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

(Image credit: Linenspa)

The best mattress protectors are designed to keep your bed safe from accidental spillages, plus sweat and allergens, including dust mites. So if you have recently invested in the best mattress for your sleep and want to look after it so that it lasts you for years to come, a good mattress protector is a must. In this guide we have reliable protectors for a range of bed sizes and budgets (prices start from less than $12). 

At first glance you will notice that mattress protectors are thinner than mattress pads, and are designed to sit on top of your mattress. If you also use a mattress topper, the protector can be fitted over this as long as it’s deep enough to fit properly. From our experience, the best mattress protectors are designed with either thick elasticated straps, so that you can anchor them to each corner of your bed, or they will stretch over your mattress in the same way a fitted sheet would.

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When choosing a mattress protector, we recommend picking a waterproof one so that if you spill something on your bed, your mattress will have a better chance of surviving it. If you sleep hot or experience night sweats, the best mattress protector for you will be sweat-wicking and highly breathable. Noise can be an issue with some materials, so if you want a rustle-free protector, choose bamboo, organic cotton or another ‘soft’ material that won’t crinkle each time you move.

But if you just want basic protection, there are plenty of affordable mattress protectors that will get the job done. They might not be as soft or as breathable as the more premium options, but they will offer a degree of safeguarding against stains and smells. If you’re unsure which is the best mattress protector for you, scroll down now for our top-rated options, plus our advice on how often you should wash yours (and how).

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. To care for a bed topper, read our guide on how to clean a mattress topper.

The best mattress protector – our expert guide

(Image credit: Purple)

1. Purple Mattress ProtectorThe best mattress protector money can buySpecificationsWaterproof: YesDepth: Up to 15 inchesColors: Grey, white, oat, purple, lilac, morning mistMaterial: Polyester, spandexSizes: 7: Twin – split kingTrial: 30 daysWarranty: 10 yearsRRP: $79-$158Reasons to buy+Fully waterproof+Machine washable+Great range of sizesReasons to avoid-Thin-feeling designTODAY’S BEST DEALSView at Mattress FirmView at PurpleView at AmazonSee all prices (10 found)

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. 

The Purple 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 user reviews also state that the waterproofing works very well here and without blocking any of the comfort of their mattress. The Purple Mattress Protector one of the most expensive options here, but if you want best mattress protector bar none, here it is. 

(Image credit: Brooklyn Bedding)

2. Brooklyn Bedding Cooling Mattress ProtectorThe best cooling mattress protector for hot sleepersSpecificationsWaterproof: YesDepth: Up to 14 inchesColors: WhiteMaterial: Polyester, TitanCool, PolyurethaneSizes: 6: Twin – cal kingTrial: 30 daysWarranty: 10 yearsRRP: $99-$149Reasons to buy+Breathable TitanCool fabric+Hypoallergenic+Luxury comfortReasons to avoid-Not the best with flat sheetsTODAY’S BEST DEALSView at Brooklyn BeddingView at Brooklyn BeddingView at Brooklyn BeddingSee all prices (7 found)

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 that your mattress is a little on the warm side. Made from breathable TitanCool fabric, the Brooklyn Bedding Cooling Mattress Protector 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 out of 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. 

(Image credit: SafeRest)

3. SafeRest Premium Hypoallergenic Waterproof Mattress ProtectorThe best mattress protector for people with allergiesSpecificationsDepth: 18 inchesMaterial: Cotton terry Warranty: 10 yearsSizes: 6: Twin – Cal KingReasons to buy+Hypoallergenic material+Waterproof mattress protector+Protects against dust mitesReasons to avoid-Wrinkles easyTODAY’S BEST DEALSView at AmazonView at AmazonView at AmazonSee all prices (6 found)

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 Premium Hypoallergenic Waterproof Mattress Protector is designed to do exactly that – and boasts an excellent 4.6 out of 5 rating on Amazon from over 200,00 user reviews (as of November 2021). 

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 and the high volume of positive user reviews, you have nothing to lose here.

(Image credit: Linenspa)

4. Linenspa Zippered Waterproof Mattress EncasementThe best cheap mattress protector for under $20SpecificationsWaterproof: YesDepth: 12 inchesMaterial: Polyester/PolyurethaneSizes: 5: Twin – Cal KingTrial: N/AWarranty: 10 yearsReasons to buy+Affordable+Non-allergenic+Resistant to bed bugs Reasons to avoid-Only 12 inches deepTODAY’S BEST DEALSPrimeView at Amazon

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 out of 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.

(Image credit: SureGuard)

5. SureGuard Mattress ProtectorThe best mattress protector for keeping you safe from dust mitesSpecificationsWaterproof: YesDepth: AnyColors: WhiteMaterial: Terry cottonSizes: 9: Mini crib – Cal kingTrial: n/aWarranty: 10 yearsReasons to buy+Good range of sizes+Protects against dust mites+Large range of sizesReasons to avoid-Not the most durable materialTODAY’S BEST DEALSView at AmazonView at AmazonView at AmazonSee all prices (11 found)

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. The SureGuard Mattress Protector is easy to clean in the washing machine and can be gently tumble-dried. That said, if you suffer from allergies, air-drying outside in the sun (for at least four hours) is recommended to properly kill dust mites. 

For the low price, there’s plenty to like about the SureGuard mattress protector. While it might not look as fancy as some of the others on our list, it’s so affordable you could buy two and have them on rotation on laundry day.

The SureGuard Mattress Protector fits in the same way as a fitted sheet does. It fits most standard size mattresses, but if you have an extra deep bed then we’d recommend looking further up this guide at the Purple Mattress Protector. 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 be woken up by the sound of it rustling beneath them.

(Image credit: Coop Home)

6. Coop Home Goods Lulltra Mattress ProtectorThe best waterproof mattress protector SpecificationsWaterproof: YesDepth: Up to 18 inchesColors: WhiteMaterial: Polyester, rayon, polyurethaneSizes: 6: Twin – Cal kingTrial: 100 nightsWarranty: 5 yearsRRP: $35.99-$54.99Reasons to buy+Excellent waterproofing+Hypoallergenic materials+100-night risk-free trialReasons to avoid-No smaller sizes for infant bedsTODAY’S BEST DEALSView at Amazon

Such is the trust in the Coop Home Goods Coop Home Goods Lulltra 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 the best waterproof mattress protector, then this is it. 

If you’re a hot sleeper, or you’re experiencing hot flashes or night sweats, a waterproof mattress protector is a must. That’s because sweat can stain your mattress, especially if it’s over a sustained period of time. 

The Coop Home Goods Coop Home Goods Lulltra 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 and sweat. It’s machine washable too, plus you also get a 100 nights to try it out risk free.

(Image credit: Utopia Bedding)

7. Utopia Bedding Waterproof Mattress ProtectorA cheap cotton mattress protector for guest room useSpecificationsWaterproof: YesDepth: Up to 13 inchesMaterial: Polyester/cotton blendSizes: 6: Twin – Cal KingRRP: $11.99 – $14.99Reasons to buy+Excellent price+Useful elasticated design+Machine washableReasons to avoid-Cheap-feeling materialTODAY’S BEST DEALSView at AmazonPrimeView at Amazon

If you’re on a very tight budget but need a quality cheap mattress protector to keep your guest room mattress safe from stains, spills, smells and germs, then the Utopia Bedding Waterproof Mattress Protector will do the job. There’s nothing fancy about this – it’s about as basic as mattress protectors get – but will offer a layer of protection for your mattress and has simple elastic straps to anchor it in place.

The Utopia Bedding Waterproof Mattress Protector is made from a poly-cotton blend and offers a degree of protection from spillages and urine. We’d recommend it for guest rooms beds that see occasional use, but if you have an expensive mattress, pick the Purple Mattress Protector instead. If you need a high-performing waterproof mattress protector, look at the Coop Home Goods Coop Home Goods Lulltra Mattress Protector above. 

Sometimes all you need is a budget mattress protector that will do the job without breaking the bank, and that’s exactly what the Utopia Bedding Waterproof Mattress Protector provides. 

(Image credit: American Baby Company)

8. American Baby Company Waterproof Crib Mattress ProtectorThe best crib mattress protectorSpecificationsDepth: 9 inchesMaterial: PolyesterSizes: 2: Bassinet, CribRRP: $11.50TODAY’S BEST DEALSCheck AmazonView now at Amazon for $11.50Reasons to buy+Great value+Soft-touch feel +Easy to cleanReasons to avoid-Regularly sells out

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 Waterproof Crib Mattress Protector is top-rated 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 31,000 user reviews on Amazon (November 2021), there’s a lot of praise for the American Baby Company Waterproof Crib Mattress Protector. It’s made from soft-touch polyester and is quiet in use, so you shouldn’t hear any annoying rustling or crinkling.

It’s machine washable and dryable too, making it very easy to care for. 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.

(Image credit: Utopia Bedding)

9. Utopia Bedding Bamboo Mattress ProtectorThe best eco-friendly mattress protectorSpecificationsWaterproof: YesDepth: 17 inchesMaterial: BambooSizes: 5: Twin – Cal kingReasons to buy+Fully waterproof+Cool and breathable+Eco-friendly materialsReasons to avoid-Delicate to washTODAY’S BEST DEALSView at AmazonPrimeView at AmazonPrimeView at AmazonSee all prices (7 found)

If you’re looking for something a bit different, try the 340gsm 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.

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 27,000 user reviews, it’s clear that the vast majority of customers are pleased with their purchase.

If you have invested in one of the best organic mattresses and want an equally natural mattress protector, then this Utopia Bedding Bamboo option is a good choice.

(Image credit: Lucid)

10. Lucid Cotton Terry Waterproof Mattress ProtectorThe best customizable mattress protectorSpecificationsWaterprood: YesDepth : 22 inchesMaterial: Cotton blendSizes: 7: Crib – Cal KingReasons to buy+Choice of smooth or terry top+Waterproof protector+Hypoallergenic designReasons to avoid-Sounds slightly crinklyTODAY’S BEST DEALSPrimeView at AmazonView at AmazonPrimeView at AmazonSee all prices (6 found)

The Lucid Cotton Terry Waterproof Mattress Protector is a waterproof and hypoallergenic option.You can choose between a soft terry or a classic smooth top, which is a nice option we don’t often see.

The user reviews are very positive, with an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars and lots of buyers stating that the Lucid Cotton Terry Waterproof Mattress Protector has 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 Cotten Terry Waterproof Mattress Protector is one of the best mattress protectors for the money.

Today’s best mattress protector pricesReduced PricePurple Twin Extra Long…Purple Mattress ProtectorMattress Firm$79$47.71ViewSee all pricesReduced PriceBrooklyn Bedding Luxury…Brooklyn Bedding Luxury CoolingBrooklyn Bedding$99$74.25ViewSee all pricesSafeRest Twin Premium…Saferest Premium HypoallergenicAmazon$24.95ViewSee all pricesReduced PriceLINENSPA Waterproof Bed Bug…Linenspa Zippered Waterproof MattressAmazon$14.99$12.74ViewSee all pricesSureGuard Mattress Protector…Sureguard Mattress Protector – Mini CribAmazon$21.97ViewSee all pricesCoop Home Goods Mattress…Coop Home Good Lulltra WaterproofAmazon$35.99ViewSee all pricesUtopia Bedding Waterproof…Utopia Bedding Waterproof MattressAmazon$15.49ViewSee all pricesReduced PriceUtopia Bedding Bamboo…Utopia Bedding Bamboo Mattress ProtectorAmazon$18.99$16.99ViewSee all pricesLUCID Premium Hypoallergenic…Lucid Cotton Terry Waterproof MattressAmazon$11.99ViewSee all pricesWe check over 250 million products every day for the best pricesWhen is the best time to buy a mattress protector?

The reality is discounts crop up all year round on mattresses, mattress toppers and protectors. However, there are certain times of year where the savings are often a little higher than usual. Some such times are the Labor Day mattress sales in September, and the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, which are also swiftly approaching. 

Other times of year to note are the Presidents Day sales in February, and May, which usually sees some unmissable Memorial Day mattress sales. 

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.

Read more:

  • The best mattress in a box
  • The best memory foam mattress
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  • Cheap Purple mattress deals
  • Black Friday mattress topper deals: what we expect to see

Mo Harber-Lamond

    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.

    (Image credit: Linenspa)