While a well-made mattress is key to an enduring bed, mattress pads and toppers are the best protection for your investment. Sometimes purchased as just an additional layer of padding, these pads and toppers also serve to reduce the wear on the mattress and prevent other destructive elements. Pests, stains, and general damage are often unforeseeable and unavoidable, for even the most careful and sanitary of owners, so a strong, protective pad is essential to maintaining a clean and comfortable place of rest.

For anyone who travels frequently or owns pets, a constant threat is the invasion of fleas or bed bugs—which have a reputation for being impossible to eliminate. They burrow, hide, and are resilient to most pesticides. Even these, however, can be kept from inhabiting a bed with a specialty pad, preventing the need to ever dispose of a bed because of pests.

Drinks in the bedroom or young children can also damage mattresses with stains, and while not so destructive as insects, the cleaning necessary will cause wear that could be avoided with a protective topper. Additionally, the general use of the bed, night after night, slowly degrades the stitching and padding of even strong mattresses, a degradation significantly reduced with a topper. The investment of such protectors is, then, relatively small to the long-term benefits of maintaining a safe and clean mattress, and this can be achieved even through pads marketed simply as cushioning. A pillow top mattress topper or memory foam mattress set might be used primarily for comfort, but even these can add to the length of a mattress’s life and protect the investment in your bed.