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A bed bug mattress cover can help prevent and treat bed bug infestations by tightly sealing a mattress.
In this article, we explore whether bed bug mattress covers work to prevent infestations. We also provide a list of some of the best bed bug mattress covers available on the market.
Bed bug prevention is not always possible, but people can use risk management strategies to minimize infestations.
The key to limiting the effects of bed bugs is to detect them in the mattress as early as possible. Early detection allows for:
- reducing the risk of spreading
- controlling the infestation
- lowering the risk of bites
The detection of bed bugs can be challenging. Research has shown that although trained dogs can detect bed bugs in a controlled environment, their success rate in a real world setting is low.
Other options include two types of bed bug-monitoring devices: active and passive. Active traps have various attractants, such as heat, carbon dioxide, and other chemicals. Passive traps do not have attractants, but they act as a shelter for bed bugs. So far, tests with passive traps have demonstrated that they are not effective.
To minimize infestation risks, people can learn how to recognize signs of bed bugs while traveling.
In student accommodation and other shared or temporary lodging, using external bedding and linen can help reduce the likelihood of a bed bug infestation.
Bed bug mattress covers or encasements provide fewer hiding spots for bed bugs. Their white color makes it easier to detect bed bugs. Also, if a person spots bed bugs on a mattress cover, they do not need to discard the whole mattress.
Manufacturers of bed bug mattress covers also use a membrane that is resistant to bed bugs. The bugs can neither penetrate nor bite through the material of the membrane.
People can use bed bug mattress covers to encase an infested mattress completely or minimize the risk of a mattress becoming infested.
Encasing an infested mattress causes the bed bugs to die of starvation over time. Bed bugs can survive up to 6 months without feeding at 22°C. Therefore, the encasement must remain in place for longer than 6 months.
The bed bug mattress covers that people use to minimize infestations may still become infested. In these situations, people can remove the infested bed bug mattress cover and sanitize it with hot wash and hot dry cycles. These harsh sanitation methods will not compromise the integrity of the mattress cover.
After sanitizing and drying the bed bug mattress cover, the user must put it back on the mattress immediately.
Below, we look at five of the best bed bug mattress covers that people can purchase.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these covers. All product information is purely research-based.
SafeRest Premium Zippered Mattress Encasement
This hypoallergenic and waterproof mattress cover is designed for bed bug prevention.
The micro-zipper closes the entire way to ensure that there are no small gaps that bed bugs can enter. There is also a Velcro flap over the end zipper to create a complete seal.
SureGuard Box Spring Encasement
This waterproof mattress cover contains a super fine zipper, using Invisi-Zip and SureSeal technology to encase the mattress completely and seal it off from bed bug infestation.
Bed bugs are unable to enter the mattress or escape an infested mattress.
This mattress encasement is simple to install and clean.
Utopia Bedding Premium Mattress Encasement
The zippered cover encloses the mattress so that bed bugs living in bed rails, carpets, luggage, or other items cannot enter.
The zip guard ensures that the zipper tightly and completely seals the mattress.
CleanRest Mattress Encasement
This product has a Zip-N-Click patented self-locking zipper enclosure. It snaps shut to stop bed bugs from infesting the mattress. The patented zipper also prevents accidental openings.
The company claim that this product allows for a cooler and dryer sleep. They also state that this zipper technology is easier to use and more secure than Velcro flaps.
The mattress encasement comes with a 5-year warranty.
Protect-A-Bed AllerZip Smooth Encasement
This product keeps the mattress clean and bed bug-proof.
It has a patented BugLock Secure Seal, which is a three-sided zipper that prevents bed bugs from entering or escaping the mattress.
The mattress cover has Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have classified it as a class 1 medical device.
There is no specific treatment for bed bug bites. For itching and inflammation, over-the-counter topical corticosteroids and oral antihistamines may help.
People who present with a skin reaction from a bed bug bite may find that topical steroids help control the inflammation.
Without treatment, experts suggest that bed bug bite symptoms will disappear within 1–2 weeks.
If the bites appear infected, the person will require medical attention. In some cases, doctors may recommend antibiotic or antiseptic treatment.
Some people may develop severe anxiety or a secondary delusional infestation-like syndrome associated with bed bugs. For these individuals, psychological therapy may help.
People may require pest control services to prevent an infestation from spreading or to eradicate bed bugs from a home or lodging.
It is not always possible to prevent bed bug infestations, but risk management strategies may reduce the risk of infestations and bites.
Bed bug mattress covers work by sealing an infested mattress. Once sealed, the bed bugs may not escape. Without food, they will eventually die over time.
Using a bed bug mattress cover on a noninfested mattress may prevent bed bugs from entering the mattress in the first place.