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Bed bugs are parasitic insects that can spread quickly between people through items such as clothing, luggage, or hotel bedding. Taking steps to prevent bed bugs may help you avoid the difficult and time-consuming task of eliminating an infestation in your home.
One way to keep bed bugs from invading your sleep area is to invest in a mattress encasement. Mattress encasements are typically waterproof, and they zip around your mattress to offer protection against spills, bodily fluids, allergens, and pests. They are designed to trap and kill existing bed bugs, while preventing new ones from crawling into your mattress.
Finding an effective and comfortable mattress encasement can be a challenging task. We’ll outline the top factors to consider when purchasing a bed bug mattress encasement, including some tips for identifying and preventing an infestation. We’ll also examine the materials, performance, and pricing of some of the best bed bug mattress covers available today.
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The Layla Full Encasement Mattress Protector is made using 140 gsm polyester and a waterproof polyurethane membrane. The material is stain-resistant and designed to protect against bed bugs, dust mites, liquids, and other substances.
Despite the high level of protection, the polyester fabric is stretchy, breathable, and designed to make minimal noise. The Layla Full Encasement Mattress Protector can fit mattresses with a profile of up to 14 inches, and it is available in all six standard mattress sizes.
The Layla Full Encasement Mattress Protector can be machine washed and dried.The top and bottom half are connected by a zipper, allowing users to wash only the top half if they desire.
Layla offers free shipping to addresses in the contiguous U.S. The Full Encasement Mattress Protector is backed by a 30-night trial and a 1-year limited warranty.
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The Protect-a-Bed Pure Mattress Encasement from Hollander Sleep Products proves you don’t need to shell out a lot of cash for a high-quality bed bug cover. The encasement is available in twin, full XL, and queen sizes, all of which are affordable priced, and orders within the contiguous U.S. qualify for affordable shipping rates. However, a waterproof membrane protects against stains and liquid spills and a jersey-knit composition helps ensure decent breathability, so the encasement performs at the same level as many of its more expensive competitors.
The encasement offers a pocket depth of about 10 inches, so you can use it with most low- or medium-profile mattresses. If your mattress measures 11 inches or thicker, you’ll need a cover that accommodates taller models. A wraparound zipper helps you easily remove and secure the cover before and after cleanings, and a hook-and-loop tab secures the zipper for added bed bug protection. You may wash and dry the encasement in any household machine.
Your Protect-a-Bed Pure Mattress Encasement order includes a sleep trial running 30 nights in length, giving you roughly one month to test out the cover and decide whether it’s right for you. Encasements returned during that time frame qualify for full product refunds minus return shipping charges. If you decide to keep the cover, Hollander Sleep Products backs the item under a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
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Built of polyester and lined with a polyurethane membrane, the Linens & Hutch 6-Sided Mattress Encasement is designed to provide protection against bed bugs and other contaminants.
The encasement has a soft microfiber outer cover with a weight of 95 grams per square meter (gsm), engineered to wick moisture and transfer heat away from the body. The stretchy fabric is also virtually silent, making it a suitable choice for sleepers who are sensitive to noise.
The Linens & Hutch Mattress Encasement is designed to fit mattresses up to 18 inches tall. The micro zipper lines all edges of the encasement so that users can easily remove the cover for washing. The encasement is resistant to fading and wrinkling, and it can be machine washed in cold water and tumble dried on low heat.
Linens & Hutch offers free shipping to addresses in the contiguous U.S., and the mattress encasement comes with a 101-night sleep trial.
Best for Dorms
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If you reside or are planning to reside in a dorm room, a bed bug cover can be a smart investment — even if the facilities seem clean and hygienic at first glance. The Bear Encasement is a low-cost cover equipped with a liquid-proof barrier to protect your mattress from spills and stains as well as bed bug contamination. A soft stretch-jersey composition also ensures little interference while the encasement is in place and extra breathability on hot or humid nights.
The encasement is designed for a pocket depth of 10 to 15 inches thick, a range that should cover most dorm mattresses including bunk-friendly models. A wraparound zipper allows you to easily install the cover, and remove it whenever a cleaning is needed. To launder the encasement, machine wash in cold water on a gentle cycle, then tumble dry on low heat. You can clean the encasement with other sheets and linens to save quarters at the laundromat. Six sizes are available, all of which correspond to standard mattress dimensions.
In addition to affordable pricing, the Bear Encasement qualifies for free ground delivery throughout the contiguous U.S. Returns are allowed within 30 nights from the date of receipt. If you decide to keep the encasement, it’s also covered by a 10-year warranty against material defects.
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Many leading bed bug mattress covers are composed of plastic or other synthetic materials, which – while effective at protecting sleep spaces – are not necessarily eco-friendly. The Company Store’s Organic Cotton Mattress Protector is made of pure, woven cotton with no added dyes, chemicals, or treatments. The material shouldn’t trigger allergies, and its smooth hand-feel is suitable for people with acne, eczema, and other conditions that cause sensitive skin. A light brown color enhances the cotton’s natural look.
Organic cotton is also breathable and won’t trap body heat like polyester, so the protector is a comfortable choice for hot sleepers and people who reside in warm or humid places. Customers choose from profiles of 9 or 12 inches, depending on their mattress profile. The low-profile protector can also be used to keep bed bugs out of your box spring – a common infestation site that also attracts moisture and mildew. Twin, full, queen, and king sizes are available. You can machine wash the protector for quick and easy care.
The Company Store offers free ground shipping within the contiguous U.S. for orders of $75 or more, a price range that includes all four sizes of the Organic Cotton Mattress Protector. Each purchase is backed by a 90-day trial period. Returns are accepted during this time, even if you’ve used or laundered the protector.
Sometimes referred to as a mattress encasement, a bed bug mattress cover is designed to protect against bed bugs by forming an impenetrable seal around the mattress. These covers are made of specialized fabric that zips around your entire mattress, making it more difficult for bugs to crawl inside.
Bed bug mattress encasements are one of several types of mattress covers, all of which are designed to protect the mattress in some way. Other types of mattress covers include:
Standard mattress protectors, toppers, and pads are not intended for use as a barrier against bed bugs. Searching for mattress encasements rather than other types of mattress covers can help you identify options that are designed to prevent an infestation.
As with any sleep product, a mattress cover or encasement is a highly personal choice. Each individual has different needs and preferences, meaning that there is no encasement that is perfect for everyone. Learning what to look for when shopping for a bed bug mattress encasement can help you sort through all of the options available and identify the best fit for you.
A bed bug mattress encasement can be an important purchase for hygienic reasons. This purchase may also affect your sleep quality, as some mattress encasements can trap heat or make noise when sleepers move around. Some shoppers may seek additional features such as waterproofing, easy cleaning, or extra-deep pockets for a taller mattress.
With hundreds of options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to sift through the advertising claims in the search for a quality product. We’ll outline the most important factors to consider to help you identify the best mattress encasement for you.
Mattress encasements come in a wide variety of prices, though shoppers can typically expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $150 for a quality product. Factors such as fabric type, level of waterproofing, and additional features all contribute to a mattress encasement’s overall cost.
Adequate waterproofing may prevent mold or stains by keeping spills, sweat, and other fluids from seeping into the mattress. Fully waterproof encasements may use liners or polyurethane membranes to completely prevent liquids from leaking through. By contrast, water-resistant encasements are designed to wick away moisture or repel water without being fully waterproof.
Bed Bug Protection Level
To provide adequate protection against bed bugs, a mattress encasement must be made of strong material that fully encloses all six sides of the mattress. Potentially vulnerable areas like zippers should carry some sort of protection to prevent bed bugs from crawling through the cracks. Look for a bed bug encasement that carries proof of having been tested in a laboratory and found to be effective against bed bugs.
While quality materials may cost more initially, they can be worth the investment for hygiene and comfort. Poor-quality materials may not provide enough protection to safeguard against bed bugs, and they may be more likely to develop rips or openings that pests can crawl into. Certain materials may also be less breathable or make more noise, which can affect sleep quality.
Overheating can interrupt quality rest. Many encasements are made with waterproof materials, which can reduce breathability and trap heat close to the body. Sleepers who tend to run warm may benefit from encasements that use special materials in the cover to disperse heat and wick away moisture.
A mattress encasement that is too small may not close around your bed, while one that is too large may feel uncomfortably baggy. Shoppers with particularly high- or low-profile beds should ensure the encasement has the correct pocket depth for a snug fit around the mattress.
Mattress encasement models that can be removed and machine washed may be easier to care for. Some mattress encasements offer the option to remove and wash the top part of the cover only, as this is the part that comes in contact with the sleeper. Always follow the care instructions when washing the cover. Exposing the encasement to high temperatures, bleach, or fabric softeners may damage the seal.
If you are using a mattress encasement to contain an existing bed bug infestation, do not remove it for cleaning until you are sure that all the bugs are dead. Bed bugs can live up to 5 months without eating, so you may want to wait a little longer than this to be safe. To keep a clean sleep surface, you can use a regular mattress protector or fitted sheet over the bed bug encasement in the meantime.
Waterproofing materials used in mattress encasements can cause a crinkling sound, which may be bothersome to sleepers as they switch sleeping positions. Many manufacturers attempt to reduce the noise level by using special fabric blends or thinner materials. It may be useful to read through customer reviews while shopping online to determine the noise level of a mattress encasement.
Bed bugs do not fly, but they hide in the seams of clothing, bed linens, suitcases, and other similar places, and are easily spread from place to place when people carry these items from one place to another. Hotels, dorm rooms, and other places that see a high number of transient visitors are common places to pick up bed bugs. Although traditionally associated with squalid conditions, bed bug infestations are also common in clean homes.
Identifying a bed bug infestation early can help you treat it before it becomes widespread. However, it can be challenging to recognize an infestation in the early stages. Some telltale signs to look for include:
Bed bugs typically reside within 8 feet of a sleep area so they can feed during the night, but they can also hide in many other areas, such as chair or sofa seams, curtain folds, drawers, electrical appliances, or loose wallpaper.
Individuals should note that bite marks alone may not be an effective way to identify an outbreak. Bed bug bites can look similar to those of mosquitoes and other pests, and some people don’t react at all to bed bugs. It is important to use other clues as well to determine if you are facing an infestation.
A quality mattress encasement can be an effective way to protect your mattress from bed bugs. The best bed bug mattress protectors form a seal around the mattress to prevent new bugs from making their home in your bed.
Most bed bug mattress covers are white, making it easier to spot bed bugs and take early steps to prevent a full-blown infestation. In the event that bed bugs do manage to infest other areas of the room, such as the bed frame, the encasement protects the mattress and gives the bugs one less place to hide.
Bed bug covers may also be useful if you already have bed bugs hiding in your mattress, as they prevent the bugs from crawling out and biting sleepers. Bed bugs can live for several months without feeding, but they will eventually die if they are unable to leave the mattress encasement. For this reason, experts recommend foregoing cleaning and leaving the cover tightly zipped for at least 6 months after a bed bug infestation.
Most mattress protectors and covers on the market are only designed to protect against spills or allergens, and don’t offer enough protection to keep bed bugs at bay. Standard mattress protectors and covers normally protect only the top layer of your bed and leave the sides or underside of your mattress exposed.
To be effective, a bed bug mattress encasement should zip entirely around the mattress and utilize quality, tight-knit materials that bugs cannot bite or crawl through. The zipper should be small enough not to leave gaps in the teeth or the ends when closed. Always ensure the cover is properly installed and fully zipped, and consider securing the zipper closed. Inspect the cover regularly for rips and tears that bed bugs can crawl through.
It is also important to take other steps to prevent bed bugs, as they can inhabit any area in your home, such as pillows, box springs, curtains, and furniture. Proactive habits such as washing new clothes, vacuuming luggage when returning home, and regularly checking for bed bugs can help you prevent or identify outbreaks. You may be able to buy bed bug protectors for your pillow and box spring as well. Once you have a bed bug infestation in your home, you will likely need to call a professional exterminator to eliminate the pests.
Bed bugs feed on blood, and their bites typically produce small red lumps that can remain itchy and bothersome for several days. Scratching these bites may leave people vulnerable to secondary infections due to broken skin. More rarely, these bites may cause allergic reactions and even anaphylaxis.
Along with physical health impacts, bed bugs can lead to mental health issues. Research suggests that people living in an infected area report higher levels of anxiety and may be more likely to suffer from insomnia, paranoia, or nightmares.
Though bed bugs have not been shown to transmit any blood-borne diseases, early evidence suggests bed bugs may contribute to the transmission of Chagas disease in areas where this disease already exists.
Contact your healthcare provider if you suspect you have been exposed to bed bugs and you are concerned about issues such as allergic reactions, infections, or mental health impacts.
When it is used properly, a quality bed bug mattress cover can be an effective tool to protect your mattress against bed bugs and potentially catch infestations before they grow. It is important to select an encasement that zips completely around the mattress to form a seal. While a bed bug mattress encasement is a good first step, it is also important to take steps beyond a mattress cover to adequately protect the rest of your home against bed bugs.
Although bed bugs are generally unable to chew through plastic, they can crawl through tiny openings. To be effective against bed bugs, a plastic mattress cover must zip closely around the mattress without leaving any openings or gaps that these pests can crawl through. The part of the cover most likely to have exposed gaps is usually the zipper, so it’s crucial to verify whether the manufacturer has included safeguards to protect this potential opening.
It is still possible to get bed bugs with a mattress cover. Bed bugs are able to infest any area of the home, such as couches, drawer joints, loose wallpaper, or headboards. The benefit of a bed bug mattress cover is that it makes the bugs easier to spot, and it may stop bed bugs from entering or leaving your mattress. Without this protection, many sleepers find they need to discard their mattress after a bed bug infestation.
Most often, bed bugs are transported from place to place on luggage, clothing, or bedding. Bed bugs are especially common in hotels, hostels, dorm rooms, and other shared accommodation. Adopting preventative habits such as washing your clothing after traveling or vacuuming your luggage upon returning home may help reduce your chances of a bed bug infestation.
Mattress covers are placed on top of a mattress like a fitted sheet, while encasements zip around the mattress to offer complete protection. Because mattress covers are only placed on the top of the bed, they do not prevent bed bugs from crawling to the mattress.
Many mattress covers are waterproof and easy to remove for simple cleaning. Mattress covers may be a good fit for individuals who primarily want protection against spills and bodily fluids.
Those who are concerned about bed bugs and other pests should opt for a mattress encasement. Encasements form a seal around the full mattress, including the bottom, to provide protection around every angle of the bed.
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