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Can I Use a Mattress Pad on a Memory Foam Mattress?


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Mattress pads are a good investment if you love almost everything about your mattress but want to make small changes to customize your sleep environment.

A mattress pad is a thin layer that sits on top of your current mattress. It’s secured with elasticized straps or a skirt similar to a fitted sheet.

If you have a memory foam mattress, you may be wondering if you can use a mattress pad on your memory foam mattress? A mattress pad can be used on a memory foam mattress. However, a mattress pad offers a thin layer of cushioning, which is not ideal to put on a memory foam mattress since it may act as a filter that keeps your natural body heat away from your memory foam mattress. This may not allow your mattress to mold and contour the way it’s supposed to.

Read on to learn more about the purpose of the mattress pad and what to think about if you decide to put one on top of your memory foam mattress.

Can You Use a Mattress Pad on Memory Foam Mattress?

Yes as stated earlier, a mattress pad can be used on a memory foam mattress. However, a conventional mattress pad offers a thin layer of cushioning, which works well with a standard spring-based mattress but is not ideal to use on a memory foam mattress, as it may act as a filter that keeps your natural body heat away from your memory foam mattress.

We might not want this since memory foam mattresses are responsive to temperature, and the heat from your body softens them up and allows them to mold and contour, giving you full-body support. Placing a mattress pad on a memory foam mattress might simply remove this important feature of the foam.

So, while mattress pads can be used on memory foam mattresses, you may have a better outcome with something like a breathable mattress protector instead.

Don’t Confuse a Mattress Pad With a Topper or Protector

A mattress pad should not be confused with a mattress topper or a mattress protector, even though sometimes the terms are used interchangeably. They actually are quite different and serve different functions.

The primary job of a mattress protector is to protect the mattress from stains, spills, and bedwetting. It will generally lack any padding or the quilted appearance of a mattress pad. The protector is put on the mattress in the same manner as a fitted sheet, covering the top and sides.

A mattress topper will feature a thick layer of padding to enhance the support and comfort of a mattress. The topper is laid on top of your mattress and held in place by the fitted sheet.

A mattress pad is a light padding with a quilted top. It’s placed on the mattress just like a fitted sheet and forms a layer between your sheets and the mattress.

What’s The Purpose of The Mattress Pad?

mattress-pad

The primary purpose of a mattress pad is to enhance comfort. In addition to the plush feeling offered by the light padding, a typical mattress pad can help keep you cozy by managing heat and moisture through special fabrics.

As a secondary benefit, most mattress pads do offer a degree of protection from stains and spills. Some accomplish a small amount of protection by placing additional layers between you and the mattress.

Other pads purposefully offer spill and stain-resistant properties built into the fabric. So, while the protection of the mattress is a benefit of the mattress pad, its primary purpose is to offer comfort.

Reasons You Would Want a Mattress Pad

  • Your mattress is very firm; you can add a pad to help soften up your mattress.
  • You want added support and comfort for health reasons.
  • You wish to protect your existing mattress, but do not want to buy a mattress protector.
  • Your mattress is old or uncomfortable; you can add a pad to make it more comfortable rather than replace the mattress.

What Different Types of Mattress Pads Are There?

1. Cotton

cotton-mattress-topper

Cotton mattress pads are typically made with quilted cotton on the top and come in a range of different thicknesses.

This fabric of pad is often effective at providing added softness, and it does provide a barrier against spills.

However, cotton is still an absorbent material and won’t repel water or keep a really bad spill from reaching your mattress, however, it can be cleaned in a washing machine.

2. Fiber

Fiber mattress pads can be made from a wide range of different synthetic materials including rayon and polyester blends.

These are sometimes called down-alternatives if they are designed in a way that attempts to capture a similar feel as down. These fiber materials can usually be produced in a way to make them highly resistant to damage or liquids.

Most waterproof, bed-bug resistant, or otherwise stain-repelling mattress pads and protectors are made from these types of treated synthetic materials.

3. Latex

latex-mattress-topper

Latex is rubber and can be created naturally or through a synthetic processes. Many products are a blend of these two types of latex.

Latex is less absorbent than cotton and provides added protection against spills, but latex alone is usually not sufficient to offer full protection.

Latex can do more than many other materials to change the feel of your mattress as it offers a combination of responsiveness and bounce.

However, to get the most benefit in terms of comfort and support, you likely would need to opt for a latex mattress topper, such as our MemorySleep topper, which is thicker and will stand up better over time.

4. Memory Foam

Memory foam mattress pads use a type of foam known as viscoelastic foam. This type of foam compresses when pressure is applied and then slowly retakes its form when the pressure is removed.

Memory foam is not waterproof or resistant to most spills. It also can give off an odor when it is first unpackaged.

The biggest strength of memory foam is providing pressure point relief for people who need more support from their bed, but usually, this is best provided by a thicker mattress topper.

A thicker, denser memory foam topper is usually both more durable and more effective in providing support. The MemorySleep mattress topper mentioned above is a hybrid made of both latex and memory foam.

5. Wool

Wool, derived from sheep, is a very versatile textile. It provides warmth and is absorbent but at the same time is naturally wicking and can dry out quickly. Wool tends to resist odors and can be a very durable material as well.

Niklas Lampi

My name is Niklas and I'm the author and content operator at The Bedding Planet. I've always had a big interest in bedding and more specifically sleep. If I find something that makes me sleep better, whether that's a lifestyle change or a better bedding environment, I'm ready to share it with the world!

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