What is a mattress protector? A mattress protector is a protective fitted sheet that shields your mattress from spills and accidents. They sit directly on top of your mattress and create a physical barrier that is water resistant and helps prevent spills from reaching the surface of your mattress. Mattress protectors are a simple and cost-effective way of keeping your mattress clean and prolonging its life.
MATTRESS PROTECTOR GUIDE
HOW TO USE A MATTRESS PROTECTOR?
Using a mattress protector is simple. If you have ever used a fitted sheet you’ll be familiar with their design. The first thing you need to do is strip away all your bed sheets and pillows from your mattress. Then, place the mattress protector directly on the surface of the mattress.
Carefully pull the sides of the protector down so they cover the sides of the mattress – just like a fitted sheet. Once the protector is in position you can begin dressing the bed as normal. Place your bed sheet directly on top of the mattress protector and then place your blankets and pillows on top of the bed sheet.
Once the protector is in place, you’re done. You won’t have to think about it again until you decide to take it off and give it a clean. Most mattress protectors can be put through the regular laundry cycle just like your bed sheets. We recommend a periodic wash to keep it clean and smelling fresh.
BENEFITS OF USING A MATTRESS PROTECTOR
What are the benefits of using a mattress protector? The key advantage of using one ismto prevent spills and stains from reaching your mattress. They provide an effective protective shield that will keep your mattress clean and maximize its effective lifespan.
KEEP MATTRESS CLEAN
Installing a mattress protector is an excellent way of keeping your mattress clean. They form a physical barrier that absorbs liquids and helps prevent them from reaching the mattress surface. The best protectors are waterproof and block any accidental spills from passing through to the mattress surface.
And, it’s not just liquids. Mattress protectors shield all types of unwanted dirt and grime. They help block out hairs and debris from house pets. They’re even effective at keeping out dust mites, sweat, grime, and any other unexpected intruder. They’re an excellent choice for keeping your mattress fresh and feeling like new.
EASY TO REMOVE & CLEAN
Mattress protectors are easy to clean. All you have to do is whip it off when you’re removing your bed sheets and put them through the laundry with the rest of your bedclothes. It’s a lot easier than cleaning a mattress. Without a protector, you’re left with the job of cleaning your mattress.
If your mattress gets dirty or picks up an unwanted stain – you’re going to have a much more difficult cleaning task on your hands. Cleaning a mattress takes time and can be difficult. Cleaning a mattress protector is a breeze.
PROLONG LIFE OF MATTRESS
Using a mattress protector will prolong the life of your mattress. If you want to protect your investment and get as much time from your mattress as possible – you should use one.
The protective layer will keep the mattress clean, fresh, and stain-free for longer. It even shields the mattress from sweat that can slowly seep in and accumulate over time. A mattress protector will keep your mattress feeling fresh and like-new for longer.
Mattress protectors are great for people that suffer from allergies or have sensitive skin. Protectors help prevent dust mites or allergens from reaching and accumulating inside the mattress. And, they can be easily cleaned to freshen them up. This has a hypoallergenic effect keeping your mattress surface clean and allergen-free.
COMFORT & COOLING
A mattress protector’s primary job is to protect your mattress from spills, dust, and grime. However by carefully choosing the material used to make the protector you can add a more comfortable feel and even boost the cooling effect of your mattress.
Mattress protectors are available in a wide variety of materials. And some feel more comfortable and breathable than others. For example, a soft brushed cotton model can add some welcome cushioning and cooling airflow.
PROTECT YOUR MATTRESS WARRANTY
A mattress protector will protect your mattress warranty. Many mattress warranties are voided by the presence of a mattress stain. Even if the mattress has suffered a fundamental fault that is covered by warranty – many manufacturers will void the warranty if there is a visible stain. Use a mattress protector if you want to protect your warranty.
TYPES OF MATTRESS PROTECTOR
There are three types of mattress protector – fitted, encased, and strapped. Fitted is the most common. It protects the surface and sides of a mattress and looks just like a fitted sheet. They are available in a range of materials – we’ll run through these below.
These are the most common type of mattress protector. They stretch over the surface and sides of a mattress just like a fitted sheet. Fitted protectors cover and shield the entire surface area of a mattress. The sides hold them in place and prevent movement.
This is a special type of mattress protector that completely covers a mattress on all sides – top and bottom. The mattress is placed inside an encasement and a zip is used to close and seal the protector. They are more difficult to install and remove but once in place they offer the highest level of protection.
STRAPPED / ANCHORED
This is the simplest and cheapest form of mattress protector. A strapped protector covers the surface of the mattress only and not the sides. Corner straps are used to grip the corners of the mattress and anchor the protector in place. They protect the surface of the mattress only and can be difficult to hold in place.
Mattress protectors are made using a range of materials. The best models use a wicking fabric on the surface that draws moisture away from the body and allows heat to pass through it. These are great for people that sweat and tend to sleep hot. Cheaper protectors use waterproof vinyl and polyester while high-end models use natural materials such as cotton and wool. See below for a list of the most common materials used.
HOW TO CLEAN A MATTRESS PROTECTOR
Most mattress protectors can be cleaned in the same way as your regular bed sheets and pillow cases. Just strip the bed and remove the protector when it’s due a clean. Then put it through the laundry as if it was a regular bed sheet or duvet cover. They are super easy to clean.
Our advice is to check the washing instructions on the label before you clean – just to be sure. This will tell you the maximum temperature it can be washed at and if it has any special requirements. It will also tell you if it can be put through a tumble dryer for quick drying.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MATTRESS PROTECTOR, MATTRESS PAD & MATTRESS TOPPER?
The primary role of a mattress protector is to protect a mattress from spills, dust, and grime. It provides a physical barrier that shields your mattress and helps keep you clean. Mattress pads and toppers are different. They are much thicker and contain more material. They are used to add more cushioning and change the feel of a mattress.
A mattress pad is thicker than a mattress protector but smaller than a topper. They fall somewhere between the two accessories. A mattress pad sits on top of your mattress and protects it from spills – but also adds some additional cushioning and support. It serves the dual role of protecting your mattress and adding some extra cushioning. For more info check out What Is a Mattress Pad?
Mattress toppers are bigger than mattress pads. They are like mini-mattresses that are placed on top of your existing mattress. Mattress toppers add additional support and cushioning and are often used to prolong the life of an old and sagging mattress. For more check out What Is a Mattress Topper?
WHEN DO YOU NEED A MATTRESS PROTECTOR?
If you want to protect your mattress from damage, help keep it clean, prolong its lifespan, or safeguard your warranty you should get a mattress protector. They are an inexpensive and cost-effective way of preserving the cleanliness of your mattress and protecting it from stains, spills, and grime. Our advice is to add one as you get a new mattress. And, if you are using a mattress without a mattress protector, get one today.
DO THEY WORK?
Yes, mattress protectors work. A good quality model will keep your mattress clean and shield it from dirt, grime, and dust mites. They are easy to position on your bed and form a very effective shield against spills and damage. And, when it’s time to freshen it up, it can be easily removed and put through a laundry cycle.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS THE POINT OF A MATTRESS PROTECTOR?
The point of a mattress protector is to shield your mattress from spills and dirt. It helps keep it clean and can be easily removed and washed when it needs to be freshened up.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MATTRESS PROTECTOR AND A MATTRESS PAD?
A mattress pad is bigger and thicker than a mattress protector. A protector is designed to protect your mattress from spills and stains. A mattress pad adds additional cushioning as well as protection. A mattress pad changes the feel of your existing mattress as well as protecting it from spills and stains.
IS IT WORTH USING A MATTRESS PROTECTOR?
Yes, it is worth using a mattress protector. They are inexpensive and highly effective at shielding your mattress from spills, stains, and other damage. Using a protector will keep your mattress clean and extend its lifespan.
IS A MATTRESS PROTECTOR THE SAME AS A FITTED SHEET?
No, a mattress protector is not the same as a fitted sheet. A fitted sheet will not protect your mattress from spills and damage like a protector.
DO YOU SLEEP DIRECTLY ON A MATTRESS PROTECTOR?
No, you do not sleep directly on a mattress protector. A protector should be placed directly on the surface of your mattress and you should position a bed sheet on top of the mattress protector.
DO YOU WASH MATTRESS PROTECTORS?
Yes, you do wash mattress protectors. They can be easily removed from the mattress and put through a regular laundry cycle with your bed sheets and pillowcases.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
JOSH HARDY – Senior Editor
Josh is senior editor at Mattress Comfort Guide. He is an industry expert with over 30 years of experience in the bed and mattress industry. Josh is a native of Albuquerque and is a graduate of the University of New Mexico. He holds an M.S. in Project Management and a B.S. in Earth & Planetary Sciences.
He has worked in both the retail and manufacturing industries where he has held consultancy roles on mattress design and technologies. Josh has a particular interest in how different mattress types complement body size and sleeping position, and deliver optimal lumbar support. Josh is a keen sports fan and when he’s away from the office he likes to play basketball and catch the New Mexico Lobos games with his two sons at the Pit.