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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 protectors help keep your mattress fresh, clean and free from spills and germs. They are easy to fit and many can be washed in the machine - ideal for quickly dealing with spills and stains. And if you have recently treated yourself to the best mattress for your sleep, then investing in a good mattress protector is essential to help it stay in great condition for longer (this saves you money in the long-term). Here we round-up some great options for a range of budgets, and for kids, adults and people who co-share a bed with their pets.

Unlike mattress toppers that add an extra layer of comfort, mattress protectors are much thinner. They sit over your bed like a fitted sheet and are held in place with straps, zips or elasticated corners. Choose the best mattress protector for deep mattresses and you may be able to place it over your topper too, protecting both. While most are breathable, the best mattress protectors have added moisture-wicking qualities. This is perfect if you sleep hot and are prone to night sweats. 

You can also buy waterproof options – ideal if you co-sleep with a small child or allow pets on the bed. However, if you are just looking for basic protection, even the most affordable mattress protectors will offer a good barrier against spillages, allergens, and general wear and tear. If you’re unsure which is the best mattress protector for you, scroll down now for our top-rated options, plus tips on how often you should wash yours.

What is the best mattress protector for 2021?

From our research, the best mattress protector you can buy is the Purple Mattress Protector. Priced from $79 at Purple, this stain-resistant and waterproof protector will keep your mattress safer for longer, and has an impressive user review rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars, generated by over 7,200 user reviews.

For smaller budgets we’d recommend the SafeRest hypoallergenic waterproof mattress protector. This cheaper option may not have all the trimmings offered by the Purple, but it will still keep dust and particles from escaping your mattress during sleep.

Here we’ve picked out the best mattress protectors for all budgets, from non-toxic organic protectors to cheaper options for guest bedrooms. You’ll also find today’s lowest prices below, plus advice on how to care for your new mattress protector once you get it home.

The best mattress protector - our expert guide

Best mattress protector: Purple

(Image credit: Purple)

1. Purple Mattress Protector

The best mattress protector you can buy

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

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 7,100 user reviews (Jul 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: Brooklyn Bedding mattress protector

(Image credit: Brooklyn Bedding)

2. Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Mattress Protector

A luxury mattress protector that's great for hot sleepers

Waterproof: Yes
Depth: Up to 14 inches
Colors: White
Material: Polyester, TitanCool, Polyurethane
Sizes: 6: Twin - cal king
Trial: 30 days
Warranty: 10 years
RRP: $99-$149
Reasons to buy
+Breathable TitanCool fabric+Hypoallergenic+Luxury comfort
Reasons to avoid
-Cheaper options available

The Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling mattress protector isn't just a premium protector, it's designed to prevent you from overheating at night too - which is particularly handy if you find your mattress a little on the warm side. Made from breathable TitanCool fabric, it draws heat away from your body, stopping it from building up under the covers while you sleep. 

The material is also water resistant, protecting your mattress against liquids, and it's hypoallergenic too, so it'll protect you against bacteria, bed bugs and dust mites. (On that note, it's machine-washable as well.) 

This luxury mattress protector is a popular product, boasting an average score of 4.7/5 from over 460 user reviews on the Brooklyn Bedding website. It's one of the more expensive mattress protectors in our guide, but if you want to keep your bed clean and cool at the same time, we think it's worth the investment. There's a 30-day return period, though, if you decide it isn't right. 

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

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: Linenspa mattress protector

(Image credit: Linenspa)

4. Linenspa Zippered Waterproof Mattress Encasement

An allergy-friendly mattress protector at a brilliant price

Waterproof: Yes
Depth: 12 inches
Material: Polyester/Polyurethane
Sizes: 5: Twin - Cal King
Trial: N/A
Warranty: 10 years
RRP: $44 - $79
Reasons to buy
+Affordable+Non-allergenic+Resistant to bed bugs 
Reasons to avoid
-Only 12 inches deep

Another mattress protector worth considering if you're on a budget is the Linenspa Zippered Waterproof Mattress Encasement. It's available in a variety of sizes, all of which surround the entire mattress, zipping closed to provide maximum protection from liquids and allergens. 

This mattress protector is popular on Amazon, with an average score of 4.6/5 from over 13,900 user reviews. The general consensus is that it provides good quality protection, especially if you suffer from allergies, at a really reasonable price. People are particularly fond of the zipper design, which creates a tight seal that helps protector your mattress from bed bugs. 

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 Linenspa protector might come up short. For the rest of us, though, this is a good budget option that gives solid, basic protection without a three-digit price tag.

Best mattress protector: SureGuard Mattress Protector

(Image credit: SureGuard)

5. SureGuard Mattress Protector

The best mattress protector for dealing with dust mites

Waterproof: Yes
Depth: Any
Colors: White
Material: Terry cotton
Sizes: 9: Mini crib - Cal king
Trial: n/a
Warranty: 10 years
RRP: $21.97-$49.97
Reasons to buy
+Good range of sizes+Excellent against dust mites
Reasons to avoid
-Terry cotton isn’t the most durable

This terry cotton mattress protector might feel soft, but its tough when it comes to protecting your mattress against allergens, moisture, dust mites and bacteria. It’s easy to clean in the machine and can be gently tumble-dried, although if you suffer from allergies, air-drying outside in the sun (for at least four hours) is recommended to kill dust mites. 

For the affordable price, the SureGuard mattress protector offers plenty. While it might not look as fancy as some of the others on our list, the fact it’s so affordable means you can buy two and have them on rotation on laundry day – ideal if you are keen to keep those mites at bay.

This SureGuard mattress protector fits in the same way as a fitted sheet. It claims to fit any depth of bed, but if you have a particularly deep mattress, then it might be best to buy a mattress protector that will definitely fit. Sizes start from a mini crib size, so this is an excellent protector for children’s beds, and because it’s noiseless, they won’t have any trouble getting to sleep either.

Best mattress protector: Coop Home Goods Mattress Protector

(Image credit: Coop Home)

6. Coop Home Goods Lulltra Mattress Protector

The best mattress protector for night sweats

Waterproof: Yes
Depth: Up to 18 inches
Colors: White
Material: Polyester, rayon, polyurethane
Sizes: 6: Twin - Cal king
Trial: 100 nights
Warranty: 5 years
RRP: $35.99-$54.99
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
-No smaller sizes for infant beds

Such is the trust in Coop Home Goods’ waterproof mattress protector that the brand conducted an experiment pouring five gallons of apple juice onto it and not a drop got through. So, suffice to say, if you’re looking for something super-waterproof then this is an excellent choice. 

If you’re a hot sleeper, as well as keeping yourself cool, you will also need to keep your mattress protected, as sweat can soon stain a mattress  – especially if it’s over a prolonged amount of time. 

This mattress protector is created with the company’s own Lulltra fabric, which is breathable, soft and silent, and has a durable waterproof membrane to protect against spills, as well as sweat. If you sleep hot, but still want the cosiness then this could be for you. Other perks include it’s machine washable, plus you also get a 100 nights to try it out risk free.

Best mattress protector: Utopia Bedding Waterproof Mattress Protector

(Image credit: Utopia Bedding)

7. Utopia Bedding Waterproof Mattress Protector

A cheap mattress protector for guest room use

Waterproof: Yes
Depth: Up to 13 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 4.6/5 average Amazon rating - from over 18,000 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)

8. American Baby Company Waterproof Fitted Crib Mattress Protector

The best crib mattress protector

Depth: 9 inches
Material: Polyester
Sizes: 2: Bassinet, 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 4.6 out of 5 from over 1,900 user reviews on Amazon (Jul 2021), 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)

9. Utopia Bedding Bamboo Mattress Protector

An eco-friendly bamboo mattress protector that's waterproof too

Waterproof: Yes
Depth: 17 inches
Material: Bamboo
Sizes: 5: Twin – Cal king
RRP: $20.99 - $32.99
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 26,500 user reviews (Jul 2021), 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)

10. Lucid Cotten Terry Waterproof Mattress Protector

Best customizable mattress protector

Waterprood: Yes
Depth : 22 inches
Material: Cotton blend
Sizes: 7: Crib – 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.

When is the best time to buy a mattress protector?

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.

How often should you wash a mattress protector?

Mattress protectors should be washed every two months on average, but this changes depending on how often you use your mattress protector, whether you have been sick, and if you have allergies. Let’s take a closer look at these scenarios now to help you decide if it’s time to pop yours in the wash.

If you have allergies, aim to wash your mattress protector once or twice a month. This may seem like a lot of laundry, but it will help prevent allergens from building up inside your protector. 

If you have been ill, wash your mattress protector as soon as you feel better to banish any remaining bugs from sneezes, coughs and other mucus. 

If you have spilled drinks or food, spot clean the worst of it, then pop your mattress protector in the wash. Don’t let that stain sink in!

Guest bedroom mattress protectors can be left a little longer, unless you have had a long-term guest staying with you. 

Mattress protectors should be washed and dried as per the manufacturer’s instructions on the care label. Using a mild detergent is best, and avoid using bleach or any other chemicals that will damage the protector.

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.