Mattress Pads Vs Mattress Toppers: What’s the Difference?


In the past, we wrote a post on the different types of bedding items explaining the function and importance of each bedding product. But now its time to discuss the different elements of a mattress in a level of detail that only us pros at Dormio Organic Beds can!

You might not be aware that some people use mattress pads and mattress toppers along with their main mattress to make their bed even more comfortable. These pads and toppers are meant to provide extra support to your body while sleeping and people often use either of the two. However, many people think that both items are the same and use the terms interchangeably which causes confusion.

This blog post compiled by our organic bed experts will clear the confusion. It will help you understand the difference between mattress pads and mattress toppers so that you can decide which one will be suitable for your bed.

Mattress Pads

A mattress pad is a thin, quilted piece of soft fabric fitted on the mattress’ surface to protect the mattress from accidental spills and stains. Additionally, it also helps in shielding the mattress from oil, dead skill cells and sweat (bed bugs and dust mites thrive on them). It is either like a fitted sheet or a cover with elastic straps to keep the pad in its place even if the sleeper moves around at night. Some pads have soft fiber filled pockets to make them plush. They’re usually covered by a washable fabric so that they can be easily cleaned in the washer. Many luxurious mattress dealers offer heating or cooling elements to ensure a restful sleep so that you don’t feel too hot or cold during the night.

Benefits of Mattress Pads

  • Provides a thin layer of softness to the mattress
  • Protects the mattress from moisture and stains, thus avoiding bed bugs and dust mites
  • Gives a clean look to the mattress by fitting perfectly on the surface
  • Can be laundered as they are made of washable fabrics

Drawbacks of Mattress Pads

  • Doesn’t provide supportive firmness
  • The whole pad must be washed even for a single spot

Types of Mattress Pads

Mattress pads come in different types based on the materials they are made of. Some of the popular pads are described below.

Synthetic Pads

As the name suggests, these pads are made of synthetic materials, mostly polyester. They are relatively inexpensive but are chemically-treated that can hamper your health. They contain harmful chemicals such as boric acid, bleach and flame retardants that have negative effects on your sleeping environment causing major health issues when used for a longer time.

Wool Pads

Wool mattress pads are your best bet if you’re looking for a water-resistant option. The natural properties of wool make these pads repel water, thus making them an ideal choice for cribs and toddler beds. These organic mattress pads add cosiness to the bed and make the surface softer. But they require special laundering because they’re made of natural wool.

Cotton Pads

Natural cotton mattress pads are not only comfortable but also good for your health. They’re water-resistant, soft to touch, machine washable and add slight cushioning to your bed. Mattress pads made of organic cotton are also the perfect option for people suffering from chemical allergies.

Mattress Toppers

Mattress toppers are thicker than mattress pads and are designed to suit the diverse needs of a sleeper. They are miniature mattresses used to soften or add firmness to the existing mattress. They are often used to breathe a new life into an old, saggy mattress, that’s why they are considered as a luxury item. Unlike pads that fit on the surface, toppers are simply laid on the top of the mattress underneath a fitted top sheet. However, they are very expensive compared to mattress pads and don’t offer heating or cooling options.

Benefits of Mattress Toppers

  • Revitalizes a sagging mattress
  • Provides comfort without purchasing a new mattress
  • Provides supportive firmness
  • Can be spot cleaned as needed
  • Adds height to a mattress
  • Relieves pressure points, especially for side sleepers

Drawbacks of Mattress Toppers

  • Very expensive
  • Can’t be easily washed

Types of Mattress Toppers

When talking of the materials used for making mattress toppers, they are available in the following types.

Latex Toppers

Natural latex mattress toppers are more durable and efficient for achy joint pains and they give necessary pressure relief points. These eco-friendly toppers are breathable as they do not trap body heat and offer a comfortable sleeping environment. They add great firmness to the mattress but are quite expensive.

Memory Foam Toppers

Memory foam toppers are perfect for people who want durable and budget-friendly toppers with excellent body support. However, unlike natural latex toppers that are made of organic materials, they are made of synthetic materials, i.e., polyurethane foam. Also, they are chemically-treated and retains body heat that makes them really hot, thus disrupting sleep at night.

Feather Toppers

Feather toppers are made from goose feathers or down. They are very plush, long lasting and stay resilient while making a firm mattress really soft. The downside is that they do not offer much support and can cause allergic reactions in some people.

Fibre Toppers

People who are allergic to goose feathers can go for fibre toppers that mimic the feel of feather toppers. They are hypoallergenic, inexpensive and provide good support to your body while ensuring a proper sleeping posture.

Deciding between a mattress pad and a mattress topper depends entirely on your specific needs. If you’re looking for a soft cover to protect your mattress from stains and moisture, then go for a mattress pad. It will help in reducing allergies and asthma and it doesn’t let bed bugs and dust mites to thrive. On the other hand, if you want to add firmness or softness to your old mattress to get more body support, choose a mattress topper. It will help in alleviating the pain of joint discomfort by offering supportive firmness. To purchase mattress pads or toppers made of organic materials, contact Dormio Organic Beds, the best place to get organic bedding items.