What is the Difference Between Mattress Pad vs. Mattress Cover: Which One Should You Choose? 

image source Freepik.com

A good quality mattress plays a significant role in ensuring you get a sound sleep. However, having a bed isn’t enough; you also need an additional protection layer to keep it clean and hygienic. This is where a mattress pad and a mattress cover come in. While these items may seem similar, they significantly differ in features and functionality. 

This article will examine the mattress pad vs. mattress cover debate, their pros and cons, and which one to choose to enhance your sleeping experience. 

Difference Between Mattress Pad and Mattress Cover

A mattress cover and pad both serve the same purpose, i.e., to protect the mattress from dust, allergens, spills, and stains. However, their features and functions differ in several ways. 

image source Adobe Stock

Mattress Pad

A mattress pad is a thick layer of cushioning placed on top of the mattress. It adds an extra layer of comfort to your bed and can be used to address specific sleep issues such as back pain, discomfort, or excessive heat. It is designed to be fitted snugly over the mattress and is held in place with elastic straps or anchor bands. Mattress pads are available in cotton, wool, memory foam, latex, or alternative materials. They come in various thicknesses and sizes, and you can choose the one that suits your sleep needs and preferences.

Mattress Cover

A mattress cover, on the other hand, is a thin layer of fabric that encases the mattress like a fitted sheet. It is designed to protect the bed from dust, mites, and spills and is often made of hypoallergenic and water-resistant materials. Mattress covers are available in various materials, such as cotton, polyester, and blends. They are easy to remove and wash and ideal for people looking for a simple, affordable way to protect their mattresses.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Mattress Pad vs. Mattress Cover

Mattress Pad


  • Adds extra comfort and support to the mattress 
  • It can regulate temperature and keep you cool or warm depending on the material 
  • The mattress pad helps relieve pressure points and reduce back pain 
  • It can extend the life of your mattress by protecting it from wear and tear 


  • It can be expensive compared to a mattress cover 
  • May change the feel of your mattress 
  • It can be challenging to clean and maintain 

Mattress Cover


  • Affordable and easy to clean 
  • Protects the mattress from dust, spills, and allergens 
  • Available in a wide range of materials and sizes 
  • It can be used in conjunction with a mattress pad for extra protection 


  • It does not add any extra comfort or support to the mattress 
  • May not fit snugly and shift around during sleep 
  • Limited functionality and features compared to a mattress pad
image source Adobe Stock

Which One Should You Choose?

The best decision between a mattress pad and a cover ultimately depends on your preferences and needs. A mattress pad may be the right choice to add comfort and support. On the other hand, if you are looking for a simple and affordable way to protect your mattress, a mattress cover may be a better option.


Can I use a mattress pad and a mattress cover together?

Yes, you can use a mattress pad and cover together. Using both provides extra protection to your mattress against spills, dust, and allergens.

How often should I clean my mattress pad or cover?

It is recommended to wash your mattress pad or cover every 3-6 months, depending on how frequently you use it. Follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure the longevity and effectiveness of your product.

Can a mattress pad or cover improve the lifespan of my mattress?

Yes, a mattress pad or cover can improve the lifespan of your mattress by protecting it from wear and tear, spills, and stains. Regularly cleaning your mattress pad or cover can also prevent the accumulation of dust and allergens, which can affect the quality and durability of your mattress.


In conclusion, a mattress pad and cover protects your mattress from dust, spills, and allergens. However, they differ in their features and functionality. A mattress pad provides added comfort and support to your mattress and can regulate temperature. In contrast, a mattress cover is an affordable and straightforward way to protect your mattress from wear and tear. 

Choosing between the two depends on your personal preferences and needs. Regardless of which one you choose, regularly cleaning and maintaining them will extend the life of your mattress and enhance your sleeping experience. So, make an informed decision and sleep well!

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