Vol.1, No.4

When to use a mattress pad

Using a mattress pad not only helps protect your mattress, it can also help insure your comfort.

A mattress pad on a mattress
Photo Credit: Sang Nguyen
Whether your mattress is brand new, or even if you have had it for a while, a mattress pad is a good investment. In many cases, the warranty on your mattress will become void if the mattress becomes soiled or stained. A mattress pad can help protect against stains, but can also offer many other benefits.

You can use mattress pads in a variety of ways, and with proper care, they can help extend the life of your mattress.

Typical Usage

Mattress pads can protect your mattress from spills, stains, and accidental rips or tears. They also help protect the stitching along the seams of the mattress, which will help your mattress last much longer.

Mattress pads are also an important element for improved comfort. Pads can add just enough extra softness to make sleeping more comfortable, and in cold weather, a pad can act as insulation to help keep you warm.

Not So Typical Usage

One suggested use for a mattress pad is placing it between the mattress and the box spring instead of (or in addition to) on top of the mattress. Doing so helps eliminate slippage of the mattress and therefore the friction caused by slippage, which can damage the mattress over time.

Another suggestion is to use a mattress pad under a slipcover to protect your sofa or futon.

Mattress Type

Mattress pads should always be used to protect children's mattresses, especially if a child is young and still has occasional "accidents."

Mattress pads come in many different varieties and you should have no trouble locating the correct size from crib mattress to king size. Most types of mattresses, including bunk bed mattresses, will benefit from a mattress pad.

However, you may not want to use a mattress pad with a memory foam mattress, as some people believe it may hinder the foam's ability to shape itself to your body.

Caring for your Mattress Pad

While a mattress pad can help you care for your mattress better, the pad itself also requires care. Each time you change your bedding, flip the mattress and clean the mattress pad. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning.

If the pad becomes stained or soiled, check the care instructions before using bleach. As you put the pad back in place, check for any rips or tears and repair them immediately.

Never lay damp towels or wet clothing on the bed, even if you are using a mattress pad. Moisture can seep into the pad and can accumulate between the pad and the mattress, which may lead to mold or mildew. Spray the mattress, or the pad, or spray both with disinfectant spray that is guaranteed to prevent mold and mildew. Allow the spray to dry before securing the pad into place.

Mattress pads are not very expensive, especially when compared to the price of a good mattress. They are well worth the cost and effort to protect your investment, and may add years to the life of your mattress if used and taken care of appropriately.