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Best mattress protector 2021: waterproof, cooling and zipped options compared

Best mattress protector 2021: waterproof, cooling and zipped
(Image credit: Linenspa)

The best mattress protector will keep your bed feeling fresh, clean, and safe from spills. Whether you've just bought the best mattress you can afford, or want to protect your current one, a mattress protector is a smart investment: it'll extend the life of your mattress, keeping it in top condition for longer - and could help you sleep better too.

Mattress protectors act like fitted sheets. Not as thick as a mattress pad, they sit on top of your mattress or mattress topper, and either slide around the sides, or are zipped and enclose the whole mattress for full protection - you'll find both options in our guide. 

The best mattress protectors are waterproof and breathable, with a high-tech fabric cover that wicks away moisture and helps keep you cool at night. Cheaper options tend to sacrifice the high-performance fabric to keep the cost down, but they still provide a valuable first line of defence for your mattress.

What's the best mattress protector?

We think the best mattress protector you can buy is the Purple Mattress Protector. Costing from $79 at Purple, it's waterproof, stain resistant, and has an impressive 4.4 out of 5 stars from users from over 6,800 user reviews.

Whatever you're looking for, though, we've got you covered. In this guide, we've found the best mattress protectors for all budgets, from luxury organic protectors to top-quality bargain options. Plus, the Memorial Day mattress sales have started - which means there are plenty of bargains to be found. You'll find today's lowest prices below. 

The best mattress protector - our guide

Best mattress protector: Purple

(Image credit: Purple)

1. Purple Mattress Protector

The best mattress protector you can buy

Specifications
Waterproof: Yes
Depth: Up to 15 inches
Colors: Grey, white, oat, purple, lilac, morning mist
Material: Polyester, spandex
Sizes: 7: Twin - split king
Trial: 30 days
Warranty: 10 years
RRP: $79-$158
Reasons to buy
+100% waterproof+Very quiet - no rustling+Super easy to wash
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey

Our top pick for best mattress protector goes to Purple. The leading mattress maker has thrown its expertise into creating a five-sided, dual-layer protector that prevents spills from soaking into your mattress, while also adding an extra layer of comfort. There's a water-resistant inner layer that prevents any wetness from soaking through, and an absorbent outer layer that helps dissipate liquid so it doesn't create a puddle. 

Purple's mattress protector is also made from a stretchy, flexible fabric that's designed not to make a sound when you move, unlike some cheaper waterproof mattress protectors that can feel like you're sleeping on a crinkly trash bag.

The vast majority of users agree on the Purple website that the company's mattress protector is superb. It boasts an impressive 4.4 out of 5 stars from over 6,500 user reviews (Feb 2021), with many praising how quiet and invisible it is, and saying that it fits well and stays in place over night. Many also comment that the waterproofing works very well - without blocking any of the benefits of their mattress. It's one of the most expensive options in our guide, but if you have the budget, it's one of the best mattress protectors out there. 

Best mattress protector: The White Company Luxury Quilted

(Image credit: The White Company)

2. White Company Luxury Quilted Mattress Protector

Non-allergenic mattress protector with plenty of padding

Specifications
Waterproof: No
Depth: 12 inches
Material: 100% cotton
Sizes: 5: Toddler - king
Trial: N/A
Warranty: N/A
RRP: $44 - $79
Reasons to buy
+All-cotton construction+Non-allergenic+Luxurious padded filling
Reasons to avoid
-Only 12 inches deep

Known for tasteful interior products and design, The White Company delivers the goods with its luxury quilted mattress protector. Sporting a diamond stitch design to keep the filling plump, it's 100% cotton and also non-allergenic.

That padding is what sets this mattress protector apart from some others on this list. While it's not quite as plush as a mattress topper, it's certainly soft enough to add a nice amount of cushioning to your mattress and have you asleep in no time.

It's worth nothing that this protector can only cater for mattresses up to 12 inches deep though, so if you've got a quad-core hyper-foam behemoth of a bed, The White Company's protector might come up short. For the rest of us, though, this is a quality mattress protector that exudes luxury without the three-digit price tag.

best mattress protector: SafeRest Premium Hypoallergenic Waterproof Mattress Protector

(Image credit: SafeRest)

3. SafeRest Premium Hypoallergenic Waterproof Mattress Protector

Best cheap mattress protector and it's hypoallergenic too

Specifications
Depth: 18 inches
Material: Cotton terry
Warranty: 10 years
Sizes: 6: Twin – Cal King
RRP: $24.95 - $34.95
Reasons to buy
+Guaranteed non-allergenic+Waterproof+10 year warranty
Reasons to avoid
-Some say it crinkles

If you're an allergy sufferer, you'll need a mattress protector that's both hypoallergenic itself, and can also keep any dust and particles from escaping your mattress when you use it. The SafeRest hypoallergenic waterproof mattress protector is designed to do exactly that - and boasts an excellent 4.6 out of 5 rating on Amazon from over 140,700 user reviews. Bear in mind that many of the lower ratings claim that this mattress protector isn't super silent. However, lots of positive reviews claim that it is - so you'll need to make up your own mind on this front. Given the price of this cheap mattress protector, we'd say it's a worth a try.

best mattress protector: Avocado Organic Cotton

(Image credit: Avocado)

4. Avocado Organic Cotton Mattress Pad Protector

Best eco-friendly mattress protector - and a 100-night trial

Specifications
Waterproof: No
Depth: 17 inches
Material: Organic cotton
Sizes: 6: Twin – Cal king
Trial: 100 nights
Warranty: 1 year
RRP: $199 - $299
Reasons to buy
+Vegan and carbon negative+Luxuriously soft+Non toxic
Reasons to avoid
-Absorbent, not waterproof

Now for something totally different: the Avocado Organic Quilted Cotton mattress pad protector. Starting at just under $200, this is one of the highest-quality mattress protectors in the US. It's a protector-pad hybrid, so it's much more substantial and padded than the others on this list. But this organic cotton protector will also have you sleeping guilt free because it's made here in the US from all-organic materials, via carbon negative processes. 

The Avocado Organic Cotton mattress pad protector is a natural alternative to traditional plastic-based waterproof mattress protectors. That means it's absorbent, but not fully waterproof - so it'll keep your mattress safe from stains, skin oils, and perspiration, as well as moderate spillages. But it isn't the right choice for a kid's bed.

As you would expect for the price, this premium, cross-quilted mattress protector is machine washable. It comes with a huge 100-night trial, so you can test it from the comfort of your home, and there's a one year warranty too. If you're looking for an eco-friendly mattress protector, this is the best you can buy.

Best mattress protector: Utopia Bedding Waterproof Mattress Protector

(Image credit: Utopia Bedding)

5. Utopia Bedding Waterproof Mattress Protector

Cheapest mattress protector

Specifications
Waterproof: Yes
Depth: 15-17 inches
Material: Polyester/cotton blend
Sizes: 6: Twin – Cal King
RRP: $11.99 - $14.99
Reasons to buy
+Excellent price+Useful elasticated design+Easily washable
Reasons to avoid
-Nothing fancy here

If you're on a shoestring budget but need a quality cheap mattress protector to help your bed live longer, this option from Utopia Bedding is a good one to consider. It's made from a poly-cotton blend, and claims to be totally waterproof without any of the rustling associated with cheaper products (its 4.5/5 average Amazon rating - from over 5,000 user reviews - seems to back that up). Sometimes all you need is a budget mattress protector that will do the job without breaking the bank, and that's exactly what Utopia Bedding has provided here.

best mattress protector: American Baby Company Waterproof Fitted Crib

(Image credit: American Baby Company)

6. American Baby Company Waterproof Fitted Crib Mattress Protector

Best crib mattress protector

Specifications
Depth: 9 inches
Material: Polyester
Sizes: 1: Crib
RRP: $11.50
Reasons to buy
+Great value+Super soft for sensitive babies+Very easy to clean
Reasons to avoid
-Not a lot at this price

A crib mattress protector is essential for a baby or toddler – you don't want a new mattress ruined after a couple of nights. The American Baby Company crib mattress protector is a great option, offering a cheap, washable and comfortable way to protect a crib mattress.

With an impressive average rating of 4.7 out of 5 from over 21,000 user reviews on Amazon, parents really like American Baby's mattress protector. There are even some bundle deals where you can save money if you buy two or more. All in all, this is a great way to protect your baby's bed long enough for them to outgrow it.

best mattress protector: Utopia Bedding Premium Bamboo

(Image credit: Utopia Bedding)

7. Utopia Bedding Bamboo Mattress Protector

A popular bamboo mattress protector

Specifications
Waterproof: Yes
Depth: 15 inches
Material: Bamboo
Sizes: 6: Twin – Cal king
RRP: $12.99 - $21.99
Reasons to buy
+Fully waterproof+Cool and breathable+Washable
Reasons to avoid
-Can be delicate to wash

If you're looking for something a bit different, try the Utopia Bedding Premium Bamboo mattress protector. Fully waterproof - and with many users commenting that theirs is rustle-free - it's a great value way to protect your new or current mattress. Plus, with its bamboo construction, it's likely that this is a little more eco-friendly than most cotton rivals (although we can't say for sure).

The washing instructions state that you have to be pretty careful when cleaning the Utopia mattress protector, but with an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 on Amazon from over 22,500 user reviews, it's clear that the vast majority of customers are pleased with their purchase.

best mattress protector: Lucid Premium Hypoallergenic Waterproof Mattress Protector

(Image credit: Lucid)

8. Lucid Cotten Terry Waterproof Mattress Protector

Best customizable mattress protector

Specifications
Waterprood: Yes
Depth : 22 inches
Material: Polyester
Sizes: 6: Full – Cal King
RRP: $23.99 - $24.99
Reasons to buy
+Choice of smooth or terry top+Waterproof+Hypoallergenic
Reasons to avoid
-Can be crinkly

Finally, we've got another waterproof and hypoallergenic mattress protector, this time from the excellent Lucid. Here, you can choose between a soft terry or a classic smooth top, which is a nice option we don't often see.

Amazon reviews are stellar, with an average of 4.6/5, and tons of buyers claim that it's saved their mattresses from spills and accidents. However, just like the SafeRest above, some people do say that the protector can make a crinkling noise, and that it slightly changes the feel of the bed. For less than $25, though, the ratings speak for themselves and we think the Lucid mattress protector is well worth the money.

How thick should my mattress protector be?

Mattress protectors are quite different from mattress toppers, and their primary duty isn't necessarily to make your bed more comfortable – although many can certainly enhance your sleep experience. 

Protectors can range from anywhere between a few millimeters and an inch. On this list, most of the cheaper, more traditional toppers are probably around a quarter of an inch thick, while more luxurious, padded items are half an inch and beyond. 

However, bear in mind that mattress protectors aren't often made from memory foam, meaning any very thick protectors may flatten over time. 

If you want a thick layer of extra padding, it's worth investing in a quality mattress topper alongside a less expensive protector. The protector will keep your mattress safe from spills, while the topper will add a couple of inches of extra cush.

How do I choose the best mattress protector?

The best mattress protector for you might not be the best for someone else, and the first thing to consider when purchasing is what you actually need it to do.

Are you buying a protector for a toddler's bed, or perhaps you have a couple of dogs that can't help but leap on right after a muddy walk? In that case, you're probably going to want a waterproof protector.

If you're looking for a little more luxury and less intensive protection, a thicker protector like Woolroom's or Avocado's might be just what you need. Others protect from dust and bedbugs, while others still provide a a quick and easy way to remedy your night-time overheating. 

If you need to find anything else out, we'd certainly recommend reading user reviews on Amazon or the company's site, as these can be quite elucidating in terms of real users' experiences.

Are mattress protectors good for back and hip pain?

While some offer extra padding, if you're looking for substantial support you're going to want to upgrade your mattress with a mattress topper. They can provide extra depth and targeted support for those who suffer from aches and pains, or who have mattresses that are less than perfect.

What's the best way to care for my mattress protector?

Different mattress protectors have different care instructions, but the best way to look after it is to avoid putting it through extra stress in the first place.

However, almost all waterproof protectors are machine washable – they wouldn't be much good if they weren't – so if any accidents do occur you won't have to buy a new one.

Otherwise, most manufacturers will display care instructions on-site, so if you've got any special demands of your protector, your best bet is to check at the source.

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Mo is eCommerce Editor at Tom's Guide. Day-to-day he oversees privacy and security content, and his product guides help his readers find the best software and products for their needs. When he's not testing VPNs, you'll find him working on his classic car or plugged into a guitar amp.