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Mattress Pad vs Mattress Protector: What You Need to Know

Posted By: Layla

Are you tossing and turning throughout the night because your current mattress isn’t giving you the comfort you deserve? Or, did you just shell out a few hundred, or even thousands of dollars on a brand new memory foam mattress and want to protect it at all costs? If so, a mattress pad or mattress protector will give you the peace of mind you’re looking for.

Mattress Pad vs Mattress Protector: What You Need to Know

While a mattress pad and mattress protector seem interchangeable, they’re actually quite different. Although both serve different purposes, they’re both designed to enhance your sleeping experience so you can get the best slumber possible.

Stumped about whether a mattress protector or pad is right for you? Don’t fret. Below, we’ll cover all the bases on mattress pads vs mattress protectors, so you can make the right purchase for your bed.

What is a Mattress Pad?

Waking up with aching back pain? How about a sore neck or shoulders? The bed you’re sleeping on may be the root cause. For some, buying a new mattress to solve these problems may not be feasible. A new mattress is a big investment, which means they might not have the means to solve this issue quickly. Luckily, mattress pads serve as an excellent alternative to increase comfort and provide a better night’s sleep.

A mattress pad is a piece of quilted fabric that sits on top of your mattress. Typically, a mattress pad fits like a sheet and is relatively thin—only about 1-inch in thickness. The primary reason for a mattress pad is to increase the comfort of a bed. Newer mattresses usually don’t require one, as they’re not worn down like older mattresses. However, a sleeper may want to add a mattress pad to a newer bed to add another barrier between them and their mattress.

Do you need a mattress pad?

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you may want to consider ordering one:

  • Do you need extra support for medical or personal reasons?
  • Do you want to adjust the firmness of your mattress and make it firmer or softer?
  • Is your mattress old and uncomfortable?
  • Do you want to add a light layer of protection between your bedding and mattress?

If you’re consistently waking up at night from being uncomfortable, or are experiencing neck stiffness or body aches, a mattress pad might be the perfect solution.

Benefits of a Mattress Pad

Mattress pads come with plenty of impressive benefits that can make your sleeping experience a dream come true.

Take a look at how a mattress pad can improve your sleep:

Increased comfort: The added layer of cushioning can make a firm or worn-down mattress more comfortable. Whether the coils in your innerspring mattress give out or your memory foam mattress begins to break down, a mattress pad can serve as a temporary fix for more cushioning.

Extends mattress life: Over time, mattresses begin to break down. The weight of our bodies adds pressure to the materials and fabrics, while sweat and bodily fluids can seep through. A mattress pad serves as an extra barrier between you and your mattress. It can absorb light spills, sweat, and fluids and prevent mold and bacteria from growing inside the mattress. Be cautious, though—they don’t offer complete protection like mattress protectors.

Affordability: Mattress pads are a budget-friendly option to increase the comfort of an older bed. For those who need more time to budget for a new mattress or need a temporary fix, a mattress pad will get the job done.

Easy to use: Mattress pads are light and easy to place on top of a mattress. They fit like bedsheets, are stable, and are unlikely to move around. They can also be easily removed for washing.

What is a Mattress Protector?

Do you need a mattress protector? If you like to watch Netflix and drink wine in bed, sleep hot and wake up sweaty, or want to protect yourself from allergens and bacteria, a mattress protector will make sure you and your bed are safe (and comfortable!).

While a mattress pad adds extra padding, a mattress protector adds extra protection. A mattress protector is a thin piece of protective fabric that covers the top and sides of your mattress or completely encapsulates it. A mattress protector forms a protective barrier between you and your mattress to prevent spills, bacteria, and some allergens from causing damage.

Mattresses can be an expensive investment, and if you spill liquid or accidentally damage it yourself, sometimes your warranty won’t cover the cost. And, there are millions of tiny organisms called dust mites inhabiting the average mattress, which can cause you to suffer from allergic reactions. To protect your investment and your health, a mattress protector is a wise choice.

At Layla® Sleep, we offer three different mattress protectors, each containing a liquid-proof barrier that’s breathable and sleeps cool. All three protectors are hypoallergenic, stain resistant, silent, have a dust mite barrier, contain overlocking corners, and most importantly fit great on one of our mattresses in a box.

Benefits of Mattress Protector

Mattress protectors are a great way to protect your investment and help you sleep peacefully at night knowing your mattress will maintain its brand-new feel for longer.

The main benefits of fitting your mattress with a mattress protector include:

Creates a liquid barrier: A mattress protector creates a liquid barrier to prevent spills, sweat, body oil, and other bodily fluids from entering your mattress, which can cause mold and unpleasant odors.

Protects your health: For those who suffer from allergies, you’ll be happy to find that a mattress protector will lessen your symptoms. Mattress protectors prevent allergens, dust mites, fungi, bacteria, and other microorganisms from disturbing you at night. If you sleep with your dog or pet, it’ll also prevent dirt, liquids, germs, and other particles from ruining your mattress.

Blocks harmful chemicals: Some mattress brands use flame retardants in their mattresses to prevent the spread and growth of fires. However, they’re extremely dangerous to both humans and the environment. Additionally, some mattress brands use plasticizers to make their foam more cushioned, which can lead to asthma and other health problems. A mattress protector will block these harmful chemicals from causing harm to you while you sleep.

Protects your warranty: If you spill liquid on your mattress and damage it, your mattress’s warranty most likely won’t cover the damage. A mattress protector will prevent liquids from staining and seeping into your mattress.

Increases mattress longevity: A mattress protector will prevent moisture from entering your mattress, which breaks down your mattress over time. With a mattress protector, your bed will maintain that brand-new feel for longer.

Easy to use: A mattress protector can easily be cleaned if you spill liquid or just want to wash it. They also fit like a fitted sheet, making them easy to put on your mattress.

Mattress Pad vs Mattress Protector: Key Differences

Mattress pads and protectors are both two types of covers you can place over your mattress. But what’s the difference between the two? The difference between a mattress pad and vs mattress protector is their function. Mattress pads are used to increase the comfort of a bed, while mattress protectors protect your mattress from spills, allergens, and bacteria entering your bed.

Take a look at the chart below to see the differences between mattress pads and mattress protectors:

What is a mattress topper?

As if distinguishing the difference between mattress pads and mattress protectors wasn’t hard, there’s also something called a mattress topper. A mattress topper is much more similar to a mattress pad than a mattress protector. A mattress topper is a thick layer of padding, typically made from memory foam, to increase the overall comfort of your bed.

How is this different from a mattress pad? Instead of fitting like a fitted sheet and draping over the sides, a mattress topper lays on top of your mattress and is held in place by a fitted sheet. Mattress toppers match the contours of your body to distribute support and reduce pain.

The Layla® mattress topper keeps you cool and cradled all night long with its copper gel beads that absorb body heat and redirect it away from you. It’s like adding an extra 2-inch layer of clouds to your bed that condenses under deep pressure points like your hips and shoulders to give you the best sleep possible. Even better, it’s antimicrobial, so it kills bacteria and other nasty microorganisms while you sleep. When you sleep with the Layla memory foam topper, you’ll sleep deeper and longer every night of the week.

Mattress Pads vs Mattress Protectors: Key Takeaways

Mattresses are a significant investment for many people. After all, you spend about a third of your life sleeping, so you want a comfortable surface to catch some shut-eye on to live an energized life. Mattress pads and mattress protectors are two covers you can fit over your bed to either enhance comfort or provide protection.

  • Mattress pads add extra cushioning and support to a mattress. They’re usually used on older mattresses that have worn down and are an affordable option to make a bed more comfortable. They droop over the sides of a mattress and fit like a fitted sheet.
  • Mattress protectors protect a mattress from liquids, body oils, bacteria, fungi, chemicals, and allergens to increase the longevity of your bed and enhance hygiene. They droop over the sides of a mattress like a fitted sheet or fully encase the mattress.
  • Mattress toppers are a thick memory foam layer that lays across the top of a mattress and is secured in place by fitted sheets. They are between 2- to 3-inches thick and provide more cushioning than mattress pads.