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Best Mattress Pads of 2021

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Daniel Noyed

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Best Mattress Pads of 2021

A mattress pad is a popular choice for people who want to help keep their mattress in tip-top shape while adding a touch of comfort to their bed. With a design that’s simple both to use and clean, a mattress pad is a quick-and-easy way to upgrade your sleeping surface.

Shoppers who start browsing online for mattress pads are confronted by a bevy of options made with a huge diversity of materials and at a wide range of prices. With a crowded set of products, picking out the cream of the crop can be burdensome.

We take the stress out of the process by identifying the best mattress pads in key categories. Whether you’re looking for something organic, budget-friendly, waterproof, or built for kids’ beds, our guide has you covered. We also provide an in-depth explanation of the benefits of mattress pads, how they compare to mattress toppers and encasements, and the most important considerations when trying to identify your ideal mattress pad.

Product Details

Saatva Organic Mattress Pad

Best Overall

Saatva Organic Mattress Pad

Saatva Organic Mattress Pad
Price: $175
Cover Material: Top panel: GOTS-certified organic cotton Side panel: GOTS-certified organic cotton, spandex
Fill: Organic cotton
Who it's best for:
  • Shoppers who prioritize natural materials
  • Sleepers who want the softness and breathability of cotton
  • Customers looking for an extended sleep trial
Highlights:
  • Constructed from sustainably sourced, GOTS-certified organic cotton
  • Deep pocket corners make the pad compatible with most mattresses
  • Breathable composition ensures good temperature regulation
Saatva Organic Mattress Pad

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Saatva products

The Saatva Organic Mattress Pad is our top pick for customers who want a mattress pad made with natural, chemical-free organic cotton.

The top of this pad is made with 100% cotton that has been certified to be organic by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). GOTS certification requires compliance with strict standards for organic production as well as the fair treatment of workers. For shoppers who want the health benefits of a natural material combined with the environmental and social benefits of sustainable production, the Saatva Organic Mattress Pad is a compelling option.

The cotton in this mattress pad has a thread count of 300, making it soft, smooth, and able to add a welcoming feel to your mattress. At the same time, it is durable and can effectively wick moisture to help you maintain a stable body temperature. The mattress pad has deep side panels that are 4% spandex to give them extra stretch to fit mattresses up to 16 inches deep.

The Saatva Organic Mattress Pad comes with free standard shipping. The Saatva Company has a strong reputation in the mattress and bedding industry for its product quality and customer service. They back this mattress pad with a 45-day trial during which you can return it for a full refund if you aren’t satisfied.

ViscoSoft Copper Pillow Top Mattress Pad

Best Value

ViscoSoft Copper Pillow Top Mattress Pad

ViscoSoft Copper Pillow Top Mattress Pad
Price: $75
Cover Material: Copper-infused fabric
Fill: Down alternative fibers
Who it's best for:
  • Hot sleepers
  • Anyone with a mattress up to 18 inches thick
  • Value seekers
Highlights:
  • Moisture-wicking fabric infused with cooling copper provides excellent temperature control
  • Generous 18-inch pocket depth ensures compatibility with most mattresses
  • Fully machine washable
ViscoSoft Copper Pillow Top Mattress Pad

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on ViscoSoft products

The ideal mattress pad will provide a noticeable comfort adjustment and help protect your sleep surface from undesirable elements. The ViscoSoft Copper Pillow Top Mattress Pad checks both of these boxes, and an approachable sticker price makes it a great deal for shoppers on a budget.

The shell is composed of moisture-wicking fabric infused with copper fibers for added cooling. Copper is also naturally antimicrobial to keep harmful bacteria out of your bed and manage unwanted odors that build up over time. The quilted pillow top contains plush fiber fill that adjusts the feel of your mattress without making it feel too soft (as a topper might do).

The elasticated corners reach a pocket depth of 18 inches, so the pad can be used with nearly every mattress sold today including most high-profile models. You can launder the pad in your household machines, so you won’t have to spend time hand washing the fabric or spend extra to have it dry cleaned. The pad is available in six different sizes that correspond with standard mattress dimensions.

An affordable price-point and strong performance make this pad a high-value sleep accessory. All orders qualify for free ground delivery. Your purchase is backed by a sleep trial that lasts 60 nights and a 5-year warranty against structural defects.

Parachute Down Mattress Pad

Best Luxury

Parachute Down Mattress Pad

Parachute Down Mattress Pad
Price: $249
Cover Material: 100% cotton
Fill: Down and feather fill
Who it's best for:
  • Sleepers who want the plush feel of down
  • People with extra-deep mattresses
  • Luxury shoppers looking for high-end design and materials
Highlights:
  • Premium down makes any mattress surface feel luxuriously plush
  • Double-stitching ensures even fill distribution and minimal clumping or shifting
  • Fits mattresses up to 18 inches thick
Parachute Down Mattress Pad

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Parachute products

The Parachute Down Mattress Pad is the perfect fit for shoppers looking for a premium mattress pad. Built with top-notch materials, it cultivates a welcoming feel thanks to its plush down fill and sleek cotton cover.

Down is a beloved material in bedding because of its special combination of features. It is soft, light, and pliable, giving it a reputation for cloud-like comfort. It is extremely effective at insulating, which means that it can be cozy on a cold night, but it’s also breathable, letting your body cool down naturally when necessary. Parachute’s mattress pad uses all-natural white down. 85% is pure down, and 15% is a mix of a down and other soft feathers. High-quality down of this type has excellent durability, which is another reason for its popularity in bedding products.

The cover, also known as the shell, of the Parachute Down Mattress Pad is made with 100% cotton. The fabric has a sateen weave to give it a silky smoothness, and extra stitching adds to the pad’s durability and holds the down securely within the cover.

An elastic hem goes around the whole mattress pad, keeping it tight to your mattress, and the design includes an extra-deep pocket to fit mattresses up to 18 inches tall. The pad can be machine-washed and dried using gentle, low-heat settings.

Parachute offers free shipping and provides customers with a 60-night sleep trial to test out the mattress pad with the ability to return it for a full refund. A 3-year warranty offers protection against defects in materials and manufacturing.

Cozy Earth Bamboo Mattress Pad

Best Bamboo

Cozy Earth Bamboo Mattress Pad

Cozy Earth Bamboo Mattress Pad
Price: $203
Cover Material: Viscose derived from bamboo
Fill: Fiber fill derived from bamboo
Who it's best for:
  • Hot sleepers and people who live in warm areas
  • Those who don’t want to change the feel of their mattress too much
  • People who prefer very soft bedding products
Highlights:
  • Exceptional breathability and cooling
  • Thin profile for minor comfort adjustment
  • Silky-soft hand-feel
Cozy Earth Bamboo Mattress Pad

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Cozy Earth products

In recent years, bedding products made from bamboo-derived materials have become popular among hot sleepers and those who reside in warmer climates. This can be attributed to bamboo’s natural breathability. The Cozy Earth Bamboo Mattress Pad is composed entirely of bamboo-based components. The cover is made of silky-soft viscose derived from bamboo, while the fill consists of bamboo-derived fibers that create a plush feel.

The Bamboo Mattress Pad has a fairly thin profile, so it won’t drastically change the feel of your sleep surface, but the pad excels at temperature regulation. The elasticated corners are designed to fit mattresses up to 20 inches thick, a range that includes the vast majority of beds sold today.

Caring for the pad is convenient and straightforward. You can wash and dry it in any household machine, provided you don’t wash it on a spin cycle or use bleach or fabric softener. Cozy Earth recommends hanging the pad in sunlight two to three times per year to refresh the bamboo fibers.

Cozy Earth offers free shipping throughout the contiguous U.S. Each customer receives a sleep trial that allows them to test out the Bamboo Mattress Pad for up to 100 nights before deciding whether to keep it or return it.

Birch Organic Mattress Pad

Best Organic

Birch Organic Mattress Pad

Birch Organic Mattress Pad
Price: $199
Cover Material: GOTS-certified organic cotton sateen
Fill: GOTS-organic cotton
Who it's best for:
  • Constructed from three layers of breathable organic cotton
  • 100% GOTS-certified materials
  • Thick perimeter band holds the pad in place and prevent slippage
Highlights:
  • Hot sleepers
  • People who own mattresses up to 16 inches thick
  • Consumers who prefer to use organic products
Birch Organic Mattress Pad

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Birch products

The Birch Organic Mattress Pad may not be fully waterproof, but it still provides excellent absorbency and can protect your mattress from mild spills. The pad is constructed from three layers of pure organic cotton. A sateen weave gives the fabric a soft hand-feel that can add plushness to your sleep surface.

The cotton has received GOTS and Fair Trade certification, ensuring sustainable production and ethical treatment for workers. This makes the pad appealing to consumers who would rather purchase responsibly made goods. The pad is also a good option for hot sleepers. All three layers are highly breathable and shouldn’t trap too much body heat.

The corners have a pocket depth of 16 inches, so you’ll be able to use the pad with most mattresses made today. A thick elastic band provides great stability and prevents corners from slipping off during the night. You can wash and dry the item in your household machines, or spot clean as needed if mild stains occur. With regular cleaning, the pad should hold up fairly well over time.

Given its durable design and high-quality materials, the Organic Mattress Pad has a reasonable sticker price. Birch also ships for free to all 50 states. You’ll receive a 100-night sleep trial and one-year warranty with your purchase.

Slumber Cloud Nacreous Mattress Pad

Best Cooling

Slumber Cloud Nacreous Mattress Pad

Slumber Cloud Nacreous Mattress Pad
Price: $199
Cover Material: Outlast viscose and cotton fabric blend
Fill: Polyester fibers
Who it's best for:
  • Hot sleepers
  • Owners of mattresses up to 20 inches thick
  • Shoppers who prefer a washable pad
Highlights:
  • Designed with Outlast technology for optimal year-round temperature control
  • Surface is quilted with plush fiber fill to make your mattress feel softer
  • Elastic skirting with 360-degree grip accommodates mattresses ranging from 5 to 20 inches thick
Slumber Cloud Nacreous Mattress Pad

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Slumber Cloud products

Many mattress pads offer decent breathability, but the Nacreous Mattress Pad from Slumber Pad takes temperature control to an entirely different level. The pad is constructed with two layers engineered to draw heat away from your body when you feel too warm, resulting in a cool and comfortable surface. The pad is also a good option for cold sleepers because it absorbs and retains warmth on chillier nights.

The Nacreous Mattress Pad is also designed for generous pocket depth and should be compatible with any mattress measuring up to 20 inches thick, which encompasses the vast majority of models sold today. You can wash the pad in your household machine, but Slumber Cloud recommends air drying or tumble drying on low heat to prevent permanent damage.

Although the pad’s sticker price is a bit steep, shoppers may consider its innovative design worth the investment. Slumber Cloud also provides free shipping for all U.S. orders and allows returns within 60 days of the original purchase, even if you’ve used or washed the pad.

Sweet Zzz Mattress Pad

Most Comfortable

Sweet Zzz Mattress Pad

Sweet Zzz Mattress Pad
Price: $199
Cover Material: Cotton
Fill: Down alternative fibers
Who it's best for:
  • People who want to make their mattress feel softer
  • Hot sleepers
  • Owners of mattresses up to 17 inches thick
Highlights:
  • Cushioned with 2 inches of down alternative fill
  • Pure cotton cover is soft and breathable
  • 50-night trial and 5-year warranty
Sweet Zzz Mattress Pad

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Sweet Zzz products

The Sweet Zzz Mattress Pad is a great option if your mattress has become too firm or stiff over the years. This pad is constructed with plush down alternative fill that offers the softness of real down without sleeping too hot or triggering allergies. Since the pad measures 2 inches thick, it provides a noticeable adjustment to how your mattress surface feels.

The pad’s cover is composed of breathable cotton, which adds to the pad’s soft feel. The top surface is quilted, and the large baffle boxes are sewn-through to prevent fill from escaping. Thanks to a completely elasticated perimeter, the pad offers excellent stability and shouldn’t slip off the corners of your mattress during the night. It is compatible with any mattress measuring between 6 and 17 inches thick.

Sweet Zzz recommends machine washing the pad with organic detergent on a cool, followed by drying on a low or tumble cycle. Bleach should never be used, and you should not dry clean the pad. Six sizes ranging from twin to California king are available.

Sweet Zzz provides free ground shipping to all customers in the contiguous U.S. The company offers a sleep trial that allows you to test out the pad for up to 50 nights, as well as a five-year warranty if you decide to keep it.

Helix Ultra-Cool Pad

Most Innovative

Helix Ultra-Cool Pad

Helix Ultra-Cool Pad
Price: $150
Cover Material: Quilting: 100% cotton with phase-change material Skirt: 100% polyester
Fill: Polyester down alternative fibers
Who it's best for:
  • People who live in hot or humid places
  • Those with mattresses up to 15 inches thick
  • Mattress pad shoppers looking for a model with a lengthy sleep trial
Highlights:
  • Engineered with phase-change material for exceptional cooling
  • Antimicrobial treatment helps to keep your mattress hygienic and odor-free
  • 100-night trial and 1-year warranty
Helix Ultra-Cool Pad

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Helix products

Hot sleepers can benefit from a cooling mattress pad that dissipates heat and regulates the surface temperature, and the same is true of anyone who resides in a warm or humid locale. The Helix Ultra-Cool Pad lives up to its name thanks to an innovative composition. The top panel is made of cotton infused with phase-change material, which draws heat away from the body and helps the surface stay cool regardless of the outside temperature.

The fabric is also given an antimicrobial treatment, which can help stave off harmful bacteria and reduce odors that come from sweating in bed. The side skirt is composed of stretchy polyester with a thick border band to keep the pad in place and prevent the edges from slipping off.

The pad is fully machine washable for easy and convenient care. The pocket depth is 15 inches, and you can choose from six different sizes ranging between twin and king or California king. Standard ground shipping is free of charge within the contiguous U.S., and each purchase comes with a lengthy 100-night sleep trial and 1-year warranty for added assurance.

In-Depth Mattress Pad Guides

A mattress pad is a layer of fabric that goes between the mattress and a fitted sheet.

There are two principal uses of a mattress pad:

  • Making the sleeping surface more comfortable. In most cases, a mattress pad provides added softness, but it can also boost comfort through its cooling or heating properties or with a cozy pillow-top.
  • Providing a line of defense against damage to the mattress. By placing a layer on top of the mattress, a pad can offer protection against spills and the collection of dust and allergens. Some pads have waterproof layers for more complete protection, but not all mattress pads are designed to be impermeable.

In contrast to a mattress pad, a mattress topper is thicker and used principally to adjust the feel of a mattress. A mattress encasement, sometimes called a mattress protector, goes all the way around a mattress with a zippered enclosure and is almost always waterproof.

How to Choose a Mattress Pad

A mattress protector can be a useful addition to your bedding, but it can be challenging to find the right product among all of the options that are on the market. Knowing what to look for when shopping can make all the difference in finding a top mattress pad.

What to Consider When Purchasing a Mattress Pad

Mattress pads are designed to solve different problems, and that can at times make it hard to do easy apples-to-apple comparisons among them. To get to the bottom of which mattress pad is best in your situation, review the following factors and consider which are your highest priorities.

Price
For the majority of shoppers, there’s no getting around cost as one of the deciding factors when purchasing a new mattress pad. To streamline your shopping, it makes sense to start by setting a rough budget so that you don’t spend excess time looking at options that are out of your price range. The most basic mattress pads can cost around $20 while higher-end models can cost $300 or more.

Waterproofing
If you want the most hardened defense against liquid spills, you need a truly waterproof mattress pad. On the other hand, if you rarely have food or drinks near your bed, a water-resistant mattress pad may be enough for you. To make sure a mattress pad is waterproof, look for details about the actual layer, usually made with vinyl or polyurethane, that creates a barrier against liquids.

Quality Materials
Durable and dependable mattress pads are composed of high-quality materials. Companies that invest in smart designs and solid components tend to win much higher praise from customers. In considering the construction of a mattress pad, you may also consider whether it’s important to you if it uses natural, organic, or eco-friendly materials.

Cooling Properties
If you live in a warm climate or have a propensity to sleep hot, then a cooling mattress pad can bring added comfort to your bed. Cooling properties can include breathable fabrics that pull moisture away from the body so that it can evaporate, a process known as comfort cooling. Phase change materials (PCMs) are another type of textile technology that can promote effective temperature regulation. Remember, though, that sleeping temperature is not just about your mattress pad; your mattress, sheets, and blankets can all play a role as well.

Thickness
For a mattress pad that boosts the height of your bed or changes its feel, a thicker option is your best bet. If you mainly want waterproofing or just a touch of softness, a thinner pad is a better fit.

Firmness Level
When looking at a thicker mattress pad, such as a pillow-top mattress pad, make sure to take the firmness feel into account. For example, a thick down mattress pad can make a bed feel much more plush, which could be a positive or negative depending on your preferences. Thinner mattress pads are less likely to significantly affect the comfort feel of your bed.

Pressure Relief
For thicker mattress pads that more substantially change the feel of the bed, consider whether it will affect the overall pressure relief that you receive. Make sure to think about how the pad will work in conjunction with your mattress and whether that combination will be able to properly cushion your shoulders, hips, neck, lower back, or other pressure points.

Pocket Depth
Most shoppers don’t have to worry about a mattress pad fitting on their bed, but if you have an extra-deep mattress, check the dimensions and ensure that any mattress pad you are considering will be able to fit comfortably.

Cleaning
People who are accident-prone or who frequently have food and drink in their beds can benefit from a mattress pad that’s easier to keep clean. The majority of pads can be machine-washed and -dried, but checking the manufacturer’s instructions ahead of time can confirm that keeping your mattress pad fresh won’t be a pain.

Noise
Some mattress pads have a plastic-like build that can be crinkly and noisy during the night. For this reason, most people prefer smoother and thinner mattress pads that customer reviews describe as quiet.

Which Type of Mattress Pad Should I Choose?

Mattress pads come in a number of types of materials, although the range of construction is narrower than in mattress toppers. Each way of designing a mattress pad brings potential benefits and downsides.

Cotton is one of the most popular choices for mattress pads. Its performance is impressive, providing softness and moisture-wicking with virtually no noise. Most cotton is durable and can be safely machine-washed and dried. Some types of cotton mattress pads are available at a low cost, but many, including higher-end and organic cotton mattress pads, are more expensive.

Polyester is another of the most common materials used in mattress pads. Polyester can be thin and soft, like in athletic clothing, or brushed microfiber, which has a plush feel. Polyester can wick moisture, although it is not as breathable as cotton. Polyester mattress pads are often the least expensive and easy to launder, but their reduced durability is a drawback.

Down feathers are found in many bedding products, including mattress pads. Down’s light and soft feel makes this material especially popular in thicker mattress pads meant to provide a plush sleeping surface. The negatives to down are its high price point, its potential for causing allergies in some people, and its reduced loft and performance if it gets wet.

Rayon is a fabric derived from natural fibers, including different types of wood pulp. It has many similar characteristics to cotton in terms of its smoothness and breathability, but it may not be quite as soft to the touch.

Wool is found in some mattress pads and is valued for its breathability and natural temperature regulation that allows it to be comfortable in both winter and summer. Like down, it is soft and can cultivate a plush feel, but it tends to be expensive. The selection of wool mattress pads is considerably smaller than that of materials like cotton and polyester.

With virtually any of these materials, a waterproofing layer can be added to keep liquids from seeping into a mattress. The most common form of waterproofing is a lining or backing made of vinyl or thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU).

What Are the Benefits of a Mattress Pad?

There are a handful of reasons to use mattress pads, and each customer can consider whether a mattress pad is the best match for their situation relative to a mattress topper or mattress encasement.

Some of the main benefits of mattress pads include:

Mattress Protection
If a mattress pad is waterproof, it offers a strong seal against liquids permeating into and potentially damaging your mattress. Even if a pad isn’t fully waterproof, it can still absorb some spills, reducing the impact on the mattress and buying time to get things cleaned up.

Reduction in Allergens
A mattress pad can provide a defense against seasonal allergens and year-round dust mites that can collect in a mattress. An impermeable layer of vinyl or TPU offers a more dependable barrier, but any fabric can help cut down on the ability of allergens to reach your mattress.

Comfort
The added softness from a mattress pad can make a mattress more comfortable, and this effect can be pronounced with thicker and plusher pads made of materials like down and wool. Cooling mattress pads can contribute to comfort by preventing sleepers from overheating during the night.

Ease of Cleaning
Trying to spot-clean a mattress without damaging it can be a pain. In contrast, most mattress pads are easily washed and dried. In this way, a mattress pad can make it much simpler to keep your bed smelling and feeling fresh.

Cost Effectiveness
Mattress pads can often be found at much lower prices than mattress toppers and protectors, making them a compelling choice for budget-shoppers and value-seekers.

In most cases, the mattress protection offered by a mattress pad is less than a full mattress encasement, and the comfort boost is less than what’s offered by a mattress topper. However, mattress pads provide an affordable and easy-to-use middle ground that delivers a well-rounded set of benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mattress Pads

If you’re still wondering about whether a mattress pad is right for your bed, some frequently asked questions may address your remaining doubts.

How Does a Mattress Pad Attach to the Bed?

Almost all mattress pads use elastic to connect to the bed and stay in place.

The most common way that this elastic is deployed is by sewing it into the perimeter of the pad. A skirt or side panel goes over the sides of the mattress, and the skirt has elastic placed either in the corners only or in a continuous band that goes around the full hem. In this way, these mattress pads resemble a fitted sheet.

In some cases, a mattress pad does not have a skirt or side panels and uses elastic straps in each corner to go under the mattress and hold the pad in place. Pads with this design are often prone to shifting around and needing to be reattached.

Can Mattress Pads Adjust the Firmness of My Bed?

Most mattress pads make only limited changes to the firmness of a bed, but some pads, especially thicker ones composed of soft materials like down feathers, can make a bed feel plusher. In most cases, people who want to dramatically change the feel of their bed are better off with a mattress topper than a mattress pad.

How Do I Clean My Mattress Pad?

It is important to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer about how to clean any specific mattress pad. Laundering a mattress pad in the recommended way can extend its longevity and keep it from wearing thin or losing its waterproofing.

In general, mattress pads can be machine-washed and dried on gentle or low-heat settings, but the optimal way of cleaning a mattress pad will depend on its materials.

What’s the Difference Between a Mattress Pad and a Mattress Topper or Mattress Protector?

A mattress pad is thinner than a mattress topper, which is instead built primarily for the purpose of changing the feel of a bed. Mattress pads offer a line of defense for a mattress, but they don’t fully encase it on all sides like a mattress protector.

Each of these products serves a different core need. If your focus is maximum protection against spills and allergens, a mattress encasement is the strongest fit. If your focus is on maximum change to the feel of the mattress, a topper is ideal. If you want something that falls in between, defending the mattress while lightly changing its feel, then a mattress pad is a compelling choice.