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Accidents, sweat, and dirt can cause stains, mold, mildew, and other damage that may jeopardize the lifespan of a mattress. A mattress protector acts as an extra barrier between the sleeper and the bed to reduce the likelihood that a simple mishap could spell disaster.
Mattress protectors can typically be removed and washed, thereby shielding the bed from allergens, dirt, and damage while also making it easier to maintain a clean and fresh sleep surface.
We’ll cover our top picks for mattress protectors and explain what makes them unique. We’ll also go over tips for selecting the best mattress protector for you and answer common questions that shoppers may have.
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The Saatva Waterproof Mattress Protector checks a lot of boxes for people who want to safeguard their sleep surface against spills and stains. A non-rubber waterproof barrier ensures excellent protection from liquids of all types, but the membrane shouldn’t trap too much heat. The outer shell is composed of breathable organic cotton for added cooling, and the fabric has moisture-wicking properties if you’re prone to sweating in bed.
The cotton is Fair Trade certified, which indicates Saatva follows guidelines for ethical worker treatment and compensation at the company’s processing facilities. You may wash and dry the protector in any household machine whenever it needs to be cleaned. The perimeter is equipped with an elastic silicone band to help the protector fit snugly around your mattress, and a pocket depth of 16 inches makes it compatible with most models sold today.
Saatva provides free ground shipping throughout the contiguous U.S. The Waterproof Mattress Protector comes with a 45-night trial period, during which you may return the item if you aren’t satisfied – though the company requests that you launder it prior to sending it back. Your purchase will also be backed by a 1-year warranty.
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The GhostProtector from GhostBed is a waterproof mattress protector with many attractive features for shoppers. The top is a soft knit that’s crafted from a blend of cotton and microfiber, providing a comfortable surface feel. Hot sleepers may also find its cooling technologies an added bonus. The GhostProtector is priced within the average range for a high-quality mattress protector.
Designed to be silent, this model is a suitable option for sleepers who want to safeguard against liquids and allergens without hearing a crinkling sound whenever they move. The bottom layer of the GhostProtector is intended to prevent spills from damaging your mattress. It also serves as a barrier against dust mites and other common irritants. The top layer fabric is engineered to promote airflow as well as wick moisture away from your body. You should find that it sleeps cooler than many other waterproof mattress protectors. It’s thin enough that it won’t affect the overall feel of your bed.
A strong, 2-inch elastic band runs around the protector’s perimeter to keep it secured to your mattress. For best results, GhostBed recommends that you machine wash and line dry it, though you can tumble dry if necessary. You can purchase the GhostProtector in seven sizes including split king. Shipping is free in the contiguous U.S. and GhostBed backs this protector with a generous 10-year warranty.
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The SlumberCloud Dryline Mattress Protector makes use of high-tech materials for strong all-around performance.
The top of the protector uses Outlast Xelerate, a polyester and lycra knit fabric with PCM technology originally engineered by NASA. This PCM absorbs and redistributes heat to regulate the temperature of the sleep surface, while high-density polyethylene (HDPE) backing blocks liquids from reaching the mattress.
Because of its high-quality materials, the SlumberCloud Dryline Mattress Protector should hold up well over time and make little to no noise. In addition to shielding against liquids and stains, this protector is hypoallergenic.
The SlumberCloud Dryline Mattress Protector is available in the six standard mattress sizes. It has elastic skirting to secure it to models between 5 and 20 inches thick. Like other fitted-sheet-style protectors, it wraps around the top and the sides of the bed.
If you don’t like your protector, a 60-night satisfaction guarantee allows you to return it for a refund of the purchase price. A 180-day warranty gives customers recourse if defects arise.
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Many waterproof protectors sleep a bit warm because their polyurethane membranes absorb and trap body heat. The Luxury Cooling Mattress Protector from Brooklyn Bedding bucks this trend and lives up to its name thanks to breathable composition that includes proprietary TitanCool fabric, which draws heat away from the surface to help you stay comfortable.
Fortunately, this does not diminish the protector’s ability to safeguard against spills and liquid damage.
The protector is also hypoallergenic and can effectively stave off dust mites, bacteria, and bed bugs. Since the corners are elasticated, the protector can be pulled snugly over your mattress like a fitted sheet. The recommended mattress thickness is 11-14 inches.
To clean the protector, simply machine wash in cool to warm water and then tumble dry on a low setting. Six sizes are available ranging from twin to king and California king, ensuring compatibility with any standard mattress dimensions.
Brooklyn Bedding offers free shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S. The reusable packaging doubles as a handy storage case. You may test out the protector and return if not satisfied for up to 30 days after placing your order. The purchase is also backed by a 3-year warranty against certain defects.
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Waterproof mattress protectors can feel stiff and produce a crinkly sound when you lay down, but the Nolah Bamboo Mattress Protector has a soft feel that reduces noise. The protector is also designed with cooling properties to keep a comfortable temperature throughout the night.
The protector features a 60% polyester and 40% bamboo-derived viscose fabric blend. This material is naturally breathable and moisture-wicking, great for hot sleepers or those who reside in humid areas. A thin TPU layer underneath blocks liquids or moisture from reaching the mattress. The soft bamboo blend top layer helps offset any crinkling sounds created from this waterproof underlayer. This protector is thin, so it should not affect the feel of a mattress.
Six standard size options are available – twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king. The protector’s pocket can fit mattresses up to 15 inches thick, and you can wash it in a household washing machine for easy care.
Nolah offers free shipping to the contiguous U.S. and a 30-day return policy. A 10-year warranty backs bamboo Mattress Protector purchases.
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While many waterproof protectors block liquids with a polyurethane barrier, this protector from Turmerry breaks from current trends with waterproof fill made of Shropshire wool. This naturally absorbent material is also highly breathable, and its moisture-wicking properties ensure you and your sleep surface will both remain dry.
The shell is composed of cotton percale with a thread count of 270 for a crisp, lightweight feel. The cotton has earned an OEKO-TEX certification, indicating the fabric is free of harmful chemicals, and the wool is also sustainably sourced. The entire protector can be washed and dried in household machines whenever it needs to be cleaned.
Eight sizes are available for the protector. In addition to the six standard mattress sizes, you can select a crib size if shopping for very young children or a split king size if you share an adjustable bed with someone else. All sizes have a pocket depth of 18 inches and will be compatible with the majority of mattresses sold today.
The sticker price may be a bit above-average, but this protector delivers a longer-than-average lifespan due to its naturally durable shell and fill materials. Ground shipping is free throughout the contiguous U.S., and the product is delivered in an eco-friendly organic cotton bag. Turmerry backs the product with a 60-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
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The Plushy Mattress Protector from Buffy features shredded, recycled PET fill encased in a Tencel lyocell shell derived from eucalyptus trees. The protector is exceptionally soft to the touch and can help make your sleep surface feel plusher and more comfortable. Eucalyptus fibers are naturally breathable, too, making the protector a good option for hot sleepers and people who reside in warmer climates.
The protector is designed to rest on the top surface of the mattress without draping over the sides or fitting around the corners. Buffy offers six sizes – twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king. Since pocket depth is not a factor, this size range makes the protector compatible with virtually any mattress sold today.
The PET fill is free of BPAs and the shell has received an OEKO-TEX certification, so you can rest easy knowing the protector does not contain any harmful chemicals or substances. This product should also appeal to eco-conscious shoppers because the fill in each protector is derived from up to 16 recycled plastic bottles.
The Plushy’s price-point is in line with industry averages and Buffy provides free ground shipping to the contiguous U.S. The company allows you to test out the protector for 7 nights, during which time your credit card will not be charged. Free returns are offered during the trial period.
Best for Deep Mattresses
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The Eucalyptus Mattress Protector from Sijo is a worthwhile pick for shoppers who have an exceptionally tall mattress. Its corner pockets stretch to fit mattresses up to 18 inches high, which is much thicker than the average mattress. This model is affordably priced and it has a unique fabric that’s breathable, waterproof, and soft.
The waterproof material is a recycled polyester backing that reaches all the way down the protector’s skirt, a feature that not all waterproof protectors share. There’s a fabric layer above the backing that’s made from Tencel lyocell, which is derived from eucalyptus plants. It has a light texture that’s comfortable to sleep on, and the fabric is porous enough to allow air to move through it freely. The Tencel used in this protector is responsibly farmed, and Sijo uses recycled materials when possible.
This protector has a much quieter performance than traditional polyurethane or vinyl models. You should be able to sleep on it without noticing any crinkling noises. You can wash this protector in your home machine though it must be dried using low heat to preserve the waterproofing. It’s available in four sizes ranging from full to California king.
Customers have 30 days to return the protector. Shoppers in the U.S. who spend more than $65 earn free shipping and returns. International customers and those who spend under $65 incur shipping charges.
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The Sweet Zzz Cooling Mattress Protector helps keep both the sleeper and the mattress dry.
Eucalyptus-based Tencel lyocell makes up the top part of the protector. Not only is this material breathable and cool-to-the-touch, but it is also extremely absorbent, pulling excess moisture away from the sleeper’s body. While the Tencel top wicks away liquids, polyurethane lamination underneath ensures they don’t seep down into the bed. This construction makes the protector quiet and durable, but the Tencel could pill over time.
The Sweet Zzz Cooling Mattress Protector is hypoallergenic and acts as a barrier against liquids, dust mites, and allergens. With its fitted-sheet-style design, the protector covers the surface and four sides of the mattress. The silky smooth Tencel is gentle on sensitive skin, and the protector holds OEKO-TEX certification for product safety standards.
All six standard mattress sizes are available and should accommodate models between 10 and 14 inches thick. A 10-year limited warranty covers qualifying defects, while a 50-day trial period lets customers try the protector at home to decide if it’s right for them.
Best Stain Protection
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Skirt-style mattress protectors are suitable options for safeguarding the top of your mattress, but they’re not the best pick for those who want complete, 360-degree protection. The Layla Full Encasement Mattress Protector has a zipper that runs around its entire perimeter so that it fully envelops your mattress. This added barrier provides significant defense against dust mites, bed bugs, and moisture.
This protector is waterproof up to 38 pounds per square inch, thanks to its thermoplastic polyurethane backing. On top of the waterproofing, there’s a soft polyester fabric that mutes noise and enhances comfort. The protector’s total height is 14 inches, which fits most standard profile mattresses. People with taller models should look to a protector designed for high-profile mattresses, or opt for a skirt-style protector with deep pockets.
After machine washing, make sure to tumble dry the protector on your machine’s lowest heat setting to promote a longer lifespan. High heat can delaminate the waterproof backing. You can purchase this model in six dimensions including California king.
Layla offers free FedEx ground shipping and a 30-night sleep trial to shoppers in the contiguous U.S. The Full Encasement Mattress protector carries a 1-year warranty.
For more personalized mattress protector guides, check out the following pages:
A mattress protector is an extra layer between the fitted sheet and the mattress that defends against dirt and damage. Many protectors also have waterproofing to prevent issues like mold and mildew that could arise from the moisture of sweat, spills, and accidents. While most mattress protectors rest on top of the bed, some wrap all the way around for more comprehensive protection.
In addition to safeguarding the mattress, protectors may also shield the sleeper from irritants that could already reside in the mattress, like allergens, mold, and dust mites.
Mattress protectors, mattress pads, and mattress toppers all typically rest on the surface of a mattress, but they perform different tasks. A mattress protector’s main purpose is to act as a buffer between the sleeper and their bed, though some may alter the feel slightly with cooling effects or added softness.
On the other hand, pads and toppers help alter the feel of the mattress. Pads are thinner for a bit of extra cushioning, while toppers are thicker for a more significant adjustment. Like protectors, pads and toppers can also enhance the lifespan of your mattress, but they do so by preventing some of the normal wear and tear associated with regular use.
Most shoppers don’t put as much thought into the purchase of a mattress protector as they do into their bed, sheet, and pillow selections. However, the right protector can improve your sleep experience and enhance the life expectancy of your mattress, so it’s worth the effort to find the best option for you.
We’ll explain the top things to look for when selecting a mattress protector. These criteria can affect the comfort, performance, convenience, and level of protection.
A mattress protector is just one component of your sleep setup, so selecting an option within your budget is important. On average, mattress protectors usually cost between $50 and $100. However, this will vary based on their materials and construction. Some protectors with additional features, like padding and/or cooling, may cost more, while more basic protectors often cost less.
When assessing the cost, you should also consider the level of protection. Even if the initial price seems high, a mattress protector that significantly extends the life expectancy of your mattress could ultimately save you money. Similarly, protectors with cooling features and padding frequently cost more, but they often do the job of both a protector and a pad or topper, so they may be more affordable than purchasing two separate components.
While not all mattress protectors are waterproof, most are. A waterproof protector may be ideal for children prone to accidents, anyone who tends to sweat, and those who like to eat or drink in bed.
High-quality materials may better shield your mattress and ensure that nothing sneaks through. Additionally, protectors made of high-quality materials should hold up well to regular washings so that you can refresh your sleep surface without needing to replace the protector as often.
Some protectors are built to cool the sleep surface. They generally use special cooling components, like phase change material or eucalyptus fiber. These options may appeal to hot sleepers and those living in warm climates.
Many mattress protectors come with warranties that provide recourse if a qualifying defect occurs. Most warranty policies come at no additional charge, so they’re a nice bonus for buyers.
While protectors are often designed to be quiet or completely silent, some could produce noise when the sleeper moves. This is more likely with waterproof protectors because of their backing. Paying attention to the materials, construction, product description, and customer reviews may give you a better idea of a protector’s noise potential.
A mattress protector could have many advantages depending on its build and materials. We’ll highlight some of the most common potential benefits.
Mattress Protection: As the name suggests, protecting the mattress is the main duty of a mattress protector. However, what it protects against will depend on the protector itself. Some shield against dirt, debris, and allergens. Others protect against sweat and other liquids, and some defend against dust mites and bed bugs.
Reduction in Allergens: Allergens can permeate the surface of a mattress, and since mattresses are usually spot-clean only, it can be virtually impossible to get them out. A protector could stop many allergens from reaching the bed. Most protectors are machine washable, so you can easily freshen up the sleep surface and remove allergens that accumulate. Even if your mattress already contains allergens, the right mattress protector might help isolate them so that they don’t interfere with your sleep.
Durability/Lifespan of Mattress: A waterproof protector can prolong the life of a mattress by preventing damaging liquids from reaching the bed. Moisture can foster mold growth, cause stains, and deteriorate the material, thus jeopardizing comfort and hygiene. Protectors that are not waterproof can also keep a mattress usable longer by limiting dust mites, allergens, and dead skin from accumulating.
Cost Effectiveness: Since protectors typically cost significantly less than a new mattress, they can be a cost-effective way to prolong the life of your bed so that you don’t have to replace it as often.
Ease of Cleaning: Care instructions vary between protectors, but they are generally machine-washable for easy cleaning.
While mattress protectors can provide many benefits, they may not be ideal for all sleepers. For individuals who want to adjust the feel of their bed, the biggest drawback may be that most mattress protectors do not provide much if any cushioning. Some padded protectors are available, but most sleepers who are primarily interested in adjusting the feel of their bed will prefer a topper or pad.
Additionally, protectors may help extend the lifespan of your mattress, but they can’t prevent all wear and tear. Depending on their construction, some protectors could also make noise when you move.
Do I need a mattress protector?
While mattress protectors are not essential and you can use your bed without one, they are an inexpensive way to keep your bed cleaner and prevent long-term damage from liquids. This makes them a good investment for most sleepers. Additionally, many mattress warranty and/or trial policies either require the use of a mattress protector or are voided if the mattress develops stains or other evidence of damage.
How does the mattress protector attach to the bed?
How the mattress protector attaches to the bed depends on the model. Most options affix like a fitted sheet with elastic around the perimeter to hold them in place. However, encasement-style protectors are also available that wrap around the whole mattress and zip shut for full coverage.
Are all mattress protectors waterproof?
The vast majority of mattress protectors are waterproof, but some may not be. Many manufacturers will label the product as a “mattress pad” rather than a “mattress protector” if it isn’t waterproof. However, if protection from liquids is important to you, it’s best to look for an option designed for spills and accidents.
Can mattress protectors adjust the firmness of my bed?
Mattress protectors are generally thin, so they’re unlikely to affect the firmness of the bed. However, some protectors have a bit of cushioning, which could make a bed feel slightly softer. If you’re looking to adjust the firmness of your bed, a mattress topper may be a better choice.
How do I clean my mattress protector?
Owners should clean their mattress protector following the manufacturer’s care instructions to prevent damage. Most protectors can be machine washed in warm or cold water on the gentle cycle with mild detergent and tumble dried on low heat.
Can I iron my mattress protector?
Most waterproof protectors use backing that could be damaged by high heat, so ironing usually isn’t advisable.
Does a mattress protector prevent dust mites or bed bugs?
The level of protection against dust mites and bed bugs varies between mattress protectors. Encasement-style protectors are more likely to shield against these pests than fitted-sheet-style options because they wrap around the whole mattress. However, if dust mite and bed bug protection is a priority, you should look for options specifically designed for the task.
What’s the difference between a mattress protector and a mattress topper or mattress pad?
Purpose and thickness are the main differences between a mattress protector, a mattress pad, and a mattress topper. A mattress protector is traditionally thin and engineered to shield your mattress. Mattress pads usually add a bit of cushioning but are not built for protection. Toppers are thicker layers intended to alter the softness or firmness of your mattress.
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