Completely waterproof, protecting against spills and urine. Designed as a fitted sheet to easily take on and off. Customers appreciate the silence of the fabric.
Not the most breathable fabric. Does not zip around the entire mattress.
Protects against dust mites and other allergens. Breathable fabric keeps cool throughout the night. Cotton surface is completely noiseless. Simple to put on and take off.
Tends to shrink after being washed. Some customers complain that the cover is not completely waterproof.
Free of vinyl, making the product safe for children. Zippered closure for full coverage. Noiseless fabric. Customers appreciate the product's lightweight, cool feel.
Some buyers wish the material was thicker. Fabric could be softer.
Mattress pad is 40% more filled than other covers, making the product exceptionally comfortable. Customers enjoy the pad's near-perfect fit. Stays in place throughout the night.
Fabric could be cooler. Some customers find the product a little too thin.
Made with high-quality cotton. Customers rave over the completely waterproof design. Airflow technology allows for a breathable protector with a helpful cooling system.
A few customers wish the material was softer. Side covers are somewhat loose.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Do you constantly wake up congested and wheezing with a stuffy nose? Does a night in bed seem to bring on watery, itchy eyes or irritated skin? If so, you may be able to thank the resident dust mites and other allergens that keep you company while you sleep. Try reducing those overnight guests and protect your pricey bed from annoying microscopic bugs by covering it with a hypoallergenic mattress cover.
A hypoallergenic mattress cover may be made from tightly woven cotton, a cotton blend, bamboo fabric, or a non-porous material like vinyl or soft plastic. It’ll keep unsavory spills from leaking into your mattress, and it’ll also serve as a barrier to prevent common household allergens (like dust mites) from entering your mattress.
Health studies suggest that a hypoallergenic mattress cover should be part of your overall plan to reduce allergens in your home. To select the right mattress cover, look for one that you’ll be able to take on and off easily so it can be regularly cleaned. We’ll share other tips on using hypoallergenic mattress covers in this article and provide you with information about our top picks so you can relax at night and enjoy your dreams.
Which hypoallergenic mattress cover is right for you? That depends on several factors. Answering these two questions will help you hone in on the features you’ll want to consider.
If you’re buying a hypoallergenic mattress cover for a child who may wet the bed, you’ll want to protect the mattress further. Hypoallergenic mattress covers aren’t waterproof. Consider placing disposable or washable waterproof bed pads, also called overlays, either underneath or on top of the hypoallergenic mattress cover. For babies, you’ll find waterproof hypoallergenic crib mattress protectors that are fully encased.
Sleeping with any type of material underneath your sheets may make you feel warm at night. If this sounds like you, consider a breathable mattress cover. A breathable mattress cover is made from cotton, a cotton blend, or possibly cotton terry with a membrane back coating that’s semi-breathable.
Dust mites love to eat your dead skin cells, which is why your bed is a hot spot for them. Every night, we shed thousands of dead skin cells right onto our sheets, pillows, and mattress.
There are two categories of hypoallergenic mattress covers: membrane (laminated) and non-membrane (non-laminated, also known as fabric). Laminated covers are typically the less costly of the two. There are pros and cons to both types.
Membrane: Urethane membranes are considered full barriers, and they’re highly resistant to water. Fully encased membrane (laminated) covers offer protection from both dust mites and bed bugs, but they may crinkle and be less breathable, which can cause your body heat to rise when you sleep. Many of these covers are advertised to be vinyl free.
Non-membrane: Tightly woven cotton, terry cotton, bamboo, polyester, and blend fabrics are lightweight, breathable, cool, soft, and generally more comfortable to sleep on. However, they aren’t considered to be full barriers. Their pore sizes may not fully protect against bed bugs or moisture.
There are pros and cons to having a fully encased or partially encased fitted cover. A fully encased cover offers total protection for your mattress, but even with a zipper, it can be tough to get it on and off the mattress when you need to throw it in the washer. However, if you’re up for the exercise, putting a fully encased cover on any mattress will give you a workout. A fitted cover with partial coverage offers limited protection from dust mites, but it is as easy to take on and off as a fitted sheet.
Noise-free: A mattress cover with a cotton surface will be silent when you’re sleeping on it. In other words, it won’t crinkle or make sounds when you turn over in bed.
Zippered closure: A zippered encasement fully covers your mattress. Look for a six-sided product rather than a five-sided one. These covers typically fit 12-inch-deep mattresses and pillow tops. The zippers tend to be durable because manufacturers understand that you need to manhandle your mattress to get the cover on and zipped up.
Cooling: A breathable cotton terry or bamboo fabric hypoallergenic mattress cover will wick moisture from your body and help keep you cool while you sleep. Non-breathable covers aren’t as cooling as breathable products.
Replace your mattress only when it’s uncomfortable, not because you think it has too much dander (dust mites and particles) in it. Even a new mattress begins to collect dust mites within six months of use.
Vacuum with HEPA filter: Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 Upright Vacuum Cleaner
A vacuum with a HEPA filter can capture microscopic dust mites from all surfaces in your home. Even better is a certified asthma- and allergy-friendly vacuum with a whole-machine HEPA filtration system that makes sure the allergens that are trapped inside the vacuum aren’t expelled back into the air. Dyson makes fantastic vacuum cleaners, and we strongly endorse this one.
Hypoallergenic pillow cover: Alaska Bear Natural Silk Pillowcase
A pillow cover can prevent dust mites from taking up residence in your pillows. Even better are hypoallergenic pillowcases like this one from Alaska Bear that are silky and soft to sleep on.
Hypoallergenic box spring encasement: Hospitology Products Sleep Defense System Zippered Box Spring Encasement
Investing in a zippered box spring cover completely protects the bottom of your bed from dust mites and bed bugs. It’s an added piece of insurance to keep your sleeping space allergen free. This affordable cover from Hospitology Products is available in bed sizes from twin to California King.
Disinfectant spray for linens: Lysol Disinfectant Spray, Crisp Linen
Between washings of your mattress cover, lightly spray the surface of your bed with a disinfectant before putting washed bedding back on. The spray adds to your protection by killing cold and flu viruses as well as odor-causing bacteria. It also adds a fresh fragrance to your bedding.
Inexpensive: Between $7 and $14, you’ll find basic hypoallergenic covers for twin to queen mattresses that attach via drawstring or straps. You’ll also find a few zippered covers for twin beds and waterproof hypoallergenic fitted crib and toddler bed covers. Even at this low price, you’ll find both laminated and breathable covers.
Mid-range: Between $15 and $27, you’ll find better fitted and fully encased hypoallergenic mattress pads that cover 18-inch-deep mattresses of all sizes. Many covers in this range are made of cotton terry or bamboo fabric with a membrane backing.
Expensive: From $27 to $50, you’ll find more fully encased, zippered covers for larger beds. Many will fit beds with 21-inch-deep mattresses. Some will have longer warranties, such as a 15-year warranty. A few premium hypoallergenic covers are made from Turkish cotton or organic cotton. Many are also made from bamboo fabric.
Waterbeds are not dust mite-friendly, but they are mold-friendly. If you have a waterbed, consider adding a hypoallergenic mattress cover with a pore size of fewer than 3 microns.
It’s a good idea to get a hypoallergenic mattress cover even if you’re not allergic to dust mites. Along with your dead skin cells, live and dead dust mites — and their droppings — can add several pounds to an uncovered mattress over the years. It’s not the stuff of nightmares; there are studies to back up the science.
Take it with a grain of salt when a manufacturer of a latex, foam, or wool mattresses suggests that you don’t need a dust mite mattress cover. Though the lanolin in wool mattresses may repel dust mites, wool will still capture allergens that fall onto an exposed surface. And though latex and memory foam are dense materials, dust mites still love them. As a safety measure to protect you from allergens, cover all mattresses with a hypoallergenic mattress cover.
Some allergens are small enough to migrate through the teeth of a zipper. If you have a fully encased and zippered cover, do the following. Place the zipper at the foot of the bed. Use zipper adhesive tape or common blue painter’s tape to further cover the zipper teeth. This creates an added barrier that can be easily removed.
It’s tough to beat the cost of the highly rated AmazonBasics Hypoallergenic Quilted Mattress Topper Pad Cover. The fitted cover fits 18-inch-deep beds, including the twin XL mattresses typically found in dorm rooms and hard-to-fit California King beds. The poly-cotton fabric is breathable but not waterproof. We also like the Hospitology Products Sleep Defense System because it includes a box spring encasement and pillow protection products in its collection. Plus, there’s a little tab that slips over the zipper head to add a bit more protection from mites. It’s fully zippered on three sides, which means it’s slightly easier to put on a larger mattress, though you’ll likely need a helping hand.
If you prefer organic cotton on your bed, consider AirExpect’s 100% Organic Cotton Hypoallergenic Breathable Mattress Pad Cover. It has a soft cotton terry top and a membrane for waterproofing. It fits deep-pocket mattresses of up to 21 inches. If you’re curious about soft bamboo covers, we like the Red Nomad Bamboo Hypoallergenic Mattress Protector and its 15-year warranty. This particular polyester/bamboo fabric blend cover helps keep sleepers cool, even with a polyurethane waterproof lining.
Q. What does “pore size” refer to in a hypoallergenic mattress cover?
A. This is the space between the fibers. The more tightly the fabric is woven, the smaller the pore size. Note that as pore size decreases, so does airflow.
Constricted pores can help prevent dust mites, dust mite fecal matter, and mite body parts from squeezing through the cover and into your mattress. Though we don’t breathe in whole dust mites, we do inhale their fecal matter and parts while sleeping. Dust mite particles can come as large as 10 microns. To give you a basis of comparison, mold spores are an average of 3 microns.
If you want a cover to be effective against dust mites, look for one with a pore size of 10 microns or less — or 3 microns or less to protect you from just about everything else.
Q. How should I clean a hypoallergenic mattress cover?
A. Generally speaking, you should vacuum your hypoallergenic mattress cover every couple of weeks and launder it one to three times a year (or more). Wash the cover in hot water and tumble it dry on low heat. Keep in mind, however, that the product label may trump these instructions.
Q. What else should I do to reduce allergens in my house in addition to using a hypoallergenic mattress cover?
A. You should regularly wash your bed sheets in hot water and dry on hot heat in the dryer to kill new dust mites. In addition, vacuum your furniture and drapes with a HEPA filter. HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters trap extremely tiny airborne particles that regular filters can’t always capture. In addition, instead of opening your windows to let in dust and pollen, use an air conditioner — and remember to frequently change the filters.
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