Are Mattress Protectors Necessary? Yes, You Need One
If you have bought a mattress recently, chances are you have been googling and doing some heavy research into protecting and prolonging your investment. So, how does one shield their mattress from allergens and food binges without compromising on comfort and breathability?
Well sir, you might want to give a mattress protector a try.
What Is a Mattress Protector?
A mattress protector is a removable protective barrier that covers your mattress and shields it from bacteria, spillage and irritants such as dead skin, mould, dust mites and bed bugs. It blocks moisture and allows easy cleaning and drying after spills.
A mattress topper is somewhat similar to that of a protector, and is designed to offer you more comfort.
Now, let’s take a deep dive into why a mattress protector is recommended.
Do I Need A Mattress Protector?
If you are still one of the undecideds, who are more likely to walk into a store and consider them an optional bed setting, then you might want to read this post carefully until the end.
There are some compelling reasons why protectors are a necessity if you use your mattress regularly and enjoy good sleep. Here’s why.
- Protection from Stains and Spills:
Whether you are a pet parent, or have a toddler at home or if you are just always clumsy with your food on bed, you’ll be no stranger to spills, stains and urine too. However, spot cleaning the mattress or washing the mattress cover isn’t something you can find the time or will to do every time such accidents happen. And if you let these spills sit, then it could eventually become a breeding ground for harmful organisms.
A great way to avoid this whole catastrophe is to cover your mattress with a waterproof protector that allows easy cleaning and drying without staining your bed. If you wish to wash your protector, just machine wash it with a bleach-free detergent in warm or cold water and tumble dry it later.
- Protection from Wear and Tear:
Regular use can often cause some light wear and tear on your mattress, especially on the outer cover. No matter how disciplined you are, it eventually does get dirty and eventually you can spot tiny rips popping in the corners too. You can prevent this from happening by topping your mattress with a good quality mattress protector that will add a layer of defence to its surface and make it last longer.
- Protection Against Allergens:
Did you know that dust mites are one of the most common allergens one can find in their home. Mattresses are breeding grounds for these nasty mites that feed off our skin flakes. You can fight them off by purchasing a good mattress protector. A used mattress may contain anywhere from 100,000 to 10 million dust mites (source).
To ensure it is 100% safe, buy a protector that covers your mattress from all sides, offering you utmost protection. You can also get a box spring cover to up your defence against these allergens. There are several lab-certified allergy asthma-friendly pillow and mattress covers that you can invest in to keep dust mites off your bed. Another thing you can do is to wash your blankets, pillowcases and sheets weekly in 130°F water.
- Protection Against Bed Bugs:
Nobody enjoys being leeched in the middle of the night. But without a mattress protector, your body serves the perfect platter to bed bugs that prefer human blood as their host, which is why they are always sneaking up on mattresses and pillows. When you are purchasing a mattress protector, it is important that you check whether it is bed bug resistant and prevents these tiny creatures from harming you.
The best way to check if your protector is efficient against bugs, check the tag to see if it is entomology lab-certified.
Now that you are caught up on why mattress protectors are an essential purchase, let’s take a look at its different styles.
Styles of Mattress Protectors
They come in varied styles, depending on your purpose and requirement.
These are similar to the fitted sheets that are spread on your bed. Instead of covering the whole mattress, it only fits on the top and sides. You can find them in synthetic and organic fibre materials.
They are usually waterproof and shield your mattress from feces, stains, vomit and bacteria. Putting it on and taking it off is extremely easy. You can clean them easily.
Also popularly known as encasement covers, they protect the bed from all sides and are perfect to fight bed bugs and allergens. Another great thing about this is that you can use them both indoors and outdoors.
If you are camping outside, you can just put it on your mattress to cushion it from the weather. And if you are the kind who is constantly tossing and turning, you won’t have to worry about the cover slipping off with this.
It is best to avoid materials such as vinyl or plastic when it comes to zipper mattress protectors as they could block airflow.
These rests comfortably on your mattress as they are tied down with elastic straps. While it offers a tighter fit than the fitted protector, it only shields the top and not the sides or bottom.
Do Mattress Protectors Make You Hot?
This is undoubtedly one of the most frequently asked questions about these protectors. And the answer is, it depends on the quality. If you are using a cheap, polyester protector, the chances of you waking up drenched in sweat with a heat flash in the middle of the night are very high.
On the other hand, the high-quality mattress protectors are breathable yet waterproof and, in some cases, even natural. They tend to be expensive, but they trap a lot less heat and don’t hinder the mattress’s performance.
For example, if you own a memory foam mattress, you’d want to use a thin mattress protector. Thicker mattress protectors may inhibit heat exchange between the body and memory foam. This prevents memory foam from contouring properly and ultimately feeling firmer.
Do Cooling Mattress Protectors Work?
Sleepers who sleep hot can go for cooling and more breathable mattress protectors. They are made of organic and breathable materials such as bamboo, cotton, or tencel that encourage airflow and allow sleepers to rest cool and comfortable.
One thing to note here is that cooling mattress protectors do not specifically decrease the temperature but they sleep temperature-neutral and decrease humidity.
Do Mattress Protectors Stop Bed Bugs?
Absolutely, they do. It is also one of the biggest reasons why people buy a protector in the first place. Honestly, sleeping on a mattress without a protector is like leaving your front door wide open, any intruder can walk in easily.
According to a study, close to 90% of bed bugs are found near mattresses or box springs. A protector can trap existing pests and starve them to death, while also preventing invasion from new ones.
Do Mattress Protectors Make Bed Less Comfortable?
Mattress protectors are really thin in size, in fact, they don’t have to be thick for the purpose they serve – shielding the mattress. These super thin protectors make little to no change to the comfort, feel and performance of the mattress.
Do Mattress Protectors Prevent Mould?
Almost everyone, irrespective of age, size or level of physical activity, sweats in bed, it is universal. If you tend to be sweatier, then the excess sweat drips on the mattress which soaks it in and over a period of time hosts the perfect environment for mould growth and mildew. These cause respiratory infections and aggravate allergies.
A waterproof mattress protector will prevent the sweat from being absorbed by the mattress and keeps it fresh, preventing you from allergens like mould and bacteria.
Are Mattress Protectors Safe for Babies?
A waterproof mattress protector will keep the mattress clean and dry for the baby, preventing harbouring harmful microorganisms. However, it is advisable to always check with your doctor what kind of fabric for a protector would suit your baby’s skin. If any protector reduces or increases the firmness of the mattress, then it will be unsafe for the baby, so it is best to take your pediatrician’s advice while picking which protector will be the perfect match for your little one.
Wrapping It Up…
By now, you are caught up on how a premium quality mattress protector, not only shields you from harmful allergens, mites and prevents stain, but it also offers you a cooling environment, which could actually improve your sleep. While you may find protectors made of polyester inexpensive, it is best to look for one made of bamboo and other organic materials. They offer a better environment and ensure improved sleep quality.
You can think of these protectors as insurance that constantly has you covered when there is an accident. Now that you understand how significant they are to the longevity of your mattress and for better health, it is time you make an informed decision and buy one for yourself. You can find the best ones here.
Overall, in our opinion, mattress protectors are a lifesaver and a must-have.