When was the last time you slept on a cotton mattress pad? It’s probably been awhile since synthetic blends seem to have taken over the market place. And even more difficult to find than a 100 percent cotton mattress pad is an organic cotton mattress pad. But persistence and money will net you the purchase you want.
A cotton mattress pad is soft, warm, and comfortable. But how much do you know about your cotton mattress pad? It’s surprising what goes into a cotton mattress pad.
In a typical cotton mattress pad, you may find several types of cotton and other fibers. Short-staple cotton is the least expensive variety; its fibers are 1-2 inches long. Short-staple cotton is grown throughout the southern United States and South America. Short-stapled cotton makes an economical cotton mattress pad. But long-staple cotton makes a more luxurious, softer, and more durable cotton mattress pad. Long-staple cotton fibers are up to four inches long. Egyptian cotton is a good example of long-staple cotton. Egyptian cotton is often used in more expensive cotton mattress pads.
The cloth from which a cotton mattress pad is sewn is often - cotton! Just as in sheets and pillowcases, thread count per inch is a measure of quality and durability. It really has little to do with comfort since the cotton mattress pad is always underneath the bottom sheet. Some cotton mattress pads are sewn from a cottony/polyester blend, or even a water-resistant nylon or polyurethane-backed fabric. These water-resistant cotton mattress pads tend to be found on juvenile beds or used for medical purposes.
A cotton mattress pad must come with some means of fastening it to the mattress. Typically, one of two methods is used. In one method, looped elastic straps on the corners of the cotton mattress pad are slipped over the corners of the mattress. In another method, a gathered skirt of material with elastic all the way around its bottom hem is tucked in underneath the mattress.
Caring for a cotton mattress pad is easy. Just wash it in warm water and dry. A cotton mattress pad can be dried in a clothes drier, but many people find they smell fresher when dried outdoors. If the cotton mattress pad has been wetted with urine, sunshine will help bleach out any remaining stains!
One reason some people prefer cotton mattress pads is the perception that they are more “organic” and free of potentially harmful chemicals than other mattress pads. It is important to look beneath the “organic” label on any cotton mattress pad that is so labeled. Water-resistant cotton mattress pads, in particular, will always have some layer of artificial material, usually polyurethane. Many people feel that polyurethane “outgases” harmful vapors of chemicals long after it is removed from the packaging. Such gasses have even been linked to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS.
There are many, many places to buy a cotton mattress pad. General department stores, bed and bath stores, discount stores, and specialty linen stores all carry cotton mattress pads. The one type of place you should probably steer clear of is the “hypoallergenic” specialty store. These stores tend to charge wildly inflated prices, catering to the hypersensitive fears of those with allergies and asthma. A durable all-cotton mattress pad, washed regularly, is more than sufficient for any allergy sufferer.