A great new mattress pad can take your sleeping experience to the next level. Mattress pads fit snugly over your mattress with a cushion-y pad across the sleep surface. A pad keeps your mattress dry, clean and protected from wear and tear, and may sometimes help keep your sheets in place. Plus, mattress pads can actually provide extra comfort and make your existing mattress more cozy, in spite of their thinness. While some are thicker than others, even the tiniest layer of cushion can make a difference in how your mattress feels when you lie down on it.
Protecting your current mattress from liquid spills, dirt, dust mites, allergens and sweat can also add years onto its usable life and keep it from ending up in the landfill prematurely. A mattress pad can act as a waterproof layer or a mattresscover. The cleanest and most well-protected mattresses, after all, can be donated or passed on to others instead of just thrown away.
We hunted for the best mattress pads and came back with some goodies. Check out our favorites and find out which ones could work for you:
All prices listed are for queen sizes.
The Boll & Branch mattress protector is an environmentally conscious solution to preserving your mattress, softly padded with eco-friendly organic cotton and easily machine washed.
With certifications like:
- Global Organic Textile Standard on their organic cotton
- Fair Trade on both their cotton and their factory
- Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex, which tests for harmful chemicals
- Asthma and Allergy Friendly status
Boll & Branch lets shoppers know their devotion to sustainability, health and workers' rights runs deep. The company ensures that the 13,000 factory and farm workers who create its products, including this mattress pad, are treated well and paid fairly for their work.
The organic cotton in this mattress pad is treated with a natural antimicrobial compound, so it's gentle on those with allergies or asthma and stays fresh over time. The pad is also stitched carefully so that the organic cotton fill stays in place.
Boll & Branch offers free shipping and returns within 30 days.
The Plushbeds reversible mattress pad is not only flippable, but it also offers sleepers a cool side for summer and a warm side for winter. Made with natural hypoallergenic cotton and wool and offering pressure relief and temperature regulation, this soft and breathable mattress pad works hard to provide comfort all year round.
The cotton side is 270-thread-count natural cotton percale, while the wool side is a washable Shropshire fine wool fleece, known for its thick, springy quality. Animal lovers, don't worry -- the sheep are raised cruelty-free with room to roam and graze in ample sunny pastures. No dyes are added so the protector stays its original off-white color, and it's Oeko-Tex certified to be free of harmful chemicals. The protectors are also machine washable and BPA- and phthalate-free, and their packaging is recyclable.
Wash your Plushbeds reversible mattress pad in cold water on low and tumble dry on low -- or better yet, air dry it outside on a sunny day to bring out even more softness.
PlushBeds offers free shipping and a five-year warranty. Returns can be made only on unopened, undamaged products.
The Bear Protector waterproof mattress pad features a breathable, soft top covered in a hexagonal design and an innovative protective backing crafted using the company's proprietary technology, "HeiQ Adaptive."
The HeiQ Adaptive backing is remarkably impenetrable by liquids, spills, bacteria, dust mites, bed bugs and allergens, and this remains true regardless of how long the spill stays on it. It's also moisture-wicking and promotes cooling. This mattress protector is also comfortably thick compared to others of similar brands, making it pleasant to sleep on -- especially if the mattress beneath is overly hard or worn.
If you're curious about the barrier, you can try out a Bear Protector for a 100-night sleep trial to see if you like it. With each purchase, you get free shipping and a 10-year limited warranty.
If you love the feel of down but have allergies or object to the harvesting of it, the Parachute down alternative mattress pad has a layer of soft, hypoallergenic microfiber fill that mimics the cloud-like experience of down without any of the sneezing or guilt.
Tucked inside a 100% sateen cotton shell, the Parachute down alternative mattress pad fits virtually any mattress up to an 18-inch depth. It's sewn securely with double stitching so none of the fill falls out. You can machine wash it on cool using the delicate cycle, and you'll need to use wool dryer balls if you dry it at home. You could also dry clean it.
If you purchase a Parachute down alternative mattress pad, you'll get free shipping and returns within 60 days, as well as a three-year warranty.
The Saatva organic mattress pad is a sumptuous experience, like most Saatva products. It features cooling, moisture-wicking and waterproof properties, and it's made with 300 thread count organic and Fair Trade cotton.
A diamond pattern is stitched on its surface to hold the cotton fill in place, while the airy cotton and spandex side panels stretch fully down over the sides of any mattress up to 16 inches high. An elastic band on each side helps keep it tucked securely in.
According to the Saatva site, this mattress pad should last up to five years if cared for according to package instructions. Reviews on the site give it high praise for its high quality, plush comfort and thickness, and they loved that it comes with a handy tote bag.
The Saatva organic mattress pad comes with free shipping plus 45-day returns and a one-year warranty.
Effective for even the hottest sleepers, the Slumber Cloud Core mattress pad keeps you at the ideal temperature for you. This cooling mattress pad is made of a blend of cotton and Outlast, the company's NASA-approved fabric that regulates temperature so that when you're too cold, your body's warmth is returned to you, and when you're too hot, the heat is absorbed away. Originally created for spacesuits, this impressive technology is included in both the mattress pad's top cover and lining fabric for your sleeping comfort.
The Core mattress pad is also highly breathable and super soft, with a 300-thread count. Additionally, it fits any mattress with up to a 20-inch depth, and can be washed in cold water on a delicate cycle. If you aren't sure what detergent to use, Slumber Cloud makes its own, available for purchase in packs of 20 pods.
The Slumber Cloud Core cooling mattress pad comes with free shipping and a 60-night sleep trial to decide if you really love it. Choose from two colors: white or light blue.
A high-quality product for the price, the Linenspa mattress pad features a comfortable microfiber shell, covered with diamond stitching to keep the hypoallergenic down alternative fill securely in place with no bunching. It fits most mattresses up to 18 inches snugly, and is breathable with a fitted sheet style.
This mattress pad has a plush quality and is surprisingly comfortable with an "overfilled" feel. The side panels stretch nicely over the mattress edges without ripping or tearing, even when you have a thick pillow top or an additional topper on your mattress. It's also a breeze to clean by just throwing it in the washer and dryer.
Linenspa offers free shipping, free returns within 30 days and a three-year warranty.
The Nectar mattress protector is crafted of waterproof material with an extra soft and breathable quilted mattress cover and a padded cotton top for enhanced comfort. Stain-resistant and noise-free, this mattress protector won't let liquid or dirt through to your mattress, nor will it make crinkly sounds when you move in your sleep.
It has a no-slip design which keeps it in place with its stretchy cover, even on mattresses with higher heights of 22 inches. The airy cotton cover keeps the sleeper cool and comfy, and it's easily machine washed and tumble dried on low. It's allergen-resistant as well.
If you buy a Nectar pad, you'll have 50 nights to decide whether you want to keep it. You'll also get a five-year warranty, free shipping and free returns.
How to pick the best mattress pad
Depending upon your needs, the most important features of a mattress pad can vary. Folks that have allergies might opt for hypoallergenic features, such as natural latex, for their mattress pad. A wool mattress pad is great for absorbing moisture, and a cotton mattress pad is good at blocking stains and preventing wear and tear, while down regulates body heat to help keep sleepers warm in winter and cool in summer. Cotton terry can also be a good feature for waterproof mattress pads.
Look for quality materials with certifications, if applicable, as you browse. For example, organic cotton, wool or latex should have a certification from an independent third party like the GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), which confirms the product consists of at least 70% organic fibers. For a product to be labeled organic, it must be 95% organic fibers.
You may also want to find vegan, wool-free or down alternative fabrics if you prefer not to use animal products, which would each be labeled accordingly.
Polyester and memory foam are occasionally found in mattress pads as well. Polyester is usually durable and affordable, while a memory foam mattress pad responds to heat and contours to the shape of the sleeper's body.
Ease of care
For convenience, it's always helpful to find a machine washable mattress pad, especially if you have kids or pets that require it to be washed often. Otherwise, make sure you have the time and space to wash it by hand and hang it out to dry. Spot cleaning doesn't seem to be a realistic option for mattress pads, but if you're convinced yours will stay clean and dry for the most part, you can certainly try it.
The thread count of a fabric is the number of threads woven into a square inch of it. While there is some disagreement about how important thread count is to bedding of any kind, the general rule of thumb is that higher thread counts (200 to 600) make the fabric more durable and softer over time. If your mattress pad lists a thread count, try to aim for 200 or higher.
More for a good night's rest
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.