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The Best Mattress Protectors to Safeguard Your Bedding Investment

It may not be the sexiest bedroom accessory, but it's certainly one of the most important.

woman pulling mattress protector over bed
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Let's be real — mattresses cost a small fortune. So once you've spent your hard-earned money on a mattress, don't just make the bed up with new sheets and call it a night. A mattress protector is a crucial bedding accessory because it keeps your mattress clean and free of things that you really don't want getting into it — namely, bedbugs, dust mites, or moisture of any kind.

While cleaning the mattress itself can be a whole production, a mattress protector slides or zips off to throw right into the wash.

The Best Mattress Protectors

      What to Consider

      Not every bed in your household will need the exact same mattress protector. Here are a few factors that we've considered as we've researched this guide.

      Encased versus fitted mattress protectors: If bedbugs are your number-one concern, get an encased, zip-up mattress protector. These are made for all-over security to prevent any penetration into your mattress. Otherwise, a 5-sided mattress protector that fits onto your mattress like a fitted sheet will work to protect the top layer and the sides from sweat, pet dander, and spills from embedding into it.

      Waterproofing: A lot of people get a mattress protector to ensure that moisture and liquid don't get into the mattress and make it stained and smelly. The fact is, there is a trade-off here. The most nonporous, waterproof mattress protectors tend to be crinkly in texture. They feel a little more like plastic and less like cotton bedding. So, these are best if there's a chance of human or pet accidents that may happen in the night.

      The softer, more plush-feeling mattress protectors that have built-in waterproofing membranes will still help safeguard against immediate spills and sweating — but major accidents may still soak through if they sit long enough.

      Price: Mattress protectors come in a wide price range, and the cheaper models are actually very effective if you're most concerned about messes and bedbugs. They do feel cheap, though, so if these worries don't apply to your living situation, it may be worth the investment to get one that enhances the cushiness or cooling factor of your bed while providing a lighter level of protection against sweat and allergens.

      The differences in mattress protectors may be subtle, but the right one can really be a game-changer. Sleep soundly, knowing your investment is covered with one of these high-quality mattress protectors.

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      Best Waterproof
      SafeRest Premium Hypoallergenic Waterproof Mattress Protector
      SafeRest amazon.com
      $24.95 (17% off)

      This mattress protector is built to handle seemingly anything — the reviews mention everything from minor accidents to childbirth (!) and tout that it stays in place and keeps the mattress underneath clean through it all. 

      It's a fitted-sheet-style mattress, so it's a cinch to put it on and remove as needed to wash. It's also a Wirecutter-favorite product.

      More: The Best Cooling Sheets for a Refreshing Night's Sleep

      Best for Bedbugs
      Utopia Bedding Zippered Mattress Encasement
      Utopia Bedding amazon.com
      $20.99 (16% off)

      Many mattress protectors will offer multiple benefits. This pick from Utopia Bedding has built-in waterproofing, but the majority of its reviewers rave about its ability to stop bedbugs from infiltrating a mattress and prolonging an infestation.

      It zips entirely around your mattress, covering all sides and the bottom to help ensure that nothing, even dust, and dander, can get in. Some users do say that the texture is on the crinkly, “nylon-y” side, but the peace of mind is worth it.

      Best Cheap Pick
      AmazonBasics Hypoallergenic Waterproof Fitted Mattress Protector
      AmazonBasics amazon.com

      If you have guest beds that are only occasionally used, don't skip on covering those mattresses, too! This waterproof, poly-cotton mattress protector from AmazonBasics is topped with a terry-cloth material that adds softness without trapping body heat. 

      Made with nontoxic, Oeko-Tex-certified materials, it's an affordable bedroom basic that you can buy in multiples to keep all of your mattresses a little cleaner.

      Best With Padding
      Buffy Plushy Mattress Protector
      Buffy buffy.co

      Some of the previously mentioned mattress protectors offer heavy-duty protection but not a whole lot of comfort. This one from Buffy is the opposite. Similarly constructed to its incredible Cloud Comforter, it comprises a smooth, cool, eucalyptus-derived fiber shell and lightweight fill that's made from recycled water bottles. 

      It provides a super light, cushy foundational layer between your mattress and your sheets, and while it'll help prevent sweat and dust mites from making your mattress into a hotbed for allergens and germs, it won't prevent bedbugs or liquids from seeping through. The brand also lets you try it for free for 7 days before committing to it.

      Most Comfortable
      Bear Waterproof Mattress Protector
      Bear Mattress bearmattress.com

      This mattress protector from Bear is infused with a waterproof membrane to add a little extra insurance to your mattress, and it actually feels as cozy as the surface of a mattress should be, so you'll hardly know the difference once it's on.

      The protector is also conveniently heat- and moisture-wicking to help you sleep a little cooler, and reviewers specifically cite its softness and refreshing feel as a major plus.

      Best Cooling
      SlumberCloud Core Mattress Protector
      SlumberCloud slumbercloud.com

      If you want the best of the best for your bedroom, you can't go wrong with this cooling mattress protector from SlumberCloud. It's not cheap, but it's engineered with total comfort in mind.

      This mattress protector is infused with a waterproof membrane that's probably better suited for hot sleepers instead of accident-prone households. It's woven with Outlast fibers, which have been shown to absorb excess heat and then release it to help the sleeper maintain a comfortable body temperature.

      Some reviewers say that this protector works to counteract the heat-retaining properties of a memory foam mattress. The fact that it's soft, cushy, and will also keep dust mites and other allergens at bay is another bonus.

      Best for Cribs
      Waterproof Fitted Crib Mattress Pad
      Yoofoss amazon.com

      When it comes to cribs, a waterproof mattress protector is a must. This is another product to stock up on, so you're never left without a fresh one. Though this one is slightly crinkly, it's still soft and breathable, and it holds up against middle-of-the-night accidents while the potty-training phase is still underway.

      Some reviewers have also used this mattress protector to cover couch cushions and dog beds — so pet owners, take note!

      Best for Dorm Living
      Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Mattress Protector
      Brooklyn Bedding brooklynbedding.com

      Dorm-room mattresses are already crinkly, hot, and uncomfortable. When sending your kid off to campus, it's a good idea to get them a mattress protector that'll add a little extra softness so that they can rest easier during their undergrad years. 

      This cooling mattress protector from Brooklyn Bedding is a fantastic option for this purpose. It's smooth, stretchy, and cool to the touch, which instantly upgrades the feel of the mattress. It also provides a boost in protection against dust, dander, and moisture.

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