fbpx

Mattress Topper vs Mattress Protector: What’s The Difference?


As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases made on our website. If you make a purchase through links from this website, we may get a small share of the sale from Amazon and other similar affiliate programs.

When it comes to creating the sanctuary that is your sleeping place, there are many different things to consider. Once you’ve chosen a mattress, now you must decide if you need a mattress topper or a mattress protector. What’s the difference? Read on to find out. 

Mattress Topper vs Mattress Protector: What’s The Difference? A mattress topper is a thin piece of foam that sits on top of the mattress. It prolongs the life of your mattress and add support. A mattress protector is a waterproof or impermeable cover that goes over your mattress. It protects your mattress from sweat, dead skin cells, and any other moisture that we emit during the night. 

Mattress Toppers and Protectors are Similar, but Different

Both the mattress topper and the mattress protector may help to prolong the life of your mattress. Considering that good quality mattresses are an expensive investment, it is worth considering getting a topper and a protector for your mattress. 

While they both have the ability to make your mattress last longer, that’s where the similarities end. This post will help you to decide if you need both a mattress topper and protector or if you can get away with having just one. 

What is a Mattress Topper and Why Would You Need One?

A mattress topper is a thin piece of foam that sits on top of your mattress. The purpose of the mattress topper is to be an extension of the mattress itself. It can add some extra cushioning and comfort to your mattress.

If you share a bed with a partner who prefers a different firmness in their mattress, you might consider getting a mattress topper for only one half of the bed. That way, you can both get what you want when it comes to comfort and firmness. 

Mattress toppers are also a great consideration if you have an old mattress that is no longer in the best shape. Instead of buying a whole new mattress, a mattress topper might be just what you need to give your old mattress a new lease on life. 

This could give you another few years with your old mattress while you save up some extra money for an investment in a high quality replacement mattress. 

What Are Mattress Toppers Made Off?

Most mattress toppers are made out of synthetic materials like memory foam or a synthetic polyester called fiberfill. There are more expensive options made out of natural materials like latex rubber and wool. It all comes down to personal preference and budget. 

Mattress toppers come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and designs. The thickness and stiffness of the mattress topper all have an effect on the overall comfort of your bed. There are also a variety of different designs to choose from.

You can choose the standard flat mattress topper design or you might want to go for the ‘egg box’ design. This design mimics a cardboard egg box and is covered in little dimples throughout the mattress topper. 

More expensive versions might have many small pockets of in fill material like wool or down feathers. These pockets are designed to reduce bunching of the materials while you move around in your sleep at night. 

When choosing a mattress topper, remember that this will be the part of your mattress that has the biggest effect on how your mattress feels when you sleep. So choose wisely. 

A mattress topper is a lovely way to upgrade your sleeping comfort without having to buy a whole new mattress. 

What is a Mattress Protector and Why Would You Need One?

A mattress protector is designed to do just that. Protect your mattress. It comes in the form of a sheet, except it is made out of special materials to make them impermeable. 

When we sleep, we sweat. Some more than others. We also shed a lot of dead skin cells and hair. All of this accumulates in our beds and will inevitably end up in our mattresses. Cleaning a whole mattress can be quite an ordeal and is most likely not something that you would want to do regularly. 

This is where a mattress protector comes in. The mattress protector should go directly underneath the bottom sheet of your linen. This means that anything that you shed while you’re sleeping will be able to permeate the sheet but won’t be able to go through the mattress protector and into the mattress. 

What Are Mattress Protectors Made Off?

Mattress protectors are often made from materials such as polyester, cotton, or down, and also contain a waterproofing material like vinyl or polyurethane. 

The benefits of these materials is that when you wash your sheets (regularly I hope), you can simply vacuum and wipe down your mattress protector for a truly clean and refreshed bed. This means that you can keep your mattress as clean as new for years to come. 

What Are The Benefits of Having a Mattress Protector?

Where mattress protectors are particularly useful are for those with young children. When you have a mattress protector, dealing with wet mattresses from night time accidents are a thing of the past. No longer will you have to air dry your child’s mattress on a regular basis or hire a professional cleaner to save the mattress for you.  

You can simply remove the mattress protector and easily wash it due to its waterproof nature. And your mattress will remain dry no matter how many night time accidents happen. 

This can also be useful for older folks who are losing control of their bladders. A mattress protector could help restore a bit of dignity to the lives of the elders among us. 

Hot sleepers should also consider a mattress protector to stop their mattress from absorbing excess sweat. Sweat stains are an unsightly mark on older mattresses and a mattress protector could easily prevent this from happening. 

The opposite is also true when it comes to the purpose of mattress protectors. For those with sensitive skin or who suffer from allergies, a mattress protector might be the thing you need. It will prevent you from coming in to contact with the materials underneath the mattress protector and could prevent allergic reactions and skin sensitivity issues. 

Much like mattress toppers, mattress protectors come in many shapes, sizes, and designs. You have options for fitted or regular, different materials and colours. This all comes down to personal preference. 

I would recommend choosing a fitted mattress protector if you have a standard sized mattress. This will make your experience with your mattress protector a lot more seamless and easy. Nobody wants to deal with the mattress protector becoming untucked from one corner halfway through the night. Especially if it’s there to protect from a messy accident! 

A fitted protector with a strong elastic around the edges will prevent this. 

Some mattress protectors can make an annoying noise when you move around at night. Depending on the material, it might crinkle a bit when you roll over. This is something to consider if you are a light sleeper or are sensitive to sounds when you are trying to sleep. 

Double team

For extra protection and ultimate longevity for your mattress, using both a mattress protector and a mattress topper could be a good option. It all depends on what you’re looking for and your individual needs. 

The mattress topper should go underneath the mattress protector, with the bed sheet on top of that. This will make sure that your mattress will last for as long as possible and will provide the comfort levels and convenience you need in your sleeping experience. 

It’s likely that your mattress topper will wear out before your actual mattress. So a new mattress topper will be a quick and easy way to get a new feel to an old bed in the years to come. 

The small added expense of both a mattress topper and a mattress protector could save you money in the long run. Because prevention is better than cure, this is a particularly good option if you have recently invested in a high quality mattress. 

So there you have it. A mattress topper and a mattress protector serve different functions. But they both result in the same outcome. A longer life for the foundation of a good night’s sleep; your high quality mattress. 

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!

Recent Posts