Do I Need A Mattress Protector? A Guide For Sleepers.

By: Ryan Poppie Reading Time: 12 minutes

Reading Time: 12 minutes

Have you recently been asking yourself one of life’s more important questions? Do I need a mattress protector?  This article should help answer that question and more.

Imagine you just spent a significant I need a mattress protector amount of money on a new memory foam mattress that conforms to the shape of your body. You’re finally excited to get the best sleep you’ve had in years. You know you should probably get a mattress protector, but in the excitement, you decided it could wait a few more days.

This could be a colossal misstep.

What is a mattress protector?

A mattress protector is a piece of removable bedding that covers a mattress to protect it from spills, accidents, and other mishaps.

While mattress protectors are mainly used to protect your mattress, they also provide protection from allergens and irritants (dust mites, bed bugs, mold, dead skin) for the person sleeping on the mattress. The terms mattress cover, mattress pad, and mattress topper are often used interchangeably with mattress protector, even if incorrect.

What does a mattress protector do?

At the beginning of this article, we outlined a situation where our new mattress owner decided to wait before buying a protector. Why is this a mistake?

Imagine it’s late, and you crawl into bed to read a book. You fall asleep, and your Labrador Retriever hops up and decides he’ll sleep with you for the night.

You wake up and, to your horror, realize that your canine friend has peed on the bed. You strip the sheets and find the urine soaked to your mattress. There’s a big, yellow stain.

You grab the fabric cleaner and scrub, hoping to save your investment. Too late. Warranty voided. Mattress ruined.

In short, a mattress protector can prevent disasters like this from ruining your mattress and voiding the warranty.

Incontinence, excessive sweating spilled beverages, and other activities or accidents can stain and wear down your mattress. This causes it to deteriorate faster than it otherwise would.

There are many reasons to use a mattress protector. Cleaning your mattress will be easier. Your warranty is more likely to remain valid. But the most important reasons are protection from the following:

Wear and Tear

Your mattress will inevitably be subjected to everyday wear and tear. Over time, the materials in your mattress can break down. This can cause issues like a decrease in support and strange odors. A mattress protector delays this breakdown.

Liquids and Spills

Spills can seep through your bed sheet and penetrate your mattress. If you have small children or pets, consider using a waterproof cover to protect your mattress.

Accidents happen, and it’s better to be proactive than to try to clean up an expensive mistake.


Dust mites and pet dander can collect inside your mattress, a nightmare for adults and children with allergies. A protector can prevent these from becoming trapped in the fibers of your mattress. And routine cleaning should easily remove dust mites or pet dander from your mattress protector.

Bed bugs in a mattress voids the mattress

Bed Bugs

What’s even more disgusting than stains, odors, and mites? How about bed bugs? And apparently, they’re more prevalent than most people realize.

An astonishing 97% of pest professionals reported treating a bed bug infestation in 2018, which indicates that a bed bug mattress cover should be on everyone’s shopping list.

Some mattress protectors are coated with an insect repellent to stop an infestation from ever beginning. And if you use an encasement protector, they envelop the mattress completely so the bugs can be easily spotted and dealt with on the protector, rather than burrowing into your mattress.

For those of you who have experience dealing with this problem, you know the importance of preventing bed bugs from getting into your mattress.

Health protection

Also, keep in mind that the cooling effects of a proper mattress protector will help you sleep better. According to, 50 to 70 million Americans have sleep disorders and 1 in 3 adults do not get the recommended amount of sleep they need to protect their health.

Why is this important? A cold sleeping environment helps lower your body temperature, making it easier to experience deep sleep. This forgotten nutrient is more important than many people realize.

A mattress protector with cooling properties is an easy way to improve your sleep and health.

Difference between the mattress pad and protector

While both are similar in appearance, a mattress pad and mattress protector each has different purposes.

  • A mattress pad is primarily used to add an extra layer of cushioning.
  • A mattress protector is used more as a preventative measure that can help prevent allergens, spills, and other accidents from damaging your mattress.

What is a mattress pad?

A mattress pad (sometimes referred to as a mattress topper or underpad) is designed to sit on top of your mattress. While some people buy pads to protect their mattresses, a pad’s function only provides an extra layer of comfort, especially when the wear and tear of your existing mattress make lying in bed less comfortable.

Mattress pads are typically between 2 and 4 inches thick. They are usually made of cotton, wool, polyester, rayon, latex, or down and feather. And you’ll find both memory foam and pillowtop options.

Although they are soft, mattress pads don’t significantly alter the firmness of a mattress.

A mattress pad can change the overall feel of a bed, while a mattress protector does not. But a protector (as the name suggests) works far better to protect your mattress.

So, as you can now see, these two terms are not interchangeable.

Mattress protector types

Types of mattress protectors

If your asking do I need a mattress protector, let us tell you there are three main types to consider:

  1. Encasement
  2. Elastic strap
  3. Fitted.

Encasement mattress protectors

Encasement mattress protectors cover your mattress entirely and zip up for total protection. Even the bottom of the mattress is covered and protected.

Elastic strap mattress protectors

Elastic strap mattress protectors sit on top of your mattress. They come with elastic straps that wrap around the four corners of your mattress to keep it in place.

Fitted mattress protectors

As the name may suggest, fitted mattress protectors are similar to fitted sheets. They tuck under your mattress’s corners and are secured by their pocketed design. Most fitted mattress protectors are usually thin enough to be used with fitted sheets.

And remember, don’t discount the importance of a snug fit when choosing a mattress protector, regardless of the type.

Types of mattress protectors

Fabric options for your mattress protector

In addition to the type, you may want to consider the fabric your mattress protector is made of. Several fabrics are used to make protectors, each with advantages and disadvantages.

Here are some of the most common fabric options.


A popular choice for manufacturers, cotton is a naturally hypoallergenic organic material. It’s gentle on the skin and breathable, which allows you to stay cool at night.

Plush Velour

Plus, velour is stretchy like a knit fabric but has the appearance and feel of velvet. It’s typically cotton, but other materials can also be used. Some people prefer the luxurious feel of plush velour to regular cotton.


This is a durable and less expensive fabric option. Polyester is also a warmer fabric, so you may not find it as comfortable to sleep on. Remember, an incredible night’s sleep is a good night’s sleep.

While polyester mattress protectors are not waterproof, they dry very quickly if they do get wet.

Tencel Lyocell

These protectors are ideal for skin sensitivities, as the fabric is made of organic materials. Known for its botanic origin, Tencel is not as abrasive as cotton or wool fabric. And it’s the fabric of choice for many well-known and ethical brands.

Tencel lyocell protectors are naturally hypoallergenic, moisture-wicking, and prevent odor-causing bacteria growth.


Another luxurious option for your mattress protector, bamboo is also hypoallergenic and another good option for sleepers with sensitive skin. The one difference you may experience is the superior comfort that bamboo provides.


Vinyl is a thicker fabric that is effective at waterproofing your mattress but isn’t breathable. Vinyl retains heat and can be noisy as you shift around in bed, so you may not be as comfortable at night or often wake from the sound of your protector moving around.


This type keeps you cool through the night while also waterproofing your mattress. It’s a thin, durable membrane that’s comfortable and quiet to sleep on compared to vinyl.

Polyurethane fabric consists of microscopic pores that make it highly breathable.

You might also find mattress protectors made of latex, spandex, and wool, giving you enough options to be thoroughly overwhelmed. Don’t worry; we have your back.

Mattress protectors make sleeping better

What size mattress protector do I need?

A mattress protector must fit your mattress perfectly. In general, the size of your mattress protector should be half an inch larger in length and width than your mattress. Here are the exact sizes.

  • Twin mattress protector 39? x 75?
  • Twin XL mattress protector 39? x 80?
  • Full mattress protector 54? x 75?
  • Queen mattress protector 60? x 80?
  • King mattress protector 76? x 80?
  • California King mattress protector 72? x 84?

If you’re in the market for a protector and a mattress, many things must be considered.

For instance, consider the mattress size needed for your protector

Here are the standard mattress sizes.

  • Twin mattress 38.5” x 74.5”
  • Twin XL mattress 38.5” x 79.5”
  • Full mattress 53.5” x 74.5”
  • Queen mattress 59.5” x 79.5”
  • King mattress 75.5” x 79.5”
  • California King mattress 71.5” x 83.5”

How can a mattress protector impact your mattress’s warranty?

The three most common things that void a mattress warranty are stains, insufficient support, and removing the law tag from the mattress.


Stains are the most common cause of a voided mattress warranty. Over time, spilled liquids will wear down the materials of your mattress, causing it to deteriorate and sag.

Not to mention, stained mattresses are just unsightly and unsanitary. No company wants to return a dirty mattress to their inventory, so they can’t sell it to another customer.

Insufficient support

You should always buy a new box spring (or another frame system) with your mattress to ensure you provide the mattress with proper support. A mattress that isn’t supported will sag and become worn or ruined much faster than it should.

Using an inferior or old box spring is a sure way to void your warranty. If using a frame, ensure it has a center support bar. The frame will need at least one leg from the center bar to the ground.

Removing the law tag

Most mattresses contain a tag that says, “Do not remove under penalty of the law.” In this case, they’re not referring to any laws but to the mattress manufacturers and retailers’ stipulations.

Of course, you can cut this tag off whenever you want. However, depending on the manufacturer, remember that doing so might void your mattress warranty.

How to choose the right mattress protector

As you can see, several factors will guide your choice when selecting the best mattress protector for you and your family.

You’ll want to determine the size of your bed before you go shopping. This might seem like a no-brainer, but you must select a mattress protector that fits your bed perfectly.

There is no single best mattress cover option. You will want to consider waterproofing, breathability, and insect-repellent capabilities. If you run hot while sleeping or toss and turn often, these will also impact your decision.

If it’s important to you, you may also want to consider the maintenance of your protector and select one that is fully machine washable. If you are busy, it might be nice to strip your bed and throw the cover in the wash instead of dropping it off at the dry cleaner.

Finally, you’ll also find that mattress protectors come with differing warranties.

On average, a warranty will cover your mattress for 10 to 20 years. Some warranty periods are shorter than this average range, while other manufacturers offer lifetime warranties that provide coverage for as long as you own your mattress. And some mattress warranties may even include repair, replacement, or refund.

Best mattress protectors on the market

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to finding the best mattress protector. This purchase should be made with your unique needs and circumstances in mind. The Beloit Mattress Company is proud to offer six high-quality protectors with unique advantages.

[ listed lowest to highest in price ]

Glideaway Minima Lite Mattress Protector

  • Glideaway Minima Lite-Mattress ProtectorPrice Range In Sizes = $28.00 – $34.00
  • The Glideaway Minima Lite Mattress Protector offers a lightweight fabric with heavy-duty protection.
  • The breathable, super-smooth layer provides waterproof protection and an allergen barrier without affecting the feel and comfort of your mattress.

Shop here

Glideaway Altra Mattress Protector

  • Glideaway Altra-Mattress ProtectorPrice Range In Sizes = $46.00 – $72.00
  • The Glideaway Altra Mattress Protector offers protection with a cooling comfort layer.
  • The brushed microfiber surface provides waterproof protection and an allergen barrier with Ultra-Fresh® Product Protection and cooling Feran Ice®.

Shop here

BEDGEAR iProtect Mattress Protector

  • BEDGEAR iProtect Mattress ProtectorPrice Range In Sizes = $49.99 – $99.99
  • The BEDGEAR iProtect Mattress Protector offers simple protection at its best!
  • Engineered from breathable, moisture-wicking fabric, it’s designed to protect your mattress against spills, dust, and more.

Shop here

Protect-A-Bed Mattress Protector

  • Protect-A-Bed Mattress Protector
  • Price Range In Sizes = $59.99 – $89.99
  • The Premium mattress protector is a popular choice from the Protect-A-Bed’s® line of mattress protection products. The original mattress protector from Protect-A-Bed, their Premium mattress cover features a cotton terry towel surface for superior comfort and excellent absorbency.

Shop here

Glideaway Ikkiertok Mattress Protector

  • Glideaway Ikkiertok Mattress ProtectorPrice Range In Sizes = $102.00 – $204.00
  • The Glideaway Ikkiertok Mattress Protector offers cool-to-the-touch protection.
  • TEMPTEC™ fabric has temperature-regulating technology to repel heat and keep you cool, dry, and comfortable; plush fabric provides a cushioning layer with Ultra-Fresh® Product Protection.

Shop here

BEDGEAR Ver-Tex Mattress Protector

  • BEDGEAR Ver-Tex Mattress ProtectorPrice Range In Sizes = $219.99 – $329.99
  • BEDGEAR Ver-Tex Mattress Protector offers a revolutionary fiber that provides unparalleled climate control, ensuring a dry and comfortable sleeping environment.
  • The flexible cushioning layer dynamically responds to your motion and boosts air circulation to keep you cool.

Shop here




While cost will no doubt be a factor in your decision-making process, remember that even an expensive mattress protector is a fraction of the cost of a modern mattress. And a better mattress protector means less chance that an accident will ruin your mattress and void the warranty.

Check out our full line of mattress protectors today!



Key Takeaways

  • Mattress protectors are valuable for safeguarding mattresses from spills, stains, dust mites, bed bugs, allergens, and bodily fluids.
  • They ensure the longevity of a mattress by maintaining its warranty, as most manufacturers void warranties for stained mattresses.
  • A mattress protector prevents allergy triggers such as dust mites and pet dander from being trapped in the mattress, making it a must-have for individuals with allergies or asthma.
  • The use of a mattress protector can also provide additional comfort. Different types of protectors offer varying levels of padding and softness.
  • They are easy to clean, usually machine washable, and replaceable, making them a cost-effective solution for maintaining a hygienic sleeping environment.
  • Different types of mattress protectors include five-sided and encasement (or six-sided) protectors. The latter provides comprehensive protection and is recommended for individuals living in areas with high bed bug infestations.
  • Choosing a suitable protector involves considering factors such as the size of the mattress, the type of protection needed, the material of the protector, and the sleeper’s individual comfort preferences.




Is it okay to not use a mattress protector?

If you have money and time to burn, shopping for a new mattress with every spill or accident may work. However, investing in a high-quality mattress protector is necessary if you don’t want to waste your money or time.

Do I need a mattress pad and topper?

Since mattress pads and toppers only affect the comfortability of your mattress, this will depend on your individual wants and needs. At the same time, every mattress owner will benefit from investing in a mattress protector.

Are mattress protectors a good idea?

Mattress protectors are a great idea. Not only do they help keep your warranty valid and protect your mattress from accidents, allergens, and infestations, but they can also impact the quality of your sleep. This, in turn, will affect the quality of your health.

Do mattress protectors make a difference?

Mattress protectors do not change the feel or comfortability of your mattress. But they can significantly protect your mattress from spills, accidents, allergens, and infestations. They can also make a difference when it comes to your mattress warranty.

What’s the point of a mattress protector?

There are three main reasons to purchase a mattress protector:

  1. Mattress protection from spills, accidents, mold, and infestations.
  2. A mattress protector with cooling properties will help you sleep better, which has many health benefits.
  3. Your warranty will likely remain valid in case of a problem.



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Mattress Buying Guide  How to Experience the Best Sleep Guide


About Ryan Poppie

Ryan Poppie, President and Chief Bedmaker at The Beloit Mattress Company. He's not just a mattress maker but a true expert in sleep. Leading a 4th generation family business, Ryan uses his deep sleep knowledge to ensure every mattress made gives his customers the best rest possible. Each custom mattress is handcrafted to show his love for sleep and how it can improve our lives. With his team, Ryan's passion is to improve your quality of life through a better night's sleep.

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