Mattress Protectors Buyers Guide

A mattress is a sizeable purchase for any household and you want to protect your investment buy using a quality mattress protector. Be sure to make the purchase of a mattress protector part of your budget when you're ready to buy the mattress. In this article you'll learn why you should always use a mattress protector along with great hints and tips to getting the best one for your needs.

So what is a mattress protector?

A mattress protector is an extra layer of protection to shield your expensive mattress from liquids, dead skin cells, bacteria, dust mites and bed bugs. Alongside protecting the mattress they can also offer more support and padding which can add many more years to both new and existing mattresses.

Mattress protectors are removable and lay between the mattress and the bottom sheet which make them much cheaper and easier to clean and replace should you need it.

Most common types of mattress protector

There are most commonly 3 different types of mattress protectors and they include:

Fitted: Just like a fitted sheet and they fit over the corners of the mattress and stay in place quite well.

Zippered: These enclose the entire mattress offering the most protection from mites, bacteria and general liquids and moisture.

Elasticated Straps: The main protector sits directly on top of the mattress and the elastic straps loosely secure the mattress protector on top.

picture of elastic mattress protector
picture of fitted mattress protector
picture of zipped mattress protector

Mattress protector budget

A good budget to set for a mattress protector can quite easily be determined by how much you spent on your mattress. If you've spent over £1,000 on your mattress then don't be afraid of spending a percentage of this (say 5% to 10%) on your mattress cover. Think of this as a small insurance policy for your mattress. Buy the best mattress protector you can that fits into this percentage range and you'll sleep even better knowing your expensive mattress has got the best protection.

When deciding on a mattress be sure to check the mattress covers from the same brand that are designed specifically for that mattress. Many big brands have perfect fitting mattress protectors to purchase alongside your main mattress purchase. Be sure to factor this into your budget when looking for your next mattress.

What to look for when buying a mattress protector

When you're about to buy a mattress protector ideally you should find the following features and benefits.

Machine washable

Most mattress protectors are machine washable at a common temperature so this should be common. However sometimes you find some covers that aren't so always best to check. Having a machine washable mattress protector is one of the main benefits to keeping things hygienic and protected.

Size & Depth

This is an easy one but just make sure you check the compatible sizes that your new mattress protector can fit with. Some are only certain sizes while others can support a range of different sizes of mattress. Also check the depth to ensure your mattress will easily fit with your protector.


Do you require extra padding for an existing mattress or are you just looking for protection?

Fitted Style

Double check that you're buying a fitted mattress protector with plenty of depth (clearance) so it will quickly and easily fit on the mattress it's protecting. Having a fitted mattress protector just makes life a little simpler.

If you're going for a fully enclosing zipped mattress protector make sure the depth is a close match as possible to the mattress otherwise you could run into problems with comfort later. It might be a little tricky to fit but will be worth the extra effort.


Some mattress protectors are waterproof and this could leave to condensation issues. Thankfully most waterproof mattress protectors offer excellent breathability and a very effective waterproof layer. Looking for a good polyurethane membrane will ensure your mattress cover allows air through but blocks the water.

If you or your partner are sensitive to certain fabrics, or suffer from allergies, then a hypoallergenic mattress protector will be a great addition to your bed and sleeping system.

picture of how a breathable mattress protector works 1
picture of how a breathable mattress protector works 2
picture of how a breathable mattress protector works 3

So, what's the best mattress protector to buy?

If you have a Memory Foam Mattress

If you've gone for a memory foam mattress, or something with a memory foam topper, then a thin, waterproof and breathable protector will give you the best results. Not only do they protect your mattress from spills and sweat but they also keep you cool. Also, a waterproof mattress protector keeps bacteria, dust and skin cells away from the mattress making it much more hygienic. It's much easier to wash away dirt and dust from the mattress cover than the mattress, which is almost impossible todo.

A mattress protector with a polyurethane membrane (breathable waterproof layer) is easy to clean, lasts a long time, keeps you cool and does a great job at protecting your mattress from spills, liquids, dust and bacteria.

If you're buying a new mattress, no matter what the price, always use an effective mattress protector from the 1st night, to the end of the mattresses life.

Personally, when we purchased our new mattress we knew that a good mattress protector was a good idea, but we had a few concerns when it came to purchasing one. Our main concern, after coming to the conclusion that a waterproof mattress protect was the way forward, is that would we overheat in bed and would there build up of moisture?

Thankfully, after a good few nights on the new Tempur mattress with Tempur mattress protector in modurate heat we can safely say there is nothing to worry about. We've not experienced any downside to the mattress protector yet. We can only say this for our combination of Tempur products, so it should be similar (hopefully) to other like for like setups.

Sure, you may have to tweak your setup when using a foam mattress with mattress protector but it's nothing too difficult. It could be you use a thiner or thicker quilt, a different bed sheet etc.

picture of a memory foam mattress
picture of a pocket sprung mattress

If you have a Sprung Mattress

If you already have a sprung mattress and you want to experience most of the benefits of memory foam then you could try a memory foam mattress protector or topper. This would be a good combination with a sprung mattress as it could offer better support and breathability without costing you too much money. It could also increase the lifespan of your mattress by a few years too.

The good news is there are plenty of affordable solutions on the market that will be both easy and quick to use. Some are memory foam, some are pure cotton, some of even filled with duck down to really give you that extra comfort and warmth you've been looking for.

Before you buy just make sure you've checked all the advantages and disadvantages of the types you like the sound of as you could be in for a shock if you're too warm and not properly supported when you sleep.

Best places to buy a mattress protector

The most common places to buy mattress protectors are where they sell mattresses as they will be more than happy to help you find the best one (and it's worth asking for a discount if you've just purchased a mattress from them!). Try and go for the same brand of your mattress if possible as these fit the best but you should be fine with most as long as they are the correct size and depth.

If you like to buy online then here are a few links from popular stores that go directly to their dedicated mattress protectors and bedding protectors pages.


So whatever your type of mattress and whatever your type of mattress protector, we fully recommend you use a mattress protector or topper from day 1 of your new mattress, or if you're looking to add some extra years to an existing sleep system.

A mattress protector as a very affordable insurance policy to protect your mattress, it's just a matter of when it will pay for itself. It could be years of loyal service, a spilt drink or a burst hot water bottle. Whatever the disaster, the mattress protector will keep you covered.

It's a lot easier and cheaper to wash or replace a mattress protector than a whole expensive mattress!