Mattress pads are a pad, thick sheet, or thin mattress, used for several reasons.
Some mattress pads offer extra cushioning and support to a bed. One may purchase a mattress pad to act as a buffer between the mattress and sheet, minimizing body soil to the mattress. Other people will use a mattress pad to protect the mattress of a young child, or adults who suffer from urinary incontinence.
Some types of these mattress pads may cover the bed much like a fitted sheet.
Mattress pads used to keep the bottom sheet from contact with the bed also resemble the fitted sheet. They may be quilted or padded. They are washable, but will not resist absorbing liquids like the plastic backed pads. The degree of padding depends upon the manufacturer. Some are heavily quilted, providing some cushioning. Others are quite flat.
The mattress pads designed to offer extra cushioning or support may look like a thin mattress in shape. They are usually purchased in sizes, and vary in their degree of effectiveness. For years, a foam egg crate style was popular, but now the most popular are the memory foam pads. Another popular type is the down pad, or down feather bed, which is laid directly on top of the bed, and under the bottom sheet.
Any of these cushioned pads may help make a bed feel more comfortable, but beds with peaks, lumps or depressions, may not fully be softened by use of mattress pads. One advantage to the egg crate style is that it is easy to order this type of padding to be cut in certain sizes. An egg crate pad can be purchased or cut for one side of the bed only, without significantly affecting the height of the bed’s other side.