In the Bedroom

Mattress Protector and Pad The Differences

Protecting a mattress with a pad or a protector

Maybe one of the most forgotten and under utilized pieces of bedding the linen arsenal today is the mattress pad and the mattress protector, but what’s the difference between them and do I really need one? Short story we adopted a 1-year-old dog that was 80% potty trained. We own a $2500.00 mattress that apparently one day the new dog couldn’t distinguish from the back yard and on a couple occasions she treated it as such. Lesson learned first accident. The bad news is that it permanently stained the mattress and voided our manufacturers warranty if we were to ever need it.

After learning my lesson I brought home a mattress protector and quickly replaced our mattress pad with it. The fact is the mattress pad really acted as nothing more than a sponge and just like a sponge the liquid leaked through to the mattress fabric causing the stain that voids a warranty. Because we have a removable cover on our bed we were able to spot clean it from both sides so we were able to use it again, something that cannot be done with most mattresses. What is the moral of this story? You don’t have to have a dog or cat to get a mattress warranty voiding stain in your bed. The body is a funny thing urine, blood, and simple perspiration. What about carelessness from an accidental spill? Drink stains such as coffee or soda are big reasons why many manufacturers reject warranty claims. Read your warranty card if you don’t believe us.

Professional football players don’t play football with out the proper gear to protect them and mattress protectors are the equivalent protective gear for beds.  They are thin waterproof and protect mattresses from stains and marks that void warranties. Whether talking about accidental spills or bodily accidents mattress protectors do what they say they do.

MATTRESS PADS are also a protector of sorts

Of course anything on your mattress offers some level of protection. Thicker mattress pads with more absorbent materials like cotton, wool, etc have their limits. Small amounts of perspiration, body oils, and dirt are usually held at bay if cleaned regularly.  Such things will cause staining and mattress odor, which will often void mattress warranties as well. Thicker mattress pads have the advantage of enhancing the comfort through plushness; some protectors offer the same feature.

Shopping Hints:

  • Look for a fitted protector or pad: Fitted pads and protectors cover both the top surface and sidewalls of the mattress. They should fit like a fitted sheet.
  • Look for high thread counts: They wear better and last longer. More threads per square inch the better.
  • Fill: The majority of pads are filled with a polyester fill to make them more padded and cushy. More lush models include down and other fillings.

MATTRESS PROTECTORS: Typically cover or encase a mattress and very rarely are thick and plush

They can be constructed of vinyl, cotton, or super tightly woven polyester fabric. Most encasements or protective covers zip around the mattress acting as a complete protective barrier. Each product is different. Some provide water proof protection while others can provide and prevent penetration of mold, dust mites, dander from pets and other allergens. They even make them for boxsprings.
Which ever you choose know the level of protection you are buying, keep it clean, and replace it when it starts to show wear, they’re cheaper than a new mattress and could save you from having to buy a new one.

Douglas Belleville

Doug Belleville and his father Dave own and run STLBeds - a specialty sleep store located in Arnold, MO. The staff at STLBeds is highly educated about sleep, comfort and their special sleep products. STLBeds only carries high quality mattresses and bed-related products. You won't find the brand names here - click here to find out why!

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