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Mattress Pad vs. Mattress Topper: What’s the Difference?

Mattress Pad vs. Mattress Topper: What’s the Difference?

The right mattress contributes to a good night’s sleep and maintaining good posture. While mattresses are an essential investment, they can wear over time. Mattress accessories are a great way to prolong the life of your mattress. Among the most common mattress accessories are mattress pads and mattress toppers. Mattress pads and mattress toppers are known to add protection, extra support and enhance the durability of the mattresses. There are, however, some key differences between the two bedding accessories. Let’s begin by looking at mattress pads and mattress toppers in more detail.

What Is a Mattress Pad?

A mattress pad is a thin layer of quilting or padding, usually made from premium poly. There are, however, variations in shell materials. The pad comes with an elastic stretch skirt that makes sure that the pad doesn’t shift during the night when you change positions. Additionally, the elastic skirt perfectly attaches to the mattress, keeping it secure and preventing it from spills, dirt, and accidental tears.

Types of Mattress Pads

Mattress pads are usually available in premium polyester fill, the fabric shell of mattress pads on the other hand offers a wide range of varieties;

  • 100% Cotton fabric shell
  • Microfiber fabric shell
  • Poly-cotton blend fabric shell
  • 100% Polyester fabric shell
  • Fur fabric shell
  • Fleece fabric shell

Even though mattress pads can be used all year round, some fabric shells are better suited to certain seasons. The breathability and softness of cotton make 100% cotton shells ideal for use during Spring and Fall. Along with cotton, microfiber and poly-cotton blend are also considered ideal for Spring and Fall seasons. The cooling, refreshing properties of 100% polyester fabric make this shell an excellent choice for summers. Mattress pads shelled in fur or fleece fabric provide exceptional warmth and softness to the sleeper making these mattress pads ideal for winters.

What Is a Mattress Topper?

A mattress topper is an accessory that enhances the longevity and comfort of a mattress. Mattress toppers are relatively thicker than mattress pads. A mattress topper may have different layers including natural goose feathers, premium poly, breathable fabric and cover. They provide additional cushioning and support. When your mattress gets old, a mattress topper can be a cost-effective alternative to buying a new mattress. A mattress topper is directly stacked on top of a mattress with elastic straps for a perfect fit. 

Types of Mattress Toppers

Feather Mattress Topper: 

A goose feather topper adds layers of luxurious comfort to your bed, making it the ultimate choice for softness, comfort, and a cloud-like feel. A feather mattress topper is an excellent choice, especially for old mattresses that have lost some comfort over time. Some feather toppers might also include a layer of hypoallergenic polyester filling.

Memory Foam Mattress Topper: 

Viscoelastic foam or memory foam is a material that is popular for retaining its support and softness for an extended period of time. Memory foam is known to offer comfortable support while sleeping because of the way it contours to the sleeper’s body. Providing excellent support and value, memory foam mattresses are a great choice for your bedroom!  

Polyester Mattress Topper: 

A popular hypoallergenic choice, polyester mattress toppers are a very cost-efficient option. Polyester mattress toppers are fairly durable and provide similar support as their contemporaries.

Mattress Pad vs. Mattress Topper — Know the Difference


Mattress Pad: Mattress pads are specially designed to protect the mattress from stains and spills while providing the sleeper with more comfort. The pad covers the top of the mattress and lies between the mattress and the bedding. 

Mattress Topper: A mattress topper can improve the overall feel of your bedding. A mattress topper may relieve pressure points and provide excellent support for your neck and back. Adding a mattress topper to an ordinary mattress can make it feel extra comfortable so that you can enjoy a restful night’s sleep. 


Mattress Pad: Since the mattress pad is a thin layer of quilting or padding, it’s usually not thicker than an inch. Therefore, it adds slight plushness without influencing the firmness level of a mattress.

Mattress topper: A mattress topper usually has multiple layers, which increases its thickness. In terms of mattress toppers, you can choose from a range of thicknesses depending on the layers and fill.


Mattress Pad: The surface of a mattress pad is highly resistant to spills and stains, so they don’t easily soak through. Some mattress pads are made from waterproof materials.

Mattress Topper: Mattress toppers help keep the structure of a mattress intact. Being thicker than a mattress pad, they also prevent general wear and tear, thus extending the life of your mattress.


Mattress Pad: Mattress pads are mostly machine washable, so you can clean them in the washer at home. However, we recommend using mild detergent and warm water. Also, set the drying temperature to a low heat setting.

Mattress Topper: Mattress toppers tend to be heavy, and for best results, we recommend taking them to professional dry-cleaners. You can spot clean a mattress topper to reduce the frequency of getting it dry cleaned.


If you’re in the market for a mattress pad or a mattress topper, then your personal needs and preferences will likely be the deciding factor. Most people prefer mattress toppers because of the high level of added comfort. A mattress topper is the best way to revive an old mattress or achieve better support with a new mattress. They will also extend the life of your mattress by reducing general wear and tear. Or, you can choose a mattress pad to add a few more inches of comfort to your mattress while keeping it protected from spills and stains.

At Puredown, we offer the highest quality mattress toppers and mattress pads. They are available in all major sizes to ensure a perfect fit for your bedding. With various styles and fills, you’re sure to find the one that best compliments your mattress. So, choose a mattress topper or pad from Puredown today and upgrade the feel and comfort of your bed. We have been providing heirloom quality products for over 20 years. Our products are backed by a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a mattress protector? 
    The purpose of a mattress protector or cover is to defend your mattress from dust, stains, and spills. You can also buy a waterproof mattress protector.
  • How is a memory foam mattress topper different from a wool mattress topper?
    A memory foam topper provides excellent body contouring and pressure relief, relieving body pain. Whereas a wool mattress topper is great at regulating temperature, making it an all-season choice for the older mattress or new mattress. 
  • What is the difference between a mattress encasement and a mattress pad?
    A mattress encasement surrounds the mattress from all sides, whereas a mattress pad usually covers five sides.
  • What is a cooling mattress pad?
    A cooling mattress pad is designed for a hot sleeper to keep heat away. Usually, they’re made of breathable materials or filled with gel to regulate temperature. 
  • How is a memory foam pad different from a wool mattress pad?
    A memory foam mattress pad is rare to find. It adapts to the body and provides extra comfort. However, it’s not so thick. A wool mattress pad is made of natural material; it is breathable and effective in wicking away moisture. 
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