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Why Use a Mattress Pad and How to Choose One

Why Use a Mattress Pad and How to Choose One

How to Choose the Perfect Mattress Pad

Getting a good night’s sleep is important to our physical and mental health. It affects how we think, function, and feel every day. Therefore, finding the right materials for your bed is vital in gaining the quality sleep you need to thrive. 

Mattress pads can provide you with the support that your usual mattress and bed sheets may not give. Keep reading for our exclusive guide to choosing the right mattress pad for your precious nights. 

What Is a Mattress Pad? 

We all know what a mattress is, but what is a mattress pad? You can think of it as a complementary bedding layer that provides support, protection, and comfort for a good night’s sleep. Mattress pads vary in thickness, material, and size depending on your personal preferences and bedtime needs. They sit on top of your mattress and below your sheets.

The Purpose of a Mattress Pad 

So what is a mattress pad used for? Sometimes, our usual mattresses and bed sheets are not enough for our bodies; they don’t provide the necessary support that we need. Thus, mattress pads serve a variety of valuable purposes: 

  • They provide extra cushion to a firm mattress.
  • They provide protection against dust mites, dead skin, and stains.
  • They add a longer lifespan to your mattress.

Over time, your mattress can lose its quality. Oils and dead skin from our bodies, grime, and dust mites accumulate, adding weight to our mattresses. As a result, they lack the support needed to provide a comfortable night’s sleep. And though your bed sheets may be soft, depending on the material and thickness, they cannot provide substantial insulation for your body, nor can they sufficiently protect your mattress. 

So mattress pads are a great way to add longevity to your mattress and enhance the overall comfort of your bed. Why use a mattress pad? Here are some reasons: 

  • If you are unhappy with your current mattress, a mattress pad can be a nice short-term solution to add comfort to an older or uncomfortable mattress.  
  • If you’ve made a large investment in a nice, new mattress and want to properly protect it so it lasts a long time. 
  • If you’re having friends over, roll-out beds, inflatable mattresses, or futons will do well with a mattress pad that will help create a more comfortable nest for your guests. 

Moreover, mattress pads offer additional advantages such as: 

  • They can be easily removed and laundered.
  • They can help reduce unwanted noise on a mattress.
  • They are portable, making it easy to move and transport around the house.
  • They are generally inexpensive.

Selecting the Right Mattress Pad

As there are several types of mattress pads on the market, choosing a quality mattress pad entails understanding the types of options available in terms of style, size, and features.

Thread Count

Thread count refers to the number of threads per square inch of fabric. Similar to sheets and comforters, a higher thread count indicates better quality and durability of the mattress pad. It also indicates a tighter weave, which will preserve the fill and keep debris at bay. Thus, thread count is an important factor when looking at mattress pad options. 


Mattress pads come in different types of materials and thickness levels. The thickness of mattress pads can range anywhere from one-quarter of an inch to five inches. Some are quilted with heavy padding, while others are only a flat barrier between the fitted sheet and mattress. If you want a pad simply to protect your mattress from wear, then purchasing a thin pad is a great option. And if you are looking for both protection and comfort, then consider looking into pads on the thicker side. 

1. Cotton

Soft, easy to wash, and long-lasting, cotton mattress pads are a convenient and durable material choice. They often come quilted and thin, providing the right protection for your mattress. Moreover, they are generally the cheapest type of mattress pads, costing as little as $30.

2. Polyester

Pads with polyester fiber clusters provide a great level of comfort. They feel like down with their plush softness. There are some with a polyester/cotton blend for optimal comfort. Naturally hypoallergenic, this is great for those who have allergies and want both protection and comfort. 

3. Natural Latex 

Natural latex pads are made from rubber sap that is whipped into foam. Not only are these naturally hypoallergenic, but they are less susceptible to mold and dust mites. As a result, 100% natural latex pads can last up to 20 years. They are thin, quilted, provide you comfort, and help keep your mattress clean. They are known to be very resilient and durable compared to other mattress pad materials. 

4. Memory Foam

Thick and lightweight, memory foam is an absorbent material made from viscoelastic polyurethane. Memory foam adjusts to the shape of your body to properly align your spine. As memory foam has a tendency to retain heat, consider looking at memory foam mattress pads that carry a gel latex layer that allows your pad to breath. 

Memory foam is a great option for those who suffer from back and muscle aches. And because of their thickness, they can actually be a convenient and long-term alternative to buying a new mattress if yours is starting to wear. 

5. Bamboo

Bamboo blend fabrics consist of rayon from bamboo. It’s silky, incredibly soft, moisture-absorbent, quick-drying, and antibacterial. It’s also insulating, so will keep you cool during the summer and warm in the winter. Though they typically range on the pricier side, if you’re looking for quality material that helps regulate body temperature, this is a great and viable option. Bamboo’s plush feel makes it a great option for those seeking both protection and comfort. 

Attachment/Fit Styles

Mattress pads typically come with two different attachment features. 

1. Skirt

Most mattress pads come in a skirt, or fitted-sheet, style that is attached to the periphery of the pad. This periphery is elastic, which helps you fit the pad snuggly on your mattress. Think of it like a bed sheet but with a soft pad attached to it. This is a great option if you want something that will stay in place. Just make sure that the pad is the proper size for your mattress. If it’s too large, it will likely slip off from time to time.

2. Anchored Strap

This anchored strap is a quilted pad with elastic straps at each of the pad’s four corners. These are generally cheaper and are a great option for thin mattresses.


So you picked out the right material and style, but does it actually fit your bed? A mattress pad is only good if it actually fits. Before purchasing a mattress pad, be sure to measure the depth of your mattress. 

Refer to the following guidelines to help make the right purchase when it comes to your bed. Mattress pads usually use terminology such as:  

  • Standard - If your mattress depth measures from five to 12 inches, look for a “standard” pad. 
  • Deep - If your mattress ranges between 12 to 17 inches deep, look for a “deep” mattress pad. 
  • Extra Deep - If your mattress measures 18 inches or above in depth, find mattress pads that come with “extra deep” pockets

You want to make sure that whatever pad you choose, the fit isn’t too tight on your mattress. Not only will this make it difficult for you to put your pad on and off, but it will put stress on the seams that can cause damage. 

Mattress Pad vs Mattress Toppers

Many people use the terms mattress pads and mattress toppers interchangeably.  It’s important to note that they are not the same thing. They are constructed differently and serve different purposes. 

Though both are designed to make your bed more comfortable and protected, toppers are thicker than pads and are designed to change the way mattresses feel and how they support your back and neck. You can think of them as the older brother or sister of the pad. People who use both generally put the pad on top of the mattress topper for optimal support. Style-wise, toppers usually do not have the fitted sheet construction.

Learn More 

Why use a mattress pad? Mattress pads provide the comfort and protection you need to extend the lifespan of your mattress and get the restful night’s sleep you need. Since we spend one-third of our lives sleeping, it’s important to invest in the right bed items for your physical and mental health.

Learn more about eLuxury’s mattress pads and the various options by browsing through our buying guides to purchase the right one for you and your family. As a specialty linen and home product provider, we offer pads made with quality material from bamboo blend fabrics to Revoloft fiber. Be sure to also check out our blog for helpful tips on finding the right option for a comfortable and good night’s rest. 

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