Mattress Pad VS Protector: Which Is Right For You?

Mattress Pad VS Protector

September 28th, 2020   |   Updated on June 9th, 2023

Having a comfortable mattress is crucial to a good night’s sleep, and without it, your bedtime can be nightmarish. Getting into the right position to finally fall asleep just can’t happen, and you’re left tired the following day.

How can you get into a better nighttime routine without having to spend tons on a new mattress?

Getting a mattress accessory to fit your needs can be the key to your perfect sleep. Knowing the difference between a mattress pad vs protector will help you figure out what you need to start sleeping right.

How Are They Similar?

Both mattress pads and mattress protectors can provide an extra layer of comfort between you and your mattress. They can improve your overall sleep experience by adding support to your bed and body, or by making your sleeping surface softer.

If you’re trying to decide whether or not you can afford to buy a new mattress, then buying a pad or protector for your mattress is a far cheaper alternative. That way, you can enjoy the perks of a new mattress without having to shovel out a fortune to afford one.

Either item can also increase the longevity of your mattress by providing a layer of protection between yourself and the mattress. Instead of your mattress absorbing the oils and sweat on your skin during the night, your mattress pad or protector will absorb it instead, keeping your mattress in better shape longer.

Mattress Pad Vs Protector, How Are They Different?

While there are many similarities between the two mattress accessories, there are separations between them as well. Here are a few of the differences between mattress pads vs mattress protectors that you should consider before making your purchase.


Although mattress pads and mattress protectors are both cheaper than buying an entirely new mattress, there is a distinct cost difference between the two.

Depending on the quality and brand of the mattress pad you buy, you may run into a more expensive selection. For example, a pad made entirely with organic cotton will cost more than one filled with wool or synthetic materials.

If you want to save a bit of money, however, mattress protectors are far less expensive. This is due to them being made with thinner materials.

For someone with a lower budget, getting a mattress protector would be the right call. If money isn’t as much of a concern, then both options are still doable.

Comfort Level

Mattress pads are thicker layers that lay between you and the mattress, similar to a comforter for your mattress. They can be filled with a variety of different materials for different levels of comfort and softness, making them great for those who want to get better support for their bed.

Mattress protectors, on the other hand, are meant more for keeping your mattress clean for long periods of time. Made from a thinner material, they don’t offer as much support as their counterpart.

How They are Attached

Mattress protectors can slide onto and stay on your mattress in a similar fashion to fitted sheets. Just slip the edges of the protector over each corner of the mattress for a perfect fit every time.

However, because mattress pads are thicker, they need another form of attachment. Rather than sliding onto the bed, they are instead attached with straps on the sides of the pad and connected to your mattress.

Both methods will keep the accessory firmly in place. The deciding factor will be up to your personal preference.

How To Make Your Final Choice

Now that you know the similarities and differences between mattress pads and mattress protectors, it’s time to decide which you would prefer for your home. Here is a summary of both, as well as a list of reasons why you should consider each item.

Pros of Mattress Pads

There are some things that you’ll need to consider when shopping for a mattress pad, including:

  • What are you willing to spend?
  • What type of material are you wanting for your mattress pad?
  • How much extra support do you need?

Because they are a little more expensive than mattress protectors, it’s important to know what you can get out of each type of mattress pad. This will help you understand the cost and the benefits that the mattress pad can provide.

There are several reasons why you may want to consider buying a mattress pad, including the following.

You Sleep With Someone Else

Mattress pads are a great addition for couples who sleep in the same bed. The additional padding of the mattress pad can improve motion isolation, meaning your partner won’t be able to feel you moving around during the night.

Mattress pads are also made with materials that stay silent as you shift around, allowing for a comfortable and quiet night.

They Help You Stay Cool

While one common thought regarding mattress pads is that they cause a heat buildup while you sleep, the opposite is true. Mattress pads can help improve cool air circulation and keep you from overheating during the night.

The mattress pad will take and dissipate your body heat through it, leading to a cooler nighttime experience while you sleep.

The amount of cooling properties your mattress pad will have is dependent on the material inside, so do your research before making a purchase! This will help you get the best experience possible with your new mattress pad.

Cons of Mattress Pads

Now that we’ve discussed why you should buy a mattress pad, here are a few reasons why you may want to hold off.

  1. You’re trying to use it instead of replacing an extremely old and worn out mattress- while mattress pads can improve your mattress experience, you shouldn’t buy one to rejuvenate an old mattress.
  2. Mattress pads aren’t waterproof, so if this is something you need, a mattress pad isn’t for you.
  3. You need something thicker than the mattress pad, such as a mattress topper that can provide additional support and comfort.

Consider these factors when deciding to make your purchase to get the most out of your shopping experience.

Pros of Mattress Protectors

Mattress protectors have a separate list of considerations and benefits that you’ll want to keep in mind while shopping. Some of the questions you should ask include, but are not limited to:

  • Is the mattress protector hypoallergenic and able to protect from water damage and spills?
  • Will the protector keep me cool during the night?
  • How loud is the material that the protector is made from?
  • Can I wash my mattress protector in a machine?

Once you’ve considered these factors, you’ll have a better idea of whether or not a mattress protector is the right choice for you. Here are just a few of the benefits that a new mattress protector can provide.

Mattress Protectors are Great for Extending the Life of Your Mattress

Because mattress protectors are designed to keep liquids, oils, and sweat from soaking into your mattress, they are a great option for keeping your mattress clean. They are especially great for children’s beds, as they can keep out accidental spills and messes.

This resource page can show you just how beneficial the protection powers of your new mattress protector can be!

Mattress Protectors are Easy to Clean

Compared to mattress pads, mattress protectors make cleaning time a breeze. As long as you do your research on your mattress protector to ensure it can be machine washed, your new purchase will both keep your mattress clean and be easier to care for in the long run.

Mattress Protectors are Inexpensive

Since mattress protectors can be so much less expensive than mattress pads, they are a great alternative for someone on a budget. No matter what material you decide to go with for your protector, you are bound to find a relatively inexpensive option.

Cons of Mattress Protectors

There are a few reasons why mattress protectors may not be the right choice for you. A few of the cons of mattress protectors include:

  • They don’t provide as much support as mattress pads
  • The materials they’re made of can be incredibly noisy
  • Mattress pads can get warm and uncomfortable depending on their material

If you know that you need extra support and comfort or can’t handle the noise your mattress protector makes, then you may want to try a different option.

Sleep Comfortably Today

Now that you know the differences between a mattress pad vs protector, you are ready to help yourself get to sleep easier. Improve your sleeping experience with either a mattress pad or a mattress protector today!

What have you learned about mattress pads and mattress protectors? What experiences have you had with them?

We’d love to hear your thoughts! Be sure to follow us on our social media pages and continue reading our blog for more tips, tricks, and information today.

Check Out More Posts