Protecting your mattress, the warranty, and creating a hygienic sleeping environment are just some of the many reasons why you need a mattress protector. We spend a third of our life in bed and just like every living space needs regular cleaning so do our mattresses. But that’s not so easy, is it?
Left alone mattress can become the grossest place in the household. We add about 10 million dead skin cells and at least 150 liters of fluid onto mattresses every year.
This dirt affects our health and contributes to the premature wear and tear of our mattress.
Mattress protectors just as the name suggests, help protect your mattress from spills, stains, and other damages.
This mattress protector buying guide was created to help you know all there is to know about mattress protectors and use the data gathered along with hard testing to bring you what we think are the current best mattress protectors out there.
We went through a lot of testing to make your mattress shopping easier.
Before the guide here are the protectors we think are the best:
2nd Best Protector
Best 360° Protection
#1 Sweet Zzz Cooling Mattress Protector
Sweet Zzz Cooling Mattress Protector
The Sweet Zzz Cooling Protector has made our top pick because it has everything you need from a mattress protector at a ridiculously affordable price.
First of all, it uses 100% natural Tencel as cover which is the ideal material for a mattress protector because of its cooling and moisture wicking abilities.
It also comes with an extremely generous price tag and beautiful packing.
#2 Idlesleep Mattress Protector (2nd Best )
Idlesleep Mattress Protector
Another great brand in bedding, the Idlesleep company is makes some of the best beddings in the industry and their mattress protector is no different.
Also uses the Tencel as its cover and it feels very cool and comfortable. However, this protector falls short in the price and returns departments which is why it is our second best.
#3 Katy Mattress Encasement (Best 360° Protection )
Katy Mattress Encasement
Best 360° Protection
Yet another great company, Katy mattress’s protector is more suited for those looking for a complete 360° protection as the waterproof barrier goes around all six sides of the mattress.
We liked this mattress encasement the most out of all the others we tried because this one is cooler, noiseless, less expensive, and simply more comfortable to sleep with.
#4 Amerisleep Mattress Protector (Deep Pocket)
amerisleep Mattress Protector
For our number four we have the amerisleep Mattress Protector. If you have a very tall mattress or if you enjoy using your mattress with a big topper then this mattress protector is for you.
Unlike most extra deep mattress protectors, the amerisleep Mattress Protector actually fits mattresses 8 to 18-inches tall nicely.
That’s’ because of the good quality elastic band that makes the protector tight around a mattress that is 8 or 18-icnhes tall just the same.
#5 Avocado Mattress Protector (High-end )
Avocado Mattress Protector
If you must have something organic (not just natural) then the Avocado Mattress Protector is the perfect fit for you. This GOLS certified mattress protector is very nice and comfortable and has almost no shortcomings other than the sticker shock.
Mattress Protectors Buying Guide
Mattress Protector VS Mattress Pad VS Mattress Topper:
Mattress pads are thin layers of padding placed on top of a mattress to form a layer between the sleeper and the mattress. Mattress pads mostly come with a quilted top and are designed to fit the mattress like a fitted sheet.
The main purpose of a mattress pad is to improve the feel of your bed. The extra padding provides an extra layer of comfort and support. Pads can also be used for temperature regulation. For example, you can get a cooling pad for a mattress that sleeps hot.
To some extent mattress pads also offer a degree of protection to your mattress. They often keep spills and stains from sipping into your mattress. But that’s not always the case and to protect your mattress adequately you need a mattress protector, which we will look at shortly.
Mattress toppers, on the other hand, feature a thick layer of padding. Visually, they look like a mini mattress. This extra padding often made of memory foam enhances the comfort and support functions of a mattress.
Toppers are a great addition on top of a worn mattress. They also add a plushy layer onto a firm mattress. Their ability to contour to your body provides ample support eliminating pressure points.
Just like mattress pads, toppers can also act as temperature regulators. You can get a cooling topper if you sleep hot.
They also add a layer of protection over your mattress by preventing spills and stains from sipping through.
However, to really protect a mattress you need a mattress protector. Unlike pads and toppers, mattress protectors, just as the name suggests, are made with the sole purpose of protecting your mattress.
Mattress protectors are thin and often look like a regular fitted sheet. They come in variations. Some only cover the top, others can be installed like fitted sheets. While others completely cover the mattress and have zippered closures. As we will discuss later, each variation has its benefits and disadvantages.
Mattress protectors use special fabrics that keep spills, stains, and even bugs away from yourself and mattress. These covers keep your mattress from premature deterioration and keep it in that new like condition longer. By preventing liquid from sipping in, mattress protectors keep mold from growing in your mattress.
Mattress protectors also protect you from allergen causing agents such as pollen, pet dander, dust, and pestilence. And lastly, but not least, they protect your mattress’s warranty.
Questions To Ask Before Buying Your Mattress Protector
With the numerous options available in the market, buying bedding is definitely one of the most overwhelming experiences.
You have to choose a retailer, and there are hundreds of them. Then you have to choose the mattress protector and there are thousands of them.
And since you are buying this bedding to protect your mattress which probably costed a fortune, you will be looking for something quality.
All this involves some serious decision making.
Asking yourself the following few key questions can help you a great deal in making the right choice. This step also simplifies your shopping process. In the end, you should be able to pinpoint with confidence what you are looking for.
1- What Is The Material Of Cover?
The most common mattress protector cover materials are cotton and polyester. However, for increased performance, there are other good cover materials to look out for when shopping for a mattress protector. Some of the best materials include Tencel, Bamboo, and Cotton. Tencel is known for its quick-drying and cooling. While cotton and bamboo are soft, absorbent materials.
To understand the benefit of each cover material let’s look at the advantages of different fabrics below:
Most beddings use cotton. This material is soft and smooth on the skin, making it a comfortable option. Cotton is also a highly absorbent fabric. This helps it sleep cool. However, because of its high absorption rate, a stronger waterproofing layer will be needed to ensure the protector works well.
Polyester is a synthetic fabric that is budget-friendly. It is less absorbent than cotton and tends to be more breathable.
Tencel is a fabric derived from lyocell, a botanical fiber derived from wood pulp. Tencel is silky smooth and known for its great hydrophilic properties. It is highly absorbent and great at moisture wicking. It is better at repelling water than other materials. A great option for people with skin sensitivities.
Bamboo is derived from Rayon, a semi-synthetic fiber derived from the cellulose of wood pulp. While Rayon is derived from natural materials, it is considered partly synthetic, because of the chemicals used to treat the pulp.
Rayon is usually smooth, cool, and highly breathable. A great option for people who sleep hot.
Sometimes mattress protectors will blend the materials mentioned above to take advantage of the best of all worlds. Some great blends are jersey and terry cloth. Jersey is a light, comfortable knitted fabric. It can be made from cotton, polyester, and Tencel.
Terry cloth, on the other hand, is knitted using a combination of two threads from different materials. Usually from polyester, bamboo, and or organic cotton.
Terry-cloths are soft, highly absorbent, and breathable.
2- Is The Protector 1-Sided, 5-Sided, Or Full Encasement?
Mattress protectors come in various styles. The three most common are fitted, encasement, and strapped. These are otherwise known as 5-sided, 6-sided, and 1-sided respectively.
While these varieties often protect the mattress against common damages such as spills, stains, and fluids. They can also serve to protect against specific dangers.
As such, their cost varies.
Fitted or 5-sided mattress protectors look like regular fitted sheets. They feature an all-round elastic band and have pockets at the corners.
The pockets make it easy to tuck the corners of a mattress. These protectors are cheaper and provide great coverage though not as complete as encasement protectors.
You should consider this type, only if you expect spills on the side of your mattress.
6-sided, encasement, or zippered protectors cover the entire mattress. The zipper helps seal the mattress completely.
This type of protector is a great option for anyone who needs complete protection from things like bed bugs and mites.
They are also a great option for 2-sided mattresses that need regular flipping.
Pro Tip: Look for tight zippers that have smaller teeth to prevent bugs from getting in and out of your mattress.
1-Sided/Anchored or Strapped:
A 1-sided protector just covers the top side of the mattress. Straps at the corners of the protector help it fit the mattress more snugly than fitted sheets.
This type of protector is the best for anyone who wants better air circulation in their mattress.
3- What Is The Depth Of The Mattress Protector And How Is It Attached?
Before purchasing a mattress protector, first, ensure you know the depth of your mattress.
With fitted and one-sided mattress protectors you must check pocket depth. Pocket depth refers to how far the fitted edges of a protector will stretch to cover the sides of a mattress.
As a rule of thumb, the deeper the better. It’s best to buy a protector with 2-3 inches’ deeper pockets than your mattress’s height.
One-sided mattress protectors can either have anchored edges or fitted edges. You want to stay away from anchored edges because they don’t stay in place easily.
When selecting encasement protectors, you want to ensure they come with a removable top, or else you will need to stand the mattress every time you have to remove them.
4- Price Isn’t Everything When It Comes To Mattress Protectors?
Mattress protectors are generally low priced items. Ideally, you want a mattress protector that costs under $75. However, if you want comprehensive protection for your mattress which you probably spent a small fortune on. Then you shouldn’t shy from spending more. Some of these protectors especially those with advanced features will cost an upwards of $200.
But not all that glitters is gold, that’s why you need to look into the quality and effectiveness of the protector.
5- Check Reviews And User Ratings?
Not sure whether your protector will perform as advertised, look at the reviews first. Past user experiences tell a lot about a product. For instance, you can tell the durability, cons, and pros of a product by reading reviews written by verified purchasers.
Be careful if a product has too many complaints. No matter what they promise. If customers are constantly unsatisfied then you will probably have the same experience too. Be wary also of perfect ratings and vague reviews. This could be fake reviews to get you to purchase the product.
A good product is transparent even in its imperfections. Check the company you are buying from. A good company will stand behind its product’s quality with free returns and reasonable warranties.
6- Check The Return Policy Of The Mattress Protector?
As mentioned before, a good company stands behind its products by providing reasonable return policies and warranties. Ensure you get a mattress protector with a clear return policy.
Most ethical manufacturers offer a 30 day to a 1-year trial period for a mattress protector. Some offer risk-free trials, which means you can return it for free at no cost on your end. While others require you to cater for the return costs or might charge you a small restocking fee.
Whichever option you choose to go with, ensure you read the fine print on the return policy. Most companies will not take back a soiled or damaged mattress protector with strong odors.
7- How Good Is The Protectors Warranty? What Does It Cover?
When looking at a mattress protector warranty, you need one that is as long as your mattress’s lifespan. Most warranties, range between 5 to 10 years. A manufacturer offering 10 plus years is confident about the durability and lasting performance of its mattress protector.
Just as with return policies, ensure you read the fine print on your mattress protector warranty. Most warranties will be rendered null and void if the item doesn’t meet the conditions set in the warranty. For example, tears, normal wear, abnormal damage, excess staining, and odors usually void the mattress protector’s warranty.
Why You Should Consider Getting a Mattress Protector?
Mattress protectors are perhaps the most important bed accessory. Not only do they protect your mattress against spills, bodily liquids, dust, and stains. But mattress protectors are far more valuable in promoting healthy sleep and improving your peace of mind.
In this section, you will learn that mattress protectors do a lot for your sleep besides keep your mattress clean.
1- Protect Yourself
Naked mattresses are some of the grossest living spaces. We shed an average of 40,000 dead skin cells a day and sweat about 150 liters per year. This combined, with drooling, oils, and other bodily fluids makes mattresses a very dirty place. Unfortunately, sheets do not keep this dirt from sipping into the mattress.
Besides, tiny critters known as dust mites live in our beds and feed off our dead skin cells. Study shows that at least 10% of the weight of a 2-year-old pillow was made up of dead skin cells, dust mite, and dust mite feces.
Dust mites have been linked to aggravating asthma and causing allergic reactions. Dust, pollen, and other agents on our beds can even cause skin breakouts. An unprotected mattress is not only a concern for people who suffer allergies but for everyone else.
Another annoying problem that has become so common lately is a bedbug infestation. These tiny critters feed off of human blood and sweat. No matter how clean you are, you can pick up a bedbug from the most unexpected places. Once a bed bug gets into your bed it becomes a nightmare to get rid of.
Luckily, studies show that mattress protectors which act as a barrier between you and the mattress, not only protect the mattress but you as well. Mattress protectors improve the hygiene of your bed and help fight against allergy-causing agents.
Using encasement protectors can help you get rid of bed bugs completely. By sealing off all the 6 sides of your mattress you suffocate this pestilence until it’s eliminated.
You will notice an immediate improvement in your health once you start using a protector.
2- Protect Your Mattress
It goes without saying that a mattress protector keeps the mattress clean and in its new condition longer. Foreign agents getting into the mattress help breakdown the mattress faster causing premature sagging and loss of support.
An exposed mattress suffers from all kind of damages such as frayed edges which come apart. Liquids such as sweat collect inside the mattress and cause mold and mildew growth. Mattress protectors prevent spillages from sipping through the mattress. They keep your mattress from getting stained and from having bad odors.
The light layer of fabric on a mattress protector helps protect the mattress from tears and wears of daily use, keeping it firmer longer. Since mattress protectors can be easily cleaned unlike mattresses, they are the best option.
3- Protect Your Warranty
We spend a lot on mattresses and ultimately want to protect our investments. Nothing is better at protecting a mattress than a mattress protector. As such, nearly every manufacturer requires that you cover the mattress with a protector to enforce the mattress warranty.
Most mattress warranties cover manufacture defects, delivery damages, and premature or abnormal wearing and tearing of the mattress. This is normally indicated by sagging and all manufacturer’s state at how many inches the sagging is considered abnormal.
One of the best ways to prevent premature sagging is by using a mattress protector. If for some reason you need to claim warranty on a mattress, some of the things the manufacturer checks are stains, odors, usage wear, and tear. Some if not all of these factors can void a warranty.
You want to take special care of your mattress to keep it in that new condition for as long as possible. This will ensure that you don’t void your warranty accidentally.
From this mattress protector buying guide, it’s plain to see the value that protectors provide. Protectors keep your bed clean and hygienic for a comfortable night’s rest. Considering that we spend a third of our lives in bed and how gross our sleeping environment can get. Having a mattress protector is a no brainer.
But as with all other bedding, shopping for a mattress protector is overwhelming. However, if you follow the 7 key questions listed here. Then you are bound to end up choosing the right product. Not forgetting that it makes looking for a mattress protector easier.
Remember that the most important things to look for in a mattress protector are the cover material, type, and pocket depth. These three factors will directly affect the performance of your protector and the experience you get from it.
In the end, we hope you get the service you desire from the mattress protector you end up getting.