Do You Need a Mattress Protector? Understanding the Benefits for Your Bedding

Key Takeaway

A mattress protector is an essential investment for anyone seeking to extend the longevity and maintain the hygiene of their mattress. It offers a robust defence against spills, dust mites, allergens, and wear, enhancing the cleanliness and comfort of your sleeping environment. Whether you're concerned about preserving your mattress or improving sleep quality, a mattress protector is a wise choice for safeguarding your bedding investment.

A mattress protector plays a crucial role in maintaining the longevity and hygiene of a mattress. It acts as a defensive layer that shields the mattress from accidental spills, dust mites, and allergens, which can all affect not only the mattress's condition but also the quality of sleep one experiences. While many may argue that a mattress alone is sufficient, the addition of a protector can significantly extend the life of the mattress by preventing damage and contamination.

Investing in a mattress protector is an economical way to shield your mattress from potential soiling and wear. These protective covers are designed to provide a barrier against dirt and stains, which is especially useful in households with children and pets. They also contribute to the overall cleanliness of the mattress, as they are easily removable and can be washed in a machine. This feature allows for regular cleaning, which is not an option for mattresses themselves.

Considering the average human spends roughly one-third of their life asleep, the significance of a clean and well-maintained sleeping surface is evident. Mattress protectors not only offer practical benefits but also enhance the sleep environment by reducing the likelihood of exposure to irritants that can disrupt sleep. In this respect, they are an essential consideration for anyone looking to invest in their sleep health and the longevity of their mattress.

Why Use a Mattress Protector?

A mattress protector serves as a defensive barrier, safeguarding the mattress against contaminants and wear while offering health benefits to the sleeper.

Health Benefits

Mattress protectors play a crucial role in maintaining a clean sleep environment. They are effective in:

  • Blocking Dust Mites: These protectors prevent the accumulation of skin flakes in the mattress, which are the primary food source for dust mites, known to trigger allergies and respiratory issues.
  • Restricting Allergens: By creating an impermeable layer, mattress protectors limit the penetration of allergens, thereby reducing the risk of allergy flare-ups during sleep.

Mattress Longevity

Using a mattress protector can significantly extend the life of a mattress by:

  • Preventing Stains: It shields the mattress from spills and stains, which can otherwise lead to mould growth or permanent discolouration.
  • Maintaining Warranty: Many mattress warranties require that the mattress be kept stain-free, a condition that a mattress protector can help fulfil, ensuring that warranty terms are upheld.

Different Types of Mattress Protectors

Selecting an appropriate mattress protector depends on the material and the fit specific to your mattress. The right choice enhances comfort while safeguarding your investment.

Materials and Fabric Choices

Waterproof mattress protectors usually feature a layer of polyurethane to block liquids. This key feature helps in maintaining a clean and hygienic sleeping environment, especially important for those with allergies. The materials commonly used include:

  • Cotton: Known for its breathability and softness, often used on the top layer for comfort.
  • Polyester: Durable and less expensive, polyester is often blended with other fibres to enhance protective features.
  • Bamboo: Offers natural hypoallergenic qualities and moisture-wicking properties, useful for a cooling effect.

Some protectors combine materials to optimise comfort and protection, such as a cotton terry surface backed with a polyurethane layer.

MyBedFrames’ Best Selling Mattress Protectors

Discover the best of comfort and protection with MyBedFrames' top-selling mattress protectors.

Fit and Sizing

Mattress protectors come in various sizes to match standard mattress dimensions:




90 x 190 cm


135 x 190 cm


150 x 200 cm

Super King

180 x 200 cm

The fit can be categorised as either fitted sheet style or encasement:

  • Fitted sheet style: Elastic edges wrap around the mattress, easy to remove and clean, but less comprehensive protection.
  • Encasement: Fully encases the mattress, zipper closure, provides complete protection against allergens and bed bugs.

Protection Features

Mattress protectors are crucial for maintaining the longevity and hygienic condition of a mattress. They offer a strong defence against moisture and provide a reliable barrier against common bedroom pests and allergens, ensuring a clean and comfortable sleeping environment.

Moisture and Spill Resistance

Mattress protectors excel in repelling liquids and moisture, such as sweat and spills, which can otherwise seep into a mattress causing stains and the growth of mould. A water-resistant layer is especially valuable for those who enjoy breakfast in bed or households with young children prone to accidents. The degree of moisture protection can vary, with some protectors being completely waterproof, limiting the penetration of any liquid and preserving the mattress in a pristine state.

  • Liquid Type: Sweat, Spills
  • Protection Level: Water-Resistant, Waterproof

Barrier Against Pests and Allergens

Beyond moisture, a well-designed mattress protector acts as a form of armour against bed bugs, dust mites, and other allergens that can infiltrate a mattress. Pests such as bed bugs are deterred by the tightly woven fabrics that leave no space for them to enter or reside. In addition, protectors can be treated with antibacterial solutions that discourage the proliferation of bacteria, which is a crucial step in preventing allergic reactions and maintaining cleanliness.

  • Pest Types: Bed Bugs, Dust Mites
  • Material: Tightly Woven Fabric
  • Treatment: Antibacterial Solutions

They can also impede the accumulation of allergens, such as pet dander, which can lead to respiratory issues for those with allergies. Investing in a quality mattress protector is a practical measure to enhance the healthful state of one's sleeping quarters.

Comfort and Sleep Enhancement

Mattress protectors play a crucial role in enhancing the quality of sleep by offering additional comfort and support. They often include features like temperature regulation and extra cushioning, which can extend the lifespan of the mattress itself.

Temperature Regulation

Mattress protectors with cooling features facilitate temperature regulation during sleep, maintaining a comfortable sleeping environment. Cooling mattress protectors often incorporate materials that dissipate heat, such as gels or breathable fabrics, to prevent overheating. This is particularly beneficial for individuals who tend to sleep hot or experience night sweats.

  1. Materials: Gel-infused foams or breathable fabrics
  2. Outcome: Maintains cool and comfortable sleep temperature

Cushioning and Support

In terms of cushioning and support, a mattress protector can add a layer of softness to a firm mattress, enhancing the comfort level. Foam mattress toppers, a type of mattress protector, provide pressure relief and conform to the body's shape, offering targeted support that can alleviate pain and discomfort.

  • Foam Types: Memory foam or polyurethane foam
  • Benefits:
    • Alleviates pressure points
    • Conforms to body shape for enhanced support

Using a mattress protector is a straightforward method to increase the comfort of any bed while protecting the investment in a mattress.

Care and Maintenance

Proper care and maintenance of a mattress protector extend its life and efficacy. Regular cleaning and timely replacement are essential for it to function effectively.

Cleaning Instructions

Mattress protectors, especially those that are machine-washable, should be laundered regularly to maintain a sanitary sleeping environment. Laundering should be done according to the care label instructions. Typically, a waterproof protector made from materials like vinyl can be wiped down for convenience. However, for machine-washable protectors:

  1. Remove the protector from the mattress before washing.
  2. Use a gentle, non-biodegradable detergent.
  3. Wash on a cool to warm cycle depending on the care label.
  4. Avoid using bleach or fabric softeners as they can degrade waterproofing and elasticity.
  5. Tumble dry on a low heat setting or opt for line drying in a well-ventilated area to preserve the material's integrity.

Frequent laundering helps in removing spills and stains, keeping the sleeping area clean and hygienic.

Durability and Replacement

The durability of a mattress protector is contingent upon the quality of materials and frequency of use. Protectors undergo wear and tear from body movements and laundering. They should be inspected regularly for signs of damage such as tearing, thinning, or reduced waterproofing effectiveness. A good practice is to:

  • Check the protector every 6 months for any signs of wear.
  • Replace the protector if there are visible damages or if it no longer provides adequate protection against spills and stains.

It is typical to replace a mattress protector every 1-2 years, depending upon its condition and the manufacturer's recommendations. A well-maintained protector can last longer, ensuring the underlying mattress remains in prime condition.

For guidance on your mattress condition, read our 6 telltale signs that you need a new mattress guide.

Cookies in MyBedFrames

We use cookies to give you the best experience with us and track our marketing. You are free to manage cookies via your browser settings at any time (Allow/Remove). By continuing to use the site you confirm are happy with our privacy policy.