#1 Home Improvement Retailer

Buying Guide

Best Mattress Toppers and Pads for a Restful Sleep

Mattress Toppers, Pads and Protectors
 Two different mattress pads on different beds.

Mattress toppers, pads and protectors can be made of cotton, bamboo, polyester, down, latex or memory foam. They are similar in many ways, but offer different benefits.


  • Mattress toppers are very thick cushions that can change how a mattress performs and feels. Some can be as thick as a mattress itself and are attached using straps. 
  • Mattress pads are usually thin, quilted and cover your mattress like a fitted sheet. 
  • Mattress protectors protect your mattress. They are made of plastic or other waterproof material. The most effective ones for blocking allergies and microscopic pests encase your mattress and zip up. 


Tip: Know how to make a mattress softer? Add a layer of comfort with a mattress pad.

Best Mattress Memory Foam Topper
Mattress pad showing a layer of memory foam.

Some of the best mattress toppers are made from memory foam. Memory foam conforms to the body, easing pressure points and providing even support for the spine. However, traditional memory foam traps heat and can become uncomfortable. The best memory foam mattress toppers for hot sleepers will feature "cooling" specialty fabric options for a cooler night's sleep.


Tip: Use a mattress topper to upgrade the comfort and support of an older or too firm mattress.

Waterproof Mattress Pads
Glass of water spilling on a mattress pad.

Waterproof mattress pads not only add comfort, but many can also protect your mattress from sweat, accidental spills and other liquids. Waterproof mattress pads made with polyurethane have superior liquid protection. They are quieter than ones made of plastic. Polyurethane lets air flow through your mattress. This is a cooler and more comfortable choice for some sleepers.

Best Mattress Topper for Hot Sleepers
Mattress pad with a cooling top layer.

Hot sleepers should avoid toppers made with wool, traditional memory foam and other fills that don't allow air to circulate. Opt instead for special cooling foam gel inserts or cotton, bamboo and other natural materials that breathe.

Tip: The best mattress topper for hot sleepers will have a cotton or rayon cover that's cool to the touch and wicks away sweat.

Best Mattress Pads for Cooler Weather
Woman sitting on a mattress pad adjusting the heat.

Mattress pads can also provide warmth during the winter. A heated mattress pad distributes warmth evenly across the surface of your mattress, eliminating cold spots. You can adjust the temperature using multiple settings. Some styles even come with separate controls for either side of the bed. 

Best Mattress Topper for Side Sleepers
Thick, luxurious-looking mattress pad lying on bed.

The best mattress toppers for side sleepers are ones that have enough cushion for hips and shoulders. Without enough support, slide sleepers experience more pressure points and thus more pain. Thick, supportive toppers are a good option for these types of sleepers and anyone who likes to sink into bed but still have some support.

Mattress Protectors
Mattress protector on top of a mattress.

A quality mattress protector is made to shield your mattresses against stains, wear, tear and insects such as bed bugs or mites. Many mattress protectors are made from polyester, natural fibers or plastic. Note that polyester and plastic mattress protectors can retain heat. They may not be the best mattress protectors for hot sleepers.


Tip: The best cooling mattress protectors have synthetic or natural fiber blends that improve airflow and absorb moisture.

Best Mattress Topper for Back Pain
Luxury mattress pad on a bed.

If back pain is a problem, add an extra-thick, luxurious down mattress topper. It's soft enough to sink into, but dense enough to offer firm support. An added benefit is that a down mattress topper rarely feels too hot or too cool. If allergies or budget are a concern, consider an alternative filling, such as polyester or wool. 


Tip: The best mattress topper for back pain is one that gives your body medium firm to firm support.

No matter what type of sleeper you are, the right mattress accessories can help you get better sleep. Ready to find the best mattress topper or pad for you? Use The Home Depot Mobile App to locate products and check inventory.