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Here at SleepZoo, we dedicate our time to helping our readers achieve better sleep. We do this by promoting and reviewing the best mattresses, providing sleep tips, and answering reader questions. One common question we get is from readers curious about mattress pads, asking us what is a mattress pad, or why use a mattress pad? We set out to answer this simple question in our guide below.


What is a Mattress Pad?

A mattress pad is a foam and fabric bedding accessory designed to sit on top the mattress, underneath the sheets. Its primary purpose is to provide extra comfort and warmth. It’s primarily made of foam and soft fabric, and is designed to blend in with the mattress, to the point where it’s not immediately obvious that it’s actually a separate accessory.

Mattress pads typically are designed like fitted sheets, with stretchy fabric on all sides that fits around and under the edges of the mattress. This keeps the pad in place, and allows the bed to be made as usual.

A mattress pad is a bit different than a mattress topper, although the two are commonly considered to be in the same category. A mattress topper is generally thicker, and often made of memory foam. It sits on top of them mattress, but does not use the same fitted sheet-style design, and does not really attach to the mattress itself. Pads are also significantly different than mattress protectors, which are designed to protect the mattress rather than improve comfort.


Why Use a Mattress Pad?

The primary reason you might use mattress pads is to increase the comfort of your bed. These accessories provide an extra 1/4″ to 3/4″ of padding to your bed, which increases the cushiness and comfort.

For this reason, mattress pads are mostly useful for people with older beds that have become uncomfortable. If you are unhappy with the comfort of your bed, it’s likely time to replace your mattress. If you can’t afford a new bed right now, adding a mattress topper can help – but it’s certainly no replacement for a new one!

Mattress pads also might help protect your mattress from damage and stains; but again, that’s not their main function. If you’re looking for a way to protect your new mattress, we recommend going with a mattress protector instead.


What’s a Good Mattress Pad to Buy?

The best-selling mattress pad on Amazon is this UtopiaBedding model, which is available for a very low price. It’s well reviewed, available in many sizes, and helps add an extra layer of comfort to your older mattress. Click here to learn more.

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