Why Should I Consider a Mattress Protector?

June 16, 2021

Why Should I Consider a Mattress Protector?

If you’re not getting a good night's sleep, it could be for a variety of reasons. Do you wake up feeling restless, coughing, or itchy? Are your allergies extra bad after sleep? Surprisingly, it could be your mattress that is causing those issues. When we go outside, we do our best to protect ourselves from bugs and allergens. But perhaps we are thinking about bugs and allergens inside our home. These ailments that can come from mattresses can be fixed or prevented — with a mattress protector. Find out more about how it can help prevent and alleviate factors that may be disrupting your slumber.

What is a Mattress Protector?

A mattress protector is a layer that lays on top of the mattress, but under the sheet, and protects the mattress. There are multiple types of mattress protectors, and specifications vary including how they fit, what they are made out of, and what special features they have.

What Does a Mattress Protector Do?

The mattress protector creates a barrier between your body and the mattress. It keeps body fluids, dust, allergens, bugs, dead skin cells, and other bedtime possibilities from reaching and destroying the mattress. By protecting the mattress, it is protecting you from the harm that can come from coming in contact with those things such as itchy skin, allergies, and possible illness.

And let’s face it, if you have children or pets, your mattress is bound to take a beating. Having a mattress protector can protect your mattress against the dirt and dander that comes from your children and pets.

What are the Types of Mattress Protectors?

When you need a mattress protector, there are three general types to consider.

  1. Pad protectors: Pad protectors go on top of the mattress like a protector, but are only slightly thicker than a mattress topper. They give you the extra cushion you need, without the extra cost. They will provide some protection against the dirt, dust mites, and fluids, but tend to be used as a supplement to a mattress protector. Because they essentially lay on the top of the mattress, there is no protection against the sides.
  2. Fitted protectors: A fitted protector is like a fitted sheet that goes over the corners of your mattress. Usually with waterproof tops, they can still help prevent allergens and dust mites from reaching your mattress. While they are pretty convenient to take off and put on, there is no total protection with fitted protectors.
  3. Mattress encasements: Mattress encasements are a higher level of mattress protector. Encasements protect all sides of the mattress, and zip shut to add another level of protection. Mattress encasements, meant for protection, are often paired with padding to add additional comfort. Mattress encasements are also great for people who toss and turn while sleeping.

What are the Advantages of a Mattress Protector?

When you need a mattress protector, you should know that there are several benefits to them.


People with allergies will know, things have to be clean! Mattress and beds tend to attract dust, dust mites, pet dander, mold, and even pollen. Imagine your mattress being tainted with those, and then spending 8 hours (or more!) breathing it in. A mattress protector will help prevent those allergens from filtering into the mattress, which will help you to get a goodnight sleep, free of allergy symptoms.


One of the fears everyone has is of bedbugs. Once they are in, it is difficult and costly to get rid of them, especially if they get into the mattress. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a mattress protector, explicitly an encasement, is known to help prevent bedbugs from getting into your mattress by eliminating their hiding spots. If this is something you worry about, getting an encasement mattress would help prevent those creatures from getting in your mattress.


If your mattress protector gets dirty, you simply take it off the bed and put it in the wash. If your mattress gets dirty, it needs to be cleaned with cleaners or professionally done. Unfortunately, it cannot just be thrown in the wash like the mattress protector! Thankfully, a mattress protector is significantly easier to care for than the entire mattress.


Mattress protectors not only shelter your mattress from allergens, bacteria, liquids, and bodily fluids, but it also adds another layer to your mattress.  Adding that extra layer can add additional comfort for you to enjoy a good night's sleep.


Mattress protectors are significantly cheaper than a new mattress. You can opt to not have a mattress protector, but you will be paying even more when you have to buy a new mattress. Furthermore, if you need to get rid of the mattress, it often costs money to have it removed.

Environmentally Friendly

Unfortunately, mattresses are problematic when it comes to disposing them. They are extremely large, made up of multiple parts (only some of which can be recycled), and get stuck in machines. While there are certainly eco-friendly mattresses, one way to preserve your mattress so it does not end up (earlier) in the landfill, is to add a mattress protector.


Sweat, bodily fluids, dead skin cells, and liquids — do they sound like things you want to sleep in? Without a mattress protector, that is what will be seeping in your mattress. Stains on your mattress, especially from bodily fluids, can breed bacteria. Since many mattress protectors are waterproof, it adds yet another layer of protection from materials not only getting into your mattress, but breeding bacteria.


Having a mattress protector safeguards the life of your mattress, and helps to keep your mattress clean. Sure, you get a warranty on your mattress. However, stains can void the warranty. The easiest way to maintain the life of your bed (and your warranty) is to protect it with a mattress protector.

What are the Disadvantages of a Mattress Protector?

When you need a mattress protector, you should know that there are a few cons associated with them.


There is a cost involved in purchasing a good mattress protector. For people that already have a mattress, it may be too much to spend. However, this is less of a cost, and more of an investment. The smaller cost of the mattress protector will be worth the cost in terms of protecting a good quality mattress that costs more than the protector.


A mattress protector is a layer between the mattress and the fitted sheet. Like any piece of your bed, it is possible for it to bunch up and be uncomfortable while sleeping (until fixed). Mattress protector pads and fitted protectors, while easy to just lay on top of the mattress, can bunch up at night if you are a sleeper who tosses and turns.


Some of the layers of the mattress protectors can be covered in a plastic-like waterproof material. That sound can make some noise when moving around, which can be distracting to sleepers. However, this can be avoided by purchasing specific fabrics.


Sometimes the barriers and layers on the mattress protector can trap heat. Without a place for it to escape, it can warm you up when you sleep. If you pick a mattress protector, make sure it has breathable fabric (or cooling fabric if available) that will help prevent the heat from warming you up in the middle of the night.

Need a Mattress Protector?

Here’s what to look for when buying a mattress protector. You have decided to purchase a mattress protector. But how do you know what to look for?


Make sure you find a mattress protector that is not only washable, but will fit in the washer you own. Keep in mind that each type of mattress protector is different, and may require specific wash/dry instructions.


To avoid having it heat up at night, purchase a breathable mattress protector. If you want a very breathable mattress protector, natural fibers are the way to go.


Plastic sound, or spills on the mattress? Grab a waterproof mattress protector to ensure the ultimate defense against liquid spills.

Pick Your fabric

Mattress protectors come in a variety of fabrics. You will choose between polyester, cotton, and others, so look into what works best for your home and comfort before making a purchase. Additionally, ensure the fabric is something that will not only be able to go in your washer, but also heat in your dryer.


If you suffer from allergies, this will be a must. Choose between a membrane (waterproof and soft) vs. non-membrane cover (soft, breathable, and tightly woven fabric, but not as protective) to determine what will be best for your allergies. If you have skin allergies, take a look at organic mattress protectors to be more delicate on your skin.

Keep in mind that the pad protectors will only cover the top, so allergens may be able to get into the sides of the mattress. Keep the area of coverage in mind when searching for a mattress protector to alleviate your allergies.

Why Choose Eco Terra?

We believe everyone can appreciate the experience of sleeping on an Eco Terra natural hybrid latex mattress.

  • Environmentally friendly: Eco Terra mattresses are not only comfortable, but they are chemical-free, polyurethane-free, and organic. We care about our customers and the earth!
  • Transparency: We don’t always know what is really in the items we are buying. With Eco Terra, transparency is key. All our material tags are clear, visible, and accurate.
  • Made in the USA! Eco Terra is not only located in California, but all of our items are made by local craftsmen, and through local manufacturing. Not only are our products made in their community, but it provides jobs and allows us to give back to our area.
  • Affordable: Just because it is natural and eco-friendly, does not mean it is expensive. In fact, Eco Terra partners with sustainable farmers, and crafts in-house, so we can cut the middleman cost out.

Patrick Gunther

Patrick is an accomplished writer. He has been in the retail mattress space for the past 13 years, and more specifically in the natural mattress niche. He blogs on the subjects of natural mattresses, sleep, health, fitness, and green living.