The best mattress pad 2024: give your bed that final touch of comfort

Best mattress pad: quick links

Finding one of the best mattress pads could be all you need if your mattress feels almost perfect but just needs a tiny comfort boost. Mattress pads will give your bed an extra touch of plush, and can offer added protection too.

Mattress pads sit roughly halfway between the best mattress toppers and the best mattress protectors. They deliver some of the benefits of both, including protection from dust mites, sweat and even spillages in some cases, an extra quilted layer and even temperature regulation, and they're usually washable as well.

If you've invested in one of the best mattresses, a mattress pad may be all you need to give it that perfect final touch, although most aren't waterproof so you may still need a mattress protector to safeguard against spills. If you're not sure about the difference between a mattress pad and a mattress topper, our mattress pad vs mattress topper guide tells you everything you need to know. Otherwise, read on to discover our top picks for the best mattress pads right now.

The best mattress pad in 2024

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Organic mattress pads

Synthetic mattress pads

How to choose the best mattress pad

Once you've decided to invest in the best mattress pad for you, how do you choose? There are a few key factors that you should think about. First up is the sort of materials you'd like your mattress pad to be made of; all-natural pads made and filled with cotton, bamboo or similar are an attractive and eco-friendly option, but they're likely to cost you more and need more careful maintenance. 

Synthetic pads will be cheaper and lower-maintenance, but they're more likely to trap heat, and while many come with temperature-regulating properties you could still find yourself a little too warm in the night.

Think about how firm your mattress is, and how much of a comfort boost you want to give it; a thick, plush pad could make a medium-firm mattress too soft for you, while a thinner pad may not make much difference at all to a firmer mattress, especially after a few months of use.

Finally, pay careful attention to the maximum mattress depth a pad can accommodate; you definitely don't want a mattress pad that won't fit, but you have a thinner mattress, a more capacious pad could prove too big and end up sliding around in the night.

How often should you replace a mattress pad?

The best mattress pads should stay in good shape for longer than mattress protectors, which should ideally be replaced every year or two. If you take good care of your mattress pad and wash it regularly (every couple of months or so should do the trick), it should last between three and five years.

Obviously that figure can vary depending on which mattress pad you've bought and what materials it's made from, so you should judge for yourself whether your pad needs replacing. If it's starting to get worn or even torn around the edges, that's a sure sign, but the most obvious indicator is if its filling's tired and no longer providing that important layer of softness.

Because that change can be very gradual you might not even notice it happening, but if you're finding yourself suffering from aches and pains in the morning, take a proper, critical look at your mattress pad; you might find that its best days are definitely behind it.

Jim McCauley

A professional writer with over a quarter of a century's experience, Jim has been covering mattress and sleep-related subjects for TechRadar, Tom's Guide and T3 over the past few years, gathering an in-depth knowledge of the workings of the mattress industry along the way. Previously Jim has covered a wide variety of subjects, working widely in the tech and gaming sectors, and more recently covering the design and wellness industries.