Mattress Pad Vs Mattress Protector Vs Mattress Topper... What’s The Difference?

What is a Mattress Protector 

The primary purpose of a mattress protector is to protect your mattress from stains or spills. Some mattress protectors will be installed on a mattress in the same manner as a fitted sheet, covering the top and sides. Other variations will completely cover the top, bottom, and sides, and feature a sealed zippered enclosure.  This offers 360-degree protection of the mattress and can also be referred to as a “mattress encasement”.  Look for a zippered mattress protector for maximum protection from bed bugs, dust mites and stains, but all mattress protectors will extend the life of your mattress and ensure a good night’s sleep!

What is a Mattress Pad

A Mattress Pad provides an extra layer of quilted comfort to your mattress.  Attaching to your mattress like a fitted sheet or with elastic straps, mattress pads can complement or accentuate the cushion and support of your current mattress, often improving the warmth, coolness or moisture wicking of your mattress.  Although the primary purpose is comfort, mattress pads can also provide some degree of protection, while extending the life of your mattress.

What is a combined Mattress Pad & Protector

We offer a line of AllerEase Mattress Pads that offer some or all of the benefits of a mattress protector while enhancing the comfort of your mattress. These combined solutions are a best of both worlds solution, delivering the comfort you need and the protection you can’t go without!

What is a Mattress Topper

A Mattress Topper, also referred to as a “bed”, is a free floating mattress cover that brings new life to your mattress.  Typically thicker than a mattress pad, a mattress topper contributes cushioning and support, enhancing your mattress and providing additional comfort. You may want to choose a mattress topper over a mattress pad if you are trying to change the entire surface feel of your mattress.


Mattress Protector

Mattress Pad

Mattress Topper

Typical Thickness




Attaches to Mattress

Elastic / Zippered Enclosure


Free Floating

Identifying Features

No padding, most models completely encase the mattress with zipper closing

Quilted top, light padding on top, fits tightly over sides of mattress

Very thick layer of padding, often memory foam, does not drape over sides of mattress

Primary Use

Protect mattress from bedwetting, pets, spills, and stains, with some models also protecting against allergens, mold, dust mites, and bed bugs

Enhanced comfort through heat and moisture management, light padding

Enhance comfort and support through increased padding

Secondary Use (some models)

Enhance comfort through heat and moisture management

Protects mattress from spills and stains

Enhance comfort through heat and moisture management

Adds Softness & Comfort


Protects from Allergens


Protects from Dust Mites



Protects from Bed Bugs



Extends the life of your mattress

Suitable for mattress and/or box spring



Provides protection against spills


Machine washable


Provides support