This signals that the mattress has been so damaged that a temporary solution isn’t working anymore.

  1. Medical Issues

If you’re facing alignment problems or soreness with your back while sleeping, it’s better not to risk sleeping on the same mattress. We advise you to consult a doctor for your concerns as well.


So, is your question still unanswered? We hope our Mattress toppers vs mattress pads guide was helpful enough to assist you in deciding on a product.

We personally think a mattress topper is worthier than a mattress pad in the long run, mainly due to the variety of beneficial materials it can be constructed with, its health benefits, and of course, the durability it provides.

However, feel free to opt for a mattress pad if your already owned mattress still has some kick to it. In the end, get something that floats your boat here!

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