Bed bug infestations are a pain in more ways than one. These pesky insects don’t just make your skin crawl; they feed on human blood. Their bites can leave itchy welts behind—on top of the mental anguish they can cause. For an affordable and simple tool for preventing bed bugs, add a bed bug mattress cover.
While a bed bug mattress protector won’t fully eliminate the chance of an infestation, a high-quality cover offers protective benefits and can help with early bed bug detection. Below are shopping considerations to keep in mind when choosing the best bed bug mattress cover as well as some top recommendations.
- BEST OVERALL: SafeRest Premium Bed Bug Mattress Encasement
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Utopia Bedding Zippered Mattress Encasement
- BEST HYPOALLERGENIC: Aller-Ease Maximum Allergy Mattress Protector
- BEST FOR DEEP MATTRESSES: LUCID Encasement Mattress Protector
- BEST PILLOW COVERS: National Allergy 4 Pack Bed Bug Proof Pillow Cover
- BEST BOX SPRING COVER: HOSPITOLOGY PRODUCTS Zippered Box Spring Encasement
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Bed Bug Mattress Cover
The best way to deal with bed bugs is to prevent them in the first place. A mattress cover makes it harder for bed bugs to hide, covering up favorite hiding spots, like under mattress seams. This discourages bed bugs from setting up camp in the mattress, although they still can thrive elsewhere in your home.
The next best thing is to spot bed bugs early to prevent a widespread infestation. The smooth and stark white surface of a mattress cover makes it easy to spot bed bugs or their waste.
A bed bug mattress cover is one tool among many to prevent or treat a bed bug infestation. When selecting an effective cover, consider the size, material, encasement options, and certification. Additional features like waterproof layers and allergen protection can further protect your mattress.
Bed bug mattress covers come in common mattress sizes from twin to California king. Ideally, the mattress cover should fit snugly. This contributes most to comfortable sleep and leaves a smooth surface to easily spot bed bugs and deter newcomers. A too-small cover won’t fit, while a cover that is too large will rustle and fold, leaving uncomfortable wrinkles and giving bed bugs a place to hide.
When selecting a bed bug cover, also consider the mattress thickness. Most bed bug mattress covers fit mattresses measuring 9 to 12 inches thick. For thicker mattresses, look for a larger encasement.
Bed bug covers typically come in cotton, polyester, bamboo, polyurethane, or vinyl. When it comes to material, the main concerns are comfort and noise.
Cotton offers a plush and comfortable outer layer. Polyester is another soft and often more affordable alternative. Many cotton and polyester encasements are breathable and have an inner waterproof backing made of polyurethane. Vinyl, another common option, is thick and waterproof but tends to trap heat and rustle with movement.
Breathable materials offer the most comfort. A high-quality mattress cover’s design should allow airflow but have pores small enough to prevent bed bugs from creeping through. When used as a proactive measure, the bed bugs won’t be able to enter the encasement and hide in the mattress. During an active infestation, the encasement traps the bed bugs so they eventually starve to death.
Due to their secure zippered design, mattress encasements are more effective than mattress covers, which offer very little protection. A high-quality encasement covers the entire mattress and has a secure, sealed zipper that is difficult for bed bugs to penetrate. This design keeps bed bugs out and prevents them from setting up home in the mattress. It also can trap bed bugs inside and keep them from biting during an active infestation.
Bed bugs can’t bite through a well-designed mattress encasement. However, if they are outside the encasement or if they find their way past the zipper, they can continue to wreak havoc. For this reason, bug-proof zippers are a key feature to consider.
Bed bug covers can include a variety of features for even better mattress protection. Liquid resistance, wear and tear prevention, temperature control, and hypoallergenic designs can lead to an even more comfortable and functional bed bug mattress cover.
- Liquid resistance: Spill-resistant and waterproof covers protect the mattress from spills, leaks, and accidents. This feature protects the mattress from stains and can be especially useful for children’s beds.
- Wear and tear prevention: Bed bugs are tiny insects, so any small gaps or holes are enough to ruin the integrity of a bed bug mattress cover. A sturdy mattress cover holds up to daily use; considering the heavy use a mattress undergoes every day, this is an important feature. Mattress covers also protect the mattress underneath from wear and tear.
- Temperature control: Hot sleepers should look for breathable materials like cotton, polyester, and bamboo. These lighter materials encourage airflow to keep a mattress cool.
- Hypoallergenic: Due to their tight weave, many bed bug mattress covers also help allergy sufferers. Hypoallergenic mattress covers protect mattresses from allergens like dust mites and pet dander. Their tight weave prevents these particles from reaching the mattress, and allergens instead stay on the surface of the encasement where they can be cleaned away easily by washing the cover.
Some bed bug mattress covers are lab tested or certified by entomologists (scientists who study insects) and other third-party entities. While there is no single industry-standard certification, these claims can offer some peace of mind. They indicate that the product is held to a certain standard or has been evaluated against bed bugs.
Most of these certified covers have features like bite-proof material and an escape-proof design, including an effective zipper seal. By involving entomologists, pest control experts, or third-party testing, makers of certified products claim expert knowledge and testing behind their product design.
Our Top Picks
The best bed bug mattress covers are comfortable, functional, and have a well-designed zipper. Adding a box-spring cover and pillow protectors can boost protection. With the above shopping considerations in mind, these top bed bug mattress covers can protect your mattress and aid in a comfortable night’s sleep.
To protect from bed bugs, allergens, and messes, this premium mattress encasement from SafeRest is waterproof with a tight zipper seal. The company says its protective design has been independently lab tested and certified bed bug-proof. The effective design includes a micro-zipper, which has fine teeth that prevent even the smallest young bed bugs from creeping through. The zipper closes all the way to the end, where a closing Velcro feature prevents accidental opening.
With a polyurethane membrane layer and a plush cotton-terry surface, this encasement is breathable, noiseless, and spill-proof. Along with bed bug protection, it will keep allergens, stains, and spills from reaching the mattress. Available sizes range from twin to California king, and SafeRest also offers mattress thickness options ranging from 6 inches to 18 inches to ensure a snug fit.
Made to protect mattresses up to 15 inches thick, this cost-friendly mattress encasement from Utopia Bedding guards mattresses from more than just bed bugs. This protector is made from a stretchy knitted polyester fabric and features a waterproof polyurethane backing on all six sides. This design offers a soft and quiet sleeping surface while protecting the mattress from spills and stains on all sides.
To defend from bed bugs and dust mites, this protector has a tight zipper to completely enclose the mattress. A zipper cover prevents any gaps in protection, guarding the zipper from opening and providing another feature that makes this cover a top pick for mattress protection.
Mattresses can hold on to all kinds of airborne allergens. Fortunately, many bed bug mattress covers, like this mattress encasement from Aller-Ease, can also protect from allergens. The protector provides a barrier against liquid messes, bed bugs, and allergen particles like pollen, dust mites, and pet dander. With a soft outer layer and an inner waterproof membrane, this cover is quiet, soft, and protective. The zipper is bed bug-proof and has a protective cover to ensure bed bugs can’t shimmy past.
Washing bedding in hot water is effective for ridding materials of some allergens, like dust mites. Many bed bug mattress encasements are hard to remove and recommend cold-water washing. To make cleaning simpler, this protector is easy to remove and is machine washable in hot water.
This mattress encasement from LUCID features a deep-pocket design to fit mattresses from 6 to 18 inches thick. Full-length elastic on the bottom of the encasement adjusts to a range of mattress depths. This design helps create a smooth and secure fit for wrinkle-free protection from all sides.
To protect from bed bugs, allergens, and liquids, the waterproof encasement features a lightweight polyester surface on top of a polyurethane barrier. The thin polyester is quiet and breathable to avoid changing the feel of a mattress. To ensure this protector is both functional and comfortable, a watertight zipper with a sealing bug flap thwarts creepy crawlies, including bed bugs.
The thought of bed bugs in a pillow is enough to make most people squeamish. This National Allergy four-pack of standard-size pillow encasements guards fluffy pillows from bed bugs and allergens for a more comfortable sleep. Each pillow encasement is made from a tightly woven, 100 percent cotton material with no urethane or membrane material, making the barrier cool, comfortable, and quiet.
Instead of an impermeable membrane, the protector relies on a super-fine fabric weave to keep away bed bugs and particles. Double-stitching and a locking zipper further protect from bed bugs, dust mites, and other allergens. This makes for a truly breathable allergen barrier that is certified Asthma and Allergy Friendly by the AAFA (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America).
Covering a mattress still leaves other parts of the bed vulnerable. Bed bugs can make a home on almost any surface with crevices for hiding, including inside a box spring. This box spring encasement from Hospitology Products is bed bug and allergen proof.
Made from polyester, the soft and stretchy knit fabric fits over a range of box spring sizes. The encasement features double-hemmed binding stitching and a zipper lock with a cover to prevent any gaps that bed bugs can squeeze through. To ensure a smooth fit, sizes from twin to king are available as well as two different depth sizes to fit box springs from 5 inches to 11 inches deep.
FAQs About Bed Bug Mattress Covers
A quality bed bug mattress cover is one tool of many in a bed bug-prevention arsenal. For more tips on choosing the best bed bug mattress cover for your bedroom, consider the commonly asked questions and answers below.
Q. How do you check for bed bugs?
The best way to check for bed bugs is to scan the entire bed for visual signs of a bed bug infestation. Look for reddish stains, dark pin-prick size excrement spots, tiny white eggs or eggshells, and live bed bugs. Check along the seams, tags, cracks, and every surface of the mattress, box spring, and bedframe.
Q. Can bed bugs bite through mattress encasements?
No, bed bugs are not able to bite through a bed bug mattress encasement.
Q. How often should I wash my bed bug mattress covers?
It depends on the intended use. Bed bug mattress covers don’t necessarily need to be washed, and some users treat them as part of the mattress. You even can place a mattress protector over top. Those using a cover as a preventive measure or mattress protector can wash the encasements once every month or two.
If the cover is being used to deal with an existing bed bug infestation, it should not be removed for upward of a year. Some bed bugs can survive a year without feeding, so removing the encasement preemptively could release surviving pests. Consider also using products like bed bug sprays or traps to deal with an ongoing infestation.