The Best Mattress Protectors, Tested By Forbes Vetted Experts


The best mattress protectors provide an impenetrable barrier that protects your mattress against sweat, spills and stains. In my extensive testing, I found that the best mattress protector overall is the Sijo AiryWeight Eucalyptus Mattress Protector thanks to its breathability, comfort, and ease of use. I rigorously tested dozens of others to see which ones work best in the real world. Here are of all the winners from this process:

Sijo’s mattress protector is our top pick because it gets a few things right where others fall short. First, the Sijo mattress protector doesn’t cause any heat buildup, unlike some others I tested. Appropriately named, the Airyweight Eucalyptus mattress protector is indeed breathable. It’s also made with lyocell fiber, which helps regulate body temperature. Care is easy since it’s machine washable and tumble dried on low.

While our other picks are comfortable to sleep on, I found this one so comfortable that I forgot it was even there. Thick mattresses are also not an issue for this protector, since the Sijo can accommodate mattresses up to 18 inches tall, and it was easy to get on and off the bed. It passed our waterproof test, and I found no leaks, though it should be noted that the sides of the mattress protector are not waterproof. I really like that all of these great features come with a price tag of less than $70 for a queen size, which is significantly lower than some of the other mattress protectors I tested that didn’t perform quite as well.

I’ve previously tested the Linenspa mattress protector and wasn’t that impressed, but this time around, it seems like the brand has made some improvements. While you’re not going to get a top of the line mattress protector, you’ll get one that passed our waterproof test, and it’s less than $20 for a queen size — a hard to beat price. It’s extremely thin, which contributes to the low price tag, but in this case, it works in the protector’s favor because it has a barely-there feel. I also found noise wasn’t an issue as I moved around.

The one bigger drawback is that I found it gets fairly warm, so if you sleep hot, you may want to consider another mattress protector on this list. The skirt is also made out of a thin mesh material, so it doesn’t offer any side protection. The stretchy mesh made it easy to get on and off the bed, but the loose fabric allowed for shifting so it also may not be the best for those that toss and turn during the night. Spills are easy to clean up, since the protector is machine washable and tumble dry low.

Most mattress protectors are made out of primarily synthetic material, but Avocado’s is made with 95% organic cotton. The organic cotton is GOTS certified, meaning it passes the Global Organic Textile’s Standard for manufacturing textiles based on strict ecological and social criteria. The other 5% of the mattress protector is a layer of polyurethane to make the protector waterproof, since cotton absorbs water. According to Avocado, it doesn’t use any vinyl or phthalates in the waterproofing layer. Additionally, the entire mattress protector is MADE SAFE certified, which means that it was screened for over 6,500 harmful substances and analyzes potential sources of harmful environmental impacts in the manufacturing process.

I found the cotton fabric feels soft, but it also felt slightly warm when I slept on it. On the upside, noise wasn’t an issue, and it can be machine washed and dried. It comes in a standard size that accommodates mattresses up to 16 inches and a deep pocket option that fits mattresses up to 22 inches, the deepest pocket size on this list.

Purple’s mattress protector is one of the most pleasant to sleep on, thanks to the thin material that doesn’t have any extra padding or quilting. I couldn’t feel or hear the material while laying down on it because it was so thin.

Surprisingly, it passed our waterproof test even though it’s labeled as water-resistant, so large amounts of liquid or liquid that’s left for a long time may seep through. One big advantage of this mattress protector is that it provides five-sided protection, so it’s a good buffer if dirty paws or sticky fingers happen to touch the sides, unlike others that have mesh sides. It’s also machine washable, so you can throw it in the wash and tumble dry on low. I washed it four times, and it was still as good as new.

Tuft and Needle’s mattress protector goes beyond the usual top coverage provided by most protectors. The waterproof material not only covers the sleeping surface of the bed but also extends to the four sides, ensuring complete protection around the edges and sides of the mattress, so even if liquid runs to the sides, your mattress is still protected. You won’t have to worry about harmful substances in the protector, either, as it’s Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex certified.

I found that this mattress protector was forgettable in the best way when I slept on it because it didn’t make noise. However, I find it a touch warm but to the degree that it’s an issue. It fits mattresses up to 14 inches, and it’s machine washable, so if accidents happen, you can quickly throw it in the wash.

This mattress protector stood out from the rest due to its plush and thick quilted top, so if you’re looking to add extra comfort to your bed, this is a good pick. When I slept on the Puffy mattress protector, I liked the added layer of softness that made it feel cozier. The trade-off to this extra quilting is that I found it contributed to some heat buildup when I slept on it. If you live in a cold climate, you may appreciate the extra warmth, but it may not be the best option for hot sleepers.

It passed our waterproof test, with no leaks coming through. It’s also machine washable, and looked good after multiple washes. Just be aware, after running this mattress protector through a wash cycle it was full of water, and required multiple dry cycles.

I tested four additional mattress covers that didn’t make the cut. Here’s how they compare to our top picks.

Coop Mattress Protector: The Coop mattress protector is overall a good mattress protector. It’s comfortable to sleep on, and it doesn’t make noise when you move. It passed our waterproof tests as well. The only issue is that it does feel slightly on the warm side, but it didn’t overheat. For $11 dollars more you can get our best overall pick that didn’t get warm, but if you don’t want to spend the extra money this is a solid pick as well.

Slumber Cloud: Slumber Cloud is a brand that does cooling bedding really well. It rang true for this mattress protector, as I found it the coolest to the touch out of the ones I tested. It passed our waterproof test and I didn’t have any issues sleeping on it when it came to noise or comfort. However, after four washes I noticed the fabric started to pill, so it may not hold up in the long run. However, if you’re a hot sleeper and the pilling doesn’t bother you, this may be a good pick since it felt the coolest.

Casper: The Casper mattress protector has a slightly thicker fabric on top, which gives it extra comfort but also leads to some heat buildup. It passed the waterproof test, but the issue that held this back is that getting it on and off the bed is a struggle.

Saferest: Saferest’s mattress protector has a terry cloth fabric on top, which makes it very absorbent. However, you can feel the texture of the fabric through the sheets, which makes it not as comfortable to sleep on as others. It’s also more expensive than our value pick, the Linenspa premium mattress protector which I liked better.

When testing mattress protectors, I used each one for at least two nights to judge any issues with noise, heat build-up, breathability, comfort and overall experience. I evaluated the materials used for each mattress protector and noted how they affected the performance and consumer experience. Each mattress protector went through four wash and dry cycles to look for problems such as pilling, wear and any other durability related issues. I also noted if it needed multiple dry cycles and the ease of laundering each one.

I also conducted a waterproof test by putting a piece of paper towel under a section of each mattress protector. I used water that was dyed blue and poured a set amount of water on the protector and put a weight on top to simulate someone laying on it. I let it sit for 8 hours and then checked to see if any of the blue liquid had leaked through to the paper towel. The waterproof test was performed on each mattress protector straight out of the packaging and then again after four wash and dry cycles. Lastly, I looked at the price and value for each one and how they compare to others that are similar.

If a mattress protector offers protection from liquids, it’s labeled waterproof or water-resistant. These sound similar to each other and are sometimes thought of as interchangeable, but you’ll want to know the difference so you don’t end up ruining your mattress. Waterproof means the protector will keep any liquid from seeping through, no matter the amount or how long it sits on the mattress protector. This is a good choice for kids beds or any situation where you want protection from overnight accidents that can’t be cleaned up right away. Water-resistant will offer some protection against spills, but may leak through eventually if there’s a large amount of liquid or it’s left on for an extended period of time. For those who are looking for light protection from the occasional spill, this level of protection is a good option.

Most mattress protectors are made with fabric and some type of waterproof or water-resistant layer. The fabric is used as a top layer to enhance comfort and absorb liquid with a waterproof or water-resistant coating on the back to prevent liquids from getting through. Most people will want to opt for this type of protector since they are comfortable, make little noise and tend to be cooler.

Vinyl is another material used for mattress protectors, but these aren’t the best choice since they feel like shower curtains, make noise and are not breathable. They are cheaper, but if you’ll be sleeping on it we recommend avoiding these and for about the same price get a fabric mattress protector, such as our best budget pick from Linenspa.

Most of the mattress protectors I tested can be machine washed on cold and tumbled dry on low. Be sure to follow the instructions as many mattress protectors recommend not using certain laundering products like bleach and avoiding hot temperatures because they can damage the mattress protector and cause leaks.

There are two main styles of mattress protectors. Which one you choose may depend on your needs and preferences. We focused on fitted sheet styles for this article, but keep reading to learn more about the differences and which one may suit your needs.

Fitted sheet mattress protectors are common and as the name suggests, they are constructed like a traditional fitted sheet with an elastic band that stretches over the bed to keep it in place. It’s easy to launder these because you can get them on and off the bed easily. These are great options for those who may have frequent accidents or spills and need to launder the mattress protector more often. Steve Hodges, M.D., Professor of Pediatric Urology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and co-author of The M.O.P. Book: The Proven Way to Stop Bedwetting in Toddlers Through Teens says that even though he doesn’t routinely recommend mattress protectors since it doesn’t solve the problem of bed wetting, there are no real drawbacks to using them. He suggests looking for one that is, “waterproof, breathable, noiseless, comfortable and washable.”

Encasement style protectors cover the entire bed, including the bottom. These are harder to get on and off than fitted sheet styles since they need to be maneuvered under the bed and around the mattress. Rachel L. Miller, MD, FAAAAI, System Chief of the Division of Clinical Immunology and Interim Chief of the Division of Rheumatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, recommends this type for patients with dust mite allergies. “Patients with dust mite allergies likely benefit from reductions in exposures to dust and dust mites,” she says. “Using a dust mite proof encasing around the mattress, and possibly the pillows — in combination with other measures to reduce exposure to dust mites (e.g. HEPA vacuum cleaners) — may be helpful.” These types of protectors are also used to protect against bed bugs. Encasement styles are best for allergens and bed bugs since they fully encase the mattress.

I’ve been working with consumer products for over a decade. I’ve tested hundreds of bedding products including mattress protectors, as well as sheets, pillows, and more while continuing to test and write reviews. My background includes working at a home textiles company, where I developed products and ensured their quality met high standards. I also worked at one of the largest apparel companies, leading product integrity and material development efforts. I hold degrees in both apparel and textile design and mechanical engineering.

A mattress protector is not a necessity, but people who sweat heavily, those who have overnight accidents, or people with pets may want to invest in one. Mattress protectors can help extend the life of the mattress by keeping it free of liquid spills and stains.

Learn More: How To Choose A Mattress Protector And Why You Need One

No, some are water-resistant which means that some liquid may leak through the protector, while waterproof means that no liquid will seep through to the bed.

A mattress protector goes over the bed on top of the bare mattress, and then the fitted sheet goes over the protector.

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