Mattress Pad vs Topper – How to Select the Right One

Stepping into a bedding and furniture store will leave you mesmerized with a plethora of options to help improve your overall sleeping experience. Mattress toppers and mattress pads offer an incredible level of support and comfort to ensure you get enough sleep and a better experience.

Moreover, most people want to own natural mattress pads to help extend their mattress’s life. However, choosing between a mattress pad or topper can be a real struggle, especially for an individual with little or no experience with these products.

In this post, we’ll consider the differences and explain why you should consider purchasing one over the other.

Mattress Pad vs Mattress Topper

When it comes to pinning down the right product for your needs, it’s natural to be confused, considering the fact that mattress pad and topper are often used to mean the exact same product and interchangeably.

However, mattress pads are a thin piece of mattress designed to be situated on the top surface of your mattress to help sleepers achieve their desired firmness level. On the other hand, mattress toppers come with a thicker design but geared towards making you sleep more comfortably while protecting your mattress without having to use the sometimes noisy mattress protector.

To better understand these products, we can think of mattress toppers and mattress pads as brother and sister, then the mattress protectors as the cousin to both products. They are designed with a common goal in mind – enhancing the level of comfort delivered by your existing bed and extend its life. Nonetheless, it’s safe to say that toppers and pads offer basically the same thing, and might be a better option over a mattress protector.

What’s a Mattress Pad?

Mattress pads offer an added luxury and comfort layer to your mattress. They usually come with straps on the corners or attached to fitted sheets to ensure a snug fit. The main reason for purchasing a mattress pad is adding another comfort layer to your mattress surface.

If you experience any of the following with your mattress, then you should consider purchasing a mattress topper:

  • Very firm mattress need pads to make them feel soft and cosy to sleep on
  • Struggling with some health issues and need an additional level of comfort and support
  • Pads are waterproof and provide extra protection without having to purchase a mattress protector
  • If you hate the noise mattress protector produces, then you should consider a cosy mattress pad instead.
  • Own an old and uncomfortable bed, but not looking to replace it any time soon, the mattress pad can be your best shot

What’s a Mattress Topper

As said above, a mattress topper is usually thicker than mattress pads and seems like an upgraded model. Also, they are meant to make your existing bed feel more comfortable and luxurious to sleep on.

Similar to mattress pads, the mattress toppers are always situated on top of the mattress. However, not all models come with straps to ensure that the topper stays on your bed. Since they come with thicker design, mattress toppers are often filled with several materials.

On the market today, you can come across mattress toppers with the following material fillings: foam, cotton, memory foam, gel memory foam, down, fiberfill or polyester cluster puffs, or latex rubber.

Mattress Pad vs Topper – Fillings

Both mattress pad and topper comes with waterproofing technology and features properties that prevent allergies and dust mites from getting into your mattress. When it comes to a mattress pad vs topper, some products are made from material such as gel-infused cooling foam known to offer a more comfortable sleeping environment.

A natural mattress topper is most likely to be the exact same thing as a natural mattress pad. They are designed to add luxury comfort and feel to your existing bed while improving your overall sleep experience. Besides, they are eco-friendly and usually made of feather, latex, wool, and more.

With that in mind, regardless of what you prefer to go for: a mattress topper or pad, synthetic or natural, here are some fillings/materials to put into consideration when making a choice:

Wool Mattress Pad

Most people prefer wool mattress pads because of its incredible softness, which feels like sleeping on a cloud of softness. Organic wools are resistant to allergens and help keep off dust mites and mold from your bed.

Also, it acts as a natural insulator, which means you will remain warm even in cold weather months. With time, the wool will eventually flatten out and become hard. However, with the aid of a steamer, you can add fluffiness back to the product.

Natural Latex Pads

Generally, natural latex is obtained from rubber trees, and tend to last more than a decade depending on care. The material type does not attract mold or dust mites, and also hypoallergenic. Natural latex toppers (or pads) come with wool, cotton, and latex core covering. But it comes with a hefty price tag, but it’s a worthwhile investment considering the incredible benefits and comfort.

Cotton Mattress Pad

As the name implies, a cotton mattress pad comes with a thin layer and quilted surface. Further, it can help protect your old mattress and is often referred to as mattress cover. More so, they are machine washable and feature elastic straps to ensure snugly fit on top of the mattress. It makes your old bed feel smooth and soft.

Featherbed Mattress Pad

Some sleepers prefer featherbeds due to the ultra-soft and luxurious feel it adds to the top of their mattress. Beddings can be filled with original or synthetic down. Products with down offer warmth during cool weather and allow you to sleep cool during warm times. The featherbed mattress pad is situated on your existing mattress and remains in place with fitted sheets.


There are different options on the market for your break-in and test. While these beddings are designed to offer more comfort and fluffiness, it’s essential to put into consideration their differences to ensure you make the right call.

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