The 10 Best Mattress Protectors
This wiki has been updated 32 times since it was first published in March of 2015. If you really want to sleep tight and not let the bed bugs bite, you should consider investing in one of these mattress protectors. Our selections boast a whole host of features for ensuring you get a comfortable night's rest, including waterproofing, hypoallergenic materials, and dust mite blocking technology. They will also help to ensure you don't void the warranty on your mattress. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
May 26, 2021:
All of our rankings remain the same, headed by the well-constructed Protect-A-Bed AllerZip. This model is basically the entire package, offering complete coverage with protection from bed bugs and moisture. Despite its effectiveness, it's actually relatively breathable and, unlike many others, won't make any annoying noises when you move around.
We also recommend the Priva 4 Pack in conjunction with another, zippered model. It's meant specifically to soak up fluids and designed to withstand hundreds of industrial-grade washings without breaking down.
March 30, 2020:
Because we know that users choose mattress protectors for a variety of reasons, we have kept a range of options that are ideal for different scenarios. For those who want lightweight protection to guard against run-of-the-mill dust, perspiration, dead skin cells, and so on, the Tru Lite Bedding, the SureGuard Hypoallergenic, or the Hospitology Sleep Defense System make fine options. These will help you protect your investment, and they're all machine washable. The Hospitology model even does a fine job with wetness, although the seams are a weak point that can allow moisture through.
If it's liquids you are most worried about, the Leisure Town or the UltraBlock Soft might be the way to go. Note, though, that most so-called waterproof mattress protectors are made to handle a small amount of liquid that's quickly removed; when they're soaked and left to sit for many hours, they can leak. That's why we've added the Priva 4 Pack. These pads are designed specifically to soak up those unfortunate accidents, and will most likely do a better job of protecting your bed sheets than a mattress cover used alone.
As for bed bugs, the Protect-A-Bed AllerZip still comes out on top. It offers a three-sided zipper lock with a breathable fabric that most don't find uncomfortably hot. Given the quality, it's appropriately priced, but if you need something a little more budget-friendly, the SafeRest Premium is worthy of consideration, too.
The Company Store Allergy Protector The Company Store Allergy Protector is certainly not cheap, but it offers completely organic cotton and a chemical- and dye-free construction that's sure to put your mind at ease. Matching pillow and comforter protectors are available, as well, so you can ensure that every part of your sleeping experience is irritant-free. thecompanystore.com
L.L.Bean Quilted The L.L.Bean Quilted gives you plenty of bang for your buck, as it not only protects but also gives you a comfort boost with its cushioned top. You'll need to wash and dry it in a commercial machine, but its long-lasting materials and rugged durability are worth the hassle for most. llbean.com
Avocado Organic To guard your mattress against damage, the Avocado Organic has a polyester waterproof film sandwiched between two layers of soft cotton. It won't crunch or crinkle underneath you, is handmade in Los Angeles, and has a one-year warranty for your peace of mind. avocadogreenmattress.com
What To Look For In A Mattress Protector
If the mattress protector is for an elderly person or child who struggles with wetting the bed, make sure your model is completely waterproof.
Mattresses might provide plenty of comfort and support, but they can also contain a slew of things that are dangerous for human health. In fact, the materials in many mattresses are highly flammable. Make sure your mattress protector is flame retardant. In the horrible case of a house fire, your mattress protector could keep the flammable materials inside of your mattress from making the flames grow even faster.
Considering that the allergens in one’s bedding are one of the top causes of allergic rhinitis, it’s especially important that your mattress protector keeps allergens out. Many are made from materials that repel pollen and other known irritants. Even someone with mild allergies can suffer from major symptoms by sleeping in a bed covered in pollen; consider the fact that you place your face, eyes, and even open mouth on your bed, giving allergens a greater chance of getting in. If the mattress protector is for an elderly person or child who struggles with wetting the bed, make sure your model is completely waterproof.
As for user comfort, mattress protectors that breathe are ideal as they will help sleepers maintain a cool temperature throughout the night. Excessive sweating can mean you need to clean your mattress protector, and all of your bedding, more often. Ideally, you won’t need to wash your protector often, but just in case, look for one that is easy to clean — many are machine-wash friendly. Finally, make sure to measure the depth of your mattress before purchasing your protector. If it doesn’t fit your bed snugly, it can come off during the night, making you vulnerable to all of the allergens and bacteria you were trying to avoid.
Why A Mattress Protector Is Essential If You See Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are not only a nuisance, causing uncomfortable itching and rashes, but they’ve also been found to be potentially deadly. One study analyzed bed bugs and found that they were carrying harmful bacteria, including an antibiotic-resistant strain that can be very dangerous if it gets into a person’s bloodstream.
Larger-teethed zippers can provide openings for the bugs to escape, so look for tight, small zippers.
Even if the particular breed of bed bugs in your mattress do not carry the aforementioned bacteria, they can still make you prone to infection. Any type of irritation on the skin that causes one to constantly itch themselves can lead to tiny open wounds all over the body. These openings make a person much more susceptible to airborne germs.
Bed bug bites can be incredibly itchy, and even with the right ointments, it can be hard to resist the urge to scratch. The bed bugs themselves might provide some of those airborne germs. As they grow, they shed their outer casings, which then move through your home, and possibly into your eyes, nose, and mouth. The feces of bed bugs have also been shown to carry a deadly parasite.
A truly effective mattress cover is both escape and bite proof. This means that, if there were bed bugs in your mattress before you put the protector on, they can no longer get out and infiltrate your home. It also means that bed bugs cannot bite their way through the protector, which is another way they escape a mattress. The zipper affects how strongly a protector fends off bed bugs, too. Larger-teethed zippers can provide openings for the bugs to escape, so look for tight, small zippers.
Other Features To Consider
There are three main types of mattress protectors; zippered, fitted, and anchored. If you have a bed bug problem, then zippered is your only option because this is the only variety that provides total protection to your mattress. A zippered variety is essentially a giant pillow case for your mattress, that seals up. If you are simply looking to protect against spills, or maintain the quality of your mattress, a fitted model will do. These cover the top and sides, and protect the foam in your mattress from moisture, which can be very bad for the foam inside. An anchor protector only protects the top of your mattress.
It does not make any sound when one moves on it at night, and it has flexible fibers, so it’s less likely to come off of your mattress if you toss and turn a lot.
One must also consider the material of their mattress protector. Vinyl is a popular option because it does not allow any liquids through, but that also means it doesn’t let your mattress breathe. Vinyl can also contain known carcinogens and can make an obnoxious plastic sound when you move on them. That being said, vinyl protectors do not need to be removed for washing. You can simply wipe these down while they are still on the bed. They’re a good, affordable option for a bed you don’t use often, like a cot in a camping facility.
Urethane is the preferred option for home beds. It does not make any sound when one moves on it at night, and it has flexible fibers, so it’s less likely to come off of your mattress if you toss and turn a lot. It may cost more than vinyl, but it will last much longer and is just as effective against moisture, bed bugs, and allergens. These do need to come off the bed for cleaning, but most are machine washable.