A great mattress will always serve you well—but a mattress protector is the key ingredient in keeping one of the most costly home furnishings in good shape for years. (Not to be mistaken for mattress toppers, which provide another layer of foam to cushion you overnight.) These fabric or vinyl covers enshrine your sleep surface and provide a buffer between your sweat, drool, or even kid's bed-wetting.
We already know what the best mattress is here at Reviewed, and decided it was past time to follow up and find a top-notch mattress protector to go with it. In our testing, there was a clear winner, the Slumber Cloud(available at Slumber Cloud), which was high-quality, cool, quiet, and simply a joy to sleep on.
Here are the best mattress protectors we tested, ranked in order:
Slumber Cloud Core
Tuft & Needle
Coop Home Goods Ultra Lux
Casper Waterproof mattress protector
Allerease Perfect Protection
SafeRest Premium mattress protector
My first impression of the Slumber Cloud Core was great, as the material that goes around the sides is made with stretchy jersey, so it was easy to get on and off the bed. This makes it an easier task for those who need to wash their mattress protector frequently. Like many mattress protectors, it features an elastic band to help keep it in place and prevent it from shifting or coming off the bed. It also didn’t make any crinkly sounds, an issue I noticed with others as I moved around.
While many of the products I tested were easy to put on, remove, and generally stayed in place, what really made this one a standout was its lavish feeling that translated to the bed when I slept on it. It was my favorite product to sleep on because of the cushiony quilting that doesn’t feel too bulky.
Another major upshot: It doesn’t sleep hot—at all. This quality is likely due to the "NASA-approved" cooling technology that resembles a spacesuit with a silver grid on the back of the protector. It looks very impressive and futuristic, though upon further inspection I learned that it's Outlast Technology, commonly used in other cooling bedding.
I’ve never been a huge fan of Outlast Technology, as I’ve found it initially feels cool to the touch, only to eventually leave me warm later in the night. However, I didn’t feel any heat throughout the night with this mattress protector, unlike all the other products that I slept on. I was pretty impressed and I suspect that Slumber Cloud may use more of the Outlast Technology than other cooling bedding.
Outlast Technology doesn’t actively cool, like the Chilipad mattress pad. Nonetheless, I didn’t feel any warmth even when I slept on my back the entire night and as a result, I wasn’t tossing and turning to escape the heat.
In our lab tests, the cover absorbed liquid, but it didn’t leak through to the other side. This will likely prove helpful for folks who tend to be heavy sweaters and kids who wet the bed. The liquid doesn’t sit on top, leaving the person laying in a puddle or, worse, allowing it to permeate through to the mattress beneath.
The Slumber Cloud Core is available in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king.
Tuft and Needle is about half the cost of some other products we tried. It performed well, was easy to change, and fit securely on the bed. Notably, it has waterproof protection on all exposed surfaces. Whether pets with dirty paws jump onto the bed or people who perspire sleep near the edge, the sides of a mattress will be protected from liquids or stains.
While it has some padding on top, our tests revealed it doesn’t absorb moisture well, instead of allowing it to puddle on the surface of the protector. This will still protect the bed, though it could be an issue for heavy wetters or those that sweat a lot as they may feel a bit damp.
When I slept on this mattress protector, I felt a slight increase in heat throughout the night but it wasn’t enough to bother me. I also found that it made a little bit of noise when I shifted around, but this never woke me at night.
If you’re looking to stay away from chemicals, this protector is also certified Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex Class I. All of the components have been tested by a third party and are free from harmful levels of more than 300 chemicals.
Hi, I'm Jamie Ueda. After spending years working for various apparel and textile companies, I pride myself on helping Reviewed readers make smart purchasing decisions for everything fabric-related—whether it be cooling sheets or other bedding, or clothing, shoes, and accessories, like breathable face masks.
I’ve spent a lot of time evaluating fabrics and apparel, which means I’m a stickler for quality materials and good design. This is especially true when it comes to bedding. Though I’m embarrassed to admit it, I spend a lot of time in bed, whether I’m watching TV, relaxing, or actually sleeping—and nothing beats a good night’s rest.
Over the course of three weeks, I slept on each protector for one to two nights. Afterward, I assessed any differences in my sleep comfort, increases in heat from the mattress protector, noise or fabric from moving, whether I could feel the texture, and the overall experience.
I evaluated if each protector was easy to put on and take off the bed, wash, and how securely it was on the mattress. Using my background in textiles, I examined the construction to determine how well made it was. I noted any issues that arose based on my sleep experience, and any special features.
Afterward, we sent the products to our lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Lindsey Vickers, our sleep writer, tested each mattress protector. She subjected each one to a stain test with pomegranate juice and a sweat-like solution to ensure they wouldn’t stain or yellow.
What You Need to Know About Mattress Protectors
Waterproof vs. Water-resistant
Though they’re often used interchangeably, waterproof and water-resistance are not the same thing. And when it comes to mattress protectors you’ll want to know the difference—otherwise, you could end up with a ruined mattress.
Water-resistant labels mean a mattress protector will resist liquid up to a point, but it may eventually leak through. If you quickly wipe up a small spill, it may not reach the mattress. However, if there’s a lot of liquid or if it sits for a long time, it may seep through. The trade-off is that water-resistant mattress protectors tend to be more breathable than their fully waterproof counterparts.
Waterproof protectors won’t allow liquid to permeate at all, regardless of how much liquid there is or how long it stays on the protector. It should be noted that these products may not have waterproof fabric on the sides. And if there’s a quilted top or extra layer of fabric, it’s generally not waterproof, meaning it will absorb liquid but won’t leak through to the mattress.
Fitted Sheet vs. Encasement Style Mattress Protectors
Fitted sheet protectors rely on elasticated edges to stay in place. The biggest difference between an actual fitted sheet and fitted sheet-style mattress protectors is that the mattress’s sleep surface is made to be waterproof or water-resistant. This is usually done by adding a coating on the back of the fabric to prevent liquid from getting through. Occasionally, manufacturers will use an inherently waterproof fabric such as vinyl, but there are often better options. It may or may not have some top-quilting for added comfort.
This style is easy to change compared to an encasement mattress protector (more on that below). Some have waterproof or water-resistance only on the top, while others have additional protection around the four sides of the mattress as well. This comes in handy for a heavy wetter, if you’ve spilled coffee near the edge of the bed or pets jumping on and off with dirty feet. For most, top protection alone will likely suffice.
Encasement covers wrap around the entire mattress, including the bottom that rests on the box spring or platform. It’s basically a giant fabric (or plastic) bag for your bed, as no part of the mattress is exposed.
If you're looking for a hypoallergenic protector, these may be ideal. They're also great for folks worried about bed bugs as most are constructed in a way to not let these pests in or out. If your main concern is spills or accidents, it’s best to steer clear. These are extremely difficult to change, especially if you have a wide or heavy mattress. You’ll need to slowly shimmy it up either side or move your mattress altogether. And then you’ll have to put it back on.
Given this hassle, we chose to focus our testing on fitted sheet protectors.
Caring For Your Mattress Protector
When it comes to machine-washable products, most of the labels recommend using cold water and tumble dry low. If you’re using a mattress protector for bathroom accidents, it may be tempting to wash it on hot or with bleach. However, heat can ruin a waterproof or water-resistant coating, as can chlorine beach. It’s especially important to wash and dry your mattress protector per the care instructions to ensure it will work properly and last long-term.
Other Mattress Protectors We Tested
Tempur-Pedic ProCool Mattress Protector
A household name, Tempur-Pedic is known for its comfy memory foam beds and pillows, so I wasn’t surprised it also makes one of the best mattress protectors. This cover is thin, and it doesn’t have any quilting, which is a pro and con.
It’s great for those who want something that feels nearly non-existent under their sheets. One drawback is that it doesn’t absorb and wick away as much liquid as some quilted options. For someone who is looking to use a protector as bed-wetting protection, this could be more problematic. For those not concerned about large amounts of liquids, this may not be an issue as we found it does absorb some of the liquid.
I also enjoyed this mattress cover because it was easy to get on and off the bed, did not make a lot of noise while I tossed and turned at night, and felt comfortable to sleep on. Finally, though it wasn’t as cool as the Slumber Cloud, it felt cool to touch when I got into bed, thanks to the Rapidcool technology. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to last through the entire night, though I did not overheat either; it felt more temperature neutral than anything.
The Purple mattress protector is light and thin, as it doesn’t have extra fabric or quilting on top. You might think these qualities make it ineffective, but liquid did not seep through at all. It only felt cooler on the underside beneath where the liquid was dribbled.
Purple notes on its website that the mattress protector is water-resistant and not waterproof. In other words, it may not completely block a large amount of liquid or over time it may bleed through. I wouldn’t be surprised if its water-resistance decreases as the product is washed more, too.
This product is great for someone who is less concerned with liquids on the surface of the mattress and wants greater protection on the sides of their bed. Other products we tested relied on mesh fabrics around the perimeter, though this one features the same material on all five sides.
The Casper waterproof mattress protector is slightly thicker and has some cushion on top. We found that the extra padding helped absorb liquid, dispersing it through the fabric and preventing the pooling effect we saw with several others we tested.
This thicker fabric, however, felt warmer while I slept, but it wasn’t unbearably hot. The real dealbreaker was that it was extremely hard to get on and off the bed. I really had to pull on the side material to get it in place—to the point I thought I might rip it—and it took a fair amount of work to get it correctly lined up on the bed. Also, after a few times of taking it off and putting it back on, the side fabric started to curl up at the bottom. It didn’t grip the bed and slipped off, and I had to start over—a huge inconvenience.
Coop Home Goods Ultra Luxe Waterproof Mattress Protector
Coop Home Goods uses its “Lulltra” fabric on the top of this mattress protector for an “ultra-luxe” feel. It’s made with polyester and viscose rayon from bamboo, making it one of the smoothest covers of the bunch, though I couldn’t tell the difference once I put sheets over the mattress protector. This protector prevented liquids from reaching the bed, but in testing the water tended to puddle rather than distribute through the fabric.
The fabric that goes around the sides of the mattress is a very thin and stretchy mesh. In this case, it was so flimsy that the protector didn’t fit securely on the bed. It didn’t bunch up underneath the sheets but it didn’t exactly lay smooth, which leads me to believe it may shift more over time.
I immediately loved that this protector had a label with “side” written on it, so there was no confusion as to which way to position it. I didn’t have to turn it or take it off after initially securing it over the wrong corner.
At first glance it seemed similar in construction to other protectors, featuring a quilted top, stretchy mesh sides, and elastic banding. But I found that it fit loosely on the bed and shifted around when I was sleeping. It wasn’t enough to feel uncomfortable, but over time this may become a problem. I also noticed a slight increase in heat while I was sleeping on it. It wasn’t enough to disturb me, but it wouldn’t be a top pick.
Safe Rest’s mattress protector differentiated itself because its top cover is made out of unpadded cotton terry cloth. Because of its construction, terry cloth is very absorbent—which is why it’s popular for bath towels—and when we tested it, the material absorbed the water without penetrating to the other side.
On the other hand, the material wasn’t as comfortable to sleep on because I could feel the texture of the loops under my sheets. Its cotton was rather stiff, which contributed to my discomfort. It also seemed warmer than other mattress protectors and was a bit noisy.
The sides were made of a stretchy mesh and a thin elastic band, which made it easy to get on and off my bed, but the materials were lower quality and not strong enough to keep it secure. It shifted slightly and I could see it being an issue after multiple nights. In the lab, it stained more than most of the others we tested, retaining a slight discoloration from the pomegranate juice. Staining and shifting, paired with its already bothersome texture, made this a poor performer.
This is the cheapest protector we tested—and it felt like it. Stiff and slippery, the vinyl protector was hard to put on the bed. It felt like sleeping on a plastic shower curtain—which is as unpleasant as it sounds. My back was often hot and sweaty, as the material isn’t breathable.
On top of all this, there was a fine layer of dust all over the cover when I pulled it out of the packaging. It needed to be washed, but it didn’t include any care instructions. I threw it in the wash on cold and because I didn’t want to risk putting it in the dryer, I was left with a sopping wet mess and water everywhere.
There is one advantage to this cover: The vinyl does not absorb any liquid whatsoever. If it happens to get wet, you can simply wipe it clean rather than removing it to wash like fabric covers. Nevertheless, in our opinion, you may want to kick in a few extra bucks to buy something else.
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