Mattresses are relatively expensive especially high quality ones, so they need to be well protected to ensure they remain in good condition. A mattress protector is basically a fabric covering that is placed around the mattress to offer protection against allergens, stains, odors and liquid spills. It is commonly made from a water proof material and is held in place by a zipper or an elastic band. The protector essentially prevents the mattress from staining. Body fluids (such as urine, perspiration or blood), and accidental liquid spills may prove difficult to clean and can cause permanent stains on the mattress. A mattress protector discourages the accumulation of unpleasant odor, mold and helps keep the mattress free from stains. Check out our list of the best mattress protectors in our overview section below.
General Thoughts on Types of Mattress Protectors
There are basically two types of mattress protectors; those that enclose the entire mattress and those that protect only the top side of the mattress. Protectors that enclose the whole mattress may provide superior protection from allergens and are usually held in place by zippers. Partial protector covers resemble a fitted sheet and are normally held in place with an elastic band. Their slim nature does not affect the performance of the mattress, in fact some protectors made with soft material or cotton can be undetectable to the user. They are not to be confused with mattress toppers.
High-end waterproof protectors are made from plastic or rubberized materials. While more costly ones are commonly made from a synthetic hypoallergenic fabric which is not only breathable but also water proof. However, some materials may become excessively warm when one is sleeping and also some mattress protectors can’t withstand machine drying at high levels of heat.
The ideal mattress protector should be waterproof, hypoallergenic, machine washable and highly breathable. This allows for maximum protection from unpleasant odors, mold and allergens like dust mites, dust particles, pet dander and dead skin and also greatly keeps the mattress from becoming stained. The hypoallergenic material primarily makes it the best option for people with allergic symptoms like skin irritations or asthma. Given the numerous risks posed by badly protected mattress and also the fact that people spend most of their lives in bed, it is only smart to invest in a good quality mattress protector.
5 Best Mattress Protectors of 2016
Here are our picks for the all around best mattress protectors on the market. Take a look through them, and read through our guide that will help you choose the best mattress protector for you.
The SafeRest Premium mattress protector is one of the highest rated protectors in the market, in fact it is FDA registered as a “Class 1 Medical Device”. It features a hypoallergenic cotton terry surface with a 100% waterproof polyurethane membrane. The cotton terry fabric naturally absorbs moisture and is fully noiseless.
The layered design allows for air circulation and breathability while repelling fluids and allergens. This SafeRest Premium mattress protector is free from PVCs, vinyl and phthalates making it ideal for the whole family for maximum protection and allergy relief.
It features a fitted-sheet style design which allows it to perfectly fit a mattress of up to 8 inches. Its SafeRest Invisa-Shield technology makes it ideal for any type of mattress since the protector does not interfere with the feel of the mattress. This mattress protector is machine washable with household detergents that don’t contain bleach. This Premium mattress protector is available in different sizes and comes with a full replacement 10-year warranty.
This protector comprises of a soft cotton terry surface on the top and polyurethane membrane underneath which allows air circulation and heat regulation while preventing liquids from leaking through. The soft cotton terry surface offers a quiet environment free from crumpling and crinkling. The Hanna Kay Premium mattress protector features a tailored sheet-style design with elasticized mesh sides to perfectly fit on any mattress.
It is unique designed to provide soft effective protection without changing the feel of the mattress thus can be used any type of mattress. Its moisture-resistant fabric repels body fluids, microbes, dust mites and other liquids making it ideal for the whole family. It is machine washable and available in four sizes (queen, king, full and twin). The Hanna Kay Premium mattress protector comes with a 10-year warranty
This mattress protector is uniquely designed to offer premium protection against liquid spills, allergens (like pollen and dust mites), urine and bacteria. It comprises of a premium cotton terry outer shell with a hypoallergenic and waterproof membrane base. It also features the unique Luna Airflow technology made of microscopic pores that allow breathability and air circulation while preventing liquids from leaking through.
This mattress protector comes with a fitted-sheet style making it the suitable fit for any mattress profile. It is made with a waterproof material that also excels in breathability and also allows a noiseless experience. The Luna Premium Mattress Protector is machine washable and available in five sizes. It also comes with a 10-year warranty.
This Sleep Tite mattress protector from Maluof is made of 100% waterproof material free from PVC, vinyl and phthalate. It effectively protects the mattress against most allergens and all fluids. This mattress protector comes with a fitted-style design that can perfectly fit a 22-inch mattress. Its Sleep Tite technology allows air circulation while repelling liquids thus ensuring a comfortable sleeping environment.
The hypoallergenic cotton terry surface naturally absorbs moisture and does not interfere with the feel of the mattress. Additionally, the cotton terry surface is noiseless, soft and breathable. The Sleep Tite Mattress protector by Maluof is machine washable and ideal for people who suffer from eczema, asthma and other allergic reactions. It is available in over ten sizes and comes with an impressive 15-year warranty.
This mattress protector is made of hypoallergenic cotton terry surface with a waterproof breathable bottom membrane free from PVC, phthalates and vinyl. It is 100% waterproof and provides superior protection against stains, liquid spills, urine and perspiration. Its hypoallergenic qualities ensure maximum protection against allergy triggers like pet dander, pollen, dust mites, mold and mildew.
This thin, light weight protector ensures a soft, noiseless support without affecting the feel of the mattress. It features a fitted-style design with expandable skirt that offers a perfect to any mattress thickness. This machine washable protector combines expert workmanship and high quality materials to ensure maximum protection. The SureGuard Mattress Protector is available in nine sizes and comes with a 10-year warranty as well as 30-day risk free trail period.
Key Benefits of a Mattress Protector
Here are some of the major benefits of getting a high quality mattress protector.
Dust Mites and Allergen Prevention
Dust mites feed off the dead skin cells which are shed during sleep and can cause allergic reactions skin irritation, sneezing, watery eyes and breathing problems. Dust mites have been closely linked to causing serious health conditions like asthma and eczema. A water proof mattress protector keeps off the dead skin cells, dust and sweat from reaching the mattress. Other allergens like pet dander and dust particles are kept off the mattress. Therefore, dust mites are less likely to live in a mattress that is covered by a mattress protector. If used together with anti-allergen pillow protectors they can help in combating dust mite or bed bug infestation.
Latex and memory foam mattresses may release unpleasant chemical odors that can affect the quality of sleep. A good quality mattress protector protects the sleeper from these odors to ensure comfortable sleep.
Moisture from body perspiration or accidental water or other liquid spills may lead to the buildup of mold or mildew.
Nocturnal enuresis or bed wetting is actually very common with many people citing age, stress and other medical conditions as the main reasons for this. Urine and blood stains are usually very hard to clean and may form permanent stains on the mattress and further cause foul odors. High quality waterproof mattress protectors protect the mattress from these fluids by preventing the fluid from soak through. They are also very effective for use in baby cribs as they are also very easy to clean.
Wear and Tear
Mattress protectors are an inexpensive solution to help in maintain a mattress in a “like new” condition. Mattress manufacturers may advise no flipping of some of their models thus a mattress protector can come in handy. Most modern mattress protectors are machine washer safe and very easy to care for. They keep the mattress from becoming soiled or stained. Most mattress protectors are made of cotton fabric with a special breathable and water proof membrane while others made of eucalyptus fibers that is not only breathable but is also good for people with sensitive skin.
They also provide additional comfort to the mattress and greatly improve the sleeping experience, Mattress protectors can also be used to protect mattress pads as well as mattress toppers. Mattress protectors can also help in protecting the warranty since for some brands a stain on the mattress can void the warranty.
Important factors to look for in a Mattress Protector
While the size of the protector may be influenced by personal preference, having an ill-fitting cover can be very useless in terms of providing the needed protection. Mattress protectors are available in common sizes, so make sure you take the time to match them correctly. Actual measurements of the mattress can help in determining the appropriate size of mattress protector to get.
The protectors are well designed to offer a snug fit. Extensive research should be carried out so as to choose the best mattress protector best suited to the user’s lifestyle. Zippered protectors encase the whole mattress and even sometimes the box spring/foundation thus guaranteeing complete protection.
Materials used should also meet fire safety standards especially if the mattress protectors are to be used in the hospitality industry. The protector should be made of fire-retardant materials and should have clear markings to indicate the same.
The price of the protector is mostly dependent on the brand and partly on the quality. It is not recommended to purchase expensive mattress protectors instead go for the right one that can effectively face challenges such as wear and tear while still providing superior protection. Additionally shoppers may pick mattress protectors that have light colors preferably white since they can be used on any mattress without affecting the initial aesthetic appeal. The ideal protector should also have an easy maintenance routine as well as friendly return policy and warranty terms.
The best alternative to mattress protectors is mattress pads. However, mattress pads are essentially designed to provide extra padding to the mattress, and not necessarily any protection from stain and wear.
Other features to consider while buying a mattress protector include the following:
- Types of Filling. The fillings used mainly determine the price and quality of the mattress protector. For instance a low quality protector will probably have polyester filling; a mid-range protector may have a holofibre while a luxurious mattress protector may have a silicon-ball-fiber filling enclosed in boxes sewn into its cover to provide extra comfort and superior protection.
- Types of covers. The fabric quality of the cover can determine just how much liquid spills will leak through. Cotton covers with waterproof membrane backings provide the best option for all conditions. Generally, the level of water resistance is dependent on the cover and filling of the mattress protector. Covers made from polypropylene with a PVC backing have an increased level of water and moisture resistance. Vinyl covers tend to be very noisy, but are very easy to clean and also keep the mattress dry. Waterproof protectors are also best suited for people who frequently eat or drink in bed. A cotton-polyester blend cover is durable and hypoallergenic. Additionally the materials used on the cover should have hypoallergenic and breathability qualities. The thread count also indicates the strength of the fabric with a higher thread count meaning a more luxurious feel.
- Absorbency Extent. The absorbency extent of the protector should also be factored in. Thickly padded protectors can offer coziness and complete protection and can be used on crib mattresses or by people with incontinence. Multi-layered designs have a comfort layer at the top and a water proof layer at the bottom. Multi-layered mattress protectors generally offer the best absorbency. A pore size of about 8 microns or less can ensure maximum protection.
- Grams per Square Meter (GSM) rating. The GSM rating tends to indicate the overall quality of the protector. A typical mattress protector will have a 50-100gsm rating while a high-end one will have an over 1000gsm rating. The biggest difference between the two is basically the quality of the cover fabric and extra features such as quilted covers. Most protectors have polyester covers with little or no quilting whereas a good quality one features a heavier 100% cotton cover with an included special filling.