The Best Mattress Protectors for the Bedroom
The best mattress protector keeps liquids, allergens, and pests out, yet it is quiet and comfortable.
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- BEST OVERALLSafeRest Premium ProtectorSEE IT
- RUNNER-UPLUNA Premium Mattress ProtectorSEE IT
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCKLinenspa Premium Smooth Fabric Mattress ProtectorSEE IT
Mattresses are a major financial investment that can make sleep more comfortable, so buyers want them to last for years. A mattress protector puts a defensive barrier between the body and the mattress to further the life of the mattress. Plus, protectors repel body fluids, liquids, dust, dust mites, allergens, and, in some cases, bedbugs. The best mattress protectors are also easy to wash and dry. This buying guide includes some of the best mattress protectors available.
- BEST OVERALL: SafeRest Premium Mattress Protector
- RUNNER-UP: LUNA Premium Mattress Protector
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: LINENSPA Premium Smooth Fabric Mattress Protector
- BEST HYPOALLERGENIC: SureGuard Mattress Protector
- BEST WATERPROOF: ZAMAT Premium 100% Waterproof Mattress Protector
- BEST COOLING: Red Nomad Waterproof Mattress Protector
- BEST COTTON: AirExpect Waterproof Mattress Protector
- BEST BAMBOO: Utopia Bedding Bamboo Mattress Protector
Types of Mattress Protectors
Mattress protectors come in many types and varieties, including pad protectors, fitted protectors, and mattress encasements. The climate, presence of allergens, and personal preferences come into play when you decide what features you want in the best mattress protector for you.
Pad protectors are somewhere between a mattress topper and mattress protector. They provide extra padding and are a barrier from dirt, dust, and body fluids. Some pad protectors have elastic straps at the corners to hold them in place, providing protection for only the top of the mattress. Others are like fitted protectors with a padded top and fitted sides.
Pad protectors may be hypoallergenic and/or waterproof but some are designed as a padded layer of protection that stops dust and dirt. They’re sometimes used to provide extra padding over a fitted protector or mattress encasement.
Some pad protectors come in standard twin, queen, and king sizes, while others are made in lengths and widths that make them smaller than a standard mattress. These smaller models provide a highly portable waterproof barrier that’s used on one side of the bed or the other. Pad protectors are easy to use and wash since they’re usually machine washable and dryable.
A fitted protector is put on the mattress the same way as a fitted sheet. They have elastic edges that tuck under the mattress to hold them in place. These models often have waterproof tops and some are hypoallergenic as well. While they don’t provide waterproof protection on the sides of the mattress, they’re an effective barrier against allergens, skin cells, and dust.
Waterproof models often have cotton or absorbent top layers with vinyl or vinyl-like second layers that act as fluid barriers. Hypoallergenic fitted protectors typically have waterproof membranes on the back of their fabric top layers and are free of vinyl and other materials that trigger common allergies. Like pad protectors, fitted protectors are relatively easy to clean in comparison to cleaning a mattress. Almost all protectors are machine washable and many are able to withstand machine drying, too.
Mattress encasements provide the next level in allergen and bed bug protection. They fully cover all sides of the mattress, like a giant pillowcase, and zip closed. Encasements are a viable option for those with severe allergies or for anyone who lives in an area where bedbug infestations are common.
Mattress encasements may be waterproof and/or hypoallergenic. They don’t provide padding, so some people pair them with fitted or pad protectors. Mattress encasements take some work to install, because you have to lift the entire mattress. If it’s covered with a pad or fitted protector, you can wash the encasement less often, opting to more frequently clean the smaller protector.
What to Consider When You Buy a Best Mattress Protector
Mattress protectors are made in different combinations of fabrics and materials that suit specific preferences. Some combinations create more noise, while others are more breathable. The materials, temperature control, and resistance to liquids and spills are a few of the features and characteristics to consider when you decide on a mattress protector.
Mattress protectors are made in a wide variety of materials, including but not limited to polyester, cotton, bamboo, down, vinyl, and polyurethane. Cotton and bamboo add breathability, which prevents overheating plus adds absorbency to the mattress protector.
Vinyl, polyurethane, and similar materials create waterproof barriers. Some protectors have waterproof membranes that allow air but not liquids to pass through, which enhances breathability so sleepers don’t overheat.
Mattress protectors come in sizes smaller than a crib sheet all the way up to king size. If you need extra protection for a child that has nighttime accidents, a small pad protector might be all that you need.
Fitted protectors and mattress encasements are available in standard mattress sizes, including twin, twin long, full, queen, king, and California king. Not all mattress protectors and encasements come in every size.
Resistance to Liquids & Spills
Mattress protectors provide a barrier between the mattress top and body fluids and other liquids. Some mattress protectors are water-resistant, which means they can prevent fluids from seeping into the mattress for a short time. This type of mattress protector is best when you want to protect the mattress from sweat or an occasional spill.
If the mattress is at risk for heavier spills and messes, opt for a mattress protector that’s 100 percent waterproof. These waterproof mattress protectors usually have a vinyl, polyurethane, or waterproof membrane attached to it and some are covered by a more absorbent, breathable fabric such as cotton, polyester, or bamboo. Waterproof membranes allow heat and air to pass through but block liquids, so they’re more breathable than protectors with vinyl or polyurethane.
Vinyl and polyurethane trap body heat, which may be uncomfortable for some. Natural fibers like cotton and bamboo are naturally breathable, absorbent and are often used as a top layer over a vinyl or polyurethane protector to enhance breathability. Some mattress protectors also include airflow or breathability technology that increases the exchange of air through the mattress protector, further reducing heat retention.
Wear & Tear Prevention
You may be among those that made a $2,000-plus investment for your mattress, so you want it to last at least eight to 10 years. When you consider most people spend eight hours or more in bed, it’s easy to understand how a protective barrier can lengthen a mattress’s life.
Protectors that fully encase the mattress also protect it from bedbugs, which can destroy a mattress or require costly fumigation.
Fitted protectors and mattress encasements provide the best allergy barriers. Look for models specifically designed to guard against common allergens such as dust, dust mites, and pollen. Waterproof models may also provide protection from allergy-triggering mold and mildew.
It’s important to note that some mattress protectors contain vinyl and other materials that may trigger allergies. If you need to protect those with allergies, remember to look for a protector that’s hypoallergenic.
In some areas of the country, bedbugs are a serious issue. Once they’ve infested a mattress, it’s expensive to fumigate it and it may need to be destroyed. Not all mattress protectors provide an adequate bedbug barrier, so consider an encasement that specifically guards against bedbugs.
Some fitted protectors can help keep out bedbugs too, but they leave the bottom of the mattress open for an infestation. It’s better to use them in conjunction with a mattress encasement for two layers of bedbug protection.
Our Top Picks
The best mattress protectors have several, if not all, of the features and characteristics that truly protect a mattress. The models on this list successfully block dust, dirt, and other debris. Many of these models are also waterproof and hypoallergenic to further protect the mattress.
1. BEST OVERALL: SafeRest Premium Protector
The SafeRest Premium Hypoallergenic Waterproof Mattress Protector ticks all the boxes when it comes to premium mattress protection. It has a hypoallergenic cotton terry top layer with a waterproof membrane backing that gives this protector breathability but prevents liquids from seeping into the mattress. Even though this model is waterproof, it isn’t noisy since it blends seamlessly with the mattress during movement. It’s also OKEO-TEX Standard 100 certified, which means the SafeRest was tested and found to be free of harmful substances like PVC and VOCs. This makes it a safe choice for people with allergies and chemical sensitivities. The SafeRest’s deep pocket fits mattresses up to 18-inches thick, which accommodates most modern mattresses. This machine-washable model safely tumbles dry on low heat. The SafeRest includes a 10-year warranty to protect from defects in materials or manufacturing.
2. RUNNER-UP: LUNA Premium Mattress Protector
The LUNA’s soft terry cloth top layer cradles the body while it offers breathability and absorbency. It’s backed with LUNA AirFlow Technology that allows air to circulate but prevents liquid seepage into the mattress. It also cuts down on heat buildup for a cooler night’s sleep. The hypoallergenic cotton surface doesn’t make noise, so it’s less likely to wake light sleepers. Its design materials keep out common allergens like dust, dust mites, and pollen. LUNA uses Invisi-Lay technology that keeps the protector flexible, so it doesn’t change the feel of the mattress. Finally, the LUNA comes with a 15-year warranty as long as the user follows all washing and use instructions.
3. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Linenspa Premium Smooth Fabric Mattress Protector
Linenspa’s mattress protector has a liquid-proof membrane that lets air and heat pass through but keeps liquids on the surface. It effectively prevents body fluids such as sweat and urine from penetrating the mattress, yet lets the body breathe to prevent overheating. Dust mite and allergen protection are also built into the design. This protector has an ultra-thin fabric that doesn’t crinkle under movement, making it a quiet, hypoallergenic alternative for light sleepers. It’s backed by a 10-year warranty.
4. BEST HYPOALLERGENIC: SureGuard Mattress Protector
Dust mites feed on dead skin cells. The SureGuard creates a barrier between the sleeper and dust mites and pollen that have made their way into the mattress. At the same time, it keeps allergens from permeating the mattress, and the hypoallergenic back acts as a barrier against water, bacteria, mildew, and mold. Although the SureGuard provides excellent protection, it doesn’t change the feel of the mattress. The lightweight fabric moves with the mattress to cut down on noise and enhances breathability so the sleeper stays comfortable. SureGuard’s mattress protectors are GreenGuard Gold certified, so they’re free of substances like fire retardants and Phthalates. This protector also comes with a 10-year warranty.
5. BEST WATERPROOF: ZAMAT Premium 100% Waterproof Mattress Protector
The ZAMAT’s soft terry cloth top layer prevents noise but also wicks away moisture as part of its waterproof features. It’s backed with TPU technology that repels liquid and keeps it on the surface of the mattress for easy clean up. An OEKO-TEX certification assures that chemicals and materials, such as phthalates and PVCs, are not in this mattress protector. It’s machine washable but has high-durability elastic at the edges to withstand repeated machine washing and drying. ZAMAT offers 24-hour customer service and a warranty.
6. BEST COOLING: Red Nomad Waterproof Mattress Protector
Cool flow technology circulates air and heat through the mattress protector yet keeps the mattress safe from allergens and liquids. This protection comes with an OEKO-TEX certification, which means the protector is free of PVC, vinyl, and other potentially harmful substances. It’s also quiet during nighttime movements, so it won’t disrupt light sleepers. A deep 18-inch pocket fits most standard mattresses. Red Nomad provides a full 90-day, money-back guarantee backed by a solid 15-year replacement warranty.
7. BEST COTTON: AirExpect Waterproof Mattress Protector
Sensitive skin may not tolerate synthetic fabrics. Mattress protectors with 100 percent cotton, like the AirExpect, are gentle and naturally breathable. When backed with a waterproof TPU membrane, it keeps water on the surface of the mattress. The AirExpect also has airflow technology that allows air to circulate through the mattress protector to reduce heat retention.
This mattress protector has a noise-reducing surface that also doesn’t allow bacteria or allergens to enter the mattress. With a deep 18-inch pocket, it can fit most modern mattresses. The warranty-backed protector is also hypoallergenic and free of fire retardants, phthalates, PVC, and vinyl.
8. BEST BAMBOO: Utopia Bedding Bamboo Mattress Protector
Utopia’s bamboo mattress protector combines the natural breathability and softness of bamboo with ultra-tech polyester. The soft top layer repels liquids, while the TPU membrane keeps that liquid on the surface. As well, the membrane allows air and heat to pass through the mattress, which enhances airflow and heat circulation. The membrane doesn’t crinkle like vinyl or plastic so that translates into a quieter night’s sleep. The company backs the protector with a warranty.
Utopia also has a smooth grip system in the skirt that makes it easier to stretch around the edge of the mattress. A 17-inch pocket fits many modern mattresses and stays snug throughout the night. It’s designed for a tight fit that works well for restless sleepers as it stays in place despite heavy movements.