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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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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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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.
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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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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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Protecting your mattress from irritants can both extend its lifespan and help you achieve a restful night’s sleep. The BreatheCool Mattress Protector from WinkBeds is designed to be a hypoallergenic barrier that safeguards your mattress from wear and tear as well as common allergens. Additionally, this model boasts waterproof fabric that protects against spills.
The BreathCool Protector stretches over the top of your bed similarly to a fitted sheet. It’s compatible with mattresses up to 18 inches tall, making it a worthy choice for high-profile models. Shoppers can purchase this protector in six standard sizes including California king.
Its price-point is within the average range for a well-made protector and it should prove to be reasonably durable. Though returns aren’t accepted on the BreatheCool Mattress Protector, WinkBeds offers free shipping within the contiguous U.S.
Best for Deep Pocket Mattresses
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Tempur-Pedic is well-known for crafting high-quality sleep products, and the TEMPUR-Protect Mattress Protector is no exception. This protector is particularly beneficial for people with high-profile mattresses, as it’s engineered to fit those 8 to 16 inches tall. Though its price-point is above average, shoppers who want a well-made protector with a substantial warranty may find Tempur-Pedic’s model worth the cost.
The TEMPUR-Protect boasts multiple fabrics, each of which has a different feature. Proprietary ThermalSense fabric helps regulate temperature so you don’t get too warm, while a polyurethane laminate layer acts as a waterproof barrier. The perimeter is crafted from CertainFit Mesh, which stretches to fit securely around your mattress.
To preserve the protector’s lifespan, wash using a cold, gentle cycle and tumble dry with low heat. In addition to standard mattress dimensions, the TEMPUR-Protect is available in less common sizes including spilt king and split California king. Tempur-Pedic backs its protector with a 10-year warranty. Shipping is free for shoppers who live in the contiguous U.S. Returns are not accepted on this item.
A 100-night trial allows customers to return their protector for a full refund of the purchase price if they decide it isn’t right for them, while a 1-year limited warranty covers defects.
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The GhostProtector from GhostBed is a waterproof mattress protector with many attractive features for shoppers. 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. 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.
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 is a soft knit that’s crafted from a blend of cotton and microfiber. This 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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Shoppers who don’t want to sacrifice comfort for function or waterproof protection will appreciate the DreamCloud Premium Mattress Protector’s commitment to both. The quilted protector is crafted with down alternative fill and a 300 thread count cotton shell, resulting in a very plush feel similar to a mattress pad.
Baffle box stitching keeps the protector’s down-alternative fill in place and prevents it from migrating or shifting. The 1-inch quilted top layer is intended to feel plush and cozy, while the bottom layer protects against spills and stains. DreamCloud has engineered its protector to be waterproof and noiseless, which may appeal to sleepers who want to avoid the crinkling sound that’s common among waterproof mattress protectors.
The cotton fabric is intended to breathe well and shouldn’t retain too much heat. Designed to work with most mattress heights, the 15-inch pocket depth can stretch to fit high-profile beds that measure between 16-22 inches. Sleepers can machine wash and tumble dry this protector. For best results, use cold water and low heat.
Shoppers in the contiguous U.S. qualify for free shipping on the DreamCloud Premium Mattress Protector. Sleepers can return unopened mattress protectors within 50 days to qualify for a full refund.
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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