A mattress protector protects the mattress from damage and foreign material. This is a thin layer atop a mattress. A mattress protector is usually placed on top of the mattress or tucked into a mattress and sometimes closed up with a zipper.
Since your mattress is used at least 7 hours a night, why would you not want to keep it protected and fresh? The best way to make sure that the mattress you spend so much time on stays “like new” is to equip it with the best mattress cover protector you can find.
Mattress protectors help protect the mattress against moisture, sweat, mildew, bedwetting, bedbugs, dust mites, food particles and drink spills. It can be hypoallergenic and can help reduce symptoms of asthma, eczema and severe allergies.
Most protectors are waterproof in order to shield the mattress from sweat, urine, and other stains. Mattress protectors are rarely quilted, and most will not alter the feel of a mattress to any noticeable extent.
Best Mattress Protectors 2020
Sweet Zzz Cooling Mattress Protector
When it comes to 1-sided protection, the Cooling Mattress Protector by Sweet Zzz is our top pick. 1-sided protectors are better than 5-sided or encasement protectors as they allow the mattress to circulate air better. This protector made our top pick because it is made with 100% Natural Eucalyptus Based Fiber, is 100% waterproof, and comes with a 100-night trial.
During our test it was obvious how good the cooling factor of this protector was. It also comes at a very reasonable price and a 10-year warranty.
Best of all, it is made by a reputable company, this is important since most protectors are sold by companies you never heard of.
Katy Mattress Encasement
(Best Encasement )
If you need to protect your bed from dust mites, liquids and bed bugs but still want great quality then this encasement is for you.
Made from 100% cotton, this protector fits mattresses from 8 to 14 inches deep. It is antimicrobial and like the rest of the protectors that we suggest in this list, free from Vinyl, PVC, Phthalates, and toxic chemicals.
The Katy mattress encasement comes with 50-day free returns and also a 5-year warranty making it our best encasement choice.
Bear Mattress Protector
The Bear mattress protector is our pick for the best 5-sided protector. If you are expecting stains on the sides of the mattress (like pee sliding to the side) then you need a 5-sided protector, and this is the best we tested.
Though 5-sided protectors don’t allow air to circulate as good as 5-sided protectors, the Bear mattress protector was cool and comfortable during our test.
The Bear mattress protector is not made solely of natural materials but it has a unique Dynamic Fabric that is noticeably cooler than most polyester or terry mattress protectors.
It comes with a 100-nigh return policy but the customer pays for the shipping back. It also has a 10-year limited warranty.
Organic Cotton Mattress Protector by Plushbeds
This Organic certified mattress is made of 100% natural cotton and eco-friendly materials. We never noticed that it was causing any heating or heat trapping issues. Being natural also means that is is very sturdy.
This organic 1-sided protector by Plushbeds has a 5-year warranty and was 100% waterproof when we tested it. Also, just like the previously mentioned protector, it has no dyes or harsh chemicals.
The only thing to keep in mind is that this protector does not have a return trial once it’s open.
Layla Essential Mattress Protector
This protector is soft and breathable. We tried many budget protectors and this one made our budget pick because it is soft to the touch, noiseless and we also didn’t notice heat-trapping.
The Layla Essential Mattress Protector also comes with deep pockets in case your mattress is 14 inches thick.
It has a 30-day return policy that we actually tested just to be safe. It also comes with a 10-year warranty. Though you won’t need a warranty to be this long, it is good to see the company stand behind their product. Overall a great budget choice.
Mattress Protector Buyers Guide
– Do You Really Need A Mattress Protector?
Note that a mattress protector is meant to increase the durability of a mattress. it is not designed to give you any more comfort.
A mattress protector will not be noticeable, even if how good it is, and some of them can have cooling features built into them. Most protectors have elastic corners and will stretch around the edges of the bed much like a fitted sheet.
Some protectors have an anchored design, so the item is attached to the corners of the bed using elastic bands. The protector should always match the mattress size.
For mattresses that are more than 12 inches thick, it helps to check the pocket depth of the mattress protector. Some mattress protectors provide extra coverage for mattresses with above-average thickness.
To make things simpler, here are the 3 main benefits of mattress protectors:
1- Drastically improve the mattress lifespan:
Mattress protectors enhance the lifespan of the mattress in several ways, for example, by preventing dead skin and bodily fluids going through the mattress. when such stuff goes through the mattress it acts as a food source for dust mites. Dust mites then will feed on the dead skin or bodily fluids and grow to eventually cause the mattress to sag.
Dust mites are very small insects that dwell in mattresses to feed off the skin that sheds from our bodies as we sleep. Also, mattress protectors are liquid-proof. Spills from drinks and excessive moisture can damage your mattress and void your warranty. The liquids cause the mattress to compress leading to sagging.
Even the moisture from your body when you sleep can be an issue. Without a mattress protector your mattress will end up absorbing all this moisture, and it can lead to extended and permanent damage to your mattress.
2- Greatly improves overall health:
Allergies have a serious effect on the way we sleep. Having a mattress protector made of hypoallergenic materials will greatly improve your sleep quality. It will also help you stop suffering from those unpleasant itchy eyes and runny nose.
Dust mites will find a way to dwell in your mattress if the mattress doesn’t have mattress protection, and they are the primary cause of allergies. Dust mite infestation is likely to go unnoticed yet you continue to sleep on that mite infested mattress for years.
Mattress protector protects the mattress from these mites and also protect you from allergies. Even if the sleep itself is not interrupted by allergies, the discomfort they bring tends to lead to improper sleep. This leads to you waking up tired and never being truly able to catch up.
3- Protects the mattress warranty:
Mattress warranties require the mattress to be completely clean without stains or the warranty becomes void. This is because any stain would mean the liquid caused the foam to compress and sag, so the warranty becomes void.
When moisture comes in contact with your mattress, the lifespan is cut down as a result. When you don’t have mattress protection, you are likely going to void the warranty in a short time. Spills and moisture coming into contact with the mattress will easily void the mattress warranty.
Even when you do not spill anything on your mattress, the dead skin and sweat combination will eventually make little visible spots. Manufacturers are very good at seen these spots that void your warranty.
So to put it simply, you need the mattress protector to protect your health and the investment you make in the bed.
What Makes A Mattress Good For Side Sleepers?
1- Better Cooling:
Actually, better cooling should be the first consideration in a mattress protector. It is one of the most important considerations that you ought to account for when purchasing your bed protector.
If the cover is not cool enough or if it turns hot during the night, then even the protection it offers won’t matter. This is because you won’t be able to sleep on it anyway because of the discomfort.
A mattress protector that can breathe helps to keep the bed breezy, cool and soothing. There can be a mismatch about what manufacturers claim commercially and what the reality is, so reading reviews of actual customers can help here.
Breathability ensures the mattress gets the necessary air flow. This would also prevent bacteria growth, and it prevents the accumulation of unpleasant smells, both of which are incredibly critical considerations.
Furthermore, the more air gets through the liner, the lesser the chance of dust mite and bed bug infestation as these little creatures need a minimum of 50% humidity to survive.
2- Protection from Everythingt:
This point may seem obvious but it’s not. You should seek a mattress protector that is waterproof, anti-dust, anti-mites, antimicrobial and does not allow anything to go through to the mattress.
Bed bugs are amongst the most unpleasant pests that you might have to deal with. Once they manage to establish themselves in your bedroom, you’ll have a tough time getting rid of them, and you’re highly likely to have to get rid of it entirely.
A good mattress protector would be the perfect inhibitor to bedbugs. There are some protectors that come with a zipper lock and bug flaps, which are designed to seal your entire mattress completely. The majority of mattress protectors are made with one of the layers of waterproof fabric, which is polyurethane. P
rotectors have two layers with one of them constructed from waterproof fabric. Some people are allergic to different kinds of fabrics. Ensure the mattress protector is hypoallergenic; this is neutral and not harmful to most people.
3- Natural Materials:
The mattress protector cannot be all natural, but the cover part should be made from some form of natural material. This improves the quality, lifespan, and cooling of the protector. The cover part of a mattress protector should be made of materials like cotton, Tencel and such.
Natural materials like cotton and bamboo tend to be more absorbent than polyester, so look for these if you want your mattress protector to contain some liquid rather than completely repel it.
Some form of polyurethane is typically found in the waterproof barrier, but some protectors employ vinyl instead. Vinyl has been associated with environmental and health issues, so this can be of concern to you.
Therefore, ensure you choose a protector that is vinyl-free. Also, the cover should present natural comfort. Look for a protector that does not ruin the original feel of your bed.
4- Good Value for the Price:
Mattress protectors can be an absolute necessity, but this should not mean that their price should be hiked. A mattress protector’s purpose is to prolong the life of the mattress so its price should be reasonable. And the price should reflect the quality of the mattress protector.
Most mattress protectors are usually low-priced, so cost should not be a major concern for most shoppers. However, you may find some models priced higher. An average protector should be priced $50 to $99 for a queen.
Some mattress protectors are made from luxury materials, such as organic cotton, and so may come with much higher price-points. But also keep in mind that some protectors can be very cheap, which means they can be made of low-quality materials, like vinyl and cheap polyester as cover.
Such cheap quality materials will greatly limit the mattress breathability causing you to sleep hot. The last thing you want to do is buy a nice cooling mattress and ruin it with a cheap protector.
5- Reputable Company:
Mattress protectors can be very simple items to manufacture, so they are a target of a lot of companies. Some of these companies are not reputable companies, meaning they produce not up to standard mattress protectors.
A mattress protector that is not up to standard to can bring you a lot of inconveniences. You can, unfortunately, acquire a not up to standard mattress cover only for it to ruin a very expensive mattress.
Even returning it will not cover your losses. You should purchase a mattress protector from a reputable company, especially if you have spent a lot of money to buy the mattress itself. This would help the mattress last a lot longer than it would if you left it bare.
6- Fair Lengthy Warranty:
Most mattress protectors do not come with warranties, so ensure that the mattress protector you are buying comes with a nice lengthy warranty. Do not assume that the one you are purchasing has a warranty. Always check to ensure it has a warranty covered.
Warranty coverage for mattress protectors typically lasts no more than 5 to 10 years. Most manufacturers require owners to clean their protectors whenever it is soiled, otherwise, their warranty may be voided. Furthermore, some manufacturers will not warrant against certain types of damage, such as permanent stains from cosmetics, bleach, or food.
7- Good Return Policy:
Go for reputable manufacturers that have longer return trials than Amazon. Either way, ensure the mattress protector you choose comes with at least 50 days return trial. You may be required to wash your mattress protector before returning it.
Launder on medium heat or cooler and tumbling dry on low heat to avoid damage to the waterproof material. Ensure you take proper care of the mattress protector during the trial period in the meantime.
This is because some manufacturers require you can only return a mattress protector if you have not washed within the first 30 days of receipt.
What Is the Difference Between A Mattress Protector, Pad, and Encasement?
– Mattress Protector::
Mattress protectors are thin mattress covers and are waterproof. They are waterproof in order to shield the mattress from sweat, liquid spills, urine, and other stains. They are available in 1-sided and 5-side versions and are easy to take care of, for example, cleaning. 1-sided mattress covers are most common; they are preferred because they protect the mattress from body fluids and dead skin while also allow the mattress to breathe much better than 5-sided protectors.
Some mattress protectors are hypoallergenic, as well. Mattress protectors do not change the feel of the mattress. Protectors are rarely quilted; therefore, most will not alter the feel of a mattress to any noticeable extent.
Some mattress protectors because of their composition can sometimes cause a slight noise when moving around a mattress. They can degrade rather quickly because of frequent washing and drying in machines.
– Mattress Pad:
Mattress pads are just like mattress protectors but have padding on their top layer, thus actually change the feel of the mattress slightly. A mattress pad acts as a barrier between the sleeper and his/her mattress cover.
Many are quilted to provide an additional layer of cushioning to the sleep surface, but their primary purpose is to shield the bed from dust mites and other allergens, as well as bacteria. They should not be used as mattress toppers which change the mattress feel drastically but are used to improve sleep quality for a luxury hotel-like feel.
Not all mattress pads are waterproof. Some are just water absorbent. Some pads are also hypoallergenic. Most pads measure no more than one inch thick and fit over the edges of the mattress much like a fitted sheet — although some rest freely on the top mattress surface.
– Mattress Encasement:
A mattress encasement is a 6-sided mattress protector, just like 1-sided and 5-sided mattress protectors, but do not change the feel. The main difference here is that encasements protect against the bed bugs in addition to all the other things like dust mites, liquids, and so on.
The importance of a mattress encasement isn’t clear for everyone. Simply put, a mattress encasement is a 6-sided, full coverage shield for your mattress.
It differs from a mattress cover, in that a mattress cover can be 1-sided or a 5-sided item that slides on, similar to a fitted sheet. More importantly, they serve different purposes, and in an optimal setup are designed to work together.
For the ultimate in mattress protection, pair a full-featured mattress encasement with a quality mattress cover. The mattress encasement seals out bed bugs, dust mites, etc.
While the mattress protector guards against spills and moisture. If you are likely not to face bed bugs issue, then it’s better to simply stick with a mattress protector as they are much easier to wash and allow mattress breathing.
Should I Get A Mattress Protector, Pad, or Encasement?
– When to go with a 1-sided mattress protector?
Go for a one side mattress protector if you simply want to protect the mattress from body fluids and dead. This kind of mattress protector is ideal here because it breathes and is easy to take care of, for example, cleaning. Generally, a one-sided mattress protector is designed to prevent wearing off and accumulation of dirt.
This kind of protector is placed directly on mattress and can be attached by the used of rubber bands. A one-sided mattress protector is applicable to all mattress heights and sizes and increases the lifetime of the mattress significantly.
– When to go with a 5-sided protector?
Liquids or dirt particles might spill to the sides of the mattress thus penetrate and damage the mattress. A 5-sided mattress protector is needed in such cases. Though a 5-sided mattress protector does not breathe as a 1-sided mattress protector but protects nearly all sides of a mattress.
This is a fitted sheet-style mattress protector placed over a mattress just like a fitted sheet. It slides over the edges and corners of the mattress, includes a full “skirt” around the sides of the mattress, and uses elastic edging to ensure a snug fit.
While they may offer top or side surface protection against bed bugs and dust mites, they are less effective than encasements because the bottom of the mattress is not covered.
– When to go with a mattress pad?
Mattress pads protect the mattress but also add a little luxury hotel-like feel to the mattress. but if your mattress is too firm and you are looking for the luxury feel with a mattress pad, this will most likely not fix the issue. Also, don’t go for the pad if you are not looking to change the feel of your mattress.
A mattress pad protects against dust mites and other allergens, bacteria, and other contaminants that may infiltrate the sleep surface and affect sleeper health. Thicker pads can be used for moderate comfort adjustment. When used with a topper, fitted pads can help keep the cushioning layers in place and prevent uncomfortable bunching.
– When to go with a mattress encasement?
A mattress encasement is really needed if your mattress is already infested with bed bugs or if you are expecting to have them. But most encasements are very hard to remove and wash. Also, they offer no room for breathing, so they sleep hotter than all other mattress protectors as heat buildup in the mattress and have very little room to escape.
It’s important to note that once installed, the encasement is never removed from the mattress because this would create an opportunity for insects and allergens to contaminate the mattress.
Mattress protectors, meanwhile, can be periodically removed and laundered. People with bed bug issues never take off the encasement protector and instead they wash the second protector they have on top.
You definitely should try to get yourself a mattress protector, and it won’t cost you so much to do so. This will add to the life of your mattress and will improve the quality of your sleep overall. A mattress protector ensures your mattress is free of dust mites, bed bugs, stains, and allergens.
If you are looking for a layer that will adjust the feel and comfort layer of the mattress, then a mattress pad may be more suitable.
Even though you think your mattress is safe and clean by just running a vacuum cleaner over it once a while, it may not be the most effective way of sustaining your mattress.
A mattress protector fundamentally builds a barricade between you and the dust mites, bed bugs, liquid spills, etc.