The mattress we sleep on every night has a huge effect on how much rest we actually get. It’s no surprise then that the price tag that comes with something so important is not a number to be sniffed at.
That’s why many of the biggest mattress brands offer three month trials so you know that the one you’ve picked will offer the right amount of support for your back and is breathable enough to keep you cool at night.
And yet, once it’s on our bed, few of us proactively try to prolong the life of the mattress we spent so long picking out and spent perhaps hundreds of pounds on.
Turning your mattress every three months or so can help as it allows the mattress time to recover and reset. Using a mattress topper can also improve its support, especially towards the end of the life of the mattress.
But right from the word go, you should also invest in a good mattress protector. These go over your mattress and under your bedsheet and can be washed regularly with the rest of your bedding. They not only protect your mattress from dust mites and other allergens, but they can also save it from any accidents, spills and stains. And they don’t have to cost a fortune.
We tested a whole range of mattress protectors for comfort and fit, eliminating the ones that kept riding up on the bed or simply didn’t deliver on the comfort front, whether it’s temperature regulation or support. In our round-up, all of the prices given are for a double mattress protector. If you plump for a waterproof protector, make sure you wash it separately, as otherwise you might find your other laundry still wet after the spin cycle.
The best mattress protectors for 2021 are:
- Best overall – Tradelinens fully fitted quilted mattress protector: £46.50, Tielleloveluxury.co.uk
- Best for all natural fabrics – Woolroom Deluxe washable wool mattress protector: £83.99, Thewoolroom.com
- Best for total protection on a budget – Bensons for Beds Teflon supreme care mattress protector: £26.99, Bensonsforbeds.co.uk
- Best for hotel-style luxury – The Fine Cotton Company Tuscany mattress protector, £110, Thefinecottoncompany.com
- Best for antimicrobial properties – Dormeo Evercomfy aloe vera mattress protector: £24.99, Dormeo.co.uk
- Best big brand mattress protector – Emma mattress protector: £119, Emma-mattress.co.uk
- Best for budget-friendly comfort – Slumberdown waterproof deep skirt mattress protector: £17, Argos.co.uk
- Best for light protection – Slumberdown Teflon mattress protector: £14, Argos.co.uk
Tradelinens fully fitted quilted mattress protector
This fully fitted mattress protector from Tradelinens is made from a mixture of natural and synthetic fibres. The fabric on both sides of the padding is made from soft to the touch cotton while the filling is polyester hollowfibre. The extra deep elasticated skirting, made from cotton with a slight stretch, is woven into a super fine mesh that keeps out any dust while still being breathable.
We weren’t expecting to love this mattress protector as much as we did because it didn’t look particularly different from the others we tried and it wasn’t the most expensive either. But aside from being a really great fit and easy to put on, thanks to the extra give in the elasticated skirting, we found it super comfortable to sleep on. Even though it’s only slightly padded, it made our bed feel softer and more comfortable and we had some of our best sleep on it.
Woolroom Deluxe washable wool mattress protector
Best: For all natural fabrics
Woolroom’s Deluxe washable wool mattress protector is made from all natural materials and has plenty of eco-credentials to boot. All of the visible surfaces, including the deep elasticated skirting, are made from 200 thread count organic cotton in a sandy/peach colour. The padding is 100 per cent wool – it’s pre-treated so it’s machine washable and won’t shrink – and fully traceable to British farmers who are members of the Woolkeepers initiative, a group that focuses on good animal husbandry, reducing antibiotic use and supporting local biodiversity.
Eco-credentials aside, wool padding has a number of benefits over the more common hollow fibre ones, including being naturally fire retardant and temperature regulating. This mattress protector has also received the seal of approval from the British Allergy Foundation for being hypoallergenic. When we tested this, it was comfortable and easy to put on, and even though the weather was warm, we never felt hot. Our only complaint is that the label for this cover is on the outside, which makes figuring out the right side up quite confusing.
Bensons for Beds Teflon supreme care mattress protector
Best: For total protection on a budget
This is a waterproof protector filled with anti-allergy polyester fibres. The top cover and the extra deep elasticated skirting on this are both made from polyester while the backing is made from Teflon-treated polypropylene that ensures it’s completely waterproof. Although it’s machine washable and can take a cool tumble dry, we found it produced a noticeable amount of static so we’d recommend against the latter. While not dangerous, it can be a bit annoying, especially if you’re prone to electric shocks, and it can attract a fair bit of lint.
We liked that this mattress protector was very easy to put on. The top was a great fit in terms of size and the extra deep elasticated skirting meant that slipping it over the side of the mattress involved zero effort. And once it was on, it stayed firmly in place. This mattress protector also benefits from a five year guarantee.
The Fine Cotton Company Tuscany mattress protector
Best: For hotel-style luxury
The Fine Cotton Company’s Tuscany mattress protector looks and feels luxurious enough for five-star hotels. This is in part thanks to the crisp white cotton that covers all the surfaces you see, including the extra deep elasticated skirting and the backing fabric for the padded top. The only bit that’s synthetic is the polyester hollow fibre filling, which helps to add extra oomph as well as improve comfort. We found this protective cover really easy to put on, with the padded top perfectly lining up with the top of our mattress. We also appreciated the extra deep elasticated skirting, which made it easy to pull the cover over the sides of the mattress without any struggle. And once the cover was on, the thick elastic (measuring around 1cm wide) snapped into position along the base of the mattress and kept the cover firmly in place with zero movement during use. Our only gripe is that it doesn’t fold down as neatly as the other padded options, which can make storage an issue.
Dormeo evercomfy aloe vera mattress protector
Best: For antimicrobial properties
Dormeo’s evercomfy mattress protector is made from a polyester fabric that’s been enriched with aloe vera extract. Although aloe vera in clothing is said to make the fabric more soothing and comfortable on the skin, and the top of this cover is extremely soft and pleasant to the touch, we’re not convinced it’s that useful given it would be covered by your bed sheets. That said, aloe vera is also known for its antimicrobial properties, which can help this mattress protector ward off the nasties.
When we tested it, we found that it fitted our mattress really well with the padded top sitting squarely over the top of the mattress. The elastic was strong enough to hold it in place, without it feeling like it’s a battle to put it on. And we found it comfortable to sleep on as well. The one feature we loved was that despite being padded, it folded down really well, which makes storage really easy.
Emma mattress protector
Best: Big brand mattress protector
While designed specifically for Emma mattresses, we’ve been promised that the Emma mattress protector will fit any mattress of the same size, which is why we’ve included this one in our testing. And we weren’t disappointed with the fit. Thanks to the 3cm thick elastic band that runs around its edge, which if we’re honest looks a bit like the ones you see on men’s underwear, the Emma mattress protector fits extremely snugly. And once it’s on, there’s no wriggle room for it to move around like some of the other ones we tested – a feature we loved.
The whole thing is made from 100 per cent polyester but the textures are completely different. The border features a light and airy fabric similar to those seen on high end running gear while the top is made up of a mesh that looks exactly like the surface of our mattress. This was a bit disconcerting as it felt like we were sleeping right on the surface of our bed. The underside of the top is a leather-effect material that’s completely waterproof. Unlike other waterproof mattress protectors, we didn’t feel like we were overheating at night, which was a bonus.
Our only gripe is the price – it’s definitely towards the top end of the options we tried, but like its mattresses, Emma offers a 200-night trial of its mattress protectors so you could try it yourself risk free.
Slumberdown waterproof deep skirt mattress protector
Best: For budget-friendly comfort
Slumberdown’s offering is quite different from other waterproof options we tested. It’s unpadded, with a soft and almost velvety surface made from polyester. Without the padding on the top, this cover lacked the defined structure of some of the other mattress protectors and it looked a bit more like a fitted sheet. The backing is made from polyurethane, which gives it its waterproofing properties.
Because it didn’t have the mattress shape that some of the other covers had, we initially thought it wouldn’t be a good fit but we were proven wrong. You don’t get the sharp finishing that comes with a mattress protector with a padded top and elasticated skirting – and you have to smooth it into position – but this cover went over our mattress very snuggly and didn’t budge at all during use. We also found it very comfortable to sleep on with none of the overheating issues often associated with waterproof mattress protectors.
Slumberdown Teflon mattress protector
Best: For light protection
This was the most budget-friendly of the covers we tested but we think it offered pretty decent protection for the price. The fabric for the top was polyester while the backing was made from Teflon-treated polyurethane for waterproofing. It’s also lightly padded with polyester hollowfibre filling. Unlike all of the other covers we tested, this one had elasticated straps on the four corners to secure it into place instead of an elasticated skirting that went all the way round the mattress – this keeps the costs down, but it doesn’t offer as much protection as some of the alternatives.
In terms of usage, because you only need to strap the four corners into position, it was a lot easier to put on than some of the other mattress protectors. The padded top was also a great fit for our mattress. However, it doesn’t protect the side of the mattress at all and that’s worth bearing in mind if you’re looking for something to protect your mattress from allergens. And while it stayed in place for us, we think with a bit more tossing and turning, the elasticated straps won’t be able to hold it firmly in place.