How we test products
Our mission is to take the guesswork out of finding the perfect sleep products.
We've dedicated hundreds of hours to testing mattresses and sleep accessories, and rely on a team of testers of differing weights, temperature preferences, and sleeping positions to evaluate each product.
Tested products are granted the Sleep Hero tested stamp of approval, a mark of our review's reliability.
If we haven't personally tested a product, please be assured that we invest significant time and energy into scouring the UK market and researching the best recommendations, and we work with a team of sleep experts who review our articles, ensuring that the insights we provide are not only relatable but also reliable.
What is a mattress protector?
A mattress protector goes under your fitted sheet.
They protect the mattress from dirt, stains, spillages and bacteria build-up. 🦠
Generally, you’ll find three types of mattress protectors:
- Five-sided protectors: Fits over your mattress like a fitted sheet. It is the most convenient choice available but doesn’t protect the underneath of the mattress.
- Elastic Strap protectors: Protects the top of the mattress only with straps for each corner of the mattress. Easy to dress and remove from the mattress. It is the least protective option as it doesn’t cover the sides of the mattress.
- Encasement protectors: A six-sided mattress protector that covers all angles (including the underneath). It usually comes with a zipper. It is not easy to fit onto the mattress, which is inconvenient if you like to wash the protector regularly.
We'd recommend a five-sided mattress protector to those who want the best protection and convenience.
Why do you need a mattress protector?
The average adult sweats 118 litres a year in bed.
For an 8-year-old mattress, that’s nearly 1,000 litres of sweat built up inside the mattress.
A mattress protector can protect your mattress from bacteria and sweat and keep it feeling fresh for years to come.
On top of that, they’re a great way of preventing those unexpected accidents...
They can protect the mattress from menstrual bleeding, food and drinks, makeup and cosmetics, and accidents caused by children or pets. 💩
It’s not until an accident happens that you realise how important a mattress protector is!
What mattress protector is best for specific needs?
A mattress protector has multiple features, and the one you choose depends on your individual needs.
Let's explore below. 👇
Best mattress protector for incontinence
Choosing the right mattress protector is crucial when dealing with incontinence, as it significantly impacts one's comfort and hygiene.
One of the main features to consider is that the mattress protector should be fully waterproof to ensure that no liquids seep through to the mattress.
Experiencing incontinence can be embarrassing, so it's important to choose a mattress protector that is also discreet. 🙊
Mattress protectors with a fitted sheet design that is noise-free are the best option.
The Nectar mattress protector is an excellent five-sided option for incontinence.
Alternatively, consider a mattress pad which has a smaller surface but is more absorbent.
We recommend the ComfortNights Absorbent bed pad, which will keep both you and the mattress dry throughout the night.
A mattress protector is highly important to those with allergies, as it can prevent the build-up of dust and dirt accumulating in the mattress. 💩
You should choose a mattress protector made from hypoallergenic materials to ensure it does not trigger any allergic reactions.
The ideal protector will inhibit the penetration of allergens, promoting a clean and healthy sleeping environment.
Besides being a physical barrier, a quality mattress protector should also be easy to clean, so you can remove any allergens during a simple washing cycle. 🧼
We recommend the Panda mattress protector, which is made from antimicrobial bamboo and is machine-washable.
Best mattress protector for hot sleepers
If you’re a hot sleeper, you might consider whether a mattress protector is a good idea. 🌡️
A mattress protector covers the mattress, which minimises how much it can circulate air and dissipate excess heat.
If you suffer from hot flushes during the night, choose a mattress protector designed to be cooling as well as breathable.
The Hypnia mattress protector, made from breathable and moisture-wicking cotton, is an excellent option.
Best mattress protector for babies
Babies and children have different needs when it comes to a mattress protector.
It’s important to choose a mattress protector which is safe for babies and children, as their skin can be more sensitive. 🦔
Cot mattress protectors have been specifically designed to protect the cot mattress for your baby.
The best cot bed mattress protector is generally waterproof or made with water-resistant materials to keep your little one comfortable. 👶
You should also check that it carries certifications, like the OEKO-Tex Standard 100, to ensure it hasn't been made with harmful chemicals.
Best mattress protector for bedwetting
For children who have accidents at night, it’s important to choose a mattress protector which is fully waterproof. ☔
The best mattress protector for bedwetters is one that offers optimal protection whilst being breathable and gentle on the skin.
The Night Owl Junior 2-in-1 Waterproof Fitted Sheet is 100% waterproof, making it ideal for frequent bedwetters. 💧
This protector is fast-drying and can be back on the bed within just a few hours.
Mattress protector sizes
Mattress protectors are available in a wide range of different sizes to match any standard UK bed.
A mattress protector is available in the following sizes:
- Small single size mattress protectors - 75 x 190 cm
- Single mattress protectors - 90 x 190 cm
- Small double mattress protector - 120cm x 190cm
- Double mattress protectors - 135cm x 190cm
- King size mattress protectors - 150cm x 190cm
- Super-king size mattress protectors - 180cm x 200cm
- Emperor size mattress protectors - 200cm x 200cm
It's important to buy a mattress protector that's the same size as your mattress to ensure it fits snugly.
Most mattress protectors offer a little more give in terms of depth so that they can fit comfortably even on a deep mattress.
The Nectar mattress protector is suitable for mattresses up to 32 cm (12.5 inches) deep.
Is a mattress protector worth it?
We definitely think you should invest in a mattress protector if you don't already have one.
A mattress protector safeguards your bed from dust mites and bacteria, accidents, as well as the accumulation of sweat and moisture.
When you break the bank on an expensive mattress, it only makes sense to protect it as best as you can, as it will prevent the need to replace the mattress as often. 💰