There are few things more important in life than a good night's sleep. You can do a lot to increase the chances of getting good sleep, but many agree that it starts with the mattress you sleep on. While mattress choice often boils down to personal taste, foam mattresses provide a level of comfort that many find appealing. However, a foam mattress's unique properties can raise questions, particularly when it comes to mattress covers. We've researched whether you should use a mattress cover to protect your foam mattress.
Mattress coverings of some kind are generally recommended for use for several reasons. Not only do they add additional comfort, but they provide hygienic benefits as well. Having a layer between you and your mattress keeps sweat, dirt, and stains off your expensive mattress directly. Mattress covers are easy to remove and clean, making any potential mess it does obtain easily removable.
However, if you own a foam mattress, it helps to know what kind you have and how it reacts to temperature and pressure variables. The wrong kind of covering can interfere with the benefits you bought your mattress for in the first place. The number of potential combinations of mattress covers and foam mattresses can feel overwhelming. Thankfully, however, we've brought you some tips and suggestions on some ways to make it work. Read on for some tips about foam mattresses, mattress pads, and your options.
Mattress Pads Versus Toppers
One of the first confusing issues you might encounter when wondering about a covering for your foam mattress is: pad versus topper? Just what is the difference anyway? Adding to this confusion is that these terms are often used interchangeably despite referring to different things.
Mattress pads are thin pieces of material that lay over the mattress and under the sheets. Providing additional support and comfort to a mattress, pads allow for adjustment to a mattress's firmness. Mattress pads are stretched over the top of a mattress and secured over the corners. Click here to see a quilted mattress pad on Amazon.
Toppers are similar yet thicker padding, stuffed with material such as cotton, down, or latex. Like pads, toppers increase the comfort of existing mattresses in several ways. They work as an extension of your existing mattress, adding depth to the amount of cushioning you may already have. But they can also cover up the benefits of your foam mattress, given their thicker status when compared to mattress pads. Both pads and toppers give similar benefits, but their difference in shape can lead to very different utilizations.
Curious about how long a foam mattress lasts? Read "How Long Does A Memory Foam Mattress Last?"
Can you put a mattress topper on a foam mattress?
Generally speaking, a mattress topper will likely interfere with, or at the very least be redundant to, the benefits of your foam mattress. Typically being stuffed with similar material to that of your foam mattress in the first place, it generally won't make sense to put a topper on top of your foam mattress that might require your body temperature or shape to work effectively.
There are scenarios in which a topper can make for a good purchase for your foam mattress. Buying a new mattress is a sizable investment, one you might not be ready to make at the time. If your current foam mattress feels uncomfortable for any reason, a topper might be a temporary solution to a full-on new purchase. Always keep in mind exactly what you are purchasing before choosing to acquire a topper for your foam mattress.
Curious about which mattress topper might be for you? Learn about "Seven Types of Mattress Toppers."
Do you cover a mattress topper?
You can cover a mattress topper with a further layer known as a mattress cover or protector. A protector does exactly what its name says it does, protects the mattress from dust, allergens, and sweat. These can break down a mattress quicker and pose health risks to a sleeper on the mattress. Allergens that find their way into a mattress will easily stay there, causing distress and potential health problems for anyone sleeping on the mattress.
So, an added layer of protection can do wonders to help keep you and yours healthy. Ultimately the choice to purchase a mattress protector is up to you, and your personal comfort levels will likely dictate what works for you.
Should you use a waterproof mattress protector?
If you are deciding to use a mattress protector, waterproof options exist and provide great benefits. Life can get messy, and everything from your child wetting the bed to a glass of wine spilling over can be dealt with. Waterproof mattress protectors can be easily removed and washed separately should the need arise. They protect your more expensive toppers and mattresses and make maintaining overall hygiene in your bed that much simpler.
Do you still need a fitted sheet for a mattress cover?
Generally, yes. You're always going to want to cover your mattress coverings with fitted sheets to keep your body from directly resting on top of them. Even the nicest of coverings use synthetic materials to create effective barriers between the mattress and the cover. These include chemicals that you don't want directly on your skin. A simple fitted sheet between your skin and your cover is needed to keep your body comfortable.
There's also little reason not to want a comfortable pair of sheets to rest upon. Sheets also come in appealing colors and prints, while your options for toppers are much more limited. Bedsheets were made to be slept on; coverings were not.
How often should you replace a mattress cover?
Mattress coverings exist to keep your mattress clean and as intact as possible for as long as possible, so keeping them regularly changed is strongly suggested. It will help if you wash your mattress pad roughly every three months or several times a year.
A pad of good quality doesn't need to be washed more than this, and overwashing it can actually lead to more wear and tear on the pad. Protectors are designed to keep bugs, sweat, and allergens off your mattress, but since fitted sheets typically cover them, they can go roughly one to two months between cleaning.
As for total replacements, you should replace your pads and protectors when you start seeing holes and general wear and tear in the coverings. Once holes and frays start to appear in the coverings, their ability to do their job as a barrier has become obviously impaired. If allergens, dirt, and other undesirable material are making their way through your covering, it's time for a replacement.
Sleep is one of the most important factors to our health we have control over. This journey of well-restiveness all begins with the bed we sleep in and the materials we keep around us. The cleanliness and quality of our bedding play a direct role in how well we sleep, which affects how well we live. Make sure you're taking all the steps necessary to keep yourself healthy and well-rested, from the mattress on up.