Mattresses are expensive. Even the mid-range mattresses in the United States can cost you upwards of $1,000. When you drop that kind of money on a piece of furniture, you want it to last as long as possible.
Unfortunately, the mattress is also where we humans spend roughly a third of our lives. So, while investing in a quality mattress is quite important, investing in products and accessories designed to keep that mattress looking and feeling new is just as imperative.
Luckily, there are plenty of mattress encasement products available that are specifically created to protect your mattress. Of course, not all of them are made equally, and not all mattress encasement products are going to protect against all mattress enemies.
That’s where we come in. Today we are talking about the biggest threats to your mattress and how you can defend your mattress with the best mattress encasements on the market.
Let’s get started!
Dust Mites, Bed Bugs, Mold, And Stains – Why Do They Plague our Mattresses?
Our mattress is a hotbed (pun intended) for pests and mold.
It’s estimated that humans spend about 229,961 hours sleeping. This means that when all is said and done, you’ll have spent about a third of your life on your mattress. Like all things, mattresses are prone to a good amount of wear and tear, but there are a few things that can make your mattress break down more quickly than you’d like.
There are also things like bugs, molds, and mites that can cause your mattress to be an unsanitary place to sleep, disturbing your rest and exasperating symptoms of asthma and allergies.
So what are the biggest threats to your mattress, your sleep, and your overall health? Take a look.
According to the American Lung Association, 4 out of 5 American households have been found to harbor dust mites, which means they are much more common than most of us realize.
Dust mites are microscopic, which means they cannot be seen with the naked eye. They are pests closely related to ticks and spiders, as they belong to the arachnid family. This means that while they are not technically insects, they are often viewed as such.
Though dust mites often feed on dead skin cells of humans, they are not considered parasites. This is because they do not bite or feed on blood, nor do they rely on a human or animal host to survive.
They do, however, rely on humidity. Unlike most animals, dust mites absorb moisture in the air through their bodies. They have difficulty surviving in very dry, aired climates, though that doesn’t mean it’s impossible for them to live in these regions either.
Because dust mites feed on human skin cells, they typically like to congregate in beds, on bedding, and in mattresses. They build their nests in these areas and this is where their fecal matter and carcasses build up. This fecal matter and shells of dead dust mites are what lead to allergies.
In fact, dust mites are considered one of the most harmful allergen-causing pests in the United States, often leading to severely worsened symptoms of asthma over time and leading to other respiratory and health issues.
You may think of stains as your number one mattress enemy, but the truth is stains are the least of your worries. Many stains can be cleaned using a quality fabric cleaner or mattress cleaner, even if you don’t have a mattress encasement.
However, some stains may not be easily removed. This could include stains from bodily fluids from both people and pets like urine or feces. These types of stains may not only leave unsightly marks on your mattress but also lead to health issues if you are unable to properly sanitize the area.
Mattress encasements are the best way to protect your mattress from spills, stains, and accidents.
Bed bugs are becoming increasingly common in America, and they’re unfortunately found in all 50 states. Though they are not known to spread diseases or bacteria, they do cause a wide range of other health issues both emotionally and physically. Furthermore, some people are sensitive to their bites and can have severe allergic reactions.
Still, bed bugs are certainly not something you want to mess with. These tiny arachnids feed primarily on human hosts. Though they can infest any type of furniture, they often prefer beds and bedding as they can hide in crevices and folds to await a meal that is typically available to them like clockwork.
Bed bugs are tricky pests. All it takes for an infestation to begin is a single pregnant female in the home. This means getting rid of them can be quite difficult, and a large infestation may mean you must throw out your mattress to ensure you rid yourself of these nasty critters.
One of the best ways to deal with bed bugs is to be proactive. It’s best to use a year-round pest control regimen as well as to invest in a quality mattress encasement specifically designed for bed bug protection.
Mold And Mildew
Mold and mildew are other common mattress enemies you should be aware of when considering a mattress encasement. Both mold and mildew are a form of fungi, and they are common in humid environments and can often occur anywhere in the home.
When it comes to your mattress, you’re more likely to deal with mildew than mold. This is good news, as mildew grows on the surface of the mattress and can easily be wiped clean.
Mold, on the other hand, begins inside the mattress and grows upwards and out. Once you notice it on the outside of your mattress, it is often a sign that you need to replace your mattress at once.
Both mold and mildew can be harmful to people, but mold is especially harmful to those with underlying health conditions like asthma or severe allergies.
Mold and mold spores can be inhaled and cause long-term damage to the lungs and body.
The best way to deal with mold and mildew is to prevent it in the first place by investing in a quality mattress encasement or cover.
What Is A Mattress Encasement?
Mattress encasements come in different types and materials and are designed to protect your mattress.
For many people, a mattress encasement and a mattress protector are one and the same. However, there is a difference between a mattress encasement and a mattress protector, and the difference is important when considering the type of protection you’re looking to achieve.
What Is A Mattress Encasement?:
Mattress encasements actually encase your mattress and provide your mattress with 360° of protection. They often zip closed, providing a water-tight seal to prevent dust mites, mold, and even bed bugs from penetrating.
A mattress encasement is ideal for those who want:
- Full Coverage Protection
- Bed Bug Protection
- Allergy and Mold Protection
- Protection From Dust Mites
- Or Have A “High Risk” Mattress That Needs Protection
What Is A Mattress Protector?
A mattress protector is a bit more simple. This product often fits your mattress like a fitted sheet. It can be made of different types of materials and some even come with cooling technology to help you have a more comfortable night’s sleep.
Mattress protectors do protect your mattress, though they do not protect 100% of your mattress.
A mattress protector is best suited for those who need:
- Protection From Stains Or Spills
- A Mattress Protector That Fits Like A Fitted Sheet
- A Protector That Has Cooling and Breathable Technology
With that noted, let’s take a moment to cover the pros and cons of a mattress encasement vs a mattress protector, and then we’ll dive into some of the best mattress encasement and protector products available, according to experts.
Pros and Cons Of Using A Mattress Encasement Vs A Mattress Protector
Some mattress encasements can trap heat and make sleeping uncomfortable, so it’s important to get quality encasements.
Choosing between a mattress encasement and a mattress protector can be tricky, especially considering that you (likely) don’t have a crystal ball in which to tell the future. Will you be plagued with bed bugs down the road? What about mold?
Do you live in an apartment or condo? (Bed bugs are more common in these types of homes). If you’re renting a furnished room or apartment, or if you are potty training a child, you might consider a mattress encasement.
Or perhaps you are just looking for that extra bit of security for your mattress to ensure it stays clean and that you get a good nights’ rest.
Still, it can be tough to decide.
The mattress encasement or mattress cover that is right for you is going to depend on your lifestyle and preferences, and the easiest way to make that decision is to cover the pros and cons of each.
Let’s begin with the mattress encasement.
Pros Of A Mattress Encasement
- Many mattress encasements provide complete protection from pests and stains
- They are water-proof and often washer and dryer friendly
- Mattress encasements are easy to find at most major retail outlets
- Mattress encasement products can protect specifically against bed bugs, dust mites mold spores
Cons Of A Mattress Encasement
- Mattress encasements can be costly
- Not all mattress encasements protect against bed bugs
- Some rip easily, which defeats the purpose of using them
- Some do not fit like a fitted sheet and may be noticeable
- They can be difficult to put on and take off of your mattress
Now, let’s move on and look at the pros and cons of a mattress protector.
Pros Of A Mattress Protector
- A mattress protector often looks and fits like a fitted sheet
- It is washer and dryer friendly
- It can protect against spills, stains, and allergens
- Mattress protectors are easy to put on and remove
- Many mattress protectors come with breathable and even cooling technology
Cons Of A Mattress Protector
- Mattress protectors do not provide complete mattress protection
- They will not protect your mattress from bed bugs, mold spores, or 100% from dust mites
- Mattress protectors will not always protect 100% from spills or stains
- Though they often fit like fitted sheets, mattress protectors may still be detectible on a mattress
Best Mattress Protector For Moderate Protection
Mattress protectors are ideal for those looking to protect their mattress from stains and spills, but not for those worried about bed bugs or dust mites.
Mattress encasements can feel a bit intense for those who are not necessarily worried about bed bugs, specifically. For those in less humid environments, concerns about dust mites or mold spores may also be lower on the list.
If you’re more concerned about simply prolonging the life of your mattress and ensuring you protect your investment, you should be fine investing in a standard mattress protector over a mattress encasement.
Below we have listed a few of our favorite mattress protectors that are recommended by experts and have received raving reviews from those who have tried them.
MERITLIFE Waterproof Mattress Protector
One mattress protector we would recommend if you’d like to forgo getting a full-on mattress encasement is the above waterproof protector by the MERITLIFE Store. This mattress protector is affordably priced and made of waterproof bamboo fabric.
It is free of vinyl, which will help reduce overheating at night, and it fits as well as looks like a fitted sheet. It is designed to fit over the mattress pad as well, offering double the protection. It is available in two colors and five sizes, so you can find one to fit every mattress in your home.
We also like that this mattress protector is moisture-wicking, so it will even reduce humidity and could protect your mattress from a build-up of bacteria or mold.
Though this mattress cover will not provide 360° of protection, it can protect your mattress from potty training accidents, spilled drinks, pet accidents, and more.
SafeRest Hypoallergenic Waterproof Mattress Cover
Hypoallergenic mattress covers are ideal for those who are especially sensitive or suffer more severely from allergies, asthma, or eczema difficulties. Like most mattress covers, this mattress cover is designed to fit like a fitted sheet. It goes seamlessly on the bed and protects against moisture, sweat, allergens, potty training accidents, and more.
The material is made of hypoallergenic cotton and contains a waterproof membrane to protect against heavier spills. It even comes with a 10-year warranty, which we love, and we also like that this product promises not to change the feel of your mattress. In fact, this mattress cover is even registered with the FDA.
It comes in six sizes including twin, twin xl, full, queen, king, and California king.
Linenspa Mattress Protector
Last we have listed the Linenspa Mattress Protector above. This protector is a polyester blend that fits your mattress snuggly, like a fitted sheet. It is designed specifically to protect your mattress from spills, stains, allergens, and can protect the tops and sides of your mattress from dust mites.
The sides provide a 14-inch stretch to ensure the fit is snug and smooth. It also comes with a 90-day risk-free refund, which we always love. While this is a polyester blend, it should not change the feel or look of your mattress.
However, it may not be ideal for those who specifically suffer from allergies. For those who struggle with asthma, allergies, or eczema, we would recommend a hypoallergenic bed cover or mattress encasement specifically.
Best Mattress Encasement To Provide 360° Of Protection
Bed bugs are tricky pests, but remember that not all mattress encasements can protect against them.
For many people, a mattress protector may not be heavy-duty enough to protect their mattress from the very real threat of bed bugs, dust mites, and mold.
The best way to ensure you are providing your mattress with complete protection is to invest in a quality mattress encasement.
When looking for the best mattress encasement for your mattress, be sure to do your research. Avoid mattress encasement products that have poor reviews or that are not made of quality material.
We also suggest you consider mattress encasement products that provide breathability. Keep in mind that vinyl encasements may lead to an uncomfortable sleep, so it may be worth spending a bit more money on a quality mattress encasement made of softer, more durable material that is sure to last longer and be more effective in the long run.
Last, keep in mind that not all mattress encasements protect against bed bugs. When looking for the ideal mattress encasement to prevent bed bugs from infiltrating your mattress, be sure the label on the encasement you’re looking at specifically states it.
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to looking for the best mattress encasement for you, we have done our research and found several that we like most.
Utopia Bedding Waterproof Mattress Encasement
First on our list of mattress encasement products is a mattress encasement by Utopia Bedding. This product comes in six sizes, so it should fit all mattress varieties. It also provides an 11-inch deep cover. This means it may not be ideal for extra deep mattresses.
The cover zips closed to ensure a tight seal. The encasement is also stretchable, which helps it to resist tears and snags. It is made of knitted polyester fabric and is 100% waterproof. It’s also breathable, which can help make sleeping much more comfortable.
However, we should note that this mattress encasement is specifically designed to protect your mattress from spills, stains, and accidents. It is not specifically designed to protect against pests like bed bugs, so keep this in mind.
Cozy House Collection mattress Encasement
We like the Cozy House Mattress Encasement above because it comes in so many sizes and varieties. In fact, it’s available for all mattress sizes and even comes with pillow protectors and crib protectors.
The product is made of 70% bamboo rayon and 30% polyester, meaning it is soft, breathable, and comfortable. It is designed to be quiet and undetectable, which is a plus when it comes to mattress encasements.
This mattress encasement is also 100% waterproof and will protect against sweating, spills, bathroom accidents from people and pets, and more. The special membrane is designed to absorb the spill specifically, and the product can be washed and dried.
Again, like the first mattress encasement on this list, this mattress encasement does not specifically protect against bed bugs.
SureGuard Mattress Encasement
For a mattress encasement that protects against bed bugs, dust mites, allergens, and moisture, we recommend the SureGuard Mattress Encasement above. This mattress encasement is 100% waterproof and protects your mattress from stains, spills, mold, mildew, and most importantly dust mites and bed bugs.
It closes securely using a zipper and is available in all mattress sizes and ranges from 9 to 16 inches deep for extra deep mattresses.
The material is made of cotton and the zipper is especially small to keep even the smallest of bed bugs from slipping through. This mattress encasement also protects against dust and dander, so it’s a great option for those who suffer from allergies.
We like that this product is free from vinyl, which can lead to an uncomfortable and noisy sleep. Instead, it is made with 100% cotton terry and is moisture-wicking. It should also retain the look and feel of your mattress.
Linenspa Waterproof Bed Bug Mattress Encasement
Linensap is back on our list because they provide a waterproof, bed bug-proof mattress encasement. We like that this encasement is also waterproof and protects against spills, dust mites, and allergens.
It is available in several sizes and includes pillow encasements for both king and standard pillows.
The material is made of polyester and polyurethane, and the encasement comes up to 12 inches deep. This could mean it is not ideal for extra deep mattresses, so keep this in mind.
The mattress encasement also includes a 3-sided zipper to help make removal and application easier.
LUCID Mattress Encasement
Last but not least we have the LUCID Mattress Encasement. This mattress encasement is waterproof and protects against allergens, bed bugs, and dust mites. It also comes with a 15-year warranty and is available in all mattress sizes from Twin to California King.
The material is polyester and the closure includes a watertight zipper to ensure bed bugs, dust mites, dust, moisture, and mold spores can’t get through. It also comes with deep pockets if needed, ranging from 6 inches to 18 inches deep.
The product is also 100% waterproof to protect against stains and spills, and for extra bed bug protection, this mattress encasement includes a built-in bed bug flap to keep these pests out.
Other Ways To Protect Your Mattress From Pests, Stains, And Mold
Protecting your mattress can ensure it lasts longer and that you’re healthier as well.
Even with a mattress encasement or protector, it will still be important to implement good habits when it comes to your mattress care.
Bed bugs and dust mites won’t overlook your home simply because you have a mattress cover or mattress encasement, so remember that these two products will not guarantee you are safe from them.
Mold, bed bugs, dust mites, and other pests can still plague your bed, nesting in your sheets, headboard, and other soft surfaces or cracks and crevices.
Along with investing in a quality mattress encasement or mattress protector, we also suggest washing your sheets at least once a week in hot water and consider putting them in the dryer. If you have a mattress protector, it’s a good idea to wash this once a week as well.
A mattress encasement can be washed once a month or so unless it gets spilled on or soiled.
Experts also suggest that you turn back your bed in the mornings so it can air out during the day to dry any moisture accumulated overnight and thus reduce the buildup of mold.
Vacuuming your floors often can collect dust and even potential bed bugs. Be sure to dust often as well, and consider investing in dehumidifiers. Dehumidifiers can be especially beneficial if you live in more humid climates.
Last, be sure to implement a routine form of pest control. This is specifically for bed bugs, as they can be especially tricky to get rid of once you have them.
To avoid picking up bed bugs, refrain from bringing second-hand furniture into your home without thoroughly going over it and sanitizing it.
We have more tips and tricks for how to get avoid or rid of bed bugs in our other articles, but investing in a good mattress encasement or quality mattress protector is a great start.
We hope this has been a helpful guide and that you’ll now rest easier knowing whether or not a mattress encasement or protector is right for you!
Best of luck and thanks for reading!
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.