is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

what is a mattress pad

What is a mattress pad? A mattress pad is a covering designed to place atop of mattress to enhance the comfort of deteriorating mattress or to add height, orthopaedic support and maybe to get protection for the mattress. They have padding or soft filling on the top side that adds comfort and protection. A variety of options are available in mattress pads that are different in material, padding, depth, size as well as un usage.

They are also a good investment in protecting the mattress and increase its life. The truth is, even when you protect it from dust and dander, it does lose years. That is because the mattress is being used without any added protected layer.

After some time, the mattress supportive effect will be lost, and the foam will break down. In that case, it will not be as comfortable as it should be. To combat this effect, how about you choose something that is comfortable and protects your mattress? Something similar to a fitted sheet but with added comfort and protection is what you’re looking for.  In case your mattress has already degraded, and you don’t want to spend big on the mattress as yet, what you require is a mattress pad.

It has several different sizes to meet the requirement of different beds. Some of the pads are designed from memory foam for added luxury, although it is more common for the topper to have memory foam. Another added comfort can be heated or cooling pads, so you don’t have to lie in a cold bed in winters.

You might also like our review on the best waterproof mattress protectors that is available on a separate page.

How and Why Is It Used?

The question is, how can you use it and why you should use it. Well, a good night’s sleep is a priority for all of us. And a mattress pad ensures that let’s take a look at hows and whys of a mattress pad.


Here are some of the points that elaborate on why you should use the mattress pad.

  • 2 in 1 Function: Most mattress pads serve the two in one function of added comfort and protection. They padding enhance the comfort of the mattress for you, and at the same time, they protect the mattress from environmental threats and spills.
  • No Need of Mattress Protector: With a mattress pad, the need for a mattress protector is nullified. You can make do with regular sheets, and the pad has got your covered in protective aspects.
  • Extend Life of Mattress: In case your foam has degraded, and the comfort is lost, you can use a mattress pad over it for comfort and make it last a little longer. Thus, an immediate investment that can take a toll on your budget is not required. It gives you time to set some money aside to buy a new mattress.


Instead of randomly ordering a mattress pad, if you narrow down your options, then surely you can get the right product. In comparison, a random order may create further challenges for you. Here are the steps to follow.

  1. Know your budget?

    You must start from your budget, once you decide your budget then you can easily move forward and it will narrow down your search criteria.

  2. Decide on kind of padding.

    Mattress pad padding is directly related to the comfort and basic need. So decide on the padding before starting your search. It will also let you know that right range for you.

  3. Decide on Size and Depth

    Consider the size of your bed and decide on either you need a deep pocket one or a standard that you can place on the mattress. Remember to take into consideration the size of your bed. For only-the-top sheet, you can just pull over the diagonal arms on the mattress, and they pad ready to use. The depth guideline is as follows:
    STANDARD: A standard mattress ranges between seven to nine inches deep.
    DEEP: A deep mattress ranges between 10 to 15 inches deep.
    EXTRA DEEP: An extra deep mattress ranges between 15 to 22 inches deep.

  4. Make your purchase

    When you decide on first three steps you can then start looking for the mattress toppers as it will narrow down your search criteria and you can easily find the desired mattress pad.

Deciding on these steps will save you a lot of time, we advise you to read this resource in full. In result you will be able to look into your requirement deeper and can quickly decided what you exactly need without wasting time.

What are Mattress Pads Made Of?

The material and the filling of the mattress pads can vary a great deal. Different materials offer different purposes and functionality. Hence the material can be different.

  • Covering: the construction material can be cotton, terry cotton, which can be organic or 100% pure. The variation can also include cotton and polyester blends and polyurethane sheets for waterproofing and absorbance.
  • Filling: like covering, there is a massive variety of filling available in the mattress pad. It can be a standard variant of foam, memory foam, gel infusion foam or orthopedic gel, and even soft or polyester filling.

The usability of mattress pads varies concerning the material used in filling as if you have a standard mattress; you can buy an orthopedic mattress topper to add orthopedic comfort.

What is Standard Thickness of a Mattress Pad?

When it comes to the thickness of mattress pads, it varies with all manufacturers; every manufacturer has its standards while there are no set boundaries for the thickness.

Two inches thick mattress pad is most commonly sold in the market and hence is the most liked one. And nearly every manufacturer is making a mattress pad in this thickness.

Depending on the construction material and the filling within the mattress pad, the thickness can vary greatly. Lightly padded ones can measure 2 inches even less. The ones that are quilted or have thick padding can go up to 5 inches.

There are no set boundaries for the thickness. Even your preferences can vary depending on the need. If you want comfort, then a thick pad will be a good option. In case of protection is a priority, then you can go even for the thin ones.

What is the Size of a Mattress Pad?

Like any other mattress accessory, mattress pads are also available in all the bed sizes. Although it is possible that one company may not have all the size, in the overall market, you can easily get the size according to your bed. They can be classified with measurements or sizes like:

  • Twin: 38” x 75” | 96.5 X 190.5cm
  • Twin XL: 38” x 80” | 96.5 X 203cm
  • Full: 53” x 75” | 134.5 X 190.5cm
  • Queen: 60” x 80” | 152.5 X 203cm
  • King: 76” x 80” | 193 X 203cm
  • California King: 72” x 84” | 183 X 213cm

Types of Mattress Pads

There are many types of mattress pads and can be classified based on the material, functionality, and installation over the mattress. They can also vary with the type of padding. Here are some of the main kinds of mattress pads that are commonly available in the market.

1. Memory Foam Mattress Pad

Types of mattress pad

A memory foam mattress pad is made from a unique synthetic material called viscoelastic polyurethane. The pad has artificial density acquired via a chemical process. The best thing is that it is sought after consulting health experts, owing to its unique support structure and spinal alignment. But, on the other hand, some of the drawbacks are its readiness to get hot, high price, and a strange odor in new pads.

A memory foam mattress pad is also available in a gel memory mattress pad, graphite mattress topper, and extra thick mattress pad.

2. Latex Mattress Pads

Latex is an amazing material and it is derived from the sap of a rubber tree. The latex pad is both springy and responsive.

Latex material pads are further divided into two categories. This division is based on their formation.

(a) Dunlop Latex: The prominent thing about a Dunlop latex pad is its supporting abilities. it is used to support layers of the bed, and it is heavier on one side.

(a) Tatalay Latex: It is primarily a comfort layer and lacks support. Though lighter, it is the fluffier version of the latex mattress pad. It is suitable for people desperate for snugness.

3. Electric Mattress Pad

When you are living in an area where the temperature always remains low or negative then an electric mattress pad can be the best solution to stay warm at sleeping time.

The best thing about an electric mattress pad is that it keeps you away from the frozen environs. It has an electric control panel, and you can adjust the heat intensity as per requirement. The noticeable thing is that it costs a dent in the pocket and needs periodic maintenance like other electronic gadgets.

However, some advantages include the economic consumption of energy, timer, protection against overheating, thinness, and agility. It is available in a range of colors. Even modern once connect with mobile phones and allow easy management of temperature through apps.

4. Cotton Mattress Pad

It is a simplistic, machine washable, and durable item. A cotton mattress pad is also a low-cost pad barring some organic and higher-end cotton.

Cotton pads prevent you from excessive sweating. Cotton pads are eco-friendly than the polyester mattress pads. And most importantly, these mattress pads are cheap when compare to other ones.

5. Polyester Mattress Pads

Polyester mattress pads are the most economical but the least supportive. Though it could be an alternative to other popular types, its fluffiness tends to squash very quickly, and customers need to make some makeshift arrangements to get it into shape.

It is easily compressed hence becomes lumpy over time.

The aspects which make a polyester mattress pad popular is its kind is its lighter touch. It is easily washable, but a great deal of caution should be taken while washing as handling it roughly may cause it’s polyester disfigured.

6. Feather Filled Mattress Pad

These pads are also known as featherbedding. These pads are soft and give a stuffed look. It might be a conducive option if you are looking for something comfortable.

Nevertheless, a bothering aspect could be on humanistic, or more precisely, on animalistic grounds.

The raw material is plucked from the birds and gives a shivering sensation, especially when feathers poke out of the pad, to kind-hearted individuals. Some people are also allergic to feathers. So you have to buy it with a pinch of salt. To make it durable. It needs periodic shaking.

7. Woolly Mattress Pad

Natural fleece mattress pads are also good options while looking for the perfect choice of sleeping solutions.

The mattress pad is indeed the lifeline of mattresses. The best thing is that it helps in longevity, firmness, and durability of mattresses. It is a barrier against all external woes.

The choice of the mattress pad is as important as the choice of the bed itself. We hope this article must have helped you decide on a viable mattress pad for your profound sleep choices.

Placement of Mattress Pads

Basically there is nothing to discuss as everyone of us knows that is can only be used on the mattress to make sleeping space more comfortable, here are two placements that are possible:

  • Fitted sheet liked: Based on the placement type mattress pad can be like a fitted sheet. The padding is limited to the top only, and the rest of the sides are made just from cloth. The deep pocket size is variable, but most are stretchable to cater to a 24 inches thick mattress.
  • Only the top: these pads don’t have a pocket to cover the sides of the mattress. It sits on the mattress, much like a mattress topper. Some do have additional bands that go over the mattress to prevent the sliding.

Materials Used in Manufacturing Mattress Pads

Material contributes towards the comfortability while sleeping on the mattress pad, so we advise not to compromise on your comfort and only choose the mattress pad which is made with the material on that you feel comfortable. The most commonly used Materials are:

  • Wool
  • Latex
  • Memory Foam
  • Down Feather
  • Cotton Made
  • Blended
  • Polyurethane Build
  • Polyester Made.

Types of Padding in Mattress Pads

  • Standard padding: This padding is similar to the ones that are done on mattress protectors and encasements. It is not too thick and mostly made of cotton.
  • Quilted with plushy padding: As the name indicates, this padding has a quilt-like structure. The filling can vary from cotton to blends and polyester. They are thicker than standard padding and have a very comfy and plushy texture and is very soft to touch.
  • Polyester and polyurethane blend: these paddings are comfy with waterproofing effect. Polyurethane is the synthetic layer used in these pads that offer absorbance and make the sheet waterproof. Each of these paddings is intended for different functions.

5 Advantages of Having a Mattress Pad

Mattress pads come in handy in a great many ways. They are very durable products that can last a very long time. Here are some of the advantages of using mattress pads.

1. Extra support

The first and foremost reason for having a mattress pad is the support they offer. The mattress feel is often stiff, and it doesn’t bend with the shape of the body. Pads are not designed that way.

They are plush and take in the body weight and adjust accordingly. It is incredible for back issues and body pain. Even during pregnancy, the padding has a supportive effect that can ensure sound and pain-free sleep.

2. Comfy sleep

With extra support comes the good sleep that can keep you fresh for the whole day. Mattresses often give off a stuffy feeling, especially in summers. They also prevent the proper air ventilation that can cause excessive sweating in sleep.

Also, they are not made from absorbent material. A mattress pad offers all of this. They are lightweight and have a feathery feel, which ensures deep sleep.

They don’t feel suffocating, and the body can breathe adequately. With added absorbent layer, the pad can take in all the sweat.

3. Protection

In addition to your comfort, the padding is also protective against the environmental harms on the mattress. The extra layering adds a barrier between the mattress and air. Dust particles, allergens in the air don’t make their way to the mattress and accumulate.

The waterproof layering also reinforces the protection and does not let the spillage or bedwetting incidence affect the mattress. Moreover, you will not need to wash the bedsheet very often. Some of the pads are also designed with hypoallergenic qualities.

They are useful if you have asthma or skin conditions like eczema.

4. Cost-effective

Along with shielding and relaxing benefits, mattress pads are also cost-effective. They don’t cost as much as a mattress would but have all the goodness of foam. Moreover, these pads are not as expensive as the memory foams and toppers but do a job that is remarkably similar to the mattress toppers.

Mattress pads are usually washable and are dryer friendly. Unlike mattress toppers, you can machine wash them at home.

5. Added qualities

Unlike the protective sheet, mattress pads also come with several added benefits. Some are pads, but they are made after memory foams. There is extra comfort in that case. Moreover, some of the mattress pads come with heating and cooling technology.

These are perfect for harsh weather and chilling colds. You can maintain your bed’s temperature before lying down and turn off the pad when the bed is harmful enough.

Similarly, in summer, you can cool down the pad for an extra luxurious sleep.

Mattress Pads, Protectors, Encasements, and Toppers- What is the Difference?

There is a lot of confusion going on when it comes to over the bed accessories. There are several products marketed as protectors, mattress pad, and topper. It is imperative to know what they are and which product is best suited for your needs. Let’s learn to differentiate between these products.

1. Mattress Protector

Mattress protectors are fitted sheets made from cotton or polyester blend that have the sole purpose of protecting the mattress.

There are several available options within the protectors, some are waterproof, and some offer anti-allergenic properties. Protectors have rarely covered all sides of the mattress. 

2. Mattress Encasement

These products are one step up ahead of protectors, and they are zippered covers that engulf the mattress on all sides. They can serve the function of protectors if made from cotton terry or polyesters.

The ones made from plastic are usually used as encasements to transport the mattress when you are moving away.

3. Mattress Pads

This term is interchangeable with mattress toppers, and people often confuse the two. But they are two different things. The mattress pad is like a fitted sheet. The difference is that they have padding for extra support and protection.

They usually have diagonal arms on the corners for the effortless placement over the mattress and sheet. They also serve the purposes as mentioned above.

4. Mattress Topper

These are foam-like sheet similar to the mattress but a lot thinner. They have a plushy filling that offers extra support if our mattress has worn out. Some of these toppers are also made from memory foam that relieves pressure points and gives extra support.

They don’t have arms for placement, and you can just put them over your mattress.


A mattress pad is a good investment of money that is relaxing and adds life to the mattress. They also serve the purpose of rejuvenating the old mattress, so it lasts a little longer. In short, mattress pads are a good upgrade from mattress protectors and encasements.

They are durable and give you immense comfort and a good night’s sleep. There are a lot of mattress pads on the market and many companies to choose from. Hopefully, our resource what is a mattress pad serve you well to know about the mattress pads and decide for the right one.

It is recommended for your ease to choose the easily washable one. Otherwise, you will have to spend extra money getting it cleaned. Nonetheless, these pads are the must-haves.

Recent Posts

AllerEase Mattress Protector

AllerEase Mattress Protector Reviews

Aller ease ultimate mattress protector changed my life for good. One of the key reasons for household allergies is the accumulation of dust or bacteria fraternity right inside the mattress. I am also an allergy-stricken American woman who had been downed several times by the so-called protective brands.

Read More →
best mattress for guest room

5 Best Mattress for Guest Room

In today’s world, it has become easier than ever to travel from one place to another. You can fly from Denmark to London in just a few hours. This also means we have friends and family in all parts of the world that we don’t get to see as often as we like.

Read More →

Most Visited Posts


Subscribe to Get Hot Deals on Bedding

Get Deals on New Products 

Scroll to Top