It may not get the recognition it deserves in our society, but sleep is one of the unsung heroes in your health. Losing sleep puts you at risk for everything from heart disease to mental illness. That’s why it’s so crucial to craft your ideal sleeping environment from the room temperature to the mattress. If you’re looking for mattress accessories, though, how do you know what you need?
In particular, people often get confused between a mattress protector cover and a mattress topper. Here’s how to know which one offers the benefits you’re looking for.
What Is a Mattress Protector Cover?
As its name suggests, a mattress protector is a covering that protects your mattress. It often has a plastic-like feel on one side to make it waterproof.
There are many options for mattress protectors. Some are more effective than others.
For instance, some covers go all the way around all sides of your mattress and they zip closed. Others stretch across the top and sides of your mattress instead, like a waterproof fitted sheet.
Benefits of a Mattress Cover
Today, most mattress experts recommend that everyone has a mattress cover. Here are the benefits it can provide.
Keeps Your Mattress Looking New
There are plenty of ways mattresses can get stains on them, from sweat or spilled drinks to times when a pet or child has an accident.
Most of the time, you may not notice the stains because you keep sheets on the bed. Then a housekeeper changes your sheets or a moving crew comes to help you move and suddenly the mattress stains are all you can see.
By keeping liquids and spills out, your protector cover will block stains before they start.
Extends the Life of Your Mattress
Liquid and mattresses don’t mix, and for more reasons than cosmetic stains.
Any liquid can cause your mattress to develop mold. Some liquids can also damage the materials inside your mattress. They can make the mattress uncomfortable, uneven, and lumpy.
These problems can lead you to replace your mattress sooner than you need to. It’s an expensive issue you can prevent inexpensively: by buying a mattress protector.
Keeps Your Mattress Smelling Fresh
Picture this: you’ve reached the end of a long day and you’re exhausted. You’re ready to lie down for a great night of sleep on your cozy mattress.
Then you lay down and a horrible smell smacks you in the face and won’t leave. Instead of a refreshing snooze, you’re in for a night of tossing and turning and trying to get to sleep despite the smell.
Mattress smells can come from sweat, mold, and anything else that gets into your mattress. While a smell may seep into a mattress protector too, you can toss a protector into a washing machine. Getting out smells from an actual mattress is far less likely.
Cuts Down on Allergies
Airborne allergies are more than a mild inconvenience. For some people, allergies are so severe that they can’t breathe comfortably. When you’re struggling to breathe or your nose is running, it’s hard to get a solid night of sleep.
Few people realize that their mattresses could make their allergies worse. Allergens like pollen, dust, and more can get stuck inside your mattress so you feel their effects all night every night.
A mattress protector cover keeps those allergens out of your mattress. You can keep them at bay by washing your cover regularly.
Protects You from Bed Bugs
Bed bugs have always been troublesome pests, but they seem to have skyrocketed in the past decade. Especially if you travel often and stay in the hotel after hotel, you’re at right risk for bringing home a stowaway or two.
Bed bugs make their home in your bed and at night they come out to bite you. A mattress protector, on the other hand, is made of a material that bed bugs can’t get through. When they aren’t able to burrow into your bed, they won’t stick around.
Keep in mind that not all mattress protectors are equal, though. For the best protection from bed bugs, you need a zippered protector that covers the entire mattress. Otherwise, the bugs can crawl to the edge of your open protector and get into your mattress.
What Is a Mattress Topper?
As many benefits as you can get from a mattress protector, there’s another popular mattress accessory you may enjoy: a mattress topper.
A topper differs from a mattress protector because a topper primarily focuses on comfort. It has a layer of soft cushion on top to give your mattress a different feel.
Like mattresses, mattress toppers come in a wide range of options. You can get them with different materials, different levels of firmness or softness, and different thicknesses.
Benefits of a Mattress Topper
Customize Your Comfort Level
Some people are more sensitive than others regarding the specific feel their mattress needs to have for them to fall asleep. If you’re someone with very specific tastes, it may be easier to find the comfort level you need with a mattress topper than with a mattress.
If your mattress changes hands, a topper can also allow you to customize it for each owner. If you have a guest bedroom, you could even be the world’s most attentive host by using toppers to adjust your mattress to each overnight guest.
Keep an Older Mattress Going
Experts recommend replacing your mattress every ten years, though it varies and some sources recommend seven or eight years instead. Even this can feel expensive if you appreciate the value of a luxury mattress.
As a result, you want to get as much life out of each mattress as possible. A mattress topper can help with this.
If your mattress gets lumpy or saggy, a topper can even it out and make it more comfortable. It won’t be able to fix underlying structural issues with the mattress but it could give your mattress enough of a second wind to get another year from it.
Control Your Sleeping Temperature
Temperature is an important part of staying comfortable while you sleep. Some people want to sleep in a cooler room while others prefer more warmth. Some people also get warm by nature when they sleep, so they want their bed to keep them cool.
Mattress toppers come in a variety of materials and purposes. Some are designed to give you a cool surface to lie on throughout the night. Others have heating elements in them to keep you warm.
While it’s difficult to find a new mattress that can maintain a steady temperature, a topper gives you more control.
Maintain a Fresher Feel for Longer
There’s a reason everyone loves jumping into bed that first night after they’ve washed their sheets. A clean bed can make or break your night of sleep, and it isn’t only the sheets that matter.
When your mattress itself gets dirty, it’s difficult to get it back to feeling clean and fresh. With a topper, however, the dirt and dust stay in your topper instead of getting into the mattress.
This means that you can run your mattress topper through the wash and voila, it feels like you have a brand new bed. When that topper eventually ages too much, you can replace it for far less than it would cost to replace your mattress.
The Best of Both Worlds
You aren’t alone, and that’s why there are plenty of products that both protect and boost comfort. Some mattress toppers offer all the advantages of added comfort along with being waterproof to keep your mattress dry.
There’s also no reason you can’t have both a mattress protector and a topper on your bed. This opens even more options if you can’t find a multi-use product that fits all your needs.
Making Your Bed to Lie In
The saying, “You’ve made your bed, now lie in it” isn’t irrelevant now that we don’t hand-make our own mattresses. There are still plenty of ways to make your bed exactly the way you want it to be, and that includes finding the right accessories.
This guide can help you decide between a mattress protector cover and a mattress topper or both. The bottom line is that your sleep is too important to compromise on, so don’t rest until you find the set-up that’s perfect for you.
Learn more about how a better mattress and mattress topper can improve your sleep and health. Download our Mattress Buying Guide now!