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Mattress Pad Vs Mattress Topper: Which Is Best For Your Bed?

From the Puffy Editorial Team | 13 min read.
Mattress Pad Vs Mattress Topper: Which Is Best For Your Bed?

Even the smallest upgrade to the most comfortable mattress can use small upgrades now and then, especially if you want to improve the quality of your sleep. Mattress pads or toppers can be a simple yet efficient way to accomplish just this. But when you consider the two, it can be hard to distinguish between a mattress pad vs mattress topper.

Mattress accessories, such as mattress pads, toppers, and protectors, can create comfort and extend the lifespan of your mattress. Not only can you change the feel of your mattress, but these accessories could also help eliminate aches and reduce exposure to allergens.

But customizing your bed with these comfort essentials can be confusing, especially when you can’t tell one apart from the other and end up using them interchangeably. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the differences between a mattress pad vs mattress topper.

Table of Contents

Why Do You Need Mattress Accessories?

The comfort of your bed often dictates whether or not you get a good night’s sleep. Mattress accessories might be an afterthought, but if you’re unhappy with your mattress, they’re your best bet for falling in love with your bed all over again.

A high-quality mattress might feel good enough on its own, but mattress pads and toppers can enhance the comfort to help you lock in a better night’s sleep. Here’s how mattress pads and toppers can help you.

  • They can protect the mattress from external damage.
  • Having additional layers on top can extend the lifespan of your mattress.
  • If you’re living somewhere temporarily, investing in a new mattress might not seem worthwhile. But mattress accessories can provide relief by allowing you to customize your bed to suit your needs.
  • In case you overheat, mattress accessories with cooling features can help you avoid night sweats.

What is a Mattress Pad?

puffy mattress

As the name suggests, a mattress pad adds extra padding to your bed. It’s a thin quilted material that typically goes under a fitted sheet. Because it goes under your sheets, a mattress pad remains stable and won’t shift around when you’re sleeping. Mattress pads often come with elastic straps so you can easily cover the surface of your bed. They also serve a dual purpose: they make your bed feel plusher, and they can also protect your mattress from accidental spills and stains.

Why Invest in a Mattress Pad? 

A mattress pad might not seem like a bedroom essential, but the truth is that if you’re experiencing the woes of sleepless nights on a regular basis, it’s worth a try. Here are a few reasons why a mattress pad might benefit you.

  • You’re prone to allergies. If you wake up with a stuffy nose and constant headaches, then your bed likely isn’t offering sufficient protection. But adding a hypoallergenic mattress pad can guard you against numerous allergens, including dust mites, dander, and bacteria.
  • Your bed is stiff, but you don’t want to replace it yet. A mattress pad could be an excellent accompaniment to a stiff mattress. Since a new mattress can be a significant investment, a mattress pad can provide a temporary solution by offering just the right amount of support and comfort at a lower cost. Mattress pads can also reduce movement transfer, so even if your partner tends to toss and turn throughout the night, you can sleep soundly.
  • You want your mattress to stay clean. Though you should be cleaning your mattress every 6 months, it’s no small feat and might require at least a day’s commitment. Not only that but spills and stains happen unexpectedly, which often requires deep cleaning. A mattress pad can protect your mattress from bearing the brunt of the damage and extend your mattress’s longevity.

Check out Puffy mattress reviews from real customers and see how we compare with other brands.

Puffy Mattress Pad

Puffy Mattress Pad

Trial 101-Night Sleep Trial
Warranty Lifetime
Shipping Free
Sizes Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Price Range $169 - $249

Made of breathable ultra-soft material, the Puffy Mattress Pad offers sleepers cool and comfy sleep all night long. It is made of a unique bamboo rayon blend with natural cooling properties to prevent overheating and night sweats while you sleep.

The soft and smooth cover paired with the perfect amount of puff provides you with cushiony comfort as you lay on it. Additionally, it doesn’t add much weight to your mattress but instead helps protect it. With 15-inch stretchable deep pockets, you can easily place this pad on your mattress, even thick mattresses, and not worry about it moving as you toss and turn all night.

The pad is finished with a jacquard knitted weave, giving it a luxurious feel and high durability. You can wash and dry the mattress pad to keep it fresh without worrying about wearing it out! Enjoy a 101-night sleep trial on your Puffy Mattress Topper before deciding if it’s for you. If it isn’t, you can return it for a full refund.

What is a Mattress Topper?

puffy mattress topper

Distinguishing between a mattress pad vs mattress topper might become tricky when you consider that they both go on top of your mattress. But a mattress topper can change the way a lumpy old mattress feels by offering targeted support to your back and neck. It’s also thicker and can be customized based on the firmness you prefer.

Why Invest in a Mattress Topper?

Investing in a new mattress only to realize that it’s too soft or too firm for your liking can be a tough blow. But mattress toppers can change the firmness of the bed to ensure you’re satisfied with your bed. Here are a few reasons why you might want to consider investing in a mattress topper.

  • You need customized comfort. With a mattress topper, you can change the way your mattress feels. Whether you prefer a more firm or more plush mattress feel, a mattress topper can provide the right amount of cushioning. Toppers are also designed to provide additional support, which might help take the pressure off the back and neck.
  • You want to stay cool at night. Overheating during the night can be disruptive to sleep. If you’re prone to waking up in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat, you don’t have to swap out your mattress. Instead, a mattress topper with cooling properties can help you get a comfortable night’s rest.
  • You want to protect your mattress. Over time, a mattress can accumulate a lot of germs. Fortunately, a hypoallergenic mattress topper can keep the dust mites and bacteria at bay so that you can enjoy an uninterrupted night’s sleep.

Puffy Mattress Topper

Puffy Mattress Topper

Feel Firm / Soft
Trial 101-Night Sleep Trial
Warranty Lifetime
Shipping Free
Sizes Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Price Range $179 - $249

The Puffy Mattress Topper is the perfect solution for those looking to adjust the comfort and firmness of their mattress. Available in two options, soft and firm, you can make a stiff and rigid mattress softer or a mattress that is too soft firmer.

This topper is hypoallergenic, making it perfect for sensitive sleepers and those who suffer from allergies. It has a lightweight cover that can easily be removed and washed to keep your topper fresh and clean. Made of 40% bamboo rayon and 60% polyester, the Puffy Mattress Topper helps you sleep cool and comfortable. This blend ensures even air circulation, which adds to the topper’s durability. Its high-quality build is solid but lightweight, so it doesn’t put much pressure on your mattress.

As a result, side, stomach, and back sleepers never have to worry about the topper sinking in. Experience the comfort of the Puffy Mattress Topper for a full 101 nights! If it doesn't provide you with the comfort you're looking for, you can return it and get a full refund.

Mattress Pad vs Mattress Topper

Mattress Pad vs Mattress Topper

Parameters Mattress Pads Mattress Toppers
Thickness Less than 1 inch Greater than 1 inch
Protection from Wear Not as effective as mattress toppers Thickness allows superior protection
Protection from Spills Some materials prevent spills from soaking through Not resistant to spills or stains
Maintenance Many are machine-washable Heavy and cumbersome to clean
Purpose Adds a bit of softness and improves protection Can alter the feel of your mattress, making it softer or firmer.

Even if the two share similarities, mattress pads and toppers serve very different purposes. Let’s break down the key differences between a mattress pad vs mattress topper.

  • Thickness: One of the easiest ways to tell a mattress pad vs mattress topper apart is its thickness. The mattress topper almost resembles a mini mattress because of its thickness, but a mattress pad is typically not thicker than one inch.
  • Purpose: Distinguishing between a mattress pad vs mattress topper helps to understand the function they serve. A mattress pad can protect your mattress from stains and spills and provide some softness for additional comfort. On the other hand, a mattress topper primarily makes your mattress feel more comfortable and can extend your mattress’s lifespan by protecting it from sagging.
  • Maintenance: Mattress pads are machine-washable, but mattress toppers can be heavy and difficult to clean. To ensure you get the comfort you need from a mattress topper, be sure to invest in one that comes with a washable cover. That way, you can simply remove the cover and wash it to ensure your topper is free of dirt or dust.
  • Cushioning: A critical distinction between a mattress pad vs mattress topper is that toppers can change the way the mattress feels, and you can adjust the firmness depending on your preference. However, mattress pads are a thin layer of padding and won’t enhance the way your mattress feels.
  • Protection: When it comes to a mattress pad vs mattress topper, the level of protection they both provide is an important consideration. While mattress pads might be more effective at protecting your mattress from spills and stains, mattress toppers are better for preserving the structure of your mattress.

How to Decide Between a Mattress Pad vs Mattress Topper

puffy mattress

When deciding between a mattress pad vs mattress topper, it’s important to consider your own needs.

If your primary concern is protection and increased durability, opt for a mattress pad, which effectively safeguards your mattress from stains and spills to a degree. Mattress pads can also add a layer of plushness to your bed, making it the right choice if you already like the feel of your mattress and it doesn’t need too much enhancement.

On the other hand, a mattress topper is ideal for those who are unhappy with the way their mattress feels. If your bed is too soft or firm, a topper that allows you to adjust the firmness can significantly change the way your mattress feels. Toppers are also the best option for old mattresses that are starting to sag or show signs of wear.


Do I need a mattress protector as well as a topper?

Both a mattress protector and mattress topper have different functions. A mattress protector protects your mattress from dirt, spills, and allergens, which can extend your mattress’s lifespan. However, a mattress topper is a thick layer placed on top of the mattress protector to adjust the comfort and firmness of your mattress.

Are a mattress pad and a mattress topper the same thing?

While a mattress pad and mattress topper both provide comfort while sleeping, they’re not the same thing. A mattress pad is a thin layer that gives a cushiony feel - it mainly protects your mattress, and gives you a soft and smooth surface to sleep on. But a mattress topper is a thicker layer and can adjust the comfort and firmness of your mattress.

How is a mattress pad different from a mattress protector?

A mattress protector doesn’t add comfort to a mattress, and its primary function is to protect the mattress and keep it clean. While a mattress pad offers cushiony comfort and coolness as you sleep. It is thicker than a mattress protector and is placed on top of the protector.

Can I buy a memory foam mattress topper instead of a memory foam mattress?

A memory foam mattress topper can adjust the firmness of your mattress, but it doesn’t replace the mattress. If your mattress is sagging or has lumps, a mattress topper can help make sleeping on it more comfortable. However, it is a temporary solution and wouldn’t give you the same comfort as a high-quality memory foam mattress.


Understanding the differences between a mattress pad vs mattress topper can help you make an informed decision about what your mattress needs. However, it’s also essential to keep in mind that mattress pads and toppers aren’t a total replacement for a high-quality mattress.

To ensure you get a good night’s rest, invest in the best mattress that provides support and comfort to enjoy the benefits of a mattress pad vs mattress topper.

Choose Your Puffy Deluxe Mattress Pad

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  • Lifetime Warranty
  • 101-Night Sleep Trial
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