The Best Mattress Pads 2021Updated on February 26, 2021 While all product recommendations are chosen independently, we may receive compensation for purchases made through our site. Learn more about our affiliate program here.
If you’ve been looking for ways to upgrade your bed, there’s a high probability that you’ve come across mattress pads. Whether it’s for their feel or their ability to help protect a mattress, these products enjoy considerable popularity. But with so many options on the market, it can be hard to know exactly what you need and which pads are the best.
In this guide, we’ll break it all down for you, including our list of the top 6 best mattress pads as well as explanations of what mattress pads are and who is most likely to benefit from using one.
Our Favorite Mattress Pads
|Organic Mattress Pad||Organic cotton||$135+|
|Down Mattress Pad||Cotton shell + down fill||$248+|
|Plush Pillow Top||Latex + Wool||$400+|
|Organic Cotton Mattress Pad||Organic cotton||$199+|
|Exceptional Sheets Bamboo Pad||Bamboo rayon shell + cotton/polyester backing + polyester fill||$89+|
|Microfiber Quilted Mattress Pad||Polyester / Microfiber||$39+|
Saatva Organic Mattress Pad
Why we like it:
- Organic and Fair Trade Certified Cotton
- 300 thread count
- Breathable and moisture-wicking
- 45-day sleep trial
The Saatva Organic Mattress Pad has a soft, comfortable feel while maintaining extraordinary breathability to help keep you cool at night.
The top part of the pad is made with 100% organic cotton with a thread count of 300. This fabric is certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), a well-respected marker for organic materials. It also has been Fair Trade Certified to support fair labor practices. A diamond-stitch pattern provides texture and helps hold all the cotton padding in place.
The side panels are 96% organic cotton and 4% spandex to give the material extra stretch and the ability to fit mattresses up to 16” deep. An elastic band holds the pad tightly in place. Air flows easily through the side panels to promote comfort cooling and effective temperature control.
Washing the pad is simple and can be done in the washer and dryer on gentle settings.
Saatva, which has an excellent reputation based on their line of mattresses, offers a 45 day sleep trial for this mattress pad and provides a 1-year warranty.
Parachute Down Mattress Pad
Why we like it:
- Silky smooth sateen cotton cover
- Down fill provides plushness and warmth
- Extra deep (18”) to fit virtually any mattress
- 90-day sleep trial and 3-year warranty
The Parachute Down Mattress Pad offers a luxurious companion to your mattress that excels in adding softness and warmth to your bed.
The shell of the Parachute Down Mattress Pad is made with 100% cotton that has a sateen weave. Sateen has an extra-smooth finish that is elegant and comfortable. Inside this shell is natural insulation made up of 75% down and 25% down and other feathers. All the feathers come from European white geese.
The down fill means that this pad provides much more softness and cushioning than many others. The 550 fill power of the down gives this mattress pad enough loft to deliver a cozy warmth without excessive heat retention. Double-stitching keeps the down in place to avoid bunching or lumps.
Preserving down means handling it with care when cleaning. This pad can be dry-cleaned or can be machine-washed and dried using delicate settings and following manufacturer instructions.
Parachute sells this mattress pad in Full, Queen, King, and California King sizes. The pad fits mattresses up to 18” in depth and has a continuous elastic hem to securely hold the pad in place.
Shipping is free, and each pad comes with a 90-day sleep trial. The product is also backed by a 3-year warranty to protect your purchase in case of a defect.
Birch Plush Pillow Top
Why we like it:
- 3″ OEKO-Tex certified natural Talalay latex
- Organic cotton cover
- Breathable Birch Wool layer made without chemicals or plastics
- Handmade in the U.S.
The Birch Plush Pillow Top is an all natural latex mattress pad that offers the deep countouring and plushness of poly and memory foam options, but with the breathability and bounce of latex.
The pad is covered with a breathable, soft organic cotton that helps wick away moisture to help keep your bed cool to the touch even in summer months. The second layer is comprised of Birch’s proprietary wool sourced from free range sheep in New Zealand. The specially designed wool is flame retardant, breathable and durable, ensuring your pad retains its shape over time.
Birch’s pillow top pad is unique for its use of OEKO-TEX certified latex. Unlike foams which trap heat and can be difficult to move around on, Birch’s 3 inch Talalay latex comfort layer stays cooler longer and provides additional support for those who find memory foam too soft.
Environmentally-minded shoppers will appreciate Birch’s dedication to the use of sustainable and organic materials. The company even donates 1 percent of all sales to the National Forest Foundation.
Birch offers free shipping, a one year warranty and a 100-night sleep trial.
Avocado Organic Mattress Pad
Why we like it:
- GOTS, Fair Trade, and GreenGuard Gold Certified cotton
- 400 thread count shell
- Breathable and comfortable cotton fill
- 100-night sleep trial and 1-year warranty
Avocado has built its name as a manufacturer of top-quality bedroom products made with materials that are often a cut above the competition, and the Avocado Organic Cotton Pad fits perfectly into that description.
It is made with GOTS-Certified and Fair Trade Certified organic cotton in the top, in the fitted skirt, and in the fill material. The only non-cotton material is the thin elastic band used to help hold the pad tightly to your mattress.
The cover uses long-staple cotton that has a thread count of 400 that is soft to the touch and at the same time extremely durable. It has a sateen weave for added smoothness. The fill material is thick 400 gram per yard cotton fill to further enhance the softness of this pad. Double-stitching and reinforced edges hold the fill in place within the pad to prevent noticeable bunching.
The pad comes in Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, and California King sizes and has a 17” pocket that fits most mattresses.
The pad can be spot-cleaned or machine-washed without bleach. You can choose between tumble-drying on low heat or line-drying.
Avocado offers a 100-night sleep trial during which you can return the pad for a full refund if you aren’t happy with it, and they also back their pad with a 1-year warranty covering product defects.
Exceptional Sheets Bamboo Mattress Pad
Why we like it:
- Revoloft fill is plush and hypoallergenic
- Bamboo rayon is breathable, soft, and durable
- 18” pockets to fit virtually all mattresses
- Satisfaction guarantee and 1-year warranty
The ExceptionalSheets Bamboo Mattress Pad utilizes a blend of materials to provide a comfortable, breathable cover at a great price.
The top cover of this pad is made with bamboo rayon. The fill material is Revoloft, a hypoallergenic down alternative made with polyester. There is nearly an inch of thickness with this Revoloft fill, providing a plush feel to the pad. Beneath the fill is a backing of 30% cotton and 70% polyester.
A stretchy skirt made of polyester, nylon, and spandex covers the sides of the mattress, and elastic keeps this pad snug against your mattress. It has an 18” depth to fit even an extra-deep mattress. All together, these materials give the mattress sufficient moisture-wicking and breathability to help keep you from overheating on the pad.
ExceptionalSheets products are manufactured by eLuxury Supply, which has an excellent track record of reviews from verified customers online. They offer a 1-year warranty and a satisfaction guarantee for the ExceptionalSheets mattress pad.
Overall, the ExceptionalSheets Bamboo Mattress pad is great for people who want a mattress pad that is able to increase the softness and comfort of their bed without having to buy a thick mattress cover or topper.
Hospitology Microfiber Quilted Mattress Pad
Why we like it:
- Brushed microfiber cover is cozy and plush
- Down alternative fill delivers warmth and softness
- 18” pocket with stretch fabric to hold the pad in place
The Hospitology Heavenly Mattress Pad includes several design elements to make it an easy way to improve the feel of your mattress.
The top layer is polyester that has a brushed microfiber feel for extra softness. Beneath this cozy cover is a synthetic down alternative fiber that is compressed to give it plushness without adding too much height to the bed. This material adds moderate warmth to your bed as well. Box-quilting holds this fiber fill securely in place even when you move on the pad or when you wash it.
It has deep pockets (up to 18”) to fit practically any bed. A two-way stretch fabric in the corners makes it easier to place this pad on your mattress and for it to stay snugly in place.
The cover and fill materials are hypoallergenic, which is a welcome relief to people with allergies to down. The material can help protect your mattress, but it is not waterproof, meaning it can’t defend against more serious spills. It is machine-washable and dryer-safe so long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
With a price point far below many other mattress pads, the Hospitology Microfiber Quilted Mattress Pad is an excellent value and a reliable way to add softness and comfort to your bed.
What is a Mattress Pad?
To make sure we’re on the same page, it’s necessary to start by defining what a mattress pad is. A mattress pad is a thin layer that goes over your mattress. Its main goal is to help defend your mattress from spills or other accidents that might harm it. And though it’s not the primary purpose of a mattress pad, using one can adjust the feel of your mattress by adding extra material to the top of the bed.
Do you need a mattress pad, mattress topper, or a mattress protector?
Some similar products that are on the market are mattress protectors and mattress toppers. There are no “standard” definitions for these products, so it can be confusing at times for consumers. To clear this up, here’s a basic breakdown:
A mattress pad goes on top of the mattress and helps defend the mattress from damage. It may also offer extra cushioning and comfort.
A mattress protector goes around the whole mattress and gives more heavy-duty protection. Most protectors are waterproof and hypoallergenic.
A mattress topper goes just over the top of the mattress, and its purpose is to adjust the feel of the bed. These are usually the thickest of these products but offer the least protection.
All of these products are designed to fit under your sheets.
You can refer to the table below for a summary of this comparison between these products:
|Mattress Pad||Mattress Topper||Mattress Protector|
|Placement||Over top and sides||Top of mattress||Over entire mattress|
|Thickness (typical)||.125″ – 1″||.5″ – 3″||.125″ – 1″|
|Material (typical)||Fiber (cotton, polyester), down||Foam, latex, fiber, down, wool||Fiber (rayon, polyester, cotton, and blends)|
|Amount of Protection||Medium||Low||High|
|Main Reason for Use||Minor protection of mattress||Adjust mattress feel||Defend mattress against spills and other damage|
What are you hoping to achieve with your pad or topper?
One of the best ways to determine which of these products may be most appropriate for you is by considering the rationale that caused you to start looking at mattress pads in the first place. Here’s a quick breakdown of different situations and which product might be best:
- You need more support: support from your bed is what helps to keep your spine aligned so that you don’t wake up sore. If you are in need of more support, then a mattress topper is clearly going to be the best option. In this case, check out our guide to the Best Mattress Toppers.
- You need a softer feel: if your mattress is too firm for your liking, then a topper is going to offer the greatest ability to adjust that feel. If you only need a little bit more softness, a mattress pad may be able to do the trick.
- You need a firmer feel: if your mattress is too soft for you, a topper will be the only reliable way to get a firmer comfort level.
- You need to keep your mattress safe from stains and damage: for the most robust defense, a mattress protector will be your best choice. If you feel that a protector would be overkill, a mattress pad can help defend your mattress.
- You have a mattress protector that is very noisy: mattress pads generally do not disturb sleep because of noise. This is also true of most toppers, but if the main goal is just to eliminate noise, a pad is a better value.
- You want to reset the feel of your bed: a topper does much more to alter the comfort and support levels of your bed, so it is the best choice for pressing the “reset” button.
- You need to keep allergens away: if you are highly sensitive to allergens, a protector will give you the highest performance since most have hypoallergenic covers. However, a mattress pad, especially one that is easily washable, can still help fight allergen accumulation.
In some cases, you can use more than one of these products. For example, if you buy a new topper and want to keep it from getting stained, you could encase it and the original mattress in a protector.
Types of Mattress Pads
Even though the general design of a mattress pad is simple, they can be constructed using a number of different types of materials.
Cotton mattress pads are usually affordable, but the price can escalate if the cotton is organic or otherwise high-end. Most cotton pads are also relatively durable even if they are regularly machine-washed.
Latex can also be an effective barrier against damage to your bed. It is not absorbent in the same way that cotton is, but it is not fully waterproof either. Latex is usually more expensive and may be more difficult to clean than cotton.
If you are giving strong consideration to latex, it may make more sense to consider a mattress topper with this material as it will have a greater impact in terms of both the feel of your bed and the protection against spills.
From the standpoint of protection, memory foam is relatively limited when it comes to blocking spills or other accidents. It is not a waterproof or especially water-resistant material. Some customers also find that memory foam has an unpleasant smell, especially at the beginning.
In general, a mattress topper is a wiser choice if you are looking for memory foam. In a topper, it will be able to be thicker, allowing better compression and contouring. A thicker layer of memory foam is also more likely to stand the test of time.
Featherbeds are generally thicker and may be classified more as mattress toppers. These materials, especially down, have a tendency to be expensive, and they also do very little to protect against spills. Cleaning them may also require special instructions.
Pads made with synthetic fibers tend to be affordable, although the price can increase with more features or more robust stain-resisting characteristics. They can add softness, but this depends on the material and thickness of the pad.
In terms of downsides, the most common complaints from customers are that some fiber materials can be noisy when you move on them in the night. As with some other materials, they can also have special cleaning instructions that must be followed to prevent breakdown of the material.
The downsides for wool mattress pads generally have to do with cost. It is more expensive to produce than synthetic materials or cotton and may be harder to clean. It is also not going to completely protect your mattress since it cannot fully prevent spills from soaking through.
You will also find that some wool mattress pads are more accurately described as mattress toppers given their enhanced thickness and goal of trying to adjust the feel of the bed.
Frequently Asked Questions
How are mattress pads attached to the bed?
Elastic, encasement, and anchor straps are the three options for attaching a mattress pad or protector.
- Elastic: this method will be most familiar since it is basically the same as with most fitted sheets. Elastic in the exterior of the pad helps hold the pad in place after you pull the corners and sides of the pad down under the mattress. This method is both easy and effective in most cases, although you need to make sure that the depth of the pad is enough to fit over your mattress.
- Encasement: this method completely covers the mattress on all sides. Generally you’ll find that this involves a zipper. This offers more protection but may take a bit more work to put on since it requires some lifting of the mattress.
- Anchor straps: these are single bands of fabric that go under the corners of the mattress. They do not cover the sides or bottom of the bed. For this reason, they do not lead to any heat retention in the mattress, but they also are more likely to move and need readjusting.
Do I need to clean my mattress pad?
Yes. Over time, dirt, dust, sweat, hair, or other materials can accumulate in the mattress pad. To keep these from affecting the mattress, washing regularly is advised. Always make sure to carefully follow the manufacturer instructions for washing.
Will I sleep hot if I use a mattress pad?
As a general rule, no. Because these are thin layers, there is limited ability for heat to build up in a mattress pad. They also do not typically affect airflow around the body that is responsible for helping you stay cool. The thicker the mattress pad, though, the greater the risk of temperature control issues, especially if you go with a material like memory foam.
Can I buy a memory foam pad instead of a new memory foam mattress?
No, not if you want to get any real value from memory foam. Remember that memory foam has to be able to compress in order to give pressure point relief. As a result, you would want a topper and generally one that is 2” thick or more.