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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

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

Why trust BestReviews?
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.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best waterproof mattress protectors

Last Updated July 2019

Spills, perspiration, bodily oils, and child or pet-related accidents might be unavoidable, but they don't have to spell disaster for your mattress. A quality mattress can cost a pretty penny, but with a waterproof mattress protector, you can rest easy knowing your investment is covered. A waterproof mattress protector will keep stains, moisture, odors, and the bacterial growth that accompanies them at bay. Whether you’re interested in extending the lifespan of your mattress or simply want to keep your bed as hygienic as possible, using a waterproof mattress protector is a wise decision. However, with countless options on the market, choosing the perfect waterproof mattress protector can be a challenge.

If you're having a rough time settling on the best fabric, size, fit, or features, you've come to the right place. Our detailed guide will help iron out any wrinkles you might encounter while shopping for a waterproof mattress protector.

Because even the smallest, most innocuous of stains can void your mattress’ warranty, it's a good idea to keep it protected from day one.

Key considerations

There are a handful of important factors to keep in mind when choosing a waterproof mattress protector. Remember to consider the following as you shop.

Type

Waterproof mattress protectors come in a handful of different styles. While they're all designed to prevent moisture from penetrating your mattress surface, some provide more coverage than others.

  • Strapped: Slightly thicker than others, these mattress protectors cover only the surface of the mattress and are secured at each corner with elastic straps. If your mattress could do with a little extra padding and you don't require full coverage, a strapped waterproof mattress protector might be a good fit. However, this style won’t protect the sides of your mattress from spills, leaks, or drips.

  • Fitted: Resembling a fitted sheet, these mattress protectors feature elasticated edges and corner pockets. Covering both the top and the sides of the mattress with a design that's easy to put on and remove, fitted waterproof mattress protectors are hands-down the most popular style for the average home user.

  • Mattress encasements: Just as the name implies, mattress encasements encapsulate the entire mattress for top-to-bottom protection. With side zippers for access, these can be a bit cumbersome to get on and off. On the plus side, this design can be convenient if you regularly turn your mattress over. Keeping your entire mattress sealed can also be helpful if you’re concerned about bed bugs.

Materials

Despite being designed primarily for protection against moisture, most waterproof mattress protectors are comprised of dual layers to add a touch of comfort as well. Upper layers often consist of softer materials such as bamboo-derived rayon, cotton, polyester, or poly-cotton blends, and are usually backed by a polyurethane film to create an impenetrable barrier against fluids. While some budget-priced mattress protectors have just a single layer of water-resistant fabric, these simply aren't capable of providing the same levels of comfort or protection as dual-layered varieties.

Comfort

Although construction materials are a big determining factor when it comes to comfort, climate and individual preference play a significant role as well. While many regard a plush upper layer as comfortable and cozy, others might prefer a smoother, “barely there” feel. For instance, terry cotton or microfiber polyester can provide a snuggly soft sensation, while bamboo-derived rayon or smooth poly-cotton blends can lend a breathable, cooling effect. Before you buy, take a moment to consider thickness and texture and the impact that these elements can have on your quality of sleep.

EXPERT TIP

Your mattress doesn't have to be brand new to warrant investing in a waterproof mattress protector. Simply steam cleaning an older mattress that's in decent shape can help sanitize it. Covering it with a waterproof mattress protector once you're done will help prevent further damage.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Not all fitted mattress protectors have waterproof sides. If you have a child or a pet who's at eye level with your mattress or you simply want to cover all the bases, check whether your prospective mattress protector provides a moisture barrier for the sides as well.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Dust mite and allergen protection

If you find yourself suffering from common allergy symptoms like sneezing, itching, wheezing, and watery eyes, but you can't seem to pinpoint the cause, the answer could lie in your bed. With a diet that consists largely of dead skin cells, unprotected mattresses offer an all-you-can-eat buffet for dust mites, as well as a comfortable and private place in which to take up permanent residency. While the mere thought of having microscopic critters living in your bed is disturbing enough, dust mites have also been identified as one of the most common culprits of year-round allergies. By creating a barrier between you and your bed, waterproof mattress protectors can help keep uninvited guests out of your sleeping space.

Even if your bed is dust mite-free, other allergens like pet dander, fur, mold spores, dust, and pollen can become embedded in your mattress over time, turning it into a hotbed of unnecessary health risks. Waterproof mattress protectors that cover the sides and top of your mattress can drastically improve your bed’s levels of hygiene, in turn boosting your general health and well-being. ​​​​​​​

Hypoallergenic materials

In the same vein as safeguarding your bed from common allergens, waterproof mattress protectors that are made of hypoallergenic materials go the extra mile to ensure that you and your family aren't exposed to any harmful chemicals, dyes, or known irritants. Hypoallergenic mattress protectors are ideal for children, the elderly, allergy-prone individuals, or anyone with sensitive skin.

Breathability

A good waterproof mattress protector should effectively block moisture and other undesirable substances while still allowing air to circulate. While it might seem impossible for a mattress protector to be breathable and waterproof at the same time, the type of fabric, its waterproof lining, and the overall thickness of a cover all have an impact on how well air is able to circulate. Because breathability is such a vital component of a good night’s sleep, many manufacturers incorporate cooling technology by using a combination of moisture-wicking fabrics (like cotton or polyester blends) and a breathable synthetic waterproof lining (polyurethane).

Ease of cleaning

Waterproof mattress protectors are made to bear the brunt of daily life and all the messes, mishaps, and surprises that come with it. Illness, children, pets, warm weather, and simply relaxing with a beverage in bed might necessitate more frequent washing, but regardless of how much or how little you put your mattress protector through, keeping it fresh and hygienic shouldn't be a back-breaking chore. For hassle-free maintenance, we recommend choosing a mattress protector that can be tossed in the washer and dryer along with the rest of the laundry.

Waterproof mattress protector prices

Material quality, waterproofing performance, thickness, and size all affect the price of a waterproof mattress cover. On average, a twin-size waterproof mattress protector can set you back anywhere from $10 to $60, whereas full-size varieties generally range from approximately $15 to $80, depending on the overall quality and durability.

Inexpensive
If you're in need of a budget-friendly waterproof mattress protector for short-term use or light protection, you can expect to pay between $10 and $15 for a twin or around $15 to $20 for a full-size cover.

Mid-range
With a bit of extra cash in hand, you’ll be able to choose from a broad range of comfortable and highly capable waterproof mattress protectors. Mid-range twin mattress protectors typically cost between $15 and $20 while full-size varieties are priced at approximately $20 to $35.

Premium
A top-notch waterproof mattress protector that will provide superior comfort and years of protection can set you back anywhere from $30 to $60 for a twin-size model and between $40 to $80 (or more) for a full-size version.

Tips

These handy care tips can help you extend the life of both your waterproof mattress protector and your mattress.

  • Act quickly when spills occur. As much as you want to protect your mattress, taking care of the mattress protector itself is just as important if you want it to last as long as possible. Remove any liquids pooled on the surface by blotting the area gently with paper towels or an absorbent rag. Try not to rub the affected area, as this could cause moisture to spread and lead to staining.

  • Once you've dried the area as much as possible, give your mattress protector a thorough cleaning by washing it according to manufacturer instructions.

  • If your waterproof mattress protector is washing machine safe, select the delicate cycle and wash and rinse using cold to lukewarm water. Not only will higher temperatures increase the chances of permanently setting stains, but hot water can also damage your waterproof lining, rendering your mattress protector useless.

  • When washing a waterproof mattress protector, stick to powder or liquid laundry soap. Skip the bleach and fabric softener. As tempting as it can be to use these products when you're dealing with tough or smelly messes, both can cause permanent damage and should be avoided.

  • Once washed, hang your mattress protector to dry or place it in the dryer if the care instructions allow for it. In most cases, waterproof mattress protectors that are machine washable can be tossed in the dryer as well. However, it's always a good idea to check the care instructions first.

  • Never iron your mattress protector. Doing so is almost guaranteed to melt your waterproof backing. Once it is dry, simply place it back on your bed.

DID YOU KNOW?

Although vinyl (PVC) is a common material used in waterproof linings, it's been shown to emit high volumes of VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Most experts agree that low-VOC waterproof materials like polyurethane are a safer option for the whole family.

Others products we considered

An encasement waterproof mattress protector like the Utopia Premium Zippered Waterproof Mattress Encasement can provide added protection and peace of mind, especially if you live in an area where bed bugs are prevalent. With a robust knitted polyester construction, bed bugs don't stand a chance of biting their way through. Made to stretch, this mattress encasement is reasonably easy to get on and provides a snug fit for superior, noise-free comfort.

If you're looking for an eco-friendly waterproof mattress protector that doesn’t cut any corners when it comes to comfort or efficacy, the Coop Home Goods Lulltra Waterproof Mattress Protector won't disappoint. Ideal for warm climates or heat-retentive memory foam mattresses or mattress pads, this ultra-plush cover packs a powerful cooling punch with a blend of hypoallergenic bamboo and polyester.

If your mattress is taller than average, don't forget to check the depth of the corner pockets and sides before you buy a waterproof mattress protector.

FAQ

Q. Do I need a waterproof mattress protector if I already have a mattress pad?
A.
This depends on the type of mattress pad you have and your sleeping preference. Many modern mattress pads pull double duty by providing an extra layer of padding as well as waterproof protection. However, if your mattress pad doesn't have a waterproof lining and you want to keep your pad and your bed in tip-top shape, a waterproof mattress protector can come in handy. Many people also find that combining a mattress pad with a mattress protector helps reduce noise caused by the shifting of some mattress protectors.

Q. Do I need to use a sheet over my waterproof mattress protector?
A.
There certainly isn't a rule book anywhere that states that mattress protectors need to be covered. In fact, many are so comfortable that you might not want to cover them. That said, placing a fitted sheet over your waterproof mattress protector can increase its lifespan while keeping it secured and preventing shifting at the same time.

Q. Will a waterproof mattress protector make me sweat?
A.
Pairing a waterproof layer with materials that don't breathe well (or even with a breathable but overly thick upper layer) can cause sweating. Thankfully, though, there's still hope for your mattress. If you tend to feel hot while sleeping, a breathable bamboo or poly-cotton upper layer combined with a thin polyurethane membrane can work wonders. If you're still concerned about nighttime sweating, a thinner waterproof mattress protector is always an option, but keep in mind that these might not provide the same level of protection that a more substantial cover would.

The team that worked on this review
  • Erica
    Erica
    Writer
  • Kyle
    Kyle
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

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