Splashing out on a new mattress may have put you a little out of pocket. So why not ensure you prolong its life by getting the best mattress protector?
A protector acts as a barrier between you and your mattress, guarding it from dust, stains and accidental spills. So, pay now, pop on a cover, whether it be a waterproof or cotton quilted option and feel the benefit later.
To help you choose which one is best for you, we’ve been doing a bit of research, and testing the top options out there, including eco-friendly, affordable and luxury mattress protectors. We’ve spoken to bedding experts too, from Simba and Slumberdown, to get you covered on what to look out for when you purchase.
And for how much work they do, a mattress protector doesn't have to cost a lot of money. For as little as £50 (or less!), they’ll keep your best mattress from almost everything life throws at it.
What’s more. a mattress protector can also help you to sleep better. From anti-allergy protectors to those with cooling properties and ones that cushion, the best buys can contribute to your best sleep yet.
Best mattress protector 2022
Our number one best overall mattress protector stands out on top for quality, practicality and price. It can be washed up to 90°C for an extreme anti-bacterial clean, though don’t tumble dry to avoid it flattening.
The Nectar mattress protector is 100% waterproof, ultra breathable and eco-friendly. It won’t cost you, or the earth. Made from sustainable Tencel jersey (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. Nectar has really concentrated on delivering a comfortable sleep surface with this product.
And don’t we know it. All of these factors wouldn't mean much if we didn't experience a good night's sleep, and if waterproof claims turned out not to be true. Lucky for us we slept soundly (without any noise, which is surprising from a waterproof option), and a poured cup of water slid right off without seepage. We wouldn't expect anything less from these mattress specialists.
For maximum mattress protection, whether your mattress is new or old, this Emma option has glowing reviews that put it as runner up to our best overall. It’s full of features that make it a breathable, comfortable and water resistant protector that can be washed and left out to dry without worry.
It's made from 100% polyester (which unfortunately knocks it from our top spot), which makes it cushioned for added comfort. What’s great about this material however, is that it’s antibacterial. Thanks to special fibres, it's great for those with allergies as it prevents dampness in your mattress. In fact it shows 89.3 per cent fewer dust mite allergens compared to other conventional covers.
Given how much customers already love this mattress protector, we’ve called it in to be tested. We’ll test its waterproof claims too, though many already say it’s shielded against accidental spillages and stains. Anyhow, we’ll let you know our honest opinion.
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.
What sets this Simba mattress protector apart is their use of Bi-Ome technology which actively eliminates microorganisms and fights odour. Coupled with a soft quilted top layer with 200 thread count cotton for cooling breathability, sleepers can wake up feeling fresher and have a bit longer between washes. Speaking of washes, it can be washed at 40°C, then tumble dried, but note not to use biological detergent if you want to keep the tech intact.
Our editor has tested the whole Simba range, and while she’d rate the brand a solid 5 stars, the protector isn't as acclaimed as their mattresses or pillows. In fact, she found the protector to be slightly saggy in fit prior to washing. It fits more snugly now, but still takes a bit of smoothing to eliminate ruckles.
Favouring practicality over comfort, Panda’s mattress protector is the most water resistant on this list, whilst of course, holding high eco-credentials. Oh, and you can wash at a higher temperature than most. Even bigger bonus!
It has Nano TPU™ top material that’s completely waterproof whilst not feeling plasticky or stiff when slept on. Despite the techy name, it’s a fabric that’s soft and natural without absorbing any warmth or moisture from perspiration in the night. It is crafted from bamboo and cotton; eco-friendly alternatives to polyester or other synthetic options.
From what we’ve researched in reviews and other rankings, you can’t get much quieter in waterproof mattress protectors than this. After all, no one likes sleeping on a loud, squeaky surface. We’d love to review this one soon to give you a first hand insight to how silent our night was. But in the meantime, at an affordable price we trust current customers in their verdict.
For the hot summer days or the sleepers that suffer from night sweats, this best cooling mattress protector (and best pillow too) , from the Rem-fit Snow collection, really lives up to its name. Plus, it’s entirely machine washable so you can wash, dry and have it back on before bedtime.
Featuring Nordic chill fibres that work to dissipate body heat up to 10 times faster than breathable cotton, Rem-fit’s protector creates a cool sleep environment so you can drift off quicker and stay in slumber for longer. Though not just best at getting you a good night's sleep in summer, it also regulates body temperature to keep cold sleepers cosy. It also has a membrane barrier so you can be allergy-free as well as sweat-free.
We’ve compared this against other protectors with cold to the touch properties but this Rem-fit option kept us the coolest. Tested through heatwaves and high temperatures, we felt the difference after putting this on the bed. You may be able to buy a cooling mattress pad at a cheaper price, but it won’t rank as best at its job at protecting you and your mattress from summertime side effects.
Woolroom’s Chatsworth collection mattress protector goes the extra length in eco-efforts, which is why it is an investment item.
But made from luxurious 100% British wool, it’s no ordinary cover. And while it won’t protect from liquid spills or staining, it will work to protect in other ways. Mainly, it’ll protect the earth. Woolroom’s Chatsworth collection, which also includes one of the best duvets, includes entirely traceable wool using an ID tracking programme. Wool also happens to be naturally temperature-regulating and hypo-allergenic – perfect for the too hot, too cold sleepers and the night-time snifflers.
One element we find this protector to be best for is winter. It has a thinner profile, but the wool is dense and thick, making it a cosy addition to your bed. If you ever find yourself going to sleep under blankets but kicking a leg out in the middle of the night, then Woolroom's cover will keep you just the right amount of warm. It did for us.
If you’re on a budget and you’re not looking to spend quite so much as the other options in this guide, then this mattress protector is a great compromise. At less than £20, you can save on sleep and extend the life of your bed. It's our best affordable mattress protector.
The total protection range works to guard against allergies with antibacterial and antiviral formulas from its 100% polyester filling. Available in single size, we think this cover will be great to pop on little ones bed, given it’s splash proof and easy to wash too. Bung in the drum and dry on the line for it to be clean and fresh in no time.
This one is currently in testing, and we’re satisfied with what it has to offer so far. We’re not finding it to be much of an added comfort layer, but it does its job for a more than good price. After all, it’s hay fever season, and our tester needs all the protection she can get.
For the plushest of sleeps – if you can afford the plush price – The Kensington Mattress protector from Brook and Wilde is as luxurious as it sounds. Of course, it’s quilted.
There's no squeaky plastic layer or thin, flat profile here – though that might be down to the fact it isn't waterproof. But if you’re sensible enough to not spill anything on it, then you can guarantee a comfortable night’s sleep with this best quilted mattress protector. It doesn't kick practicality entirely out the bed though, as its cosy layer of 100% polyester is thick enough to keep dust mites and allergens at bay.
We’ve not tested this one for too long, but so far we’ve found this quilted option to be more like a 2-in-1 topper and protector. So maybe the price is worthwhile. Its true test? Whether it lasts a few washes without losing its fullness. We’ll let you know over time if this stays as our best quilted buy.
If you’re looking for a great value buy that’ll help keep your allergies at bay, this Silentnight Anti-Allergy Mattress Protector is just the ticket. We think this is the best mattress protector to help allergy sufferers on a budget.
Thanks to its 100% microfiber composition, this mattress protector helps stop dust mites settling and in turn subsiding any symptoms you may have at night. The material makes it good for a quick wash turnover, too, given its lightweight feel, but make sure to not machine wash over 40ºC and only hang outside to dry.
At under £20, many customers did not expect the best from this protector. But reviews suggest Silentnight pulled it out the bag with some surprising results. As long as you stay away from spills, it seems to stay in good shape. In fact, they’ve had this one for a while – the trick might be in handling it with care.
How to choose the best mattress protector for you
There are a few questions to ask yourself prior to picking your new mattress protector, including considering what type of sleeper you are and what you would benefit from between you and your mattress.
As Karen Innes, NPD Manager at Slumberdown (opens in new tab), comments: 'Mattress protectors are key to prolonging the lifespan of your mattress. Designed to protect it from allergens, dust, spills and general wear and tear, it’s best to pick a mattress protector which includes an anti-bacterial and anti-viral treatment. This will help reduce the build-up and cross contamination of bacteria, ensuring you are sleeping in a cleaner, more hygienic bed."
As well as this, you should ask: Is it waterproof? How breathable is the fabric? Would you like a layer of comfort from a quilted cover? How well does it wash? And most importantly, how much does it cost?
How often do you wash a mattress protector?
Experts suggest, you should wash your mattress protector every few months. It's not quite as necessary to wash as often as your duvet cover or pillows, providing you don't have any impromptu spills before then.
Those that are synthetic may be quicker to wash too, meaning you can pop them in and dry before the night draws in. Otherwise, grab a spare. Those with this easy to care option may mean you wash more frequently – which may not do you any harm, but may impact on their longevity.
Is a mattress protector worth it?
Think even the best mattress protectors are a wasted investment? Think again: these all-round bedding heroes can deliver multiple benefits, not least protecting the surface on which you spend one-third of your life. A good mattress can easily set you back £650 or more, whereas most mattress protectors can be snapped up for less than £100. In fact, our best value pick is a snip at just £16 for a double. If you consider that using a mattress protector can prolong the life of your mattress, by at least a couple of years, without even factoring in early replacement due to major accidental damage, then a mattress protector soon sounds like a very wise purchase. Invaluable even.
What's the difference between a mattress protector and a topper?
We asked Steve Reid, CEO at Simba (opens in new tab) this question. After all, who better to get the answer from then the mattress experts themselves: 'Many people are understandably confused by the difference between a mattress protector and a mattress topper. You do put them both on top of your mattress to improve its quality. The difference is that a mattress protector protects your mattress from dirt, moisture and dust, while a mattress topper increases the comfort of your mattress if it’s old, worn out, or just low quality. Toppers can be filled with feathers, synthetic alternatives, or memory foam.'
For max comfort and max cleanliness, we recommend using both.
How we tested these best mattress protectors
As noted in our how we test guide, we at Real Homes like to review the best products for you. This means sleeping on the product and testing them ourselves and/or looking at what other customers have to say. We aim to test everything in person but are still working our way through some of these protectors.
For the one's we have and are currently reviewing, they've been put on our mattresses at home, washed after a few uses and used again. We'll see how they feel, look, cost and wash. During the process, we are considering everything from longevity, materials used, sustainability, whether or not it is waterproof and – of course – the price.
Hear from our testers on what they like about these best mattress protectors. We'll add in a few quotes from the ones we are currently trying out soon too.
Louise loves finding the best bedding options out there – since it's the key to good sleep, who wouldn't? She's tested the majority of the mattress protectors on this list and has passed them to her friends and family, based on which suits who best.
'Having hayfever and also being a hot sleeper means I sometimes struggle with getting to sleep, especially during the summer. That's why I've found Slumberdown's total protect and Silentnight's anti-allergy to be great value buys as well as Woolroom's cover working well in the winter.'
Lindsey is an expert reviewer and has tried the whole bedding range from Simba, including their mattress protector.
'The mattress protector deserves a slot on the list of the best mattress protectors, but my main complaint is that it is not as snug a fit as Simba claim and even on their rather deep 28cm thick Simba Hybrid Luxe, there is a bit of extra material for the top. This is a minor thing, and otherwise the protector fits very well, but worth highlighting all the same.'
Millie Hurst is the content writer and news writer across Ideal Home and Real Home brands. She's tried our best cooling mattress protector (and now reaches for it every time the sun happens to shine).
'I have the Eco Hybrid Mattress from Rem-Fit, which comes with a super soft mattress protector. I didn't even realise the mattress had a cover for the first month or so because of its lovely woven finish. This protector has great eco-credentials, made of 100% recycled ocean plastics. It also adds an extra layer of comfort and, most importantly, it keeps the mattress underneath cool and clean so I can hold onto it for years to come. I love that you can just throw it in the wash when needed, too.'