Three Things to Look for in a Mattress Protector

Rest easy—your mattress is covered.

Cozy bedroom
Protect your mattress from water, dust mites, pet dander and more with a cover.Pixabay/BUMIPUTRA

A good mattress will cost you, but great sleep is priceless. Your mattress can last seven to 10 years before it needs to be replaced, and a mattress protector will keep it looking and working good as new. Here are three things to consider before you buy one.

SafeRest King Size Premium Hypoallergenic Waterproof Mattress Protector - Vinyl Free
Fitted sheet-style design in cotton with breathable membrane back coating.SafeRest

Mattress protectors come in two types: six-sided zippered encasements that cover the entire mattress or five-sided fitted sheet-styles that leave the bottom of the mattress exposed. The former offer 360-degrees of protection, but can be harder to put on and remove for washing. The latter is easy to put on and remove, but won’t give your mattress that same level of protection. If bedbugs are a concern, experts encourage using a zippered encasement style mattress protector.

Utopia Bedding Quilted Fitted Mattress Pad (Queen) - Mattress Cover Stretches up to 16 Inches Deep - Mattress Topper
Soft microfiber material with plush diamond stitch quilting.Utopia Bedding

Don’t confuse mattress pads for mattress protectors. Mattress pads are primarily focused on providing extra comfort and coolness during sleep. Mattress protectors are more like insurance for your investment. Waterproof protectors safeguard against stains and mildewing from accidents, spills, and sweating. (Stains aren’t just an eyesore. Many mattress companies don’t allow the return of stained mattresses, even under warranty.) Allergen-free mattress protectors fight the accumulation of dust mites, pet dander, mold and mildew. Bedbug-proof protectors keep pests out of your bed—the insect kind, at least. Many mattress protectors offer a combination of these benefits.

PlushDeluxe Premium Bamboo Mattress Protector – Waterproof, Hypoallergenic & Ultra Soft Breathable Bed Mattress Cover for Maximum Comfort & Protection
Full coverage design for 360-degree protection from stains, liquids and allergens.PlushDeluxe

We put our mattresses, and thus, our mattress protectors, through a lot. Yet many people only wash their mattress protector a handful of times, if that. Experts recommend washing your mattress protector once a month for best results and weekly or biweekly if you struggle with allergies. But there are exceptions: mattress protectors on guest beds don’t need the same regular care, and mattress protectors should be washed immediately if there’s a big spill. When the time comes, wash in cold or lukewarm warm on gentle with a mild detergent and tumble dry on low, as heat and harsh chemicals can weaken waterproofing and binding materials.

Sweet dreams!

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