Best mattress protector 2021: 11 covers to keep your mattress looking and feeling fresh

Find the best mattress protector and mattress covers to protect your new mattress – or refresh your old one – in our expert guide

best mattress protector
(Image credit: Amazon)

If you've been sleeping with sheets over your mattress and nothing else, think again. Investing in the best mattress protector – or mattress cover – is an absolute must. Not just for kids and little accidents, it'll prolong the life of your mattress and keep it fresh, protecting it from spills if you're enjoying a cuppa in bed – especially when the little one sneaks in to join you.

And for how much work they do – like keeping your mattress, a big investment, like-new for longer – a mattress protector doesn't even need to cost a lot of money, and they're super easy to fit. For as little as £50 (or less!), they'll protect your very best mattress from (almost) everything life throws at it. Plus, the right buy can protect allergy sufferers from dust mites and bed bugs (yuck) and help sweaty sleepers feel more comfortable if it has heat-regulating properties. 

To help you choose the best mattress protector for you, we've been doing a bit of research into (and testing of) the top options available, covering waterproof mattress protectors and cotton mattress protectors (to name a few!). Keep scrolling for our pick of the best prices around.

Best mattress protector 2021

Nectar mattress protector

(Image credit: Nectar)

1. The Nectar Mattress Protector

Our #1 for the best mattress protector all round

Specifications
Sizes: Single, small double, double, king, super-king
Material: Polyester, polyurethane and Tencel
Quilted: Yes
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Waterproof+Breathable+Resistant to dust & allergies+Eco-friendly+Machine washable
Reasons to avoid
-None

The mattress protector is a 100 per cent waterproof, ultra breathable mattress protector that doesn't feel like it: instead, Nectar has concentrated on delivering a comfortable surface, with the practicalities a real, added bonus.

What does it do well?
As we've said, this mattress protector is comfortable to touch. Made with Tencel (here's the science: it's extracted from natural wood cellulose and manufactured into a very soft and ultra breathable fabric), it's much more absorbent than cotton would be and cooler than linen. Plus, it's extremely eco-friendly. Bonus.

Forget that for a minute, though. This mattress protector is properly waterproof, so you can be happy that it'll protect your mattress. Think waterproof means stiff and plasticky? Think again: we've already said it's silky to the touch, but interestingly, it's quiet and stretchy, too. Plus its very construction means it's resistant to allergens and dust, making it a good buy for both allergy sufferers and pet owners who regularly return home to find a furry friend on their bed.  

Ease of care?
It's machine washable, as you'd expect from a mattress protector that's inviting spills. And tumble dryer friendly, too.

What else?
The Nectar mattress protector is designed for Nectar mattresses, but it will fit other mattresses. There's a two year warranty on any defects and free delivery, too.

Rem-Fit snow mattress protectorReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Rem-Fit)

2. REM-Fit Cooling Mattress Protector

Best mattress protector runner-up - it's a super cool choice

Specifications
Sizes: EU single, double, king, super-king
Material: 45% Ice yarn, 55% Polyester
Quilted: Yes
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Cold to the touch+10 year guarantee+Machine washable
Reasons to avoid
-No UK single size-Feels a little slippery

Coming very close to claiming the number one top spot is this waterproof mattress protector from Rem-Fit. It just missed out because if the price tag which is a little steep but we feel that it's so worth it if you are a hot sleeper or wake up during the night in sweats.

What does it do well?
It keeps you cool, very cool in fact. It features nordic chill fibre which promises the coolest night's rest, and it doesn't disappoint. Our reviewer also found that it was cool-to-the-touch for a short while, before drifting off.

The mattress protector is also easy to fit thanks to its netting-type elasticated sides, which also keep it firmly in place night after night.

Ease of care
This one is machine washable at 60°C and can also be tumble dried on low, meaning that it can be washed, dried and back in place within a few hours.

What else?
As a personal preference, our reviewer found that it feels a little plasticky and a little slippery to her liking. With a nice cotton fitted sheet on top, however, it was not a problem and actually, the cooling factor override the initial feeling.

This mattress protector is part of the Therm.A.Sleep collection which means that you can also buy the Rem-Fit Snow pillow for keeping a cool head.

emma smart sleeve mattress protector

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. Emma Mattress Protector

Best mattress protector for luxury: feels reeeally lovely, and it's waterproof, breathable and antibacterial, too

Specifications
Sizes: Single, EU single, small double, double, EU double, king, EU king, super-king
Material: 100% polyester
Quilted: No
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Cushioned on top +Great for allergy sufferers+Waterproof+100-night guarantee
Reasons to avoid
-Not tumble-dryer friendly-Most expensive on our list

For maximum mattress protection on your new or old mattress, there's no other option to this one. It's the best luxury mattress protector you can buy, we think.

What does it do well?
Jam packed with features, this protector is 100 per cent probiotic and made from Innovative Cairfull® material for a comfortable night's sleep. Acting as a base for your sheet to sit atop, the protector, unlike many others, is cushioned on top for added comfort, a huge winner for many.

This mattress protector isn't just waterproof and breathable, but it's also antibacterial too. Thanks to special fibres, it's ideal for those with allergies as it prevents dampness in your mattress and it shows 89.3 per cent less dust mite allergens compared to other conventional covers.

Our honest opinion? It's like wearing luxury designer underwear beneath a high street-bought outfit; only you know it's there but you can feel the benefit...

Ease of care
In terms of cleaning, the protector is washable at 60°C, meaning it's easy peasy to wash accidents away!

What else? 
As with all Emma products, the Emma SmartSleeve mattress protector comes with a 100-night guarantee, so if you don't get on with it, you'll get your money back. 

Best mattress protector: Tempur Fit Mattress Protector

(Image credit: Amazon)

4. Tempur Fit Mattress Protector

Best mattress protector which is quilted: it may be thin but it'll protect your Tempur mattress from spills and stains

Specifications
Sizes: Small single, single, double, king, super-king
Material: Tencel and Polyurethane
Quilted: No
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Washable +Breathable +Can be tumble dried 
Reasons to avoid
-Price-Designed to fit Tempur mattresses

The perfect buy alongside a brand new memory foam mattress, this ultra thin mattress protector from Tempur will ensure that your mattress remains protected but that you can still enjoy its comfortable surface. 

What does it do well?
Despite being thin, the clever combination of a 100 per cent tencel surface and 100 per cent polyurethane membrane ensures 100 per cent absorbency/waterproofing and breathability. And while it can be used to sleep on directly, like you'd use a sheet, it can also be added in as an extra layer to offer protection.

It has a stretch fit, which is useful if it's going on a bed that sleeps fidgets. There's also a small single available, online only. 

Ease of care
It’s machine washable up to 90ºC and can be tumble dried up to 70ºC, so keeping it fresh and dust mite free is easy – and a quick bed change turn around is perfectly possible.  

What else?
The Tempur-Fit Mattress Protector comes with a three year guarantee, meaning any (unlikely) defects are covered off. 

Simba mattress protectorReal Homes Rated Silver Badge

(Image credit: Simba)

5. Simba mattress protector

Best odour fighting mattress protector: battle microbes with this fresh layer

Specifications
Type: 200 thread count cotton and 200gm filling
Sizes: Single – Super King, EU Single – EU Queen
Reasons to buy
+Super soft 200 thread count cotton+Padded+Odour-free Bi-Ome technology
Reasons to avoid
-Not as snug a fit as advertised

Simba makes their own mattress protector starting from £90 for a single – not the most affordable but pocket money compared to replacing a ruined mattress. It boasts a soft quilted top with 200 thread count over 200gm filling for a light and breathable cushioning layer. 

What does it do well?
What sets the Simba mattress protector apart is their use of Bi-Ome technology with actively eliminates microorganisms and fights odour. Coupled with cooling breathability, sleepers can wake up feeling fresher and you get a bit longer between washes.

Ease of care
Speaking of washes, it can be washed at 40 degrees celsius, then tumble dried, but note biological detergent is a no-no – we assume it messes with the Bi-Ome tech.

What else?
We wish it wa a slightly tighter fit. We use it with their 28cm deep Simba Hybrid Luxe mattress, yet it still has the odd ruckle on top. You can smooth this out and it does fit a mattress up to 40cm deep if needed. At least it is not too small and at risk of pinging off.

Silentnight Supersoft Waterproof Mattress Protector

(Image credit: Very)

6. Silentnight Waterproof Mattress Protector

Best mattress protector if you're on a budget: a great choice for all ages

Specifications
Sizes: Single, double, king, super-king, emperor
Material: Polypropylene
Quilted: No
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Breathable, yet waterproof +Hypoallergenic +Machine washable+Deep 30cm skirt
Reasons to avoid
-Polyester

If you’re not looking to spend quite so much as the other options in this guide, then this mattress protector is a good compromise. It's our best mattress protector for those on a budget.

What does it do well?
It’s completely waterproof, which is great for tots or those who suffer with incontinence – or just spill their tea regularly – and yet it’s still breathable, so there’s no worry about getting too hot at night. 

If you or your child happen to have asthma, the hypo-allergenic nature of the mattress protector material should reduce the risk of an attack, too.

Ease of care 
Machine wash this up to 40ºC – but don't worry about shrinking, as this has a hefty 30cm skirt for a secure fit on most mattresses.

What else?
Its two year guarantee and NBF approval ensure its quality. 

Best mattress protector: John Lewis Specialist Quilted Mattress Protector

7. John Lewis & Partners Specialist Synthetic Waterproof Quilted Mattress Protector

Best waterproof mattress protector from John Lewis & Partners: it's quilted and waterproof, so this mattress cover has the best of both worlds

Specifications
Sizes: Single, double, king, super-king
Material: Polyester,Cotton, Polyurethane
Quilted: Yes
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Waterproof +Soft quilted top+Prevents growth of bacteria +Machine washable
Reasons to avoid
-Synthetic-Not for use with an electric blanket

Quilted and waterproof, this mattress protector offers up the best of both worlds. 

What does it do well?
This is the best mattress protector for keeping bacteria at bay; in fact, thanks to its Micro-Fresh technology, it's claimed to be 99.9 per cent effective, which should help to make your bed stay fresher for longer. 

Its waterproofing properties are cleverly disguised in the under-layer, while the quilted top provides an additional layer of comfort and softness.

Ease of care
Although washable, note that, unlike our first pick, this one can’t be tumble dried. 

What else?
This also isn't recommended for use with heated blankets. It comes with a five year John Lewis & Partners guarantee.

Best mattress protector: Silentnight Anti-Allergy Mattress Protector

8. Silentnight Anti-Allergy Mattress Protector

Best mattress protector to ward off dust mites: our top choice for allergy sufferers on a budget

Specifications
Sizes: Single, double, king, super-king
Material: Polyester
Quilted: Yes
Waterproof: No
Reasons to buy
+Anti-allergy hollowfibre+Elasticated corner straps+Machine washable+Can be tumble dried
Reasons to avoid
-40ºC wash max

If you’re looking for a quality, good value mattress protector that happens to help with allergies, this Silentnight Anti-Allergy Mattress Protector is just the ticket. 

What does it do well?
We think this is the best mattress protector to help allergy sufferers on a budget. Thanks to its 100 per cent microfibre composition, this mattress protector helps stop dust mites settling. 

And it won’t set you back much more than £10, making it one of the most cost effective mattress protectors on the list.  

Ease of care
The material makes it ideal for a quick wash turnover, too: machine wash at a max of 40ºC.

What else?
The four extra deep corner straps make it easy to attach this mattress protector to any mattress. 

Best mattress protector: John Lewis Natural Cotton Quilted Mattress Protector

9. John Lewis & Partners Natural Cotton Quilted Mattress Protector

Best mattress protector for breathability: a poly-cotton blend, this mattress protector will breath and deter bed bugs

Specifications
Sizes: Small single, Single, Small double, Double, King, Super-king
Material: Cotton & Polyester
Quilted: Yes
Waterproof: No
Reasons to buy
+Naturally breathable +Micro-Fresh technology prevents the growth of bacteria +100% cotton+Deep fit, up to 35cm
Reasons to avoid
-Not for use with electric blanket-40ºC wash max-Do NOT tumble dry

To ensure you benefit from the freshest sleeping conditions, you could try this mattress protector option from John Lewis & Partners.

What does it do well?
It's made from a blend of cotton and polyester, which helps to discourage the growth of bacteria, ensuring that your bed remains fresh and smells fresh for longer. In fact, it's claimed to be 99.9 per cent effective at keeping bacteria at bay.  

Thanks to the breathability of the materials, your bed should even remain fresh through the warm summer nights.

Ease of care
It's machine washable and suitable for tumble drying, so a quick sheet turn around is perfectly possible.  

What else?
The materials sustainably sourced from water-efficient cotton farmers, making it a good buy for anyone keen in sustainability.

Best mattress protector: Dreamzie Waterproof Mattress Protector

10. Dreamzie Waterproof Mattress Protector

Best mattress protector for toddlers: breathable and waterproof, this is our top mattress protector choice for young children

Specifications
Sizes: Toddler, Single, Small double, Double, European Double, King, European King, Super King
Material: Cotton & Polyester
Quilted: No
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Completely waterproof +Soft &  hypoallergenic+Antibacterial barrier +15-year warranty
Reasons to avoid
-Sizes may not fit mattress, so best to measure

From its 100 per cent waterproofing to its antibacterial properties, this Dreamzie Waterproof Mattress Protector is perfect for toddlers who aren’t quite dry. 

What's it good at?
We've picked this as the best mattress protector for toddlers. Why? Despite being waterproof, the protector is breathable, while its anti-allergen properties will ensure the mattress below remains free from dust mites. 

Ease of care
Since this is machine washable at up to 60ºC, you won't need to worry about getting it clean after a spill. 

What else?
Thanks to a 10 year warranty you can enjoy this mattress protector worry-free. A good all-rounder at an affordable cost, this one is well worth considering. 

Best mattress protector: Panda Bamboo Mattress Protector

11. Panda Bamboo Mattress Protector

Best eco mattress protector: made form 70 per cent bamboo, this mattress cover is naturally anti-bacterial

Specifications
Sizes: EU single, EU double, EU king, emperor, twin, UK double, UK king, UK super king
Material: Cotton & Polyester
Quilted: No
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Tested and certified by OEKO-TEX Standard 100+Temperature regulating+Easy to wash+2 year guarantee
Reasons to avoid
-Polyester skirt

Made from 70 per cent bamboo rayon which requires a third of the amount of water to grow compared to cotton, this mattress protector is the best mattress protector for those who are eco-conscious.

What's it good at?
Designed to be as unintrusive as possible and provide a peaceful and silent night's sleep, the Panda mattress protector is waterproof and temperature regulating. Those who suffer from eczema, sensitive skin or hay fever should consider this mattress protector as it's hypoallergenic and certified by OEKO-TEX Standard 100, too.

Bamboo is a natural anti-bacterial which will fight mould, fungi, mildew and dust mites, and it's also highly absorbent and can wick moisture away from the skin, making it great for children who sometimes have accidents, too.

Ease of care
It's machine washable at up to 50ºC and can be tumble dried at a low temperature. 

What else?
Since Panda are a sustainable brand who use 100 per cent recycled materials in their packaging, you won't be left with a ton of unnecessary leftover plastic.

How we test mattress protectors

Here at Real Homes we like to review the best products for you. This often means getting our hands on the product and testing them ourselves and / or looking at what other customers have to say about it. Everything is considered from the longevity, materials used, suitability, whether or not it is waterproof and the price.

Much in the same way as buying the best mattress topper, a mattress protector is an essential to have on your bed if you want to prevent any damage to it and make it a little more comfortable. It's a personal decision which is make or break depending on the size of your mattress and what condition it is in for you to buy one of these mattress covers, but it sure is a quick way to give it a new lease of life.

What is the best type of mattress protector

Waterproof? The best mattress protector will be  waterproof. It will keep your mattress clean and dry.

Breathable? If it's waterproof, it needs to be breathable, especially for those with traditional memory foam mattresses. Check temperature is regulated so you don’t overheat. 

Allergy friendly? If you suffer from dust allergies, you may need to consider a hypoallergenic mattress topper.

Quilted? Some prefer their mattress protector to be quilted for extra comfort and softness.

Suitable for the tumble dryer? Most mattress protectors are machine washable but not all can go in the tumble dryer so check first.

Which mattress protector materials?

Cotton mattress protectors will suit sweaty sleepers because the fabric will wick away body sweat. 

Cotton blend is more usual for waterproof mattress protectors: think cotton/polyurethane mix. They won't be as breathable and may be noisier than pure cotton ones but they will protect against spills, which cotton-only won't.

Polyester mattress protectors are your budget buy – or you'll find it as a material in a waterproof mattress protector. Perfect for children or anyone suffering from incontinence, they're pretty much fail-safe. Downsides? They're not great for sweaty sleepers.

Rayon is man-made from natural fibres, and mattress protectors in this material are usually breathable and comfortable to sleep on. Better still? They're often the eco-friendly choice, too. 

How often to wash a mattress protector?

We say, every time you wash your bedlinen, which is why it makes sense to have two mattress protectors for each mattress. However, the very nature of the best mattress protectors – particularly their waterproof makeup – means you can get away with washing them less frequently. Every month will do – and if they're quick dry, you can get away with just the one.

Why do you need a mattress protector?

A mattress protector will protect not just your mattress but all kinds of nasties, which aren't worth losing sleep over because you know one of these covers have got you sorted.

Our round up of mattress protectors will all protect you from germs and allergies caused by dust mites. They'll also lengthen your mattress's life, protect the warranty of your mattress and boost comfort. If you opt for a waterproof mattress protector, then you'll be treated to an extra layer of waterproofing, too, which will provide protection from potentially damaging liquids which have been leaked or spilt.

What is the best mattress protector?

So, let's recap...if you want the best mattress protector, in our opinion, we wouldn't hesitate to buy the Nectar Mattress Protector. It's 100 per cent waterproof, ultra breathable, but also comfortable. 

Alternatively, you could buy the Emma Smart Sleeve mattress protector which comes a close second. It covers all the properties mentioned above, and feels super soft, too.

How to turn your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary

Investing in the best mattress topper isn't the only thing you can do to increase your chances of a good night's sleep.

Finding a duvet and duvet cover set that offers good temperature regulation so you don't wake up too hot or too cold can make a big difference to a comfortable snooze, as can finding a pillow that suits your sleeping position - whether you're a front, back or side sleeper. You'll find our top picks of all in our guides to the best duvets, best pillows, and best duvet covers and bedding sets available. 

And don't worry, you don't need to spend a small fortune to get a better night's sleep, our edit of the best bedding brands will point you in the right direction for finding options to suit your budget, whilst our round-up of the best bedding sales each month can save you some hard-earned cash.

Most sleep experts will also tell you that creating a calming environment in the boudoir is essential for a successful wind down in the evening, which makes the decor you choose in the bedroom particularly important. Get some inspiration in our bedroom ideas round-up, and our guide to how to decorate a bedroom.

A weighted blanket can also help to set the mood for relaxation, delivering serotonin and melatonin boosting Deep Pressure Therapy. Take a look at our tried and tested favourites in our guide to the best weighted blankets for adults

It's also important not to underestimate the power of a calm mind. Using a mindfulness app like Headspace or Calm, or doing mindful stretching exercises like yoga or pilates before bed can all help you to train your mind and body to relax, helping you to achieve more restorative sleep.

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Jennifer Oksien
Jennifer Oksien

After returning to Future Publishing in February 2020, Jennifer has been working on our appliance and mattress content to showcase the best in class examples which are available to buy for your homes. When she is not scouring the web for deals or reviewing products for your pursuit, she can be found hanging out with our three guinea pigs in her Victorian terraced home which she has lovingly (patiently) been renovating with her husband over the past few years. Jennifer also likes tea and homemade cake, very much.

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