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Daniel Noyed

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Best Mattress Pads of 2020

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

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
Saatva Organic Mattress Pad

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.

Hollander Sleep Products Great Sleep Cooling Mattress Pad

Best Cooling

Who it's best for:
  • Hot sleepers
  • Those with allergies
  • Shoppers who prefer a washable mattress pad
Hollander Sleep Products Great Sleep Cooling Mattress Pad

Available in sizes twin through California king, the Great Sleep Cooling Mattress Pad from Hollander Sleep Products is a great choice for those who tend to sleep warm. The pad features a 300 thread count 100% cotton cover which is woven in a smooth sateen weave. Cotton is naturally breathable, moisture-wicking, soft, and hypoallergenic.

The mattress pad is filled with hydrocool polyester fiberfill, which is designed to draw heat away and provides extra cushioning for the top of your mattress. Easy to care for, the pad can be machine washed and dried, though the company does recommend using only front loading machines, cold water, and washing with like colors to extend the life of the pad and keep the fill evenly dispersed.

Hollander Sleep Products offers free shipping within the contiguous U.S. for all orders over $99 and extends a 30-night return policy, though the customer is responsible for a reduced shipping fee for any returns.

Parachute Down Mattress Pad

Best Down

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
Parachute Down Mattress Pad

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.

Utopia Bedding Mattress Pad

Best Value

Who it's best for:
  • Sleepers who want a plush mattress pad
  • People needing only light protection against spills
  • Budget shoppers
Utopia Bedding Mattress Pad

The Utopia Bedding Mattress Pad provides a strong value thanks to its ability to deliver quality performance with a simple design and affordable price.

This mattress pad is composed primarily of polyester fiber fill. The topmost portion of the pad uses a brushed polyester, known as microfiber, that has more loft and a softer, fluffier feel. Microfiber produces little or no noise, and its coziness adds comfort to your bed, although it can retain more heat than smoother, sleeker fabrics.

On the underside of the polyester is a vinyl backing. Though not built to be waterproof or impermeable, this vinyl backing does help resist spills and serves as a useful layer of protection for your mattress. If spills do occur, the mattress pad is machine-washable and can be tumble-dried on low heat.

The side panels of the Utopia Bedding Mattress Pad come with a continuous elastic hem to keep the pad snugly tucked under your mattress. A deep pocket can fit mattresses that are up to 16 inches tall.

When purchased on Amazon, the Utopia Bedding Mattress Pad is covered by Amazon’s 30-day return policy. Overall, this mattress pad doesn’t boast a lot of extra features, but it’s offered at a bargain price and adds a line of defense and comfort to your mattress.

Naturepedic Organic Waterproof Pad

Best Waterproof Pad

Who it's best for:
  • Shoppers who want robust waterproofing
  • Customers who value organic materials
  • Sleepers who like the inviting feel of jersey-knit cotton
Naturepedic Organic Waterproof Pad

Naturepedic focuses on designing mattresses and bedding that meet exemplary standards of production that are friendly to human health and the environment. At the same time, their products are high-performance, including the Naturepedic Organic Waterproof Mattress Pad.

In this pad, the top and bottom are both made with organic cotton. The cotton is jersey-knit, providing a stretchy and supple feel that customers love. It stays quiet and doesn’t bunch up when you move on the mattress, and as an added benefit, it’s naturally moisture-wicking, helping to prevent waking up in a sweat.

The waterproofing in this mattress pad comes from a polyurethane barrier utilizing Naturepedic’s DrySleep technology. While many polyurethane materials are made with potentially hazardous chemicals and compounds, Naturepedic’s formulation is approved by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). This impermeable layer keeps spills, dust mites, and allergens from penetrating to your mattress.

Production of the Naturepedic Waterproof Mattress Pad takes place in a GOTS-certified facility, demonstrating the company’s dedication to sustainable and healthy manufacturing. The pad can be machine-washed and -dried, and a full elastic hem keeps it in place on top of your mattress.

Naturepedic provides free shipping as well as a no-risk sleep trial that lasts for 30 nights. A 1-year warranty gives customers coverage in the rare case of a defect in materials or manufacturing.

American Baby Company Waterproof Fitted Mattress Cover

Best for Kids

Who it's best for:
  • Parents who want waterproof protection for their child’s bed
  • Shoppers looking for an easily washable mattress pad
  • Value seekers
American Baby Company Waterproof Fitted Mattress Cover

The American Baby Waterproof Fitted Mattress Cover is a solid pick for parents that are looking for a quick, easy, and affordable way to protect their baby’s crib mattress.

This mattress pad comes in several versions, including this one, which is designed to fit comfortably on a six-inch crib mattress. Other models with similar features are available for a pack-and-play or mini-crib.

The top and bottom is made with 100% polyester that has a soft and smooth construction, preventing bunching, crinkling, or stiffness when in use. A continuous band of elastic goes around the perimeter of the skirt to affix the pad tightly to the mattress.

Between the polyester layers is a vinyl waterproof barrier that prevents stains from getting into the bottom layer of polyester or the crib mattress itself. Parents of babies and very young children know that accidents and spills happen, and the American Baby Waterproof Fitted Mattress Cover eliminates the worry that those accidents could cause serious damage to the mattress. In addition, this mattress pad can be safely machine-washed and -dried, making for no-fuss cleaning after a blowout or when you just want to freshen up your child’s bed.

American Baby offers this mattress pad through Amazon, which means that it is covered by Amazon’s 30-day return window. The pad has earned rave reviews from Amazon shoppers, and it stands out as an especially good value thanks to its affordable price point.

In-Depth Mattress Pad Guides

Mattress Pad Feel

What is a Mattress Pad?

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.