Best Bed Bug Mattress Covers

Updated November 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

18 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
155 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Shopping guide for best bed bug mattress covers

Last Updated November 2019

Far too many people believe that when you get bed bugs, your only solution is to get rid of your mattress and box springs. That is a false rumor fueled by panic and hysteria. The truth is simpler and cheaper.

When a pest-control company treats your house for bed bugs with modern pesticides, it can take six to eight weeks to eliminate them. During that time, you don’t want to get bitten, but you don’t need to throw away your mattresses, either. The solution is a mattress cover that seals the bed bugs inside and prevents them from escaping the pesticides that were put on your mattress and box springs to kill them.

Whether you’re dealing with a bed bug infestation or just want to take a proactive stance against them, we’ve got the information you need to find a great bed bug mattress cover that will give you peace of mind. Read on to learn about these products and the various features to look for.

Bed bugs go through five molts, called instars, before reaching adulthood. They look identical at each stage except for their size and coloration.

Key considerations

Size

The only mattress protection that keeps out bed bugs is a true mattress encasement that completely encloses the entire mattress — top, bottom, and the four sides. Any other mattress cover is only for spills or dust mites. For bed bugs, you need six-sided protection.

Six-sided protection

The only mattress protection that keeps out bed bugs is a true mattress encasement that completely encloses the entire mattress — top, bottom, and the four sides. Any other mattress cover is only for spills or dust mites. For bed bugs, you need six-sided protection.

Installation

Installing a mattress cover means putting the entire mattress inside the mattress cover and zipping it closed. This is why mattress covers are sometimes called mattress encasements. Queen, king, and California king mattresses are quite heavy. Putting a mattress cover on one of those is a two- or three-person job. Be prepared for that.

Stretchable

Stretchable fabrics will ensure a tighter fit that won’t move or rumple beneath you when you’re sleeping. Due to the plastic used in their construction, mattress covers don’t always stretch. The ones that do will note that in the description.

Bed bugs are white when they are young. They only gain their red color after feeding on blood.

Staff
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Features

Hypoallergenic

There is no state or federal regulation defining what hypoallergenic is or means. According to the best medical practices, it means a fabric or substance that won’t cause or trigger allergies. Mattress covers use a wide variety of fabrics and materials to meet this definition. The most common material is a plastic or synthetic material. Tightly woven fabrics, such as cotton that prevents dust mites from penetrating the weave, are considered hypoallergenic. Dust mites are smaller than bed bugs, so any mattress cover that is hypoallergenic will prevent the bed bugs from moving through the material.

Zipper covers

The weak point in any mattress cover is the zipper — specifically the end point of the zipper. If there is going to be any gap, that is where it will be. To compensate, manufacturers will put Velcro or some other cover over the end of the zipper when it closes.

Noiseless

Plastic sheets or covers make noise when you lie on them or toss and turn during the night. Because mattress covers are designed to address a wide range of issues over and above just bed bugs, many of them will be made of plastic or have a plastic undercoating. Some don’t have any plastic, relying instead on a fine weave to stop the bed bugs from passing through.

Heat

Any mattress cover that relies on plastic to stop bed bug movement or catch spills is going to be hotter to sleep on than non-plastic ones. Manufacturers will put terry cloth or some other fabric on top of the plastic to let it breathe and stay cool, but heat will always be an issue when plastic is involved.

Machine washable

It’s important to be able to clean the mattress cover on a regular basis. Some old mattress covers can’t be machine washed because of the plastic in them; they must be dry cleaned. Some have plastic that can be machine washed and hung out to dry or dried on very low heat. Pay close attention to the cleaning instructions in order to extend the life of your mattress cover.

DID YOU KNOW?

Bed bugs can survive for six or eight months without feeding.

Bed bug mattress cover prices

Inexpensive: Low-priced mattress covers between $20 and $30 usually have five-year limited warranties or highly restrictive guarantees. They are made of plastic, PVC, and other synthetic materials that are very waterproof but also make a lot of crinkling noises. There will be some heat issues to deal with, too.

Mid-range: A mattress cover in the medium price range between $30 and $45 will have less plastic and crinkle to it. Water-resistant materials, such as tightly woven polyester, are common, as are ten-year warranties. These mattress covers will make an effort to address the heat issues.

Expensive: Most mattress covers above $45 have a ten-year warranty and a high thread count to help prevent bed bug penetration. These products tend to be quiet and cool.

Tips

  • Pull the mattress halfway off the bed to begin putting the mattress cover on the end of it. Once the cover has been pulled all the way on, tilt the mattress up so it is standing on the floor, and pull the mattress cover over the rest of the mattress.

  • Don’t close the zippers until the mattress cover is completely on the mattress. Check it for pulls or wrinkles. Once it is smooth and flat on the mattress, then you can close the zippers.

  • Use a mattress cover on the box springs as well as the mattress. Bed bugs often live in the box springs before they start living in the mattress.

  • Prior to installing the mattress covers, make sure the mattress and box springs have been treated with a bed bug insecticide and an IGR (insect growth regulator). Make sure your pest control company has used both. The mattress cover will then trap them inside with the pesticides.

  • Encasements are also available for pillows. If you need an encasement for your mattress, you need an encasement for your pillows, too.

Other products we considered

Other mattress covers we looked at include the HOSPITOLOGY PRODUCTS Sleep Defense System, which is specifically billed as a mattress encasement. It has an extra-soft polyester knit covering a polyurethane waterproof layer. One nice feature we liked was the zippers on three sides.

Another product we appreciated was the PlushDeluxe Premium Zippered Mattress Encasement. This product is also specifically called an encasement as opposed to a cover. It is advertised as being free of vinyl, PVC, and phthalate. It has a terry cloth exterior.

Bed bugs cannot fly or jump. They can only crawl. Hitchhiking is the way bed bugs normally spread from one house to another.

FAQ

Q. Do bed bugs live in the mattress?

A. This is a common misunderstanding. Bed bugs will live or nest in mattresses mainly in the later stages of an infestation, when population pressure begins forcing them out of their normal habitat. They like to live within 10 to 15 feet of their food source (you), so they will nest behind the baseboards at the head of the bed, around the cracks and crevices near the foot of the bed, or within bedside tables. They also frequent windows and window shades and the headboard, footboard, and box springs. Only after their population grows will they begin living in the seams of the mattress.

Q. Can mattress encasements be dried in the dryer?

A. The only good answer is, “Yes, but ...” Yes, you can dry them in the dryer, but you should only dry them on low heat or the gentle cycle. The tumbling action is hard on them regardless of which cycle you use, so the best solution is to hang them from a clothesline outside.

Q. What is the difference between a mattress cover and a mattress encasement?

A. That depends on the manufacturer. A mattress encasement always means a zippered bag that covers the entire mattress on the top, bottom, and sides. When the zipper is closed, it completely seals off the mattress. A mattress cover can be the same thing, or it can simply be a covering for the top of the mattress to prevent leaks or spills from soaking the mattress. Read the fine print to be sure.

Q. What diseases do bed bugs carry?

A. Bed bugs aren’t known to be vectors for any diseases at all. Their bites are painless when they bite you, but after you wake up, they may begin itching. Bed bugs are unpleasant and “icky,” but they are not a direct danger to human health.

The team that worked on this review
  • Alvina
    Alvina
    Photographer
  • Amos
    Amos
    Director of Photography
  • Branson
    Branson
    Videographer
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Michael
    Michael
    Writer
  • Vukan
    Vukan
    Post Production Editor

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