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Best mattress protector 2023: The top waterproof, quilted and hypoallergenic protectors

Shield against stains and banish dust mites with our pick of the best mattress protectors

Cleaning a mattress is rarely easy or enjoyable, and having to replace one unexpectedly is an expense most of us can do without. That’s why spending a little extra on the best mattress protector you can afford will save a lot of hassle and money in the long term.

You could just go out and buy a cheap mattress protector for less than a tenner, but we would advise against being so hasty. The best mattress protectors can ward off dust mites for those prone to allergies, and can even provide an extra layer of comfort (though if comfort is your priority, see our roundup of the best mattress toppers and memory foam toppers).

We’ve put together a selection of our favourite mattress protectors to suit all budgets, as well as a handy buying guide to ensure you buy the right protector for your needs.

Get a FANTASTIC 40% off the Nectar Mattress Protector

The Nectar is our favourite mattress protector overall and, if you’re quick, you can pick one up for a whopping 40% less in Nectar’s sale. That brings the price of the king size down to £45.60, down from £80.

Best mattress protector: At a glance

How to choose the best mattress protector for you

What do I need to know before I buy a mattress protector?

As simple as it might sound, there are a number of different factors to consider when buying your mattress protector.

Material: Just like bedding sheets, mattress protectors can come in a range of materials and fabrics. Synthetic materials such as polyester are a common and affordable option, but not the best as far as quality is concerned. Other materials include wool, cotton, Tencel and (in keeping with the latest green fashions) bamboo.

Fit: Another thing to consider is how your new mattress protector will fit your mattress. Many will have an elasticated ‘skirt’ and fit the mattress like a fitted sheet, while some protectors are designed to completely encase it. Alternatively, some protectors will have corner straps to fasten around your mattress. Unless you’re opting for the latter, it’s important to take into account the depth of your mattress as well as the size.

What features do I need to consider?

As the name suggests, a mattress protector is designed to protect your mattress from stains, damage and wear and tear. Aside from this, a mattress protector can also be:

  • Waterproof: Go for a waterproof protector if you can foresee spills or other accidents. It might seem like an obvious feature, but bear in mind that not all mattress protectors are waterproof, so always check the product specifications before you buy.
  • Breathable: Depending on the materials used, some protectors will be more breathable than others. If you’re worried about getting hot in bed, there are plenty of mattress protectors available that are designed to keep you cool.
  • Hypoallergenic: This is another common feature of protectors and bedsheets alike. Hypoallergenic mattress protectors form a barrier against those pesky dust mites that can wreak havoc for those with allergies while also potentially causing breathing problems.
  • Quilted: Quilted mattress protectors are made with a layer of hollowfibre or cotton filling. The aim of this is to provide an extra (albeit thin) layer of protection. However, as we’ve said, if comfort is your priority then you might be better off looking for a mattress topper.

Do I need to wash my mattress protector?

Yes. A protector acts as a barrier between you and your mattress, so it makes sense to take good care of it. When it comes to the question of how often you should wash it, there’s no hard and fast rule. Some recommend washing your protector whenever you change your sheets, but doing so every week is probably excessive. Bed retailer Dreams recommends washing your mattress protector every two months (with exceptions in the case of spillages and if you allow pets onto the bed). Thankfully, the vast majority of mattress protectors are machine washable.

How much should I spend on a mattress protector?

You could get a double mattress protector for as little as £5, but as is often the case with bedding, you get what you pay for. We would recommend paying a bit more than this, but you’ll rarely need to splash out more than £50 on a good protector.

The best mattress protectors you can buy in 2023

1. Nectar Mattress Protector: Best overall mattress protector

Price when reviewed: From £60 | Check price at NectarNectar’s mattress protector is made from Tencel fabric (often lauded as a softer and more eco-friendly alternative to cotton) and is both breathable and waterproof. It protects your mattress against spills and stains, while being thin enough to not change the feel of your mattress. It can also be machine washed at up to 90°C (although it can’t be tumble dried).

If you’ve read our review, you’ll know that we’re big fans of the 365-night trial period Nectar offers on its mattress. Unfortunately, this trial isn’t extended to its bedding, but you do get a two-year warranty on the protector.

Key features – Material: Tencel; Waterproof? Yes; Sizes available: Single – super king; Washing instructions: Machine washable at 90°C, do not tumble dry; Hypoallergenic? Not specified, but Tencel is naturally hypoallergenic; Warranty: 2 years

Check price at Nectar

2. John Lewis Natural Cotton Quilted Mattress Protector: Best protector for “hot sleepers”

Price when reviews: From £30 | Check price at John LewisIf you’ve gone to the effort of getting yourself a traditional mattress made up of natural materials, then you might not want to go covering it with a synthetic mattress protector.

Finding an “all natural” protector isn’t always an easy task, but this quilted protector from John Lewis is made from 100% cotton, including the skirt and the filling. This makes it more breathable than its synthetic counterparts, and ideal for people who get too hot in bed. Cotton is also naturally antibacterial and hypoallergenic.

It’s machine washable at up to 40°C, although this can result in shrinkage and the padding “bobbling” up, so we would recommend washing at the lowest temperature. That said, the topper is designed to be large enough to accommodate some shrinkage.

Key features – Material: Cotton; Waterproof? No; Sizes available: Small single – super king; Washing instructions: Machine washable at up to 40°C, tumble dry on low heat; Hypoallergenic? Not specified, but cotton is naturally hypoallergenic; Warranty: 2 years

Check price at John Lewis

3. John Lewis Anyday Quilted Protector: Best cheap mattress protector

Price when reviewed: From £8 | Check price at John LewisAlthough many popular bed-in-a-box brands offer swanky mattress protectors upwards of £50, you can get a no-frills protector for less than a tenner.

Part of John Lewis’ Anyday range of affordable homeware, this quilted mattress protector is just £9 for a double. It’s not waterproof but it will provide a basic level of protection for your mattress, as well as a thin layer of comfort from its polyester filling. Overall, it’s a reliable budget option.

Key features – Material: Microfibre, with polyester filling; Waterproof? No; Sizes available: Single – king; Washing instructions: Machine washable at 40°C, tumble dry on cool setting; Hypoallergenic? Not specified; Warranty: 1 year

Check price at John Lewis

4. Panda Mattress Protector: Best bamboo mattress protector

Price when reviewed: From £30 | Check price at PandaWe’ve featured a number of Panda products in our bedding roundups, including the brand’s memory foam mattress topper and pillow.

Panda’s mattress protector, being made from a blend of cotton and bamboo, is naturally hypoallergenic and antimicrobial. And by developing its own non-toxic biodegradable material called “Nano TPU”, Panda has made its protector waterproof as well as lightweight and quiet when you move around on it. It has a deep skirt of 32cm so it will easily fit over your mattress, as well as a topper if you have one, and is available in a wide range of sizes (including cot and cot bed sizes).

We don’t want to overstate the eco-friendly credentials of bamboo, particularly because the extent of the material’s sustainability is widely debated. Nevertheless, Panda has ensured that its bamboo is ethically sourced, and grown and processed free from pesticides and chemicals. And if you decide you don’t like it, you can return it for a full refund thanks to the company’s 30-night trial.

Key features – Material: Bamboo (70%), cotton (30%), polyester skirt; Waterproof? Yes; Sizes available: Cot – king; Washing instructions: Machine washable at up to 50°C, hang dry or tumble dry on cool setting; Hypoallergenic? Yes; Warranty: 2 years

Check price at Panda

5. Silentnight Anti-Allergy Mattress Protector: Best budget anti-allergy protector

Price when reviewed: From £16 | Check price at SilentnightDust mites can wreak havoc on those with allergies or asthma, so hypoallergenic mattress protectors that guard against mites and bacteria are common. Protectors made from fabrics such as cotton, bamboo or tencel (such as the Panda and John Lewis entries above) are naturally antimicrobial and hypoallergenic. But if you’re after something that’s both anti-allergy and budget-friendly, then this protector from Silentnight is a good (albeit synthetic) option, at just £18 for a double.

Made from 100% polyester, Silentnight’s anti-allergy fibres are approved by the British Allergy Foundation, and this protector comes with a two-year guarantee. It doesn’t fit with a skirt (as with the other protectors we’ve featured here), but instead has elasticated corner straps which keep it in place.

Key features – Material: Polyester; Waterproof? No; Sizes available: Double – super king; Washing instructions: Machine washable at up to 40°C, suitable for tumble drying; Hypoallergenic? Yes; Warranty: 2 years

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