Non-bunching mattress pad
April 2, 2005 9:15 PM   Subscribe

Looking for a mattress pad that doesn't move around and bunch up. I've spent a lot of money on them, and they all seem to want to migrate as soon as we crawl into bed. They look like they fit when I put them on and pull them tight, but as soon as we get in and roll over even once, there's all sorts of ridges and bumps. I'm talking about the kind of mattress pad that goes on like a fitted sheet. Would the flat kind of pad with straps be better? We like the softness of knit sheets, and I'm wondering whether there's a "Velcro effect" between the sheets and the pad. Would regular cotton sheets slide over the pad and not make it bunch up?
posted by Joleta to Home & Garden (20 answers total)
Knit sheets seem more "grabby" to me. You could try putting a regular woven sheet between the knit fitted sheet and the mattress pad to see if that helps any.
posted by hattifattener at 9:59 PM on April 2, 2005

This is kind of a random idea, but what about trying one of those nubbly, rubbery things people use to keep carpets from slipping on wooden floors? You could put it between the mattress and the mattress pad. It might be just "sticky" enough to keep the pad in place when you move around.
posted by bcwinters at 10:03 PM on April 2, 2005

The flat pads with corner straps are even worse, in my experience.
posted by Alylex at 10:04 PM on April 2, 2005

Just get on of those "temperature foam" pads. The two inch thick ones.

It takes a bit to get used to, but it's like sleeping on a cloud. At two inches it's not quite thick enough to be used alone on a floor, but it's ecstasy on a mattress. Absolutely wonderful.

And it's too heavy to move much.

Oh, and if it comes with a removable washable cover, sleep directly on that, don't even bother with a sheet over it. The sheet only gets in the way of sinking into it and blissing out. Note that it does have a top and a bottom. Having tried both, it's better to sleep on the top, as it's somewhat more yielding. Get one, get one, get one!
posted by orthogonality at 10:13 PM on April 2, 2005

We use a high thread count quilted mattress cover. It was expensive - maybe a $100 or $150 at a discount price, forgive me for not remembering exactly, purchased on It has never slid around or bunched up. Absolutely no problems - and my husband is a big guy who tosses and turns a lot.

We also use only high thread count cotton sheets (which are extremely soft & getnle feeling), so I have no idea whether the knit sheets could be causing your problem - except that I can't imagine any type of material causing our pad to move around, etc.
posted by LadyBonita at 10:38 PM on April 2, 2005

I think you've partly answered your own question. I've only used the ones with elastic straps for the corners and the same thing you describe results. But I reckon if you stitched on a couple of non-elastic straps at points 1/3 and 2/3 along the length of the pad (what I've always known as: mattress protector) that were joined by velcro under the mattress, the problem would be solved - but it might be a bit of a bitch taking the thing off for cleaning periodically. But I sense there's better solutions above.
posted by peacay at 11:16 PM on April 2, 2005

Just get on of those "temperature foam" pads. The two inch thick ones.

Not to stray too far from the topic... I agree that those are absolutely wonderful. However, mine travels about 6-10 inches every night, and it's driving me crazy!
posted by Buzz at 12:21 AM on April 3, 2005

Best answer: I once had a mattress cover that was made of cotton, and it was a 'box' made in the exact shape of a queen-sized mattress. One of the sides of this cover had a zipper that I used to 'close' the mattress cover.

This was so nice - it was removable, washable, didn't bunch up at all. However, it was a pain to put over the mattress (as the design had very little give on the dimensions of the mattress) and it was a pain to remove, and it was a pain to put back on again (the cotton shrunk a bit after a wash).

But - it was a great cover.

I think I bought it at Sears. My mattress had it for years. Recently I bought another type of cover, it's quilted on the top, and features 'generous' sides that are made of elastic, and I'm not as happy with it (it slides, it bunches)
posted by seawallrunner at 7:21 AM on April 3, 2005

I have one of ye olde rubber foam mattress pads ... and I just slap it on, put a mattress cover (one of the white ones with elastic around the edges) over it, and it stays. Of course, I'm the only one that sleeps in the bed so ymmv.
posted by SpecialK at 9:10 AM on April 3, 2005

My mom bought us a really pricey mattress pad from Bed, Bath, and Beyond a couple years ago to replace the bunchy, slippy, crappy cheap one that we used to have and it's been really great (I'm a corpse-like sleeper while corpse, ironically enough, is a violent flipper and peddler so the mattress pad's staying power has definitely been put to the test). I think the secret ingredients are that it's tight-fitting and the sides are completely elasticized rather than being woven fabric with an elastic band only at the bottom. This one and this one are kind of similar and the first one might be the one we have although I remember it costing more because I felt really guilty about mom buying it for us.
posted by jennyb at 9:46 AM on April 3, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks for the great suggestions. I'm going to try the plain cotton sheets over the mattress pad, with and without the knit sheets on top. I'm also beginning to wonder if our mattress is partly to blame. The cover of the mattress is kind of "slippery," which may be contributing to pad-creep. I had a thought this morning that maybe I need to put the cotton sheet on the mattress, then put on the mattress pad, then the knit sheet. I'll try several combinations of this. Thanks for stimulating my thinking out of the "box spring." :)

JennyB: Your first "this one" looks exactly like the pad I've got on the bed, the one that bunches up.

Seawallrunner: I'm going to look for a mattress cover that encases the whole mattress. I didn't know they made such things.

Thanks all.
posted by Joleta at 11:10 AM on April 3, 2005

The cover of the mattress is kind of "slippery,"

Mine's the same way. Solution: put shelf padding (that rubbery mesh stuff that comes in a roll of 5 feet or so) in between mattress and pad. No more slipping and sliding.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 12:42 PM on April 3, 2005

What worked for me was putting actual velcro on the mattress and the bottom of the pad. Give that a try.
posted by deafmute at 2:17 PM on April 3, 2005

Not to derail, but I never understood the point of matress pads. Someone care to enlighten me?
posted by goatdog at 9:34 PM on April 3, 2005

goatdog: As a female with a fully functioning uterus, I will attest to the fact that my mattress pad has saved me from soiling my mattress in that manner that only a woman can.
posted by chiababe at 10:44 PM on April 3, 2005 [1 favorite]

I've got a mattress pad similar to the first one that jennyb linked to and I have the same problems that Joleta has. I have high thread count sheets, so I know it's not the knit sheets that cause it. What I'm wondering is if my mattress is causing it. Maybe the pillow top mattresses have too much give in them that allow the mattress pads to bunch up and slide around too easily. I think I'll try the rubber shelf liner stuff to see if that makes a difference.

It seems hard to find mattress pads that just provide protection. I don't need additional quilting or padding. I just want a protective layer between my mattress and my sheets. Anyone have any suggestions? Maybe those wouldn't slide around so much...
posted by MsVader at 6:01 AM on April 4, 2005

goatdog, a mattress pad regulates temperature by circulating heat, keeping you cooler, theoretically. I have to add that my $700 mattress came with fucking velour on the pillowtop. Thus, my mattress pad and sheets only move one way, with the grain of the velour and not against. Everything travels about 10" every night. I bought a great ($60!) mattress pad and even that won't stay put. So I sympathize.

I personally am going to try bcwinters' suggestion.

MsVader, I assume you've already thought of those plastic mattress protectors that are just a single layer of plastic (slippery though)?
posted by scazza at 7:11 AM on April 4, 2005

What I meant to add about my overpriced mattress is that Simmons' mattress covers are not covered under their warranty. Thus they screwed me with the velour.
posted by scazza at 7:12 AM on April 4, 2005

scazza - I have thought about those, but besides bringing me back to my childhood when they were there to protect the bed from "accidents", they're slippery, as you said, and also make a lot of crinkling noise if you move at all.

Who'd have thought that finding a good mattress pad would be so difficult?
posted by MsVader at 9:38 AM on April 4, 2005

We bought a memory foam mattress pad at half price from It was a great investment, really changed my quality of sleep. The memory foam is a little bit sticky-feeling, so it doesn't move at night even though my partner and I aren't the most restful sleepers. I've used it with both cotton and flannel sheets with no problem at all.
posted by kamikazegopher at 9:31 PM on April 4, 2005

« Older Mars Volta lyrics   |   Arguing with my apartment manager. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.