A mattress is one of the most important factors that help in determining the quality of your sleep. However, in this day and age of technological advancement, several accessories are also available, which when paired with your mattress add to the comfort and luxury of a bed.
Mattress Toppers and Mattress Protectors are two such accessories. They are considered to be one and the same thing my most, when they are actually two different things. They have different places on a bed and serve different but very important purposes.
It is a largely unknown fact, but on an average a person can sweat up to 220 ml every hour in a warm room. This can leave stains on mattresses that might never come out. This also allows bed bugs, mites and other allergens that are present in a mattress react and lead to conditions like asthma and eczema. This is where a mattress protector comes into play.
Just like its name, a mattress protector, protects your mattress from allergens to stains that might degrade the quality and life of a mattress, by forming a barrier around the mattress. Available in a variety of sizes and kinds, they are a great investment as they help in enhancing the quality, durability, hygiene and comfort of your mattress.
- Zippered mattress protectors: in simple words these are mattress covers that fit around a mattress when zipped. This allows you the freedom of movement in bed without having to worry about the protector slipping off. It also forms a barrier for stains.
- Fitted mattress protectors: these are pretty basic and just to be tucked under the bed. They can be changed with great ease and are easier to maintain.
- Waterproof mattress protectors: as the names suggest, these provide protection against water spills and stains, in turn reducing the ability of molds and bacteria to grow on your mattress.
- Polyurethane mattress protector: these make for a fine and soft mattress protector. They are also waterproof. However since they are made from chemicals they can be toxic.
As the name suggests, a mattress topper is placed on top of a mattress. The main use of a mattress topper is to either add to the comfort that your mattress already provide or to address its limitations. It can add to the softness of your mattress, make you cozy and regulate your body temperature while you sleep.
Mattress toppers are an inexpensive way of extending the life of your mattress, if you do not have the budget for a new mattress. A good quality and the right kind of mattress topper can easily add 1-2 years to your mattress’s life.
After continuous use, mattresses begin to age and lose their original comfort and cushioning. While a mattress topper won’t magically repair what is wrong with your mattress, it will certainly add to the support and comfort. In case your mattress is not old, but just too hard, toppers will make them softer and more sleepable.
There are different kinds of mattress toppers available. It is important to know these and to decide which suits you best.
- Latex: Mattress toppers made out of latex are a great choice for toppers. These cover pretty much all aspects of a mattress topper, including an added layer of cushioning, comfort and relief from muscle pain as well as regulating body temperature. 100% latex toppers mean that they are eco-friendly and resistant to bacteria and mold, which in turn means that they help in avoiding allergies unless of course, you are allergic to latex itself. Latex toppers also have a long life, easily spanning anywhere between 10-20 years, sometimes even longer. However, these are more expensive compared to other kinds of toppers. Some people also find them to be too firm.
- Memory Foam: these come in a wide range of thickness and density that add to the comfort and support of your mattress. Just like memory foam mattresses, the greatest advantage of memory foam toppers is that they provide relief from joint and muscle pains. They also reduce the motion disturbance caused when your partner moves in bed. However, they can get pretty hot while sleeping and are also difficult to move around. Their high price also makes them less affordable.
- Polyester blends: these are the most inexpensive kinds of mattress toppers. The most common blend is of cotton and polyester. The fact that they are made out of combining two different materials makes them very affordable. They are often easier to clean than other kinds of toppers. However, they do not provide a lot of cushioning and wear out quite quickly.
- Wool: for people who are looking for an option that doesn’t hold body heat, wool mattress toppers are ideal. They keep you warm in the winters and cool in the summers and since most mites and bed bugs stay away from wool, they are also naturally antimicrobial. However, they can be pretty expensive and hard to find and they also don’t provide a great level of cushioning.
- Feather: often referred to as featherbeds, they are very similar to feather filled duvets. They are extremely soft and less expensive than latex or memory foam toppers. They do not retain body heat but can be noisy. Since feather compress over time, they tend to lose the level of cushioning.
Despite the fact that a mattress is the most important contributor to a good night’s sleep, a mattress protector and a mattress topper are an ideal addition to your bed for extra comfort and the prolonged life of your mattresses. It might seem like a huge hole in your pocket, but in the long run, it will save you the pain and cost of replacing your mattress.