The Ideal Mattress Pad For An Adjustable Bed

Last Updated on March 30, 2023

There are issues with adjustable beds that you’re not aware of until you own one. Finding a mattress pad for an adjustable bed, for example, is one of them.

When you shop for an adjustable bed, you think of the sleeping benefits and the comfort that it might provide. You don’t visualize the challenges that will pop up.

Inevitably though, you’ll place your skirted mattress pad on top, and watch it kink and unravel as you elevate the head of the bed.


a woman laying on top of an adjustable mattress


The mattress pad will shift, and bunch up – creating an uncomfortable sleeping surface. A conventional skirted mattress pad, of course, wasn’t invented with adjustable beds in mind!

The first instinct might be to cut reliefs in the middle of the skirt on both sides. Not only does that look sloppy, but it also diminishes whatever tension the skirt provides – essentially making it useless.


The Ideal Mattress Pad

The ideal mattress pad for an adjustable bed is a pad that doesn’t have a skirt, but still has some mechanism to keep it snuggly attached to your mattress.

If you’ve ever looked under the sheets at a hotel, you’ve probably noticed that their mattress pads don’t have a skirted portion either. If it will work at a hotel, it will also work for you!

So, what you need is a mattress pad with anchor bands.


a white mattress pad with anchor bands placed on a mattress


How Anchor Bands Work

A mattress pad with anchor bands is very similar to a skirted pad – the padded top layers are identical.

They just differ in how they secure onto your mattress. A skirted pad has a skirt that goes around your mattress. A mattress pad with anchor bands has four bands – one for each corner. Each band loops around its respective corner of the mattress.

This allows the pad portion to bend with the contours of the mattress, and lay flush!


the corner of a bed, showing a mattress pad with the straps looped around the corner



What Are My Choices?

Same as with a conventional mattress pad. In our opinion, there are two different types (for reasons which we’ll get into):

  • Mattress pads
  • Mattress toppers

Let’s take a look at both types and see which is a better fit for you.


Mattress Pads With Anchor Bands

If you’ve been using a regular skirted mattress pad, there isn’t much to discover here. The padded portion is available in various thicknesses just like a skirted pad.

They are mostly available in white colors, and usually filled with polyester – much like a regular mattress pad.

If you’d like to add a light layer of comfort, a mattress pad is ideal. If you want to go a step further and protect your mattress…


Waterproof Mattress Pads With Anchor Bands

A waterproof mattress pad has a tight weave, which accordingly uses a special waterproof fabric. If you experience incontinence, this can be very useful.


a waterproof mattress pad with with a spilled drink - indicating that it is in fact waterproof


The outer surface of the bottom side is usually TPU laminated, which provides a water-proof barrier.

This is important to note as the pad will absorb any liquids, instead of letting them pass through – so you’ll have to wash it accordingly.



Mattress Toppers With Anchor Bands

If you’re looking for a feather bed type of plushness, a mattress topper is an excellent alternative.

A topper has the same general thickness as a feather bed – only filled with alternative materials, like polyester, bamboo, etc. A topper with anchor bands fits over your mattress just as a pad would.

Our favorite is the Royal Bedding Plush Bamboo Filled Topper.


a mattress topper with anchor bands - which is fluffier and thicker than a mattress pad


It has a thickness of 2″, filled with 70% bamboo and 30% polyester, and the straps will fit mattresses up to 18″ deep.


The Important Details

How do you know if a mattress pad is right for you? Read the description! Once you get past all of the fluff, here are the important features to note:


Most pads will fit most mattresses, but not all of them will fit the extra-deep variety. Check to make sure the bands will fit your specific mattress depth.

Washing Instructions

Some mattress pads indicate “dry clean only”. While you don’t have to wash a mattress pad every week, being able to machine wash is very convenient.

Quilting Size

If you look at a mattress pad, you’ll notice that the outer cover is quilted or stitched into a bunch of different squares (or other shapes). This quilting helps to keep the filling evenly distributed.


the corner of a mattress pad with anchor bands, highlighting the quilted construction


Think about how plush or fluffy you want your pad to be. Larger squares provide a plusher and fluffier surface. Smaller square result in a less plush surface, more more of a “springy” feel.



Which To Ignore

You’ll find many “benefits and features”, listed in the description when shopping for a mattress pad. While some of them are definitely key features to pay attention to, there are a few that you can ignore. These include:

Thread Count

Once the pad or topper is placed on your mattress, it then gets covered with your fitted sheet. Which means that you’ll never actually feel the outer fabric of the pad. The thread count of a mattress pad or topper is meaningless.


The same goes for any fancy stripes or other types of designs. You’ll never actually see them – so what’s the point?


Washing Instructions

Maintaining a mattress pad with anchor bands is much the same as with a conventional mattress pad. The bands contain elastic just like the skirted type, so they both wash the same.

You should plan on washing your mattress pad or topper about once every 3-4 months. If you experience incontinence, then you might want to increase that interval.


an infographic which contains the washing instructions for a mattress pad with anchor bands


The tag on your mattress pad (or the package) will indicate the preferred washing instructions, but as a general rule of thumb, you can wash in warm water, using your general detergent, and tumble dry on the low setting.



Final Thoughts

Mattress pads with anchor bands were originally made for water beds. Eventually, hotels started using them for their layered beds – because of their exceptional ability to hold down layers – and they became more mainstream.

Some banded mattress pads are still sold as a “water bed mattress pad”. You can ignore the “water bed” portion, they are one and the same, and will also fit perfectly on a traditional mattress.

9 thoughts on “The Ideal Mattress Pad For An Adjustable Bed

  1. I have a California xl adjustable bed with separate mattresses, what type of mattress pads or toppers would work on this setup?

    1. I need a mattress pad & sheets that will stay in place on my queen adjustable bed

      Please tell me where to buy these products

      Thank you

  2. I have a XL twin electric bed. I purchased a 2” foam last week but it is a battle to keep it on the bed. I do need a 2” as we have a king size bed and my spouse is happy with the two inch foam as he does not have a electric bed. What do yo suggest for me.

  3. My 8″ deep twin base mattress contains the adjustable bed mechanisms. Can I place a quality topper over that mattress? I presently have 13″ mattress over the base, which make the total 21″ high. That combo makes it too high for my petite body to get in and out of bed. So, A topper would reduce that height considerably. However, will it still be comfortable for sleeping?

  4. Hello… do you make a mattress pad with 100% cotton sides? I’m only finding ones with silky polyester sides that slide off the bed along with the sheets. Then they end out getting over stretched from pulling them back up all the time. (Flannel works best)

    1. Hi Susan,

      Have you considered trying something like this?

      They’re “traditionally” used for fitted sheets, but the application is the same, and they work just as well for mattress pads. Unfortunately, almost all mattress pads have some type of synthetic material, like polyester or spandex on the sides.

      Sheet Market

  5. I just purchased a new mattress that came with a head adjustable frame.. I wish I had never bought it .. I haven’t had a good nights sleep.. I need the head of the bed tilted but when I do so the mattress pad bunches up under me and hurts.. I awake two or more times a night..what can I get to have a comfortable nights sleep..

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