How Do Bed Bug Mattress Protectors Work

What Good Is a Bed Bug Mattress Cover?

Eve Mattress/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 4.0

  • B.A., Political Science, Rutgers University

Bed bugs are a pervasive pest that can find their way into any home by unwitting hosts. They can do this simply by hitching a ride in suitcases if you visit a hotel with an infestation, transferring onto your clothes from a movie theater seat, or traveling on visitors who come into your home. These bugs are erroneously associated with pests that only live in filthy living conditions. In fact, they can live and breed anywhere, including inside clean, uncluttered homes.

To protect your mattress from an infestation or to curb a mattress infestation that may have occurred, you can purchase a bed bug mattress encasement to trap the bugs inside the encasement or discourage bugs from making a permanent home in your bed. While mattress covers can provide some protection, however, you need to do much more to guarantee a bed-bug-free environment.

What Is a Bed Bug?

The common parasitic bed bug, from the cimicid family, feeds on human blood usually during the nighttime hours when humans are sleeping. Bed bugs can be seen with the naked eye and are roughly the size of a lentil. They have round brown or red bodies and are easy to spot on white surfaces. They prefer to live close to their human food source and make their homes in beds. Between 85 and 90 percent of the bed bugs in an infested home are typically found on or within 15 feet of the bed.

Bed bugs do bite; they actually saw into their host’s body and feed off their blood. While bed bugs don’t carry disease, their bites can cause blisters and itching, particularly for people with allergies. Bed bugs are very hard to control. Once they’ve infested a home, getting rid of them can be a challenge.

The Benefits of Mattress Covers

Most people are familiar with mattress covers. They are usually designed like a bottom sheet and provide protection for the top of a mattress. Ordinary mattress covers do little or nothing to stop bed bugs. Mattress encasements, however, can help minimize an infestation.

A mattress encasement is a tightly-woven fabric case that surrounds your mattress and box spring. Once it is installed, bed bugs already in the mattress cannot escape or breed, and will eventually die inside the encasement. Any bed bugs left outside the encasement will be easy to spot and remove. They will find no creases or hiding places where they can breed.

Mattress encasements not only repel and stifle bed bugs, but they can also provide a variety of other benefits. For example:

  • A good mattress encasement can protect against dust mites and other pests as well as bed bugs.
  • Most mattress encasements are waterproof, meaning that they will protect your mattress and box spring from spills and leaks.
  • Mattress encasements can eliminate the risk of infestation if used with a new mattress and box spring.

Buying Mattress Encasements

Bed bug mattress encasements can be purchased for as little as $20, though you may wish to explore the more expensive options, as they are more likely to be reliable, sturdy, and bug-proof. It’s possible to purchase a pesticide-treated encasement, but the potential health hazards outweigh the slight increase in protection from insects.

Many pest control supply companies sell mattress encasements online. If you plan to purchase a bed bug mattress protector, make sure you choose one that is specifically designed for bed bugs. There are special features, such as bugproof zippers, different materials, and chemically-treated covers, that you can consider at the time of purchase. Do check the reviews to be sure you’re purchasing a product that is reliable and well-made. Another consideration is noise, as some encasements are made of fabric that crinkles as you move in bed. This could interfere with your sleep.

Even after you install your encasement, remember that adult bed bugs can live for well over a year without a blood meal. Leave the encasement on for at least that long or for the life of your mattress to be sure all resident bed bugs are dead and there are no new infestations of your mattress occur. Meanwhile, if your home is infested, you need to hire a pest management company to completely eradicate the bed bugs.

Do Mattress Encasements for Bed Bugs Really Work?

ByChris Williamson May 9, 2011.

Q. My daughter’s dorm had bed bugs in a couple of the other girls’ rooms and she’s freaked out! I’ve heard about these coverings that you can get for your mattress to keep bed bugs out. Do they really work?

A. They’re called mattress encasements and yes, they do work…IF you get the right kind of encasement and IF it’s properly installed. A properly designed encasement completely envelops and seals the mattress and box spring, trapping bed bugs inside. The bed bugs are then unable to feed and will eventually starve. In addition, once the bed is protected by an encasement, other bed bugs cannot get into the mattress or box spring. They can only get on the surface of the encasement where they are easy to spot and remove.

Mattress encasements offer four advantages for bed bug control:

  1. Encasements provide preventive protection of beds. When newly introduced bed bugs reach the bed, their movement is restricted to the outside of the encasement, preventing them from hiding in the mattress or box spring.
  2. Encasements protect replacement beds. In an infested home or dorm room, encasements can be used to protect new mattresses and box springs that have been brought in to replace infested beds.
  3. Encasements allow people to keep their infested beds. Many people are simply not in a financial position to discard bed bug infested mattresses and box springs. In fact, experts say that getting rid of infested mattresses and box springs is not only unnecessary but can actually spread bed bugs when people scavenge discarded mattresses.
  4. Encasements make bug bug control easier. Encasements eliminate the time-consuming inspection and treatment of mattresses and box springs since bugs will be trapped inside or restricted to the outside of the encasement where they can be more easily dealt with.

Not just any mattress encasement will work. Make sure you get an encasement that specifically mentions bed bugs. There are several different brands to choose from these days. Some are designed with special seams and zippers specifically to protect against bed bugs. Others were originally designed for allergy protection, but subsequent testing has shown some to be effective against bed bugs as well.

The encasement must be bed bug “bite proof” and “escape proof.” Bed bugs will squeeze their way through zippers and seams whenever possible in order to feed.

The zipper end stop is the number one place for escaping bed bugs. The encasement should enclose the zipper tab to eliminate any gaps. Be sure that any claim for protection against bed bugs is backed by scientific testing. Standard mattress covers designed to simply protect mattresses from dust and bodily fluids will be ineffective against bed bugs.

It’s very important that you get the right size encasement for the bed since encasements are only effective as long as they fit tightly. The encasement should match the size of the mattress or box spring. Be sure to measure the mattress and box spring separately since each will have different dimensions. You should put encasements on both.

The 5 Best Bed Bug Mattress Covers – Reviews For 2020

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Struggling with bed bugs is undoubtedly something that you’d remember for a long time coming. These nasty little pests are amongst the most challenging insects to deal with and they do pose a tremendous risk factor to your sleeping environment. A bed bug infestation is capable of causing a horrific headache and it’s something that’s quite hard to deal with.

Of course, our mattresses, being the comfortable and warm sleeping havens that they are, bring the most preferred conditions for pests to thrive in. This is why they are also the most common target.

If you’re in a hurry check out theThe Original Sleep Defense System.It’s our top pick and it works wonderfully! This one is the best covers aginst bed bugs and it’s waterproof. Plus, a great value for the money you pay.

So, how to deal with this problem and prevent it from taking place? The easiest and hassle-free way to do so is byopting for the highest rated mattress encasement (cover). This is an inexpensive yet particularly effective way to protect your mattress from this serious problem.

  • Material: Polyester
  • Depth: 12"
  • Warranty: 5 Years
  • Material: Cotton
  • Depth: 12-15"
  • Warranty: 10 Years
  • Material: PVC
  • Depth: 15"
  • Warranty: 5 Years
  • Material: Polyester
  • Depth: 12"
  • Warranty: 10 Years
  • Material: Polyester
  • Depth: 12"
  • Warranty: 10 Years

Our Top 5 Encasement Reviews

The Original Defense System

A comparatively expensive investment like your mattress is perfectly well protected with this particular product. It is designated to shield your bed from dust mites, bed bugs, spills and bed-wetting. That’s right – you wouldn’t have to worry about permanent stains caused by your toddler’s inability to hold his bladder.

This is a100% bed bug proof solutionwhich is undoubtedly one of its most cherished properties. Additionally, the product is good when it comes to easing different respiratory symptoms and allergens because it prevents the accumulation of bacteria and dust mites.

In terms of convenience, the encasement fits the majority of mattress sizes with heights in the range of 12 to 18 inches. The bug flap and zipper lock guarantee that your mattress is perfectly pest proof for the entire duration.

OVERALL RATING: 9.7 out of 10

  • 100% Bed Bug proof
  • Waterproof on every single side of the mattress
  • Soft polyester knit for a comfortable appeal
  • Fits a myriad of sizes
  • It’s not great for temperature regulation

SafeRest Premium Zippered

This is a lot more than just an average type of mattress encasement. The product is specifically intended to shield the mattress from dust mites, bedbugs and fluid spills. This makes it the perfect fit for your bed, prolonging its lifespan and making sure that it remains hypoallergenic and stainless.

The product is 100% waterproof but it’s also breathable in order to ensure the noise-canceling properties as well as its heat regulation abilities. It comes with micro-zipper technology which enhances the protection against pests.

Additionally, the product is made to surround the entire mattress, ensuring a 360-degree protection while the breathable membrane guarantees a proper air flow. The product is hypoallergenic and it’s perfect for people who suffer from allergies, asthma and eczema.

OVERALL RATING: 9 out of 10

  • High-end materials
  • Machine-washable and could be tumble dried
  • Breathable membrane
  • 360-degree protection
  • The zipper may fail after a few washes

Utopia Bedding Waterproof Zippered

This zippered solution is designed to fit queen size mattresses snugly without any issues. The dimensions it serves measure 60 x 80 inches and it can wrap around 15 inches of thickness.

The product comes with a Velcro zip guard which is designed to secure your mattress and wrap it in 360-degrees protection to prevent dust mites, allergens and bedbugs from infesting it.

The product is made out of stretchable knitted polyester which is a fabric that brings a bed sheet-like sensation to your sleep. It’s noiseless and it won’t disrupt your sleeping cycles. Additionally, the entire thing is100% waterproof, machine washable and you could tumble dry it to ensure ease of maintenance.

The material that it’s made out of is not as breathable as some of the other products hereby described but it does bring a sufficient airflow.

OVERALL RATING: 8.2 out of 10

  • Velcro zip guard for increased security
  • 360-degree protection
  • Convenient for a myriad of sizes
  • Stretchable fabric with enhanced comfort
  • Lacks the necessary breathability

LINENSPA Zippered Encasement Waterproof

The LINENSPA cover definitely manages to bath the eye with all of the perks that it brings to the table. It’s one of the units which resonates well within the community, receiving little to no negative feedback at all. It provides splendid quality at an affordable price which is something that quite a lot of people are looking forward to.

Right off the bat, it’s made out of breathable fabric which promotes the free flow of air, hence prevent perspiration and heat. This also delivers a great sleeping sensation and an excellent feel on your skin.

The product is incredibly easy to wash and you could easily throw it in the washing machine without any issues or worries whatsoever. You can even tumble dry it afterward. The zippered closure ensures easy application and removable.

The product is 100% waterproof on all of its sizes while retaining the necessary breathability.

OVERALL RATING: 8.5 out of 10

  • Premium, lightweight fabric for enhanced breathability
  • 100% waterproof on 6 sizes
  • Cooler sleeping surface
  • Machine washable
  • The product tends to stretch excessively after prolonged usage

Beckham Hotel Collection Premium

This is amongst the best options available on the market. It boasts a myriad of benefits that you ought to look forward to when picking a mattress encasement.

Right off the bat, the product is hypoallergenic thanks to the premium polyester fabric. This helps you with asthma, allergies alongside a range of other respiratory conditions. It blocks the allergens while you are sleeping.

Furthermore, it’s bedbug proof, guaranteeing that you wouldn’t experience issues with these pesky little insects. It’s also going to keep dust mites away.

The product is extra soft, ensuring a flawless sleeping sensation. The secure zip closure provides a well-rounded,360-degree protectionand 100% waterproof capabilities.

OVERALL RATING: 8.3 out of 10

  • 100% Waterproof and perfect breathability
  • Bedbug proof
  • Keeps dust mites and allergens away
  • 100% polyester knitted
  • The zipper lock system is not as reliable

Do Bed Encasements Work?

As soon as you find the type of mattress that fits your individual preferences and requirements, it’s incredibly important to make sure that you are aware of how it works so that you could easily take care of it. In the majority of cases, encasements work by fitting snugly around the mattress, hence preventing any access to it regarding pests and any particles, for that matter. There are a few specifications to consider, which would determine the overall effectiveness of the solution.

These include but are not limited to: breathability, zipper system, whether or not it’s dust mite proof and resistant to bed bugs, noise canceling capabilities and, preferably – a vinyl free solution.

Bed encasements work. They are amongst the most reliable and affordable solutions for preventing bed bug infestation as well as issues associated with dust mites and other irritants and allergens.

How to Buy a Mattress Cover

Bed Bug Protection Level

Bed bugs are pesky parasites which are capable of bringing a lot of illnesses if you fail to get rid of them on time. As opposed to fleas, these are a lot harder to get rid of. While they might not seem like a big deal since they can’t be seen easily, you ought to take the necessary measures in order to ensure that they are conveniently taken care of. They can easily cause insomnia and skin-related issues as a result of excessive itching, anxiety and even some serious and considerably severe allergic reactions.

Dust Mite Protection Level

Dust mites are amongst the most common household allergen. While there are quite a lot of ways of killing them, the best protection is always prevention. Your mattress is a heaven for those tiny creatures and failing to protect it will result in an infestation. A comprehensive mattress encasement which encompasses the bed entirely is a great solution to this problem. Choose a solution with high protection levels in order to ensure that everything is handled as per the highest health standards.

Consider Noise Level

Since most bed covers are made out of a waterproof, bed bug repelling and dust mite preventing outer layer, they are also likely to be a bit noisy. This is something that you ought to consider. Therefore, when you’re searching for the best solution, you should look out for something which doesn’t produce as much noise.

Noise could be a serious irritant and it’s capable of disrupting your sleep cycle tremendously. Therefore, the more noiseless the encasement is, the better it would fit your natural rhythm. Keep this in mind.

Is Waterproof Important?

Just like mattress protectors and covers, one of the main designation for mattress encasements is to protect the bed from accidental spilling and different fluids and liquids. Therefore, it needs to be waterproof.

As a matter of fact, the main difference between a regular protector and an encasement is that the former usually comes with a single, top layer of waterproof fabric while the majority of encasements are entirely made of a waterproof solution. This is something that brings additional protection and ensures that your mattress remains clean and stainless for a prolonged period of time, additionally reducing the wear and tear on the same.

Detecting Bed Bugs

Visual Inspection

Detecting those pests is something which should alarm you that you need an additional layer of protection. The easiest way to go about it is to inspect your home visually. Look for increments or for shells as they tend to shed them as they reproduce. Therefore, you will be able to see their shells easily with a naked eye. They are not that tiny.

Additionally, you may also look for the bugs themselves at the most common places where they are usually encountered. Furthermore, you can look at your bed sheet when you wake up and look for blood spots. Of course,actual bitesare also a sign that you are dealing with an infestation.

Install Inceptor Devices

Once you’ve determined that you are dealing with them, installing inceptor devices is something that could help you out substantially. Keep in mind, though, that this is a very mild form of protection, and if it’s used as a standalone solution, it’s unlikely to help you considerably. Make sure to combine it with something additional.

Usually immediately after you install those inceptor devices you should call the professionals to come and visit you. Alternatively, you should quickly purchase an encasement to prevent the spread and protect your mattress.

Get Your Mattress Cover

If you detect the smallest sign that you have bed bugs, purchasing some mattress covers for bed bugsis a must. When you shop for it, make sure to see that it is specifically suited and geared towards protecting your mattress from these nasty little pests.

This is going to ensure that these pesky little insects do not get to your mattress. Quite frankly, if you fail to do so, in a lot of the situations you’d likely have to change the entire mattress as exterminating them is nearly impossible. Therefore, a simple encasement could potentially save you a substantial amount of money.

Contract With Pest Professionals

This is undoubtedly the most reasonable and effective thing to consider. Get in touch with a professional and specialized company and make sure that they come to your place as quickly as they can. Detecting bed bugs is nothing short of an emergency, and you shouldn’t disregard it.

Once these bugs start to reproduce, getting rid of them becomes incredibly challenging and it requires a serious amount of resources – this is something you ought to consider. Therefore, it’s critical that you intercept them at the right moment and prevent them from going any further.

Finding the Best Bed Bug Mattress Cover for Your Home

When it comes to defending your home, nothing but the best will do. Take a look at the best mattress covers for bed bugs and keep those pesky pests at bay.

Bed Bug Mattress Covers

Sleeping without a bed bug mattress cover is like leaving your front door wide open. You wouldn’t allow intruders to enter your home at night and harm your family, so why let pests do the same? A bed bug mattress protector prevents bed bugs from using the mattress — one of their favorite places — as a harborage area and locks existing pests inside, causing them to starve and die.

Up to 90 percent of bed bugs in an infested home occur on or near mattresses and box springs. Bed bug covers can prevent the infestation of your mattress and destroy existing bed bugs that may be hiding deep within it. Here’s everything you should know about how to find the best bed bug mattress protectors for your home.

What is a Bed Bug Mattress Protector?

A bed bug mattress protector is a large, removable sheet of fabric that fits tightly around your mattress, fully encasing the mattress. Each protector includes a zipper that locks particles — and pests — inside. Once locked inside, bed bugs have no way of escaping from the encasement to reach their blood supply host. As so, mattress protectors can cause bed bugs to starve and die. According to the University of Minnesota, bed bugs can die within just two weeks when trapped inside. Likewise, bed bug encasements are key in keeping additional bed bugs from infesting the mattress, as new bed bugs have no way of penetrating the mattress protector.

How to Pick Mattress Covers for Bed Bugs

So, what should you look for in a bed bug mattress cover? Consider the questions below:

Is it a Full Encasement?

An effective mattress cover should cover the entire mattress. Some covers market themselves as “bed bug proof” but only target certain areas of a mattress. Look for covers that each fully encase the mattress or box spring.

Is it Properly Sealed?

A mattress cover can kill existing bed bugs by sealing them within and keeping them from feeding on you at night. Bed bugs are very small, though. Their flat shape allows them to sneak through crevices. Be sure to purchase a mattress cover with a zipper and reinforced seams. Many higher-quality covers also contain strip seals that protect the zipper and ensure a tight seal. Be aware of any tears or holes that may appear on bed bug mattress covers over time.

Has it Been Tested?

Bed bug covers sold by trusted pest control experts often undergo additional testing to ensure a quality product. Be sure to check if the mattress cover you are considering has been lab certified or tested by qualified entomologists.

Is it Toxin-Free?

Some covers for bed bugs contain chemical treatments that assist in killing existing bed bugs. Harsh chemicals can be dangerous and unnecessary, though. Therefore, you should take caution when considering these options.

Do Bed Bug Mattress Encasements Work?

While bed bug mattress encasements can be helpful, they can be faulty if improperly placed on the bed. Not to mention, any holes or tears can give trapped bed bugs an easy escape. It’s important to remember that there may be other bed bugs lurking nearby, too. Only trapping those on your mattress may not help to eliminate the entire infestation. With the help of a pest management professional, multiple solutions can be applied to help increase the likelihood of treatment success.

Want to be proactive against these nocturnal attackers? It may be time to invest in a bed bug mattress protector. Purchasing mattress covers for bed bugs can be a safe and effective way to protect your family. While these covers won’t completely eliminate the risk of a bed bug outbreak, using them can prevent major infestations and make identifying bed bugs far simpler. If you’re looking for a whole-home, effective solution, schedule an appointment with Terminix ® . This means less time sleeping with the enemy and more time sleeping soundly.

Cluster Flies In Your Home

If you’re like many homeowners, you’ve dealt with annoying flies ruining your summer barbecues and outdoor dinner parties. You may have even become accustomed to whipping out the flypaper and heavy-duty bug zappers the minute you hear the familiar buzz of a fly. These annoying pests are likely house flies, which can pose significant health risks to you and your family. But have you ever seen large, sluggish flies loitering inside your home in the autumn and winter? They may be cluster flies.

What are Sand Fleas?

Many people love going to the beach to spend time in the sun, sand, and water. But they might not love some of the nuisances that live at the beach or in the ocean, such as gnats or jellyfish. But, what about the sand flea, a small critter that can be found in moist areas such as under rocks or debris. Keep reading to learn exactly what sand fleas are and if you need to worry about them.

Keeping Control in the Fall: How to Help Get Rid of Boxelder Bugs

Just like many fall pests, the transition between summer and fall can bring a large number of boxelder bugs into homes. During the summer, these pests primarily infest maple trees and boxelder trees, hence their name. But once the weather cools down, heated homes and buildings draw these pests indoors.

Stay-at-home bug activities that parents and kids will love

What is a Mosquito Fogger?

A mosquito fogger is a special machine powered by electricity or propane that produces very tiny droplets that hang in the air — which produces a fog. The fog will remain in the air for a period of time before settling on the ground or anything directly below it. Ideally, the fog’s chemical ingredients will cover mosquito resting sites.

Everything to Know About Bed Bug Rashes

Bed bugs hide during the day and feed at night. Their diet? Your blood. Discover the signs of a bed bug rash and what to do if you’ve been bitten.

Related Articles

Do Earwigs Bite?

If you shudder a little when you think about earwigs, you’re probably not alone. They’ve developed quite a nasty reputation, thanks to urban legends (mostly false) that have been circulating for years. But are they harmful?

Cluster Flies In Your Home

If you’re like many homeowners, you’ve dealt with annoying flies ruining your summer barbecues and outdoor dinner parties. You may have even become accustomed to whipping out the flypaper and heavy-duty bug zappers the minute you hear the familiar buzz of a fly. These annoying pests are likely house flies, which can pose significant health risks to you and your family. But have you ever seen large, sluggish flies loitering inside your home in the autumn and winter? They may be cluster flies.

Tips to Get Rid of Stink Bugs in Your House

Now that it’s fall, it’s officially indoor stink bug season. Before it becomes winter, brown marmorated stink bugs are looking for comfortable overwintering sites to spend the cold months—and that can often mean that they may find a way to sneak into your house. While the odor that a stink bug releases is not dangerous, they are definitely a nuisance. Luckily, there are steps you can take to get rid of stink bugs in your house—without having to deal with the unpleasant smell.

What are Sand Fleas?

Many people love going to the beach to spend time in the sun, sand, and water. But they might not love some of the nuisances that live at the beach or in the ocean, such as gnats or jellyfish. But, what about the sand flea, a small critter that can be found in moist areas such as under rocks or debris. Keep reading to learn exactly what sand fleas are and if you need to worry about them.

The Lifespans of Insects With Short Lives

Many insects, such as butterflies, have a lifespan that occurs in four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Other insects, such as grasshoppers, do not have a pupal stage and instead go through three stages: egg, nymph, and adult. The length of each stage can vary based on many things, from the insect species to the temperature outside—but what some insects share in common is a very short adult stage. Keep reading to learn about five insects with some of the shortest adult stages in their lifespan.

The Return of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

The change of seasons from summer to fall means many things: leaves changing colors, dropping temperatures, and—depending on where you live—stink bugs sneaking into your home. Stink bugs were named for their distinct ability to emit an unpleasant odor when they are threatened or disturbed by predators like lizards or birds. This also means that if stink bugs enter your home and feel threatened, you’ll be faced with dealing with their strong smell in your house. As we head into fall, you might find yourself with more active stink bugs than usual, so it’s important to know the basics about these smelly insects.


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Mattress Pad & Protector Buying Guide

Mattress Pad & Protector Buying Guide

Mattress Pads, Mattress Protectors & Mattress Covers

From accidents and spills to pests, allergens, and infestations, mattress pad protection is essential to a clean, comfortable and healthy night’s rest. Our mattress pad and mattress protector buying guide was created to help you get a better understanding of mattress protection, and how it can improve the health of your home. Read more below and follow the links for a deeper look into this bedroom essential.

What is Mattress Pad Protection?

Mattress pad protection is vital to the longevity of your mattress, and more importantly, it provides a healthy sleep environment by guarding against bed bugs, dust mites, allergens, sweat, and stains. Since it’s almost impossible to wash a mattress, mattress protectors are removable, so they can easily be washed and maintained. Mattress covers come in different sizes, colors, styles, materials, fabrics, and with varying protection benefits.

Types of Mattress Protection

Mattress covers are effective in providing the following types of mattress protection:

Wear and Tear

Mattress pads add a layer of fabric to protect against light wear and tear that comes from sleeping or laying on a mattress. Over time, mattresses get dirty, accumulate small rips or tears, or fade in the spots that are the most slept on. Mattress protectors, mattress covers, mattress pads, or box spring covers add a line of defense to combat these issues and prolong the lifespan of the mattress or box spring.

Spills, Stains & Incontinence

Waterproof mattress pads safeguard against spills, stains, and moisture resulting from accidents, fluids, and sweat. Mattress protection can prevent mold and mildew from growing in the mattress by blocking fluids from soaking into the bed. Waterproof mattress covers are ideal for sleepers who sweat, people who eat or drink in bed, families with small children, those who have issues with incontinence, pets that sleep on the bed or anyone seeking to keep the mattress stain-free.

Allergen-Free Bed

Dust mites are the most common household allergen, present in most home textiles. They feed off of human skin flakes and use mattresses as breeding grounds. The most effective way to combat dust mites, and enjoy a healthier sleeping environment, is to purchase a dust mite mattress cover that fully encases the mattress on all sides. For maximum allergy protection, consider implementing a box spring cover to prevent dust mites or other allergens from accumulating in the box spring.

Additional allergy asthma and triggers include pet dander, mold, and mildew, all of which can penetrate an unprotected mattress. Mattress covers shields pet owners from an unhealthy buildup of pet dander in the bed. Waterproof mattress pads can block fluids, and prevent the growth of mildew and mold inside the mattress.

Bed Bug-Proof Mattress

Bed bugs are small insects that live on human and animal blood, and therefore prefer to live inside mattresses and pillows, near their food source. One way to prevent these tiny insects from infesting your bed is by purchasing a bed bug mattress encasement. Bed bug-proof mattress covers encase the entire mattress on all sides and are too thick for bed bugs to enter or exit. For maximum protection throughout the entire bed, consider purchasing a bed bug proof box spring cover. For the best protection, make sure to look for pillow covers that are entomology lab certified.

Types of Mattress Protectors

There are two main types of mattress protectors, with each providing distinct benefits and protection:

6-Sided Mattress Encasements

A zippered mattress encasement encompasses the entire mattress. It’s like placing a mattress into a large protective fabric bag. Mattress encasements are ideal for shielding against bed bugs, dust mites, dander, allergens and other contaminants. For the maximum protection, select a model that includes a micro-tooth zipper, or a zipper small enough to prevent bed bugs from entering or escaping the mattress.

5-Sided Fitted Sheet Style Protection

A fitted sheet-style mattress protector is placed over a mattress just like a fitted sheet. It slides over the edges and corners of the mattress, includes a full “skirt” around the sides of the mattress, and uses elastic edging to ensure a snug fit. With top surface waterproofing, This type of mattress protection is an ideal safeguard against spills, stains, and incontinence. It can also be used for protection against normal wear and tear. While they may offer top or side surface protection against bed bugs and dust mites, they are less effective then encasements because the bottom of the mattress is not covered.

Mattress Pad Fabrics

Mattress protectors come in a wide range of fabrics, with each one offering unique advantages and disadvantages. The following is a list of the most popular fabrics used on mattress covers:

Cotton Mattress Pads

Cotton mattress pads are naturally hypoallergenic due to the organic composition of cotton. Cotton fabric is available without chemical and pesticide treatments, which is ideal for those with skin sensitivities. It’s also breathable enough to allow mattresses to stay cooler for a comfortable sleeping experience.

Polyester Mattress Pads

Polyester is a durable fabric offered in a variety of textures and styles. Polyester is easy to wash and maintain and can be less expensive than other fabrics. Although polyester is not as cool as fabrics like Tencel®, it’s often blended with other materials to maximize protection and comfort. Polyester does not wick moisture, although it can be fast-drying, and is not considered hypoallergenic.

Tencel® LyocellMattress Pads

Tencel lyocell is a bedding fabric known for its botanic origins and comfortable properties. Tencel is an eco-friendly textile that is sourced from sustainable resources. Tencel lyocell mattress covers are highly breathable, naturally hypoallergenic, moisture-wicking and inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria. Additionally, Tencel mattress protectors are ideal for those with sensitive skin because Tencel is very soft and smooth, not abrasive or itchy like wool or cotton fibers.

Plush VelourMattress Pads

Velour or velours is a plush, knitted fabric or textile similar to velvet or velveteen. It is usually made from cotton but can also be made from synthetic materials such as polyester. Velour can be a woven or a knitted fabric, allowing it to stretch. It combines the stretchy properties of knits with the rich appearance and feel of velvet. A plush velour waterproof top surface, and sensually soft mattress protection infuses luxury into your down time with dry, warm comfort.

BambooMattress Pads

Bamboo mattress pads are popular due to the natural benefits of soothing, comforting bamboo fabric. Much like Tencel, the fabric on bamboo mattress covers is moisture-wicking and inhibits the growth of odor-causing bacteria. Bamboo mattress protectors allow sensitive sleepers to rest soundly since bamboo is a naturally hypoallergenic mattress cover.

Cooling Mattress Covers

Cooling mattress pads utilize specialty engineered fabrics that create a cooling sensation by lowering the temperature of the bed while you sleep, perfect for hot sleepers or those who prefer a crisp, cold sleep climate. Cooling mattress covers typically work by dissipating heat faster than other fabrics, keeping the bed feeling cool all night for a comfortable night’s rest.

Waterproof Mattress Pad Materials

Mattress protectors are typically made out of one of the following two materials:

Polyurethane Waterproof Mattress Pads

Polyurethane is a super-thin, flexible membrane that is used to waterproof fabrics while remaining totally undetectable and silent during sleep. It is a superior waterproof barrier, and is also highly breathable, with microscopic pores that allow air to pass through the mattress cover. This keeps the sleeper cool throughout the night, while effectively stopping the transmission of liquids, dust, bed bugs and dust mites. Polyurethane is a durable material that’s quieter and cooler to sleep on when compared to vinyl.

Vinyl or Plastic Waterproof Mattress Pads

Vinyl mattress pads are not nearly as breathable as polyurethane mattress pads but are effective against pests and liquids. Vinyl’s thickness provides an effective barrier against bed bugs and dust mites. However, vinyl has several drawbacks. It retains heat, which makes for a warmer bed throughout the night. It is not a breathable material, trapping in moisture and sweat, contributing to a wet or sticky sleep surface. Plastic mattress pads tend to be crinkly, loud and sleep very hot, but they are easy to clean and maintain.

How to Buy a Mattress Pad

Mattress pad protection is available in a wide range of options. Here are features to consider when shopping for mattress pad protection:


The size of the mattress will determine what size mattress pad is needed. Measure the mattress size and depth before shopping for a mattress protector. It’s important to buy a mattress protector that fits the entire mattress in order to get maximum protection.


Determine the benefits most important to you when selecting mattress protection. Consider features like waterproofing, cooling fabrics, guarding against bed bugs, and wear and tear prevention. Hypoallergenic mattress pads are ideal for sensitive sleepers who may be allergic to certain fabrics, dust mites or chemicals and pesticides – look for protectors that feature Tencel or bamboo.


Mattress protectors with thick or layered fabrics can add soft comfort or cushion to the surface of the mattress. The type of fabric used and the knitting style can provide a plush finish with additional cushion and texture, while knits like jacquard add loft and also keep you warmer. If you prefer a cold sleep climate, consider a cooling mattress cover.


For those that prefer a cooler sleeping experience, choose a mattress pad that allows the mattress to breathe. This guarantees efficient airflow, prevents heat from being trapped, and provides a cooler night sleep. Mattress protectors with polyurethane waterproofing allow more airflow and cooling than their vinyl counterparts.

Easy to Wash

Since mattress protectors are designed to protect against spills, stains and other mishaps, it’s important that your mattress cover is easy to remove and wash. Regular washing of mattress protection will keep the bed clean, sanitized and odorless. Make sure that the mattress pad you select is machine washable, and always follow the care instructions provided.


When shopping for mattress protectors and mattress pads, ensure the products you are looking at is back by a solid manufacturer’s warranty. The ideal warranty last about 10 years and covers defects in performance due to manufacturing issues. Once you make your purchase, ensure you read the warranty, register your product on the manufacturer’s website, and follow the care instructions as directed on the product label. With the proper care, a good warranty can ensure your mattress protector lasts for years.

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