Mattress Pad vs Mattress Protector: What Is the Difference?

Mattress Pad vs Mattress Protector: What Is the Difference?

Written by Nectarsleep editorial team

Last Updated on Jun 14, 2022

In this article:

    Investing in accessories, such as a mattress pad or a mattress protector, increases comfort and keeps the mattress safe. Unfortunately, most people are unaware of the difference between these two mattress accessories. This leads them to seek a comparative analysis of mattress pad vs mattress protector. 

    Mattress pads make your bed more comfortable by adding a thin layer of padding to the mattress. On the other hand, Mattress protectors keep the mattress safe from damage caused by spills, stains, and general wear and tear. Read on to learn more about mattress pads and protectors to make an informed buying decision.

    Our Biggest Offer Ever!!!

    $499 of Accessories Included With Every Mattress!

    Cooling Pillow Cooling Pillow

    Included $200

    Mattress Protector Mattress Protector

    Included $99

    Sheet Set Sheet Set

    Included $200

    Try Nectar, Claim My Offer

    What Is A Mattress Pad?

    A mattress pad is a thin layer of quilted material placed between the mattress and the sheets. It adds a layer of luxury and comfort to the bed and keeps the mattress relatively safe from staining, wear and tear. Mattress pads are generally made of the following materials.  

    Cotton 

    Mattress pads made from this natural fiber are breathable, hypoallergenic, easy to use, and maintain. In addition, a cotton mattress pad creates a soft feel and is easy to adjust, even for sensitive sleepers. 

    Wool 

    Woolen mattress pads are thinner and relatively more expensive than cotton ones but offer a softer feel and texture. The wool pad helps regulate the body temperature and also exhibits antimicrobial properties.

    Feathers

    The mattress pads are made from the under-feathers of duck or geese and give a luxurious feel. They are pretty expensive and keep the users warm besides being somewhat stain-resistant. 

    Polyester or rayon

    The mattress pads made from synthetic fibers are highly durable and stain-resistant. A synthetic fiber pad also helps manage body weight pressure more efficiently and is resistant to allergens. 

    Memory foam

    Mattress pads made from memory foam offer the best physical support. They consist of polyurethane material that molds to the body shape of the users and provides pain relief. 

    Latex

    A latex mattress pad is known for its firmness, extra support, and structure. They are the most expensive option in this niche and have anti-allergic and antimicrobial properties.

    What Is A Mattress Protector?

    Mattress protectors are durable, fitted sheets covering the entire bed and keeping the mattress safe and clean. They protect the mattress from accidental spills and stains, dust and grime, and even pet scratches. The most common materials used for making mattress pads include the following. 

    Polyurethane

    Polyurethane is combined with natural fiber to make an effective mattress protector. Polyurethane is not a natural material and is known to be porous, breathable, waterproof, and bug-proof. 

    Polyester 

    Polyester is known for its waterproofing properties, making it an excellent choice for creating mattress protectors. In addition, polyester is combined with other synthetic materials like Tencel and spandex to ensure greater durability, comfort, and protection.    

    Cotton

    Cotton is the material of choice for making relatively affordable and comfortable mattress protectors. However, their most significant drawback is that they do not protect the mattresses from staining and offer only moderate protection from wear and tear. 

    Vinyl

    Vinyl is a rubbery material used for making mattress protectors that safeguard against bugs. In addition, its antimicrobial properties make it a suitable choice for protection against dust mites and other unwanted creatures. 

    Spandex

    The stretchability of spandex is a desirable quality sought in mattress protectors. It ensures that the mattress protects and offers the best fitting per the bed's height and shape. 

    Mattress Pad vs Mattress Protector: What Do They Do?

    Before deciding between a mattress pad or mattress protector, buyers should learn about their uses and benefits, including the following. 

    Mattress Pad

    The primary use of a mattress pad is to enhance the comfort of the bed and create a softer and more luxurious feel. The key benefits of using a mattress pad include the following. 

    • More Firmness And Comfort

    The pads add a plush layer of cushioning to the bed, increasing its level of comfort and firmness.

    • Protection From Allergens

    Mattress pads act as a protective shield against the hidden allergens in the bed. 

    • Lesser Noise

    The pads absorb noise effectively, ensuring minimal disturbance for the users. 

    • Extend Mattress Life

    The pads bear the brunt of everyday wear and tear, keeping the mattresses safe and extending their life. 

    Mattress Protectors 

    Mattress protectors provide a tough exterior layer to safeguard the beds from accidental damage. They protect the mattress from liquids, bed bugs, dust mites, and other allergens. They also help prevent staining caused by spills or damage caused by pets and children. The most important benefits offered by mattress protectors include the following. 

    • Protection From Bed Bugs

    Mattress protectors help prevent the bed bugs from infecting the users and causing various health issues

    • Liquid Proofing 

    Good quality protectors made from synthetic materials prevent any liquid spills from penetrating the mattress and damaging it.

    • Temperature Regulation

    Mattress protectors help regulate body temperature, ensuring greater comfort for the users. 

    • Protects Warranty

    Mattress protectors help protect the mattresses' warranty by preventing damage and staining.

    Key Difference Between Mattress Pad and Mattress Cover

    Being aware of the difference between mattress pads and mattress protectors is essential for buyers to make the right choice. The key difference between these two bedding accessories is explained below. 

    Materials Used

    Mattress pads offer a soft cushiony feel consisting of cotton, wool, latex, and memory foam. This makes them soft and breathable. Mattress protectors are mostly made from synthetic materials, although those made from cotton are also available. 

    Pricing

    Mattress pads have a higher price as compared to mattress protectors. The price also varies according to the materials used, benefits offered, and the style and size of these accessories. The average price of mattress pads ranges between $50 and $100, while mattress protectors cost between $15 and $70. 

    Necessity

    Mattress pads are a must-have accessory for people seeking greater comfort and support. In addition, they are an excellent choice for people whose mattresses are older and lack proper cushioning and support. Similarly, mattress protectors are essential for keeping the bed damage-free and enhancing the life of the mattresses. They also enhance the overall appeal of the bed and keep it looking new. 

    Size

    Mattress pads are placed on the top of the mattress and are of the same size as the mattress. The protectors are attached to the mattress using fitted sheets or strap design, or they can simply be laid on the top of the mattress. Mattress protectors need to cover the entire mattress along with its sides. So, they are slightly bigger than the mattress, which is primarily encased in the cover for enhanced protection. 

    Drawbacks

    All mattress pads do not offer additional support, and most of them cannot protect the mattress from staining and damage. They also need to be taken proper care of, or they tend to deteriorate fast. Mattress pads are generally made from synthetic materials and trap heat, which may cause the users to feel hot. The protectors also make crinkling noises and are often too shiny and slippery for user comfort. 

    Do I Need Both?

    Mattress pads and mattress protectors both serve different purposes. At the same time, they both help enhance the comfort and functionality of mattresses. The different mattress pad materials complement the look and feel of mattress protectors. Depending on the needs of the users and their budget availability, investing in both a mattress pad and protector may prove to be a wise decision. It can infuse a new lease of life in their slightly old and worn-out mattresses besides enhancing the safety and durability of their new beds

    Conclusion

    Deciding between a mattress protector vs mattress pad is more of a matter of choice vs necessity as the two serve different purposes. The mattress pad helps to improve comfort and support, and the mattress protector helps keep the mattress clean. This can impact sleepers' well-being and happiness quite significantly.

    This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.
    {"faq":[{"_id":"94dcbb4","title":"What goes first, mattress pad or protector?","content":"\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003EFirst, the mattress pad would be added to provide more comfort and support, and then the mattress protector on the top of it to ensure the mattress remains clean and healthy.\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E"},{"_id":"dd6ad72","title":"Do I need a mattress protector if I have a mattress topper? ","content":"\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003EBoth mattress toppers and mattress protectors serve different purposes. A mattress topper helps provide extra pressure relief. On the other hand, a mattress topper helps keep a mattress clean by acting as a cover. You do need both if you want to keep your mattress healthy, comforting, and clean.\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E"},{"_id":"4c4638d","title":"How to choose a mattress pad?","content":"\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ECompare the prices, thickness, comfort, material, and firmness, and consider your own requirements to see which one fits the best, and go for it!\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E"},{"_id":"2cb3b37","title":"Do I need a mattress protector for memory foam?","content":"\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003EMemory foam mattresses are a huge investment. Although not necessary for a memory foam mattress that comes with a cover, you should have a mattress protector to protect your mattress.\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E"}],"__globals__":{"main_title_typography_typography":"globals\/typography?id=3e436c6","main_title_color":"globals\/colors?id=c758e82","question_typography_typography":"globals\/typography?id=9134c8d","answer_typography_typography":"globals\/typography?id=e88d36c","question_color":"globals\/colors?id=2f337da","answer_color":"globals\/colors?id=2325efb"},"main_title_typography_typography":"","main_title_typography_font_family":null,"main_title_typography_font_size":null,"main_title_typography_font_size_tablet":null,"main_title_typography_font_size_mobile":null,"main_title_typography_font_weight":null,"main_title_typography_text_transform":null,"main_title_typography_font_style":null,"main_title_typography_text_decoration":null,"main_title_typography_line_height":null,"main_title_typography_line_height_tablet":null,"main_title_typography_line_height_mobile":null,"main_title_typography_letter_spacing":null,"main_title_typography_letter_spacing_tablet":null,"main_title_typography_letter_spacing_mobile":null,"main_title_typography_word_spacing":null,"main_title_typography_word_spacing_tablet":null,"main_title_typography_word_spacing_mobile":null,"main_title_color":"","question_typography_typography":"","question_typography_font_family":null,"question_typography_font_size":null,"question_typography_font_size_tablet":null,"question_typography_font_size_mobile":null,"question_typography_font_weight":null,"question_typography_text_transform":null,"question_typography_font_style":null,"question_typography_text_decoration":null,"question_typography_line_height":null,"question_typography_line_height_tablet":null,"question_typography_line_height_mobile":null,"question_typography_letter_spacing":null,"question_typography_letter_spacing_tablet":null,"question_typography_letter_spacing_mobile":null,"question_typography_word_spacing":null,"question_typography_word_spacing_tablet":null,"question_typography_word_spacing_mobile":null,"question_color":"","answer_typography_typography":"","answer_typography_font_family":null,"answer_typography_font_size":null,"answer_typography_font_size_tablet":null,"answer_typography_font_size_mobile":null,"answer_typography_font_weight":null,"answer_typography_text_transform":null,"answer_typography_font_style":null,"answer_typography_text_decoration":null,"answer_typography_line_height":null,"answer_typography_line_height_tablet":null,"answer_typography_line_height_mobile":null,"answer_typography_letter_spacing":null,"answer_typography_letter_spacing_tablet":null,"answer_typography_letter_spacing_mobile":null,"answer_typography_word_spacing":null,"answer_typography_word_spacing_tablet":null,"answer_typography_word_spacing_mobile":null,"answer_color":"","_title":"","_margin":{"unit":"px","top":"","right":"","bottom":"","left":"","isLinked":true},"_margin_tablet":{"unit":"px","top":"","right":"","bottom":"","left":"","isLinked":true},"_margin_mobile":{"unit":"px","top":"","right":"","bottom":"","left":"","isLinked":true},"_padding":{"unit":"px","top":"","right":"","bottom":"","left":"","isLinked":true},"_padding_tablet":{"unit":"px","top":"","right":"","bottom":"","left":"","isLinked":true},"_padding_mobile":{"unit":"px","top":"","right":"","bottom":"","left":"","isLinked":true},"_z_index":"","_z_index_tablet":"","_z_index_mobile":"","_element_id":"","_css_classes":"","motion_fx_motion_fx_scrolling":"","motion_fx_translateY_effect":null,"motion_fx_translateY_direction":null,"motion_fx_translateY_speed":null,"motion_fx_translateY_affectedRange":null,"motion_fx_translateX_effect":null,"motion_fx_translateX_direction":null,"motion_fx_translateX_speed":null,"motion_fx_translateX_affectedRange":null,"motion_fx_opacity_effect":null,"motion_fx_opacity_direction":null,"motion_fx_opacity_level":null,"motion_fx_opacity_range":null,"motion_fx_blur_effect":null,"motion_fx_blur_direction":null,"motion_fx_blur_level":null,"motion_fx_blur_range":null,"motion_fx_rotateZ_effect":null,"motion_fx_rotateZ_direction":null,"motion_fx_rotateZ_speed":null,"motion_fx_rotateZ_affectedRange":null,"motion_fx_scale_effect":null,"motion_fx_scale_direction":null,"motion_fx_scale_speed":null,"motion_fx_scale_range":null,"motion_fx_transform_origin_x":null,"motion_fx_transform_origin_y":null,"motion_fx_devices":null,"motion_fx_range":null,"motion_fx_motion_fx_mouse":"","motion_fx_mouseTrack_effect":null,"motion_fx_mouseTrack_direction":null,"motion_fx_mouseTrack_speed":null,"motion_fx_tilt_effect":null,"motion_fx_tilt_direction":null,"motion_fx_tilt_speed":null,"sticky":"","sticky_on":null,"sticky_offset":null,"sticky_offset_tablet":null,"sticky_offset_mobile":null,"sticky_effects_offset":null,"sticky_effects_offset_tablet":null,"sticky_effects_offset_mobile":null,"sticky_parent":null,"_animation":"","_animation_tablet":"","_animation_mobile":"","animation_duration":null,"_animation_delay":null,"_transform_rotate_popover":"","_transform_rotateZ_effect":null,"_transform_rotateZ_effect_tablet":null,"_transform_rotateZ_effect_mobile":null,"_transform_rotate_3d":null,"_transform_rotateX_effect":null,"_transform_rotateX_effect_tablet":null,"_transform_rotateX_effect_mobile":null,"_transform_rotateY_effect":null,"_transform_rotateY_effect_tablet":null,"_transform_rotateY_effect_mobile":null,"_transform_perspective_effect":null,"_transform_perspective_effect_tablet":null,"_transform_perspective_effect_mobile":null,"_transform_translate_popover":"","_transform_translateX_effect":null,"_transform_translateX_effect_tablet":null,"_transform_translateX_effect_mobile":null,"_transform_translateY_effect":null,"_transform_translateY_effect_tablet":null,"_transform_translateY_effect_mobile":null,"_transform_scale_popover":"","_transform_keep_proportions":"yes","_transform_scale_effect":null,"_transform_scale_effect_tablet":null,"_transform_scale_effect_mobile":null,"_transform_scaleX_effect":null,"_transform_scaleX_effect_tablet":null,"_transform_scaleX_effect_mobile":null,"_transform_scaleY_effect":null,"_transform_scaleY_effect_tablet":null,"_transform_scaleY_effect_mobile":null,"_transform_skew_popover":"","_transform_skewX_effect":null,"_transform_skewX_effect_tablet":null,"_transform_skewX_effect_mobile":null,"_transform_skewY_effect":null,"_transform_skewY_effect_tablet":null,"_transform_skewY_effect_mobile":null,"_transform_flipX_effect":"","_transform_flipY_effect":"","_transform_rotate_popover_hover":"","_transform_rotateZ_effect_hover":null,"_transform_rotateZ_effect_hover_tablet":null,"_transform_rotateZ_effect_hover_mobile":null,"_transform_rotate_3d_hover":null,"_transform_rotateX_effect_hover":null,"_transform_rotateX_effect_hover_tablet":null,"_transform_rotateX_effect_hover_mobile":null,"_transform_rotateY_effect_hover":null,"_transform_rotateY_effect_hover_tablet":null,"_transform_rotateY_effect_hover_mobile":null,"_transform_perspective_effect_hover":null,"_transform_perspective_effect_hover_tablet":null,"_transform_perspective_effect_hover_mobile":null,"_transform_translate_popover_hover":"","_transform_translateX_effect_hover":null,"_transform_translateX_effect_hover_tablet":null,"_transform_translateX_effect_hover_mobile":null,"_transform_translateY_effect_hover":null,"_transform_translateY_effect_hover_tablet":null,"_transform_translateY_effect_hover_mobile":null,"_transform_scale_popover_hover":"","_transform_keep_proportions_hover":"yes","_transform_scale_effect_hover":null,"_transform_scale_effect_hover_tablet":null,"_transform_scale_effect_hover_mobile":null,"_transform_scaleX_effect_hover":null,"_transform_scaleX_effect_hover_tablet":null,"_transform_scaleX_effect_hover_mobile":null,"_transform_scaleY_effect_hover":null,"_transform_scaleY_effect_hover_tablet":null,"_transform_scaleY_effect_hover_mobile":null,"_transform_skew_popover_hover":"","_transform_skewX_effect_hover":null,"_transform_skewX_effect_hover_tablet":null,"_transform_skewX_effect_hover_mobile":null,"_transform_skewY_effect_hover":null,"_transform_skewY_effect_hover_tablet":null,"_transform_skewY_effect_hover_mobile":null,"_transform_flipX_effect_hover":"","_transform_flipY_effect_hover":"","_transform_transition_hover":{"unit":"px","size":"","sizes":[]},"motion_fx_transform_x_anchor_point":null,"motion_fx_transform_x_anchor_point_tablet":null,"motion_fx_transform_x_anchor_point_mobile":null,"motion_fx_transform_y_anchor_point":null,"motion_fx_transform_y_anchor_point_tablet":null,"motion_fx_transform_y_anchor_point_mobile":null,"_background_background":"","_background_color":null,"_background_color_stop":null,"_background_color_b":null,"_background_color_b_stop":null,"_background_gradient_type":null,"_background_gradient_angle":null,"_background_gradient_position":null,"_background_image":null,"_background_image_tablet":null,"_background_image_mobile":null,"_background_position":null,"_background_position_tablet":null,"_background_position_mobile":null,"_background_xpos":null,"_background_xpos_tablet":null,"_background_xpos_mobile":null,"_background_ypos":null,"_background_ypos_tablet":null,"_background_ypos_mobile":null,"_background_attachment":null,"_background_repeat":null,"_background_repeat_tablet":null,"_background_repeat_mobile":null,"_background_size":null,"_background_size_tablet":null,"_background_size_mobile":null,"_background_bg_width":null,"_background_bg_width_tablet":null,"_background_bg_width_mobile":null,"_background_video_link":null,"_background_video_start":null,"_background_video_end":null,"_background_play_once":null,"_background_play_on_mobile":null,"_background_privacy_mode":null,"_background_video_fallback":null,"_background_slideshow_gallery":null,"_background_slideshow_loop":null,"_background_slideshow_slide_duration":null,"_background_slideshow_slide_transition":null,"_background_slideshow_transition_duration":null,"_background_slideshow_background_size":null,"_background_slideshow_background_size_tablet":null,"_background_slideshow_background_size_mobile":null,"_background_slideshow_background_position":null,"_background_slideshow_background_position_tablet":null,"_background_slideshow_background_position_mobile":null,"_background_slideshow_ken_burns":null,"_background_slideshow_ken_burns_zoom_direction":null,"_background_hover_background":"","_background_hover_color":null,"_background_hover_color_stop":null,"_background_hover_color_b":null,"_background_hover_color_b_stop":null,"_background_hover_gradient_type":null,"_background_hover_gradient_angle":null,"_background_hover_gradient_position":null,"_background_hover_image":null,"_background_hover_image_tablet":null,"_background_hover_image_mobile":null,"_background_hover_position":null,"_background_hover_position_tablet":null,"_background_hover_position_mobile":null,"_background_hover_xpos":null,"_background_hover_xpos_tablet":null,"_background_hover_xpos_mobile":null,"_background_hover_ypos":null,"_background_hover_ypos_tablet":null,"_background_hover_ypos_mobile":null,"_background_hover_attachment":null,"_background_hover_repeat":null,"_background_hover_repeat_tablet":null,"_background_hover_repeat_mobile":null,"_background_hover_size":null,"_background_hover_size_tablet":null,"_background_hover_size_mobile":null,"_background_hover_bg_width":null,"_background_hover_bg_width_tablet":null,"_background_hover_bg_width_mobile":null,"_background_hover_video_link":null,"_background_hover_video_start":null,"_background_hover_video_end":null,"_background_hover_play_once":null,"_background_hover_play_on_mobile":null,"_background_hover_privacy_mode":null,"_background_hover_video_fallback":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_gallery":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_loop":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_slide_duration":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_slide_transition":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_transition_duration":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_background_size":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_background_size_tablet":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_background_size_mobile":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_background_position":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_background_position_tablet":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_background_position_mobile":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_ken_burns":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_ken_burns_zoom_direction":null,"_background_hover_transition":{"unit":"px","size":"","sizes":[]},"_border_border":"","_border_width":null,"_border_width_tablet":null,"_border_width_mobile":null,"_border_color":null,"_border_radius":{"unit":"px","top":"","right":"","bottom":"","left":"","isLinked":true},"_border_radius_tablet":{"unit":"px","top":"","right":"","bottom":"","left":"","isLinked":true},"_border_radius_mobile":{"unit":"px","top":"","right":"","bottom":"","left":"","isLinked":true},"_box_shadow_box_shadow_type":"","_box_shadow_box_shadow":null,"_box_shadow_box_shadow_position":null,"_border_hover_border":"","_border_hover_width":null,"_border_hover_width_tablet":null,"_border_hover_width_mobile":null,"_border_hover_color":null,"_border_radius_hover":{"unit":"px","top":"","right":"","bottom":"","left":"","isLinked":true},"_border_radius_hover_tablet":{"unit":"px","top":"","right":"","bottom":"","left":"","isLinked":true},"_border_radius_hover_mobile":{"unit":"px","top":"","right":"","bottom":"","left":"","isLinked":true},"_box_shadow_hover_box_shadow_type":"","_box_shadow_hover_box_shadow":null,"_box_shadow_hover_box_shadow_position":null,"_border_hover_transition":{"unit":"px","size":"","sizes":[]},"_mask_switch":"","_mask_shape":null,"_mask_image":null,"_mask_notice":null,"_mask_size":null,"_mask_size_tablet":null,"_mask_size_mobile":null,"_mask_size_scale":null,"_mask_size_scale_tablet":null,"_mask_size_scale_mobile":null,"_mask_position":null,"_mask_position_tablet":null,"_mask_position_mobile":null,"_mask_position_x":null,"_mask_position_x_tablet":null,"_mask_position_x_mobile":null,"_mask_position_y":null,"_mask_position_y_tablet":null,"_mask_position_y_mobile":null,"_mask_repeat":null,"_mask_repeat_tablet":null,"_mask_repeat_mobile":null,"_element_width":"","_element_width_tablet":"","_element_width_mobile":"","_element_custom_width":null,"_element_custom_width_tablet":null,"_element_custom_width_mobile":null,"_element_vertical_align":null,"_element_vertical_align_tablet":null,"_element_vertical_align_mobile":null,"_position":"","_offset_orientation_h":null,"_offset_x":null,"_offset_x_tablet":null,"_offset_x_mobile":null,"_offset_x_end":null,"_offset_x_end_tablet":null,"_offset_x_end_mobile":null,"_offset_orientation_v":null,"_offset_y":null,"_offset_y_tablet":null,"_offset_y_mobile":null,"_offset_y_end":null,"_offset_y_end_tablet":null,"_offset_y_end_mobile":null,"hide_desktop":"","hide_tablet":"","hide_mobile":"","_attributes":"","custom_css":""}
    ×