Protect your mattress with a mattress pad
Throughout its lifetime, a standard mattress will sustain damage, lose firmness and acquire a variety of stains. However, the simple addition of a mattress pad can both improve your sleep as well as extend the life of your mattress. Whether you want to protect your mattress or reduce sleep-rated discomfort, mattress pads offer an economical solution.
Types of Mattress Pads
The exact mattress pads you choose will depend on how you intend you use them. Besides adding warmth and comfort, mattress covers can protect your bed from spills and accidents. They also fight dust and moisture, soothe achy joints while you sleep and provide an extra line of defense in your allergy bedding arsenal.
Though standard mattress toppers add an additional layer of softness, mattress pads can also heat your bed while offering other protective features. For example, a waterproof mattress cover stops spilled liquids from damaging the bed and can be used in children's rooms to mitigate the damage caused by nighttime accidents. If irritants in the air keep you up at night, allergy mattress covers with hypoallergenic qualities resist the buildup of dust and mites.
Heated mattress pads are also a popular purchase among people who want more warmth during the cold seasons without cranking up the thermostat. Similar to electric blankets, heated pads use coils to distribute warmth. A safer and more economical version of this product is the coil-free electric mattress pad, which heats more evenly while using much lower voltages. Heated mattress pads with ThermoFine technology can even self-adjust the amount of heat they deliver based on body and room temperature.
There are many options for mattress covers, but if you're unsure of what to get, stick to multi-functional products, such as waterproof heated mattress pads.
Buying Mattress Toppers
Factors influencing the quality and price of mattress toppers include the thickness of the pad, the style of the piece, its thread count and the materials used to make it. Mattress covers can be made from inexpensive materials like cotton and polyester as well as more costly items such as wool, silk, foam, feathers or down. If your primary interest is comfort, these higher-quality materials are a worthwhile purchase; each material provides a unique range of benefits. For instance, feather mattress pads are able to maximize warmth while remaining lightweight. On the other hand, memory foam mattress toppers conform to your natural shape to reduce pressure on key body points while eliminating discomfort.
The mattress pad you purchase should have the right depth to accommodate your mattress – typically 7 to 9 inches – so be sure to take accurate measurements before you visit the store.
The endless combinations of styles, features and materials make it difficult to pinpoint a price range, but mattress pads don't have to put a dent in your budget. Simple cotton pads with anchors to attach it to the mattress can be found for under $20, while pads with pillow tops cost significantly more. Also, fitted pads, wrap pads and guaranteed-fit pads are pricier because they won't slip off of the bed and are more accommodating to small differences in mattress sizes.
However, always be wary of substandard versions of "luxury" materials disguised as discount covers, because many products are poorly constructed or use low-grade foams, down and wool. Shopping online gives you more options, but if possible, focus on products that are carried in a local department or mattress store. This way, you can try out the product first and ask questions while still finding the best deal.