Mattress pads are a great sleeping accessory that can improve the feeling of your bed and also help increase the life of your mattress. These products fit around your mattress and are placed underneath your bed sheets. Typically an inch thick, mattress pads give you an extra layer of comfort and can help keep the surface of your bed clean. Plus, they are typically machine washable and dryer-friendly for easy upkeep.

This in-depth guide will give you our top recommendations for the best mattress pads. We’ll also give you helpful insights so you can pick the product that fits your needs, along with some tips about other types of mattress accessories and how they’re different.

Our Top Picks: Summary

The Best Mattress Pads: Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Saatva Organic Mattress Pad
Saatva Mattress Pad

Saatva makes a breathable and organic mattress pad that keeps you cool.

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Why We Picked It

Saatva makes a premium feeling mattress pad that is both soft and breathable—the materials allow for airflow to keep you from sleeping hot. The diamond stitch pattern gives a nice texture and has a 300 thread count. The spandex side panel has extra stretch and can manage to fit over mattresses up to 16 inches deep. The mattress pad is also machine washable for easy care.

The Saatva is a good option if you’re looking for an environmentally friendly product. The fabric is made from 100% organic cotton that is GOTS certified. This mattress pad is also Fair Trade Certified, meaning it is produced through fair labor practices. You can test out the Saatva for 45 nights risk-free, and it comes with a one-year warranty.

Keep in Mind

While the Saatva mattress pad is the best option available, it might not be perfect for you. The Saatva pad’s 16-inch pocket is smaller than other mattress pads.

In a Nutshell

  • Soft and breathable organic cotton
  • Global Organic Textile Standard certified
  • 45-night trial and one year warranty
Best Value: Hospitology Microfiber Mattress Pad
Hospitology

The Hospitology mattress pad is an affordable option with premium features.

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Why We Picked It

Hospitology makes a cozy mattress pad that is perfect for shoppers on a budget. The cover is made from polyester with a brushed microfiber texture. The mattress pad is filled with a synthetic down fiber with box-quilting; this gives this product a lightweight plush feeling.

The Hopsitology pad has an 18-inch deep pocket with two-way stretch fabric in its corners to hold it in place. The fabrics and filling used in this product are hypoallergenic, which is especially good for those allergic to down feathers. For easy upkeep, this mattress pad is machine washable and dryer safe (on low heat settings).

Keep in Mind

The Hospitology mattress pad sleeps hotter than other options, which might be a problem for some sleepers. The outer material also is not water-resistant, which isn’t good for spills or sweating throughout the night.

In a Nutshell

  • Hypoallergenic synthetic down filling
  • Most affordable mattress pad
  • Machine washable and dryer-safe
Best Organic: Avocado Organic Mattress Pad
Avocado Organic Mattress Pad

The Avocado mattress pad uses all-natural materials for a great night’s sleep.

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Why We Picked It

Throughout this luxury mattress pad, Avocado uses GOTS-Certified and Fair Trade Certified organic cotton—the only non-cotton part of the whole pad is its elastic band. The cover features long-staple cotton with a 400 thread count that is long-lasting and soft to the touch. The thick cotton filling is held in place by a double-stitched quilt pattern and reinforced edges.

The Avocado organic mattress pad comes in every mattress size and has a 17-inch deep pocket. The cover can be spot cleaned, but the whole product is also machine washable and dryer safe (without bleach and low drying only). You can test out the mattress pad for 100 nights, and it is covered by a one year warranty.

Keep in Mind

The Avocado makes great organic products; however, the mattress pad is more expensive than others (including other organic options).

In a Nutshell

  • Organic cotton is soft and breathable
  • GOTS-Certified and Fair Trade Certified
  • 100-night trial and one year warranty
Best Luxury: Parachute Down Mattress Pad
Parachute

The Parachute mattress pad is filled with down feathers and has a silky smooth cover.

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Why We Picked It

The Parachute mattress pad has more cushioning than others on our list, and that’s because of the thick and fluffy down filling. This product uses a double stitching quilt to keep the filling from moving or bunching. The mattress pad has to be cleaned carefully by either dry-cleaning or on using the delicate settings on your washing machine.

The outside of the Parachute is made with 100% cotton with a sateen weave that feels smooth to the touch. Parachute ships for free anywhere in the United States—you can test out the mattress pad for 90 days, and it comes with a 3-year warranty.

Keep in Mind

The Parachute mattress pad sleeps hotter than other options. It also comes at a fairly high price point.

In a Nutshell

  • Sateen weave cover and down feather filling
  • Free shipping
  • 90-day trial and 3-year warranty

How We Chose the Best Mattress Pads

We focus on a handful of features ranging from construction to reception to give you the best recommendations possible. To give you an idea of how we compared each product, we’ve highlighted some of our considerations below.

Comfort

A typical mattress pad is only up to an inch thick, noticeably slimmer than mattress toppers. However, they can still give an extra layer of comfort to your bed. We analyzed the loft of the filling material and the pad’s contouring properties for all of our recommendations. The feeling of the outer material also has an impact on your comfort, so each product is made from soft and high-quality fabrics.

Fit

We looked at three key factors when considering the fit of each mattress pad: available sizes, pocket depth, and elasticity. Every mattress pad on our list comes in all six mattresses sizes, and each one can handle mattresses that are thicker than 12-inches. These pads also use elastic fabrics that can easily stretch for getting it onto your bed while still tightly holding the pad in place.

Special Features

It was essential for us to find not only comfortable mattress pads but also products that offered extra features to help you sleep. Some mattress pads, specifically synthetic fibers, are made to be waterproof to help protect the bed itself. Pads that use breathable materials go the extra mile to allow air to flow through its surface, perfect for people who tend to sleep hot. Products that are Fair Trade Certified and Global Organic Textile Standard certified offer mattress pads produced through fair labor practices and organic materials (respectively).

Customer Satisfaction

One of the most valuable areas for our guides is customer satisfaction. Nobody knows a product better than people who have lived with, and analyzing everyone’s unique experience can help us narrow down the best products. Mattress pad quality and durability are crucial, but we also pay attention to people’s experiences with returns and customer service. While the goal is to help find you the perfect mattress, in the case of returning an item, we want to make sure you’re dealing with a reputable brand.

What is a Mattress Pad?

Mattress pads are a barrier between you and the cover of your mattress. While mattress protectors are usually waterproof and only function to protect your bed—mattress pads are meant to give you a soft and comfortable surface as well. Since you can’t throw your whole mattress in the washer, a mattress pad is a good alternative for sleeping comfortably with easy cleanup. Mattress pads could be viewed as a thicker type of bed sheet. We’re used to periodically washing our sheets to keep them clean, but the very thin layers don’t keep all the sweat and dead skin away from your bed’s surface. Using a mattress pad gives you a much thicker layer of protection that can also be machine washed. Some pads will have minimal effect on the comfort of your bed while others can help make it softer. This all depends on the filling material and loft; however, the shouldn’t be confused with mattress toppers.

Mattress Pads Vs. Mattress Protectors Vs. Mattress Toppers

Mattress pads, protectors, and toppers are all bed accessories designed to go underneath your bedsheets. The primary function of each one is different, but the lines between them are sometimes blurred. While one specific product might not fit into a category perfectly, the table below gives you the basic differences between them.

 Mattress PadMattress ProtectorMattress Topper
PurposeBasic mattress protection and slight comfort adjustmentKeep your mattress safe from spills or damageChange the feel and comfort of your mattress
Standard Materials Cotton, down, polyester, or rayonCotton, fiber, or blendsFoam, latex, wool, or down
How it Fits on MattressCovers the top and sidesCovers the entire mattressCovers the top
Best For People who want to change the feel of their mattress or who want a slightly softer feelKids, people who often eat or drink in bed, people who likes the feel of their mattress but wants to keep it protectedPeople who want a softer surface but doesn't want to buy a new mattress
Average ThicknessOne inch or lessLess than an inchBetween one and three inches

Types of Mattress Pads

There’s a large variety of materials that can be used to make a mattress topper. Below we outline some of the best and worst characteristics of each material.

  • Cotton: Cotton is a very soft material that can improve the feel of your mattress. On top of its plush texture, cotton tends to be breathable, which is ideal for hot sleepers. The material is often affordable and very long-lasting, and is usually machine washable. However, cotton isn’t great for protecting your mattress due to its absorbency.
  • Memory Foam: Memory foam is the perfect material for someone looking to add comfort to their mattress. The foam responds to applied pressure, which gives it excellent contouring properties. Memory foam is typically used in mattress toppers because it can be thicker, and it isn’t a very protective option.
  • Feather: Mattress pads that use duck or goose feathers add a plush layer to your bed. Due to the thickness, feather mattress pads are often classified at toppers. Feather, especially down feathers, is expensive and needs special care to keep it clean.
  • Latex: Latex is a smart option for changing the feel of your bed and protecting your mattress. The material has responsive and contouring qualities while also not having the same absorption issue as cotton. Latex tends to be more expensive and difficult to clean.
  • Fiber: Fiber mattress pads are products made from polyester, rayon, down-alternative, and other blended materials. Using synthetic or alternative materials often means that these mattress pads are cheaper and can have extra features like waterproofing. Quality and downsides can vary, but some common issues with fiber are noisy materials or low durability.
  • Wool: All-natural wool has several qualities that make it an excellent choice for mattress pads. Wool is soft to the touch and also very breathable. It dries fairly quickly, doesn’t retain odors, and can be very durable. The biggest issue with wool is the price, especially for larger sized mattresses.

How to Choose a Mattress Pad

Before you pick the best mattress pad for you, consider the factors below and how they might impact your sleep.

Temperature

A lot of mattresses have temperature regulating properties to keep you cool, but adding a mattress pad could affect how your bed feels. If you sleep hot, getting a mattress pad that uses breathable materials (like cotton) will help keep you cool and add to the cooling features of a temperature-neutral bed. If you tend to feel cold at night, materials like down can help keep you warm. Depending on your preference and sleeping surface, a mattress pad can improve or change your current sleep temperature.

Material Sensitivity

When you add a mattress pad to your bed, it becomes your new sleeping surface, which means the texture and materials are crucial. Many people have allergies to latex, wool, or feathers; so alternative fabrics would be the best choice. Some materials are also hypoallergenic. The texture is important, too—information like thread count and top weave will give you an indication of the smoothness of a mattress pad.

Durability

The materials used in your mattress will be vital in determining how long the product will last. You want to find a mattress pad that balances affordability with longevity—the perfect balance of the two will be different for every shopper. While materials like wool and latex are very durable, they are also harder to keep clean; unlike cotton, which is typically machine washable.

Bed Attachment

There are three different methods used to keep a mattress pad in place. Elastic mattress pads are the most common; these bed accessories have an elastic material around the bottom to slip over your mattress, like a fitted sheet. Pads with Anchor straps also use stretchy fabrics. This method uses single bands to wrap around each corner of your bed—which is excellent for airflow but might be more susceptible to movement. Encasement mattress pads are least likely to move around because they cover the entire bed, usually with a zipper to keep it closed.

Price

It’s important to make sure that you find a mattress pad that works with your budget and you’re getting a quality product for your money. Shoppers looking to keep costs at a minimum should consider cotton and fiber mattress pads. Organic cotton tends to come at a higher price, as do materials like down and latex. Some fiber mattress pads that have added features like waterproofing might also be more expensive.

Related Resources

For more mattress accessories and our top recommendations, check out the links below.

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Bryan Long