If you’ve ever hung out or worked from your bed, you know that spills are inevitable. The point of a mattress protector is to keep your space sleep-ready. By providing a layer of waterproof, sometimes hypoallergenic fabric between you and your very expensive mattress, you ensure that you never have to fall asleep on a weird, smelly wet spot. And for city dwellers, a secure mattress cover can keep bedbugs from getting to your mattress and help you detect a possible infestation before it becomes a bigger problem.
To find the best mattress protectors, we first rounded up all the ones that pest-management and bedding experts have recommended to us in previous Strategist stories. Then we consulted our data to determine which mattress protectors our readers have purchased the most over the past three years. The mattress protector that had the most expert recommendations and was among our most-sold products was named the best overall. The rest of the covers, below, were either recommended to us by experts or bought at least 1,500 times over the past three years. They’re organized by the attribute experts and reviewers mentioned the most about the mattress protector, whether that be a material that’s extra cooling or a particularly well-designed zipper that is sure to keep bedbugs out.
What we’re looking for
Fabric: Mattress protectors are generally made from cotton, polyester, vinyl, and (sometimes) bamboo blends. However, the experts we spoke to when reporting on bedbug mattress covers suggested avoiding vinyl. “Vinyl covers aren’t breathable and rip very easily because they have no stretch,” says Matthew Moers, co-owner of EZ Pest Exterminating. Beyond that, the material you choose is mostly a personal preference. Polyester is stretchy and durable but can be noisy. Cotton is quieter and a little more breathable but slightly less durable than polyester. Bamboo blends are better for hot sleepers or those looking for more sustainably sourced materials.
Mattress fit: It’s important to get a protector that fits your mattress tightly. A loose fit provides more opportunities for bugs, mites, and liquid to penetrate your mattress, and it can make the protector noisier when you move around at night. The best way to ensure a snug fit is to match the mattress protector with the height. So we’ve noted the depth each mattress protector will fit so you can be sure you don’t buy one that’s too loose. For consistency, we listed the depth for queen-size protectors, unless otherwise noted.
Best overall mattress protector
Cotton | 18 inches
When we asked Timothy Wong, the technical director of New York City–based ecofriendly pest-management company M&M Pest Control, about bedbug mattress protectors, he pointed to SafeRest’s covers as the best. While he recommends the brand’s Premium Zippered Bedbug Proof Mattress Encasement to his clients, he notes that all of SafeRest’s covers are completely waterproof, hypoallergenic, and machine washable. This cotton fitted cover, which reviewers note is impressively waterproof and noiseless, is our most-purchased mattress protector by a long shot: Since 2019, readers have bought nearly 20,000 of them.
Best (less expensive) mattress protector
Cotton | 22 inches
With more than 6,500 purchases over the past three years, Lucid’s mattress protector is our third-most-purchased option — and at $20, it’s nearly half the price of our best overall pick. The cotton terry surface is breathable and noiseless, with reviewers praising the cover for being undetectable at night. It’s waterproof and hypoallergenic, and it has extra-deep pockets that provide a secure fit on mattresses up to 22 inches deep.
Best cooling mattress protector
Polyester and bamboo-derived viscose rayon | 18 inches
Made with a proprietary Lulltra fabric, the mattress protector from Coop Home (which also makes one of our favorite pillows) is most lauded for being breathable. The fabric is a blend of polyester and bamboo-derived viscose rayon, the latter of which is known for being more cooling than other materials. The Coop protector is our second-most-purchased mattress protector, with 6,613 bought since 2019. Its polyurethane backing is fully waterproof, but the Lulltra fabric keeps the cover soft and noiseless, with no crinkling sounds at night. The cover is also Oeko-Tex certified, which means it’s free of PVC and vinyl, and it fits mattresses up to 18 inches deep.
Best encased mattress protector
If you prefer a zippered encasement to a fitted sheet–style mattress protector, this one from Utopia bedding is the most well-liked, with just over 2,400 purchased in the past three years. Made of knitted polyester, it’s stretchy and comfortable but very thick and durable. The zipper-encasement, 360-degree coverage of your mattress, which helps keep out dust and bugs, and its thermoplastic polyurethane on all sides make it fully waterproof too. However, because it’s made of polyester, it can be louder than cotton protectors, but reviewers note that for the quality, it’s a very affordable and durable protector. It fits mattresses up to 15 inches deep.
Best mattress protector for kids
Cotton | 18 inches (for twin size)
NYC Bed Bug Inspections owner John H. Brickman often recommends Linenspa’s Zippered Mattress Encasement to his clients as an affordable cover to protect mattresses from dust mites and bedbugs. But if you’re looking for a cover for kids, Linenspa’s Top Protection Mattress Protector may be an even better option. It’s our fifth-most-purchased mattress protector, with nearly 3,000 bought since 2019. Many reviewers note they purchased the protector for their kids’ beds and it has kept the mattresses safe through all manner of accidents thanks to its waterproof polyurethane backing. It’s made of soft, breathable cotton (as opposed to the Linenspa encasement that’s made of louder polyester), which adds extra absorption and keeps the protector quiet at night. And perhaps most important, it’s affordably priced. so you don’t have to spend a ton of money on a protector your kid will eventually outgrow — though you should note that it does come with a 10-year warranty (as long as you follow the care instructions) should any problems occur before your kids outgrow it.
[Editor’s note: Since this mattress protector is the best for kids, we’ve linked to a twin-size protector, but it’s also available in sizes up to a California king.]
Best mattress protector for bedbugs
Cotton | Available in a variety of depths, up to 18 inches
This mattress encasement, which Wong recommends to his pest- control clients, has been purchased 1,638 times since 2019, making it our ninth-most-purchased protector. Made from waterproof cotton, it’s breathable and washable but still provides exceptional protection. It has two layers — a moisture-wicking cotton followed by an additional membrane barrier — to ensure your mattress stays dry. Wong especially likes the zipper, which is specially designed to prevent any holes or entry points to your mattress. This makes the encasement protective against both bedbugs and dust mites. It also happens to be Oeko-Tex certified, and unlike most other protectors, this one comes in a range of depths, from 6 to 9 inches on the low end to 15 to 18 on the high end.
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