Searching for a better night’s sleep? The answer might be right underneath you. Mattress pads, mattress toppers and mattress protectors can help rejuvenate even the most tired mattress while adding an extra layer of comfort and protection.
A Smart Buy for New Mattresses
If you just bought a new mattress, reading the warranty fine print might put you right to sleep. But here’s a wake-up call—spills and stains on a mattress can cause your entire warranty to be null and void, even if the problem with your mattress has nothing to do with the area where the stain is located. So before you enjoy that first cup of coffee in bed on your luxurious new mattress, make sure you’re protected.
An Inexpensive Upgrade for Older Mattresses
If you’re tossing and turning at night, a mattress pad or topper can help make that old bed feel new again. Even if you didn’t buy a pillow-top mattress, the right mattress topper can give you that super-soft feel. Or, if your mattress feels softer than you like, a memory foam mattress topper can help add support.
Mattress Pads vs. Mattress Toppers
A mattress pad wraps around the sides of the mattress and is typically held in place with elastic edges. A mattress topper has no sides; it sits on top of the mattress.
A mattress pad can range from relatively flat to extra soft. It’s the amount of polyester fill that adds the fluff, so an 8-ounce fill will have more loft than a 5-ounce fill. Want an even lusher feel? Look for a memory foam mattress pad or memory foam topper. These adjust to the contours of your body for even more personal comfort.
Some mattress pads are waterproof, which could come in handy if your sleepy toddler likes to climb in bed with you. Others are heated, offering a pampering feel on chilly winter nights and an easy way to save energy by lowering the thermostat at bedtime. A heated mattress pad contains a low-voltage electric warming pad that automatically shuts off after a set amount of time. Use it instead of an electric blanket; using an electric pad plus an electric blanket could cause a dangerous situation.
If you prefer to sleep in a cool bedroom, look for a cooling mattress pad. These are designed for maximum airflow, wicking heat and moisture away from your body.
Measuring Your Mattress
Before shopping for a mattress pad, you’ll need to measure the depth of your mattress. Put a yardstick on top of the center of your mattress, so that the end of the yardstick extends beyond the side of the bed. Then measure from the lower edge of the yardstick to the bottom edge of the mattress. Make sure you’re measuring from the center; measuring from the corner will give you inaccurate information. Most mattress depths range from 15 to 21 inches. Many mattress pads also have expandable sizes to fit even the deepest mattress.
Because a mattress topper sits on top of the mattress, the depth of your mattress doesn’t matter. Many toppers are designed to align with your spine while relieving pressure points. That helps you wake up relaxed and ready to face the day, without any morning stiffness and soreness.
Mattress Protectors for Worry-Free Sleep
A mattress protector wraps all the way around the top, bottom and edges of the mattress, with a zippered closure. Many are specially designed to help protect against allergens, dust mites and even bed bugs. This can give you peace of mind if you travel frequently and stay in hotels, or if you’re getting ready to send your high school graduate off to college. Many mattress protectors are available in XL twin, the mattress size found in many dorms.
Most mattress pads and protectors are washable. Most mattress toppers are spot clean only, although some include a washable cover.
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