Style: The best mattress protectors to defend your bed against spills, stains and more

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The best mattress protectors can prolong the life of your mattress by safeguarding it against spills, allergens, sweat, and bedbugs. We've rounded up eight that we've slept on and put through their paces – and can therefore highly recommend.

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An essential addition to all the best mattresses, mattress protectors contribute to proper sleep hygiene (and better overall health) and help create an environment that encourages rest and relaxation. Also keep in mind that if you intend to return a new mattress before your trial period is up, most companies won't honor the refund if the mattress has stains or other damage to it, so you'll want to protect it.

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Our list encompasses everything from luxe to practical, eco to hypoallergenic, and we made sure to look at products from a broad range of price points. But remember that layering your mattress with one of the best mattress protectors isn't enough to maintain its cleanliness – it's still good to know how to clean a mattress.

How we tested the best mattress protectors

  • Stand-out qualities - Does it have features like temperature control, eco credentials or impressive tech?
  • Sounds - Did it make any rustling or squeaking sounds when laid on that could disrupt sleep?
  • Aesthetics - Does it have an appealing design and texture?
  • Care - Is it easy to wash and dry (or otherwise keep clean)?
  • Value for money - Does it ensure a good return on investment?

Our expert pick of the best mattress protectors

The prices shown throughout our guide are starting prices, typically for a single-sized mattress protector.

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The White Company might well be famed for its gorgeous candles, high thread count bed sheets and luxe homeware, but did you know it's also got your bedding requirements sorted, too? The brand's Luxury Cotton-Rich Quilted Waterproof Mattress Protector sits around the middle on our list in terms of price, which, combined with its all-round great quality, makes it a worthy winner of our 'best overall mattress protector' title.

This mattress protector is super-soft: it's got a 100% cotton exterior, and a 90% cotton (and 10% other fibers) fill. Available in sizes from cot bed to emperor, it can suit any member of the family. We tested it for a king and found that its skirt was ideal for stretching onto the bed with minimal fuss. Due to its cotton-rich design, there was none of the 'rustling' that can go hand-in-hand with more synthetic mattress protectors and, if anything, we barely even noticed it was there.

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An accidental splash of coffee—the perils of breakfast in bed!—that had soaked through the bed's top sheet was effortlessly dealt with by this protector, with the mattress unscathed and the topper perfectly refreshed after a spin in the washing machine. One other thing we liked: its neat presentation. It arrived in a small zip-up case that'd be great for storage.

Since its launch in April 2021, John Lewis's budget-friendly ANYDAY range has received rave reviews thanks to its broad selection of great-quality products at jaw-droppingly low prices. This mattress protector is no exception to the rule. Starting from just £8 for a single, these are the kind of prices you simply wouldn't expect from the upmarket department store.

Whilst it's quilted, it's worth noting that this mattress protector isn't really waterproof; you'll have to pay a bit more if you want that kind of care. However, don't let that throw you. For what you pay, this mattress protector is fantastic value. It doesn't make any extravagant claims and offers a sold level of basic protection. It can be looked after, too; it can be washed and tumble-dried with minimal fuss, and seemed to endure both well.

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Simba is renowned for its tech-forward approach to all things related to the bedroom, with everything from its bestselling Simba mattress to the best pillows crafted with carefully-considered genius at their core. So naturally, the brand's Performance Mattress Protector is pretty exceptional, too.

Its inbuilt Bi-Ome® protection means that as well as protecting the mattress from spills and stains, it's also shielded from odors, making it a great choice for a bed that regularly sees kids and pets jumping in and out of it. According to the Simba website, it, "attracts microorganisms and deactivates them on contact, preventing growth and spread".

As well as its clever design, this mattress protector also feels luxurious, too, with its quality evident to the naked eye. Thanks to its generous skirt, it's simple to fit on to the bed, and nestled all the way around our non-Simba mattress without the frustration of it rolling up or pinging off in the middle of the night. It certainly kept the bed feeling comfortable and cool, and all-in-all felt like a seriously sophisticated take on the humble mattress protector.

While this mattress protector is one of the more expensive products in our list, there are often brilliant Simba mattress deals and sales throughout the year which either include the mattress protector for free as part of a bundle or offer the product at a significantly reduced rate - so keep an eye out for discounts.

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For sensitive sleepers, hypoallergenic bedding can play a crucial role in keeping sensitive skin safe from the threat of aggravation or discomfort. Dormeo's Evercomfy Anti-Allergy Mattress Protector promises to do exactly that, offering as much protection to irritable skin as it does to the mattress.

Whether it's dust mites and bed bugs or dust particles and bacteria, it keeps it all at bay, allowing skin to breathe. We found it super-easy to fit on to the mattress thanks to its elasticated skirt—if anything, it was fractionally too big, which was handy as it meant we didn't need to worry about shrinkage when we washed it. (And it survived a spin in the tumble dryer unscathed, too.)

Extra-quilted, it's as much designed for comfort as it is for practicality, and was soft to lie on; it serves as a mattress enhancer, if anything, rather than a stereotypical squeaky protector. The perfect bedding accompaniment to soft sheets.

Constructed from 70% sustainable bamboo and 30% cotton, Panda London's take on the bedroom must-have is a great choice for anyone who is try to live more sustainably. Even its packaging is spot-on, with minimal waste: it arrives tightly rolled up inside a bamboo drawstring pouch, and we loved the on-brand panda-patterned ribbon. Cute and eco-conscious—we approve.

Far from being 'just' the material it's made from, the bamboo is a key selling point that influences every detail of this mattress protector. Bamboo is a natural repellant to unwanted bed-based baddies—such as bed bugs and dust mites—and it also boasts hypoallergenic properties, meaning it's a great match for sensitive skin. Bamboo is also naturally great at temperature regulation, meaning the mattress protector will keep your bed at a 'just right' temperature that even Goldilocks would be impressed by.

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We tested it on a king-size bed and found it was easy to apply. The first thing we wanted to explore was Panda London's claim that the mattress protector was totally silent (it was—there wasn't a single rustle to be heard), while the second was its waterproof credentials. The protector is designed with a layer of Panda London's very own Nano TPU™ technology, which keeps the product waterproof—a claim that stood up even when we poured a splash of water on to it. Panda London claim you can wash the mattress protector as many times as you like and the technology will stay perfectly intact. After (admittedly only) one wash, we can confirm that seems to be the case.

The priciest mattress protector on our list, Eve's The Temperature Balancing Mattress Protector promises to help temperature-sensitive sleepers enjoy the shut-eye they deserve. The price tags on Eve products tend to be high (the Eve Premium Hybrid mattress is £978 for a double) but that aside, the reason for this mattress protector's hefty price tag lies in the impressive technology behind it: its Outlast® fabric was developed by scientists for none other than NASA.

Constructed from 100% cotton, it's designed to capture and release heat as and when required - ideal for restless sleepers who find themselves waking up during the night due to feeling too hot or too cold. The temperature regulation worked: after a night of testing, we woke up feeling just-right. It's also comfortable to lie on, and there were no rustling sounds.

It can be machine-washed but Eve advise doing this no more than once a month (and no tumble-drying—let it air out naturally before putting it back on your bed. This took us a couple of days).

It arrived in a bulky cardboard box, which felt excessive compared to the delivery options presented by other brands. That said, the cardboard box can, obviously, still be recycled. It also has one of the more limited size ranges available; it fitted on to a king-sized bed perfectly but if you're looking to find a mattress protector for a single bed, this isn't one for you.

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Eve isn't the only brand to have incorporated some intergalactic qualities into their mattress protector. If you're lucky enough to own one of Tempur's mattresses, you might be interested to know that the NASA-approved brand also sells mattress protectors, too. While they're designed to best fit Tempur mattresses, they can be used on non-Tempur mattresses, too.

Designed to keep both spillages and dust mites at bay, this deceptively thin mattress protector is more than capable of keeping your bed in tip-top condition. We tested it by pouring a glass of water directly on to it and were impressed to discover that the mattress underneath remained bone dry.

Thanks to its 'intelligent membrane' design, it claims to be one of the thinnest mattress protectors available to buy today. On the downside, that means for the price you're paying, it doesn't quite compete with that quilted comfort that other mattress protectors can offer; however, on the upside, we didn't even notice we were lying on it, which can only be a good thing.

It can be washed an estimated 100 times, meaning you can keep it clean should any accidents occur, and it can also be tumble-dried, too. We only washed it once, admittedly, but found the mattress protector retained its stretch with zero negative impact.

The Tempur-Fit Mattress Protector was supplied by Bensons For Beds for this review.

Whilst '...don't let the bed bugs bite!' is a saying so familiar that it's arguably lost all meaning, the reality is that bed bugs can be a very real problem. No one wants to share their home (let alone their bed...) with the microscopic creatures, and if you've encountered them before, you'll know that their rash-inducing bites are no laughing matter. They're not indicative of poor hygiene but can be easily spread via travel, and are commonly found in mattresses that have been used by multiple people (such as in rented accommodation or guest bedrooms).

If bed bugs are your worst nightmare, play it safe by choosing a mattress protector that guarantees to keep them at bay. Soak & Sleep's Anti Bed Bug Mattress Encasement promises to do exactly that, as well as keep dust mites, mold and pollen —which can all build up in bedding over time—under control, too. Pillow encasements are also available if you want to extend the protection.

Distinctly thinner than some of the other protectors on the list, we found this mattress protector straightforward to fit. It held its own during a splash test, thanks to its jersey-and-TPU composition. The only slight downside? An occasional faint rustle when turning in bed—but that's a small price to pay to keep those pesky bugs at bay, right?

What should you consider when buying a mattress protector?

There are a range of different factors to consider when investing in a mattress protector...

  • Is it waterproof? Of course, the best mattress protector is the one that will defend your mattress against leaks and spillages—so choosing a mattress protector that can do exactly that is critical.
  • Is it breathable? Any waterproof mattress protector needs to be breathable, too. This means it can regulate the temperature in your bed, meaning you're less likely to feel uncomfortably hot.
  • How can you clean it? If your mattress protector gets dirty, you're going to want to clean it. Knowing that it can be popped in the washing machine (and in some cases, the tumble dryer, if you have one) will makes things a lot easier.
  • What is it made from? Another important thing to consider is the fabric used. We'd recommend natural, breathable fibres such as cotton, as this will allow air to move freely through the mattress, preventing moisture from building up over time.
  • How 'deep' it is? Always check that the mattress protector will be deep enough for your mattress. Some mattresses are now over 30cm deep, and the average depth is now 24cm, some 3cm deeper than the average from only a few short years ago.

What types of mattress protector are available to buy?

There is a wide range of mattress protectors available to buy, with options to suit almost every type of requirement and lifestyle. These can include:

  • Eco-friendly mattress protectors, made from materials like bamboo or natural cotton
  • Anti-allergy mattress protectors, which can defend against dust mites and bacteria
  • Temperature-sensitive mattress protectors, which are ideal for warmer sleepers

Mattress protectors are also available at a wide range of price points, too, meaning you can almost certainly find the perfect option to match your requirements.

With mattress protectors a must-have for everyone from young babies and party-hard teens to busy professionals and the elderly, they're an investment that can save you a headache down the line.

Looking after your mattress protector is important for ensuring your mattress stays in top condition, and it can be useful to have two in rotation to ensure a clean one is always available.

"Most modern mattress protectors are very versatile and can be machine washed," says cleaning and laundry service Johnson Cleaners. "We'd recommend treating your protector as you would any other type of bedding; regular washing and following the washing and drying instructions. It can also be beneficial to have two protectors, so you can rotate between the two when washing one."

Is it worth getting a mattress protector?

In a word—yes! Mattress protectors might seem like an unnecessary extra layer of bedding but the reality is that they're essential to keep your mattress clean and clear of leaks, spillages, sweat and more. Mattress protectors are crucial for keeping your sleep environment hygienic, and will help extend how long your mattress lasts.

Hygiene benefits aside, using a mattress protector is also critical if you've recently purchased a new mattress.

"As well as ensuring your mattress will remain fresh throughout its life, a mattress protector is something that many mattress manufacturers insist upon in their care guides," explains Johnson. "With many suppliers, if a mattress protector wasn't used, you could void your guarantee!"

What material is best for a waterproof mattress protector?

A waterproof mattress protector will safeguard your bed from spills and bodily fluids (sweat, drool, urine). It's especially useful for a child's bed, along with adults who tend to overheat or struggle with incontinence.

But it's not enough for a mattress protector to call itself waterproof – for that kind of protection, you'll want it to be constructed from any of the following materials:

  • Polyurethane - This thin plastic often serves as a barrier in between any moisture and the mattress. It's also considered a safer alternative to vinyl (or polyvinyl chloride, also known as PVC), which has been linked to health problems. On its own, polyurethane is not comfortable to sleep on, so it's often layered beneath a softer material.
  • Cotton - Cotton is soft, breathable, and very absorbent. It's an ideal choice for hot sleepers as cotton's moisture-wicking capabilities mean they're less likely to wake up in a sweat;
  • Bamboo - Bamboo is another breathable, highly-absorbent natural fiber. It's also hypoallergenic so it's a great option for anyone with allergies.
  • Tencel (Lyocell) - Tencel is made of cellulose fibers. It's extremely soft and cooling, so it's recommended if you overheat at night.
  • Polyester - This synthetic material is cheaper than natural fabrics and easier to clean, too. However, to enhance the feel and absorbency of polyester, it's often blended with cotton or another natural material.

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