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Best Pillow Protectors – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Written by Keith Cushner

Quick Overview

Pillows can play an important role in the quality of sleep. One part of this is how clean a pillow is. Even in perfectly clean sleep environments, pillows absorb dust, allergens, pollen, and dander from the air and the sleeper. This can be an irritant to some individuals. To help keep pillows from absorbing these, pillow protectors offer a shield.

Especially important to those with allergies or prone to nasal or skin irritation, pillow protectors are a simple way to keep the pillow from absorbing allergens in the air. Some pillow protectors offer a waterproofing layer, keeping pillows free from spills and stains. A pillow protector can lengthen a pillow’s average lifespan.

Below we’ll go over the highlights of our top four picks for pillow protectors. We’ll also cover what buyers should know before purchasing pillow protectors. Our research is based on verified customer feedback, sleep expert consultation, and our extensive in-house testing.

Best Pillow Protectors

The Best Pillow Protectors - Reviewed

Best OverallEverlasting Comfort Waterproof Pillow Protector

Best Overall – Everlasting Comfort Waterproof Pillow Protector

Highlights

  • Fabric is soft and breathable
  • Fully waterproof
  • Zipper closure for added protection
  • 100% cotton terry exterior with polyurethane membrane backing layer
  • 30-day return policy
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Best OverallEverlasting Comfort Waterproof Pillow Protector

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The Everlasting Comfort Waterproof Pillow Protector is a standout product thanks in part to its high-quality construction. The exterior is composed of cotton terry that gives the surface a soft and breathable feel, while the polyurethane backing provides full waterproof protection against any fluid. A tight weave helps the fabric hold up over time, so washing and drying in household machines shouldn’t cause too much early wear and tear.

The protector is equipped with a zipper closure. This provides more security for the pillow compared to open-ended protectors with envelope closures. The waterproof membrane is also engineered to promote airflow and trap a minimal amount of heat. Standard, queen, and king sizes are available.

The protector is sold in bundles of two or four, all of which carry affordable price-points. Each order is also backed by a lifetime warranty for added peace of mind.

Good for:

  • Hot sleepers
  • People who are prone to night sweats
  • Value seekers

Best WaterproofUltraBlock Waterproof Pillow Protector

Best Waterproof - UltraBlock Waterproof Pillow Protector

Highlights

  • Sofr outer cover
  • Thin but durable material won’t change the feel of the pillow
  • 100% cotton terry fabric with waterproof polyurethane inner layer
  • Protects pillow from allergens
  • Machine-washable
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Best WaterproofUltraBlock Waterproof Pillow Protector

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Sold in packs of two, the UltraBlock Waterproof Pillow Protector shields pillows from saliva, perspiration, spills, or any liquid that may seep into and damage the pillow. They’re available in standard, queen, and king sizes.

The outer layer of these pillow protectors is 100% cotton terry, making for a soft and hypoallergenic layer. Under this is a layer of polyurethane, ensuring the pillow protector repels liquids. Additionally, these protectors keep dust mites, allergens, bacteria, and mold out of pillows.

The pillow protectors are easy to clean in the washing machine and are a good choice for sleepers with allergies or those who often wake up with nasal congestion.

UltraBlock offers a 20-year warranty, which is much longer than the average pillow protector in terms of warranty coverage.

Good for:

  • Those looking for noiseless and durable waterproof pillow protectors
  • Sleepers with allergies looking for a protective barrier to keep pillows clean
  • Those with sensitive skin looking for soft 100 percent cotton pillow protectors

Best HypoallergenicLucid Premium Hypoallergenic Pillow Protector

Best Hypoallergenic -

Highlights

  • Soft outer fabric
  • Breathable material allows for airflow but keeps out liquid and allergens
  • Waterproof layer is thin and doesn’t produce noise
  • 100% cotton terry outer material with polyurethane backing
  • 15-year warranty
Our readers can purchase a set of LUCID Premium Hypoallergenic Pillow Protector at the lowest price.
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Best HypoallergenicLucid Premium Hypoallergenic Pillow Protector

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The Premium Hypoallergenic Pillow Protector from Lucid comes in sets of two in standard, queen, and king sizes.

These protectors are made with 100% cotton terry for a hypoallergenic surface. Below that is a thin waterproof layer that is vinyl-free. To best preserve pillows, these protectors will keep out all liquid and common allergens like dust, pollen, and pet dander.

The cotton terry exterior is breathable, allowing for enough airflow to keep the pillow cool at night. The thin waterproof layer ensures the pillow won’t absorb any spills or saliva, keeping the pillow clean and allowing for the longest lifespan possible. This cover is thin enough that it won’t change the shape or feel of your pillow.

Lucid’s Premium Hypoallergenic Pillow Protectors come with a 15-year warranty.

Good for:

  • Sleepers looking for a hypoallergenic pillow protectors
  • Those wishing to ensure the pillow stays dry and free of allergens
  • Those who want a hypoallergenic and waterproof pillow protector that is also breathable

Best for Cooling PillowsCoolShields Waterproof Pillow Protector

Best for Cooling Pillows – CoolShields Waterproof Pillow Protector

Highlights

  • Exterior is exceptionally soft
  • Lining fabric designed to keep out dust mites and other allergens
  • Zipper closure
  • Tencel-polyester exterior with microfiber lining and polyurethane membrane backing
  • 30-day return policy
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Best for Cooling PillowsCoolShields Waterproof Pillow Protector

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As handy as pillow protectors are, many sleepers complain about a lack of breathability – an issue often attributed to the waterproof membranes absorbing and trapping heat. The CoolShields Waterproof Pillow Protector mitigates heat retention with an exterior made from a blend of polyester and Tencel. The latter is a highly breathable fabric derived from eucalyptus that also has a silky-soft hand-feel. As a result, the protector should sleep noticeably cooler than those with 100% polyester covers.

Microfiber lining adds to the protector’s softness and is also intended to prevent dust mites and other allergens from entering the pillow. A zipper closure provides added protection. A thin polyurethane membrane safeguards the pillow from spills and liquid damage. The protector is fully machine-washable.

Standard, queen, and king sizes are available. The protector is sold in two-pack bundles.

Good for:

  • Those who normally find pillow protectors too rough or coarse
  • Hot sleepers
  • Value seekers

Pillow Protector Buying Guide

A simple way to keep pillows clean and free of allergens is by covering the pillow with a pillow protector. These come in a range of sizes and serve different purposes. Some are waterproof while others focus on breathability. Here are some things to keep in mind before buying pillow protectors. Below we’ll cover the pros and cons of using pillow protectors, the benefits of different materials, and how to clean them.

What Is a Pillow Protector?

No matter how clean the sleeping environment is, bedding, including pillows, will naturally absorb allergens in the air. Dust, pollen, dead skin cells, and dander buildup can cause some sleepers to wake up with nasal congestion or allergy symptoms.

Pillow protectors serve as a barrier between these allergens and the pillow, inhibiting the pillow from absorbing them. This can be especially important for sleepers prone to allergies.

Pillows go directly into the pillow protector. Most have a zipper closure to ensure the pillow is fully protected. This also makes it simple to remove for cleaning. The pillow case then goes over the pillow with the protector on. This cover provides additional protection to the pillow, keeping it clean. Some pillow protectors also offer waterproof protection which keeps the pillow safe from stains.

Pillow protectors are made from a tightly woven material. This weave is tight enough to block airborne allergens from getting trapped inside the pillow. This can lengthen a pillow’s lifespan and help with odor control.

Pros and Cons of Pillow Protectors

  • Can lengthen a pillow’s lifespan by keeping it clean
  • Serves as a barrier between allergens, liquid (waterproof versions), and the pillow
  • Easier to wash than a pillow
  • Beneficial for those with allergies or those who wake up with nasal congestion

Cons

  • Some use fabrics that produce noise when the sleeper moves around
  • Some make it more difficult for air to escape the pillow, creating a ballooning effect

Different Types of Pillow Protectors

Not all pillow protectors work in the same way. Here are some common types of pillow protectors.

  • Hypoallergenic: These protectors specialize in keeping the pillow from absorbing materials that some sleepers may find irritating. Dust, pollen, pet dander, and dead skin cells can all cause some sleepers to experience nasal congestion while sleeping, compromising the quality of sleep.
  • Waterproof: Some pillow protectors are designed with a soft outer layer and a waterproof inner layer, keeping the pillow from absorbing any liquids from spills, perspiration, or saliva. This prevents stains, keeps pillows clean, and can ensure pillows remain free from any odors.
  • Temperature-Regulating: Pillow protectors that specialize in breathability block out any allergens from getting trapped in the pillow, but are made of a fabric and weave that allows for optimal airflow. Those looking for a pillow protector who sleep hot or sleep in warm environments will benefit from one that is designed for temperature regulation and won’t trap in heat.

Pillow Protector Care and Maintenance

Most pillow protectors can be machine washed. Some are safe to put in the dryer on a low setting while others should be line dried. Always follow the pillow protector laundering instructions. Pillow protectors should be washed as often as pillowcases – once per week.

While pillow protectors block allergens from entering the pillow, allergens may settle onto the pillow protector itself, so it’s important to launder them regularly to maintain a clean sleeping environment.

What Else Should You Consider When Buying Pillow Protectors?

  • Sleep Trial and Warranty: Some brands of pillow protectors come with a sleep trial, allowing customers to try the product at home and return it if it’s not a good fit for the sleeper. If you’re not sure you’ll like a particular pillow protector, buying one with a sleep trail is a good idea. Additionally, some brands offer warranties on manufacturing defects while others do not.
  • Materials: Pillow protectors can be made from a variety of materials. Some contain polyurethane, vinyl, or plastic to add a waterproof feature while others are 100 percent cotton. If you have a fabric or material preference, be sure to check the material composition prior to purchase.
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