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The Difference Between a Mattress Topper and Protector

23 Oct 2019

The luxury world of bedding is full of debates - duck down vs goose down, fitted sheet vs flat sheet, and now? Well, now there’s the mattress topper vs protector debacle!

And, while both a mattress topper and protector have clean and comforting benefits for you and your mattress, there is a slight difference between the two. So, to help you create the most comfortable bed possible, let’s explore them both. 

From what a mattress protector does, to all the lovely mattress topper benefits, here are the key differences between a mattress topper and protector.

What is a mattress topper?

Before we can get into the difference between a mattress topper and protector, let’s first look at what a mattress topper is. 

So, a mattress topper is your mattresses’ right-hand-man. A sheet made up of a breathable, snuggly, cotton percale casing and filled with cosy stuffing. Secured on top of your mattress with skirts or elasticated bands to avoid movement in the night, a mattress topper is designed to bring support and comfort to your mattress. 

And to cater to all types of sleeper, we have mattress toppers available with all of our luxury fillings. Whether you prefer a cooling Duck Feather and Down, toasty Goose Down, or cosy Feels Like Down mattress topper – we’ve got you covered!

What does a mattress topper do?

While you can rest assured that DUSK mattress toppers are made from the most luxurious of materials, you may not be so certain what they actually do and the benefits they hold.

Well, the main purpose of a mattress topper is to add a bit of extra support and comfort to your mattress. So, if you often wake up with sore muscles from a too soft or too firm mattress, then a mattress topper can help resolve this. 

Now, for those lovely mattress topper benefits! While we recommend you invest in a new mattress every 6 to 10 years, they can start to lose their shape before the recommended life cycle is up. But a mattress topper breathes new life into a mattress - giving you that new mattress feel at a much lower cost.

What’s more, using a mattress topper is a super simple way to keep yourself nice and toasty in the bitter chill of winter. And while our mattress toppers are perfect for summer use too, if you find yourself getting too warm, you can remove the topper and store it away in your chest of drawers until winter rolls back around.

What is a mattress protector?

Now we know all about the mattress topper, let’s look at what a mattress protector is. 

So, a mattress protector is a thin sheet of fabric, with an elasticated skirt edge that fits securely over your mattress. And while you can get these in tons of different fabrics, we recommend a 100% cotton mattress protector for ultimate comfort. 

Even better, mattress protectors are super easy to wash! Instead of having the hassle of cleaning the mattress itself, a mattress protector is easy to slip off and chuck into the washing machine.

What does a mattress protector do?

But what does a mattress protector actually do? Well, between mascara tears, overflowing cuppas, and general wear and tear, a mattress protector does exactly what it says on the proverbial tin – it protects your mattress. 

You can get quite warm as you sleep – especially if you’re using our hotel quality, extra cosy, duvets – and this can lead to sweating. But due to the absorbent materials of our mattress protectors, this is no worry for your mattress, as the protector keeps everything clean. 

However, here at DUSK, we do offer cooling mattress protectors to keep you feeling fresh and cosy in the summer too. So, if you are worried about overheating and the consequent risk to your mattress, then these work a treat!

So, what is the difference between a mattress topper and protector?

You may be thinking these two bedding options sound quite similar, and that’s because they are in essence. However, there are a couple differences between a mattress topper and protector to be aware of.

Firstly, mattress toppers tend to be on the thicker side in comparison to the thinner material of a protector. Think of a topper as an extension of your mattress, with soft, supple filling to sink into. While a protector is akin to a dining table cloth or duvet cover, still cosy, just made from a lighter material. 

But in the main, while both a mattress topper and protect will keep your mattress free from dust and dirt, the purpose of each is a little different. So, if you’re looking to rejuvenate your mattress, a topper is best, but if you’re a bit accident prone and want to keep your mattress fresher for longer, then a mattress protector is your best bet.

What’s the difference between a mattress topper and protector?

Mattress topper

Mattress protector

Made with a thicker padded material

Made with a thinner material

Typically made of memory foam, feathers down, or latex

Typically made of water-proof or water-resistant materials

Designed to provide extra comfort and padding

Designed to protect mattress from spills, stains, and sweat


Can I use a mattress topper and protector together?

So, now you know the difference between a mattress topper and protector, you might be stuck between which is better for you. 

Well, the good news is, you don’t need to choose – you can use a mattress topper and protector together! To give your mattress the ultimate upgrade, pop your mattress topper down first, and cover it all up with your protector. The perfect recipe for a deep, completely chilled sleep. 

And that’s all! You now know everything there is to know about mattress toppers, mattress protectors, and the different ways they upgrade your bedspread. But if you’re now after some style tips to improve your guest room décor or advice on which duvet filling is best to complete your bed set, head over to our inspiration page.

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