What to Look for in a Mattress Protector

What to Look for in a Mattress Protector

If you want to prolong the life of your mattress, then a mattress protector is an important investment. This simple covering is designed to both prevent wear and tear degrading your mattress, and also to protect you and your health by keeping the mattress clean.

Despite being relatively simple, it can actually have a range of features, designs and materials, all of which can be somewhat confusing. This means that for all of its benefits, many people either purchase the wrong kind of protector to suit their needs or, even worse, don’t purchase one at all.

So in this piece, we’re going to discuss what to look out for when buying your own mattress protector. We’ll to start then by discussing the different types that are available and the different types of materials they can be constructed from, as these are really the two biggest factors to consider.

buying your own mattress protector


What is meant by type when referring to these products is the shape and method of securing to the mattress itself. Broadly speaking, there are three types to choose from.

  • Fitted – Most types will be a fitted style. They look exactly like fitted sheets, being equipped with elasticated corners (and sometimes sides) that slip over the mattress and secure the protector in place. This design is a great middle ground of the two below
  • Elastic strap – With this type of protector, instead of looping over to cover and tuck underneath the whole mattress, this kind simply sits right on top and is held in place with elastic straps at each corner. Whilst this allows for good air circulation to the mattress, it won’t be as effective in protecting against things like bed bugs
  • Zippered – This type offers complete protection to the mattress. It fits around and covers the entire thing – think of it almost as a giant pencil case in design! It is a very effective way to completely protect your mattress, especially if you buy a waterproof design. This type could be perfect for putting on the bed of a child being potty trained for example, to protect against damage from any accidents in the night.


There is a range of materials that you may find your protector made from, and some are even a blend of several. In general, the bulk of the product will be made from one of these three materials:

Cotton – As an all-natural product, the protectors marketed as hypoallergenic will usually be made from this material. It is relatively breathable, feels nice to lie down on and runs the price range from basic all the way up to un-dyed, premium organic cotton.

Polyester – Generally, cheaper protectors will be made of polyester, but that’s not to say they are low quality. They will usually be found with a range of other materials, such as a cotton and polyester blend. If you are looking for a waterproof version, keep any eye out for a polypropylene blend, or a design that incorporates a vinyl sheet.

Down – If you are looking for true comfort then you may like to consider a down mattress protector. It will be stuffed with down, which is traditionally small, fluffy feathers from geese, though these days synthetic materials are also available. While they are extremely comfortable, all that extra material can make them affect allergy sufferers, and you will struggle to find a hypoallergenic version.

In addition to type and material, there are a few other things to bear in mind when making your selection, such as:

different types of mattress protector


Whether your bed is a king or queen or you’re looking for a protector for a single bed, it is important to choose a product of the correct size. Go too small and you’ll struggle to get it on the mattress at all. Go too big, and it won’t achieve a snug fit, making it likely to simply peel off in the night – not to mention bunch up and wrinkle and be extremely uncomfortable.


Just as with any part of the bedding, hypoallergenic protectors will be made of materials and fabrics designed to not trigger any allergies. If you need a hypoallergenic product it should be clearly labeled as such.

Built-in Comfort

Some products, usually at the more premium end of the scale, come with a little extra built-in comfort such as strategically placed padding or support. This can be useful for helping to make older mattresses a little more comfortable, extending their lifespan.

Washing Instructions

Simply due to their function, it will be necessary to clean the product every now and then. Washing instructions will play a big part in whether this is an easy task. If possible, look for a mattress protector that is machine washable for the easiest care.


So the answer to what to look for in a mattress protector is really a combination of all of the above features. Only you will know which is the most important factor for your own circumstances, but we hope this brief guide has been helpful.

Stefani P
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