Best mattress protector: 12 odour-, water- and allergy-proof buys for your bed

The best mattress protector is vital for keeping your mattress smelling and looking like new – but it can do a whole lot more, including protecting you from allergies. Find all our best buys at the best prices here

Best mattress protector: Emma SmartSleeve mattress protector
(Image credit: Emma)

Wondering why you need to shop for the best mattress protector at all? Take it from us – it's an essential buy for keeping a mattress fresh and can lengthen its life, too. But they're not just for new mattresses – even older mattresses (and therefore you) will benefit from the protection they offer. 

Whether it’s sweat, accidents or spillages from having breakfast in bed, a mattress protector will help to keep your mattress stain- and smell-free, plus, the right buy can protect allergy sufferers from dust mites and helps sweaty sleepers feel more comfortable thanks to its heat regulating properties. And, if you rent or have sent a teen off to uni, it's the perfect buy for covering up a well-used mattress, too. Seriously, how have we lived without them?

We've been trying out the best mattress protectors on the market so you can buy with confidence. And finding a good mattress protector is all the more important if you have already taken the time and effort to source the best mattress, because you'll want to protect your investment. 

Jump down to our mattress protector buying tips to find out what to look for when you're buying – not all are fully waterproof. Check too, that you've bought one that matches your mattress' depth as well as its length and width, so that you get a good fit. Still not sure why you need a mattress protector? Read our feature to find out (but be prepared to be grossed out).

Find more on mattress protectors and toppers, below.

What is the best mattress protector?

The one that ticks all the boxes for us is the Nectar Mattress Protector. It's 100 per cent waterproof, ultra breathable, but also comfortable. 

The Casper mattress protector comes a close second. It covers all the properties mentioned above, and ensures top quality comfort, too. 

Read on to find out more about them below – and to see our other picks. In a hurry? These are our top five buys:

  • Best mattress protector all round: Nectar mattress protector
  • Best mattress protector for hot sleepers: Casper mattress protector
  • Best luxury mattress protector: Emma SmartSleeve mattress protector
  • Best quilted mattress protector: Tempur Fit mattress protector
  • Best waterproof mattress protector: Silentnight waterproof mattress protector
  • Best mattress protector for allergies: The White Company Luxury Anti-Allergy Mattress Protector
  • Best quilted mattress protector: John Lewis Specialist Quilted Mattress Protector
  • Best (budget) mattress protector for allergies: Silentnight Anti-Allergy Mattress Protector
  • Best mattress protector for breathability: John Lewis Natural Cotton Quilted Mattress Protector
  • Best mattress protector for toddlers: Dreamzie Waterproof Mattress Protector
  • Best eco mattress protector: Panda Bamboo Mattress Protector
  • Best Ikea mattress protector: Ikea ANGSVIDE

BEST MATTRESS PROTECTORS

Waterproof mattress protector on a bed

(Image credit: Nectar)

1. The Nectar Mattress Protector

Best mattress protector

Specifications
Sizes: Single, small double, double, king, super-king
Material: Polyester, polyurethane and Tencel
Quilted: Yes
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Waterproof
Reasons to avoid
-Empty List

The Nectar 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.

See more waterproof mattress protectors in our guide.

Casper mattress protector

(Image credit: Casper)

2. Casper mattress protector

The best mattress protector for hot sleepers: the Casper mattress protector brings added comfort, too

Specifications
Sizes: Single to super-king
Quilted: No
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Soft to the touch +Breathable+Waterproof+Can be tumble dried+100-night guarantee
Reasons to avoid
-Not cheap

We've just got our hands on the Casper mattress protector and we are super impressed. Despite being fully waterproof, it feels like the snuggly, comfortable bed sheets of our childhoods – but it's breathable, too.

What does it do well?

It just feels so lovely to lie on (with a top sheet over it, obviously). This mattress protector is made from the same waterproof material used in premium outdoor gear – and that's the genius of it: its microscopic pores are small enough to keep spills out but large enough to let air in. The result? Well, for us, at least, a sweat-free night, and we woke up to clean, fresh bedding. 

Some of the mattress protectors we've tried feel plasticky – and that in turns means that when you fidget in bed, that materials crinkle and move, too, making a noise as they do so. Not this one. It feels more like towelling and it's designed to cling firmly to your mattress (even deep ones up to 40cm), so not only didn't it move, we hardly knew it was there.

Except... it did make our already comfortable mattress feel just a little more luxurious. 

Ease of care

It can be machine washed on a gentle cycle with a mild detergent and – happily – tumble dried on a low setting (not all mattress protectors can). 

What else?

There's a 100-night free trial, but we don't think you'll need it.

Shop more Casper products

the best mattress protectors: Emma SmartSleeve mattress protector

(Image credit: Emma Mattress)

3. Emma SmartSleeve mattress protector

The best luxury mattress protector: the Emma SmartSleeve ticks all the boxes

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 than the Emma SmartSleeve mattress protector. 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. 

See our full review of the Emma Original mattress.

Shop more Emma products

Best mattress protector: Tempur Fit Mattress Protector

4. Tempur Fit Mattress Protector

The best quilted mattress protector: a great all-rounder and ideal for foam mattresses

Specifications
Sizes: Small single, single, double, king, super-king
Material: Tencel and Polyurethane
Quilted: No
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Washable and can be tumble dried + Thin membrane 
Reasons to avoid
-Price

The perfect buy alongside a brand new memory foam mattress, this ultra thin Tempur Fit Mattress Protector 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. 

See our review of the Tempur Sensation Elite mattress.

Shop more Tempur mattress products at Amazon

Best mattress protector: Silentnight Waterproof Mattress Protector

5. Silentnight Waterproof Mattress Protector

The best budget mattress protector: this is the perfect protector for incontinence problems

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

If you’re not looking to spend quite so much on a mattress protector, this Silentnight waterproof 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. 

Shop more Silentnight mattress protectors

Best mattress protector: The White Company Luxury Anti-Allergy Mattress Protector

6. The White Company Luxury Anti-Allergy Mattress Protector

The best mattress protector for allergies: keep dust mites and bacteria at bay with this treated mattress protector

Specifications
Sizes: Cot, Single, double, king, super-king
Material: Cotton
Quilted: No
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Plush layers of cotton + 100% cotton 
Reasons to avoid
-No guarantee

Whether you’re an allergy sufferer or prefer to stay away from synthetic materials, choose The White Company Luxury Anti-Allergy Mattress Protector.

What does it do well?

This 100 per cent cotton, hypoallergenic mattress protector is our top pick for allergy sufferers. Having been finished with a sanitised-hygiene treatment, it’ll help your bed to feel fresher for longer by keeping dust mites and bacteria at bay.

It adds an extra element of comfort, too: the plush layers of comfortable cotton make for extra comfort on your bed while also protecting the mattress underneath.

Ease of care

Machine washable – but The White Company recommends professional laundering for best results.

What else?

There are pillow protectors available, too, for those with super sensitive allergies. 

Shop more mattress protectors at The White Company

Best mattress protector: John Lewis Specialist Quilted Mattress Protector

7. John Lewis Specialist Quilted Mattress Protector

The best quilted mattress protector: this quilted protector will help remedy an uncomfortable mattress

Specifications
Sizes: Single, double, king, super-king
Material: Polyester,Cotton, Polyurethane
Quilted: Yes
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Waterproof + Prevents growth of bacteria 
Reasons to avoid
-Synthetic

Quilted and waterproof, this John Lewis Specialist Quilted 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 guarantee.

Shop more bedding products at John Lewis

Best mattress protector: Silentnight Anti-Allergy Mattress Protector

8. Silentnight Anti-Allergy Mattress Protector

The best mattress protector to ward off dust mites

Specifications
Sizes: Single, double, king, super-king
Material: Polyester
Quilted: Yes
Waterproof: No
Reasons to buy
+ 100% microfibre + Suitable for washing and tumble drying 
Reasons to avoid
-40 degree wash max

If you’re looking for a quality, good value mattress protector that happens to help those who suffer 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. 

Browse more Silentnight products at Amazon

Best mattress protector: John Lewis Natural Cotton Quilted Mattress Protector

9. John Lewis Natural Cotton Quilted Mattress Protector

The best mattress protector for breathability: this protector promises freshness

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 
Reasons to avoid
-Not for use with electric blanket

To ensure you benefit from the freshest sleeping conditions, try this John Lewis Natural Cotton Quilted Mattress Protector

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.

See more mattress protectors at John Lewis

Best mattress protector: Dreamzie Waterproof Mattress Protector

10. Dreamzie Waterproof Mattress Protector

The best mattress protector for toddlers: sleep easy knowing that Dreamzie has you (or rather your mattress) covered

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 + Antibacterial barrier 

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. 

Shop more Dreamzie products at Amazon

Best mattress protector: Panda Bamboo Mattress Protector

11. Panda Bamboo Mattress Protector

The best eco mattress protector: go green with this bamboo mattress protector

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

Made from 70 per cent bamboo rayon which requires a third of the amount of water to grow compared to cotton, this Panda Bamboo 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.

Shop more Panda products at Amazon

Best mattress protector: Ikea ANGSVIDE

12. Ikea ANGSVIDE

The best Ikea mattress protector: an affordable mattress protector that won't break the bank

Specifications
Sizes: 140cm x 200cm, 160cm x 200cm, 80cm x 200cm, 90cm x 200cm, single, double, king, super king
Material: Cotton & Polyester
Quilted: Yes
Waterproof: No
Reasons to buy
+Affordable+Quilted+Machine washable+Can be tumble dried
Reasons to avoid
-Not waterproof-Basic

Quilted with a mix of 52 per cent polyester and 48 per cent cotton, this Ikea mattress protector is the most affordable on our list. 

What's it good at?

It's our top pick for those who are shopping Ikea for something cheap and cheerful. Featuring an elastic ribbon in each corner to keep it in place under your sheet, this mattress protector is available in eight different sizes to suit every bed. It's kinder to the environment since no optical brightener was used during manufacture, and it's non-chlorine bleached. 

Ease of care

It's also machine washable at 60ºC (helpful for killing dust mites) and it can be tumble dried. 

What else?

It's a great, basic option for those looking for a quick-fix mattress protector on a budget.

Shop more Ikea products on their Amazon page

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.

How often should you 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.

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. 

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