Whether it’s the added plush on top or the knowledge that your bed will be protected from unwanted spills, mites, and more, a mattress pad can make the difference between a mediocre night’s sleep and a great one.
To help you choose, we tested 13 mattress pads from a variety of brands in The Lab for 16 hours to sort out the winners—testing for comfort, support, breathability, durability, and effectiveness. After extensive research (and maybe a few naps for experiential data), the clear winner was the ViscoSoft Copper Mattress Pad.
Here are the best mattress pads for every type of sleeper.
ViscoSoft ViscoSoft Copper Mattress Pad
Soft and pillowy surface
Feels comfortable and supportive
Average price point
Fits snugly to the mattress so it won’t move around
Not as breathable—could get a little warm
Fill is somewhat uneven—creates lumps
When considering a mattress pad, you should think about the sleep experience you want. If you toss and turn, you might want a quieter option; if you get warm at night, perhaps something with cooling technology. This option was selected as best overall because it truly captures most of the key elements of a good mattress pad. It provides support while still being plushy and comfortable, and fits snugly on the mattress so it won’t move around while you sleep. The price is competitive among other options but high enough that you know you’re still getting a quality product.
When testing it in The Lab, we found that this mattress pad can get a little warm due to its added plush—it might not be as cool in the summertime, especially if you’re a hot sleeper (we gave it a 3 out of 5 for breathability). However, the plush does add a layer of softness that makes it more comfortable for side and stomach sleepers—earning it a perfect score for comfort in our lab tests.
The best way to determine if a mattress pad is the right fit is to try it out for yourself. This option comes with a 60-day trial, so if it doesn’t serve your needs for whatever reason, you can send it back and get a full refund.
Price at time of publish: $75
Material: Polyester/polyester blend | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king | Certifications: None | Return Policy: 60 days
Utopia Bedding Quilted Mattress Pad
Somewhat soft surface
Not the most supportive
Maybe you’re looking for a solid mattress pad that will last over time, but doesn’t cost an entire paycheck—and that’s reasonable. This budget option can provide a soft surface that’s also breathable so you won’t get too hot while trying to fall asleep. The Utopia mattress pad ranked well among others for breathability, with 4 out of 5 stars. It’s not necessarily waterproof, but if you don’t have small children or spill-prone family members, that might not be an issue. Of course, accidents happen, and if that’s the case, this mattress pad is machine washable for easy maintenance.
Sometimes mattress pads move with you when you’re an active sleeper, and that can lead to bunched sheets, strewn bedding, and a whole big mess. You won’t have that problem with this option because it fits tightly to your mattress and stays in place no matter how much you toss and turn in your sleep. That’s why we rated it 5 out of 5 stars for effectiveness. This durable mattress pad is long-lasting and comes in a variety of sizes, so there’s something for every room and bed type.
Price at time of publish: $24
Material: Microfiber | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, full XL, short queen, queen, king, California king | Certifications: None | Return Policy: Dependent on retailer
Birch Living Birch by Helix Organic Mattress Pad
100% organic cotton
GOTS and fair trade certified
Breathable and soft
Kind of pricey
Sometimes to get a little more, you have to pay a little more. That’s the case for the Birch by Helix Organic Mattress Pad. Made from 100% fair trade and GOTS certified organic cotton, this soft mattress pad is a sustainable pick that’s made without the use of chemicals. The breathable cotton material also makes this option ideal for hot sleepers—after testing, we gave it a 4.5 out of 5 for breathability.
The design is sophisticated and subtle, with faint tufts that don’t show through a fitted sheet. There’s an elastic edge that holds this mattress pad in place to keep it from moving under those who like to kick and sprawl in their sleep. And similar to a cotton shirt in the summer, this mattress pad is moderately spill-proof and absorbs moisture—drying out quickly. For serious spills, you can throw the whole thing in the washer for an easy clean. All of these features make this mattress pad extremely versatile, earning it a solid 5 out of 5 for effectiveness.
With this type of high-quality material, you’re going to pay a higher cost. For those who are wary of the price, this option comes with a 100-night sleep trial to make sure you’re happy with it, and a 1-year warranty in case of any potential mishaps.
Price at time of publish: $149
Material: GOTS certified organic cotton | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king | Certifications: GOTS & Fair Trade certified | Return Policy: 100 nights, plus 1-year warranty
Best Down Alternative
SUPERIOR Down Alternative Mattress Topper
Acts as a pillow top to make the mattress more comfortable
Overstuffed with fill—hard to fit a sheet over
Not fitted with elastic so it can move around on the mattress
Down alternative is a stuffing material used in place of bird feathers to fill pillows and other bedding. This mattress topper features a microfiber shell with a synthetic polyfill stuffing inside. This gives it a very soft plushy feeling on the surface, making your mattress more comfortable when lying down. Our testers gave this mattress pad 4 out of 5 stars for support. If you should spill something, this topper is technically machine washable, but given its size, it may not fit in all washers and dryers.
The fill supposedly doesn’t shift, but we learned through testing that the entire mattress topper does. Unlike a mattress pad, a topper just sits on top of the mattress for extra padding but isn’t fitted with elastic or anything to keep it from moving. While the fill acts as a nice cushion, it’s also perhaps a bit overstuffed. It was hard to pull a fitted sheet over the top of it because the stuffing layer is thick—although it seems to flatten over time, so that might not be a permanent issue.
Overall, this mattress topper is soft, comfortable, and can act as a layer to cushion firmer mattresses. So if you purchase it with that in mind, it will serve your needs effectively, and that’s why we gave it 5 out of 5 stars for effectiveness because it delivers what it promises. However, if you’re looking for something to protect your mattress, you should consider one of the other mattress pad options.
Price at time of publish: $70
Material: Microfiber shell with down alternative polyfill | Sizes: Twin, full, queen, king | Certifications: None | Return Policy: Dependent on retailer
Coyuchi Organic Mattress Pad
Breathable and comfortable
100% organic cotton material
Minimalist but sophisticated design
Not as thick—doesn’t provide as much support
Material makes it more expensive
If you want a mattress pad that’s designed functionally and aesthetically, this option meets both of those criteria. The Coyuchi Organic Mattress Pad has soft white tufts that look sophisticated when visible but blend in seamlessly beneath a fitted sheet. Made from 100% organic cotton, this mattress pad is soft, breathable, and comfortable—earning it a 4 out of 5 for both comfort and breathability. It’s a light material, so it wicks away water and keeps your body cool when sleeping.
This is a thinner material, so it’s not going to be as plush as other mattress pads—and because it’s made with sustainably-sourced cotton, it comes at a higher price. That being said, the deep pocket design can cover a larger mattress, and the elastic band holds it in place, even with lively sleepers. This mattress pad is available in most standard sizes and can be returned within 30 days if you decide it’s not for you.
Price at time of publish: $328
Material: 100% organic cotton | Sizes: Twin, full, queen, king, California king | Certifications: GOTS Certified and Made Safe | Return Policy: 30 days
Avocado Organic Cotton Mattress Pad Protector
Silky and cool material
Organic, high quality cotton
On the expensive side
Another organic option, the Avocado Organic Cotton Mattress Pad Protector is a highly sustainable product with eco-friendly certifications to make you feel good about its origins and impact on the planet. For one, it has a Greenguard Certification, meaning it’s been tested and proven to have low chemical emissions. It also has the Made Safe stamp of approval for not containing hazardous materials such as fire retardants. Part of the organic production process means there’s no waterproof coating—but in spite of that, this mattress pad seems to hold up well to minor spills.
The material is soft and silky to the touch, and like other cotton products, highly breathable. It’s not as plush as some of the other options, so if you’re looking for something to cushion a firm mattress, this may not be the best fit. Though a pricier option than others on this list, this mattress pad is made of premium cotton that’s long-lasting and has a low impact on the environment.
Price at time of publish: $239
Material: GOTS organic certified cotton | Sizes: Twin, Full, Queen, King | Certifications: Greenguard, GOTS certified, climate neutral, certified vegan, FSC certified, and made safe | Return Policy: 100 nights plus a 1-year warranty
The Company Store Cooling Mattress Pad
Light and airy, with cooling technologies
If you run hot, then falling asleep in the summer can be a miserable experience, keeping you up all night as you try to find cool sections of your bed. That’s where a cooling mattress pad comes in. This light and airy option from The Company Store is made from a blend of cotton and CoolMax moisture-wicking poly fibers, which are designed to keep your mattress at a comfortable temperature all night long. Our testers loved the airflow of this mattress and rated it a 4 out of 5 stars for breathability.
While this isn’t a waterproof mattress pad, it does wick away sweat and other moisture. The cotton provides a soft layer making this mattress pad as comfortable as some pillow toppers (so comfortable it almost lulled our testers to sleep, earning a perfect score in that category). There’s also a generous return policy in place, so you have 90 days to get a feel for this mattress pad before the clock runs out.
Price at time of publish: $129
Material: Cotton, CoolMax moisture-wicking poly fibers | Sizes: Twin, full, king | Certifications: None | Return Policy: 90 days
AllerEase Platinum 360 Zip-Off Top Mattress Protector
Machine washable outer lining
Zippers around the entire mattress for protection
Plastic barrier around zipper for extra security
Bunches under the fitted sheet
Can be too warm
Unlike some mattress pads that fit around the mattress with elastic, the AllerEase Platinum Mattress Protector zips around it, covering the mattress entirely. This not only makes laundry easier—you can just unzip the top and throw it in the washing machine—but it also ensures better water protection. This zipper system also has a plastic barrier to help prevent spills from seeping into the mattress, as well as dust mite matter and other potential allergens. These features are why we gave it a 5 out of 5 stars for effectiveness.
The polyester material on the top is soft and makes this mattress pad kind of warm, so it might get a little heated in the summer months. During testing, we also found that it tends to bunch under the fitted sheet a little. Overall this mattress pad delivers what it promises—it keeps water out, and is comfortable enough for a good night’s sleep.
Price at time of publish: $102
Material: Polyester blend | Sizes: Twin, full, queen, king | Certifications: None | Return Policy: 90 days plus lifetime limited warranty
Best for Pest Protection
Hospitology Products Sleep Defense System Mattress Encasement
Zipper design for maximum protection
No padding or plushiness
A touch noisy
While it’s not fun to think about, critters like dust mites and bed bugs are drawn to the place we sleep. So, it’s a good idea to protect your mattress with an encasement system like this one to keep these little guys away (in addition to preventing spills and stains). As its name implies, the Hospitology Products Mattress Encasement isn’t a pillowy mattress topper—it’s strictly meant to protect your mattress, so think of it as more of a cover. This system is highly effective, which is why we gave it 5 out of 5 stars in that category.
We noticed it made some noise when laying on it, which is probably due to it being more of a cover than a soft pad, but once you get sheets and bedding on top, it might reduce that a bit. There’s a wide range of sizes depending on what type of bed you’re seeking this type of protection for, and this brand comes with a 5-year warranty to ensure it lasts as advertised.
Price at time of publish: $37
Material: Polyester | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, full XL, queen, king, California king | Certifications: None | Return Policy: Dependent on retailer, plus 5-year limited warranty
SafeRest Premium Hypoallergenic Mattress Protector
Not too pricey
More of a mattress protector than a mattress pad
Traps body heat—can get really warm
When you live in a house with children, pets, or are just a bit uncoordinated, spills happen. There are mattress pads on the market designed to help alleviate this problem using materials that prevent spill absorption into the mattress. This option from SafeRest is completely spill-proof because it’s made from a cotton terry surface with a membrane back coating to block spills from absorbing.
Whether you’re looking for your child or yourself, this option comes in a range of sizes from twin to California king and has a 10-year warranty for long-term assurance. Our testers observed that this is more of a mattress cover than a mattress pad, so if you’re looking for something to add cushioning to a firm mattress, this won’t do that. That’s not to say it’s uncomfortable—it was rated 5 out of 5 stars for comfort and support by our testers. Overall, if you love your mattress, and your priority is protection from spills and dirt long-term, this is an ideal cover.
Price at time of publish: $38
Material: Cotton terry with membrane back coating | Sizes: Twin, full, queen, king, California king | Certifications: None | Return Policy: Dependent on retailer, plus 10-year warranty
After an entire day of testing mattress pads, we recommend the ViscoSoft Copper Mattress Pad as the best option for most people. It’s not as expensive as others, but it’s still a high-quality and comfortable mattress pad that won’t move around too much while you sleep. Our favorite splurge option is the Birch by Helix Organic Mattress Pad because the material is soft, luxurious, breathable, and sustainably sourced.
How We Tested the Mattress Pads
Over the course of a day, members of The Spruce’s editorial team tested 12 total toppers at The Lab. We evaluated each topper on its comfort, support, breathability, effectiveness, durability, and overall value, rating it on a scale of 1 to 5. 10 of the 12 made it onto our final list.
To test the comfort and support of the mattress pads, we had our testers lay down and roll around on top of the mattress pads, noting their overall feel and whether they shifted or crinkled during use. For mattress pads that claimed to be waterproof, we spilled 1/2 cup of dyed water onto the pad to see whether it effectively protected the fitted sheet and mattress underneath. We also assessed the breathability of each topper, using a blowdryer to see how much air was able to pass through the material. We combined these insights with our writer and editors' independent research to bring you this list.
What’s the difference between a mattress topper and a mattress pad?
A mattress topper is like an extra layer of cushioning whereas a mattress pad acts as a protective shield to expand your mattress’ lifespan. All mattress toppers have some kind of added stuffing to create a pillowy feel on top of your mattress, but not all mattress pads are actually padded. Most aim to prevent spills, stains, and dirt, while some just add a soft texture to make the mattress surface feel more comfortable. Essentially, mattress toppers make beds softer, and mattress pads protect your mattress from wear and tear.
When do you need a mattress pad?
You should consider adding a mattress pad to your bed if you live in an environment with lots of potential for dirt and spillage (i.e. with kids and pets), or if you just want to ensure your mattress stays clean. Another consideration could be if you share a bed with someone who needs a different level of firmness. For instance, if you like a softer mattress and your partner prefers a firm one, then a mattress pad could make the mattress feel soft for you without changing the overall level of support.
How often should you wash a mattress pad?
How often you clean your mattress pad depends on its use, according to Casper. For example, if it’s on a bed in a less used room like a guest room, it might only need to be washed every few months to keep it fresh. For more frequently used locations, the general rule is to wash it every two months. You should immediately spot clean if there’s a spill, and it’s also a good idea to wash your bedding after you’re sick to remove any lingering germs.
What to Look for in a Mattress Pad
Choose a mattress pad material that makes sense for your season and your situation. Cotton or poly-cotton mattress pads will offer breathability and are usually the most budget-friendly options. More specialized materials, like down or wool, can offer warmth in the winter but are also adaptable in hotter weather. In case of spills or messes, you'll also want to check to see whether or not the mattress pad is machine washable.
Avoid the hassle and frustration of trying to stretch a too-small mattress pad over your mattress by making sure that it’s deep enough for your bed. While standard mattresses should pose no problem, if you have a deep or extra deep mattress, you’ll want to find a pad that can accommodate that. Most mattress pads have super stretchy sides and corners to fit a range of mattress depths, but it pays to double-check this measurement before picking one.
For easy care, look for a mattress pad that's machine-washable and dryer-safe. Some mattress pads also feature a zip-off top that allows you to wash the sleep surface without removing the entire cover.
Some mattress pads do more than just provide a layer of protection between you and your mattress. Waterproof mattress pads will keep spills or leaks from seeping through to the bed below—just be sure to choose one that isn’t so crinkly that it becomes uncomfortable. Bed bug mattress pads offer protection on all six sides of your mattress, putting your bed on lockdown to prevent bed bugs from entering.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Madison Yauger is a lifestyle writer who specializes in home products and commerce. To keep our product picks as well-rounded as possible, our team tested each product in a lab, looking at factors like spill resistance, comfort and support, durability of materials, and more, to find options for different lifestyles and needs. To supplement testing, these products were also heavily researched to ensure quality and longevity.