The Best Waterproof Mattress Pads and Protectors – Reviews and Buying Guide

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Quick Summary

One of the biggest threats to the lifespan of a mattress is a nasty spill or accident. The introduction of moisture to a mattress can lead to stains, mold, and other degradation that erodes the longevity of your bed. Whether you’ve just purchased a new mattress or are trying to make an older one last as long as possible, a waterproof mattress pad or protector can help prevent this kind of damage.

There are numerous waterproof products on the market and considerable diversity in the quality and cost of these products. In this guide, we’ll give an overview of the benefits of a waterproof mattress pad or protector, discuss tips for how to choose one, and provide a list of the best waterproof mattress pads and protectors available to you right now. Our picks are based on verified owner and customer experiences, as well as intensive product research and analysis.

The Best Waterproof Mattress Pads and Protectors of 2019

Editor’s Pick – Nectar Mattress Protector

Best Cooling – Bear Protector

Best for Added Comfort – Helix Mattress Protector

Best Organic Option – PlushBeds Organic Cotton Mattress Protector

Best Value – SafeRest Premium Mattress Protector

Best Luxury – Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Mattress Protector

How We Decided
24 mattress pads and protectors considered –– 52 hours of research –– 4 sleep experts consulted

Best Waterproof Mattress Pads and Protectors – Tuck's Top 6 Picks

Nectar Mattress Protector – Editor's Pick

Highlights
  • 100% waterproof material
  • 22″ pocket depth
  • Padded cotton top for extra softness
  • 50-night sleep trial and 5-year warranty

The Nectar Mattress Protector is our standout pick for several reasons. The product effectively protects beds against dirt, dust, and allergens. In addition to being waterproof, the protector is also stain-resistant; owners do not need to worry about liquids seeping through and damaging the mattress. Thanks to a cotton cover and quilted surface, the protector also feels soft and provides noticeable padding.

The Nectar Mattress Protector can be washed and dried in conventional machines, making it fairly low-maintenance in terms of care. It also fits most beds sold today thanks to its 22″ pocket depth, which is much deeper than the average protector. Currently, the product is available for $99, which is cheaper than average. Nectar Sleep also offers free shipping in the contiguous U.S., and backs the protector with a 50-night trial and a five-year warranty.

Bear Protector – Best Cooling

Highlights
  • HeiQ Adaptive Fabric keeps you cool and dry
  • 20″ pocket depth
  • Compatible with mattresses that have Celliant technology
  • 100-night sleep trial and 10-year warranty

The Bear Protector is a good pick for anyone who wants a pad that can keep their mattress safe from spills while also keeping them cool and comfortable through the night. Using HeiQ Adaptive Fabric, the protector holds up well against all kind of spills. The material is also breathable, helping to wick moisture and excess heat away from the sleeper’s body. For people who use mattresses with Celliant technology (such as the Bear Mattress), this pad is compatible and does not interrupt the infrared energy and heat transfer from that material.

With its soft surface and special non-polyurethane material, the Bear Protector stays extremely quiet even when you move on it. It also provides a defense against allergens and dust, and stretches to cover mattresses up to 20” tall. Bear offers free shipping throughout the contiguous U.S. The protector is backed by a 100-night trial and 10-year warranty, both of which are longer than average.

Helix Mattress Protector – Best Added Comfort

Highlights
  • Stretchy polyester cover adds softness
  • 14″ pocket depth
  • Breathable surface maintains airflow and keeps you dry
  • 100-night sleep trial and 1-year warranty

The Helix Mattress Protector is made from a combination of polyester and TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane). The polyester in the top layer is extra soft; even though it is a thin layer of material, it provides added cushioning without changing the overall feel of the mattress. The TPU is a strong waterproofing material that will keep your mattress safe from stains and moisture.

Skirting goes around the sides to hold the pad in place, and the material is virtually noiseless, preventing the crinkly sound associated with some other mattress protectors. It can be machine washed and dried, so any spills are easy to resolve. Helix offers free shipping to all 50 states; the protector is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and 1-year warranty.

PlushBeds Organic Cotton Mattress Protector – Best Organic Option

Highlights
  • Certified organic cotton jersey with polyurethane laminate
  • 14″ pocket depth
  • Available in 8 sizes
  • 5-year warranty

The PlushBeds Organic Cotton Mattress Protector offers a different feel from other waterproof covers. It is made of GOTS-certified organic cotton with a thin strip of polyurethane laminate to safeguard against water and other liquid spills. As a result, the protector feels much softer and less slippery than those made entirely from polyurethane or similar synthetics. The organic cotton is also highly breathable, which can be beneficial for hot sleepers.

PlushBeds does not treat the protector with any chemicals or dyes, and the protector comes in eco-friendly biodegradable packaging made from corn and hemp. The pocket depth is 14″, meaning the protector will fit most high-profile mattresses. It can be washed and dried in a machine, as well. PlushBeds offers free shipping in the contiguous U.S. and backs the protector with a five-year warranty.

SafeRest Premium Mattress Protector – Best Value

Highlights
  • Laminated polyurethane backing creates stable waterproof seal
  • 18″ pocket depth
  • Soft cotton-terry and polyester cover
  • 10-year warranty

Our Best Value pick is the SafeRest Premium Mattress Protector. Its price is significantly lower than most competing waterproof pads and protectors, but it offers reliable protection and decent durability for its price-point. Its construction is generally simpler than the other pads on our list: The cover, made of cotton and polyester, offers some padding, while the fortified backing made of laminated polyurethane keeps liquid and moisture away from the bed.

This pad won’t affect the feel of the mattress and produces minimal noise. The material in the pad also holds up well with washing, which can be done in the washing machine. SafeRest also backs the product with a 10-year replacement warranty.

Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Mattress Protector – Best Luxury

Highlights
  • Breathable protection for hot sleepers
  • 14″pocket depth
  • Stain-resistant and easy to clean
  • 30-night sleep trial

In addition to protecting mattresses from water and other liquid spills, the Luxury Cooling Mattress Protector from Brooklyn Bedding – our Best Luxury pick – also sleeps noticeably cooler than many competing protectors. The thin surface draws body heat away from sleepers, resulting in consistently comfortable sleep temperatures. The protector also safeguards the bed from dust mites and other allergens, as well as bacteria and bed bug infestation.

The protector has the same knit cover as the Brooklyn Aurora mattress. It can be washed and dried in conventional machines, making it fairly low-maintenance. The protector also has a 14″ pocket depth and can be used with the majority of mattresses sold today. Prices range from $99 to $149, depending on the selected size. Brooklyn Bedding offers free ground shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S. and backs the protector with a 30-night sleep trial.

Waterproof Mattress Pads and Protectors Buying Guide

Whether you’re currently in the marker for a waterproof mattress protector, or interested in learning why one may be a good investment, this guide will give an overview of the benefits and provide the information you need to help identify the best purchase option for your home.

Why You Want a Waterproof Mattress Protector

Your mattress is a serious investment, and a mattress pad or protector can provide some insurance for your purchase. If you take a close look at your mattress warranty, odds are it doesn’t cover damage caused by moisture or spills. As a result, a pad or protector can be a cost-effective way to protect your mattress.

This added protection can help extend the life of your mattress by lowering the risk of mold and mildew buildup caused by moisture getting into the mattress. Of course, it’s great for keeping those unwanted stains out of your mattress as well. And for people who may have issues with incontinence or children who occasionally wet the bed, a mattress protector can help there, too.

Additionally, using a waterproof pad or protector reduces the build-up of allergens and other particles in your mattress. Keep an eye out for a hypoallergenic pads if this is an important feature for you.

And finally, a waterproof pad or protector makes cleanup so much simpler. When an accident occurs, just remove the protector and any bedding and throw them in the wash. Easy!

What You Need to Know when You’re Buying a Waterproof Mattress Protector

As you compare and contrast your options, it can be useful to know about some of the factors that allow you to differentiate between the various mattress pads and protectors on the market.

Styles

There are basically 4 styles of waterproof mattress pads and protectors available.

  • Fitted sheet – These go over the top and sides of the mattress and use a fitted corner to help secure the protector in place. This works the same way as a standard fitted sheet with the main difference being that a waterproof protector has a specialized backing to protect the bed.
  • 6-sided protector – This encases all 6 sides of the mattress and is normally sealed with a zipper. This is the most complete form of protection for the mattress and may be referred to as a mattress encasement. These tend to be especially useful for people who have concerns about bed bugs or allergens.
  • Fitted pad – This is similar to the fitted sheet except that there is a thicker material on top that generally provides a softer feel than the simple fitted-sheet style protector.
  • Pad – Pads are designed to offer protection to a specific area on the bed and are often placed above the bedsheet. Unlike other options, you aren’t able to secure pads in place.

Fabrics

Fabrics used in waterproof pads and protectors can generally be classified in two categories: The top cover and the waterproof backing. Materials that are often used in the top part include:

  • Cotton – This material is generally soft and smooth and for that reason employed in a huge variety of textiles like clothes and bedding. But cotton is also absorbent, so it needs a strong waterproof backing to work well in a protector or pad.
  • Polyester – This synthetic material can be produced to have different feels, but the most common have some softness (though less than cotton) but with more breathability and less absorption.
  • Rayon – Rayon is a semi-synthetic material (made from natural materials but using various chemicals) that often has a smooth, cooling, and breathable feel.
  • Lyocell – This is a wood-pulp based textile often marketed as Tencel. It tends to have a soft feel; and though not fully waterproof, does hold up better against liquids.
  • Blends – It’s not uncommon to find blends of the above materials. Manufacturers may compose these blends to provide a specific feel or performance of the fabric.

Pads and protectors use an adhesive to apply a waterproof backing to the topmost fabric. Some of the waterproofing materials that may be used include:

  • Vinyl – Vinyl maintains a powerful waterproof seal and is highly effective as a backing in pads and protectors. However, many vinyl products contain phthalates, which raise some health concerns, especially for pregnant women and children. However, some vinyl products are sold as phthalate-free.
  • Polyurethane – This is a plastic polymer material often used for waterproofing. It can be laminated or thermally bonded to a fabric to hold it in place. Thermally-bonded polyurethane may also be referred to as TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane).

Cleaning

It’s important to know about the cleaning process for any mattress pad or protector. Most can be washed and dried in the washing machine, but it’s important to use low temperatures. This is because high temperatures can degrade the adhesives that are necessary to maintain the waterproof backing. You can also hand wash and line dry the pads and protectors. When necessary, such as in the case of spills, you easily spot clean most pads and protectors with a mild soap.

The more you wash a pad or protector, the faster it will start to break down. That said, you still want to try to have a somewhat regular schedule for washing it. You don’t want or need to wash it as often as your normal sheets, but it can be good to clean it so that there is no buildup of dust or odor.

In addition, always remember to check the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning because there can be some variation from product to product. Following these instructions carefully can help extend the life of your purchase.

When to Replace

Mattress pads and protectors eventually wear out as the top layer and/or the waterproof backing gives out. This usually happens from washing, which causes slow degradation of these materials. Depending on how frequently you wash your pad or protector, you can expect it to last anywhere from several months to years. This can also depend on the materials and their quality since poorly produced adhesives will be more inclined to wear away rapidly. If you notice the material wearing thin or failing to protect against spills, it’s time to consider replacing your pad or protector.

What Else Should You Consider?

Now that you know the key components of a waterproof pad or protector, it’s time to review some of other considerations when looking to purchase this product.

  • Noise – Some materials used for these products can make noise when you move on top of them. This tends to be more of an issue with pads that have a more plastic-like feel. Materials like cotton and blended synthetics tend to be quieter.
  • Breathability – For people who are worried about sleeping hot, look for materials that can promote breathability, such as rayon or synthetic blends. These can help avoid heat retention in a mattress pad. Some pads may also have specific materials intended to promote cooling.
  • Comfort – The amount of thickness of the top of the pad or protector can affect how your bed will feel. If it’s a thin protector, it probably won’t affect comfort as it fits underneath your sheets. But a pad with a thicker top may be able to protect your mattress and add softness and comfort at the same time.
  • Bed bugs – If you are wanting a shield to protect your mattress from bed bugs, look for an encasement that protects all 6 sides of the mattress with a zippered closure.
  • Allergens – While most pads and protectors reduce allergen buildup, if you are highly sensitive to allergens, a full encasement is usually the most powerful product available to you.
  • Return policy – Some pads or protectors come with an in-home sleep trial, but many do not offer any kinds of returns. Check with the seller before making your purchase to find out what your rights are for making a return.
  • Warranty – Some protectors are sold with a warranty ranging from 1 to 10 years. Some warranties have so many exclusions as to make them of limited use, but it’s worth reading the fine print to see what is and is not covered.