Best mattress protector 2021: keep your mattress clean and fresh

The best mattress protectors will protect against spills and stains, and extend the life of your mattress

best mattress protector: Simba Performance Mattress Protector
(Image credit: Simba)

The best mattress protectors are a great way to help you sleep even more soundly. These are designed to safeguard your mattress against dirt and spills, to keep your mattress clean, fresh and stain-free for longer (key if you've invested in one of today's best mattresses). The key point here is that you can bung a mattress protector into the washing machine easily to get spills and stains out and kill dust mites and the like, whereas cleaning a mattress is an altogether more complex and less effective affair. 

Here we've gathered together a selection of the best mattress protectors for all budgets and bed sizes, in one handy place. You'll find waterproof mattress protectors, cooling mattress protectors, anti-allergy mattress protectors, eco-friendly mattress protectors, and more.

The job of a mattress protector can broadly be split into three categories. The primary purpose of a mattress protector is to shield against stains, spills and other damage, helping to prolong your mattress' life. Some are waterproof, and others are water-resistant, for this reason. The second function is hygiene. Adding a removable top layer (if you mattress doesn't already have one) that can be machine-washed to get it thoroughly clean and kill off mites and other allergens, is always a good idea. Most have hypoallergenic properties built in, too. Thirdly, some mattress protectors are quilted, to add a little extra cushioning to your mattress (although if you're looking for something to change the feel of your sleep surface, consult our guide to the best mattress toppers instead). 

For all those reasons, a mattress protector is also a great idea if you're sleeping on a mattress you don't own – for example if you're a student heading off into halls or rented, furnished accommodation this year (you'll find more back to school essentials here).

All clear? Now let's kick of with our pick of the best mattress protectors in 2021. Visiting from the US? Jump straight to our top US options

The best mattress protectors 2021

Best mattress protector: Nectar Mattress Protector

(Image credit: Nectar)

1. Nectar Mattress Protector

A waterproof mattress protector with cooling properties

Specifications
Size: Single, small double, double, king, super king
Waterproof: Yes
Depth: Not stated
Machine washable: Yes to 90C
Tumble dry: No
Reasons to buy
+100% waterproof+Cooling properties+Quiet to sleep on
Reasons to avoid
-Can't be tumble dried

We think for all-found performance, the best mattress protector around is the Nectar Mattress Protector. It is made from Tencel – a material extracted from natural wood cellulose and manufactured into a very soft and ultra breathable fabric. It also boasts temperature-regulating properties that we think actually work making it a top choice if you're prone to overheating at night (head to our Nectar Mattress protector review for more info). It's dust- and allergen-resistant, and washable up to a whopping 90C if you so need. It's also completely waterproof. In fact, our only niggle is that it's not suitable for tumble drying. 

Best mattress protector: Tempur Fit Mattress Protector

(Image credit: Tempur)

The best thin mattress protector

Specifications
Size: Small single, single, double, king, super king
Material: Tencel, polyurethane
Waterproof: No - water resistant
Depth: Fits mattresses up to 30cm
Machine washable: Yes up to 60C
Tumble dry: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Breathable, absorbent Tencel+Very thin and lightweight+Can be tumble dried 
Reasons to avoid
-Water resistant, not waterproof

The Tempur Fit Mattress Protector is an ultra-thin, breathable, cotton mattress protector that 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 a Tempur memory foam mattress – 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. It's a good choice if you've shelled out for a top-quality memory foam mattress and want to full feel the top surface of that through your mattress protector. 

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 60C (which is hot enough to kill off and allergens or mites) and tumble dried, too. A three-year guarantee gives you long-term peace of mind. We think that for the money, this is the best mattress protector right now. Head to our Tempur-Fit Mattress Protector review for more info.

best mattress protector: Simba Performance Mattress Protector

(Image credit: Simba)

The best quilted mattress protector

Specifications
Sizes: Single, small double, double, king, super king, plus EU sizes
Waterproof: No
Depth: Suitable for mattresses up to 40cm
Machine washable: Yes to 40C
Tumble dry: Yes on cool
Reasons to buy
+Luxuriously quilted+Soft and comfortable+Lots of sizes
Reasons to avoid
-Only washable to 40C-Not waterproof

If you're looking for a mattress protector with a little extra luxury, the Simba Performance mattress protector has a 200 thread count cotton, quilted top that's super-soft to touch. It's functional too – the headline feature is so-called Bi-Ome technology that 'specifically attracts microorganisms' and eliminates them on contact. You're relying on that working because it's only washable to 40C, which isn't hot enough to reliably kill off dust mites and other allergens (for that you need 54.4C). There's also a Polypropylene layer to protect your mattress from liquids, although note this one's not waterproof. Our reviewer found it cosy, comfy and good quality, but noted that the thicker design might not be the best choice if you sleep hot – head to our full Simba Performance mattress protector review for more info. 

Best mattress protector: Panda Eco mattress protector

(Image credit: Panda)

4. Panda Eco mattress protector

An eco-friendly mattress protector with temperature regulating properties

Specifications
Size: Cot to super king, and EU sizes
Waterproof: Yes
Depth: 32cm
Machine washable: Yes up to 50C
Tumble dry: Yes on low (but better not to)
Reasons to buy
+Regulates nighttime temperature+Bamboo fabric is naturally hypoallergenic and antimicrobial+Eco-friendly brand+30 night trial
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 draws out 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.

We're big fans of Panda's bedding – find out more in our Panda memory foam bamboo pillow review and Panda Cloud duvet review.

Best mattress protector: Brook + Wilde mattress protector

(Image credit: Brook + Wilde)

5. Brook + Wilde Mattress Protector

A luxurious mattress protector from a premium brand

Specifications
Size: Single, double, king, super king
Waterproof: No
Depth: Not stated
Machine washable: Yes at 40C
Tumble dry: Not stated
Reasons to buy
+Thermoregulating fibre+Hypoallergenic
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey

Brook + Wilde specialises in luxurious mattresses (head to our Brook + Wilde Elite mattress review for more info), and its mattress protector is equally good quality. This one's all about keeping you cool and refreshed at night; it's filled with a mix of thermoregulating microfibre and Modal, with a cover made of textured, breathable microfibre, and it's designed to fit snugly onto your mattress. It's hypoallergenic and washable at 60 degrees, and you can pop it in the tumble dryer safely. 

Best mattress protector: Fogarty Soft Touch Mattress Protector

(Image credit: Fogarty)

6. Fogarty Soft Touch Mattress Protector

The best cheap mattress protector

Specifications
Sizes: Single, Double, Kingsize, Super Kingsize
Waterproof: No
Depth : Fits mattresses up to 30cm deep
Machine washable: Yes
Tumble dry: Yes on low
Reasons to buy
+Smooth feel and low price+Uses some recycled fibres+Easy fitting
Reasons to avoid
-Not the highest quality materials-Not waterproof

This quilted mattress protector feels luxuriously smooth and silky to the touch, so the low price came as quite a surprise to us. The Fogarty Soft Touch Mattress Protector is lovely in use too: embossed with a microfibre cover, it's filled with hollowfibre for added comfort and has elasticated corners for easy fitting. It's also machine washable, suitable for mattresses up to 30cm deep, and a deeper 35cm option is also available. Overall, then, although this isn't the highest quality mattress protector on our list, particularly in terms of the materials used, it's certainly a great option if you're counting the pennies.

Best mattress protector: Little Green Sheep Organic Waterproof Crib Mattress Protector

(Image credit: The Little Green Sheep)

7. The Little Green Sheep Organic Waterproof Crib Mattress Protector

The best mattress protector for cribs and play mats

Specifications
Size: 38x89cm
Waterproof: Yes
Depth : 1cm
Machine washable: Yes at 40C
Tumble dry: Yes on low
Reasons to buy
+Waterproof+Light on crinkling+No fitting required
Reasons to avoid
-One size only

This oh-so-soft mattress protector for crib mattresses is made from a breathable, extra absorbent cotton, creating a sleeping environment for your child that’s both dry and comforting. This cover is not fitted, but lies flat, so the sides of the mattress can breathe. Meanwhile, an Oeko-Tex Class 1 (Baby) waterproof membrane helps protects against accidents and protect against dust mites. The Little Green Sheep Organic Waterproof Crib Mattress Protector is also machine-washable, tumble dryer-safe and best of all, light on noisy crinkling, however much your little one tosses and turns. And as the mattress is flat, not fitted, it is suitable for not only most cribs, but also play mats and changing mats.

Not kitted out with a mattress yet? Head to our guide to the best mattress for toddlers

Best mattress protector: Sealy Balance mattress protector

(Image credit: Sealy)

8. Sealy Balance mattress protector

Another good budget option

Specifications
Sizes: Single, double king, super king
Waterproof: No
Depth: Suitable for mattresses up to 28cm
Machine washable: Yes
Tumble dry: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Soft exterior+Springy inside+Hypoallergenic
Reasons to avoid
-Not waterproof

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 for the most restless of sleepers. 

Best mattress protector: Emma Mattress Protector

(Image credit: Emma)

9. Emma Mattress Protector

A lot of protection from our favourite mattress brand

Specifications
Size: Single, small double, double, king, super king
Material: Polyester
Waterproof: Yes
Depth: 25cm
Machine washable: Not stated
Tumble dry: Not stated
Reasons to buy
+100% waterproof+Allergen-resistant
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Quite shallow

The Emma Original is one of our very favourite mattresses, and this brand's mattress protector impresses too. It features a 100% waterproof EmmaGuard layer that protects your mattress from spills, crumbs and anything else that might mess up your bed, and it's made with an AllergyShield technology that's clinically proven to protect you from dust mites and pet hair allergens. Best of all it's thoroughly breathable and crinkle-free. Hunting for a bargain? Check out the best Emma mattress discount codes and deals live now. 

Best mattress protector US

Best mattress protector: Purple Mattress Protector

(Image credit: Purple)

1. Purple Mattress Protector

Advanced spill protection makes this worth the price tag

Specifications
Size: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, Cal king
Material: Polyester, Spandex and polyurethane
Waterproof: Water-resistant
Reasons to buy
+Dual-layer spill protection+Stain-resistant
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

Another mattress protector from the pricier end of the market, this one from Purple has a stack of positive reviews suggesting that it's well worth the extra expense. Its headline feature is its dual-layer spill protection that not only prevents spills from soaking through into your mattress, but also dissipates them so they don't create a puddle if you're exceptionally clumsy with your bedside glass of water.

As well as protecting your mattress from whatever you care to throw at it, the Purple mattress protector is also stain-resistant and machine-washable, making it nice and easy to keep clean. It's pricey, though, so check out the best current Purple promo codes and coupons before hitting buy.

Best mattress protector: Tuft & Needle mattress protector

(Image credit: Tuft & Needle)

2. Tuft & Needle Mattress Protector

A soft and waterproof protector that'll also keep you cool at night

Specifications
Size: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, Cal king
Material: Polyester, nylon and polyurethane
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Heat-dissipating cover+Waterproof

Tuft & Needle has designed its mattress protector to complement all the best things about its own mattresses, giving it an ultra-soft cover that dissipates heat so you don't get too warm in the night, and supplementing that with a layer of polyurethane film that'll completely protect your mattress from spillages.

To keep things nice and quiet it features a luxe bottom layer that's completely crinkle-free, and the whole thing's made in a fitted sheet style that'll fit snugly onto any mattress up to 14 inches deep. It can be machine washed in cold water, and dried either on a line or in a tumble dryer with no heat.

best mattress protector: Casper mattress protector

(Image credit: Casper)

3. Casper Mattress Protector

The best thin and stretchy mattress protector

Specifications
Size: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, Cal king
Material: Polyester, Thermoplastic Polyurethane, Spandex
Waterproof: Water resistant
Reasons to buy
+Designed to promote airflow+Fits most mattresses+Soft and quiet cover
Reasons to avoid
-Not waterproof (there is a waterproof option though)

Casper has two mattress protectors in its range, and our pick is the 'Breathable Mattress Protector'. This one has a spacer knit design that's meant to promote airflow, as well as being machine-washable and sporting a fluorine-free, water-resistant finish to protect against spills. The stretchy, thin fabric should fit any mattress up to 16-inches deep, and is designed to hug the mattress closely so you don't notice it's there, meaning it won't impede the feeling of your plush memory foam, for example. 

If you need something hardier, you'll want to go for Casper's other option: the Casper Waterproof Mattress Protector. The brand says this is "everything-proof", as well as being designed to be crinkle-free, so you don't feel like you're laid on a waterproof layer. 

Best mattress protector: Leesa mattress protector

(Image credit: Leesa)

4. Leesa Mattress Protector

A great way to keep your mattress dry, clean and fresh

Specifications
Size: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, Cal king
Waterproof: Moisture protection
Reasons to buy
+Five-sided moisture protection+Anti-microbial treatment+Easy to wash

Like many of the protectors featured here, this mattress protector from Leesa ticks most of the boxes: it's water-resistant with five-sided moisture protection, and it features an anti-microbial treatment to help keep things clean and fresh. Depending on the size you choose it'll fit any mattress up to 17.5 inches thick (smaller options don't go quite so deep, and it's easy to look after; just throw it in the washer and dryer on a hot setting. One thing to bear in mind is that Leesa recommends giving its mattress protector a wash before you use it, which it says will help reduce any noise. The last thing you want is to be kept up all night by a crinkly mattress protector, right?