If your tired and old mattress is making you feel, well, tired and old, it’s time to consider upgrading it with a mattress pad. Mattress pads are a “great way to keep your mattress protected from regular wear and tear, such as stains and odor,” says Simone Elderot, an interior designer and decorator who is also the founder of Stockhomed. In addition to protection, Elderot tells us that mattress pads can also provide supplementary comfort to your mattress, making them a “great add-on investment to your bed.”
To aid you in your search for mattress pads, we researched and tested an array of products, diligently examining and rating everything from comfort and support, all the way to texture, stitching, and laundering effects. In addition to speaking with Elderot, we gleaned insight from chiropractor Nicholas Riccio, D.C., of Prestige Health and Wellness to better understand how a mattress pad can help promote a better night of sleep. Read on to see our picks for the best mattress pads.
ViscoSoft Copper Mattress Pad
Improves mattress comfort
Great warranty and trial period
Not particularly breathable
Fill concentrated in the middle
Our pick for the best overall mattress pad is ViscoSoft’s Copper Mattress Pad. Designed to elongate the life of your mattress, it’s constructed for durability, and we found that it holds up well after being washed. While other mattress pads don’t seem to change the feel of your mattress at all, in our testing process, we felt this pad was very comfortable. Its filling conforms to your body’s movements and curves and feels more like a pillow top than a mattress pad. A layer of down alternative fiber fill made us feel that this simple addition would convert any mattress into a more comfortable one.
We did, however, find that the breathability of this mattress pad leaves something to be desired. That’s a result of the heat-trapping polyester material. Additionally, we noticed that the fill seems to be more centrally located in the middle–but that didn’t stop two individual testers from wholeheartedly agreeing that they would both recommend it to a friend for the overall comfort!
Where this mattress pad really excels and sets itself apart is how protected it keeps you as the consumer. A 90-day money back guarantee gives you more than enough time to see whether it’s right for you, while a five-year warranty keeps you protected long after that trial period. Plus, it features copper, which is designed to be antiviral and antibacterial.
Price at time of publish: $75 for a Queen
Material: Polyester | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king | Pad Thickness: 18 inches
Best for Back Pain
Birch by Helix Organic Mattress Pad
Good for small spills
Secure elastic is good for people who toss and turn
Slight odor in the beginning
If you’re looking for a mattress pad to help with your back pain, and you don’t mind spending a few extra bucks, Birch’s Organic Mattress Pad is well worth your investment. While it’s important to have a mattress underneath the pad that offers enough support, people with back pain can benefit from a more plush pad on top to promote a feeling of sinking in. In our testing, we found that’s just the case with this option, which is soft and plush, thanks to a cotton and sateen weave.
In addition to the soft feeling provided by the 100-percent GOTS-certified organic cotton, you’re ensured a pad that’s not only organic, but also grown responsibly. It’s also Fair Trade certified, so you know those who make it are being treated properly. In addition to cotton’s soft feel, the material is also known for its absorbency and breathability. We found that this made the mattress pad a great choice for warmer months.
One drawback that we discovered was that this pad is a bit pricier than other options and has a bit of a woodsy smell at first. However, that didn’t stop us from finding this pad so comfortable for an achy back that we’d recommend it to almost anyone.
Price at time of publish: $199 for a Queen
Material: GOTS-certified organic cotton with a sateen weave | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king | Pad Thickness: 16 inches
The Company Store Cooling Mattress Pad
Quiet even when sleepers move
Fits up to 15-inch-thick mattresses
May have issues with machine washing/drying
If you’re looking for a mattress pad that not only adds a little comfort but will also keep you cool, look no further than The Company Store’s Cooling Mattress Pad. It features CoolMax technology, which was originally created to help keep moisture away from runners’ skin. When we put this mattress pad to the test, we appreciated the light, airy, and cooling nature. We also loved the feel of the breathable material, which was silky to the touch and virtually undetectable underneath a fitted sheet.
We also noted that this mattress pad is very comfortable, so much so that it almost feels like a pillow topper, which is the result of the hypoallergenic fibers designed to add more cushioning. One drawback with this particular option, however, is it says nothing about waterproofing in the description. Any spills or liquids (like sweat) can seep through onto your mattress. Athough it can be machine washed and dried, you may encounter issues, even when following directions, with the product being damaged. To err on the side of caution, we recommend hanging it to dry.
Price at time of publish: $129
Material: Cotton, hypoallergenic polyester fibers | Sizes: Twin, full, king | Pad Thickness: 15 inches
Avocado Organic Cotton Mattress Pad Protector
Undetectable on the bed
Cooling and lightweight
Standard and deep pocket options available
Not as breathable as other options
Much like their heralded mattresses, Avocado nails it in the materials department with a high-quality Organic Cotton Mattress Pad as well. Made with GOTS-certified organic cotton inside and out, we noted in our testing process that this pad feels silky and cooling, and it’s even pleasant to look at. This choice really checks all of the boxes for someone who’s looking for these benefits: allergy- and asthma-friendly materials, vegan certified, and carbon-negative production and shipping.
While it is pricier than other options on our list, the overall quality justifies that, featuring cross-quilting for added durability and reinforced edges. Plus, the 3/4-inch-wide elastic banner provides a good fit without pulling on your mattress. Avocado makes it clear that this pad isn’t waterproof, but it is absorbent to help protect your mattress from stains, oils, and other accidents. Plus, it can be machine-washed if an accident should occur. We found this to be accurate in our testing, as the material seems like it would absorb a stain like lipstick or a little bit of water.
We do want to point out that in our testing, this mattress pad didn’t change the feel, or look, of the mattress overall. So, if you feel that their mattress is perfect as is, this is a great choice! But if you’re looking to up the plushness of your mattress, you may want to consider other options.
Price at time of publish: $299 for a Queen
Material: GOTS-certified organic cotton | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king | Pad Thickness: 16 inches
Coyuchi Organic Cotton Mattress Pad
Protects against liquids
Not particularly plush
May be visible through the fitted sheet
Coyuchi’s Organic Mattress Pad is a winner in every way, from the aesthetically pleasing design to its numerous features. It’s GOTS-certified, and we found that it adds comfort to the mattress, although it isn’t particularly thick or plush. The cotton also works to keep it cooler for anyone who sleeps hot; in our testing, the pad was cooling and comfortable. Although Coyuchi makes no mention of this product being waterproof, we were very impressed by just how much water was absorbed during testing without making any contact with the mattress.
The deep pockets on this mattress pad are also particularly useful for anyone with a thicker mattress. They’re paired with a wide elastic band, which we found keeps it firmly secured to the mattress. While this does have a fairly high price tag, it’s the attention to detail that offsets this with two-inch quilted squares and a percale covering. This product will not only help to keep your mattress around longer, but it’s also machine washable, so you can make sure it stays fresh for longer.
Price at time of publish: $298 for a Queen
Material: GOTS-certified cotton | Sizes: Twin, full, queen, king, California king | Pad Thickness: 15 inches
Best For Side Sleepers
Utopia Bedding Quilted Fitted Mattress Pad
Smooth-grip system keeps pad in place
Wide range of sizes and colors
Doesn’t offer great protection against spills
Doesn’t change the support of the mattress much
If you’re a side sleeper searching for a mattress pad, we highly recommend Utopia Bedding’s Quilted Mattress Pad. In our testing, we found that this option isn’t particularly plush, but it does provide a softer sleeping surface. This is ideal for side sleepers, because mattresses that are too soft or too firm will affect spinal alignment during the night. We also noted that this pad fits mattresses very well.
One added perk is that the microfiber cover is super-breathable, making it an excellent option for the warmer months of the year. Aside from side sleepers, this is a great choice for anyone looking for an affordable pad that will add slightly more comfort to your mattress, without going into the world of plush. Additionally, Utopia’s “smooth grip system” allows this mattress pad to wrap around your mattress fully; in our experience, this means it doesn’t shift around on the mattress, which is ideal for sleepers who move around during the night.
In our testing, we did note that this pad doesn’t offer much protection in terms of spills and stains, and it certainly isn’t waterproof. However, its comfort for side sleepers and secure fit make it a worthwhile choice. And it’s also machine washable, which is a huge bonus.
Price at time of publish: $24 for a Queen
Material: Polyester, microfiber | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, full XL, short queen, queen, king, California king | Pad Thickness: 16 inches
Best Down Alternative
Superior Down Alternative All-Season Mattress Topper
More affordable than down
Can extend mattress lifespan
No off-gassing odor
Can require fluffing from clumping
Not very breathable
Superior’s Down Alternative Mattress Pad offers all of the plush comfort associated with down, but without the higher price tag. We love this pad for its incredible comfortability; the microfiber and polyfill add a layer of plushness that’s ideal for anyone who’s hoping to extend the life of an older mattress or to make their mattress a bit less firm. Riccio tells us that mattress pads can offer added support, and in our testing, we felt that this product did exactly that. This pad isn’t just plush; it also offers some crucial extra support. We also liked that the OEKO-TEX-certified pad has no odor out of the packaging, which can sometimes be an issue with new bedding products.
One shortcoming we experienced was clumping. While the square-stitched baffle box construction keeps everything in place before washing, we found that after washing, the filling bunched in some of the squares, resulting in an uneven surface in some areas. In our experience testing this mattress pad, we found that air-drying worked better than fluffing throughout the dry cycle to avoid this. Overall, though, we like that this pad offers an affordable way to spruce up an older mattress.
Price at time of publish: $70 for a Queen
Material: Microfiber, down alternative polyfill | Sizes: Twin, full, queen, king | Pad Thickness: 2 inches
Hanna Kay Hypoallergenic Quilted Stretch-to-Fit Mattress Pad
Breathable, heat-releasing material
Only a single row of elastic
An affordable mattress pad doesn’t have to skimp in any ways, and this hypoallergenic choice from Hanna Kay proves that. Made from a poly-cotton blend, it’s highly breathable; in our testing, we found that it doesn’t trap body heat or moisture, helping to keep you cooler at night. This pad features a layer of added comfort and cushioning, though we did find it to be a thin layer. Where this mattress pad really excels, though, is in its washability. After putting this product to the test, we feel confident that even with frequent washings, it’ll last for years to come.
We did note some mild drawbacks with this option, like the thinner fabric. It’s also worth noting that you may be out of luck if your mattress is thinner; this pad is designed for thicker mattresses, and it only features a single row of elastic to hold it in place. As a result, sleepers with thinner mattresses who move a lot should be aware that this choice might not stay in place for the whole night. Still, that didn’t prevent this pad from being a standout option, particularly if you’re looking for an affordable and breathable pad.
Price at time of publish: $26 for a Queen
Material: Poly-cotton blend | Sizes: Twin, queen | Pad Thickness: 16 inches
Saatva Organic Mattress Pad
Secure elastic and spandex side panels
Cooling, breathable GOTS-certified organic cotton
Wide range of sizes
Doesn’t add substantial support
While it may come at a premium price, Saatva’s Organic Mattress Pad is a premium product. Made with 300 thread count GOTS-certified organic cotton, it’s as comfortable as it is cooling. This pad also offers some light plush cushioning that can take your current mattress from meh to extra comfortable. As with other Saatva products, it’s the attention to detail that really draws us in; for example, this pad features side panels made with spandex and a wide silicone-elastic band to make sure it stays put.
In addition to this mattress pad being much more expensive than many other options on our list, it might not offer enough added support for some sleepers and mattresses. That, however, didn’t stop it from receiving a 4.9 out of 5-star overall rating on the company’s site. And with a 45-day trial, you can see for yourself whether it’s the right product for you.
Price at time of publish: $265 for a Queen
Material: Cotton | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, queen upper-flex, king, California king, split king, king upper-flex | Pad Thickness: 16 inches
Parachute Down Alternative Mattress Pad
Wears and washes well
Can trap heat
It should come as no surprise that Parachute, a company that makes great pillows and bedding, also makes an exceptionally comfortable mattress pad. This down alternative mattress pad features a 100 percent sateen cotton shell and a 100 percent hypoallergenic microfiber fill, which combine for a night of sleep that’s as comfortable for your body as it is for your sinuses. The microfiber fill recreates the loft and softness traditionally associated with down, while a double-stitched construction makes sure that the down alternative fibers inside stay in place.
One drawback with this comfy mattress pad is the price; while down alternative should be more affordable than down, this is still fairly expensive when compared to other choices. The material of the pad can also trap heat, which means it may not be the lightest or airiest choice for sleepers who run hot. However, with customers praising it for the added comfort, durability after washing, and a secure fit, we find this to be worth every penny. A three-year warranty will leave you feeling protected by your purchase.
Price at time of publish: $189 for a Queen
Material: Cotton, hypoallergenic microfiber | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king | Pad Thickness: 18 inches
Best Spill Proof
SafeRest Premium Mattress Protector
Works with all types of mattresses
Protects against sweat, urine, and other spills
Doesn’t enhance mattress comfort
Stretches out over time
Accidents happen, but that doesn’t mean your mattress needs to be ruined as a result. With SafeRest’s Premium Mattress Protector, an exclusive membrane layer provides a line of defense against spills of all sorts, offering protection in the face of overnight accidents and many drink spills. While that membrane will protect the mattress from being reached and damaged by fluids, it doesn’t come at the cost of breathability. You’ll still enjoy good airflow, which is key for those warm or hot nights. This mattress pad is also machine-washable, which is great, because it’s intended for life’s messier situations.
However, if you’re hoping to improve the comfort level of your current mattress, this pad won't accomplish that. It’s thin and designed for protection above all else; in fact, the invisia-shield fitted style is designed intentionally to not change your sleeping surface’s comfort level, so this works more as a mattress protector than a cushy pad. If you’re primarily concerned with added protection and keeping your mattress stain- and mess-free, though, this is for you!
Price at time of publish: $43 for a Queen
Material: Cotton | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king | Pad Thickness: 18 inches
ViscoSoft Copper Mattress Pad
Best for Back Pain:
Birch by Helix Organic Mattress Pad
The Company Store Cooling Mattress Pad
|The Company Store||5||5|
Avocado Organic Cotton Mattress Pad
Coyuchi Organic Cotton Mattress Pad
Best For Side Sleepers:
Utopia Bedding Quilted Mattress Pad
Best Down Alternative:
Superior Down Alternative Mattress Topper
Hanna Kay Hypoallergenic Quilted Mattress Pad
Saatva Organic Mattress Pad
Parachute Down Alternative Mattress Pad
Best Spill Proof:
SafeRest Premium Mattress Protector
Our pick for the best overall mattress pad is the ViscoSoft Copper Mattress Pad for its incredible conforming ability, pillow top feel, and lengthy warranty and trial period. If you’re in the market for something more affordable, we highly recommend the Hanna Kay Hypoallergenic Quilted Stretch-to-Fit Mattress Pad. At just $26, it offers some added cushioning without breaking the bank, and great breathability. It also handles being washed and dried very well.
Other Mattress Pads We Tested
AllerEase Platinum 360° Zip-Off Top Mattress Protector: We also tested AllerEase’s Platinum 360 Zip-Off Top Mattress Protector. We liked that this protective layer (which is thinner than a true pad) fully encases the entire mattress with a zipper to completely seal the mattress inside. We appreciated the ease of removal for washing. Where this pad fell short in our testing, though, is that it did seem to bunch under the sheet and not stay as taut as we’d hoped. Plus, the can zipper get stuck periodically, which is a frustrating design flaw.
Hospitology Products Sleep Defense System Mattress Encasement: We also tested and researched Hospitology Products’ Sleep Defense System. We like that this product helps to keep you safe from bed bugs, allergens, and dust mites with a zipper that keeps the mattress encased and safe. A 1-millimeter thick polyurethane layer helps keep it protected from liquids, which we found to be effective at repelling and absorbing spills. Where it falls short in our testing, though, is its noisiness when being laid on. It also doesn’t offer any additional cushioning or change the feel of your mattress.
How We Tested Mattress Pads
To find the very best mattress pads for every type of mattress, every kind of sleeper, and every mattress owner’s unique needs, we tested a total of 12 products. We put these mattress pads onto real mattresses in The Lab, assessing each one on their comfort, support, breathability, and effectiveness. To assess a mattress pad’s comfort, we used them like they would be in a real-world setting–after being fitted onto a mattress and covered with a fitted sheet, our team of product testers laid atop the mattresses, turned over, and simulated regular sleep movements. We looked for changes to the pad, like altered texture, bunching material, shifting, or crinkling, plasticky noises.
To determine a mattress pad’s level of support and breathability, we took detailed measurements of the height of the loft (both before and after laying atop each pad) and noted whether the loft changed with weight and pressure. In our testing process, we also used a hair dryer to assess how much air would flow through the weave and material of each pad. The more air that could be felt, the more breathable and cooling the pad. Additionally, we also took a close look at how the pads protected a mattress by putting their waterproof claims to the test.
We spilled a half-cup of liquid onto the mattress pads, let that spill sit for 10 minutes, and then assessed both the pad and mattress.
Ultimately, we combined all of these results, noting any unique features or quirks that appeared in specific mattress pads, and compared the 12 different products. We took those insights and, along with our writers’ and editors’ independent research, highlighted those mattress pads that performed the best as our top picks here.
What to Look for in a Mattress Pad
When purchasing a mattress pad, personal preference will be your guide, as there is no shortage of brands and styles that will accommodate whatever you need. For example, if you’re somebody who sleeps hot, you’ll want to look into a mattress pad made of cotton to maximize breathability. If you face the opposite problem, down alternative may be a good choice to keep you warm throughout the night.
Mattress pads have varying levels of fill, which allows them to be inexpensive ways to alter the feel of your mattress. Plush mattress pads can be just the ticket to upgrade a firm mattress and to make it more cozy. However, if you just want some added protection without altering the feeling of your mattress, we suggest the Avocado Organic Cotton Mattress Pad for its all-natural materials and machine washability.
Elderot tells us that in addition to prolonging your mattress’ life, mattress pads can also add “a level of comfort” by providing “extra cushion to your mattress,” which is great if your mattress is either too firm or just worn out. In some cases, extra fill can provide a more plush feel that your mattress just doesn’t have. If you’re someone who finds their mattress to be too firm, we highly recommend the Superior Down Alternative Mattress Pad. The microfiber and polyfill add a whole other layer of plush comfortability to your mattress for a very reasonable price.
Much like fitted sheets, you’re going to want to make sure the mattress pad you’re eyeballing can fit over your mattress before purchasing. While some mattress pads are smaller and made for less-substantial mattresses, others feature deep pockets to accommodate larger mattresses. For this in particular, we recommend the Coyuchi Organic Mattress Pad. In addition to its deeper pockets and full elastic on the bottom, it’s cooling and surprisingly absorbent!
What is the best material for a mattress pad?
Much like a mattress, the best material for a mattress pad will come down to your own needs and preferences. For example, if you are looking for something more plush to add extra cushioning to the mattress beneath, you’ll want to find something with extra fiber fill; down or down alternative is great for this. Similarly, if you are seeking something more breathable and absorbent, cotton makes a great choice for a mattress pad. As chiropractor Nicholas Riccio, D.C., tells us, a mattress pad “can be a less expensive way to prolong the use of your mattress before buying a new one,” so be sure to find one that not only handles your protection concerns but is also made of a material that is comfortable based on your own specific needs.
How does a mattress pad attach to the bed?
Most mattress pads are designed like fitted sheets, so putting them on is just as easy as making your bed. Elastic along the bottom allows them to be pulled over the edge of the mattress and tucked underneath the bottom side. However some may just attach over the top layer of the mattress, while others actually enclose the mattress entirely inside of it and seal it with a zipper.
What is the difference between a mattress pad and a mattress topper?
A mattress topper is designed to change the overall feel of the mattress beneath it. It is generally thicker than a mattress pad, falling somewhere in the 2- to 4-inch range. Many brands sell them as add-ons for people who don’t feel that they are getting what they need from the mattress beneath, often in an attempt to make a firm mattress more plush. One drawback is that they most likely can’t be machine washed.
Meanwhile, mattress pads, as Riccio tells us, can also “add support to mattresses.” They are usually less thick than mattress toppers and are also generally less expensive. Some also have features designed to protect the mattress, such as waterproofing. One real added benefit is that they are machine-washable more often than not.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Jack Byram is a freelance writer who has written countless articles about mattresses, pillows, and all things sleep-related. In addition to his own research, he has spoken with many chiropractors and other sleep experts to better understand what people should seek out to optimize their sleep. For this article, he read all of the tester notes and scoured customer reviews to clearly and objectively offer insight into the mattress pads listed. He also spoke with Simone Elderot, an interior designer and decorator and the founder of Stockhomed, as well as chiropractor Nicholas Riccio, D.C., to better understand why mattress pads are valuable additions to anyone’s mattress and overall sleeping experience.