The Best Pillow Protectors for Dust, Allergens, and More

Consider these recommendations for the best pillow protector to create a dust, moisture, and allergen barrier between your pillow and pillowcase.

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The Best Pillow Protector Option

Photo: amazon.com

If you frequently awaken to a stuffy nose and sneezing, you may be the victim of allergy-causing particles trapped in your pillow. You may want to consider using a pillow protector to create a barrier between the pillow and the pillowcase to protect you from allergens.

Choose from cotton, polyester, or microfiber fabrics and consider their hypoallergenic, antimicrobial, or cooling properties. Launder these machine-washable pillow protectors every two to three months to get rid of dust mites, pollen, pet dander, and other allergens that may affect your health. Read on to find the best pillow protector for your bedroom.

  1. BEST OVERALL: National Allergy 100% Cotton Pillow Protector
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Utopia Bedding 12-Pack Microfiber Pillow Covers
  3. BEST WATERPROOF: Everlasting Comfort Waterproof Pillow Protectors 
  4. BEST ANTIMICROBIAL: AllerEase Pillow Protector Antimicrobial 2 Pack
  5. BEST HYPOALLERGENIC: AllerEase Allergy Protection Pillow Protectors
The Best Pillow Protector Option

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Pillow Protector 

Selecting the best pillow protector depends on a few factors, including price, type, and size. Also consider fabric: For allergy sufferers, hypoallergenic or antimicrobial pillow protectors may be the best solution. Before making a decision, learn about the properties of each type of fabric and decide if you need a cooling or breathable fabric. Design, color, and patterns also may influence the decision.

Pillow Type

Pillows are available to suit three basic sleeping positions. Those who usually sleep on their back or stomach may prefer thinner pillows with less loft (height), which are designed to align the neck with the spine. On the other hand, side sleepers may want a thicker pillow with higher loft to hold their head in a balanced position.

In addition to loft, pillows vary according to their filling. For those allergic to down, polyester fiberfill may be an option. Memory foam, a more expensive filling, doesn’t clump like polyester fiberfill but may emit a chemical odor when new. Natural down-feather pillows are soft, lightweight, and easy to shape, but the feathers can cause allergic reactions in some sleepers.

Size

Bed pillows are available in three sizes: standard, which measures 20 by 26 inches; queen, at 20 by 30 inches; and king, which measures 20 by 36 inches. Manufacturers produce pillow protectors in all three sizes.

Material 

Pillow protectors are available in a variety of fabric choices as well.

  • Organic cotton, soft, durable, and breathable, is grown without the use of pesticides or synthetic fertilizers.
  • All-natural, 100 percent cotton is soft, breathable, and comfortable, and it can help regulate temperature.
  • Special cooling fibers make pillow protectors feel cool to the touch and offer a solution for hot sleepers.
  • Polyester microfiber fabric is soft and smooth, but it may not be as breathable as 100 percent cotton.
  • Some fabrics are treated with an antimicrobial finish to inhibit the growth of bacteria and buildup of allergens.
  • Hypoallergenic fabrics have an extra-small weave to block particles such as dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and bed bugs.
  • Waterproof pillow protectors incorporate an impermeable membrane into the fabric.

Thread Count

Thread count refers to the number of threads in a square inch of fabric. A higher thread count usually indicates higher-quality fabric with extra softness and durability. Thread count, however, isn’t always a reliable indicator of quality. For example, fabric made with a low-quality thin cotton thread results in a high number of threads per square inch, but not better quality.

Zipper vs. Slip Case

To protect pillows from moisture, sweat, dirt, dust, and tiny particles that may cause an allergic reaction, pillow protectors work best when they completely enclose the pillow.

  • Most pillow protectors feature a zipper on one end to fully encase the pillow and seal off outside elements.
  • Other pillow protectors feature a slip case design, which means they’re open on one end to make them easy to remove.

Colors and Patterns

Many manufacturers offer their pillow protectors in only one color option—solid white—which allows the user to choose a pillowcase in any color or pattern. However, colored protectors are available.

Our Top Picks

This list was chosen based on fabric type, design, antimicrobial, and hypoallergenic properties. These are the top picks for the best pillow protectors.

Best Overall

The Best Pillow Protector Options: National Allergy 100% Cotton Pillow Protector
Photo: amazon.com

Enjoy the comfort of 100 percent cotton in this pillow protector from National Allergy without worrying about bed bugs, dust mites, or other pests or allergens. The breathable, protective cotton weave has a pore size of only 3 to 4 microns. The tiny openings allow the air to get through, but block allergy-causing particles. This durable, double-stitched cover fully encloses the pillow and features a rust-proof, auto-locking nylon zipper.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Pillow Protector Options: Utopia Bedding 12-Pack Microfiber Pillow Covers
Photo: amazon.com

These Utopia Bedding Microfiber Pillow Covers feature smooth, brushed microfiber fabric that promotes comfortable sleeping while protecting your pillows from dust and allergens. These pillow covers are constructed of durable, strong microfiber polyester fabric that resists wrinkles, stains, and fading. With a slip case design, they’re open at one end.

Best Waterproof

The Best Pillow Protector Options: Everlasting Comfort Waterproof Pillow Protectors
Photo: amazon.com

Protect your pillow from sweat, spilled coffee, or other liquids. Using a combination of 80 percent cotton, 20 percent polyester, and a unique impermeable membrane, these Everlasting Comfort covers provide 100 percent waterproofing protection. The membrane lets air through but keeps out moisture.

Fully enclosing the pillow with a zippered closure, these pillow protectors not only guard against the intrusion of dust mites, pollens, bed bugs, and other allergens, but they also keep the feathers from down pillows from poking through.

Best Antimicrobial

The Best Pillow Protector Options: AllerEase Pillow Protector Antimicrobial 2 Pack
Photo: amazon.com

Sleeping on a pillow that attracts and holds allergens may result in morning congestion and sneezing. The antimicrobial fabric finish on these AllerEase pillow protectors helps inhibit bacterial growth and create a barrier to allergy-causing elements.

With a zippered closure, these pillow protectors fully encase the pillow. Made from 88 percent polyester and 12 percent nylon, the surface of these pillow protectors offers temperature balancing for comfortable sleep. Patented temperature-balancing technology is designed to adjust to body heat.

Best Hypoallergenic

The Best Pillow Protector Options: AllerEase Allergy Protection Pillow Protectors
Photo: amazon.com

Made from 100 percent breathable and natural cotton with a 200-thread count, these pillow protectors from AllerEase offer a barrier to allergy-causing particles.

Each pore in the fabric measures less than 10 microns to block household allergens while allowing air to circulate. The covers are made of 100 percent cotton material and have a zippered closure.

FAQs About Pillow Protectors 

Pillow protectors can extend the life of your pillows as well as protect you from congestion and sneezing caused by pesky allergens. Answers to additional questions about pillow protectors appear below.

Q. What are pillow protectors made of?

Pillow protectors are typically made of fabric such as cotton, polyester, or microfiber.

Q. Are pillow protectors waterproof?

Some pillow protectors are waterproof while others aren’t. Waterproof pillow protectors include an impermeable membrane in their construction.

Q. How often should pillow protectors be changed?

Pillow protectors are designed to be used under pillowcases to form a protective barrier for the pillow. Change and wash them every two to three months or more frequently if they often get moist from sweat or spills.

Q. How do you keep pillows from sweating?

Pillow protectors made from 100 percent cotton provide a breathable layer to keep pillows from sweating.

Q. How long do pillow protectors last?

Check the manufacturer’s recommendation regarding when to replace your pillow protector.