These Great (But Cheap) Protectors Will Save Your Pricey Mattress From Liquids, Sweat, And More


Mattresses are an investment, which is why a mattress protector is a perfect and inexpensive follow-up to help it last longer. Mattress protectors provide various forms of protection for your mattress: Most are waterproof or resistant and help keep you safe from allergens; some can even keep bed bugs far away from your mattress. Gone are the days of old-school, noisy protectors, the best mattress protectors are virtually undetectable under your sheets.

Mattress pads and toppers, on the other hand, mostly provide comfort. Of course, most also provide a machine-washable barrier between you and your mattress, so they do provide some protection. However, they tend to be more expensive than mattress protectors, and new mattresses ideally shouldn’t require an additional comfort layer. Mattress pads also can’t provide the complete protection of a mattress protector, especially when it comes to difficult problems things like liquid spills, dust mites, and bed bugs.

The ideal type of mattress protector for you depends on what you’re primarily protecting your mattress from. Heavy-duty, zip-around protectors are best for bed bugs but can be more difficult to remove and wash so they might not be the best choice for frequent spills. Mattress protectors that go on like fitted sheets won't protect all six sides of the mattress from crawlies but can be waterproof on top and a great choice for those worried about liquid, spills, or sweat. If you anticipate the need to wash your mattress protector frequently, you’ll want one of these.


The Best Waterproof Mattress Protector

Waterproof mattress protectors are a must for anyone who deals with incontinence, frequent liquid spills, pet marking and urination, general childhood messes, etc. This highly rated (more than 27,000 five-star reviews!) mattress protector has a 100 percent waterproof top thanks to a PVC-free membrane barrier and a soft terry cloth top. The waterproof barrier won't crinkle or make noise and is undetectable. The construction is Oeko-Tex certified to not contain harmful chemicals and is itself hypoallergenic. One reviewer even says it held up during a home birth.

The design allows you to easily remove and machine wash if spills do occur. And while it provides some protection against dust mites and allergens, because it's not an encasement style, it won't completely protect the mattress itself.


The Best For Bed Bugs

The best protectors to keep bed bugs and dust mites completely away from your mattress covers the mattress entirely and zips shut. This one keeps the zipper securely closed with an included zip tie and velcro flap. Once on the mattress, it doesn't crinkle or affect how your mattress feels. The knit polyester exterior is breathable and soft, and a polyurethane layer protects from smaller spills. However, large spills or ones that sit for extended periods of time can potentially penetrate the layer and it's not the easiest to take off and throw into the washing machine, so this is not a great choice if you are primarily worried about liquids or incontinence. However, this will protect your mattress from smaller spills and sweat.


The Best For Hot Sleepers

While most mattress protectors are largely functional, it is possible to get comfort-focused benefits as well. Protectors typically have a barrier layer and soft synthetic or cotton layer. This protector uses a waterproof polyurethane barrier followed by a blend of bamboo rayon and polyester for superior cooling benefits. The cooling layer is especially good for foam mattresses, which tend to sleep hot. It goes on like a fitted sheet and can be removed and machine washed at home. In addition to being completely waterproof (a smart idea of sweaty sleepers), it helps mitigate or prevent allergens in an older mattress.


A Waterproof Mattress Pad For Added Comfort

This mattress pad combines waterproof protection with comfort, making it good for people who want the added softness of a mattress pad in addition to mattress protection — without purchasing two separate pieces. The polyester-filled quilted top provides extra softness that will stay evenly distributed. The bottom polyurethane layer keeps the mattress protected from spills and liquids. Like other fitted mattress protectors, it will protect you from allergens in the mattress but won’t completely protect the mattress itself. It's also machine-washable for when spills do occur.

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