The best mattress protectors in 2019: waterproof, cotton and cooling covers

Whether you’re looking for a waterproof mattress protector, cotton, luxury or another option, here are the best covers to keep your mattress as good as new

best mattress protector 2019

You need the best mattress protector you can afford to keep your mattress fresh and in great condition. After all, if you've invested in the best mattress for your budget, you'll want it to last as long as the manufacturer promises – which is where using an excellent mattress protector comes in. 

Whether you're looking for a waterproof mattress protector, cotton mattress protector, something cooling, anti-allergy or otherwise, we've got you covered. In this guide, you'll find the best mattress protectors for all budgets and bed sizes.

(Alternatively, if your mattress has already gone past peak performance, you might be better off buying a quality mattress topper instead.)

Why do you need a mattress protector?

The best mattress protectors don't just shield against stains. They also serve an important role in dust-mite defence – and provide an extra padded layer of cushiony comfort too. If you opt for a waterproof mattress protector, you'll be treated to a layer of waterproofing as well, which will protect your mattress from any potentially damaging liquids, while keeping you dry and comfortable.

Right now, we think the best mattress protector you can buy is the Tempur Fit Mattress Protector – it's waterproof, breathable, machine-washable, and so thin you'll barely know it's there.  If you suffer from allergies, look to the White Company Luxury Anti-Allergy Mattress Protector for relief. Or if you tend to overheat, give the Snuggledown Proactiv Mattress Protector with its absorbent Tencel fibres a go. Here's our pick of the best mattress protectors for sale right now...

The best mattress protectors

Best mattress protector: Tempur Fit Mattress Protector

1. Tempur Fit Mattress Protector

The best mattress protector right now, with a cleverly waterproofed cover

Specifications
Best for: All-round
Suitable for: mattress depths of 21-27 cm
Size: Small single, single, double, king, super king
Material: Tencel, polyurethane
Quilted: No
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Breathable, absorbent Tencel+Waterproofing without discomfort+Can be tumble dried 
Reasons to avoid
-Not the cheapest

The words “waterproof mattress protector” might summon up images of crinkly plastic sheets, but the Tempur Fit Mattress Protector is an ultra-thin, breathable, cotton mattress protector that puts paid to that idea straight away. Rather than employing a sweaty plastic layer to deal with spills and leaks, it uses a smart polyurethane membrane in conjunction with a breathable, absorbent Tencel surface layer to keep things dry, comfortable and undamaged. 

Ideal for use with Tempur memory foam mattresses – but suitable for any single, double, king or king size mattress with a depth of 21-27cm – it has an easy stretch design and deep sides to cover all eventualities. Feeling lazy? You can choose to sleep on it directly – like a sheet – or underneath your favourite bed sheets, as usual. It can also be machine washed at up to 90C (and tumble dried up to 70C), while a three-year guarantee gives you long-term peace of mind. We think that for the money, the Tempur Fir Mattress Protector is the best mattress protector right now.  

Best Mattress Protector: Nectar

2. Nectar Mattress Protector

A brilliant temperature-regulating, breathable mattress protector

Specifications
Best for: Over-heaters
Size: Single, small double, double, king, super king
Material: Tencel jersey and polyester
Quilted: No
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+100% waterproof+Eco choice+Good if you get hot at night
Reasons to avoid
-Only returnable if unopened or faulty

Like the Tempur above, the Nectar Mattress Protector is made from Tencel – a material extracted from natural wood cellulose and manufactured into a very soft and ultra breathable fabric. That makes this temperature-regulating mattress protector great for anyone who tends to overheat at night. More absorbent than cotton, and softer and cooler than linen, Tencel is extremely eco-friendly, so it's also a good choice for those with an eye on caring for the environment, too. It’s also – the makers claim – a 100% waterproof mattress protector. It certainly seemed to take what we threw at it with ease, although we have to confess that with no toddlers in the house, we possibly didn’t test it to the limit. Nevertheless, if you tend to overheat, the Nectar mattress protector is a particularly fine choice. 

Best mattress protector: The White Company Luxury Anti-Allergy

3. The White Company Luxury Anti-Allergy Mattress Protector

This hypoallergenic cotton mattress protector is the best choice for allergies

Specifications
Best for: Allergies
Size: Cot, single, double, king, super king, emperor
Material: Cotton
Quilted: No
Waterproof: No
Reasons to buy
+Great for allergy sufferers+Sizes from cot to emperor

A clinically useful mattress protector doesn’t always have to look like one. This geometric quilted mattress protector from The White Company wouldn’t look out of place in a luxury hotel, so if you’re big on Insta-ready roomscapes, but not so big on bed bugs, you might want to take a look at something like this. The pure cotton mattress cover is filled with plush layers for comfort, and finished off with a hygiene treatment to stop dust mites and bacteria from settling, making it our best mattress protector for allergy sufferers.

Best mattress protector: Slumberdown Teflon

4. Slumberdown Teflon mattress protector

A great value protector with Teflon technology to keep your mattress fresh

Specifications
Best for: easy care
Sizes: Single, double, king
Material: Teflon, polyester
Quilted: Yes
Waterproof: No
Reasons to buy
+Great value+Reinforced elasticated straps+Machine and tumble dryer friendly
Reasons to avoid
-Not suitable for mattresses deeper than 30cm

You might be forgiven for thinking that a Teflon coating is just for frying pans, but in this case it serves to protect your mattress – old or new – from sweat, pets and occasional spills. Although the Slumberdown Teflon mattress protector is more water resistant than waterproof, it does ensure that small spills run off rather than soak in, and can be quickly wiped to prevent leakage and staining of the mattress below. The outer is soft to the touch (reviewers on Amazon agree, saying that they're particularly happy with the quality finish and soft outer of this mattress protector). It's also machine washable and can be popped into a tumble dryer too, so even if it does have to cope with the worst, it can be quickly cleaned and put back on the bed within a few hours. If you're looking for a brilliant budget mattress protector, this is an excellent choice.

Best mattress protector: Emma Smartsleeve

5. Emma Smartsleeve Mattress Protector

Add a touch of luxury with this softly cushioned mattress protector

Specifications
Best for: allergy sufferers, luxury
Sizes: Single, EU single, small double, double, EU double, king, EU king, super-king
Material: Polyester
Quilted: No
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Soft, cushioned top+Non-allergenic breathable structure+100-night returns policy
Reasons to avoid
-Can’t tumble-dry

At almost £100 when last price checked, the Emma Smartsleeve Mattress Protector from one of our favourite memory foam mattress brands isn’t the cheap option. However, we feel it’s definitely worth the investment. The fitted sheet sides ensure it sits firmly on the mattress, while special fibres make it antibacterial, with tests showing it to have more than 89% fewer dust mite allergens than other mattress covers. Reviewers on the Emma site agree that it helps with hay fever and other allergies. Meanwhile, the top layer is cushioned, providing a comfortable base whether it’s on top of a brand new or older mattress. It’s also waterproof and washable at 60˚C, ensuring any accidents are easily washed away. If you're looking for a touch of luxury, this is one of the best mattress protectors you can buy.

Snuggledown Proactiv Mattress Protector

6. Snuggledown Proactiv Mattress Protector

A top mattress protector for temperature regulation

Specifications
Best for: Regulating temperature
Size: Single, double, king, super king
Material: Polyester, Tencel
Quilted: No
Waterproof: No
Reasons to buy
+Breathable and wicking fibres+Ethical and eco-friendly production
Reasons to avoid
-Wash temperature limits

Who knew you could put sports-inspired materials and technology to work even while you’re sleeping? Snuggledown did, and thus this high-tech mattress protector was born. Naturally sourced and super-absorbent Tencel fibres are combined with micro polyesters to wick away moisture for a non-sticky sleep, even on balmy nights. Plus, responsible sourcing, lower-waste production, and UK manufacturing to reduce the Snuggledown Proactiv Mattress Protector's carbon footprint mean you can rest easy in more ways than one.

Best mattress protector: Panda Eco

7. Panda Eco mattress protector

The best mattress protector for sensitive skin or eczema

Specifications
Best for: sensitive skin
Size: EU single, EU double, EU king, emperor, twin, UK double, UK king, UK super king
Material: Cotton and bamboo rayon mix
Quilted: No
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Regulates nighttime temperature+Machine washable and suitable for tumble-drying+Two-year guarantee
Reasons to avoid
-Takes a while to dry when washed

Created from a blend of bamboo rayon and cotton, the Panda Bamboo Mattress Protector is a durable, breathable mattress protector. It's hypoallergenic, naturally antibacterial, and tested and certified by OEKO-TEX Standard 100, meaning it’s resistant to mould, fungi, mildew and dust mites. It wicks away moisture too, so as well as being a great choice for the more eco-minded – bamboo rayon takes a third less water to produce than cotton – it’s also good for people who overheat at night. The waterproof layer is thin and light and, more importantly we feel, doesn’t produce a nasty crinkling sound when you lie on it, like some cheaper waterproof mattress protectors.  

Best mattress protector: Sealy Balance

8. Sealy Balance mattress protector

A comfortable, cushioned mattress protector that won’t ruck or clump however restlessly you sleep

Specifications
Best for: Cushioning, restless sleepers
Sizes: Single, double king, super king
Material: Microfibre outer, DuPont fibre interior
Quilted: Yes
Waterproof: No
Reasons to buy
+Soft exterior, springy inside+Hypoallergenic
Reasons to avoid
-Won’t fit deeper mattresses

The neat parallel-line quilting of the Sealy Balance mattress protector ensures the filling of smooth, silk-like springy Serica fibre stays evenly distributed inside. This gives you a balanced, relaxed and comfortable night, while at the same time protecting your mattress from minor spills. The elastic straps aren’t the most robust we encountered, which might not make it the best choice for extra deep mattresses. But they did keep the protector in place even when sitting below the most restless of sleepers. 

John Lewis Specialist Quilted Mattress Protector

9. John Lewis Specialist Quilted Mattress Protector

The best waterproof protector for deep-sided mattresses

Specifications
Best for: Deep mattresses
Size: Single, double, king, super king
Material: Polyester, cotton, polyurethane
Quilted: Yes
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Low-key, effective waterproofing+Very comfortable
Reasons to avoid
-Synthetic

The John Lewis Specialist Quilted Mattress Protector has the benefit of being waterproof with none of the squeaking or crinkling you might expect. Users say you’d never know it was a waterproof mattress protector, and that while it’s held up well to complete soakings, it offers a superbly comfortable sleeping experience too. How? Magic, we suspect, but with the sheer volume of rave reviews we’re not going to question it. How it differs from our other picks, though, is in its dimensions, as this one is recommended for very thick, deep-sided mattresses that are often stumped by regular bedding. If that's what you have, this is the best mattress protector for you.

Best mattress protector: Soak & Sleep Waterproof Anti-Bed Bug

10. Soak & Sleep Waterproof Anti-Bed Bug mattress protector

A soft jersey cover that provides all-round protection for your mattress

Specifications
Best for: whole mattress coverage
Sizes: Cot bed, single, small double, double, king, super king, emperor
Material: Jersey cotton and polyurethane
Quilted: No
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Soft jersey cotton top+Adjustable for 30cm and 40cm depths +Zip closure with Velcro tabs
Reasons to avoid
-Not suitable for bedwetters

Encasing the mattress completely, with a zip and Velcro fastenings to ensure it stays firmly in place, the Soak & Sleep Waterproof Anti-Bed Bug mattress protector is jersey-cotton topped, and a good choice for renters, giving total all-round protection on pre-used beds. Although the TPU waterpoof layer isn’t likely to cope with regular bedwetters, it’s quiet and more than capable of repelling smaller accidents, preventing the mattress underneath from minor stains from the odd water or tea spill. Trustpilot reviews loved the fit and quality as do Which? reviewers. It can be machine washed at 40˚C and carries a two-year guarantee.