How to Protect a Mattress Topper or Mattress Pad
Mattress toppers and mattress pads serve a similar purpose. They serve as an extra layer to your regular mattress for additional comfort and support. Along with the desired comfort and support, they tend to prolong the life of your regular mattress to save your investment. So, if mattress toppers or mattress pads protect your mattress, you may wonder, how do you protect a mattress topper or mattress pad?
To protect a mattress topper or mattress pad, use a mattress topper cover to protect against accidental spills, body fluids, skin flakes, etc., keep your mattress topper or mattress pad evenly supported, avoid jumping on the bed, and use a bed tray.
A mattress pad is a thin layer of any kind of material that is placed on top of your mattress to enhance its firmness. Whereas, a mattress topper is an upgraded, thicker version of the mattress pad. Both are designed to make your mattress more comfortable and supportive along with adding the protection to help your mattress last longer. There have been several studies to understand how bedding affects sleep biomechanics.
Although they serve as an extra layer to protect your mattress, mattress toppers and mattress pads also need some protection so they can last longer. Mattress toppers and pads are made up of various materials and have different properties. Some materials, like cotton, can sustain multiple washes and are durable, whereas materials such as wool are more likely to get damaged due to regular washing or ironing.
Items such as fitted sheets or mattress topper covers are a safe choice to protect them from wearing out. Below are some tips to protect the mattress topper and mattress pads from damage.
- Did you know that you could cut a memory foam mattress topper to fit your mattress or your encasement?
- Do you need a mattress topper?
- What are the benefits of a copper mattress pad or topper?
Tips to Protect a Mattress Topper
Tip 1. Use a Waterproof Mattress Topper Cover
As mentioned earlier, a mattress topper cover is essential to protect your mattress topper from getting damaged. Although you try not to spill anything that gets absorbed by your mattress topper, accidental spills tend to happen. Moreover, body fluids such as sweat, urine, etc. get absorbed too while you are sleeping. Such incidents may leave a pungent odor embedded in your mattress, along with some permanent stains as well. You can keep your mattress topper safe from such troubles by encasing it in a water-proof mattress topper cover.
A good water-proof mattress topper cover can protect your mattress topper against spills, body fluids, skin flakes and more.
A mattress topper cover consists of a water-resisting layer that restricts all kinds of liquids from absorbing into the mattress topper. In case any liquids spill on the bed, you can simply wash the cover with the regular bed sheets and pillowcases. Here’s a simple and effective waterproof mattress topper cover from Amazon with excellent reviews.
Materials such as wool mat down can eventually become dry. A mattress topper cover can keep your mattress topper from getting hard and uncomfortable. Instead it is likely to maintain both the comfort and quality of your mattress topper.
We've done a deep dive into the difference between mattress covers vs. mattress pads in our article.
Tip 2. Use a Bed Tray
If you have a habit of bringing your food or drinks in your bed, or if you take your morning coffee or breakfast in the bed, we suggest that you get a bed tray. Bed trays are another way to stop accidental spills from reaching your mattress topper because they contain spills on the tray instead of the mattress topper. Therefore, investing in a stable bed tray, like this one, can prolong the life of your bed and the comfort it offers you.
Tip 3. Avoid Jumping On the Bed
Kids love to jump on beds. Not only is this a bad habit, but it can also damage your mattress, mattress topper and mattress pad! These products are designed for repeated but slow indentation (think about the force you exert when you just lie in bed) vs. fast indentation which comes from jumping. This master's thesis from the University of British Columbia describes sleep movements using mattress sensors. Notice how there’s no jerky / fast indentation forces present.
Tip 4. Support Your Mattress Topper Evenly
Similar to your mattress, even your mattress topper needs support since mattress toppers are frequently made of the same materials as mattresses. We discuss mattress materials vs. mattress topper materials in our article entitled ‘when should you buy a mattress topper instead of a mattress?’
Do You Put a Mattress Protector on Top of a Mattress Topper?
Put your mattress protector on top of the mattress topper to keep it from sliding and to protect it from spills. Not all mattress toppers are water-proof and it would be considered easy to wash a mattress protector instead of a mattress topper. Along with that, a mattress protector can provide the softness and comfort your mattress topper lacks.
You should put a mattress protector on top of a mattress topper because it keeps your mattress topper from sliding and helps keep your bed intact.
Mattress toppers are made up of various materials such as cotton, latex, wool, etc. Such materials tend to absorb moisture, thereby leaving your bed smelling rather unpleasant. Moreover, accidental spills may leave a permanent stain on it. As days go by, some materials may lose their softness and comfort, leaving your mattress topper hard and irritating. A mattress protector proves to be a single solution to all these problems. Here’s a mattress protector that can fit both your topper and your mattress because it has 18 inch pockets.
Note that you should replace your mattress protector often to make sure that it provides the right amount of protection for your mattress topper and mattress. Here’s our guide to how often to replace a mattress protector.
Should You Use a Waterproof Mattress Topper Cover?
A water-proof mattress topper cover ensures that your mattress stays durable and does not wear out. Water-proof mattress topper covers consist of a synthetic layer such as vinyl that acts as a barrier between the spilled liquid and your mattress topper. Moreover, they keep the bacteria from growing in your mattress or mattress topper as they keeps the topper dry.
You should use a waterproof mattress topper cover because it not only protects your mattress topper, but it also makes sure that you sleep on a dry bed by acting as a barrier between the moisture and your bed.
Not all mattress topper covers are water-proof. They also come in regular materials such as cotton which is not water-resistant and instead absorbs moisture. Some people prefer regular mattress topper covers because they are more breathable than the former, due to abundant air channels. They are also less noisy than water-proof mattress topper covers.
Using waterproof mattress topper covers can keep you from dealing with the pungent odor dried liquids may leave behind. They also offer resistance from permanent stains. While you select a water-proof mattress topper cover, make sure it doesn’t consist of vinyl or any synthetic material...you should select one which is vinyl-free.
We recommend buying a waterproof mattress topper cover, like this one which covers your mattress topper and your mattress, when possible. If the noise really bothers you. In that case, a machine washable cotton mattress topper cover can absorb spills and easily be cleaned in a washing machine, so it’s a good alternative.
Here’s a summary of the pros and cons of waterproof and regular mattress topper covers:
|Pros of Regular Mattress Topper Covers||Cons of Regular Mattress Topper Covers|
|It keeps the mattress topper clean.||It may absorb the moisture spilled on your bed.|
|It prolongs the life of your mattress topper.||It may not keep your bed odorless.|
|It is easy to maintain.||It may take a lot of time to get dried.|
|It can maximize the comfort of your bed.||Some covers get hard and uncomfortable with time.|
|It isn’t noisy|
|Pros of Waterproof Mattress Topper Covers||Cons of Waterproof Mattress Topper Covers|
|It keeps the bed dry.||It may not maintain the optimum temperature.|
|It helps prevent allergies.||It may become noisy due to movement.|
|It keeps the bed from pungent odors.||It is not well ventilated.|
|It improves your bed hygiene.||It may cause excessive sweating.|
How Do You Protect a Cooling Mattress Topper?
A cooling mattress topper is a temperature regulating item that keeps you cool at night. For people who feel hot in bed, a cooling mattress topper is the right choice. However, you have to be careful with protecting a cooling mattress topper so you can prolong its life. You must ensure that protecting your mattress topper doesn't interfere with its ventilation and maintains the coolness. Here are some ways through which you can sustain your cooling mattress topper.
You can protect a cooling mattress topper by putting on a cooling, machine washable, mattress topper cover that still allows sufficient ventilation.
Materials such as cotton and bamboo keep the bed cool and well ventilated. Moisture-wicking sheets are a good option because they also have cooling properties that can add to those that already exist within a cooling mattress topper, providing your mattress the desired protection. Avoid putting the cooling mattress topper in the sun for long or ironing it at high temperature because it may damage the cooling gel layer present in your mattress topper.
You can also apply the above tips to protect a magnetic mattress pad since they don't have any electronics built in.
- How do you fix a mattress pad that makes you hot or sweat?
- How do you install a mattress topper along with a protector?
Recommended Mattress Topper Covers
While looking for a mattress topper cover, you should keep certain features such as breathable protection, temperature-regulating material, and free of vinyls/synthetic materials in mind. Materials such as latex, cotton, and bamboo are very suitable for a mattress topper cover, because they maintain an optimum temperature and offer you a breathable environment. Avoid mattress toppers that consist of synthetic materials such as vinyl because they are noisy and suffocate the mattress topper and mattress.
Recommended mattress topper covers include the following.
|Product Name and Link to Amazon||Details of Mattress Topper Cover||Price|
|Oaskys cotton mattress topper cover||Breathable, absorbs liquids, allergen free||~$30|
|Linenspa premium cover||Excellent ventilation/breathability for your mattress topper||~$15|
|Sure Guard waterproof encasement||Waterproof, allergen free, bed bug resistant||~$50|
Tips to Protect a Mattress Pad
A mattress pad serves as an additional layer to your bed that gives you extra comfort and support while you are resting. Some mattresses are synthetically quite firm. A soft mattress pad can provide you with an opportunity to adjust the firmness of your bed. Like mattress toppers, mattress pads also come in several materials, some of which are quite sensitive to their environment. Wool, for instance, is a material that gets dry and loses its softness with time, leaving your mattress pad hard and uncomfortable. To avoid such conditions, one must take some measurements to protect their mattress pad. We’ve discussed the different materials that toppers and pads are made of in our article.
To protect a mattress pad, use a mattress cover, don’t bring liquids into your bed, vacuum and clean your mattress pad annually, and avoid keeping your mattress pad in the sun for extended periods of time.
- Use a mattress cover. A mattress cover not only encases your mattress pad, but it also offers the necessary protection to your mattress pad.
- Avoid bringing liquids in your bed. Liquid spills can leave permanent stains and odor in your bed along with the wet bed to sleep in. Hence, it is suggested not to bring liquids in your bed.
- Vacuum your mattress pad. Making time to vacuum a mattress at least twice a year will help prevent a build-up of sweat, dust, and allergens.
- Avoid keeping your mattress pad in the sun for long. High temperatures may damage its properties that provide comfort and support, therefore making your investment be in vain.
Tips to Encase a Heated Mattress Pad
As the name suggests, a heated mattress pad makes your bed warm and cozy. Since the mattress pad goes under sheets and other top bedding, it’s designed to keep the heat in and close to the sleeper’s body. A heated mattress pad helps you sleep easier. Additionally, you can avoid climbing into a freezing bed at night. Using a heated pad is a cost-efficient alternative to cranking up the heater when temperatures drop. Moreover, for many ailments including back and joint issues, gentle heat can be soothing.
To encase a heated mattress pad, use a cover made of temperature regulating or neutral material, such as wool or cotton, which can also handle the additional heat.
- Use a mattress cover of a material such as wool that can keep the bed warmer. Wool is temperature regulating and flame resistant. It can handle a high temperature as well.
- A temperature neutral material like cotton can also be used for your mattress pad cover. Read the manufacturer’s instructions to understand how much heat your cotton cover can handle.
- Fitted sheets made of cotton or wood can also replace a zippered cover or an elastic cover. However, they may not protect your mattress pad all-around like a zippered cover may.
For more information, consider reading this article in the Journal of Fire Sciences about flammability of different bedding combinations.