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What Do Mattress Protectors Do

What Does A Mattress Pad Do

Why You Need a Mattress Protector: Not Just for What You Think

A better question might be what does a mattress pad not do? Mattress pads are the jack-of-all-trades for beds. Depending on material and model, they can offer benefits like:3

  • Increased mattress life
  • Temperature regulation
  • Breathability or airflow

You might hear the terms mattress pad, topper, and cushion used interchangeably. While similar, there are slight distinctions.

A pad is thinner, usually providing less physical support and more overall mattress protection. A topper or cushion is thicker, adding extra comfort and bed height. At Casper, weve combined the best of both worlds. Our latex foam mattress topper provides plush support, breathability, and mattress protectiona winning trifecta.

What Purpose Does It Serve

Since a mattress is often situated in one of the most temperature-controlled areas of the home, you probably arent too worried about it getting ruined from the elements. But did you know there are more hazards around your home that could cause a need for a mattress protector? For example, if you are the type of person who snacks in bed or even just keeps a glass of cold ice water on your nightstand, your mattress is not entirely safe from messy crumbs or spills. Secondly, if you share a bed with a child or a pet, bathroom accidents can also occur, which can permanently damage your mattress. Lastly, sanitation issues can also occur, such as dead skin cells, oils, and dust mites that can build upon and inside of your mattress over time. A quality mattress protector can prevent all of this from becoming a permanent problem for your mattress in the future.

Do You Need A Mattress Protector For Memory Foam And All Beds

You need a mattress protector for memory foam mattresses because the encasement will protect the mattress against spills, liquids, and sweat and extend mattress life.

A mattress represents an investment and not a small one. If properly looked after, it will benefit you and comfort you for many years to come. The mattress protector acts as a barrier between you and the mattress, extending the life of your mattress. In the event of an unpleasant accident, such as a liquid spill, or child bedwetting, you can simply remove and wash the protector, as it is machine washable, while keeping your mattress intact.

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What Is The Best Type Of Mattress Protector

  • Five-sided protectors go on your mattress like a fitted sheet, making them easy to put on and take off. This protector does not cover the mattress entirely, so it cannot protect against bed bugs. Because its easier to take on and off, its a great pick for easy clean up from incontinence or frequent spills.
  • Encasement protectors cover the entire mattress and has a zipper closure to keep it secure. Encasement styles are the mattress protectors for bed bugs, but they’re more difficult to remove for washing.

Want easy cleanup and bed bug protection? Layer an encasement protector over the mattress and then a five-sided protector on top for the best of both worlds. And if you’re worried about frequent spills and accidents, make sure you invest in a truly waterproof mattress protector. These are the best mattress protectors, according to our Lab pros:

At college, you will be sleeping on a used mattress, so you want as much protection as possible. This pick is a 3-piece set, including an encasement mattress protector, a 5-sided protector, and a pillow protector. The encasement protector will act as a barrier from bed bugs and other pests or allergens while the basic protector is waterproof for easy clean up from accidental spills. This set will help you sleep soundly on an unfamiliar mattress.

  • Full 3 piece set with everything a college student needs
  • Encasement protects against bed bugs
  • 5 sided protector against spills
  • Not available with Prime shipping

Mattress Protectors Vs Mattress Pads: Key Brands

Do You Put A Bed Sheet Over A Mattress Protector

There is generally a wider range of mattress covers available compared to pads. Nearly all the major sleep brands offer both, and as mentioned earlier, quite often manufacturers throw in a free protector along with other bedding when you buy a mattress.

Here are a few of our go-to pads and protectors to give you an idea of whats good


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What If I Stain Or Spill On My Leesa Mattress

We get it, life can be a little messy sometimes. Dont stress spills and stainsyour foam mattress is easy to clean. Were sharing our favorite home remedies for cleaning everything from sweat stains to blood stains from your mattress.

If youre ready to rest on, were here to help. Weve got mattresses, pillows so you can get your best rest.

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Choosing A Mattress Protector

Its also worth mentioning that there are lots of different mattress protector makers and manufacturers. Some are built more for comfort, and others for complete spill and accident protection. However, there are four key attributes you will want to look for in any mattress protector. This includes the following:

  • Cooling materials: These will help you stay cool at night as well as allow your mattress to breathe.
  • Hypoallergenic: Materials that naturally block annoying allergens such as dust, dirt, and pollen are always a good choice for a mattress protector, especially if you or someone in your family has severe allergies or asthma
  • Easy Attach: You wont want a mattress protector that is very hard to place on the bed, as well as take off the bed when it needs cleaning.
  • Waterproof: Lastly, youll want a highly liquid-resistant formulation of fabrics or plastics that will prevent water or other liquid types from penetrating into the mattress itself.

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They Keep Your Mattress Clean

Without sounding too dramatic, humans can be pretty filthy and our bodies give our bedding a real workout.

We perspire profusely. We can all lay claim to producing unwanted oils from our skin. Dead skin cells are shed every single night, and many of us wear makeup.

That’s all before you factor in the extracurricular activities that we like to indulge in as well.

Unfortunately, it all soaks into our sheets and, if you don’t have a mattress protector on, through your sheets and into the mattress as well. FOR GOOD!

Mattress protectors prevent all these bodily fluids and other things from ruining your prized mattress. They are also super easy to clean. Check out our guide on how to clean your mattress protector.

What Does A Mattress Protector Protect From

How to Launder a Mattress Protector

Now that you know what it is, lets consider everything that a mattress protector can protect your mattress from. The possibilities are truly endless, but here are just a few of the most common culprits:

  • Dirt and dust
  • Dust mites and bed bugs
  • Bed-wetting
  • Other bodily fluids

No matter how thoroughly you scrub off, its simply impossible to not transfer some germs or particles from your day to your bed. Having a mattress protector significantly decreases what you transfer to the mattress itself. Additionally, think of all the spills or stains your current mattress might have encountered. With a mattress protector, clean-up is swift and easy and the mess is temporary.

Its not just about keeping your mattress clean or hygienic either. By using a mattress protector, you more easily avoid these common irritants and allergens that can keep you up feeling sick for half the night. After all, sometimes we need additional protection to feel safe and healthy.

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How To Wash A Mattress Protector

Mattress protectors are super easy to wash and typically washing machine-safe. Plus, every mattress protector size should be able to fit inside a standard home washer.

However, you should always check the care label for exact wash instructions and exact temperatures. We dont recommend dry cleaning mattress protectors, as the heat can ruin the waterproof material.

Sweet Zzz Cooling Mattress Protector


Who it’s best for:
  • People who tend to sweat during the night
  • Eco-conscious shoppers
  • Eucalyptus-based Tencel fabric provides exceptional breathability
  • 100% waterproof for full stain and spill protection
  • Safeguards against dust mites and other allergens

Use this link for the most current discount on Sweet Zzz products

The Sweet Zzz Cooling Mattress Protector helps keep both the sleeper and the mattress dry.

Eucalyptus-based Tencel lyocell makes up the top part of the protector. Not only is this material breathable and cool-to-the-touch, but it is also extremely absorbent, pulling excess moisture away from the sleepers body. While the Tencel top wicks away liquids, polyurethane lamination underneath ensures they dont seep down into the bed. This construction makes the protector quiet and durable, but the Tencel could pill over time.

The Sweet Zzz Cooling Mattress Protector is hypoallergenic and acts as a barrier against liquids, dust mites, and allergens. With its fitted-sheet-style design, the protector covers the surface and four sides of the mattress. The silky smooth Tencel is gentle on sensitive skin, and the protector holds OEKO-TEX certification for product safety standards.

Best Cooling

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What Is A Mattress Topper

A mattress topper is a more substantial layer of material that is meant to noticeably change the firmness level of a mattress. Toppers can be anywhere from 1 to 4 inches thick and are made from a variety of materials. Unlike a mattress pad or protector, toppers arent usually intended to protect a mattress from liquids or other contaminants.

Toppers are generally made in the six standard mattress sizes. Some toppers are designed to simply rest directly on top of the mattress, while others have elastic straps to ensure a secure fit.

Does A Mattress Protector Affect Cooling

Do I Need a Mattress Pad or Mattress Protector?

Unfortunately, mattress protectors are not all made the same, and budget mattress protectors affect how the mattress cools.

If you want to sleep cool, then purchase a breathable mattress protector there are lots available.

Choose natural fibers such as cotton to allow your mattress to breathe, and the mattress protector will still do an excellent job of keeping your mattress clean.

Any mattress protector with a physical barrier will make you sweat through the night, even in cool ambient temperatures. Your body temperature needs to regulate, and a physical barrier will prevent this from happening.


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Frequently Asked Questions About Mattress Protectors

Do I need a mattress protector?While mattress protectors are not essential and you can use your bed without one, they are an inexpensive way to keep your bed cleaner and prevent long-term damage from liquids. This makes them a good investment for most sleepers. Additionally, many mattress warranty and/or trial policies either require the use of a mattress protector or are voided if the mattress develops stains or other evidence of damage.

How does the mattress protector attach to the bed?How the mattress protector attaches to the bed depends on the model. Most options affix like a fitted sheet with elastic around the perimeter to hold them in place. However, encasement-style protectors are also available that wrap around the whole mattress and zip shut for full coverage.

Are all mattress protectors waterproof?The vast majority of mattress protectors are waterproof, but some may not be. Many manufacturers will label the product as a mattress pad rather than a mattress protector if it isnt waterproof. However, if protection from liquids is important to you, its best to look for an option designed for spills and accidents.

Can mattress protectors adjust the firmness of my bed?Mattress protectors are generally thin, so theyre unlikely to affect the firmness of the bed. However, some protectors have a bit of cushioning, which could make a bed feel slightly softer. If youre looking to adjust the firmness of your bed, a mattress topper may be a better choice.

But What Kind Of Mattress Protector Should You Buy

Gone are the days of selecting a mattress protector based on size alone, said Caitlin Hoff, a health and safety investigator for Today, mattress protectors come in a range of different materials and offer different functions depending on what youre looking for.

A basic mattress protector may only protect the mattress from wear and ensure longevity, while a higher end protector will protect your mattress from bed bugs, stains, dust mites and allergens, she added. Depending on your needs, you can select the brand or product that provides you with the best solution.

Hoff gives the example that if someone suffers from incontinence, he or she would want to look at waterproof mattress protectors while a student in a college dorm should consider a mattress protector that protects against bed bugs that might lurk in crowded dorms or apartment buildings. If you arent sure of your needs, you can always buy a mattress protector that addresses a wider range of challenges.

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Convincing Reasons To Use A Mattress Protector

Perhaps youve made it to this point in your life without having a mattress protector covering or encasing yourmattress. You may not have even given it a thought. Thats about to change. Weve got a few key reasons why you need a mattress protector right now.

  • Keep it clean. You dont really want to know what unsavory things might be on your mattress sweat, dead skin cells, assorted body fluids and dust mites or bed bugs. Ick. By protecting your mattress from unpleasant stains and dirt, youll help extend the life of your mattress.
  • Shore up your defenses. When your clothes get dirty, you toss them in the washing machine. With a mattress, its not that easy. Cleaning up stains doesnt always work, often leaving residue stains and odor behind. Vacuuming a mattress is recommended, but who remembers to do that? A mattress protector is a better strategy.
  • Protect your warranty. A soiled or stained mattress will mean that your warranty is null and void. If its defective, you cant return it for servicing or replacement because of strict hygiene and safety regulations. Protect your mattress and your investment.
  • Bug off. Dust mites thrive in dirty environments. They hang out on mattresses in search of their favorite meal flakes of dead skin. A clean sterile mattress really wrecks their dining plans. No debris, no bugs.
  • Keeps Your Allergies In Check And Those Pesky Dust Mites Away

    Purple Mattress Protector Waterproof Test

    Many of us deal with dust mite allergies.

    If stood before a court of law, these little critters would be found guilty of crimes against humans including sneezing, wheezing, shortness of breath and a runny nose.

    As we’ve mentioned, we shed dead skin cells in our sleep and dust mites go to town on them, feasting and embedding themselves in your mattress.

    Unless of course, you have a mattress protector, which helps to blockade your mattress against the infestation of dust mites, keeping your bedding sterile and your night’s rest peaceful.

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    What Are Mattress Protectors

    Mattress protectors are thin linings that are used as an added protective layer for your mattress. Theyre usually made of tightly knit fabrics, and most are designed to be waterproof.

    Mattress protectors typically resemble fitted sheets in the way that they cover the top and sides of your mattress, creating a full encasement. These serve as a middle layer between the mattress and your bedsheets.

    Some new mattresses come with protectors, while in some cases, its an additional purchase that you can add at checkout. Most mattress stores would stock protectors.

    So how is that different from Ecosas cover?

    Your Ecosa Mattress comes with a removable cover, which is a core feature of the mattress. You dont need to purchase any additional protection. The removable cover does everything that a mattress protector does its waterproof and helps protect the mattress from dust mites and allergens. Its also super simple to remove and throw in the washing machine.

    So if you have an Ecosa Mattress, you dont need a mattress protector. However, if you want one for added protection, theres no harm in doing so.

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    Best Mattress Protectors Of 2022

    Accidents, sweat, and dirt can cause stains, mold, mildew, and other damage that may jeopardize the lifespan of a mattress. A mattress protector acts as an extra barrier between the sleeper and the bed to reduce the likelihood that a simple mishap could spell disaster.

    Mattress protectors can typically be removed and washed, thereby shielding the bed from allergens, dirt, and damage while also making it easier to maintain a clean and fresh sleep surface.

    Well cover our top picks for mattress protectors and explain what makes them unique. Well also go over tips for selecting the best mattress protector for you and answer common questions that shoppers may have.

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    Why Trust The Spruce

    This article was researched and written by Katie Begley, a freelance writer specializing in home and family products. With three small children and pets, she is familiar with the need for a high-quality mattress protectorand over the past three years, she has personally tested and used multiple products from this list. To compile the most comprehensive recommendations, she researched industry certifications, tester reviews, and the top features needed in a mattress protector.

    Looking To Improve Sleep Quality And Prolong Mattress Life


    Here at Cuddledown, we offer a great variety of high quality mattress protector and toppers at really affordable prices. Give one of our mattress protectors a try, were confident theyll put a smile on your face. If you are quite sure which mattress protector is right for you just yet, why not take a look at all the products we have on offer on our mattress protector page.

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