Best mattress protector 2020: Top-rated mattress pads for every budget

Looking for the best mattress protector to keep yours smelling and looking like new? Find our top picks at the best prices here

emma mattress protector - best mattress protector - real homes
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(Image credit: Emma)

It makes sense to buy the best mattress protector you can afford: it's essential for keeping a mattress fresh and can lengthen its life, too. Mattress protectors are not just for new mattresses – even older mattresses will benefit from the all-around protection they offer. 

Whether it’s sweat, dust-mites, or spills from enjoying breakfast in bed, the best mattress protector can help keep your mattress stain- and smell-free, and help reduce allergen buildup. 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.

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. 

Best mattress protector 2020 quick links

Best mattress protectors 2020

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
Reasons to buy
+Waterproof+Breathable+Resistant to dust & allergies+Eco-friendly+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?

As we've mentioned, 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, it's eco-friendly, which is a major bonus.

Forget that for a minute, though. This mattress protector is properly 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 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 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.

best luxury mattress protector- avocado mattress protector

(Image credit: Avocado Mattress)

2. Avocado organic waterproof mattress protector

The best luxury 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
Reasons to buy
+GOTS-certified organic cotton+Breathable +Can be tumble dried 
Reasons to avoid
-Price

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 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

The best mattress protector for breathability

Specifications
Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, cal-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 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 – but it's breathable, too.

What does it do well?

It just feels so nice to lie on (with a fitted 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 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"), 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.

the best mattress protectors: Emma SmartSleeve mattress protector

(Image credit: Emma Mattress)

4. Emma Smart Sleeve mattress protector

The best mattress protector for allergy sufferers

Specifications
Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, cal 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-One of the more expensive on our list

For maximum mattress protection on your new or old mattress, there's no other option than the Emma mattress protector It's the best luxury mattress protector you can buy, in our opinion.

What does it do well?

Jam-packed with features, this protector is 100 percent probiotic (which means there are micro-organisms found in the material that help prevent dampness) 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 win for many.

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

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

Ease of care

In terms of cleaning, the protector can be washed on a hot cycle, making it 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.

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
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, waterproof, 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 100 percent cotton 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 does it do well?

Essentially: it's simple, cozy, and high quality. It adds an extra element of comfort, thanks to the plush layers of comfortable organic cotton, while also protecting the mattress underneath. 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.

What else?

There are pillow protectors available, too; a great option for sweaty sleepers or those with sensitive allergies. 

mattress protector

(Image credit: My Green Mattress)

7. My Green Mattress Organic Mattress Protector

The best waterproof organic mattress protector

Specifications
Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, cal king
Material: GOTS-Certified Jersey, thermoplastic polyurethane
Quilted: No
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+GOTS-certified organic jersey+Waterproof membrane+Easy to wash
Reasons to avoid
-Not returnable once opened

Made from 100 percent GOTS-certified organic jersey, the My Green Mattress organic mattress protector is the best mattress protector for those who are eco-conscious. We also recommend it for kids' beds since it's free of chemical flame retardants, vinyl/PVC, phthalates, and rubber.

What's it good at?

While many eco-friendly and organic mattresses and mattress protectors come with steep prices, My Green Mattress is committed to offering green products at an affordable price.  The brand's mattress protector is made from GOTS-certified jersey, and uses thermoplastic polyurethane--a biodegradable, non-solvent material that's sourced from Oeko-Tex Class-1 certified suppliers-- for its moisture barrier layer. The barrier is also porous, allowing for breathability. 

Ease of care

Machine wash and low-heat tumble dry with low agitation, only when necessary.

What else?

It comes with a one-year warranty, but mattress protectors are not covered by the brand's sleep trial.

Best mattress protector: Ikea ANGSVIDE

8. IKEA ANGSVIDE mattress protector

The best Ikea mattress protector

Specifications
Sizes: Twin, twin XL, 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?

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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