Before you start hunting for a mattress pad, it’s important to get clear on what this product actually is. Many people purchase a mattress pad expecting it to be like a mattress topper, and then they wind up dissatisfied. The primary purpose of a mattress pad is to add a bit of comfort to an old or uncomfortable mattress, but it’s important to note that pads won’t be nearly as thick or cushy as most mattress toppers.
Mattress pads can also add a layer of protection for your mattress because they lie on top of the mattress and beneath your sheets (but they won’t be waterproof like a plastic mattress protector). Make sure that a mattress pad is really what you’re after before you start shopping. Then, use this list of Best mattress pads to zero in on some quality options.
Best Mattress Pads
- Editor’s Pick – Puffy Mattress Pad
- Best Waterproof Mattress Pad – Winkbeds BreatheCool Mattress Pad
- Best Organic Mattress Pad – Birch Organic Mattress Pad
- Best Soft Mattress Pad – Helix Mattress Topper
- Best Cooling Mattress Pad – CozyEarth Bamboo Mattress Pad
- Best Temperature Regulating Mattress Pad – Plushbeds Reversible Pad
Puffy Mattress Pad
Are you looking to make your mattress a little comfier? Then you can stop looking, because the Puffy Mattress Pad does exactly what you need it to do! This mattress pad is made with a highly breathable fabric that’ll keep you sleeping cool and comfy all night long. It’s hypoallergenic and Oeko-Tex ® Standard 100 Certified, making it free from any added chemicals and safe for folks with sensitive skin.
Full Puffy Mattress Pad review coming soon!
The Puffy Mattress Pad is a hypoallergenic mattress pad designed to keep you cool at night. It's Oeko-Tex 100 certified making it chemical free and safe for children.
Best Waterproof Mattress Protector
WinkBeds BreatheCool Mattress Pad
The Winkbeds BreatheCool Mattress Pad is designed to keep your bed fresh and free from any dirt or stains all day and night. This mattress pad is great if you have children because of it’s hypoallergenic material making it gentle on sensitive skin as well as waterproof to keep it free from any stains. It features Winkbeds FitSkirt so that it doesn’t move out of place if you or your children move around at night.
Full WinkBeds BreatheCool Mattress Pad written review coming soon!
The WinkBeds BreatheCool Mattress Pad is a moisture wicking, waterproof mattress pad. It's hypoallergenic material keeps folks with sensitive skins from harm while keeping the mattress pad and the mattress underneath clean and protected.
Best Organic Mattress Pad
Birch Organic Mattress Pad
If you’re an eco-friendly shopper looking for a mattress pad to make your mattress a bit comfier, then you’ll really enjoy the Birch Organic Mattress Pad. This mattress pad is made out of 100% GOTS certified organic cotton making it moisture wicking and stain and spill resistant keeping the mattress underneath it protected and clean. It features a wide elastic band with silicone no-slip to ensure it’s secure on your mattress.
Full Birch Organic Mattress Pad written review coming soon!
The Birch Organic Mattress Pad is made out of 100% GOTS certified organic cotton making it a great choice for eco-friendly shoppers or if you're looking for something that won't irritate your children's skin while they're sleeping.
Best Soft Mattress Topper
Helix Plush Mattress Topper
Unlike most mattress toppers, which are composed of a single solid foam layer, the Helix Plush topper functions like a quilted pillow top that you can add on top of your bed. Hot sleepers should especially enjoy this as it sleeps much cooler than a traditional foam mattress. It’s machine washable, which is great for anyone concerned about spills or stains. The Plush topper will also fit any bed that does not require a deep pocket sheet.
The mattress topper comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a 1-year warranty.
If you feel this could be the right match for you, read our full Helix Plush Mattress Topper review for more details!
Add a luxurious feel to your mattress with this Helix topper!
Best Cooling Mattress Pad
CozyEarth Bamboo Mattress Pad
If you’re looking for something to cool you down at night without breaking the bank on a new mattress, then the CozyEarth Bamboo Mattress Pad is a great choice for you. It’s breathable and moisture wicking fabric keeps you nice and cool at night, so you never have to worry about night sweats or hot flashes anymore. This mattress pad is made out of premium 100% viscose from bamboo fabrics and it’s OEKO TEX 100 Certified making it free from any harmful chemicals.
Full CozyEarth Bamboo Mattress Pad written review coming soon!
The CozyEarth Bamboo Mattress Pad is a cooling, moisture wicking mattress pad that will keep your mattress clean and protected. This mattress pad features 100% viscose bamboo fabrics which is breathable and also Oeko Tex 100 Certified.
Best Temperature Regulating Mattress Pad
Plushbeds Reversible Mattress Pad
The PlushBeds Reversible Mattress Pad is a great choice for sleepers who tend to sleep hot in the summer and cool in the winter. The reversible mattress pad is made with two different materials on both sides so you can flip it based on your temperature. You can pick between the cool, quilted cotton side on a hot night or the wool fleece side on a chilly night. Its reversible nature makes it a great all-year mattress pad.
Full Plushbeds Reversible Mattress Pad written review coming soon!
The PlushBeds Reversible Mattress Pad can be flipped from a cool, cotton side to a wool fleece side to keep you cool on hot nights and warm on chilly nights!
How We Picked
We kept our expectations realistic when selecting these options: No mattress pad is going to offer a ton of cushion, because that’s what mattress toppers are for. At the same time, it’s important that a mattress pad offer at least a little extra comfort compared to a pad-less mattress, or else what’s the point? So we made comfort one of our primary criteria.
Beyond comfort, we also focused on the following.
We focused on mattress pads that feature high-quality construction and attention to detail. For example, you’ll find that many of these options offer baffle box or diamond stitching, slip-proof elastic, deep pockets, breathable construction, and machine-washable designs.
These factors might seem small, but they can make a big difference when it comes to comfort, durability, and ease of use.
Mattress pads can range in price from under $30 to well over $100. This list includes options from both sides of that spectrum, so you can choose according to your own price point. Even if you don’t have a ton of money to spend, there are plenty of high-quality options well below the $100 mark.
We selected mattress pads made with high-quality materials, from 100% cotton to Tencel and well-regarded down alternatives. All of these materials should enhance the durability of a mattress pad. Each of these materials also boasts its own distinct benefits, so consider where your priorities lie before making your selection.
Sleepopolis Buying Tips
To choose the best mattress pad for your needs, consider the following:
- Why do you want a mattress pad? Are you trying to cool down a heat-trapping memory foam mattress? Are you looking to make a firm mattress a little softer? Are you trying to protect your mattress from wear and tear? The answers to these questions will help you know which features to prioritize.
- What are your pet peeves? For example, if you hate the feeling of fabric bunched up beneath you, choose a pad with baffle box construction or another design feature that prevents bunching. If you’re annoyed by having to fluff your bedding, look for an option that maintains its loft without this assistance.
- What is your budget? Knowing this before you start your search will help you rule out options that are beyond your price point and zero in on those choices that are affordable for you.
When shopping for a mattress pad, it’s important to keep their purpose in mind. Mattress pads won’t offer extra-soft or thick comfort layers, but they can take the edge off an old or too-firm mattress. Maintain realistic expectations, think about the materials and design features that you most prefer, and you should be able to find a mattress pad that satisfies your needs.
What is a mattress pad?
A mattress pad is a relatively thick piece of quilted material that sits on top of your mattress, but below your sheets. It is primarily used to add comfort, but some also can help protect your mattress from general wear and tear and provide an extra layer of defense against, spills, soils and stains.
Adding a mattress pad can slightly change the feel and firmness of your bed. If you find that you are happy with the current feel of your mattress, adding a mattress pad is really an unnecessary expense.
Mattress Protector vs. Mattress Topper vs. Mattress Pad
Mattress protectors, mattress pads and mattress toppers are all different a-la-carte options you can add to an existing mattress. While they sound extremely similar, there are a few key differences to note before you start the search. You may find that not all of these are necessary in your situation, which can save you hundreds of dollars in “bonus bedding”.
Mattress protectors are thin and usually waterproof- designed to sit directly on the surface of your mattress like a fitted sheet. Generally constructed from cotton or polyester, they are added below the fitted sheet and are the last hope to protect your mattress from unwanted stains. The main mission is to repel liquids and keep your mattress in like-new condition.
No matter if your mattress is old or new, I would highly recommend a mattress protector on every single bed. In addition to protecting from liquid stains, a good waterproof mattress protector will also protect against dust mites, bed bugs, pet dander or other allergens that may be floating around in the bedroom.
See our full list of the best mattress protectors.
In comparison to mattress protectors, mattress toppers couldn’t be any more different. While a protector aims to protect, a topper aims to add comfort. A mattress topper can be made of memory foam, latex foam, quilted blends or many other materials. It is typically added atop a mattress that is no longer comfortable.
A thin mattress topper, 1-2” can slightly adjust the overall feel of your mattress (ex. eLuxurySupply memory foam topper) or a thicker topper, 3-4” can provide a complete overhaul! For more information on mattress toppers, be sure to check out our full list of mattress topper reviews.
Mattress pads act as somewhat of a hybrid between mattress protectors and mattress toppers. They can provide protection from liquid spills and allergens as well as add an extra layer of comfort to your existing mattress. The thick quilted construction can provide a small amount of pressure relief that your current mattress may be lacking in.
Types of Mattress Pads
In the world of mattress pads, there are two main styles, fitted mattress pads and anchor mattress pads. Fitted mattress pads are thick and fit just like a fitted sheet would. The quilted top provides extra stability and the elastic side panels stretch over the sides of the mattress to hold it firmly in place.
Anchor Mattress Pads
Anchor mattress pads have a similar top to the fitted mattress pads, but the sides are treated a little different. In this installation, there are no side panels, but rather the top is secured to the mattress with a thick elastic band at the corners. While this is generally less secure, if you are a light sleeper and not notorious for kicking your bedding off of the bed, an anchor mattress pad may work just fine for you.
Cotton Mattress Pads
In addition to style, there is a variety of materials that a mattress pad can be made out of and each material will result in a mattress pad that’s distinctively different. Cotton mattress pads are the most common. They are typically thinner than the other styles as well as being machine washable. This feature alone may be a life saver for the stain-prone sleepers!
Latex Mattress Toppers
A natural latex mattress pad is made from natural rubber and is extremely durable. Depending on the thickness and type of latex, these mattress pads can be used to soften a firm mattress or firm up an overly soft one. A latex mattress pad is also mold and mildew resistant which make it a great choice for the eco-friendly, hypo-allergenic sleeper. Check out our full list of latex mattress topper reviews here.
Wool Mattress Pads
Wool mattress pads may work well for sleepers who are looking for a durable mattress pad that can accommodate rapidly changing seasons. These types of mattress pads are typically cool and dry in the summer, but warm and cozy in the winter. It’s also important to add that this type of mattress pad is one of the most expensive mattress pads on the market.
Feather Mattress Pads
Feather mattress pads, also known as featherbeds or down mattress pads, are another option if you are looking to soften an existing mattress that is too firm. These mattress pads are more affordable than a wool mattress pad, but maintain many of the same benefits. Many of these mattress pads are made exclusively with goose or duck feathers.
One word of caution- when shopping for feather mattress pads, be sure to select one that has a quilted top. This will help to keep all of the feathers evenly distributed as you sleep and avoid a lumpy mattress pad.
Fiber Mattress Pads
Fiber mattress pads, sometimes referred to as fiberbeds or down alternative mattress pads (ex. eLuxurySupply bamboo mattress pad), are another affordable option if you’re looking to soften a firm mattress. These mattress pads are commonly compared to feather mattress pads, but instead of using traditional feathers, they are filled with a polyester fiber or down alternative material.
These are typically the most affordable between wool and traditional down mattress pads, but the lifespan may not be as long. In addition, some sleepers find that these types of mattress pads become lumpy and flatten out in a short period of time. Regular “fluffing” will help to prolong this as well as choosing one with a quilted top.
What is a mattress pad?
A mattress pad is designed to lie on top of a mattress. Its main function is to provide a layer of comfort. This can be especially helpful if a consumer has a mattress that is worn or uncomfortable.
What is the difference between a mattress pad and a mattress topper?
A mattress pad is generally a thin piece of material that is placed on top of your mattress to help adjust the firmness level. A mattress topper is an upgrade on this, is usually much thicker and can be purchased in many different firmness levels and thicknesses.
What does a mattress pad do?
Mattress pads can serve many functions including protecting the mattress, providing extra cushion or softness and can also help to keep your bed sheets from sliding around or out of place.