The best mattress protectors 2024: give your bed that essential final touch

Best mattress protector: quick links

One of the best mattress protectors is an absolute must-have if you want to keep your bed in top condition for longer. If you've decided to treat yourself to one of the best mattresses then you'll want to safeguard your investment against the worst that life can throw at it, and a quality mattress protector will do just that.

Mattress protectors can keep spills and stains off your mattress, as well as acting as a barrier against germs, allergens and dust mites. Most mattress protectors fit around the top and sides of your mattress, although if you want total protection you can also get full encasements that cover the entire mattress and keep out pretty much everything, including bed bugs.

We've picked out the best mattress protectors in both the US and UK, with options for all needs and budgets. You'll find everything from cheap mattress protectors for basic protection, through to waterproof protectors to guard against spills, stains and sweats, cooling covers to regulate temperatures at night, and full encasements for ultimate protection.

We've arranged things so that you can quickly find the best option for you and click straight through to buy it. For more ways to upgrade your sleep setup, read our guide to the best mattress toppers, and if you're not sure whether you need a topper or a mattress pad, our mattress pad vs mattress topper guide will explain the differences. For now, here are the the best mattress protectors you can buy in 2024... 

The best mattress protectors US

The best mattress protectors UK

Mattress protector FAQs

Are mattress protectors worth it?

Yes, mattress protectors are 100% worth the money. They are vital for prolonging the lifespan of your mattress and keeping it in tip top condition night in, night out. These fabric covers also mean you don't have to clean fully your mattress so often, as they protect against everyday stains, smells and general wear and tear. That isn't to say you can skip out on cleaning your mattress though, as that is an important aspect of care. Read our guide on how to clean a mattress for step-by-step advice.

Considering how some of the options in our best mattress protectors guide start from under $16, this is a small cost compared to the level of protection and hygiene they offer. You can usually find them at discounted prices during brand and retailer mattress sales too.

Each mattress protector or encasement comes with a long list of benefits. Some are basic designs capable of protecting your bed from spills and stains, while others are full mattress covers capable of warding off pesky bed bugs. They aren’t without their annoyances though - some are a little noisy in use - but these pale in comparison to the benefits. Especially if you find a mattress protector with a five or 10-year warranty.

Plus, if you have just invested in a new mattress and are still in your trial period, it’s essential you protect your mattress from all of the above. So if you don’t use a good quality mattress protector, and you stain it or mark it in some way, you may not be eligible for a return on the bed if you change your mind during the trial period.

When is the best time to buy a mattress protector?

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The moment that you buy a new mattress is the best time to buy a mattress protector, because if you cover it properly from the start, your mattress will stay cleaner and healthier for longer. That will help it last longer, saving you money in the long run. 

If your mattress is a few years old and you want to buy a new mattress protector to freshen things up, there are great prices available most days. We feature several affordable mattress covers in this guide, and quite often they are discounted. Some mattress manufacturers even throw in a free mattress protector as a perk when you buy a boxed mattress. 

A man cleans a mattress using a handheld vacuum cleaner

Using a good mattress protector helps your actual mattress to stay fresher for longer between cleaning (Image credit: Getty)

Outside of these scenarios, the best time to buy a mattress protector is usually when there are big, seasonal mattress sales happening. The most well-known are the Black Friday mattress deals, which arrive in late November, quickly followed by Cyber Monday mattress deals. We've seen great prices on mattress protectors during these sale periods, and while the discounts are never huge, even $10 off a mattress cover that's normally priced $30 is a generous saving.

At other times of the year, you may find decent deals during the Presidents' Day mattress sales, the Memorial Day mattress sales, and the Labor Day mattress sales. Whatever the month, the price-tracking software we use in this guide will show you the very best mattress protector prices on that day, so you'll get the cheapest options shown to you.

How often should you wash a mattress protector?

Mattress protectors are designed to withstand regular washing, though how much washing they can withstand depends on the materials the cover is made from and how well made (or not) the protector is. According to cleaning experts, you should wash a mattress protector every two months.

Think about all the sweat, dead skin and bacteria that seeps through your fitted sheet and onto the mattress cover, and it's no wonder you need to clean it far more often that your actual mattress. Want to know more about this? Then check out our feature on dust mites and sweat: what builds up on a mattress that isn't cleaned.

However there are situations where you may need to wash your mattress protector more frequently. These include illness - if you have recently been sick, it's best to strip all of your bedding, including the mattress protector, and wash them to remove any bacteria, germs and other nasties that have landed on the sheets and mattress cover. 

If you share your bed with a pet, you might want to wash your mattress protector monthly to stay on top of all the shed fur, pet dander and germs that a sleeping pet adds to bed linens and protectors. 

You'll also need to clean your mattress protector immediately if you have spilled something on it, as the faster you deal with the spillage, the less it will stain your mattress cover. Remember, the better you care for your mattress protector, the longer it can protect your mattress and save you money on looking for replacements. 

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Becks Shepherd

Becks is a lifestyle journalist who specialises in writing about wellness and home products, from mattresses to weighted blankets and cooling comforters. She loves a good pillow for drifting off easily at night, as well as a snug duvet for cozier sleeping. 

With contributions from