Mattress Pad VS Topper: All You Need to Know

Mattress pad vs. topper — which is the ideal sleeping accessory? When it comes to a proper night’s sleep, we all usually rely on a mattress of some form or another. 

The kind of mattress we prefer is all determined by what our bodies are programmed to like. Some of us like firmer mattresses while others enjoy softer ones.

However, even with a certain kind of mattress, there sometimes comes a point when that mattress is no longer as comfy as it once was. 

In this case, rather than shell out money for a brand new mattress, we might instead opt for a mattress pad or a topper.

Again, preference varies between persons, but what are the different attributes one can expect from either or? Are there benefits or disadvantages? If so, how do they work? Let’s dive right in and find out.

  Mattress Pad Vs. Topper

Well, first it would be prudent to understand the difference between a mattress pad and a topper. They can be found virtually anywhere that sells mattresses or other nocturnal supplies, and you need only ask where to find them and which one to get.

But to save you the trouble, we’re going to explain the difference here for you. Firstly, it’s important to know that while the two terms are often used interchangeably, they don’t actually mean the same thing. 

A mattress pad is a thin piece of material that gets placed on top of the mattress to provide an extra layer of comfort.

A mattress topper is a much thicker and more luxurious version of this to provide even more added comfort without piling on too much extra money.

  Why Get Either?

There could be a wide variety of reasons you might find yourself in need of one. Maybe your mattress is starting to feel less comfortable to you as time passes, or maybe you’ve purchased one that you thought you liked, but now you don’t so much. There are so many possible reasons:

  • To soften up a mattress that’s way too firm
  • To add more support and comfort for health reasons, or even just because
  • You want waterproofing, but don’t want the crinkly discomfort of a mattress protector
  • Mattress protector is noisy
  • The bed is very old and at the end of its support life, but you aren’t in a position to replace it just yet.

Whatever your reason for needing a topper/pad, it’s often a good investment that can provide much-needed relief on your back while you sleep.

 It’s What’s Inside That Counts

So lets’ get into the meat of the matter, or rather the stuffing. The great thing about both pads and toppers is that they’re actually incredibly efficient sources of both comfort and innovation in sleep technology. 

They’re usually filled with waterproofed stuffing and are made to inhibit and discourage dust mites and other allergens from wriggling their way into the mattress


Even more, some types are made with a cooling gel for those restless, hot sleepers who always have to sleep with a fan on, to which some of us may plead guilty. The nature of their materials is as varied as they are, so many shoppers are spoiled for choice.


  Wool Pads

Known for their softness and incredible comfort, these ones are highly in demand for their rich softness and incredible resistance to allergens. 

If it’s organic, it’s just straight-up immune to the stuff, which makes it a highly useful and versatile bedding.

 And since wool is a natural insulator, you’ll be kept warm in the process, so it does kind of have a niche spot in the winter. It’ll eventually start to go flat from use, but this is nothing a good steamer can’t fix.

  Latex Pads

Natural latex is harvested from rubber trees and can have a lifespan of around ten years if properly cared for. It’s hypoallergenic on top of that, so it’s great bedding material. 

These latex pads also come with a latex core as well, complete with a cotton or wool outer covering. 

This makes it comfortable, warm, and durable all at once, making it a slightly expensive investment, but a worthy one in the long run. 


Latex is also great for small children since it’s an easy fabric to wash

It’s also not too uncomfortable for them to sleep on during those years of training bladder control, making it a potentially worthy investment. `

  Cotton Pads

This one will be more thin and quilted in appearance, but it doesn’t make it any less soft or comfortable.

This material is often what’s used more frequently as mattress covers rather than mattress pads, as they’re designed more to protect the mattress instead of giving more support.

They’re machine washable, which is good if you’ve got one in defense of the bladders of small children, and their elastic corners make them very easy to place and remove on a mattress. 


This material is soft, airy and very comfortable, despite its somewhat thinner appearance.

This makes it perfect for summer heat since the airflow will undoubtedly be better in this light and soft material, helping you keep cool in those dismal summer months.

  Featherbed Pads

Finally, we have the featherbed variety. These are ultra-soft and super luxurious and they’re usually filled with either organic or synthetic down.

His helps them to stay warm in cool weather and cools down for better airflow in warm weather, making it highly versatile and extremely comfortable.

It’s often held to the mattress by fitted sheets to keep it in place since due to its nature, it tends to slide around a bit


Due to their somewhat luxurious nature, they’re going to be a bit more on the pricey side.

Also, feather down bedding tends to occasionally shed feathers, so don’t be surprised if you see one floating about here or there. It’s perfectly normal with this kind of bedding.

  Looking to Buy? Read This First

You’ll want to make sure you’re getting a good deal on these things.

They’re not just a purchase; like your mattress, they’re more of an investment. Both to the health of your sleep schedule and also to the lifespan of your mattress.

So there are a few factors you’ll need to consider for when you’re setting out to start shopping around for a good pad or topper.

Sometimes, the quality and affordability are as much a factor as the type of material you wind up getting, so the final product needs to fit your lifestyle in more ways than one


You’ll want to pay close attention to the merchant you’re buying from, their reviews and service, their prices, and of course, the quality of your product.

Mattress and supply shopping is a very competitive market, so it definitely pays to shop around and get the most bang for your buck.

  What Kind to Get?

Mattress pad vs topper; the final showdown to determine who’s the boss of the sleeping world.

What would be better for your delicate spine which twists and gnarls up so easily at night, making waking in the morning a veritable nightmare? This one is the easiest of the questions; your body will tell you for you. 

It all depends on what kind of mattress you prefer, since the type of pad or topper will undoubtedly add even more layers to the mattress, thus making it potentially more comfortable.

This added softness could be either a boon or a detriment, depending on what you like.

It’s important to know what you like best before laying the money down, since this is often a somewhat costly purchase.

  Advantages or Otherwise?

Well, that’s a tough question since in reality, mattress pads and toppers are both in the same family of bedding supplies, even if they aren’t truly the same exact thing.

One is simply lighter and less cushy than the other, as well as capable of providing more protection over comfort. It all depends on what you’re looking for.

A child, for instance, may greatly benefit from the thinner pad rather than the topper, as any nocturnal accidents would be far easier to wash out of the lighter material

If you’re a bit on the heavier side and looking for added support, then the topper might be just right.

That added support helps protect the mattress against the added weight and better supports your spine’s alignment during the night.

Both serve an equally important purpose that can’t really pit one effectively against the other. It’s up to the needs in your life and for those around you in need of one or the other.

So when we say mattress pad vs. topper, at the end of the day, we’re forced to declare a draw. Neither is better than the other.  

With regards to mattress pad vs. topper, get the pad or topper that best fits your life and your likes.

Chances are you aren’t looking for a brand new mattress just yet, so this could be exactly what you need in terms of extra support and comfort without breaking the bank.

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