Mattresses are often a big investment that can cost you hundreds to thousands of dollars. Even a small spill that stains your mattress can void a mattress warranty, so why not protect it with a waterproof cover that'll cost you less than a hundred bucks? Not only will a waterproof mattress cover protect your investment, but it can also guard against pet and child accidents, odors, moisture that causes mold, dust mites, and even bed bugs.
With so many waterproof mattress protectors on the market, it can be hard to know which one would work best for you. Read our shopping guide that explains everything you need to consider before purchasing. We've also included some of our favorites, including our top pick by Utopia Bedding that's made from hypoallergenic bamboo fibers that boast fail-safe waterproof protection and breathability.
Considerations when choosing waterproof mattress protectors
Types of waterproof mattress protectors
Depending on what type of coverage you're looking for, there are a few different styles of mattress protectors designed to keep your bed dry.
Strapped: These thick protectors cover the surface of your mattress and attach at the corners with elastic straps. They provide a little extra padding to your bed but offer the lowest protection of all the mattress protector types because they leave the sides of your mattress unprotected.
Fitted: Just like fitted sheets, fitted mattress protectors fit over the top and sides of your mattress and have elastic edges. These offer moderate to high protection and are the most popular protectors on the market. They are very easy to get on and off.
Mattress encasements: For the highest level of protection, opt for an encasement that completely encapsulates your mattress, above and below. This style has side zippers but requires lifting your mattress to get on and off. Mattress protectors for bed bugs use this design.
Mattress covers that protect against fluids usually have dual layers. The first layer is a water-resistant material, like polyurethane film, that provides an impenetrable barrier. The upper layer is usually a soft fabric designed for comfort, such as bamboo, polyester, cotton, or a polyester-cotton blend. Some budget mattress protectors only consist of the first layer, which can make a squeaky noise and give no comfort.
Hypoallergenic waterproof mattress protectors use materials that won't irritate sensitive skin. These are often free of chemicals, dyes, and other irritants that can cause allergic reactions. This feature is ideal for children and for the elderly.
Other important features
Dust mite protection is a desirable feature for allergy sufferers. Unprotected mattresses are breeding grounds for dust mites that feed off of the dead skin you shed. Dust mites -- as well as other common allergens such as pet dander, pollen, and mold spores -- can become embedded in an unprotected mattress. Waterproof mattress protectors keep these unwanted allergens from getting housed in your sleeping space.
Breathability is an important feature for getting a good night's sleep. Though waterproof material doesn't sound like it would be breathable, manufacturers often use breathable waterproof materials (like polyurethane) in combination with moisture-wicking top fabrics like cotton and cotton blends that allow air to flow.
Price ranges from $10 to $100 for a waterproof mattress protector. Twin-size covers range from $10 to $60, with premium protection priced between $30 to $60. Full-size covers range from $15 to $80, with top-notch protection priced at $40 to $80. Queen-size covers start at $20, with the best protectors priced from $40 to $90. King-size covers start at $25, with the highest quality protection priced between $60 to $100.
Q. How do I clean a waterproof mattress protector?
A. Because accidents and spills do happen, sometimes frequently, we recommend choosing a mattress protector that can be washed in the washing machine and tumble dried for ease of cleaning. Most fitted and strapped styles are machine washable.
Q. Do waterproof mattress protectors make noise?
A. Vinyl-based mattress covers can make crinkling and crunching noises when you lie on them. To avoid a noisy cover, select ones that are vinyl-free and have a top layer of soft fabric.
Waterproof mattress protectors we recommend
Best of the best: Utopia Bedding Rayon from Bamboo Waterproof Mattress Protector
Our take: A hypoallergenic fitted waterproof protector made from cooling material.
What we like: Bamboo-derived rayon provides cooling technology. Ideal for allergy or asthma sufferers as well as households with kids and pets. Elastic band provides tight fit.
What we dislike: Over time loses its water-resistance for some consumers.
Best bang for your buck: Utopia Bedding Premium Waterproof Mattress Protector
Our take: Soft, breathable cover that offers waterproof protection at a low price.
What we like: Cotton and terry surface is comfortable and allows air to circulate. Machine washable. Fits mattresses up to 19" deep.
What we dislike: Waterproof protection not as high as with pricier options.
Our take: Hypoallergenic mattress protector with reliable waterproof membrane.
What we like: Cotton-and-terry upper layer is soft and noiseless. Easy to wash in the machine. Protects against allergens. Registered as a class 1 medical device.
What we dislike: Can run a little warm for some users, though feels cool to others.
Ana Sanchez is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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