Best mattress protector: 8 mattress pads for every budget

The best mattress protector will keep your mattress looking and feeling as good as new. Find our top picks at the best prices here

mattress protector with spillage
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(Image credit: Amazon)

If you've just purchased a new mattress or are hoping to extend the life of an old one, finding the best mattress protector, also called a mattress pad, is a must. For one, a great mattress protector can save your mattress from the ill effects of everything from sweat and spills, to dust-mites and pollen. Plus, the right buy can even help hot sleepers feel more comfortable if it has heat-regulating properties. And, if you're renting a furnished space or sending a child off to a college dorm, it's the perfect way to cover up a well-used mattress, too. 

Best mattress protector 2020 quick links

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

Read on for our list of the top buys, plus what we looked for in a great mattress pad, and how to choose the right one for you.

These are the best mattress protector buys

best mattress protector - nectar mattress protector

(Image credit: Nectar Mattress)

1. The Nectar Mattress Protector

Best mattress protector all around

Specifications
Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, cal-king
Material: Polyester, polyurethane and Tencel
Quilted: Yes
Waterproof: Yes
Hypoallergenic: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Waterproof+Breathable+Resistant to dust & allergies+Machine washable
Reasons to avoid
-None!

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

What does it do well?

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 soft and ultra breathable fabric), it's much more absorbent than cotton would be and cooler than linen. Plus, Tencel is eco-friendly, which is a major bonus.

Forget that for a minute, though. This mattress protector is waterproof, so you can be sure that it'll protect your mattress. Think waterproof means stiff and plasticky? Think again. Not only is it silky to the touch, but interestingly, it's quiet and stretchy, too. Plus 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 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.

Avocado mattress protector

(Image credit: Avocado)

2. Avocado organic waterproof mattress protector

Best eco-friendly mattress protector

Specifications
Sizes: Twin, twin long, double, queen, king, split king, cal king, split cal king
Material: Organic cotton and Polyurethane
Quilted: No
Waterproof: Yes
Hypoallergenic: No
Reasons to buy
+GOTS-certified organic cotton+Breathable +Can be tumble dried +Climate Neutral certified
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

The perfect pick for those looking to marry sustainability with functionality, the Avocado organic waterproof mattress protector will let you rest easy knowing your mattress is covered in an environmentally friendly, nontoxic way. 

What does it do well?

The Avocado organic waterproof mattress protector safeguards your mattress while adhering to the company's strict sustainability standards. To create a waterproof barrier, two layers of soft GOTS-certified organic cotton sandwich a thin, waterproof polyurethane film (which makes up only 5 percent of the overall construction). It's also made without vinyl, PVC, and phthalates, and small pores allow for breathability. 

The mattress protector is designed for Avocado mattresses, but will fit most mattresses between 6" - 16" deep. 

Ease of care

Spot clean or machine wash, and tumble dry on low. Do not bleach.

What else?

Avocado Green Mattress is the first mattress company in the world to achieve Climate Neutral certification, which means their entire operation is carbon neutral. The company also donates 1 percent of its revenue to vetted nonprofits that address issues like climate change, land management, pollution and wildlife diversity.

best mattress protector - casper mattress protector

(Image credit: Casper)

3. Casper mattress protector

Best waterproof mattress protector

Specifications
Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, cal-king
Material: Polyester and Spandex
Quilted: No
Waterproof: Yes
Hypoallergenic: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Soft to the touch +Hypoallergenic+Waterproof+Can be tumble dried+100-night guarantee
Reasons to avoid
-No extra padding

We recently 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.

What does it do well?

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. 

Some of the waterproof mattress protectors we've tried feel crinkly – which means that when you move in bed it causes materials to move and make a crunching noise. Not this one. It feels more like terrycloth and it's designed to cling firmly to your mattress (even deep ones up to 15"). It's also so thing, we hardly knew it was there, a great quality if you love the feel of your mattress and don't want to alter it. 

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.

best mattress protector

(Image credit: SlumberCloud)

4. Nacreous Mattress Pad

The best cooling mattress protector

Specifications
Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, cal king
Material: Lyocell, Prioprietary Outlast fabric
Quilted: Yes
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Uses NASA-designed cooling technology+Great for allergy sufferers+60-night trial
Reasons to avoid
-One of the more expensive on our list

Hot sleeper? The SlumberCloud Nacreous Mattress Pad will work wonders for your comfort levels. It's made with a NASA-developed technology originally used to regulate temperature in space suits. 

What does it do well?

It keeps you cool, for one thing. The mattress pad starts with a layer of eco-friendly Lyocell, which encases a fabric lining treated with Outlast technology, deemed a Certified Space Technology by the Space Foundation. This space-aged tech is designed to keep the fabric at a certain temperature, meaning it absorbs heat when the fabric gets too warm, and releases it when the fabric gets too cool. 

The mattress is breathable, thanks to thin layer of polyester fill, and it's waterproof, too.

Ease of care

In terms of cleaning, the protector can be washed and tumble dried, making it easy peasy to freshen it up.

What else? 

Afraid it's too good to be true? This mattress protector comes with a 60-night trial so you can experience its cooling action for yourself. 

best value mattress protector

(Image credit: Sureguard Mattress)

5. SureGuard hypoallergenic mattress protector

The best-value mattress protector

Specifications
Sizes: Crib, mini crib, twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, cal king
Material: Cotton terry, polyurethane
Quilted: No
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Hypoallergenic +Machine washable+Stretchable skirt+Inexpensive
Reasons to avoid
-Not waterproof enough for bed-wetting

If you’re not looking to spend quite so much on a mattress protector, this SureGuard hypoallergenic mattress protector is a good compromise. It's hypoallergenic, water-resistant and Greenguard certified, but a queen size will still only run you about $40 (the price tends to fluctuate a bit, check the best price on Amazon below). It's our best mattress protector for those looking for quality at a great price.

What does it do well?

It’s water-resistant, which is great for those who tend to sweat at night – and yet it’s made from cotton terry, so it's still breathable, which means there’s no need to worry about it causing you to sleep even hotter (because that would defeat the purpose, right?). 

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

Ease of care 

It's machine-washable and can be tumble dried.

What else?

It's Greenguard certified and free of Vinyl, PVC, Phthalates, and fire retardants. Note, that it's water-resistant, not waterproof, so it won't protect a mattress from bed-wetting. 

mattress protector

(Image credit: Saatva)

6. Saatva Organic Mattress Pad

The best quilted mattress protector

Specifications
Sizes: Twin - Cal king
Material: Cotton
Quilted: Yes
Waterproof: No
Reasons to buy
+Plush layers of cotton +100% organic cotton +Machine washable
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

If you prefer the plush feel and breathability of a traditional quilted mattress protector, the Saatva organic cotton mattress pad is hard to beat. In addition to being organic, it's made from Fair Trade Certified Cotton.

What it does well

Essentially: it's simple, cozy, and high quality. It adds an extra element of comfort (but not so much that it'll change the firmness of your mattress) thanks to the plush layers of comfortable organic cotton. The moisture wicking properties of cotton help create a barrier that protects the mattress underneath, and quilted stitching ensures the fill stays plump and even.

It's also fitted with an extra-wide elastic band to keep it securely in place

Ease of care

Machine wash and tumble dry, or take to the dry cleaner for even better results.

mattress protector

(Image credit: Brentwood Home)

7. Brentwood Home Organic Waterproof Crib Protector Pad

The best crib mattress pad

Specifications
Sizes: Crib
Material: GOTS-Certified organic cotton, Polyurethane
Quilted: No
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+GOTS-certified organic cotton+Waterproof membrane+No vinyl, PVC, or phthalates
Reasons to avoid
-Needs to be washed to achieve best fit

When it comes to bedding for kids and babies, our standards are high. This crib mattress protector from Brentwood Home ticks all the boxes, and it's affordable, too. 

What's it good at?

First and foremost, this mattress pad is non-toxic, and made without chemical flame retardants, vinyl/PVC, and phthalates. The cotton is also GOTS-certified organic. While many eco-friendly and organic crib mattress protectors come with steep prices, Brentwood Home offers it's cris pad for under $60.  

Note that the mattress protector comes a little big because it will shrink slightly when you wash it. You may need to wash it a couple of times for optimal sizing, but it you have a baby or small child, it probably won't be long til it need a wash anyway.

Ease of care

Machine wash and low-heat tumble dry or line dry, only when necessary.

What else?

The mattress pad does contain 5 percent polyurethane, helpful to know if you're trying to avoid it, but this layer is what makes the mattress pad waterproof.  

Best mattress protector: Ikea ANGSVIDE

8. IKEA ÄNGSKORN mattress protector

The best Ikea mattress protector

Specifications
Sizes: Twin, full, queen, king
Material: Cotton & Polyester
Quilted: Yes
Waterproof: No
Reasons to buy
+Affordable+Quilted+Machine washable+Can be tumble dried
Reasons to avoid
-Not waterproof-Sizes may not fit mattress, so best to measure

Quilted with a mix of 52 percent polyester and 48 percent 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 five 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 on the very hot cycle (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.

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.

Eco-friendly? If sustainability is a priority, look for materials like organic cotton, tencel, bamboo, and eucalyptus fiber. 

Which mattress protector materials are best?

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 fibers, and mattress protectors in this material are usually breathable and comfortable to sleep on. Better still? They're often the eco-friendly choice, too. 

Tencel is a fiber made from regenerated wood cellulose, making it a sustainable and non-toxic choice. It's also softer than silk and supremely breathable. 

How often to wash a mattress protector?

We say every time you wash your sheets, 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 protector per bed.

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