If you’ve ever accidentally spilled a bit of liquid on your mattress and had to deal with the cleanup, you know exactly how much of a hassle that can be.

In addition to voiding most mattress warranties, spills can do real damage to most kinds of memory foam and cause unsightly stains that you know you’re never going to be able to get out.

Bottom line, spills are a major inconvenience, and taking extra measures to avoid them can save you a whole lot of headaches down the line.

Now, of course, you could just resolve to stop drinking anything in bed or ever getting yourself into a situation where these kinds of spills might happen – but we all know how well those sorts of decisions tend to work.

Life is plain messy, and there’s no getting around that!

Because of that, investing in a quality mattress protector is one of the most important things any smart mattress owner could do.

What Is a Mattress Protector?Image: a shield

A mattress protector is basically just any kind of pad or sleeve that protects your mattress from accidents.

The most common reason people buy these things is probably for spills, but there are actually a lot of different reasons people might purchase one of these.

If you have small children in your house, for instance, a waterproof mattress protector might be a good idea in case of accidental bed wetting.

A quality airtight product can also prevent mold and mildew from accumulating in your mattress over time (which is great news, since there isn’t really a good way to get rid of that stuff once it takes hold!).

Mattress Protectors vs Mattress Encasements

Some companies like to make the distinction between mattress protectors and mattress encasements.

 This might not hold true across all products you might come across, but in general, an encasement is generally considered a specific kind of mattress protector that covers the whole mattress.

These tend to be at least somewhat watertight, which makes them great for staving off stains from spills.

You can also use them to handle certain kinds of infestations (more on that in a bit).

The big disadvantage of airtight encasements, though, is that they prevent airflow.

 They don’t allow your mattress to breathe the way it’s likely designed to, which can lead to hot sleep.

Some kinds of especially heavy-duty encasements may also have zippers, which you might be able to feel somewhat when you lie down.

Non-encasement mattress protectors, by contrast, tend to function a lot more like thick fitted sheets. 

They only partially cover your mattress, and they’re generally a good bit more breathable.

These tend to be slightly less expensive, but the big disadvantage is that they’re not totally watertight. 

Basically, you’re going to have to make a tradeoff somewhere!

Image: biohazard symbol

Encasements Can Combat Infestations

Another important use for mattress encasements comes into play if you’re dealing with any kind of dust mite or bedbug infestation.

Many people are allergic to dust mite droppings, which can cause everything from coughing and sneezing to swollen skin and pain.

Not only does this make for general discomfort, but even moderate symptoms can start seriously cutting into your sleep.

The problem is, though, there isn’t actually any way to get rid of dust mites altogether.

They’re pretty much everywhere.

According to one study by Ohio State University, a typical used mattress can have anywhere from 100,000 to 10 million dust mites living in it – and while there are a couple solutions you can try, there are just too many of the things for you to ever kill or remove them all.

With the right encasement, though, you can trap the bugs away from your body and stop those symptoms in their tracks!

A similar thing happens with bedbugs.

Although bedbugs usually spread to the areas around your mattress as well as inside your mattress itself, a good mattress protector can strop an infestation while still in its early stages.

Unfortunately, though, you’re not going to be able to take that encasement off any time soon (bedbugs can live up to a year without food!).

What to Look for in a Mattress Protector

Once you’ve figured out the general kind of mattress protector you’re in the market for, there are still a couple of considerations you’ll want to think about before making your final purchase.

Material is the big one.

A simple, quilted cotton mattress protector is generally fine if you just want something for basic mattress protection.

Cotton is nice because it’s machine washable as well as breathable – so it’s overall probably the lowest-maintenance material out there.

Certain synthetic materials, meanwhile, will have temperature regulating or moisture-wicking technologies, as will products made with wool encased in cotton.

If you’re looking for something watertight, meanwhile, vinyl and polyurethane mattress protectors are probably right up your alley.

In addition to the general material of your product, you’re also probably going to want to take into account the way it attaches to your bed.

Encasements, as I mentioned previously, cover 100% of your mattress, top to bottom.

Most other protectors are fitted like fitted sheets, but there are also some built with elastic straps that pull down over the corners of your mattress to hold the thing in place.

The Top 4 Mattress Protectors

Alright, now without further ado, here they are…

The top four mattress protectors of 2018!

Bear Purple SafeRest Premium Bedical Care
Materials Stain-proof “HeiQ” technology 85% polyester, 15% spandex Cotton terry with waterproof membrane Celliant, gel-infused foam
Warranty 10 years 1 year 10 years 6.5
Notes Adaptive construction for a cool, dry sleep Stretchy and ultra durable Elegant design at a value price 10 to 20 years (depending on the model)
Price $110 $53 Out of stock! on Amazon.com $99.95

The Bear Protector

The first product we’ll be looking at is the Bear Protector.

Built by one of our all-time favorite mattress companies, this protector is serious about your sleep.

The company is a little secretive when it comes to saying exactly what this thing is made from – on their website they just mention something called “HeiQ Adaptive Technology,” which is something unique to their company.

At the end of the day, though, what you call it matters very little because this is an incredibly high-quality product.

It’s soft, breathable, stainproof and waterproof.

Pop this puppy on your mattress, and you can rest easy knowing this is one product that will see you through just about anything.

It’s specifically designed to stay cool and dry throughout the night – so no matter what happens, you can get the rest you need!

The Purple Mattress ProtectorImage: a spilling champagne glass tumbles through the air

This next product comes to us from another one of our all-time favorite mattress companies, Purple.

The Purple mattress protector’s fabric is made from a blend of 85% polyester, 15% spandex, while its backing is 100% polyurethane.

This results in a stretchy yet water-tight and incredibly breathable product that’s incredibly quiet and machine-washable.

Not only that, but its fabric will actually absorb liquids up to a certain extent, so you don’t have to worry about any kind of nastiness spilling off the mattress and onto anywhere else.

It’s stainproof and ultra-durable too – so no matter what madness your life takes you through, the Purple protector will be there for you every step of the way.

The SafeRest Premium

This next product – the SafeRest Premium Mattress Protector – has what’s likely the most elegant design of any of the products we’ll be talking about.

It’s made of a simple, hypoallergenic cotton terry surface with a waterproof membrane back coating.

You basically won’t feel any kind of difference with this thing on your mattress, so don’t even worry about it.

This is the kind of product for the person who doesn’t want to have to think too much about their mattress protector.

It just does its job. 

It’s simple, it’s affordable, and it really shouldn’t cause you too many problems.

The one downside is that it may not be 100% waterproof in certain circumstances – this is really just designed to protect from typical spills and wear and tear, so just don’t go pouring a bucket of water on your mattress!

The Bedical Care Mattress Encasement

Finally, we have the Bedical Care mattress encasement.

This thing is similar to the SafeRest in its insistence on simplicity, only this actually features a zippered closure that will protect you against dust mites and bedbugs alike.

This is one of the absolute best products to consider if you’re dealing with anything from allergies to a full-on infestation.

It’s one rugged product, too – with a 100% cotton terry surface, a 100% polyurethane backing, and a triple-sided zipper with Velcro flaps, this forms a virtually impervious barrier against anything you’re at all likely to come up against.

In addition to being waterproof and bugproof, the Bedical Care is also ultra-breathable and machine washable, hot or cold.

It does what it sets out to do, no questions asked!


Take your time going over all this information.

Everyone has different sleep needs, and you never want to be pressured by a pushy sales pitch into making so important a decision!

Your sleep is incredibly important, and you need the product that works best for you.

Ted Wilson

Ted Wilson

Founder and Owner

Ted is the founder and owner of Mattress Guides and is an expert in his field. Ted believes that having the right mattress is key to getting a good night’s sleep and feeling well-rested in the morning.

Updated at November 11, 2020