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People may wish to maintain the quality of their mattress by using a mattress protector. The best mattress protectors offer protection from spills, allergens, and keep people cool while they sleep.

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Generally, mattress protectors can help maintain a mattress, improve a person’s sleep environment, and boost comfort.

They may be beneficial for people who enjoy eating or drinking in bed and those prone to accidents. Many healthcare settings may also use mattress protectors on hospital beds.

Sleep plays a vital role in optimal health. Adults need 7 or more hours of sleep per day, but roughly 7–19% of adults in the United States report not getting enough sleep. This can result in potential health complications.

Choosing the correct mattress is one way to try to achieve better sleep, and using a mattress protector may be one way to prolong the life and quality of a mattress.

A mattress protector is a piece of bedding that sits on top of a mattress.

Typically, a person will place a mattress protector over the top of a mattress in the same way that they may fit a sheet. Modern mattress protectors are often elasticated to make fitting them easier.

Generally speaking, the purpose of a mattress protector is to:

  • protect the mattress and prolong its quality
  • make the sleeping environment healthy and hygienic
  • improve the comfort of the mattress

When it comes to buying a new mattress protector, a person may wish to consider the following:

  • size
  • comfort
  • breathability
  • sustainability
  • price
  • waterproofing
  • hypoallergenic properties
  • durability
  • noise
  • ease of washing
  • warranty

MNT chooses mattresses, sheets, pillows, and other bedding that meet the following criteria:

  • Certifications: MNT will choose products that have CertiPUR-US or other certifications. This means that the products are low in pollutants and free from heavy metals and volatile organic compounds.
  • Size: MNT chooses products that are available in various sizes.
  • Materials and fill: MNT selects products made from different materials and fills, such as memory foam and latex, to suit a range of sleep and lifestyles.
  • Budget: MNT features products to suit a wide range of budgets.
  • Sleep trials: MNT chooses companies that offer a sleep trial.
  • Shipping: Where possible, MNT will include shipping information, such as where the company delivers to and whether shipping is free.
  • Warranties and return policies: MNT will include products that carry warranties and clear returns policies.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Below are five mattress protectors that people may wish to consider.

Best for a hypoallergenic, cooling option: SafeRest Premium Mattress Protector

  • Price: $29.99–39.99
  • Materials: Cotton and waterproof membrane
  • Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California (CA) king

This mattress protector features a breathable membrane that allows air vapors to circulate, meaning that it does not get too hot during use. It is also waterproof to protect the mattress from spills, machine washable, and compatible with dryers.

The company writes that this product is OEKO-TEX certified. This means that this mattress protector is free from harmful chemicals or substances.

This product is also hypoallergenic and may protect against dust mites, allergens, and bacteria. It has a fitted sheet design to make putting it on the mattress easy.

The manufacturer claims this is an ideal product for those with children, pets, allergies, asthma, eczema, or incontinence.

A 2017 study suggests that allergies to house dust mites can significantly contribute to sleep disturbances. Additionally, research from 2019 indicates that mattress protectors may help a person manage the symptoms of asthma.

SafeRest offers free shipping and returns for this mattress protector.

Best for protection from bed bugs, mites, and allergens: Linenspa Mattress Encasement

  • Price: $19.99–29.99
  • Materials: Vinyl and polyurethane
  • Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, full XL, queen, king, CA king

This mattress encasement fully covers the mattress, which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests can help prevent bed bug infestations. This may also offer protection from dust mites and other allergens.

It is made with a soft, breathable fabric, which may allow a person to remain cool when they sleep and create a more comfortable sleeping surface.

This mattress protector is waterproof, according to the company. This mattress protector is also machine washable and dryer safe, according to the company.

Linenspa offers free shipping and returns for this mattress protector.

Best waterproof mattress protector: LUCID Premium Mattress Protector

  • Price: Around $11.99–25.99
  • Materials: Cotton blend
  • Sizes: Crib, twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, CA king

This mattress protector contains waterproof technology. It reportedly expels fluids from the surface, protecting the mattress from urine, spills, and other liquids.

The manufacturer also offers a 15-year warranty on the product.

This protector is fully elasticated and has deep sides, allowing it to fit mattresses up to 22 inches deep.

It is also hypoallergenic, which can help protect people from dust mites and bacteria while they sleep.

This product is machine washable and compatible with tumble dryers on a low setting. However, consumers should not bleach, iron, or dry clean this mattress protector.

A person can get free shipping and returns for this mattress protector.

Best for natural materials: Utopia Bedding Bamboo Mattress Protector

  • Price: $39.99–49.99
  • Materials: Polyester, rayon, and bamboo viscose
  • Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, CA king

Utopia states that this protector is soft and breathable, which can help people remain cool and comfortable while they sleep.

Bamboo is a useful material for bedding, as it is environmentally friendly, antibacterial, hypoallergenic, a natural deodorizer, and highly durable.

This mattress protector is elasticated for easy fitting, and can fit mattresses up to 17 in high, according to the company.

This mattress protector is machine washable and suitable for tumble drying at low temperatures.

The company also offer free shipping and returns through Amazon.

Best cooling mattress protector: Luna Premium Mattress Protector

  • Price: $39.99–49.99
  • Materials: Cotton
  • Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, CA king

This mattress protector utilizes Luna’s airflow technology in its cotton terry material. The manufacturer states this allows air to circulate through the protector while also repelling liquids.

Luna adds that this ensures that a person does not get too hot as they sleep.

It is hypoallergenic, making it suitable for individuals with asthma, eczema, and allergies.

The product comes with a 15-year warranty and is also machine washable.

A person can get this mattress with free shipping and returns.

The table below compares the products included in this article.

SafeRest Premium Mattress ProtectorLinenspa Mattress EncasementLUCID Premium Mattress ProtectorUtopia Bedding Bamboo Mattress ProtectorLuna Premium Mattress Protector
Best forOEKO-TEX certificationprotection against bed bugs, mites, and allergenswaterproofnatural materialscooling
Materials• cotton
• waterproof membrane
• vinyl
• polyurethane
cotton blend• polyester
• rayon
• bamboo viscose
cotton
Sizestwin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California (CA) kingtwin, twin XL, full, full XL, queen, king, CA kingcrib, twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, CA kingtwin, twin XL, full, queen, king, CA kingtwin, twin XL, full, queen, king, CA king
Machine washableyesyesyesyesyes
Dryer compatibleyesyesyesyesyes
Warranty10 years10 years15 years30 days10 years
Price$29.99–39.99$19.99–29.99$11.99–25.99$19.99–47.99$39.99–49.99

Mattress protectors sit on top of mattresses and can help protect them from fluids, including urine, sweat, drool, and other general spills.

A person can easily remove and wash a mattress protector, often in a domestic washing machine, before placing it back onto the mattress. This is helpful, as cleaning a mattress itself can often be challenging.

By protecting the mattress, people can prolong its lifespan, meaning they can use it for longer before having to replace it.

Another significant benefit of using mattress protectors is their antimicrobial and hypoallergenic properties. For example, while sleeping, mattress protectors can protect individuals from:

  • dust mites
  • bacteria
  • bed bugs
  • other allergens

This means that an individual may experience improved sleep and avoid issues that may arise from coming into contact with any of the above. Therefore, mattress protectors may also be useful for those with allergies.

Manufacturers may design some mattress protectors to combat uncomfortable mattresses. Other protectors work in combination with a mattress to maintain comfort and enhance breathability.

Some mattress protectors also have an additional layer of padding, which can offer a little more cushioning. This can enhance the comfort of the mattress, which may allow a person to get better sleep.

Although some mattress protectors are breathable, others are not. If it is not breathable, a mattress protector may cause a person’s bed to get hot during sleep. This can make an individual’s sleeping condition less comfortable and may contribute to reduced quality sleep.

Some mattress protectors have no built-in comfort layer, which means they can end up making a mattress less comfortable. Some mattress protectors also bunch up under the sheets, which may cause further discomfort.

Other mattress protectors may comprise materials that can make a noise when a person moves around in their sleep. For example, the waterproofing material may cause a plasticky sound during movement.

A noisy mattress protector can also contribute to reduced quality sleep.

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about mattress protectors.

Can a mattress protector provide additional support for a person?

A mattress protector is usually very thin and acts as a barrier between a mattress and the sheet. It is unlikely that individuals will benefit from additional padding or support using only a mattress protector. Other options, such as mattress pads and toppers, could provide the extra comfort an individual may require.

How does a mattress protector secure onto a mattress?

Most mattress protectors fit over a mattress similarly to a fitted sheet — with elastic that wraps around each corner of the mattress. Some mattress protectors completely encase a mattress and become secured using buttons or a zipper.

What are the differences between mattress protectors, mattress toppers, and mattress pads?

Mattress protectors act as a thin barrier between a mattress and spills, allergens, and insects such as bed bugs.

A mattress topper can change the feel of a mattress by adding a softer or firmer layer.

A mattress pad provides additional cushioning only, which may benefit a person with a firmer mattress.

The purpose of a mattress protector is to protect and maintain the quality of a mattress. While prolonging the lifespan of a mattress, it may also provide added protection from microbes and allergens such as dust mites.

When purchasing a mattress protector, people may wish to consider factors such as the product’s breathability, its hypoallergenic qualities, and if it is waterproof.